i am so happy to hear that everyone is doing well! yay for another school year. my little siblings are just so cute. hannah looks BEAUTIFUL. holy cow. they are growing up aren't they? tell them to be good.
hannah in encore and drama 4?! and dance company and musical theater?! she is going to be the most popular girl ever. what a talented girl she is. (: tell her to do her homework and go to class though!
yay for courtney! i have been praying for her to find a way to pay for school. that makes me so happy that she found a way! oh, prayers are answered. (: i am happy and excited for her future.
dad, ward mission leader. missionary work runs in this family. (: dad, please help the missionaries. haha there is nothing more frustrating than a ward missionary who doesn't do his job. (i would know...) but i am happy for you! you will be awesome at that. (:
anyways, thank you all for your caring and loving emails. every word you send strengthens me. i really love reading them. this week has been a rough one. i have not been able to go out and proselyte in over a week. last monday the floods kept us home. then, i came down with the world's wildest infection. nobody knew what was wrong with me and they tried a million medicines and nothing would work. i spend 4 days in bed and one at the hospital. crazy right? the doctors think that i must have caught some sort of infection floating in the dirty flood water last week. it is all under control now, but i am still waiting for my left ear to drain out so that i have hearing. i have not been able to hear out of that ear in a whole week!
i will admit, i became very discouraged. at one point i was throwing up, had an earache from hades, an itchy rash all over my body, and i just felt horrible. i was sitting on my front porch just crying because i felt useless. i couldn't teach, my language wasn't improving, nobody knew what was wrong with me, and i had a moment where i just wanted to quit. i had no idea what the Lord needed from me. then, the sweet senior couple who lives next door, elder and sister moser, came over to check on me. they sat with me and listened to me whine. they hugged me and told me that everything was going to be okay. they encouraged me, and made me laugh. there was even a moment when elder moser sounded just like Dad. he said "wow, you have the most beautiful blue-green eyes sister thomas". that moment with them was sent from God. he knew that i needed some extra love from a parental source. oh, how wonderful that was. it didn't heal me physically, but it did heal my broken spirit.
don't worry mom, i received a blessing from my district leader and his companion. i am improving alot. the rash has dissapeared, and i am no longer throwing up. my ears still hurt and are clogged, but at least i can walk around now. haha yay! i really am good. i am getting over my sickness. they finally found an antibiotic that is helping. the mission president's wife and the senior couple missionaries (the mosers) and the girls in my house and my district leader took good care of me. (: no need to fret. haha i am good.
but with trials, comes miracles. with me being sick, the work was not able to progress. finally on saturday my companion got permission to go on exchanges so that our area would not die. so, the two girls serving in the other branch who live with us split. one stayed with me, and the other went with sister naldoza. so she was able to teach a few lessons. but we were still worried. we were fasting and praying for our investigators to attend church. (here in the philippines, you cannot be baptized until you attend church 4 times consecutively.) sunday morning came around and lo and behold, 16 investigators showed up to church. i am not kidding!!!! it was a miracle. (: nanay secilla, the 74 year old investigator (the one i sent a pic of two weeks ago) walked by herself this time to and from church. we showed her the baptismal font, and she is so excited. we have 5 baptisms scheduled for September. yay! oh, God answers prayers and truly works miracles.
as for food.... there are a few dishes that i like. but mostly i just eat all the sweets. filipinos make the best deserts. the donuts taste way better here.... even their bread is sweeter. oh man. i am getting fat. but i don't even care because everything sweet here is to die for. mom, they make rocky road donuts. it was the most amazing thing in the world. yuuuuummmmmm.
the work is hard, but it is progressing! God does not let the weaknesses of his workers stop the work. in fact, he strengthens them if they turn to him to progress. after all is said and done, this week was a miracle. i am witnessing miracles like never before. what an amazing opportunity. i love it here. the language is still hard and i still hate it, but i love the people. so so much.
i love being a missionary! i hope everyone back home is happy and doing well still. send my love to everyone! (: