Somehow, it is October. Nobody knows how or when this happened. This week was quite the week. And I'm grateful to have experienced it, and also I'm grateful to close the book on it.
Last Wednesday was a little stressfull haha. We hurried and got everything done and jumped onto a bus for five hours with fifteen other missionaries. It was such a random, fun roadtrip. It was so gorgeous. I can now say I've seen most of Cebu Island and most of Negros Island. Negros is so gorgeous. We just cruised along the ocean. The only downside was that the bus was bumping some rockin rap music. It was so loud, and we were all just feelin awkward in the back of the bus. Well, Sister Minguez decided to take matters into her own hands. She marched up to the front of the bus, handed him a USB drive, and then somehow for the next four hours, we listend to EFY music and MOTAB. Us and the entire bus of Filipinos. We finally made it to Dumaguette that night, hit up some Macdos, and crashed.
Thursday we woke up and got ready. It was a Zone Conference, so we had to get all gwapa'd up. This apartment we stayed in was actually really nice! It had a bathroom mirror! Which is not something I have had for six months now haha. We walked into the chapel in Dumaguette and Sister Anderson (the senior) walked up to me and gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and told me that it was from Mom. Well, cue the tears. Mom and Sister Anderson being friends on facebook is a strange phenomenon. But it was so nice to have that little connection right then. I turned around and lo and behold, my homegirl Sister Littell. We pushed our way through a huge crowd of missionaries, maybe a little ferociously, and tackled each other with a hug. We just get each other. It's been a long three months of not seeing that girl. We just sat next to each other and chatted all day long. We were able to see President and Sister McCurdy. I love that sweet, sweet couple. And I was able to see and catch up with so many sisters whom I adore. I've met some amazing people on this mission. Also, Sister McCurdy gave me a FULL SIZE SNICKERS BAR for my birthday. Bliss. Dreams. Heaven. After Zone Conference was over, we all loaded back up on a bus for five hours back to San Carlos. However, it was deeply unfortunate because there were no aircon buses. So we were on a hot smelly non air con bus for five hours. Wind just blowing us everywhere. About three hours in we were all carsick. We didn't actually get sick, just nausous and ready to get off. I've never been so thrilled to step back into San Carlos.
Friday: Friday was back to reality, and back to the grind. Edgardo's daugher called us in a panic and told us that the Catholic church couldn't do anything for Edgardo's funeral because he was now a mormon. They were so confused. They said "but he's been a catholic for 49 years, and only a mormon for two days" They said two days was all it would take. So we took the reigns and took care of our boy. The whole branch came out for this man's funeral. It was incredible. These people barely knew him, but he was a mormon and a member of our branch. So he was family now. They asked me to speak at his funeral. I surely never anticipated speaking at my first funeral ever, on my mission, in visaya. But it was really good.
Saturday was the actual funeral. So much support once again. We met Edgardo's whole family, and they were all just so amazed at the change they had seen in him. They were so dumbfounded at the two white girls that stood in front of them taking care of this whole funeral, speaking visaya, who had turned their world upside down. THe two whitegirls who got Edgardo to stop drinking, and be baptized as a member. His family just accepted us in. They treated us as part of the family. They made sure we were right up front with them at the funeral and right with them. They just made us their own. The funeral was simple, and different, but it was beautiful.
Sunday: It was fast Sunday. I found out that there is an imposter on facebook named Sister Gabby Beyer because someone tried to look me up by searching Sister Beyer. Who is this imposter! There is only one Sister Beyer! Not a ton happened, but it was the end of a week, which I was truly grateful for.
Monday, not a ton happened, but we went to lunch and ate with our hands only, which is always fun. Some investigators convinced me to eat an entire shrimp that was still alive. And we just got back into the swing of things.
Tuesday: I made fried chicken for the very first time in my life. We went back to Guadalupe for the first time. It was hard, but it was good. Closure, slowly but surely. We stopped by Edgardo's mom, and shared a little message with her, she just seemed so lonely and sad. And I wanted to stop by Edgardo's grave to take a picture. I'm almost out of time, it was a crazy week, but I want to share one thing that stook out.
We were teaching Boy the other day, and he said something that really stood out to me. He said that he had been going to church for over forty years, and he hasn't gained a single thing from it. Not one thing. I stared at him dumbfounded. And then he went on to talk about all that he had lost by going to church. At first I started to panic. And then it all came full circle and made sense. He had lost his pride. He had lost his vices. He had lost his sorrows, his hardships, he had lost his worries. He went on and on and on. And then he looked at me and asked me what I've lost. I told him that I've lost a mighty lot on my mission. And I couldn't be more grateful. I thought of the oft quoted Matthew 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it. And he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
And the even more oft quoted "You wanna be happy? Forget ourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. -President Hinkley" The joy is in the work. I see that more and more everyday. I'm so grateful for all that I've lost along the way. I love you all so much. I'll talk to you soon.
Sister Carlee Beyer