Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Jessica's Twenty Ninth Email! April 28th, 2014

It is HOTTTTT. Oh my gosh. Like this whole week has been deathly hot, but still a wonderful week... Of course! We had a few fun things that happened. Like this morning, BEACH!!! We had a zone activity, which isn't allowed anymore. But President gave permission since 2 of the 3 districts in our zone only have 4 elders. So the whole 18 of us got to get together. So much fun. Volleyball, games, the works. It gets more and more tempting to swim every time haha. I love our zone! Transfers are next week though and I think I'm outta here. Lots of changes comin to Tigaon zone, that's for sure! We also had a ward service project this week on Saturday which I think was National service day or something? It was fun. Cleaned up at a school in town. It was a pretty good turnout, but mostly youth. The youth are probably the strongest unit in the church here haha. We also had exchanges on Sunday just for church because Sister Irava was sick but they had an investigator coming to church so me and Sister Ronquillo went to church and the other 2 stayed home. Lucky for me because I got the wonderful opportunity to give a talk... haha. Usually they tell us like 5 minutes before sacrament meeting starts. Not this time. The first counselor literally came off the stand during the opening hymn and told me to walk back up there with him because I was giving a talk haha. Okayyyy. It's kinda crazy though that I can give a 10 minute talk on the spot now.. in Tagalog. And the best part was after when everyone came up and told me how good my Tagalog has gotten from when I got here... haha I know they are being nice and I've been in the same ward for almost 6 months... but still nice to hear haha. And the especially great boost of the day!! The stake president told me I have gotten a lot darker!!! (Tan n' blonde, di ba Case?!)

Sige, let's see. What else has happened. Well really great blessing when an elder in the district gave me a ton of Mormon Messages to put on my flash drive. Truly inspired! Haha because this week I decided I am really not a fan of waiting for people, and my companion (love her tons, really!!) decided this week that we are going to a beauty contest this week! (Her companion took forever getting ready each day as if she were competing in a beauty contest.) Soooo I got to watch a ton of Mormon Messages while I waited for her and it was a great start to every day!

Sister Simpson and I really do get along so well. Since we will probably be split up next week we were talking about how much we laugh and how that will be a bummer not laughing all the time. We decided we wished we had a video camera all the time to just record all the random, crazy stuff that always happens to us all day. I'm gonna miss her (if I get transferred haha kinda jumpin the gun... I think they call it area trunky!)

Okay also this week I was reading an article in the Liahona about the Philippines. The whole thing was about all of the natural disasters that the Philippines are prone to. Not intended for the wimpy little missionary in the Philippines, that's for sure!!! Haha didn't realize how many things could go wrong until it was all just laid out there like that!! Had a brief little panic attack, then got over it and remembered I have God's protection. How lucky am I?!?!??!

WOW!!! The coolest thing happened this week. Kinda a long story, but full of miracles! Okay so the other night we went over to Jeanavie's to try and teach her. She told us she had had an operation earlier in the day and we could tell she was in a lot of pain. We also could tell she had a ton of laundry to do because it was piling over. So obviously, we offered to take the laundry back to our house, wash it, and bring it back the next morning to hang... because we are missionaries and we love to serve hahah. Smile through it... that's what I gotta think. She was shy about it but we finally convinced her. She doesn't live too far so we put it all in a huge bucket and started the walk home. Miracle #1- Safe and Sound by Rebelution was playing!!! And of course we needed a break because the bucket was heavy! So we rested for about 7 minutes and enjoyed Safe and Sound, Feeling Alright, and Bright Side. I was SO happy just couldn't stop smiling. At first, Sister Simpson was hatin on it but by the end of the 2nd song she was dancin along too. K so then we see Chris when we were almost home and he couldn't believe that we were gonna wash all those clothes so Miracle #2- he carried the bucket the rest of the way home and miracle #3- a few minutes later his angel of a wife showed up to help us wash. That wash party lasted about 2 hours haha. Then in the morning we went over to hang the clothes and Jeanavie's husband invited us over for lunch later. Miracle #4- when we went back later, we got fed a wonderful meal then realized that 3 of their kids were SO sick. JeanRose, the little girl, was on fire! Hottest person I have ever felt, legit kinda scary. So I asked Jeanavie for some cold water and a cloth and I wiped her head and neck and stuff like mom always does for us. Then after about 10 minutes I realized duhhhh we needed to call for a priesthood blessing. I was kinda annoyed with myself that it took 10 minutes to think of it, but then I made a call to the elders and Miracle #5- They were right down the street buying lunch. So we went and got them and brought them back. Jeanavie's husband was there and isn't a member so the elders explained really quickly about the priesthood and asked for permission to bless his kids. He can be a tough one sometimes, but Miracle #6- he said it was okay!!! Then the dad had the kids sit on his lap and the elders gave some awesome blessings. It was so powerful in that room. These kids are normally off the walls haha and neighbor kids are everywhere, and kinda just chaos over there. But hello Miracle #7- dead silence! All the little kids just sat there, eyes closed, arms folded. It was awesome. The little girl honestly felt cooler right away. It was great. Then Miracle #8 (again annoyed I didn't think of this...) but Jeanavie asked for a blessing! She was still in pain from her operation and totally recognized that  a priesthood blessing would help her. So cool. Such faith! So overall... it was a great hour. So many miracles, so much progress with her husband. I am so grateful for the priesthood and the wonderful holders of it. We are so blessed. Sorry, so long, but a way cool experience.

