Monday, April 14, 2014

13 April 2014 -- Lots of Happenings.

Ok so here comes my email.
     We are starting off with last P-day. After everything was done we went to the beach like always and there we saw a white older man who had a translator with him and a mega phone -teaching and handing out books. I HONESTLY wanted to see what he was teaching and find out what he believed. Well...... yeah.... hahha. He came over and jumped the gun. He started talking about how there was no way our religion could be true because the first sin was Satan trying to be a God and yet that is exactly what we claim we can do as members. He went on telling us that he was surprised that we as Women would join a religion where the men get their own planet and as many wives to be their slaves. I looked at him and said "Do you honestly believe that I would belong to a religion that believed that?"....
     I asked him if I could explain the error in his understanding of what we believe but he would not listen. We did not fight back, we just listened. But OH MY GOODNESS!! Can I just tell you.... Do NOOOTTTT TELL ME What I BELIEVE!! If there is any way to TICK me off!!! ... he found it. Hahahha ok ok! 

P-day at the beach playing with the kids...
(Mom I'm working on a big letter but its storming now thunder and lightning like crazy and hour house is flooded... the power keeps going out so it's going to take some time.)
FHE with the Canete Family and investigators.

BUT DO not fear... ALL! I was very gentle and kind to him. I did not interrupt even, I just listened, hahahha. I'm practicing my patience and grateful for the opportunity to TRY IT (= He eventually just left because there was no point in our conversation. But he was on my mind ALOT the next few days. If his message really was true..... why didn't he share it with us? That's all I wanted in the first place was to see what he believed. Broke my heart. He continued not far in the distance talking to everyone with his translator man about the message he had and we went back to the beach and played. The little kids were playing soccer and one kid got hurt. You should have seen how all of us missionaries just immediately ran to him and comforted him and picked him up and massaged his leg and gave him juice. It was a beautiful sight. Then the picture that you see... It started out as me and three kids just playing tag. Only a few minutes into the game (also I DO NOT like tag-- but they were so cute)....
              (each continue means the thunder killed the power again haahahha so I start again..)
     I am soooo out of shape and could barely breathe... but for over an hour we chased and tagged, and I picked up the little boys and threw up gently on the ground (laughing) and we wrestled and just had a blast! It made me SUUUUPPPPERRRR Mommy hungry! I am so excited to be a mom... but I just realized how much I love them. They are so precious to me! Each of them! They could feel our love for them. They wanted to know when we were coming back and they walked us home and just smiled and hugged us. CONTRAST that to the preacher earlier. I think we helped share the message of Jesus Christ more with those kids in an hour than that man will be able to do his whole life.... Because WE LIVE what we preach! I love missionary work!
     I had a blast that P-day! I LOVE kids soooo much! They make me so happy! Then that night we had FHE slash birthday party with the Canete family, new investigators. and the one where the elder looks like he is scolding me. We had a blast! Those brothers in the picture lost the game and their punishment is to spell their names with their rears in front of us.... their wives laughed sooo much. This was where we were really able to get their love and trust. I LOVE FHE!
This is the Bum picture.
FHE game!
      After FHE, Brother Arnie let us ride on the back of his big dump truck and took us home. IT WAS SO FUN! That is the other picture.
Getting a ride in a dumptruck.
Soaked clothes from the storm

Buckets of rainwater on the inside...
Baling buckets of water all week....
     So we also taught a new couple this week, the Marco family. Brother Marco is a teacher at the college and so he is professional. (= He asked great questions and we are excited to go back. Things might be slow this week because it's holy week, which means they have crazy traditions! We are not even allowed to work on Friday... apparently they do Crucifixions here! AHHH!!!

