Monday, December 28, 2015

Love and Expectations

Family ko,

It was great to talk to you all for Christmas! I'm sorry if I wasn't super talkative. It's interesting sometimes that I can't speak in English. But sometimes I can! Weird. I can actually write better in English. I usually write in my journal in English.

We got a call on Sunday afternoon that Sister Dumapias was going to be transferred. Then the AP asked if he could talk to me. He told me I was going to be a trainer!!! We found out earlier that Sister Dumapias is transferring to my old area in Alijis! She is going to be the companion of Sister Rosario's trainee. :) And I am here in Talisay (an area in the same district as my current area in Silay) with Sister Guanzon until Wednesday when our trainees will arrive. We still don't know the names of the sisters we will train. But Sister Guanzon is super great and is actually in my batch that arrived here in the field.

The members keep asking how our Christmas call home was. Then they ask if we cried. We answer that we only laughed. :D

I will miss Sister Dumapias. She is probably my favorite companion so far, although I'm not sure than I'm hers. ;)

I love how President Barredo keeps telling us about how much he and Sister Barredo love us. When we had zone conference, he showed us a graph that Elder Anderson shared with the y axis as the level of love and the x axis as the level of expectation. We listed off the qualities of people in all of the quadrants: low love, low expectations cultivates complacency, laziness, lack of vision, etc. He showed us that the best area is where there is high love and high expectation. Sometimes I think I tend to slip into the high expectation but low love quadrant which cultivates stress, etc. But I love that here in Bacolod Mission the expectations are very high, but President is always always always expressing love for us. I was thinking how I need to do the same for my investigators, recent converts, etc. It is great that my expectations are high. But I also need to love them unconditionally. Because when they feel my love and my expectations, they will also feel the love and expectations of Heavenly Father through the power of the Spirit. And through that power they will know what they need to do and have a desire to do it. And then they will.

Thank you so much, all of you for your love and prayers. I love you all!

Sister Marriott

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Plans

Dear Family,

So this week has been a good one! We have seen miracles this week. We have been so lucky to run into former investigators (who were taught in the '90s). It is interesting to hear their stories. Missionary work is definitely different now than it was then, but they still seemed to have good experiences. Maybe their time to finally accept the gospel is right now. I love running into former investigators because it just shows how much Heavenly Father wants to give them another chance. He loves them so much!!

Love. That is one thing I've been praying for. More specifically for charity, but love all the same. Moroni tells us that we receive charity from the Father through the prayer of faith. Charity does not come from us. It is a gift of God to those who follow Him.

What are your plans for Christmas Day?
We have a lunch and dinner appointment, but I think we might have to cancel the dinner appointment because we just heard from the mission office that we have to be in our apartments by 6pm on Christmas. When should I call you, BTW? Peter is calling in the afternoon, maybe I'll call in the evening for you all. Would you prefer the morning or evening? When it's evening for you on the 25th, it's morning for me on the 26th, which works out for me. Depende sa inyo....

Does your companion have any quirky habits?:)
Mm, Sister Dumapias? Not really. Nope. 

Thank you for all your prayers! I am so grateful for all of you! 
 
Sister Marriott

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Faithful Investigators

December 13

So I was sort of thinking that it wouldn't feel like Christmas here because it's super hot, but it totally does! The people here LOVE Christmas! There are a surprising amount of Christmas lights on houses, the plaza looks like temple square, and there are signs everywhere that say, "Merry Christmas!" The Philippines is a good place to be for Christmas.

I just felt sooo grateful yesterday when I saw six investigators from our faaaaarthest area came to church. It is super super far away from the church building. And most of them are relatively new investigators, and there are only two active members there, but they all fellowship each other and build each other up. It is soooo great to watch people's faith grow. It's amazing really. Their knowledge of the gospel is so young that it's amazing that they even have the faith that they do. I'm just amazed at what God can accomplish in these people's lives!

So this is my second time writing this letter because it got deleted somehow. So I have to go, but I love you all!

