Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Liberating Wheelchair

Nanay,

I love that picture of Papi. Put it on the blog...? 

Oo. They call us Seester. Or sis. Which they shouldn't do, but they call the bishop, shup.... haha.

In my personal study this morning, I read "Pursuing your desire to learn is important to your salvation and your success as a missionary." - PMG, pg. 24. I loved it so much that I wrote it in my planner. By the way, my second planner in the field!! I've been here for a transfer already! 

Me with Sis. Villar,
one of the sisters who works with us. :) 
On Saturday, our ward did 40 hours of service to get the wheelchair for Sis. Nelsa, our investigator, and then today I, Sis. Ortiz, and some members who own a van, drove Sis. Nelsa to Bacolod in order to get it. She was soooo happy and keeps saying how we're angels to her, and how she knows that the Lord has sent us to her, and how beautiful we are. She is one of our several golden converts, so excited to go to church! We passed the church on our way out of Bago and she said it looks like"Paraiso: Balay sang Dyos." She is so good. She has been home bound for 3 years since her stroke that left the left side of her body paralyzed. 

I finished reading the BOM again this morning in my personal study. My branch president in the MTC challenged us to start from the beginning again and read 30 minutes a day. That's what I'm still doing. I loved reading it at the pace that I did. Pretty fast. That way it's easy to remember previous passages and connect them to each other. But as I was reading in PMG in Chapter 2: Effective Study, I was impressed that I should start again but read slowly, really taking in the doctrines, connecting each doctrine or idea to each other, marking carefully, thinking of ways that I can change my own life and how I can help my investigators change theirs. If I did all of those things, I would have to slow down a bit. 

Yup! Sister Ortiz is great. I forgot to respond to one of your previous questions about her English. Her English is great. She is completely fluent, maybe with the exception of knowing idioms. :) But that's totally fine. I'm so glad she's fluent, but sometimes I wish she weren't because it's so tempting to speak to her in English instead of Ilonggo. 

Sigi! I love you all. Stay well. 
Sister Marriott

Monday, April 20, 2015

Miracles and Trials

I don't know why I love taking pictures of my feet.
Dear Mom,

Today marks the first day of my second transfer!! Sister Ortiz is still my trainer, so that's good! We were afraid she might get transferred because she's been here a while. And sometimes they have follow-up trainers for the last 6 weeks of training, but I'm glad they didn't split us up. 

BUT she is a sister training leader as of today. I guess we'll be going on exchanges a lot. It's a lot to do being an STL and a trainer at the same time. I think she's a little stressed about it. Tama sya. 

Another week of miracles and trials. 

One commandment that I have been so blessed to have in my life is the Word of Wisdom. The light of Christ is so much stronger in those who do not have addictions. 

Sugar cane fields
Another thing I have been so grateful for this week is for priesthood blessings. I have received so much strength and comfort from my patriarchal blessing, the blessing Papi gave me before I left, and my setting apart. I have been absolutely amazed as I have watched the promises in those blessings come true. 

I don't know what to write. So many miracles happened, I don't know which ones to tell you first. I'll tell you a small one.

These are the best shoes in the world!
We were in Sierra, which is one of the rice field areas in our ward, and we just finished teaching Brother Dexter who has a baptismal date for May 2nd and inspired the Word of Wisdom paragraph because he didn't have any problems with the Word of Wisdom! He said he drank once, but didn't like the way it made him feel. How awesome! Anyway, we were there one Friday and after leaving I said maybe we should go visit the Lipat family, which we had talked about visiting in our weekly planning, which was just earlier that morning. Whenever I suggest going anywhere, Sister Ortiz agrees. So we went there even though it meant extra walking there and back. 

We found Sister Lipat there with her granddaughter. Again she told us about her trials and opened her heart to us about the Atonement. Afterwards, Sister Bernedet, the member working with us, said to me that was probably the Spirit that told me that we should go visit them.  

We have also been happy by how many less-actives that we have visited have been coming back to church! 

We are going to be doing service tomorrow for the 40 hours of service required to get a wheelchair from the mission office for one of our paralyzed investigators! She is SO excited to be able to go to church. She said she has been praying for a wheelchair so that she could go to church since she's been paralyzed. Her children have been reluctant to let her be baptized, but after seeing the help that we gave this week to a family in the ward whose daughter died, they gave their consent. We don't need it technically since she's not a minor, obviously. But it was still good to see the family's hearts softened. 

Time up. I love you!

Sister Marriott

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Dear family,

I have been here for more than a month!! How crazy. As Papi said in his first email to me: time flies when you're having fun.

Speaking of Papi, The flashlight he gave me at Christmas is perfect! It is so small, but so bright! And we have about an hour and a half where we are proselyting in the dark, even though we go home at 8pm in this area. Also, I showed Sister Ortiz the cookbook that Papi gave me, and she loves it! She says it is really authentic Filipino food. She cooked me stuffed eggplant this week, which is one of the recipes.

