Monday, November 23, 2015

Something Stinks!

Wonderfuls,

So it looks like you got one letter from me in exchange for two packages from you guys! I LOVED getting the packages. Made me so happy! Sister D absolutely loves her new set of tiny scriptures and her flashlight. Early Christmas! Although I still haven't opened the wrapped Christmas presents. She keeps telling everyone that "buot gd ang ginikanan nya" (her parents are really nice.) I made a special cover for the old and new testaments with the D&C and POGP. I am loving that I can carry around all standard works without my bad super huge and heavy!

What's the weirdest thing you've eaten lately? Last Monday Sister D bought "turon." It was a deepfried banana with "langka" or jackfruit that was breaded and wrapped in a shanghai wrapper. I'm used to eating turon that is just plain banana. Jackfruit is famous. I've heard that it "smells like hell, tastes like heaven." But Sister D says that to her it smells good.

Speaking of smells, Sister D and Sister T were eating "bago-on" (Tagalog) or tinabal (Ilonggo), which is a shrimp paste that is fermented....gross. I've eaten shimp paste before but it was mixed with spicyness and was good. But I wasn't interested in mixing it with the shanghai that we were eating (all 4 of us in the apartment eat together everyday for lunch, by the way. We take turns cooking). But I somehow didn't notice at the time that they were eating "bago-on." Then Sister R says, (I'll just translate the whole conversation to save Adam the trouble. But just know the conversation was in Ilonggo.)

"Something stinks!"
"Hm? maybe it's me." - Sister T
"No, it smells like rotten garbage...."

We resumed our meal. Then sister T got up and went to the fridge for a drink and then came back. I got a whiff of something rotten too.

"Mm! Something stinks." -me
"Maybe it's this" - Sister D, picking up the bago-on. She passed it to Sister R who smelled it. Her nose immediately wrinkled up
"Yup! It's that."
"That smells good!" -Sister T
"The two americans think that is smells bad. The two filipinos think it smells good." -me

We laughed, but Sister T and Sister D told us that there are things that americans like that they definitely do not like: For example, the gingerbread cookies that you sent in the mail, Mom. They didn't like, but I definitely did! And also the mexican salsa that Sister R bought last week. They did not enjoy at all. In any case, our taste buds/taste preferences are very different.

Papi: I did hear about Obama coming to the Philippines from one of our tricycle drivers. But for the most part people are usually either uninformed or unaware.

What type of music do people play? I hear music that is popular in the states, but I also hear a lot of music that is English, but I've never heard it before. There is also Tagalog music, which I appreciate because I don't understand the words. It's not as much of a distraction if you can't understand it. But the other day I heard a song that was an Ilonggo rap song! It actually sounded really cool! Not very common, probably. Most of the music here, if it's not English, it's Tagalog.


We actually went to Patag earlier today! We got permission to go hiking there. It is a nice little hike with a few waterfalls. Super fun actually.

Tomorrow is Zone Conference! I am super excited! I love trainings.

I just included a photo of Sister D and me at the falls. Hopefully it will send. I really love Sister D! She is the BEST!

Love you all! Sorry I didn't really add anything spiritual, but I know that the gospel is true!!

Sister Marriott

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Answers to Questions

Dearly beloved,

So I'll start off by answering your questions, Mom, because that tends to get my fingers typing. :) 

What animals do you see? I see a lot of dogs. So many dogs!! Sometimes the missionaries call them zombie dogs because most of them are not healthy and have no owner of any kind. So many of them are skinny and have sores all over their bodies, barely any fur. Super sad. Some of the members that work with us are afraid of dogs, but I'm not. Still not a dog person, but I'm not scared of them. There are also a lot of frogs. Where there is water, there are frogs. Sometimes we'll see a dead snake or something. Then there are rats. We saw a huge rat at the marker last week. It was being beaten to death by a man hitting it with a sharp broom made out of sticks, which is called a silhig. Yeah.....

What do kids do and say? Kids here just play and play and play. Most of them are really dirty. They shake our hands and then we have dirty hands too! Haha! :) 

Are there typhoons? Yes, there are storms here that are because of typhoons, but so far there hasn't been anything alarming here. The northern islands are the ones that usually get hit the most. The last big typhoon that really harmed Negros Island was Typhoon Ulanda. That did a lot of damage. 

What was something sad you saw this week? The condition of old people here is sometimes really sad. We saw a grandma yesterday who was really skin and bones. She just lays on what is really a windowsill made out of bamboo that she uses as a bed and just coughs and coughs and coughs. But she was really nice and even sat up to talk to us! Then the dental care of people here is really sad too. Rotten teeth galore! 

Wow! Keep the questions coming! 

This week we had stake conference. President Barredo and Elder Pangan (from the area presidency) both attended. Elder Pangan baptized Sister D's family when he was a missionary! But that was before she was born. But he recognized her anyway because she had happened to sign up for institute while he was a CES coordinator a while back. When she saw his name of the sign up list, she went into the teacher's office area and then they met! He was really surprised to see her!

I got news that my package arrived!! I still haven't received it though. But it is at the mission office! :) 

I also finally got Natalie's marriage announcement. She's so pretty! 

This morning I spent most of my personal study time studying about how to "ask the Father in the name of Christ if these things are true" and also about how to receive an answer. Our investigators are great and ask the Lord if our message is true, but it is very rare than an investigator feels right away that it is true, although I have seen that happen many times! Hopefully, Sister Dumapias and I will be able to help them there. I especially liked 1 Nephi 15: 11. 

"Do ye not remember the things with the Lord hath said? If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you."
 
Love you all,

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Busy, Busy Week!

My dear family,

The wedding and baptism of Jenelyn was successful! It is such a pleasure to watch people make such important changes in their lives. 

We had exchanges this week. I learned from Sister T (who was also assigned in Bago 2nd ward and was the companion of Sister O) that it is important to OYM a lot, but it is also important to follow-up on the people that we OYMed. As a result, Sister D and I have been trying to improve our planning so that we are sure to plan time to follow-up on specific people we OYMed. 

Also, Sister O goes home in two days! How crazy! Time flies. 
I love these guys so much!

I read a wonderful article in the June 2015 Liahona this week called "How we Preach of Christ in our Home." It was super inspiring. I loved that the author said that we need to teach every principle not as an individual principle but one that is very much tied to Jesus Christ. He gave examples of questions we can ask in lessons to connect the principles we teach to Him. For example, if you are teaching about prayer, you could ask how and what Jesus prayed. It was just a really inspiring article.

Interesting people I've met? That's a hard question. I meet a lot of people every day. Another person we met yesterday has been a man that we pass by about every single night. Last night we finally OYMed him. He said that he's been wondering when we were going to talk to him. He said that hopefully we had OYMed him weeks ago! ...Oops. It turns out that he is a friend of the bishop (who is really good at talking about the gospel to people by the way) and we have an appointment to visit his family later tonight

What did I eat for breakfast? I drank hot milo this morning. It is a chocolate drink that is really common here. I also drank a lot of water because it was fast Sunday yesterday and then finished up Sister D's breakfast of noodles and eggs. Yeah. 

I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister Marriott