August 12, 2013

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #2

Dearest Family,

hello hello! so you are probably enjoying a really nice sunday dinner right now, or watching a movie together. however, i am sitting at an internet cafe in downtown camiling surrounded by music, and a language that i still cannot understand. haha 

this week has been so hot. i literally feel like i am living in sweat when we are out. but then today, it began to pour rain. it has been raining so hard since about two this morning! our area has been put on typhoon watch for the next 48 hours, and the mission president had us pack a little bag and our 72 hour kits just in case we have to immediately evacuate! hahahaha! what an exciting thing. the streets are flooded and so dirty. just getting to this shop resulted in my legs being covered in mud up to my knees. haha what an experience. 

so there have been a few funny moments this week. for one, we were out walking to the home of an investigator and we cut through a field to get there faster. as we were walking a cow charged us and chased my companion half-way across the field. hahaha it was the funniest thing. she was screaming, and then we both just fell to the ground laughing once it backed off. oh man, it was funny.
then, once we got to that appointment something happened to me. karma for laughing at my companion right? well, at these houses the floors are dirt so we are asked to take our shoes off outside so as to not drag in any additional mud or whatever else. so i took my shoes off and left them outside. well, while we were in the lesson a school of fire ants decided to make the inside of my TOMS their home. after the lesson i just casually put my shoes back on without even paying attention and my foot was soon covered in ants and was instantly attacked. haha my feet burned! then they had to throw water on my feet to get all of the ants off. i had swollen feet for two days. it hurt.... but it was funny afterwards. haha

on the side of good news, we had 10 investigators show up for church yesterday! WHAT?! it was amazing. that is the most investiators this branch has had in over a year. me and my companion were so happy. now, those that have a baptismal date are on track! here in the philippines they have to attend church 4 consecutive times before they can be baptized. so we were really happy. 

speaking of investigators, one of them is named Nanay Cecilia. (Nanay and Tatay are terms of respect for the elderly here. So i will use those often.) she is 74 years old, 75 on Sep. 22 she keeps reminding us, and is one of our progressing investigators. On sunday, we walked the five miles to her house and picked her up. we then walked the 7 miles, in the blazing hot sun, to church. this 74 year old woman was willing to walk that whole way just to get to church. it was so amazing to me. she wants to be baptized and is so willing to do whatever she has to. even pay tithing. this woman only makes about 1,000 pesos a month, but says she will pay the Lord whatever she has to. what an example to me of true faith. i pray that she continues to attend church. 

Bro. June is another investigator. He has attended church 6 times consecutively, but we have to keep pushing his baptism back because of his struggle with drinking. he has such faith, but this is a challenge for him. but, last night he told us he wanted to change. he is ready and willing. so pray that he can quit so that he can be baptized on Aug. 31. we really hope and pray for him, because he has such a strong testimony! 

we have quite a few investigators, but i thought i would share those two stories. 
our biggest challenge out here is the less-actives. there are so many! it is really a challenge to get them back to church. they know the doctrines and the principles, it is just too hard to follow them. so, we spend alot of time focusing on how we can get them excited about the gospel. i wish i could be of more help, but me and my companion do our very best. 

this week has been rough, but also very rewarding. the lord's gospel is going forth in this time of  haziness and confusion. it is a source of light for those who are lost on a dark path. it amazes me what the gospel can do for these people!

i am happy to hear that my family is doing well. i pray for all every single day. (: i love you all so much! i hope that happiness and health continue to bless you. 

mom,
do you think that it would be possible to send me a package with a few things in it? i just need to get another refill of my prescription, so that i don't run out. and some more yellow tube mascara's please. (: also, i have to sadly inform you that the converters we bought do not work.... blehh. apparently, here in the philippines, the plugs are the same shape as in America, just the voltage is different. i need it to fit the voltage of 125V. there are energy adapters at wal-mart i was told. i dunno. maybe another filipino mission mom knows what to send? if you happen to find anything, that would be appreciated too! (:

anyways, all i well. the language i hard still, and it is not seeming to get easier, but the Lord must have good things in store. i love you family! i love you all so much. i hope everyday for your happiness and succes! i love you!

have a good week. 
and remember, Alma 32:37.

love,
sister thomas

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