Monday, June 29, 2015

I Care, Read and Try My Best

Wow! The family reunion sounds super fun. I still have in my mind that it is winter in the states...because I left winter and arrived to summer, and it's still summer here, so it seems like it should also still be winter there. Messing with my mind.

This week a couple of our investigators came with us to other lessons after we finished teaching them. In one case, Bubbles (investigator) came with us to visit some less-actives. She left her Libro ni Mormon at her balay, so when we asked her to read, she borrowed mine. After she read, she seemed to be absorbed in reading all of my marks. Whenever I don't understand a word in Hiligaynon, I read the English to find out what it means and then write the English word above the HIligaynon one with a fine pen that doesn't bleed through. She was carefully reading each one with a flashlight since they are really small. Probably one of the most proud moments of my mission. I was so glad that I had put in time reading the HIligaynon Libro ni Mormon. It is very "deep Hiligaynon, which I like to compare to Shakespeare English compared to modern English, but it is actually even deeper than Shakespeare English....pretty hard for a lot of people to understand--especially since reading is not a regular a super common hobby in Filipino culture. But I was glad that she could tell from my copy of the Libro ni Mormon that I care, read, and try my best to understand.

I just wrote Katie about how I loved that Peter said he's never been happier. I am convinced that the happiest way to live is the law of consecration. I am so lucky to spend 18 months living it!! 

Thank you for all your support! I love you all!

Sister Marriott

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Recharge and Refocus

Birthday 'Cakes'


Sister Nelsa

Sister Nelsa's Baptism



















Mom,

I'm glad you had beet cake! Haha! Did Papi have a good father's day? I still think it's a shame how little attention father's day gets in compared to mother's day. I don't get it....

That's one thing I've definitely seen in the member families here. If the father is less-active, the whole family is less-active. If the father is active, the whole family is active. Fathers are so important!! 

Angela's Baptism
I was bragging to Sister Santos about how honest Papi is. I remember you telling me about how closely he measures his personal miles on

his truck, etc. Integrity is more than just not telling lies, and Papi is a good example of that.
One of the things that I love about the Philippines. The grandparents are taken care of. Everyone lives together. Often I'm so confused who are the grandparents, parents, and which children go to which parents, etc. Family is so important here. 

This week has been full of learning experiences for me. I have been able to recharge and refocus on the work. I've really felt like I've been able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands these last few weeks. The people here are in so much need, and I have just love them! But even before any of their financial or other needs, I know that what they really need most is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what is missing in their lives! 

Tessie and Joselito's Wedding
Sorry, the price of pictures is a short email.....

Love you all!
Sister Marriott

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Independence

Family mine,

Thanks for all the pictures! I love them! Anson and Charlie are so cute!!

Also, please inform Jameson that the ice cream is better in the Philippines! More flavor, less sweet. Actually, junk food in general is better in the Philippines. For example, oreos. Even though it's the same nabrasko(??) brand, they have more flavor and less sweet shortening. I can eat more than two without feeling sick! It's great!

Mom, I thought you would like this excerpt from my mission president's letter to all of us about Philippines Independence day here:

June 12: Philippine Independence Day: The Philippine Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 in Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain. Some phrases from that Declaration in independence include the following statements of faith:

“And having as witness to the rectitude of our intentions the Supreme Judge of the Universe, and under the protection of the Powerful and Humanitarian Nation, the United States of America, we do hereby proclaim and declare solemnly in the name and by authority of the people of these Philippine Islands,

That they are and have the right to be free and independent; that they have ceased to have any allegiance to the Crown of Spain; that all political ties between them are and should be completely severed and annulled; and that, like other free and independent States, they enjoy the full power to make War and Peace, conclude commercial treaties, enter into alliances, regulate commerce, and do all other acts and things which an Independent State has a right to do,

And imbued with firm confidence in Divine Providence, we hereby mutually bind ourselves to support this Declaration with our lives, our fortunes, and with our most sacred possession, our Honor.”
Super similar to our Declaration of Independence, no? Sister Santos was telling him how cool she thinks it is that America helps other countries...we didn't really talk about it much because we're not supposed to talk about politics, but the people here are grateful.