Sister Marriott

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What a Miracle

December 6, 2015

My Family,

So this week has been great!
Caught praying :)
So we just happened to stumble upon four souls this week who have wandered from the fold. I always leave those lessons thinking, "What a miracle!" There are so many people here in Silay! What a miracle that we happened to talk to them.

That's one thing that I still think about every once and awhile. How many people there are in the world! And we are taught in the church (not sure if it's really scripture), that God never plans for any of us to fail. For every person, He plans that they will find the gospel and accept it. That is something that I cannot comprehend. I mean, we do weekly planning, daily planning and there always seems to be so many people and so little time! I go to the market and look at the people and am sad that they don't know what they don't know. But it's up to us to OYM them. That's the thing. What if it's part of God's plan that Sister Marriott will OYM this woman at the market on P-day. But then what if I don't?? Maybe the only next time she will be able to hear the gospel is in the Spirit World. What a shame, right? But it is good to know that everyone will get a chance. It's just that hopefully they will get a chance in this probationary state. OYMing is important. Sister Dumapias is a lot better at it than I am. But I'm working on it.

I got the pictures from Lexi this week of Anson. He is so big!! He's growing up so fast!

Mm, I just remembered. At one of the first visits that we had with a less-active member, they had a baby that wasn't sleeping well because of a stomach ache. The baby is only about a month old. At the end of the lesson, the father gave a super sweet prayer and prayed for the health of their baby. Then afterwards, they asked us to kiss the baby's foot! It's a superstitious tradition that the baby will sleep well or something. So we kissed the little foot of the baby! Haha! That was super fun and also sweet.

Love you all!

Sister Marriott

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I am really thankful for...

Dear Family,

We had a good week, in Silay East ward! Sister Ann Marie Bautista was baptized! Her mom came to the church for the first time to watch her baptism. She must have had a good experience because she also came to church the next day with her grandson and daughter-in-law!

We had a little thanksgiving in our apartment. Sister R and Sister T bought rotisserie chicken (called lechon manok here) and I made mashed potatoes, which were chunky because it's hard to mash them when the only tools you have is a fork. But they were still yummy. Sister T said: "How could I live in America? There's no rice!" But Sister D really enjoyed the mashed potatoes and even said the next morning that it sat well in her stomach. :)

I am really thankful for......a lot of things. Right now I'm really grateful for Sister D. She's the best. I am also grateful to the Holy Ghost. Don't know what I would do without it.

Grocery shopping can be fun at the "tindahan" or market or can be boring at a super market that is basically like and to the super market safe way or similar store. I prefer food at the market, but we usually go to both. When we go to the market, you can just feel that you're in the Philippines!! It's so crowded, and...I'll be honest, dirty. Then of course there are people calling at us so that we will buy their products. There are a lot of vegetables, and then there is the meat section. Literally large pieces of meat hanging from a racks that look similar to our pot hanger rack that hangs from the ceiling. or sometimes they just have the meat on tables. Meat is expensive here. Poor people eat vegetables and cheap fish. If they're really poor, they only eat rice with salt or with soy sauce. In any case, they buy rice first and then buy "sud-an" (the food that they eat with the rice) after.

Thanks for your prayers! I love you all.

Sister Marriott

Monday, November 23, 2015

Something Stinks!

Wonderfuls,

So it looks like you got one letter from me in exchange for two packages from you guys! I LOVED getting the packages. Made me so happy! Sister D absolutely loves her new set of tiny scriptures and her flashlight. Early Christmas! Although I still haven't opened the wrapped Christmas presents. She keeps telling everyone that "buot gd ang ginikanan nya" (her parents are really nice.) I made a special cover for the old and new testaments with the D&C and POGP. I am loving that I can carry around all standard works without my bad super huge and heavy!

What's the weirdest thing you've eaten lately? Last Monday Sister D bought "turon." It was a deepfried banana with "langka" or jackfruit that was breaded and wrapped in a shanghai wrapper. I'm used to eating turon that is just plain banana. Jackfruit is famous. I've heard that it "smells like hell, tastes like heaven." But Sister D says that to her it smells good.

