Tuesday, January 13, 2015

vamos, san carlos.

Remember last week when I mentioned that it was a relatively uneventful week?  Be careful what you wish for.  This week was a little too eventful for my liking.  Last Wednesday, we started off pday by going to the mercado after emailing and buying some fresh fish.  But they had some crazy cool fish that they had just brought in from the ocean, and they were huge!  So I started taking some pictures, well they loved that the Amerikana was taking pictures, so they put some plastic bags on my hands so they won't stink, and then they start having me hold huge fish to get pictures with.  It was way too hilarrious.  Then we went home, and Sister Villacorte put me in charge of cleaning the fish.  These fish were whole!  It's a good think I spent the last 20 years of my life watching dad clean fish every summer.  I think dad would have been proud.  I wasn't quite as smooth as him, but I did it.  That night we got my Christmas packages!  We all loved it.  We feasted on American snacks and decorated the house with our new Christmas decorations and had so much fun.  The weirdest thing was that it smelled like home.  It kept throwing me for a loop.  
Thursday I got a package from Nanay Naveo in Carcar.  It was filled with four of the most magical nanay shirts you have ever seen.  I'll send pictures next week.  And the Andersons called us to take us out to dinner instead of saying goodbye.  There may have been some teary eyes that evening.  
Friday, while Sister Villacorte and I were weekly planning, my glasses were really loose.  The side part kept jiggling.  So I took my little repair kit for my glasses to try to fix them, but once the screw was out, I didn't have my glasses on to see how to put it back in.  So I asked the sisters to do it for me.  Next thing I know, I hear them scream, and see the metal hinge of my glasses broken in half.  They tried to fix the hinge and broke it in half!  So I went to the one glasses store in the whole city and begged them to fix my glasses, and they told me that they couldn't.  That i would have to buy new glasses.  I may have cried.  As we were walking out, I saw a tiny tiny glasses store.  The man there felt really bad for the crying amerikana, so he rigged up a way to fix it for me!  I recieved very firm instructions to put my glasses on with two hands, and to take them off with two hands. And that once they are on, they are on for the day.  And once they are off, they are off for the day.  The sweet man didn't even charge me a single peso. He told me it would last until I got home to America.   Then we went out to Guadalupe and Juanito gave me some sugarcane from his front yard.  About ten feet of it.  It's a little weird to just gnaw on a stick, but it is so dang good! 
Saturday was madness.  We were able to do a service project out in a place called Macasilao.  It is the most bukid part of our entire mission.  Mind you, San Carlos is already in the middle of no where. Well we got on a jeepney for forty minutes, and then after that we got on a motor and went up for a thirty minute ride just over mountain ranges.  It was amazing.  We drove past wild monkeys!  And it was the most amazing breathtaking view I have ever seen.  I truthfully think that I was the only Amerikana these people had ever seen.  People were running out of their houses screaming and pointing at me.  It was the craziest experience of my entire life.  We made it to the Elders area and went to the humblest "church" I have ever seen.  They meet under a green canopy tent.  And we built them bamboo benches to sit on.  They are the most amazing humble saints i have ever met.  Living on top of a mountain in the middle of o where, going to church under a green canopy tent.  We went back home, and upon my arrival I realized I didn't have my wallet, and that the last place I had it was the jeepney.  Ugh, more tears.  But I got it all figured out to cancel everything and what i would need to do.  And then as I was going to bed, President McCurdy texted to let me know he was sorry that had happened to me, and to check if I was alright.  What a sweet man.
Sunday we knew it would be my last Sunday in the branch.  So it was filled with goodbyes.  We decided to go to the bus terminal to see if by chance someone had turned in my wallet.  Heavenly Father is so aware of me.  There are dozens of jeepneys there, and they are always coming and going.  But we found the one we rode the night before, after talking to the man for a minute, he asked me my first name, I told him and he handed me my wallet.  He had found it stashed in the jeepney in a different area, but not a single peso was missing and my cards were still in it.  Miracles lagi!
