Palompon Week 18

Have you put any fans in the bathroom so that the paint can dry? o_O We always end up putting a fan on our clothes if they are heavier because otherwise they would take days to dry.

I don't remember what it feels like to be 'normal'.

I was looking at our white board we have for writing our investigators on and I noticed that we have more people committed to baptism now than I've ever had on my mission. So that's awesome! But the really weird thing is that even if we commit people to baptism on the first or second lesson, they still end up falling through! We teach them once or twice, commit them to baptism, and then a couple of them we barely ever see again and they tell us they're too busy. The only thing I can think of is that Satan is working really hard on them once we help them decide to do a good thing. More people will agree to baptism than actually come to church or even READ. x_X

We don't live with anyone. It's actually (bawal) not allowed to have anyone else in the apartment except for Sister missionaries. It must be nice to actually live with someone.~

One of our investigators, Risa, is living with her boyfriend who is an in-active member right now. She wants to get baptized and she's come to church twice. She has something of a hard time understanding what we are teaching though. So the last time we went to go visit her this week, she had "Book of Mormon Stories" on her lap. She said the actual Book of Mormon was difficult for her to understand, so she borrowed the member's copy of "Book of Mormon stories"!! Hahaha. She's been reading it and praying a lot, but didn't come to church the past two weeks. We're really excited to still be teaching her. She was able to tell us the whole story that Nephi went to go get the plates and Zoram ended up accompanying him. It's amazing to think how the Spirit will really help people remember and understand when they do their part.

We have a long-time investigator family named the Pitugo family that lives near the Branch President's house. They have been visited by missionaries for over 1 year now and they are still investigators. Brother is working on trying to be able to get Sunday off of work and to get rid of his problems with the Word of Wisdom. We've been following up his cigarettes this week so he knows we're going to ask how he's doing. He's gone from 10 cigarettes a day to 1 cigarette, because right now he's working on eating a lollipop anytime he gets a cigarette craving. Haha. But we saw him drinking last night with his friends. We need to talk to him again x_X Sister just needs to make sure she finishes all of her work on Saturday night so that she can come to church the next day. And her mom is very very opposed to them becoming Mormons. (Her dad is a Catholic pastor, and doesn't have a problem with it. haha) We haven't met those two personally, but maybe someday. They are one of the few few investigators who actually do read. They're in 1 Nep 18 or so right now. :)

We had a one day mission on Saturday! We had 21 members all dress up and we all went to San Miguel area, about 2 kilometers away from the church. There's no members there yet, and the Branch Presidency was thinking that maybe it would be good to "open" up the area over there. So we all got in a cab and headed over and started going from door-to-door. It was really awesome leaving one house and then seeing your fellow member missionaries next door talking to other people too. We got a lot of names of people that are interested, so next Saturday we're going to go work over there with some members so we know where the house is. I was a little frustrated at first though because we gave all the members "potential investigators" lists, which has slots for their names and addresses. But the addresses are different here in the Philippines. There's not really numbers for every house in the smaller barangays (communities). They just say they live in so-and-so barangay and then you have to ask around and figure out where they live. It can end up becoming dead ends. So the members just wrote that those potential investigators lived in San Miguel. So as I looked at it, I thought: This information is so unhelpful! >_< But yes, the members are going to come with us to find the houses again, so its all good I guess. :S People here are just so vague though. They don't give specific times or addresses. Most of our appointments aren't there half the time. They just always tell us: Oh, I had to go out for something. *Sigh* But we had an appointment! :(

I was thinking about something that our AP, E. Cerdhe, said last LTM) Are we drawing people to baptism or dragging them? So I sit here and think about my investigators and I think: It seems like most of them are just... standing there! Or at least, turning away their faces from it. I don't know what to do to draw them other than what we've been doing. It also reminds me of the recent article we had in our mission newsletter (The FIRST one I've had in my mission!) about how outstanding young people might have a hard time on a mission. And I think it's true. Some of our key indicators (like progressing investigators) are based on how OTHER people will use their agency, not on my characteristics. I feel like I have basically no control about things like that. Sigi lang. (Oh well)

It just seems like there are an awful lot of tares in comparison to the wheat.

