Joke lang. Just San Jose because here in Bohol it's FiEsTa!!! So their Patron Saint is San Jose. Right now, the streets are lined with yellow and green banners that say: "Happy Fiesta!" and all the people are gearing up for the great feasts that will occur this week.
Miracles. Yes. Miracles. This week has been full of miracles. See question #3 :D
Speaking of questions...
1. Do you teach a class on Sundays? If so, what class do you teach and how many people are in it?
The missionaries take turns teaching the Gospel Principles Class. Most of the time the Elders teach, but I think we're starting to switch off cuz the other Sisters taught last week.
2. What did you do for service this week?
Tomorrow Calape Zone is headed up to Loon in the wee hours of the morning to help do something up there....not sure what! Guess I'll find out tomorrow :D
3. Tell us about one investigator or member who touched your life this week.
So we have this couple - they're so awesome. Mercy and Yul (short for Yulysses) They were found by Sister Pinkham and Sister Milligan back in...January I think. They were taught a few times by them, but never really progressed. Then, my first week in the field, Sister Salima and I decided to visit them. We visited their neighbors first and the neighbors mentioned that they were Iglesia ni Kristo...to those of you at home who are reading this, that probably doesn't sound like a big deal since Iglesia is only here in the Philippines. They have a reputation for not ever listening to the missionaries and for being really hard, hard investigators. So we were a bit leery of visiting them (Sister Salima and Sister Pinkham only taught them one time last transfer) but we went anyways. And after a great lesson, they told us they'd come to church. And they did! And they've come every week since then. They've payed tithing and fast offerings and participated in class and made great comments. And yesterday, they told us they want to be baptised and they want to go on a couples mission!
Oh my heck. Even though it was like an oven outside and we were all sweating like crazy, I still managed to get chills. Unfortunately, they don't want to be baptized until June 24 (apparently the day that Jesus was baptized??? I'm not sure about that, but I'm just so happy for them.) so they're going to turn into a 6 missionary venture! Sister Pinkham and Sister Milligan who planted the seeds. Sister Salima and I who nourished them. And the two missionaries who are here in June will reap the harvest. And hopefully one day, in the next life, all 8 of us will sit together in the Kingdom of our Father and fully feel His joy. They are a miracle and I love them so, SO much.
4. Tell us one funny thing that happened this week.
Funny thing...hmm...Most of this week has just been happy. 'Not funny' per se, but just really happy. I guess one funny experience. So every night we take the bus home. And people bring all sorts of stuff on the bus. Most people don't have their own vehicle, they just use public transportation. So the other night we stopped to pick up a guy and this guy had like 4 mattresses, a giant stack of chairs and bags and bags of stuff for his tindahan. Lolz. And it ALL came on the bus with him. The mattresses and bags up on the top of the bus and the chairs taking up the back bench leaving no sitting room. The poor guy who was putting the mattresses up on top of the bus got stuck up their (cuz the bus driver just started driving) and had to crawl back into the bus through one of the windows! Oh man we were laughing so hard.
5. What difficulty did you face this week and how did you overcome that difficulty?
This week, the heat has been almost unbearable. You can break a sweat sitting outside in a lawn chair at 9:30 at night after the sun has been down for like 3 hours. But, when we teach and we lose ourselves in the teaching and in our work, we forget about the heat. One of the many blessings from our loving Father in Heaven who is aware of our every need.
Mail from March is starting to trickle in now...slowly. But I got a dearelder in which Sister Peng gave a breakdown of the average day. I like that idea, so I'm gonna do the same! Here it is:
About 5:45-6:15 = Sister Salima and I both wake up. We never set the alarm because the sun is always so bright in the morning that there's no way you can sleep past 6:30. We have no curtains on our windows,so the sun is our alarm and that starts rising at about 5:00. We pray and then I take the fan back to the Sister Training Leaders who live next door.
If we're up by 5:45, then we go exercise. My favorite is when we run to the church in Calape and run laps around the church. Sister Salima prefers to exercise in the front yard doing more like muscle-y stuff.
6:30 Sister Salima showers and I write in my journal and exercise some more. Plus drink water. Nice cold water.
7:00 I shower and we both get ready for the day.
8:00 is Personal study. This transfer I've devoted the first half of my time to studying Jesus The Christ and the New Testament. The second half I focus on the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel with my investigators in mind.
9:00 We sing a hymn, then we pray. We recite our Purpose, then various scriptures like our Mission Scripture (Jacob 5: 71-72) and D&C 4 in English and some scriptures we use a lot in our lessons, like John 3:16, James 1:5 and stuff like that in Visaya. Then we recite the First Vision in Visaya. Then share our personal studies and prepare to teach our investigators.
10:00 We prepare for the day. If we have time, we try to eat lunch.
10:45-11:00 is usually waiting for the bus to our area.
11:00-12:30 traveling to our area.
12:30-6:00 is teaching. All day. Hiking through the bukid, mostly tracting. And we walk! Everywhere! Lots of walking and hiking and great adventures stuff.
6:00-7:30 is waiting for a bus back home and traveling back home.
7:30 is dinner
8:00 is planning and evaluation
9:00 is language study!
10:00 I go next door and steal the STL's fan. We have no fan of our own so we borrow theirs for the night. We have an AirCon unit, but it's too expensive to use. So electric fan it is! We only have sheets on our bed. Even though we die in the heat every night, we put a flat sheet over us so that we don't get bit by mosquitoes during the night. Then we read Ang Basahon ni Mormon together out loud until 10:30, when we pray and then lights out.
The days are long and beautiful!
Next week is transfer week! So I've had some time to reflect back on this transfer. Yeah, it's gone by ridiculously fast. Sister Salima and I have had such a great transfer together. Good times and bad times. We've been persecuted - laughed at, made fun of, mocked, pointed at, and been treated poorly. But we've also been so loved, so cared for, and so, soblessed. Whether it was singing hymns to get over broken hearts due to rejection, or whether it was taking our roller-coaster-like bus rides home, spending more time in the air than in our seats and gripping the bars in front of us as hard as we can. Laughing as we get pelted by peanut shells and trash that people have attempted to throw out the windows unsuccessfully. It's been quite the transfer. I seriously have had an amazing time.
I have absolutely no idea what will happen at transfers. No idea. It could go any and every way! But all I know is that I trust the Lord. I'll go where He wants me to go, I'll say what He wants me to say, and I'll be who He wants me to be.
I love you all!!!