Monday, June 2, 2014

1 June 2014

     This week has not been super eventful but this week will be. I'm super excited because the whole mission is getting together one last time to do a CSP (community service project) in Tacloban. This will be the last time I probably see President Andaya, AHH!!!
     So this week (including today) I will have attended two funerals this week. I stopped counting how many dead people I have seen here in the Philippines.... its super depressing to me. I have a hard time with the way that they embalm the bodies. But what normally happens is the person dies and then within the day or so the embalming happens and they are placed in a white casket with flowers, and candles and signs in the front room of their house. They stay that way for about 4 days and there may be a number of different services depending on the religion in the family. Then the burial will happen the following day. So this week it was the brother of our last Branch President who is now inactivate and the funeral today is for the sister of our primary president. Both are in our area. I love the plan of salvation. Life would be such a happier place if we all understood it.
This is a picture of my first SALAD in the Philippines.
God does care about our little desires and cravings haha.
I waited a year and at last...I partook (=
    Sister Bray and I discussed our situations this week and decided that we should ask for priesthood blessings. And I am so grateful we did, I was quite surprised at the promises and blessings that were given to me. And they have been a driving force in our work this week. I love the priesthood and I am grateful for worthy priesthood holders that respect their responsibility in acting in the name of the Lord.
     We were invited to eat at a member's house this week for their little son's birthday and quite the gang showed up. I decided to sneak out the back and start doing the dishes. I love doing dishes..I don't know why but it's just really satisfying to me. All the people that would walk by freaked out... WHAT?... An American doing OUR dishes?... Oh no no no no no.... but ME being Bigger and Stronger held my ground. The Pilipino people are such grateful humble and beautiful people and I love every tiny opportunity I have to serve them, to love them and to learn from them.
     So .... Sister Bray and I were walking home one night and it was pretty dark outside minus this one lantern. And I was doing my best to be observant and we are walking and talking and then all of a sudden in the corner of my eye I see something along the house move super quick but I could not tell exactly what it was. I accidentally kind of screamed a little (it was a automatic reaction) and grabbed Sister Bray's arm and pulled her tight into me.... until... I then realized that it was our shadows. Yea.......... I ,.... was embarrassed and we still laugh about it to this day. Oh Sister Ralph.... slightly pathetic.
     So RIGHT after I freaked out over our shadow we got home and I had to finish some laundry real quick in the CR (Bathroom) and within 5 MINUTES!! 5 MINUTES!! I broke the faucet. Everything in the Philippines hates me...the elders had to come right over because I literally broke it straight over and the water was just pouring out and there was no way to stop it. They made fun of me to no end because it's always ME! I'm always the one to break things and flood the apartment and trip on the rocks in the road and .... I have no explanation. 
This pix is just a couple of kids, all cute, sitting in the 
only shade around in the church lot.
Its hot here, haha. And we got a good laugh. 

     Just a few good reminders for me this week.... We taught a family who- the sister is an RM and her husband recently got baptized. It's been over a year since though and so they should be going to the temple and so we went to see how we could help get them prepared. It was really depressing as we talked with them and you could feel the lack of sincerity in his desire to go to the temple. We talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy because he works on Sunday and his response of "Oh yea, next month"..." next month I will start doing that" just RANG like acid in our ears (not that I know what that feels like but you get the idea). We observed the sister as her husband spoke and we could all feel the heaviness in her heart and she knew that this is what she chose by marrying outside of the temple. Nothing is certain outside the temple. We can't force people to change. We can't force them to want what we want. Nothing is worth marrying outside the temple to me... Nothing. That was not a decision that I made this week, and I would say it was more solidified this week but that's not true either. My mind has been made up LONG time ago. It just was reconfirmed.
     I have been studying and focusing a lot in my scripture study about having that change of heart. We have to offer a broken heart and contrite spirit in order to be saved. I've reflected back again and again on what that means these last few weeks and I am continually amazed at how things become clear when I replace the word "heart" for the word "desire" in my scripture study. Our heart is what we DESIRE! I am putting the pieces together that I am not here to help people change their behavior and suddenly follow all the commandments. I am here to help them see the truth and have a DESIRE to act on what they know or feel to be true. Those desires that we have are what drive us. If we desire something truly and fully we do whatever is required. We act. Think of when you are hungry....what do you do... you go get food. We as humans go to great lengths to feed our tummies. We want to help people see and have the desire to feed their spirits as well. It may sound cheesy but it's helped me a lot to focus on helping others develop real FAITH in Christ. I love the Spirit.
     Another thing that I learned this week was the IMPORTANCE OF MEMBERS! They are seriously angels! I think that is why I have not been as successful in the field as I would like, because I do not always fully use the members or focus on them. That's changing! Especially recent converts, their testimonies make a world of difference. They always in a way force people to realize that there is more. More that Jesus Christ has to offer than simply wearing a cross around your neck for protection. They simply become slightly open minded. Why did this person leave what I believe in to go to "Mormons"? I love members, I love people, and I love the work of the Lord! It really is the best thing in the world and I always want to be anxiously engaged in it.
     Elder Ardern was made the new Asia Area President. I LOVE ELDER Ardern! He is the one that came and literally got us out of Tacloban. He is special to me. It's dangerous everywhere Dad, don't worry. We are safe and I really am a giant here... it's not an exaggeration. People constantly comment on it.
     So it sounds like I will most likely have someone else release me as a missionary... weird! We are not going to start talking about me taking off my badge though...I already cry every time I do. Ah! Cge.
     I love you very much, Dad. Your example of magnifying your calling, honoring your priesthood and loving the Lord with all your heart might mind and strength is constantly a strength that I pull on each day. You make me happy, Dad. I was making fun of you and mom early today when I showed my housemates how you and mom snore, hahahahaha, ohhhh the little joys in life. I'm heading out here real quick but please always remember how much I love and respect you both and how grateful I am for who you are and for what you help me become each day. Stay busy, but not too busy, leave something for me to fix and clean for when I get back. I love you all so much! Dad- thanks for taking time to talk to me tonight! You are the best! Sweet dreams!

Sister Ralph

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, I just found your daughters blog, and am so thankful that I did! Our daughter just received her mission call last week to the Philippines, Tacloban mission, and I have been a bit overwhelmed! I have enjoyed reading your daughters post, and seeing her photos! I don't even know her, but I already adore her! What an amazing young woman she seems to be!

    If you don't mind, I would be very interested in talking to you, or emailing you for any information or tips that you might have for us before we send our daughter to the MTC. I love this blog that you have, and would love to ask you some questions about it as well! My name is Brooke Wilde and my email is onewildefamily (at) yahoo (dot) com

    I look forward to hearing from you!!