Monday, May 26, 2014

Jessica's Thirty Third Email! May 25th, 2014

Hello everybody!!! How is it already Monday?!?!? My mind is tripping. This week literally flew. But every week kind of does. Ok so it was a great week for sure. We were so blessed to have so many referrals and people to teach and ahhh. We worked SO HARD. We taught 29 lessons and reached like all of the standards of excellence for the mission. It feels good! So I'll just tell you about our 2 investigators with baptismal dates right now. Both girls, one maybe 20 and the other like 40's?? They are both eternal investigators (have been taught by missionaries for a long time now) but! We are going to break that cycle and get them in the waters of baptism! They both are still on track to meet their dates right now so that is a big blessing. We had a cottage meeting at a member’s house and the 20 year old came! And she was at church yesterday. :) Oh before I forget! Madison is turning 20 this week!!!! Ahhh so exciting/scary/weird. All my friends are leaving the teen years. It's super weird. Anyway. Hope you read her emails from Brazil! She is killing it! I LOVE having my best friend/cousin serving at the same time as me! Ahhh miss her. We went to McDonalds after district meeting the other day and I was loving it of course. But wow. Such a better time at 2am with Mads and Mary hahah. One day!! 
So this week something really sad happened while we were tracting. I saw this lady and I felt like we should talk to her, but we were like already passed and I thought it would be awk to turn around so I didn't say anything. Later that day we were walking down the same street and she called after us and said she had some questions! Ahhh. I was pretty bummed that I ignored the prompting. But! I learned my lesson and from now on I will try so hard to follow the sprit in finding, it really makes all the difference! 
Butttt, later that night! Miracle! We were trying to contact one of our referrals and so I called out to a house to we could ask if they knew the person. They didn't. But they invited us in! Asked us a bunch of questions and said they were looking for a church! WE FOUND A FAMILY! Mom, dad, and kid. Complete. Blessing. Can't wait to start teaching them. They are ready, I feel it :) Hopefully we can get them progressing!
So this is a random email to begin with so just stay with me while I tell you about a bunch of random stuff.
First of all! I am learning to cook all sorts of different foods! The sister from Pakistan taught me how to make this most delicious curry spicy rice thing. YUM! Also working on some Filipina dishes! Hope we still have our rice cooker, because everything I'm learning has rice of course haha.
One of the sisters in our apt always leaves the fridge open when she cooks though!!! Ahh so annoying haha. I was sitting there just thinking, does she know we have to pay for that electricity and she is just wasting it?! Brought me right back to all the times dad so lovingly tried to explain that we don't have to leave the fridge open while we aren't getting stuff out. haha sorry dad! Lesson learned. I will be better! 
This week someone told me that their old comp bought a washing machine! haha it's like 100 American dollars, but he's a Filipino, so super expensive here! But he has the AP’s drive it to him after he gets transferred. So epic haha. And I thought the sisters were high maintenance...
One day this week we went to go teach out investigator. She's not progressing. But we got there and her drunken husband started yelling at us and she was so scared and signaled for us to leave. I felt so bad for her and just realized how grateful I am for the word of wisdom. It is NOT restrictive! Restrictive is when you are scared of your drunken husband and too scared to stand up for yourself. I am happy that we have prophets who receive revelation to BLESS our lives, not restrict it! 
Hey hey hey! Guess who's back to dealing with rats! Haha so horrible. We've only seen 1 in the apartment, but it's not like our little mice friends in Tigaon. This was one pretty decent sized. 
Hahah!!The other night we were walking home from BCM with the elders and all these guys started yelling stuff to me in English. One of the Filipino elders just shook his head and said "sorry about my race" haha idk why it made me laugh so hard. Maybe it was his accent when he said it. 
Want to hear something HORRIBEL! I found these noodles that I like. They're kind of like top ramen. I only like this one brand though cause most of the noodles here are like shrimp flavor and stuff. So I had just finished a bowl of it and Sister Ril told me that brand had green tea extract in it. SO make that 2 times I have accidently had tea on the mission. What is that?! Who puts tea in noodles?! Ahhh. Got to be better at reading labels here I guess. 
We have this one investigator who won't pray! What the... It makes me so sad. Prayer is literally the way we talk to our Heavenly Father! I think of when I was home and dad would always come in and ask me about my dad and give me advice and just be so interested in my life! That is how God feels too! He wants to her from us and has given us the blessing of prayer to be able to! We are so lucky. I have really learned the importance of sincere prayer here. 
I told you this would be scattered right?! Ok so yesterday! DISASTER!!! You know how my biggest fear in life is lightning and thunder! There was such a bad storm! And we were in Branch Correlation Meeting and it struck so LOUD and BRIGHT and at the same exact time and the power shut off and I was so terrified. I may have accidently yelled oh freak! It's ok because they felt bad for me but yes. Terrifying! Still scared for typhoon season: / Going to increase my faith I guess haha.
Also yesterday! God answered my prayers! Saturday I prayed that I could control my appetite so I could stop getting fat. Well! Yesterday I woke up very ill! Was pretty sick all day. Lost my skills of throwing up so I just had to deal with it the whole day. But I've hardly been able to eat anything since then! I know that God answers prayers, in His own ways :) 
Well, not sure if any of this made sense. Jus know I had a BOMB week here on the mission. I am happy and doing well. We are working hard and being rewarded for it. I love you all tons and I am praying that you have a wonderful week! :) 
Love, Sister Richmond
Top 10
1. In the 20's of Alma!!!! So awesome. Anti Nephi Lehi's are pretty legit. Died before they broke their covenant with God. I want my faith to be that strong!
2. I am still cleaning er' day and I'll be honest; I'm getting pretty good at it! Think I could even have a career in it. 
3. Watched Emma Smith movie during lunch this week. Best love story! I think it's got the notebook matched! 
4. Broke out one of my new toothbrushes! Best feeling. 
5. Scenic waterfall in our kitchen when it rains. Did you all see the pic of the cracked plastic roof?!
6. Taught a few branch members my fave motto (It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission) and yes... it was used in branch council meeting yesterday! 
7. Survived the storm yesterday
8. We have investigators who are progressing!
9. This morning I taught the youth and YSA at the church how to play the card game spoons. It was a good time

