Monday, April 1, 2013

Holy Week


Hi family. So..... I have been really, really sick this week. They think I drank something in the water.  I can’t keep anything down and I have lost another 10 lbs. President said they are going to send me to Manila for hospital work if it doesn’t get better in the next few days.


April fooooollllls~!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha just kidding. I am doing great - we had such a good week.

We had interviews with President this week which was great.  We get 15 American sisters here in three weeks!! In my interview, we discussed the miracles that I have witnessed over the last 6 weeks.  

I can’t believe that Speen leaves today! So his visa came through? How exciting that you get to talk to him. It was great for me to be able to talk on the phone before heading out to the craziest adventure ever.  I just read their last letters. I am so proud of them. My heart aches for them as well because the first 2 weeks are the hardest part of the mission. But they will do so great. Have you heard from Meg yet? Did Adelide get off okay?

Happy Easter! Like all holidays, Easter took on a more significant meaning to me this year because there were no plastic eggs, no candy but we taught about the atonement and we taught about the plan of salvation that God has given to us. This easter has taken on deeper significance to me as I have been able to tell a 27 year old boy that he has the chance to see his father again. This gospel is perfect and wonderful and I am grateful for it in every way.
This week was Holy Week -The Philippines is a Christian country, the majority of the population is Catholic – the “easter” celebrations were a little different than our traditional rabbit and eggs. Actually there was very little celebration on Sunday but Good Friday is the big holiday. Goa was a ghost town; everything was closed down. A lot of people were dressed in black and I guess there is a tradition that no water spouts are to be used on Good Friday, especially close to 3pm because that is the time Christ died. On Friday night there were luminaries everywhere and there was a contest to see who could construct the most elaborate shrine for Christ. There were some pretty impressive models - except for the fact that we know we should not worship false idols. On Friday Morning Sister Abarabar and I were walking in the town Centro and heard extremely loud music. It was a procession reenacting Christ’s walk to Calvary. There was a man portraying Christ and carrying a cross and the where whipping him and shouting at him. The feeling was dark and disturbing. It is interesting that the focus is on the death of Christ when we are so grateful that he overcame death for us all. Anyway it was a sight to see.

I worked as a farmer this week. Our landlady is quite fond of us and has adopted us as her grandchildren. She has ownership of rice fields so on Saturday we went and worked in her rice fields and harvested rice. It was so fun – the enjoyment however was probably due to the fact that we only worked for 1 hour. I have gained such great respect for these bikolano people who work so hard in the heat of the day. The workers around us attempted to teach us the correct technique while also reminding us repeatedly to not cut our hands off. They would yell “kamay mo, kamay mo!” or “your hand, your hand,” each time we took a swing with our sickle and then would just laugh at our poor technique. I was thinking how these workers labor diligently during every step of the work - the planting and the harvesting. If the diligence only lasted through the planting their efforts would be wasted and nothing would be harvested. These farmers place the seeds in perfectly straight rows one at a time throughout miles of fields. Then when the crop is golden brown they go through the rows and rows harvesting each piece. The process is whole and complete. I read in a talk a while back the advice to “become a whole person.” I think like these rice fields we have to have diligence in each phase of our lives. As we take great care to place each seed perfectly in place, giving our attention to the things that matter most we are able to harvest a wonderful crop.

Elder Holland said Don’t you quit.  You keep walking. You keep trying.  There is help and happiness ahead.  Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven.  But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

I know that when the blazing sun beats down on those rice workers they keep working and the blessings of the harvest do come. When the blazing sun beats down on us in the trials of our lives I am so grateful to know that ultimately because of the gospel we can truly all become whole and perfect even as our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a glorious blessing that is!

It seems that the small instances in my life contribute little by little to making me more whole as a person. Jesril passed the Sacrament yesterday in church.  Sister Abrabar and I laughed and laughed as we tried to chase a large vicious bee out of our small bedroom (we have both had to work at our relationship but it is in a very good place now). My little baby brothers missionary letters sound like they come from a mature adult.  I feel the spirit so strong as I sit alone at my termite eaten study table and read the Living Christ. Each day I wake up and do sit ups on a small yellow yoga mat and am grateful for a healthy, strong body.  Crisanto bore his testimony last night to another investigator; promising that his confusion went away when he prayed for understanding.  These are some snippets from my “Holy Week” that have helped make me a little more whole.  I hope all is going well for you! I hope Meg survived the first week in the field! I know she is probably killing it.  Tell them both to go get em.

I received the book from Steve this week with the stories of our ancestors. I have loved reading them (like speen) before I go to bed. It makes me so proud of my heritage and their stories give me strength and increase my faith.

Mahal na Mahal ko kayo!

Sister Meish




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