Sunday, November 9, 2014


Yes, I just quoted the Sound of Music as my title. Don't judge me.
Well it's been another week and really out on the island it seems to get crazier and crazier every week. BUT I LOVE IT! Ah, I just really love it so much.
It is now November 10th, still as hot as ever outside, and Taylor Swift's "White Christmas" is currently playing here in the internet shop. If you didn't know, us Filipino's are now deep into the third of the four month Christmas celebration here in the Philippines. Here the celebration starts with the "ber" months, so started way back on September 1st and will continue on like this until Christmas comes. Stores are decorated and Christmas music is playing everywhere we go. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
Guys, life is just so good! Although this is probably the most stressful part of my mission so far, I am SO HAPPY!!!!!! I love this work and am SO grateful for the opportunity my Heavenly Father has given me to be a part of His great work. This week was crazy in so many ways. I always reflect on the week and wonder how we did all the things we did, and how we are still breathing. But I say as Alma said in Alma 26:12, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." I have really felt His strength these past few weeks which was greatly needed. Ah, I am just so grateful to my Heavenly Father.This week we were able to go on exchanges with two different sets of sisters which was great. I learned so much from both of them and am grateful for this unique calling I've been given. I have been able to learn so much about humility. The sisters here in Masbate are just so great and I love them!!
Let me list some things that happened this week:
--on exchanges we climbed a HUGE mountain to get to a few families of recent converts who lived at the top. the people of the philippines are so great and I really don't know how they do what they do every day. oh man i learn so much from them!!!
--on the same exchanges we went out on a bridge over the ocean and taught some houses literally on top of the ocean!!! they are up on 4 pieces of wood about 8 feet above the water. when we started the lesson my chair felt like it was sinking into their weak wooden base to their house and i really thought the whole time my chair was going to fall through and i would fall in the water. guys i prayed i wouldn't fall through and i testify God hears and answers our prayers. i didn't fall through! wahoo.
--on the SAME exchange we went BACK UP the mountain that night. hahaha i fell like half way fell i mean like ran almost falling head first to the bottom which is a river...hahaha yeah talk about adventure exchanges.
--have i told you about our AWESOMELY PROGRESSING INVESTIGATOR MELFA??? yeah. she is great. she came to church again and brought her less active friend! and she referred us to her sister and their family! see picture attached of us going to their house. she told us her house was in cagba, which is one of our areas. we start walking there and i asked her if it was far. she just said something like "just down the road!" hahaha so we started walking. next thing you know it's 20 minutes later and we are walking through straight jungle haha and you can't see any houses but one super far away on top of a mountain we didn't even know was in our area. i jokingly pointed to the house and asked if it was her sisters (because remember she said it was just close) and she was like "yes sister that's it!" HAHAHA OKAY. guys we went at 12 and we were thinking it was super close and church started at 1. yeah we didn't even get up there until like 12:30 hahaha and just laughed because we only had 5 minutes to share and then 20 minutes to get back to walk to church and get there on time. hahaha we were able to share with them though and next time we will go a little earlier because they are super receptive!!!!! hahahaha just wait for the ending of the story. we leave their house around 12:40 and literally run down the mountain and get to church just in time, with us sweating buckets and bright red. hahaha oh how i absolutely love the philippines!!! and i love being a missionary here.
--guys this is super random. so we were walking down the street this week and there was a huge group of guys playing basketball. when we walked past them, they all stop playing basketball, and suddenly start singing to me in unison (while all pointing at me) "CECILIA, YOU'RE BREAKING MY HEART!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT??? Yes. that's my middle name. how in the world did they know???? hahaha that probably makes the top 5 weirdest things that has happened to me on my mission. now everytime we pass them, they call me Cecilia!!! I even asked my Filipina companion and she had never heard that song. how do they know that song? why did they sing it? i will forever wonder these things. but it made my week!!! hahahahaha.
--we are sitting with a recent convert in our area who is 75 and going strong. he was just baptized last month i believe. well in the middle of our lesson, he gets a phone call. he was all excited because it was his sibling that hasn't called in a while so he hurry and took it. hahaha this is what he said when he answered the phone: "Van! You have to call me later! I have visitors over right now! Yeah! Two chicks! One is a beautiful Amerikana! Yeah there's an American in my house! They are missionaries of Christ! Do you want to talk to them? We are talking about Jesus Christ! I love Him!" Hahahahahaha he then opened up his Book of Mormon and kissed the picture of Christ. Hahahahaha oh man. We were laughing so so hard.
Well guys this email is basically everywhere and I have no time left. But I want you all to know I love you all so much and I love this work! This is the work of the Lord. It is the best thing that I have ever been a part of.

Sister Reategui

HELLO TO ALL! this is just a teaser first...we are emailing for just a little bit and then taking a boat over to Legazpi and I will email again later when we get there in about 7 hours or so. But, here's a picture of a pig that we helped feed this week....hahaha #shoutouttomymomma.

PS it's name is Jesse.

more pictures from this week:

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