Monday, January 26, 2015

Jessica's Sixty Seventh Email! January 25th, 2015

Life is so convenient when you have a personal assistant!!! haha Christie is so legit at organizing everything and planning classes and all of that! Okay! This week! Super great! We had exchanges twice!!! The first one was on Wednesday with the Libmanan sisters, Sister Falcon (from Peru... but has lived in California for like a long time) and sister Delicano (from the Philippines). They are both so awesome and such good missionaries and I just learned so much from them! In the morning I worked with Sister Delicano and then afternoon I was with Sister Falcon. We were able to teach so many lessons between me and Sister Salima! So fun. We talked to everyone, worked hard, and had fun. I still didn't really know the area or the people so it was quite the adventure! We walked up and down the same street like 5 times throughout the day looking for these people. A few times we couldn't find them so we just started talking to random people and trying to teach them and once they let us in it turned out that almost all of them were actually already investigators haha. So confusing. But a good day and they are so good at cooking so Sister Salima and I were in heaven since usually the 2 of us cooking is quite hectic. I think if we made a cooking show it'd be pretty entertaining. They even brought cookie mix and made us cookies that night! The day was golden. I really just loved talking with and getting to know the sisters since I had only met Sister Delicano, and only briefly. Naga mission has some phenomenal missionaries!

Then the other exchanges were on Saturday. One of the sisters called us and said they were having some trouble finding in their area so we went and split with them and worked in their area for a few hours. So I was with Sister Micibani (Filipina) and we just talked to tons of people. Got them a bunch of potentials to go back to. Should be good. When me and Sister Salima first got there, they were still out at work so we had to wait for a little bit. They have a rooftop patio on top of their complex and it was a good time. So cool, you could see all of Naga centro and it was fun. Anyway, after working with them we had to go into Naga (they live super close, like 10 minutes from centro) to get my medicine and it was weird being back in the city haha. A week and a half in Pamplona will getcha! We had to stop by the mission office and drop some stuff off and we met the new couple missionary. So fun! Americans!

What else.. oh Thursday! Interviews with President and Sister Reeder! I just love them so much! They are the best! They each do a separate interview with us and both asked me plans for when I go home and stuff. It was weird! But I loved what President said. He said to keep working hard until April and then to be ready for the next chapter when April comes! Getting near the end of a mission is a VERY scary thing. But it was so good to be able to talk to them and they always just say the best things!

We did some apartment checks this week as well. It's weird being the one checking and I feel mean when their 72 hour kits aren't complete and we have to mark them down haha. But I actually hadn't met a lot of the sisters in our area so it was nice to go and see them and talk to them a little. Also, their houses are soooo nice! One of them has a volleyball court outside. So jealous haha.

It was a lovely week as always and we saw some real progress in our investigators. I still feel like I don't know them well so I am trying to work on that. But we have some who are progressing towards baptism! We met a ton of new people also and I am way excited to go back and teach them again! We reached almost all of our goals and really saw the hand of the Lord in our work. I know when we have a goal and give our all to that goal the Lord will give us a hand. And that's not only for missionary work, but for everything!

I got the Circuit's Christmas card this week! So cute! Also Heidi sent some pics. These kids are getting huge! Especially Jonas and Brody! I can't take it!!!! Loved the pic of Madison at the airport and Emi after the temple. Great people doing great things! Keep it up! Love you all!

XOXO, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. Interview with President Reeder!!!!
2. Two awesome exchanges! Love these sisters
3. The sisters cooking/cookies during exchanges
4. Discovered that you can see the Mayon Volcano from our rooftop! Our landlord is the bomb. The shower wasn't draining so he came and cleaned out the drain. Full of Black hair (I'm innocent). hahah I laughed thinking about dad coming out of the bathroom gagging after cleaning the drains. Dads are the best!
5. Smores 4 dinner
6. Sister Salima's 50 peso uki uki suit coat score (it got pretty cold one day while we were out at work)
7. Elders in our district went to Naga and brought us back mang inasal. Heaven.
8. Jogging in the mornings... never gets old.
9. Finished all our washing and cleaning this morning
10. Killed the rat/ cockroaches/ and spiders who have been harassing me this week.

 Sister Falcon 

 At Brother Allen's house (Sister Taylor's convert)

 Cookie Time!

The Uki Uki find! Haha

Monday, January 19, 2015

Jessica's Sixty Sixth Email! January 18th, 2015

SO MUCH GOOD NEWS THAT I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO START!!!!! Haha okay, so leaving Daet and Sister Araja and the De Guzmans and Lovely and all of that really was sooo hard. But I am so happy now and life is GRAND.

So Monday after emailing I went home to pack. Lots of stuff hahah, but I did it. Beat my record for fastest packing! Then we did studies and for our last time teaching together, we went to Lovely, the one who I told you is getting baptized soon cause her mom left so now she is finally allowed to be baptized. Well yes, her. And she thought Sister Araja was the one leaving so she was so sad but then Sister Araja pointed to me and she just started bawling which got Sister Araja goin again and shoot! Such a tough lesson. These people are amazing, but it's not about the missionaries, it's about the gospel. So she is still so excited about the baptism and I even got a letter from her the other day! SO cute. After that we went and had dinner at Bishop's with the other missionaries. It was so good and I miss them all too. Then we went over to Nanay Redula's with the elders and bishop so they could give her a blessing and it was wonderful. Such a strong spirit in that room. Such faith.

