Monday, May 30, 2016

Spiders! O.O Transfers, and Crazy Companionship Interventions



Hello everyone!

Well it is transfer week once again, and I found out from President yesterday that I will be going to Cainta, another STL area!!  I'm really sad that I'll be leaving Sister Udarbe again, and I will admit that there are a couple of things in the office that I will miss, but I'm looking forward to be able to actually work and focus in my area and to be able to focus on investigators :)

Crazy story....my mom emailed me last week about one of my missionary friends in the states who had a giant slug hitch a ride on their car.  She told me I needed to find something to beat that, and this week I did!  Sister Udarbe and I were in the middle of rearranging and deep cleaning our room, when suddenly I noticed this HUGE spider in the window!  Needless to say, both of us screamed and literally hurdle jumped across the room.  Thankfully, Sister Vaoesea, one of our kabahays, is for some weird reason not terrified of terrible monsters like that one, and chased it out for us.  If you would like a size comparison, she is about my size.  It basically traumatized us.  I might have actually prayed that night to be protected from crazy monster spiders...😬  So there you go, Mom (and Elder T)--I beat the slug!! :P most terrifying experience of my life....

Of course, we had some really good spiritual experiences this week as well :)  there's a companionship in our route that has struggled this whole transfer (it's a different companionship than the one I talked about before).  We had an emergency visit to them already earlier this transfer, and exchanges with them last week.  We thought the problem with their companionship was solved, but when they called late Saturday night we found out that it just got worse.  We woke up early Sunday morning to go to their apartment, and we literally spent all of Sunday morning trying to talk it through with them.  We took turns talking with each of them one on one and trying to understand what was happening.  Basically, neither of them wanted to adjust to the personality of the other and they were both struggling but not trying to understand each other and not being open.  After talking with both of them and getting both sides of the story, we told them that they needed to talk to each other and tell each other the exact same things they told us.  They locked themselves in the bedroom and we sat outside and waited.  We both prayed so hard that morning that they would be ok.  After a while, they opened the door and called us in.  They had both cried and there had been some yelling, but when they talked to us again they were both smiling and we could actually feel the Spirit in the room.  It is amazing to me that when two people can be humble and open and allow the Lord to touch their hearts, no matter what their differences are, they can make their companionship work.

People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.--Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Ether 2:25  And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come...  I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has given us all the tools that we need to survive life's storms :) we have the scriptures, church, and the words of living prophets to guide us, and I am so glad that He is always there for us when we reach out to Him :)

Love you all!!
XOXO
Sister Pectol


This is called a boodle fight.  it's supposed to have banana leaves, but we just used garbage bags XD you just dump the rice and ulam on the table and everyone goes for it.  it's only here in the Philippines that I learned rice is a finger food. 




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Final 12 Weeks!! Mindoro, Evaluations, and All that Good Stuff :)




final 12 weeks!  picture pose then the real feelings.....




Hello everyone!

This week has been a really intense week.  I have learned a lot about humility, from myself and also from others.

I've really been struggling lately with a lot of feelings of inadequacy, both in missionary work and in personal things and especially in my calling as an STL.  It's hard when all of your weaknesses seem to just magnify themselves in front of you and seem impossible to overcome.  We had service as a zone on Saturday, and is was so fun to participate in the national service day to clean up campaign posters and all that, but I was having a hard time.  After the service, we ended up calling our district leader over so that he could give both me and Sister Udarbe a priesthood blessing.  And let me tell you, the power of the priesthood is real.  We didn't tell him anything that we were struggling with or that we wanted guidance on; we just said that we would like a blessing of comfort.  And in each of our blessings, he addressed the things that we were specifically struggling with and needed counsel on.  We took notes for each other, and this morning I reviewed the notes my companion had written down and just felt so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give to worthy men the power of the priesthood in order to help those around them.  It also reminded me to be more humble and remember that it's not my strength or lack of that is important; what's important is that I just remember where my real strength is and rely on my Savior and on my Heavenly Father.



