Sunday, December 27, 2009
Time is so weird on a mission. It seems like you've done it so long yet it's only been a short time. I am in disbelief that in 2 days I will have been on my mission for 3 months already. THAT IS SO CRAZY! It honestly is like I wasn't ever even in the MTC. It's really weird. It's like I didn't have a life before my mission??!! weird. I can't really describe it.
Melanie's commentary: I talked to both of my return missionaries and they DO relate to Megan's comments. Not only does it seem like life began when they started their missions, but then it almost seems like a dream when they get home-it is such a different world from normal life.
So this one day we got a 'pot pot' ride home from going grocery shopping. This old man who was the driver- I just really felt for him. He looked extra striken by life. So when we stopped to get out I gave him a 5 pesos, just a one coin piece, and the ride was only 3, and he looked at me like I had given him a hundred bucks. I was tipping him-so some of his look was probably confused, but I went inside and just burst into tears-these people work so hard for their money.
I bought my first souvenir. It is a mate cup! Mate is like tea here and there is this guy who engraves designs into a mate cup for you, so I had him do my name. I think is pretty awesome! I also got bitten by a dog! I didn´t bleed. I just got a little tear in my pants. It scared me though because I wasn´t expecting it. I promise mom, I am fine and you don´t need to worry.
After Romina's interview she came and then told everyone that she wanted me to baptize her!!!! I just stared at her and Elder Lugo said, "Do you understand????" I muttered a quiet "Si." I was really surprised!!! We even talked with her family member before and they said that Romina had said she wanted Elder lugo to baptize her, but I guess not. So at 1:00 Sunday I baptized Romina in the church. It was a sweet expierience. I felt the most amazing feeling of peace and joy. I thanked the Lord very graciously for the opportunity to baptize her.
Saturday and Sunday we had District Conference. President Northcutt came and talked. After the saturday evening sesssion we had the baptism and he came to it. Elder Lugo asked me to give a talk after he was done baptizing Dominga. I was really nervous because President was going to be there and more than usual people because of the district conference! But I prayed and gave my talk. I know I messed up, but I tried to talk and show how important this was to me. I talked about Joseph Smith. I think it went fairly well and a couple of the members came and said thank you. President the next day said he even really enjoyed it.
On Sunday we were also knocking doors and Elder Lugo asked me to receive revelation on where to go. I tried it and this was our result! We were about to leave for nativity practice and we tried one last door. A man answered and asked if we were Mormons and we reponded yes! And he let us in. This man´s aunt apparently was one of the first members in San Pedro. This man knows everything! He has even had the discussions. He has the book Principles of the Gospel and the Family Home Evening guide! I know we were guided to him and I am excited to talk with him more!
The kids play a few games that I've observed so far, the flip flop game, the tire game, and the wind handcup game. (I just made those up...ha) They will line up all of their flip flops and then stand aways back and try to hit them with one of the flip flops..pretty popular. Then they have a tire that they roll and try to run through while it's going. Then they will have a bracelet or a hair band on the ground and then using a cupped hand to the ground, try to woof the bracelet with the wind produced from their cupped hand to the ground to move the bracelet as much as they can. They are so simple. I am learning that more and more about these people. They are just simple-simple living- partly because they can't really be anything else than that.
I never realized exactly what a language BARRIER meant until now. It honestly has been such a struggle for me. I want to talk to them sooo bad!!! and the problem is that sometimes people can't understnad my companion and so it's a struggle not just for me. That's why we always try to have a member with us, that's actually everyone's goal that they are shooting for, that's what Pres. Malit wants, but it helps us out extra because we need someone that can really speak Cebauno! Obviously it's been hard, but still good.I have fun trying to just joke around with them with the limited lingo I know....but yeah, it's been tough. I know that I can do this because I am here! I know that someday I will be able to speak Cebauno! It's hard sometimes to have that hope, but my new motto is "Just keep SWIMMING!" I say it to myself almost every day- I really do. I know that I will be glad that I just kept swimming because the Lord has called his missionaries for the 'salvation of souls.' (Doctrine and Covenants 100)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
There were cochroaches in our kitchen on our dishes so we have to keep our dishes in the refrigerator to keep them clean from critters. There are always little lizards everywhere-they're cute. We all have our own study desks and there is a balcony upstairs that looks over the street we live on. It's cute. We have eaten at home: pancakes, oatmeal, hot cocoa, tang, choc. milk, chicken nuggets, bacon, fish, mango's, bananas, pineapple, Out to eat: spagetti, sapiro(sp?) (little warm pita type things with mystery meet inside, haha.) Then I don't know what they are called but little cube shrimp and pork I think filled egg roll wrap type things...wow-that was a good description. They are from the Philippines what can I say? We got a barbequed chicken one time that was soo delicious. We also got a chicken kabob...haha I'm forgetting what everything's called-but this is american..the thing with the stick and the meat and what nots on it..? Anyway,that's really cheap and so we've gotten that.
