Monday, November 30, 2015

Payton: Transfers! Thanksgiving, Sickies, and Laundry Skillz

Our zone activity - bowling.

We went to the birthday dinner of one of our investigators, and yes, that is a whole pig.

What happens when I forget that I actually have an extra pair of shoes.

Same dress but different days; last night we taught a lesson to one of our poorer member families.

Hi everyone!!

This has been another great week in PQCM!  But our transfers are tomorrow, and we got a call from the zone leader this morning saying that Sister Mainit is going to transfer :((((  That's the good and the bad thing about transfers.  The good thing is you meet lots of new people and learn a lot from them, but the bad thing is if you and your companion have an awesome transfer together, it's hard to have a transfer.  But I'm also excited to learn from my new comp :)
So, it was Thanksgiving this week...yeah I really couldn't tell.  It's not exactly a thing here, so we just went out and worked our normal schedule.  And because of how hot it still is here (always), when I saw it was Thanksgiving it didn't really even register lol.
We had the opportunity to give service to one of our investigators this week, which was a lot of fun!  Which is a little surprising, because our service was helping her wash laundry.  I can definitely say that even though I'm not Filipina status yet, my paglalaba (laundry) skills have definitely improved lol.

I had a lovely cold this past week, so that was oodles of fun.  And let me tell you, even though it normally is just fine to shower with, cold water is definitely NOT healthy for headcolds lol.  That wasn't very fun.  I actually ended up boiling water to add to the bucket for my shower.  It felt great; I'd almost forgotten what a warm shower felt like hahaha.
Last week I finished the New Testament!  As I read the accounts of the Savior's life and the miracles that He and His apostles performed, I just felt so grateful to be a part of His restored church, that has that same priesthood authority to perform miracles. :)
The yearning you feel for something better is a yearning to come unto Christ.  President Henry B. Eyring

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Sometimes we can't physically see the Lord working in our lives, but I've learned that if we just take a step back, we'll be able to recognize that He is truly in control, and that all that He does is for our benefit.
Love and miss you guys!! :)
Sister Pectol

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Shook Hands With Apostles!!

Hi all!!

It has been another amazing week here in the Philippines Quezon City Mission.  We had a special treat this week; we had an apostle/missionary meeting, and had the opportunity to meet Elders Neil L. Andersen and Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  As in, I SHOOK HANDS WITH TWO LIVING APOSTLES!!!  Experience of a lifetime guys.  Both the apostles and their wives spoke to us, and it felt like everything they said was exactly for me.  I got to participate in the choir, and we sang a really pretty Tagalog/English rendition of Called To Serve.  It was an amazing day.  The picture is us four sisters that live/work together here in Morong Branch :)  It was the only time that all of the PQCM missionaries were together in one place (even the Mindoro missionaries got to fly in to the mainland for this), so the apostles agreed to get a picture with us.  I unfortunately don't have a copy, but maybe it's on Facebook :)

And I also gave myself a haircut for the first time!!  We never have time on pdays to go to the salon (and I'm kind of paranoid), so I just did it myself, Filipina style!  It didn't turn out too bad, actually.
I found out last week why being a nurse is not my calling in life.  Sister Mainit had a headache, and asked me for some Paracetamol--you know, Tylenol.  Well, being the genius that I am,  I mixed up the generic names.  So, instead of giving her pain medicine, I pulled out an anti-diarrhea from my medical kit.  Then later that day, when I gave here the right medicine, she asked my why it was different 😱

My quote this week is, of course, from our meeting with the apostles.  At the end of his talk, Elder Andersen told us, We will testify in your behalf before the bar of God one day.  And then he ended his talk by blessing us all.  It was amazing to hear as he blessed all of us missionaries collectively with the things that we need to hasten the work of salvation.

I had the opportunity to give the workshop in our district meeting on Wednesday (yikes!)  and I decided to give it on the stripling warriors, which is one of my favorite stories.  As part of it, I read from Alma 57:25
And it came to pass that there were two hundred, out of my two thousand and sixty, who had fainted because of the loss ofblood; nevertheless, according to the goodness of God, and to our great astonishment, and also the joy of our whole army,THERE WAS NOT ONE SOUL OF THEM WHO DID PERISH.  I chose the stripling warriors because I think that they are such an example to us of the kind of people that we need to be in order to be our best selves for God.  And the reason that not one of the stripling warriors was lost was because of their obedience, diligence, virtue, and humility.  They were faithful and strong in what they knew to be true, and they stuck to their covenants.  I know that as we do thise things as well, we will be given strength too; so that so matter what trials come, there won't be a single one of us who will perish.
I love you all!!  Have a fantastic week!
Sister Payton Pectol

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Short on time & email issues

Payton wasn't able to get her general email to us this week.  Here are some comments from her reply to our weekly email to her.  She sounds good!

So let me just say it's a bit of a miracle I'm emailing right
now...the computer shop is packed, so it wasn't letting me email, even
though I could read.  I finally clicked the "load basic HTML" to get
it to work, but I don't have a lot of time.  We have a missionary
apostle meeting tomorrow which I am so excited for, but I have choir
practice at 12 at the mission office (and Morong is the farthest
area).  We tried to withdraw our support this morning but literally
all the ATMs are broken, so we were later than we'd hoped, so I'll
have only limited time today.

I love having four in the apartment; it's actually way more fun than only
two.  I planned to take pictures this week but that didn't happen, so
next week I will.  We're nowhere near the ocean, i think the only area
that is is Mindoro.  But Morong is the farthest area on the main
island.  Yes we have good places to shop; the mission has started
doing meal planning, so the companionships take turns planning and
cooking lunches. And the grocery store here is really nice too, so
it's all good.  It's a lot like at home, actually.  Yes, we're still
walking a lot. I always feel so tired by the end of the day, but then
every morning i'm ready to go again, so it's good.

