June 17, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #45

Hello Family and Happy Father's Day Pop! (:

Hi family! How is everyone? It sounds like from mom's email everyone is doing well. Especially since we now have a FLAT SCREEN TV AND SOUND SYSTEM...welcome to the 21st century! Oh my gosh. I'm excited to experiment and watch it someday.

I hope you had a good Father's Day daddy. I am happy that you got my letter and package too! You never know with this international mail stuff. Ha, but with the studying program I have challenged you to I was hoping to have you start with chapter 1! All of the missionaries study it during the week until Sunday. Then we report on what we learned and share any cool experiences we may have had from our studying. Then on Mondays we start with the next chapter and so forth. (: cool? Yay i am excited!  Make sure you coordinate some of the study time together as a family.

So, I am alive. This week has been crazy! Pagulan ngayon dito sa pilipinas...meaning it is now rainy season here in the Philippines and let me tell you, it is everything people make it out to be. I have never seen rain like this in my life. I think this place could give any rainy state like Washington a run for it's money. Of course, the people are happy because the temperatures have dropped drastically. The little kids all run around outside and jump in the rain and mud. Hahaha!  The people literally all go outside, young and old, and shampoo and soap their bodies and wash off in the rain. Hahaha! Free shower without a bucket! (:

I don't mind it either. The temperatures drop when it's raining but don't worry, they rise again when it's not. I have never been so soaking wet in my life. Haha...everyday we are just wet and dirty. Good thing the people take pity on us and let us in their homes.

This week, we have had no power for the past four days. My companion forgot to mention to me that we had an electric bill to pay. Soooo after a month with no payment they came and just shut it off without any notice. Then, the office closed for the holiday (it was Independence Day) and also for the weekend. Grrrrrrr...so we have been living like cavemen without power since Thursday. Unfortunately, we don't appreciate fire and candles the same way they did. Oh well, we lived through it. We made the payment and they SHOULD turn it back on later today.

Things with my companion are up and down. She is super moody which is hard for me. Sister Martino has been communicating with me as she is familiar with my companion's behavior.  She told me to just look at the situation as a way to learn what I want and don't want in a spouse. Hahaha, I am keeping my sense of humor.  I have learned these three things...
1. I can not marry a man who goes to bed with an argument unsettled.
2. I can not marry someone who is always right and never apologizes.
3. I can not marry someone who has a temper and uses people as emotional punching bags.

So thank you Sister Ponitini for showing me that.  Hahahahahahaha! 

Seriously, things are okay. Some days are harder than others. I know she doesn't like me very much and she has a lot of jealousy issues. I try my best to compliment her always, but there are some behavioral things I can not let slide. She does things that honestly put both of our missions at risk and that is not okay with me. One morning I brought it up and told her that we needed to start doing things the Lord's way and not by our own way. She didn't like that much and told me she would do the work whatever way she wanted (note, this girl is 23 years old....) it turned into an argument, with mostly her yelling mean comments at me about my status as an American. I wanted to yell and scream back, but I knew that would do nothing. So when she was done, all I did was calmly say, "well sister, if you aren't going to do this the Lord's way, then you better take off that nametag that bears Christ's name." She just stared at me. She hasn't said much to me since then. But, she has been a lot more obedient. So, maybe it helped. Who knows.

Other than that, this week has been awesome! Oh my goodess, I love this area. The members, the people, the leaders, everyone is awesome! Rancy had her baptism interview this week and we are planning for her baptism on Saturday!! (: I am so excited for her. She even came all the way to Angeles with us yesterday to attend stake conference. She is definitely ready and it is all because of the influence of her deceased less-active husband. I believe the Lord will bless him one day for this.

Caterine had some issues come up with her marriage status. Apparently, the two of them don't have a marriage certificate so they cannot legally prove they are married. That is a really big problem here, alot of people never get married and so the church has to have legal proof before baptism. We are working like crazy to get City Hall to sign off on new marriage papers and have a wedding at the church so they can be baptized on the 28th of this month!

I am learning a lot out here. I am learning about myself, about others, and about the way the Lord works. I have endlessly prayed for His help. I need his help in loving my companion the way He loves her. Seeing her the way He sees her and understanding her the way He does. My natural man is so uninclined to do so on it's own. It has amazed how softened my heart has been able to be, even when she never apologizes or never admits any fault, my heart forgives her. Somehow, even when we can't stand to be around each other, the Spirit is able to teach through us. I don't know how but somehow, He knows us and He knows the situation and He allows the Spirit to help us teach. I have been so thankful for that. I have been so grateful for his help in the work this transfer. I can see even moreclearly how much I need to depend oh Him every single hour of every single day to accomplish what is needed to be done in His work.

Transfers are this week. Who knows what will happen.  Pray for a miracle?!  We have our last zone conference with President Martino the following week. Then on the 30th, President and Sister Martino leave and President Clark will arrive.  I am sad and excited all at the same time. I am sure the new president will be great but President and Sister Martino have really honestly helped me so much.  They have done such great work here.  They are amazing and I will always remember them. Good thing we have a mission reunion already planned for next year in Utah. (:

I am happy to know that everyone is doing well. I love you all. Bowen's story cracked me up. Hahahahahahaha...oh, the life of a pre-teen. I can't believe hannah is working and almost driving. Weird.  But Hannah is one special person and the Lord is going to use her to do so many important things.  I have had her in my thoughts this week.  Courtney, can do anything, she just needs to believe in herself first. Once she does...she will survive this difficult summer schedule and tackle the world!

Have a good week. (:  I love you.

-Sister Thomas

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