Saturday, July 23, 2011


To my dearest momma! And to my sweet family and friends!
Thank you so much for your encouraging letters. They mean so much to me.
This last Wednesday was our zone meeting. President came into town and interviewed us one by one--our 6 month interviews. Sister Roncal went before me. When I went in and sat down, President asked me how I was. I said I was fine. He said, "Do you you know that you're my hero? You're Sister Carlos' hero. You're incredible. You've absolutely blossomed. You're amazing. You're wonderful." He went on and on and I couldn't help but cry. He knows that 80 percent of the time I dont feel these things about myself. He told me that I am so hard on myself, but that I need to know that God is 100 percent accepting of my service. He asked me what was in my mind and heart. I shared with him my memory of one of my first interviews with him. He told me a story about a girl who wanted to go home every day of her mission, but by the end of the mission, she said, "I did it!" Then I told him how I sometimes want to go home too, but I got a letter from YOU, momma, that said, "You're doing it!" And honestly, every time I've felt like I've wanted to go home this past little while, I just think, "You're doing it!" President told me about a time when he wanted to go home on his mission. He cried when he told it to me. It was a sweet, sweet moment/interview and I have been on a cloud since. I think because that interview helped me actually see so clearly what my mission has thus far done for me. I am so grateful to have had my eyes opened.
Sister Roncal came to know from President that I will be transferred this next cycle. I am heartbroken, but ready at the same time. We will see where I am going/who I will be with not this next email, but the one after. I will let you know as soon as possible. I am just praying at this point, to be in an area and with a companion that Heavenly Father knows will continue to shape and mold me into who he wants me to be. As difficult or as sweet or as whatever it may be, I am willing to take whatever Heavenly Father sees fit for me.
This Saturday, Sister Perlita Patajo will be baptized!!! I am sososososoossosososo excited for her. This has been a journey of patience and challenges and changes and shouting wrong Tagalog in her ears cause she's hard of hearing. I have seen so many changes in Perlita. She is happy. She is SO far into the Book of Mormon and has set a goal to be finished with it by her baptism. She will be baptized by...dun dundunnnnnnnn(triumph music)...Nelson Pasion! Our recent convert. As we were filling out Perlita's baptism papers, with names and things, we realized that the two of them are actually family.
Perlita has been struggling to get a distinct answer to her prayer about whether or not Joseph Smith is a true prophet. We know and feel that she has a testimony, but she has just been wanting a direct sign or dream or something. We felt impressed to have her watch the Joseph Smith Restoration movie--the 1 hour version. Sister Roncal was sent a copy from her friend in Cebu. We watched it with her and she cried through the whole thing. She told us afterwards that she received her answer.
This last week, we were really tight on money, right before our support was coming in. Sister Roncal and I couldn't afford a tricycle, so we walked from Lactawan, Sister Perlitas home, to our apartment on Yogad St. It took us an hour, and I calculated that it was probably a three mile walk? But the whole time I walked I just thought about the pioneers and about my savior (Mosiah 3:7--reciting that scripture in my head) and trudged forward in my rubber shoes. Our legs were tired and we slept well that night.
Today we went to Batad rice terraces. Which is just past Banaue. We left at 4:30am and got there around 8/9ish. We walked a bajillion steps down and up and climbed over rocks and at one point I thought I might die of fatigue. But we had plenty of water and food and that was just me being dramatic. Our jeepney driver was a hired member from Lagawe with one eye, and the roads were steep and rocky and...well...close to high cliffs and things. I prayed a lot on our journey, and was confident the Lord would let me finish out my mission. :) As I type this email now, my head is pounding. So I hope my thoughts are coherent and I say everything I want to!
What else...the branch is putting on a going away party for me on Saturday night. Sweet. :) They want me to make them ice cream.
We had a beautiful lesson with one of our investigators, Chris Peralta. After so many lessons with him that just haven't felt like they've been getting through, he sent us a text one night saying that he knows his heart is hard. Our next lesson we had planned to teach him about baptism and enduring to the end, but as we sat there and followed up on his prayer, we both felt differently. He told us he hadn't cried in so long, because he is a tough guy. Neither one of us knew what scripture we would share as we opened with our hymn and prayer, but during the prayer a scripture came to mind--1Nephi 2:16. We had him read it one line at a time, and when he read about crying to the Lord and having his heart softened, he looked shocked. This was his answer, coming straight from heaven. He came to church on Sunday for the second time in about 6 weeks!
Mommaaaaa I love you! And I am coming home in 6 months! Crazy huh??? It'll go by fast. The first picture I attached is of one of my fave families--Brother Anthony and Mila Fernandez. Brother Anthony is an investigator of ours and when I told him I would be leaving he was really sad. They want to come to my wedding. :)
That’s all I can think of??? Pray for me. I always pray for you. I sent grandma and Alainna letters last week. They should be getting them soon.
Sister Fort

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