Monday, March 31, 2014

Jessica's Twenty Fifth Email! Fourth transfer! March 30th, 2014

Happy Birthday Christie!!!!!!! WoooooHooooo. Hope you had a great day today! I feel like my last 5 emails have started with a birthday in our family... March I tell ya! The cake looked beautiful and so fun Emi and Mae and mom all were there!!!

Alsooooo! Happy April Fools day tomorrow! I was gonna try and think of a good prank to email home. But you know those things that just turn really not funny, really fast, like joking about leaving the mission or something, ya that was all I could think of. So happy April fools day and I'll just leave it at that!

This week a lot of really random stuff happened and my ADD is very prevalent today. So prepare yourselves for a random mess of info about my week :) Sorryyyyy.

First... I'm gonna be that weather telling missionary. Sorry. I guess there was a typhoon down in the southern part of the Philippines or something. SO the weather was SO bipolar. Even more than Provo. It was like the hottest heat I have ever felt in my life and then an hour later kinda cool and just pouring. It was like that for like 4 days and then the last 3 days have just been the deathly hot kind of days. We went out to run the track one morning and it was super clear. Started running and 10 minutes later - pouring. But helllooo extra unwanted pounds. Had to keep running. And this old man was talking to Sister Simpson and telling her to tell me to stop so I don't get sick haha. It felt so good though.

The most tragic news of the week. Our perfect little district... SPLIT!!!!! NOOOO and also, our zone. Split! Hello Tigaon Zone. So crazy. Such a small zone. 18 missionaries. Oh well, the Tigaon Party animals district was great while it lasted. I am now the only maputi (white) one in the district. And there are 2 others in the zone. Hahah. It's fun though. It will be a good transfer. This morning some of the elders who were in our district before the split came down to our church and we had a great lil reunion and played some volleyball. It was great.

Okay time in the Philippines!!!! No clue what time it actually is haha. There is no satellite cell phone time or anything like that so one morning this week our wall clock, my alarm clock, my watch, and the phone time were all 5 minutes apart. No wonder everyone is always late to everything here!

Oh man! Mosiah 24:14. Read that scripture this week and just realized how solid it is. "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions." The whole chapter really!!! Ahhhh verse 16. Seriously like the energy drink of the scriptures!!! Gets you soooo pumped up. "And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage." Love it!

So this week we were teaching a lesson! With who we thought was an investigator haha. Her husband had told us she wasn't baptized. It was going great so Sister Simpson extended a baptismal date and she said "ayyy, tapos na!" Like, it's already done! So we thought we were gonna have to jump into authority and all of that so I asked her if she was baptized in the Catholic church and she was like, no! Mormons! Hahah thank you to her husband, false info! Trying to convert the converted, not too successful.

Chris is doing great! His confirmation was yesterday. Haha he is already telling us that when his kids grow up he wants to go on a mission with his wife! Can't wait to see all the great things he does in the church. Also when we were over there, he and his wife were telling me that they saw my Facebook. They said I have gotten fat and I didn't even look like the same person. Haha at least I am getting used to the whole Filipino honesty thing!

This week we met some people and were talking to them before we started teaching. They asked what my major was in school and I told them family life, which is like home economics cause they have that here. He said ohhhhh Home Econanay!!! Nanay means mom. So pretty much... mom major. Mrs. degree. Whatever you wanna call it, still getting hassled here for it too.

Last week in Megan Bertha's email she was saying that because of her heel problem the doctor suggested she wear Crocs and how she couldn't imagine having to wear them... yep life in the Philippines hahah. I couldn't stop laughing. Don't worry, still avoid them and go with the 2 dollar rubber shoes they have here.

Did you have your 5th Sunday meeting yesterday about family history?! We did! It was great! We watched a video about it and I was getting so pumped to do family history after the  mission. When we were at BYU, Madison would always love to index haha. When we were studying she would take little indexing breaks. So funny. You should all be more like Madison and make use of your spare time by helping those on the other side of the veil! Speaking of which... Dad told me that you started the work for Grandma and mom's side of the family. Have you gone to the temple yet?? Please keep me updated on that! Thanks :)

Andddd highlight of the week. MAIL. Got such a good letter from Emi! Actually 3 hahah. So funny. One from November, one from Jan, and one from Feb all that she hadn't sent so they were all together. I love it. So good to get updates on my friend's lives! And then a great letter from Mary complete with pictures of our trip to London this summer and all. Also some from other missionary friends. Such a fun treat.

Okay well I can't say I didn't warn you about the mess of thoughts racing through my head! Probably because last night I went to bed at 10:30PM like an obedient little missionary. Fell asleep. Then at 11PM get awakened to the 3 other sisters pulling the blanket off of me because this huge creepy flying antenna headed bug was on me. Sound familiar?! Yes. Same thing happened with Sister Taylor hahah. Oh the Philippines. So anyway. Somehow I ended up being the one to go in for the kill. The whole catastrophe lasted about 30 minutes until it finally died. I guess it was the adrenaline or something cause I couldn't fall back asleep till like 1AM and then this morning we woke up at 5:30AM to get to the church by 6AM for volleyball. So tired. Anyway. I know that the church is true. I know that we have a loving father in heaven who wants to hear from us. I know that this is His work and we all need to do what we can to help in it. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary and teach the truths I was fortunate to know my whole life. I love you all so much. Thanks for everything. Your love and support keeps me going sometimes! Have such a good week!

