Six Lessons and Seven New Investigators!

Here's my letter to President Deyro this week just for fun: 

This week was great! We were able to find 17 new investigators and a lot of them are related in some way. Teaching in groups really is such an advantage with helping investigators be comfortable in lessons and come to church. 

I also want you to know that I really like training. I didn't expect to enjoy it this much. I figured I'd be all stressed and uncomfortable in lessons trying to make sure things are done right all while not being able to understand Tagalog yet. But no worries, Sister Alpino really catches on quickly and is so great at following the Spirit. Our companionship unity is really great too! It's been such a great experience to see how well we teach together. We're always on the same mind track even when we change the lesson we planned on teaching. 

5-23-16 (Monday)
Well last night I woke up with an upset stomach and ended up going to the bathroom but that didn’t really help.. Because apparently I needed to throw up too. I ended up doing that twice throughout the night. I really did not enjoy throwing up and having rice come out my nose. That hurt! I now understand what everyone means when they talk about the two-headed dragon. ;D Even though I didn’t feel good today I wasn’t miserable enough to not go to Mangatarem and enjoy my p-day which is really good because I really appreciated Brayden’s email.  It really made me feel his love and that he thinks about me and truly cares about me.  I sure do miss him a lot. He’s always been my best friend and helped me through some sad times in my life.

Anyway, he just wrote me about how two completely different people could both be AP’s [Assistant to the President] like him and Taylor Johansen.  Even though they do things very differently, they both were worthy enough to be AP’s.  Then Bub talked about how just because Sister Standage and I were so different but she’s now an STL [Sister Training Leader] doesn’t mean I was always wrong. Both our ways could very well be right even if they were very different.  I just really loved that email from Brayden.  He’s the best big brother ever.  

Then after P-Day and it was time to go work, I still wasn’t feeling good, but I decided we should go work because I wasn’t dying anymore, and I’m so grateful I made that decision! We ended up teaching one of my favorite RCLA’s [Recent Convert, Less Active], Cezar, about temples and family history.  Oh my word, it was so fun to remind him that if he comes back to church he has the opportunity to still be sealed to his wife that passed away, for eternity.  I truly believe that refreshed desire will help him come back to church more often and frequent.  I just love the hope that comes from this gospel, and the fact that I get to share that love and hope with people everyday! (:

5-24-16 (Tuesday)
I thoroughly enjoyed today! Oh man, work today was the best! We ended up having six lessons and found SEVEN new investigators! WOO baby! I’m so proud of our work today! Having six lessons in a day is pretty great here in Aguilar, especially with having an extra hour and a half of studies since Sister Alpino is training.  I don’t know what it’s like in other areas or even missions, but I’m absolutely thrilled we were able to have that many lessons AND find seven new investigators! And to make it all better, three of those new investigators are Cielo’s sisters and brother-in-law.  I’ve been teaching Sister Cielo since I got put in Aguilar 2A, which has been months and I’ve never gotten them to actually listen to a lesson.  I was so happy! I’m really excited to see if they’ll continue to listen so they can help Cielo come to church.  Life is so good! And to make things even more fun, Sister Alpino and I get to go to Urdaneta tomorrow for New Missionary Training! I’m so excited for Sister Alpino because I remember how much I loved getting to see all my friends from the MTC [Missionary Training Center] again. But I’m also excited to see my friends that are training too, but I’m mostly excited to ride the bus.. That’s still one of my favorite things to do. Just ride in a vehicle and look out the window (:

5-25-16 (Wednesday)
Today was quite the exhausting adventure! It was an awesome fun day being able to go to Urdaneta, but sometimes while on the bus I was worried we would pass where I would need to tell them where to stop.  Luckily we had no problems like that, but I was a bit stressed sometimes.  Although, I feel pretty cool that I know how to take a 3-hour and 4 bus ride in the Philippines and get to the right place. I’m pretty much the best. (; Anyway.. Today I realized how lucky I have been with companions.  I don’t know if all my companions have just been fun or if I really do just get along with everyone.. But from what Sister Alpino has told me, her batchmates/MTC friends are having a really hard time with their trainers. It really makes me sad to know how many of my mission friends lock themselves in the bathroom and cry.  It breaks my heart knowing they’re that uncomfortable with their trainers.

