Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jessica's Thirteenth Email! Second Transfer! January 5th, 2014

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Okay may I just begin by saying how amazing my mother is?!?! Mom I love you so much! That package was incredible!!! Ahhhh you know me so well. The CD is perfect! You would love it! You should get it too! Grandpa's funeral program looked great. He is such an amazing man. Thanks for sending that. The chocolate milk straws!! I had just been telling Sister Taylor about those, 2 days before I got the package! Chocolate pretzels, Milanos, Walkers shortbread cookies, ahhhh I could go on and on. Thank you. I think I shed a tear when I saw that huge jar of Nutella. Heavenly. THANK YOU!

So on New Years Eve Sister Taylor and I were talking about what we normally do. I realized that I am always in Colorado with Madison and I have NO idea if our family even has New Years Eve traditions haha. Sad. Please fill me in if we do :)

Austin's camera looks soooo legit!! Bunzzy is soo artsy. Loved all the pictures from the cabin up on Skydrive! Thanks Audz.

So New Years Eve and New Years are a very big deal here. Like we got punted all day. (Meaning nobody was home or they were busy and we hardly were able to teach any lessons.) Then New Years Eve night the bishop and his wife had the 6 missionaries from the ward over for dinner. They went all out!! And most of it I really liked. I tried pork blood and intestines; that was more on the questionable side haha. But man they are the best! They gave us fruit to take home and by the time we left, there was hardly even a dent in the food. There was SO much food. Sister Taylor was very proud that I tried something adventurous haha.

On Thursday the craziest thing happened. Sister Taylor and I were walking down the highway on our way to an appointment. This lady ran out of a house we passed and literally CHASED US DOWN yelling wait! wait! I have a question! Come back! We started walking to her and she was like, are you from a church?! I have been trying to find a church that I agree with and feel like I fit in! Ummm OK! Hello! We can help ya there lady! Haha we started to try to tell her that that is why we are here, to teach people about the gospel. She was far too excited to let us talk haha. She was almost frantic asking all sorts of questions... where is your church? Can anyone attend? When do you meet? What should I wear? Ahhh so we calmed her down a bit haha. We went into her house to get her info. She was just so excited for us to come back and teach her. So we taught her the other day. It went well. She has SO many questions but she is so interested, it’s almost concerning haha. She had school on Sunday but we are going back tomorrow for another lesson. Best part of this miracle: She is studying to be an English teacher so her English is great! Haha yayyy. I can communicate with her better than our other investigators! During our lesson though she was so concerned. If you have read Preach my Gospel, you know the questions of the soul?? Towards the end-ish. Yea she asked over half of those haha. We counted them up. She is too good to be true!

I SAW THE OCEAN!!! Haha there is an area of ours that is really far away. We go there a lot and one time I thought I saw the ocean but Sis Taylor said she thought it was rice fields. Well! When we went there the other day it was such a clear day! And CLEARLY the ocean! Such a beautiful sight. And so much closer than I though! They say it is 5 kilometers away... whatever that means.

Let's see. Oh yes! Random though. The other day after district meeting we had district lunch at this little place. We all rode there on padyaks haha. Such a funny sight seeing like 6 padyaks one after the other with missionaries. I love being a missionary. So fun!

Saturday the zone leaders had a baptism so we went and took our investigators. It was a combined baptism with an 8-year-old boy in their ward. Cutest thing ever. The moment after he came up out of the water he threw his hands up in the air and started like cheering haha. He was SO excited to be baptized. Reminded me of Mosiah 18:11. Can't remember it exactly but the idea is how these people were so excited when they learned of baptism and all the blessings that come from it. Read that chapter!! :) It's good.

So after the baptism we were getting ready to go teach and the guy who fell out of the coconut tree started yelling for everyone to come be member missionaries and teach with us. We are ALWAYS trying to get members at lessons, but they never come work with us. Well I guess he was pretty convincing because we ended up with 7 YSA members coming with us to work haha. Kinda harder but our investigators loved the company. SO we said, who needs a member present lesson when you can get a member present parade?! Haha it was fun. They shared great testimonies!!!

Okay SO I feel like I haven't told you a ton about our investigators. I will just tell you about a few of our key players! I'm not gonna write names.

~So there is a couple. Bipolar!!! Every time we go over one of them is happy and the other is mad. One wants us to teach and one says to come back another day. So it has taken a long time but they are slowly progressing. Just kinda awk when they turn us into marriage counselors and start telling us what the other did to make them mad. We get outta there real quick!
~Then there is a girl, 20 I think? We have been teaching her for my whole time here. She has not been progressing at all. When we ask a question she just laughs and shrugs. Annoying. Haha. But then this last week!!!! Oh man! She finally gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon! She has a baptismal date!! She is literally a new person! Asks such great questions. Reads and prays with real intent. She's solid now!!! Crazy what the Book of Mormon does in the conversion process!
~Next we have a couple who has been solid from the start! Already excited to get baptized, they gotta get married and quit some WOW (word of wisdom) stuff but they’re so legit. Only problem is that they have been in Manila since the 26th. They should be back any day though!!! Pray that they return hahah.
~Another investigator is this mom of 4. Her husband is not a nice man haha. Very controlling. We asked him if she could get baptized because we have to get spouse approval and he pretty much just said whatever. He won't even give her money to get to church so she has to walk with all of her kids. But her faith is amazing. Just gotta end this coffee addiction and she is golden! Ahhh great lady.

There are obviously more but those are the main ones I think. Ok well I am outta time! I love you all so much! Thank you for your love, prayers, and support! Have a wonderful week! I hope you are all happy, healthy, and well! Have fun at SCHOOL tomorrow haha.
Until next week :)

Sister Richmond xoxo

1- Package
2- New Years Eve dinner
3- Lady chasing us down
4- Deep cleaned the house this morning
5- Saw the ocean
6- Your pictures on Skydrive
8- Perfect weather today. Overcast, no rain. Maybe still like 80 degrees, but better!
9- A lot of progressing investigators!
10- It's a new year!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it's gonna be a good one because I get to be a missionary this whole year!

 P-day pedicures with a member haha. 
Not quite the same.

 I think she hates cats as much as I do!

 New Years feast at bishop's house for the 6 missionaries in the ward.

 Bishop and wife

 Intestines and pork blood


 Just eating some pork blood and intestines


 Proud nanay 
(Mom in Tagalog, and she's my mission mom. Soooo meet my nanay.)

 Celebrating hard core for New Years. 
Wooohoooo. Yeaaa went to bed at 10:15.  :)

 The classic meal. At least 4 days a week. Excited to make it for you one day!

 Dance partyyyy. Hahah JR in the back!


 Safety first


 Mom knows me too well.

 Fruit float, Tang, and Soy Sauce mixxxxx. Welcome to our lives.

 Had to go buy a little tote to protect my package goodies from the
who have taken up camp in our house.

 Yepppp... that's the OCEAN out there on the horizon. 
Way closer than I thought.

 At least 20 like this in this tree. Size of my hand at least.

 When you live in the Philippines sometimes you just gotta hug yerrrr fan.

 My wall is getting a little out of control but I couldn't help seeing my beautiful family.
 Thanks for the pictures mom!!

 Christmas cards and amazing family. Nothing better!!!

 YSA members

 Our member present PARADE!

 Sister Taylor grabbed my camera and took this while I was praying. 
Fast Sunday, what do you expect?!

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