"I got to ride in a police car while on my mission in the Philippines."

5-30-16 (Monday)

Today we got permission to go to Lingayen for P-Day, because Sister Miller needed new rubber shoes and Aguilar Zone is literally so small there’s nowhere to get any. Then Elder Baniago said to Sister Miller “Yeah you can go, but just you and Sister Arquiola.” But luckily Sister Miller had my back and said, “But Sister Fivas doesn’t have any!” Then that’s when I came into the conversation because I heard my name and Elder Baniago (our Zone Leader) was like “yeah, you can go to Lingayen for P-Day.” Woo baby! That was a total surprise that we all got to go to Lingayen. I didn’t even know the other Sisters wanted to go. 
Sisters Clair, Alpino, me

Anyway..I got to eat Chow King for the first time today.  It wasn’t anything special for me. It wasn’t as wonderful as everyone made it seem like. 

But the best part of P-Day was while Sister Alpino and I were walking from CSI to the Jeepny terminal to go back to Aguilar, Sister "L" passes by in the police car thing that looks like a mini Jeepny and makes the Sheriff stop and take us home with her! Haha, we totally got a free ride home in a police car. I’d say that counts a having a personal police escort home. I’m practically famous. (; Haha, moral of the story is Sister "L" was able to be bailed out of jail and I got to ride in a police car while on my mission in the Philippines. Man, I love it here! ;D 

Also.. Today I noticed that I honestly love missionary work. I think if I ever find myself not wanting to go out and work, it just means I’m tired and really want a nap. I really do enjoy teaching lessons now. I think being a trainer so early in my mission has been such a blessing. I feel more confident and comfortable teaching lessons because I don’t feel intimidated by my companion any more. Life truly is getting happier and happier everyday.
No joke.. That is a real living frog smaller than a penny.
It was SOOOO cute watching him hop around. ;D

5-31-16 (Tuesday)

I have a cold.. It still blows my mind that you can get a cold while living on a tropical island. (; 

Anyway, this morning we went to go teach "J" and "J" again and I was so worried because of how church was. Luckily they’re super awesome and are still interested in the church and want to go to church again. (: But before we taught them we had language study with them to help build trust and relationship. It was such a good idea! "J" even went inside and grabbed his English-Tagalog dictionary. It was so cute. Then after language study/BTR, we shared Mosiah 2:22 about obedience and because they’re the best ever we somehow ended up being able to teach two of their friends too. So now we have 5 investigators that are all best buds which is awesome! They’ll be able to fellowship themselves at church if none of the members will. "J" even invited "M" and "G" to come to church with him before we invited them.  I really hope they really will all come to church and continue to investigate all together. (: 

6-1-16 (Wednesday)
I cannot believe it’s already June! It literally blows my mind that I’ve been living in Aguilar for 5 months now. I remember my first day here like it was last week. Oh man, I really am having the time of my life here. I honestly LOVE missionary work. I don’t know if it’s just because I love my area or what, but I am having the time of my life here! I just love all the funny things that happen throughout the day. It just makes missionary work that much more enjoyable. 

For example, early this afternoon we went to go see "A", but when we got there, her asawa [boyfriend] was there too!  So no joke, my heart was the happiest it has ever been! I was dang exited to teach them together because they need to get married still. And.. Because I know how much "A" wants this gospel for her family. So I was so excited to teach her asawa. But.. a little bit after we came in, he got up and left to take a bath. Oh. My. Word. My heart BROKE! I can’t even describe to you how excited I was to teach him, but when he left I swear I felt my heart break! So we just taught "A" and "T" about faith unto repentance and how we can be cleansed from sin. But as we were ending our lesson their little boy started throwing a fit and wouldn’t stop crying so "A's" asawa came back in to help "A" take care of him. Let me tell you.. God truly does work in mysterious ways. When he came back in and the boy calmed down right away, I jumped all over the opportunity to teach him. So we just taught him what we just taught "A".. The sweet Spirit I felt while teaching him about the Atonement and repentance is something I will remember forever. I know he felt it too. Christ ALWAYS wants us to give him our sins because he already paid for them. He’s ALWAYS happy when we confess and repent of our mistakes. 