Speaking of smells, Sister D and Sister T were eating "bago-on" (Tagalog) or tinabal (Ilonggo), which is a shrimp paste that is fermented....gross. I've eaten shimp paste before but it was mixed with spicyness and was good. But I wasn't interested in mixing it with the shanghai that we were eating (all 4 of us in the apartment eat together everyday for lunch, by the way. We take turns cooking). But I somehow didn't notice at the time that they were eating "bago-on." Then Sister R says, (I'll just translate the whole conversation to save Adam the trouble. But just know the conversation was in Ilonggo.)

"Something stinks!"
"Hm? maybe it's me." - Sister T
"No, it smells like rotten garbage...."

We resumed our meal. Then sister T got up and went to the fridge for a drink and then came back. I got a whiff of something rotten too.

"Mm! Something stinks." -me
"Maybe it's this" - Sister D, picking up the bago-on. She passed it to Sister R who smelled it. Her nose immediately wrinkled up
"Yup! It's that."
"That smells good!" -Sister T
"The two americans think that is smells bad. The two filipinos think it smells good." -me

We laughed, but Sister T and Sister D told us that there are things that americans like that they definitely do not like: For example, the gingerbread cookies that you sent in the mail, Mom. They didn't like, but I definitely did! And also the mexican salsa that Sister R bought last week. They did not enjoy at all. In any case, our taste buds/taste preferences are very different.

Papi: I did hear about Obama coming to the Philippines from one of our tricycle drivers. But for the most part people are usually either uninformed or unaware.

What type of music do people play? I hear music that is popular in the states, but I also hear a lot of music that is English, but I've never heard it before. There is also Tagalog music, which I appreciate because I don't understand the words. It's not as much of a distraction if you can't understand it. But the other day I heard a song that was an Ilonggo rap song! It actually sounded really cool! Not very common, probably. Most of the music here, if it's not English, it's Tagalog.


We actually went to Patag earlier today! We got permission to go hiking there. It is a nice little hike with a few waterfalls. Super fun actually.

Tomorrow is Zone Conference! I am super excited! I love trainings.

I just included a photo of Sister D and me at the falls. Hopefully it will send. I really love Sister D! She is the BEST!

Love you all! Sorry I didn't really add anything spiritual, but I know that the gospel is true!!

Sister Marriott

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Answers to Questions

Dearly beloved,

So I'll start off by answering your questions, Mom, because that tends to get my fingers typing. :) 

What animals do you see? I see a lot of dogs. So many dogs!! Sometimes the missionaries call them zombie dogs because most of them are not healthy and have no owner of any kind. So many of them are skinny and have sores all over their bodies, barely any fur. Super sad. Some of the members that work with us are afraid of dogs, but I'm not. Still not a dog person, but I'm not scared of them. There are also a lot of frogs. Where there is water, there are frogs. Sometimes we'll see a dead snake or something. Then there are rats. We saw a huge rat at the marker last week. It was being beaten to death by a man hitting it with a sharp broom made out of sticks, which is called a silhig. Yeah.....

What do kids do and say? Kids here just play and play and play. Most of them are really dirty. They shake our hands and then we have dirty hands too! Haha! :) 

Are there typhoons? Yes, there are storms here that are because of typhoons, but so far there hasn't been anything alarming here. The northern islands are the ones that usually get hit the most. The last big typhoon that really harmed Negros Island was Typhoon Ulanda. That did a lot of damage. 

What was something sad you saw this week? The condition of old people here is sometimes really sad. We saw a grandma yesterday who was really skin and bones. She just lays on what is really a windowsill made out of bamboo that she uses as a bed and just coughs and coughs and coughs. But she was really nice and even sat up to talk to us! Then the dental care of people here is really sad too. Rotten teeth galore! 

Wow! Keep the questions coming! 

This week we had stake conference. President Barredo and Elder Pangan (from the area presidency) both attended. Elder Pangan baptized Sister D's family when he was a missionary! But that was before she was born. But he recognized her anyway because she had happened to sign up for institute while he was a CES coordinator a while back. When she saw his name of the sign up list, she went into the teacher's office area and then they met! He was really surprised to see her!

