27 May 2014

Letter 30: Transfers happened again, And once again, our house hasn't Changed.

Dearest Panimalay kag mga Abyan,
Anyway. Some Big News of the Week: Sister Marticio and I are going to be housemates for FIVE transfers. Hahahaha. I even finished her BR before transfer day, and then she didn't even leave (BR: Book of Records. I'd never heard of one before, but basically you write a letter with experiences and thank yous and pictures and give it to someone. It's like a Year Book signing in high school, but nicer and more sincere.)
Which means I'm going to officially be in my first area for 7 (almost 7.5) MONTHS! (Sometimes President does things like where you only train for six weeks and then someone else becomes your trainee's trainer. But not for me. :D)

Alex came to church a FOURTH time in a row. Like: Woah. He's more diligent than anyone. And we STILL have yet to teach him. (like seriously. WHY? Why is he never home when he says he will be?)

Sister Orkin brought a cold home this week, and I caught it on Saturday (haha. in the US, we get colds because it's cold. Here, people get Mga Sipon because it's too hot. haha. Irony)  I was not feeling well! I texted Sister Aquino on Sunday (yesterday) if I could nap for an hour after church before going out (being sick and then having to interpret church for Alex was really draining) and she just told us to stay home.  We went out to work anyway (haha) because we had an appointment with Alex (he punted us) but we were able to get in one lesson before headed back home 4 hours early.
I woke up from my nap, went downstairs to
get some water, and found this :) hahaha
Something funny: My Ilonggo goes away when I'm sick. It just turns back into English. haha. Luckily my housemates all have to learn English. (and luckily our one lesson before we headed home was with a teacher, who is sagad. So he understood my Ilonggo with a lot of English thrown in. But I was too tired to try and explain that if we have different mga Pagpati (beliefs) then aren't the same Faith. Have I mentioned that "it's all the same" is a swear phrase to me now? Can you tell I'm still a little sick? I'm rambling, aren't I?) Remember how I've said it's been way to hot to sleep with a thin blanket? Well last night I was wrapped up tight, even though it was so hot. I'm so grateful for Worthy Priesthood Holders (aka, my district leader and his companion) who were willing to come over and give us a blessing (I wasn't the only one sick. Lucky Sister Taufanga. She never gets sick)

I gave a workshop for the ward of the Elders in my District. It was to encourage members to give referrals (HEY! Members out there. Give a Pamphlet to someone. Share your testimony. PLANTS SOME SEEDS! The Field is white and ready to harvest. BUT FIRST YOU GOTTA PLANT.) It went well. Much better than the time I taught District Meeting. I'm getting a little bit better at public speaking, it really is so much easier when there's two (I'm glad the Lord gives us companions. It's impossible to do this on your own!)

Got my hair cut. It's super short now! (jokes. Sister Marticio just trimmed off about five centimeters this morning and evened it out. I don't trust people that work in salons here. . . they like their scissors a bit too much) 

I've Officially read 1000 pages of the Bible! (getting near the end of the Old Testament.)

Spiritual insight of the day: I was reading "Our Heritage" this morning (my brain is too fuzzy to try and understand Ezekiel.), and I loved what it said, Joseph Smith was counseling Newel K. Whitney about his call to become a bishop, and Whitney felt insignificant. Joseph Smith said, "Ask Father for yourself." 

I loved that the prophet called Heavenly Father "Father." I loved how he showed that God is truly our Father in such a simple sentence, and that we can all seek counsel from Father. For me there was just so much Love and Trust in those few words. 

Love you all! Hope you have a great week! (and oh yeah. The church is True!)

-Sister Smith
CHURCH is always awesome.

19 May 2014

Letter 29: I can never think of titles.

