September 9, 2013

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #6

hello family! 
kumusta ka lahat?

Well, i am happy to report that Nanay Cecilla Rabang was baptized on September 7th. so while i was feeling a bit homesick about missing courtney and bow's birthday, and not being there when he received the priesthood, it was nice to have something so special to brighten my day. it ended up being a beautiful occasion, truly. Nanay was so excited. the inactive branch missionaries worked really hard. They had decorations and programs and everything! Everyone who was involved on the program actually showed up, and we even had some investigators! Wow! It was a beautiful day and afterwards, Nanay kept saying to me "I feel clean. I feel clean. I am so happy." It melted my heart. It made all of the struggles and all of the hardships feel very much worth it. It was such an amazing thing to watch someone enter into the waters of baptism in the way she did. How great shall be your joy. 

She was then confirmed on Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. I am also happy to report that our attendance in our branch has increased significantly in the past month and we have had quite a few less actives return! We are very pleased about that. (: The biggest problem we are facing now is the fact that we have many women members involved in our branch, but our Priesthood is struggling. Those that are active are very strong, but there are very few of them. So, we are really trying to focus our efforts on getting those fathers and Priesthood holders back to church. They are much more stubborn then their wives. 

Other than the baptism, this week has been quite normal. No crazy jungle fever sicknesses. No crazy weather storms.  No typhoons. No knee deep flood waters.  I mean, it is still raining, but nothing like the past weeks. We mostly just worked and worked and worked. I am completely exhausted by the end of everyday.  I never knew that walking around and talking about Jesus all day would consume so much energy. Although, my mind does have to work much harder since I have to think so hard about what I am saying. Maybe that is why I am so tired. Haha, this stinking language. I am trying to laugh it off when I say something wrong, but I struggle with being frustrated with myself. I just want to communicate better with people! I miss having close friends and close conversations with people. This week my companion and I have begun to have some.... differences. Ha, I guess that is normal after being together for 6 weeks. We are just very different, and at times, we don't see eye to eye. she really struggles with handling stress and she gets sassy when she is stressed or tired (and she is always tired).  I can be stubborn (as you know).  She says, "you are too American, it's distracting," and I am like uhhhhhhhhh "how can i fix that?" Hahaha anyway, she really is a sweetheart who works so so hard and really cares about missionary work! We just have some things that clash, like I am too American and she is Filipino, however, we are both children of God, haha!  But i am trying really hard to humble myself and not snap back at her.  Iit is hard for me, but that is a weakness i am trying to overcome. there are alot of things i am trying to work on, and i have noticed that i have many weaknesses. i hope she can continue to be patient with me as we both are learning together.  Through weak things God makes miracles! 
Hannah is a stinking rockstar. Goodness gracious, she amazes me. Does she even have time to breathe? Haha she will be so amazing at everything.  I'm so excited for her, HOMECOMING will be such a great time! Send me pictures of her dress and date.
Holy cow, my little man is all grown up. I cant even believe it. He is 12 years old.  I thought about him alot this week. The Priesthood is such a great responsibility and I am happy to hear he is taking it seriously. I love him so much and I miss his smiling face and big hugs. He is destined for greatness.

Court's car is CUTE! I am excited for her. She is starting to be all grown up. I know she doesn't want to hear that... haha but she really is! I hope she enjoys her classes. 
I am happy to hear that all is well at home! Things are good here as well. there are some hard things, but I am sure that the small kinks will not stop the work from progressing! We have another baptism scheduled for this Saturday. Two primary aged girls. (:  I am really excited for them. This area has not had baptisms in months, and we have at least two scheduled every weekend until October! The lord is really pouring out his blessings on this area and He is truly putting people in my path to help me learn and grow and love. I am trying to graciously accept all the learning that I can. I know I have a lot left to learn in this life,  I also know that god loves his children and that He watches out for them. He prepares paths for them that they may not even see at the time. Everything we face is for our good....even learning Tagalog (the devil's language) is for my good somehow. Haha, hopefully I can start communicating better soon, because I am really missing talking to people! Hahaha!

all my love,
-Sister Thomas

Fun with investigators!

Yummy Filipino food!

My First Baptism - Nanay Cecilia Rabang
She is amazing!

Branch members helping with the baptism!

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