Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fear Not.

My heavens, my heavens.  When it rains, it pours.  That has been proven in more ways than one this week here in the Philippines.  
Wednesday:  It was absolutely madness.  Sister Littell and I both had to prepare for our new companions.  Which meant buying food for them, and cleaning both of our apartments.  It was a chaotic day.  We were going between Sibonga and Carcar.  And as we were rockin on a bus, they started BLASTING funky town.  We took a video, we were laughing so dang hard. I really adore Sister Littell.  She's from WVC, so we bond over being ghetto fab together.  We've got some rad jungle street fighting skills.  She's such a beautiful person.  Her personal study is just amazing.  She's such a good missionary.  And the girl is dang fluent.  I loved being her companion.  It was such a blessing.  Add her to the list of people I cannot wait to be reunited with when I get home.  :) That night we had the Sisters from Argao stay at our apartment.  I went all motherly on them and cooked us all tuna curry and rice and then tucked us all into bed.  There were four of us sleeping on three mattresses pushed together.  #groupbed #sleepover.  It was really fun though.  
Thursday:  Transfer day!  I met Sister Mahoney and we dropped off  her bags and she immediately desired a delicious lunch.  I showed her siomai.  She loved it.  She can stay.  This adorable little Australian has a rockin accent, and we talk about how much we love Sister Passey and Sister Anderson all day long.  And, apparently Sister Mahoney brought the rain with her.  It poured rain on Thursday.  We were literally drenched.  And naturally, I didn't have my umbrella.  It is kind of crazy leading the area.  It's crazy to be the onlyone who knows the people and where they live and what we need to do and where we need to go.  It's so stressful.  But hey, I survived the first week.  I really like Sister Mahoney.  She's a lot of fun.  And her accent is to die for.  It's so incredibly stereotypically Aussie.  
Friday:  The stress continues!  I had to weekly plan as a missionary leading the area.  So basically I just had to tell Sister Mahoney where we were going what day and what time. I had to figure out the schedule and all that jazz.  All in three hours.  She was so supportive and tried to help as much as she could, this week it'll be so much better.  Man, I'm learning a lot this week haha.
Saturday:  We got punted a lot on Saturday.  Sister Passey warned me that this might happen a little like this.  This just happens during the first week of a new transfer. Everything gets a little shaken up and you just have to roll with it.  I swear, Saturday was punt city.  We walked for dayyyyz.  And we walk dang fast, because that's how Sister Passey always walked, and so now it's a habit for me.  We were able to teach the Pinpin's that night.  They're members.  We teach them every Saturday night and they always give us snacks.  #blessed.  And we taught Clark and his aunt that night.  Man, I adore that little boy.  He is so full of light.  He's got so much potential.  This little boys saves me.  
Sunday:  Sunday, was a rough one.  No one came to church.  We had quite a few investigators this week tell us that they had decided to go back to the Catholic Church.  We had a few ask us not to come back.  And we had a few hand us the Book of Mormon's back.  Man, nothing feels quite like that.  Because that book is everything to me.  And I know what it can do for them.  We've prayed so hard for these people.  And naturally, it poured rain, and all the streets flooded.  Like I said, when it rains it pours, in more ways than one.  But I used my rain jacket and I love it.  It's fab, and I stay dry.  So Brade, thank you.  I love you so endlessly for giving me that.  We did have a really cool lesson on Sunday though.  We were teaching about the Restoration, and the neighbors were blasting music the whole time.  We asked the people we were teaching if they  could turn it down and they said that the neighbors wouldn't.  It wasn't too bad, and the spirit was still really strong in the lesson.  Well, we get to the part where I'm about to start the first vision.  And as I say the first words "ako nakakita" the music just turns off.  And it's silent.  The whole neighborhood is dead quiet.  And the spirit is just pounding in our hearts.  It was so cool.  My companion and I just stared at each other and I tripped over my words and had to start over because it startled me so much how abrubtly it just stopped.  It was so cool.  
