Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jessica's Thirty Eighth Email! June 29th, 2014

Hello everybody. Trying not to think about the fact that everyone is heading up to the cabin this week! Just enjoy it for me! :) I guess I will just start with Monday night: apartment shopping. Started out so pumped! YES! We are getting out of our apartment! The best! So the 4 of us sisters go out. We ask EVERYONE and take a little tour of like maybe 4 apartments. We spent over 2 hours just walking and asking. Honestly more discouraging than tracting! There just aren't apartments available here! Found one. Beautiful. Like the village of camaligan. Buttt, there were no vacancies :(Haha. So we were feeling ok about one or two of the other ones, but they for sure weren't any nicer than where we are now. Got home and the second we walked through the door, it just felt like home. Weird how once you get it in your mind that somewhere is your home, that's just how it is. If I saw my apartment one year ago, I think I would have nightmares. Now I can't even stand the thought of leaving. So we texted elder savage (the one I BEGGED to get us out of there, the finance elder in the mission) and asked if we could stay. Haha so as of now, that's the plan, home sweet home. 
Tuesday was... horrible if I'll be honest. Maybe the saddest day of my mission. Remember that really great girl I told you just transferred in. The white one in my batch. Yaaaa. They got a call from the Assistants on Tuesday morning and said Sister Campbell was getting emergency transferred and they would pick her up at 3. NOOOO. Devastated. Everything was going so perfect and then that.  So I guess the other sisters had to have an ET for some reason. SO when President Reeder receives revelation on whom they will switch with, I guess we can't really right that. So I helped her pack. We were all way bummed. To cheer her up I even gave her a Nature Valley Almond sweet and salty bar cause I knew those were her fave. It took a lot for me to do it, but she needed it! Haha so mom, if you're ever sending anything this way, you can't go wrong with a pack of those ;) 
So anyway. The new sister is Sister Petelo I think? Can't remember if that's her name. She is from Samoa though. So she is companions now with sister Sekona, the Tongan. Back to being the only white person in camaligan, but I guess I just better get used to it for the next little while. 
K before I forget, is Jesse home from his mission?! Feel like it's been about 2 years now! Let me know. That would be fun if he's up at the cabin. And of course, happy birthday Brette! Hope it's wonderful. Are all the cousins going up to the cabin for the 4th?! Send pictures! :) Not too many... can't get trunky. 
This week I got some mail! The Hansen family all wrote me letters complete with a drawing from Piper! Thank you so much! Loved hearing from you all! :) 
Hahahah wait I have to tell you this. But mom, maybe skip this paragraph. A while ago mom wrote me saying "the transportation there terrifies me. Please avoid those scary jeep things no matter what!" Well, no choice, we go on jeepnies all the time! And my new favorite thing is to sit up on the bench with the driver. Way less crammed and I can see the road so I don't get as carsick! Well it's always just a lovely chat and I have gotten to be real good friends with some of the drivers. Know all about their families and everything. Well they always have a jug up in between us on the ground. Just like a water jug. Well, like clear plastic water bottle. Really big though. And I always wondered why they always have this filthy water with them. Well today I was up in the front and we pulled into a gas station. The gas attendant started filling up the water bottle and I was like ahhh that makes sense. Back up gas. Kinda sketch it's just in plastic but oh well. NOPE! Then I see the tubes that are just stuck in the bottle and that is actually the GAS TANK!!!! Sooooo sketch. The tubes aren't even like securely in there. Just plopped in. And the guy didn't even put the cap all the way back on. Sometimes I just am so confident that God is protecting his missionary’s hahaha.
Well it was a hard week. With the emergency transfer and some other stuff it was a week of DRAMA. Probably my least favorite thing. But I learned to focus on helping others instead of getting annoyed with bipolar tendencies and dramatic meltdowns. To say the least, I am glad it's a new week. But I am also glad that I had to go through last week. I learned the importance of serving others and praying for the strength to do it with a smile. God answers prayers, duh. I know He cares. 
