Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 20, 2014 Hospital Days

Me at the hospital trying to get warm.  Sis Ah Hong wanted the aircon on.  So I wrapped up in sheets and stood by the sunny window to warm up

Me and Sis Ah Hong

Hello my family!

Well, this week was crazy and ended up with me spending two days in a Filipino hospital.  Don't worry, I wasn't the one that was sick.  It all started on Tuesday when one of the sisters in our house, Sis Ah Hong, ate lunch and immediately threw it up.  Then on Wednesday, she threw up again when she ate lunch.  Then on Thursday. Then on Friday.  She doesn't eat breakfast and we don't eat dinner at night.  So I started figuring things out in my head and realized that she hadn't really eaten anything since Monday.  Sis Ah Hong didn't want to call the mission president's wife, so I did.  We called the mission doctor and got her some medicine.  But Friday night when I got home to give her the medicine, she threw that up.  By this time she was even throwing up water.  So I was texting the mission president's wife, and she sent the missionary couples over at 11 pm on Friday night to our apartment and we decided to take her to the hospital in Subic (about 1 hour away).  Sis Ah Hong's companion is a brand new missionary who has been a little homesick so I thought that it would not be a good idea to send her to the hospital and just have her sit there.  The best medicine for homesickness is to go out and WORK!  (Remember that... all of you who are preparing to go on missions!) We decided that I would be the one to go with her.

We got to the hospital around 12:30 am and she was rushed into the emergency room and put on IV's.  You should have seen her face when she realized she was going to have an IV put into her!  I felt bad.  So that began a very long night of very little sleep.  I thought that I would have a hard time knowing what they were saying in Tagalog in a hospital setting, but I understood everything.  Kind of cool.  They found out that she had a gallbladder infection and a kidney infection so that's why she was throwing up.  Now, it's bad to be stuck in the hospital whoever you are, but I'm going to tell that it is way worse if you are a missionary.  You can't watch TV.  You can't leave the room to go on a walk because you can't leave your companion.  And all we originally brought with us was our copies of the Book of Mormon. We spent Saturday and Sunday quietly reading the Book of Mormon.  The mission President's wife brought us some more reading material eventually and then on Sunday night she brought a portable DVD player and some church movies.  That was awesome.  By this morning, we were SO ready to get out of the hospital and the best sight was seeing the two senior couple missionaries come break us out of our prison.  Anyway, that's my trying to make my weekend more exciting than it was.  The good thing was, our mission president requested a ocean view room and we got it! (haha! The hospital is right on the bay in Subic)
view from the hospital

Waiting to be set free...
While I was in there, I did get some good study in.  Kind of.  I read a great article in the Liahona about Priesthood and women.  It said, "Men and women are equal in the eyes of God but not the same." We have different talents and strengths and so of course we have different responsibilities.  And one responsibility isn't more important than the other.  There was an answer to a question that has been hard for me to answer my whole life.  "Why are only men priesthood holders?" Gordon B Hinckley said, "Because that's how God organized His church." that simple.  We don't know the reason and it isn't important.  We just need to be content that that is the way His church needs to be set up.  So that was neat.
My "queen" sized bed in our luxurious 5 star hotel for 3 nights

I honestly can't remember anything from this week of work.  I feel like being in the hospital for the last few days has fried my brain and we literally got free and came straight to email.  But I think that it was a really great week.  Kind of weird to miss church on your mission, but can't do anything about that.  I love you all!  Hope you all are planning on having FHE tomorrow night!

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Sirrine

October 13, 2014 General Conference

Trajano Family at General Conference!  Left to right: Joshua, Juzzmin, John Mark, Mark
Hello family!

Another week down and it was awesome!  I loved General Conference and felt like the themes were temples and prophets.  Pretty much what I talk about all day here so that was really good to hear a lot of their talks.  I can't wait to read them again in the Liahona and review what they said.  And I can't WAIT to go to the temple again. That is one of the things that I miss the most here.  It was super awesome yesterday because there was a fiesta in Pilar. When there is a fiesta, everyone celebrates in the whole city.  So we were really worried that no one would come to General Conference.  So we'd been telling all of our investigators and recent converts and less actives about it for weeks.  And the other thing, they had to travel to a different city to watch it.  So it's more expensive and takes more time.  But when we got to the church, Mark Trajano and his kids were there, Delio and James were there, Helen Alfuente, Fretch Lero, and Bro Lopez were all there!  All of our less actives and recent converts!  We were so happy!  There were a lot of active members that didn't show up but the recent converts were there.  It was great.

