Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Toledo Week 8

Have I seriously been here in Toledo for 8 weeks? Time goes by soooo fast! It's hard when you are loving your mission so much...days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months and before you know it, you've reached your 8 month mark, and it's the week before transfers! That's me if you couldn't tell :)
So last week I mentioned that people don't celebrate Easter here like they do in America, and that Sister Agawin didn't know who the Easter bunny was before. Never fear, with three American housemates, even though it was a week late, last Wednesday we had an Easter egg hunt! I was looking for bubbles (don't ask) in the kids section of Gaisano, and I came across one teeny tiny bucket of eggs, mas barato siya, and so we bought the eggs, filled them with candy, and hid them all over the house for her to find. I took a small video clip at the end and it's on dropbox, we had so much fun!
FINALLY, we have been trying for weeks and we finally had our English class! It was a success, we had 10 people come, and we only spoke English the whole time which was really weird, and somewhat difficult for Sister Harris haha.
We participated in National Service day on Saturday by going to the city hall and planting tomato plants, pulling out weeds, etc. Basically gardening. I had to wake up at 4 on Saturday since I had to do my laba (laundry) too, and we left at 7. It was a really fun morning with the branch. People here don't have gardens, so it was a fun new learning experience for everyone and they loved it!
We also attended a branch family home evening. Let me tell you a little bit about family home evenings in the Philippines. Well we go through the opening exercises, lesson, and then the GAMES. The games are the biggest part, besides the snack afterwards. They are super competitive with the games, and if you loose, you have to perform a "talent". This goes for any game in the Philippines, whether a part of FHE or not, if you lose you perform a talent. Well I didn't even lose, but since we are missionaries, they made all of the missionaries do a talent. Sister Wechsler sang, so did Sister Agawin and Sister Dustin...and then it came to me. I had no idea what to do, I don't have talents! But Tory (my cheer coach in high school) would be super proud of me because I decided to teach them a cheer. They went crazy. Now, whenever any of the youth see me, they put a fist in the air and go, "Go Tigers!" So great.
The wedding of Jenn and Rico is going down this Saturday, May 3rd. Needless to say I feel like a mother planning a wedding, this week has been wedding week trying to help them plan and get everything ready. Not many people can say they've planned a Filipino wedding. Don't worry, we even had a branch member volunteer to make cheesy popcorn, if we buy the popcorn. haha. The branch is really willing to help out though and it's so great to see them love Jenn and Rico. After the wedding, Jenn will be getting baptized, and this is what I am most excited about :) She has waited a long time, and the wait is finally over. She is pregnant and due in just a few weeks, can you imagine getting baptized just weeks before having a new baby? She is a champion, she is seriously my hero! She is so amazing!
We have gotten into a routine of going on splits with members every Sunday and I love it. The members here are great, they are always so willing to work with us and to give us referrals and to help in any way they can. It's so amazing to see them loving missionary work too.

This week the Quitoy family from Busay is visiting, because Sister Quitoy's brother is our branch president here in Toledo 2. It has been so much fun to see them and hear all about how Busay Ward is doing. Even though I was only there for a short time, I really loved the people there, and I was so happy to hear that the Busay Ward has successfully split into the Busay Ward, and the Busay Branch, and they are planning to split again in a year. This is the definition of missionary work!
Yesterday was a busy day, I went on splits with Sister Agawin and we had SO much fun! I love Sister Agawin so much, she is hilarious and so much fun to work with. We spoke English inside the house (for me) and outside of the house we only spoke Cebuano, or Tagalog (for her). She is amazing and such a strong person and I will miss her when she goes home (to Leyte) in July.
Then, last night, we had the birthday party of Yves (our recent convert) and Jehan (his cousin, member). It was thee definition of a Filipino party, complete with videoke, games, and lechon baboy (pig). It was so much fun. I love Sam, Yves, and Jehan so much!
As missionaries, we constantly find ourselves saying "where are they now?" when it comes to less actives whose names we have but we can't find where they live, etc. So this week I have come up with my own list of "where are they now?" For all of my long lost friends who I swear aren't dead, but who I haven't heard from in a while. I will keep this list to myself but for reals, I have no idea what is going on over there in America! Keep me in on what's going on in all of your lives!
Basta, last week was great, and this week has been great so far too. We are enjoying our last week of the transfer before transfer calls come on Monday. So next week, I'll know whether I am staying or transferring, and let's be honest, I really hope I stay, as long as I can :)
Have a great week, nahigugma ko sa inyoha. ingat palagi.
Love, Sister Harris






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