Challenges will come, but I know I'm supposed to be here! Missions are hard, but I've already grown so much just as a person. I've still got a ways to go too.

See you next week my dear loved ones! <3
Oh that I were an angel and could have the wish of my heart, that I might go froth and speak with the trump of God with a voice to shake the earth and cry repentence unto every people!
~the end~

Palompon Week 17

We had JohnPaul's baptism this week. :) It was really nice when he gave us his testimony at the end of his baptism. He said that he's been to 3 different churches, but he didn't like the feeling he would get when they would debate. He said this is where he was able to feel peace. :)

President Malit has been recently focusing on not being hesitant to invite people to baptism on the FIRST LESSON! We've been inviting more and more people to baptism as a result. Right now we have 7 people who have agreed to be baptized. The hard part is helping them come to church and the lessons. But they've all said yes! and they have a specific date too. :)

We also spent the first 3 days of the week in Sogod again because we had another LTM (leadership trainers meeting). We had a small amount of training and then we just practiced role-playing a specific part of a lesson. We spent like 6 hours the first day just practicing and evaluating. Wheew.

Next week we also have a one day mission planned where all the members can come with us and we'll all go out and find people in this area called San Miguel. There are no members in that area, so the branch presidency was thinking we could try getting some investigators over there too.

We went to visit one investigator family called the Graciano family. We met them as we were going to someone else's house so we asked if we could teach them. I've been on and off visiting them for 3 months. The kids are mostly the ones who join in, the mom rarely comes. And so we were thinking of dropping them because they don't really progress and the parents aren't really involved in the lessons. So we were going to give them one more chance (again!) and their daughter, Israelita gave the opening prayer. In her prayer she said: I'm so glad that the Sisters come even if it rains or its hot. And I'm glad they come because I get to learn a lot. And I hope that they keep coming. Afterward the lesson, Sister Christianson and I talked to each other and we both said: OKAY! Is that a sign Heavenly Father that we're supposed to come back!? We just laughed at how that one turned out. I just hope Heavenly Father continues to guide us.

We've also been going around this week and making appointments with all the part member families that I can think of. Some of the recent converts, like Juliet, are really freaked out that we're going to be teaching their family! I just hope that it will all turn out well.

The Old Testament is kinda weird. haha.
Love you all! Miss you all! See you soon enough. ;)
~the end~

Palompon Week 16 (10-11-2010)


Your graphic design project is soooo cute! Monkey Tree! It makes me think of here in the Philippines. :)

We get about 8000 pesos, which is 175 dollars or so a month for food/transportation/personal supplies.

We have a baptism scheduled this week! The JohnPaul that I told you about. :) He's been really excited for his baptism. What I really love about it is that he UNDERSTANDS what we teach him. I've taught so many people who just don't understand. We teach about the Restoration and Joseph Smith and then our investigator just say things like: Yeah, pray. In my first area, we taught one mother of a family about the power of God/Priesthood and I asked her why is the Priesthood important? And I swear, she looked me straight in the eye and said "Pagampo!" (Which means pray) Anyway, JohnPaul is great! I asked him why he wanted to be baptized, and he said: I want to follow Christ. :) Doesn't that just make your heart melt?

We watched General Conference this weekend and it was great! For some reason, the last two general conferences, I've just really liked the Saturday morning session the best. :) I think both of us were expecting another hell-fire sermon of sorts from Elder Holland, and so we were surprised when he just started in on how thankful he was for EVERYTHING. We still liked it very much though. President Monson had a very similar talk too.
I was thinking about how last general conference, I was homesick for a couple days just because of the topics that everyone was using. Nearly half the conference was all about FAMILIES. People's responsibilities in their families and how to strengthen the family, etc. So of course, I got a little lonely. :)

We have a very good new investigator named AnnAnn. She is such a funny mom. All her worries that she tells us about are the same worries as moms back home. I told her last time that all the moms across the globe are united in their worries. She just laughed. She has come to church once and read a little bit already. But she is the first investigator that I've heard say: Wow. Families are really important to Mormons. She's seen the pictures in the pamphlets and listened to the Relief Society lesson about reverence and to teach reverence to children, and she just repeats to herself: Wow. They're really focused on families.

