Friday, March 13, 2015

Mar. 9, 2015 --- Around and Around

Hello family!!  How are you all doing?  Who's super excited for Spring Break coming up!!  I am because everyone has fun plans!  Is it cold in Logan?  I keep forgetting that it's March and not summer right now because it's really warm here all the time.  Apparently it hit 41' Celsius recently and everyone was freaking out a little but I don't know how that converts so it was just another hot day.  The sun is so bright but luckily I've never really gotten a sunburn!  You should see the tan line on the back of my neck haha it's gross.  For some reason the back of my neck is two shades darker than my face or my arms so look forward to seeing that one day haha it's going to be so bad next year!

This morning Sister Anien went home.  It was so weird because we've been kabahay (housemates) since I got here, and now she's on her way home to the Marshall Islands.  I think one of the things that makes me miss home is seeing people finish their missions.  I always get so excited/sad for them, because they get to be with their families but they won't be missionaries anymore.  This is already my fifth month!!!  WHAT?!  I miss you all but really my mission is going by too fast and I want it so slow down already!!

One of the things that makes the mission go by so quickly is probably all the funny things people say.  I think my favorite this week is was when one of the Tatays (dad/or actually just a name for every old man) was asking me what a "buhawi" is in English.  Well, I've never heard that word before so the conversation went like this, "what is that called?" and spins his finger in a circle and describes it like this, "around and around and around, oh what's that I see, woweee!"  Haha apparently a buhawi is a tornado but it took a long time and help from Sister Lim to figure that one out.

This week we went to a family who have been such awesome investigators so far but things totally got turned around...When we went to their house, the youngest daughter was outside playing and we asked her who was home and if we could come teach.  She ran inside to get her parents and siblings and didn't come back out.  They turned their lights off and the grandma came and told us that we've taught them how to pray and they read the Bible so we don't need to teach them anymore.  It was so weird.  Probably the most frustrating time being punted because of how well they were learning/growing as a family in the Gospel.  But I think if we give them a little time, they'll be more prepared, and realize they need more in their lives than knowing how to pray. ;) But prayer's a good start for them.

One of the recent converts (he was baptized a couple months before I got here) has been wanting to go on a mission.  He's the only member in his family so he wasn't sure what kind of support he'd have or if his parents would let him go on one.  But his parents totally support him!  Yesterday we were talking to his dad and he said that the reason he's supporting his son in his decision to go on a mission is because of the changes he saw in his son ever since he met the missionaries.  He said his son used to drink all the time and wasn't a very happy person.  But now his son wakes up every morning and studies the scriptures and is a completely new person.  It's so amazing to see how the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ truly changes people.  One of my favorite parts of being a missionary is seeing the changes happening in so many people.  He can't leave on his mission until August, but for now he is such a great missionary and example in his home.

Our biggest project lately is cleaning the records of the branch here.  There are 6 missionaries in the branch (so three areas).  We're responsible for updating where each person is in our area, plus getting an actual address and phone number.  Right now our list of people in our area has 450+ names and most of them have an address that just says Guagua, Pampanga (which is as broad as just saying Cache Valley, UT ) or if we're really lucky it says the town name (like Logan, UT) so it's been interesting trying to find all these people.  We've been going to all the members asking if they remember them and the Barangay Hall (or City Hall) to try and find records of the people, and then some people we just ask about them everywhere we go.  Haha it's a lot of work but really good.  Our deadline is March 31 and so far we've completely finished maybe 20 names so Sister Lim and I will be really busy these next couple weeks.  But it's been a lot of fun and we're really getting to know the area and people here even better!

I love you all dearly and I'll try to send pics next week!

Sister Marshall

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