Sunday, May 8, 2011


Hello mommaaaaaaa, My Poppa, My Sisters and Brothers and Friends :)
We are in an internet shop that is playing country music really loud. Andddddd its reminding me of those times Alainna and I would sing Sarah Evans at the tops of our lungs or the times V Burnham and I would hop around in my room at Tuscany with Taylor Swift playing so loud. I'm trying not to listen? But its impossible.
People call me Taylor Swift here.
Wednesday we had a community service project in our of the farthest places in our area--P.D. Galima. All of the elders met at our apartment around 6am. I made them eggs with potatoes, toast, rice, and cut up some apples. Monday night, I baked a cake at Sister Analyn's house and there was a lot left over that Sister Analyn gave us. We fed the cake to the elders. :) Our service project was to clean around a neighborhood sign and paint it bright orange. Sister Levi knew that I was an artist and she gave me the assignment of painting--even though painting something like a neighborhood sign is pretty much a piece of cake for anyone to do, I was nevertheless flattered by the trust she put in me. She is the neighborhood captain type person and a member. Some of the elders worked on a small garden that is owned by the purok captain. They made us pancit and grape juice and we all sat in platic chairs and ate underneath a collection of trees in the heat. It has been SO HOT LATELY. But President says this is the coolest part of the mission. So I am grateful to be here.
Later that day, after our service project, the sister trainers came into town and did splits with Sister Roncal and I. They got here kind of late and hadn't eaten, so I made them some lipton soup with veggies and egg and they ate first. We did a companionship study and planning session with them and I was paired with Sister Stewart. She's American and is actually going home this week. It was a treat to work with someone I can communicate so freely with. I look up to Sister Stewart a lot. We were able to talk and relate to each other about how we sometimes feel as trainers and I got a lot off of my chest. We got about 3 hours work in, which is really not a lot of time, but we were able to catch one person at their home and teach a lesson. We showed up to one of the homes where our investigator had a baptismal date for May 14 ...we've been teaching him for a while, he's 13. And the people there were like, "Oh hes not here anymore. He went to get circumsized and wont be back for two weeks" ?!?!?!?! They were really naunchalaunt about it...And I think they may have seen from my face that I was a little shocked. I dont know...excuses like that just dont come up every day. We will go back after two weeks. Anyway, Sister Stewart shared a little something with me that made me so happy. She said that they have an investigator now in Cauayan that said knew me. She said one day Sister Jose and I talked to her and she felt something really special when I spoke. The thing is...I worked with Sister Jose once in Cauyan--we were on splits for a day--and that was my first area, so my Tagalog was probably still 2 year old style. It just helped me see, that even when I think what I am doing is for naught...its really...not. Even the smallest thing, like an OYM in 2-year-old Tagalog, can bring someone to listen to the missionaries 6 months later.
OH! San Mateo family! So...remember how I said brother had to go to Santiago to meet with president? Well, Sister Roncal and I fast for them to be able to be baptized as a couple. Right after our fast that day, Elder Miller texted us and said that President said he woudln't have to anyway...that his faith was sufficient because he was ready to make the trip. What a blessing! We texted the San Mateo family the news and they responded in all caps and exclamation marks that they were so happy. They were baptized on Saturday as a couple and bore the most beautiful testimonies about how much their lives have changed since they've been learning about the gospel. They cried as they spoke. Brother gave the closing prayer, and it was so personal, thanking Heavenly Father that he was baptized. I am SO HAPPY FOR THEM. I love them.
Saturday night and Sunday morning we watched the jubilee celebration. The church has been in the Philippines for 50 years. They honored the first set of missionaries here, and it was cool to think that I am a tiny tiny part of that growth. You the work of the Lord will go forth with or without your help? Well...I'm so glad I'm helping. I'm so grateful--however difficult it gets sometimes--that I was blessed with this time to serve my Savior and Redeemer. To help him bring lost sheep into his fold.

(The San Mateo family are the two holding the babies)
I get to talk to you all this weekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkYAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY1!!! You can call me Sunday morning and Sunday night. Like you did around Christmas. This is my number: 0639274982114. Type that exactly into your phone.

Also Sister Breese wants me to tell you that she is from Houston! Shes adorable. I love herrrrrr. She reminds of you. :) I will have to visit her when I get home. She and Elder Breese work in the office with other couple missionaries.

Also I haven't received any mail since the last time I told you. No one from Cauayan has come here since. But this Tuesday theyre coming and I should have the package from Michelle.

I love you so much. This week, the 4th, I'm HALFWAY!!!! Can you believe it?

Our struggles sound like the sisters. We find lots of people who are willing to listen, but they dont make the effort to come to church. Take pictures of them! I wanna see them! Tell them I say hi. I dont know what else to sayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
Oh we have transfers this week. I'm not sure what will happen, but I'll let you know when you call.

Tell poppa I loved his letter. I sent you all a letter to Sister Manzone to give to her for me. I love you all so much, hug and kiss everyone for me, and extra hugs and kisses to all our little babies that I miss seeing grow. PICTURES would be so WONDERFUL! Thank you all for being such a great support to me in every way. I feel your prayers and need them. Thank YOU! Tell Jillian I love her too, and thanks for her letters.

Momma, I get to speak to you on Saturday your time Sunday my time!!!! YIPPEEEEEEEEE!!! I can hardly wait to hear your voice and Pop and whoever else might just be around. I love YOU, Momma, you are the best Momma ever :) and I miss you too!
Love you!
Sister Fort

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