I really felt the gifts of the Spirit this week. I love speaking and being surprised by my own words. Which really means they aren't my words, but the Spirit's.

I also told Sister Santos in our companionship inventory that I feel like something about our companionship promotes my language learning because I really have felt like I've been improving in my language this week. But I couldn't really put my finger on it [what exactly about our relationship promoted my language learning]. Then she asked what "put your finger on it" means. She's working on her English too. She's always asking me hard English words:
"What does 'twain' mean? 'With twain he...'" Super hard to explain.
"What is a 'splinter?'" I was so confused! I couldn't remember what splinter meant! Haha.

Salamat gid! I love you!

Sister Marriott

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I Eat Everything

Akon Hinigugma nga pamilya,

Yay! Another nephew! I love hearing birth stories!! That was great to read. 

On Monday at about 5:45pm, so almost at the end of P-day, we got an unexpected call telling us that Sister Ortiz was being transferred the next day at 9am. We could not have been more surprised. They used to call it "emergency" tranfer, even if there isn't an emergency, but now they are trying to get us to think about it as in multiple tranfer cycles...

Anyway, my new companion is also a pinay (filipina), Sister Santos. From Manila. She is a good missionary. I thought for sure I would be transferred at the regular transfer yesterday, but nope! I'm here as usual. They do that for trainers. If someone is going to train, they are often transferred sometimes days before their trainee arrives, leaving them very little time to learn the area. So I spent most of the last week worrying about showing her everything, pointing out houses of less-actives, members, recent converts even if we didn't have time to go to them. Of course more information than she could learn since our area is so large. We have about 12 areas in this area (Bago 2nd Ward) that we regularly go to. And of course areas that I would love to tract, but we just don't have time. It's just so big. 

--

Okay, this week I've been studying a lot about prayer and trying to improve my prayers as well, in order to not be a hypocrite as I teach about it...and to improve my relationship with Heavenly Father, which is more important. I read in the Bible Dictionary, page 707:

"As soon as we learn the true relationship which we stand before God (namely, that God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt 7:7-11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship."

If this is true, and I believe it is, that means that if my investigators don't feel comfortable praying, they still don't understand the very first principle of lesson one: God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. This is a truth that is simple to explain, and even simple to understand on the surface, but is one of the harder doctrines to really implement in our lives. To pray to God like we would pray to our Father in Heaven. To obey God like He is our Heavenly Father. To prepare to meet Him like He is our Heavenly Father. 

After all, no one is scared to talk to their dad...unless you're an 8-year-old Tessa that is. ;) 

But that's really what it means. To have a conversation. To really pray like He is there with you. It's hard. It takes tremendous faith. But I am convinced that this is one of the ways that we, as missionaries, can discern in ourselves and in others who is converted and who is not. If they really have taken into their hearts the first principle that we teach as missionaries, that God is their Father. It will change everything. 

The first principle of the Gospel that was restored to the knowledge of Joseph Smith in the sacred grove, even before Heavenly Father spoke, was the nature of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is so important that we understand this. 

--

I just wanted you all to know that I eat everything. Even if it's just my companion and me at the apartment. I eat it no matter what, and then have seconds. Its just my way of not focusing on food. It's so insignificant to me right now. Of course I try to eat healthy and safely, but beyond that, food is the least of my concerns. 

--

While reading in PMG this week, I was reading in Eternal Marriage, lesson 5. I remembered that Papi told me in one of his past letters that he had been pondering about how we need to build a family culture that is stronger than worldly culture, and I remembered that Bro. MacDonald once said in seminary that I have the "Marriott accent." As in, we all talk the same. 

I am so thankful for our family culture.

Love you all!!

Sister Marriott