Kat's Baptism

With your new place, I'm wondering...
Are you still doing your laundry by hand? No, we have a lady that does our laundry now. But I still wash my unders myself.

Do you have warm showers? No, there's no warm water anywhere. Plus.. We use a bucket and a smaller bucket to bathe. (; We do have a shower, but I don't use it all the time.

What is your favorite street food/snack? Honestly.. If I answer that you might freak out.. ;D Haha.. Okay, I'll tell you but don't kill me.. My favorite is isaw.. Which is chicken intestine.. But I don't eat it very often. !?!?

Are you cooking more at home now? I'm not usually the main chef, like ever.. But I do help prepare the food. We usually eat at home though.

Is the mosquito Zika virus a concern there? How bad? There's been some discussion on the restriction to mail/ship mosquito repellent with deet in them. Your thoughts? The mosquitos aren't something that really freak people out. But the office does give us OFF lotion stuff, so don't worry. I'm safe. (:

Be thinking what you want for Christmas. I know, it sounds crazy. But you'll have to put your order in soon, you know. For Christmas.. I just want a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch. ;D That's not a joke.. Haha! 

Sister Diaz, Kat, Elder Rawlinson,
Elder Reyes, President and Sister Deyro
8-15-16 (Monday)
Today Sister Diaz and I got to spend P-Day in Urdaneta which was great! But man.. while being in the Philippines… I do not like being in a big busy town like Urdaneta. I was so incredibly uncomfortable with so many people staring at me every step I took. I had a ton of fun shopping around and seeing all the fun stuff people sell, but I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. Being blonde just makes me stick out too much.

Anyway.. We had FHE with the D Family tonight that was just the happiest experience ever! Brother and Sister Abat, President Baloiong, and Julie came too and man! That was just awesome having them there all talking and getting to know each other while testifying of Christ. I truly believe the D Family will come to church on Sunday now that they have friends that will be there too. (:

It was also a great lesson that I was super excited to teach. We taught the last part of the Plan of Salvation which was so powerful! We emphasized on the Atonement, talked about eternal families, but my favorite part was being able to powerfully testify that our bodies will be perfected because of Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice. Brother B had a stroke about two years ago and is paralyzed on the left side of his body. So I looked him in the eye and testified that I know him and I will both have perfected bodies again. He will be able to walk normal again and I’ll be able to remember things better. It’s crazy to see how the things we learn from our toughest trials help us testify with extra power the truthfulness of God’s plan for us and His son’s perfect gospel.

8-16-16 (Tuesday)
Today was great! But man.. I am absolutely exhausted! I don’t know why, but something about feeling like I’m going to die makes me so happy.. Being a missionary is weird. ;D But for real.. I am so dang tired! I wanted to take a nap so bad. 

I look so much like Brayden in this picture it's creepy. ;D
Anyway.. Today I truly felt like I was dying.. I was so tired. But let me tell you, there’s nothing better than finding someone that will let you sit down with them and testify of Christ and His restored gospel. The desire I have to feel the happiness that only comes from teaching others how to come unto Christ will always outweigh the desire to take a nap. When I’m out working, I want so badly to teach people. Even when we get punted and rejected hour after hour and I start to get a little down.. I just have to think of “the standard of truth”, that we recite every single morning, and remember that The Great Jehovah has not yet said the work is done. Haa, now I know why we recite that every morning. (;

8-17-16 (Wednesday)
Man, today was the best! I was just incredibly happy today! I wanted to try a new way to find new investigators that President Deyro did on his mission; so I wrapped a Book of Mormon in wrapping paper and held it in my hand all day because I didn’t want it to get ruined in my bag. The plan was to knock on doors and ask them if they knew a random person we made up and of course they would say no and hopefully ask why so we could tell them we have a gift for them from America. Then we’d let the Spirit help us be able to sit down with them and teach them the Restoration so in our next visit we could bring them their gift from America. (;
Kat and Elder Rawlinson

But today it was really easy to find new investigators so we didn’t ever try it. But man.. I don’t know if it was my 15-minute nap during lunch or the fact that I had a Book of Mormon in my hand all day, but either way, I was pumped up and loving life all day! I’m going to say it was the Book of Mormon though.. Because man.. It truly is a powerful tool in life. I just never imagined it helping me in a physical way. (;

I also taught the best and happiest lesson on my mission so far. We taught the D Family about the Word of Wisdom and it went great! They all drink coffee and tatay smokes and drinks, but you could feel how open they were to accept and desire to live the Word of Wisdom. Nanay did say she likes it. She felt good inside as we explained why we have the Word of Wisdom. It really was such a great lesson. 

As we came out and started walking home, I felt a sense of love for them that I have never felt before. Like.. I was so happy and desired so badly for them to continue to come unto Christ, it almost hurt my stomach. I want so badly to see this family be baptized all together. I know it will happen. I just hope it’s while I’m still here. (:

Mga kapatid ko! ;D
Google translates say "My siblings"?
8-18-16 (Thursday)
Today was absolutely fantastic! I have just really enjoyed work the last couple days. So, a couple days ago for language study I just told Sister Diaz stories about my life and had her fix my grammar when it was wrong. But she honestly only stopped me like five times to fix my grammar. I constantly was asking “was that right? Or should it be like this..?” But she was like “no, you were right the first time.” I don’t know what or why… But my confidence in my Tagalog went up 100%! I’ve been talking so much more in lessons and just don’t even care anymore if it’s right or not. And because I put more effort in our lessons I feel like I get so much more out of it. Like.. we get out of a lesson and I’m so excited to go teach and talk to more people. It sure took me a while, but I think I’ve finally gotten the confidence to just be myself whether people understand me or not. (: 

