Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 32 in the Philippines - "init"

Happy Easter! How was everyone's Easter??? Did you have a big egg hunt at AK's? And then eat a delicious dinner? I lucked out by getting this cute little package from Josh this week with those amazingly delicious chocolate eggs that are prob my favorite Easter candy, so that made my Easter:) It was kind of crazy this week because the Catholic Church celebrates all of Holy week. On Friday they had this huge procession. The beginning of the day was a total ghost town and then in the afternoon/evening, everyone and their dog came out and joined this procession around town, walking down all the streets, passing these huge statue/idols of mother Mary and Jesus Christ. We just saw part of it. It made it kind of difficult to teach when everyone was out at this procession thing. I think it's cool though that they even celebrate like Good Friday because back home all we really celebrate is Easter, when the whole week leading up to the resurrection of Christ is so important.

We also had the best surprise ever this week-a huge rain storm! It was actually amazing because it has been so crazy hot lately, the rain storm felt sooooo good. It was super random because it's summer right now, it was probably Heavenly Father sending a little blessing:) But it did make it hard to work because of the mud and flooding and people not wanting us to teach them haha. So with Holy Week and the rain storm, this week was kind of crazy, but we still had such awesome experiences. We had the little miracle one day when we were having a hard time finding anyone to teach. Out of the blue, this little boy started talking to us and told us that he goes to church and all this stuff. Come to find out, he's been going to church with one of his friends for a while now and has never been taught! So MIRACLE! Now we have a new investigator and he already goes to church every week! (Which is probably the hardest part of helping people prepare for baptism-getting them to church).

One funny story from the day when it dumped rain all day- We were trying to find one of our investigators, walking in the mud, when I slipped. I caught myself backwards before my whole body could get covered in mud. I got up and saw this guy just watching me. awesome. He totally saw me slip in the mud. So then he came over and helped me wash off my hands at the water pump. He had this little washcloth on top of his head to protect himself from the rain. Man, I wish I could paint this picture better for you. Naturally, we started asking him some questions and he was super nice. But then we asked if he had a few minutes we could share a message with him and he told us he was busy. We asked if he had work he said no. His excuse was that he needed to cook rice and take care of the chickens. For some reason, this whole exchange was really funny to me. I mean, it's sad he didn't want to listen to us, but the whole exchange was so funny. Welcome to the Philippines, where the need to cook rice is an acceptable excuse that you're busy:) and to take care of the crazy chickens running around everywhere.

Our bishop is so awesome and he put on this fireside this past Saturday for the ward missionaries in our ward. It was sooo good. Sister Moser and I sang the children's song "I know Heavenly father loves me" and she made up this third verse that we sang about being a missionary. They served us dinner after and it was a pile of whole, big, purple-scaled fish and a huge pot of rice. I naturally, at this point of my mission, washed off my hands, grabbed a big whole fish and rice and ate it with my hands. I'm excited to help you all learn the joy and beauty of eating with your hands when I get home! I'm also getting so good at eating a fish without eating a bunch of bones. It takes skill and practice;)

We had this amazing sister work with us this week. her name is Rufa and she's preparing to serve a mission. She's the only member in her family and has had a crazy hard life. Her mom died when she was 3 and her dad has not been supportive at all. He told her if she joined the Church he would cut off all support. She is so strong and has such a powerful testimony. We had one lesson especially this week when we were teaching about the Book of Mormon and when she bore her testimony, the Spirit was so strong. It reminded both me and sister Moser what this work is all about. She gets it, Sister Rufa, and sometimes we get so used to doing the same thing every day we kind of forget. It was such a great reminder to us of this incredible work.

I love you all so much! I know that Christ is our Savior and understands everything we ever experience. I love this quote/testimony of Elder D. Todd Christofferson who said, "The Atonement also satisfies the debt justice owes to us by healing and compensating us for any suffering we innocently endure." That's how everything unfair in life is made right through the Atonement. i love that so much.

I love you all tons and tons! You are in my prayers! I hope and pray you are all safe and healthy and happy and doing great!

Love, Sister Malyon

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