Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jan. 18, 2015 --- Injuries from head to toe...‏

Guess what!!!  I finally got my Christmas package this week and I love it!!!!  Mom+family you amaze me!  I loved all of it!!!  I loved the note from you too, that might be what I was most excited for!  And all the treats were delicious.  I had caramels and pumpkin spice hot chocolate for breakfast to day, yummy!!!  

So here's some funny things that have happened this week.  During a lesson, the cutest little girl, Gem, was sitting next to me.  As I was bearing my testimony at the end, struggle to say it in Tagalog, I'd say a few words, and then Gem would say it too.  She did that the whole time so we both bore my testimony in that lesson...strength in numbers I guess haha.  Also, if ever there's a day you don't feel super gorgeous, just come visit me in the Philippines...and you'll feel beautiful.  Haha this week, everyone thinks I'm European.  I've been asked if I was Italian, British, and what European country I'm from (that led to a nice chat about family history).  Also I'm starting to understand a couple of the Tagalog words they call me, when the point at me and say "it's puti(white)!" or "anak araw" which is "child of the sun" aka albino!!  Also realized, my sunscreen I got here is whitening...so it literally turns me more white, so I stopped using that.  And now the members have told me I'm starting to look more like a Filipina instead of a doll.  I think one of the funniest/my favorite parts of everyday are the old people, and there's an abundance of them.  They are a hoot!  While we were walking along the street, we passed an old man, sitting in front of his house, who looked at us and said, "Oh my day is complete now.  I've seen a beautiful woman, a beautiful lady."  Then he got up, folded up his chair, and hobbled inside.  Haha I almost died it was so funny and cute and just haha!!  

I feel like I still don't know a word of Tagalog.  I've probably learned a total of 5 words since I've left the MTC.  And I still don't understand what's going on all of the time.  It can be hard, but then I remember how many people have it 100 times harder than me.  Like Uncle Jacob who learned Tagalog without the same kind of language learning tools that I have, and English was a lot less common when he was here.  He had it rough!  And I'm so grateful that Tagalog is one of the easier languages to learn.  Whenever I get frustrated at not knowing very much Tagalog it helps me a lot to know so many examples who have served before me so I can remember, I'm not the only one who's been through this, and learned a language, and they all made it, I can too.  Also, I'm especially grateful that no matter how dumb I sound, the Spirit helps everyone to understand.  But really, I am so excited for the day when I can will be a true Filipina with brown skin and fluent in Tagalog!! :)

On Tuesday we had exchanges so I was with Sister Laguerta instead of Sister Bautisa, and since we were in my area I was was one leading the way.  AH!  We only got lost one time though and it was really fun.  A lot of the lessons that day were teaching less-actives and trying to help them resolve their concerns.   So almost none of the lessons were what we had planned and even though it's a struggle, I tried to say a lot of things in Tagalog that I was in no way prepared for.  But luckily I haven't mixed up my words or grammar and said anything awful, it just always sounds weird.

Also I've seen in a lot of ways how our days and what we teach is guided by the Lord.  We went to teach someone who when we got there wouldn't even talk to us.  He just glared and tried to shoo us away.  But Sister Bautista and I both knew that we couldn't leave just yet.  We started very slowly and asked him about his day, what he did, just the small talk kind of stuff.  Eventually he let us (a recent convert who comes to lessons with us, Sister Bautista, and I) in and as we kept talking he eventually told us what was going on.  We had no idea what to teach about, but our planned lesson definitely was not what he needed.  While I was thinking ah what do we teach him???? I had a thought to look up "anger" in the index, and then I looked up the first scripture under  that topic.  As we read that scripture plus a few more verses, it was incredible to see how he had completely turned around.  At the beginning he literally would not talk and by the time we left he was laughing and we were all having fun.  It was a really neat experience especially seeing how the Spirit was able to teach him in ways we couldn't.  

Another experience that was guided was when I was so hungry and I forgot snacks!  But everytime I thought about food, I just thoughthmm not yet.  Well good thing.  We called a less active woman who is always out of town and she was home and told us we could come over!  We were super excited.  When we got there she invited us in to eat because there was a birthday party and there was so much food!!!  The kept filling our plates like crazy!!  So being super hungry+no snacks+but still working hard=REWARDS!!!  Haha ;)

Right now the Pope is in the Philippines.  And he is quite the celebrity.  His face is plastered on every store and wall and anywhere it will fit.  He's also on everyone's TV.  During the Gospel Rinciples class in church, the topic this week was latter-day prophets.  And with the Pope on everyone's mind, naturally he came up and one of the men there (he won't take missionary lessons and he's not a member but he comes to church all the time) was trying to tell the class that the Pope is also a prophet, which he definitely is not.  That caused quite a commotion and the class was loud and crazy for a little bit.  But, luckily the teacher is super awesome and got things figured and resolved that little issue quickly.  Haha craziness!!

Normally, I love being one of the tallest, but, here it's not as great as I thought it would be.  Because everyone is short there are lots of things that I run into and hit my head on (rainy days are the worst because my hair gets caught on everyone's umbrellas) but I'm getting used to it.  Did you know I wash my clothes by hand?  It's actually kind of fun and the closest I can get to swimming/water activities!  But while I was washing my clothes the ground was wet and my foot slipped under the door and cut my toe...first real injury in the Philippines!  But don't worry other than than no real injuries...I just hit my head occasionally and got a scratch on my toe...

This is from my scripture study this morning and thought I'd share it:
2 Nephi 28:32 
Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me;for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.

I absolutely love it because I know that Heavenly Father is always there for us.  He's always listening to our prayers and always waiting for us to come to Him.  He is always there with His arm outstretched.  It is up to us to take hold of Him.  

I love you all and hope you love the cold weather as much as I miss it ;)

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Marshall

I literally got 50 mosquito bites in one night....I counted 25 on each leg!  Say yay for Dengai!!

Sister Bautista and I sometimes match our shoes and skin ;)

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