September 3, 2013

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #5

family!
kumusta po lahat kayo?

well, i must say, i feel ALOT better. holy cow, was i sick, but i have recovered mostly. they said the infection may cause problems occasionally, but i should be okay as long as i watch where i am at, and stay very clean. but if it causes further problems, Sister Martino said they would bring me into the Missionary Recovery Center back in Manilla. i told her that was not neccasary and to not worry too much about me. haha i hate being attended too in that way. but i am feeling good, and stronger. (you are right tho... i missed my law and order!) i went out proselyting all week and was able to get through so, i feel normal. i do alot better on the mornings when i exercise and move a little bit. my body is familiar with working hard early in the morning, so i do better when i force myself to exercise. (i am the only one in the house that does. everyone else doesnt haha!)

yes, i have felt bombarded with more trials since i have been on my mission than ever before. i honestly thought it was going to be the other way around. i knew it would be challenging, but i honestly expected to face less confusion and hardship than i did back home. but in fact, it multiplied! there are days that are really hard, and i find that it mostly has to do with what is going on in my own mind. this mission will be a war with myself. i have to force myself to speak the language. i have to remember to just smile even when i have no idea what is being said. there are so many weaknesses that i have that are really enhanced here, but i strive to work through the power of the atonement. just like my investigators. we are all changing together. i am not teaching them, we are all learning together. it is so powerful. 

flipino men are actually, for the most part, good to their women. it is a lot like America. they have adopted a lot of western culture over time. their is porn and perverts just like anywhere else. but for the most part, they are respectful to their wives. i am treated with so much respect around here. people literally stop driving so i can cross the street. everyone refers to me as "sister" or "madam". i have men that will walk in front of me around town to protect me from what they call "freaks". haha so i always feel very safe. the old men are the sweetest. i seriously love them. and they get a kick out life when an american girl talks to them! haha oh man. one old man told me i was a queen and should not marry a man unless he bowed down to me every morning. i was dying! hahaha

oh nanay cecilla! i just adore her. she is such an example of having a sincere desire to follow Christ. she is scheduled to be baptized on saturday the 7th! (: i am so excited for her! on sunday, she came to church and had put on the nicest dress she had. she had only ever worn that to her first daughters wedding thirty years ago! it was very expensive and meant alot to her, but she said, the Lord deserves the best and so she put it on, and walked all the way to church. oh man, i love her! she makes me smile. i can't wait for her to be baptized! although, while filling out her BCR form we came across some interesting.... mishaps. hahaha back in her younger days, nanay was pretty wild. she has six children, all out of wedlock, and from several different men. they all unofficially go by her last name, but for the BCR we needed to have their official names. it took her an hour just to remember all their last names! she could not remember which children came from which man, hahahaha! i know i shouldn't laugh, but it was so funny. she was laughing, but then bore her sweet testimony on the power of the atonement. how grateful i am for her! she brings happiness on my hard days! i can't talk with her very well, but she always holds my hand when walking anywhere and she always gives me the biggest smile. she is amazing. i can;t wait for saturday.

no. i hate tagalog. i try to love it, but it is seriously the devil. it is the worst challenge in the world. LIKE WHY IS IT SO HARD?! geeze.

oh man, happy birthday to courtney and bowen this week! i wish i was there to celebrate, but know that i am there in spirit. i love you both. bowen, you will recieve the priesthood and be able to pass the sacrament! what a sacred responsibility! i am so proud of you. (:

wow, courtney. i am so happy for her! it sounds like things are starting to fall into place for her. the blessings of all her hardwork. i hope she has a good year. (: 

oh hannah. that little girl amazes me. she is so talented and has so much potential. i hope she can see that. WOW! her dance co. platform blew my mind! she is truly an example of service. she always has been. she was born with the natural ability to help others. that idea is beautiful! i wish i was going to be there to experience and see that! i am so excited for her year ahead! 

those football pictures rock mom! i love the one when Bowen scored. dad and him have the best faces ever. oh man. i miss football season! keep me posted. i love hearing about the games!

i love my family. mom, i know change is hard, but eventually things got settled into place. i know moving sucks, but i truly believe that getting out of that house and all that debt was part of a bigger plan in store for you and dad. there is a lot of missionary work ahead for you both. (: i know it!

i love you all and pray for you daily. ten times a day actually. everyone be good!

oh my goodness, i almost forgot... guess what i ate this week? *drumroll*....yup that is right. i ate GOAT and DOG meat. seriously the nastiest thing ever. but the members made me do it. haha they got a kick out of watching my face. GROSS!!! they are both gross. haha but now i can say i have tried both!

mahal mahal kita.

-sister thomas

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