Monday, March 16, 2015

Jessica's Seventy Fourth Email! March 15th, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUNNERS!!!!! I hope you have the best birthday Austin! I really can't believe you are 17, it blows my mind!!!!! 

Where does the time go?! This week flew, as always! I guess we were in Manila so we didn't actually get to work until Wednesday. And then we had exchanges in Libmanan on Friday. I worked with Sister Falcon, the Peruvian who moved to San Bernardino a few years ago. I love her so much! It's so fun to see how much these sisters improve after just one transfer! Her tagalog is so good! It was a good day and then we took some investigators to the branch sports night around 7:30 and stayed for a few games of volleyball! So fun! We also ended up in the middle of a rice field on this little road after it got dark. We were late and it was literally just rice fields for miles so we literally ran like a mile or 2 in our dresses hahah. Always an adventure. But we only were in our area like 3 days the whole week, so it was super busy! Our lessons were so good though, these people are incredible! I'm gonna tell you about some of them! We had 7 investigators come to church yesterday and most of them are on date for baptism! So I told you about Jam last week. She's awesome. Then there is Myla. When we first taught her she said she was gonna be frank with us. She was a Catholic and was pretty much just gonna listen to us so she could tell her parents what these Mormons really teach. Well she has totally head over heels fallen in love with the gospel in the process of this spy tactic. She came to church for the first time yesterday. She loved it and brought her 2 daughters. She is 22 and has 3 kids... and her husband is 54 years old. Not sure about the whole story there, but we are trying to get him involved in our lessons also! She reads so much! We just gave her the Aklat ni Mormon like 2 weeks ago and she is already in the last chapter of 2 Nephi! She passed me! And she totally understands it all. So solid. She really wants to be baptized, but also really wants the gospel for her husband too. Then there is Myrna. She is like late 50's maybe?? Well she and her 20 year old son came yesterday. Myrna is such a searcher! She loves to clear up any question and be sure that she understands every word we say 100%. She hangs onto every word! She always says that when a lizard makes its noise (whats that called?? like a croak kinda sound) that it is testifying of truth hahah. One time she was kinda sick and we came by and asked if we could share a message with her. She was kinda hesitant, but then the lizard croaked, so her hands were tied hahaha, let us right on in! Good thing there are a ton of lizards here, those guys are always backin up our testimonies! :) 
Another is Maricon. 2 of her 4 kids are members. One son and one daughter. The daughter is on a mission! She (Maricon) has a baptismal date but is still deciding if she'll go through with it because she doesn't want to bear her testimony after haha. Said she is too shy. But we assured her she can still be baptized and not stand in front after to bear her testimony, so I think she's on again. Some concerns are so funny.

Yesterday as we were sitting in church we had Myla to my right, Lorna to Sister Gisala's left (oh! Super neat new investigator who accepted a baptismal date like the 2nd visit... She has 12 kids and brought the baby to church yesterday! Well all her kids are so close together that she really has like 4 babies... but the youngest of the bunch). Then we had Myrna and Roy in front and Maricon and her friend behind us. Then Joshua in the next row over. They were all just in reach and I just wanted to have a big group hug haha. If you know me, you know I'm not super into hugging girls, but the love was that overpowering!!! Like it was so strong I swear anyone coulda felt that. I felt the spirit so strong just from looking around at all of these amazing people growing closer to Christ. It's hard to explain feelings like that, but I have felt God's love in such abundance these last 17 months. It's so true what the guy in the PMG (Preach my Gospel) videos says, you can't remember any one specific heartbreak or disappointment on the mission, but those good ones stay crystal clear like you're still in the moment! I hope I never forget these experiences I have had here. I love the Lord and I love His work that I am able to help in. I love being a missionary and wearing His name on my chest every day. Getting close to coming home is weird, but I am so grateful He is still blessing us with such powerful experiences to keep this fire burning till the end.  I love you all! Have a beautiful week! 

hahah at Mall of Asia last week we ran into this elder who served here and finished last transfer, so like 3 weeks ago. He is from Australia and he and his family are touring around before they head back. We met his family and his sister is rad. She says everything is beautiful and it's hilarious! So ya, stay beautiful. 

Sister Richmond

Top 10
1. Investigators at church yesterday
2. Our recent convert who is in love with Sister Gisala. It's so awkward for her hahah.
3. Manila was technically this week, so we'll just throw that one in again. 
4. Tried Susu (like a shell with a worm lookin thing in it)
5. Exchanges with Sister Falcon
6. Still so pumped about The Don's call to Uruguay
7. I'll see you all in a month!
8. Had such a gnarly washing party this morning. You wouldn't believe how many bubbles there were!!!!! Used an extra pack of soap, makes all the difference.
9. View from our bedroom! All you can see is rice fields and palm trees! I wake up at like 5 every morning and can't sleep (happened to Sis Salima her last transfer also) so I just lay there and do some soul searching hahah
10. So many progressing investigators 

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