Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teach me how to Dougie‏

Wait...is that a 13??
I hope your week was a good as mine was! But it probably wasn't because you didn't get to go to Pakil, have a thumb war, sing Teach Me How To Dougie in sacrament meeting, or experience a Pitch Perfect moment. Let me explain. But before I do, I finished the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time since I left on my mission. Good news! It's still true! And if ya haven't read it, you should. 

So this week was all over the roller coaster of emotions because, well, being a missionary is awesome but it's stressful to the max. As STL's, we used to have all the sisters come to our areas so we had like double the time to teach and double the investigators, but our new President has changed it so that we now go into their areas. Which means travel time and a lot of days where we don't get to see our lovely investigators' faces. But it's really a good thing because it means prioritizing and focusing on those who are really going to progress. I'll tell you whose been chosen in a minute.

So first, exchanges this week were in Pakil! Which is basically the most gorgeous area I've ever been to. I got the chance to work with Sister To'a, who is actually my batch in the mission. She is Tongan and she is the happiest person I've ever met! I just love her! I learned how important it is to be patient and to testify of the things that you know. And to just be you. I was kind of struggling this week with feelings of inadequacy. I just wasn't sure why Heavenly Father had called me as an STL. I didn't have anything really great to share with the sisters, no super lessons and secret weapons to convert everyone you meet. But after our first lesson in Pakil, Sister To'a told me how much she had learned and how much she felt the things I'd said had really helped their investigator. I was kinda surprised because I just taught the way I normally do, nothing special. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that that is exactly why the Lord calls each of us to our specific callings. I was called to be a missionary in PSPM and an STL in Sta. Cruz because the people there need Sister Brown and Sister Burt. They don't need super missionaries. They just need us. Do we realize just how much we can help others by just being us? Just a thought.

Now one of the chosen ones is Brother Makulit AKA Brother Pamilacan. I love that man and his family with all of my heart and I know that he CAN and WILL change. The missionaries before really pushed really hard for him to be baptized and Sister Burt and I thought that all that pushing was pushing him a lot farther away. So we changed our approach. We ALWAYS focus on eternal families and the temple as the goal, not baptism. So we practice teach before we leave the house and just to be funny, I said something along the lines of, "I'll fight you if you didn't read." And Sister Burt said, "Okay, we'll thumb wrestle!" Well imagine our surprise when at the end of the lesson, Brother Pamilacan turns his pinky promise into a thumb war! Who knew practice teaching was so effective? Haha :) But luckily it wasn't because he didn't read. In fact the first thing he said to us as we walked in was, "Sisters, I read that long paper you gave me (The Family Proclamation to the World). It's really good, I really like it." And then he tells us he read the Book of Mormon and he starts flipping pages. And more pages. I could hardly believe it and we thought about getting up and leaving right then for the fear that we'd say something in our lesson that would make him change his mind. I was so happy I can't even describe it to you! And guess what, that pinky promise was that he'd come to church. And he did. His son passed the sacrament for the first time and his wife just looked so unbelievable happy to have her whole family all together at church. And to top it all off, the closing hymn was, "Teach Me To Walk In The Light." Well, that pretty quickly turned into "Teach Me How To Dougie." Meet Brother Makulit. Love him.

One of the other Chosen Ones is Joanne. Her husband is a member and she will be getting baptized on August 16. She loves the fact that her family is going to be eternal someday. I've really noticed that this week. The more we emphasize families, the more people are willing to change. Because NOTHING is more important than their family. We taught them about temples and eternal marriage yesterday. It was really a special lesson. I'll never forget it. But not for the reasons you think. Right as we're about to begin the lesson her 4 year old son walks in, opens his mouth, and lets out a nice projectile vomit all over sweet Sister Laurie (our member). Ya can't get any more Pitch Perfect than that. Crushed it. 

Loving life, loving the mission, loving my companion. Don't be surprised if I just stay here forever. Love ya all bunches! Have some adventures this week, because why not?

XOXO, Sister Brown

P.S. I have white man terror.

The Jupiter Family 
Met Emilee Hansen's brother-in-law at church on Sunday...what are the odds?
I live with these...Love them!

This is Mamu, the greatest human being on earth!

Rice fields in Pakil

Me and Sis To'a
Exchanges with Sister To'a and Sister Johnson in Pakil
Enough tuna adobo to feed an army.  Or 4 hungry sister missionaries!

Sis. To'a did my hair.  She is the braid master!
Sleepover in Pakil!

Avia, the next Philippines idol
District namin

Made no-bake cookies...It got a little crazy!

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