Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013 Hello! Hello!

This is the four of us (from left to right) Sis Makihele (from alaska), Sis Fuentes, Sis Salado and me!

Pic of the Church.  Kind of cool.

This is our stove.  So it's pretty much like camping all the time
There are caribao everywhere.  They are just held there by a little tiny rope.

This is when we were in a trisome before I got my new companion.  One of our teaching appointments

This is me and my new comp! Isn't she so little???
Wow, can't believe that it's P-day again!  So fast!  This week went a lot better, I feel a lot more comfortable with Sister Salado and how she teaches and how she does things.  There definitely is an adjustment period when you get a new companion!  Especially if she is Filipino :)  I really really really like her a lot though.  She is super hard working and really cute.  And she helps me with my Tagalog a lot.  My Tagalog is pretty good in the lessons when I am talking but it is still really hard for me to understand what the people are saying.  Mostly because I haven't studied those words and so I don't know them.  And my Tagalog outside of lessons is still pretty rough, and I am pretty slow at speaking outside of the lessons, but I am getting faster! And my companion does speak really good English and she's really good at being able to translate for me.  Although she doesn't speak English quite as well as Sister Mafi.  I really try and just speak Tagalog to her but sometimes i really don't know how to say what I need to in Tagalog or it needs to be said quickly so I use English.  But the Tagalog is coming along!  Someday I'll be able to speak like a Filipino hopefully!

Our transitions in the lessons got a lot better this week and it made our teaching sooooo much better.  And Sister Salado is really good at just forcing me to talk and take over the lesson.  Which is really good for my teaching and my Tagalog.  One of our lessons was to someone who definitely was not interested in hearing our message.  He wanted to talk to a foreigner and debate.  He even told us that we are false prophets (I didn't understand that until Sis Salado told me later).  He also said that "people here just want a question and answer session.  They don't want to be preached to."  You really can't be easily offended if you want to be a missionary! So needless to say, we won't go back and teach him again.  But his friend that was with him we think is ready to hear the gospel so now the trick is trying to find his friend without running into him.  Hmmmm....

I also did my first street contact all by myself this week!  Sister Salado didn't say anything the whole time!  And I was able to keep up the conversation and it was more of a conversation too.  And he said we could come and teach him.  So that was exciting.  Oh and I understand what he was saying too, which is doubly exciting.  I feel like I am so close to being able to understand the people.  I understand most words but then there are always one or two that I don't know that makes it so I can't understand the whole conversation.  We were also called elders this week.  This area used to be an elders area and so I think that some people think that "Elders" means "Missionaries".  It was really funny.

Also two funny things for the week:  First, I am getting callouses on my knees from kneeling and praying so much.  My solution: kneel on my flip flops!  It just made me laugh that I have callouses on my knees.  There's no carpet in our house (or anywhere for that matter) so it's all tile and quite hard.  Second, last Monday when I did laundry I rubbed the skin off my thumbs because I was wringing out my clothes so hard.  Then we went to an appointment and Brother Ernesto told me that I didn't know how to wash clothes.  But the funny thing is that he had cuts on HIS hands from washing clothes.  I told him that I definitely know how to wash clothes by hand.

We had a really good spiritual experience this week.  We had all of our appointments text us and tell us that they weren't going to be there on Saturday after we'd already left the house.  So we only had two appointments for the whole day and then we had to figure out where to go.  We decided to go to a less actives house that we were planning on going to on Sunday.  When I've visited her before, she is always really quiet, doesn't really talk to us and seems like she doesn't want us to be there.  But on Saturday, she totally opened up and talked to us about her problems with her family (they don't want to go to church) and said she was so grateful that we came there. She was even smiling (which was the first time I've seen that) and she said that she was sorry because before, when we visited, she didn't really want to talk to us.  But she was grateful that we came that day.  It was a really huge testimony builder to me about how much the spirit can change someone!  After the lesson, Sis Salado said to me "You didn't tell me she was talkative!"  and I told her, "She's not!  She's never ever opened up like that, or smiled like that." So although all of our appointments fell through, I feel like we followed the spirit and went where we were needed.  And in the lesson, she really felt the spirit.  It was really awesome to see.

Oh! And also, we got news that Pres Querido is planning to split our branch into two branches!!!!!  All the leaders in the ward are so excited and we're going to get two new missionaries to this area on the next transfer!  So exciting!  We just have to get a few more priesthood holders to be active and then they'll build a new chapel (rent first) over in my area which is so good becasue it is really far away from the chapel right now in Gua Gua.

Well, that's all for this week!

Mahal kita!

Sister Sirrine

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