Happy 20th Birthday!

Sister Tanielu
9-19-16 (Monday)[Happy Birthday!!]
Well.. I’m 20 now.. Blahh.. Haha. Honestly today felt no different from any other day. I mean I got to open my birthday package, got some nice happy birthday texts, and fun emails.. But it just felt like any other day. Which is fine, because every day is a total party here in the Philippines! ;D 

Anyway.. The day started with us Sisters being locked in our house/yard. William (the caretaker) changed the lock to our gate without telling us or giving us a key. Long story short.. we started District Meeting an hour and a half late. Thaaank Yoouu Brother William. ;) The AP’s also came to our District Meeting so that’s fun. They didn’t even know it was my birthday. Grabe yung spirit! [?] I was able to spend some of my birthday with my lolo [grandfather] Elder Raguin. Aaang cuuute! ;) Haha. But for real.. Nothing really noteworthy happened today. 

We taught the D Family again and it’s just so refreshing hearing how grateful they are for the blessings they’re receiving ever since they met us. They truly see the Lord’s hand in their lives now and it’s so fun hearing about how grateful they are for Christ’s gospel. AHHH! I truly feel that I am accomplishing my purpose as a servant of the Lord every time I go to their home. They are 100% the best! :D

9-21-16 (Wednesday)
I don’t know.. not a whole lot happened today. We only had four lessons today because everywhere we didn’t get punted they had a lot to talk about. I truly believe people open up to Sisters more than Elders. Which I say is great! Even if we may not always have a ton of lessons every day, I do know they are quality lessons. Because I really try to help my investigators know I care about them, they open up. And even though our lessons may be longer than most.. At least they’re the ones talking things out so they eventually figure the answer out on their own. And if they don’t.. At least they opened up to me so I can more easily help them/discern their needs. So once again.. I’d say quality is better than quantity. But.. sometimes it’s hard because you know their situation and you want so badly to help them but you just don’t know how to answer/explain like with J, J, J, and J.. They don’t think they’ve received an answer yet, but they have! They don’t realize that the happiness they have while reading and praying and the desire they have to always feel that happiness/feeling is their answer! I want so badly for them to understand na young masarap na pakiramdam na mayroon sila habang ang mga panalangin nila ay ang sagot na hinahanas nila! (Tama ba yung Tagalog ko? ;D) [?]

9-22-16 (Thursday)
Anyway.. Today was good. Weekly planning took five years so we only had a couple of hours to work. But it was so cute today. While asking the P Family how their reading is going they all perked up and said they now all read together and take turns who reads every verse. It was so cute! Little R was like “Yeah, I’ll read a verse then mom reads a verse than I read the next one..” That just made my heart melt! But the best part was when she told me about how last night when her dad came home (who is an investigator still) he was tired from work and just wanted to go to sleep so he wasn’t going to read the Book of Mormon. But because her and Nanay were reading out loud together he ended up listening and asked questions about what was going on in the story! Then R just talked about how happy she was that Tatay ended up listening to her and Nanay reading the Book of Mormon. And Oh. My. Word! I died! What a great experience for the whole family to witness/experience! The testimony of little 11-year old R just might be exactly what Tatay T needs in order to exercise his faith and come to understand the importance of our message, or even religion in general. 

That is one thing I’ve noticed on my mission is how much I love seeing kids setting good examples for their parents. There’s nothing more powerful than a kid’s sincere testimony of what they truly believe to be true. I never expected a little 11-year old help strengthen my testimony of the book of Mormon and how the gospel blesses families. Those cute sweet little tender mercies.. They’re just toooo gooood. ;) (please tell me you read that in the way Goofy would say it on the Extremely Goofy Movie. ;D)

