Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nourished by the Word of God...and Pamahaws

Kamusta!!

I spent more time this week studying about the Atonement. I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes: "When we comprehend His voluntary Atonement, any sense of sacrifice on our part becomes completely overshadowed by a profound sense of gratitude for the privilege of serving Him." - Elder Russel M. Nelson 

One of the things that the zone leaders challenged us to do at zone training this week was to teach about the Atonement in every lesson. Since then, Sister Ortiz and I have even dedicated whole lessons about the Atonement. I know that if the people we teach understand that Christ suffered for them, that the promise that Elder Nelson will come true. Any sense of sacrifice of coming to church or repenting of sin will be nothing if they understand the Atonement.

Yeah! Zone training was really good. The rest of the day, even though it was a shorter proselyting day, we were still able to accomplish as much as we normally do, maybe even more. And I felt the Spirit especially strong throughout the day. The words, "nourished by the word of God" came to my mind during the day. I think I really was spiritually fed at zone training.

We have an investigator who is half paralyzed. I really think that she has been prepared to be taught by us. Even though she no longer can attend church (catholic), she still dedicates Sunday as a day of prayer. 

What are we eating? Haha! We get fed more than I expected. The poor people here eat mostly fish/shells and rice, depending how close they are to the shore. We've been fed by members more than I expected though. They feed us things like chopsuey (my favorite! just a bunch of veggies in a wonderful sauce), soup, steamed green bananas, fish, rice, chicken, noodle stir fry stuff, pork sisig (Sister Ortiz's favorites), curry, etc. There is a lot of variety. So far the members are all really good cooks! We are fed...probably two meals a week, with a lot of people giving us pamahaws, which means snack. For pamahaw it is often a soft drink and a sweet bread or something. They know that it is against the rules in our mission to buy soft drinks -- isn't that great? But if it is offered to us, we drink it. So they get it for us --isn't that horrible? Members. Haha! I've had more pop here than the rest of my life. Although I will say that the pop here is better than in America. Less carbonation. Other pamahaws are the steamed bananas. I really like them! 

The food is good. Sister Ortiz and I take turns cooking. When I cook, I just cook a vegetable and rice and put it on the table...haha. But she likes it. She's a good cook too. We always ask each other, "How did you make this?" Haha! My first full day, she made me eggs for breakfast. They were the best scrambled eggs I've ever had. The secret is this wonderful quick melting cheese they have here.

The milk here has been processed and sterilized to the point that when we first had it in the MTC, Sister Lewis didn't think it was cow's milk. Haha! It is. But it does taste very different! 

A few funny things happened this week. One was when we were on our way to one barangay called Bliss, a huge group of kids yelled, "Sister!!" And crossed the street together. They all want to shake our hands and then they try to pronounce my name. "Sister Maaar..." Haha. After they left, a little boy came running back and tugged on my skirt so I turned and then he stood there just puckering his lips up at me. Haha! I just said, "Indi pwede." Which means can't or not allowed. It was so funny. 

I don't think I told you about this....maybe I did. Oh well. A couple weeks ago, we passed a group of adults, after we passed a lady muttered, "madre." Which here means nun. Sister Ortiz was like, "We are not nuns!" I don't mind, as long as they know that we aren't Catholics, which I'm pretty sure is obvious. :)

I really felt the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues this week! It's real. Sometimes Heavenly Father just gives me the words. 

Sister Marriott

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bago 2nd Ward

Pamilya!

I am here safe in the Philippines Bago 2nd Ward. Church yesterday was really good. It went by so fast. It was weird at the end of the day though because it didn't feel like Sunday since we went out and worked as usual.

The Manila MTC was pretty chaotic. Nothing like the Provo MTC really. Every meeting started late or didint' happen until days later...We would be on our way to TRC and be ushered into a devotional we didn't know we were supposed to go to. Super weird. Oh well. They also didn't give us nearly enough study time.

Haha. I complained about not enough study time and Sister Allegretti said, "Who are you???"

I guess a nerd...I love study time so much.

My trainers name is Sister Ortiz. She is a native Philipina but speaks only Tagalog natively. I realized yesterday that she reminds me of Julia. I couldn't stop recognizing more and more things that she does that reminds me of Julia once I made the connection. Random.
She is a hard worker. She's had a hard time this last transfer because she only had short term companions who didn't really grow to care about the area since they knew they wouldn't be there for very long. It must have been frustrating. I'm her first trainee, but I wouldn't know it. She's great.
We do a lot of visiting less-actives and recent converts, which I am really glad about. The last couple days, the ward mission leaders have been really good about coming with us. They are so good to work with us all day long. It's good to have other people other than Sister Ortiz who can actually speak Ilonggo.
Speaking of Ilonggo, I have been having a hard time with the language. I can usually express what I want to say, but understanding is a whole different thing. I can't really understand very much at all. Even if I do understand three words in a sentence, I'm still at a loss to what they're talking about. I think I have the gift of tongues, just not the interpretation of tongues. Haha! I think it's funny. People hear me speak and then think that I can understand too....nope. I have been doing my best to listen though. Really truly. Although it is really hard to listen for hours without understanding very much at all. And I've been praying for both the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues.
This really is the real deal! I'm finally doing real missionary work! I am really happy. Yes, the language is hard, but I have faith that it will get better.
The kids here love me. "Sister Sister!" And then they feel my skin and say, "Puti." So amazed. One girl even asked me what soap I use!! Hahaha!
One thing that I've learned going to different people's houses is that it is so apparent if the Spirit is there or not. A few times I've been in a house and realized that the Spirit is not a common visitor there. It makes me sad. So I pray in my heart that Heavenly Father will send his Spirit to be there.

Thank you for all you do for me! I love you all so much!!

Sister Marriott

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Manila MTC

Hi Pamilya!!
 
I am emailing to say that I arrived safely in the Philippines! We are here at the MTC in Manila! It is so great! I don't have time to say much, but I will email on P-day...whenever that is. I'll find out when I go to the field on Wednesday.
 
I love you!

Sister Marriott