One of the other things that had a big impact on me taught me a powerful lesson about humility.  One of the companionships in our route has really been struggling; one of the companions is really disobedient and prideful and drags her companion down.  We had the opportunity to do exchanges with them on Thursday, and it was so heartbreaking to see how much pride is ruining things for them.  One of the sisters is new in the area and is trying so hard to learn the area and the investigators and the members, but her companion just gets annoyed when she asks questions.  We've seen a lot of pride issues in that companion, and so when we did exchanges we each took some time to talk with each of the sisters one on one.  And I can really testify that nobody can change you but yourself, and not even Heavenly Father will force you to change yourself.  One of the sisters does not see herself as making mistakes or having weaknesses, and when her companion tried to explain what was going on she just got angry.  It was so sad.  There hasn't been much that's changed in that companionship--the prideful one is still so prideful, and the other one is just exemplifying the Christlike attribute of humility as she tries to keep things going smooth.  We're praying (literally) that something will change and that the Spirit will be able to work in their companionship.

So I guess the biggest takeaway that I got this week is just to remember that nobody is perfect (especially myself) but that if we are humble and we let ourselves be changed, we really can change for the better.

Mosiah 3:19  For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.--Charles A. Beard

Love you all!!  Have a good week and remember that humility can help solve any problem :)
XOXO
Sister Pectol



My little Utah buddy...


Monday, May 16, 2016

The Power of the Priesthood, and a Lesson in Humility


This week has been a really intense week.  I have learned a lot about humility, from myself and also from others.

I've really been struggling lately with a lot of feelings of inadequacy, both in missionary work and in personal things and especially in my calling as an STL.  It's hard when all of your weaknesses seem to just magnify themselves in front of you and seem impossible to overcome.  We had service as a zone on Saturday, and is was so fun to participate in the national service day to clean up campaign posters and all that, but I was having a hard time.  After the service, we ended up calling our district leader over so that he could give both me and Sister Udarbe a priesthood blessing.  And let me tell you, the power of the priesthood is real.  We didn't tell him anything that we were struggling with or that we wanted guidance on; we just said that we would like a blessing of comfort.  And in each of our blessings, he addressed the things that we were specifically struggling with and needed counsel on.  We took notes for each other, and this morning I reviewed the notes my companion had written down and just felt so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give to worthy men the power of the priesthood in order to help those around them.  It also reminded me to be more humble and remember that it's not my strength or lack of that is important; what's important is that I just remember where my real strength is and rely on my Savior and on my Heavenly Father.

One of the other things that had a big impact on me taught me a powerful lesson about humility.  One of the companionships in our route has really been struggling; one of the companions is really disobedient and prideful and drags her companion down.  We had the opportunity to do exchanges with them on Thursday, and it was so heartbreaking to see how much pride is ruining things for them.  One of the sisters is new in the area and is trying so hard to learn the area and the investigators and the members, but her companion just gets annoyed when she asks questions.  We've seen a lot of pride issues in that companion, and so when we did exchanges we each took some time to talk with each of the sisters one on one.  And I can really testify that nobody can change you but yourself, and not even Heavenly Father will force you to change yourself.  One of the sisters does not see herself as making mistakes or having weaknesses, and when her companion tried to explain what was going on she just got angry.  It was so sad.  There hasn't been much that's changed in that companionship--the prideful one is still so prideful, and the other one is just exemplifying the Christlike attribute of humility as she tries to keep things going smooth.  We're praying (literally) that something will change and that the Spirit will be able to work in their companionship.

So I guess the biggest takeaway that I got this week is just to remember that nobody is perfect (especially myself) but that if we are humble and we let ourselves be changed, we really can change for the better.

Mosiah 3:19  For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.--Charles A. Beard

Love you all!!  Have a good week and remember that humility can help solve any problem :)
XOXO
Sister Pectol




Zone interviews





Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!! MLC and Power Puff Girls



So, best news of my life....I GOT TO SKYPE ON SATURDAY!!!  It was so good to see everyone!  I am a little sad to admit though that we've been so busy here that I literally didn't have time to be excited until that morning...  But then I got to skype with the coolest people in the world (AKA my family 😉) so it totally made my week.  So happy Mother's Day to all the moms, grandmas, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends, etc who are fantastic moms!!!  (But my mom is the very best...just sayin')

