Sunday, July 6, 2014

IF.

My family.  My family.  Man, I miss you all this week.  This was my first official week out of training.  I'm a big kid now.  A real life missionary!  No more training for this kid.  It was a bit of a challenge, but do you wanna know what?  I survived and made it to another p-day.  
Wednesday sister Mahoney and I had to come to Cebu to take care of a few things. We had to get up at the crack of dawn and get on a dang bus, so naturally we stopped and got some donuts at Dunkin Donuts in Cebu.  #citylife.  Mom, you know how sometimes we just need a treat.  We deserved a treat, even though it was only 8 in the morning.  And of course because we were in the city, we treated ourselves to some Macdos.  I was able to see President Schmutz one last time before he left.  He is such a special man.  He gave me a hug, told me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me, and that he would talk to me soon and see me in 13 months.  I love that man so much.  One thing he said at Zone Conference was "Man, I love to run in good company" and I adored him for it because I've been thinking about running so much lately.  Me too.  I love to run in good company, and this mission is full of good company I tell you what.  It was hard to say goodbye to President, but I'm excited to meet President McCurdy as well.  Also Wednesday was half Christmas, so naturally, we sang Christmas songs to start our studies and such.  
Thursday was my three month mark in the field!  How the heck have I lived in the Philippines for three months now?  Part of me feels like I just got off that dang plane.  And are you ready for a mind blowing fact?  I have been speaking to people here, in a language other than my native tongue for three months.  That is just unreal.  I still have such a long ways to go, but I'm learning.  I'm hoping by the time next transfer rolls around I'll be able to hold my own pretty well with it.  Anyways, we went out and taught Janene and she is just the best recent convert ever!  She is fellowshipping people!  We went over and she had a friend for us to teach.  BEST.  RECENT CONVERT.  EVER.  And do you all remember Boyett?  Our less active we found in a mango tree?  He asked us to teach his son the lessons so he could be baptized.  He's ten.  His name is Rodrod.  And he's adorable.  So we are teaching him now.  Boyett really is coming back.  Hurrah for Israel indeed.  
Friday was weekly planning.  Due to some ridiculous circumstances with training and all of that jazz, I've had to weekly plan a ridiculous amount of weeks in a row.  It's so stressful.  And I  was just so frustrated with it. I was having such a stressful day.  So we finally finish, and we get out the door and I'm just fit to be tied. I was just so dang stressed about life and where we were going and who we needed to teach.  So we go way far out in our area to a place where we had set two FIRM appointments, and no one was there.  So we decide to go somewhere else.  We start to walk, but it's a little far away.  Someone had told us last week that there was a nice shortcut through a rice field, and that it was just a little muddy.  Well we decided we would take it.  MISTAKE.  We start walking through it and are jut kind of like wow, this is really cool.  I start feelling better about life because I'm walking through a freaking jungle.  I start thinking about how cool my mission is.  AND THEN FATE STEPPED IN.  I take a step and it is like slow motion death.  My foot slides out from under me.  I twist and try to save myself to no avail.  My foot sinks up to my knee in mud.  I fell in the freaking rice pattie.  My foot is burried up to my knee in black stinky mud.  I felt like some sort of wildabeast in a tar pit.  I had to pull myself out but my leg was so stuck.  My companion couldn't help me.  Finally I pull myself out, but my shoe is stuck.  So I have to dig my shoe out with my hand.  It was foul.  I am covered in mud, and then we have to turn around and walk right back to where we came from, with only one shoe on mind you.  I had to have some random Filipino man help me out of the rice pattie back onto the road.  If I thought people started at me before, I was wrong.  Everyone was staring at the big american covered in mud.  I had a chappy driver pick me up in his choppy because he felt so bad for me, he took  us to THE HOSPITAL to wash myself off.  Why was that necessary?  I have never been so embarrassed in my entire life.  I'm standing in front of the hospital convered in mud, washing myself off as fast as I can while everyone stares at me.  New rule:  don't take shortcuts.  Just walk the normal way haha.  We went and taught Marivic  that night and she announced that she is pregnant!  I'm so dang excited for that woman!  