The Trajano family is doing awesome.  We're going to get Juzzmin and John Mark baptized on Oct 25.  Juzzmin is super excited.  John Mark is....well, we'll make him excited!  But Mark is going strong and I think he's going to be a leader here.  They invited us over for dinner yesterday (because there was a fiesta!) and one of his friends and his wife was over at their house.  The friend had a bottle of beer and was drinking it and smoking.  Mark said after a while, pointing to the bottle, "He didn't believe me when I said that I don't drink anymore." Mark was sipping a glass of water.  His friend laughed and said yeah, I thought he'd give in.  Mark said, "Nope, I've changed now." and then pointed to his baptismal certificate that he had framed and hung on the wall.  His friend then teased him about how the next fiesta all of their friends would be there and Mark would stay the night at his house.  Mark shook his head and said, "No way, I'm going to go home.  I'll drink water and go home!"  We were so happy!  Mark said he's been teased by a lot of his fellow workmen but he just shares with them the word of wisdom.  He even took the work of wisdom pamphlet to work and while he was sitting for a break, read it to them.  (they all smoke and drink) He's a really good missionary!

During fiestas, they sell chicks that are dyed different colors.  Pink, green, yellow, purple.  The kids buy them and play with them.

Well, that's kind of all.  There was a lot more that happened I'm sure but I can't remember it now.  Me and Sis Domingo are just enjoying being here in Pilar. It definitely has it's challenges but the work is awesome here.  Just when you know the lessons, you know how to be a missionary, you can kind of speak the language, they tell you to go home.  I struggled to love being a missionary at the beginning, but I love it so much now!  I love being able to help the Lord with this important work and I know how important it is.  Everyone needs this in their life, just like Elder Bednar said in General Conference.  We should all be excited to share it.

Love you all!  Have a great week!
Sister Sirrine

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 6, 2014 Baptism of Mark Trajano

Karabao pulling a cart (couldn't get it in one pic.,...)

baptism of Mark Trajano!!!!!

Trajano family

Hello everyone in America!

Well, this week was a great week that ended with the baptism and confirmation of Mark Trajano!!!!! Yay!!!!  He was so excited and I think he'll be the ticket for his whole family to accept the gospel.  It was kind of funny because the water was just a little past his knees (someone forgot to fill up the font early) so we were a little worried but the baptizer was able to get Mark totally immersed on the first try!  So that was good.  And Mark gave a really good testimony about how he met the elders years ago and would have been baptized, but then they moved to Laguna and they lost contact.  But then one day, we came to their house.  It's really interesting to me that Heavenly Father knows exactly where we are and is aware of the desires of our hearts.  So He lead us to Mark.  It makes me kind of wonder who of the people that we are teaching right now or taught before will be baptized in a few years.  Almost all of the people that I have taught and baptized were taught before by missionaries.  And I was just the lucky one to see them actually accept the gospel and get baptized.  So there's another testimony for planting seeds even though sometimes we don't see the results.

With Sis. Hausia and Sis Empalmado!  Yay for old companions!
We had a really great Mission Leadership Council (STL's and ZL's) this past week.  I gained a lot of revelation from the conference on how to progress the work here and help the branch achieve real growth.  They really emphasized going to the temple and introducing family history to our recent converts, less actives and investigators.  It's so interesting because actually, the last 6 weeks or so, I have really been feeling the need to share about the temple to people and help them be ready to go the temple.  We set up a temple trip for the branch and have been using that as a tool to help bring back less actives (maybe you remember the story about Helen).  And so it was very interesting that our entire MLC was about the temple and family history.  It means that the Holy Ghost is telling the mission that we really need to get people to the temple.  And I have already seen so much success with the people that we are teaching.  The temple is an amazing thing!  We should all go as often as we can.  I read something really interesting this week in my personal study that I would like to share with you.  In True to the Faith, it says that as we do priesthood temple ordinances for those who have died, "you become a savior on Mount Zion for them.  Your effort approaches the spirit of the Savior's atoning sacrifice - you perform a saving work for others that they cannot do for themselves."  I had always heard that in the temple you will learn more about the atonement, but I never really understood that until I read those sentences.  In the temple, we get to experience a little bit of what Christ did for us and that is one way that we can obey the Savior's command to be like Him.  We get to help bring salvation to those who have gone before us. Through the temple, we seal families together thus fulfilling the promises that Heavenly Father made to Abraham.  And that is the purpose that we are here on this earth: to help forward our Father's work and His plan for us.  I wish that I could share all of the amazing insights that I gained this last week, but I guess I'll just end with a challenge to make the temple a part of your daily life.  There are so many people that need our help and we are so blessed to have so many temples near us.  And there are so many people in other parts of the world that would love to be in our position of having temples all around us.  We are so blessed!

Well, I love you all!  Keep sharing your testimonies with those around you and planting those seeds!
mahal ko kayo!
Sister Sirrine