Monday, July 8, 2013
Hardest. Week. Ever.
This week has been the most difficult and rewarding week of my life! I don't know where to begin. The MTC felt like a century ago. Talking to the fam on the phone was so great! It was good to hear from all of you. The strange thing about it was that it made things more difficult for me. I almost felt like I was at the airport to come home, but the truth was that I was going even further away. My faith has been tested more than ever before. The flight to Manila I got super sick, and the nerves and stomach aches haven't stopped. But after a day and a half of traveling, we arrived in Manila and went to bed in a hotel at 12:30 am on Wednesday morning. We woke up at 3:30 to be ready by 4:30. We calculated about 6 hours of sleep in about 3 days. I was exhausted. We took a bus to San Pablo which was about a two hour drive without too much traffic. And there was President Peterson, Elder and Sister Hansen (senior couple) and the President's assistants waiting for us! Oh how happy I was to see their faces. We waited for the missionaries from the Manila MTC to come and then we had breakfast. There were about 25 new missionaries! We then had an orientation and dinner. Then president let us go back early and I was knocked out by 7 pm. The next day was transfer day! We had some meetings and I met my Companion! Sister De Castro! She is from just north of San Pablo in Quezon City and has been out for about 5 months. She is so wonderful, but doesn't speak english very well so that has been a struggle. We share an area now with two other sisters who are amazing. They have helped me understand this area and how missionary life goes. They truly are a blessing from God. Without them, I am not sure where my sanity would be. My area is all city. Lots of people, cars, and houses. The ward here is AMAZING. What a blessing. On Thursday we went out with a member who is a returned missionary and she gave us two referrals and we taught two lessons! Teaching a lesson is a feeling that is indescribable. I am honestly more surprised with the homes than I thought I would be. Many are made of mud blocks with sheet metal for ceilings. They are so humble and many are willing to listen to us... so far. Saturday we went tracting. We got 15 OYM's (open your mouth) where the mission daily goal is 10! Score! And we got 5 new investigators out of it. It is hard because we have to find all our investigators by ourselves because the other sisters keep theirs. It is ok because we are working hard! Sunday was a faith booster to see how strong the ward is. We had a ward fireside on members working with missionaries and I am coming to know the members now. There is a good amount of very faithful members and I am thankful for them since this is my first area. Ah, honestly, this week has been so difficult because of my emotions.
1. this is all so new to me: lifestyle (different from mtc), language, culture
2. I am scared out of my mind. I dont know anything!
I know it all just takes time. What has been helping me is this quote by David A. Bednar, "fear departs when faith endures." Oh how true it is.
I love President and Sister Peterson. Honestly they remind me so much of you, Mom and Dad. I cannot wait to see them again in a few weeks.
Funny story time. I am completely serious when I say this, everyone stares at me. It is not common for white people to be in the Philippines at all. So, when I am walking around, eyes follow me. People have said to me, "Hey babe", Hello beautiful" and so on. This sister that we met tracting just pulled out her phone and took a picture of me. I was like what the heck?! It was so weird. I hate being a spectacle here. It is so awkward. But whatever lets me talk to people, right? hahaha weird. Ok love you all! And I forgot my camera so here are some pics from my companions.