Monday, March 3, 2014

Jessica Twenty First Email! March 2nd, 2014

Hello everyone! I hope that you are having a wonderful week family! Umm hello, of course you are!!! You are in Cabo!!! Whattt?!?! So fun. And I am so happy that you brought Emi with you!! SO fun! How is it? Thanks for sending pictures. Looks like a good time! And the best way to spend dad's birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day dad! And you said Emi bore her testimony in church in Cabo... in Spanish! 2 Legit 2 Quit. (ya ya I know)

Mom!! I got your package this week!!! Thank you thank you! The best! Seriously your snack selections are better than I would ever dream of. It's like you're some sort of a package wizard!! I love everything in it. The valentines day goodies and all.

I also received some letters this week! Thank you to Amy Heap for the Valentines day card! And Amy and John Hansen for your letters! Love the 7th ward. And thank you Zoe Wescoe! So great to hear from you :) And got some letters from my favorite missionaries. Such a fun time to be on a mission along with everyoneeee. Thank you everyone for your love and support!

It was a wonderful week here!! We taught so much. Found some great perspectives, and have some really progressing investigators! Who even keep their commitments, crazy... I know!

So I want to tell you about one investigator. He is currently my favorite, is that bad to say?? Anyway. His wife is a member. They have a little boy. He used to be taught by the missionaries a ton and was supposed to be baptized but family problems and other things got in the way. Well Sister Taylor and I had tried to go back and he would hide from us and stuff. Last week we went to try and share a message with his wife and she wasn't there so we asked him if we could come back and teach him. He said yes! Shocking! God really softens people. So we went back when we scheduled and it was AMAZING! He knows it all. He is so ready. So we ended up teaching him 3 or 4 times this week and he has gone to church the last 2 weeks. He even loves it when we leave him Book of Mormon Reading Assignments! So perfect. Well, the second time we went hahah. My biggest fear became a reality. So the approved Preach My Gospel baptismal invitation starts off with saying that there is a baptismal service on (date) and then you ask if they will prepare to be baptized on that date. When I first saw that in the MTC I thought it was so awkward because obviously they're gonna want to know who is getting baptized! But it's just their Baptism and they don't know it yet. Well our MTC teachers assured us that nobody asks and it would be fine. So here I go... "We are having a Baptismal service on March 22..." Him: "Oh wow! That's great! Who is getting baptized?!" Noooooo. Haha stressful situation trying to think of an answer. Umm you are?? Haha I had no idea what to say. So I turn to Sister Simpson and she just looks back. Three second blank stare. Shoot! We said we weren't sure and asked if he would prepare to also be baptized then. He said yes.Could've been much worse. Luckily we can joke around with them so it was just funny and awkward at the same time. But yes! He is doing great and hopefully continues to get ready for baptism!

So a few funny things happened this week. The first was at 4am when the phone started ringing. I got up and walked to the other side of the room and ignored the call. Got all tucked back in bed and it started ringing again. So annoying haha. So I got back up and turned it on silent. Well we woke up to like 3 more missed calls and a text from the same number asking when they could come borrow the Caribou. Yes... the animal that you use to plant fields or sow the dirt or something. I don't know haha. But it was so random and really made my morning. Only in the Philippines.

Next one. There is a crazy lady here in Tigaon. I may have told you about her. She always would come up to me and Sister Taylor at the bread stand and say, "buy me that!" We would tell her as missionaries we weren't allowed and she would tell us to go die. Umm thanks haha. Well this last P-day we had just finished all our shopping so I had like 2 or 3 bags full of groceries. We stopped in a pharmacy to get an ice cream bar and I saw her walk in. Set the ice cream back in and whispered to Sister Simpson we were probably gonna need to leave cause she usually gets all up in our face. She told us to buy her something and we said we couldn't then I told her she looked very beautiful today haha. Worth a try. And it worked!!! ( I think it was just our first encounter with her where she wasn't drunk, but let's just say compliments go a long way). So we started talking to her. Asked her about her family. Not married... shocking. After I gave her another compliment she said "you are so full of..." She's okay with English so I could just imagine what was coming next. But then she surprised us with saying "joy" haha. Note taken... just make friends with the crazies. She ended up being drunk the next day and told us to die, but maybe we are on to a new friendship! :)

