Monday, April 21, 2014

Jessica's Twenty Eighth Email! April 20th, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I know it's tomorrow there, but it's right now here. So you better believe we are celebrating for ya! Sister Simpson says happy birthday too :) And later this week... CONGRATS CHRISTIE AND DANIEL! College grads... what?!?!? SO intense. 2 weeks till you are in the PHILIPPINES!!! wooohoooo.

Sooo kinda awkward when only the Catholics celebrate Easter here. Haha yesterday before church Sister Simpson and I were standing at the front doors shaking hands as people came in and I was saying Happy Easter to everyone. Like bishop, stake president, everyone. Then one of the Filipino elders told me that's a catholic holiday. Haha What?! The prophet celebrates Easter. Oh well... next year. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter though and that the Easter bunny was nice to you this year! I just hope we all can remember the true meaning of Easter. How lucky we are for Jesus Christ and the opportunity to be forgiven of all our sins because of Him!

So this week was Holy Week here in the Philippines. DO Catholics celebrate that in the US? Cause here it is a VERY big deal. Like they have these things called processions. It's like the whole town doing a float parade of creepy looking statues and stuff. Kinda interesting. We obviously don't watch it or anything, but we got a few pics of the things on our way home one night. We've had 6pm curfew the last 3 nights because it's been so crazy in the streets and stuff. But I think Holy week ended last night.

This week was odd. With Holy Week and everyone being busy or on vacation or things like that we weren't able to teach a whole lot. Kinda a bummer. Big bummer. But it's fine, we had some quality lessons! On Tuesday we went to this far-ish area out in the middle of the forest. I looked down and there was what looked to be a friendly little caterpillar on my arm. So I brushed it off and within seconds my arm was swelling up. Not cool. And there are still swollen little bumps all over my arm. It hurts and itches so badly. Don't trust the caterpillars, lesson learned.

Later that day in the same area, we were teaching a less active couple. Right as the Nanay stared to pray: "TUKOL, TUKOL," So loud. That is the noise the Tukol lizards make. The huge lizards that are like a foot long and can stick to you and you just have to rip your skin off. I accidentally kinda screamed.. in the middle of the prayer. Then held it together. I quickly got up after the prayer and walked outside as they took a broom and scooted it out. A few minutes into the lesson Sister Simpson yelled out "holyyyy!!!" And jumped off the bench haha I looked over and there was a little lizard crawling up her leg. But she had felt it and thought it was the Tukol. Then! After we finally got the lesson going again, another lizard pooped on the Tatay's arm. Let's just say lizards really took away from the spirit in that lesson. But it was entertaining and the couple was at church yesterday, so all is good.

Okay I gotta tell you about this CREEPER of a man. So we always see him. Like even when Sister Taylor was here. And he's in his 60's. He would always say he wanted to listen to our message but we never ended up going. Weird vibes. And for good reason. Haha so we were walking down the highway the other night and walked passed his house. He came running out saying it was perfect cause he had a lady friend over so we could come in and teach. Long story, but we decided to go in and share a quick message. Weird from the start. Lights were super dim. Just weird. Then he started telling us about the crush he had on me. Everyone here says, "Hi crush!" So just kinda laughed and thought he was kidding. Then Sister Simpson came to the rescue and said, "Oh! Too bad she has a boyfriend back home!!!" He made a sad face and said,  "Oh no, really? It's okay! I will make her change her mind." Then she said, "I don't think so! Her whole wall is just covered in pictures of him, like a shrine!" I was like, "Yaaa I really love him so much. Plus I'm young!" And he said, "Oh yes I am young too! Well, young at heart." We just decided to pray and get the heck out of there. In his prayer he said he was grateful for the chance to finally let me know I was his crush and blah blah blah. Went to shake his hand and he KISSED my hand! Ahh I ripped it away so fast and wanted to slap his old wrinkly face haha. Needless to say we will NOT be going back. And also, don't worry mom and dad. No secret boyfriends back home. I know missionaries aren't supposed to lie. But it was for our own safety! :)

The next day we went to Naga! Would've been exciting, but it was for a funeral of a ward member, so not exciting. When we got to the house, bishop informed us 4 sisters we would be the speakers haha. It went fine though. So sad. This family has 12 kids. He had a disease and I am just glad they have the gospel in their lives. Bishop drove his jeepnie down so ward members could go. It was great. Like a road trip. Had snacks and all. And since bishop is the MAN we stopped at Pili Milk on the way home and we bought real milk.. from the cow. I got chocolate and strawberry. So delicious. Tried some more foods this week! Chicken feet! Fish! (2 times, one dried and fried and one was a bigger fish where you just eat the inside part) Did I tell you about that mutual activity we had when I was in high school? Missionary fear factor. All sorts of crazy foods. You got points for everything you tried. I walked away with one point for the costco rolled tacos. I would dominate that now haha. The fish, the big one, not the dried one, was actually way good. I may join in on the Sunday night fish dinners back home after my mission. Should've tried it like you always told me to haha.

OH! I got my package mom! When we went down to Naga we stopped at the mission office and it was there. You only had sent it 13 days earlier! SO fast! I loved it so much!!! Thank you mom. Perfect umbrella! You know I LOVE Lindor truffles! And the meals are perfect and so easy! Thank you!!!!!

Okay yesterday during personal study I was reading the ensign and read a talk by President Uchtdorf about having a firm anchor. Loved it! 2 parts were especially funny to me. "As I was contemplating this scene, it occurred to me that if this wasn't an opportunity for a parable, I had never piloted an airplane." Hahha so funny. I love that the apostles are just real guys. They have a real sense of humor. And they receive real revelation from God. Loved it. Then this next part I figured might come in handy for a sacrament meeting at the cabin, if you know what I'm gettin at... "However, to accomplish these vital purposes, just having an anchor is not enough. The anchor must be solid, dependable, and used properly at the right time and place." It's okay, I'm sure everyone has forgotten by now about the time the anchor was thrown off the boat... without the rope attached. Haha Not gonna lie, sometimes I really miss the cabin and all the great people there!

Okay! Well, it was a great week! Just enjoying my time here in Tigaon because transfers are in a few weeks and ya never know! I am happy to be a missionary right now. I am happy for the knowledge that we have of the Savior and His atonement. I am so blessed. I love you all tons. Have a wonderful week!!!!!!

Love, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. Easter!
2. Package!
3. Real milk!
4. Mom's birthday!
5. Christie and Daniel are about to finish college... which means plenty of spare time for parenting?!
6. Chicken curry
7. 3 investigators at church yesterday!
8. Got the wonderful privilege to teach Relief Society yesterday without warning
9. Rearranged the front room! I LOVE rearranging. It's like we got a new house!
10. Great emails today. Thanks everyone!!!! LOVE YOU

 Dried fried fish

 Chicken curry!

 Dinner at Chris and Eden's

 First time making oatmeal!

 My main man Basty

 A lil bumpy of a ride!


 Chocolate milk

 It was a bow kinda day

 My new umbrella's just a little bigger :)

 So excited to try my package meals.

 Chicken feet!!!!

 Sooo dryyy :)

We struggle getting investigators to church and meanwhile at the catholic church.... 
ahh the Philippines

 Ward members selling

 So many people. We just wanted to get home! 
Took so long.

 I think it's a deep fried egg??

 Curling my hurrrr

 The neighbor kids


 It's a party, it's a party!

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