Tuesday, August 26, 2014

There is beauty all around

Whoot Whoot....the internet was especially quick today so lots of pics!

Another great week here in Diffun. When I first found out that I wouldn't be the one transferred last week, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. I like trying new things and it is always exciting and refreshing to have a new start, but I am really happy to still be here. I love Diffun, and to what I have been told, it is one of the prettiest in the mission. I haven't seen other areas yet but I can testify that it is truly beautiful here.

Sister Mat and I found out about a waterfall not too far away.  A few of our ward members farm on the mountains there and it's quite a climb to get it.  We were really excited when they offered to take us. We invited our ward missionaries that we work with along with a few other friends. Since our preparation day happen to land on "National Hero's Day" they had the day off school and work started later for most, the timing was perfect.

ready for the hike...b'more shirt and ballets flats, of course.

in honor of Nation Hero's Day : )
The night before the hike we woke to a super bright flash come through the windows followed by the loudest clap of rolling thunder I have EVER heard. It shook our entire apartment.  As a result, we got some nice rain. All I could think was that the hike will be more interesting with the mud. Still, we all wanted to go, so, in the morning, we set off on our trek.  The path turned out to be waaaay steeper than we thought and super muddy!  Every time we would take a step forward, we would slide back a little bit. But still we kept pressing forward. The larger rocks were there to give us traction at times, and good for scraping off the excess mud that would build up our feet. Some asked along the way how much further. Some wanted to turn back, but we just kept pressing forward up the steep muddy path. Along the way we were able to look out on the little city below and the beauty this place really holds. When we finally got to the top, we reached the house of the family the members worked for. We all got to cook there and take a little rest before getting back on our journey to the falls.
Not the normal camp/hike food--it was a feast of rice, fire-roasted tilapia and papaya.

fish sticks ; }

After the feast, we finally made it to the waterfall. 

It was a fun little field trip. Things don't always turn out as we plan them, and some surprises turn into big challenges, but even when those challenges set us back, we keep pressing forward. The reward is much greater when we endure to the end.

Love you all!
Sister Koncurat

random things this week...
Sister Mat taught me how to make a curry this week.  

it turned out really yummy. 
the alarm clock

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

And it came to pass...

housemates and friends
love this family

Behold, I make this epistle to my dear friends and family to tell them of the marvelous works of this past week, being the eighteenth day in the eighth month, two thousand and fourteen years after the coming of Christ.

And it came to pass that the missionaries came together to celebrate the transfer of their dear friend, Sister Cabada. And thus they were saddened because of the loss of their dear friend and housemate.

And thus the sisters feared that the new housemate would not be a native Tagalog speaker and that we would not understand completely the sayings of this foreign land.

And it came to pass, on the next day, the sisters rejoiced, knowing the Lord had heard their prayers, and the newest sister in Diffun, with the name of Sister Morente, being from a place in the San Pablo mission in which I have forgotten the actual name, but is a native Tagalog speaker. And we rejoice in this good news.

And thus did the sisters also rejoice because of the kindness of one's mother who had sent many gifts unto one of them. And I did rejoice exceedingly as I read the many letters that had been written so long ago from friends and family in a far off land.

And I shall gather pen and paper in hopes of responding to all as soon as possible.

For behold it came to pass that yet again, Sister Mat and I did walk for many miles to teach to the people in the far off land and we did find much success.

And our souls delighted in the blessings in which the
Lord has shown unto us.

And it did come to pass that a group of women in a society for relief did come together for the making of food. And there was much much MUCH feasting.

We were delighted in the fact that some of the inactive members and investigators did come and meet with them.

And the missionaries hearts were as full as their bellies.

And it came to pass that on the same day of the feast, once more, another soul did enter into the Waters of Mormon. Them being baptized with the power and authority of God and were washed clean and made whole.

And we did rejoice.

And it did come to pass that I, Sister Koncurat, came to a loss of words and did not know how to end this epistle to my dear friends and family. And thus being at a loss of words, I do close this epistle in hopes of you all to know of my love for you and hope that you may come to have many delight-some experiences in this coming week.