Did I tell you everyone just burns their trash here?? Like even our landlord burns our trash. It's horrible haha. But looking on the bright side... it's like the good ol' days when we used to always have bonfires down at the bay after a day of boating. Except it smells horrible and is probably really bad for the environment.

Okay so Sister Simpson. Terrified of dogs. Which meansss... I, also terrified of dogs, am forced to be the defender in this companionship haha. Every time there is a dog, even a nice dog, she runs around to the other side of me to make sure I am between her and the dog. And when we walk past the vicious, flesh eating dogs, she ALWAYS says "Whew. I'm glad you were there in case it started coming for us. Then it would get you while I ran." Every time. Haha. Yep, just here for your protection! She's so funny. It kills me.

Oh RANDOM! A less-active in the ward told me I am bigger than when I got here. Shoot. Sometimes I wish the Filipinos weren't so honest! Haha. Yes I know... thanks! Workin on it!

There is another less-active in the ward. We usually go share a message with her once a week. She is great, even came to church this week! Well she is probably the least fortunate of anyone I have seen here. A few weeks ago I sent you a picture of Sis T and me with her in her house. DelaCruz. Well, we were asking about her baptism this week so she pulled down her baptismal certificate. She had it all wrapped in a bag to try to keep it nice. Didn't work. The corners were torn and it had gotten kinda wet on parts. Well I am a strong believer of lamination! So I asked her if we could take it and get it laminated for her and bring it back the next week. I have never seen her smile so big. Oh my. She was so happy and kept saying thank you thank you thank you! It's literally one of her only possessions and it kills me to see it getting destroyed. We gave it to her and she loved it! It's crazy how such a little thing can mean so much to people here who are so humble.

Sorry this is getting so long! But I GOTTA tell you about this lady haha. We have taught her 3 times now I think. She is always re-asking stuff we JUST taught her and she will try to finish our sentences and stuff but has no idea what we are about to say. Let's just say by the end of our last lesson with her we decided she probably has some mental problems. So the other day we were teaching and I couldn't take it anymore. Over the course of the lesson I said 3 prayers. The first, Please let me have a Christlike love for this lady. Second, please let me be able to teach clearly enough so that she will understand at least SOMETHING from this lesson. And third, please just let this lesson end! Haha sometimes there are just lessons or people that are just so tough! But it's times like this I am learning to rely on the Lord and his help in all situations. Need to keep developing that patience! haha.

On Saturday (DAD'S BIRTHDAY!!) It was So hot! Like I'm pretty sure my necklace was giving me burns to the THIRD DEGREE on my neck. Haha. Hot day. Everyone here uses umbrellas here on the hot days and they were looking at me like I was crazy, including Sister Simpson. Haha I try to explain to her that I need to get tan! She just likes to remind me that I will get red, not tan. Thank youuu. Haha. I told her if my family is in the tropics somewhere right now, I can also imagine laying on the beach, soaking up the sun. She took a picture of my attempt of sunbathing as a missionary. Result: quite the farmer's tan!

Yesterday church was great. I found out I was teaching relief society about 2 minutes into relief society. Opening hymn ended and yep! Sister Richmond will be our teacher. Greattt. Also, we had more people in relief society than ever before. Not complaining because the more full the church, the better! Right?! But still a little stressful when the whole thing has gotta be in Tagalog. It went well though. Gift of tongues is real! Also at church a lady came up to me saying her brother is less active and she wants more than anything for him to come back. She started crying and said that she needed me to get him back to church! Sometimes the Lord puts big responsibilities in our hands, but I know that he will help us along the way, every step! For everyone, not just missionaries! Each of you in our calling or assignments, just remember He is there and wants to help. You just need to ask!

