Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat!
This week has been full of hard work and tender mercies haha. Our area in Baguio is known for not progressing as fast as maybe the lowlands because people are so busy with all their maraming businesses and our area is so huge that we can't visit everyone we want to in one day. So... quite a few of our lessons fell through. We've had so many zone conferences and district meetings that my language study keeps getting cut short BUT... I have seen an amazing increase in time management in just one week. Although I can't say very much, we found a new approach for what to do when something falls through, filling it with on the spot lessons. We got quite a few people so thankful and willing to let us into their homes and teach the first lesson! So hopefully we can retain these investigators. People here are so friendly and willing to listen to you. Being American sometimes helps haha. Kids love to talk to us too. I'll send some more pictures as soon as I can. I think Sister Agner and I are becoming so productive when we are together.
The language is really frustrating but I'm trying to figure out how best to study haha. Any suggestions are welcome all of you RMs....
Cultural Note of the Week:
We don't knock on doors in the Philippines! Instead you say "Tao Po!" which basically means "People!"
2nd Cultural Note of the Week:
It's totally normal to eat completely with you hands.... no silverware. So all those table manners you learn at home, forget it and just eat rice and ulom with your hands! I haven't quite gotten into that yet haha I'm sticking with my spoon and fork for now. No butter knives at the dinner table either. If you're eating with your hands you tear meat with your hands.
My companion cooks all the Filipino food- it's great. I bought a TON of fruit today during P-day. Baguio's famous strawberries and preserves, tons of bananas and apples, and manggas (mangos) and lunson and new fruits unique to the Philippines! So delicious! I'm obsessed with ube right now. It's a sweet yam that is in everything -- ice cream and candy flavors. But my favorite right now is just straight up ube and sugar or ube jam.
If there is anything I have learned so far, it's how weak I am. I fall short every day. But it always reminds me of a quote by Elder Bednar, that if you can fall on your knees and pray and sincerely say to Heavenly Father that you were a little better than yesterday and that you tried, that's enough. I always thought missionaries were perfect when I was younger, but we all make lots of mistakes and fall short.
Mosiah 7:18 and 33
"O, ye my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made."
"But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."
I feel like I am in bondage to my weaknesses sometimes. Like my heart is willing to do everything and accomplish things, but my body is weak. But these scriptures hit me so hard this week. We struggle against our weaknesses and sometimes it seems hopeless that we will ever overcome them. For me I just see how much I could be doing, but things don't really ever go according to plan. But if we turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, trust in Him, and serve Him with all diligence of MIND, then someday He will deliver us! We can overcome through Jesus Christ. I think diligence of mind means to have intent and trying to act and get better and repent, even if we still fall short. The enabling power of the Atonement is so so real.
I shared this with a family in Takay the other day--- the Javier family. They are so so poor and can't get to church. The two daughters are my age and they already have to take care of all these kids and their mother. They all share one shack on a hill. But the mother has an amazing testimony and I love them all so much. They are always willing to listen. So so sweet.
Ilakano word of the week:
Agyaman! (Salamat/Thank you!)
I love you all! Hope you had an amazing Spring Break! Thinking of you all in Baguio City! Maraming maraming salamat para sa mga panalangin ninyo para sa akin! Nararamdaman ko sila araw-araw talaga!