Monday, June 9, 2014

8 June 2014 -- Pictures worth a thousand words...

Ok Mom, here is your late Mother's day gift... a billion pictures. Sorry not much to say but a picture is worth a thousand words so... technically I'm speaking ALOT.
 Tacloban Mission Conference
This is us in Tacloban getting a pedicure (=

Ok those three explain what me and Sister Bray did while we waited in Tacloban before our service project.

That was Wednesday. Thursday morning was the project.
Service Project cleaning a special park.
The entire mission met at MacArthur Park but this place is special to all Tacloban missionaries because this is where you come and get assigned your trainer and language and where you are going when you FIRST come into the field.
This next one is my awesome zone before we get to work.
This is Elder Burton.... He misses my sass in his district
but as you can see he continues to work hard
with his wizard skills in Tacloban zone. Haha luv the kid

So we were separated into zones and then just went to work. Some had to pick up trash. We were assigned to pick up rocks and pile them... I'm still sore... it sounds easy but my legs... are dead,haha. LOVE IT, others had to clean out the pond, some weeded... we just tried to beautify the place really and it looks so much better.
This is Elder Panganiban working hard.
He is a great missionary and has a
beautiful voice. He is a lot like an's weird.

It was a treat for many of us because a number of RM's and our MTC teachers were there.

The picture with the Sister by the statues is Sister Lindsey-
she was in Tacloban during the storm. She is an angel.

This is Brother Pasikala my MTC teacher and my companion. He taught both of us and when he found out we were companions he said "wow, that's a dynamic companionship" hahahaha not sure what that means but people love us, soooo no one's complaining (=
This is a picture of Sogod zone... with our matching t-shirts. "SOGOD" on our shirts is made of little things that kind of explain our life as missionaries in Tacloban and its really cool, I will show you when I get home (=
This is my Batch! We love each other and have a lot of fun. It's really cool because this day happened to be our ONE YEAR MARK!!! ... in the Philippines.... so we thought we would celebrate (= 

This is Sister Fotofili and Sister Agreda and Elder Murdock my zone leader from Borongan!
Sr Fotofil, me, Sr. Agreda and Elder Murdock
I miss and love them very much. Elder Murdock took over our area there and so it was good to get caught up on what is going on and how our investigators are progressing. The Calos family are getting baptized!!! YES!!!

Elder Carling (secret but I hope he is the next AP)
he is a terrific example of what a consecrated
missionary should be like. He is from Montana....
random, hahaha.

Elder Quinco made them, my zone leader now. Can you see the pictures?

Ok, that's all you get for the service project. We need a huge group photo but I think they sent it to everyones email and I will find it and send it to you.

So this was the devotional after the CSP. The devotional was beautiful. The Andaya family sang "Helaman's Army" song and all the missionaries joined in on the last verse. I bawled like a child. It was soo good to listen and be able to say Goodbye to president and Sister Andaya. I love them so much! They changed this mission!! We all cried and just felt the spirit and after it was all done we took pictures and the islanders did the HAKA for us... which you see below.

This picture at first looks inappropriate but you have to understand. This Elder was in Bacolod with me. He went straight from the MTC to Bacolod and then later finally came to Tacloban where he was assigned. (this was due to the storm). We were in the same zone and then he comes here and I don't know if you could see it but he did the HAKA and he is from New Zealand. He got INTO IT!! He was soo intense everyone wanted to shake his hand afterward ... his tongue is so big and was even MORE out there when he did the HAKA. So this is a shout out and a Respect to Elder Anderson.

This is Sister Estes and Sister Agreda...two of my favorite people.
The big group is all of the missionaries in Tacloban mission that Brother Pasikala taught. He is a legend. I am grateful I was able to talk one on one with him and get some really good advice. I'm older than him but he is soo full of wisdom and the spirit. It was so good to talk to him and he told me that he could see in all of our eyes how happy we are. It's true... I AM SO HAPPY! (=

This is Sister Hogge- she is my STL. or my Sister Training Leader
and I love her to death. She is so humble and just so much
fun to have around.

