Monday, July 27, 2015

Preparing for Next Transfer: Magiging nanay na ako! (I'm going to be a mom!)

Hello everyone!!

First of all, just read to the end of the email to understand the title :)

Boy, this week has been interesting. First off, I ACTUALLY HEARD COUNTRY MUSIC!!! We were on a jeepney and they played Blake Shelton, and I almost wanted to hug the driver. I've barely heard anything like country here, so it was very nice (even though it's pretty bawal lol).

Well, since this week is transfer week, maybe a quick summary of this past transfer is in order. Basically, IT WAS SO STINKING HARD. I'm going to be blunt here and tell you that me and my companion spent most of the transfer driving each other nuts. We really struggled together. But, I do know that Heavenly Father puts us with the companions that will help us grow the most. I learned so much from Sister Gasu!! I learned a lot of things about myself--a lot of weaknesses that I'd never seen before, a lot of things I need to improve. It's hard sometimes to see those things, but it's so good because once you recognize them you can improve. But, after lots of really intense companionship inventories, and some help from the STL's, we worked through everything, and we ended this transfer just having a blast together. When we let Him, God really will work miracles in our lives :)


We had a baptism on Saturday!! Aaron is 10, and it was really cool because his dad was baptized right before I transferred here, and he was able to be the one that baptized! It was fun to be a part of that. He didn't want to smile in the pictures, which is unfortunate because he has an adorable smile. But it was a good day :) then on Sunday, us four sisters sang in Sacrament meeting. Yeah, like up on the pulpit! It was actually really cool to be able to do that, and it turned out really good, so we were happy.

It's transfer week, and I found out yesterday morning...I'M TRAINING!! I'M GOING TO BE A NANAY!! And I am so not ready!! Lol. I actually am really excited to be able to train, I'm just kind of nervous because I haven't even been a missionary for 6 months yet! I've only had one transfer in between being trained and training, so hopefully things will work out, and me and my companion won't be hopelessly lost all the time haha.


Alma 38:5 And now, my [daughter, Payton], I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day. When we give Heavenly Father all our trust, and just place everything in His hands, He truly will help us to be able to get through our trials, and to learn and grow from them.

"My message pertains to the only source of true and lasting peace, Jesus the Christ--our Prince of Peace...Peace can come to all who earneslty seek the Prince of Peace. His is the sweet and saving message our missionaries take throughout the world."--Elder Russell M. Nelson. I love being a missionary :) The message that we share truly is the message of hope, of peace, and of joy, and especially here on my mission, I can see that clearly. It's pretty much awesome :)

Love from the Philippines!!
Sister Payton Pectol
How I felt most of the transfer, ...but we ended good :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

ACE Hardware, Zone Conference, and Getting Ready to Lead

Hi everyone!!

Well, to start things out, it was zone conference again this past week, and guess which zone sang the special number...yep, mine!!  We didn't sound too terrible, so it was ok :)  While there, I got to take a family picture with Sister Arcangel and Sister Pakalani.  Sister Arcangel was our trainer, or our nanay in the mission field, so we're siblings haha.

And my fan broke the week before last, so when we went to the mall I literally went to ACE and bought a screwdriver.  I didn't think they would have ACE Hardware in the Philippines, but it worked :)  And I was successful at fixing the fan, so you know...Sister Missionary Power!!

There hasn't been too many eventful things this week, just the amazing day to day life of a missionary :)  There have been some challenges that have come, but just like Jimmy Dean said, "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."  Even if we're faced with challenges, when we adjust ourselves and align ourselves with God, we can overcome everything :)

Alma 28:9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it.  I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Mahal ko kayo lahat!!  Have an amazing week!
Sister Payton Pectol

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Satan is Real. But So is God!

Well, these past couple of days have been really interesting.  From sliding in the mud to losing investigators to gaining investigators, it has definitely been up and down.

First of all, the mud.  It's rainy season, and some of our areas definitely feel that.  A lot of times, it doesn't feel like we're walking to our investigators; it feels like we're mudsliding there haha.  But there are plenty of puddles when we get back to the concrete to rinse off in haha.  Between puddles and generous security guards with buckets full of water, we manage to survive lol.