5-26-16 (Thursday)
I’ve decided the worst part of training is the fact that I have to lead weekly planning four weeks in a row.. A YAW KO! [I don't like it!] Oh man, I woke up this morning like “I can’t believe its already Thursday again! I swear we just had weekly planning yesterday!” Haha, it’s a hard life. (; Other than that today was pretty dang great! We were able to find three more new investigators which was awesome! But to make things even more great, our lessons were SOOO powerful! There’s nothing more rewarding in life than seeing your investigators accept the Spirit into their hearts.  I really do love being a missionary. Kahit antok ako [even though I'm tired] ALL the time, I always perk up and wake up in lessons and while talking to people.  There truly are special blessings you receive while being a full-time missionary. I’m so grateful for the life I’m living here in the Philippines (:

5-27-16 (Friday)
Today Sister Alpino and I went on exchanges with the STL’s in Manat.  It was my first time being on exchanges with someone other than Sister Naua.  It was weird.  I guess I just got really used to Naua. (; Anyway! My companion today was Sister Berecho.  I really like her! I did notice today though that I still always feel inadequate around other missionaries.  Not that I think they’re better than me, but I guess at the same time I do.. I don’t know. I’m just worried that we teach principles differently and they may not think the way I teach is good. I guess I’m worried I make myself look like a fool when I have to work with more experienced missionaries. I did have a lot of fun today though! Since I used to come to Manat every week when Sister Cuenca was my companion, it was fun to realize I’ve actually already taught most of the people we taught today. It’s always fun to recognize faces you didn’t plan on recognizing. (: I really had a great day, but I’m also very grateful for Sister Alpino.  I’m glad she’s my anak, because I feel 100% comfortable around her. (:

5-28-16 (Saturday)
Well today was quite the party! I got to go visit my recent convert Luzviminda..IN JAIL! WHAT THE HECK!? Haha, when Sister Alpino and I got back home in Aguilar, Sister Miller told me Luzviminda was arrested yesterday.. As crappy as the whole situation is, it’s pretty stinkin’ hilarious! ;D How many missionaries get to go visit their RC [Recent Convert] in Jail! (; I guess her husband’s family wants her land or something so they got a warrant for her arrest because “in 2012 she stole their table…” When I found out that’s why she’s in jail I honestly just laughed.  First off, how do you get arrested for that!? Second, even if it were true.. It’s 2016 now.. If it happened four years ago, they should have done something about it four years ago..  Luckily Sister Luzviminda is totally fine and is her happy silly self. (: I just found that whole situation pretty dang funny.  I never imagined myself hanging out in jail with my favorite RC cracking jokes with the Sheriff while on my mission.. But like they always say, it’s more fun in the Philippines! (; 

I also got to go to the other Sisters' baptism because we ended up having 3 investigators come with us! We went to go pick up Johnathan and he ended up getting Johnson and Casmer to come with him. Woo baby! I really hope they enjoyed it and want to come to church tomorrow.

5-29-16 (Sunday)
Today Johnathan, Johnson, and Casmer all came to church today, which is great! But, church today was insanely boring! Oh my word, all I could think about was how worried I am that the boys won’t want to come to church again.  It was such a horrible first experience for them to have at church. And to make it worse, it wasn’t even spiritual! So I don’t know how easy it will be to convince them to come again. I also got a little saddened because Sister Alpino started crying in Sacrament meeting because she’s so homesick. That makes me sad knowing she’s struggling with that. But once we finally got to go work I think she really cheered up. Hopefully that was a testimony builder for her that the secret to missionary work is work.. On the bright side though.. I’m happy! And days honestly go by sooo fast now! I think training really has been such a blessing for me! I love feeling comfortable in lessons and being comfortable with how I teach and do things. Training has really helped me feel more confident that I can be a good missionary. (: Also! Cezar ended up coming to church again! :D having the Spirit in lessons really does bring miracles!

"Bawal, Brother!"

[How much do things cost there? Is it easy or a struggle to keep on budget?]
Things here really are super cheap. The only thing more expensive are the American imported things. I spend about $10 on grocery's for an entire week. 

