March 31, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #35

Dearest Family,

I'll tell you what, this Pday was definetely needed. Thank you for always sharing kind words. They help me a lot more than you all know. I love you all!!

First off, this week has been hard. GOODNESS GRACIOUS. Right now it is summer season here in the Philippines and when I say summer, I MEAN summer! I have never felt anything so hot in my entire life! Hahaha! We thought we knew heat in El Paso, but no, that heat was nothing compared to here. Even when the sun goes down, we still sweat. Haha! Then we go home after being in the heat all day and all we have are electric fans to cool us down.  The fans just blow around the hot air that is in the room. The only relief is the ice cold shower in the bathroom. Hahaha...missionary life can be so rough. (; Nahhh. I will survive! To think, I was praying to NOT be called to a place where there is snow and ice.  Hmmmmmm....but, I am really beginning to become much more grateful for the blessings I have back home, like AC! (; Just pray this sun doesn't drain all the life out of me.

Then, if the heat wasn't making us miserable enough, Micheal's baptism fell through. He passed his interview and was so ready and we were preparing for his baptism service but the Bishop told us that he had seen Micheal smoking. We were shocked. Sister Peralta and I went and found him and asked him what had happened. He was sad and told us "he had just smoked one cigarette." His friends told him to do it. Although, he is 28 years old, his mind is much slower. I can just picture these people aka 'friends" teasing him while knowing that cigarettes are wrong if you are a Mormon, and pressuring him to do it anyway. With his limited reasoning in the moment, he couldn't understand the whole situation so he just smoked it. He does have the ability to understand and work things out, he just needs more time than most of us to think things through.  Ugghhh, I get frustrated sometimes! Nevertheless, he was not baptized. The bishop pulled Michael in his office and talked to him. Michael is still his happy, positive self and will now be baptized on April 19th. This date is under the condition that he doesn't smoke again and that he thinks any situation through before making a decision. Pray for him. It really hurt me when we had to postpone his baptism, but I would rather have him be ready with a full understanding. So, we have determined that there needs to be another three weeks of preparation for Micheal.  He can do it, I believe him.

Sister Peralta and I have been working really hard, but somehow our numbers are still so low. As a trainer, I get the brunt of it from the leaders. Which, is fine, I can take correction, I just wish they would notice the hard work behind what we are doing. We have just decided to try and work harder and stay positive. Pray that our numbers will improve and that we can find new investigators to add to our teaching pool! We have been street contacting, going door to door (which stinks and isn't effective), and seeking referrals. Nothing seems to be working. Pray for us to find that one person that the Lord is preparing for us. I know they are out there somewhere. We just need to stay faithful and not get discouraged.

This is by far my most difficult area. BUT I love my little companion. So all is well!  She is working hard and trying her best to be obedient, even when it is hard for her. She is a good teacher and she is adorable. I love her and want our numbers to increase so she has more opportunities to teach and feel comfortable with the lessons.

That is my week. Uneventful and hard, but each challenge really teaches me a lot. If there weren't hard times, there would be no good times either. SO all is well. Just please, pray that our efforts will be blessed and that we will find new people and that one special and ready person will come out of the mud so we can teach them!

I am happy to see that Hannah had a happy birthday. I prayed all day long that her day would be special. (: Hahaha! She looks beautiful in all of her pictures too. She is growing up so fast. Let her know that an ACT score doesn't define her or her abilities. If it did, I too would be considered "stupid" after my first attempt at the ACT.  A test doesn't measure the intelligence or worth of a human being. Someday, I will find a new way to measure a student's success and academic performance. A way to reflect learning and achievement for those like me and Hannah who are involved in activities and that do better with hands on creating. Whatever...that is a whole different argument for another time. HA!

Courtney is beautiful as usual. Every time I show pictures of her to people here they FREAK out! Oh my goodness! They want to look like her. Hahaha, I am always like "yes, me too!"  She is working hard and I am really impressed. I know she hates grown up life, but she seems to be really good at it. I hope she likes all her new classes. She is going to do amazing things!  Just tell her to figure out what kind of a guy she wants and then be willing to move forward in a relationship, hahaha!

Bowen is too young for girls. STOP IT! Gross. He cannot like them yet! He is so cute though and TALL! Like what the heck? When did he grow?  He is growing up too fast and I hate it.

I hope all is well back home. All is well here, hard, HOT, and stressful, but I guess we all knew that was part of the missionary deal. We have scheduled some nightly "finding activities" with members that I am really excited for. I hope they work out the way we have planned! I hope we can start to make a difference in this area. I really do love this ward so much and I just wish I could show them that with more success. But, I guess it is the Lord's timetable. There is something new to learn in every day and I am grateful for each learning experience.

Hey all you over there, be good okay? I am now in month 10 of my mission with only 8 left to go.  There is still so much to do!!!

Sister Thomas

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