Monday, May 4, 2015

Baby Powder: Who Knew? STL Exchanges, Surviving my First 6 Weeks, and Loving my Life

Hello everyone at home!!  Kumusta po kayo??

This week has been amazing!!  We had Zone Conference on Tuesday (my first one) and that was fun.  It was a long day though!  It was about a 20 minute taxi ride (with AC!! Yay!!) then we literally spent the entire day at the church.  President and Sister Revillo spoke to us, and they randomly chose 4 or 5 missionaries to give 3 minute talks on what they learned from General Conference.  I was so glad I didn't have to speak!  I despise public speaking (stage fright does that to people).  We had a workshop/skit with the Sister Training Leaders (STL's) and just had a busy day.  At the end of the conference we were able to get our 
mail, and I felt like a superstar.  Getting the mail all at once means that whatever had arrived since I've been here, and even some late stuff from the Manila MTC, was all there.  One of the other missionaries asked me if I was the first missionary in my family, then said that you can always tell based on the mail they get.  I was just happy to hear from my family and friends haha.  Included in the mail was Easter notes from the Beehives in my ward at home, which totally brightened my day.

This is a picture of me and Sister Arcangel together.  Aren't we adorable??  XD

We had splits with the STL's this week, and it was really good to have that training time.  Sister Osumo helped me figure out a lot of things that I could do better and a lot of things that I was doing fine on and needed to acknowledge with myself.  It was really cool.

So, about the baby powder.  All the Filipinas use it on their face, and I thought it was just to lighten their skin.  Well, I'm basically as white as you can get, so I didn't think I needed it.  But another sister said it made your skin super soft, so I started using it and it's awesome!  It also helps me to be less sweaty, and let's face it...I need all the help I can get XD cause it is HOT here.

One of the things we talked about in the zone conference was Babylonian music.  In other words, basically anything that isn't EFY or Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I've figured out that that might be my downfall.  The Filipinos listen to a lot of American music, so there's a lot of songs and artists I've heard that I really like, including Michael Jackson and Hunter Hayes.  We're not supposed to sing along, because it distracts us.  So it's a good thing they don't play much country music, because if I heard Josh Turner or Brad Paisley I'd probably be a lost cause lol.

Well I survived my first transfer!!  And none of us are transferring!!  We only have one elder in our district who's transferring, and the rest of us are staying.  I was so glad!!  I really wanted to finish up my 12 week training with Sister Arcangel, and I was really worried that if she would be transferred I would have to lead the area, and I am definitely not ready for that!!  But we're through the crazy nerves that come with transfer week :)

My scripture this week is from 2 Nephi 4:21&35.  "He hath filled me with His love, even unto the consuming of my flesh...Yea, I know that my God will give liberally to him that asketh.  Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness.  Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God.  Amen."  These two verses don't seem very related, but I've noticed that as I've been here my ability to love others and to love myself has increased.  I've had a couple of rough days when all I could do was get down on my knees and cry to my Heavenly Father.  I don't have those days very often, but when I do, I always feel His presence, and I know that He hears and He understands.  I have felt more peace here and more love than I thought I could, and it is amazing.  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.  Seriously, best-most-difficult-thing ever!!!
My quote goes along with that, and is from Our Heritage, chapter 11.  "[When] you have troubles...may peace be unto your soul.  We will not be tempted beyond our ability to withstand.  Our detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow path to Him."  I know that this is so true.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here.  This has seriously been the best decision of my life, and I am so grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to serve in the Philippines.

All my love, from halfway around the world!!
Sister Payton Pectol

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