Monday, October 26, 2015

Welcome to Morong! Bucket Showers, Province Views, and Inability to Teach

Hello all!!

Well, I'm back to having interesting weeks again, and boy was this one good!  I got everything packed up and ready to go Tuesday, then went and said goodbye and took pictures with everyone in Taytay.  It was so hard to say goodbye to my recent converts!!  But I am excited to meet new people in Morong :)  As we were riding the taxi there, we wound down a mountainside.  It is beautiful there!  There are acres of rice fields and big chunks of forest/jungle in our area, and it is amazing!!  It's so nice to be in the province!  I definitely feel more at home OUT of the city.  Funny thing about our apartment though: we don't have a shower head, so we do it Filipino style and scoop the water out of a bucket!!  The toilet also doesn't have a flusher, so that's bucket as well :)  It actually isn't too bad, kind of fun to experience.  But I think I prefer actual showers lol :)  I also met my new companion; Sister Mainit!  It's kind of funny because "mainit" is "hot" in Tagalog, so a lot of time she just gets called "Sister Hot!"  I'm glad I got another Filipina though, because I still have a nosebleed in Tagalog :)

But, sadly, even though I have a nosebleed in Tagalog, I discovered this week that I can't teach in English either.  We had a little boy we were teaching that basically speaks English, and during the lesson both me and Sister Mainit were struggling!  I haven't forgotten any English (there's a lot spoken here), I just don't know how to teach the missionary lessons!  It made me giggle a little bit when we were done :)

Me at 4:45 am :)

We had our sisters' conference earlier today, and it was so much fun!  The sisters in our mission are amazing, and everyone was there except for those assigned in Mindoro.  We did Tae Bo and played games and ate Jollibee and even got to watch a movie.  Plus learning about cooking, facials, and makeup :)  It's been fun, but Morong is one of the farthest areas on the mainland, so we actually slept last night at the Sister Training Leaders (STL) apartment.  But we still had to leave at 5am to be here on time...we're all pretty tired :)  we're emailing from a computer shop near the mission office, and then we'll probably be in a jeepney for 2 or 3 hours to get back home...yay for traffic :) but maybe that will just be our pday naptime, so it works out haha.

I heard a quote this week that really impacted me:  If you don't ask, the answer will always be no.  I love this because I think that it's so true no matter what you're doing, but especially in missionary work.  I've learned that when we have choices before us, a lot of times, Heavenly Father won't give us that guidance that we need unless we show Him through our prayer and actions that we are ready to receive and willing to follow the promptings He gives us.  But when we do those things, He is always there to help guide us :)

Alma 37:47  And now, my [daughter], see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober.  I read this just last week, and it stuck out to me so much because of how simple the commandment here is: look to God.  That's all we need to do: look to Him, and trust everything to Him.  And when we do, everything just works out perfect :)

Mahal ko po kayo!!

Sister Pectol

Monday, October 19, 2015

Goodbye to Taytay: Miracles, Chicken Pox, and Aliens

Hello all!

Sadly, this was also a bit of a boring week, because the chicken pox prevented us from working until Sunday.  Yuck.  The worst part of that was I didn't even feel sick...I just had to stay in the house because I was still contagious!  That was boring.  But Saturday, we were able to go to Maricel's baptism!!  That was truly a miracle.  Her husband is a recent convert and has been wanting his family to join the church, but none of them wanted to.  Actually, before, if we went to their house Maricel wouldn't even acknowledge us.  As soon as she saw us, she would either leave or go upstairs.  But then we had a family home evening there with some of the ward members, and after that we were able to teach her.  It was amazing.  It was literally a complete change of heart for her, and we were constantly amazed at how well her lessons went.  She was so progressing and so invlolved, and she told us that when she got confirmed she felt like she was sitting in heaven.  I am constantly amazed at the miracles that I see as a missionary!  Now I am excited for them to be able to be sealed in the temple together!

I got a call from the zone leader this morning, telling me that I would be transferring out of Taytay :( after 3 transfers here, it doesn't surprise me, but I definitely have mixed emotions.  Even though I am definitely excited to experience what it will be like in Morong, I will miss it here.  There are a lot of recent converts and members here that I feel so close to, and it's going to be hard to leave them.

When me and Sister Udarbe were thinking about how the transfer would work out, I told her that she would end up training.  She told me I wasn't allowed to say the "T" word again XD  she said "I could train if we had normal investigators, but our investigators are aliens!!"  😕  Well, alrighty.  Yes, some of our investigators are really intense, but I had never thought of them as aliens I will be going to a new area, and my companion will be teaching "aliens" hahaha.  I'm excited to hear how the investigators continue to progress with her and her new companion :)

My quote this week is one of my favorites, from Jesus The Christ by James E. Talmage.  [Man's] word of command is but a soundwave in air, except as it is followed by labor.  I love this one because I've really recognized the truthfulness of it since I've been here.  We can talk and talk all we want, and say all the good things we want to do.  But until we put forth our effort and our work, it doesn't do any good.