This week I decided that I needed to write out all of my friends on missions who I want to pray for daily. I always try to pray for them by name, but I know I forget loads every night! So I write them out. Every time I think about how many friends out I just get chills, and seeing it all out like that. Incredible. We are here to bring the world his truth! How cool is that?! I am so grateful to be a part of this great work while the work is HASTENING. The scriptures are being fulfilled and NOW is the time to share this truth. Not just as a full time missionary. But all members of this church. Show God that you are grateful for your membership in this church by putting in the effort to help others come unto Him. There is just the best Mormon Message that you all need to watch! This family is my idol FAM, so get ready Richmonds; this will be us in a year! Talk to EVERYONE and take advantage of EVERY opportunity to share the gospel! 
Watch it! So serious! 
Well enjoy the cabin! And dad, enjoy scout camp hahaha. Thank you for your example of just answering the call and going with the flow. I love you all! Be safe and do more to help in this work that you did last week! You are in my prayers. Especially you Christie! Haha you know how I am, laughed at you getting stung. But really hope it recovers well and you get back to the next adventure! 
Love, Sister Richmond
1. Alma 54. So much sass. Love it 
2. A random creepy man gave me a Twix bar. I know you're not supposed to take candy from strangers, but it was chocolate from American. Don't worry mom! Did a thorough Halloween candy check. 
3. We were watching PMG videos and sister Ril was laughing at the dinner scene because they were using a fork and knife to eat diner. 
4. Got to see President and Sister Reeder this morning! 
5. Emi's emails the last 2 hours have made me laugh more than anything
6. Great FHE at a member’s house and one of our fewer actives came
7. My clothes finally dried after like 5 days. Rainy season
8. The 6 of us missionaries did a member missionary meeting during the 5th Sunday meeting yesterday, went great 
9. Got punted a lot... the whole week. But that means we walked a lot. Exercise! 
10. Last week is over! The worst hahaha

Monday, June 23, 2014

Jessica's Thirty Seventh Email! June 22nd, 2014

Hello Everybody! Hope it was a good week. It sounds like everyone has been way busy. Christie and Daniel in who knows where, in Asia, Casey in Utah, the boyz in the Grand Canyon, me here of course, and mom on the East Coast. Sorry dad, hope you’re having a blast at home! Haha can’t wait to travel again. I mean, I can wait, but ya.
It was a good week as always! The happiest part, Sister Campbell is in my apartment now! So fun! She is one of the sisters who was in the other MTC district. So we are batch. I haven’t lived with a white person since Sister Taylor left last Feb. haha. It’s fun having a fluent English speaker sometimes ;) She’s from Canada and I was talking to her about the west coast trail! (The hike mom and dad did in Canada last summer).  Anyway, it’s been a fun week. We planned to go on a run together every morning but thought we should double check with the ZLs about splits for exercise. Bad idea! Haha they said no!!! Forgot my fave motto about asking for forgiveness, not permission! Oh well, we are putting my pinterest workouts to good use and it’s just nice to have someone to do them with!
Ok! I am so pumped because we have been FINDING! Like these people are real potentials and NEED the gospel in their lives. Just hope we can keep them progressing. I’m gonna tell you about them because I love them so much.
One of them is Queenie! I put up a picture with 2 of her daughters. The younger one is named Eunice. She is so cute. Always has little boils all over from the heat. So sad. She also can’t see out of one eye but she is the cutest and really wants to learn to read and write. Her mom said she was going get her a notebook and pencil when she has enough saved up. That broke my heart too much so I got her a little notebook and pack of pencils. Then with the sticker letters mom sent I put her name on the cover. She loved it and the smile on her face ahhh. I want to take her home with me. So anyway, yes Queenie is way nice. Found her tracting actually after we got punted. She let us right in and likes to listen to us. That was only like 2 weeks ago. So she hasn’t made it to church yet, but we’ll get her there! We’re also trying to have her give us permission to bring our whole district there to build their house for them! They have the materials but can’t afford to hire workers. Praying they say we can do it.
