As Sister Minguez always says "missionaries never lie". Usually it is said really rather sassy. She is the sassiest missionary that I know. I promised last week that I would devote more time to this, and that's partially true. However, I still don't have the time I want haha. I'm going to type like the wind! Seriously, this is the weekly struggle. But, as per usual, we had a good week.
Wednesday: I experienced my first ukay-ukay. It is like a giant DI gone wild, theres so many clothes, and heavens knows where they come from. They are so incredibly cheap, and random American name brands, brand new. For example, I found a Down East Basics shirt, with the tags still intact. Ukay-ukays are usually just under a tent or soemthing. There is no organization. You just dig through piles of clothes. It is an adventure, and you can find the very best treasures. Sister Tandiman was getting ready and packed up because she transferred back to Cebu. As she was packing I decided to give her a going away gift. Sister Bateman went and turned on "There Can Be Miracles" really loud, and I came out, dressed in my America attire and gave her a full concert, Sister Bateman was my back up vocalist and dancer. We substituted words for visaya. Sister Tandiman filmed most of it, and I have a horrifying fear this video might go viral in this mission. I'm only kind of embarrassed. That night we all got lechon manok and had our last family dinner. Of course, we ate it with our hands, because there is really no other way to eat it than with tons of rice and your hands.
Thursday: Sister Tandiman and Sister Minguez had to catch the 6:00 am ferry to Cebu, so they came in to say goodbye at 4:30. It's hard. I hate goodbyes. Sister Tandiman doesn't have very many months left, she goes home in January, and that dang girl is from Indonesia. I realized I just wasn't sure that I would ever see this girl again. I love her so much. She is just the cutest thing ever. We have a roadtrip planned. We're going to Disneyland haha. And I'm going to visit her in Indonesia, and then we are going to come back to the Philippines obviously. I've met some incredible people here. That day we were a trio with Sister Lupien while she waited for her companion to get here. She is from Canada. I thought people stared when there were two americans walking down the street. No no, it is much worse with three. We are all so tall and so white, we got quite the reaction. We went out to Guadalupe after Sister Lupien picked up her companion. Guadalupe is our furthest area. We get in one of those trikes that cram 11 people in them and go out on the highway for fifteen minutes through just straight sugar cane fields for miles. We teach in Guadalupe in little bamboo huts. Usually we will teach at the Benemeterios house. I told you about them last week. Vangie and Raybie. They are a wonderful family. We teach usually about three lessons there. They are so welcoming. They have a little gazebo type thing that looks right over the ocean, and that is where we always teach. They are such a good family. I love them. I told Vangie that my mom was going to pick me up and she got so excited and begged me to come back and let her meet my mom. I promised her I would do my very best. I told them that I wanted to help them get to the temple. We have a little ways to go, the temple is pretty far from here, but it's worth it. We're going to work on it slowly but surely. If they go back to the temple, I get to go through with them! As we walked up to the Benemeterios that day, they didn't have any wood for me to chop, so I grated coconut for them instead. How did I do this you ask? By sitting on a bench made out of two by fours with a serrated piece of rebarb that you grate the coconut with. It was very tricky business. That night we taught a less active girl named Rubilyn. I adore this girl. She is 15, and she is the only member in her family. She just glows. She reads the book of mormon, and then will give us a ten minute review on the chapter she read. She understands it better than most people I know. That girl is going to be an incredible missionary.
Friday: Sister Wilcox our new roomate got here. She was trained by Sister Passey as well. She's really really fun. She is one of the quirkiest girls I have ever met. She is in her very last transfer right now, and she's our new STL. It's been really fun to have her ehre. I also hit my seven month mark on Friday. It's flying my friends. And Sister Wilcox brought me a letter from Sister Robidillo. Do you remember that name? She was my STL and roommate my very first transfer. She was Sister Passeys companion. She went home last week, I feel so old suddenly. From my first house, two of them are home, and Sister Rugg goes home in December. I was so sad to get her pouch, because I realized I'll probably never see her again either. Sister Robidillo is the first missionary to go home who I'm close to that isn't from America. It kind of hit me how hard it is going to be to say goodbye to some of these wonderful people 11 months from now. We went out and worked in San Jose that day. It is about a 10 minute drive on the highway. We teach along the beach here, primarily in bamboo huts right along the ocean. Few things do I love more than teaching and hearing the waves. Usually we are teaching looking over the ocean. It's so incredibly beautiful. We went home and were driving back a little later than usual so it was dark and both Sister Bateman and I looked over at the mountains, and in the dark they absolutely look like the Oquirrih mountains in Utah. It was so weird. I had to do a double take. That night we were able to teach the Quiros. I've talked about them before too. They are one of my favorite families we teach. They are just a young couple, and they are just so loving and filled with light. I've seen them really change the last little bit.
