Uhhh, I don't even know how to start this! I guess by sating I'm beyond pumped cause I just saw MAREZ!!!!! One of my recent converts from Camaligan! And if I can add in, one of my favorites also! We are here in Naga so we were walking across the SM parking lot to come email and someone hugged me from behind haha. She was so out of breath and had literally chased us down! She is so funny and gave me the happiest updates about her life and ahhh, sweet reunion! I think she'd give Christie a run for her money with the breaths per minute while talking. We're gonna head back to SM after we email to meet her for lunch!
My suitcases are all packed and sitting in the mission office! We left Pamplona this morning and you would think it's hit me by now that I'm really leaving but it 100% hasn't!!!!! Like everyone asks if it just feels like another transfer... but it doesn't even feel like that! I feel like in a few hours I'll get back on the jeep and go home to Pamplona, sleep in my bunk bed, shower with the bucket, wash my clothes by hand.... but that phase of my life is OVER. Ahhhh Freak out.
But let me just say, it was a wonderful week to end on!!!!! So Monday, I told you about the district activity but I didn't realize until that night how FRIED I was!!!!! So red hahah and really added to the farmers tan. I even have a hair tie tan. Tuesday we went to Naga for MLC. We rode the train with the zone leaders again, fun tradition! Except when you forget there is no more school (they have early summer!) which means there will be no tricys driving down that road which means we ended up walking the 3.5 kilometers to the train release! hahah But it was fun anyway. MLC was just as wonderful as always. All of the departing missionaries bear their testimony and I think I would classify myself as a non-crying type. But it just hit me hard. The mission life is coming to an end. So weird. I was grateful for the chance to testify of Christ. How He is the only way I have endured and enjoyed my mission. I am so grateful for the Savior who suffered and atoned for each of us. I know He felt those moments when I just thought I couldn't go another day or kill one more cockroach. He gave me the strength to get through those days. He blessed our investigators to be able to make hard changes and do hard things. He blessed me and my companions to know how to best help them. I love Him and I am so grateful I had this time to serve Him. To share His gospel.
On Wednesday we had exchanges with the Libmanan sisters in our area. I worked with Sister Gonzales. We had some hilarious moments tracting. Gotta love it. Overall a great day.
Thursday night I went through my stuff and decided what to get rid of. I filled the whole extra bed with clothes, school supplies, tools, random junk I have collected the last 18 months. It was so fun, like I had a little shop, and everyday after that when we went out to work, I would just look at my planner at who we were going to visit and put a few things in a bag for each of them. They were all sooooo grateful. I felt like Santa Claus hahah.
Friday we had zone training. Good times. At the beginning there are discussion items. So the zone leaders go through and talk about all the concerns we discussed at MLC. Most are just simple things and there is no reaction. Well, the wonderful zone leaders handed the time over to me to talk about the obedience part hahah. There are a few new rules we had decided on, mostly about the DVD players and stuff. So that got quite the reaction. hahah, those zone leaders! It's a good thing they're so nice or I woulda killed them! That's when it's not so fun being a solo STL hahah, all the blame goes to me. But I've gained such a testimony of obedience on my mission, so I just bore testimony that we will be so much more blessed and worthy of the spirit when we follow what the Lord wants for us. I know it's true. Not just for missionaries, but for all of us! When we follow the commandments we will be happy. We will be blessed. We will be guided. It's just simple!
Let's see, sorry, this is getting so long. Saturday we went to the women's general broadcast. It was so good. Like loved it all. But can I just say that the video of the families singing kinda killed me. I'm sorry, but can anyone agree? Like, even just a little?? K sorry I'll stop, but just imagine the Richmond fam doing that! ahahha. Ray taking the lead. It really gets me.
I also watched a Mormon message on Saturday night. It was one of those classic stand in holy places ones. So there is a party at this house, you can picture the scene right? There is loud crude music, dark, smokey, sketchy stuff going down. Anyway. I just thought how grateful I am for our home. I am grateful for parents who did everything to make our home the kind of place that it is. I couldn't even image our house being like that. It just totally doesn't fit. Our house is a happy, bright, and loving place. It is a place where the spirit can dwell. And I am so grateful for that. Thank you mother and father for all the sacrifices you have made to make it that way. I love you!
Alright! I'll get outta here now! But I am so grateful to have served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that this is His kingdom on the earth and we all have a responsibility to build it up. I know that He and our Father in Heaven love us. I know that they have a perfect plan for each of us to return to live with them. I am happy to have worn His name on my chest for the last 18 months, I can't imagine taking this name tag off. It makes me want to cry. But I know I can still be a missionary for the rest of my life. I love the Philippines, I love adobo and sinigang. I love Tagalog and humidity. And most of all I love the people I have been blessed to serve here. I am grateful for the relationships I have developed. I LOVE YOU ALL AND I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU IN A FEW DAYS!!!! Mom and dad, can't wait to hug you in 2 days and show you around this place that I love so much. Talk to you all soon!
All my love,
1. I served a mission in the Philippines. Made it out illness free and a new person.
3.Women's general session
4. Exchanges with Libmanan sisters
5. Zone Training, elders gave a great workshop on following the spirit!
6. Giving all my stuff away
7. I will see mom and dad in 2 days! Safe travels :)
8. In a few days I will REST... what a concept
9. Off to the mission home for 2 days... my favorite place!!!
10. Just so happy and glad I decided to serve a mission