Monday, October 27, 2014

Shaped and Molded

Mauri! (My companion has been teaching me a little Kiribati)

I feel like I say this every week, but how the heck is it already Monday again?!?  Yesterday,  I officially have reached eight months out too.  It is so crazy to think that much time has already past. It has even been over a year since I received my mission call. It still feels like yesterday that we had all that snow, and me and my brothers built that giant snow man in the front yard.

Soon after, I was boarding a plane to start this great adventure. At times I still think, I'm just a new missionary, fresh from the MTC, still just learning the swing of things, and then I realize, oh wait, I've been here for a good amount of time. But what I've realized is, no matter the point you are at in your mission, it is a continuous process of being shaped and molded to the person the Lord wants you to be.

Every week, there are things that we experience to either test and try us, and to humble and strengthen us. This week was no different, in that we had a just a little bit of everything. A little sickness, a little disappointment, a little hope, and a little miracle.

I'll first start with the sickness. With the sudden change in weather, a cold went around in the apartment, with the sinus headaches and everything. Warm chicken noodle soup, and lots of my new favorite juice (Smart C+ in the Calamansi and grapefruit flavor) did the trick.

We stayed inside and rested for two days, but we decided with that lost time, we would work even harder this week to help the people, and reach our goals. Also this was the last regular week with Sister Itimaera before she has to go home. Which brings us to the little disappointment. I am so going to miss her!

I love Sister Itimaera! She is super sweet and funny. Actually the island in Kiribati that she is from is known for always laughing and being happy. I testify. Even when it is raining outside, and we don't feel like hiking a mountain in the mud, we just put on some sunglasses and pretend it's a beautiful day.

 We make the best of it outside waiting for our little boat to come with a little selfie. And even when none of our investigators that we have been working really hard with don't show up to church, we continue to love them, and have hope for them. I'll be sad to have to kill her but at least we have one more week!

As for hope. No matter how many times investigators don't follow through on their commitments or when we are "punted", there is always hope for them. We have been searching and searching for a progressing investigator or new ways to help our investigators progress. Let me tell you, it is not easy. But we never loose hope and we always have faith. And what we have been seeing is a lot of progression in the less active members in this area. There is always a silver lining.

Our little miracle for the week. We were walking to our area we always visit on Sundays. This area is like one big U shape. We usually go in one side and make our rounds and go out the other side, but this time we got an impression to go the opposite way. As we were walking, a 12 year-old girl tapped me on the back. Not anything new. Lots of kids just stare at me, yell at me from far away, or even just rub my arm as I pass by. Just normal thing, ya know. Well this time, I felt the impression to not ignore this person, but to stop and talk to her. As we were talking, we found out that missionaries used to visit her friend, about a year and a half ago, but they stopped. We then asked if we could come back another time and share with her our message, she then said, will you come over right now and teach us. She introduced us to her friend and someone that we had actually been looking for. We taught all three of them right then and there. I don't know what will come of them, but of course we can always have hope.

I'm so glad that I still have 10 more months ahead of me. There is so much to look forward to, and I know that every day is shaping me to be something more than I ever was before. And I am sure there are definitely more adventures through random little jungles.   :)

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister K

Monday, October 20, 2014

We live in a beautiful world...yeah we do, yeah we do.

Well no matter the weather, nothing stops us missionaries from enjoying what God has blessed us with. This week was the real start to the "ber" months. I never thought it would, but it actually got chilly this week. I even got to wear sweaters while proselyting AND got sleep without the constant fan blowing...WITH my blanket!! YEP-that is a big deal! Although, I've realized how much I love my fan. The sound is kind of soothing. It also tends to drown out the sounds of howling dogs and crowing roosters that don't seem to respect the whole 10:30 lights out rule. Maybe they need to take a read thought the white handbook?
Me and Sister Atienza
So this week was in with the cold and rain, which made proselyting pretty interesting, especially to our area in the mountain that we have to cross a river to get to. The people we visited were surprised to see us there, with the rain and all, but of course, not even the rain can stop us from the Lords work. I know our efforts weren't wasted when we were able to have many of our less active members in attendance. That moment when we realized the people who actually came really did bring sunshine to our hearts. Ok that was pretty cheesy, but hey, it's true. One of the most happiest times of a missionary's week is when the people that they teach show up to church.
the zone
All week we have been praying for sunshine for our epic p-day trip to Banaue. Luckily, it only was a little misty. So on to see one of the "8th wonders" of the world. Being able to see one this masterful creations was amazing and really beautiful. It was a nice hike down the rice terraces and then back up again which was at least, a million steps, and the view from the top was incredible. I am so thankful for the beauty of the earth that we have been blessed to come down to and gain experience. Heavenly Father really does love us!

Enjoy the beauty all around : )
Mahal ko kayo!
Sister K

so many steps!

hey...get to work!

The Banaue Rice Terraces---you really must see!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yep...I live in the Philippines.

Erin didn't have a lot of time to write this week but she did answer a few questions I had for her....

My new area doesn't have set dinner appointments-but we do have them on occasion. Last night we had a dinner appointment with some members (a mother with her son. She has two sons already on missions and one about to leave on his mission to New Jersey. It was a pretty exciting evening though, after dinner we hear this noise coming from the upstairs and all of a sudden a bat was flying around our heads. Sister Davis and her comp, Sister Atienza quickly dropped underneath the table and Sister Itimaera and I were sitting there ducking our heads, while the son took their broom and was trying to shoo it out of the house. We were all just laughing about the situation. And I got a picture before leaving. yep...I live in the Philippines!

