Wednesday, August 13, 2014

10 August 2014 -- Beautiful experiences (and a bite).

Alright here I go. This is a picture of my district and a few other elders in our zone. We were celebrating Elder Paleo's birthday- this was the one of the few good cakes I have had in the Philippines.
This is the Birthday of the bishop's son.
I love this family. I love my ward soo soo so much!

Ok so let's begin with last Monday- slightly crazy. We taught a lesson to Rosemarie and the Rojas family and while we were teaching their little boy looked out the front door and without me seeing at the time pee'd in my shoe. haha. So walking home in my soaking soak and shoe was the best! I tried to wash it out when I got home, but when we woke up the next day it was covered in mold and downstairs smelt TERRIBLE. so I went crazy washing it out and let the sun finish the job. The same night I found this wound on my leg....
     This tiny little wound took ME OUT! It started out and just what looked like a bug bite or something, but it was super red and by Monday night it was PUSSING infection everywhere. It was nasty. It was like that the next day and the pain increased. The next day I could barely walk. The picture is the beginning stage and it just SUPER dark read and spread over my leg like 4 inches in. The redness I mean spread 4 inches across and there was hard shaped line of red growing up my leg. If I didn't move my leg and then would start moving it would KILL.. . I had to gimp around and I wanted to cut off my leg. We tried cleaning it with alcohol but I could not feel the alcohol at all and my foot SWELLED up like crazy. it was so bad.
Bug Bite beginning of an infection.
But we just kept working. There was NO way we were not working. When I got back one night I decided to text the mission president's wife about it and she told me to go to the doctor. So at like 10:45 at night we walked to the doctors until a driver took pity on us. They told us they were not seeing anyone other than those they would admit. BUT.... I'm Amerikan.... soooo.... it's different. I walked in and the doctor sat me down right in the front entry way and took one look at my leg and prescribed me 2000 pesos worth of pills. I got the pills and I can walk just fine. This morning it looks so much more dry and its black rather than pussing and red. It's still red and I'm still swollen but it only hurts if you push on or around the wound. So I am SUPER Happy! That's my story hahaha. I will finish the prescription mom,,,, there is no way I'm risking feeling like that again.
    We don't think it's a bug bite. If anything creature-wise, it was a cockroach bite. Its 3 inches above my ankle

Me and my companion are having such a good time together. I love her to death. She makes me laugh and we are opposites and complement each other in so many ways. She is a skater girl and is good at softening things. I'm the "give-me-dirt-and-a-ball-type-of-girl" and I will tell you how it is- girl. It works like a glove.
This is my companion again with me.
We are getting along great and things are moving along smooth- Sister Besiera.
     We have had some beautiful experiences this week. We were working out in Luna- kind of out in the bukid or out of city type area and we saw a lady struggling to carry her bags (typical missionary opportunity scene) we grabbed tight to our bags and RAN to her. She said she was fine but I grabbed the bags from her-- there was NO way we were missing this opportunity. We were able to share a message with her and have a return appointment. She is open minded and wants to learn. YES! We decided (to follow the spirit) and continue walking down the round. There were lots of BIG aka rich houses and we are supposed to be finding professionals to establish the church and so we opened our mouths and were able to share the gospel with a few more people including the Romeo family. They were interested in the Book of Mormon and wanted to read it and learn what this was ( it was just the father and his two kids). They said we could come back.
     We went back yesterday and this time the wife was there and another child with the dad. The mother was obviously VERY different from her husband. She was FRANK (like me (= )and asked us what we wanted and that they were catholic and that her husband was a pastor and is going back to being a pastor...
     She was upset because we do not worship Mary only her son. We listened and then I politely asked if we could share with her and her family. She said ok. She and her husband had read a little bit since our last appt from the Book of Mormon and Sister said it's about Christ but that is the Mormon way and we have our Catholic way... etc., etc., etc.... Being with my companion for a week now and knowing she does not like intensity... I knew she was freaking out inside. Sister Besiera talked about how we respect their religion and how we are here to share and invite etc. We read from the introduction of the Book of Mormon to help sister see real quickly exactly what the Book of Mormon is but she was very Stuck on the idea that it was for the Mormons and that's just fine for Mormons. At this point I'm totally calm but I can feel the buildup, the spirit Is THE BEST! I KNOW without a doubt that if the spirit had not been with us I would have BLOWN Up at this lady. So stuck in her "I was born and will die Catholic" ways. I stopped and looked her in the eyes and testified with love and BOLDNESS - I asked her if she knew where the Book of Mormon came from- of course she said she had no idea. I said that's exactly right, you don't know. Please do not salikway or reject something you have no idea what it is or where it came from. I bore testimony to her of the Book of Mormon and because of her sternness with having faith in Jesus Christ the spirit guided me to 2 Nephi 33 about if you believe in Christ you will believe these words. The spirit was strong and Firm and I know they felt it. There was no contention,.. there was LOVE through Boldness. Sister will take some time to understand and see, but they were open to letting us come back and share. I really believe that as missionaries we have to be Bold. We are not ashamed of the gospel. Our message is one of truth and we have to be clear and powerful! I love the spirit so much! That lesson would not have existed without the spirit. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!
     We have a couple of new investigators this week. Niko- he is a 14 year old boy that screamed 'sisters sisters!!" while we were walking on the street. Then when we finally came up to him he went all shy but we taught him and he has such a sweet humble spirit about him AND he came to church all by himself. I love him so much! We are going to set a baptismal date for him!
     Our investigators the Rafael Family they will hopefully get married this or next week!!! SOO EXCITED! They are reading now in Jacob 5 -- isn't that amazing!! Well brother asked me to explain the parable in Jacob 5---- OH BOY... did I struggle. English is hard enough but in Cebuano.... PhhheewwwwPH! If anyone has any ideas on how to clearly and SIMPLY SUPER SIMPLY explain that parable to someone who has no idea what Israelites or gentiles is.... I would love you forever.
     We are also having lots of "fun" teaching Rosemarie and the Rojas family. Rosemarie is the not-yet wife of a member. She wants to be baptized, but she needs to be married first. They have two kids and her man, the member is just ..... AHH!! Let's just say we had to whip out some Alma 42- "do not excuse yourself in the least bit" etc. to help him see that living with a woman after your baptism without marriage is a sin and drinking is "No" ok.... he still thinks he is worthy and going to celestial kingdom with all these problems... ANY WAY... we got some work to do to help this family figure out HOW to live the gospel and then do so. At the same time we are teaching his brother and want-to-be wife who also have a little boy. Brother had been drunk 2 of the last 3 times we have showed up though. It's just LOTS and LOTS of challenges but they want to learn and listen. We are enjoying being a part of their process in coming to learn and live the truth. I love missionary work so much!
Look at Arnold Swatzenager... Philippino style.... CRAZY look-a-like huh? We are trying to teach him, he is a part member, but he is not super excited about the thought. We have not taught Brother Arnold.... we just are trying to convince him because his wife is a member. His time will come. 

     I LOVE the challenges! I really do study and think and pray about our investigators like I've never done before. I LOVE it SO MUCH! I love the people here like crazy.
     Hahaha Mom, you are the best cook in the world! I am going to watch your every move when I get back! I love you so much! Is there anything else you need before I head out?  Thanks mom! "You light up my life!!" I'm excited to tell you in person how much you mean to me and how your example has impacted the people here in the Philippines. I love you to death-- but that's just an expression... I love you MUCH MUCH longer!! (= Forever! I will repent for the lack of pictures... sorry no more.
Sending all my Love,
Sister Ralph

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