Saturday. We started off our day by teaching one of our new investigators.  Her name is Maryjean.  We walked up to her house and she came out crying and handed us back the book of mormon.  My heart dropped.  We sat down with her and she told us that she knows its true, she knows its so true and she wants it.  She wants to get baptized.  But her husband won't let her.  They've been fighting so much.  And he said the only way he'll stop yelling at her is if she gives back the book of mormon.  This woman was sobbing as she gave us back her book of mormon.  My heart broke.  I walked away holding her book of mormon and I just cried.  My heavens, missions can be real hard.  And life can be real unfair.  We went and taught Janene and she had a NEW friend for us to teach.  God bless this woman, she is saving my teaching pool right now.  We went and taught the Pinpin's, we teach them every Saturday and they always have a snack for us.  This time it was chocolate rice.  It was delicious beyond all belief.  We were able to teach Rose again too.  She's the woman who chased us on her motor a few weeks ago.  Then we went to the other sisters baptism.  It was really great.  I was the chorister, and I had basically the whole congregation helping me lead the music.  And then the stand FELL.  For no reason, it just fell.  I was so ashamed.  And then aparently we had a surprise musical number by the missionaries.  I had no clue about it.  The embarassment meter was filled.  
Sunday was good.  Just a normal Sunday, but I finished the Book of Mormon!  For the second time in my life and the first time on my mission.  I'll tell you one thing, I know with all of my heart that that book is true.  And that's why I'm out here.  
Monday was good.  We had District Meeting.  I love talking to Sister Rugg and Sister Littell.  They're such great sisters.  We taught Clark that night, and all was so right in the world.  He asked if we could sing The Spirit of God because we sang it at church.  He and his siblings BELTED IT.  I will probably never forget them singing so off key and just loving it.  They save me.  Oh and also, as I was trying to FTE someone, a rotten tropical fruit fell from a tree and landed on top of my head.  Seriously, what is my life this week?  It's a little ridiculous.  That night we had FHE at the Naveos house. They're such a great family.  They invited a bunch of investigators and less actives.  They fed us dinner and buko juice (cocunut milk mixed with condensed milk mixed with chunks of coconut).  They're such a great family.  Nanay Naveo also does our laba for us every week.  God bless that family, they're so great.  
Tuesday:  We were walking through the mud because it's been so dang rainy all week long (yes, I wear my rain jacket erry day) and my foot just slid out from me.  I did this really rad victory lunge slash splits thing in a skirt.  It was magical.  But I saved myself and only my knee was muddy.  Seriously, I'm telling you, this week is insane.  And I had the fun adventure of getting water out of a water well.  I was talking to one of our less actives and she needed water.  So we hiked to the water well and I pulled up the rope for ages and alas, a bucket full of water.  I did it probably 12 times, my arms were so sore.  It was oddly such a satisfying adventure.  
Today we are in Cebu again!  We were able to come and go to the temple.  I really needed it.  It was so great.  I really love the temple.  And I was able to meet President McCurdy.  He shook my hand and told me how excited he was to meet me.  I immediately felt so much love for this man.  It's going to be so interesting to see what this man and the Lord have in store for me for the next 13 months.  
Alright, the study I want to quickly share today is about IF.  I mentioned it before, but I want to talk about it again.  I've been reading so much in the bible, the book of mormon and the doctirne and covenants lately and I'm really realizing how important "IF" is.  I was thinking about how often does the Lord give us all these beautiful wonderful promises and ask so little of us in return.  The promises that he gives us are sure, but so are the expectations.  This is a gospel of doing my friends.  he will never ever fail us, he'll always do our part, but will we?  As I have been reading the scriptures tehre are so many instances where the Lord gives us a promise, and then follows it with an IF.  I started going through my scriptures and circling everytime it says the word IF.  It's actually so amazing.  IF is such a faith word.  The entire gospel, our entire salvation, hinges on this IF word.  I challenge you to flip through some of your favorite scriptures and see the word if.  It'll change the way you read your scriptures.  In reality, He only really asks us to follow His commandments.  it really is that simple.  So, with so much at stake, why overcomplicate it?  What is worth jeopordizing that?  Nothing.  It's always all about faith.  Faith is power.  But, only IF we exercise it.  (see what I did there?  :)  )
I can't believe it's July.  I can't believe it's the fourth of July this week!  You all better celebrate extra hard for me.  Eat American food, be overly patriotic.  I miss America.  I love you all so much.  I can't wait to talk to you again next week.  I love you to the moon and back.  Stay Strong. 
Love, Sister Carlee Beyer

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