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!

Sister Marriott