I got news that my package arrived!! I still haven't received it though. But it is at the mission office! :) 

I also finally got Natalie's marriage announcement. She's so pretty! 

This morning I spent most of my personal study time studying about how to "ask the Father in the name of Christ if these things are true" and also about how to receive an answer. Our investigators are great and ask the Lord if our message is true, but it is very rare than an investigator feels right away that it is true, although I have seen that happen many times! Hopefully, Sister Dumapias and I will be able to help them there. I especially liked 1 Nephi 15: 11. 

"Do ye not remember the things with the Lord hath said? If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you."
 
Love you all,

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Busy, Busy Week!

My dear family,

The wedding and baptism of Jenelyn was successful! It is such a pleasure to watch people make such important changes in their lives. 

We had exchanges this week. I learned from Sister T (who was also assigned in Bago 2nd ward and was the companion of Sister O) that it is important to OYM a lot, but it is also important to follow-up on the people that we OYMed. As a result, Sister D and I have been trying to improve our planning so that we are sure to plan time to follow-up on specific people we OYMed. 

Also, Sister O goes home in two days! How crazy! Time flies. 
I love these guys so much!

I read a wonderful article in the June 2015 Liahona this week called "How we Preach of Christ in our Home." It was super inspiring. I loved that the author said that we need to teach every principle not as an individual principle but one that is very much tied to Jesus Christ. He gave examples of questions we can ask in lessons to connect the principles we teach to Him. For example, if you are teaching about prayer, you could ask how and what Jesus prayed. It was just a really inspiring article.

Interesting people I've met? That's a hard question. I meet a lot of people every day. Another person we met yesterday has been a man that we pass by about every single night. Last night we finally OYMed him. He said that he's been wondering when we were going to talk to him. He said that hopefully we had OYMed him weeks ago! ...Oops. It turns out that he is a friend of the bishop (who is really good at talking about the gospel to people by the way) and we have an appointment to visit his family later tonight

What did I eat for breakfast? I drank hot milo this morning. It is a chocolate drink that is really common here. I also drank a lot of water because it was fast Sunday yesterday and then finished up Sister D's breakfast of noodles and eggs. Yeah. 

I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister Marriott

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Look Different Here

Dear Ones,

So this week I have been exhausted in every sense of the word, but so many miracles have happened! I have watched in awe as our investigators make major changes in their lives. We always talk about faith unto repentance, but I realized that there is also something that I like to call humility unto repentance. Oh how it hurts to become humble enough to really, truly repent, but how liberating it is when we do! 

I am going to send a letter to you all later today! We heard that there is a post-office here at the city hall! 

There is one neighborhood that can't get over the way I look. One kid said, if I translate what she said, "Why are her eyes like that? They're like a cat's eyes." And then the same girl. "Her hair on her arms is so weird!!" I thought it was only her, until Sister D also commented on my arm hair, and then also the adult-daughter of the bishop, and then another kid in a different area......So yeah. I kind of really stand out here.

One of our investigators is getting married this week! We have been scrambling to find a dress! We found one, but it's not very pretty and I don't blame the bride for not liking it. haha! We will continue the search! 

President Barredo chooses and gives us a verse to ponderize each week. Last weeks was 3 Nephi 5:13. In our daily planning, we were deciding what we would teach an investigator that has received lessons 1-3 but still isn't progressing. I asked Sister D what was lacking in her understanding of the gospel. She said. "I feel that they don't know who they are." It really is so important for us to understand who we are and who God is in order for us to know what we ought to do.

Love you all! 

Sister Marriott

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Words Just Come Out

Family mine,

So this week was really great! We had a baptism last Sunday, Sister Erica A. She is a super smart 15 year old. Her younger sister was baptized last month, and her mom is a less-active member. She was super golden and actually worked with us as soon as her baptismal service ended, and then she worked with us again yesterday!