Love, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. Volleyball this morning
2. Chris's confirmation
3. Mail
4. Greatest apple stand we found. I missed apples
5. We get our support (money for food and stuff) tomorrow! Eggs for 3 days has been cool and stuff, but yaaa.
6. Exercised everyday this week except Sunday
7. District shirts
8. CHRISTIE'S birthday
9. Christie's email ;)
10. Found a lot of good potentials this week!

Thought Christie might like to see this picture of public bathrooms in the Philippines.
 Can't wait for your trip!!! HAHA

Got district shirts. Animals

On the back is all of our animals that our district leader gave us the other week.

Elder VJ's last night in Tigaon

Have you ever seen a more classic lunch?!

The Abay Family!

Found my companion doing the thriller in her sleep HAHA

The new district.. ehhhhh

Only white one whaddupppp

Sister Ronquillo and her birthday chain.

 Merienda at the Pante house

Our birthday card and stickers for him

 She washes all her clothes herself! Better at it than I am for sure.

This is where the whole neighborhood showers.

Mastering the brownouts over at the Mabana's house

Matching at church

My OCD got the best of me. 
Already have my envelopes ready and pictures printed for when I leave Tigaon.

Last night: 11pm. Disaster strikes. Ignore my getup.
 Had to wear socks because ants attacked my feet the night before.

Goin in for the kill

Die creepy bug

That time they brought us out 4 classes of coffee. Awkwardddd

Games at the church this morning

Big boyz

Just a bunch of party animals meowwww

Love, live, Tigaon District

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jessica's Twenty Fourth Email! March 23rd, 2014

Hello family and friends!!!! Let me just say, it is a great day when you lose an investigator to the waters of Baptism!!! CHRIS WAS BAPTIZED! It was a great day. One of the best of my life. This week was great leading up to it. Hilarious! Especially when we went over to help him fill out his baptism and confirmation record. He was having such a hard time knowing what went where. Good thing we brought him a scratch sheet first! And then we were reviewing his interview questions and he was all nervous and asking us to "give him the right answers" haha. As if he needed us! He was so ready it's not even funny. He is so great. Oh man, right before the baptism started, I asked if there was anyone else we needed to wait for or if we should start. He said "oh ya! I invited Thomas S Monson and haven't seen him yet. Let's wait another minute." Haha I was dying. I love that family so much. Next step, temple sealing! Can't wait. Chris is seriously like a big brother to me and Sister Simpson. Like the Casey of the Philippines! Haha I love it. He is always giving us a hard time and is just the funniest. And they live right across the highway from us so every time we go over at night he always walks us out to the road and watches us until we get home. It was a great thing to watch him get baptized, and pretty funny too because he is so tall. Good thing we had Elder McBride who is about the same size.

Other big news of the week... transfers. I am STAYING in Tigaon! I'm so happy! The work is really picking up. SO that means I am with Sister Simpson for these next 6 weeks again. AND the other 2 sisters in our house are staying too. I think that our transfer announcements are different than a lot of missions because a lot of my friends have written about when they get "the call" telling them where they are going. So here's how it goes in the Naga mission. Our zone leaders just send a mass text Saturday night to the whole zone and it says transferring, with all the missionaries names being transferred, and then training, and all the missionaries training. Then if your name is on the list you and your companion go to the church by the mission home for transfer announcements 3 days later on Tuesday in Naga. Then the President and AP's announce where you're being transferred and who your comp is and all of that. It's a pretty stressful meeting and I'm sure even worse when you're the one transferring. So this is my 4th transfer in Tigaon and by the end of this transfer it will be 6 months in this town. Love it. I've even gotten to be pretty good friends with some of the workers here in Tigaon. Oh man! Like the 2 post office employees. Great pals! I think I go there every P-day! It's funny though because I have only left the zone two times in the last 4 and a half months to go to Naga. That's like an hour and a half away. Last summer I literally think I was in a different state every other week and then sometimes a different country. Now... Tigaon... always. Somehow I haven't gone crazy like I thought I would. Blessings of serving a mission. But I do miss planes haha.

This week was full of injuries, mostly small. Two were scary though. Haha the first was when I ELECTROCUTED myself! Like straight up out of the movies, my whole body. So sketchy. All because I wanted to watch The Restoration while I ate my lunch. Gotta be more careful with these outlets! The other was Sister Ronquillo. Sunday we were getting ready for church and she turned and walked right into her fan. She had taken the cover off because it doesn't fit right and makes a horrible sound. But anyway. It ripped through her skirt and tights and cut up her leg. She faints when she sees blood so I had to cover her eyes and fix it up haha. The other sisters asked if I am a nursing major. Haha I am way skilled at putting bandaids on I suppose. Guess I am getting a little tougher cause I think mom knows how I felt about blood 6 months ago!

