Wednesday: I wore jeans, it was magical. I felt like Carlee all day and it was strange and exhilarating and fun. Also it made me want to eat maybe like a little less rice. We went to lunch with Sister Littell and Sister Ramos. There's a really good, really famous lechon manok place called Chooks to Go. It's brand new to Carcar and Sister Littell and I were stoked. So we bought one and they gave us an entire chicken and plastic gloves and we just went to town eating it with our hands. It was beyond delicious. We may have also bought some pizza to go along with it? Don't judge me. This is why my jeans are tighter now haha. We went to Sibonga, and Sister Littell and I sat on the back of a motor and just talked about our missions, the things we have gone through, and just had a good old girl talk for twenty minutes on the back of this motor. I needed it. I love that dang girl. We were rockin our ugly shirts. We took some way fun pictures. We went to the beach and played games, and then had a little bit of a devotional because it was Sister Yanga's last week. We had a little bit of a crowd that gathered around to watch what all the American's were doing. It was a little awkward, but it was really fun. Then we had to run to the store and I was so organized! I am in charge of making zone t shirts for everyone this transfer. So I ran into Gaisanos and got 22 t shirts, all different sizes in about twenty minutes including travel time home. It was insane. I was speaking visaya so fast! But our shirts are going to look wonderful.
Thursday was the 24th of July. I studied the pioneers that morning. I was reading about the trek, about coming into the Salt Lake Valley, and I was just thinking about how lucky I am to be from Utah, and to know all about this my whole life. I knew all the places they were talking about. It's cool because I'm a different kind of pioneer. Grandpa Beyer is absolutely a pioneer, and so I've got some strong pioneer blood in me yet. We sang "Come Come Ye Saints" to open up our companionship study and I just loved it. That song is so powerful. I want to be more like the pioneers. Their faith is so incredible. They sacrificed everything for this gospel. And I want to be more like that. That afternoon we were teaching a lesson, it was in a really cool place, it was in a middle of a bunch of banana trees, there were chickens hanging out and there was one above my head. As I finish up the lesson I'm just really feeling like my mission is so cool. And then fate stepped in yet again, and a chicken pooped on me. Directly down my leg. At least it wasn't my head. Seriously my life is a joke. We ran into Janine's father in law and he told us that Janine had her baby! I'm so dang happy for that woman. I learned a little bit on Thursday about listening to the Spirit. There was this man walking down the road and I felt like I should talk to him, so I walked over and kind of started talking to him, and then Janine's father in law came over, and they ended up being friends. But I didn't get to finish talking to him, and they left. I felt like I should have done better about talking to him. About two hours later we were walking and it started to rain, and this man pulls up next to us on a motor and asks where we were going. It was that same guy again! We get on his motor and I start talking to him and then he tells me that he met with the elders before, I ask him what his name is and he tells me Kent Montesclaros. And I immediately realized why I needed to talk to him. When Sister Passey and I whitewashed the area, the elders gave us a bunch of their area. I remembered seeing the last name in our area book. This guy fell through the cracks when we whitewashed. God has a plan for everything. We are going back this week to teach Kent again. We taught Linda and her daughter Reece (who is a member) that night and it was a really powerful lesson. I love that dang family. Also I'm apparently internet famous? They told me that they googled my name and so many pictures popped up of me. And then they searched Philippines Cebu Mission and more pictures popped up? I can neither confirm nor deny this, I'm just saying I might be a little bit famous. We went home that night and had a 24th of July barbecue again, naturally I wore ridiculous american attire and everyone just rolled their eyes at me. No one appreciates my pure patriotism.
Friday: I was leading weekly planning, and as I started planning for Clark I just started crying, I just really felt like I was transferring. Not much else happened that day other than the looming feeling in my head that I wouldn't finish the plans I made for the week.
Saturday: It was my four month mark in the field! It's the little things that make life exciting okay? We went and visited Janine and met her baby Nathanial. He is so dang tiny and cute. I love them so much. We went and visited the Pinpins and I gave them a picture of me with them. They hung it up in their living room and gave me a ring, because they thought I was transferring. We went to Rodrod's baptism that night. IT was so good. Boyett was there and he was just shining. He pulled me aside and sat me down and told me that he will never be able to thank me enough for what I've done for his family. He told me that he would always remember the time that Sister Beyer and Sister Passey found him in a mango tree. He said that he is coming back to church for good, and is changing his life. Rodrod bore his testimony about how excited he is to serve a mission like Sister Beyer. This. This is why it is worth it. I sat next to Sister Littell and we just hugged each other and talked about how this mission is hard as heck, but things like that make it so endlessly worth it.
