Tuesday, May 27, 2014

25 May 2014

Just a pretty scene I thought I would share. Since my mom is not here to talk to me (= haha Love you mom
Ok so here we go. Let's see... this week... well we talked to lots of Americans. One came up to me in the store from the back and scared me to death... can I just say that.... You don't start talking to people in YOUR language in a foreign land from their BACK! Grabe! I seriously jumped like 3 feet in the air. My companion laughed so hard at me. Another American we met as we were looking for less-actives in our area. This one was in a wheel chair and I'm not sure but I think he has elephantitis on his nose. I'm not saying that to joke or anything. He really did. But he had never seen Sister missionaries in these parts... only Elders. He told us that he was NOT catholic but that he was Christian. I said awesome! We are too!. 
This is what a LOT of the catholic kids wear when they go to church.
Not really sure why still. But they are cute (=
His immediate response with "No you are not" set the tone for the rest of the conversation. I just kept quiet but apparently my sass wore off on my companion as she asked him to READ our name tags with Christ's name tag. He went on to yet again explain our religion to us and how Joseph and Brigham are drunken thieves....  blah blah.. you know that story. My companion was fuming, hahahaha. I was laughing inside because normally that was me but this time... here this old, wheel-chaired man is not only here trying to tell us our religion is wrong but also trying to convince us that he has a great life here in the Philippines rather than in America. Oh please man.... look at your situation. I could not help but feel bad for him and my wrath would be put to better use elsewhere (joke). So I gave my companion the "it's ok" look and I just bore a simple testimony about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and invited him to do what we have done and ask God for himself. The conversation ended smoothly and I was grateful for the spirit that I knew was with us. Missionary work is full of surprises and quite fun (=

Me and my companion earlier today at this fancy farm place we went to. 
I love my companion and I'm so happy we are still together. 
She is my mom and my baby, haha.
As you all can see my companion is quite gorgeous and so we have a little trouble yet again with the fellows. We were walking down this big hill-neighborhood one day and a tricycle drives up right next to us and offers us a ride. We said "no thanks", "free" he says. We don't need a ride, thank you, Brother. "Please sisters, I will come to church if you ride..."
Uhhh... Yucks! this whole time he is driving along side us and so I get behind his tricycle and start pushing it to move along. Go!!  I pushed him and then we stopped so that he would finally leave us alone. But then he stopped too and waited and pleaded. Gross! This man ... basta..... I gave him a quick little piece of my mind and then he left (= I love being me (=

This is the ocean view from our Branch Mission Leader's house. 
 We shared with the Ruiz family this week- just a sister and her kids. None of her kids are baptized but she and her husband were baptized many years ago. The sister, last time we taught, told us that she had some sort of ulcer and could not go to church. This time she told us boldly that the church was too cold because of the A.C. (you would be surprised how many people complain about the church being too cold from the A.C- funny huh?) So obviously we are not fooled by the backdrop of her concerns. We taught a powerful lesson. It was the first time in a while that I really felt the spirit work through us. I knew each of them could feel the spirit and there was no denying it. Those moments make every rejection, every hard moment worth it- when you know you are giving the same lesson Christ would give if He were here. We taught about the restoration and bore testimony of the blessings that we have experienced through living the gospel. It was obvious that sister was having a battle with the spirit when she finally brought up the fact that members are not very good people at the church. AHHH!! yet again... offended. Can I just tell you... the two biggest reasons why people here stop coming to church... offended and "busy." Satan... he is tricky. Funny he uses the SAME reasons and tools on just about everyone and it still continues to work. I wish I had a real success story for you that they came to church and repented, but pride takes time to conquer. But we are happy to know that the spirit was guiding the lesson and she has been invited yet again to come back and partake of the Love and blessings of the Gospel, line upon line. Real missionary work (=
This is our first baptism here in Sogod. Sister Melagros. She is super sweet and loves to talk. She really knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, She has great faith and we love her.

