- LOTS of hospital time but after more tests almost all good news! In short they found something in my thyroid too in an ultrasound and that was really scary after all the other diagnoses that have happened on my mission BUT after some blood tests, it is benign! That was such an answered prayer. Also with my liver and my stomach we've got some new medicines circulating so this girl is keeping more food down. And thanks to an AMAZING last package (you're the bomb mom) the protein bars are a huge help. I will go back to the hospital in Manila for the last time this week!
-1st DEVOTIONAL! We performed "Come Unto Christ" in Agoo (the bottom of the mission) and it went so well. An area seventy came up from Manila and spoke at the end. Also the ward prepared so well and brought almost 90 investigators. I am so in love with spreading the Lord's gospel and testifying through music.
-Funny Moment: someone said something about "fans" and I thought they were hot so I went to get literal fans, but they meant there were some fans that wanted to take a picture with Sister Bleak and I after the devotional hahaha. Filipinas are SO cute.
- I am still in love with working with these two companions. The spirit is so strong with them testifying by my side.
Tan family had a powerful lesson using the Restoration video. The DVD player was so quiet I prayed and prayed somehow they would hear it and when it got to the first vision part all the sudden the rain stopped, the wind stopped, you could hear a pin drop, and the family got emotional. The mom said "ito ang sinasabi mo na Holy Ghost?" "This is what you call the Holy Ghost"
Abat family came to church as a WHOLE family for the first time! Thanks to members coming with us to the lesson and extending a strong invite. MEMBERS HELP THE MISSIONARIES.
Other Funny Moments:
- I was really sick one day but we had to travel up to Baguio (on the mountains) to teach music so on the way up we pulled over for me to throw up. Upon seeing a white girl get out of the car this man runs out to his gate opens it and goes "Are you looking for a job??" I struggled to get out "No I just need a place to throw up" before I ran a little ways down the street. Hahaha I love these people.
- We randomly here "ELDERS!" as we walk down the street and see a bunch of random people waving at us.
Tagalog: "Taglish" English and Taglish is a real thing. But if they are going to say a word that starts with "s" there needs to be an "eee" sound before it. "istress" "istore" "isky" hahaha
You Know You're Serving in the Philippines When:
You're dripping in sweat walking to the appointment, then dripping in rain because it started storming after the appointment. And you walk across sketchy bamboo bridges, then try to hold the sides to not slip only to find that you just grabbed a pile of red ants too. Those things bite.
Sorry this email is long but my heart was so full yet so heavy on Sunday when we discussed a talk given in General Conference October 2016, "God Wipes Away All Tears." The story there is actually about a family in our ward and our stake patriarch. For details you can read the talk, but in short his first wife and all 5 children were burned in a house fire 20 years ago. His new wife, Monnet, one of the members I love, spoke on the continuous challenges her husband goes through and even her own from being his second wife after that traumatic experience.
It was overwhelming to hear the grief He went through and to realize how small the trials I have experienced are. But the speaker of this talk mentioned he did not share that sensitive story to make us feel as if our current challenges are too small to be worthy of the pain we feel, his intention was that even the deepest of sorrows, Our savior can heal.
"Even the darkest night turns into day for the faithful"
I know our Savior is real and that he truly suffered all the pain we will ever feel in this life. I know if we continue on the right path, in dedication and worship to him while our faith is tested, we WILL feel his healing and enabling power and those trials will bring us closer to Him.
I am so grateful for Him and my heart was so full singing of Him and his love to all those members and investigators in Agoo, and can't wait to continue sharing with these amazing people of the Philippines.
Every day try to look for how you have felt His love for whatever hardships you experienced that day! I promise you will see it.
*Also today for Pday, President took us to Tangadan Falls to celebrate the work on "Come Unto Christ". It was sooooo beautiful. And of course, for breakfast, they served sweet spaghetti.