Palompon Week 14 (9/27/2010)

I have an awesome picture to show you Eva, when I can get my memory card back. It shows this really big and hairy spider that we found in our apartment last week. It was BIG. And hairy. Sis Christianson was like: I'm not leaving until it's dead! And we weren't sure what to do with him because we thought that he might run if we tried to smack him with our flyswatter. So we called the son of the landlady who lives behind us. We showed it to him and he just left the house w/o a word, came back with his own fly swatter, swatted him, picked up him and left without really saying much. Hahaha. I don't really know how much bigger they actually can get.

I got your post-its Eva. They look almost too nice to actually use. Haha.
And I got your letter too Dad. :)

This week was different in that we just got rejected ALOT. This week somewhat challenged my theory that almost everyone in the Philippines just wants to listen to "The Good Word" and all that. They just refuse by saying "Next time" instead of actually saying they want you to go away. haha. It almost annoys me sometimes. Don't say next time if you don't want us to come back next time! But i already know that they say that because it's kinder than saying "I just don't want to listen to you."

Cebuano really is a dying language. Sometimes I ask people how to say something in Cebuano and they just tell me the English word I just used. Like Representative.

The people here are starting to celebrate Christmas now. They say that Christmas time is the 'ber' months. September is the first BER month. SeptemBER octoBER novemBER decemBER. There are some nativity scenes out and Christmas music playing.

We taught a really good investigator this week named Lolong Pajaron. He was really interested in asking questions about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We found his family because we were walking around with the Relief Society President and we were going to take her home and she started talking to them. She is actually the godmother of their son! (So yea, they are REALLY close) It was just so funny because everytime we taught a doctrine, he would throw his head back in disbelief, then think about it for a second and agree with it. So funny! He really likes the idea that there's more scripture than just the Bible. The first time we taught him, we discussed the Book of Mormon and what it is. And then I talked about how the crowning moment in the BoM is when Christ goes and visits the Americas. He DIDN'T believe that. He just straight out told us. "I don't believe that!" So we just asked: Why not? So he thinks about it some more and then said: "I guess it's all possible with the Lord" heheh. And then last night as well, we talked a bit about how General conference is coming up and how the living Prophet will speak to us. He said: You guys have a prophet? We said, yes, he's alive! And then I said "There are Apostles too." He said really? And then I said, yep, 12 of them. Then he did threw his head back again and just laughed. He's already read from the beginning of the BoM until 1 Nep 2. The only thing that makes us sad is that he might be leaving on Wednesday for work because he's a seaman. When they leave for work they LEAVE for 9 months. :( But I don't think he'll ever be the same after listening to the restored gospel. :) haha.

I don't remember what it's like to be normal! We had zone conference this past week, and we had a "test" of sorts from the first chapter of Preach My Gospel. It was WEIRD! The feeling you have while taking a test and thinking really hard. I haven't taken a test in over year! hahah.

I've started reading in the Old Testament. There are some really cool stories in there (and a lot of weird ones too!) I finished Genesis this morning and am in Exodus now. Moses is currently getting owned by Pharoah. But we all know how that's going to turn out. :)

How's your Book of Mormon reading?
Alma is getting back from his mission now!

~the end~

Palompon Week 13 Post Its

Palompon Week 13

Mom + Dad~
I haven't gotten Dad's handwritten letter yet. I DID get that package of post-its though. I included a picture of them. I just HAD to laugh when I opened the package because I asked for post-its and you sent me almost every type of post-it that they have in the stores! haha. This is just evidence to me that you love me. :)

I remember writing week 13 on my Hilongos email and thinking: AHH I've been here for SO LONG! But now, I feel like everything has passed by sooo much more quickly. I'm almost forgetting what its like to be "normal" with work and school and free time. Haha. There's soooo little free time here. I always have something I need to do.