Commentary by Melanie: Josh was always a big milk drinker, and I predicted that he probably would serve somewhere without milk so this is a comment in response to that prediction:
"All ,right mom! Yes they do have milk, I live in aparment, have hot water, but I don´t know about the water so I boil some every night. We also have cockroaches and it is actually fairly nice."
Is he saying the cockroaches are fairly nice? Knowing Josh, he has probably named them and made them his pets!
We had zone conference this week! It was extremely amazing and helpful! We arrived late because our bus didn´t get to our station in time. We traveled to Salta which is about two hours away and where the mission home is. President Northcutt talked about the importance of focusing on Christ and how everything testifies of Christ. The plants, animals, Earth,… everything is a testimony of Jesus Christ! I tried a couple times this week just to look at everything and how it is a testimony of our savior. The results were amazing! I am not trying to be sacreligous, but…look at a shoe! Without the laces of the shoe it is not firm and hangs loose. With the laces
(Christ) it is firm and won´t fall off!
(Christ) it is firm and won´t fall off!
So we have gone to this little shop for food twice now and the owner there is so awesome. He is so happy and just always joking. We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to come to church but he didn't show and then we said we'd come back next week. His name is Henry. When I meet these people-when we teach lessons-and when we share the gospel, I remember why I'm here. I'm not here on vacation-I'm not here to have perfect living conditions-I'm not even here to be comfortable-I'm not here to learn Cebuano just for kicks. I am here to help others come unto Christ! Nothing else matters about my time here. And I know that My Heavenly Father will help me.
Yesterday(Sunday) we took a 9 year old with us to go see a girl her age(as her "fellowshipper") and I held her hand for practically all afternoon. The kids honestly keep me going. When we walk down the streets of Palompon I feel like I am honestly in a parade. I just wave and smile and say Maayong Buntag-or whatever the greeting is at that time. It's a perk to this work. :)
I play the piano for Sacrament Mostly it's just the top hand but it's better than nothing. The first Sunday I was here they did it all a capella...it was like- wow! They NEED music! There is a lack here. So I try to help! We are also trying to institute a choir here and so I guess I will play for that also-I will hopefully get better. Sometimes it's a little questionable, but I just laugh at myself. All the kids are fascinated though, and they don't care at all that I mess up all the time.
A woman was asked by a co-worker, what is it like to be a Christian? The woman replied it is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch brings you in and washers all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts off the top and scoops and out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate greed, etc… and then he carves you a new smiling face and put His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see. I am going to find a way some how to take a picture each week with a smiling face! We must smile every day! God needs us to show our Light.
Today´s p-day was awesome! A super awesome member named Phillip took us to the mountains about an hour away. The pictures are awesome and I will try to send one or two. They are so green! We then kept driving and stopped at this really nice house. They had a pool and the water was heated from a volcano I guess! That is what I understood. They also had a monkey-it was crazy to see one. It kept chirping at us!
We then drove back the mountain and went to eat at this place called the mansion. The mansion was very nice. They kept feeding us! Everything! From a cow…I think I eat some things that most people usually wouldn´t eat if they knew the english word! But honestly the meat was good and I surprised everybody because I kept eating it. We then had ice cream and drove back to San Pedro. We then went to Phillips house and helped him put in a air conditioner. Phillip did all of this for us and paid for everything!