How blessed I feel to always be able to start my emails with missionary congratulations! Adelide is going to
!!! Ah. How neat. What an
incredible thing that our family blood line has served the lord in Sweden
generation after generation. It reminds me that God really does watch over us
and our bloodlines, he is aware of us as families and as individuals. Congrats
Addie, I am thrilled for you! Sweden
My breaking news is that I ate balut. Yes, balut is the infamous Filipino half grown chicken embryo. No, I have no idea why I was talked into eating it. It was alright…. Essentially it I half a hard boiled egg and half a baby chick: beak, head, feet, feather – the whole shebang. I didn’t throw up which as a miracle, it wasn’t bad tasting just mostly bad feeling. The conversation leading up to my eating the said chicken embryo went like this:
v Me: Which part do i eat
v Sis D: The Whole thing, put a little vinegar and salt
v (the vinegar came out too fast and to me balut tastes like vinegar)
v Me: what is that string
v Sis D: the feathers, don’t look at it just eat it
v Me: chew, chew, chew, swallow. Why do people eat this?
It has been conquered, never to be attempted again. In a way this was my right of passage as a Filipina, it just had to be done.
In all honestly there are moments that I feel I might just die from stress. I am focusing this week on just rolling with the punches and accepting that I cannot control everything and everyone. Free agency is a wonderful thing but it also breaks your heart. We have been trying to stretch out of our already stretched comfort zones and find new individuals to teach (which includes new investigators as well as new less and inactive members.) This goal resulted in a lot of walking, a lot of hiding people and two very distraught missionaries. I must say I am so grateful that my mission is not full on tracting all the time. It is rough on your heart. Props to…. Well pretty much all the other missionaries in the world. One morning we were focusing specifically on finding inactive members and person after person ran away or hid behind closed doors. Sister Dabon and I looked at each other forced a smiled and said, well it’s a good thing the church is still true. I think the reason it is so difficult is that we know what they are throwing away. You want more than anything for people to feel and know what you know because of the gospel. I am learning that we are not always the harvesters, maybe sometimes we have to plant the seeds and hope that they grow, regardless of how slowly.
I gave these kids CTR Rings
About a month and a half ago one of the women we had been teaching had to move away. She had been flourishing in the gospel and was sucking up all the information we would give her. She could see the light. She is a young mother of two and her husband is inactive. When she had to move I was devastated. The area she lives in is far away from the missionaries and I knew a great deal of effort would have to be put in on her part in order to continue lessons. When I got news that she had to go I sat on my bed and cried. Today I got word that this wonderful young mother has a baptismal date set for December 8. I once again sat on my bed and cried. The light of the gospel is beautiful and pure. I am realizing that the gospel is true whether or not people are willing to see with spiritual eyes. There are days that my tears come from frustration, confusion, sadness and anger. But there are rich moments that my tears come from the tenderness of seeing a father kneel in prayer with his two sons, an entire family fill a row at church, and a women fight to find the light of the gospel no matter where she lives in the world. There are bad days, yes. But President Bliesner reminds us to just enjoy doing the lords work regardless of outcomes. There is goodness and joy to be found everywhere.
One of the barangays (neighborhoods) we visit is on the other side of a large river. We travel to this barangay via a small bamboo boat or a bridge. The bridge is currently under construction and the make shift bridge consists of three long coconut tree trunk roped together. Watching tough Nanays and grandmothers master the bridge was quite the sight. As we were waiting for our turn to cross I was watching 15 small Filipino men tie a rope to the old bridge, join together and heave back and forth. With the jungle back drop and these 15 tiny men tugging in perfect synchronized motion I felt as if I was on a ride at Disneyland and laughed to myself thinking; “I love living in the
Life is a struggle but it is a lot better with the gospel. That is what I have learned the most on my mission. I have also recognized the magnitude of the part of our baptismal covenant that says we are to "bear one another’s burdens." Sometime other's burdens feel so very heavy. But people are what gives life flavor.
I can’t believe it is already middle of November. My 6 month mark is in 2 weeks and I get to Skype your pretty faces a month from Sunday! I remember when I first got to the field, when the home sickness was bad and December felt so far away. But now it is right around the corner.
Well, I love you all I hope that all is well back in SLC. I hope you all start feeling better and stay healthy, especially you two heading to the MTC soon – you will need your immune systems as strong as possible for that place. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I told sister Dabon I would cook her
Thursday, it may turn into a Denny’s grand slam breakfast due to our limited
cooking supplies. Turkey
Thanks for your love and support I pray for you every day! Salamat po para sa lahat. Yung mga panalangin ninyo ay sobrang naramdaman ko. Mahal ko kayo talaga.
Love from the Pines,