10. Internet here is so speedy

Jessica's Thirty Second Email! May 18th, 2014

Whewww! 2 hours goes so fast when you are emailing so I don't have much time! It's all good because not tons happened this week! I feel like I should tell you about all our investigators and their progression and all that cool stuff... buttttt, we don't have any super progressing!  It's ok though, I am learning to love tracting! It's actually way cool to see how God just places these people in our paths. Some of them aren't ready... but at least we can have a nice lil convo with them and give them a better idea about our beliefs. I am so happy to be a member of this church. I love the gospel so much and all it teaches us. 
So sorry if last week I sounded negative at all. The first week after transfers is always kind of awkward with the adjustment and everything. But let me just tell you... I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER!!!! I love the area. I love the branch. I love sister Ril. We seriously have so much fun together. Like walking around and getting straight up rejected all day... it could seem like a bad time. It is NOT. Haha don't get me wrong, so sad to see people reject the thing that I KNOW could make them happiest... but we still make the best of every day. We work hard. We walk, we talk to everyone, and we put in the effort. I know that God will bless us for these efforts, even if it's not this week, or even in this life. In the MTC one devotional speaker said how no good deed goes unnoticed by God. YES! These people might not appreciate us all the time, but God does. How cool is that?! He knows exactly how hard we work, how much we try, He knows it ALL. Ok so back to Sister Rill. She is so hilarious. She is helping me a ton with tagalog and is so awesome. She is from Manila and so every time I come to Naga, I can stop by and see her! Haha ya already planning to come back a lot :) So yes, we will be lifetime friends. I was honestly kind of scared to get a Filipina comp cause of cultural differences and all that. This week I learned WHO CARES! We are all children of God and we all have the same purposes as missionaries. In the last 7 months I have made so many friends from so many countries. There is nothing like a mission. Love this work. Ahhh I am sorry. I am just so pumped to be here today. Life is good!!
Let's see... what else. Ahh yes, the mango addiction. Still very much a thing! I ate 6 on Saturday... 6! If someone wants to look into health facts of the mango... I'd love to know if they are good or bad for you, haha. The ones I like are the green ones! They are so good! They are like not super sweet! So now I am just so concerned for what will happen in 11 months... DO WE HAVE MANGOES IN AMERICA!???
 Please say yes. I think we have the yellow... but the green?! Ahh I will pray for a yes on this one! Also...since I got to the Philippines I have not once bought a mango! How cool is that! Our Less actives and investigators just give them to us by the bag full because everyone here has a mango tree! OK, sorry. Got a little carried away. Moving on....
The house! Growing on me?? Haha jk it's totally not. All the members say there is a ghost. The apt has been in the mission since like forever and all the past missionaries have told stories to the members. Obviously don't believe it... but could help our case with the office elders of why we need to move ASAP! So here's the new game plan. I told sister Ril when we go tracting she can try to find new investigators and I will focus on finding a new apartment. Don't worry, totally a joke... but it does talk about using time wisely in PMG so I'd say that's a pretty effective use of time! Let me know your thoughts on this one! :)
Also I am forgetting some words in English which I am STOKED about!!!! Yesterday someone in church said vise-versa. Can't remember what it means and it's driving me crazy... like could someone please use it in a sentence or something?? I hardly speak English these days with sister Ril so it's weird how fast you can lose it! I am so pumped to be learning Tagalog. Poor sister Taylor... during my training I was kinda a rebel of a child for her haha. She tried so hard to talk to me in Tagalog and I would just answer in English. Wasn't having any of that. Now I realize how much speaking it helps you learn it.... quite the concept. I know haha. Ok well I think my blood pressure is like up in the sky right now and I don’t even know what I am saying anymore because I am typing faster than I knew I could. No time. SO much to say. Just know I love the mission. I love this life. I love challenges that make us stronger, and I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! Have a great week. Do what you know you should!!!! Until next week :) 
Love, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1.The grocery store here!!!!! Boneless skinless chicken!!!! Ahhhh Frosted flakes!!!!! Ahhhhh grapes!!!!! Ahhh so much more! 
2. Sister Ril! She is so funny. So reserved sometimes and just looks at me and says "sister, you so crazy" hahaha. Love her!
3. Zone training! Finally have some of my batch in my zone! Elder Denning and Sister Campbell! SO good to talk to them and catch up!
4. Language study all day er day with my lil Filipina comp
5. Saw a BMW... so not in the bushes anymore!!!
6. Volleyball this morning... such a good time
7. Our investigator came to church! Baptism date coming up!
8. Last night at our weekly Sunday dinner they whipped out the IMPORTED CHOCOLATE!!!! whadduuupppp gharidelliiii. 
9. So many fun emails today from some of my faves!
10. Christie and Daniel are leaving the Philippines tomorrow. Not glad they are leaving. But glad they made it out alive!!! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Jessica's Thirty First Email! May 11th, 2014

