Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Well That was Unexpected--Confessions of Love and Feeling Like an Alien

Hi all!

It has been another fantastic week here in PQCM.  We had our pdays swapped around last minute, so we ended up going to the temple early this morning.  The bishop here works at the church office next door to the temple, so he was kind enough to let us catch a ride lol.  Despite the fact that we left at about 5:45, because of traffic, we didn't get there until it was time to start the 8:30 session.  Yay for city life.  But the temple was, as always, amazing, and I am so so grateful that I am blessed enough to have a temple in my mission.  It is such a blessing to be able to go every other transfer!

And about the mac&cheese...that's something they don't really have here in the Philippines, so I special-requested it from my mom.  And let me tell you, I was so happy to open that package and see some delicious Kraft!  It was pretty fantastic.

And guess who was assigned to speak in church on Sunday...yep, this chicky here!  I was prepared and everything, but one weakness that I have is that public speaking absolutely TERRIFIES me.  I can deal with skydiving and storms and snakes and why not? I'll take a shark too.  But public speaking is a whole different story!  I stood up to the microphone, and felt like my Tagalog and my preparation and all of that stuff just ran out the door.  Welp.  A couple of people said it was good though, so maybe I was the only one who felt confused the entire talk lol.

So, I had yet another electric fan experience this week.  I didn't break it though!  I think it actually tried to break me.  We had a lesson with one of our new investigators who is in a tiny house, and their fan didn't have a cover, but it was hot so of course it was on high.  I got the lucky seat next to the fan, and when I wasn't paying close enough attention, the evil thing attacked me!!  I have a nice little burn on my elbow where it tried to chop my arm off.  Good thing it was plastic and not metal, because if it was metal, kawawa ako!!  It would not have felt good at all!

And I had the unique experience of understanding what it would feel like to be an alien.  We went to pick up one of our investigators for church Sunday morning, and Sunday is usually party day here in the Philippines, which means that a lot of men have already opened the beer.  Which is extremely unpleasant if you're a white girl that has to walk past them.  That is one thing that I have struggled with here--the amount of attention I get because I'm white.  I literally turn heads when I walk down the street, and constantly get called after.  I hate it.  Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely fallen in love with the Philippines and the people here, but sometimes I just hide under my umbrella and pretend I can't see anyone.

Ok, now that I've got that little vent out, let me tell you the big funny thing that happened this week.  My companion has an admirer!  It's hard to have a beautiful companion, because then our investigators just fall in love with her XD one of our investigators texted us Sunday night apologizing that he wasn't able to go to church because of work, and ended his text by telling Sister Udarbe to take care of herself and that he loves her and blah blah blah...we were cracking up!  We brought it up to the zone leader, and he basically shrugged and said "It happens." XD  So, the quote this week once again comes from Sister Udarbe:  We need to work on our flirt-to-convert skills.

John 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  On the more spiritual side, we don't actually do the flirt to convert :)  As I've been here, I've really seen the truthfulness of this verse.  Those that are prepared do recognize that we are here speaking for the savior.  Sometimes it takes us a couple of tries before they realize it, but eventually they do :)  It is such a blessing for me to be here, and I really have seen the effects of the seen and unseen forces preparing people to receive the gospel.

Lots of love!!
Sister Pectol

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Reflections on The Setting Apart

Hello everyone!!

Once again, we have had a fantastic week.  We had the baptism of Jhapz, and that was so fun.  He's so cute and it's been so fun to teach him, and he was so excited!  We did a fun musical number by combining the English and Tagalog  I am a Child of God.  All the hymns here are in English, but one of the other sisters had a Tagalog hymn book so it was fun to do that.

So, I think this week I experienced what it would be like to have a stroke.  A lot of times when we're teaching we end up sitting on the ground, which is totally fine but I always have to move a couple of times or my legs will fall asleep.  Well, we had one appointment where we were all pretty squished, so for the whole lesson I was in the same position, pinching what felt like all the nerves in my leg.  So when we got up to leave, I LITERALLY had no muscle control.  None.  I could barely hobble to the door, and Sister Udarbe had to get my shoes for me.  Her leg was kind of asleep too, so we were both leaning on each other to hobble down the street while the ward missionary who was with us just laughed and made fun of us.  It literally took almost to the end of the block before I didn't feel like I needed to drag my leg.  Welp.  Maybe we made some of the neighbors there laugh.

We had a really cool realization this week.  One of the families we're teaching has three boys, ages 18, 19, and 20.  So right our ages.  As we were leaving one of our teaching appointments with them, we started talking about how different we felt.  The setting apart for missionary work is a real thing.  At home, it would have been kind of awkward to try to teach guys my age (or kind of any age) things like the law of chastity and eternal marriage and all that stuff, but it's not awkward here.  I think that people can feel that missionaries have a special calling, because whether we're teaching somebody our age or somebody the age of our parents or grandparents, they treat us differently.  There's a quote in Preach My Gospel that says it's a setting apart from the world, and that is so true.  As missionaries, Heavenly Father has literally given us power and authority to teach His word.  Isn't that so cool?  He gave me--just the plain, ordinary, 19 year old, sometimes dweeby, can-barely-speak-Tagalog me--the power and authority to teach His children and to bring them to Him.  Wow.  To quote Sister Udarbe: "God is awesome."