Another new investigator is Grace. She is SO SWEET and has such a desire to understand what we are teaching her! So kinda funny/messed up how we found her. We went to her next door neighbor who was a referral. She wasn’t home but her son was. We had a sister working with us so when her son was home we decided to teach him. We then asked about his family. He said he wasn’t married and lived there with his mom. LIE!!! Came back 2 days later to contact his mom and we met Grace… that guy’s wife. We were so mad that he lied about that haha but obviously didn’t say anything. Poor Grace. They have one son though. He loves the stickers J We have taught her a few times now. She says she wants this for her family so her husband can change and they can have a good, strong family. YES! The gospel really is for the family, so that is what we like to hear! We went to her house yesterday morning to get her to church. She was really sick so she couldn’t come. Next week! There is a great FAMILY we are teaching. They have one son. He always begs the parents to go to church. They haven’t yet but they have great questions. One problem is that the Jehovah missionaries go there too so they are getting a bit confused with all these books they keep getting. Luckily the true gospel is SIMPLE. Once they gain testimony of these simple truths, they will realize the importance of our message. Another is Jonah. He has one cute little daughter. (Idk why all these people have 1 kid. That’s way rare here. Usually like 8-12) We haven’t met the husband because he is always at work. But she is way sweet also. Her house is so CLEAN and ORGANIZED too. So rare. I love it. She is very hardworking but always stops what she’s doing to listen to us. Anyway, these are some of the new investigators. Really praying they are prepared and ready to accept the blessing that the gospel will bring to their lives!!
Haha Mercy, the eternal investigator (I told you about 2 of them a while back. One is the girl who got baptized 3 weeks ago. The other is Mercy, she’s like 45 maybe). Well she gave up coffee!!! Yes! It’s been about a week or 2 now. So her baptism should be in 2 or 3 more weeks! She is receptive to what we teach. She even went to one of our appointments the other day at another investigator’s, haha. Investigator present lessons are a thing now! Well she’s doing really well. Just gotta keep her progressing!
Saturday was a super good day! In the afternoon we had a Relief Society enrichment activity. First time I’ve seen anything like that since I got here. But it was very fun! We made doughnuts. It’s cool to see them getting activities together, much more common here that in Tigaon. Of course nothing compares to 7th ward activities, but this was a good fill in for now!
Then that evening we did a service project with the elders and the other two sisters. It was at a member’s house and they were redoing their roof and tiled part of their house. It was so dusty and muddy and stuff everywhere so we helped with that. Went way quickly with all of us! So yes, Saturday was good. OH! And then we got the official text from finance to start looking for a new apartment! YES! It’s going to be hard because there just aren’t many apartments here. But hopefully we can figure something out!
OK! Missionaries might not have a pay day, but mail day is only like 1000 times better! Thank you for all of the love and support! Got such wonderful letters from Sandy (welcome home Andrew!!!!) , HuntURT, TJ, Sister Taylor, Zoe Wescoe, Megan (addresses every one of my letters with Hessica haha, wonder if the office elders have noticed yet), Tyler and Lizzie’s wedding announcement (So classy. Loved it! Congrats to the beautiful couple), and also great letters from friends serving in the Philippines! I really appreciate all of you so much!
I love you all so much! Do your part in the work of salvation. Remember to pray and read the scriptures EVERY DAY. Literally no substitute!! I am so grateful for all of you and all you do for me. I hope everyone gets home safely from their trips! LOVE YOU!
Xoxo, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. Sister Campbell is here!
2. Official ok to apartment shop!
3. Sister Taylor got called as STL for her last transfer! Couldn't think of a better STL! Just sad it's not in my zone.
4. On Tuesday we were able to teach SO MUCH. Didn't get "punted" once!
5. RS enrichment activity
6. Maybe the best mail day of my mission!
7. I got COLD one night when I was sleeping. Like COLD> It's been so long since I felt even the slightest sensation of chilly.
