|No more washing machine... :(|
Bububugin kita! Joke lang, that means I'm going to punch you. Learned that one from the Sister Training Leaders. So I'm just busy feeling like a movie star here in the Philippines. The girls in the ward all want pictures and they want to know what shampoo I use and as I walk down the street, everyone stares and smiles and usually there is someone yelling that I'm beautiful haha :) It's quite the confidence booster. I'm going to feel so normal when I get back to the States where white skin, blue eyes, and pointy noses are everywhere. At least people will understand my sarcasm there though. No one thinks I'm funny except Sister Smart here.
As of last week the strangest thing I'd eaten was a cheese whiz sandwich. As of yesterday, things got weird. I had caviar, an avocado milkshake (which was surprisingly awesome), and dinuguan, which is pig's blood and intestines soup. YUM! It wasn't awful, it was just weird.
So missions are hard. I don't know if you've ever heard anyone say that before, but you probably have. This week was rough. It started out with us going to visit a less active member and here you say "Tao po!" because they don't have doorbells and some don't have doors. When we said it, the neighbor came out instead and we ended up teaching them! Rosalina is 68 and her husband passed away a few years ago and her daughter Jeannette, is 34 and has 3 kids, one of which passed away as a baby. So we talked all about eternal families and I knew Jeannette felt something, maybe she was just remembering her son, I don't know. But we came back the next day and she was busy but had read the pamphlet and looked excited. Next day, she came out and told us she was Catholic and didn't need anything else. And with that came a real taste of one side of missionary work: Rejection. Appointment after appointment fell through and our investigator pool is still pretty empty.
On top of that, I'd been feeling super homesick. I just wished something could be the same. If I had to leave my family, learn a new language, and adjust to a new culture and lifestyle, couldn't I just have AC or a normal bowl of cereal and milk? Couldn't it just be easier? Well, no. It couldn't. Missions are hard. Everyone says that but no one ever really says why. Well, in my short time as a missionary, I'm starting to figure it out. There are days that you are sure you can't do it and you want to call the President and tell him you want to go home. Missions are spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting and you will be pushed to your limits. But as I sat thinking I can't, I was reminded of Elder David A. Bednar's talk, "Character of Christ " from the MTC. Look it up. It's amazing. He talks about how when the natural man turns in, Christ turned out. He asks the question "Who gets your attention in affliction? Yourself or others?" And he tells the story of a woman who heard that her daughter and a couple other girls had been in an accident and one had died. When she found out it was her daughter, she immediately called the other mothers and made sure they were okay and asked what she could do. She turned out when she had every right to turn in. This mission isn't about me and it isn't about things being my way. I realized how selfish I was being. I was turning in when I should be turning out. It isn't about what I want or I think I need. In 16 more months I can have AC and milk and cereal. But right now, it's not about me. I thought it was hard at first. How could I turn out, forget myself and go to work, when we don't have any investigators and I can't speak the language? But I can pray for others. I can help my companion. I can focus on preparing myself to teach the people Heavenly Father will surely lead me to.
I also read Elder Holland's talk, "The Miracle of a Mission." (Thanks Ave and Amanda!) It was a lifesaver. FUTURE MISSIONARIES, TAKE THIS WITH YOU! There are so many good things, you just have to read it but what stuck out to me was when he said that as missionaries, we are the most prayed for people on the planet and that President Monson prays for us everyday, because we're his teammates. I'm on a team with the prophet! It also says "So don't worry about being homesick. Don't worry about being new. Don't worry about the language. None of that matters. It will not matter. God loves you and this is the truth and you can do it!" He also talks about the apostles and prophets give their lives for this work, 40-50 years. All they are asking for is just 2 years or just 18 months. He says, "We just want 18 months from you. So start now. Just don't look back. Put your face to the sun and and put your shoulder into this work, and give it everything you've got and savor every day!" Don't look back. I'm on a mission because my bishop told me once I'd made a decision, not to look back. I'm here because two missionaries in Panguitch told me not to doubt my decision. Now President Holland is telling me the same thing. So maybe I should just do it and quit worrying :)
Then we met a 10 year old boy who flagged us down by yelling "Elders!" haha :) He goes to church every Sunday, his sister is a member, his mom is a member. He lives with his grandparents who are not members. Kyle is the cutest thing ever and his grandma is the nicest lady! She said we could come back whenever we wanted. They live just down the street from us. I don't know what will happen, but I'm sure glad he stopped us!
So even with those awesome talks, there are still a lot of moments I feel a little homesick or a lot homesick and a little discouraged. So here's your assignment: Email me or send me a letter with a quote, a scripture, a song, a story, anything that helps you keep going when the going gets tough. Something I can think of when I'm feeling like quitting.
Hope you all have an awesome week! Mahal na mahal kita!
XOXO, Sister Brown
Note from mom: So it took me a week to get my computer set up to actually get last weeks pictures....and sadly for some reason there were no new pictures this week! :( ...So figured I'd just include last week pics so you can see what things are like where she is at! :)
|Off to the Philippines|
|District D...what a great bunch! :)|
|First plane ride...|
|Arriving in style :)|
|New companion...sweet Sister Calla|
|Kitchen..love all the bright colors|
|Bathroom...minus the TP :/|
|Trikes and the rainy season...|