October 6, 2014

Life As A Real Missionary...Part #61

To all whom I love dearly,

I can report I have survived another week in the bukid and it sounds like I am surviving much better than BYU football.  However, I really did forget how hard it is out here. The culture in the bukid is different than the citities. The lifestyle is much harder and the people are much more humble, yet sometimes harder to teach. I really have enjoyed getting to see some of the people from my old area though. Everyone there seems to be doing well.

I don't really have a lot to report, I am still adjusting to the area. I love the people, but my heart and thoughts are constantly being pulled back to Mabalacat. I miss that area a lot and I seem to be having a hard time fitting in here. I dunno. I feel like I am trying hard to just serve and love the people...but they always have a critical word for me.  They seem to have a chip on their shoulder regarding "white" people.  They are quick to judge the "rich white snob sister." Yes, I have heard that already. I know why they do it.... I mean, they don't have much and so when they see someone like me they just ASSUME I just roll in money back home. Then, when I won't be disobedient to try and please them, they assume I am stuck up and that I think I am better than them. I am trying to break the barriers here, but it's hard. I've struggled a little this week, but I will keep trying. I know these people have great hearts and so I just need to do everything I can to show them I love them.

On the bright side, we have a large group in our teaching pool and so we are BUSY.  I also love my new companion. Sister Lamera is so sweet. She is so, so, so tiny, hahaha, she is older than courtney and about the size of a doll! I love her SO MUCH. She loves, loves, loves anime and eats chocolate with hot dogs. Hahaha! One morning, last week, she made me breakfast. It was a fried egg and a hotdog on a piece of chocolate chip bread. Hahahahaha...the breakfast of champions!  It made me smile. I absolutely love her quirks!  She is a great missionary. She teaches so well, I don't feel like there is much training she needs from me.  I think I mostly need to learn from her.

We were so excited about the general womens meeting.  Unfortunately, we weren't actually able to watch it. :( We were told the broadcast started at 2, but it really started at 1. We only got to watch Elder Uchtdorf's talk. Which was AMAZING, by the way! Every woman on earth needs to hear those words. This world would be a different place if all women could understand the truths that he taught.  I was super grateful we were able to at least hear him speak.  General conference is this coming weekend and I am so looking forward to it!  I think I need to be spiritually fed!

We were busy.  We had a church service project with our entire zone for PDay and we also spent a day this week helping to clean up after the storms and typhoons.  I like to be busy and work with my hands.  It is nice to drop dead in your bed after a day of hard physical labor!  It is good for the soul!

I have learned how loved we really are. Even when we sin or do something really stupid, the love of our Heavenly Father does not go away or fade. It is constant.  We are loved no matter what.  I have had so many friends come in and out of my life with such ease.  For me, as you all know, I hate letting people go. But watching so many people come in and out with such ease has always troubled me and I guess it has made me think that love is conditional.  I have come to realize out here, that I was so wrong. Maybe the love of some people is conditional or maybe it is just time to move on but we have the unconditional love of a Heavenly Father.  He is so much higher than all of us, He love for us is so perfect. His love is always there. It doesn't matter what stupid things we do, or what we say, or what we look like, or what talents we may think we lack, He is there for us. He never walks away. He is never angry, frustrated, or unwilling to listen to us. Every single one of us is a child of God and He has sent us here for a purpose. We all have an individual purpose.  He didn't send us here to be alone. I may feel tired some days or inadequate at times, I may feel scared for the future, I may have made mistakes, but He loves me because of all of that. He understands my frustrations and He is happy when I am happy.  He loves me and he loves all of you!  He loves all these beautiful people that I speak with daily.

If we can see ourselves the way He does our lives will change and then, when we can help others see themselves this way, we change the world. That is what I am trying to do, change the world in Camiling, one investigator at a time!

I know the Church of Jesus Christ is true! I know God loves us. I know He is there for us.

I love you all. Congrats Bowen and dad on the football win!  My condolences for BYU's loss.

I can't wait to see your faces.

Mahal Kita!

-Sister Thomas

Cleaning up after the typhoon! Look out they armed me! 

Sister Lamera and I...working hard at the church service project with our zone!

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