Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Am So Grateful To Be Here!



As far as skyping goes i wish i could talk to you real quick to organize this... pero (but) its fine, I will plan to talk to you on Christmas eve...is that alright? (you can't answer but that is fine.) I will get on on the 24th - Christmas eve at 9 in the morning my time....i don't know the time difference tho so GET EVERYONE THERE!!! :) and then we can decide then when we will talk again. that should be late on the 23rd tho...Erin's b-day!

Oh my goodness don't talk about food!!! HAHAH it sounds SOOOO good!!!! I struggle with the food. but i figure if that's something I can control that makes the members happy with me so I eat lol. alot. 

It sounds like you all are doing soo well! That's so great! Its so great getting your email- they are the best
Alright now to the real part:

I am SO grateful to be here, I have felt the Lord bless me so much!! I haven't't felt homesick at all and have been staying really healthy! Which amazing especially in this hot humid weather walking all day! He has blessed me to become a stronger person and really make the most of every day. 

So this week was EXHAUSTING!! We go out working (tracting & preaching by the way) about 7 hours a day..and spend most of it walking, especially since we started with no investigators and no area book etc. So we have to work extra hard to find people. Luckily we have been able to get in contact with a lot of less actives and have taught several lessons a day, and got a lot of new investigators. Last Sunday night we got an ibd (investigator baptism date)!!! The one I talked about last week! His fam is Mormon and active and he was been taking the discussions for a while and is always very receptive. Jan 18! This is his fourth ibd (investigator baptism date)....BUT WE HAVE FAITH! hahaha this will be it. the hardest part is getting Brother J. to come to church...hopefully this week! The members are so willing to work with us and that's super helpful. This week we also found a golden family, five kids, super great, we LOVE them! We were able to teach them and hopefully next lesson set an ibd. 

Its the little things:

-One of the investigators, the elders have, works at a resort on the beach. um... can you say AH -MAZ-ING!!! SO BEAUTIFUL!!! We had dinner on the beach! ahhh it was too perfect haha so much fun. and we got ICE-CREAM. best day ever.

-We have a 3 zone Christmas conference things and we each have to do a little play/skit thing and ours is pretty legit. (i will be sure to send pics next week!)

-The spirit in Missionary work is amazing. Cool Story; Me and Sis S were walking down one of the streets in the city about 6:30 p.m. and the spirit literally told me, "you need to go talk to them." It was a dad and his two daughters..she was probably about 9 and so I kinda ignored it (classic story da ba?) and they were all the way across the street and way ahead of us, but then it came to me again and so then I was like, "kay Sister S, we gotta go talk to them." hahah and as soon as I said that, they crossed the street to my side and then we sped up a little and right when I was about to be all kamusta po kayo (how are you?)...he TURNS AROUND AND SAYS, "KAMUSTA PO KAYO!" We don't even know this guy! No one ever does that! hahah like wha?! and THEN ASKS US IF WE ARE MORMON!! he said he saw Mormon missionaries all the time and we were able to share a message and he said he would love for us to come visit his family and talk to them. so cool. too perfect. so we will probably go to his house this week.

-Even if everyone doesn't accept the gospel or want to listen to us, at least we are planting the seed. Which is still way encouraging.

-everyone here feeds us. all the time. coke like 5 times a day and dinner and lunch appts. i have tried more food here than i have my whole life!

-last night was the First Presidency Christmas devotional.  Did you all see that?! so good!! I loved it!! 

-able to see all our batch mates at the new missionary training this week and last night at devotional and that was WAY fun!!! so good to catch up with everyone. (and it had only been a week...haha) 

-on Sunday...so funny...a lady was giving a talk in church and this little chubby 6 year old walks on the stage and starts just walking back and fourth and the 1st counselor is just eyeing him, just watching him and then finally after his like 6th time across, the counselor leaps over to him and grabs him around the stomach and just carries him off....HAHAHAH i was DYING. it was like a lion watching his prey and then he pounced. and then he just took him off the stage. too funny. if you didn't laugh it might have been a 'you had to be there moment' idk...hahaha

-did i ever tell you sis j is in my house? we live with each other. So great!

-i love sister s. we seriously get a long so well! its great. we have a lot of fun together.


I am so incredibly grateful for my Savoir Jesus Christ. on Sunday, the teacher asked, 'Who is Christ to you?' He is my brother, He is my Savoir and my Redeemer. I am so grateful for his atoning sacrifice, because through Him I can return to live with my Heavenly Father again and be with my Family forever and I can think of no greater blessing. 

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Remember the true meaning of Christmas! And think about what you can give to Christ this year, I would like to challenge you all to think about giving a Book of Mormon to someone. You can't give them a greater gift. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel and testifies  of Christ. So this is the PERFECT time of year to give this book to someone. It is my greatest possession and I love it with all my heart. 

