Monday, December 28, 2015

Love and Expectations

Family ko,

It was great to talk to you all for Christmas! I'm sorry if I wasn't super talkative. It's interesting sometimes that I can't speak in English. But sometimes I can! Weird. I can actually write better in English. I usually write in my journal in English.

We got a call on Sunday afternoon that Sister Dumapias was going to be transferred. Then the AP asked if he could talk to me. He told me I was going to be a trainer!!! We found out earlier that Sister Dumapias is transferring to my old area in Alijis! She is going to be the companion of Sister Rosario's trainee. :) And I am here in Talisay (an area in the same district as my current area in Silay) with Sister Guanzon until Wednesday when our trainees will arrive. We still don't know the names of the sisters we will train. But Sister Guanzon is super great and is actually in my batch that arrived here in the field.

The members keep asking how our Christmas call home was. Then they ask if we cried. We answer that we only laughed. :D

I will miss Sister Dumapias. She is probably my favorite companion so far, although I'm not sure than I'm hers. ;)

I love how President Barredo keeps telling us about how much he and Sister Barredo love us. When we had zone conference, he showed us a graph that Elder Anderson shared with the y axis as the level of love and the x axis as the level of expectation. We listed off the qualities of people in all of the quadrants: low love, low expectations cultivates complacency, laziness, lack of vision, etc. He showed us that the best area is where there is high love and high expectation. Sometimes I think I tend to slip into the high expectation but low love quadrant which cultivates stress, etc. But I love that here in Bacolod Mission the expectations are very high, but President is always always always expressing love for us. I was thinking how I need to do the same for my investigators, recent converts, etc. It is great that my expectations are high. But I also need to love them unconditionally. Because when they feel my love and my expectations, they will also feel the love and expectations of Heavenly Father through the power of the Spirit. And through that power they will know what they need to do and have a desire to do it. And then they will.

Thank you so much, all of you for your love and prayers. I love you all!

Sister Marriott

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Plans

Dear Family,

So this week has been a good one! We have seen miracles this week. We have been so lucky to run into former investigators (who were taught in the '90s). It is interesting to hear their stories. Missionary work is definitely different now than it was then, but they still seemed to have good experiences. Maybe their time to finally accept the gospel is right now. I love running into former investigators because it just shows how much Heavenly Father wants to give them another chance. He loves them so much!!

Love. That is one thing I've been praying for. More specifically for charity, but love all the same. Moroni tells us that we receive charity from the Father through the prayer of faith. Charity does not come from us. It is a gift of God to those who follow Him.

What are your plans for Christmas Day?
We have a lunch and dinner appointment, but I think we might have to cancel the dinner appointment because we just heard from the mission office that we have to be in our apartments by 6pm on Christmas. When should I call you, BTW? Peter is calling in the afternoon, maybe I'll call in the evening for you all. Would you prefer the morning or evening? When it's evening for you on the 25th, it's morning for me on the 26th, which works out for me. Depende sa inyo....

Does your companion have any quirky habits?:)
Mm, Sister Dumapias? Not really. Nope. 

Thank you for all your prayers! I am so grateful for all of you! 
Sister Marriott

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Faithful Investigators

December 13

So I was sort of thinking that it wouldn't feel like Christmas here because it's super hot, but it totally does! The people here LOVE Christmas! There are a surprising amount of Christmas lights on houses, the plaza looks like temple square, and there are signs everywhere that say, "Merry Christmas!" The Philippines is a good place to be for Christmas.

I just felt sooo grateful yesterday when I saw six investigators from our faaaaarthest area came to church. It is super super far away from the church building. And most of them are relatively new investigators, and there are only two active members there, but they all fellowship each other and build each other up. It is soooo great to watch people's faith grow. It's amazing really. Their knowledge of the gospel is so young that it's amazing that they even have the faith that they do. I'm just amazed at what God can accomplish in these people's lives!

So this is my second time writing this letter because it got deleted somehow. So I have to go, but I love you all!

Sister Marriott

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What a Miracle

December 6, 2015

My Family,

So this week has been great!
Caught praying :)
So we just happened to stumble upon four souls this week who have wandered from the fold. I always leave those lessons thinking, "What a miracle!" There are so many people here in Silay! What a miracle that we happened to talk to them.

That's one thing that I still think about every once and awhile. How many people there are in the world! And we are taught in the church (not sure if it's really scripture), that God never plans for any of us to fail. For every person, He plans that they will find the gospel and accept it. That is something that I cannot comprehend. I mean, we do weekly planning, daily planning and there always seems to be so many people and so little time! I go to the market and look at the people and am sad that they don't know what they don't know. But it's up to us to OYM them. That's the thing. What if it's part of God's plan that Sister Marriott will OYM this woman at the market on P-day. But then what if I don't?? Maybe the only next time she will be able to hear the gospel is in the Spirit World. What a shame, right? But it is good to know that everyone will get a chance. It's just that hopefully they will get a chance in this probationary state. OYMing is important. Sister Dumapias is a lot better at it than I am. But I'm working on it.

I got the pictures from Lexi this week of Anson. He is so big!! He's growing up so fast!

Mm, I just remembered. At one of the first visits that we had with a less-active member, they had a baby that wasn't sleeping well because of a stomach ache. The baby is only about a month old. At the end of the lesson, the father gave a super sweet prayer and prayed for the health of their baby. Then afterwards, they asked us to kiss the baby's foot! It's a superstitious tradition that the baby will sleep well or something. So we kissed the little foot of the baby! Haha! That was super fun and also sweet.

Love you all!

Sister Marriott

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I am really thankful for...

Dear Family,

We had a good week, in Silay East ward! Sister Ann Marie Bautista was baptized! Her mom came to the church for the first time to watch her baptism. She must have had a good experience because she also came to church the next day with her grandson and daughter-in-law!

We had a little thanksgiving in our apartment. Sister R and Sister T bought rotisserie chicken (called lechon manok here) and I made mashed potatoes, which were chunky because it's hard to mash them when the only tools you have is a fork. But they were still yummy. Sister T said: "How could I live in America? There's no rice!" But Sister D really enjoyed the mashed potatoes and even said the next morning that it sat well in her stomach. :)

I am really thankful for......a lot of things. Right now I'm really grateful for Sister D. She's the best. I am also grateful to the Holy Ghost. Don't know what I would do without it.

Grocery shopping can be fun at the "tindahan" or market or can be boring at a super market that is basically like and to the super market safe way or similar store. I prefer food at the market, but we usually go to both. When we go to the market, you can just feel that you're in the Philippines!! It's so crowded, and...I'll be honest, dirty. Then of course there are people calling at us so that we will buy their products. There are a lot of vegetables, and then there is the meat section. Literally large pieces of meat hanging from a racks that look similar to our pot hanger rack that hangs from the ceiling. or sometimes they just have the meat on tables. Meat is expensive here. Poor people eat vegetables and cheap fish. If they're really poor, they only eat rice with salt or with soy sauce. In any case, they buy rice first and then buy "sud-an" (the food that they eat with the rice) after.

Thanks for your prayers! I love you all.

Sister Marriott