The shower- freezing cold!....but it is a working shower and not a bucket. I'm happy to have it.

Laundry-yep...that IS still in a bucket. 

Last week I mentioned our little mouse issue...well...yeah it's a little bigger issue than I thought....I mean bigger RAT! ughhhh!! to the market for a little "sleepy time rat food". And our little mouse, well, he's a goner too after taking a little swim in the clogs either! yes...I do have nightmares these things are in my bed with me. blech! But this little guy and his friends are looking out for me.

My human housemates are great. Sister Atienza and I transferred in at the same time and I knew her from Santiago too. She was in the North zone and I was in South, but we would meet at the same building for district meeting. We are both here trying to learn our new area before both of our companions go home. This week, Sisters Davis and Itimaera both had to go to Manila for fingerprinting (a requirement to exit the country) so Sister Atienza and I were left here to really figure out our areas on our own. Even though we had only been here for a week, we didn't get lost (a huge plus) and we still managed to find people to teach! The sisters were only gone from Thursday night until Saturday evening, and came home with gifts of Krispy Kreme Donuts...oh how yummy!! Can you believe you can find Krispy Kreme in Manilla??? wha??

As for other highlights of the week--I got to go on a hike with Sister Itimaera. I told you last week about how there is an area we have to cross a river to get to, that area is pretty far and a nice long walk to get to the river, then after crossing, we walked a long flat road to get to the bottom of a mountain that we then hike up to get to our appointments---Yep that's fun. By the time we got there, we got to teach one person but everyone else had left. Instead of being disappointed, we were just thankful for the one person that was there, and the nice fresh air away from the city. It was really beautiful and I always love the exercise.

So one of the most exciting parts of being a missionary is finding someone "golden." Most of the time people we teach people with only a passing interest, but we still teach them in hopes of maybe someday having the desire to progress. What is rare is when we find someone who is really searching. This week a member gave us a referral for someone in that position. When we contacted her, she explained how she had been Catholic for years but felt like something was missing. I am so excited to teach her more and help her to fill that void that this gospel really does bring. I feel so blessed to have met this person and I just hope that her heart is open for her to feel the spirit of truth. I'll let you know... : )

Sounds like conference was amazing, I will get to watch or read about it next week.

Hope all is well,
much love, 
Sister K

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Like I said...change is GOOD!

The Solona Zone-so beautiful!
What a great week! I got to say my last goodbyes in Diffun and early Wednesday morning a van came to pick Sister Mat and I up. We went to Santiago first to pick up the other missionaries from our zone getting transferred and then went straight to Cauayan. I got to see a few friends I have met here again and then we got our assignments. I got really excited when I found out. I am now in the Solano Zone, which is one of the cooler climates of the mission. The "coldest" being Bongbong, which is just south of here. I've actually had chills at night! The place I am in is called Bayombong and it is mostly city but it still has it's rural parts. There is actually a part in my area that we get to ride by boat to get to. But it is nice being in the city again because it has everything close by. No more driving a very loooooong hour in a van that makes you want to throw up just we can go to an actual grocery store. People drive pretty crazy...I am sure there are no speed limits or, and it seems, no traffic laws. They pretty much they just weave in and out of every other car, needless to say, we get jerked around a lot...

My new companion is Sister Itimaera (E-see-mair-ah). She is from Christmas Island in Kirabati. (the ti makes an S sound). I actually new who she was because we were in the same zone my first cycle. She is super sweet and I am so happy to have her as my companion. The sad thing is that we only get to be comps for one transfer because she goes home at the end of this one. My first kill! haha.
Me and Sister Eesee...that's what I'm calling her now ; )
OH, one totally cool thing about this zone is that we are closer to the Banaue Rice Terraces, so I get to go there pretty soon! :) I loved Diffun, but this branch is really nice too. On Saturday we had Family Week celebrations with the branch. We played games and ate food and played more games all day, it was so much fun. They are great and very welcoming.

Banaue Rice Terraces...can't wait to go!
The new apartment is pretty nice. It is definitely older, but we have nice cool tiles on the first floor and hard wood on the top. I haven't seen any spiders or cockroaches...yet, but we do have a little mouse problem. But he just does his own thing and stays away from us and our stuff. He just likes to clean out the sink disposal at night.... Our landlord is a member and we call her Guama. She is an elderly lady and super sweet. If we don't feel like cooking, she just said to come over and she'll make us lunch or dinner, she likes the company. Her husband past away a long time ago and her kids are all grown up, so she loves having us around. We've got it pretty good here, despite our little rodent. There are four of us in the apartment, and one is Sister Davis. She is American and she also went to BYU-I. Actually, in the mission geneology, she is my Lola (grandma) because she is the one who trained Sister Lamac (my trainer). She also dies this cycle, but it is kind of cool to be with another American again at least for a little while.

I saw this quote and was inspired. It reminded me of a scripture in 3 Nephi 12:47, it says, "Old things are done away, and all things have become a new." I know I am not a perfect missionary and I have a ton I can always improve on. With this new start in Bayombong, I have a new chance to be an even better missionary, and leave behind any of the mistakes I have made in the past.

As I said last week, change is good. At first I was a little nervous, but it ended up being a great. The Lord sure does know what we need and when. I love this work, and it is amazing the change it brings to the lives of those around us.

Love you all!
Have another great week!
Sister K
being goofy one last time.