Barugo Week 4

I wanted to send pictures this week, but the internet cafe has
restrictions on uploading pictures here. :( Looks like I'll just have
to try next time.

Grandma Edy sent me a letter! It was a really nice letter, but she
told me that she hasn't gotten to read any of the emails I've sent! :(
Sooo... who's going to convince Jesse that he should print off the
emails for her? :)

I'm trying to figure out what to do for Turkey Day. I want Sister
Sacayanan to have a good experience. :P Haha. I think I'll have to
wait until next week though, because then we can buy mashed potatoes
and other things in Tacloban supermarket. The grocery store here is
so small, so the selection is kind of limited.

You don't have to worry about me sending things home mom. Sending
stuff home is expensive, so I'm not really going to send presents for
Christmas. You can all wait until I get home so I can give you some
neat stuff. :) I'm probably going to just leave a bunch of stuff
behind when the time comes for me to leave (like certain clothes and
my towels and stuff), just so I don't have to freak out about weight
restrictions. But I'm still going to have a lot of neat souvenirs!

We found a German Book of Mormon for Sister Laura! I think I might
have mentioned that already. haha. We're going to teach her on
Tuesday night.

I got my hair done again! (Permanently straightened) So now I won't
have to worry about it for another 6 months! woo! In the salon, they
started playing some Japanese songs I used to listen to. I thought to
myself, YAY! I didn't forget Japanese! I just had to hear some words
again and now I remember what they are. :) Last night, Sis Sacayanan
was asking me what some words in Japanese are and I couldn't remember
some! It made me so sad. Cebuano really kicked a lot of things out
of my head.

How was Harry Potter?! Haha.

We had an investigator come to church on Sunday, Sister Merlita Avila!
She's accepted everything we've taught so far, she reads her
assignments, and she's agreed to prepare for baptism on Dec 18! And
then SHE CAME TO CHURCH! OHHHH. She's visited the church before when
she worked in Manila, because her boss was a member. We actually met
her by talking to her daughter on the street, who is named Glyzia.
She went home and told her mom that she has an American friend now.
Of course, her mom had no idea what she was talking about. And then
she told her mom that the American wanted to interview her. Sis
Merlita thought that might mean we were from Census. haha! Until she
actually met us, then she knew what it was all about. She told us
that when Jehovah's Witness missionaries would go to her house, she
would always tell them she's too busy. She said she doesn't know why,
but she didn't do that to us. She just let us in.

We have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday! His name is Mark
Anthony and he's 16. Whenever we ask him a question while teaching
him, he always grabs his head and makes a little noise as he's
thinking. It makes it look like it's really tiring to think. Because
he's a young man, I was pretty sure that at some point he's going to
get ridicule from his friends for getting baptized and following the
word of wisdom or law of chastity. So I shared with him how I have
friends back home that tease me about word of wisdom. But when it
comes down to it, they know I don't, so they don't even try or offer
me coffee or alcohol anymore. Mark looked at me and said:
"Eventually they understand?" Yes, Mark. Yes!

We went on splits last Tuesday. The Elders didn't really tell us
about the splits until the last minute. Bah. I guess I just like
knowing beforehand. We went finding for two hours, by asking a member
family all the names of their neighbors and then walking around with a
member. "Soo... Who do you know that lives on this street?" We
taught one Tatay that is really working towards getting baptized.
He's been off his cigarettes and drinking for at least 2 weeks. He
has a hard time hearing, so we had to be loud when teaching him. Sis
Quimson is really cute. It was good having splits with her. :)

How's your Book of Mormon reading? I'm in the part where Jesus Christ
is quoting Isaiah. Isaiah really makes me sleepy.

I miss you! I pray for you. Love you all.
~the end~

Barugo Week 3

Grandma Edy~
I got your letter today!! But I haven't had a chance to read it yet! :) I'll write you a little note too!

Mom, Dad & Emily~
I love you!!

I remember when Elizabeth would scream because she hated baths as an infant! Now she loves showers? Haha. :)

Cafe Rio is in Lakewood now? Haha... Now you don't have to move to Utah! ;)

I got my "trunkie" letter. The letter that tells me I have to get all my information together because I'm going home in 6 months. Wowie! I need the Stake President's name, contact number and email address. I also need to know Mom's phone number. I'm not sure if I remember it anymore haha. My release date from the mission is on my birthday! Haha! How cool is that? ;) I also need to know what your plans are. Are you planning on coming to pick me up? Or am I just headed straight home? I know that Jessie was thinking they might come. I need to turn this form in in the beginning of January. So... start thinking about it, k? :)

Yesterday was the Pacquiao fight. You probably don't know who Pacquiao is. He is a Filipino Boxer. The people here are really proud of him. Sis Sacayanan told me that there wouldn't be any trikes to take us back to Barugo after church because everyone would be watching the fight. Haha. She said the TV stations would be showing replays of it for the rest of the day, and the other networks would be broadcasting it all today too. The only thing I can think of that would compare to that is the Rose Parade. That's an all day thing too.

