Monday, December 23, 2013

Jessica's Eleventh Email! December 22nd, 2013


AHHHH is there anything better?! Umm... NO! I am so excited, I have been waiting for this day for so long. Congratulations to her! The pictures you put up on Skydrive and the ones Amy sent me are awesome! Looks so great. So glad everything went well. Oh and happy 18th birthday to Emi :) So great. Happy birthday to Aunt Shauna too... almost!

Okay so this week was good! We went down to Naga and let me tell ya... the city life is the good life! Ahh it was such a good time. SO we went down on Wednesday morning. It's about a two hour bus ride... talk about car sick! But miracles of serving a mission... I somehow still haven't thrown up since I got here. Christie's witch oils are actually helping I think. But anyway... we went down to Naga for the new missionary workshop. It was so fun to see my batch-mates (the missionaries who came in the same day). There were 2 different workshops so there was only half of my batch there. Four of us from the Provo MTC. So we did that on Wednesday and then Wednesday night... SLUMBER PARTY! Haha we stayed at some other sisters apartment in Naga. They had extra mattresses luckily but we just put them on the floor and it was a good time. After the workshop though, the assistants drove Sister Taylor and me to SM because I needed to get a new bag (yep... livin that fanny pack life now. you gotta do what you gotta do). So anyway they drove us to SM. The only way I can explain it is HEAVEN! It's a mall, like a real life mall. Stores and restaurants, and Christmas music, and the whole shabang. So we got Pizza Hut obviously. Only real cheese I have seen in the Philippines. So after that we went out and did splits just for like 2 hours with the sisters who we stayed with. I went with Sister Sanft from Hawaii. Figured I'd ask her what island. She told me and then I thought may as well ask if she knows the Cravens. THEY ARE BEST FRIENDS! When we got back to the apartment she showed me a ton of pictures on her wall of Natalia! And she knows Mark and Sharlene and Valerie and Malia and just the whole gang! So fun. Mormon world really is so small. So anyway... we went out and taught a few lessons. We got back to the apartment and you better believe Sister Taylor and I booked it to McDonald's. Sooo delicious. Haha. So let's just say on Wednesday we got ice cream 3 times and leave it at that. Then! On Thursday we had a mission Christmas party. With the whole ENTIRE mission. There are over 200 missionaries. It was so much fun. This is the first time they've ever done something like this. It was great. We mingled and met a ton of missionaries. Then we watched a MOVIE! Like legit... It was Johnny Lingo, which I think is a church movie. But it was so good. We just sat there, watching a movie, not thinking for like over an hour. It was insane. We ate and had a talent show and then a gift exchange kinda thing. A spiritual message and some good stuff like that. Such a fun day. Oh ya! Oh Wednesday after SM we stopped by the office with the AP's and they gave me a few letters. Haha mom I finally got the dear elder you sent my first night in the MTC! I guess you sent it to the mission :) and I got one from Emi. SO great. Ahh She is so solid. And I got a package from Kari Rich! Such a great surprise! So many great snacks!!! Like those little squeeze apple sauces and fruit rolls ups and the works. We seriously have the best ward ever. Oh my. Did you get the Rich's Christmas card yet?! HAHAHHAH next level. I opened it with the Ap's sitting right there and they were laughing so hard. I love that family so much. Their Christmas card never disappoints...

Oh Christie! One of my batch-mate's trainer knows you! Haha in the workshop he heard that I was from San Diego and saw my last name was Richmond. He asked if I knew you. ummm yessss!!! haha Elder Hausia? I will put a pic on skydrive that we took so you could see who I'm talking about. He is on the BYU rugby team. Haha I asked him if he has ever stayed at our house since there were like 3 times that some of the team came down. But he hasn't haha that would've been funny.
Let's see... what else? On Saturday the other sisters in our ward had a baptism! 5 people got baptized! So exciting! We went and the 6 missionaries in our ward sang. It was neat. Not like baptisms back home, but the spirit was there! Most definitely!

This week we didn't teach a whole lot because of our Naga trip and weekly planning and the baptism so I don't know what to update you on. We still have some really great progressing investigators. Jessie Lou and her husband are still preparing to get married so they can be baptized!!!!!! Jenavie is still so solid. I reaaaly love those 2 ladies. They have such hard lives but still try so hard and have such great faith and they are just wonderful!

I have thought of a few things to tell you though.

1- I have finally decided what it sounds like when all these guys try to yell to us in English. It's just like Mad Gab! Haha I'm gonna be so good at that game after trying to figure out what they are saying for a year and a half! So you all can expect an intense game of mad gab when I get home. Dibs being on Dad and Christie's team. Anyone who hasn't played that... DO IT!!! Best game ever.

2- The bread stands here are such a temptation. They are just everywhere with fresh bread and ahh it's so good. And it's only 1 peso for a little piece, that's like 2 cents or something. I stop a few times a day haha. They are small I promise! But that's one thing I already know I will miss! Having little snack stands everywhere! So convenient.