8. Ate grilled cheese yesterday after church. Missed that tradition
9. Started true to the faith. Read it! Addresses everything so clearly!

10. Finally got a Philippines Naga Mission ring! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jessica's Thirty Sixth Email! June 15th, 2014

Hello! How are all of my favorite people doing on this beautiful Father's Day?! Great?? Great! I Hope you all had a good week in the motherland. Not a tonnnn happened this week. But it's the little things that make it all so wonderful.
But before that, Happy Father's Day pops! Love ya tons. Hahaha, I was watching some Mormon messages this week during lunch and this one about father's came on. I think it's called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father. A lil' on the cheesy side but I was dying laughing. Best line: " I gaze upon them as they sleep". Was there ever a better father's day video for my gazer of a father?!? !No, kidding! But really, it's perfect. Even shows the dad at work in an airplane hanger! Watch it. 
So today is the last day of my 5th transfer in the field! Do you know what that means?! Probably not! So I'll tell you! It means I am now just as far out as Sister Taylor was the day she picked me up at the mission home. That terrifies me, hahaha. I trusted her so much and thought she knew EVERYTHING (which I still think she probably did cause she's so awesome, but still!) I still just feel like a little lost white person sometimes! And she just seemed so old in the mission, and now I'm there. It seriously flies. And now she's about to start her last transfer. Time is insane!!
Ok so if I could sum my week up in one word... PIONEERS! They are so legit. I had ordered the D&C dvd's from manila like centuries ago and they finally arrived! So like every lunch and bedtime prep I have just been addicted to watching these movies about the pioneers and church history and ahhh. So that along with my personal study reading part of our heritage every day. I have just been so amped on the pioneers. They are really too legit to quit. Also! Sister Ril had 17 miracles on her flash drive too. So we watched that, plus Legacy was one on my dvd’s. Have you seen those 2 movies yet?! I hadn't! SO GOOD! And then I was so set on bringing miracles to our work for the whole week haha. Always just praying for miracles and ahhh... God delivers! Example: We were trying to contact a referral. Had to go down this muddy little eskinita to get to the house and bam! Out leaps this beast of a dog barking so much and ready to bite our faces off. So we took a few steps back and said a prayer (I felt like the little girls with the rattle snakes in 17 miracles). We started down the path again and he just looked at us, not even one bark! I looked at sister Ril and said "It's the 18th miracle!" I think she got a little sick of all my miracle and pioneer talk this week hahaha. Every companion study I picked a pioneer song for us to sing. Love it. Come, come ye saints. Took me right back to the stake trek when it rained/hailed/snowed. I thought it was so miserable but watching these movies I shudder at the thought that I thought that was a trial haha.  Anyway, church history is so cool. Can’t wait to read all those family history books grandma made. Should've studied those a bit better when I was home! 
Speaking of grandma! SO happy she made it down for graduation! Also jealous, but workin on that haha. Can't wait to see grandma again and make play dough or something! :) 
Here's a little scenario of life in the Philippines. So we didn't have water like all the mornings this week until like 9am. So we had to do personal study early and then we would get ready after. Well. We are sitting there doing our studies, so hot because we haven't been able to shower yet. Then, bam. Brownout. No electricity means, no electric fans. SO HOT haha. It will be weird to go home and be able to rely on electricity and water. Here it's like ahh ya that's cool if we have it but you just can't expect it. One morning at like 2am there was a brownout and so I woke right up when the fan went off. I don't recall this, but sister Ril said she woke up to me whispering "no! Freak. Why. No. ahh freak. it's so hot." Haha that's my life these days...
Also the storms are more prevalent on the daily. There was SUCH a bad storm this week one evening. So so scary. We were literally running home. Well I was, haha. Then I'd wait for sister Ril under a shed, run some more, the whole way haha. You know I am so terrified of storms! And the lightening was SO CLOSE!!! Don't worry, took a video, you can totally see the flash in the background. I think making it home that night would qualify as the 19th miracle! 
