Sunday, November 7, 2010

HIiiiiiiiiiiiiiii EVERYONE! I'm Safe and Well!

Hello my Momma, and Family, and Friends:

Yesterday was a rough day for me. I started the day off with a prayer that I would see God's love somewhere. It was so incredibly hot outside, we went out of our way to visit people in the hilltops nearby, but no one was receiving us. Finally it was time to go home, and Sis. D.F. decided that we would walk. My feet hurt, and I had a pounding headache--we were still fasting. Right then a man came by on a tricycle and asked if we wanted a free ride. Sister D.F. turned to me and said, "God is giving you a ride." And I cried silently to myself a little. I knew it was a gift from God. Then we went to a less-active's home, the Marinduque family--they are such a lovely, lovely family--and the 17 year old boy Renel brought out his guitar and finger-picked "I am a Child of God." They sent us home with food. Another blessing straight from God. As His servant, we are taken care of. Sometimes my eyes are just not open to it.

Our training meeting was fun. I can't believe Sister Carlos called me Sister Pence! It was so fun to see my friends from the MTC. It was our first time seeing each other since our first day. We all look so different, it's funny. I snuck up on Sister Pence, and when she turned around and saw me, she grabbed me SO TIGHT and hugged me for SO LONG. I could tell she's been having a rough time. We sat down and talked about some things. I shared scriptures with her that have given me strength, and she just looked at me and said, "I've missed you so much." President told us in training that we may not ever have a baptism, but one soul is great in the sight of God. That one soul could be our companion, it could be someone back home, it could be ourselves. That gave me comfort. Sometimes I don't feel like what I share in lessons is that amazing or life-changing--I am just Sister D.F.'s parasite. But she needs a companion. And I guess by just being her parasite for right now, I am doing something for the benefit of the souls we teach. She tells me that I am one of the companions closest to her heart. Maybe I'm on this mission for my companions.

For our Sister's meeting, the topic was "Bloom Where You're Planted." We made rice crispie treats and nobake cookies and flower brooches--you probably know all of this because of the blog. We talked about people who have been placed in difficult settings and are able to still bloom. Like Stephanie Neilsen--her story is beautiful. We watched it on Mormon Messages. I do believe that you can bloom whereever you are planted in life--even when you dont have a job, or when you live in a house made of bamboo, or there are no baptisms, or its 1,000,000 degrees outside and you have a pounding headache. It is not easy sometimes. Sometimes you silently cry to yourself on the way home in a tricycle. But the trick is to always try to get back up. TRY TRY TRY. I pray my guts out, and ask for my eyes to be open to my blessings, and I ALWAYS, ALWAYS see them, so clearly. Even if Heavenly Father has to send me a little angel like Sister De Fiesta to say, "Hey, God is giving you a ride."

I found some really great quotes in my study the other day: "Sometimes the Lord allows us to have trials to shape us into productive servants. His all-seeing eye is over us and ever watching us as our Eternal Heavenly Parent. When trials come, as surely they will to all of us during mortality, let us not sink into the abyss of self-pity but remember who is at the helm, that He is there to guide us through all the storms of life." Any time I hear God referred to as a parent, Mom, I think of you. Your love for me is the closest to the love that God has for me. I can't imagine it. I love you, Momma. Remember, "[You] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [you]." Philippians 4:13.

I love riding in the vans here. They remind me of the Dodge Caravan we have for that little while, or they remind me of road trips with friends. Everyone piles into a big van, the windows are down, and there's usually some kind of cheesy, folksy Filipino music playing.

I've tried lots of new foods this week. Yema: which Sister De Fiesta told me is made from goat poop, but I don't believe anything she tells me anymore about food. She lies to me all the time. :) I also tried ginataan gabi, which is taro root in coconut milk. It looks pretty nasty, but tastes good. You should google it. Last night we had siopao, which the Marinduque family gave us.

I love the Marinduque family! They are less-active, but they all have a testimony of the gospel, and they are such warm people. There are about 5 teenage boys and a teenage girl that live in the house, a grandma, and some of her children. Renel plays the guitar. He gave it to me to play before a lesson, and we all sang Love at Home as the opening hymn, while I fingerpicked. Now every time we go there, he plays the guitar for us. The other night while Sister D.F. and I were planning, we heard Feliz Navidad being sung and played on guitar. (I will send a picture!) We of course jumped up and went outside to see Renel, Jolex, and the girl (I forgot her name) them holding a plate of food for us. The Lola, or grandma, insists on cooking for us every night.

Time's up. But I love you so much momma. Never worry about me. God is feeding me and giving me rides and protecting me and blessing me constantly. I am in His hands.
I love love love you!
Your little missionary,
Sister Fort
PS TELL GRANDMA I LOVE HER SO MUCH AND WISH HER THE HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY. I will send her a letter, but it will be coming by snail mail.

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