Last week I was reading Madison's email. She said something about how the other sisters in her house probably don't like her very much because she is obedient. I feel the same way!!!!!! Haha I love reading my friend's letters to their families/friends because it doesn't matter where in the world you are serving! We all go through the same things. We all have the same purpose. And we all have rough things we have to deal with. But I love that I have all my friends there. We all email back and forth and it's seriously so encouraging. The army of missionaries! Bringing the world His truth, that's some powerful stuff!

The other day we had to run a lot of random little errands. Had to go to some government building to get a map for our area book, make copies of our progress record, make the baptism program, had to do something for our district. I forgot how much I love running errands! Seriously like my favorite thing. A little more enjoyable in a car :) But still, it was like the good ol' days.

This week we made the cake batter cookies with the cake mix mom sent me. SO DELICIOUS. I ate more than I should have. Felt so sick. Dad had just sent me a story like 2 weeks ago about eating too many brownies and ice cream one night on his mission and feeling so sick. That's about how I was feeling! But in the end, worth it. Thanks mom! Your packages are like a little slice of happiness in my life. The best!

Also this week! Taught Sister Simpson how to spell the Philippines! She had been spelling it Philippaens or something biblical looking haha. The good news is no one else knows how to spell it either, so it's all good! Bought a shirt this week and it was spelled wrong. But nobody will ever know!

Well, I will just leave ya all with a wonderful scripture! 3 Nephi 6:18 "Now they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore they did willfully rebel against God." We know the truth! We know the will of God! Everything else is rebellion. I know that we can pray for the ability to withstand temptation and follow God's commandments!  So do it :)

I love you all!!! Have a great week. Get pumped for Christie's birthday next Sunday. And keep on smiling!!!!
Love, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. Chris's Baptism!
2. Staying in Tigaon
3. Emailing in Goa today... FAST internet!!! Almost like America
4. Caught 2 mice this week. I have to drown them. Turning into quite the murderer :/
5. Sunday afternoon lunch at the Paronda's house! Love that family.
6. Dinner appointment!
7. Finished reading D&C
8. Discovered a track by our house where we go running every morning now!
9. Found apple juice that actually tastes like apples!
10. Cake batter cookies... thanks mommyyyyy
*Why do the majority of my top 10 always have to do with food?!??!?! Ahhhh. Workin on it. Promise. Remember when Casey gained a hefty amount of weight on his mission and we made fun of him (sorry Case)... Wellll, I feel his pain!

 Chris's son

 Chris photo bombing mine and Basty's picture

 The infamous tablet

 Tablet time. Kidding. So tempting

 Free trash bags from Chris. Sister Simpson was way excited haha

 Chris and Basty

 Hey horsie

 Just me and my pals

Sister Vivas (investigator) and her 6 kids

 "Wacky, Wacky"

 New soft serve in Tigaon! 
They switch off flavors and only have one a day. 
Gotta avoid cheese day!


 Wash timeeee

Can't remember if I've showed you a tindihan. 
This is pretty standard. About every other house. 
Result: Weight gain!

 One of our investigator's daughters.

Corn field

Sister Simpson modeling by the tree

...And me mocking her... sorryyyy


 Shonny and her daughter

 The Galvan fam

 I think this will be my fave district of my transfer. (I think she means mission)

Tigaon Party animals

 Elder Savage (fellow accutane victim) 
appreciates my spearmint chapstick addiction

 Sister Bolalin

 Criszel and Nanay DelaCruz

 Mourning the loss of ALL of sister simpson's pictures from her mission. 
Including some prime ones from this week of us eating fried squid.

 Tinapay (bread) is the solution to all my problems.

Erica. My favorite little girl.


Jeanavie and Jeanrose

Sleepy lil Jr. He is 7 years old BTW

 The Abay's nail party

 The Abay's delicious food stand

 Waiting for Chris and his fam to get home

 The result of a longgg day... 1 lesson. NOT GOOD! Punted all day.

 Making cake batter cookies


 Our presh little neighbor off to graduation!

 Hollaaaa at cha chocolate milk and chips 4 dinnaaaa

 Chris is quite the chef!

 Sebastian (Basty)

 Moments after receiving the text that we're together for the next 6 weeks.

 Ward member

 Shonny at CHURCH!

 Elder VJ's last day in the ward!
 Still never learned how to say his name!

 Bye Bye elder!

 Sunday lunch/FEAST at the Paronda's house.

 I <3 lumpia

 Clearly enjoying this food a little too much

 Chris padyaked us to the church for his baptism!

 Basty got shotgun

 The Abay daughters

 His grand exit

Chris, his wife, and their baby

LOVE this family


Elder McBride baptized him

Chris's wife is an Abay so these are all members from her family

Elder McBride's last week in Tigaon (zone leader since I got here)