My clothes are holding up great! Lands end is a really good brand, I'm glad we just went ahead and bought those four skirts because they're great! My only problem with my clothes is that we hang them to dry outside in a roofed area behind the house, but because there has been a storm here this week, it's been windy and raining all week, which means that my clothes have yet to dry. Kind of frustrating because last week I did laundry, but when I went to check on them a day later they were sour. Had to wash them again. And even now they are still wet.

My clothes are fine. It's Sister D who only has about three skirts. We got permission from President Barredo to go shopping in Bacolod for her earlier. He asked us if it was a need or a want. We told him "need," so he gave us permission and even invited us to attend the transfer devotional even though neither of us were transferred (in our mission, we have transfers about two or three times in a six month period). We unfortunately did not find any skirts, although we bought a couple other things.

But at the transfer devotional, I got to see Sister O and Sister A. Sister O (my trainer) goes home in just two weeks! How time flies!

Actually, tracting is against the rules in our mission! But if we approach a house, we call out: "Tag balay" which is short for "tagia sang balay" which means "owner of the house." But we do a lot of OYMing, which I think I've told you about before. We just talk to people. Still one of my biggest challenges. I was telling Sister D how hard is was for me to OYM, and she seemed surprised and told me she thought I was brave. Made me feel a little better. I guess I'm good at acting like I'm confident even when I'm not. Thanks to ballroom and shakespeare. :)

I love the feeling of when I open my mouth and words just come out. Not just in OYMing, but in lessons. Sometimes I am surprised at my own words. It is then that I know that they are not actually my words. They are the Lord's. Super humbling. One example from this week is that at the end of a first lesson to an investigator, I opened my mouth to ask a question, but a different question from the one I was thinking of came out of my mouth. I said: Do you know anyone else that we could teach?

The investigators got really excited and and started rattling off names faster that I could write them down. They then took us to three different houses. Only two of the three were willing to let us in, but maybe that one is ready to receive the Gospel. And then on our way of visiting those three homes, we ran into a half-paralyzed man who told us he was a member of the church and wanted to come back to church!

God loves and knows His children!

Palangga ta kamo!
Sister Marriott

Monday, October 12, 2015

So happy!

Dear loved ones,

SO this week has been great! I love Silay. It is a huge area. I am in Silay East ward and there are two sets of sister missionaries in the ward. The other sisters (Sister T and Sister R) are our housemates. Sister D is my companion, and I love her! She's great! She has only been out for four weeks, and I realized the other day that that means that I am a senior companion. How time flies! Even though the ward is split between to areas, our area is still super big, which is great, but also hard. Great that there are progressing investigators in all of the different places, but hard to plan effectively in order to be able to visit them frequently. We mostly travel by tricycles, which of course is my favorite way to ride!

Our apartment is a duplex, but all four of us sisters are on one side of the duplex. We alternate cooking everyday, which has its advantages and disadvantages. I bought a lot of veggies last week and then only ended up cooking twice. I'm hoping they won't go bad.

Then I ate sugar cane on Wednesday! Which is called tubo. The fields are called campo. The sugar cane was yummy! It's like moist, sweet wood. You just chew on it until you've sucked out all the sugar and then spit it out. Some members/investigators gave it to us, and I didn't know how to eat it, and of course they gave it to me first and were all looking at me. I said, "Paano? Kagat lang?" Well, turns out that's exactly how it's done.

Sister D and I ask each other about each others families in our downtime, or sometimes we talk about our common acquaintances here in the mission. She was a child of record, but wasn't baptized until she was nine because her mom "forgot." Her dad spent most of his working life in Saudi Arabia, etc. So that's hard. She is the very last in her family, and there's a huge age gap between her and her closest sibling. Last night we had a meeting with our ward mission leader, while we were waiting for the other sisters to arrive, I chatted with a Sister Casteneda, who turned out to be the trainee of Sister Rosario! Haha! When she learned I just transferred from Alijis, she asked if I knew Sister Rosario. I said, "Companion ko sya!" And so we chatted until it was time to leave, and then I returned to Sister Dumapias who was nearby having a conversation with a member of the ward. At that moment I just felt SO HAPPY! Sometimes that's how I just feel. Just oh so happy! 