D&C 112:10  Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.  Sometimes I think that this is something that I really need as a reminder.  One of my weaknesses is that when things go well, I get the attitude of "Oh I've got this, I don't need any help."  Well, let me tell ya, it doesn't work like that on the mission!  Even if things are going well, it's so important to remember WHY they're going well.  It's because of Heavenly Father.  This is His work, so I can't even say that it's because of me that things go good.  I am here only as His instrument.  An instrument can't do any good by itself; it needs the Master.  I am so very grateful that I get to be here and truly experience what it's like to be an instrument in the hands of Heavenly Father.

I love and miss you all!!
Sister Pectol

Our street, apartment complex (we have no outside windows), and main floor.  Upstairs is just the bedrooms.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Lord's Time: Chicken Pox, Baptism, and Lessons Learned

The Hospital

How we watched general conference

Hi all!  I would like to say the usual--"This week has been interesting"--but that would be lying.  Because this week has literally been the MOST BORING week of my entire mission so far!  Let me start from the beginning...Sunday night my feet started to hurt, and by Monday they were so swollen and in so much pain that I couldn't walk.  Well we went to the hospital, and the doctor took one look and told me it was chicken pox.  I was so glad to finally know, because with as much pain as I was in and everything it was scary not knowing what was going on.  But after knowing it was chicken pox, all that was left to do was sit in the apartment and try to get the swelling to go down.  The picture was of the worst day...ready for a pedicure anyone?

The hard part for me was that, being stuck in the apartment, I felt like a completely useless missionary.  I was so frustrated, and generally depressed.  I am here on the Lord's time to do His work, and being stuck in the apartment isn't how we get His work done.  After once again crying to my companion about how frustrated I was, I went upstairs and said a prayer.  I told my Heavenly Father how confused and frustrated I was, and that I didn't understand what was going on.  When I'd closed and waited for a minute, I had my epiphany.  I was exactly right--it is the Lord's time.  Which means He is the one that's in control.  So even though it was hard for me to not be able to work, I needed to trust in His divine timing and in His plan.  I still didn't like being cooped up in the apartment--I think I've gone insane from boredom--but I do have an increased testimony of the fact that the Lord truly is in control of everything.  Even though it's been really hard to deal with that, He's in charge, and it's Him I trust.

We also had the baptism of Brother and Sister Ramos!!!  We have been working so hard to help them prepare for this!  At first, they really were some of our most difficult investigators...their questions were so intense, and it was sometimes very difficult in the lessons.  But while teaching them, I gained a testimony of the gift of tongues, and of the Lord's promise that when you are on His errand, you will not be confounded before men.  Me and my companion both cried when we saw them get baptized.  Brother Ramos hadn't attended any baptism before because he'd wanted it to be a surprise for him when he got baptized, and he was able to go first.  The absolute joy that I saw on his face is indescribable, and gives me such a sense of wonder.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ truly is the greatest blessing that we could ever have, and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be here sharing it to my brothers and sisters.  Best job ever!!

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.  He is God, and He will always give us the things that will, in the long run, be for our benefit :)

A negative thinker sees a difficulty in every opportunity.  A positive thinker sees an opportunity in every difficulty.  I just had to get my thinking turned around so that I could fine the opportunity :)

I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Pectol

Sunday, October 4, 2015

15 Minutes to Conversion

Hello again from the Philippines!

It's only been about half a week since my last email, so not too much has happened.  Two of our investigators, Brother and Sister Ramos, had their baptismal interview on Saturday, and we were so excited and happy.  We waited for them to finish, then went to talk with the elders to make sure the baptism record and everything was filled out properly.  Well when we went in, our district leader told us that only the husband could be baptized and that the wife needed some more time.  We literally went from grinning ear to ear to devastated.  Both of us were just standing there like "What??"  It was a very difficult moment.  And then our elder started grinning and told us he was joking and they were both fine.  I told him if he ever did that again I'd kill him.

So we had a neat experience with the Ramos family this week.  The mom and dad are so progressing and are so excited to be baptized, but their 3 boys weren't so progressing.  They weren't reading in the BOM, and making that a priority.  In our mission, we have a designated 15 minutes every night that we can just focus on the Book of Mormon.  It is so powerful and is such a testimony builder, so we challenged the boys to do that.  We promised them that if they focused 15 minutes a day--just 15 minutes out of 24 hours--they would receive that witness that it was true.  We had one more lesson with them between the commitment and Sunday, and the boys had done it, and Sunday was the first time that all 5 of them came to church!!  It was amazing :)  such a witness to me of how powerful the Book of Mormon really is.  So I have the same challenge for all of you :)  I challenge you to focus 15 minutes every day in the Book of Mormon.  I can promise you, based on the change I've felt in myself and that I've seen in others, that just by doing that simple thing, you will be able to gain that testimony of the Book of Mormon, and strengthen your relationship with Heavenly Father :)

Mosiah 18:11  And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.  When the desire of our hearts is to do the things that will bring us closer to God, He will provide a way, and will give us those spiritual confirmations of the truth.

Rosemary M. Wixom:  Because you are His child, you not only need Him, but He needs you.  Heavenly Father wants us to be able to come back to Him.  And the Book of Mormon is the best way to know what it is that we need to do in order to do that :)

Love from the Philippines!

Sister Pectol