Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Hills

 Sister Passey, teaching all the kids about how God loves them.

 I don't remember if i sent this last week, but its one of my prized

pictures.  Me with a cockfighting rooster, and his scary filipino owner.
 Laba in the rain.

 Selfies on a hoblehoble.

 My Zone.

 Um, I may have gotten a little sunburned.  #I'msorrymom

#onedayi'llbuysunscreen #itdoesn'thurtanymore #atleastitsacooltanline


 A random sign they put up that actually literally makes no sense haha.

Jump roping.  :)

I feel like this week hasn't had a lot happen, but there have been some big

ish things happen that I want to go into detail on.  P.s. have I mentioned
lately that I love all of you and the random emails that I get from
everyone?  Keep up the good work.  I love the support and love I get.  :)
Wednesday:  We had our first zone activity.  It was really fun and just a
great way to mix it up.  We got on a hoblehoble (a motorcycle) and cruised
up into the bukid (mountains).  It was my first time riding on a
hoblehoble.  They're freaking crazy, but so much fun.  You have to ride on
them with your companion too. We were getting so many weird looks as we
cruised down the streets.  We went to some boy scout camp up in the
mountains and just played a bunch of Filipino games.  Basically they are
like youth conference games in another langugage.  It was so much fun.
 Also, Elder Pettibone (the one who the schwitzers know) and I figured out
that we both go home together next August.  So that was a fun little fact.
 And for the first time in two months, I got to wear pants, outside, IN
PUBLIC.  I was a little uncomfortable about it. I felt like I was breaking
the rules or something.  I looked like a civilian!  And then that night I
went crazy on our apartment.  Our bathroom was disgusting.  I spent a good
hour on my hands and knees attacking our bathroom and the ghosts of 8
missionaries past.  Seriously, it was gross.  I thought sister missionaries
were clean?  Mom, you would have been so proud.  That thing shined.  I
scrubbed every inch of it, and bleached the crap out of it.  I feel a
little cleaner now when I shower.
Thursday:  We had our first CSP which is Community Service Project.  I got
to wear these mythical creations called "jeans" it was magical indeed.  Our
zone all got together and went on a jeepney to an area that had been burned
down and we were building a public "CR" (comfort room, aka bathroom) for
them.  I thought I had seen poor.  I thought I had seen poverty.  Yeah, not
even close compared to what we saw.  There was this incredibly huge plot of
land, that had all been burned down.  Roughly 200 "homes" were affected.
 When one catches on fire, they all burn because they are made of literally
garbage.  It was a squatters area.  It was so incredibly eye opening.
 These people just picked up what they could and rebuilt.  People were
living under tarps.  It was a little overwhelming to see.  I sat and talked
a lot to Sister Passey about it (she is seriously incredible)  we talked
about how the economy is so sad here.  The government is warped (its a
government, of course it is) and how you have to pay for your kids to go to
school.  So basically, none of these kids will ever even attend elementary
school.  The rich stay rich and the poor stay poor, and there isn't a real
way to fix that.  She told me something that really stuck out to me.  She
said that when she first got on her mission she was just so sad, and she
felt like she couldn't help.  She said "I'm all about humanitarian work.
I'll sponsor their kids to go to school, I'll give them food, I'll give
them money, but I've found that the best humanitarian work I can do that
will be lasting and actually help them in the long run, is I can share the
gospel with them and teach them about the restored gospel".  It looks like
I'm on that humanitarian trip I always wanted to go on, and I'm on it for
another 15 months.  :)  We talked about how this place really makes you
realize what true happiness is.  You don't need much to really be happy.
 And you surely don't need "stuff" to make you happy. Sister Passey is so
amazing. She just sat down with the kids and would tickle them and say "Do
you know that God loves you?"  "How do you know it?"  and then would tell
them all about how much God loves these little kids.  And then we  taught
them how to sing "I hope they call me on a mission".
Friday: This day was really slow.  The main thing that happened is that we
had some of the young women in our ward go out with us.  They are all 13 or
14 and so pumped about missionary work.  They're already saving up money to
go on missions.  I really want to be a young womens leader when I get home
(president davey and bishop balazs, if you're reading this *hint hint*)
haha no but really, I love working with the young women.  They're really
golden and so much fun and so so sweet.
Saturday.  Saturday was my one month mark in the field!  Is anyone else
alarmed by this?  We were able to go on splits with the Sister Training
Leaders, and I was lucky enough to get to go with Sister Passey.  It was
truthfully, the best day that I've had in the Philippines. I learned so
much from her.  We're really similar.  And we just had a really great day
together.  We taught Miles, and her husband joined the lessons for the
first time, and he's really really solid too.  We hope that we can have
 them be baptized on the same day.  Miles helped us teach him and bore her
testimony of Joseph Smith.  That woman is so elect, it's really amazing.
 As Sister Passey and I were talking throughout the day, she shared some
things that really stuck out to me.  She was talking about how one of her
companions, Sister Dumas, was a missionary from Tacloban who had been
evacuated.  She told me of a time when Sister Dumas was talking to her and
just felt very broken and weak from everything that had happened in the
typhoon.  But Sister Dumas told her that she decided that it could be a
fear building experience, or a faith building experience.  And it was up to
her to choose what one it would be.  It just really hit me, obviously
anything I would go through is so different than being in a typhoon.  But I
think we all have our own spiritual, and emotional typhoons we go through.
 And at the end of the day, we need to sit down and decide whether its
