Monday, October 26, 2015

Maligayang bati sa aking kaarawan!

Well fortunately here in the Philippines, people just say "Happy Birthday" in English instead of Tagalog. This week we've been recovering from the typhoon by completing service projects for members and settling back into our apartment here in Sta. Cruz after spending a couple days with the sisters in Masinloc. The perseverance and stamina of the people here amazes me. Some people had their entire homes flooded and giant mud pits covering their floors and belongings. Yet, they simply cleaned it up and continued living their lives.

My birthday went very nicely! It was cute to have all the old nanays in Relief Society sing to me. The other sisters in our apartment gave me some Oreos and chocolate cereal, which is perfect because I looooove chocolate anything. We still had work but it was nice to reflect how I'll spend my entire 20th year here in the Philippines. I'm so grateful to have this time to serve God and share His restored gospel. I know that my time here is short but the blessings received by everyone are eternal. 

My "birthday cake" (a 30 sec brownie) and my candle
Word of the Week: Kaarawan - birthday!

Monday, October 19, 2015

How's my mission coming? Swimmingly!

District Meeting before the storm hit
Well, this week has probably been the craziest week of my mission thus far! To start off, I contracted a cold which turned into a form of strep throat which I've had most of this week. Even now, I'm still recovering from that. 
The house where I rescued the aso (dog)
Zone Meeting jokelang (just kidding)
Starting Sunday, a signal 2 typhoon came blasting through our area. Most of church was cancelled but for sacrament meeting, I played "Master, the Tempest is Raging" for the opening hymn. At least that added some fun to the otherwise dreary baguio. The real flooding came in, especially in the middle of the night. Our house was okay since it was on higher ground, but other missionaries had to swim their way out and lost everything they owned. A couple people in surrounding areas have died as well. Nanay Ebuen, the member who we rent from, asked us for help to rescue her belongings. Before I knew it, I was wading through flood waters up to my waist, barefoot, at 1 in the morning, carrying her dog to shelter. Now, all the missionaries in my zone are evacuated and safe. Even though I'll have no power for the next couple days, I'm grateful for all the blessings and miracles that have been wrought. I know that God is watching over us and hopefully, by my birthday this Sunday, all will be well. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hindi Nalipat

To decorate our room, I cut out a heart shaped piece from a church magazine that said "Hindi Nalipat" or "No Transfer" and jokingly taped it next to our sign of "Sta. Cruz." Sadly this week, Sister Otod transferred, but happily too, my new companion, Sister Sanchez arrived safely after an 8 hour bus ride! She's Filipina as well so at least we still have someone who knows how to cook haha. 
General Conference, where the prophet and apostles give talks for the whole church, was wonderful to watch this last weekend. Luckily it was in English, so no worries about not understanding! Elder Christofferson's talk about the importance of having a church was very timely, as many of the members that we work with have had questions about that. Also, it was inspiring to see the three new apostles that were called. Just as in the mission we have transfers, in a way, the quorum of the 12 apostles experienced their own "nalipat." I know that God has called living prophets and apostles for His church and all people today. As we stay close to their counsel, we and our families will stay on the path to exaltation.

Monday, October 5, 2015

I Hate to Rain on Your Parade...

In the Philippines, every so often they have fiestas where all the surrounding barangays (suburbs towns) gather to party, celebrate and have parades. Proselyting during this time is always interesting because literally every single person is lasing, or drunk, and no one is home to teach. At least most of them were still nice and think that I am very beautiful. It's just like BYU...minus the alcohol part hahaha. 
Inside a trike
We had a baguio last Friday and the rain was so heavy that even Pres. Dahle, the mission president, called us and told us to stay home. I found this old church New Testament manual so I devoured that the whole day. To leave a quick spiritual thought, I like the part of Ephesians where it talks about shielding your family with the armor of God. God loves us and evidence of His love is the commandments he gives us. The best medicine for any family ills truly is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Word of the Week: Pinagkakaabalahan -- what are you busy with