Yes, Sis. Ortiz is a native...but a native Tagalog speaker. She is solid. It was great this week to watch her as she overcame her fears of talking to people, and we saw miracles because of it. People who she stopped to talk to turned out to be previous investigators and accepted return appointments! Also, it is great to watch her as she gains the trust of members. That is definitely one of her strengths. I think I tell her that every companionship inventory. Because really, without any prying, the members bear their deep concerns with us...Just last night, a less-active family, less active because the tatay got "offended"... he just told us what happened. We are also probably going to do a service project for them in order to do 40 hours of service in order to get a wheelchair for one of our investigators who is paralyzed on the left side of her body. She wants to be baptized and come to church so badly. 

Is it hard to sleep??? I've never slept better in my whole life! Haha! I am so tired by 10pm. It's a blessing, especially since I didn't sleep super well in the MTC. I remember my teacher in the MTC said, You're going to be tired. But work yourself to death. That's what we're doing. But yes, it's always hot. I'm always sweating. No, we don't have AC in our apartment, but we do have fans, which we run all night over our beds. 

Another miracles this week: the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues. God is so good to me. 

Sister Ortiz shared this quote with me the other day by Pres. Hinckley. I felt the Spirit course through my body as I listened:

"Many young women are serving missions...not because they aren't married or have nothing else to do but because they desire to serve and are therefore called to the work. The reason so many are going is because in the next generation, Heavenly Father will be sending his priesthood army to the Earth. He wants to send them to mothers who have been properly trained and taught in the gospel, and what better training can young women have than that of serving a mission?" 

I love that little paper by Lizzy! Haha! Katie said that she is writing a story, and she said how she remembers me writing stories and reading them to her. They were fun to write. I've always enjoyed writing. 

I am glad you were in tune with the Spirit, Mom, in order to recognize that Sister P needs spiritual nourishment as well as physical. The best thing that anyone could offer another person is the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I also LOVED President Uchtdorf's talk. It was my favorite by far, especially since I've been reading about the Atonement. 

I love you all, have a great week!

Sister Marriott

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What is that stink??

Dear Mom,

Sorry about earlier, you were probably asleep, but all of the computers in the computer lab shut down so we didn't get to finish. But we're back after our shopping, etc. We went to Bacolod today to do our shopping. It's so much hotter in Bacolod. I'm sweating so much.

How was General Conference?? I don't get to see it until this weekend. But we saw Women's Conference on Saturday! It was so good.
I have so much to tell you but so little time! Did you get the pictures I forwarded to you? I took some this week, but since I'm short on time I think I will send them next week.

Sister Ortiz and I listened to a talk this week by Elder Holland at a CES Devotional called "Cast not ye away your confidence." It was really good, of course. It talked about how before and after spiritual experiences, Satan often tries to discourage us. How true that is! I have seen that so many times on my mission even in the short amount of time that I have been out.

We have this wonderful family, the Pupa family, who are all baptized except the dad and one of the sons. The oldest girl still at home is very active, but none of the rest of the family are. The dad/tatay wasn't baptized mostly because he used to work so much, but now he can't work because he's sick. He has intestinal problems and has had surgery. But now he has a plastic bag thing at his side. Anyway, in his sickness, he has been reading the Book of Mormon! He is currently in Moroni!! He is very receptive.

I have so much respect for people who listen to me in my broken Ilonggo. I know it's hard for them to listen to me. But Brother Pupa is one of those people. He listens intently whenever we talk.
We are also teaching a woman named Sister Faye. She is so ready to hear the gospel! We first met her at church! Her mom is a member, and she lives in the same compound as the stake president! Basically the ideal support group. She is so great! When we gave her a Book of Mormon on our second visit to her, she was telling us about how she wondering where to get one and was going to maybe ask the stake president for one. She's already started reading!

Miracles happen.

We also had a lot of less actives come to church yesterday! Granted it was Easter. But still!

Tell you about the area? Bago is a relatively small city compared to Bacolod, but it is a city. Our area is big though, so we have plenty of rice/suger cane field areas in our area. I will hopefully send you pictures next week because I took some this week with you in mind. We travel everywhere by tricycle, which is a motorcycle with a car attached to it. They're great.

I have been paying more attention to the food since you asked about it last week. We were fed last week five days in a row! Like full on meals. A lot of graduations are happening now, and Philippinos love to throw parties! There is lechon at every one of the parties. It's a full pig that has been rotisseried. The skin is really...chewy yet well done. But they don't flavor it at all so it's pretty bland. Not even salt. But they love it. And they love fat. That's probably my biggest complaint here. Fat and bones. If it comes from an animal, they throw it in the pot. :)

I wanted to tell you about jackfruit and injun mangos. Jackfruit is green and has little bump things on the outside. I walked into the balay/outside yard of Sister Angela Lapatan, one of our investigators, and thought, What is that stink?? Something is so rotten. Well, of course I was offered some. It smelled so rotten. It was good, minus the rotten aftertaste. Apparently, it is like a vegetable when it isn't ripe, but a fruit after it is ripe. Hence, jackfruit. But it's not ripe until it's rotten.

Injun mangos are smaller than regular mangos and best when not ripe. They taste like very green apples with a hint of pine needles. You know the pine tree in the front yard in WA that we cut down? I remember trying the needles and they were a little sour, but yet mostly wintergreeny. Yup. That's injun mangos except the opposite. Mostly sour with a little pine needle taste. Haha!

Ama na sya. I love you all!

Love,
Sister Marriott