Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 Email Day!

Sisters at Mount Samat

Hello Family!!!

Well, we had a really good week this week!  Today, we had a zone activity in the morning where we got to go up to Mount Samat which is a World War II memorial here in Pilar.  Right now, I am assigned in Pilar, Bataan which is where the Bataan Death March happened.  So they built a huge memorial at the top of a mountain and it is a huge cross that you can go inside and ride up the elevator to almost the top and look over the entire Bataan valley.  Sooooo pretty!  In the museum, we read a bunch of stuff about the Bataan death march and it was neat because I know where all the places are and have been to most of them.  They said that they made the American soldiers walk from Mariveles (in my zone) through to San Fernando (different mission but right next to Gua Gua, my first area).  They marched it in four days with no water in April, which is the hottest month here in the Philippines.  The death rate was about 350 per day.  Living here in the Philippines and reading all that has given me a new appreciation for what really happened.  In April, we were super thirsty and drinking over 3 liters a day and we weren’t even walking all day.  We got to stop and teach.  It was a really neat memorial and I’m super grateful that I got to see it.  And it was absolutely beautiful over there.  It looked a lot like Hawaii.  I have a ton of really cool pictures but they all got deleted so I’m going to try and get my memory card fixed and I’ll email them next week.

As for the work, it was a super great week.  In my zone, we had a challenge week where the districts battled against each other with some competitions.  One competition was how many lessons we got in a day, new investigators, lessons taught to recent converts/less actives, etc.  Normal missionary stuff.  So we tried really hard to get a lot of lessons in every day.  The other part of the challenge was that we had a word of the day that we had to mention somehow when we were contacting people on the street like tennis ball, Christmas tree, bato, tulawin etc.  Suuuuuper funny!  Great ice breaker! People probably thought we were crazy half the time asking for tennis balls (those are rare here) and Christmas trees (obviously, it’s July….there aren’t Christmas trees yet…).  The best one was nakakpagbabagabag.  It’s a tongue twister in Tagalog and most of us couldn’t even say it.  It means that you feel bad about something, like your conscience.  There are some really funny stories in our zone from the word of the day.  We also had challenges in our apartment like who could drink a soda fastest, eat 2 Skyflakes without water (like saltines), suck up milk powder from a straw the fastest (that was hard), and who could hold a chunk of ice the longest (that was a boring challenge.  You just had to sit and wait).  It really made this week super fun and added something new to missionary work. We don’t know yet which district won the competition but I’ve heard it’s close.

And….we had 4 investigators come to church this week!  One was Rome Justin who has now come 3 times and really wants to be baptized.  We still need to get permission of his dad first.  The other was Delio and his wife and son.  Oh man, I think he is golden.  It was so great to see a family come to church!  That is the first time that has happened to me here in the mission and it was super exciting.  I could imagine all of them being baptized together and then going to the temple.  And the members were super welcoming and they looked like they really enjoyed church.  This last week we taught them about the Book of Mormon and gave them a copy.  When we gave it to Delio, he said “Is this book following me?  I remember that I was given one when I was in elementary and now you sisters showed up and gave me another.”  And they accepted a baptismal goal date for August! So that will be exciting!

There were so many exciting things that happened this week.  I feel like I don’t have time to write them all.  I also got to do exchanges and be companions with sis Pati-on again.  It was fun to be companions with her again.  I miss her a lot and it’s fun to see how much we have both grown since we were companions!  Well, I hope that you all had a great week!  Hope you’re all having fun this summer and sharing your testimonies with the people around you!

Mahal ko kayo lahat!
Sister Sirrine

July 7, 2014 Hello! Hello!

Me and Sis Leakehe!!!

Hello Family!

Well, this week was okay.  Actually, it was kind of a weird week because I got sick this week.  I was kind of funny because it was right after Sis Leakehe had asked me the week before if I'd gotten sick yet on the mission and I said no, just a little cold.  Spoke too soon.  Last Monday I started feeling not so great while I was emailing and then I'm pretty sure it turned into the flu.  We didn't work Monday, Tuesday I went to the senior couples house and slept all day while my comp went on splits.  Wednesday I worked and then my fever came back on Thursday and I stayed home again.  Man, being sick in the Philippines is NOT FUN.  I feel like I slept the whole week and you can imagine that our zone leaders were having a fit because our stats were so low.  But my comp was an angel and even though she really wanted to work she was super nice about staying home while I slept.  Hopefully I don't get sick the rest of my mission!!

So I don't really have much to report this week except that on Friday, all the STL's and Zone Leaders went to Mission Leadership Conference and we got to meet our new mission president.  He and his wife are super nice and I already love them a lot.  There are already a bunch of changes that he made to the mission which was really exciting for us to learn.  But it was funny watching the AP's faces while President was saying all the rules that he was changing (he's making it a lot less rules here).  They looked a little stressed and I think they're worried about missionaries feeling too free about all the rule changes and the mission because they might be too lax or disobedient.  It was funny.  But I really liked what Pres Dahle said.  Before he said the rule changes, he talked about being a consecrated missionary.  He said that if we are truly consecrated, we will not want to stretch all the rules and be disobedient but we will always give our whole selves to the Lord.  And he said that as leaders, we are responsible to teach the missionaries that we are over to be consecrated missionaries.  He said that it all starts with us as leaders to show a consecrated example to them.  Hopefully me and my companion can become super consecrated missionaries here in the Orion Zone!

We didn't really get to go to very many people this week but we did get to teach Lovely's son again and he came to church again yesterday.  Man, that kid is really smart.  He is only 14 years old but he is really spiritually ready to hear the gospel.  Even though his mom hasn't come to church yet, he comes all by himself and I think he might have even walked yesterday to and from church.  And, there are no young men in our branch.  He is the only one.  Yesterday they stuck him with all the young women because the young men's president hadn't prepared a lesson but he was okay with that (I'm a little embarrassed about that but oh well...).  We're hoping that he'll be the way to get his mom to finally come to church.  Kind of like Melvin and Ellen in Masinloc.

Sis Leakehe by the house
Our service project that we got to do.  I was chosen to take all the old rusty nails out of the boards
And I forgot to say last week that we were able to do a service project for one of our less actives here in Pilar.  Their house burned so the members went over and we took down what was still salvageable and then moved it all to a new site and rebuilt their house.  We were allowed to help for 2 hours and it was super fun.  And the sister who we helped was sooooo grateful because her husband died years ago and its just her and her kids.  It really meant a lot to her.  Yesterday, she bore her testimony and said that she will never forget the kindness of the members to her.  Hopefully this is what will help them stay active now!! :)

Well, that's about it!  I hope that you all had a great fourth of July (we ate pizza which was the most American thing I've eaten in a long time).  Hope you have a great week!

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Sirrine