Monday, December 9, 2013

Jessica's Ninth Email! December 8th, 2013

Hi family. I will start by saying how sorry I am to hear about Grandpa's passing. But as you all said in your encouraging emails, I know that this is for the best and he can finally receive the perfect body that he has been struggling to live without for the past few years. I hope that the funeral service goes well for all of you and especially Grandma. Please give her a HUGE hug for me! And dad, as you said, what a miracle that his wife and all 5 kids could be there as he passed away. I am so grateful for Grandpa for the example he has been to me and to all of us. I know that he would want this to push me to work even harder to tell even more people about the Plan of Happiness that we are so lucky to know, especially at times like this. What a great man. Can't wait to see him again one day.

In some lighter news... Happy Birthday to Sister Taylor! Haha we haven't done much to celebrate yet, but tonight we have some legit family home evenings lined up!! Haha the 21st birthday in the life of a missionary. Nothing better!
And the best news of all!! (Remember how I mentioned mad dog's playoffs analogy last week?!) Well yesterday... WE WON THE SUPERBOWL!!!!! Haha it was seriously the best day. Like top 10 best days in my life I think. We had seven of our investigators come to church this week!!! And 19 less actives. Ahh it was such a miracle. Each one trickled in and Sis Taylor and me just looked at each other, jaws dropped, so excited. Haha such an amazing feeling. There are a lot of pictures we took with them after church. Three different families. I will tell you more about church, but I'll start with the beginning of the week.

So Monday after we emailed, we travelled to Goa to go to the ATM. Oh yea, our town is so small it doesn't even have an ATM haha. So we took a Jeepnie to Goa, which is like 20 minutes away. THERE ARE REAL STORES IN THE PHILIPPINES!! Ahhh I was so relieved to see this place called LCC! It's a grocery store. But like, a real one. Price tags, tiles, the real deal. And attached is a department store. It was crazy. Clothes and bags and appliances and ahh. As I said. Such a relief to see. And they have real things there. Like ingredients that we have in America and stuff. So Christie, can you do me a HUGE favor?! Can you go on my Pinterest and find the no bake recipe. The one with the pic of like 6 no bakes stacked on top of each other in my yum folder I think. And can you please send that to me. We have no oven so that will do! And dad. I would love the rocky road recipe because they have angel food cake here! Ok so if you could send me those 2 that would be great. So we were in Goa, but the ATM was offline. Apparently it happens all the time where they just run out of money so you have to wait for them to get more. So we had about 3 hours to kill. We went to this store that sells used clothes, kinda like a thrift shop. Sister Taylor and I each got a grandma dress haha but we love them! So light and easy. We wore them Sunday. Don't worry, we did some hard core cleaning first. And. They were each only like 1 American dollar! Can't beat that haha.

Then Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty normal. It rained like non-stop for 10 days but yesterday and today have been sunny.

Thursday we had interviews so we got to see President and Sister Reeder, which was so fun! And! Sister Reeder brought us homemade chocolate chip cookies. Apparently she does it every time we have interviews. So Delicious!!!! Also! We got our mail!!!! I had letters from Mary and Megan. And the Berthas sent me their Christmas card! SO fun! It's hanging up on my wall! Anyone who wants to make my day, feel free to send your family Christmas card haha. And family! I had better be on your mailing list this year! :)

We had exchanges on Friday. So I went back to Goa and I worked with Sister Viola. She is great. From the Philippines. Going home in like 2 weeks. When she was at our apartment before we left she saw the picture of our family hanging on my wall. She was asking who everyone was and when she got to you mom, she said. Oh my! So fun! You have a twin sister?! And she was being so serious haha. So hopefully that makes your day mom. It's like when someone saw our family picture and said it was so sad that this man's wife died and he was left with their 6 kids. Hahah. Sorry dad!!!! I don't think you look your age if that counts for anything. So exchanges were good. This one lady LOVES the missionaries. Haha she kept asking me to take pictures with her and then she wants me to send them to her so she can put it up on her wall with the other missionary pictures. She is a recent convert. So funny.

Two quick side notes. Here they do merienda (snack time) like 10 times a day haha. So a lot of people give us like crackers and some juice or orange soda, which is huge here. It's great cause we get a quick PACKAGED snack that doesn't have any suspicious contents. The people really are so sweet here. And the other thing, mom, you should be pleased to know I use hand sanitizer like all the time. Maybe obsessively haha. I remember how much you told me to use it when I was leaving for London but here, oh boy. Here you would REALLY want me using it haha.

