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. 

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