going to be a fear building experience or a faith building experience.
 Another thing she mentioned is that "Life is the Hills".  She explained
that our entire lives we are living in the hills, its either straight
uphill or straight down.  It's pretty rare that we plateau on the top.
 It's up or it's down.  And both are such intense emotions that sometimes
we just get so overwhelmed.  But it's all about taking it one day at a
time, and enjoying the up so you can get through the down and vice versa.
 How would we ever enjoy life if we didn't have hills?  She really is
beyond amazing.  She has helped me so much this transfer.  I don't think I
would have made it without her.
Sunday:  I got sick.  I watched it happen in slow motion, my companion
Sister Rugg woke up with a mild runny nose.  And in slow motion I watched
three events take place that resulted in me getting sick.  She sneezed in
her hand, and then used my pen.  She blew her nose in her hankerchief and
then put it on my desk, she accidentally sneezed on my food.  When you are
constantly within three feet o someone, it's hard to not get sick.  But she
got over it in a matter o 36 hours.  I'm still sick.  I don't understand
how I live in one giant humidifier, and I have a stuffy nose!  But it's
alright, I have all the Filipinas telling me their witchdoctor fixes.  I
had a really cool moment as we were walking to church on Sunday.  We were
walking the same street we walk every single day, by the same flowers we
walk every single day, and suddenly as we were walking there was just the
strongest sent of honeysuckles.  It smelled EXACTLY like the honeysuckles
at Grandma Beyers house.  I stopped in my tracks because it smelled so
good.  These flowers have never smelled before, but they were so strong and
it smelled exactly like Grandma Beyer's house.  And then, in that moment, I
knew she was right there with me.  It's cheesy, I know.  I feel weird
writing it out, but I'm telling you, in that moment, Grandma Beyer was with
me.  After church we went back home for lunch and we walked past the same
flowers, I picked one so I could smell it.  They didn't have a smell.  I
asked my companion about it too, she said that it was so strong before, but
they don't smell now.  Yeah, like I said, Grandma Beyer was with me.  Oh,
remember our crazy bishop?  he asked to borrow my glasses, then he took
them and told me that I shouldnt wear them anymore because I look a lot
prettier without them.  Oh.  okay.  And we decided to join ward choir on
Sunday, which was a lovely little switch up in our day.
Monday:  I got mail!  I nearly cried (okay, I actually cried)  a ton of
mail finally caught up and I got seven letters!  Everyone in my zone is
very jealous.  I'm sorry!  #blessed.  Really though it was amazing.  Thank
you to eveyone who ahs been sending mail.  :)  Also apparently Obama was in
the Philippines on Monday?  #usa #merica.  My favorite part about Monday
though happened as we were walking.  We were in a newish area we haven't
explored to much and we were just getting punted left and right.  People
were literally running from us.  Or they would just look at us and yell in
English (they weren't mean.  They just thought we couldn't speak Cebuano
and naturally raised their voices so we could better understand) "I AM A
CATOLICK".  It was interesting.  After about forty mintues of this we got
to the top of this hill and there were a bunch of little kids jumproping. I
didn't even think about it.  I just put down my bag and jumped in with
them. They taught me the game and all made fun of me because I am so tall
and I don't know how to speak the language.  It  saved me though.  That's
one thing about the Philippines that really saves me, there are always kids
to play with. Anytime I get overwhelmed, I just sit down and play with some
kids or talk to them.  Also, I'm turning into dad because I don't know how
to pass a bakery without buying some delicious bread of some sort.  And who
could choose just one?  So naturally I buy three or four different things.
 I'm going to get fat haha.  And, I have to admit.  In a moment of pure
desperation, I bought street meat.  I was so hungry and it smelled so good
and they were waving the smoke towards me.  But never fear, it was only a
hot dog.  You can't go too wrong with those, and if I eat them out of a
cart in New York, I can probably eat them here.  It was delicious and I
regret nothing.  And I didn't even get sick!
Tuesday.  The main thing that happened yesterday was that we finally had
our zone interviews.  I went in and talked to president one on one for
almost an hour.  He's amazing.  And mark my words, he will be an apostle.
 We hugged, I cried, we talked, we hugged, we talked, I cried, and then we
hugged.  I love that man.  He just told me that hes really proud of me for
what I've already been through and accomplished.  He just kept telling me
he is proud of me, and how much he loves me.  It was really so great.
Other than that, I think that's about it for this week.  Tell the schitzers
that I love my "prayer rug" and I use it every morning and every night.
 And all the other missionaries are so jealous of it and their knees hurt!
 I'm spoiled obviously.  One thing I'm so excited for is that now when
people ask me how many months I am here, I don't have to answer with
"oh..I've been here three weeks, not a month yet"  I can say "ONE MONTH!"
it's oddly invigorating.  Also, this "glow" ya'll keep telling me I have.
 That's called perspiration.  I think you forget that I live in 98 degree
weather with insane humidity.  ;)  I kid, I kid.  Thank you for saying
that.  It makes me feel better about being sweaty and gross all the time.
 ;)  We will be getting transfer calls on Monday.  Yeah, I've almost
finished my first transfer!  And we'll see if anything changes here.  So
that'll be a fun little surprise.  Secretly, I really want to serve with
Sister Passey for her last transfer, but I just don't know how that would
work out.  And lastly, if anyone wants to send me some easy recipes so I
can eat real food and not die I would love you.  I miss food.  And I am not
the greatest chef in the world.  Think Chicken or pork.  Anyways, I must
now leave.  I love you so much.  And until next week, stay strong!

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