Dearest Panimalay kag mga Abyan,
Hello from the Hot Philippines (I swear EVERYONE hates it. I LOVE IT.) I used to wear socks at night to keep the mosquitoes (or: Lamok) from eating my feet (it's too hot for that thin bedsheet I brought with me) but it's too hot at night now. So now I just turn the fan on full blast and pray my feet won't get too many bites. Sister Marticio (my housemate) has started sleeping on the tile floor every once in a while. haha, she's Pinay and thinks it's too hot.
So you know family, Sister Taufanga was able to get a hold of her family! We spent the rest of the P-day trying to get the phone call to connect (turns out Philippines to Tonga or Tonga to Philippines is just really difficult and expensive on both ends) and EVENTUALLY, her mother was able to get through, and they got about half an hour to talk. She was super down all day because the phones weren't connecting, but after that she was so happy, and SO focused on the work. I was so proud of her.
It was a TRACTING week! (for the second time in a row) Lovin' getting some new investigators, because our large teaching pool has slowly dwindled into a very small teaching pool of people who like to punt us. TIME FOR CHANGE. We've tracted near the university. Teaching students can be an adventure. They never reply (actually, no one here replies to texts. very rarely do they reply. .) Always go home for the weekend, have homework and exams. . . and the university in our area is NICE, So there are people from all over, and well, I don't speak Karay-a. (or Aklanon. Or Tagalog. *sigh*)
We actually had a day where we had NO lessons. Let me tell you, that does not happen. Every one of our appointments fell through, and then we went tracting (that's always the next step. It's like the missionary motto or something. "None of your investigators want to listen? Go get some new ones!") and still no one let us in! Oh well, at least I'm going to come home, and never want to drive anywhere. It's better to WALK. :D (I'm glad I like walking, or would not like missionary work very much)
One of my favorite things that happened this week was that we went to go teach a second lesson to a new investigator (actually, a FAMILY. We never teach families. rarely is more than one person interested) and the Less Active member just down the street was over at their house! She was playing cards, which isn't the best past time. . .But she stayed for the lesson! And as we walked her home (because we were going to go teach her granddaughter. haha) she said that if we had appointments with her neighbors, she'd come work with us! YAY!

Alex has come to church 3 times in a row, and we STILL haven't taught him! haha, it's really hard to keep an appointment with a deaf person when they don't have a cell phone for communication, and his housemates aren't willing to wake him up from his nap. (everyone just naps here in the afternoon. Why? because it's HOT.) He's actually our ONLY progressing investigator.
Reynier would be progressing, but we saw him smoking, and we taught him the WoW weeks ago, and he said he hasn't smoked in years. Now we get to teach WoW again, and teach him that it's not very nice to lie to the missionaries.
I don't think I tried any strange foods this week. I might take some pictures of food (what is this, instagram?) to show you what it looks like. (haha, mostly it's rice, and something on top. But the Sud-an (or "Rice Topping') is always different and interesting)
Palangga Ta Kamo!
-Sister Smith
 CSP! Gotta love cleaning!  (haha, in a white shirt.
not one of my brightest ideas)
I think this is hilarious. It reminds me of a pair
of shoes I used to wear when I was four or so.

12 May 2014

Letter 28: Happy Mothers' Day

Dearest Panimalay kag mga Abyan,

Hey Mom! Just talked to you. But I still feel like I have to send a letter to you and everyone else, just to let them know I'm alive. 

and the Reason we're allowed to skype for as long as we are, is because it's taken out of our email time. 

So. . .LOVE YOU! And the rest of you, have a happy Mothers' Day!

Email you next week!

-Sister Smith

05 May 2014

Letter 27: If Only I'd Been a Bit More Diligent in School. . .

Dearest Panimalay kag mga Abyan,

Hello from the Hot Hot Philippines! Ok, confession, it's not THAT hot, but it's SO HUMID. I seriously don't stop sweating. Ever. 

Remember how my call letter stated that I would be "Preaching the Gospel in the Hiligaynon language"? Yeah, I do too, but for some reason it forgot to say that I would also encounter several members of the Deaf Community while I'm here. *sigh* my meager supply of Home Signs are really making it difficult for me, as I know very few Church Signs. BUT, The Gift of Tongues is a Beautiful thing.

What's crazy, is that "A", who we met a couple weeks ago (he's deaf, by the way), showed up at church yesterday! Like, WHAT? I didn't really know what to do! Luckily, Sister Mendez served in Antique, and is sagad, and was willing to interpret Sunday School, and I was able to pick up enough of her vocabulary to interpret Sacrament Meeting (also luckily, testimonies aren't too difficult.) The going from Ilonggo to English (in my head) to ASL is definitely something different. (dear Almost Sister Nielsen. Please send me your skill. I need it. Seriously should have been more diligent in my ASL Study in high school)

We had one of the most spiritual lessons this week. It was with "Ad", we've taught her since (probably) like, January, or something, but we've only taught her up to the Book of Mormon (she's super busy). It's been a long time since we taught her, but we were finally able to secure an appointment. When we started with our small talk, she just really opened up. This women has always smiled, always been laughing as we pass by her house. It was so surprising to me, just how Sad and Stressed she is, behind that jolly countenance. I felt impressed to share about the Atonement, and it was such a strong spirit in the room. 

By the way, I'll be Skyping in on the 12th (for me 11th for you) at around 10 am (for me 8pm for you) At least. . .That's is what the plan is looking like! Hopefully that's how it turns out. 

Anyway, sorry it's a bit short this week. Not too much happened, but what did happen was awesome :D

Love you all (see you on Mothers' Day! Seriously. . that went by fast!)

The Church is true!

-Sister Smith