Janaury 18, 2009 - Hilongos Week 2

I had a bunch of emails when I signed in today! YAY!!
There were some questions, so here are some answers. :)

I got that suitcase at the MTC. There was a couple of occasions where there was a suitcase at the free box. o.O And the "pictures" that you saw on the memory card were my videos. I didn't put any pictures on that card. You just didnt push play or something. ;) Or maybe her camera couldnt read them as videos since my camera is newer? BUT you proved that they're on there, so yea.
I forgot... I was going to bring my book because I wanted you to add my MTC teachers to my email list. The only one I remember is and I'm not sure if that's right. If it is, ask Bro. Morrey for Sister Lillywhite's email too plz?

Thank you for the lovely offer of buying me a Ever After DVD for when I come home. But I already have it. :D I bought it at Best Buy or something when I saw it for $5 (SO worth it.) I also really liked the email that you sent me. It was really funny because I could tell for sure that it was you writing it. Dad can send me jokes in every email, it'll remind me of him. :)

This week I was like: Oh. Zoey's probably born now. So I'm glad to hear that Kira has taken a liking to Zoey. :D Updates would make me happy. <3 Oh and ask Ian where he's from in the Philippines. Mila/Nanoy sent me an email and they mentioned "North" but thats about it.


I forget that I'm "Amerikana" until we leave the apartment and people start staring again. Oh yeah... I was warned in the MTC that people would call us "Joe" because we're Americans but that seems to be only for Elders. At least for the most part, they understand that Joe is a male-nickname or something. No, Sister missionaries get different names. I said in my last email that a lot of people like to say hi. It's REALLY true. Sister Holden is used to it, so she just ignores it but I still feel the need to wave or something. They also like to call us "Sisters" for the people who have seen missionaries around enough, and "Mom" for other people. I'm assuming they think we're Mormon nuns or something. Oh, and the occasional "Beautiful/Gwapa". I don't think I'll run low on self-esteem here, the way that happens often enough.

So here in Hilongos, Sister Holden and I are the only missionaries. There's 1 branch here with a total of 300ish members, but the activity rate is a little under 100. There is also a separate sacrament meeting that they do which we don't attend in the area farthest in the branch boundaries that counts for about 20 of those. It's really difficult for people sometimes. A good amount of people went inactive because they simply don't have a lot of money so they feel they can't afford the transportation to go to church. The chapel is here in the main area of Hilongos. And for some reason the church grounds is just filled with caterpillars. I haven't seen them anywhere else except the church grounds. Maybe because of the grass?

I seem to be pretty lucky. A sister in the ward told me that she was really surprised at my Cebuano (they call it Bisaya here because the islands around here are the Bisayas) because the missionaries who first started coming here were "English-speaking" that had a rude awakening when they arrived. xD So because of the efforts of missionaries that returned home, they've made a much better preparation for studying Bisaya in the MTC. But I still don't understand what people are saying about 85-90% of the time. Some people understand most English, but I'd say that isn't a standard. And I think the message means so much more when its in their native language. :)

We taught my first NEW investigator this week! His name is Loriano Beltran and he's the brother of a really faithful member who lives far but still comes to church every week. It was his first time meeting with the missionaries, so I was really excited. :) He's already been to Church twice with his brother. I think his brother has been a great example for him, and so he wanted to find out more about the Church. He's already said that he wants to be baptized if he finds good results from the lessons.

We also taught a Brother and Sister Rabaya, who are active Catholics. Brother wanted an English Book of Mormon to read, so they were given a copy of that and when we went to visit them, he said that he had read the first 3 chapters of the BoM! He really wants to understand the BoM and so he said he was reading it with the Bible. Sister Holden told me that they had not wanted to pray in previous lessons because they only wanted to pray with their memorized Catholic prayers, so we focused this lesson about how to pray. I was surprised, but at the end of the lesson the Brother did pray! He ended up ending the prayer with a Catholic recitation, but it sometimes takes so much to even get someone to TRY praying, that we were really happy. We can only meet with them every 2 weeks or so though because of Brother's work schedule. :(

The mission president doesn't want missionaries to spend time tracking/contacting so our pool of investigators was shrinking until we learned that we were allowed to ask for referrals. We also have a list of all the members in the branch, so we're going to look at any names that Sister Holden doesn't know and see if we can visit them.

Sister Holden is from New Mexico, and she was attending BYU-Hawaii before she came on her mission. This is her last area, while this is my first. So she's going to be leaving. :( Her mission has been interesting because she's only been assigned in TWO areas. She's been in Hilongos for 7 months (will be 8 when she leaves) and she was in one Waray-Waray area for 8 months. I think that that has some advantages. She made me a planner cover last night to protect my planner from the rain. :)

ITS BEEN RAINING SO MUCH. It rained for like 2 days straight this week. And then sporadically for the rest of the week. It's so unexpected. So we bought "plastic shoes" (rubberish) for me to wear. It was really hard to find anything in a size that I could wear. But they're easy to scrub clean and when it rains so much, its all that Sister Holden wears. It just seems like it would be easier to wear sandals because then you wouldn't be walking with water/rocks in your shoes, but we're not allowed to.

I might start listing some favorite chapters that I've read/used each week from scriptures.
Alma 7: The mission of Christ
3rd Nephi 13: How to pray!

So long, farewell~ Send me love plzz. <3's


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I am a LDS sister missionary serving in the Philippines Tacloban area. I made this blog so that I may share my experiences with my friends and loved ones and anyone who may need to hear my story. My sister will be updating this blog with letters that I'll be writing home.