MAHAL KITA!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness i love you all SO much and can't wait to talk to you all!!!!!
love sis go

ps 
i promise my weeks are not boring they are packed with random great funny amazing experiences and i wish i could remember them all.

there are ducks, chickens and dogs and cats all over in the street and the other night there were a bunch of cats wandering around and I thought of the cat song "i just love them and i want them to be on a rainbow or in my bed..." lol and then i thought of devin, so tell her that lol
mom i saw a l p, and thought of you. 





Saturday, December 14, 2013

This Place is Amazing! --- Dec. 8, 2013

AHHHH PAMILYA!!!!

 There is so much to say, so little time!! (and I forgot my journal darn it!  I write in it what I need to remember to tell you, so sorry if i am more vague).


~Riding the bus to the mission office~


Let me start with WOW! This place is amazing! It is the coolest, most beautiful place I have ever been. 

Let me start with Thursday...

Thursday we hung out with our batch mates that all arrived together and had some meetings, interview with mission president, and we all learned to hand wash clothes in a bucket, mission rules, and then spent the afternoon at the beach. It was absolutely breathtaking. This was my most relaxing day I have had in the mission yet. Our mission pres and his wife are the kindest people. 

And now the moment you have been waiting for...Friday, or in other words, THE REAPING. Friday morning we were assigned our area and trainers. My new trainer is Sister Spjut, from Kentucky,  and we were assigned to the San Fernando D area. Its a brand new opening area, so we are basically starting from scratch, which has been difficult, but we have been making some progress. Sis S is a doll! I love her, I couldn't have gotten luckier! She is a great trainer and is so patient with me. She came from La Trinidad, so she is also new to the lowlands so we are figuring out things together!

 Friday night we had our first dinner appt. with the ward mission leader Bro D and another member whose name escapes me. So far the worst thing about the Philippines is the food is DELICIOUS. 

IMMA GET FAT. haha 

But really everyone here feeds you, we have had dinner AND lunch appts. every day so far. After dinner (on the roof, so legit) we played family home evening games, which was so fun! They were  all clapping games, etc. 

When the members invite the missionaries to eat here, they include all the missionaries in the ward. There are 8 missionaries in the ward so we all go to lunch and dinner appts. Normally they feed us pansuit, lumpia, RICE, hotdogs, ect...dad i ate pig. 

On Saturday at a lunch appt they had a full on pig head at the table and the sister offered me some and you can't say no, so I totes ate it....hahah super chewy. You have to finish your plate or its rude..hehe I haven't been hungry yet... 

Btw my district leader is Elder Matt C. Tell Heidi that, he is from Mapleton and played bball with Parker. How ironic! Super nice guy! 

We also met our bishop and his family. Favorite people ever wow, so nice, his wife is pregnant  and is due in like a week and she still had us all over to eat. We had spaghetti and it was sooooo  goooooddddd... the spaghetti here is different than U.S. Its super sweet....ya know on Elf when he pores syrup all over his pasta? Its like that. Really tho. Super sweet and sugary...hahaha 

So far my favorite days are Sundays. I feel a lot at home at church.  Its such a familiar feeling there. The gospel will always stay the same where ever you go, and that is so comforting to me. The members are so poor and so humble and their faith builds my testimony even more.

It is such a culture shock here, everything is different. (language not so much because guess what?! Everyone speaks English here! Especially if your a foreigner they want to speak English to you!!! its terrible! But I'm still practicing!) 

Want to know what it feels like to be a celebrity? Color your hair blonde and go the San Fernando. Totoo (true). My name here is Sister Barbie, that is what the members and missionaries call me, and the people on the streets too. Everyone.


~Riding in a Jeepney~

I love the transportation - we ride jeepneys, but most of the time, me and sis j just take a trike (look on Google Jeepney, trikes, and San Fernando...most likely what pops up will be exactly what they look like.) Its super cheap so its pretty easy. We walk for hours everyday doing "preach by the way" which I love. We currently have no PI's (potential investigators) because its a new area, so we are trying to find some now. Our first legit lesson was last night and the whole family is members except the father. The mother, Sister Fransico, is the Young Women's president and is the sweetest women I have met here. The father has taken many lessons before, but has many questions. He is really receptive tho. The hardest part is getting them to go to church..he has been once. During the whole lesson, C.J. their 4 year old daughter, (cutest girl ever) just stared at me and then finally came and sat by me and started touching my hair. Her mom said she has never seen blonde hair before.

The members here are SO willing to work with us!  It is great. We work a lot with Sister Liahona, but she is going on her mission in two weeks. :/ But she has helped us so much, shown us around the area and tells us where to go and not to go. 