(I know...I'm a nut! ...I like nuts...)
Sister K
learning to make Siomai (steamed shrimp & pork dumplings)

the fruits of our labor
Let the feasting begin!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Finding the Joy

district fun 

This week started off a little rough with having a nasty cold, but it ended up being pretty great. On Tuesday we had our last district meeting of the cycle. We ended up having more of a FHE style meeting. After a spiritual thought, we all played Prophet charades, elders verses the sisters. The sisters let the elders win though so they wouldn't be sore losers. ; ) Then we played another game where we all sat in a circle, with one person in the middle who was blindfolded. They had to point to somebody and say the name of an animal and guess who the person is making the noise. The last person to be blindfolded was sitting there and we all left the room. Ha HA ha... He was sitting there pointing and no one was there to make a noise. We all were laughing with each other, so it was a great last meeting, especially with one of our elders getting permanently transferred back home.  We thought maybe it was my time to be transferred but not this time.  Although, changing things up is always exciting I feel like I have so much more to do here and I love my families here... and someone must know I need way more than a day to pack!  But...I'll be ready for the next transfer...I know it's coming!

This week, we also got to celebrate the birthday of one of the sister missionaries here in Diffun. We had a birthday party/home evening at the church for her. We all played games and then had a talent show. The sisters put on a skit about a typical day here in the field, and we had three dance performances, and even a band. 

But, the best part of this week was seeing the newest family of the Diffun ward baptized. The mother of the family was baptized a few weeks ago. I wrote about her and all the miracles that got her to the right place. She's become a huge example to her family. They have all become super involved in the ward, and two of the members of the family were able to be baptized this past week and their next son will be baptized this Saturday. It's all so good.

Sometimes it seems like missionary work has to be serious all the time and all we do is work, work, work. But the thing is, we are not all spiritual robots. If we have fun while serving, it helps not only bring the spirit into the lives of those around us, but it brings joy and happiness as well. Seeing the people that we care so much,entering in the waters of baptism and the joy on their faces, is, by far, the greatest joy of all.

Hope you all have a great week!...find the joy!
Sister K
a little tree planting...literally one LITTLE tree   ; )

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

To every Nation, Kindred, Tongue, and....Caribou?

Man! These weeks keep getting faster and faster before I know it, a 3rd of my mission will already be done. 
The other day Sister Mat and I were able to go on splits. I was companion for a day with Sister Stabenow from Utah. She leaves this next transfer (August 13). It was cool to see the difference of a new missionary with not much experience (that would be me btw) and one about to go home. I can easily tell that the decision come on a mission was the best decision that I could have ever made. Her advice was that as we loose ourselves in the work, the Lord helps us to become the person we are meant to be and the mission becomes all and more of what we could have ever possibly hoped for.
It is true what is said in Doctrines and Covenants, "The Lord calls us in his weakness, and qualifies us for His work." Sometimes, it is hard for me not to get discouraged. Lately we have had some of our progressing investigators become less interested. They might loose faith and desire, and all I can do is question what else can I do. I don't know the language well enough to really understand what is going on or to say exactly what I want to say. Sometimes I feel soooo weak. But that is why we have grace.
The best line of my favorite hymn "Come, Come, Ye Saints" is "Grace shall be as you day." (hence why my blog is named that). It is all about the pioneers and their trek across the US. After being mocked, beaten, and thrown out of their homes multiple times, the early saints walked for so many miles, some dying along the way, until they could find peace. But the thing that kept them going, was their faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Through Him and His Grace we can do all things. His Grace is sufficient for all men. Each and every day that we rely on him to make up for our weaknesses and do our part in what He would have us do, we become stronger. He qualifies us. That is the beautiful promise that He gave us.
I hope that by the end of my mission, I can say that I have felt His Grace everyday, strengthening me and that I have become a stronger person because of it and that I can share that knowledge with all that I meet.
Have a great week!
Mahal ko kayo!
Sister K
We got some good rain that made the ground pretty muddy and uh...mud is not my friend : /
[an exerpt from her Dad's letter I thought I would share.]  Erin wrote:  "Wow! Congrats on your epic bike ride anniversary, Dad. I think that is really cool that you and Doug were able to do such a thing.  And to think of all the good things that came from it. I definitely don't have that desire to ride a bike all the way across country, but in a way, we are all enduring through something. The other day I read a talk in the Liahona about how when we ride a bike, we have to keep pedaling or else it starts to shake and wobble and then you fall. We all need to keep pedaling, keep enduring, and hold on to the gospel and doctrines that will take us to where we our ultimate goal is and not take a fall. Along the way there will be blessings, like the wind at your back that will help to push us along  ...or sometimes you have an awesome Dad with his hand on your back pushing you up Mt Albert : )   This mission thing, I KNOW, is a blessing, not only for me, but for all. It is hard work, but I know it is always worth it."     

--For those who don't know our  little family story, Erin's dad and one of his mission companions who, soon after the ride, became his brother-in-law, set out on a 28 day bike ride from ocean to ocean exactly 25 years ago this week, it was kind of big deal! :D