It's your favorite Filipina missionary again! The weeks are really just flying by! the days seem so long, but the weeks fly by. It makes no sense. haha
To start off, I'd like to share some small lessons I learned this week :)
-There is nothing like a freezing cold bucket shower after a long hot day of working :)
-When taking said bucket shower, check to make sure there are no dead spiders floating in the water or you may end up with them on you :P
-If you're sitting in a member's cardboard house and they hand you a half of a coconut with a spoon, you eat it, of course!
-If your investigator asks you why your shirt is drenched and it's from all your sweating, tell them that your companion poured water on you ;)
-A three hour weekly planning session is a lot more sweaty when the power is out and you have no fans!
-Singing hymns while walking at night keeps the drunks and dogs away and the Spirit close.
Our most exciting news is the baptism of our investigator, Rachel, this coming Saturday! We are so so happy! They only way she can be baptized is if she has the support of her parents, so we've had to reactivate her less-active mother. It's so happy for the two of them! The rest of the family isn't members, but we're glad they have each other. Rachel is so sweet and happy. I just love her! I'll send pictures of her and us next week :)
We had some rough days this week where we just got punt after punt after punt. It wasn't our fault; our investigators were just not home. It was pretty discouraging and frustrating for me, but I know Heavenly Father is trying to teach me to be patient, to rely on Him and His timing, not my own strength or my own efforts. Even though it's kind of against the culture here, Sister G and I are going to try to work on giving specific appointments so we can avoid this problem in the future :)
In case anyone is interested here is a quick rundown of a typical day here: Wake up at 6:30, pray, exercise on the porch or tryke to the Pangasinan state U track to run, bucket shower (!), and get ready for the day. Begin studies at 8:00, personal for one hour, companion for two hours (because of my 12 week training program), and then language study for one hour. Prepare lunch and eat until 1:30. Sister Gallego and Sister Flores are aaamazing cooks, so we eat well here! From 1:30 to 9:00 we work!! We walk and walk and walk and talk to people and teach and meet people and walk some more. It's great! 9:00 plan for the next day and review the day. 9:30 update the area book, write in journal, EAT SNACKS :) 10:30 BED :)
The walk home at the end of the night (about two miles) feels like six, but singing hymns and talking to my dear wonderful Sister Gallego and practicing my Tagalog makes the time pass a little faster :)
The schedule varies, on Tuesdays we go to Aguilar for district meeting, on Thursdays we have a 3 hour weekly planning session, Sunday of course we have church and Monday is P-day!
Life here is good, so good. Missionary work is hard and there is plenty of opposition, but the good moments definitely outnumber the hard ones :)
I was reading about adversity this week and trying to understand why there is so much adversity in our lives. It seems sometimes that at the times we or our investigators are trying our best to do what's right, the adversity is the strongest. I read a quote by Jeffrey R Holland that talked about how when we experience adversity we should be grateful. The Savior experienced the most adversity of anyone that has ever lived when he performed the Atonement and when we experience trials we should be grateful because we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the best life this world has ever known. We should be grateful to experience and appreciate a little, very little, bit of what he experienced for us. I am so grateful for my Savior and for His atoning sacrifice for me. He Lives! I am so grateful to be a missionary and to be able to share this message with my brothers and sisters! :)
Have a great week!
-Sister Gus :)