Monday:  Transfer calls!  They wrote on the board that I would be transfering to Toledo, which is literally directly across the ocean from here.  So I'm headed back to San Carlos, and I will be follow up training a little Amerikana named Sister Lefler.  I'm really excited, but I'm nervous that I'm the one who now has to know Visaya!  We also found out that Sister Villacorte would be transfering as well, so we had to make sure that our area book was prestine, and that we had a bunch of notes and things ready for the new sisters who will be coming in.  We had an fhe with some of my very favorite people, and had a night filled with tears and goodbyes. 
Tuesday:  Another day filled with goodbyes, and the hardest of all, my little guadalupe gang.  My little band of misfit boys.  And as we walked out of Guadalupe, I had to stop and say one last goodbye.  I stopped at Edgardos grave, and said one last goodbye to my boy.  It was a great week, but also a dang hard week.  Also, last night Sister Minguez got special permission to call me and say goodbye before she went home.  I love that crazy girl.  
Anyways, as I sit here with hours left in San Carlos, with my bags all packed ready to go, I've been thinking about my time that I've had here.  The last six months that I've had here.  "Vamos, San Carlos" is the cities slogan, it is all over the city.  Signs and petticabs and buildings and just everything.  I remember when I First got here I was just so excited.  I stepped off the boat just filled with fire.  I just felt like "yeah!  Vamos San Carlos!  Let's go!" and then tehre were other days where I just felt like COME.  ON.  SAN CARLOS LET'S GOOOOO.  
Well the days turned to weeks, the weeks to months, and the months to transfers and before I knew it, a third of my entire mission was spent here in San Carlos.  I got to thinking about my mission and I had a moment that I think every missionary is familiar with.  I just had the feeling of, what have I even done here?  Have I accomplished anything?  Have I done any good?  I talked to the Andersons a bit about it, and they just told me to make a list of things that I have accomplished.  And just like that, the tender mercies started rolling in.  Less Actives returning to church, progress in families, people finding a love for the gospel, successes in the tiny  branch, and new members.  But then I started questioning myself, thinking of what I could have done or should have done, but then I remembered the story of the old man walking down the beach throwing sand dallors back into the ocean.  A little boy walks up to him and asks him why he even bothers, because it doesn't make a difference.  The man simply replies "well, I made a difference to that one".  You know, I probably could have or should have done things differently.  That's the joy of hindsight.  But I would like to think that i did make a difference to a few sand dollars out here.  You know you really change in ever area, but man, this area really changed me.  It was hard and it pushed me.  But I can pinpoint some things that really changed me.  Edgardo was a huge one.  So was Charlyn.  I just really  changed so much here in six months.  This was where missionary work just became life for me.  Where it just became normal.  I'm goig to miss this area so much.  The people, the ocean, the sugarcane, the islamic mosque at 3:00 and 5:00, walking the same five streets, and everyone yelling Elsa.  
In our mission, we are supposed to talk to at least 100 people a week, well I've been here for about 24 weeks, which means I've talked to approximately 2400 people here in San Carlos.  I've talked to the whole dang city, and everyone here knows me.  I can't walk down the street without petticab drivers, kids, or just random people walking down the street yelling "Hi Sister Beyer!"  Or "Look, it's Sister Elsa!".  The other missionaries told me that they can't talk to someone in this city without them sayig that they already know Sister Beyer haha.  I love it so much.  They always say to leave your area better than you found it.  Well, we poured everything we had into this area, and are leaving them with three solid IBDs.  The work just exploded here.  I'm excited for Toledo.  I was brought back again to D&C45:61 "For verily I say unto you that great things await you"  I'm goig to miss San Carlos like crazy.  It is such a huge part of who I am.  But I'm excited for Toledo and what awaits me there.  So here I come Toledo.  
Vamos San Carlos.
Sister Carlee Beyer

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