Well, I have a new companion and she is Filipino! I was so excited, although I had a feeling that I would have a Filipino companion. Her name is Sister Salado. She is tiny. 5' 0" and wears size 5 shoes. I feel gigantic next to her. She's really nice and really hardworking, which is good. Of course, this week was a little tough while we are going through the adjustment stage and getting used to how each other teaches and how each other does things. But that is good to not get in a rut and to learn new ways of doing things. It keeps your teaching new and interesting, which is so important. Otherwise you start teaching lessons instead of teaching to the person's needs. With the transfer, the other American in our apartment was transferred and so Sister Fuentes is now training a new missionary. She is Tongan, but not really because she's lived her whole life in Alaska. She is having a bit of a hard time with the heat :) So now we have two new missionaries and two Filipinos in our apartment!
So I have been leading my area which has actually been okay. I haven't gotten us lost yet...a miracle for sure! We had several successes this week because we received several referrals and found several people to teach. After several weeks of dwindling numbers, it's really nice to see some progress. We had two people accept baptisimal commitments this week which was super exciting. And one of them gave us 4 names that she wants us to visit this coming Sunday! It was really exciting.
I've come to realize that the gift of tongues is very closely related to my faith. Because I have a new companion, I have felt unsure of myself and my ability to speak Tagalog since she talks like a native and Sister Mafi spoke like a foreigner. And I noticed, in the lessons that I couldn't speak very well. I was really slow and choppy and it was almost like I literally could not talk. I realized that it was because I was thinking to myself, "I can't do this. I can't lead the lesson and teach and I don't know what Sister Salado is doing." So in the middle of one of my lessons, I prayed to Heavenly Father to take away my uncertainty and fear and to give me the gift of tongues and that I have faith that I can teach if I have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. And guess what happened....the last half of the lessons I spoke a lot more quickly and fluidly and the investigator didn't have a confused look on his face like he did during the first half of the lesson. It's just like it says in the scriptures, the spirit of fear is not of God and it prohibits the Holy Ghost to be with you. If we doubt that we can do something, of course we won't be able to do it. But if we realize that we can't do it without the help of our Heavenly Father and then we ask for His help, we can do all things. I know that all things are possible with Christ. There is no way that I should be able to speak as much Tagalog as I do right now. Often, I get people asking how long I have been here and they are always surprised when I say just 6 weeks. I know that it is only through the help of the Lord that this is possible. And it is only through the help of the Lord that missionary work is possible.
Funny things for the week: A member told me that he's pretty sure that I am gaining weight. Lovely. But that's the Filipino culture...they just tell it exactly how it is. If you have acne, they'll tell you. If you are gaining weight, they'll tell you. If you are sweaty, they'll tell you. So anyone that gets offended easily should never come to the Philippines! But, I did weigh myself two weeks ago and I haven't gained any weight...so I don't believe him. I am going a little crazy because we don't really exercise, but oh well. After my mission I'll get back into that!
I love you all and I know that the church is true!
Mahal ko kayo!
PS Sorry....no pics. I forgot my cable!
We went to the market today and bought fish. They were still alive. Still flopping around on the table. Thankfully they gutted them for us and so they were dead...but I've never bought live food before!