My bed? The beds here in the mission so far are the same. a wooden frame with a skinny mattress, comfortable, usually clean. It's nice that they're all the same in the mission so that I don't have to adjust to a new mattress every transfer. I hated that about moving apartments as a student. 

I LOVED conference! I cried every session. I'm not sure why. I just loved it so much. This past six months I've actually been really good at reading and rereading the conference talks from April, and I felt that really helped me be ready for this conference.

Salamat gid sa inyo! Da best gid kamo!! Palangga gid kamo nakon! Salamat gid para sa mga pagpangamuyo nyo. 

Sister Marriott

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Transferred Again

Hi family!!

I just got transferred to Selay East Ward. Sister R will train again, but the new arrivals don't arrive until Wednesday, so she and Sister Lewis (my first companion at the MTC), who is also going to train, are going to work together in Alijis until Wednesday.

So, last Tuesday President Barredo came to our district meeting and was disappointed to see that not everyone had brought their Bible (I didn't have one because I left it on a jeepney a couple weeks ago and haven't been able to get it back--don't worry, I ordered a new one). He then told us we needed to bring our Bible to every lesson. So we started lugging around Sister R's big Bible. It is super heavy, but it also has weight in the lessons. :) Especially, we saw this week that it helps when it comes to teaching people about the nature of God. So many people here think that Jesus and God the Father are one person. It is helpful to use the Bible in order to show them that Jesus is an exact likeness of the Father, which means that Heavenly Father must also have a body. Then we also shared Acts 7:55-56 about how Stephan saw the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. I watched the change in our investigators eyes as he realized who God was. Only if we know who God is can we really begin to have faith in Him.

How does that bathroom getted cleaned? Here we call it the CR, which is short for comfort room I think. Filippinos love abbreviations by the way. I usually use a big scrub brush and some powder soap which is sort of like Comet. I also use an old toothbrush, as usual. :)

Thanks for all of your letters! I loved reading them!

Love,
Sister Marriott

Monday, September 28, 2015

Laundry

Hello!!

Happy Birthday to Papi!!!

This week just flew by! One thing that really surprised me this week is how hard it was to teach an American! He married a Filipina and has three beautiful children. He has the whole Bible memorized. And when I say memorized, I mean it. I gave the opening prayer and had to talk really slow and concentrate because Ilonggo just wants to come out of my mouth. The gift of tongues is so real!! 

Laundry? I do the laundry. By hand. Really we just use powdered detergent. And then you wash the clothes by rubbing the clothes with itself. Or I've seen others use a laundry board and brush, but I prefer washing by hand. But you need to use a fabric softener when you rinse the clothes, otherwise they will dry really stiff. The poor people who can't afford fabric softener rinse the clothes three times instead. But it's a lot easier to just buy fabric softener if you can afford it. 

Sorry for the short letter! I finished writing a real handwritten letter to the family. I'll send it as soon as I find a post office. Love you all!!
Sister Marriott

New Shoes and Cake

I love reading your emails!

I'm wearing some nice new shoes right now! It's nice to walk and not feel the hot road burn my feet. Haha! 

I'm still amazed Papi got to go back to Germany. How cool!

I read an inspiring talk by Elder Callister again this week about Becoming a Consecrated Missionary, but I'm not sure if it's available to you. But it's a really powerful talk about consecrating EVERYTHING. Putting everything on the alter. Really inspiring.

I also really enjoyed the relief society class yesterday about pride. I realized that any bit of disobedience is a sign of pride. Disobedience means that you think that what you want is more important than what God/your parents/leaders think. Tell that to Lizzy. ;) I remember that Natalie told me once when her dad told me to do something that I didn't want to do, and it wasn't convenient for me either, but I did it anyway. She said, "You're so obedient!" That's one thing that was ingrained in me by my two great parents. :D

If you look at the root of disobedience, it really just comes down to pride. We think that our wisdom is higher than God's wisdom.

So....I left the scriptures that Natalie gave me on a jeepney on my way to district meeting on Tuesday!! I've been missing it ever since. 