Elder Burton and Elder Stead. I love these two so much.
Elder Stead was my district leader and out of all Elders
in the field that I have met, I have learned the Most from him.
I'm excited that we are going home batch!

Elder Lum- from Hawaii. .. he is my zone leader now and we have lots of fun together. He is a recent convert to the church and another example of how the atonement really can change people, if they want it more than anything else. I love this Elder! He has one transfer left! AHH!!

Last one... Sister Nelson. Another STL, she goes home in one transfer too. She is a sweetheart and a volleyball player. All of these people have impacted me and changed me for good in one way or another. Missions are amazing!

Now this is on one way home. You get to see the mature side of the Elders in my zone hahahaha, They are actually all very good dedicated servants of the Lord. They talk to everyone and just have fun doing it. I'm going to miss them (=

     Moving on!! So this is the wedding of Sister Daylin (our investigator). They needed to get married before she could get baptized and so Saturday was an exciting day for everyone! Though I have to admit, I am happy that my wedding will be in America. As sweet and simple as it was. TEMPLE!!! But this was a beautiful baby step for them in the right direction of becoming an eternal family. (=

More wedding pictures. This is at our chapel

Next exciting event is the baptism. 2 hours after the wedding was Daylin's baptism. Ok.... I have to tell you this. So Elder Lowe is my district leader and of course at first he thought I was weird and quoting from him he said "The first two weeks I was your district leader I was like 'what did I get myself into?'"... but of course.. now he loves me, hahaha. But any way, so he was the one to baptize her. The first time she kind of freaked out when he put her under the water.
So they did it again, /// again... she freaked out. Third time her feet came up. After the fourth time when she came out of the water they lost balance and it looked like they were doing water aerobics... I accidentally laughed so loud. It was like a Jessica laugh. I promise it was an accident but I just could not help it. FINALLY on the 6th time... she was correctly and completely baptized by immersion. It was so memorable. Elder Lowe of course heard me laugh from the font after the fourth time and he told me afterward that he thought to himself "I'm never talking to Sister Ralph again!" Hahahahhaha! But we still talk and he still loves me. District unity. We just laugh and joke about it all the time now, 6 times, hahaha. Good times in the mission. (=

Hot chocolate with ANTS!
The orange picture is me and Sister Bray my companion this morning before we climbed Isang Lubi. It's the highest mountain around here and at the top is just ONE coconut tree. It's pretty cool. So we are drinking a hot chocolate (only 5 pesos) and I had drunken half of it when I looked in and saw all these floating things....hahah. YEP... lots and lots of ants. Dead now. I'm sure many more are safely in my tummy, but we drank it, haha. Welcome to the Philippines (=

Hubble hubble rides
Don't judge any of these pictures huh.... it was early morning haha. So this was our hubble-hubble ride up part of the mountain. But crazy enough I actually had to switch hubble-hubbles and ended up riding with the Elders, which was completely inspired because the sister's hubble-hubble actually crashed on the way up. If I had been on that bike I would have gotten hurt- I know it. None of the sisters were harmed because they were more in the front and are light weights. But we being big and in the back would have flown. God is so good to me!

This is me on my first attempt to climb isang lubi. It's not as easy as it looks
Ok this is my Birthday Email for JENNA, BEKA and GRACIE! Ok, so I might have to explain this picture but hopefully not... the coconut tree is the candle on your birthday cake and I am on the candle. I brought a picture of each of you up to the top of this hill which that in itself was an accomplishment and then I climbed this tree and ripped open my foot for all of you. I was going to take a picture with your pictures and me on the tree but it's scarier than it looks. The first time I did not get so high. I had to face my fears and try again to get up higher... after much more blood, tree burns and sweat and shaking muscles I hope you all know that I did it for you and I love you all so much!

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! I wish I could be there with you all but please know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers and especially on your birthday I hope its memorable and you feel and know how truly loved you are!

Love you all,
Sister Ralph

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