We had stake conference this week! It was so good. Saturday night was adult session, and Sunday was a broadcast for all of the northern Philippines coming from Salt Lake. I really love English broadcasts. But yes! SO fun to see everyone. Naga stake has two of our mission’s zones in it, Naga zone and my zone, Canaman zone. So there were just a ton of missionaries and ahh the best. There were like 8 or maybe more of the tigaon party animals district! Such a sweet reunion. The talks were wonderful. Our leaders are so inspired. 
Then this morning I finally got sister Ril on a run with me haha. I have been begging the whole transfer and it worked! It was so wonderful. Buttt.... I can't wait till I can just go on a run on the boardwalk ALONE haha. I love running back and forth on a street to wait for people, but ya. It will be nice :) She said it was a onetime thing, but don't worry... I'll get her to do it again! :) 
Another blessed event of the week! Got my package from mother! You are an angel. EVERYTHING I could ever need/want/wish for. I loved it so much. The jump rope has been a good time every morning at 6:30am! The sweet and salty granola bars get me every time! The best. I will never understand how you manage to get so much in one box... miracle?! :) I really loved it though. Appreciate you tons.
Appreciate all of you! Thanks for the love, support and prayers! Keep smiling and enjoying this life that God has blessed us with. In the wise words of Sarah from 17 miracles..."It will all be worth it." So just continue to follow the commandments, serve others, and do what you should be doing and I know it will all be worth it when we are all chillin in the kingdom of God! Have a wonderful week! Love and miss ya plenty. 
Love, sister Richmond
ps- Last week I said I hit 9 months, totally meant 8 haha. Just a typo, not wishing my time away here in the mission! Lovin it all so much. 
Top 10
1. Our heritage book
2. 17 miracles and Legacy
3. Package from mother dearest
4. Stake conference
5. Rearranged the whole apartment. It's like we got a new house. No. Not at all, but I still love a little change!
6. Sister Ril and I are both staying here next transfer
7. Running this morning
8. Sister Ril and Sister Sekona's reactions when I gave them hot tamale and didn't mention it was hot. Not the biggest fans hahahaha.
9. District lunch at this way good PIZZA place

10. So many miraclesssss 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jessica's Thirty Fifth Email! June 8th, 2014

Jessica’s Thirty Fifth email! June 8, 2014
Hello to all my wonderful friends and my amazing family!!! Just coming from the most beautiful waterfalls! Ahh ok. Such a good week. I don't even know where to start... I guess with the BAPTISM we had on Saturday! It was so great. One of our investigators who I told you about a few weeks ago who has been taught for a long time... ya her. The 18 year old. Alice is the newest member of the Camaligan branch. Couldn't be more pumped for her! And the baptism was good. Unfortunately nobody from the branch presidency could make it... or any adults in the branch. BUT! President and Sister Reeder came out and it was so great to have their support! It was really a great service. I had to give a last minute talk on baptism when NONE of the speakers or prayer givers showed... but it was fine. The spirit was there and that's what matters!!! Alice is hilarious. Doesn't really care what anyone thinks... but she's great and is excited to be a member. 
So to get ready for the baptism, the 6 of us camaligan missionaries did a "service project" cleaning the church because it was rather filthy. I got to clean the bathroom. My fave! No joke. And the church has legit cleaning supplies. It was a blast. Seriously considering a cleaning business. So anyway, yes... that in the morning. Then home for studies and lunch. Quick stop in Centro of camaligan for the photo op at the I <3 camaligan sign that they made for the fiestas. Legit. Then we had to go into Centro of Naga to get our stuff for our district activity this morning. So yes... very busy day. But loads of fun and happiness. :) I <3 baptisms. Then that night we had our branch correlation meeting. Yikes, so long story short, it was awk!! Haha our Branch mission leader did something a lil' shady to me and he felt so bad and we were all going to discuss it at the meeting. That didn't happen. Nobody jumped in so it was just me and so awk and then he whipped out the sorry cake and I felt SO bad. But everyone ended on good terms and he's a great mission leader so I'm glad that's all behind us now. And the cake was good too :) 
WAIT! Totally forgot. It's June 9th. Does anyone know what that means?!?! I opened my call 1 year ago today. Sooo ya like one year ago is the first time I saw the Philippines on a world map. And who would a thought I would grow to love this place so much?! Ya it's also the 9 month mark... not counting. But there's that. 