[We saw that your mission is one that has been affected by the new Zika mosquito virus.  Have you heard of it? Because of mosquito borne illnesses, the church has modified it's dress standards during rainy season.  Sister are now allowed to wear dress pants in certain missions. Including all the Philippines' missions.] Yeah.. I don't really know anymore than you do about the whole pants and mosquito thing.. I'll keep you posted though. 

5-16-16 (Monday)

Today was such a fun happy day! P-Day is always a fun day, but work tonight was so fun and spiritual. We taught [an investigator] about the Book of Mormon and praying to know the truth.. Oh my word, the Spirit was so strong.  I hope he continues to have a receptive heart because there's a lot of things he needs to change in his life. I swear everyone here has a problem with the Word of Wisdom.  I think I'm very grateful I don't have the ability to smell so I don't have to smell cigarettes all the time.. (; 

We also did a lot of OYM's [Open Your Mouth street contacting] today which I really enjoyed! I like practicing my Tagalog while getting to see how open some people are to listen to our message.  It's always an exciting thing talking to people when they all go wide eyed because I make them think I can speak Tagalog..But then they slowly realize I only know those get-to-know-you questions and once I know their name and where they're from I'm usually out of sentences that are grammatically correct. (; But I like that people are nice and appreciate I'm trying to learn their language.

5-17-16 (Tuesday)

I honestly don't know what to write about today.. Today just flew by! Sister Ming and Sister Mary Rose worked with us so that made things extra fun. (; We did get 30 OYM's today though, so that was pretty awesome! I am pretty worried we will run out of people to OYM in a couple weeks because Aguilar really is a small town.  Today really was a happy day and I think it was extra happy because it was cloudy and very little rain. So.. It wasn't super hot or annoyingly rainy. (;

5-18-16 (Wednesday)

Elder Ah Hong, ako [me], Sister Alpino,
Elder Key, and Elder Dela Gracia in the back.
I was sooo tired today! But it wasn't exactly a sleepy or exhausted tired, just a mentally tired.  I can't wait till it's easy to have a conversation with people in Tagalog. But I'm getting better at making the people we talk to on the streets think I really can speak Tagalog.. I feel pretty accomplished when that happens. (; Also.. I really truly love Sister Alpino so much! She's got such a strong and loving testimony. She's so good at being bold and loving while teaching repentance. Like today, we have this LA, [Less Active] who was talking about how she doesn't come to church because she was offended. So Sister Alpino just talked about how no one is perfect and even if people are offense [offended], our faith in Christ should be strong enough to go to church anyway.  And shared the scripture that talks about how God will forgive whom He will forgive but we need to forgive everyone. Now that is teaching repentance! It was very bold but even more loving that [our less active] even texted us after we left thanking us for coming to visit.  I love missionary work, I really do.  And it makes it even more enjoyable when you have a companion that you would be friends with even if you weren't forced to be friends. (;

5-19-16 (Thursday)

Today we focused on teaching RCLA lessons; which is always nice because it's easier to remind people what they believe(d) than to teach people something completely new.  But.. Today was a bit rough emotionally.  It's so heartbreaking having to beg people to come back to church when they've made such sacred covenants [in the temple] and once knew the importance of their covenants and enduring to the end. Teaching a certain family was so heart breaking for me.  The whole family was just sealed together in 2012. Most of the family is still active but [the father] is inactive and I just wanted so badly to lovingly beat some sense into his brain! I just want them to have the happy united family relationship I know they could/used to have.

5-20-16 (Friday)

Today we had the blitz in the other Sister's area, so I got to work in my old area again. (: That was pretty fun to go to San Jose again and do OYM's there.  I've noticed I have no problem talking to strangers and introducing myself, but I don't think my OYM's are very effective because I can never remember people's names. Their names are crazy AND they have such thick accents that I cannot even understand.  And to make it worse.. I'll ask them to spell it so I can write it down, but then I can't even understand what letter they're saying! Haha, ang hirap ng buhay! [life is hard] (; Other than that, life's great! (; Even though I'm sooo tired ALLL the time again! I feel like I'm as tired as I was when I was a trainee.  I guess training makes you tired no matter what side of the training scale you're on! ;D

5-21-16 (Saturday)

Today was a happy day.  We didn't do a whole lot, but we did get to take Nanay Alejandra to Rene's baptism.  I thoroughly enjoyed that experience! I loved how happy Alejandra was and that she said she's excited for her own baptism.  Woo baby, I'm excited too! ;D It was also fun to witness Brother Rene's baptism because he was one of my investigators when I was in Aguilar 2B. 