Okay so with Christie and Daniel leaving THIS WEEK to the Philippines! I wanna give you a few little tips. haha. Honestly, I'm a little worried, this country is insane. But you will LOVE it. I'm sure the resorts are even more lovely :)

1- Chicken fillet means no bones!!! It's way good at the chicken stands. And way cheap!!! Plus if you buy a roll from a bread stand and put the chicken in, you've got yourself a delightful lil meal for 25 pesos, that's less than a dollar!!!
2- When people say door to door, they are asking if you want to hire them to take you somewhere on their motorcycle (that one took me a while to catch on to haha).
3- A dollar is about 43 pesos. Yaaa... this one comes in handy for shopping!!!
4- Bring an umbrella. It rains a ton.
5- Magkano means how much. No matter what they answer if you say ayyy mahal po iyan! They will probably say sige, final price.. and lower it haha.
6- When you are on the bus and you get to where you want to go, yell para or tap a coin on some metal bars.
7- They have English sessions in the temple! GO! I want to go so badly haha
8- If you order a shake, expect ice, water, shake powder all blended together and sprinkled with milk powder. Might be different in the city, but here that's how it goes
9- When people say "it's more fun in the Philippines," just smile and nod. I think that's the country motto or somethin.
10- The people are wayyy nice and I never feel in danger... but please tell me you are leaving your wedding ring and valuables in America!!! Missionaries from Manila have said people there will rip necklaces off your neck. Who knows.
Anywayyy.... I guess you could say I am just a little excited to be in the same country as Christie and Daniel!!!! Congrats on graduation!

I got some mail this week. Great card and pictures from Kari and heard from Sister Green down in Legaspi too! MTC comp :)

Thanks for all the love and support. It seriously is so great to hear from all of you. Brandon and Austin... I know more about your lives from Taryn emailing me every week than from the 2 of you!!!! Haha thanks Taryn for keepin me up to date on the boys! I hope that you all have a wonderful week!!! Sorry this is so long. I miss you all tons and pray for you always :) LOVE YOU!

-Sister Richmond

Top 10-
1. Zone activity at the beach
2. Rebelution break
3. Elder gave me Mormon messages galore!
4. Priesthood blessings at Jeanavie's
5. Christie and Daniel will be in the Philippines in a few days!
6. Ward service project
7. 2 investigators at church yesterday (should've had 6... trying to be positive)
8. Electric fans (of course except for the frequent brown outs!)
9. FHE/ b-day celebration last night at a fun families house

Birthday girl! Same b-day as mom!

B-day celebration

Watermelon season!
 I literally buy watermelon like every day now as we are walking around. 
It's everywhere! 5 pesos a slice!

 Cute boys!

 This is what the roads are used for haha, drying corn.

 Thank you for not trimming the walkway!

 Sister Ronquillo's b-day




 Hangin out in a tree house

 Rock the crocks

 I live here


 Not sure if I told you about the graveyards here, but yaaaa. 
Above the ground. Kinda freaky.

 And some even have a party house up top. 
Kitchen and all for all your graveside party needs.

Cute dress Sister Simpson gave to Jeanavie

 She wanted one too... hahahah dad, you're famous

 So cool! This elder in our ward has an aunt who served here! 
And last night the 4 of us went to FHE at this convert families house 
and his aunt was their 1st missionary!

 The Pante family! Quite the celebration! So fun!


Working hard or hardly working...

They always get a kick out of my home econanay major...

Off to FHE!

Look up!


Scrubbing the bucket

This is the bucket that was FULL of laundry

Me and some Utah boyz

My comp and her Fiji pride hahah

Hanging out with some Americans... it always ends up like this haha

Gotta get that jumpin pic in