Also earlier in the week. BLESSING. Said branch mission leader offered to bring his families washing machine over for us! They are way different here. Super light... plastic. So his brother held the washer and they rode over on their scooter haha. Funny sight. Such a life saver. You still have to manually pour the water in and ring and air dry. But WOW. So much better. Don't worry. Got some pics of course! 
Want to hear about the weather?! Probably not!!! Oh well! Sorry. It is HOT. Like oh my goodness, didn't know it could feel so hot. My feet burn every step I take on the pavement. The heat is real. This is gross but by the time I'm home in 10 months everyone will have forgotten about this (hopefully) so here it goes. Every morning when I wake up my pillow is wet. Not damp. Wet. It's disgusting. And yes, that's with the fan on full blast 2 inches from my head. So purpose of me telling you that... it's just so hot. And it's like CO where it rains every afternoon. Still hot when it rains, but ya. There's the rain. 
This week in personal study I was going over some of my fave scriptures and got to Alma 7:23. Do some of you hate setting goals? Ya... me too. Solution! Just copy and paste this scripture. This is who I want to be. And how cool that we have such awesome examples of how to be in the scriptures. We are so blessed, right?!?!? Yes! 
This isn't related to anything, but most things I tell you aren't. So this week I was looking for something in my envelope of letters from home. Came across one from Austin and it made my day and I awkwardly was chuckling to myself out loud. My favorite line: "I just ate some Taco Bell 'mmm' and that pretty much sums up the last couple of months." ha-ha. Yesss. Can't wait to hit that up with you audz. 
This week there was a branch member who left for the Manila MTC! So pumped for him! So they had a ward farewell thing haha. So different. It was Tuesday night and a lot of his friends and ward members were there. Everyone sits in a circle around him and gives advice or tells memories and stuff like that. I think I would die. It was horrible enough when dad forgot to mention in his talk a luncheon after church when I left and I had to announce it. Haha but he seemed to have a good time and he will do great things on the mission. 
HAHAHAHA wait. I have to tell you this but I am already laughing too hard to type. K. And I promise I am a nice-ish person... but you know how I always laugh when people are in pain. Apologizing in advance. So the other night I convinced one of the sisters in the apt to go on a run with me because I haven't been able to once this transfer. So we start out. Perfect! So enjoyable. Next thing I know she is walking and I would run then back to her and back to the end and back to her, like that. Well then we got home and we were just doing crunches and stuff and she ran to the kitchen and threw up. Oh man! I felt sooo bad/ hahaha and she was so ill the whole day. And like limping around the house. And every time I saw her I couldn't help but to burst out laughing. Hard to explain, but it was so hilarious, and the run was divine. Sister Ril even promised she'll go with me once before the transfer ends!! :) 
Our water filters! Oh man! So one day I had some extra time during lunch so I decided to change the 3 water filters because I didn't trust that they had been changed according to the schedule. ACCURATE! Just wait till you see the pictures. Brown. Literally. So yes, did that. So dirty I got some
acid burns on my hands. Healing nicely though. After that I went a lil' crazy because I was so scared of the germs that must be filling that place. Bleached all the trash cans. Scrubbed everything in the kitchen. Organized random junk under the staircase. Swept. So much more. It was the most satisfying lunch of my life. Anyway, thought you might like an update on the scary apt. 
Almost out of time but let's all just take a moment of silence for the end of mango season. TRAGIC. I know... Next year. 
