Oh how I miss those meals, I am so glad you are enjoying yourselves. Thank you for taking time to write me. Please tell Rebekah Happy late Birthday for me. I did not forget, I thought about her alot and hope she had a beautiful day. I love her very much. Gracie is soo beautiful! I wish I could see and hold her, but I will wait haha. What a beautiful family we have. Haha oh Samuel! I want a pix! I am so glad you finally got braces! and I completely understand you wanting ice cream haha me too. YES!! Beka got her house keys! Oh that makes me happy! I am excited to see it and glad Beka has another project. Oh fun!! Camping trips.. hahaha I feel like I am on a camping trip. But without s'mores--- super essential for the real feel.
Oh my goodness.... I am so sorry to hear about Austin's dad. That is ... I really don't have words. I am so sorry. and so so grateful for my family. Please!! All of you know how much I love you.
I did not know grandpa was having internal bleeding. I am so grateful he is doing better. Thank you for letting me know so I can pray for my family.
My email is not quite as full or eventful as yours. I have eaten some crazy foods: this weird grapefruit thing with vinegar, squid, the skin of a full pig... right off the nasty thing with the head and all and I ate fish haha. Not too bad though over all I have been blessed food wise. Fathers day my awesome ward through this activity where the kids sing and dance. The kids and youth are so amazing here- no shame what so ever. They are all tone deaf but stil sing solos and belt it out. I had some good laughs with them. Last P-day were were doing a little shopping in the market and the next day the whole market burnt to the ground- it was so sad. Tons of giant toads everywhere and HUGE moths that for some reason really like my hair.
Well the rats are really enjoying my stay. They chewed through my monkey lunch box with my meds inside and my bags and everything hahaha so I will remain living out of my suitcase. Killed my first giant cockroaches in my apt. And last night a baby snake was right next to my bed. hahaha-- oh my goodness. Mom, my ward mission leader said he tried to find you on FB. His name is Ryan Pestano- he is a huge light and help to me here so if a weird random Philipino messages you... answer him haha.
It was Philippines Independence day this week and they did not really do anything except a giant parade of kids in the morning. We were doing personal study and all a sudden I hear these crazy random noises and the parade was going right by our house. I went out side and EVERY SINGLE person in the parade turned and stared at me... I'm talking thousands of kids... it was pretty ridiculous. But they are super cute.
Ok, now ... I am not really sure where to start with this or even what to say. Missionary work is hard. Hard is not even the right word. I am thousands of miles away from anyone that has loved me in the past and my companion and I are just... I don't know. She speaks Tagalog and I don't. We are alone in our apt and its hard because whenever she talks to other people she is happy and joking and then when it just us... she doesn't talk and I don't know what to says.
Last night I didn't mean to but I offended her ( we all knew I would sooner or later) but I have really been shown so many of my weaknesses. I have so so so many weaknesses and right now I am trying to adjust. Trying to be patient, to love everyone, to love every moment, to love in general and be happy and.... slow work in progress is all I have to say haha. I know that I am here for a reason. I know that Heavenly Father answers my prayers and I know that he is the same God that gives these people who have nothing, the happiness and joy they have everyday. I spent last night speaking with a member and she has had the most.....impossible life I could even imagine.. and she is happy and simple and I ...I want to be like that. I want to be soo much better than I am. Teaching in Waray is humbling. I have to repeat to myself constantly that I am a representative of Jesus Christ and believe what I say. When you feel inferior - its a challenge to believe that. But I can do hard things!!! Another one of the sisters in my district actually went home after being here for a week.... and it breaks my heart. She is so amazing and such a sweetheart. I know that I can do this! I am learning and trying to apply Charity in my life.
We have been visiting with the Less actives in the ward and they all agree to come to church, but keeping commitments is a problem here. My companion told me (clarified) that Philippinos do not like Mormons- they have a wrong perspective of us because of anti-mormon churches here that are popular. The first time I went tracking was this week and I was so excited to get going and I finally felt kind of like a missionary and then we went out of the streets with the BOM in my hand and I felt this weight. This darkness, THe way people were looking at me was not like before... I felt like everyone hated me and wanted me gone. I talked to My companion and she said it always feels like that- missionary work is not easy Sister Ralph.
I am sorry that I just kind of threw that on you all. I just needed to get that off my chest, I know I am supposed to be here and I know my Savior lives and loves me and that faith and works brings about miracles. I am so grateful for all that I have, for my family and friends and for hope in this and the next life. Thank you all so much for your examples and love. You mean the world to me.
Sister Sarah Ralph
Thank you so much everyone for your prayers and love- I need them so much.