Also.. I think I've reached the point that I don't like writing in my journal anymore.. But I've never missed a night my entire mission and I am 100% determined to keep it that way. (:

5-22-16 (Sunday)

Today was packed with fun things. (; First! Nanay Alejandra came to church two hours early because she doesn't have a clock! Hahaha! :D Oh man, that is some serious dedication to make sure she's at church on time! I just love her. She's the cutest old Nanay ever! 

Second! We were able to bring Annamarie and Trisha to church for their first time and they seemed to enjoy it a lot. I was also very impressed with how well the members fellow shipped Annamarie and helped her feel more comfortable about having a two year old and a two month baby at church.  It made me really happy the members helped her enjoy church so much.  

Also..Third! Justin came to church today for the first time since his confirmation in January. Woo baby! I was so happy to see him! It's always been pretty uncomfortable for me knowing the first baptism I was able to help happen went less active the Sunday after his confirmation so it made me happy to see Justin at church again and talk to him a lot better than I did when I was teaching him my first week in the field. (; 

And the best/funniest part about today was in our lesson with a Sister. Her 40+ year old son came in super drunk and when he saw me he jumped and went back outside. Then after a while he came back in and sat down and was just so funny! I didn't know what to do in that situation because we were teaching his mom a very spiritual lesson about the Book of Mormon, but I knew we're supposed to stay away from drunk people. So.. We just started to wrap up the lesson, but not insanely quick because he is a silly and kind kind of drunk. But while we were wrapping things up, he just kept talking about how much he loves Jesus and his family. He was like "I really do love Jesus. Even though I'm drunk, I love him because I know he loves me." Oh my word, that whole situation was hilarious to me! He even spoke in great English..while drunk.. so I was pretty impressed. Haha. 

I ended up giving him a word of wisdom pamphlet and asked when we could come back. He said "Saturday or Sunday, but Sunday would be great because that's the Lord's day. Even though I'm drunk, I still knew it's the Lord's day." I was like "yes it is! So next Sunday we'll all go to church! (;" Sinabi niya [He said] "Okay, okay! What time!? I'll be ready! I'll wait for you to come get me." Oh my word the whole situation was just so dang funny to me! 

But the best part was while he was constantly talking about how much he loves Jesus he would do the whole raise your hands in the air Hallelujah thing. I was dying! Then after we were getting up and saying goodbye, he put his arm around his mom and kissed her cheek, then put his other arm around me and went to hug me and I just froze! I had no idea what to do in that situation. Luckily Sister Arpino was quick and knew he was going in for a hug. She grabbed his arm and yelled "Bawal [taboo], Brother!" He's like "Ayyy! ope pasensya! [Ooops! yes patience]" And once we finally got away, Sister Alpino and I died laughing! Oh my word it was hilarious! I bet it was just one of those things you had to be there for, but I'm telling you it was the funniest thing ever! ;D

Training Sister Alpino

Mom, your a grandma.. I have a baby now! (; Haha, yes I have my new companion and I LOOOOVE her! We're still in Aguilar which means I'll be in my first area till my 9 month mark. I always joke with the members that I'm actually Aguilar mission. (; 

5-9-16 (Monday)

I got to call home today and I loved every second of it!  I'm so glad it ended up working so well!  I was so happy I was able to Skype/talk with Brayden, Sadie, mom, AND dad!  Man, technology is some cool stuff! (;  I'm so grateful I was able to talk with my whole family!  I honestly didn't expect to be able to Skype Brayden and Sadie at the same time as mom and dad.  I'm just so happy it was a fun, upbeat, and happy experience.  I was a little worried it would make me homesick or something, but I'm happy to say it was just a fun time and didn't make me miss my family at all! That sounds bad, but it's actually a good thing.  ;D  

