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

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bicol Express, Balut and an Oven

Dear Mom,

So much happened this week. A highlight was zone training. We changed our key indicators (weekly zone goals) to accommodate teaching families. I love that we decided to focus on families gid. We OYMed a lot this week. 9 shy of 140 this week. 131. By the way, I'm getting better at doing math in my head. You have to as a missionary especially with paying fees (plete) at the jeepneys or tricycles. Jeepneys are kind of long jeeps that are opened up so that they have two benches on either side. Filippinos are really good at fitting a lot of people in there. Sometimes they put stools in the middle for more people to sit. Then there are people hanging on to the bars in the back where the door is. Pretty fun.

One boy we OYMed was really nice and polite. We decided to follow up a couple days later. After asking many other people for directions to his house, we found that he was not at home, but his mom and about 5 of his 7 siblings were! We found that they were expecting us! He told his family that we would visit.

It was just a testimony builder that God prepares families if that is our focus. He gives us what we ask for. Usually but not always, every person has a family. Every child has parents. We have to look at the individuals we OYM as people who have families. We need to teach their families not just them. It's sometimes hard to schedules times where the whole family is present, but it is worth it!

Sister Aloc made Bicol Express this week. She is from Bicol, which is famous for spicy foods. It is fresh coconut milk, TINY shrimp (as in thousands of tiny squids in a couple cups), peppers, bagio beans, sugar, salt, pepper, chicken or pork. Really simple. Really good. She showed me a tip. She said if you have spicy hands from cutting the peppers, you can rub oil on your hands and the heat will come off. But then she did it and still had hot hands the whole day. So when I used the peppers last night, she told me to put oil on my hands AS I was cutting. Obviously that isn't recommended on cooking shows. But I left the hot peppers as the last vegetable I cut, and was careful cutting them, and I had no heat on my hands! So it works. Haha! I thought of Papi every Sunday.

I also ate balut!! It is sold in the evening. It is a duck egg that has a tiny piso or bird inside. I ate one that was a really small piso. Not really a bird yet. More like juicy egg with a hard white part. Crunchy. But we have an investigator, Sister Lolita, who sells balut every evening, and we OYMed her customers as they came! Haha. Then one of the customers bought us balut. So we ate it. It was good. They eat it with salt and flavored vinigar.

I loved how investigators this week have been surprised that we have a living prophet. "Tuod ka? Buhi sya??" Which means, "Are you for real/serious? He's alive?" I love that. I know that we have a living prophet TODAY, Thomas S. Monson. He is very much alive.

Salamat gid,
Sister Marriott

P.S. Sister Aloc's birthday is on Wednesday, but we will celebrate next Monday. I will bake her a cake because we get an oven this week! The supply elders are delivering one to our apartment. She is really curious about baking because Filipinos do not have ovens. So I want to bake a cake. And cookies!! and buiscuits or anything. Maybe bread as well. Can you send me recipes?? It should be really easy since I typed up all the recipes on the google docs. Please do.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

OYM

My dear family,

At Zone Conference on Thursday, President Barredo challenged us to OYM (open your mouth) to 20 people in one day. So 140 for one week! Sister Aloc and I already felt stretched at 7 in one day, but we took the challenge. The next day we OYMed 22 people! It felt so good. I commented to her at the end of the day that we worked harder, but yet I wasn't really tired. Blessings of obedience!! 

It sounds like Peter and I both have really cheerful companions! Sister Aloc is so happy all of the time. She is so full of faith. I love her prayers. I told her that the hardest commandment for me is praying sincerely. I'm working on my prayers. Actually, I have been working on praying sincerely for years. But I know that God is my Heavenly Father and that He wants to hear from me. 

Something really embarrassing happened yesterday!! Humbling experiences always happen when you start improving. The Lord wants me to become fluent, but to remain humble at the same time. So "Tag balay" is what you say outside of a house, instead of knocking. It is short for "tagia sang balay" which means "owner of the house." Kag "maayong gabi" means "good evening." Whenever we pass someone while walking, even if we don't OYM them, we say "Maayong gabi!!" But yesterday night I said, "Tag balay!!" to someone as we passed him, He chuckled and replied, "Maayong gabi man." It was then that Sister Aloc and I realized that I had tag balay-ed him. Ah! We laughed and laughed. I'm so used to "knocking" on peoples doors!! Hahaha! 

Sorry gid for such a short email! I love you all!!
 
Sister Marriott

Eating Everything

Akon Hinigugma nga Pamilya!!

This has been a good week. It looks like you are all having fun in Canada!! I loved the pictures!

Sister Aloc has been a great cook this week! We take turns leading the grocery shopping in the market, and last Monday was her week, so she planned a bunch of yummy meals. The most famous being "Bicol Express" which is wonderfully spicy, has tiny shrimp, and a coconut milk sauce. I've noticed this week that Sister Aloc has proudly told several people that "Sister Marriott eats everything!" (except siempre in Ilonggo) and it made me realize that that is the opposite of what I'm used to. 

So many tiny miracles happen everyday. Too many to write! But we are soooooo busy. We work from 6:30am to 10:30pm gid. So much to do, so much to update, so much to remember. Opening an area is harder than I thought. We are so tired, but yet we're doing fine at the same time. Sister Aloc keeps saying how "this is hard, but we don't really feel the burden." It's so true. Everything is easier the Lord's way. 

That's exactly what I was thinking yesterday in my personal study. I found a great scripture in Mosiah 3:16 about little children being saved through the Atonement. It might turn out to be a better scripture to share than the heavy lecture that Mormon gave at the end of the Book of Mormon, depending how sensitive the investigator is. But I just began to marvel how even if we have no sin, we still need the Savior. That is why it is so important to understand the fall of Adam and Eve. Everyone needs Him. 

I love the Plan of Salvation. 

Sorry!! I'm out of time already. Love you all!!
Sister Marriott