Welcome to 100 Islands!

I'm officially a Filipino. (;
(Yes.. That's rice.. And I'm walking on it..)
10-24-16 (Monday)
Oh my word! Today was the best! Honestly, I love it here! Anyway.. I LOVE Sister Buna Cruz! She is just the best. I kid you not, she is the best companion I have had in lessons. She is the perfect amount of silliness and knows perfectly how to take control of lessons. And the way she teaches, Oh my word, her insights are insane! She is truly led by the Spirit. (:

Another thing that I absolutely loved is how she would ask me to pick the scriptures we used and share my insights and actually be the one to start teaching some of our lessons. That sounds silly, but I am so grateful for that/her because usually when I get transferred I get lazy because I don’t know the area or the people and my companion usually just takes over all the time because they too know they’re leading the area. But NOPE! Hindi ako magiging tamad kailanman! ;D [I won’t be lazy here!]

Sister Burton
And on a side note… Sister Buna Cruz is 23 and from Bayambang Zone. Wait, what? Bayambang Zone…! Isn’t that in the Urdaneta Mission? Haa! Yes, yes it is! ;D Sister Buna Cruz is totally serving in the mission she lives in! Yiiikes. (: I guess when she applied for her mission she was living/studying in Manila so that was her address when she submitted her mission papers. But man! I find that really interesting that the Lord sent her to the mission she’s from. I never would have guessed something like this would happen. But no matter what, I am sure grateful she is here. (:

10-25-16 (Tuesday)
Well today started out as the best ever! I thoroughly enjoyed life this morning! I REALLY like this area! It’s a lot like Aguilar except bigger and less poor. But it’s more rice field than anything. (: But yeah! I went out to work this morning with the right attitude and it sure paid off with 4 lessons before lunch. (:

Sister Buna Cruz, Jimuel, Rosaldo, me
10-26-16 (Wednesday)
Today was actually an awesome day! I really truly enjoyed all that happened. (: So to start.. I just have to say, Sister Buna Cruz is literally the best missionary ever. I kid you not she is fearless! She does not care if people are ayaw [unwilling] or not. She will teach, testify, repeat, and extend baptismal date. Even when we’re just on the street OYMing people. She’s literally my idol. But.. It also makes me very aware of my weaknesses because I see how good she is at literally everything. So therefore I’m a little insecure at times. But! I am determined to get over that and just learn as much as I can from her. (:

Sister Alversado, Buna Cruz, Jimuel,
 Rosaldo, me, Sister Reyes
So my favorite experience today was in our lesson with Tatay A. Oh my word. He wanted to Bible bash so bad! You would think it would be a frustrating situation, but I was kind of like whatever. He honestly wasn’t rude but man.. He is so incredibly misled! Like, Satan’s got him gooood. But after Sister Buna Cruz and I were able to get A to listen to us I just testified to him what I know to be true. And that the Book of Mormon is true. And it was translated by a prophet of God named Joseph Smith. . And that we can all come to know what I know if we simply open our hearts and ask Heavenly Father to help us come to know the truth.

But what was crazy.. I honestly don’t think I was the one talking. I kid you not my Tagalog seemed perfectly fluent AND I just talked.. I was not thinking in English and having to translate into Tagalog. My mouth was literally being filled by the Spirit. It was the most powerful testimony I have ever borne. I don’t know if Brother A felt the Spirit or not because his heart truly is shut tight but he had nothing to say after my testimony. That’s the best thing about bearing a testimony; people can’t try and debate it. They may not believe or agree with what I testify, but they can’t argue with me if I know what I testify of to be true or not. (:

10-27-16 (Thursday)
I really love this area! It honestly reminds me of home. And as silly as this might sound… when we were riding in a trike to a further area and I was looking out “the window” at the scenery, I honestly felt like I was going for a ride up Middle Canyon [in Tooele]. Haha, I don’t know how or why, considering there’s not a single pine or maple tree in the whole Philippines, but I just felt very at home today. (:

I also saw a firefly again today and it made me miss my Raymond. (: I actually told Sister Buna Cruz about how fireflies always remind me of dad and she just died! Haha, she was like “AHH! I need to marry someone like your dad! ;D” But for real.. I got pretty lucky to have my dad show me my whole life what I want my husband to be like. (: [Raymond is a firefly in the movie The Princess and the Frog]
And.. I really do love Sister Buna Cruz! She really makes sure I talk just as much as her in lessons. I’m honestly not used to that.. Usually my companion just takes over because they can get things done faster than I can in Tagalog. But nope! Not Sister Buna Cruz. (: She is very helpful and supportive of the effort I put into learning Tagalog. It’s great. She definitely knows how to make sure I don’t get lazy. (;

10-28-16 (Friday)
We got to go to a wedding today for a returning, less active couple. And man, it was so cuuute! Oh my word it was just so precious seeing how sacred the marriage was to Jesse. You could just see how good he felt that he was finally marrying Jeanny. AHH.. The Feels! (;  

Sister Buna Cruz, Jeanny, me
10-29-16 (Saturday)
Man.. Today was just awesome! I got super lucky getting assigned in this area because it is very progressive right now. (: So! With that said.. We had a baptism today! Jimuel was baptized by his father, who was just baptized this last March! :D But I kid you not, it was a sweet moment when they both walked into the water together and Jimuel had to wipe away tears before he grabbed his dad’s hands. Gahhh! I love how happy the gospel makes people! (:

Also.. After Jimuel was baptized, Sisters Buna Cruz, Reyes, Alversado, and I sang “Come Unto Christ” and I had multiple solo parts. AHHH! They all think I have a good voice so they made me sing more than them.. I really hope I didn’t embarrass myself in front of everyone! (;

But then after the baptism we went to Danica’s house to fill out her BCR [Baptismal and Confirmation Record?] and have her mom sign the parental consent form for her baptismal interview tomorrow. Yesss! We’re actually baptizing every week! Kaya namih iyan! ;D

Honestly.. a ton happened today, but I don’t know what to write because it was all just so happy. Well.. This morning we helped with the branch’s Family Day Activity which was a ton of fun. It was an all day sports fest and we even had about 6 investigators there playing with everyone. It really was a lot of fun seeing how bubbly this branch is. I think I’m really truly going to like it here. (:

10-30-16 (Sunday)
So! Jimuel was confirmed a member and received the gift of the Holy Ghost today AND D passed her baptismal interview! YEAAAH Baby! Now that is a good day! ;D

Anyway.. This branch is stinkin’ loaded! People here are dang rich! This branch has a church all to themselves that’s only like maybe five miles away from the “stake” center AND it has aircon. For real.. I’ve never heard of something like this here. Or even in America as a matter of fact.. But I’m not complaining at all! I love it! We have aircon AND our investigators have enough money to get to church on their own. (: All 9 of them that came today! ;D wait… That was a lie we paid for one because we all rode in the same trike. But either way.. Life is great here in good ole’ Hundred Islands!

 Especially tonight at our dinner appointment. I honestly love how amazed people are with my Tagalog. They truly help give me confidence. Like yesterday when I was OYMing a guy he was like “Dang, you’re really good at Tagalog” probably 3 or 4 times and finally asked me if I grew up here in the Philippines! HAAA! YES! I’d say thats the best “compliment” I’ve gotten in my life! I call that complete success! ;D