Monday, November 1, 2010
Your Little Missionary, SEESTER WHITE!!!!!!!
Magandang araw, Momma dear!
I could not believe Peter's news. What a wonderful, wonderful blessing. I have been praying for him lots, and I am sure that he has been carried through all of this by our prayers. It is such a beautiful thing that he will be sealed to his family forever!! It's amaaaziinnnnnggggg.
This e-mail may be a little scattered. The cafe I'm in right now is playing such LOUD musiccccccccccccc; I can't think.
Our area is small and so Catholic, and it is a challenge to find people who are willing to open their hearts to our message. We teach and teach, but people refuse to let themselves believe anything other than the beliefs they've been raised on. Which is so understandable, and sometimes heartbreaking for us. (I just think about some of our family members who have needed some time to realize the truthfulness of the gospel) But something I was told in a recent letter (from Matt Hoffman) has really stuck with me this week. They said something like the most important things I can do as a missionary is: 1. follow missionary and mission rules, 2. have FAITH in the promised blessings I have as a servant of the Lord, and 3. head the counsel of PMG and my mission president. That's all Sister De Fiesta and I really have control over. We are doing those things, and I know that as long as we are, God will work his miracles in His own due time. I know it. I am so grateful for the guidance I receive from others out here--especially from home. :)
President Rigucera, of our branch, and Brother Macutay, his counselor, thank us so much for their increased numbers in church attendance. But I honestly, truly do not feel like we are doing anything. All we are doing is opening our mouths, and being obedient. God is doing everything.
President and Sister Carlos spoke to our little branch yesterday. The members there ate up every word they had to say. Sister Carlos talked about the little acts of service and sacrifice we can perform every day, regardless of where we are from, how far along in the gospel we are, how much money we have, what color our skin is--we are all indebted to our Heavenly Father and our Savior. President Carlos mostly talked about how indebted we are and how we all need to play a part in building up the kingdom of God. The members referenced their talks the rest of the day.
We had a meeting with President Rigucera after church and we asked him about who was in what auxilary positions in the branch--we had no idea. We were feeling kind of lost as to who we could go to for fellowshipping, visiting and home teaching assignments, etc. There are many inactive members who could benefit from these things. President then organized the entire branch then and there--with auxilary presidencies. I was surprised that they didn't have all of those things in place already, but I felt the spirit so strongly in the entire meeting with him. This needed to happen. We talked about activities that the Relief Society could do, despite their numbers--Sister De Fiesta and I promised to come to all of the activities and help them strengthen their foundation. There are blessings that come when we fulfill our callings regardless of our circumstances. We will be able to bring investigators to these activities and to these already functioning organizations. We now have branch FHE established every Monday, and a Halloween party on the 17th of November.
For Halloween, Sister Carlos gave Sister De Fiesta and I two starbursts each :) Yum! That was all we did to celebrate though--eat tropical flavored Starburst. Today is "Fiesta ng napatay" or like the day of the dead. Everyone goes to the cemetaries...and I'm not exactly sure what they do there...
I taught for the first time this week! It was kindaaaaa rough, not going to lie. (I didn't get the chance to teach the youth like I said a few weeks ago.) We were on exchanges. I was paired with Sister Jose, who is about 4'11" and so sweet. We went to teach some of her recent converts in Cauayan. It was an entire family. What a beautifulllll famillyyyyyy. A mother, a father, and four gorgeous daughters. There was a lovely, gentle spirit in their home, and I taught them from Helaman 12--about the power of God--and we talked about prayer. They fed us crackers and TANG, and smiled when I spoke (probably because I sound ridiculous). But it was so fun, and helped me kind of see that...it's possible? To teach in Tagalog?
One morning this week, I woke up and told Sister De Fiesta that I had a really weird dream the night before--probably because of all of the roosters and the church bells that were ringing. (Okay, I love everything about being here, even the toilets, but one thing I cannot get used to are the roosters! I want to strangle them all. Haha. When they crow in the mornings, sometimes they are all in unison and it sounds SO creepy. Like moaning...people? I dont know. It's creeeeepyyy.) Anyway, I told her my dumb dream, and then she said that she had a dream about me before I was her companion. She said she couln't see my face, but in her dream someone said, "Take care of her. She is a mother in Zion." What incentive for me to work harder and be my best out here.
Last night we taught a lesson to a family named Lagasca. They are Catholic, but the mother does our readings and asks us questions (in the past two times we've met with her). Before the lesson, the kids in the street shouted, "hello seesters!" and hung on my arms and called me Sister White and called Sister De Fiesta Sister Black. There were about 12 or 15 of them. They followed us to the house, and we all sat outside and began the lesson together. Sister De Fiesta and I sang "I am a Child of God" to them, then taught them how to fold their arms and bow their heads and close their eyes for the prayer. I couldn't help but peek at them during the lesson. What a special and adorable sight!
Sister D.F. and I want to start a cooking schedule. Any ideas for cheap meals that involve rice??? I need recipes. ALSO! President Carlos LOVES Italian food. He would love for you to send him some recipes, I'm sure. :)
Daaahhh, There is so much more I want to sayyy, but my time is up. I love you so much momma. Thank you for your prayers. Let me know how the purification challenge is going--what you are sacrificing. My dresses cost about 15 dollars to be MADE, tailored to me, with the fabric I want, and the style I want. Isn't that amazing?
Sister De Fiesta loves pistacchios. Don't worry about sending things that are too heavy. Nuts, granola bars, make up remover!, garments, face washing pads or things to keep my skin and hair healthy. Oh! That CD player that Sister Derethal gave me doesn't work. I miss music. Really, anything is appreciated.
So much love!!!!!!!!!!!!! So many prayers!!!!
Your little missionary,
P.S. HI MAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!