I literally have no time to email, so I'm logging off
right now...I started a general email but then the dumb thing deleted
my draft :P so there will just be extra next week.  Please just let
everyone know that I love and miss them and even though there's no
update this week I'm doing good :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

HALFWAY! Kung Fu Chicken, Fireflies, and Stars

Hi everyone!!!

It has been another fantastic week here in Morong, and as of November 4, I am officially HALFWAY!  Definitely not trunky, but definitely excited to see everyone :)  the other sisters kept sticking notes and even gifts and a bite size cake on my desk...I thought it was my birthday lol.  It honestly is really shocking to me that I'm already halfway...I kind of feel like I just got here.

So this week, I got to see fireflies for the first time!  At first I thought my eyes were losing it when I saw a random tiny blinking light floating alongside the path, but it's been fun to see more of them when we're in the foresty parts after dark.
We also experienced cooked chicken coming back to life this week.  There's this really yummy  restaurant here called Mang Inasal that does rotisserie chicken, so when you get the chicken on the plate it's still on a stick.  Well, I was trying to get my chicken off it's BBQ stick so I could eat it, but it wasn't cooperating.  So I pushed a little bit harder, and out of NOWHERE my chicken came to life and shot off the stick and across the table, landing on Sister Mainit's plate and splashing soy sauce onto her and the table.  We stared at each other in shock for a split second, and then even though I really did feel terrible, I couldn't help but busting up laughing.  The other diners must have thought we were nuts; an American and a Filipina cracking up together, with soy sauce dripping off the Filipina and splashed across the table.  Oh the adventures we have!

I also experience what it feels like to have an affro this week.  I had my hair in a braid for our district conference, but because we mostly walk it's too hot, so it went back up into a ponytail to work.  And as we were walking, I could see in my shadow that my ponytail was literally an affro.  A big red fluffy affro.  Yay for humidity!

Alma 56:46  Behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall.  I had another lesson taught to me this week about trusting in God.  Honestly, this area is difficult.  There are so many less active members here, and we've struggled with finding new investigators and getting them progressing.  But as we've walked to and from our last appointments in the evenings, I've reminded myself to look up.  I look up and I see the stars, and I feel the peace and the reassurance that Heavenly Father is just right here with us.  Even though I feel a lot of pressure to help this area and don't really know what I'm going to do, I know that He knows what it is that I need, and what it is that this area needs, and I know that He really is the one in control.

If I make this choice, what will happen?  --Elder Robert D. Hales
I love this because it's definitely something that's helped me here.  If I make the choice to open my mouth and talk to someone, what will happen?  They might end up accepting the gospel.  If I make the choice to not open my mouth because of fear of men, what will happen?  Those people that I pass might not ever hear about the gospel, and they won't be able to experience the joy and the peace that I get to experience.  We never know how much of a ripple effect our choices will have on those around us.
I miss and love you all!!  Ingat po palagi!
Sister Pectol

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Happy Halloween! Zombie Missionaries, Packed Cemetary, and Province Scenery

Hello all!

  First of all...Happy Halloween!!  It's actually not really a thing here in the Philippines.  There were a couple of groups of little kids that got dressed up to do parades, but that was basically it.  We, however, celebrated it to its fullest a couple days early.  Because we still weren't quite recovered from the several hours we'd spent in jeepneys to and from our sisters conference, we spent the day before Halloween as zombie missionaries!!  We didn't even need Halloween makeup.  I'm pretty sure we were so exhausted we looked the part!  We definitely struggled in teaching that day lol.  Then when we went home, I felt like I was literally dragging myself up the long hill to our house.  We texted the district leader that his zombies were home safe, and he ended up calling and teasing us for it.  Rude.  Thank goodness we're recovered now :)
Even though October 31st isn't a big deal here, November 1st definitely is.  It's the day that people go and visit the cemetery and all their dead relatives, with food and candles and flowers, and sometimes even sleep at the cemetery.  Our chapel here is right across the street from the cemetary, and the street was PACKED with tricycles and cars.  The pollution was so bad!  It hurt my eyes to have to walk down the street.  And because there was basically nobody home, we literally got punted the whole day.  Yay.  But we ended the day with a delicious meal appointment at a members' house, so that worked out ok :)
So the nice thing about being in Morong is that even though there's still a city here, it's much more manageable.  A lot smaller, and actually most of our area is out of the main city part.  It's so nice!  I'm still excited to come back to my Utah mountains, but this area makes it so I don't miss them :)

My quote this week comes from President Revillo (because he's awesome).  Sayang lang ang paghihirapan ni Jesus Christ if we are not repentant.  In English, the difficulty of Jeus Christ is wasted.  I think it's so true.  I've noticed here that I have so many weaknesses and so many faults, but if I'm prideful and say something like "Well that's just how I am," then it's impossible to change.  But if I am able to have that humble, repentant attitude, and willingly give myself to my Savior, He can change me into more than I ever thought possible.

Alma 49:28.  And it came to pass, that on the other hand, the people of Nephi did thank the Lord their God, because of his matchless power in delivering them from the hands of their enemies.  I love that it says "matchless" here.  Because really, God's power is matchless.  There is nothing that equals it.  Whatever our enemies are--whether it's people or situations or addictions or our own human frailties, I know that God has unbeatable power, and that He really can--and will--deliver us.
Thanks for all of your support!!  Love and miss you!
Sister Payton Pectol