3- Speaking of convenient... if you are a BYU student... get ready for fall 2015! Sister Taylor and I have already decided we will be opening a padyak service on campus haha. They are so convenient! You're just walkin down the road and decide you need to go somewhere that is kinda far to walk, yell padyak, and you have like 5 people bike over to you and drop you wherever you need to go. So nice. And it's only 5 peso! Maybe like 10 cents in America?? No not even. I can't do math right now. 43 peso equals a dollar I think. Either way... CHEAP.

4- When we walk down in Centro, like the town part of Tigaon, we always have EVERYONE yelling to us or waving. Half of the time we don't even know where the voices are coming from. For sure use the slogan from Madagascar, "smile and wave boys, smile and wave," and I think it's working out just fine!

5- Tin roofs and rain are a terrible combination when trying to teach people. Especially when it is raining sooo hard. That's all I have to say about that.

K one quick story. There is a guy in our ward and he is so funny. He has some mental issues and I never really knew what but we were talking with him the other night and he told us. When he was 12 he fell out of a coconut tree and was in a comma for 3 months. So sad. But he is seriously like the happiest guy you will EVER meet. Always so excited to see the missionaries. We saw him when we were meeting with a less active. He came in and was telling us this and then we were all just talking. He is so blunt haha. He asked the less active "Why haven't you gone to the temple with your husband?! Don't you want your family to be sealed for eternity???" haha And he was speaking in English so just imagine that mad gab edition. She just started laughing luckily or it could've gotten way more awkward. Haha I am really getting to know and love a lot of these people in our ward.
Well that is all I got! haha I know. Too long. Sorry! Just such a fun week!

I hope everyone has a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Remember what this season is all about! I know that the Savior paid the price for all of us. It is through Him that we can return to live with each other and with God and Jesus Christ again. There is no greater gift than that! I know that Christ lives. He is our older brother. He knows EVERYTHING we are going through because he has been there. We are so lucky to have this time to focus on him and remember all that He has done for us.This IS the true church. I have been so blessed through my membership in it. I couldn't think of something that gives us so many blessings. I am grateful for all that I have been blessed with, which I am realizing is so much more than a lot of people can even imagine. I have such an amazing family and I am grateful to all of you for your amazing example and love and support. I CAN'T WAIT TO SKYPE YOU IN 2 DAYS!!!!! AHHHHH

Merry Christmas!
Love, Sister Richmond

1- Emi's baptism
2- Naga trip
3- Emi's baptism
4- Package from Kari
5- Daniel emailed me... finally!
6- Christmas week!
7- Emi's baptism
8- Progressing investigators
9- Skype this week
10- Ice cream!

Jessica obviously isn't home so she unfortunately 
wasn't able to be at Emi's Baptism, but she asked 
me to put these pictures up on the blog to celebrate 
what an amazing blessing it is that Emi 
was able to be baptized today! 12/22/2013

Jessica's Christmas Card!

FHE. They go hard.

Just your average pot of pasta

We did an FHE at a less-active's house and they invited so many people! So fun.

Playing some Filipino game called handa kilos.

My homies

Corn fields! We run past these every morning.


First ice cream of 3 in our day in Naga

Some of my batch at new missionary workshop

The elder who knows Christie and his trainee, Elder Denning from my MTC district.

Some members who worked with us in Naga

The sister who knows the Cravens




Never been so happy with my happy meal!

Slumber Party in Naga!!!!

The California missionaries at the Christmas Party!

My whole Provo MTC batch at the Christmas party!!!

Cutting onions is just as painful in the Philippines!

Watching the district... but that's as close as we get.

Practicing for our ward Christmas party. Missionary Performance!

1 comment:

  1. Sister Richmond,
    I actually read this month's letters starting last night, slept on it then finished the second letter. AMAZING! I was inspired from your Christmas Devotional story to watch this years, which I totally missed... I only watched the first half before falling asleep, but I plan on finishing it later today! I loved the pinatay story! I actually had to run into the next room to tell my parents, "So, this just happened..." How I opened up the story made it seem like a suspenseful one, but since they're both native Tagalog speakers they got it and just ended up laughing. Funny story. President and Sister Reeder sound amazing, that's so great that they checked up on you after Grandpa. "beautiful girls in my sidecar!" So many great padyak stories this month, I will definitely accept padyak rides around BYU when you and Sister Taylor decide to open that business. Sister Taylor should be back by now, so we're just waiting on you.
    So many great Christmas miracles! I'm excited to see how everything goes with Jessie Lou! I just know it'll turn out. She has such a great support system, and the wedding! Ah, such an amazing month...
    I thought it was funny how you and Sister Taylor booked it to Mcdonald's as soon as you had the chance in Naga! Here, it's like people avoid it, but on the mission, we were the same. We flocked to it! Three ice creams in one day! Plus multiple bread-stand trips... Watch yo-self sister, haha. Sounds like diabetes... joke joke! Knock on wood!
    The Mission Christmas Party sounded like a blast! I want to watch Johnny Lingo now, I think it's on Netflix... Also, I haven't played MadGab in forever! It's true though, what you said about English and Madgab, haha
    A lot of fun stories this month! Keep the smiles coming, and God speed, sister! Great work!

    PS, I saw those West Coast gang signs in the California Flag picture... ;)