In our district meeting this last week our district leader was telling us how cool it is that we are teaching the exact same gospel that Alma and everyone in the Book of Mormon was teaching. And I was like dang... yeah! It's the exact same gospel! Just pretty amazing that the gospel will never change even though a lot of things around us are. But it's so important to love everyone too!
I'm starting to really love Pena Blanca too! I know it's really important to love the area where you are at. :) Earlier this week we taught some people by the church. And it was crazy - many people came to listen to us! I was so scared! And then at least 40 kids who were amazed with an American haha. It was quite interesting. But it all worked out! Eventually people started to leave and then we have two new investigators out of it so I'll take it ;)
It's been a pretty good week! I have my days, ha but I really truly love missionary work. I feel so blessed to be here! I love teaching about the gospel, and I'm learning so many things that I didn't really know or understand before. And even though I'm stressed sometimes, the good times definitely overtrump the bad ones!
So this week... there's been a lot of cool experiences! But one of our investigators definitely stands out. Her name is Fraida. She does our laundry. :) She's been an investigator since the beginning of last year, so over a year no? And never been to church. Guess what?!?! She came to church yesterday!! Ahhh! We were so happy!! She's totally progressing!! And she now has a baptismal date, there's another girl, Rizalyn who has been a long time investigator too and yesterday the spirit was so strong in our lesson and she wants to be baptized now too! So I've definitely seen the Lord's hand in the people this week. For some reason, we are the missionaries that can help them, and I'm so thankful!
There's so many struggles and temptations in this life no? But how truly blessed we are that we have this gospel! It's our way and our shield. I'm SO grateful to be out here and learning the things I'm learning. And I'm so grateful to have our wonderful eternal family!
I just read that talk by Elder Ballard the other day. SO. GOOD. Right?? Definitely motivated me to raise my bar! As a missionary and as a member! And for when I return home. :) Something I liked this week that I studied was in Mosiah. When Abinadi is killed. (HA, no I don't like when he was killed) But how his only convert when he is talking with King Noah is Alma. One convert. But then look at what Alma was able to accomplish! By the end of chapter 18, four hundred and something souls! So it just comforts me that even though sometimes I'm not finding the success I want, as long as I convert one person, it's not in vain. :) Because they will be able to bless their children and their children's children and so on. :)
Something else I liked that Pres. Rahlf told us about our contacting. Cause our goal is 70 a week. And not very many missionaries are meeting the goal. And he said "It's not because you can't do it, it's because you aren't doing it." And I was just like dang! How true! Those things that I say "I can't do" sometimes are just because I'm not doing, so definitely can improve there. :)
So I've pretty much gotten used to the bugs by now... BUT. This spider the other day.... was not a bug. It was an ANIMAL. So big! So I was changing in our room one night and I saw it. I freaked out! Haha I couldn't speak. So I jumped on the bed and opened the door slowly and "pssst" Sister Valdez and I made her kill it. It was quite an experience.
So I have been transferred toooo....... Pena Blanca. Which is..... Tuguegarao South Stake still!!!! So weird!!. It's super pretty, but super hot! It's about 30 or 40 minutes from my last area, but it's a lot more rural. There's a lot more open space. Which is fun! But stressful! There's so much land to cover. Let's see what can I say about Pena Blanca... haha. Well first off, Sister Elivera stayed with Sister Jones! I knew it! So she's an Sister Training Leader now. :) I'm so proud of her! She's so stressed haha. And my new companion is Sister Valdez. She's probably the smallest 20 year old human I know. She's 4'8 I think. But funny story! Her nanay (mom/trainer) in the mission is Sister Jones!! Ha so splits will be fun with them! Both of our nanays! I'm thankful to be here in Tugue still... But almost everyone from Pena Blanca has their own dialect. Which is Itawis. Most of them know how to speak Tagalog but when they talk to each other it's in itawis, it sounds like Chinese! It's so crazy! There's so many languages here!! I know how to say a few phrases now but that's it! Still struggling with Tagalog, obviously... but not as bad as before.