We had almost NO ONE to teach when I first got to Barugo. Sister Garcia was sick for a week before she transferred, so they missed all their appointments and didn't make new ones. So I felt a little O_o. We ran around that week and found 25 new investigators by teaching everyone we could come in contact with! We've been blessed with a lot of people to teach now. :)

There have actually been 2 people that have approached us this week asking if they could have one of our pamplets! One of them was a really old man riding his bicycle that speaks REALLY good English. The other was a man that lives near our apartment (His mom told us to not come back! Agoy!) But we still have to follow them up.

One such family is named the Baquiran family. We came from a member's house where we had just taught her niece and we saw some teenage girls sitting around their house outside. So we talked to them and found out that their families were taught before. So we made an appointment with Hazel to go to her house (which is just next door, haha). We met her mom and dad the next time. They all just immediately gathered around to listen. Sister started off by making sure that we knew that they were Catholic. "That's okay Sister. We teach everyone, including Catholics!" So we taught them the Message of the Restoration (MR) and made an appointment for next time.
President Malit had promised me that if we committed our investigators to be baptized as soon as we felt the spirit, that would we have a lot of baptisms. haha. Well anyway, when we first taught them the MR I was feeling the spirit and I TOTALLY wanted to commit them to be baptized when we were teaching the second principle! But I had NO idea how, so I just ended up waiting. The morning of our next appointment, Sis Sacayanan and I spent our companionship study time by thinking up of ways to connect each principle of the MR to baptism. When we came back to this family, Brother Benedicto had completely read the MR pamplet and he said: "Joseph Smith was given the Priesthood by Peter, James and John, the original apostles!" Sis Sacayanan and I were almost shocked with happiness! WHAT a thing to remember from reading! So we talked a little bit about how the Priesthood is used in TEMPLES and families can be together forever! And we taught the Book of Mormon because we wanted to give them one and read it for next time. :) We committed them to be baptized. They said they weren't sure yet. But they are totally excited for us to come back and WE are totally excited to go back tonight! :D

Laura came to church with us yesterday! The girl who is from Germany. I sat next to her and did my best to translate everything. She speaks good conversational English so a lot of the members who know some English were estatic to talk to her. ESPECIALLY some of our returned missionaries from here who are looking for girlfriends! (Like our BML) haha. I just hope they didn't scare her away. She says she wants to do some research about the church because she had never heard of it before until we met her.

Remembering these good experiences make it all worth it! I love teaching someone and then feeling like the Apostles in the New Testament where they "went away rejoicing."

I love you all! I'll see you soon enough. :)
~the end~

Barugo Week 2

Thanks for the recipes everyone, but I'm not really sure how I can use some of them here. Haha. The ingredients are so different here! Dairy is available, but it's kind of expensive. We always buy 2 liters of milk for the week, but it's expensive (imported from New Zealand). And the cheese here is not really CHEESE. It's like some processed yellow thing. We do have peanut butter available, the expensive imported kind from America, and Peanut butter from the Philippines (way cheaper), but its got way less sugar so it tastes different. We don't have a crock pot. We have a rice cooker, but I'm not sure how well that would substitute... o.O The bread here is a super white bread. My first area was the only one that had wheat bread available. Haaaa...

Last week I asked for toaster oven recipes (because we have a toaster oven) or rice pudding (cuz we have lots of rice), or the no-bake cookies that we love to make, so I can make them for my companion. :)

Sis Sacayanan and I had the craziest day on Saturday! We were just talking to EVERYONE and teaching them a 10 minute lesson and making return appointments. The requirement for a new investigator is they are taught 1 lesson and they agree to a return appointment. Well, we got a lot of return appointments with them, so they all were new investigators! A total of 20! (That's the standard of excellence by the way for 1 week) So we found 20 new investigators in 1 day, plus 5 from other days of the week, for a total of 25! Now the real question is: Who will actually be there at the return appointment!? Finding people is sooooo important. Nothing happens in missionary work until you keep finding new people to teach. Even if you've been teaching the same people for 6 months, you still need to keep looking for those who are ripe for harvest, right?
A couple times, we've asked people where we can find somebody when we knock on their door. We tried using it as a tracting technique for getting people out of their houses. But it really feels like it works best when we're not actually trying to change the topic into the fact that we're missionaries. We met three 7th day adventists in a row in one day! We get a lot of return appointments cuz we're real persuasive! ;) What time are you available so we can come back? Afternoon or night? "Oh I'm busy" Oh, but you get back from work before night, right? "Yea." Oh okay! So would you like us to come back at 6 or at 7 at night on Tuesday?

Elder Tenney, our District leader was telling us some of the experiences he's had with people. It is really true that people are generally more nicer to women than men. Just as an example, in the Philippines, you might see an American man every 5,000 people. I've seen a couple American men in every area I've been in. But American women? I dunno, maybe 1 in 100,000? I am a rare species here. :P But Laura is here too! (Even though she's from Germany, they would still call her Americana.)

