Monday, September 30, 2013

Week Three in the Philippines - "grobay!"

I can't believe Pres. Lopez posted a video of us singing! Oh my goodness! I was right in the front, just sweating my heart out and we stood up there for so long in that stinkin hot and sweaty building with thousands of people! But yet it was so cool to be there with so many cute Filipinos and celebrate families with them. I love my family! And I love that God blesses us with families on earth to help us learn and grow and become more like Him. 

Family Week - Bacolod City
Hall -- September 24, 2013

So many funny things happened this week. Life is just funny when you're in a foreign country, living with two Filipino's, getting put into uncomfortable situations everyday!
I will attempt to share with you a few:)

Earlier this week, we got locked out. It was so funny to me because we got stuck. So we have a gate in front of our house with a big lock on it, plus we lock our front door, obviously. The other two sisters had left the house like 30 minutes before us. Just as Sister Livingston and I walked out of the front door and shut it, we realized we didn't have the keys! So it wasn't just that we were locked out of the house and would make sure we came home a little after the other sisters to get in the house, we were stuck. We couldn't get outside of our gate. There was no way to climb over the gate or get back in the house or anything. and it was hot. We texted the other sisters and they were so sweet to come back and save us but it took quite a while. In the meantime, Sister Livingston and I felt like we were stuck in a cage, a really hot cage. And right in front of our house!

Then a few days later, we came home to find a huge Toko in our room! It was in mine and Sister Livingston's room, right above our beds! It was this HUGE lizard, as big as my forearm! And it's called Toko because that's the sound it makes. They're super loud. We didn't know what to do, so we waited for the landlady to come over. She comes over every night to help us with our water or something. We asked her to help us and the four of us watched from the doorway as she tried to get the toko to go out the door. When she moved the curtain, the toko ran and she screamed and we all screamed! And then we got the broom and all watched as she chased the toko back and forth with the broom until it finally went out the door. We were all very girly, four sisters, so helpless.:) We were very grateful for the tagiya and her courage:) so that we could sleep haha.

There's so much I want to tell you! I discovered this week that there are pros and cons to living with Filipino's. I love them so much and they're seriously the sweetest, cutest and selfless sisters ever. But one thing that is sooo hard for me, is when they cook their dried fish. Oh my goodness gracious. It stinks up the place soooo bad! It's awful! Last night, I made some pancit and was eating dinner, and then they started cooking the dried fish! I seriously could not eat my food and felt like I was going to throw-up! I tried to think of an escape. I didn't know what to do. So to just get some fresh air, I pretended to check something with our water outside for a couple minutes. But I couldn't do that for long, without them wondering what I was doing. So I had to just bear it and eat really fast and then go stand by the fan. Seriously, the smell is sooooooo bad.

One more funny thing. So we had a FHE this week with this awesome part-member/less-active family this week, the Takaisans. It was pretty great. We first shared with them a spiritual thought/message and then they wanted to play some games. I was new, obviously, and didn't know any of the games. So I messed up a few times in the game, or lost, or whatever. At the end, (I didn't know this before), they make anyone who messed up in the game, do a talent. They prefer singing. So they made me go first! It made me think of family get-together's at home! No warning, just sing! Hahahaha So I just sang one verse of a hymn, of course:) In the next game, I figured out that they try to get the missionaries to mess up! They love putting us on the spot. It was pretty funny. Brother Takaisan actually has a guitar so we sang "Count Your Many Blessings" with the guitar too. He's super good at the guitar! And the next morning was Sunday and Brother Takaisan was at church! He's a LA and so it was so awesome to see him there. He got there early and was all dressed up nicely and ready for church. It made me so happy.

During finding this week, we tried this new area called Sibucao. It's like a fishing community a little farther from our house and it's right on the water. We found this less-active lady who's really old and kind of sick, so she doesn't come to church. But she was sitting with some people outside. We asked if we could share a message with her and with everyone there. Then this group of high school students came up and we had this gathering of like 10 people or so watching as we prayed with them and taught about prayer and families. It was pretty uncomfortable and I didn't say much, but Sister Livingston was awesome. We invited them all to church and gave them pamphlets.

One thing I've been thinking about this week is that the gospel is for everyone. We have no right to judge someone into thinking they won't accept the gospel, or they won't want to hear about the gospel. You never know! We are all God's children and we all need His gospel to bring us joy and bring us back to Him. I'm working on building that faith that I will know what to say to people. I'm trying to learn how to better trust God and rely on Him. He will help me every step of the way, if I pray for it and allow Him to. He loves us so much. 

I want to testify to you, along with Alma, that "...I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 36:3) Isn't that such an awesome promise?! We will be lifted up at the last day, we will be brought into the kingdom of God if we simply put our trust in Him! That's so awesome! I know that He will help us with everything we go through, if we trust Him by keeping His commandments and doing what he asks us to do and pray for His help and then listen and follow Him. 

We shared Ether 12:27 with Brother Cruze this week. He's a less active, who struggles with smoking. I know that he will receive strength from God to overcome his addiction as he puts his trust in Him.

Also, not only is the gospel for everyone, but His grace is sufficient for everyone. I read this talk by Brad Wilcox in the Liahona this week and he said, "The grace of Christ is sufficient--sufficient to cover our debt, sufficient to transform us, and sufficient to help us for as long as that transformation process takes." That's so beautiful. We can change and truly become like Christ and God the Father through grace, through His power and love. Christ suffered for us not only so that we can live forever, but so that we can live forever with Him! And with our families! And we can become like Him. And Brad Wilcox said that though His grace, we can feel comfortable in the presence of God. That's so amazing.

I love this gospel. I love you all so much! I love our ward and I'm starting to feel more comfortable here, which is nice. I hope you're all happy and healthy and doing wonderfully! You are in my prayers and I love you tons and tons!

Love, Sister Malyon

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