Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good Week For Teaching - Bad Week for Stomach

Sept 10

Hello hello!

Well I reached my one month in the field and three month on the mission. Crazy! Time just keeps moving forward.  Time is something I wish I had more of mostdays because there is so much to get done. The last three days have been pretty rough because the inevitable happened and I got sick.  I kind of assumed it was only a matter of time so I guess better now than later and just get it over with.  But on Friday night we had a dinner apt at a member’s house and afterwards my stomach was feeling kind of off.  I woke up that night with a fever and have been fighting that and stomach issues since.  I think being sick on a mission is the worst because 1) when you are sick you just want your mom to take care of you and 2) it is super frustrating knowing how much you need and want to get done but cannot because you have to lie in  bed and throw up.  But I am still alive and kicking and hopefully my body will bounce back to normal in the next few days.  Onward ever onward right?

We had a great week this week though, before my body decided to swan dive into the ground.  We had a day full of miracles.  We gave one of our very progressing investigators a Book of Mormon and she was so excited.  Her whole face lit up and she told us that she has been borrowing one because she really wanted to start reading it and as thrilled to now have her own.  Golden! That is music to any missionary’s ears. Then we visited a less active family and discovered three of their siblings ages 13, 12 and 9 have not been baptized yet so we started teaching them lesson one.  Whilst we were teaching them a woman was hovering in the back ground and as we started to get up and leave she snatched the restoration pamphlet from one of the little boys and started reading it.  Sister Cabanag and I looked at each other and then ran over to her with big smiles on our faces.  Apparently she had started talking with the missionaries in Manila many years ago but contact stopped when she moved hereto Bicol.  So we told her we would come visit her this coming week and she is very excited.  And miracle number 4 was that we had 105 people attend sacrament meeting on Sunday! This is huge for us.  Since I have been here the highest it hasbeen is 84 so 105 was a spectacular increase. It is all because of the members willingness to get involved in missionary work.  We had a “half day mission” for our branch on Saturday.  It was from 1 to 5 and all the members split up into groups and went and visitedand taught less active families in our branch.  We were really excited about this and then I got sick and was confined to my bed all day so we couldn’t go.  I was so devastated and frustrated.  The members did great at organizing themselves and we were proud that so many showed up and they didn’t even need us – they told us they want to do it once a month from now on. 

We have been meeting with a less active family this week they are a young couple, both teachers and have two small children.  The father was baptized years ago, when he was a little boy but has been inactive for 10 years and 2 weeks ago came back to church for the first time.  The mom was baptized in 2009 and then due to his inactivity and persecution from her family fell away.  She is always so nice to us and loves when we come to visit her but she will not come back to church.  When we teach her you can just tell her heart is closed – she mostly focuses on her little boy and not our message.  We were talking about how the gospel blesses families and how in order to be able to live with our families forever we have to follow God’s commandments.  My heart sank into my stomach as we sat there talking with her and she would not have ‘earsto hear.’  She was holding her son on herlap and hugging him, we were telling her she could have him forever and heronly reply was “yeah, sisters but I just can’t give up coffee yet because it’s what I like and am used to. So I am just not ready.” I wanted to shake her or something.  It really has nothing to do with coffee – she doesn’t want to change her heart. We have been talking in our mission about the need we all have to change more than our behavior to become consecrated missionaries we have to change our nature.  I think this applies to everyone though notjust missionaries. In order to be following God’s path and not our own, turning away from the natural man, we must change more than just change our behavior we must change our hearts.  I don’t think it would be that big of a deal if this woman kept drinking coffee but started coming to church, coffee isn’t the point.  If she allowed for the spirit to touch her heart then it would begin to change her nature and she would lose the desire to drink coffee for want of aligning herself with God.  Her husband told us he asks her to pray with him every night and she just tells him she is too distracted to feel the spirit.   It kills me every time we visit them because she is so closed off to the greatest gift she could ever have, eternal life with her family.  Hopefully she will soften with time. 

No typhoons yet, just lots and lots of rain but I am starting to get used to the constant wet feeling whether from rain or sweat. The rice fields are all starting to turn yellow, meaning it’s almost harvest time. We had a district activity and traveled to a members house at the base of the Myon.  It was really lush with trees and there were clear streams everywhere.  I am sure I would have enjoyed it more if I were not sick but it was still fun to see a different area. 

I am glad you were finally notified that I made it here safe and sound.  That picture is so nasty! We had just gotten off the plane and were jet lagged and tired but I guess it is a pretty good representation of how I felt haha. Dad next time there is an earth quake I will get under something - I promise.  The MP3 player works great thanks so much! I work out to the talks every day and the music is perfect. I am excited to listen to all the Christmas music.  Mom that is fun you got to help Gary through LOTOJA and I loved your race of life analogy.  He is an inspiring person and one who defines what it means to push yourself physically andmentally. As far as the b-day stuff...chocolate is always welcome but I Know it is super expensive to send so no worries you just sent me fiber one which I can't wait to get - once I am able to eat again it will be delish. 

Well that’s it for now! Thanks as always for your love and support it means so much.  I love being here and love being able to talk about the gospel all day every day…. Just wish Icould articulate it a little better in Tagalog. But our gospel is founded on simple truths right? One day it will come. I miss you and love you and pray for you every day. 

Sister Meish 

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