There is a phrase in the Philippines that basically encompasses my entire life right now. If anyone is ever stressed or any medical problem occurs, it is just blamed on high blood. Well, let me just say that I have high blood right now! high blood ko! Because I have so much I want to write in this email, and I'm staring at the countdown clock. I make no promises that this email will be gramatically beautiful, but hopefully I'll be able to convey the things I want to talk about this week. Also, I realized that even though I'm not in Carcar, I'm still in San CARlos. Yeah, I did that.
Wednesday. Firstly, can I tell you my diet is so different in the Philippines. Let me tell you what I have eaten in the past week. tuna and eggs over rice. Literally scrambled eggs with a can of tuna in it on rice with ketchup. yum. Sardines and ketchup on rice. not so yum. And fish jerky. dried fish, just like beef jerky. Surprisingly very yum. Last wednesday I attacked the fridge, I feel like it is the most neglected part of every missionary home. It's kind of my trade mark now. And I got two packages last week! One from Lakeridge 12th ward activity days. Can someone tell them thank you for me? It had a ton of treats and toys and a fun scripture chase for me and my companion. We loved it! Its nice to get some love from the old ward. :) And I got my birthday package from my family. I took out my new five year journal (WHICH I LOVE. SERIOUSLY THANK YOU) and the new pictures of the nephews and then realized it was my birthday package. So i gave it to the STL' s to keep until my birthday because if I open it now I will be a sad sad missionary on my birthday. But I hung up the pictures of the monsters on my wall. When the heck did they get so big! They are so dang cute though. I just walk into my room and feel so at home look at their cute little faces. We ate a place called Burgers and Beer last week (I know, the name sounds bad, but it was the middle of the afternoon no one was there, and no it isn't a bar. It's a lovely restaraunt) it's owned by a man from California. They sell Mexican food! I haven't had mexican food in months! And are you ready for this? I ate cheese. Real life cheese. I haven't had cheese in months! He flies to guam to buy cheese for his restaraunt. As I was talking to him and was in absolute bliss over the cheese situation, I mentioned that the main thing I missed from home was dairy. And how much I love milk. The man turns around, opens the fridge and pours me a huge glass of milk. Real honest to goodness cows milk. He gets it from San Fransisco! I cannot begin to tell you the amount of bliss I felt in the span of a one hour lunch.
Thursday: We had our zone training meeting. They started and openeed up with some announcements. We are having a huge conference on Cebu this month. All of the missionaries on Negros Island will travel over to the mission office and have a huge conference with a member of the area seventy. Which is so huge! We are so lucky to be able to do this. And then they tell us the date that this will be happening. AUGUST 22ND. I died. I get to go to Cebu, see so many missionaries who I love, see the temple, see the mission president, listen to an area seventy speak AND I get to see Sister Anderson! I haven't seen that girl since we got off the plane here five months ago. I cannot even tell you how excited I am. It's going to be such a good birthday! That day was really good, we had a 70 year old member work with us that day. Her name is Veloria, she is so sassy. We taught a woman named Teabing, who is also 70 and about as sassy as can be. And I got slapped a lot. If nanay's like you, they slap you. If they think you're funny, they slap you. And if they think you are gwapa, you get slapped. It's a loving thing. I sat in between the two of them during a lesson and I just got slapped repeatedly hahaha. We taught a sweet sweet man named Modesto, who is in a wheel chair with only one leg. We taught him for the very first time and started to sing, and he just sobbed. He loved the lesson, and in the closing prayer he just sobbed and thanked Heavenly Father for us. We were teaching a lesson later that night, and I had showed a picture of me and mom in front of the temple. After I finished talking about it, and Sister Bateman was teaching, I looked down at the picture for a minute and Veloria leaned over and asked if I missed my mom. I smiled and said "only a little bit, because I've got you as my mom here, right?" Thank heavens the lesson was over, because this woman yelled I kid you not, yelled "EXACTO!" and then grabbed my face with both of her hands and kissed my face. I love these people.
Thursday night I nearly perished. The world combined against me in the worst way. I do not know what I did to deserve this, but I rolled over in my sleep and stretched a little bit. And then I somehow got a death charley horse, not in one leg, but in two. Both of mycalves were on fire. I had a charley horse in both calves and I was utterly sure I was going to have to succumb to death. I literally was screaming. Pray that nothing ever happens in our apartment, becasue Sister Bateman literally slept through my screaming.
Friday was a good day too. I was able to lead weekly planning, and slowly but surely I'm learning the area and the people. We had a meeting with the elders, and to spice it up, we decided to sing angels we have heard on high and oh come all ye faithful. Welcome to the thrilling life of a misionary. We went out to a for part of our area, and had so many people we needed to teach and visit, but we had a meeting later and only had a little bit of time. Seriously this was such a miracle, we sat down with two of our recent converts, and then over walks another recent convert and sits down, we sing a song, and then a less active walks over. We say the opening prayer, and then our investigator shows up with his basahon ni mormon in hand. I have no idea how that happened, they don't even live by each other! But it was everyone that we needed to teach. They all just showed up, and we were able to teach all of them, and it was exactly what they needed to hear. Tender mercies for sure.