And.. to end the day on a fun note, while we OYMd [Open Your Mouth] this big group of people I was mostly talking to these two guys while Sister Alpino and Sister Clair talked to some of the others. It was so dang funny! We were all making jokes about my Tagalog so I didn’t feel awkward when I didn’t understand them or when they didn’t understand me. But the best part was when they were like “so.. how long have you lived here and how long will you stay here?” So I was like “after 18 months I’ll be done with my mission so I will go home, but I’ll probably come back again.” Then they freaked out and were like “WHEN!? When will you come back?” I was like “I don’t know..” and then one of them said in perfect English “I’ll be waiting for you..” Oh my gosh I DIED! I honestly didn’t know what to say to that so his friend and I both just started laughing super hard. Eventually I was like “Thank you..?” Haha, I think it’s so funny when men just say such things and then we all laugh at how awkward it was. I love the Philippines, I really do. I don’t ever want to leave.

6-2-16 (Thursday)

This morning we got to do community service at one of the Catholic schools and clean up all the grounds before school starts later this month. I honestly love every second of it. I liked that I got to wear sweatpants too.. I miss being able to sit however I want. (; I also ran around a lot so it was nice to go for a “run” for a while. One thing that I have noticed is how often people freak out at me when I’m not sitting in the shade or using an umbrella for shade. It kind of annoys me.. I’m not going to die if I’m working in the sun. If I really do get skin cancer one day, Oh well! At least I lived my life doing what I wanted and not worrying about if I’m in the shade or not. (; 

We also got to go to Mangatarem today to get support because Aguilar is so small we don’t even have an ATM to get our money. But I’m not complaining because I love that it’s a homey small town and that I get to ride a bus for 30 minutes each way to go get money and have a yummy lunch. (; Oh how you learn to enjoy the little things while on a mission.

6-3-16 (Friday)

Oh my word, the thunder here is insane! I’m not joking when I say you can feel it. Astig siya! [It was cool!] 

Anyway.. I love our investigators so much! Especially because a lot of them are teenage boys that are all on a basketball team together so it’s nice because I can talk about basketball with them to build relationship and trust. (; So I guess for the finals it’s the Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.. My only question is.. who the heck are the Warriors!? Are they a new team or is my brain really messed up that bad? 

Also.. I saw one of my investigator today for the first time in a couple weeks. Turns out he’s actually really good at speaking English.. when he’s drunk! Haha, when he first saw me he perked right up and yelled hi. That made me so happy he was being so happy and friendly but then I noticed he was being too friendly and realized he was drunk. Why is it every time a drunk Filipino sees me they always speak in English! It’s a hard life when I can have a better conversation with someone that’s drunk than if they were sober.  This would happen to me. (; But on the bright side, I now know he speaks English and that he “loves me so much.” Haha! ;D
Here's a picture of me with a baby cow. ;D

6-4-16 (Saturday)

I love Saturdays. They’re the best days for work. I also really love "J". He’s so cute! I asked if he read his Book of Mormon assignment and he said yes and asked who the Holy Messiah is. Then we told him it was just another name for Christ and he got so exited! He researched online and was so happy he was able to answer his question correctly because of his research. It was just so cute to see how happy he was because he really studied his Book of Mormon assignment. He’s the best. (: 

Also today Sister Alpino and I taught this lady we met through an OYM and it was great! She accepted her baptismal date and everything. Then while Sister Alpino and I were walking to our next investigator, we both couldn’t remember her first name. I was pretty bummed we both forgot her name before I could write it down. So I just said a simple prayer that Heavenly Father would help us remember it. And He answered it in the best way possible! (: So while we were visiting Brother "C", a recent convert, I asked him how his Book of Mormon reading was; expecting he’d give us another lame excuse for not reading.. But he actually did read! He’s like “yeah, I read in Alma about people going to synagogues!” First! I was incredibly happy he read! Then! It instantly came to me that that lady’s name is Alma! Woo baby! It was just a great way to receive an answer to my prayer. It’s nice to know no matter how simple our prayers are, God always answers. (:
6-5-16 (Sunday)

Today was full of all kinds of great things! First, we had 6 investigators come to church! Woo baby! That honestly made me so happy! Although.. It’s a little worrisome for me because all our progressing investigators, except for Alejandra, are boys 16 to 24.. I’m really glad we’re all friends and can joke around with each other and talk about basketball, but I’m worried we all have TOO much fun together. I really want them to be converted to Christ and His church, not me.. But I’m really glad they come to church and let us teach them a lot! (: 

Also.. some other great news is Nanay Alejandra passed her baptismal interview! :D Sister Alpino will now have her first baptism this Saturday! (: I’m so dang excited! Sister Alejandra has been one of my investigators ever since I got put in Aguilar 2/2A, which was February. The work truly is moving forward here in Aguilar. I honestly doubt I’ll like any other area better than Aguilar. I really do love it here. (:

Sister Alejandra