I'm glad you've been baking! I never got the oven that the supply elders promised. I guess it was just for Sister Aloc. But Sister R loves cake. So I made two rice-cooker chocolate cakes this week! One last Monday and one yesterday. I mixed it really fast as soon as we got home from church and it cooked while we were studying. I'm getting better at making them. I used a recipe that Natalie gave me. Basically regular ingredients. The recipe doesn't call for egg, but I put one in just because I wanted it to be more moist. It helped. Super yummy. 

I really love what Bacolod South Stake is doing every third Sunday. It is called "Third Sunday Ministry." Every third Sunday ALL ward members visit less-actives for one hour after church. We joined them yesterday, and it was really great. I know miracles will happen in Bacolod South Stake because of it.

Thanks for all of your great letters! 

Love,
Sister Marriott

Sunday, September 13, 2015

How Time Flies!

My Wonderful Family,

I love what Sister Burton said about the Sabbath Day. I've seen how hard it is for people here in the Philippines to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. But I know it is so important! The Bible Dictionary says that it is an eternal principle.

I studied about the Sabbath the other day, and then happened to study also about the parable of the ten virgins. I then was able to see how I could apply the Sabbath to the parable. For example, going to church and taking the sacrament can symbolize the oil that is in the actual lamp. So many times we think that is all there is to the Sabbath. It is easy to think that because sometimes it is enough to keep the flame of our testimony alive. But more than that will be needed when the Savior comes again. We need other oil. We can obtain that oil by resting, giving service, doing family history work, refraining from entertainment and shopping, studying the scriptures, and praying on the Sabbath.

We had another baptism on Saturday, Rusty. He is almost 11, and I'm usually a little shy of baptizing children. But I have no doubts about him. He currently lives with his gaurdian/cousin of his mom who is the Primary President. He reads the Libro ni Mormon every day even though it is super deep Ilonggo. He also prays, goes to church and activities, and was SO excited to be baptized. He's just an all-around solid kid.

Haha! Anyway, I still can't believe that N is married. That is so crazy. It all happened to fast! But I guess I have been here for a while. I've started telling people I've been here for a long time when they ask me how I learned how to speak Ilonggo. I just say, "Kay dugay ako di, mo?" They always ask me how many years. Then are amazed only about 7 months. How time flies!!

I love you all! I hope you have a great week! I started a handwritten letter for you all last Monday, hopefully I will finish it later today.

Sister Marriott

Monday, September 7, 2015

Working Smart

Mom and Pop,

Wow! Thanks for the great letter, Mom! I am glad that you and Papi bought Grandpa a Puch motorcycle! Did I tell you the Philippines has only increased my love of motorcycles? The main modes of commutation are jeepneys and tricycles (motocycles with a side car). I love the tricycles most, even though they're way more expensive here in Bacolod City.

So, this week I have learned SO MUCH from my companion, Sister Rosario. She is probably the smartest missionary here in the mission. As in, she works the smartest. I've always worked hard as a missionary, but I've not always worked smart. She works smart. She really knows what we have to do to get results. Sorry for not really including details, but let's just say it's been a week of learning for me.

She is from Pangasinan, maybe that's how you spell it. She is the third of eight kids. From what she's told me about her life before the mission, we're basically the same. Working in an office, going to school, etc. Her major is accountancy, so she'll be an accountant someday. Her favorite food is balut, which she buys and eats every day from a sister that just got baptized on Saturday, actually! They have been investigators since February and really have been going to church since then. They have just taken a while to feel ready to be baptized. It's been great working with them! They are so great!

I really loved a scripture in the New Testament that I read in my personal study this morning. I've been trying to read more in the Bible, not just the Book of Mormon.

"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17

I also listened to President Uchdorf's talk on Grace this week. I thought of you, Mom. I just loved what he said about being truly changed. He said it is a change so dramatic that it is called "born again." It's so true! That is the beautiful thing about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can change.

Love you all!!

Sister Marriott

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Elect

Pamilya ko,

Sister R and I had a good week. 12 investigators at church! Our teaching styles are really different, but we really saw that the Spirit made up for any differences. One thing I learned from her this week is about really searching for the elect.