WHAT A WEEK! First off, it was SOO GOOD to talk to you this morning! Ahhh and I was so pumped that Emi was over! Ahhh I just love you all so much. Hope you know that! Also! Happy birthday Casey!!!! Hope you are having a great birthday in Mexico, Lucky! Love the updates on Christie and Daniel's Filipino adventure. Cracks me up to hear about it all from your point of view! Sorry the Mother's Day card and Casey's bday card aren't there yet. I really think it was over a month ago that I sent them... so hopefully just snail mail at it's finest and not lost somewhere! Oh! And sorry the call ended right when I was saying bye to you all. Maybe it was the connection? Not sure... but just know I wasn't trying to rush you off the phone or anything! 
Okay so this week! Monday was so busy. Packing and everything. Then we went to Chris and Eden's for dinner and she taught me how to make these delicious things she made once for us. Can't wait to cook ya up some of my new dishes when I get home! ;) I think you will especially love this one. Bell pepper, hot dog, ham and cheese wrapped in bread and bread crumbs and deep fried! YUM! Pretty sure you were right about my taste buds changing out here haha. So then Tuesday morning they had us over AGAIN for breakfast! All 4 sisters. I seriously love that family so much and miss them tons already. Anyway, had a wonderful meal over there then ran home to get all our luggage. (Me and one sister in the other companionship got transferred) So finally got out to the highway and were waiting for a bus when WHAT THE BIYAYA... an air con (AC) shuttle van came rollin up. Like hardly more expensive than a bus, and half the time. So we loaded up and headed to pick up the zone leaders cause one of them was leaving Tigaon too. It was so fun. The shuttle driver had some great music and we were all just so giddy and nervous and ahhh. Wonderful little roadtrip to spend out last little while together. So then we all wanted to stop in Pili at the milk place and they made me ask the shuttle driver because I'm the American and had the best chance of him saying yes haha. Well... it worked! Strawberry milk! Yes! So then we headed for the mission office. Dropped off our stuff. Got a great letter from Mary and sister Taylor! And my friend Elder Rock in Manila hooked it up with some American snacks. They really do have it all in America! Then we went to SM! The big mall, the only one in the mission. It was great. Ate some PIZZA! The best pizza place with this BBQ chicken PESTO pizza that was just to die for. YUM. Also was able to stop and buy some weights cause the weight gain is getting real!! Gotta step up exercise time. Hmmm what else. Idk, it was just a great 2 hours in the mall seeing all the other missionaries. My whole batch ( THE GROUP JESSICA STARTED HER MISSION WITH) was at transfers too so it was so great to see them all again! LOVE THEM! So then we headed to the church for the announcements! I am...... in the CITYYYYYY. Yes! Well, as I told you on the phone call, my area is still pretty rural, but 10-15 minute jeepnie ride and we are right in centre of Naga! The best! So we come to the city every pday and for district meeting. This is where I belong :) McDonald's, Jollibee, Dunkin Donughts... the life. And! My new companion is Sister Ril! She is a Filipino (my 1st!) From Manila! Super sweet. Her follower up trainer was sister Taylor, my trainer. So it's fun we've got that common love for sister T in common! :) So I was so happy and just on a happy high until... buzzzkilll. We got to the house. Haha hopefully I will have time this week to send the pictures I was telling you about. It truly is atrocious, and I think I am being non-dramatic when I say that! But issalllgooodddd. Good thing momma has taught me some great cleaning tricks in my years. I will have this house sparklin by the end of the transfer... jk that would be 100% impossible. But I will keep up the daily scrubbing and it will get better! Haha so the area! So sorry. so spazzy but so short on time and I'm sitting right next to the Zone leaders- soooo ya. Gotta hurry up. Not gonna lie. First night was rough. Cried a lil bit. Was really missing sister Simpson and all the other Tigaon homies! And the house was reason enough to cry! But anyway, the rest of the week was great once we got out and about. The branch seems great! Some super strong members for sure! And we play volleyball every Monday morning with the single adults so that's a good time! Also set weekly dinner apt every Sunday. Legit. There are 6 missionaries in the ward. The other 2 sisters who we live with and the zone leaders. Oh ya! The other two sisters, one from Tonga and one from Pakistan. For sure not in the bubble of 
La Jolla anymore! But it's.... funn?? To get to know other cultures haha. So the area is good. We do a ton of tracting. It's kinda fun and awkward and makes me feel like a real missionary! 
I am happy and healthy and so PUMPED after that phone call! It was a great week here in... ehhh forgot the name of our area, so I will just say a great week here in the CITYYYYY. The city life is the good life! Love you all. Can't wait to talk again at Christmas ;) Have a wonderful week and know that I love you all tons! You are the best. Thanks to everyone for the love and support. I really have the best friends and family! Keep it up :) 
Sister Richmond
Top 10
2. livin' that city life (2 days a week for a few hours!)
3. We live in range of McDonald's delivery!
4. Elder Rock's package of American goodies
5. The van ride to Naga 
6. After trying to like mango for my whole mission, I mysteriously developed an obsession for them. I ate 4 yesterday
7. That vanilla almond granola mom sent. still makes my morning... every morning 
8.  fast Internet
9. Monday morning volleyball
10. McFlurry 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Jessica's Thirtieth Email! May 4th, 2014


