Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas in the Field! Caroling and Baptisms :)

 Helllllooooo from the Philippines!!

This week has been fantastic!  I got to skype with my family for Christmas, which was absolutely AMAZING.  It was so good to see all of them!!  It made me wish we could skype more often lol.

Christmas eve we had an early curfew, so it felt like we only had half a day of work.  We were planning to give service to our investigators and help them even out their yard, but when we got there they were already finished.  They didn't want us to do anything to help, but we just were persistent and found something to do.  They use wood fires to cook, so we found their scrap wood and their machete (they don't use hatchets here) and started chopping wood.  The machete was really dull, so it was a good thing that most of the wood was rotten lol.  It was difficult if we got a hard piece; I felt like I was trying to chop through a rock lol.  But it was fun to be able to help them :)  After our work that day, us four sisters had a Christmas FHE.  It was so much fun!  We even got to see a couple of fireworks before we went to bed.

Christmas day was so good!  We had our weekly planning in the morning, then got invited to one of our members houses for lunch.  Then we met up with the elders in our district, did our exchange gifts, and went out caroling to our investigators.  It was so fun to do that with all 8 of the missionaries in the district :)

On Saturday, we got the best Christmas present... Our investigators got baptized!!  It was so amazing!  They're life is so hard right now, but when they bore their testimonies, they talked about how they were starting to feel the blessing of the gospel in their lives.  They both cried when they were confirmed, and in Sunday school, the husband told all of us how grateful they were for the blessings they're feeling.  I love being a missionary :)

1 Nephi 17:50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.

God never loses sight of our eternal potential, even when we do.

I love you all!!  Happy New Year!!
Sister Pectol

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Conference, Mudslides, and Counting Down to Christmas!

Hello everyone!

This has been a really busy week, but it has been so much fun!  We got to go to our Christmas Conference on Thursday, which was great!  We had some spiritual thoughts and then got to play games.  We all got tshirts with our names on it, which was awesome, but I was a bit of a dunce and ordered the wrong size.  So I just looked like I had a hoodie on over my dress lol.  All the zones there did a conversion skit, and as part of ours there was a little bit of a love story.  So, guess who got called to be the main character?  Yep, yours truly!  With my district leader as my "fiancee"...awkward!  Actually it was really funny, but I got stage fright so bad I almost forgot everything I was supposed to do lol.  And then watching President Revillo join in the games with us with Sister Revillo directing was the best!  

Because it's close to Christmas, we've been dealing with the normal Christmas weather here--namely, pouring rain all day everyday lol.  It wouldn't be too big of a deal, but we have a lot of investigators that live on mountains.  I have definitely been practicing my hiking skills the past week haha.  We've had fun slipping and sliding all up and down our area XD sometimes by the time we get to their house, we're almost soaked through and have mud splashed up to our knees.  (Sometimes I think the elders have it easy, because they climb too, but they at least do it in pants.  Sometimes it's really hard to hike up a slick mudslide of a hill in a skirt....)  But, all the hiking is totally worth it because we have investigators that are going to be getting baptized on Saturday!!  We have worked (and climbed) really hard to help them be ready, and now they've had their interview and are ready to go!

Believe that God is in control.  There is no need to be stressed out or worried.  This quote is a little ironic to me because I got it off of a glass plaque that I accidentally broke in the store (I'm so smooth) then had to buy.  But, I think it's really true :)  He's taking care of everything, so if we do our part then there's no need to worry :)
Deuteronomy 8:3  Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

Love you all!!  Take care! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Sister Pectol

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy 12 Days of Christmas! Caroling and Aswang Stories

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!  It's a little early, but I'm excited :)  I can't believe that yesterday was the first day of Christmas; time is going by so fast!
Because it's December, a common thing here is that people will go caroling to get a little extra Christmas change.  So yesterday, us missionaries and the YSA group here went caroling.  But, of course, we weren't asking for money.  Instead, we told the people that we had something to give them.  We would sing our Christmas song, then me and Sister Cuales would go forward and introduce ourselves and give a short introduction of our message.  Then we gave them a Restoration pamphlet and scheduled when we could come back.  It was a lot of fun, and was a great way to contact people; we were able to get several return appointments for next week, so we were very excited about that :)
I've also been hearing a lot lately about the Philippines legendary monster, the Aswang.  Sister Cuales is from a part in the Philippines where supposedly there are a bunch of aswangs, so she's told me a lot about them.  Most of the time the stories don't bother me too bad, but we were in an appointment with one of our less actives and she started talking about a trip she'd taken when they'd heard the aswang and so were all scared.  No big deal if it was daytime, but it was our last appointment.  Which means it was well after dark.  And then we had to walk through a pitch dark forest to get back to the main neighborhood!!  Sister Cuales made me walk first so that if there was an aswang it would eat me.  I'm telling you, I felt the love.  Luckily, there weren't any aswangs, so we made it safely XD
God does not ask more of us than we are able.  You will be surprised at what you can do because the Lord has called you.  This is so true!!  All of us have a special calling in life, and all of us are here because we can help someone else.  Sometimes it's really hard, and we don't know how in the world we can make a difference.  But I know that we will never be given a challenge or a task that we can't do with the Lord's help.
Moroni 8:21  I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me.  BOOM.  Yep, that's what we missionaries do :)
I love you all!!  XOXO
Sister Pectol

Sunday, December 6, 2015

New Companion! Hiking, Lost Transfer, and Looking for Boyfriends....


Hi all!

This week I learned that when you're talking to Filipinos, it's not a good idea to tell them you're single, because they will instantly tell you that you should marry a Filipino and that they know some great guys.  Yikes.  That's not quite why I came to the Philippines lol.  Maybe I'll just start pretending James is my boyfriend.  What are little brothers for, right? XD
I had a bit of a tragedy this week too.  I lost last tran

sfer's planner :(  For those of you who don't know what a missionary planner is for, that is our calendar for an entire transfer, and it has all of our lessons and the information of those that we're teaching and notes and all sorts of stuff.  I'm pretty sure dropped it when we were in a tricycle and didn't realize until later.  It's pretty much heartbreaking; I feel like I lost all of last transfer!  I keep praying for a miracle that somehow I'll be able to get it back.

And I met my new companion this week: Sister Cuales!  She's super sarcastic so I think we'll have a great time :)  but I think I about killed her the first couple of days.  Our area is very mountainous, and we do a lot of walking.  I'm used to it by now, but she isn't.  And for her, my walk is very fast (it's so weird to always be the tall one), so she's really been getting a workout the past week haha.  Our area is huge, and I only had one transfer to learn it, so honestly we've spent a lot of time lost just trying to talk to people to get new investigators haha.  Oh the joys of missionary life XD

Exodus 4:12  And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.  I started the Old Testament last week, and as I was reading the story of Moses I was really hit.  Moses wasn't an eloquent speaker; it was really hard for him to be able to really communicate to people.  But this is what God told him.  I love this because it really shows that no matter what, He won't leave us alone.  I have experienced that here on my mission, too.  I know that when we are doing His work, He will be with us and He will guide us in our speaking.
Everyone, regardless of his or her decisions, deserves our message.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone.  No matter what our mistakes are and no matter where we've been, I know that through the gospel we can change and become our best selves.  Heavenly Father gave us this gospel so that we can return unto Him, and this isn't just for people who are perfect.  This church is a hospital that helps us heal our spiritual sicknesses and wounds, and I know that when we do our part, we can gain that new start.
I love you guys!!
Sister Payton Pectol