Wednesday, July 16, 2014

6 June 2014 - Ups and Downs

So this week has actually been amazing. It's had its emotional ups and downs but progressing for sure. We have so many more investigators and the members really love us-so referrals are coming in (= One of the sisters in the ward that I have been privileged to get to know is Sister Mercyln. She is in her 30's and has one little boy. Her husband committed suicide about a month ago. He hung himself right above their bed where she sleeps every night and right where we teach her and her brother-in-law and his wife. She is amazing! She puts on a smile and just is so positive. She literally never stops smiling. The way she is dealing with the pain at this point is reading her scriptures constantly and sharing the gospel. Her brother-in-law and his wife are now our investigators and are progressing. The lessons have been powerful, especially as Sister Mercyln testifies of the power of the Book of Mormon. She is a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel and I am so grateful to observe her and watch as she literally puts all her trust and faith in our Savior. We are such a blessed people.
   The brother-in-law (Brother Abad) the one we are teaching... his brother is the one that hung himself. He had bruises all over his back and legs when she found him hanging in their room. No one saw or heard though. So our investigator is not sure if it was suicide or not. It's really sad.
    About my new area, Ormoc has no beach. It's a ward. We walk in CITY as IN CITY!! and then bukid or mountain or out in the beautiful area of the country. I do NOT like the city. I am such a bukid girl. The skies, the air, the trees, the hills....that is where I feel at home.  There is the ocean right there but no sand. It is a seaport. They said there was another BIG storm on its way to Japan that might come this way but I think it passed. 
This is what we do to get to some of our investigators.... welcome to the Philippines. No, the water is NOT clean.

Medalla Family
This is the Medalla family. We had an FHE with them and how I love them. They remind me of home so much, loud and noisy, always opinions flying back and forth, but still laughter. Oh man! Family is such a beautiful thing. I love this family. 

The second picture is of triplets in my area. They are a very large and poor less-active family. When I showed up at their house this week my heart just broke. These three year old triplets just stay in this little cage type pin while the oldest sisters rocks the little boy and cleans and does everything around the house. She stopped schooling at 4th grade to help her family. Her parents work all day and... ah, I just wanted so badly to do something temporarily for them. But I could not. We shared a message and want to do all we can spiritually to uplift and bless them. We know with assuredness that despite their hardships, if they applied the gospel and lived it they would be so much happier. Many tears fell for this family but we are eager to help them come unto their Savior and find the peace and joy the gospel has to offer all the obedient. 
   They need food, clothing and housing but.... I don't know. The spirit there was just soo..... I almost would use the word ugly... like they dismissed God from their lives and literally are trying to do it all on their own. Those three little girls.... when I walked up did not change expression or anything. It was like a ghost almost walked in. They don't talk... ever. They are so deprived of just love, real love and care. Too often kids here are really just looked at as burdens rather than gems of life, the reasons for our happiness. I just held them one at a time and stroked their hair and cradled them and just some form of stimulation. I seriously was dying inside. I wanted to take them home so bad. I felt like I could see into their futures mom... we went home that night and I just lost it. I want to be a mom so bad, but experiences  like that just make me want to adopt the world.

  I don't know if I mentioned this before but I have a crush in every area. They are always about the age of 6-2. This happens to be the crush of my Ormoc area. He is the son of our investigators. And I LOVE HIM! He always plays with the holes in my socks while we are teaching lessons hahaha. Oh, the tender mercies of missionary life. 

This is how we celebrated 4th of July. We searched and searched for American food and were very unsuccessful... even just a burger. Nothing. So we settled with Dunkin' Doughnuts. I love America still (= 

This is at my Bishops house. We have FHE there on Sunday nights and yes he is very well-off. This picture us of me willfully and choosing to eat squid. A full blown squid ... It tastes just like chicken. The Philippines is changing me (=  

      Mom! Your hair is sooooo long!  Twins kita (It means we are twins! hahah). Is that enough for this week? Sorry it's lacking. I just don't have much more to say but if it was really that bad I will whip out something, haha. 
    So I have a new niece, Oakley May Heath. Nice job, Lizzy.  Haha Dad Your Honey misses you too. You can do it Dad! She will come home soon. Haha, I bet you are grateful that I, rather than mom, am going to Texas in November, huh? Haha, haha. Oh Sister Atwood! I love her! Tell her Hi for me (= How is it having Benjamin back? Dad, haha, I'm glad you got a little bit more spunk put back into your life with Benjamin home. Now your responsibility is to keep him ALIVE until I get home. Ok? 
   Benjamin, I have to go now... about those kisses.... make sure they are from Jersey Ok? hahahaha. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! I will try to remember to take more pictures for you, mom. I am always safe... I'm the biggest thing in these parts of the world, haha. I love you all!! Take care till next week! (= LIZ!! IM SOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!! Everyone who can give her a hug and kiss for me! I will come hold Oakley soon (= LOVE YOU!

Sister Ralph

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