We also didn't have any work today because of the elections going on and apparently that makes everyone go we all got a full-day P-day!  Woo baby! ;D I was probably a lot happier about that than I should have been...It was just so nice to have a whole day to relax and enjoy myself.  Life is so good right now, it really is. (:

Anak ko si Sister Alpino. (: 

5-10-16 (Tuesday)

So last night President Deyro called Sister Standage to be an STL [Sister Training Leader].  I wasn't really surprised.  But anyway... after lunch the AP's [Assistant to the President] came and picked up Sister Standage, so I was in a tri-some with Sister Arquiola and Sister Miller.  I loved every second of it! It was sooo fun!  I hope I have fun like I did today with my anak. (:

5-11-16 (Wednesday)

6 months down baby!  I honestly cannot believe how fast time flies by while on a mission!  I wish school went by this fast. (;  I just can't believe I'm already 1/3 done.. That's crazy to me!  Anyway..I pick up my anak [daughter] tomorrow.  I'm pretty nervous to be training..I'm really worried about having to be in charge of lessons.  I am excited to see the truthfulness of the gift of tongues though.  I hope I can learn the things I'm supposed to be learning quickly.  AHH! The nerves are real! But I'm excited to meet my new companion, it'll be fun, I just know it. (:

5-12-16 (Thursday)

Today I went to Urdaneta and picked up my anak. (:  Her name is Sister Alpino from Leyte.  She's 24 and the cutest girl ever!  She's super magaling [pretty]!  She LOVES to talk to people and she's already better in lessons than I am.  I do like being the trainer though, because I'm less intimidated to speak up and take the lead in teaching.  I don't feel insuperior [I think she means inferior ;)] like I used to.  I'm still really nervous to be training, but I truly believe I will learn so much through this experience.  I'm excited though to have a good friendship with Sister Alpino.  We get along great, but we're still in that awkward I don't now you stage.  Also.. Today Sister Deyro told me I'm getting skinny and I felt like I accomplished the unaccomplishable. ;D

5-13-16 (Friday)

This morning I felt pretty uncomfortable with being a trainer.  I'm not very good at being assertive and having to tell people what to do.  It's just really uncomfortable for me especially when I'm "in charge" of someone 5 years older than me.  Ayaw Ko!  And then we also had to do weekly planning today and I felt so bad..Poor Sister Alpino had to sit there all confused with what was going on for two hours straight.  I hope I can help her learn everything fast.  Although..She's already better at teaching lessons than I am, no joke.  I'm learning so much from her!  I guess the fact that she has a college degree in Elementary Education makes her that much better at making sure people understand our lessons.  She's honestly the best!  I love her so much!  She also LOVES to cook.. I'm super worried she's going to make me gain all my weight back.. AYAW KO!  Anyway..I love Sister Alpino so much and I'm so lucky to have her as my Kasama.

5-14-16 (Saturday)

Today was the national day of service so we got to wear those cool yellow vest things while cleaning the side of the roads.  It was pretty funny to me that our service and vest things made us look like those juvenile kids that have to do community service. It was just funny to me. (;  But it was so fun!  It was kind of nice to be able to "missionary work" without really having to have a conversation with people.. It was a nice little break.  I know.. That's horrible, but it's true.  Also!  Sister Alpino is still the best ever!  She's so good at teaching with the Spirit!  I love her so much!  It's a little awkward for me though, because I have to teach/tell her what to do even though she's 5-years older than me..I'm super uncomfortable with that..I really will learn so much about how to be more assertive with people while I'm training.  I'm grateful Sister Alpino is so easy to talk to though.  I know I can trust her which is a good way to help us with companionship unity.
Sisters Arquiola, Alpino, Miller, Me

5-15-16 (Sunday)