Oh I forgot to tell you about the sister’s apartment I stayed in during exchanges. It is so nice!! It was tile floors. There were no leaks in the ceiling. They had light fixtures! Like decorative ones. They have a shower! AND their toilet flushes haha. It was so nice to stay there. Felt like a weekend getaway haha. But anyway, our house is a lot bigger so it all evens out somehow I'm sure. (Not really)

Saturday a lot of our appointments started falling through but then great things started happening! We ended up having 3 really good lessons with people who were going through so much and I think really needed a little pick-me-up. So it ended up being a great day. Oh my. I haven't told you but all the people here have hammocks. And their babies are always sleeping in them. The life! For sure gonna get one before I leave here.

We ate super well this week. Taco bell tacos. Fajitas. Homemade salsa. Curry. It was a good week. Don't worry I weighed myself at interviews and I haven't gained wait. But it might happen, fair warning haha. Good food week for sure!
MOM! Thank you so much for those Christmas stickers you sent in the MTC. The kids go crazy for them!!! Sister Taylor has a ton of pictures this week that you should get off her sky drive. There are a few with like a million little kids and I'm giving them stickers. Sums up pretty well what happens 10 times a day when I whip em out haha. It's great until they start asking me questions in Tagalog. Then I just say yayyy more stickers to change the subject haha.

Okay so church yesterday. We had like maybe 3 people who actually committed to go. The rest were iffy. So we're at church and like 20 minutes before it even starts, Phillip and Miles come strollin in with their daughter. Phillip is the one from Australia I wrote about last week. So then relief society starts (first hour) and Sister Taylor ended up teaching. She saw one of our investigators, Jessie Lou walk in so I quickly went and grabbed her. She had her 2 kids with her but her husband had to work. He is a padyak driver. So then a few more minutes into RS Jenivie walks in, with her 4 kids!!!!! SO I showed the kids where primary is and then got her into RS. So amazing. We had only briefly mentioned to her when and where church was but hadn't even really taught her yet so figured she wouldn't go. But she did!!! AND she didn't have fare to padyak so she walked with her 4 little kids. The sacrifice of these people really is remarkable sometimes. So it was the primary program, which was perfect that they all came. Phillip and Miles's daughter ended up being in the program! HAHA I looked up and saw her and was like.. Hmmm ok. Looks good to me. So Sister Taylor was the pianist for the performance so I sat with Jenivie. I missed most of the program trying to keep her kids from escaping but it's all good haha. Well it was all good until her baby peed on the floor because like nobody here uses diapers. So I had to run and find something to clean it up. Stress Central haha. All in all it was a good day. AND! After church when we went out teaching we ended up meeting 3 new investigators through a member referral. They are solid. Can't wait to teach them. It's really crazy how many miracles we saw yesterday. I can't express how grateful I am.

Well that's about all I've got for his week. Be strong family. Thank you for the emails and encouragement. Let's all be happy as grandpa would have us be! He was always so close to the Lord and I hope that can be an encouragement to us all to read more, pray harder, and live better like he always did.

FAMILIES ARE FOREVER. That keeps me goin. I love and miss you all so much.
Have a great week!

Love, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. Church attendance
2. New investigators
3. Hand written letters from friends
4. Rain= not so hot
5. Great food this week
6. Shopping in Goa
7. Seeing President and Sister Reeder
8. Knowledge of the plan of happiness at this hard time
9. The opportunity I have to teach that plan
10. Sister Taylor's birthday

PS- Thanks for putting pictures on the sky drive Christie!!! Don, those rugby shorts are questionably short hahah. And the Christmas party looked fun. Glad the boys survived. Nugs is still a cutie!!!! <3 Now time for a cute baby!!! Slashhh in like 16 months.

 At the thrift shop place. Seems practical in the Philippines.

 Watermelon smoothie and photo bomber in the back. Obviously Goa because it's a restaurant.

LCC the shopping center in Goa

 Taco bell. This one's for the boyz: Case, Don and Audz

 Kinda an idea of what we teach in. But this house is bigger than most.

 Mystery Fruit everywhere.

 These things are so annoying when we teach! This is Alexis, one of our investigators.

 Fun family!

 Seriously wasn't planned at all! We both walked into the kitchen and were like what theee. haha

 Somehow ended up here the other day.

Sister Viola

 Just casually walking to one of their investigators houses... through the FOREST!

 Rice Fields

 Sister Viola and me

 The lady who kept wanting pictures haha

 Again, casually walking to an investigators house over a river on a plank.

 Sister Viola's first ever PB&J sandwich


 Two of Jenevie's kids

 All of our investigators at church! Jessie Lou on the left. Phillip and Miles middle, and Jenevie right.

 Jenevie and her kids



 Jessies Lou's husband picking them up from church. 
He drove Jenevie and her kids home since they walked. So nice!

 A member, Jackie and her baby


 Giving the kids stickers

 They liked the stickers

 With the zone for interviews with the mission president

 Happy Birthday Sister Taylor

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