I am happy to report that this week we still had good numbers for church - 19! So that is good! We set four more baptismal dates we have one this Friday, Ronnie Basuel. His sister Jen was baptized before I got here. She is great but I guess Ronnie was secretly listening to all her lessons and his sisters caught him reading the Book of Mormon! When I first met him he didn’t say much but now he is opening up more and he is really excited for his baptism on the 5th! Me too! He even went teaching with the ward missionaries on Sunday! We had a Family Home Evening at a member’s house and we had I think 5 of our youth investigators there! We are having another one tonight in Peate, last night it was in Pakil. We are also teaching Aerol and Erica. They are so cute Aerol is only 13 and pretty much takes care of about 5 siblings! He is so sweet! We taught them and they live up this little hill and it was raining, which is so weird it being the Philippines and everything (haha). Anyway he held my hand the whole way down the hill so I didn’t fall it was so sweet! And I would have fallen if he wasn’t helping me! There is so much mud here it is "winter" and they don’t get snow they get winter mud! I fell once but it wasn’t bad. The youth that were teaching with us thought I was going to cry. They are all so funny! So Sis. Gaseja isn’t going to get baptized on the 19th but Rodel is. I think she is still hoping that her husband will come back and is waiting but I don’t know. She says it is because of her youngest kids. But Rodel is coming to church and he is a good example for his mom. Then her cousin who is a little bit older than Rodel her name is Jonabeth is getting baptized on the 12! We then have baptisms planned for the 26 of December and the 7th of Jan! I'm so excited! We are also working to get one sister to set a baptismal date Sis. Susa (that is her first name) she knows its true but says she wants to study more. I think she doesn’t want to make the change because her husband dosen't want to listen to the lessons. So we are just working to help her have faith. I told her something I realized in the MTC. I was 8 when I got baptized and although I grew up going to church and I knew it was true I didn’t fully understand and know the doctrine but I have learned and I love the choice that I made and I know I made that choice because I had faith and felt in my heart it was true. I just told her that if she feels that it is true she should take that step of faith and be baptized and the Lord will help her in her trials and will help her learn more. So we are working on that one. We are teaching so many new people each day it is hard for me to keep track I really wish we could go on splits but I don’t know how to teach very well and so I need to stay with Sis. Clave. But the Lord will help us!
The other night I was having a hard day we had so much to do and I am always tired! But we just keep going, I just got upset with myself because I just want to help these people and I cant understand them a lot and I can’t express everything I think and feel. So I was frustrated. We didn’t have a lot of time for morning study because we had so many appointments for the day and we had a Family Home Evening and Sis. Clave told me the night before at 9:30 that I was teaching the lesson. I got really nervous and I had no idea what these youth needed to hear and I couldn’t really go over the words I wanted to in Tagalog. So I was having a hard day and we were walking to the Family Home Evening and we had picked up our investigators and were walking. I said a quick prayer because I was so nervous and I just asked for more faith and help to know that I'm not the one teaching I don’t need to be worried! I know that but you know me I like to worry so I just said that prayer in my heart and then Erica grabbed my hand as we were walking and I knew that that was the answer it was a simple thing but I realized that the Lord is always holding our hand and there to help us we just have to be willing to realize it and not push it away out of fear! I said another prayer in my heart after that and walked holding Erica’s hand to the Family Home Evening! She is so cute! Then I gave my lesson and I was more nervous because the youth aren’t afraid to laugh at me. But the Lord helped me say the things I needed to say and I stumbled through some parts and of course Sister Clave helped me with words but for the most part the Lord was helping me all the way! I am a worrier to a fault and I have realized here that I need to rely on the Lord and know that if I am doing what I should he will help me and strengthen me. I did say something funny and the youth laughed but so did I. I knew it was wrong and then I corrected it but the Lord had helped calm me so much that I knew the youth weren’t laughing at me to make fun of me but just because sometimes it is funny to hear. I undertsood through the help of the lord and He is helping me to see so much that I am not teaching at all it is Him. The spirit teaches not me and when I rely on it I can say what needs to be said. I am so grateful for that.