Peace out Tigaon! I can't believe I am actually leaving! SO crazy! We got the text Saturday night when we were walking home from a dinner appointment. A lot scarier to open than I thought it would be, hahah. But it was good. It's time to move on to new adventures!!! Man I really will miss Tigaon tons though. It's been so sad the last few days saying bye to everyone. I can't wait to come back next year and see them all again!
Other than that I literally have almost nothing to tell you haha. Yesterday during sacrament meeting they had me and sister Ronquillo bare our testimonies since we are both leaving. Then a few minutes later Jeanavie got up. I was so happy. I just sat there thinking, "This is what it's all about". It was such a good experience just looking up and listening to her strong testimony of this beautiful gospel. I know her life has improved, and will continue to improve so much because of all that this church teaches us. I am happy to think about all the less actives who have started coming back to church and all of the progress this town has made in the last while. 
6 months is a long time to be in an area, seeing the same people on the streets everyday and getting so close to the members. Ahh tomorrow will be tough. But I am so anxious to see where I go and who my companion will be. 
The last few days have been crazy haha. Packing, saying goodbyes, just getting ready and all that. I'm almost packed and still can't believe all my stuff fit in my two suitcases... k let's be honest. It didn't haha. But With my 2 suitcases, big tub, extra shoulder bag, and bag of bedding... I think we will make it! Hahah weird fitting your whole life into such a little space. Missionaries with cars are so fortunate. It will be an interesting morning tomorrow getting that all on a padyak... then a bus... and lastly a tricie. 
Ok well I wasn't kidding about a short email. Haha I love you all. Know that I am so happy to be a missionary. I am so happy for the personal growth I have seen in the last few months. And I am grateful for all of the amazing people I have met here. Oh ya... and I cannot wait to skype you on Monday!!!! Ahhhh one week till I see your beautiful faces! Love you all. Pray for the #citylyfe. 
Love, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1- On to new adventures! 
2- Playing sweet n sour on the padyak with sister Simpson
3- Christie and Daniel are in the Philippines! And I am getting play by plays of their trip from members in the ward who are FB friends with them. 
4- Easter candy from brother Wilcox from America! 
5- Bought a wonderful backscratcher... not the same as having mom around. But it'll do for now
6- Read in Lindsey's email last week that she has gained a lot of weight... HOLLA! Not alone
7- Our Dl threw a surprise going away party this morning for me, sister Ronquillo, and elder Villamor! 
8- Brandon emailed me. What the famous little potter 
9- Sister Simpson helping me pack
10- Tigaon 1st ward!!! Gonna miss them :(