We had our interviews with President Revillo this past week, which was amazing.  This calling has really been stressing me out--I have so many weaknesses and it's rough when you make mistakes and everybody mentions it.  In my interview with President I asked him why I'm here as a Sister Training Leader in Quirino when there's all these responsibilities that the entire mission needs us to complete, and there are several missionaries I know that could do a much better job.  He's so sweet; he let me rant my feelings for a minute then agreed with me.  He said that there are missionaries that could do better than me, and there are missionaries that could even do better than him.  But then he told me something that might have changed my life:  The Lord doesn't call us for our skills or for what we've done.  He calls us because of our potential...He will shape our backs to bear our responsibilities.  Not exact wording, but the best I can do :)  It was so reassuring for me.  I don't know why I was called to this position or why Heavenly Father has put so much trust in me.  It's hard and stressful and I am literally getting wrinkles (no joke--I'm starting to look old :P ).  But I'm trying so hard to do my best and give my all, and I keep feeling little reassurances that that's enough for Heavenly Father.  So I guess I'll just keep pushing at it until Heavenly Father thinks that I've stretched enough :)

Friday we had our Mission Leadership Council, and Sister Udarbe and I decided to be twinners and wear what we call our "Ramos dresses".  Our favorite recent convert family in Taytay, the Ramos family, made them for us.  We both thought it was a great idea, until we got there and Sister Revillo announced that we would be performing a duet for everyone (thank goodness we didn't) and our zone leader told us we looked like the Power Puff Girls.  Well, I thought we looked adorable, anyways.  (I give up trying to look cute here--it fails everytime 😩 lol)

We should look to and have our focus firmly fixed upon the Savior at all times and in all places.--David A. Bednar.

Omni 1:26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved. 

Love you all!!  Have a great week!!
XOXO
Sister Pectol

P.S.  I hit my 15 month mark this week 😱😱😱  It's going by way too fast!!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

American Kabahay!!! And Short Jokes...

This week has been good, but we've been doing so much!!  With the end of the transfer all the missionaries report what's missing in their 72 hour kits, and that is part of our responsibility here.  So we took Friday afternoon to go shopping for replacements, and let me tell you, bulk ordering 385 Nissin noodles and buying 50+ packs of hard candy gets you some weird looks.  Sister Udarbe heard someone ask who we were going to be feeding.  My answer:  The whole Philippines Quezon City Mission.  We've had to come home early almost every night this week to get things ready, so our area is kind of kawawa.  But at least we're almost done now :)  The nice thing about really getting along with your companion is that even if the work is stressful you can still smile and laugh, so it works out :)

AND I HAVE AN AMERICAN KABAHAY!!  This is the first time since I've been in the field that I've lived with a fellow Americana!!  (I had one transfer with one as a neighbor, but it's different as housemates.)  Sister Manfoste is Filipina but grew up in Utah, so we had a mini "fellow Utahn" moment when she got packages from her family with Twizzlers, Starbursts, and Pop Tarts that she was kind enough to share.  It was so fun to have those again XD

So the funny story of the week...I got called short 😒  Here in the Philippines, my height is from average to sometimes a little tall.  We were tracting a house and when the old guy opened the door he started speaking English to us.  He was so surprised when I responded in Tagalog, then after learning that I was an American he asked "So why are you so small?"
Thanks, I really appreciate that one....  I blame James for stealing all the tall genes ;D dang little brothers haha.  I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've been called short since I got here.  I felt like I was back home hahaha.

We also had the opportunity to do exchanges with a sister from the MTC, Sister King.  She will be coming to PQCM this upcoming transfer, but is having a hard time right now, so President Trask (MTC president) and President Revillo coordinated with each other so she could work with us.  We spent Saturday with her, and she didn't really open up but I hope that we were able to help her.  She's only been in the MTC for about 2 weeks, but she tried her best to Taglish her testimony in one of the lessons, and it was so powerful.  It was really cool for me to be able to bear my testimony to her about the gift of tongues and my experience with it.  I kind of saw myself in her, actually.  As I was telling her that she doesn't need to worry about being perfect in the language and in teaching, I remembered how hard I was on myself when I was new and how I almost quit, too.  But I hope that she stays; this is by far the best thing I've ever done, and I hope that she can experience that too :)

3 Nephi 15:24 But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me.

Bloom where you are planted.  Or if it's too hard to bloom, at least smile :)

Love you all!!  Have a great week!!
XOXO
Sister Pectol