Kumusta po kayo! Sobrang maiint dito! Grabi naman pero okay lang kasi mahal ko talaga and pilipinas! Hi fam! It has been another great week full of the ups and downs of mission life. I know that it was conference weekend for you all and I hope it was wonderful. We get to watch the broadcast’s this coming weekend and I am anticipating it very much. Conference is wonderful always but on the mission it is an extra dose of specia. It is over the last 10 months that I have truly gained a testimony of how significant it is that we have a living prophet on the earth today. How grateful I am that I was not born during the darkness and confusion the world faced prior to the Restoration. I thank God for a living prophet on the earth today.
We are in Naga City today trying to help one of our investigators get married. We spent the morning waiting in the filipino version of the dmv(but worse) trying to get a marriage license. I also needed new shoes ALREADY! Mine have holes; but like dad said last week.... I think God prefers worn out shoes on missionaries. We just wear rubber shoes here because it rains so much and we are mostly walking on muddy dirt roads. The biggest size they have is (thank goodness) perfect for me. It is so hot here; I cannot believe it. This is my first summer in the pines and oh man - the heat is hot.
Because of the heat, we have language study each day after lunch to take a small break from. I sit on our small couch made of bamboo with the electric fan exactly 12 inches away from my face, reading Tagalog out loud and writing and rewriting vocab words to practice. During my afternoon cram session there is a chorus of tinkeling bells out side my window. These bells are from the ice candy sellers. Ice candy is essentially a homemade otter pop. These sellers walk around the streets of Goa selling candy to overheated people. It is a sound that I want to remember.
Crisanto was called into the Young Men’s presidency yesterday. For the first time he bore his testimony during sacrament meeting yesterday and once again got teary eyed. He spoke about how some of his friends tease him now for not drinking and for going to church every Sunday but that he doesn’t mind because he knows this is the truth. I am so proud of Crisanto. He is such a strong person with unflinching faith. I was reminded yesterday as Crisanto stood and received his first calling and then bore his first testimony of my own conversion, the many “first”moments that have year after year added to my conversion. These moments are seemingly small but quite significant; little things that over time have made me into.... me. It has been such a special experience to watch these “first” experiences unroll for brother cris.
I have been studying in Helaman 5 this week and the word REMEMBER stuck out significantly to me. What we chose to remember and prioritize in our lives shapes us as individuals. Frequently we hear from our less actives and investigators that they were going to pray or go to church but they were busy. It occurred to me this week that in order to truly remember our savior properly we have to consciously and consistently prioritize Him and His gospel. I am grateful for this small chunk of time in my life that I have to focus entirely on the savior and his work. It is truly a blessing to be uplifted by these people and their wonderful courage and faith.The kids here are my favorite. It is summer vacation right now and the blue sky is scattered with kites made out of sticks and plastic grocery bags tied to tin cans. All of the children run through the streets with their kites trailing behind. They are the kite runners of the Philippines.
I met one of the new American sisters that just came 4 weeks ago and she knows Nathaniel. She said to tell him hi. Her name is sister Horst! She is so cute and it was so fun to laugh about the learning curve of the first few weeks in the field. I loved being able to relate to everything she is going through right now; having a comp from a different culture and just not having a clue what is going on ever.Well I love you all – I hope Meg and Speen are doing great. You are in my prayers! Owey, stop growing! Bug – I have a picture of our family in my scriptures and all the elders want to date you. Also some of the kids went through my picture album trying to guess of the 2 of us which one was me haha! Love ya twin.
Love from the Pines,