Mom last week you asked how much Tagalog we speak and I forgot to answer you. In lessons, only Tagalog and on the streets and stuff. At home and with other missionaries it's more like Taglish. We speak it a lot more in the house now than last transfers, but still a good amount of English when we're home. It's getting better everyday though. When I first got here I can honestly say I didn't think I would ever learn it. Now I feel fine having conversations and talking to people. It's so much fun speaking Tagalog! Haha and the only way to improve!

Okay I am SO sorry. This is so long haha. I love you all. I hope you have safe travels back to America! Have a wonderful week. You are in my prayers always. I hope you are all happy at this stage in your life. Time flies so enjoy every second. And make sure you do something everyday to bring you closer to Christ! AND HELLO! Congrats to all those who got into BYU! You did it!!!! Now just enjoy the rest of your senior year! You will miss it.

LOVE YOU! Thanks for all you do for me.
Yours Truly,
Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. Cleaned the slip covers on our couch! Now somewhat sanitary to sit on! I missed sitting on a nice comfy couch! Area Book time just got a lot more enjoyable :)
2. When we walk past a basketball court and the boy with the ball yells to us "para sa iyo!" Meaning this one's for you haha. Such creeps around here.
3. PACKAGE!!! Perfect snacks. Pure Bliss.
4. Annie's white cheddar mac and cheese shells in my package. DAIRY!
5. When investigators ask for reading assignments.
6. Jeanavie bore her testimony yesterday in church! And we didn't even tell her to!
7. Taught 33 lessons this week!! All time high so far for both of us.
8. Sister Simpson :) We are really getting along better and can joke around and have a great time together.
9. Brandon, Emi, and Mae getting into the best school in the world. GO COUGS!
10. Emi went on a vacation with our family to Cabo. Part of the fam! ALSO! You all went to Cabo for finishing The Book of Mormon I believe. Welll... I plan to finish it at least 3 times on my mission, which means 3 tropical vacations for Jessica?? KIDDING!! This whole mission is a tropical vacation. I love it. Best experience ever. (But Lake Powell summer 2015 should be highly considered. Amirite?)

Sometimes Sister Simpson sleeps on the floor 
because the bed is so squeaky haha.

 Discovered this lil' devil in our house!

Holding the HUGE spider.

 Kinda gnar... I know ;)


 Havin too much fun with Sister Simpson's panoramic.

 Bun crew.

 Sister Irava's hair salon haha.

 Biggest snail I have ever seen!

 Literally the size of my hand!

 Flower from some little boy :)

 Ruth and Rebecca worked with us one day this week!

 Teaching over at Jeanavie's.

 Ruth and Rebecca

 So fun.

 Thank you for the chair hahah

 My hair got stuck in the clothes line. Wonderful haha

 Corn field...

 Just heading to a teaching appointment haha

 Sometimes Rebecca knows how to push my buttons!!!

 Pit stop @ da church.

 MOM!!!! Your packages are unreal. THANK YOU!!!!

 Trying to self timer it up on the bridge.



 CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!? Mom!!! 
Who would've thought this sweatshirt from your small
 hometown high school of Camarillo would end up here?!

 All the high schools here have the coolest signs.

Just a daily occurrence.

 I <3 rice fields!

 Stickin to the classics.

Don't you think dad's birthday would go forgotten! 
Not in my book! :)

 My companion made a ton of roti haha

 My "suntanning because my family is in Cabo" picture

Now this is what I call a birthday miracle! 
Dad's favorite thing, a rainbow! 
And on his birthday too! WOW!

 My favorite pastime... hand-washing clothes.

 Double rainbow all the way!

 Jeanavie's little daughter.

Jeepnies galore

 Love this walk up to Tinawagan!

Taking the load off for my companion by carrying 
her quad the 3 mile walk down the mountain hahah. 
Oh companions :)

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