July 7, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #48

Dearest Family,

Well...at least I can happily write that I am still alive to see another rainy day here in the Philippines. Believe me, that feels like quite an accomplishment these days!

Seeing the pictures you sent puts a smile on my face. My family is so beautiful. I am happy to see that the Lund side of the family got together and celebrated the 4th! I feel like I haven't seen any pictures of them since I left! I love you all so much. I can't believe how much everyone has changed. Seriously. Everyone looks so old, clean, and pretty. I am not sure I wanna come home so you can all see how hagard and not clean I look these days. Hahahaha!  Oh, the life of a missionary in the Philippines!

I am glad that everyone is doing well back home. Things here in Mabalacat are okay. I will admit, this week has been another rough one, but I survived it!  So that is all that matters. I find myself being happy and proud over the smallest things lately. Like, even though our numbers have been HORRIBLE, at the end of the day I am like, "wow, I didn't shout back at my comp today" or "I was actually able to sleep last night even though her loud music was blaring all night long." Truly, it is a miracle. Hahaha!

Things aren't all bad. Actually, we had some really good companionship days this week and I was able to go on an exchange with Sister Tui'one cause she is my STL. (: That day rocked! We taught more lessons than I have with Sister Ponitini in weeks. It was nice. We just worked.  We prayed too.  We worked well together. We wish we could stay comps, but unfortunately the Lord has another calling for me right now, at least until August 10th.

The best day was Saturday. We had another Zone conference and we were able to meet the new mission president! He and his wife are SO cute! Hahaha...I love them already!  Sister clark is hilarious. The first thing she did was stand up and attempt to speak Tagalog. Her accent was pretty bad, but i give her props for getting up there and trying. It made all of us, especially the Filipino missionaries, smile. (:

It was fun getting to know them.  President Clark is really excited and energized with missionary work. He is ready to go to work! His goal for the next month is to not spend time in the office, but to be out with  his missionaries, teaching and contacting and working! He and his wife are going to do splits in every area and with every missionary!  They want to get to know each missionary and become familiar with every area.  I am excited for that. They are really happy to be here and already act so comfortable. I wish i would have adjusted that easily. President Clark is full of spirituality and wisdom.  I will learn so much from him.

Yesterday was a difficult day.  It was Fast Sunday and we REALLY needed to fast for our investigators. we have 4 on date for baptism. However, my comp decided to NOT fast, (although she paid her fast offering so everyone would think she did....) but anyway, only two investigators showed up to church, so the other two will have to be bumped to next month for baptism. One of them that did attend church, Jossa (the daughter of a less active return) is moving this Saturday and so we won't have time to baptize her.  However, we have her new address and have forwarded her information to another mission so she will still be able to finish the lessons and continue to prepare for her baptism.  Her sister Chris (she just recently married and had a baby with a member) has work every single day this week in Angeles and will not be here at all. Her baptism is scheduled for the 26th, but we need to finish all her lessons before she can get baptized. I am now stressed as to how we are going to do this. Ughhh. I can't help but think that sometimes it is our own fault that we are seeing things like this happen. I fasted and prayed hard, but my comp just didn't care at all and so her attitude is felt by those we are teaching.  It is discouraging.  We came home from church after lots of meetings and she decided she wanted to stay in and go to work late so she could sleep.  Apparently, she was tired.  I was like WE JUST LOST OUR BAPTISMS AND YOU WANT TO SLEEP?!!!!  I didn't know what to do, I just went outside and bawled my eyes out. Just cried a real good cry and while I was in the middle of my sobbing, it started to rain.  It was like the heavens were crying with me and I wasn't alone. What a nice moment.  Hahaha!

Sometimes I don't know what more I can do.  Other times, I want to do more but feel like I am limited because of my current situation. I want to do all I can for those we are teaching and I give all that I have to give, but I still feel stuck.  I love this area and the ward members and I desire so much to do my part to hasten the work.

What can I do? How do you inspire someone that just doesn't seem to care anymore.  How do you reflect a positive attitude and show love when you are surrounded by negativity?

At least I can say I am gaining knowledge.  Because of my comp's lack of desire to work or even smile, I have had a lot of time to study the Book of Mormon. I have really had some amazing experiences with my studies lately and I want to think that it is the Lord sending me little rays of sunshine and positive vibes. I have a huge testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It is of God. There is no doubt about that and all men have to do is read it, and pray, and they WILL know too. (:  What a simple and beautiful thing!  There is great power in that book and I feel it every time I open it.

Anyway, sorry for the bummer email. Hopefully this week will be better. We have a lot of lessons and activities lined up this week that Sister Ponitini is excited for.  Me too!  May the force be with us!

On the plus side, I am baking those muffins tonight and we are having an FHE activity with a recent convert family, whom I love. The muffins alone should get me at least three days of peace.  Haha!  Pictures will come next week. (:  This is the Lord's work and I am happy to be a part of it!

Love you all!

-Sister Thomas

Sister Ponitini and I...we are amongst the "finest!"

Mabalacat...you know just some random bus in the middle of nowhere!

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