I'm going to tell you about a tender mercy of God real quick! K we have this investigator. NOT progressing. Drives me insane. She just sits there and burps while we teach and it takes everything in me to not gag and she doesn't listen and ya...not a happy place. Well me and sister Ril usually have her as like a 10th backup plan. But this week we were walking by and felt like we should pay our lil' friend a visit. She didn't want to listen... duh. BUT! Her son was there. Like 30. And he apparently got baptized in a different part of the Philippines a while ago and is inactive. He wants to come back! God has a plan for all of His children. Can't wait to help remind this man of the wonderful feeling he felt from the gospel during his conversion! 
Another cool thing that happened during one of our lessons! We were teaching a recent convert about missionary work. I told her a little bit about mom's conversion and while I was testifying about all the blessings I have received because one girl was bold enough to share her beliefs with mom, the spirit just hit me. I don't know that girls name, but she will get one big hug from me after this life. I just started thinking about all the generations and hundreds of people who will benefit from slipping an articles of faith card on mom's desk. Everyone can be a missionary... so SHARE what you KNOW! :) There's your pep talk for the week to help in this work. We really can't do it alone as missionaries. Members are the way.
District Activity! (I told you I was outta time like forever ago haha. Sorry for the false alarm!) IT WAS AMAZING!!!! Woke up at 4:30 am but it was so worth it. So we all rode up in a member's van from another ward. It was the 12 of us missionaries, the member, and her driver. We drove up the Isarog mtn. like 30 minutes up the road. Then got out and there was like a 30-40 minutes hike to this BEAUTIFUL waterfall in the middle of the jungle. Not going to lie, totally reminded me of that rain forest we went to in Puerto Rico with our little friend Cheppie. Missed you all a lot for a few minutes... then started having too much fun to think of it ha-ha. Sorry! But wow. SO fun. Can't wait to take you all back there when I am allowed to swim! You will love it! And the craziest part is that I LIVE here. Drove 30 minutes from my apartment and I am just chilling in the most gorgeous of God's creations. Too epic. I love it here. I am having the best time and trying to use every minute to it's fullest. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. Hope you had a wonderful week. Also,  happy almost father's day to all you dad's out there... but especially you…Ray Roberts Richmond! Love you so much daddy-o. Also congrats to everyone graduating this week!!! Emi and the Don, I'm talking about you! :) Don't trip, K?!?! Sorry for the novel. Thanks for the love and support.
Sister Richmond
TOP 10
1. Alice got BAPTIZED!
2. District activity to the falls
3. Grilled cheese with REAL CHEDDAR CHEESE. Had to go to sm last week so grabbed some cheese on the way out
4. Showering 3 times a day
5. Washing machine 
6. Mango question finally answered, thanks Emi. YES! We have mangoes in America!
7. Quaker honey and banana oatmeal. Such an addiction. Eat it er' day. Why didn't I know about this oatmeal thing 18 years ago?!
8. Learning a few Bicol words. About time I try to get some of this second language
9. McDelivery... enough said?! 
10. We had to go pay the water bill and the other sisters started saying where the building was. Sister Ril stopped her and said "it's ok. I've got Dora the explorer.... we'll find it!" hahaha yes. I love venturing into new areas. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Jessica's Thirty Fourth Email! June 1st, 2014

Hello hello hello! WOWWWW. Such a good week! AND!!! happy June :) How?! I still don't understand. But anyway. Hope you all had a week as great as mine :) 
So packed. so busy, just the way I like it! It all began on tuesday night haha. Sooo. We had our mission tour coming up on Thursday with President Nielson! He's the area president here in the Philippines. (I'll get to that in a minute... best day ever) So yes. Tuesday night I am casually brushing my teeth and sister ril starts laughing while reading a text. I asked who it was and she said it was the program for the Mission tour.. and I was giving the prayer. I thought she was kidding because it was half the mission, so why me of all people. I am so terrified of praying in meetings. So I looked at the phone. Not kidding! Sister Richmond. No mistakin it haha. Checked the mission directory just to see if there was another sister richmond. Wala. So I am stressing and then she says.. it's ok. You can do it in english! That's even worse!!! I haven't said a prayer in english in 7 months!!! Ahh so then I really got scared because I totally forgot the language of prayer! Don't worry. Prayed in english that night. Took me 30 minutes to get through the prayer without throwing in a tagalog work, but I did it until I got it right haha. Sooo anywayyy.. the next day was exchanges!
