We went to the San Mateo's apartment for New Year's. And partied with their Air Conditioning. It was the best sleep of my mission! Haha. But it was fun. New Year's is crazy here!! People do fireworks wherever and whenever they want. There was like 2 people killed by stray bullets so that's why were on lockdown at 6 pm so good thing!
Lots of the SA's are preparing for their mission! So it's exciting. One of the brother's told me I was his inspiration for why he wants to serve a mission! And he just thanked me for my example and testimony. Gosh dangit, way to make a sister cry. I love these people so much. Also…I'll be staying until August. :) It's really only 1 week later than I would have been coming home anyway. I really want to see you guys as soon as I can, but for some reason I think the Lord has something more for me to do or to learn. So that's my decision on that front. :)
First of all, I just want to tell you how much I loved that we got to skype. It was so good to see your face and talk with you! I'm sorry the connection wasn't the best.. but at least it worked out! Sorry I was kind of all over the place. I feel like all I did was smile and cry hahaha. But it was exactly what I needed to see my cute family at Christmas. :) I'm sorry. I was having a hard time with my English. It's just hard when I'm used to expressing myself in Tagalog now.
I'm not transferring! We found out this morning. I am so happy! I love Cabatuan. So the next transfer day will be in February. Man I will be here for a long time!! I'll probably only have one more area. I know the Lord has something more for me to do here in Cabatuan before I transfer so I hope and I pray I will able to accomplish it. Christmas was good, we ended up just visiting members. I think I gained 10 pounds on Christmas!! We ate so many times at so many different places hahaha but that's okay, it was really fun. ALL of the branch missionaries wanted to work with us yesterday so we had splits! It was so fun. And then we all had a dinner at the old Branch President's. We are so lucky in this branch!
It's been super rainy and kind of chilly this past week. In the mornings I've been boiling water to shower with cause the water is just too cold. Ha it works out quite nicely. I wouldn't use my electric fan at night except we need it to keep the mosquitos away. I'm like secretly hoping for it to be hot again and then I know as soon as it is I'll be like noooooo! haha.
We had a couple accept the invitation to be baptized!! They have such a testimony!! Their countenances are so different now from the first time I met them. You can literally see in their faces. I'm so grateful for the gospel and the wonderful opportunity I have to share it. I know it has the power to change people. This is what we all need. When we were teaching that lesson I just felt an overwhelming feeling of love for them. And the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has for them. I absolutely love being a missionary. I love teaching and helping people. I'm not the best missionary, and I know there's lots of things I lack but I'm doing my best and I'm so grateful for a patient Father in Heaven.
They are really trying to get Cauayan District to be stake right now. They have 6 stakes in our mission here, and you need 8 to have a temple. So just two more!! The first missionaries who came here were in the 1960's I think... and look how much it's grown since then!! It's crazy. I know Jesus Christ is really hastening His work. Because these really are the last days.
I love teaching this time of year! I mean I love it all the time, but so many of our lessons and contacts are about Christmas and the Savior. There's definitely a special spirit in our work and I absolutely love it.
I know this is the church that Jesus Christ himself established and He still leads and directs it today through President Monson. How blessed we are to know this simple truths. Thanks for being my rock and my example mom! Your faith strengthens mine.
Well we had a zone meeting last week which was super good. I learned a ton!! It was kind of all about Christmas. They have some fun things they are doing in the mission for Christmas I am excited!! We have this fun Christmas pass along cards that we are giving out to all our contacts. And then they have some videos on a cd that we can show to people. And they are encouraging us to do Christmas service projects with our district. So next week I think we are going to go caroling to like a hospital or something. I'm excited!! I feel the Christmas spirit here but I love teaching and learning more about Christ! It's my favorite
I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be! I can't even explain the love I have for these people. They are our brothers and sisters. I know Heavenly Father loves them so much. How blessed I am to be a part of this work, even if it's just for a short time. Although I'm not doing much, I know by small means the Lord accomplishes his work.
Well last thing, yesterday was a beautiful Sunday!! One of our new investigators came to church!! And he cried in gospel principles class when our teacher was teaching about temple sealings. My goodness. He is so prepared! He wants to listen to us. But his job is... like... I don't really know exactly but he like keeps track of gambling in his barangay... so he's going to have to quit... it is going to be a huge step of faith. But I know he can do it. And then oh my goodness! The child of one of our long time investigators and his wife came to church!! We just recently started teaching them. Let me tell you what. Heavenly Father knows what he's doing! We are being led everyday. They are big on families and most of them believe they'll live after this life. But they won't know each other... like all their relationships are lost. So I love teaching them the Plan of Salvation and about families!
One day this week we just scheduled two hours for contacting so we could get some contacting in and explore some of the places we haven't been before. I had no idea where we were going but we somehow got led to this small little street and then this nanay or older lady saw us and she's like "well it's about time you came and visit me!" and she invited us in and everything. Turns out she's a member! Hasn't been to church for like 10 years. She loves the missionaries! I just am so grateful for that day we took to adventure out in that part of the area. It had been years before missionaries had visited her. I know that the Spirit led us to her and I'm so grateful that we are guided in this mission or I would have no idea what I'm doing! Haha.
This week was a good one. In our district meeting we learned about commitments and how we need to be more bold. I now have a desire to be more bold. Cause sometimes I am shy or a little scared to give commitments when I know they don't wanna do it. So this week I have been working on being bold in extending commitments and I can see a really big difference!! Yesterday we taught the word of wisdom to an older couple. And I was super scared cause when she heard the coffee isn't allowed she freaked out! But the lesson was SO good. I was praying so hard for Heavenly Father to help us what to say and guide that lesson cause I know it's a thing they really struggle with. And they want to live the word of wisdom!! I love them so much. The only thing holding them back is they don't go to church! But they read the BOM now and always have so many questions. I know the time will come they will go to church and then their baptism will come so fast!
I can definitely feel a difference when I just go through the motions and when I actually do my best. It's hard to do your best everyday!! Sometimes the natural man kicks in and I just want to take a nap haha. But I know those kinds of thoughts are from Satan so I do my best to tune them out. I really am doing my best though. I really love this area in Cabatuan!!
Yes our favorite kiddo came to church again this week! We actually went to go pick him up and his mom said he already left! So the past when that has happened he has gone early to baptist. But when we arrived at the church he was there!! We were so happy! And he seems to be making some friends there. Such a good little kid. Really hope it continues! I seriously am learning so much it's crazy! Sometimes I am kind of afraid to come home, I really love the mission and we are kind of in this spiritual bubble. I know it will be harder when I get home and sometimes that scares me. BUT. I am so grateful for the things I am learning. A lot of my goals and desires are changing and I feel better able and prepared to fight temptations and better prepared to teach my children someday!
I am actually really excited for Christmas in the field. All the missionaries actually really enjoy it. And of course the true meaning is about Christ.
They had the primary program in our branch as well yesterday. There's only about 8 primary kids. But it was cute!! Cute to see their little testimonies. One kid was baptized in March. But since I've been here he hasn't come to church again. He's been going to the baptist church cause his friends go there. But we've tried for weeks now to pick him up and have him go to church with us. But it just never worked out. Until yesterday! We walked to pick him up at 7:45 so we would get there before his little friends. And then he participated in the primary program! He's 11. He's so stinking cute. But he thanked us after and we are going to do the same thing next week!
Just a busy week sharing good work of God to the people of the Philippines. I never thought I would love teaching as much as I do. I love these people so stinking much. And I love sharing the gospel to them. I know this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And He is at the head of this church. And He leads the Cauayan Mission. I feel it everyday.