(you can take this part out i don't say this to sound conceded it just is life) Everyone here just stares at us. Seriously. we are in (to me) an extremely poor area so the people here have never seen a foreigner. They all take pictures of us constantly, stare, point, call me barbie, and it seriously took a toll on me this week and dumb as that sounds. I'M TRYING TO BE NATIVE HERE!!! I AM TRYING TO BECOME A FILIPINO!!! hahah I just have to sing,  "I am a Child of God" or "I Am His Daughter" or something in my head. haha I'm a daughter of God. When the kids do it though, its cute and really funny. There will be lots of kids playing in the dirt and they will come up to me and some will ask for money and you just have to say wala (none). Its sad but you have to do it. (I have seen so many naked little children playing in the dirt you would not believe!!) Some just ask my name and ask where i am going and they all just tell me i'm beautiful. haha they literally will just follow us down the streets....i don't know where there nanay (mother) is.....hahah

Don't worry mom I have never been afraid tho, I am safe.

It is super humid here still! I am definitely not in Baguio! It is super hot and humid but I am already used to it. At night I don't sleep with blankets or anything and we always have fans going everywhere because there is no a.c. ..Its nice because in the morning we get to take a nice ice cold bucket shower, which is surprisingly refreshing. 

It really is great here. I have been humbled so much already. I love this gospel more than anything. I was called on to bear my testimony at the transfer meeting and in sacrament (Being blonde makes you get called on a lot...for everything...at every class and every meeting...) and normally I have time to ponder it before hand and think about what i'm going to say. It was amazing to me feel how much my testimony has grown as I spoke. I remember when I didn't want to go on a mission and I remember thinking, WHY do I have to do this? Heavenly Father, why are you asking me to do this?  But now, I can't imagine NOT being a missionary. This work is INCREDIBLE. I love this gospel more than anything. I love being a missionary more than anything. I love seeing how the gospel can change lives. ITS AWESOME. Ah I can't even describe. 

I LOVE YOU ALL MORE THAN ANYTHING!!!!! I hope you are all doing well.

Mom, don't worry, I am GREAT. This is the hardest thing I have ever done mentally, physically, and emotionally, but God truly is helping me and giving me strength. I know it and I feel it.

MAHAL KITA!!!
Love, sista go

dear dad,

i love you so much dad. thank you for that one dear elder you sent. i got it the day i got here and i have read it like every day for encouragement. it really helps me. the people here are so poor. literally living in little shacks with dirt floors. you would NOT believe it. like honestly it blows my mind but the members are so sweet, so kind. there are kids running around naked on the streets playing in dirt. like it breaks my heart. our apartment is nicer out of all the areas. its the nicest. still bucket showers etc. but we are lucky.


ps what day do you want me to skype you?

love you more than anything. mahal kita
love sis go

ps don't worry i am workin hard

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'M HERE!!! and I LOVE IT HERE!

Ello ello ello!! I'm HERE!!!





Oh my goodness, after two days of traveling we finally have made it. And can I please start with...

 I LOVE IT HERE.

I have slept approx 5 hours the past three days, and I'm feelin great. This is the most beautiful place I have ever been too. I cannot even put it in words. This place is gorgeous. It was amazing, the second we landed I just loved it, I legitimately love it here. Everything about it. 

Our flight to Manila was about 13 hours and I sat by Sis J and Elder Marantano and we all just talked etc. then we landed in Japan and for a couple hours (the airport there is the nicest cleanest one I have ever been too, its so cool) and then we kept heading to Manila and that flight was about 9 hours? We landed and took a van to the Manila hotel we got there about 2 a.m. in the morning, where we were able to shower, eat (get this , at a Chinese restaurant. My first meal in the Philippines is Chinese) and then we drove the rest of the way to Baguio, about 7 hours, in a bus with all the other missionaries. Can I just say, THE DRIVING HERE IS INSANE!!!!!!!! There are no rules here like for reals, everyone drives like crazies!!!!!!!! you just weave and right before you get in a crash you honk and somehow they just swerve through. It was so fun! hahaha So we made it to the mission house like an hour ago. 

Our mission president and his wife ARE THE SWEETEST. Just the nicest, greatest people. They made sure I have everything I need and I just had my interview with him. He told me to tell you he is so grateful I am here. 

I am so grateful I am here. I love it.

I have to go now I only had ten minutes, but Mahal Kita!!! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!

xoxoxo
Sis go

ps he asked me if i wanted a native or american comp...uh how cool is that?! I said whatever he thought was best, and then he said native and i said YES I WOULD LOVE THAT!
So we are here till Friday and then its transfers and i will meet my new comp. In the meantime me and sis j will enjoy this gorgeous place and the beach together. 

pss I get 2 45 min Skype calls for Christmas between the 9th-28th 
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

psss I already got asked if someone can touch my hair...lol and got called barbie twice....lol

P-Day is a Holiday here!