Like you saw in the picture we had a baptism of Sister Melagros Bation! She is a doll and loves the gospel. We are excited for her to partake of the blessings of the spirit over time. 

A little boy in our branch caught these two little birds 
and let us play with them, haha.  It's so tiny. 

So I was reading this talk that talked about one of the apostles who talked about how sins do not simply go away with time and that eventually they will have to be faced here or in the next life soo. Sorry that was random but this apostle was in his 40's or 50's when he realized that there was something in his childhood he had not been honest with his brother with when they were way young. And he asked forgiveness. I don't think I am an exception....

Ok! so Sister Melagros she is sister-in-law with Sister Bation a member. And Sister M is living with them at this time so we always teach at their house. They have three daughters and the oldest two married Americans who served here (weird huh?) and the third is still in school now but there are lots of immodest (not like BAD, but short skirts etc.) modeling pictures of her in the house. We were all talking after a lesson one time and Sister Bation was very adamant about how her youngest daughter was not allowed to date. I was rather shocked due to the fact that they would allow her to wear such clothing and I gave up my self control for a brief moment and let my mouth open and kind of just told her that if her daughter wants to marry a good husband than she better start dressing modest. Yea... we left and I did not feel super good about what I said, but I justified myself saying that it was true and someone needed to say it. Well that was Saturday morning and I did not give much thought to it after that. Sunday comes around and here we have RS first, Sunday school, then Sacrament. In R.S. Sister Bation is the teacher and the topic is on kindness. The spirit chastised me Hard. I felt terrible. I had this huge pride internal battle with myself in justifying and not needing to apologize. But then in the back of my mind, I knew I had to. I knew that the spirit was the one (just like in PMG it talks about how the spirit occupies the mind and presses on the feelings) I could not get what I did out of my head. I could not move on. I felt heavy-hearted, ugly and disappointed. I knew the spirit was working on me. I thought and thought about how I would bring it up to Sister Bastion and what I would say. I sat in Sunday school just wracked. I experienced what it talks about in the scriptures and in general conference talks about how sin really does CHAIN us down. It burdens us. It was almost this physical weight and I had to get rid of it. I wanted to talk to her right before Sacrament meeting but circumstances did not allow because we were randomly told that the missionaries were singing the rest hymn. So I cried through sacrament, got up and sang "Lead Kindly Light" and sat down still feeling the burden, but at this time I knew that nothing would stop me from asking her forgiveness and I knew that once I did the spirit would return. That freedom and peace would come back. Right after Sacrament meeting I got up and went straight to her and asked her forgiveness and hugged her. The spirit did come right back and I never want to feel like that again. I am so grateful for the spirit that not only guides but chastises and drives us to repent, to change. I was praying for opportunities to use and become more aware of the atonement in my life and my prayer was answered. I know the atonement of Jesus Christ is real, and even missionaries need not only the enabling but the redeeming power every single day. I love being a missionary and enjoying the companionship of the Holy Ghost. ..... mom its up to you whether to put that on the blog but I thought I would at least share with you. Thank you for loving me despite my countless faults and weaknesses. I love you mom. 

Please be safe!
 Love Sister Ralph

This picture is my companion during and after our companionship prayer, haha.
I tried to wake her up, I even shook her...useless. hahaha got to love her.

It took me a while to hold the rooster. It sounds dumb but after you have seen those puppies FIGHT! Cockfighting... I had good reason to be scared of it. So thankfully Elder Lum is patient with me. Elder Lowe got a video of me being all pathetic that I am exciting to see at some far distant point in the future
It took me a while but SUCCESS!! I held the rooster ... 
just quick enough for My companion to snap the pix, as you can tell.... 
I was not exactly enjoying myself hahahaha But I DID IT (=

This is Elder Lum, my zone leader. He has a talent with rabbits other than those shown here, haha. 
Apparently he can lay them down and make them knock out dead asleep. Crazy random talents haha.

The last pix is a monkey. We became friends real quick. I would throw cucumbers up at him and he would catch them and chew them like there was no tomorrow. Love the Philippines.

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