Oh man, today was just awesome!  Sister Alpino and I had SIX investigators come to church today! :D  That's the most ISM's I've had my whole mission, it was glorious!  Hopefully that continues, because this was Sister Alpino's first Sunday in the field and I don't want her to get bummed by finding out that we are usually lucky to have one investigator come to church.  But..After church RJ, Ryan, and JR all left right away but we went to go find them and make sure they didn't leave their cousin Annie and we found them all waiting for her in their trike smoking.  I couldn't help but laugh at how ironic that situation was! ;D "Oh, church is over..let's go smoke!" Haha!  Sister Alpino was fine with it too because we haven't taught them the word of wisdom yet.  But.. RJ used to be an investigator when he lived in Davao, and he knows about the W of W because when we first taught him and Ryan he was like "Ryan get rid of your cig, it's bawal [taboo]." So..when we saw them all smoking RJ just looks at me and smiles like "hehe, sorry..".  I honestly about died.  It was so horrible and ironic I couldn't help but laugh.  It was just super funny to me. (;

Changes Are in the Works!

5-2-16 (Monday)

Oh my word, today was sooo fun!  I had my very first zone activity and I loved every second of it!  We just played with water all day and it was a total party!  We started by playing hangman and every time you guessed a wrong letter we'd throw a water balloon at you and your team.  Then we all went crazy and just had a giant water balloon fight.  It was sooo fun!  And sooo nice because it was so hot today.  We also played volleyball which was a total party!  I even played basketball for a little bit, but volleyball was more fun.  

Oh mac'n cheese how I've missed you.. ;D
Also..Elder Emit and Elder Fiel are my favorite people ever!  They are the goofiest people ever.  If I could be my normal self with them we would have even more fun together.  But either way, they're my two best friends here along with Elder Budge and Sister Miller.  Like..I would be friends with them in the real world. (;

Anyway, for lunch I had my very first foodie fight!  Everyone just stands around a big long table and eats rice and fish off a giant banana leaf with their hands.  Haha, it was just a lot of fun.  Everyone made fun of me because apparently I don't know how to eat with my hands very well..So Elder Emit kept giving me the big chunks of rice all stuck together.  I don't think these people realize I just have a really small mouth.  Haha!  Life was just so dang fun today! (:

5-3-16 (Tuesday)

Work today wad awesome!  I really tried my best to talk more in lessons and rely more on the Spirit so I would know what to say even though I don't always know what's being said..If that makes sense.  And let me tell you, missionary work is so much more enjoyable when you rely on the Spirit more than your companion.

5-4-16 (Wednesday)

Today we had our Mission Tour Zone Conference with Elder Shane M. Bowen of the Seventy.  He was actually born in Rigby and grew up in Idaho Falls, so I felt like we had a connection. (;  I actually already met him in the Manila MTC around Christmas, but it was still good to hear him speak/give counsel again.  I felt the Spirit very strongly throughout the whole conference which was wonderful!  And to make everything all better, after the conference and lunch I got all your packages!  Three from you and one from Abby [Nelson]!  I felt so loved when I saw all my packages.  People think I'm pretty cool now too which is pretty sweet.  Haha! (;  But really, everyone was like "what the heck, Sister Fivas!?" All I could tell them was that my family loves me. (;

Today honestly was an awesome day though!  I loved every second of it!  Except having to wake up at 4:00 am so we could get to Dagupan by 7:30.  That sucked. (;

5-5-16 (Thursday)

Today was quite the experience.  So..let me back up for a minute.  So noon when I had my interview with President Deyro at the beginning of the transfer,  the first thing he said was "so are you ready to train next transfer!?"  Then..In my white letter from him that next Monday he quoted me from my letter to him that had "I LOVE this work and I LOVE the Philippines!" and then said something like "and that is why you will win the upcoming elections.." so he practically told me twice that I will be training next transfer.
Mission Tour Luncheon

Then yesterday after Zone Conference he was like "Hey, Sister Fivas, do you know the area really well?" So..once again implying I will be training.  But last night was when the AP's [Assistant to the President] usually do the calls to call trainers so we all thought I was safe. (;  So before bed and this morning I kept thinking "why would President Deyro tease me and freak me out like that all transfer long?"  I was actually kind of looking forward to training... But!  This afternoon Elder McBride called me to train!  I'm super excited but also pretty worried because I can't speak Tagalog yet..But I feel very honored to be training this early in my mission.  I hope it really helps me become a great missionary AND help me learn Tagalog quicker.