     We also taught my favorite! The Calos family! They are such an incredible, beautiful family! We had a plan to teach them about faith and tying it in with following the prophet but the spirit had another plan for us. This experience increased my testimony of the importance of teaching people and not lessons and asking questions, the right questions at the right time. We started off the lesson talking about faith and asked a few questions and Sister Calos brought up her concern that we had no idea about. She said that every time the missionaries have taught her and her family (including us) that someone in her family has gotten sick....
     You know you are teaching as the Savior would when you have the courage to lay aside what you plan and teach what comes to your heart as you listen to your investigators. That is what we did. We shared other scriptures from Ether and other prophets about faith and trials. It was beautiful to watch as the light came into her children's eyes as they understood our message and then THEY bore testimony that it would be alright and God was in control. There were no dry eyes in the room. The spirit was so strong that I could not even speak normal. We were all whispering and even as we left... we were whispering and hugging and crying and yet so happy. I love the spirit so much! This work is TRUE!
     So zone conference with the president was awesome!! I LOVE President Andaya soo much! And I love and appreciate President Lopez, too. Because of President Lopez.. I respect and appreciate President Andaya more and his vision and love for me. He is such a humble and Christ-like leader. I am going to miss him. The WHOLE conference really was focused on PATIENCE! THREE separate lessons or trainings on patience, hahahahha. You think they are trying to tell me something?
     This week Sister AGreda... my anak... she was with me during the storm. She randomly started making fun of me for my reaction to the call that I had to leave Carigara. When the brothers came to our house and said grab a pair of garments we are leaving NOW! She thinks ITS SOOOOOOO funny to re-enact my reaction. Hahaha, Hysterical crying and's crazy she remembers word for word what I said. It's kind of sad but at least we are happy we can laugh about it now. IT was bad though.... If I didn't know it was true I would have said it was REALLY bad ACTING! Haha, we love laughing now though.
     The other picture is of our apt. It has flooded 4 times this week and is currently flooded. We have not been able to finish our personal study because it's always interrupted with Sister Agreda screaming up the stairs BAHA!!!! which means flood... I got some fun pictures of a few of the times. It floods because it's POURING BUCKETS AND.... the pipes for some RIDICULOUS reason haha, lead INTO our apt. SO the water comes is faster than we can bucket it out, haha.
     Did I get to watch conference??? Please mother... of course, I have been looking forward to it for 6 MONTHS!! But it's not as smooth of a process here. We watched the first session at 7 pm at night even though it was scheduled for 10 in the morning.... BROWN OUT! gahh! And I got to watch part of priesthood session! SO AMAZING!! WOW!! MY theme was "Love God First and then love your neighbor!" Then! "BE COURAGEOUS!!" I'm SO excited to be given opportunities to be courageous!!! I was inspired and I just LOVE our General Authorities. I did not get to see myself, haha, because our American investigator Judy came and I was walking her outside when apparently it came on... sad, hahah, ok la.
     But I loved conference so much! Elder Teh came and spoke to us at our last mission conference here and Elder Ardern, the one who said the opening prayer in Sat afternoon is the one who rescued us from Tacloban! I love them so much!
     MOM!!!! Now its your turn!! HAPPPPPPPPPYYYYYYY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Mom- I can't tell you how many times I have said out here in the field... "I just want my mom to hug me" "My Mom would know what to do" "I only know that because of my mom" "It's because my mom is the best"...... President Andaya always asks us.. how do you want your companions to remember you? I know that if my companions know anything about me...past my testimony... they know that I love my family and respect and love my mother. You are constantly in my thoughts ... as I reflect, as I try to make the right decision. I think of your example. I have NO idea why my Father in Heaven blessed me with such an incredible Mother and exemplar... But I'm doing my best to serve him with all my heart so He knows how grateful I am. And because I know it's what you would do and what you would want me to do. I remember when I was 9 or ten years old. We were doing the dishes after dinner one Sunday and we were talking about church. I told you that I did not know how to repent and just started crying. You grabbed me and put me in your lap and said... Sarah... you are repenting right now. This is part of it.
     I will never forget that. That experience helped me learn what it means to have Godly sorrow, how to recognize the spirit and how to repent. That is one among millions of Pure Christ-like love you have demonstrated to me. I cannot thank you enough. Mom, you are the most incredible woman on this earth. You are my mother! And I treasure that knowledge. I cannot wait to see you, to hear you scream my name on the phone, to call you every day, to watch you dance in the kitchen, to lay beside you on your bed, to watch you jump off the couch during a scary movie (or not scary at all (; ), to see you rock a baby to sleep, to see you serve my father selflessly. You inspire me daily! You are always in my prayers, thoughts. Please be safe!!!!

Happy Birthday Mom!! I love you so much!

Love Forever,

Sister Ralph
She is Tongan!! She is Sister Fotofili and my house mate. She is a doll! We are at the most American restaurant in town. All Foreigners, not missionaries, always eat here. It's "mahal" or expensive so we don't eat there too much. 

We drove to Tacloban this week for zone conference and that is me zonked out on my companion. I got SUPPPPPPPERRR car sick and kind of started hyperventilating out the window and it was just... bad. But I felt sooo much love. My companion rubbed my back while I'm crying out the window and the elders were helping me breathe and gave me a wet rag for my head. I was taken care of (=

Zone Conference in Tacloban

No comments:

Post a Comment