Monday, January 3, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR Agaaaaaain!!!

HELLO Momma & Pop, Family and Friends!!!

So transfers were this week and guess what...I get to be with Sister De Fiesta for another cycle! I could hardly believe it when I found out. I was absolutely sure that I would be getting a new companion and I prayed and prayed for strength for whatever was to come. But people weren't lying when they said there was no transfer for us. I am so grateful. Sister De Fiesta has been given a special assignment by President this transfer though. She is acting as an AP for the sisters in the mission. She will be training other sisters with a Sister Stewart in our Cauayan Zone. (Thats how amazing my trainer is! :) )This means I will help her prepare for her presentations and things in our companionship study, and while she trains with Sister Stewart, I will be paired to work with her companion, Sister Webre--the sister whom I sang with in our Christmas devotionals and who was my coordinating sister in the MTC. She has only been out one cycle longer than I have, so it will be interesting to see how my Tagalog and teaching skills improve this cycle. There will be no depending on a Filipino companion to help me say things I mean to say in lessons and OYMs.

New Years Eve the entire mission was on lockdown from 6pm to New Years Day. Because we're close to the mission home, President and Sister Carlos invited us to the mission home to spend the night and celebrate the New Year (Picture of us celebrating). We are so spoiled :) There were probably a total of 18 or so missionaries. We played ping pong, basketball, nerf ball, and Mexican train (Dominos). President made chili for us, and he shared his Brie cheese and crackers with me. We had caramel turtle ice cream for dessert and cake that Sister Breese made, and we all watched The Ultimate Gift. Remember that movie, Mom? Remember how I thought it was super cheesy? Well, being a missionary makes you appreciate little things like cheesy movies. I was hooked the entire movie. We all stayed up til twelve and watched the neighbors across the street blow their front yard up. We watched fireworks, and since we weren't able to handle any as missionaries, one of the elders bought a confetti popper. We had about three different countdowns, cause everyones watches were off, and Elder Mulliner popped the confetti popper. It was underwhelming. The sisters stayed up about 10 minutes after 12 before we all decided to retire. President and Sister Carlos let us sleep in the loft above the mission office. It was like a five star--white tile, air con, and running water. They sent us back to our areas in the morning with stomachs full of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and fruit. It was a lovely New Year.

New Years day, everywhere we went, we were fed. The Marinduque family fed us Palabok and fruit salad (almost like the marshmellow salad we make, but with pasta, and different fruits like hearts of palm and papaya), Sister Aida (In Picture) fed us bibingka and baboy, Nanay Luming fed us fried fish and adobo, the Danao family fed us fruit salad, and at our last appointment with an investigator we were fed fruit salad again. I was full to my throat. But its funny. In our comp prayer that morning, I prayed that Heavenly Father would bless all of those who would serve us missionaries that day. Apparently lots of people needed blessings. :)

I have made lots of goals for the new year. Here is a preview:
Give away at least one Book of Mormon per week
Read the Book of Mormon 4 times in the year (following a 90 day schedule president gave us at Christmas)
Read Jesus the Christ, Our Search for Happiness, and True to the Faith
Learn 3 new words per day/use them/account to the Lord

We have been showing the DVD Finding Faith in Christ to our investigators (we have the DVD at home, Momma. Watch it!). It is such a beautiful DVD and depiction of the miracles of Christ. I recommend it to everyone! Watching it has really given me a better perpective and understanding of the love that Christ has for us all. I am in tears by the end of every viewing of it. I bore my testimony of the Savior in our first sacrament meeting of the year, and felt so overcome by His love as I spoke. The words flowed for me. I remember my patriarchal blessing: "You will embark upon missionary service with great zeal as you share your love for the Savior and as you enrich the lives of those whom you will meet and nurture while in the Lord's service." I know that the closer I come to my Savior in this service, the greater my love for the people I serve, and the greater my zeal for this work. I pray daily for this blessing to come. I never realized how missionary focused my patriarchal blessing was until now--there is so much in there about missionary work. How did I never know before that i was supposed to do this?

I love these quotes i found this week: "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become." - Richard G Scott
"Strong moral character results from consistently correct choices in the trials and testing of life. Such choices are made with trust in things that are believe and when acted upon are confirmed." - Richard G Scott

Sister Sheela also bore her testimony on Sunday about the truthfulness of the gospel and the blessings she's received in her life since she's become a member. I was so touched by her testimony and am so grateful to have been a witness of her transformation and growth in the gospel. What an adorable family she has.

Some of our baptismal dates have been dropped and our numbers at church have been decreasing lately with the holidays. Sister De Fiesta and I fasted this week to be able to find more investigators. As we were planning this week, Sister DF and I were a little down, seeing the 0's in our baptismal dates and progressing investigators. At the end of our four hour planning session, I looked at our plan, and there were so many people on our schedule. None of which are scheduled for baptism, none of which are progressing investigators, but they are basically all new. As i looked at the names, i realized that this was an answer to our fast. It's almost like we've started over in our area, but I know that every one of those names is supposed to be there, and Sister De Fiesta and I are doing our best. Whatever comes of them is what is to come of them.

I hope this New Year finds you well. Alam ko na nan diyen si Jesucristo para tumulong sa atin sa mg goals natin sa bagong taon na ito. If we need strength to meet our goals, he is there to help. He worked miracles when he walked the earth, and he continues to work miracles in our lives every day.

I love you love you love you!!!! Love you ALL!!!! Family and Friends :)
Your sister mish,
Sister Fort

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