Saturday was a really good day. I really love the sisters I live with. They're really great. We have a routine every morning where one of us cooks a ton of toast, and boils water to make energen (it's like an oatmeal drink) and everymorning we ask "what's your flavor?" because there are three options. It sounds kind of lame, but I love it. We all just take shifts eating and showering and cooking and talking, and I love everymorning the question "what's your flavor". We went out and taught this family for the first time. They were just an fte that we found. We walked in and found out his wife is a member. We sat down and he looked us in the eyes and said, "i've been praying for a way to take my famiy to the temple. can you help me?" YES. I about fell off my stool. His name is Paul. HIs wife is a less active, and she is ready to come back, and he wants to get baptized. He asked us if we could teach them how to do family home evening, and hep them get to the temple. Yes, yes we can. Saturday was our District Conference. It's like Stake Conference, except we aren't a stake yet. President and Sister McCurdy were there. My heavens I love them. Sister McCurdy is such a trooper. She is afraid of flying, of the ocean, and of driving along mountains. Aka, her entire life for the next three years. But she does it and she just relys on the Lord for help. President McCurdy still calls me Sister Beyers. Sister McCurdy got up and had all the missionaries stand and said "brotehrs and sisters, you have the army of helaman around you right now" Ican't tell you how amazing that felt.
Sunday: President McCurdy asked us to do a mission wide fast, he said that he felt like we all needed a little boost, and that the mission was feeling a little heavy for some of us, so we did a mission wide fast for our mission. It was a really great experience, and truthfully, I needed it. I just needed that little boost.
Monday: Some of the elders decided to steal my family picture and pass it around. They all decided that we are a gwapa family. #obviously. That night the STL's had splits, which meant a companionship came and stayed at our house. They walked in and said "Sister Beyer! We met someone who knows you!" Remember that woman I FTE'd for 45 minutse on the ferry ride over here? They found her, and she remembered my name and is letting them teach her!
Tuesday: my six month mark. How the heck did I ever get to six months? We taught a picturesque lesson sitting on benches on the beach looking at the ocean. And I realized man oh man I love my mission. The spirit was strong, and it just felt so dang right. Elder and Sister Anderson (who I completely adore) invited us over for dinner, not knowing it was my six month mark. We ate potato cheese soup and homemade bread and brownies and ice cream. Complete with root beer. Sometimes dreams come true.
Alright, I have such a smalla mount of time, but I want to talk about some things I've been thinking about. There is a poster hanging on our wall in our apartment that says "walk on water" this is a new area to our mission and there was and isso much work to be done. We are pioneers in this area and i'monly the fourth sister to come here, including the origginal two. When you transfer, you sign the poster. I had randomly been thinking a lot about this poster, and as I was on the back of a motor the other day, I came up with the thought "walk on water or drown" . District meeting happened to be on faith. They shared the story of Peter walking on water from Matthew 14:22-31. In verse 24 it says that the ship was in the midst of the sea being tossed with the waves. in verse 26 it wasy that the aposteles saw jesus walking on the water and they were afraid! but in verse 27 jesus straightaway spake unto them saying be of good cheer, it is i, be not afriad. Once again, jesus is right in our midst, telling us not only not to fear, but to be of good cheer. in verses 28 and 29 peter walks on the water, jesus christ invites him to come and walk with him on the water. But in verse 30 Peter saw the wind and he was afraid. He began to sink and cried Lord save me! In verse 31 IMMEDIATELY Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him and said "o thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt" Peter was invited by the Savior to walk on water with him, but he doubted! he chose to see the wind in front of him instead of the Savior in front of him. Maybe I'm being a little sentimental because it's my six month mark, but this all felt so relatable. I feel like this encompasses so much of what I've learned in the last six months.
I started thinking about how the story starts out. It doesn't start out as a gloriously sunny day, no, the ship wasin the midst of the sea being tossed with waves. It would be too easy if it was a glassy lake. Life is the hills. And just like that story, the only way out is through, and more than anything it is through the savior. One of my favorite scriptures is 2nephi 4:19-20. It says the word preserved, during the week of miracles in the MTC we talked a lot about how sometiems God calms the storm, and sometimes God calms the child, preserves the child, and strengthens the child. It's usually the latter. In Ether six there are some great scriptures, my favorite is verse 8. It says that the wind did never cease to blow them toward the promised land.
The wind is our trials! But it'll never stop. Our trials are pushing us towards our promised land and to become. Peter was standing walking on the water with the lord and he chose to see the wind instead. He chose to make it a fear building experience rather than a faith building experience.
I feel like the last six months I've learned so much. I'm on this mission and Jesus Christ is inviting me to walk with him. Ihope that Ican build my faith. Because faith is power! And Jusus Christ is in our midst telling us to be of good cheer and not to fear. And so we do it. We look to the savior, and we just be strong and do it. And we do it right. I want to run hard for the next year. Iwatn to do it right. I want to not only walk on water, but run on it. I hope that Christ won't have to say to me "o ye of little faith". In the end there are two options. You can either walk on water, or you can drown. Are you going to build your faith of build your fear? I can do hard things! I have done some dang hard things in the last six months, and I'll to do hard things. Why? Because great things await. I believe in Christ, so come what may.
I love you all so much. I will talk to you real soon.
Sister Carlee Beyer