Tuesday! Transfer day! They did the transfer day a little different this time so Sister Araja ended up staying in Daet with a temporary companion and then Sister Ril (My old comp in Camaligan) was my travel comp to Naga. It was fun to chat with her on the bus and I really have just been blessed with such good comps. So many strong friendships! I had so many bags and so did she and the 8 other missionaries we traveled with. Usually we have our comp to help carry but since they changed it so that only the missionaries transferring went to Naga, it was quite a struggle haha. Elders are really cool though so there was like a whole caravan of them carrying our stuff. Such a hilarious sight. We got to transfers and went to lunch with Sister Coons and her temporary, Sister McGrath. Fun times at the SM. Then back to the church for transfers.

My new companion is... drum roll please... SISTER SALIMA. I always get blessed with just the BEST companions. She is sooooo awesome. We will have so much fun this transfer. And! It's her last transfer in the mission! I get to kill her!!!! (This phrase means Jessica will be her last companion before this sister returns home from her mission.) I am so excited. She is from Samoa, 26 years old, and she's super talkative and we just chat all the time. The 2 sisters who used to live in the house with her last transfer were pulled out since the mission is getting so much smaller... meaning, it's just the 2 of us in this HUGE house. It's not really nice, but it's so big. Neither of us really know how to cook here, so we are surviving on watery rice and eggs haha. Kidding. We're fine. Our landlord is a member in the branch so that's fun as well. Their house is attached to ours!

Hmm what else. Oh yes! I am in Pamplona!!!!!! Sister Taylor died here and now I will too! SO fun! All the people we teach know her and it's so fun having so many connections to my Nanay! Pamplona is SMALL. haha remember when I thought Tigaon was a small town?! Ya... Pamplona doesn't even come close. There is only one store to get food and it's petty much just like a big tindihan. You have to tell them what you want and they go find it. There are no restaurants.. as in not one. But on P-day where we email there is a 7-11 so Hallelujah. Maybe my diet will stand a chance now.

Oh! Also, Sister Salima loves to run also so ever since our first day together we've been running at 6 every morning. Except Sunday of course. It's all rice fields here so just such a lovely run and ahhh, this is paradise.

At night we walk around this long, super straight part of the highway and the buses FLYYYYY. Like ahhh we have to hold our skirts down cause they go by so fast that it's like a gust of wind. Scary. But we are being protected and Sister Taylor made it out alive, so I have faith I will too!

They say the internet where we usually email is super slow, so if I don't reply to everyone these last few months, I am so sorry! But I read all the emails and am so grateful for all of your love and support! Today though we got to come to a little bigger of a town cause there's a brownout in Pamplona! Praying we have power when we get home! There was a typhoon yesterday. Not super bad, but kinda scary, super strong rain and winds. So when we woke up yesterday morning the power had already gone out and it still is now.... going on 36 hours. And here in Pamplona when the power goes out, so does the water. I sent some pics of our shower yesterday haha. We had to pump the water outside to wash our hair. It's more fun in the Philippines....

Oh! Like my second day here the members who we live with were getting ready for a huge party they threw the other day. Sooooo while trying to do language study we heard a pig squealing for its life. Went out to see what was going on and they had bought a pig. We got distracted and watched them kill, skin, chop, and cook the said pig. But we decided part of learning the language is learning the culture... and we had them tell us what all the body parts were called in Tagalog while they pulled them out of the pig. That poor pig put up a good fight, but she just couldn't keep up with the fountain of blood pouring out of it's neck. Kawawa talaga.

So yes, Yesterday church was cancelled cause of the typhoon, so I haven't met many people in the branch. We were stuck at home ALL DAY. But! Our district is fun. Me and Sister Salima are the only sisters AND the only foreigners haha. Us and the 6 Filipino elders. I am happy to be here and work my hardest. I was called as a Sister Training Leader, so that will also be such a neat experience to really dedicate myself not only to the work, but also to helping other sisters to reach their full potential as well. It's scary and we have a set of sisters coming to our area on Wednesday for exchanges so I have to know the area hahah but I don't. It is sooo huge. Always an adventure. There is also a new standard of excellence in the mission which I am very excited about! 50 OYM's (open your mouth) a week. Really gonna push us to talk to EVERYONE!!!! Cause let's be real... this gospel is for everyone in the world. I am so happy I have this time to share the good news of the gospel.

Oh!!!! Welcome home to my beautiful cousin Sister Madison Stolk who is finishing her mission in Brazil this week. You done good. "Proud of you!" She's been such a strength and example to me my whole mission. The time really flies.

Lots of Love,
Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. New comp... Sister Salima!
2. Sister Araja told me on my last night in Daet that our shower head works haha. Enjoyed a nice ice cold shower, no bucket needed!
3. Sister Salima loves to go jogging! 6 months to sexy may have been a flop, but cheers to 3 months to trim ;)
4. Get to serve the sisters in my zone! Excited to work with lots of different sisters. So much to learn from them!
5. Following my Nanay's footsteps dying in Pamplona... Sis T, you're still a legend here :)
6. The mission secretary went up to Daet for something and you pass through here on the way to Naga, so Sister Araja gave them real cheddar cheese from the SM to bring to me! Such an angel!
7. We are surviving even though neither of us cook
8. Yesterday the members who we live with invited us down for some Suman after being trapped in the house all day. I love Suman so much. Gotta find the recipe!
9. Out in the middle of nowhere. Adventure time!
10. Got a letter from Lovely in Daet!

 Last night with lovely

 Rada family

 Stressin about transfers hahha


 Dinner at bishop's the last night

 My new comp!!! Sister Salima!

 Sister Coons!

 Dinner.... but really

 Fountain of blood

 Yummmm. They really don't waste any part

 A member- Alona!

 Doin that blood and intestines thing again!

 The new district. All the elders are Filipino!

 Splish splash, takin a bath

 Sooo cold... Typhoon

 Rooftop patio

 Our house is surrounded by rice fields!