9-23-1 (Friday)
Today was great! Sister Tanielu and I did really good at following the Spirit! It was Awwwesome! We were able to find 5 new very receptive new investigators! YAAASS! Hopefully they’ll continue to be so open to us and the Spirit when we go back to them. (: But as wonderfully spiritual today was.. It was also full of pretty funny experiences. The best one was when this guy I always talk to insisted, once again, that I give him my number so he can give it to his son. I’ve always just told him no and that I personally don’t have a phone; it’s the church’s. But this time I finally asked him why he wants me to talk to his son so bad and he straight up told me he wants me to marry him so he can have FillAm grandkids! I DIED! Not only no, but heck no! He was so funny! He’s all like “No! It’s true! He’s tall and very strong and muscular. Bagay siya say yo.” I honestly couldn’t help but laugh. But I will admit I took advantage of the situation and told this guy I’d be happy to meet his son if Sister Tanielu and I could teach them. Scooore! ;D Hopefully I don’t end up regretting that. (; 

And the rest of the funny awkward stories are just about other boys being awkward and not letting my hand go once I shake their hand. Honestly.. people here really do make me feel beautiful and I really appreciate that I’ve gained better self-confidence on my mission because of it, but when people ask me if I would ever marry a Filipino.. I always tell them it’s possible, but honestly.. I don’t trust Filipinos to actually love ME. I would constantly think they only like me because I’m American and I’m their hope to a better/easier life. So.. No.. No Filipinos for me.
Rada, Tatay Deleon, Tatay's Nanay.. (;

9-24-16 (Saturday)
So to keep you posted on crazy Tatay that wants FilAm grandbabies.. he drove Sister Tanielu and I to Sister Gina’s and well.. He’s still pretty convinced that his son and I are meant to be soul mates. ;D HAHA! WHHYYY!? People really do just speak their minds here. It’s pretty funny actually.. Especially when they’re drunk. ;D 

Anyway.. Today Sister Tanielu and I went to contact some referrals in a part of Pablacion that I’ve never been before and holy cow.. Ayaw talaga ng mga tao doon [do not really like it]. As in! Like.. Freeaaak yo! I honestly never want to go back there. It made me feel like I was with [Elder] Sam [Scott] in San Diego. Kawawa naman siya.. [I feel bad for him] I couldn’t imagine what it would be like in a mission where it’s like that all day everyday. [People were rude and would not let us talk to them.] It really helped me understand some of Sam’s heartfelt/venting emails a lot better. From what I can tell, he’s doing a lot better in California than I ever could. 

But on the bright side.. My night ended perfectly with the happy lesson we had at the D’s! Tatay hasn’t drank coffee for a week now! YAAASSS! He’s now on track with the whole family to be baptized October 15! And man.. I cannot explain how badly I want to be able to see the whole family get baptized together. Honestly. If something happens and they can’t be baptized this transfer and I get transferred.. I will quit my mission so I can stay here until that family enters into the waters of baptism. All I want in my life is to continue to help the D Family make and keep sacred covenants. GAAHH! It’s my biggest prayer that things work out for October 15! The suspense is killing me! AHH! ;)

9-25-16 (Sunday)
Well.. Because today was Tatay D’s birthday they had a lot of family and friends over; and because of that.. They had a lot of cooking to do. Needless to say they weren’t able to make it to church.. So.. Ignore my excitement I had yesterday because now they probably won’t be able to be baptized this transfer. GAAHHH! The world hates me! ;)

Jess, Sister Tanielu, Justin, Dave, Jerome, Ronnie, me, Joy, Jayann, Adrian
But it’s all good because I know they’ll be baptized here sometime soon. As long as they’re baptized, I’ll be happy. (: But even though the D’s didn’t come to church.. we still had TEN ISM’s! And it wasn’t even my birthday! YEEAAAH Baby! ;D This area truly is progressing a million times more than when I got here, so I feel pretty successful. (: 

I don’t know.. I don’t have much to say about today other than it was a good day. But even though today ended nicely.. It was one of those days where I came home for the night and sat down with a sigh of relief. Haha, I’m pretty glad today is over. (; Even though it was a good day.. It was also full of disappointments. Nothing we had planned today happened.. NOTHING. People suck.. (; But it all worked out because we’re friends with our investigators so they let us come over even though it was late at night. (: