Monday, November 2, 2015

All Saint's Day festivities

​Magandang umaga po! Kamusta po kayo? Good morning! How are you?

Sister Zimmerman, her kasama Sister Dacalcap, Sister Devi from Fiji & Sister Manzano

This last week was a lot of things.  I was feeling really out of place, and a little scared and overwhelmed when I first got here.  Last week was rough.  But this week I tried really hard to forget how much I miss home and family, and forget about all the things I want and do the things the LORD wants.  He wants me to be happy, but He also wants me here right now. I had to learn that both of those things can and are the same. It was difficult to learn, but I am getting there.  I still love being here, and I love the Philippines.  It really is such a cool place to live and be!  There's SO many people!  Last night I wanted to see the All Saint's Day festivities so my kasama (companion) took me to the graveyard and I got to see!  I didn't take any pictures because it felt really disrespectful to do that, but it was literally a HUGE graveyard that reminded me of a neighborhood.  Remember the colorful houses in the movie Edward Scissorhands?  That's what it's like. Except with a bunch of concrete coffins and mausoleums.  They light candles at the graves of all their ancestors and  then just chill out and have a BBQ right there.  Eating food, talking with the people in the next "house".  It's like a concert because they also have SUPER loud music playing.  It was awesome.

Scene from the movie Edward Scissorhands

We taught a lot of lessons this week.  One gentleman in particular, Tatay Molina (Tatay means father, but you call everyone who is older Tatay or Nanay and then their last name. Nanay is mother.) Tatay Molina wants to be baptized, and has accepted almost everything we teach.  He is a perfect investigator, except he has a smoking problem.  We text him everyday, and check up on his progress.  We teach him a lot as well! I feel like we are helping him overcome his addiction because he no longer is looking so discouraged and upset. But he says he is determined and ready to stop... tomorrow. And still smokes 2 sticks a day. (They call them sticks here). It's frustrating.  We haven't given up on him yet, and I know the Lord is working on him. So I continue to pray for him because I know he can do this. He wants to follow Jesus Christ so badly and wants to be baptized! And his whole family will be baptized as well, but they won't unless/until Tatay is baptized first. I don't know why.

Sister Dacalcap, Teal's kasama

At a member's home

I have truly been growing so much closer to my Heavenly Father.  Imagine this: You are in a foreign country. You don't speak the language. You are put in an apartment with 2 Philippina's and 1 Fijian.  They speak broken English. You don't understand the currency. It's loud, everywhere. The smells are nasty. You smell fish, excrement, and rot everywhere and it's overpowering. You don't know a single soul for at least 50 miles.  You understand NOTHING. That's how I felt last week. I cried a couple times. It was hard.  BUT.  A HUGE STOPPING BUT: I knew someone who was going to hear me no matter where I was. Someone who knew me perfectly! My Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I had that hit me like a ton of bricks because I feeling so sorry for myself that I forgot to remember the God who is my purpose for even being here.  I felt SO much better after I prayed. I really truly felt like Heavenly Father was standing or kneeling next me and had His arm around me. It was really a special moment. I've felt that a lot this past week.  Like He has His arm around me, and is pushing me forward, but also supporting me upward.  *Mom note: She doesn't mention it here, but I know it would add to my stress if I was in her shoes...there is no shower in her apartment, she is lucky she has a toilet most people don't have one...but no shower would make me cry.  They have a bucket and a ladle. So next time you take a hot shower or throw your clothes in the washing machine think of Teal and send a little prayer her way, this is a big adjustment.*

I love my Heavenly Father so much. I know He loves us so much, and takes care of us! He wants us to be happy! He trusts me, and wants me to help Him make His other children happy! The people here in the Philippines are ready for the gospel. Not all accept right now. Some people laugh at us and what we share, but I know Heavenly Father still loves them and so we share and leave.  But always do we love these people. I love them because God loves them. and because I love them.

The gospel is true! Jesus loves you!
Have a safe and WONDERFUL week!

I love you family! 
With her house mates

Sister Teal 

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