Saturday: There was a little bit of a baguio (typhoon) nothing major for us. Just a lot of rain and a little bit of wind. We went to Guadalupe again and some people offered us a snack. They brought out a plate of spaghetti. Yes, that is a snack. It isn't a meal unless rice is involved. Otherwise it is merely a snack. We went and taught Sei-J, one of our less actives, he is 10. We have to hop a fence to get to his house. As in, a concrete wall and we jump through a hole in a chain link fence haha. This dang kid is a character. He'll see us coming and run and grab his book of mormon and read his assignment we gave him. Punk. At least he reads haha. The other part of our area is in the city of San Carlos. It is crazy, it reminds me a little bit of Kamputhaw sometimes. Just really small houses all really close together, but there are also a lot made out of bamboo. Kamputhaw was straight concrete. It's crazy because you'll be walking in the city and all the sudden you are on the ocean, I forget I'm on an island sometimes haha. We walk around and basically feel like celebrities. Everyone knows that we are sisters. So everyone always says "maayong hapon sisters" or soemthing of the sort. OR they just yell Americana or 'Cana! And they tell me I have white skin, a tall nose, and that I'm gwapa. I think I'm going to have a complex when I go home and no one points out to me that I'm white. Or that I'm gwapa. We have been walking around a lot lately and we start to talk to these people and they will tell us they are members or "pioneers" here and that they were the first members here but haven't been to church in twenty two years. This has happened THREE TIMES this week. We are just finding these people left and right. They are the reason that we have a church out here. We're gonna get them back. They're right, they are pioneers. And we need them.
Sunday: For breakfast we ate fried rice with hot dogs and green beans in it. We got Relief Society up and running and then after church it was a nanay's birthday so she brought in bihon, bread and tang for all of us. That's usually a pretty common birthday meal. That night the Andersons called us and told us they had chicken salad sandwiches and to come over for dinner. I ACCEPT. I love them. Sister Anderson had made us a dozen chocolate chip cookies to take home. There are few things better than Sister Anderson in my life. We taught a few lessons and tried to catch a trike home, but alas, there wasn't a trike for a while. So we sat on the side of the road and sent in our stats so they could be in on time. We did it by flashlight haha. I'm sure this won't be the first time this happens.
Monday: We got up at 5:30 and played frisbee again. In District Meeting Elder Smiler looked at me and said "The Carcar Sisters" totally on accident. We had a pretty good laugh over that. I'll always claim myself as a member of carcar. We taught Edgardo and he is progressing well towards baptism. We taught Boy as well, he is doing well. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and he just looked at us and said "You need to go out and teach this to everyone! Everyone needs to know this" I'm glad he agrees.
Tuesday: Tuesdays are our busiest days, but truthfully there is never much to share about. We just teach a lot of lessons and have a lovely time. It's just really busy. But we did stop by Sister Po's house last night. That woman is a saint. She is in her 60's. She lets us teach at her house any time we need to. We usually teach at her house four times a week. She has a little tindahan that she sells vegetables at, and we buy all of our vegetables from her. She will also usually give us mangos or bananas to eat. And I pay her to do my laba for us. I call her Lola, which means Grandma. She's the sweetest. And that's about it for this week. Extremely quickly I want to share a study. There is an efy song called "Mountains to Climb" and you can ask anyone in Cebu Mission and they wil swear that this is our mission song. We all know it by heart, even the elders. We were jamming it last week and I was just thinking about the words. Let me share.
Life can be a blessing life can be lovely don't wanna miss it. So take a deep breath and see that you can smile and make it through anythihng. You really gotta mean it don't pretend. It all depends on how you see it. There can be a storm outside but inside I'm full of sunshine. I know that it won't be easy, but I wanna be strong so give me mountains to climb give me rivers to cross give me something thats gonna make me better than I was. Give me mountains to climb cause I know that it's taken me higher than I've ever been before. Life can be amazing life can take your breath away every day and though it can be an awkward climb you can love every minute if you lift your eyes. I know that it won't be easy, but it's makin me strong so give me mountains to climb give me rivers to cross give me something thats gonna make me better than I was. Give me mountains to climb cause I know that it's taken me higher than I've ever been before.
I swear this was written for our mission. We climb mountains, we cross rivers literally on the daily. And I cannot tell you how true this song is. It's simple. It's cheesy. But it's true. There are some big mountains to climb, but they're making us stronger and better than we ever were. It's all about how we see the mountains. One thing I'm really learning is don't wait until you get to the top to check out the view. It's one heck of a ride, but it's so worth it. I love you all so much.
Love, Sister Carlee Beyers