So sister ril went to the stl's area and I worked here in Camaligan with sister barlow, the stl here. She is GREAT! She is from salt lake and just so nice and happy and encouraging. We had a great time together and I learned a lot from her. We got 13 referrals that days! She knows how to ask for referrals haha. 
Oh! Back to tuesday! They said that President Neilson would be doing random apartment checks on thursday. We were pretty sure we wouldn't be picked because there are apartments a lot colser to centro. Buttt the motivation of the possibility of an general authority seeing our apt in it's condition rallied the troops and I actually had help cleaning this time. K not all the troops, just Sister ril. But it was a great night of cleaning. Blasting efy music and all. I was in the kitchen and there were spider webs galore! With spiders in them! Like living spiders! I have never been sp scared in my life. Buttt, the kitchen is spider free :) I had to drop the brrom and run to grab the poison spray a few times, but I did it! Even without the don and audz there to save the day. At one point I just realized, I guess I'm not just growing spiritually on the mission! I am getting over real fears I have had since forever. It was neat to realize haha. 
Ok! So mission tour! The best day EVER!!! Like literally of my whole mission! It was GREAT! So much to learn and improve and wow. The counsel is good enough when we have conferences with president and sister reeder but then throw a general authority and his wife in the mix and BAM. Spiritual overload. And I got to see so many of my friends on the mission. SO happy to see all of them! You know you're not as fresh anymore when you start recognizing most of the people at mission events. K so sister Nielson. HILARIOUS. I was just dying laughing like anytime she talked. At one point she started talking about her family and mentioned one of her daughters who when the fam gets together tells these forever long stories and all the sons just look like they "want to shoot themselves in the face". I really lost it then haha. I guess every family has gotta have one! No! I'm kidding. I'm kidding. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to some good christie stories when I get home! ;) K so yes! WOnderful day. Learned tons. Hah they actually talked lots on marriage and stuff which was funny. BBut that is a huge problem in the church! Ysa members staying in the singles ward, They really emphisized getting married soon after the mission! Also heard lots on enduring to the end! ANd ahh I could go on an on. I took like 20 pages of notes. Never want to forget the awesome council they gave!
K super out of time but the rest of the week was good too! We had a branch one day mission! Only youth showed, but that's kinda how it goes in this country. It was a wonderful week to be a missionary. I learned lots, taught lots, and loved lots. I love you all so much! Happy Birthday to Lindsey T. and Megan Bertha this week!!! I'm loosing another friend to the 20's haha. Megs is so funny about getting old. Anyway. Have a super week. Know that I love you and I am praying for you all! OH!!!! K I alos got great mail this week! A perfect package from sister brazier full of trader joes goodies! I will never aet regular oreos again! Those vanilla bean jo jos... too good! Taryn also sent me the sweetest package with a cute shirt, nail polish, and SCRAPBOOKING PAPER! I have been missin my craft supplies so it was just what I needed. Great letters from emi, molly, sister bertha, and mission friends too! Ahhhh The best! Thank you all so much. K really like gotta go. I love you! 
Love sister richmond
Top 10
2. A clean house is a happy house
3. Water here isnt as arctic as tigaon. Makes bucket showers kinda refreshing and not painful! The one plus Ive found at the new house
4. New investigator named elena. Brings me back to watching vampire diaries with the don
5. conquering biggest fears one horrific experience at a time
6. read in the new testament when john says he outran peter and thought of dad laughing about that one
7. exchanges with sister barlow
8. one day mission
9. MAIL!
10. prayed for a jeepnie this morning and 3 pulled around the corner! usually have to wait like 40 minutes! blessings :)