Monday, February 2, 2015

Jessica's Sixty Eighth Email! February 1st, 2014

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY! And happy birthday to our Jess Castellano! What a week! I literally can't believe it's only been a week! It's been sooo fast, but at the same time sooo much has happened. I feel like every week on the mission gets just a little bit faster! Only 3 more weeks till I kill Sister Salima!

Alright this week, let me check my planner! It's all a blur!
We had exchanges on Tuesday! So fun! Between the two of us, we taught 17 lessons! It was crazy. And found some new Investigators, tons of oyms, referrals received and contacted. Literally one of the most rewarding days of my whole mission. In the morning I worked with Sister Ramos (Filipina) and then in the afternoon we switched and I worked with Sister Beia from Kiribati. She is great! She is so funny and is kinda shy but when she does talk, it's hilarious. We were able to work so hard and still have fun. Like the time we were trekking up the mountain and I accidentally walked through a village of huge red ants and didn't realize until they all started biting my feet. Good times. It was a good day.

On Wednesday morning we did a service project with the elders and like 5 men from the branch. We went to an old couple's house from the branch and hauled rocks from the river up to their house a little ways away. You would think wheel barrels would have been a good idea, but instead we loaded up bags that were old with cement in them and carried them on our shoulders. They all thought Sister Salima and I were there to cheer them on or something, but we showed them what's up. Haha We were carrying the heaviest loads and we sure felt it the next day. But they were all laughing saying we should work construction after the mission. That was a one time thing, but still fun to help the couple out!

We had district conference this last weekend (like stake conference, but Pamplona is still working on becoming a stake.. still a branch!) It was great and there were really good talks! The Reeders talked yesterday and they are so good! Everyone loves them and they are like the celebrities! We had to wait for our branch meeting to start for a while, so while President was doing interviews, Sister Salima and I got to chat with Sister Reeder and see pics of their grandkids and all of that. Love her!

Remember how Sister Salima and I aren't so expert in cookin here in the Philippines? (No oven, different ingredients, it's a real challenge! Especially in Pamplona cause it's so hard to find meat, and there's no hope for sanitary meat.) Well this week we hit an all-time low. hahah we got home and were thinking of what we could eat for dinner since we had eaten bread every night of the week. We had some frosting left over from the cookies I made for district meeting so we decided a spoonful of that could fill us up. Well then she had the brilliant idea to step it up a bit with the graham crackers we had from our s'mores. It was glorious. Don't worry mom, I felt so sick that night that since then I've just been stickin to the veggies. Not a good idea. We'll try to think of more nutritious dinners!

Remember how I'm really bad at lying??? Mom and dad probably remember. Well, last week we were sitting here in Libmanan waiting for a jeepnie and this lady came up and she was so mad at us and starting yelling at us and putting her hand out asking for money. We just pretended we didn't understand so she would go away... but she wouldn't. So then I said "Sorry, we only speak English." Then she was still talking to us in Tagalog and finally she ended with a compliment hahah, so I forgot I told her we only speak English and I said thank you and started talking to her in Tagalog. The lady walked away and Sister Salima just started laughing and was like "uhh, I thought we only speak English." hahah Whoops! I would work on my lying skills, but this is probably for the better.

Anywayyyyy... the work is going well! We taught like 34 people this week and so many of them are new potentials who really seem interested. We are working with our investigators who have baptismal dates to keep their commitments so they can be baptized. These people are great! I love them already and hope we can be in tune with the spirit so we can help them in their conversion. It is so neat being a representative for our Savior every day. You just can't explain it. I love this work. I love this gospel. I love the Philippines. And I love being a missionary! Have a great week everybody! I love you all tons.

Love, Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. 17 lessons in one day in our area
2. Service project at the river
3. Elders cooked the best laing for our district lunch!
4. Saw Brother Lopez (my tatay in Camaligan) yesterday at district conference!
5. Accidentally ate a whole sili pepper last night. Not sure that's a top really, but it was funny after I could breathe again
6. Extended lots of baptismal dates this week~ these people have such a desire to follow the Savior!
7. Lots of time with Sister Reeder
8. Breakfast at 7-11 kanina
9. 5 days till I know if my pamangkin is a boy or a girl!
10. MLC tomorrow at the mission home!

Selfie with the Catholic church 

The next 9 pics are from one of the elder's cameras:

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