Monday, December 2, 2013

It is Christmas Time!

Hello family! Happy Thanksgiving!!! And even happier December! It is now Christmas time. Okay, honestly it has been Christmas here since September but now it feels close. For our Thanksgiving dinner... we ate rice! 
We have been on the go this week. You know things have changed when you set your alarm clock for 6:30 a.m. and are excited because that counts as sleeping in. On Tuesday we were off to the area  farthest out in the region we cover for exchanges. Then on Wednesday we went straight to the next exchange. Our last exchange for the week was on a Saturday. Nearly all of the sisters we work with are training and opening areas so they need a lot of help with increasing their teaching pool. A lot of what we did this week was tracting and finding and O.Y.M.-ing (opening your mouth and talking to people). We do this every where we go. 

On Saturday I was working with a darling sister from Canada.  She had been in the Philippines for exactly 8 days and is still adjusting through that tough transition mode we all go through during the first month.  That is where everything seems like a blur and you don’t know where you are going or what anyone is saying. Those are good memories - mostly good because now they are memories and not my life every day today. The rain had been pouring that entire day with no signs of letting up.  We grabbed our umbrellas and out we went to try to find new investigators for them to teach. We were able to find a few people that let us in but for most of the day we walked through flooded streets talking to anyone that walked by us. Most of the responses we get when people don’t want to talk to us are: "I’m never home, I’m always busy. Sorry." "I already have my religion." "We all worship the same God anyway, it’s just different paths we do our worshiping." 

Neither of us really knew the area or where we were going so we just kept walking and talking. We walked past a man pulling a tarp over the store outside his home, he was looking at us, probably wondering why to white girls were walking back and forth in the pouring rain. We stopped and introduced ourselves. His daughter peeked out from under the tarp and then his wife as well. They invited us in and offered us coffee. We said "no thanks" so they brought us orange soda instead.  We taught about the Restoration of the gospel. The father had a lot of really good questions.  There are 2 types of investigator questions: debate questions and sincere questions. This man had sincere questions. It was one of those experiences that I could feel the Holy Ghost testify to me that what I was saying was true... it gave me the courage to not back down but bare my testimony boldly.  They were kind. They were really interested in discussing our beliefs about family. I was happy to reassure them how important families are. We closed and were getting ready to go when I realized I forgot to invite them to church (rookie move - I know); so we told them were it was and that everyone is invited. The sisters told us last night that this family of three came to church.

I know that this is God’s work and that he knows us all. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that God wants to use us to help others. It’s inspiring to know that somewhere in us is the power to do good things and to make a difference. 

I have come to realize that somewhere inside us we want there to be something greater than us - because if it’s just us and our lives here on earth - then there is only so far we can go. There is only so much that we can do.  But if there is something greater than us then the possibilities are endless.  Over the last eighteen months I have seen God's hand in my life and in the lives of those I have come to love.  I know that he can make our lives meaningful and give us purpose.

I turned a small 5 sentimo (or a filipino 5 cents) into my own widows mite so that
I will always remember to give all I have to the Lord so he can make me better. 

One way to spot new foreign missionaries is that all of their stuff is in plastic baggies. Haha - soon they will realize that Pinoy rain is stronger than ziplock and their stuff will get wet anyway. Then the plastic baggies go towards hiding food from ants.
I had to go get a lung X-ray today to make sure I don’t bring home any deadly diseases.  They told me I am disease free and will be allowed back into the U.S.

We are in Naga today and tomorrow and then back on the road for exchanges. Well, I love you all! Have a wonderful week.

Love from the pines,

Sister Meish

My Friends 

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