We were able to set up another appointment with Laura, the girl from Germany because we didn't see her last week at the appointed time. But at least we know where she lives now! She's Protestant, but she said that there's no Protestant church in Barugo, so she just attends Catholic church. So of course, we invited her to come and visit the church. ;) She is really sweet, we're excited for our appointment with her tomorrow.

I got Dad's letter, so don't worry. :)
I love you all! I include you in my prayers

~the end~

Barugo Week 1 - 11/1/2010

Request: please send me some simple recipes that I might be able to cook here. Of some cookies or american food, like french toast! ;P Toaster oven recipes or rice pudding. Is thanksgiving the 3rd or 4th Thursday of the month?
So you might have noticed that my title that I'm at a different place now! Oh my!!
It was a pretty interesting transfer day actually. They tell us on Wednesday morning if there is a transfer, because there is a transfer meeting in Tacloban on Friday. So we got the call and the Zone leaders told us that we were not transferring! So I thought: okay, got some more time in Palompon now!~ And we spent the rest of the day teaching people etc. And then Thursday morning, we had weekly planning. So we planned everything we would teach and what we would do and we had companionship inventory. Spent the rest of the day teaching people. Then on Friday, we were all finished with our studies and about to go teach our investigator (Lolong Pajaron) about priesthood authority (cuz he doesn't really believe it) and I was all excited because we made a great lesson plan, when I looked at the phone before we walked out the door and I saw that there were 14 missed calls and 1 text. I thought: oh my. They were from the ZLs. The text said: "Sisters! Call us, It's an emergency!" Soooo we called them back and E. Stringham was like: Sister! You are transferring!!
So we just dropped everything so I could go and pack and we could get a companion for S. Christianson while I'm leaving, and I was just a little freaked out. I left as soon as I could to get to my new zone, Carigara! Which is Waray by the way. We spent the night in Carigara because there were no more trikes available in the evening. My new area is called Barugo. It's only a 10 peso ride from Carigara, so it's fairly close.
The members in Barugo actually go to church in Carigara. Which can have some problems. Relatively, it's far for investigators to come to church, and almost impossible for families (at 10 pesos each, a family could easily cost 60 pesos one way). We have very few members in Barugo compared to Carigara. It's literally on the border of missionary work! Not even a branch yet. haha. o_O So, there's a lot of work a head of us here. haha. We didn't have any set appointments when I got here because Sis Garcia was sick for a whole week before she transferred. So I felt a little bit like we're opening the area. But Sis Sacayanan knows where things are. haha.
Sis Sacayanan is so cute! :) She always has this little smile on her face when she looks at me. I'll try to get some pictures for next week. the suffix -an in the language means: location, or place. Sakay means to ride, Sakayan means vehicle, and so when I saw her name, Sacayanan, I figured out it must mean terminal or bus stop! :D She's from Mindenaw, (sp) So Cebuano is her native langugage.
Waray is actually NOT as hard as I thought it would be. They have some words that are similar, just pronounced differently, and they have
other words that are completely different, but the foundation is the same. So I think that I'll be able to transition well.:)
My companions so far:
S Holden (trainer!) 1 transfer - Hilongos
S Taunan (first native companion!) 1 transfer - Hilongos
S Malicdem (first companion for 2 transfers instead of 1!) 2 transfers - Hilongos
S Farnworth (first junior companion!) 2 transfers - Palompon
S Christianson (my trainee!) 1 transfer - Palompon
S Sacayanan (my companion now!) We will see how many transfers! - Barugo
I'm not counting my companions in the MTC, but I did have 4 of them! oh my. That would make 6 so far in the mission field, and 10 total, hahah. I still have 4 transfers left too, so i dunno what will happen! Maybe I'll be with S. Sacayanan for the rest of my mission. haha.
Last Saturday night/Sunday morning, it was about 4 am and this Catholic group of people were just marching down the street or something singing a song about Maria in a microphone. I don't think that group was very considerate of those who might be sleeping! Sis Sacayanan said they do that every Sunday.
We met a girl named Lauran who is volunteering here from GERMANY when we were riding home from Carigara yesterday. The members riding with us were pretty excited, another person to speak English with. haha. We actually set an appointment with her for tonight at 8 oclock. This would be the second person I would be able to teach in English. :) I'm excited.
Filipinos don't really do anything for Halloween, Oct 31. There was a disco going on last night thought, which was pretty loud. Some people dress up aparently, but not alot. There's also Nov 1 and 2, which is pretty big here. It's called Kalag Kalag (soul soul) or in English, All souls day. Everyone goes to the cemetary to clean the tombstone and area of their deceased family. Alot of families come together for it. It also has a Catholic base though, apparently they do some praying that their family will go to heaven too.
I love you!! But the hours up. Hahah
I'll see you next week
~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.