I still struggle with Tagalog everyday and I can’t wait to understand these people! But for now I just rely on the Lord to help me say and understand what he needs. We went to a members house the other day to help him understand what he needs to do because he will be teaching the new member lessons to one of our recent converts and so we helped him and he feed us. He said that I seem to be doing well and that gave me a lot of comfort he says that this area gets a lot of new missionaries and he said that you can usually tell that they are struggling but he said it doesn’t seem like I'm struggling which I felt so good about because I am but others shouldn’t know that. I am here to help them not the other way around they are helping me so much and I know the Lord is helping me and so I just try to show how happy I am to be here and how much I love them even when the language is hard and I don’t understand them.
One Nanay in the ward tries to talk to me all the time and she talks so fast and I have no idea what she is saying and I feel bad but just have to laugh after because I just smile at her haha. Sometimes I feel like Marvin from finding Nemo "its like there trying to speak to me I know it" I say that in my head and just laugh when I can’t do anything else. Not out loud and not in their faces but I just try to stay positive! Because I would just go crazy if I didn’t. That is another reason I love Sister Clave we learn to laugh at things and just enjoy the time even though we have so many people to teach and no time and we are always tired we just smile and say we can do it!
Our numbers are not normal for the Philippines! We have high numbers. The APs talked to us and said that we are the example for the San Pablo Mission! It is crazy! The Lord really wants me to stretch myself and learn how to do things faster because we have to teach teach teach! work work work! But it makes the days go by so fast I cant believe it! I have almost been here for a month! Wow! It is crazy!
I love it! Everyone is so kind and our members are so helpful that is why we have such high numbers! But I'm just excited because so many people want to hear the message and even if they all don’t get baptized at least they are able to hear a little bit of the word of God and a seed will be planted and maybe some other time they will want to know more and come unto the fold of God! So as long as we just keep teaching the Lord will help the people!
So one of the American Elders is sick he got something from the water and he was in the hospital over night but I think he is doing better now, it just made me more aware of what I eat and drink. But don’t worry I just drink water from our house and we have these really awesome filters every missionary apt does I will show you when I send pics next week. I have my pics but I'm not sure if I can go to walgreens.com or not so I will see and if so then I will send them next week. I will talk to pres. this week and ask him! I got your package thank you so much! It has already been great! Although all the Elders that were around were disappointed because there wasn’t any food! They said what kind of package is that haha. I said a great one! Hairspray! Baby powder, face wipes! Yes! They just laughed at me and called me a girl. Thanks for sending stuff for Sister Clave she will love that. I thought of some more things that you can send I know you already sent the other package so if you don’t send this stuff for a while I understand because its expensive don’t worry! But if you could send me another pillowcase. We had sheets in the MTC and so I didn’t realize until now that my set of green sheets that I have don’t have the pillowcase with them so I only have one. Then the other thing is going to be a little hard to explain they are like socks but you cant see them when you wear flats. They just go over your toes a little bit and don’t go up any further they are light more like nylon material. They would be great! I think it would help my feet! I think it is just that there is so much moister and we walk a lot! But I don’t usually get blisters anymore I have a tiny one right now but its okay!
Thank you for all your encouragement. Tell Danielle I love her and I want an announcement and pics!!!!!! And tell her I wish I could have been there but I'm so happy to be here! Tell them both that I love them and wish them all the best! Tell Jill congrats! I'm so happy for her she will be in my prayers! Thank you for the pics of Sister Lapana it also had other Elders in my district at the MTC! It was great! The Ensign is amazing! I'm so excited to try and find time to fit it in.
So I'm sorry about my spelling and everything I am trying to type fast and get everything in and I think I am forgetting how to spell and speak in English I'm in a phase of forgetting English and not knowing Tagalog! Sorry! I couldn’t spell to begin with! Ahh. I hope you understand! I love you all so much! Thank you for all your love and care and everyone else who thinks to ask about me tell them I love them! I love the story about the kids and that Lizzy can say my name! Yay!!!!! I love them all give them hugs and kisses for me!!! I love you so much!!!!