Haha after writing that, I read it and thought of Jare's emails forever ago when he would write us from his mission. I still can't believe it's me now-the one on a mission. weird!
Anyways, how are all of you cutie pot pies??? Oh my goodness, one of my most favorite treats here, is called Buko pie. Buko is coconut, but not like the coconut back home, the real stuff. These cute vendor guys sell them on the buses and they're always fresh and hot and soooo delicious!
Anyway, well I got transferred. Transfers are seriously the hardest thing in the world for me. I have the hardest time leaving people that I love so much. It stinks. But now I am in Alijis, back in the city. This week has been like culture shock for me. It's so weird. Our area is so rich. We have all these wealthy subdivisions in our area, where people have these huge fancy houses and cars. It's so weird. I don't even feel like I'm in the Philippines any more. But it's okay because I have met some really really amazing people my first week here and we've already experienced some wonderful miracles! My new companion is Sister De Leon from Nueva Ecija. She's taller than I am! And so cute and so considerate. She is seriously the most thoughtful person I've ever met. I love her so much! She's the only strong active member in her family, which is so impressive to me. She's hoping so much that her service in the field will also bless her family spiritually. She's the first missionary in her family!
The best miracle of the week was that we shared with our taxi driver, when I was moving, who we are and asked if we could visit his family. He gave us his address and this week we went to visit them. He wasn't home, but we met his sister and some other of his relatives. Turns out, they are close friends with some recent converts who live close by, which is so awesome. They are so receptive to us and willing to learn about our church. And after only visiting them twice, 4 of them (new investigators) came with their member friends to church yesterday!!!! Sister Wilma is a mom with two kids-her husband is working abroad and then she is the guardian of I think her two nieces, who are 18-year old twins, Mara and Myra. They all came to church yesterday!!! So amazing and proof as well of how important members are. I'm pretty sure they would not have come to church if it hadn't been for their friends, the Lavatoria family. It's so amazing how the Lord works:)
We live in a house with another set of sisters, Sister Madrid and Sister Hale. Sister Hale just arrived from the states and it has brought back so many flashbacks talking to her. It's been such an awesome reminder to have her excitement in the house-how special it is that we get to be here, serving missions!
I wanted to share real quick one of my favorite general conference talks from April to be apart of your cool discussion. I'm excited to get the notes! I loved Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk called "Let Your Faith Show". I love how he talked about how people have faith, but a lot of people have faith in things or people other than Jesus Christ. He said "There is only One in whom your faith is always safe, and that is in the Lord Jesus Christ." When I was with Sister Javier, she would always "Sa diin ang imo pagtuo?" Which means "Where is your faith?" or in whom is your faith? Often we have less-actives and investigators whose faith seems to be more in money than in Christ or in someone like their spouse. We have to constantly evaluate where our priorities are and in whom we trust. People here love the saying that with God, all things are possible, but the question is if they really believe that. We have to SHOW our faith, for it to actually be real faith and then we're blessed and miracles happen.
I also love how Elder Nelson talked about how we must show our faith in whatever situation we may be in. We don't just live the gospel when it's convenient, when you're with your family and member friends, but even when you're with non-members or anywhere. He said "If one tries to segment his or her life into separate compartments one will never rise to the full stature of one's personal integrity never to become all that his or her true self can be." We need to be true to God, to ourselves, at all times. Just the other day I asked a Ward missionary how he came into the church. He told me it started from when he was in high school and he had a friend who he always noticed was different. When it was break time and all the other boys would be smoking, he'd be the only one not, and things like that. This ward missionary's interest started from the example of his friend, a member who lived his faith always.
I wish that when I was at home growing up, I had been better about sharing the gospel with my friends. At the end of the talk, he shares a quote by Pres. Hinckley that says "Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with faith have courage as well." I know that as we set goals to overcome our fears and put forth our faith in Christ, He will help us become more like Him, making our weaknesses and fears, become strengths.
I love you all soooooooo much! Thank you so much for your amazing exampls to me and to all those around you! Those in Ecuador, Budapest, Bellevue, New York-wherever you are!
Love you tons!