Saturday, February 12, 2011


Hello momma. I hope you are feeling somewhat better from your sicknesses. I'm sorry to hear that you have not been feeling well. Please know that you are always in my prayers. Hearing about all of the food you made makes me so hungrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy fort your cooking :). I miss your rolls!! I'm fine with the food here, though. I'm learning how to cook everything that Sister De Fiesta has made for me--I'm compiling all of my Filipino recipes in my cute little Asian, Hello Kitty notebook. Honestly mom, at this point, I am so confident with buying foods and veggies and meats and cooking. Don't worry one bit about us Americans. Once you've been in a place as long as this, and had a Filipino companion especially, you're fine. And its not like there is no civilization here--there are grocery stores and gas stations.

I also feel like I can communicate pretty well what I need in Tagalog. It's like a rollercoaster. I have days where I feel so confident in the language and Sister De Fiesta tells me my Tagalog is straight, but then I have days where I am confounded and cannot speak a word right. It reminds me of when I'd play my violin for concerts and things. If I knew I had a problem with a spot in a piece of music, and thought about it as I was playing, I'd mess up for sure. But if I just relied on the time that I had practiced, and trust in my practice, I would play it perfectly. It's was all mental. In this case, it's probably all spiritual.

Speaking of violin. There is a woman in our ward--the Relief Society president, Sister Arleen Tanyon--whose husband bought a violin from Japan for her daughter. She said she's been looking for someone to teach her daughter something on it, and asked if I could. So, Sister De Fiesta and I gave an hour of our Sunday, and I taught her 9 year old how to hold a bow correctly, how to sit up straight and hold her instrument, and what the parts of a violin are called. I tuned her violin and rosined her bow for her, and taught her the basics that I remember Mrs. Vanlandingham teaching us our first day. I gave her the assignment to practice her bow-hold 30x a day for the next week. :)

I am still in Naguilian until this Thursday--transfer dayyyyyy ahhhhhh! I have no idea what to expect from my new area, except that Sister De Fiesta calls it the promised land. So, I'm thinking it will be pretty nice. It was her former area. I don't feel nervous or scared or anything about the transition. I know that this is Heavenly Father's design. And I know that I will always be kept safe, as long as I am obedient. This was promised to me in my setting apart. So don't worryyyyy!!!

I taught Sunday school again this week. The lesson was on following the prophet, Elder RM Costa's talk last conference, and you know what? It was a piece of cake to me, compared to my first time teaching. People participated and understood me and didn't seem bored and read sciptures. It's amazing to see how Heavenly Father shapes people. When I was first told I would be teaching Sunday school I was kind of terrified, not gonna lie. But I feel like I've grown into those shoes, through the steady support and care of my loving Heavenly Father. After Sunday school, in Relief Society, Nanay Dulce turned to me and said, (in Tagalog) "Hopefully you wont be transfered this week. Your birthday is coming up soon. If you do have a transfer, leave us with a picture so we can remember you forever." Sweeeet. Then minutes later, Sister Arleen announced that I would be leaving. They said "mamimiss ka namin" and all of the Relief Society decided to have a small birthday/going away get-together at Nanay Lumings later tonight, after our lessons and FHE. There will be ginataan. :)) I was so touched. I did not realize that, despite my weakness in the language and teaching, I've actually touched people.

We taught Sister Sheela this week and I asked her to write her testimony for me. She got this worried look on her face and turned to Sister De Fiesta and said, "Bakit!?" (Why) "May transfer siya??" She wrote me a beautiful letter talking about all of the memories I've made with her and her family--doing laundry, cooking on her fire stove, washing her rice bowls, and doing magic for her babies--and her testimony. :) (I learned the magic from Sister De Fiesta.)

Sister Maryann had her baby on the 26th. I forgot to write about it last week. We saw her walking around one morning and she casually told us, "I'm in labor." Sister DF and I freaked out and ran around town, to members homes, trying to find her baby clothes that supplies that she didn't yet have. Her husband was out of town working, so Nanay Luming came to be with her while she had her baby. I've included a picture of her. I taught her how to swaddle the baby and some techniques that I've seen from my sister's in law, with nursing and such. It was so cuuuute to see her try to be a mommy. haha. Also, they let Sister De Fiesta and I think of some names for her. Her name is Diana Nicole.

So, at this beginning of this cycle, Sister De Fiesta had a dream about 6 people in white. I've learned, through being with her for this long, that she receives a lot of her personal revelation through her dreams. We made the goal to get 6 people ready for baptism by the end of our time together--we decided to fast every Sunday and pray for this. This week in President's letter to us, he expressed the need to extend baptismal dates. So, with every lesson we taught to an investigator--even if we had justmet them for the first time that day--we extended a baptismal date. Last night, we extended baptismal dates to the Sanchez family--five of them, the only five that were there at the time--and they accepted for March 16th! Also, Sister Hazel, a 17 year old girl who we've been teaching for the past two cycles, accepted her baptismal date for March 6th. (Also! May Rios has accepted a baptismal date for May 6th--to give her a goal to be married. Basically every time we go there to teach her, she teaches us.) Can you believe it? There are 6 people now, who we are now carefully preparing for the waters of baptism. It's amazing how things lay out sometimes. God truly is there, designing our lives, designing the lives of our investigators, and designing my mission.

Jillian sent me a letter with pictures and Chocolate mint gum and Jack Handy quotes. I didn't know if Sister De Fiesta would be able to understand the quotes, just because of the language barrier, but I read them to her last night and she laughed so hard. :) Tell JIllian thank you. I've been wearing her beautiful necklace every day.

Also, turns out I forgot how to play chess....(as you can see from the picture...) but J.R. Balbin from the branch refreshed my memory. :) We're on our second real game.
I'm allergic to mangos. Every time I eat them, my lips get itchy. But I still eat them, cause I love them with all my heart.
This is a rollercoaster mom. Some days I love it. Some days I want to go home. But I know that I am growing exponentially here in every way that could possibly prepare me for life. I want to spend my life serving my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I see the importance in it now. I see that it's the only way to live and be happy.

I love you sosososo much. Tell grandma I love her so much. I feel Grandpa with me very often :) Tell everyone how much I love them, and miss all of them! And kiss and hug the babies like crazy for me. Thank you all for EVERYTHING!!!!
Sister Fort

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