5-6-16 (Friday)

Today I had to go to Urdaneta for the Train the Trainers meeting.  It was a pretty fun experience!  I got to meet Sister Stromberg which is Sister Cuenca's other anok. So I've met two of my "sisters'. (; [Sister Cuenca was one of Kelsey's trainers so Kelsey has met 2 sisters trained by Sister Cuenca]. 

Also! Sister Piutau is training too!  I was pretty excited to see her again.  At first I was pretty scared for the meeting, because I didn't think I would know anyone but I actually knew most of them.  I feel pretty honored that out of all the Sisters in the whole mission I was one of 8 Sisters called to train.  I also got to see Elder Edgley too! He came last week since he finally recovered from his leg injury from the MTC. [Elder Edgley was in Kelsey's district in the Provo MTC but injured his knee in November and had to go home]  It was just nice to know I actually do have friends outside of my District. (;

5-7-16 (Saturday)
Sister Piutau

Having to wake up at 4:00 am twice this week has caught up to me 100%!  I'm so dang tired! AHH!  I love Aguilar so much, but it's not the best place to live when I have to be at meetings in Urdaneta at 8:00 am.  Medyo malayo siya [It's pretty far].

Anyway..Funny story of the day: so whenever we try to get our new investigators to pray at the end of the lesson they ALWAYS try to get out of it.  They usually just say "Next time, na lang [thanks]!" and do everything they can to get out of it by saying something like "I don't know your prayer yet." Then we tell them we don't have a memorized prayer; we just pray from the heart.  But today Eric's excuse was "I can't pray because I'm wearing a tank top.  I don't want God to see me like this."  Oh my word, I about died!  I actually laughed out loud and he ended laughing too because he realized how bad his excuse was so he ended up praying and it all worked out great.  I was just so caught off guard with his unique excuse I couldn't keep my laugh in.  Haha!  Iyan lang. ;D
Baby Pineapple

5-8-16 (Sunday)

So this afternoon while we were sitting in the chapel waiting for church to start, [Branch] President Dariano comes up to Sister Standage and I and asks Sister Standage "Does she understand Tagalog?" Yes President I can understand you! Haha, I guess I don't talk to him enough..I mean I can't speak Tagalog yet, but I can understand pretty well now.  Anyway, then he asked me if I would give a talk since Sarah didn't come to church.  Oh man, that talk was so rough.  I had like 10 minutes to think of what to share, so I honestly had no idea what to say in English let alone Tagalog.  But it also makes me nervous that he asked me to talk because that means he thinks I'm going to be transferred.  I really don't think I want to be transferred.

Relentless Week in Aguilar

We had a giant water fight and it was SO fun!
But mostly it was just nice to get wet
 since it's so dang hot here. (; 
4-25-16 (Monday)

Today was such a fun yet relaxing day! I LOVED IT!  We had zone training this morning, since it's relentless week, that was super fun as usual...I love getting to "hangout" with other people.  Being with the same person all day everyday is great and all but it's nice to have someone else to talk to every once-in-a while. (;

Then after training we emailed, ate lunch, then shopped.  Woo! When we got home I should have done laundry, but I had 0 motivation.  (;  Anyway...Today was great and I loved every second of it! (:

4-26-16 (Tuesday)

Today was a good day.  It was an okay day, but it was a happy day, so that makes it a good day. Diba? Haha! (;  We had apartment checks today which I always find pretty awkward.  Something about having my Zone Leaders check all my stuff and how clean things are is just a bit weird for me.  Luckily I like my Zone Leaders and we're buds so it makes it less awkward.  Yeah...We had a lot of lessons today which is pretty awesome, but I feel like they could have been a lot better.  But we do have 2 new investigators now which is great of course!