PAMILYA KO!!


P-day is a holiday here. It truly is. You see people in regular clothes and all the sudden you can't help but say "happy p-day". The temple was closed today so we didn't get to go through but our district still went on a temple walk and met up with our teacher Brother Cohen. And the weather today was BEAUTIFUL! OK, now to my week...



First off, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGES! OH MY GOODNESS THEY WERE HEAVEN. I seriously appreciated it SO much!! I LOVE IT. Best part of my week. I now have about two thousand Hersey kisses...probably enough to last me my whole mission so thank you!!! (Oh, and my sweet sweet Jessie, those cuties were the best thing I ever tasted in my life. I literally savor them. and thank you so much for bringing my Cafe Rio! It was kinda dumb tho cuz all I got was a slip saying someone dropped off Cafe Rio and the MTC threw it away, cuz apparently its against policy...so I never got to eat it...but its the thought that counted! I imagine it tasted like the best thing of my life!) I can't wait for airport food. ah.

What is your all's home numbas?! I only remember the house phone so I guess I will just start there. I will probably be able to call twice, at Detroit and at Salt Lake...and I'm guessing they will let us email or call or something once we get to the ppines. I CAN'T WAIT TO TALK TO YOU ALL!!!! (well ...i guess who ever is home...so mom you lucked out, you will for sure talk to me. *happy dance*) We leave the MTC at 3:30 a.m. in the morning! Good thing I still have one more DC!  

AHHH I CAN'T WAIT TO GET THERE ALREADY. I'm so stoked. TWO MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!! 


Sister J, Brother Cohen, Brookee

My teacher Brother Cohen gave me the best advice a couple days ago. After our lesson with "Kenneth" (bro c) we asked what is the best advice about the Philippines he could give us. He was just saying to totally, fully embrace the culture and love the people and you will love your mission so much more. He said to just try everything, take it all in, and have no regrets. Most importantly though, he told us to teach with power. He said to make sure the people feel your love for them and bear testimony so that they know you know its true.  I loved that!
Sister J, Brother T , Brookee
                   

 Yesterday we had in field orientation...and it was all. day. long. literally. like so long....... But one cool story, one of the teachers said he served in Korea and he said before his mission he didn't want to go to an Asian country at all, it was the last place he wanted to go. One of the main reasons being, that he was the pickiest eater ever. He said he prayed every morning and night to learn to love the food and then finally one day...it happened. He said that was the first biggest miracle he ever experienced on his mission. You betta believe I started praying in that moment and every prayer since to like the food. lol. I have faith.



Thursday was turkey day! 
and it started with a devotional by Elder Russel M. Nelson and his wife. They both gave great talks, mostly about converts and how to be the best missionaries possible. Afterwards we had lunch (turkey, potatoes, stuffing, rolls) and so I ate the roll and potatoes hahah it wasn't that bad tho. 







~Sister J and Brookee~

After that we had a huge service project that was SO cool! It was pretty much an assembly line to package food for starving children..in total  all the missionaries made 350,000 meals for kids. How cool is that?! I loved it! 

Afterwards we had a district sack dinner. That night all the missionaries watched Ephraim s Rescue, which was totally a good movie. Kinda cheesy, but I liked it..then again I have a love for pioneer movies and such. 

~Brook's district~

Overall, it was a pretty great week! So bittersweet! I have loved being here at the MTC and building my own "spiritual reservoir", I know I can pull from when times get hard. 

In Relief Society last week, one of the sisters that spoke said, "Its one thing to talk or hear about a mission, but its another to experience one". This week I have been so incredibly grateful for this opportunity to serve and SO thankful that I chose to do this. I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father. In just the past six weeks, I feel like my testimony has never grown stronger. I know Heavenly Father is aware of all of us individually. I love my Savior. This gospel is awesome. Like I love it so much. Ah. totoo po ang simbahan. the church is true.

I LOVE YOU ALL TO THE MOON AND BACK! work harder, sleep less, remember the alimo! (Trust me dad, I have never worked harder or slept less ever ;) So I remember it on the daily.)

MAHAL KITA!!!

Love, sista goooooooo

P.S. The primary sent all those Thanksgiving and Christmas cards. like holy cute. how sweet. and Conner, you cracked me up little man. I totes loled!

P.S.S. Where did Tanner and Conner go? Why haven't I heard from them? Do I sound needy? I have been told I'm needy. Not here though.

psss.. I decided this morning to try to color my hair. Surprise it worked. Surprise... the entire time all I could think about for an hour and a half was, "Where is Erin?  I wish Erin was here. dang this was a lot easier with Erin.  I wonder what Erin is doing right now?  I bet Erin would do this for me. This was a lot easier with that girl.  I bet she wouldn't even mind flying down here."

MAHAL KITA

~Sister J, Brookee, and roommates~