Monday, August 26, 2013

Talking to everyone and their chicken

How do I begin to describe the adventures of two American girls in a foreign land.... I have no idea. 
It sure has been an interesting week to say the least! It has been the hardest but most successful week of my mission. We hit the ground running last week and it just turned into a sprint. We ended the week with 18 lessons 81 oyms and 5 referrals down. It is a struggle getting the ward to work with us, they gave us names to go visit but I don't think they realize how important it is for them to work with us after the referral or that we ask people to prepare for baptism in the first visit.

President came to church yesterday and brought us a phone!!!!!!!!! Really, I don't think you realize how excited I am to be able to text ward members and investigators. Especially since the sisters we live with are rarely home because they travel to train.... this last week we went to our zone meeting in lucena that was apparently canceled because of all the flooding.... which wasn't in my area yet. Bleh. It wasted so much time and money to go there and come back for nothing. But I did get to translate for my mission president's wife at church!!! I think I did alright. I translated what I could and sometimes I would just have to say.... Sister Peterson I have no idea what they just said... it was great. President seems surprised at how well me and Sister Baird are doing.... in fact everyone seems surprised.... it makes me wonder what they even expected of us! Cause we sure don't except any less of us even though we don't speak tagalog very well.... We had plenty of rough times this week though... one day in particular I got bleach on my skirt, broke an egg on the floor while trying to bleach it clean, our rice cooker was sparking, drama with the fan,  it was super hot, my shoes broke, and since another sister was upset that we were "using too much electricity" with our fans and we opened the window....well it rained.... and we did not think about it being open and we returned to our room to find PUDDLES all over our desk, and many books are now ruined... usable, but ruined. It was quite the day! We left the fans drying our stuff but some of my books are still wet cause they are so big and sometimes things take time to dry here..... yikes. 

But we also had a very successful week too! We had 81 OYMs I don't think most of you reading this realize how hard that is to achieve... we literally talked to everyone we came in contact with.... shared 2 principles about what our church believes and invited them to do something. It was crazy! We have been so tired when we get home that we are like passing out when we are filling out the area book and planning. I am working harder than I even thought was possible. Alma 8 gave me a lot of support this week. Alma spent so much time praying to help people in his area. They rejected him and he felt down.... weighed down with sorrow... I feel that sometimes. But he was told that he should be rejoicing! Because he is doing what the lord asked him to do. When we are doing what we are supposed to we don't need to feel down that we aren’t getting the results we hoped for but we need to be rejoicing we are doing our duty and we will be blessed for that! We are giving people the opportunity to hear the restored gospel. To learn the plan that the lord has for them, and how their family can become eternal! (Not just death till you part). It was a rough week.....

MC legado came to church! I was soo sooooo happy to see her there... maybe one of the happiest times in my life. She has so much faith and a testimony of the Book of Mormon... she struggles with a testimony of modern day prophets, but I know that she will gain one, if she hasn't already. 
We also had the other legado family all at church which made me really happy! They really want their 9 year old relative to be baptized that now lives with them but they are not active in the church themselves so we are afraid to let him be baptized and give him so much responsibility without enough support! We have just met too many people who were baptized in their youth and not supported enough to stay. I am really excited for this coming week! 

We also have been teaching J. She is a miracle. We met her from oyming her boss last week. We set an appointment to teach her Tuesday but the church wasn't opened because of the temple trip to manila. She really wanted to be taught so we found a rundown waiting shed and taught her in the rain. She has been taught by missionaries before and attended youth seminary classes.... she says that she wants to be baptized and be a missionary just like me because what we do is help teach people how they can learn for themselves that what is taught at church is true and we teach people how to learn from the scriptures on their own. We give up 18 months of our lives to help others, and she wants to do that too.... did I mention she also speaks really really really good English? It is a miracle. And I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes in her life. We taught her family and they have a lot of potential too.... they have so much faith it is a miracle! She also quit her job and already found a new one so that she can go to church, institute, and church activities when she wants to... She is truly an elect daughter of god. I feel blessed to have even met someone like her! 

I know that the true church, originally established by Christ on the earth has been restored. I know that the Book of Mormon is evidence of that restoration, and I know that the Lord wants all of his children to have the opportunity to learn his gospel for themselves, his whole gospel, not just what is included in the bible, which is vitally important as well. I know that even though it is hard it is a blessing in my life to be here in the Philippines learning and teaching these truths for myself. In the name of Jesucristo amen.

Much much much mahal....

Sister Hellewell


In Lalo next to the rice fields

The city of Opias

Sister Baird and I eating ice cream after a hard day of being punted.

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