4-27-16 (Wednesday)

So...I feel like absolutely nothing happened today.  But!  It was a good day because it was only 38 C. [100.4 F] (;  When it's that cool it makes the fact that we have to go hiking up the mountain to get our investigators a lot more enjoyable. Haha, I'm not joking, we go hiking up a mountain EVERYDAY! I come home every night so exhausted, but I'm grateful because I sleep sooo good at night! ;D  

Also!  I ate tofu for the first time ever!  I had no idea till after I ate a bunch of it. I thought it was just some weird chunks of pork. But then Nanay Villanueva was like "do you like the tofu!?"  Haha, when I found out it was tofu it made the texture a million times better! (;  So I learned today that I like tofu ;D

4-28-16 (Thursday)

Today I had to lead weekly planning...I hate weekly planning...It takes sooo long!  But today I did learn that it goes by a lot faster when you have to lead.  Because when you don't lead you literally just sit there for two hours.  
I feel like this picture perfectly describes my life. ;D

Anyway...! Today it poured rain for like 45 minutes and it was the most exciting thing ever!  It was so fun for me!  And the thunder here is SO loud and powerful.  It's actually kind of scary, but that just makes working in the rain even more of an adventure. (: 

We also taught a lesson today to a man and his wife that was super wonderful.
Brother Lomlao's brother passed away yesterday so it was such a spiritual experience for me to be able to teach them about the Plan of Salvation.  It was such a testimony builder for me to understand that this gospel truly has all the answers to life's questions.  The gospel of Jesus Christ truly is perfect.  I know, without a doubt in my mind, we can all find hope, comfort, and strength in all the blessings that come from the Atonement of Jesus Christ 

4-29-16 (Friday)
Sisters Arquiola and Miller 
Today we had the Blitz in our area.  I don't know if I've ever told you about it, but that's when our whole District works in one area proselyting from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm.  I'm really grateful Elder Smith (my District Leader) chose our area for the Blitz this transfer.  I feel like Sister Standage and I needed some help in our area.  None of our investigators are progressing except for one.  I'm confident that the extra help today will really help us get some investigators to church this week which will be AWESOME! (:  Life is great and I love all the things I'm learning as a missionary

4-30-16 (Saturday)

Today ended up being great!  This morning was pretty rough emotionally.  I just had 0 motivation or desire to work.  But after our 20 lesson with Shaniqa I cheered up a bit!  She's the brightest 9-year old ever.  After her lesson we walked by Nanay Alejandra's house and saw her reading the Book of Mormon on her porch again. Oh my word , that made me so happy my heart was hurting. ;)  She's the best.

We also had a lesson with Brother Jovensio today and he is so funny!  He's so addicted to coffee and doesn't realize it because "he only drinks it once a day, not multiple times a day."  He's just so funny and defensive about it!  Like today he opened up the Word of Wisdom pamphlet and pointed at the picture of all the good foods we're supposed to eat, specifically at the piles of beans and yelled "coffee's a bean!" Haha!  I about died!  It was sooo funny!  Hopefully one day he'll give up coffee.  But!  He did promise he'll come to church tomorrow so hopefully that will happen too. (;

5-1-16 (Sunday)

Woo!  I've been in Aguilar for 4 whole months now!  Anyway...This morning I was sooo irritated with everything.  Today  Cielo was scheduled to have her baptismal interview, but this morning Sister Standage and I woke up frustrated about her situation.  It's hard for Ciela to come to church on her own as an 11-year old.  She didn't come to church so she obviously couldn't have her interview.

I was also able to cheer up quite a bit because Brother Jovensio came to Sacrament meeting because he "made a promise he would come."  That makes me pretty happy he kept his promise.  I'm excited to hear what his thoughts were about church.  

Also!  Today Brother Ryan passed the Sacrament for the first time and that just made my heart melt.  My little RC is becoming a man. ;D Also!  Ulit...! A lot of the time it lightnings (I'm not sure if that's a word or not. Haha), but there's NO thunder?  It's kind of creepy...But it's pretty cool. ;D 

Also! The highlight of my week was eating Cinci [Skyline] chili! NO JOKE! There's an American guy that's married to one of our members and he makes Cincinnati chilli! I loved it because I knew you were in Cincinnati at the time. It was exciting. (;

Aguilar Zone Baby!
Elders Smith, Garate, Apor, Gabriel, Lomax, Dixon, Key, Baniago, Raguin
Elders Barrancco, Fiel, me, Sisters Standage, Arquiola, Miller, Elders Emit, Deva