Sunday: The closing hymn in sacrament was "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". It all felt very real. Everyone started saying goodbye to me after church. We took millions of pictures. Transfer calls hadn't even come yet! Everyone just felt like I was leaving. It was Elder Wilding's birthday, and a member invited us all over for dinner. We had ITALIAN spaghetti. It tasted just like home, it was heavenly.
Monday: It happened. Transfer calls came. There were only four transfers in our whole zone, and I was one of them. I'm headed to the other island baby! Pack your bags, I'm gettin on a boat and am headed to San Carlos. It's almost the furthest part of our mission. It is relatively new to our mission. It used to be a part of Bacolod, but we got in my very first transfer here. There's a lot of work to be done there, but I'm so excited for it. Also, there is a lot of Illongo there (another language) so that should be an adventure. My companion is going to be Sister Bateman. She's from Idaho I believe. She's really sweet, and a great missionary. I'm a little bummed I haven't had a native companion yet, but I knw it'll come. Sister Bateman was Sister Barton (as in Nicole Barton)'s trainer. Such a small world. So Monday was a day full of goodbyes. I said goodbye to Sister Rugg and Sister Forbush quite possibly for the next 12 months. THey are both staying on Cebu Island, so Im not sure I'll see them again before they go home in December. We went to Nanay Naveo's house and told us the news and she just bought us snacks on snacks on snacks. She gave me a sweet pair of slippers as a going away gift. I had to say goodbye to Clark, and I just started crying. I love this place so much. I love these people so much. The people here are so amazing. We had an FHE that night, and they all gave me hugs and told me that they would pray for me daily. I love these people.
Tuesday: We had a lunch appointment! That never happens! One of our investigators texted us and told us that she made lunch for us and to come over as soon as we could. It was so delicious. Yesterday was just a day full of goodbyes. There was a lot of tears on both sides. And every single prayer, they prayed for me and for the people of San Carlos. Even ten year old little Rodrod prayed for me and that i'd be safe in San Carlos. We went home and I finished packing, and we made chocolate cake in the rice cooker. It was an experiement, hahaha. But I've had worse.
I can't believe I'm actually leaving Carcar. I love it so much here. This place changed me so much. I owe so much to this place and to these people. Tonight I have to say goodbye to Linda and to Nanay Naveo. Both of these women are just like my little Filipina mothers here. It's gonna be rough. Tonight I get to sleep in Sibonga with Sister Littell and her companion SIster Ramos and then first thing tomorrow morning I get up and get on a boat for three hours to cross the great big blue! I have a lot of new adventures coming my way.
I want to talk ever so briefly about a study I did. President Schmutz sent me an email and he talked about "becoming". He talked about how this mission changes us so much. He talked about 2 Nephi 32:1-6 and told me to focus on the word "do". The gospel of Jesus Christ must be lived and not just learned! He told me to read 2 Nephi 31:20 and then said "to press forward implicitly assumes that you are moving forward, pressing against resistance. You are exerting your will, relying on the power and strength of christ to overcome those things that would seek to hinder your progress or destry your soul. Fear, temptation, carnal desires and any other sort of opposition to press forward is to act in faith in all situations and circumstances in order to "do" what you have been commanded or instructed or inspired to do." He talked about how this is a time in our life when we are all becoming. We will never have the opportunity to grow and change so much in a Godly was as now. He said something one time that really hit me. He told us to lose ourselves (we hear that all the time, nothing new) and then he said "you'll never lose the good parts" and it hit me so hard. It's true, we will never lose the good parts of ourselves. In fact, those will be amplified! He said "why does God want us to do hard things? Because he is invested in us, he believes in us, and he wants us to change and become what he sees in us". I thought of my mom growing up, and how if I did something that wasn't appropriate she would always say "that isn't very becoming of you". In Preach My Gospel, it says "Just as vital as what you do, is who you are. The restored gospel enables you to become like heavenly father and Jesus Christ. He commands us to become as He is." This gospel is about becoming. This life is about becoming. And this mission is about becoming. Everything always happens for a reason. And it's always in order to help us become. The last six months have been dang hard. The last transfer was dang hard. But I grew, and I changed, and I became. In ways I would have never been able to before. I thought about how long I have and all I still want to become. I have a quote on my desk that says "The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour. Whatever she does. Whoever she is." I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to become. It's dang hard, it's a struggle sometimes, but those times are the refiners fire, and those are the times when we really become. I love my mission. And I am so excited for the new adventures that await me next transfer. I'll talk to you all next week from the other Island! San Carlos, Negros baby! I love you all so much. Stay strong.
Sister Carlee Beyer