Monday, November 5, 2012

Sister Dabon


First off Speen como esta! So excited for your mission call to fight in the drug war! Wow on Mexico! That is so neat!!!! feb 20? I had to wait 4 months too.... its rough having to wait but hang in there because it goes fast and the mission goes even faster! What was your first reaction when you read Mexico? I knew you would go foreign and the little kids are going to love you so much because you are great with kids. Isn’t that the craziest feeling holding the call letter in your hands before you open it and knowing your whole life will be affected by what that line says?

That is cool you are in the same mission as Carson! I am sure you guys will see each other. That would be neat if you were comps at one point. But in all honesty - pray for a native. It helps with the language, especially the accent, even though it is challenging. I am so stoked for you! The mission is the best! I hope you and Meg are in the MTC together!  We will be able to converse in espanol because Tagalog is really similar! Okay, actually only some of the numbers (that are only used for telling time) and the days of the week are similar. But, still we can count together! It will be great. So proud of you and can’t wait for Meg to get her call this week! Such exciting news all around.

Also I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Dabon and she is from Negros, down south close to Cebu. This is her last transfer, I am at the beginning and she is at the end. I will be in Ligao for Christmas. I love her so much she is already my best friend!!!  She goes home December 13  and I will stay in this area for one more transfer at least. I am glad to spend Christmas surrounded by people I love and already know instead of being in a whole new place with all new faces.

She is great though and we get a long really well. She reminds me a lot of Bug (Cate); really calm and down to earth but silly and loves to laugh and is a hard worker. Because I have been the missionary longest in the area, I have to decide who we teach and where we go, because I know the people. It is exhausting! But my Tagalog is really going to improve this transfer, I can already tell: 1- because Sister Dabon really only speaks to me in Tagalog and 2-because I am starting all the lessons. I suddenly have a soft spot in my heart for bishops and how they must worry over their wards. I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday thinking of all the people that were not there and worrying about them and why they were not in church.

We laugh and laugh all the time. I have pretty much kissed English good bye though. I am going to learn sooooo much this transfer - it is already pushing me a ton. I am very happy to be working with her!

Sister Cabanag was great and she taught me a lot about being a missionary. Because I am now the senior in the area, I have to lead every lesson and plan where we are going and what we are teaching and so on..... it is so stressful but it makes me want to learn the language a lot faster. Sister Dabon understands English and actually speaks pretty well but she just talks to me in Tagalog which is good..... we have only been together since Tuesday and I have learned a ton! It is exhausting though haha! Speen buckle up my man.

This week we were walking through this jungle area on our way to do a FHE and a group of little girls lined up waiting for us. When we got to them they gave me a bundle of flowers. I will send the pic. It is so funny. I forget that I am so different!

Well hope everyone had an exciting Halloween, loved the pics. Owen you made a tough looking firefighter. Speen, mom sent me the superman picture from Halloween. I can’t believe you fit into that thing! Where did you go in that?

We had to be in by six pm on Wednesday and Thursday this week because of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. There were hordes of people heading to the cemetery with flowers and candles and of course snacks galore! The curfew was a bummer because it cut so much time out of our teaching but we used it for studying instead which is always needed. I have taken it upon myself to read the Book of Mormon is Tagalog. It is going to possibly take me until the end of my mission because about every three verses I have to look up the words in my dictionary or my English scriptures. But these night time hours were great time to work on my new goal. A member invited us to dinner this week and she served sticky rice. Rice, good – add the sticky and you have a Fear Factor worthy snack. It is in fact very sticky and she had such an abundant amount of stickyness that I had to drink a lot of Tang to help with the swallowing.

We had a baptism on Saturday for a young 11 year old boy. The baptism was scheduled to start at one pm and was combined with the neighboring branch, who was in charge of filling up the font. Sister Dabon and I arrived at the chapel a little after 12:30 and to my horror there was 1 foot of water in the font. There had been a complication and without anyone knowing the font had stopped filing and was not working. We frantically tried to fix the font over the next hour and a half to no avail. Finally we decided to ask our Branch President if we could have the baptism in a near by river. At first he was hesitant but then he agreed and we all piled in his tricey and went to the river. I had been praying and so stressed for the past hour and a half but we found a calm beautiful spot of land in the middle of the rice fields. It turned out better than at the church in the font. I learned a valuable lesson about trusting in the Lord with all my heart. He provides a way.

Saturday was a day of miracles. I wanted to prance through the streets singing “wonder of wonder, miracles miracles.” I don’t know if fiddler on the roof ever came to the Philippines though so I refrained.

The language is still a struggle. It so frustrating not knowing what people are saying to me. There are glimpses of time, however, that I know exactly what to say and I know that these tender mercies are from on high. We came out of a lesson on Saturday with a part member family and I thought about how I had known what to say during the lesson. But as soon as the lesson was over, the words became difficult again. Like I said, glimpses of time, moments of mercy that I am reminded just whose errand I am on and I feel so lucky to do His work. There are miracles each and every day.

You asked if I am eating the meat. I eat a little meat here and there, but try to just stick to veggies. They fry EVERYTHING here. So, Kentucky Fried Chicken would make a killing. I am not the biggest fan of KFC, so hence the veggie kick. We are discouraged from eating dog because the dogs are really really mangy here with fleas and nasty looking bodies. A delicacy here is pigs blood which sister D is determined to make me eat before the transfer ends. We will see how that goes.
Has the storm that hit the east coast affected the elections at all? Do they have power/running water in NYC? A lot of the members have been asking me if my family is okay.  They don’t realize that the U.S. is quite large and my fam is not close to NYC.

Well good luck this week Meg! I can’t wait for you to hold that mysterious envelope in your hands. STOKED for Speen! MWAH!!!! keep on keepin on and tell owey and the bug hi.  I love you all. As always thank you for the love and support. You are in my prayers.

Enjoy the snow, I am trying not to get heat stroke and sweat to death.

Love from the Pines,

Sister Meish

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