Also.. our lesson with the P’s was AWESOME! I’m telling you.. There’s nothing better than teaching a whole family about the gospel of Jesus Christ. And.. In our lesson with the C Family they asked a lot of questions that were kind of deep, especially for recent converts, so we just explained as simply as we could and testified that God knows the desires of our hearts and Christ is the perfect judge. But I couldn’t help but smile and giggle inside because now I understand how my companions feel when I ask them my deep questions or share with them my deep thoughts. President Deyro always warns my companions that I’m a deep thinker and now I understand why. (;

8-19-16 (Friday)
Sister Diaz and Sister Stromberg. **
Today we had our Tri-Zone Conference which was a lot of fun! I got to see lots of people I actually knew from Aguilar. I got to see Elder Fiel (who is one of my favorite people ever. I really do miss being able to joke around with him and Elder Emit at District meetings), Elder Lomax, Elder Dixon, and even Elder Morris who was in my district while in the MTC. I also met Sister Shaw from Georgia, and man.. I just love her. She’s only been here for two weeks and as we were talking I just totally felt for her. I remember my training all too well. But I think it was good getting to talk to her and let her know it really does get easier and that the language is hard, but it comes with time. We both just have to be patient with ourselves. 

Also.. Today I realized just how much it breaks my heart when people aren’t living the law of chastity. It’s so hard and frustrating for me to know how many people live together without being married! Especially teenagers! Why the heck is it okay with parents to let their 17-year old daughter’s boyfriend live with them!? It’s literally heart breaking for me. It literally hurts when I find out they live with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Especially when they have kids! Stinkin’ get married! I don’t care if it costs money.. I’ll pay for it! I’ll spend all the money I have to help these people get married! I’m dying.. PLEASE…! Just get married! It’s fine if they don’t ever get baptized in this life.. I’ll do the temple work for them. But I can’t take it anymore! It absolutely breaks my heart knowing how much fornication is going on all around me. Please get married.. Please wait till you’re older.. Please give your family a chance to be together forever.. please realize how sacred our bodies AND families are..

Sister Diaz, Kevin and Maymay (: 
8-20-16 (Saturday)
Man, today was just great! Even though Sister Diaz and I got punted at every single lesson except one, we stayed happy. We knew we were doing the best we could and were able to apply the things we learned yesterday to improve our OYM’s. (:

Anyway.. KAT GOT BAPTIZED! :D What a fun experience it was seeing how excited Kat was to finally be baptized. She’s so cute. (: And to make it even better President and Sister Deyro came to support Kat and her decision to be baptized. It was fun having them there and seeing all the Priesthood holders run home and change into church clothes! HAHA! ;D I guess having a surprise visit from the Mission President really helps shape up the Branch. (; 

We also taught the D Family about faith unto repentance and once again applied the things we learned yesterday and man.. I can’t describe how much I love the D Family! There’s nothing better than seeing the whole family accepting the Spirit in their hearts and truly trying to come unto Christ. They’re all doing really good with trying to live the Word of Wisdom, which is AWESOME! Even though most of them drank coffee at least once or twice this week I was completely okay with that because I knew they were really trying. Overcoming an addiction truly does take time, so I know their faith is strong enough that one day they’ll overcome their addictions. I just really hope it’s before I get transferred. 

My face say's it all!
ALSO! Today I peeled a boiled egg PERFECTLY! I kid you not, it was perfect. No scratches, cuts, pieces missing, nothing! It was as smooth as butter. (I don’t know why I chose butter as the example instead of ice or a baby’s bum, but whatever! (;) And I am writing this because I would say that is quite possibly the greatest accomplishment ever. ;D

8-21-16 (Sunday)
Well.. Kat was confirmed a member and received the gift of the Holy Ghost today! :D She was late to church though so I was freaking out a little bit until she showed up while they were passing the Sacrament. So after Sacrament she was confirmed and everything all worked out. (:

Here's a picture of another monstrous spider. ;D 
ALSO! Tatay D and his son came to church today! :D They even came even though they were like 20 minutes late! Usually if people realize they’re going to be late they just don’t come at all. I’m honestly so dang happy they came! Even though the girls all had to stay home because they’re moving houses; I was still absolutely thrilled some of them came. And as they were about to head home after church, Tatay said he learned a lot and is excited for the whole family to come next week! AHH! :D I just love them so dang much! And the Branch did such a great job at fellow shipping them! Man.. I’m just so happy! (: 

Also! Today while teaching the C family I was just so comfortable there I would not stop talking! I LOVED that! I didn’t let my fear of talking in Tagalog hold me back at all! I just went for it and loved every second of it, because I was 100% myself and we were all able to bond over my mistakes I made while trying to tell stories in Tagalog. (:

For example we’re good enough buddies now that when I asked 18-year old P why he left church right after Sacrament meeting he straight up told me “call of nature.” HAHAHA! I died! I thought that was hilarious that he actually told me that! Like.. If I were him I would have just said something like “I had something I needed to do.” But not P! ;D I’m glad I’m becoming better friends with the members here in Binalonan. Life is always better when you’re surrounded by friends. (:

**  Sister Stromberg is actually my ate [sister] in the mission and the first mom of Sister Diaz.. So I guess I'm sister Diaz' Tita [aunt] and step mom! (;