Sunday, August 18, 2013

18 August 2013

   Here it is for this week (=
Family I want to know how the Reunion went!! Wish I could be with you, but just be Safe!
   Alright, so transfers are coming up soon and who knows what will happen. So my companion and I are working super, super hard trying to get this whole language thing in control, haha. I don't know if I told you already, but my companion Sister Cruz is from Manila and speaks Tagalog, not Waray. So we are both learning. I just laughed this week because the two big topics that people bring up when we are around is schistomisos being a huge problem (the worms that stay in your body forever) and how there are so many languages in my area. No joke, every 2 miles is a different language. Hahaha, I decided this week that I have been blessed with a gift already. Maybe not the gift of interpretation on tongues, but just the fact that I do not get frustrated with the language now is a huge blessing. My ZL before said when I get frustrated I upset God's plan for me. So I am going to just do my best and accept the fact that God's will might just be that I struggle for a long time with this whole three -languages-at-once thing. I have to admit though... alot of my lack of language is my own fault. I really struggled (still do) to open my mouth sometimes. After asking their name, age and where they are from... haha I don't know what to say. But this week I prayed super hard for courage to just open my mouth and so I did. I talked to way more people this week.. don't get me wrong they are not elaborate conversations or anything... but step by step right?? haha, I'm slowly learning that true joy really does come from thinking and serving others. When I open my mouth and talk to people life just seems so much... happier and worth living (that sounds depressing, but its true). I am soooo far from perfect that it seems like every time I spend a long time thinking about all my weaknesses... I just feel worse and I question my worth and my testimony, I question whether my Father in Heaven is proud of me or not... but when I am just out talking to people and getting to know them and sharing the gospel... I don't question. Those are the times when you feel the spirit work through you. Crazy how simple the gospel is, yet the application sometimes can be a stinker. I am grateful my companion is trying to push me to open my mouth. I forgot how much I love people. I really do.... I just love people, they make me happy!
   Any way, sorry for that rant. This week we went and taught at Asian College. We taught the Plan of Salvation. Oh my goodness, did this make me grateful for my education. All the classrooms are connected and so it's pretty much impossible to hear the teacher because you can hear everything outside and the other classes as well. We got a few referrals and some of the kids really participated, so hopefully something wonderful will come from that.
   This week was big with our LA's. Not so much with investigators, we actually had to drop a few for various reasons. They moved to Manila for work or their parents won't allow them. But this week, three of the less-actives we were visiting just broke down to us. All for various reasons. Either they were having marital problems, struggling with their testimony because of a death of their child or they found out their children were into drugs. Talk about a wave of emotions and problems. I can't understand the language of most of these people, but my heart just aches for these women. It's so easy to get into this trap of thinking you are the only one in the world with problems. But oh boy, we all have problems! All of us! My heart just ached for these women. They are doing their best and we pray fervently for them in all of their various trials. On a HAPPY note!! Oh man!!! This Sunday was SOO AMAZING!! Our attendance goal for sacrament was 125 ( I tried to get my companion to make it higher but she is big into being "realistic" hahaha. 155!! 155!!! came to church! Oh my goodness! I was so soo so happy! Almost all of our LA's and 3 investigators came to church! WOW! I just wanted to cry.... well actually I did. It was the best feeling. Scratch that, the best feeling was when I was trying to herd people into their various Sunday school classes and I saw the sisters in the ward truly embrace and surround and love a LA we have been teaching forever and until now has not come to church. AH... If I could just express to you my joy. That is what the gospel is all about.
   We had a new investigator this week- Rubilitha- we met her through asking a referral from the members and when we taught her there were 7 of us young girls kneeling at the end of the lesson- out in this shack in the middle of the night. Hopefully Father in Heaven will forgive me, but during the prayer I looked up at the 6 other girls with their heads bowed and their arms folded, kneeling on the ground, speaking with our Father in Heaven. It was perfectly beautiful. I knew at that moment, that Our Father in Heaven loves each of us and no matter where we are, He wants to speak to us and bless us. Oh, how I love this gospel.
   One of the struggles we are having is people only wanting us to teach them because they want "Sister Barbie" to come into their house. Ok.... Sister Ralph is not a Barbie!! Ridiculous! I try to explain this to people, but it's useless. I say "give me a ball...I'll show you how "Barbie" I am"... but we just try to listen to the spirit so we know who really has true intentions. In the mean time I just try to ignore the kids and guys taking pictures of me during the lessons and the kids that grab my skin while we are teaching. P.S philippino people are soo patient. Time is not the same here as it is there. People just live and ... it's fairly refreshing.
   Yesterday was the first time that we walked all the way home! No dogs this time- Blessing!! (= It was a nice long walk to make up for the lack of exercise and the ridiculous amount of food I eat. I think I have "pets" as Sister Cruz calls them because no matter how much I eat... I am hungry and it's really not good. Oh also.. I bought my first Lice Comb! I will be using that too... Oh and my hair and the hair on my arms is turning dark and my legs look like I have leprosy...I'm turning Philippino!! (=
   I was struggling earlier this week during my personal study. A very good friend of mine told me that he is happy because he knows his standing before God. And I wanted to know my standing too. I studied and prayed and just didn't know what to think, or if I received an answer... but during companionship study my companion reminded me about the sons of Mosiah and how they too "struggled in the spirit." I don't know who I was or why I thought this whole "losing yourself in the work" would be easy. It's not. It's hard work. It wasn't easy for the Savior why should it be easy for me? Don't you think that is a testament in itself of the truthfulness of the Gospel? I mean... here we are as members and we believe in the Gospel, we believe that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, but I'm not here proclaiming any easy way out. I'm not here to tell people that the gospel is easy and full of instant gratification. That's not the point of this life. The point is we are here to be tried... and we are here to spread the Truth that Yes its hard, yes you will struggle... but with Faith in Jesus Christ we will grow to be Like Him. We will be blessed beyond measure, we are loved! Oh man... I am not explaining myself well at all... Just know that I love this gospel and I know that Struggling is part of the plan for each of us. We have the truth!
   Thank you for being willing to read my long rants. I love and miss each of you dearly and pray for you always,
   With All My Love,
       Sister Ralph

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