Oh, shout out to #sisterknuth for this idea.
Tuesday - Less actives for the win. We taught a lot of less actives this day. It is super awesome to see their progress every week. Since I've been here, we've been able to reactivate 3 less actives so far and a whole family. It's really so amazing to see them gain the excitement for the gospel again. Something I have really learned this week more than ever is the power that the gospel can be. I have seen families here going through the hardest times, getting kicked out of their houses, not knowing what will happen next, but as they really rely on the Lord they are strengthened. They don't need a lot of money or a big house or even a lot of food on the table to have real faith in the Lord. They are really such great examples to me.
Wednesday - We are the walking Bibles for the Lord. This is something that one of our less actives told us this day when we were teaching her. She is one of my favorites to teach EVER. In her 20's she was a missionary for a different church. She is just so super amazing and her testimony is like none other. Last week when we taught her, I felt inspired to invite her to share a message with us the next week for some reason. I really didn't know why, but I felt like it was needed so I did. Okay let me just tell you all how grateful I am for following that prompting. She shared with us about faith in Alma 32:21. She shared the most powerful testimony of faith and how it is really the rock of our everything. She shared experiences of how she is a single mother and has to support her kids on her own. She told how she doesn't even know what they will eat for dinner that night or for lunch or anything as she has no money and no food for them but she knows with out a doubt that the Lord will provide. She just kept saying "He always provides for us." Her faith is like none other. As she was talking I felt the Spirit so so strong and was just crying the whole time. She is such a powerful example to me of the kind of faith we all need. She is confident in her beliefs and everything that she does. She then went on to thank me for the opportunity she had to share with us. She said she wanted to express her gratitude to me that even though I am far away from everything I know and everything I love, she said my happiness and love for the people here is such an act of faith. Really every word she said hit me like a brick wall. She thanked me for my service and for really serving the Lord with everything in me. She just went on about how grateful she is for people like me that give everything they can into the work of the Lord. ASK ME IF I CRIED THE WHOLE TIME!!!!! Ah she is so amazing. I am so grateful for her and the words she shared with me. It was exactly what I needed to hear at that exact moment and I know it was inspired of the Lord.
Thursday - SAVE SISTER MAGAYON!! Hahahaahaha okay this was a really funny day. It was mostly just an average day of teach a lot and then teach some more haha. But, when we were walking from one appointment to another, we happened to walk passed this padyak station where 20+ boys were waiting in a line with their padyaks, which is the transportation here in Tabaco. It's like a bike that's attached to a little cart where we sit to get around. Just google it or something haha. But anyways, we walk passed this place and I look in front of me and this little boy is riding his bicycle right at me. Hahaha so I all the sudden I stop walking and move over and he moves over, then I move over again and he's still coming right at me. So while this is happening all the padyak drivers are watching and screaming. Then all the sudden in unison, they scream "SAVE SISTER MAGAYON!!!!" Hahahaha magayon means beautiful in Bicol. It was so so so funny. Then I hurried and just moved away and he didn't hit me. Then all the sudden all the guys let out a big breath like they just watched the scariest movie of their life or something. It was great.
Friday - An FHE kind of day. Today was.....hard. Hahaha in the morning we had a 3 hour Zone Conference. Then from there we went straight to a family home 'afternoon' hahaha with a family that we teach. Tapos we went to our English class that we were supposed to have.....but for some reason the time President scheduled, everyone was in school and we didn't know that until we waited there for a little as we were doing our studies and no one showed up....then finally like an hour and a half after it was supposed to start 3 people showed up. So it was kind of disappointing, but okay because while we were waiting we were also able to do our studies that we needed to get done for that day. Then by the time we were done with that, we went to our other FHE scheduled with the Arabia family. That was awesome as well. That was our day, lots of FHE.
SATURDAY - 10 LESSONS SAY WHAAAAA?? Yeah guys this was a REALLY good day so it deserved to be in all caps. We were able to teach 10 lessons AND attend a baptism today!!!!!! It was awesome and really a miracle. We worked from 10-9 that day and had about a 10 minute lunch break plus our language study too. We don't really know how it worked out but I can testify to you all that the Lord really has such a big part of this work. I really just prayed that all of the 10 appointments that we had planned for would somehow work out. I prayed and just told Heavenly Father that I put all my trust in Him and I will do whatever needs to be done for this to happen. And He showed to us so many miracles in this day. I was prompted to go to a certain family before we went to our last appointment. My companion looked at me like I was crazy, as I think she was satisfied with getting the 9 out of 10 appointments we had planned. I knew that this was a prompting from the Lord and wasn't going to deny it. So I became bold and just told our padyak driver to take us to that appointment. Hahaha so we went there, and the family had been waiting for us because they had their cousins over who wanted to listen to the lessons and be baptized!!!!! So, that is the power of really putting your trust in the Lord and following what He asks of you.
Sunday - Everything's better in the Philippines. Talaga this is the most true thing ever. Today we started our real English class. Let me just tell you that anything these people say in English is so funny. The whole class just laughs and I love it so much. The people here are amazing and make is so easy to love them all!!!!! Also, this week we made our goal of getting 35 lessons this week!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were one of 11 companionships in the WHOLE mission to get 35 lessons!!!! At the beginning of the week when the District President asked my companion and I to teach the English class, we were worried it would take a lot of time. But we were blessed to see that if we put the trust in the Lord, He won't let us down. And He definitely didn't this week :)
Okay here are some sidenotes:
-this week I ate octopus. The next day I ate squid. The next day I ate crabs. The next day I ate some huge fried fish. And I'm still alive.
-from all the fish I ate I learned a new random word: matinik. it means to have a fish bone stuck in ones throat. Only in Tagalog...
-a family we teach calls me Sister Hathaway because they say I look like her. #friendship
-it rained everyday this week. And by rain I mean it poured every day. I love it.
-people are calling me the Filipina in our companionship because they say I look and speak and act like a Filipina now. Basically the best compliment EVER.
Ah, missionary work is awesome. It's awesome to be totally focused 100% of the time on OTHERS. In Luke 9 verse 24, Christ says "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will love his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Here the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in the service of others, there really is little or no purpose to our lives. He set the perfect example for us, as He treated ALL with kindness and charity. If we really love Him and understand the life He lived, we should do the same.
I am forever grateful for this amazing experience and blessing of serving a mission!!! And I am grateful to you all for your support and love to me. Thank you for everything!!!!! Always remember I am praying for you all.
Mahal ko kayo,
PS here are some pictures, one from the English class, one of me pumping water for one of the sisters we teach, and one with my favorite little (crazy) filipina bata.