November 18, 2013

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #16



Family Home Evening with Nanay Francesca

Sister Fabros is the best!  Love her!

my dear family and friends,

HI! i am happy to report that i am happy and safe. power is restored and people have begun repairing and rebuilding.  we are busy with service projects, which is good.  how blessed we have been! we have food and water.  this last week we received 16 new missionaries from Tacloban. the emergency transfer did not effect me and sister fabros.  i only briefly met with these new missionaries during interviews and orientation.  i am anxious to eventually get to know these new missionaries. what amazing stories i know they will have to tell. and their spirits are so strong, i could feel their strength. even with all they have been through, they were smiling.  how grateful i am that our mission has been blessed with their testimonies! all the elders were given new white shirts, ties and clothing.  Elder and Sister Tishner took the filipina sisters shopping at the SM, so darling! (by the way, the SM is the BIGGEST mall i have ever been in. but that is a story for another time..... haha) i hope i eventually get to work with some of these awesome missionaries!

here in camiling, things are quite normal. except, i had another filipino man try to "woo" me again. they love American women. they think we are both beautiful, but also rich. so, they see americans as their one way ticket to america and wealth. haha and they don't all understand that we are not allowed to date or "be courted." luckily, my companion got angry with him in some wacky tagalog, and told him to leave me alone. lolz. she goes "these boys should know better! i will kill them!" bahahaha. we laughed about it. i love her.

we have had a good week. we FINALLY contacted sister virgie. she says she missed church because she had a family member die and was visiting family. that brought peace to my mind. then she and her children all came to church on Sunday. they are still on track for baptism. hopefully December 14. (:  Micheal Audencial however, we have had no contact. he works so late now to try and provide for his family, and i think, to escape all the criticism from his family. he wrote us a note however, saying he was reading the Book of Mormon and still believed the church was true. we really need to get the Branch in there to help him. we are working on that. i think if he sees some hope from other people and feel encouraged by the branch members, he will have the strength to come back. pray hard for him.

we have a few new investigators who came to church on Sunday, and some that have been investigators forever! sister cristy martin has a particularly rough story. sister naldoza taught her clear back when she trained! sister naldoza and her trainer were teaching the whole family. but, they didn't come to church or keep commitments. but lately, the mom, Cristy, has really had great experiences with the Book of Mormon. the problem is her husband has decided that he doesn't need to work on the farm, she can do that as well as cook and clean and get the kids to school. she wakes up at 3 am everyday, goes to the farm, comes back and cooks breakfast, gets the kids to school, goes back to the farm, then she comes home again to cook dinner and clean the house! all the while, her husband is at home gambling away their money or spending it on alcohol or cigarettes. then by sunday, he wont let her leave and go to church because their is not enough money for the trike or bus fair. oh man. i know i need to love this man, but i ran out of charity the other day. i felt a little bad after, but whatever. we were teaching her and he came into the house with a cigarette in his mouth and liquor in his hands and said "lesson is over. she needs to go earn some money on the farm." i was like, WHAT?! i said, with as much love as i could muster, that she was staying until our lesson was over and he could join us if he wished. he just stared at me. i thought he was gonna kill me. haha but, he put the liquor down and just walked outside. then afterwards, we told him we would be picking up his wife for church on Sunday. we would pay the fair and he was welcome to join if he wanted. he declined of course. but on sunday, he tried to get her to stay home instead of come with us. he blew smoke in my face and said "she needs to stay here." i didn't know what to do, but my companion and i explained that she would be back in awhile. she got in the trike with us and we left. it was intense, but she said she was so grateful. sacrament meeting felt really special yesterday with sister martin sitting next to us. i hope we can begin to see some more improvement there. she and her entire family need the light of the gospel in their lives.  she needs to feel the strength and power of the holy ghost and feel the atonement in her life.

anyways, that is really all. mostly a normal week. a lot of crazy changes in the mission, but we are all happy.

i'm happy courtney is working hard and happy.  she deserves to be happy.
hannah looks beautiful as usual. i am happy she is busy and working hard. it is good for her to work. she will be so happy for christmas break. hahaha!
congrats for the first basketball win.  go lehi black! that is awesome. i hope they have a kick-butt season. bo is such a stud. i love him so.
tell dad to keep up the good work.  he is great!
mom, you sound busy as usual. i don't know how you do it sometimes. you are my hero. everytime i hear "shine the light" i think of us laughing and dancing in our living room. hahaha!


anyways, anything else? not much to report here. i am just grateful all is well in the US of A.  salamat po. (:

i got my package from the ward. i loved it. i cried. haha i love them all so much!!  everything was so needed and i felt so loved.  what a great thing!  express my gratitude and love to them.

family, i love you and think of you often. things here are good. safe and sound. miracles are everywhere. i love this work. even when i can't speak, i still have a smile on my face because i know i am exactly where i need to be and that brings me happiness. i love the work. i hope i can make my family and my Savior proud. (:

mahal kita!

-sister thomas

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