I wrote about tuba last week, remember? It's funny that that was the topic of my email because later that day we went to go teach our investigator Jovert and everyone in his house was partying because of someone's birthday. Yes there was tuba. Sister Farnworth said something to the effect of: The Spirit's not there if there's tuba too. So we just said we'd see him next week. :(

We were told that Sis Farnworth was transferring. So the next day, she packed her bags and we were just finishing up things and eating our lunch when I heard a vibration in my bag. It was our phone! So I picked it up and our zone leaders said to me: You're training! My first thought was: Oh. Well they didn't tell me that yesterday. So I was like: Okay. I'm training. So I have to go to Tacloban too? And then he told me that I was supposed to be in Tacloban now. At that moment. o_O Soooo. I told Sis Farnworth and we ran around the apartment going: AHHH WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THERE NOW! I grabbed a bag and put some stuff inside and we left to Tacloban and got there in the evening. The whole ride I was thinking how sad my trainee (aka. anak, or child) must be because her mommy (ie. me) wasn't there. But when we got there that night we found out they weren't separated yet into companionships so Ha. :)

So I have a new companion. Her name is Sister Christianson. She's actually Sis Farnworth's friend from high school! haha. She's told me a lot about her family, that she has 12 people in her family. Her mom went crazy trying to look up Tacloban on the internet and she found a blog from a missionary who is in Tacloban mission right now. HMMM. I WONDER WHO THAT IS. :D The world is just too funny. Or should I say, the internet is funny. SOOO my first couple days of training. It's been interesting so far. Sis Christianson isn't afraid to ask questions, and she's asked a lot. haha. We're starting to do the new training in our companionship study. It was interesting during the first few days of work with her because she expressed how tired she was at the end of the day. It makes me think back a lot to when I first got here and how much I've learned and grown.

Hilongos had a piano, but Palompon has a keyboard. They're both branches. Hilongos is in a district, and Palompon is in a stake. So as soon as Palompon gets enough Priesthood holders and attendance, it could easily be made into a ward. Sister Farnworth was the pianist for the branch, so now that she's transferred there were a couple members who were freaking out wondering who would be the new piano player. haha.

The Sanoy family (2nd counselor) in Palompon Branch just came back from the temple! Yay!! They have a picture of their entire family in front of the temple, all dressed in white! I'm sooo happy for them. They came back and are just glowing. They were already great member missionaries, but now Bro Sanoy just wants everyone to experience the happiness that he felt. :)

October is general conference!! Yay. :)
How's your Book of Mormon reading?

I love you all. I miss you all too. :) I keep you in my prayers.
~the end~

Palompon Week 12 (9-13-2010)

I'm feeling a lot better now. Sister Malit tells me what anti-biotics to take whenever I get sick. Haha.
No one is supposed to send chocolate through the mail? o.O


Filipinos offer everyone food! They have a phrase that says: "Bisan saging, basta loving." Literally it means: Even banana, at least loving. The idea is even if you only eat bananas, if everyone eats with you, its all happy.

I would like to spend some time telling you all about tuba. Tuba is basically the cheap alcohol here in the Philippines. They make it from coconuts and they put soda bottles of the coconut milk on the coconut trees and somehow it ferments while its up there. So when its ready they climb up the tree and bring it down. Our teacher in the MTC told us that even little kids drink tuba. When I first got here I saw a sign on the street next to someone's house and it said: Tuba for sale. I thought that the kid in the house must have played a musical instrument. Nope.

We were at a members house and their neighbor was there with his tuba bottle. The people here like to speak English sometimes so he asked us: "You drink tuba?" We said "Dili, dili maayo para sa lawas!" (No, it's not good for your body!) He very blatantly disagreed, "Yes it is!" while holding his bottle in one hand and cup in the other. I was pretty sure that he had already had a few sips.