We also have another LTM (leadership training meeting) so we're going to be on the other side of Leyte for two days. Wow!
I read a lot in the Old Testament this week. All of King David's story and his life. It has a lot of stories I'm not as familiar with. And there are also some really weird stuff that used to happen back then. o.O

I just realized that I've been in Cebuano areas for 10 months now!

Well, I love you all. I miss you all too. Till we meet again.

~the end~

Palompon Week 15

Mom and Dad~
Thanks for sending me jokes every week. :) I'm doing good

Whats Brazo de Mercedes? I haven't seen it yet here. There's a Goldilocks here (that Filipino cake store that's in Cerritos) in the city where the stake center is. Maybe they sell it there.

How's my car treating you?

How are you doing? :)

Diay means something like "oh really?" Like if you made a mistake or just learned something new that you were mistaken about. I just wrote Palompon - Week 14 in the subject line. But then I double checked and its actually 15. So i put in week 15 diay. :)

If you ask people "Kumusta?" (How are you?) they pretty much always respond: "Mao ra gihapon." (Same as always). Though I always say "Maayo man" (real good)

Mao ra gihapon! We've taught a lot of new people this week because Sis Christianson wants to talk to everyone. It's good in that we have a lot of appointments, but its bad if you can only meet with someone once a week because of the other appointments. Ideally, you should visit your investigators 3 times a week.

Sister Christianson told me that sometimes when she's there in the lesson, she thinks: OH! We need to talk about this! But she doesn't know how to say it in Cebuano, but while she's thinking I end up talking about what she was thinking! It makes me really happy to know that! I remember having the same experiences like that when I was with my trainer and I didn't know how to talk. haha. That means we have the Spirit guiding both of us in the same direction! :) I am pretty confident in saying that I feel we are both being guided by the Spirit during lessons. There are times where I feel that I need to stop talking so I just look at Sister Christianson and she picks it right up. When she stops, I just start going. We're being given what we need in the moment that we need it. :)

We watch General conference one week after it broadcasts in America. So you've all gotten to hear it, but we're going to hear it this Saturday and Sunday. I'm glad you didn't spoil any good surprises from conference. :P But next week, I'd love to hear about what you loved about Conference.

We have one really really great investigator named JohnPaul. He's the top of the top. I don't think he's made any DRAMATIC life changes in order to join the church, but he is progressing. :) He's been coming to church for like 7 weeks and his baptism is scheduled on Oct 16. He's really excited. We're planning on having his interview this Tuesday, right after district meeting. He was taught before by Sister Dustin and he came to church but the teaching stopped for some reason. All of this great result came about because his sister stood us up for the appointment and I just turned to him and said: Hey can we teach you instead? And it's just been on a roll since then. :)

Sometimes I wonder why I was sent to this area. Not because I doubt or anything but because I wonder WHO is it that I am supposed to be helping? WHO is the person/people that are waiting specifically for ME to be their missionary? Sometimes I wonder.

I'm still reading in the Old Testament. There are a lot of unfamiliar stories to me that I think are so funny. Like Balaam and his talking donkey. And the old fat king getting assassinated. It has a lot of things in there that really relate to the church now. It talks alot about the 'Elders of the church', making 'atonement sacrifices' and occasionally mentions the 'latter-days.' The word Atonement is only in the New Testament once! But it is ALL over the Old Testament! It's been pretty fun to read, minus the whole geneology pages and how many cubits the building of the temple has to be and EXACTLY what you have to do in order to offer a sacrifice and all of that. :)

Recently I was reading through some of the talks from last conference and the thought entered into my mind: This is living scripture! This is from a living prophet. I'm really excited to watch General Conference.

How's your Book of Mormon reading?

~the end~

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.