Luke 17:10  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.  Even though I am here and I get to experience all these amazing things, I know that I really am an unprofitable servant.  No matter how hard I go out and work; no matter how diligently I plan, how much I open my mouth to talk to strangers, how much I bear my testimony, how many people I help come to the waters of baptism, I am an unprofitable servant.  Because I am just doing what Heavenly Father has called me to do.  I am just doing my duty.  And He always blesses me more than I ever thought possible.  Missionary work literally blows my mind sometimes :)

Well, I continue to love it here!  And I love you all!

Sister Payton Pectol

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fasting Works!! 10 Investigators at Church, Burnt Pancakes, and Christmas Songs!

 Photo bombing...and us four sisters.

Yay for ward missionaries!

Hi Everyone!!

Yes, it really happened...we had 10 of our investigators at church yesterday!!  WOOOOOOH!!!!  Me and Sister Udarbe opened our fast on Saturday, and especially prayed for our investigators to have a desire to come to church.  One of them we went and picked up, and the other ones were there when we walked in!!  We were so excited!  Heavenly Father really answers prayers :)


I am loving September in the Philippines, because in the Philippines, now is when Christmas celebrations start!!  I literally saw Christmas trees at Puregold when we did our grocery shopping last week...It's coming!!!  🎄  So in most of our lessons and all our companionship studies, our opening hymn has been from the Christmas section of the hymnbook :)  it's pretty much awesome.  But when we were doing our grocery shopping, Lady Antebellum came on the store playlist!  I hear mostly English music here, but not much country, so if I hear country it's definitely very difficult to resist the "babylonian music"!!

Last week was transfer week, and I DIDN'T TRANSFER!!!  I'm so happy because there are investigators here that I love so much and I know I haven't finished helping them yet.  And I get to finish training Sister Udarbe!  Sister Maravillo became an Sister Training Leader, so now it's me and Sister Udarbe, and Sisters Pakalani & Duque in the Taytay 1st ward.  It's so fun!

And my quote actually comes from Sister Pakalani's prayer over lunch the other day:  Please bless the beautiful hands that prepared this food, and bless Sister Udarbe and Pectol and Duque with gwapo (handsome) husbands and lots of beautiful children.  And please bless the burnt pancakes that they won't poison us.  Ok, the pancakes weren't that bad!!  Needless to say, we were all cracking up by the time the prayer was over...well, sometimes it happens.

My scripture actually comes from my personal study this morning.  I was actually feeling kind of discouraged, so I studied about hope in Preach My Gospel, and this scripture amazed me.  Ether 12:4 4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.  Really though.  Hope is so important, and when we ever feel discouraged, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are right there waiting for us.

Love from the Philippines!
Sister Pectol

Monday, September 7, 2015

We Don't Just Walk Around

Hi All!

As always, it's been a good week.  We did have an interesting experience that tested both mine and Sister Udarbe's patience though.  We've had an investigator that we haven't been able to contact and that has been hiding from us, and we finally saw her sitting outside a tindahan, so we stopped to talk to her.  She was busy so we couldn't teach, but she told us that we were lucky because all we do is walk around all day.  Luckily, I didn't understand what she said until we were walking away and Sister Udarbe translated for me.  She might have gotten a little bit of un-missionary-like sass from me if I did understand.  Me and Sister Udarbe ended up having an entire vent session to each other about everything we left behind to come and "walk around", and all that we deal with.  I think we definitely didn't feel very Christlike for a minute, but we did repent :)

My funny story this week is from our language test.  All the missionaries take language tests--the non-English speakers take English tests, and the non-Tagalog speakers take Tagalog tests.  We went to the mission office to take the test, and on the way back we got stuck in traffic.  Let me explain the situation: we were in a jeepney that was literally stuffed full of people, stuck at almost a standstill, in the heat of the afternoon.  It was not very pleasant lol.  I ended up falling asleep for part of the traffic part, and was having a really hard time waking up.  I have a little wire circle with cloth fan that I pulled out  of my bag to try to wake my brain up.  Well, the problem is that I wasn't completely alert, so when I pulled out my fan, it popped open and shot out of my hands, smacking some poor lady so hard on her neck I thought her head might fall off....oops.  After apologizing multiple times I think she forgave me, but I still felt bad.  I had been hoping to talk to people on the jeepney, but after that I thought I better not...

When I was doing one of my personal studies this week, I found my mission call in the scriptures!  D&C 79:1  Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that my servant [Payton Pectol] should go...into the eastern countries, from place to place, and from city to city, in the power of the ordination wherewith [she] has been ordained, proclaiming glad tidings of great joy, even the everlasting gospel.  Cool, right?  I had to smile when I read that.

One of the elders in our district said something that I thought was very powerful.  Testimony is knowing it, conversion is living it.  --Elder Natural.  It's so true.  When we understand a principle of the gospel, we have a testimony of it.  But it's not enough to have that testimony.  We have to act on it as well, and take those steps to show our faith and to really strengthen ourselves in the gospel.

Mahal ko kayo!!

Sister Pectol