Despite all the challenges here, I know Heavenly Father has a reason for me being here! Just excited to find out what those reasons are. :) I just finished reading Matthew. I love the last few chapters. Even though it's sometimes painful to read the account of the death of Jesus Christ. But chapter 26 really hit me when the disciples fell asleep three times. And Jesus said, "Could you just not watch with me one hour?" I just got to thinking of this mission. Just 18 months, one hour. I need to put everything I have into this work! This is the only time I have to serve like this so I'm trying to do all I can to help this people come unto Jesus Christ! It's hard, but Jesus has done so much for us! This is the least I can do. Every time I learn more about Him, I am amazed, truly amazed for His sacrifice, and His love for us! How blessed we are to have the knowledge of this gospel. :)
This last week we had FHE at the Ballubal family's house. The family that we skyped at. It was a blast! Ruth and Angel and a couple other investigators came. And then Tatay and Sister Ballubal made a bunch of food for everyone and we played games. Tonight we have one at the Sepino's. :) The family with Sister Elma that got her breast removed and then Jeff, my first baptism that first week I was here. Ah I'm going to miss them! But it will be fun!
I was getting a little discouraged, we had what like 8 with a baptismal date and then only 1 ended up getting baptized. And then the three kids CJ, Mak and Anjo, them and their dad said they didn't want to be taught anymore. And just a bunch of things. So I was like why!?!? Am I not doing enough?!? And Sister Jones just explained it to me like if we are the quarter back in football. We can through a perfect pass, but the receiver still has to catch it. It's been a very hard lesson to learn, and I'm still learning to trust Heavenly Father's will for me and these people. But I know I just need to do my best and it will all be okay. :)
Yeah we have a baptism this week - Sister Margarathe. One of the really really shy girls. She's 12. She's really really cute! And we practiced the baptismal interview questions with her and she's so good! Her testimony was so strong. At first we weren't sure if she was ready, but we have been fasting and praying for her and the others. And she's ready. :) And then Sister Ruth and Angel.. AHHH. Ha they aren't going to be baptized. :( At least this week! They know it's true, so I'm hoping they will eventually. They just don't want to disobey their parents. Which I get. But it's just hard. Sister Elivera and I have been frustrated cause we feel like we have been doing all we can for them and everything right. But when it comes down to it, they still have their agency. And I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for them. I'm just trying to trust Him more and more. But I know we just need to worry about the things we can control. :) But it's been crazy how Satan works too! When we were teaching them there was SO many distractions and things going on that normally don't happen. Dang that Satan!
But let's see... it was 46.8 degrees here the other day. Celcius. I'll just let you figure that one out.... and let it sink in for a second..... WHAT THE. No?? So hot!! But it's okay. It’s been a kind of tough week all around. I was reading in Mosiah 24 I think where it talks about the sons of Mosiah praying for the burdens to be light. And the Lord strengthened them to be able to bear their burdens. He didn't take them away, but He strengthened them to be able to bear them. And they did it cheerfully!! So just reminds me to lean on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and they will help me in the things I am going through. And strengthen me to get through them and I need to do it cheerfully and with patience. :)
The Sister’s Conference was so good!! It was kind of cheesy, they had a bunch of little workshops about no gossip, budgeting, eating healthy, and being beautiful on the inside. But it was really good!! I love President and Sister Rahlf! And the senior couples too! They are too cute! It was about being "unstoppable." Pres. and Sis. Rahlf gave really uplifting and motivating talks!! Just reminded me that we chose whether we are happy or not, whether we get offended or not, how we want to look at every situation. And we should try our best to have a good attitude and look at hardships as opportunities. :)
So Ruth and Angel, the 17 and 18 year old girls are completely set for May 30!! Yay!! We walked them home the other day and I was talking to Angel and she said she wants to serve a mission!! My heart melted!! I'm like kay... mission accomplished. HAHA. But words cannot even describe!! But anyways we had them think of a question before we started the lesson and then we read 2 Ne 31 with them and told them they would find their answer in this chapter. Whatever question they had for Heavenly Father. Sister Elivera and I thought of one too. And syemps!! (of course) It was answered!! All of ours!! The spirit was so strong!! So I've been doing that every personal study now.. hahah I ask a question and then BOOM, answered. But I'm so so happy for them!! And the Book of Mormon rocks my whole world. My testimony has grown so much about it. But I KNOW it's true!! And it has answers to every question we have!!
Skyping on Mother's Day
Such a good day today!! I'm so thankful for you, Mom. I don't know where I would be without you and our amazing family!! We all tease you because you are the cutest and because we love you. ;) Stay just the way you are!! You're the best mom in the whole world. :) I'm so thankful Heavenly Father has given us mothers!! Just reminds me of the 2,000 stripling warriors. They were so righteous because their MOTHERS taught them. :) Thank you for raising me and teaching me the right ways!! I'll be forever grateful for you and your example!! I can't wait to see you and hang out with you all the time again, but for now the weekly email thing will do ;)