We had a bit of a heartbreak this week when one of our investigators kind of dropped us.  He had been so progressing, and we met with him Saturday morning to have his baptismal interview with the elders.  Well, he wasn't quite ready (he just needed to pray about the Book of Mormon--he hadn't wanted to because he already knew it was true), so we went back to follow up with him, and he punted us.  It wasn't just like an "Oh I'm busy, next time" kind of punt.  It was like a "Oh I'm busy today and I'm busy tomorrow and I don't know when I'll be available" kind of punt.  We were just confused, but we are going to give him a break and try again later this week.
We did have a miracle right after that though; we went straight from his house to one of our new investigators that's almost next door.  We followed up if she'd prayed about Joseph Smith and the restoration, and she had and she knows it's true!!  We committed her to baptism, and the next day she came to church!  It was such a testimony to me that Heavenly Father really answers our prayers, and truly knows what we need.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine hear; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."  I know that when we truly place our trust in our Heavenly Father, He will provide a way, and He will take care of us and watch over us.

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved."  As a missionary, Heavenly Father has trusted me to work in this area.  Satan is very real, and I now understand why returned missionaries say that missions are the hardest things you will ever love.  It is so hard to be a missionary sometimes!!  But it is literally the best thing in the world.  I get to be here and teach people about the gospel, and see their spiritual progress, and learn about myself and the world and draw ever closer to my Savior.  It basically rocks :)

I love you all!!

Sister Pectol
One of our roads; and we fit three of us inside a tricycle.  it was pretty cramped.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's Rainy Season!! Which means Mudsliding to Investigators :)

Hello from the Philippines!!  And since it's July, hello from the rainstorm!!  We get lots of rain everyday, which I don't mind because I love the rain, but it definitely makes it a little sketchy sometimes to get to investigators.  Especially in one of our more poverty areas, where we slide down a muddy slope, cross a very homemade bridge, try to climb up another muddy slope while sliding backwards, and basically mud wade to our investigators houses.  Lots of mud.  And all of this is in skirts!  My dad has this thing that he says when he thinks we're being wimpy:  "Hike up your skirts, Alice!"  I have no idea where he got it from, but let me tell you...I've had to hike up my skirts a couple of times!!  One of the ward missionaries asked me if I had the blood of Dora (as in The Explorer) after I managed to climb up a slick, steep hill without getting covered in mud.  I don't have a lot of pictures because I'm nervous to take my camera with me when it's raining this hard, so just take my word for it lol.  And there's bullfrogs here!  I'd never heard a bullfrog before, so I thought somebody was practicing the trombone or something until one of the ward missionaries told me it was a frog.  Welp.  Live and learn.

And happy Independence Day!!  It was basically one of the most boring independence days ever, actually.  We just had a normal day, and even though I absolutely love missionary work, I was definitely missing parades and barbecues and fireworks and family and friends.  And I didn't even get to celebrate the Philippines Independence Day, because they don't really celebrate it!  It was in my last area, and I wouldn't have even known it was independence day if somebody hadn't mentioned it.  I was just like "You people do not know how to celebrate Independence Day.  In America, you know it's Independence Day on the 4th of July, and here it's just mentioned.  Boring!"  
The syrup was the only thing that had an American flag that I was able to take a picture with.  I've seen lots of American flags on shirts and stuff, but I couldn't find one to get for myself to celebrate haha.

And we had another Bible bash -.- I'm pretty sure these people were from the same group as the others, because a lot of the questions were the same.  The thing I don't like about it is that their questions aren't actually questions, they're challenges to see how much we know.  It makes it impossible to feel the Holy Ghost.  It makes me wish that I would have been more diligent with my scripture mastery in seminary so that I could help them understand how the Book of Mormon and Bible are connected, but oh well.

And we got to go to the temple today!!  I miss going every week like we did in the MTC, but I'm grateful that I'm in a mission that even has a temple.  It's always so peaceful inside the temple, and it definitely rejuvenated my spirit for this next week :)

2 Nephi 4:16 "Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard."

The quote is just another random one I saw:  "Know your limits, but never stop trying to exceed them."  I read an article this week about the difference between weakness and sin.  It was very powerful, and in it were outlined some steps to overcome our weaknesses.  I've come to realize that I have many weaknesses; but I also have the Lord on my side, and with His help and His grace I can overcome the things I struggle with.  I am so thankful for the gospel in my life!!

Mahal ko kayo!!
Sister Pectol