"...for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts." -D&C 29:7

I also really loved a verse of scripture this week, 1 Nephi 16:16 which says that the Liahona led them to fertile parts of the wilderness so that they could find food in the wilderness. I applied that to myself in that the Spirit can lead us to find the areas/people/families who are ready to hear the gospel!

What do people wear here? Well, there are a lot of students, and they all have uniforms. The big colleges here in Alijis have white uniforms. But Bago college had a blue/gray uniform. Depende sa lugar. But if they are still in high school it really depends, all sorts of uniforms. But most of the girls have rather poofy, calf length skirts made of pretty stiff fabric. Some jobs have uniforms as well. But if not, the people wear whatever they have. The people here wear clothes past the point where they have holes and are see-through. Hahaha.

They clean here with muriatic acid. Intense stuff but it works. I heard of a drunk man who drank it... He died.

Permetheryn is used for pests like cockroaches. I definitely use it more than a few times a week. There are a lot of kinds of bleach here, which they use in laundry as well as powder or bar detergent, sometimes both. Then you need downy to rinse the clothes. If not, you have to rinse your clothes three times so they won't dry stiff.

Sister R and I have a lot of time with language. She wants me to speak in English at the house, which has turned out to be harder than I thought. I talk automatically in Ilonggo now... But it's better for her if I speak English. She had more than a few negative experiences with her English teachers in school, so I'll try to help her have a positive experience with speaking English.

Salamat gid sa inyo tanan! I love you all! I am trying to be the missionary that my mom thinks I am. ;)

Sister Marriott

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Families

Akon Hinigugma nga mga Ginikanan,

HAPPY 30TH ANNIVERSARY!! Wow. I'm so grateful for you two. Thank you for getting married!!

So, thanks mom for the recipes! Unfortunately, Sister Aloc was transferred today! Which is the day that we were going to celebrate, but that's okay. My new companion is Sister Rosario. She has been in the mission for a long time. Only about 4 months left! Her grandparents are currently living in Washington!

This past week we had mission tour. Elder Bowen, a councilor in the area presidency visited. He gave a GREAT training. We were so inspired! He especially talked about the oath and covenant of the priesthood, the house of Israel, Abrahamic covenant, and working with ward and auxiliary leaders. It was great.

I was really proud of Sister Aloc because she participated a lot in the training. Well, we both did. Whenever we knew the answer, we raised our hands...and so we were called on quite a bit. I was proud of her because she was the only pinay (Filipino) that participated. She said that others didn't participate probably because of the language barrier. She went to BYU Hawaii for three years, so she's good at English, even though I haven't really heard her speak it. We speak Ilonggo about 95% of the time, which has really helped me improve my Ilonggo. Blessing gid.

Jameson wrote me about how they prayed for families in their area. I need to start praying more fervently for families. We actually found one really nice family, and the mom and two kids came to church yesterday! We ran into her husband while he was working. He drives a jeepney for a living and stopped us. He was really nice, but we haven't been able to teach him yet. Families are so important because we need to start with the end in mind. The end being eternal life, which requires being sealed for eternity.

Thanks again, Mom and Papi, for being sealed for time and all eternity 30 years ago today!

I wanted to tell you about what I call the pig system. There are water jugs outside lots of houses full of leftover food. I asked Sister Aloc why that is. She then told me that someone comes and collects the food to feed the pigs. We actually met another family this week that that is their livelihood. They have a lot of pigs and they just sell them one at a time. Genius really. Although really stinky. Pork is expensive here, but people love eating it.

I was reading in Mosiah about Abinadi and his mission. One verse stood out to me about the hardness of the peoples hearts and the blindness of their eyes. I took time to make a list of times when I make choices which blind my eyes and harden my heart. The list turned out to be very insightful. Self-evaluation is something I've learned is so important as a missionary. Repentance has changed. It doesn't have a bad connotation anymore. It is a word full of hope.

I just love being a missionary!

Love you all!!
Sister Marriott