Sunday, May 18, 2014

18 May 2014

Wow Mom, you are on top of things. You are the best! Thank you for the email and update! I'm excited to be home so I CAN HELP you with all the chores around the house (I'm such a weird child to look forward to something like that).
   I very much appreciate you talking to Sister Carlson about me getting to work there. Anything at this point would be wonderful, but I realize I will need a job when I get home! Ahh! Stress. No, just kidding I'm not stressed, everything will work out.
   Oh Mom, Before I forget, I think we are going on a hike next week, so do not wait for me. I am not sure what time I will get on line. But do not forget that I love you.
This is us celebrating being together still with Smores in the Apartment.
We had to make some minor adjustments but we were happy with it(=
This one is a close up of me enjoying thoroughly my smore (=
This one is me having a BUKO shake- its from coconuts and you CAN NOT get this in america from my understanding (which... you know isnt always absolute haha). But its pretty good, 
I would recommend trying it. 
     So this week has been .... not sure if I quite have a word for it- different but good.
    This last Monday was amazing because I got to talk to my family. That night my companion was not feeling good at all and so I had some personal time. ... I took this time to reflect on my life and where I was at and where I wanted to be and what was most important to me, what I wanted in this life and the next, what I knew to be true. I am not sure why but for some reason I just felt this heaviness on my heart. I don't know if it was because we are opening an area and so the adjustment stage is a little slow and rough... its my fourth time opening an area though so you would think I would be champ at this point.... haha, nope. Basta....Even though I did not know what it was, I DID know that I needed divine help. I was upset with myself and my weaknesses. The things as a missionary I SHOULD be doing, but was lacking os struggling in. I got on my knees and POURED my whole heart and soul out. I can not tell you how much joy came to my heart from the simple words that came to my mind (more a reminder from my patriarchal blessing) "God knows your heart and your weaknesses". Those words filled my soul with a love that is so completely indescribable. In the Book of Mormon when the prophets (Alma) talks about their sorrow being swallowed up in Christ... that is exactly how I felt. I felt safe and loved. I Know with out a doubt that my Heavenly Father hears my prayers, He knows my heart and He is patient with me. How I love Him!
This is a bread shop. They make bread in shapes of different animals.
Pigs, turtles, you name it, haha, neat-O.
These are the only cute and HAIR filled puppies I have seen in the Philippines
-- Here in Sogod (=   
The dad is a lab. 
More puppies hahahahah THEY ARE SOO CUTE!
and I missed the ones at my own house soooo.... God is very kind
   We have a less active family that we have been teaching and her son's name is JesNeph haha Combo of Jesus and Nephi. She said she wants him to remember the be righteous always because of his name. She is a strong woman and she is a good example to me of true faith. Her kids make me laugh too (=
   People in the Philippines are SIMPLE minded people. She is trying. I just thought the name thing was funny.. so I shared. She came to church (=
   He is 4 but he is special so he looks like he is 2 and his eyes are .... it looks like he has giant white cataracts

   Ok, this week I got to become a certified teacher. Our sister leaders come over and they have this big certification process that no one likes to do haha, but it's what our president asked us to do... so we obey! And I passed woot, woot. Sister Hogge is the one to pass me and I love her so much. We learned a lot from each other and I appreciate her so much!

   Sister Bray and I had a neat experience this last Friday. (The background to this story is that Sister Ralph has been feeling guilty for not talking to as many people as she should or could have since being here in Sogod.) Sooo...Because we are opening an area and the members are busy this week things have been going slow but we still are driven to do all we can. We have a curfew at 7PM though for sisters because there have been problems in the past etc... etc... etc. and this night we had gone everywhere we had planned and (it gets dark at 6pm every night) we wanted to keep working but we did not know what to do and felt stupid with only 20 minutes left. We looked at each other on the side of the road and Sister Bray (who I love to death) said "Lets pray." She said a prayer that was sincere and simple. We told Heavenly Father that we did NOT want to go home, we wanted to work, but were unsure what to do, we asked for guidance and faith to move forward. After the prayer, Sister Bray in all her cuteness said "where is the north star?" hahaha -She, knowing that I love the stars. I pointed it out and she said great, let's go that way. So we went...
   We walked for less than a minute and these two girls were walking the opposite direction- obviously in the middle of an intense conversation. But I looked at them and I let them pass. ...... ..... I did not SAY ANYTHING!! I was sooo mad at myself! What am I doing? What did we just pray for?? Who are we? Why am I asking for help if I am not willing to do anything about it! I tell people every day that they have to have the faith in order to make their prayers become a reality and what the heck am I doing. Gosh! Sister Ralph! You are such a hypocrite! I was done! That is not true repentance, Sister Ralph! Make it happen! The two sisters were already gone, but I saw another girl out of the corner of my eye and despite how incredibly awkward or weird I was approaching this girl, I was going to open my mouth! She was willing to listen and we set a return appt., We left and walked ten feet and I saw another group of girls... HERE WE GO SIS Bray! Two return appts -BOOM! I have a testimony that WE CHOOSE to make our prayers become a reality. God blesses and guides us and answers our prayers depending on our willingness to change, to act and to follow. How I love prayer. How I l appreciate how Patient my Father in Heaven is with me as things slowly... ever so slowly click (=
This picture is of a fruit. It's called jackfruit and THIS
my Dear Brothers and Sisters is Juicy Fruit GUM!
I tasted it and my mind was BLOWN! I was eating Juicy fruit gum....
 but it was fruit. I had to convince myself that it was actually fruit
that was good for me and not just sugar
ruining my teeth hahah CRAZZY!! Love the Philippines!
 We were invited to a dinner (all 6 of us missionaries) one night this week and I enjoyed talking with the family for a bit. I don't know what it is about their little boy- I think he is almost 4 years old, but he just loves me... in this weird way. He always finds me at church or wherever and just stares at me. And then waits for my attention. hahaha I ate quickly and we played airplanes on the ground while the more MATURE kids had adult talk at the table..... I was where I belong I feel, hahaha.

   I really do love being a missionary. I know it is way hard. I hate that I can't talk to you whenever I want, I can't get a hug or listen to you scream my name on the phone, I don't really know what's going on in the lives of my siblings, my grandparents, my parents and the people I love, I'm missing my family grow up and become closer. But I am so so happy to be here. I'm so Happy and humbled that My Savior trusts me enough to be here and represent Him. I love the Book of Mormon so much. It truly has become my anchor for my testimony. I know this is the work of God on the earth today and even though I have absolutely NO idea HOW it's possible...I just know that it is. And that's enough for me. Let's endure to the End together. Finish Strong together! We are an eternal Family because of Jesus Christ.

I love you all!
Sister Ralph
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