Samuel... how are those braces coming along?? Weird huh?
How are all the babies in the family doing?
OK these are going to be random so bare with me..
Last P-day we had a ward missionary and full time missionary activity where we made food and watched the "Other Side of Heaven"... oh my goodness can I just tell you. I died! I died of laughter. I can totally relate to that movie now and its suuuuupppper funny. I was crying I laughed so hard. I had mango float again.. which is delicious. I will make it for my family and whoever else when I get back. Super good! I'm trying to learn how to cook but we will see how that works out haha. Nothing like my mom's cooking though for sure.
Ok, so far one of my favorite parts of the Philippines is just how beautiful it always is. Yes... it's dirty and trashy but the these people live in the jungle. The coconut trees stretch for as far as you can see and the sky is blue or covered in clouds. It's so easy to find something to be grateful for here. At night, when the clouds are not crazy, the stars are beautiful and HUGE bats are always flying everywhere. I love the bats!! I love that there are huge spiders and people just treat them like wall decorations. I found out why this week when I tried to kill one in my house- they are lightning quick. It's easier to just let them be haha. Almost everyday there is tremendous thunder. Its sooo exciting! I give a little Sarah squeal every time I hear it cause I love it so much. It means that the rain is coming and its going to dump! And boy does it ever. It just floods everything in like 2 minutes and then stops and everything is dry again in an hour. So weird. I already broke my umbrella- serves me right for getting it at Wally World. I got to teach the Restoration to an investigator this week and man did I bomb it, but the spirit was there and I felt so good! I love Joseph Smith so much!
Ok.. this always confused me. So most of the little kids run around naked or with no pants yea? So no diapers right? Sooo???? you get what I am trying to say? I found out this week during a lesson when the little girl just went right there in the middle of the house, hahaha, when the ground is dirt in peoples homes. That's probably one of the reasons they always wear flipflops... cause the ground of their house is the bathroom as well. Good to know. I love this place!!
I went on my first exchanges this last week and it was fun. I got to see a different approach at teaching and so I learned a lot. She helped me set some goals and I was yet again pushed out of my comfort zone being the one to lead her through the area.
So I found out a lot about my mission this week. Apparently it was terrible before. Missionaries were getting married to Catholics as missionaries, and creating secret combination things where missionaries would get points for disobedience. it was highest in baptisms, but many of them were not good baptisms. So right now we are in the process of cleaning up the mission and the mess made. So baptisms are few, but we are focusing on rescuing.
I gave my camera card to the secretary in my ward cause he asked for it, but he ended up removing all my pix. Soo... alas. I lost all of my pictures. Sorry )= . Lame I know. Sister Sandra is an RM in my ward and she is such a gem. She is helping me with the language and she read my mind or something because I needed another skirt and she randomly showed up and handed me a skirt and was like... I think this will fit you. I was shocked and so surprised to find that it not only fit but was long enough!!! All of you who shop with me know just what kind of a miracle that is. Ridiculous!
This week has been so good, because the ward is really warming up to me. Some of the girls in the ward say things like "I would want you for my companion" or "we want you to stay here forever" things like that... just make me feel so good! I love love love my ward so much!
Elder Baker is one of my ZL's and he is probably going to be transferred next week but I really look up to him. He is a huge help with the language and with just becoming the missionary I want to be. I want to become a PMG missionary. It is not easy and I have a long ways to go, but its a goal that I have. I am excited for everything ahead of me.
The language is still.... not happening haha. But I am trying to stay positive and do what I can with what I have. I'm going to pray harder and fast more and would really appreciate your continued prayers in helping me to learn this language. I have realized that I do not get as frustrated any more... so that is something, right? hahaha It will come, it will (= .
Me and my companion are improving. I think the ward members have helped her see some of my positive qualities and so that has been a huge blessing for me. I am happy and content so no complaints (= .
I love Sundays sooo much! They are just truly blessed days. I just feel edified and uplifted every Sunday! It is a day of emotional rest for me at least.
So just an hour ago, my companion and I were at JolliBee (its like McDonalds for Philip) and I was ordering when someone behind me said, "where are you from?" in an English accent. I was shocked to turn around and see a white guy behind me. He and another guy, Eric and Greg, are interns here, graduated from Princeton. We four ate together and it was really cool to see how I could share principles of the gospel with them in just a more simple way than I have before. I was confident and appreciated the English. Yea, Eric asked if I could get lunch with him... so I had to explain a little, but we are giving his number to Elder Keate, no joke... he might actually really be interested in the church. I am excited to see where that goes. It sounds bad, but you kind of had to be there. Either way, It was nice to share my testimony the way I feel it- in my own language.
Something that I am learning and will continue to learn is Faith. Don't laugh... yes I know this is the first basic requirement in the church. But all my life, I have lacked this greatly. I didn't realize that all my fears and worries and complaints really were just me lacking faith. I want to be like Nephi and with confidence say... "I will go and DO the things the Lord has commanded... for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment.. save he shall prepare a way for them". This scripture is going to be a part of who I am. I want to increase in trust in my Savior and believe that if I am doing my best, I can not fail. I am not here to fail. I am here to preach the gospel. I love my life!
I love my family and dear friends so very very much. I am so grateful for your patience with me and your love. You are such a strength to me. Please be safe and know that I love you so much!
Forever With Love,
Sister Sarah Ralph