Monday, February 21, 2011


Hello mommaaaa! FAMILY and FRIENDS!! I am so happy for the opportunity once again to write to my favorite momma in the whole universe! Tell Pop I love him, huh? I thought about him the other day, and I just want him to know that. I really really love him.

We went to Banaue today. It was kind of a last minute decision. The
sisters in the other district were all going together, so we decided
to go with them. We are going again as a district next week also, the
28th. We rode a jeepney the whole way there and back which can be
somewhat rough on our bodies through the swirly twirly mountain roads.
Right now I'm kind of in a dizzy spell, but I'll be fine. The views
were incredible. It's moments I have in beautiful places like these
where I take a deep breath and think, "Wow, Heavenly Father really
knew I would love this. He is so kind to have chosen this beautiful
place for me." At the rice terraces you can "hike" up and down them if
you so wish. There are stairs--steep, steep stairs--but no rails. So I
went until the railings ended, which wasn't far. And said if anyone
else wanted to go any further, I would try scooting down on my butt?
The sisters ended up deciding to stay right where we were, and the two
elders we were with plunged forward (they regretted it later when
their legs were sore from going up and down 50938708937 steps.). We
took many pictures on the steps that I think you might see soon. (I
dont have a camera connection to attach my pictures here in solano. I
always used Sister De Fiestas...) GUESS WHAT! SISTER DE FIESTA WAS
THERE!!! With the AP's. I squeezed her so tight, and I dont think she
could breathe for like 10 seconds straight. I love love love her so
muchhhhhhhhhhhhh. We took some great pictures.

The members have been wonderful to us. They've fed us and welcomed me
in as their own already. They invited me to bear my testimony on
Sunday, and after I did they were all surprised that I have only been
here 4 whole months.

Our toilet here was clogged for three days straight. It was absolutely
revolting. We tried plunging it, we tried pouring boiling hot water
down it, we tried pouring laundry detergent down it (a member told us
to try?), and nothing worked. Finally we texted the elders about the
problem--our district leader and his companion--and they were like
"we're passing by there..." and we were like "are you serious. you
would do that for us?" and sure enough, they came and plunged our
stinky toilet for us. It took them prob 20 minutes to finally get it.
And we laughed so hard at their reactions. I couldn't believe they did
that for us :) and soooo grateful!

I am realizing, the more and more we are teaching the investigators
here, that no one has been taught the restoration TO THEIR
UNDERSTANDING. I asked a man the other day who Joseph Smith was, and
he said, "a prophet." So I asked him what a prophet was, and he had no
idea. All of the things on their teaching records that people have
marked off as taught, haven't been taught. They've been shoved down
throats and people don't know whether to swallow or spit or choke. So,
after using a finger puppet and a crappy drawing that I made in my
planning last week, I saw a light turn on in this man. Those lessons
are pure beauty.

It's amazing the things I've learned in the mission--and even at the
writing center before--that you have to find where people's
understanding is before you can ever introduce something new to them,
like the restoration. Questions are so important. Questions to see
where people are and what they understand from what you've taught--to
see what you need to teach, how you need to teach it, and if you maybe
have to teach it again.

A kind, kind woman feeds us every Friday at lunch time and works with
us for half the day (her husband is Willy Wonka man). She asked me
last Friday what my favorite here was, so I told her Tilapia, kamote
and malunggay, and guess what. She made that for us this week. I was
so touched.

After we ate, we went to an appointment and I felt something deep
within--a somewhat painful stirring inside. I told Sister Banks I
needed to go back to the apartment for a little bit to see what was
going on.. you know. So we went back to the apartment and saw the
elders on the way home. They offered to give me a blessing, which said
I would be fine to work. So I thought, “okay, I’ll just lay here until
the pain subsides and we’ll go out in a second.” I prayed and prayed
for it to finally be overwith, but I kept getting this
impression…”just rest, Sister. Just rest…” So I closed my eyes and
fell asleep for a little bit. When I woke up, I felt achy all over,
and I took my temperature. I didn’t have a fever, but my temperature
was elevated by two degrees, and I knew something was weird. Plus the
pain in my stomach hadn’t gone away. The more I rested, the worse and
worse I got and I kept thinking about my setting apart—how my body
would be resistant to all diseases. Sister Analyn, our fellowshipper
sat outside of our house for the four hours I laid there, to make sure
I would be okay and that I didn’t need anything. She went out an
bought me a gatorade, and by the time she came back I was so out of
it, I couldn't even say thank you. I could only rush to the bathroom
to vomit three times. I went straight to bed after that, my body being
so weak. And the next day, we went to our baptismal interview for
Sister Agnes (her baptism is feb 26th) and to our PEC meeting, and
because my body was still aching all over. I kept hearing, "just rest,
just rest." We rested the whole day on Saturday. Sunday morning, I
felt one hundred percent better! And I think Tilapia and malunggay and
kamote might notttttt be my fave anymore.

Today at Banaue, I saw a couple who looked American. It took me a
while to remember how to ask "Where are you from?" and what finally
came out was, "Where y'all from?" They said "Fraaaahnce" And I said,
"OO, sobrang ganda doon!" Woops. HA!

Don't worry about my birthday. I might want to buy some little light
sweater things? So maybe like 30 dollars in my account will do it? It
takes a little while longer for me to get mail here. You can always send
me nuts. Walnuts mmmmmmmm. I put them in my oatmeal in the mornings.
Also lipton soup is always welcomed. And even other soup things like
that. Sauces you can put with just veggies. A cute watch? Socks?
Whatever. Nothing is urgent. I can live.

I've attached some pictures for your enjoyment.
I love you sososo much momma. I miss you incredibly so much
Pray for me, ha? b/c...

SO MUCH LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Michelle, Gordon, Alainna, Justin, Kily, Joshua, Gabriella, Jared, Nichelle, Madison, Riley, Hunter, Nathan, Lindsay, Adelyn, Benson, Brynlee, and my GRANDMA, XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX I miss you all! All my GREAT Friends and extended FAMILY TOO! God Bless you all!

Sister Aly

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