We were going down the street in a put-put and this one man that we see around a lot was standing on the side of the road. He's taken to saluting us whenever we pass by. We saw him from down the street, so he just put his hand on his head and held it there until we passed, then he finished the salute as we passed by. Standing up straight, one hand up on his head, saluting us, and the other hand holding a bottle of tuba. He kind of cracks us up. It happened again as we were on our way to the market this morning. One time when we passed by he simply gave us a really big thumbs up.

This week we also had one man stop us as we were passing by his house. He spoke to us in English. I had no idea if he was drunk, but the experience was funny enough to share now. "Mam. I would like to help the CIA." We just looked at him. "Huh?" "Mam, I would like to help the US government." Oh that's nice. "Umm.. Sir, we're just missionaries. If you want to help the government, maybe you should go to the embassy. But we'd like to invite you to church this morning at 9 am!"

We had a very strange week where about half of our appointments just simply were not there at the scheduled time! Three days in a row, everyone was just NOT there. So we just ran around trying to see what less-active members we could visit instead to make use of our time. It was a little stressful. The branch also has started re-activation on Saturday nights. Simply going around on Saturday night and inviting people to come to church. Both of those efforts had a good result I think, because attendance went up. We had several less-actives come to church. :)

Because ALL of our appointments were falling through, Sis Farnworth and I were thinking where to go and I said: Let's go to Eric's house. Eric is an investigator that I had NEVER met before (even though I've been here for 3 months), but Sis Farnworth would tell me about him. She didn't think he would be there because he's a really busy guy, but we tried anyway. And he WAS THERE! So I got to meet him. haha. We talked a bit about the past visits with the missionaries (3 months ago) and how he liked the Cebu temple open house. It was a GREAT lesson! And we got to teach in English because he's really good at speaking English. And we committed him to be baptized on October 30 when he finds out the Book of Mormon is true! It was so cool! :) We came home super high and happy.

We gave a BoM to a recent convert named Jesus that can't read. We used to teach him before Church on Sundays, but now we're trying to spend our time bringing our investigators to church. (The past two weeks it hasn't worked. x_X) BUT Jesus is now living with another member so at night they spend time practicing reading. It makes me so happy to know that! :)

Our BoM fireside was cool. We borrowed Elder Reyes' "The Testaments" DVD and showed it. There were lots of members and less-actives that came and we had 5 investigators come to watch the movie. Our only regret is that there was no Tagalog option for the movie, so we had to watch in it English. I hope everyone got the idea. haha.

This week I was reading Alma 5. I've decided that that is my favorite sermon in the Book of Mormon. He gives a lot of self-reflecting questions like "Have you received His countenance?" and at the end he basically gives his testimony! It was so great reading it and feeling the Spirit. Testimony is so important! I really need to include it more in our lessons. As I was reading it I started to laugh because Alma 5 is basically the sermon that the prophet gives in "The Testaments" and the part where Kohor gives his defense of the judges during the trial he basically quotes the last chapter in Helaman! Hahaha. Sister Farnworth and I love that movie. :)

How's your Book of Mormon reading?

~the end~

Palompon Week 11

Hi Family!

Mom & Dad~
I love you so much! I've been thinking about you lately! Like how Mom always makes us wear slippers and how Dad really likes pistachio nuts. It's all the little things that just remind me of your love for me. :-)

Adobe inDesign is what we used in Yearbook! I miss that program!!

The 3rd picture of Zoey on the swings made me think of squirt from Finding Nemo! Because of her tiny arms and legs and head and a big "shell" body. Hahha.

You're in the choir now? Yay! I love to sing. Both of us actually sang last week at church as a special musical number. It was fun. :-)

It's actually starting rainy season again right now, but we get occasional weird days where it turns reaaaally hot. It's been pretty hot this past week.

Preparation day usually goes like this:
Wake up, soak laundry, eat
Go to market
Cleaning apartment and then Laba! Which means laundry. We have to wash all of our stuff by hand. It takes at least 2 hours. I really miss washing machines.

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.