Monday:  We went to District Meeting.  There are some sweet sisters in my zone.  Sister Forbush is still here, so is Sister Littell, also there is Sister Robertson and Sister Rugg!  It's so great to see Sister Rugg again!  And remember George and Odyssey from Kamputhaw?  They got baptized last week right before Sister Rugg left!  It's crazy because in our district there is me and Sister Mahoney, Sister Littell and Sister Rugg.  I have three companions in the same district.  I absolutely love it though.  They're such solid sisters.  
Tuesday:  Not a lot happened.  Just a lot of punting.  A lot of raining, both emotionally and weatherwise haha.  But it's alright.  This is how we learn and grow right?  We ended the day by sitting on our balcony, looking at the stars and sharing shining moments.  It was such a hard day, it was such a hard week, but we survived.  
Some other random items of business I just forgot to mention in emails past.  One, while Sister Passey and Littelll and I were coming home from Cebu the other day, the macarena came on in the bus.  Naturally we did the macarena together.  Promptly after that upon trying to get off the bus I fell.  I fell off the bus directly into a puddle of mud.  Lesson learned.  Never Macarena.  Also, in the Philippines they are so big on nicknames.  And it's usually the first half of your name doubled.  Do you people realize what this means?  My name is Carlee.  What would my Filipino nickname be?  yes, yes it would be Carcar.  This is so meant to be it's unreal.  Also, there is a woman in our ward, and when I introduced myself to her she introduced herself to me as Sister Seller.  The woman made a pun in English!  I died.  She always sees me and says "BEYER!  I am Seller you are Beyer!"  God bless her.  Also, Sister Passey started introducing me as Sister Tigpalit which is basically "buyer" in visaya.  So that's a fun joke.  
Also I had a really cool realization the other day.  I was sad because I love all these Sisters and they are all going home so much earlier than me.  And then I realized that I have Sister Anderson, who is just one of my dearest friends.  And that we are going to be right by each others side this whole time.  We started day one together before we even hit the MTC, and we'll end this mission together.  It felt so good to have a friend here, who will go along side me the whole way, you know?
Alright, I'm running short on time, but I want to talk about a study I did the other day about Fear Not.  I feel like my whole life I've just been so held back by fear.  Fear of making the wrong choice, fear of losing, fear of winning, fear of losing myself, fear of trying something new.  I'm not a big fan of change.  And I just feel like fear is something that always held me back.  I looked up fear in the bible dictionary and it says "ever since the fall, god has been teaching man not to fear".  So I started looking up scriptures that talk about fear.  I found 18 different instances during my personal study in the scriptures that tell us not to fear.  It spans from the old testament until the doctrine and covenants.  Literally, from the fall, God has been trying to teach us not to fear.  Shoot, my mission scripture even says not to fear.  (D&C 68:6).  I started to think about the typhoon again, about how Sister Dumas said that she could either make it a fear building experience or a faith building experience.  Of course life is scary, but if we remember who we are and Whose we are, why should we be scared?  I started thinking about if I was going to become a faith builder or a fear builder.  I thought about different faith languages that we can use.  If you say you can't, that is a fear language, and you've already cast out all faith by saying that.  I thought about how if we just believe in Christ, and the promises that He makes us, it's going to be okay.  He promises us that He will not fail us, He will not leave us comfortless.  So come what may!  This is all about building our faith, and building our trust.  I got a ring made while I was in Kamputhaw, it is ivory and it says FEARLESS on it.  I look at it all the time to remind myself what I want to become.  Fear is surely not of God. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).  One of my absolute scriptures is in D&C 6.  I've read it a lot this week.  It says "Fear not little flock, let earth and hell combine against you.  For IF you are built on my rock they cannot prevail.  Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not."  Life is hard.  Missions are hard.  And there's a lot that we can be scared of.  But if we look at life with a more eternal perspective, if we just remember the promises that our Heavenly Father and our Savior have given to us, then we have nothing to be scared of.  I want to work a lot harder this week on not being scared, bring on the rain, bring on the mud, bring on the crazy.  I believe in Christ, so come what may.  I want this to be a faith building experience.  Life is the hills, right?  I love you all.  Stay strong, eh?

Love, Carlee

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