Monday, January 25, 2016

I just love my mission!

The Best of the Best,

What do I notice in people that impress me? Good question. People that impress me are people who are firm in resisting temptation. I just think it's so great when our investigators really stop drinking, smoking, drinking coffee, etc. even though it means that they lose a lot of friends. But they gain a very important Friend in return. 

Insects? There are a lot here. Mosquitos, cockroaches, flies, ants. But most especially ants and mosquitos. Yup. It's not fun, but it's life. 

I feel like last week I had more to say than I have time. Today is the opposite..... 

What are hairstyles you see? 

I see a lot of haircuts that are called "undercuts" here. It's when they trim the sides really close but the top is just left to grow long. Super ugly. There are also a lot of rat-tail haircuts and men with long hair. Girl haircuts are usually normal. It's the men that look undignified.

What games do the kids play?

The kids here play races with old bike tires. They also play games with their flip-flops, which looks really fun. Don't know what it's called. They also have a coin-toss gambling game that even the kids play. They draw a box in the sand and then try to get the coin in the middle out by hitting it with other coins. Or something like that. Sometimes even grown men play it too. 

I have just loved this week! We sent around a sign up sheet to all the ward missionaries so that they could sign up for what time they could work with us. It worked really well, and we had more members than usual work with us this week. It really makes a difference when there is a member present in the lessons. 

One of the members that worked with us stopped on our way to the house of an investigators to pick something up from the trail. It was a chess piece! He gave it to me as a souvenir! I thought of Elder Marriott. :D 

I just love my mission! And I really love this area and my companion and everything! 

Glad you had a good birthday, Mom!

Love,
Sister Marriott

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Jocelyn's Baptism

Happy Birthday, Mom and Jameson! I'm glad you were both born.

So the best part of this week was the baptism of Jocelyn on Friday. It was our first baptism at the river near her house. It was a scramble to get enough priesthood to attend, but it was probably the best baptismal service so far in my mission. I loved that a lot of our investigators attended and participated in the baptismal program. They are all looking forward to their own baptisms. 


A sort of recently returned member, Noel, was ordained a priest a few weeks back, and he was able to be the one to baptize her. It was great because he is also from Makamig 3 which is where Jocelyn is from, and he's been a great fellowshipper for our many investigators there. We gave him the words to practice and taught him the hand positions, etc. He practiced again and again, "Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ...." 

When it came to the baptismal proper, he said the words perfectly. When he said, "Amen," Jocelyn said a very loud and hardy "AMEN!" before being immersed in the water. Haha! :D I just love them! 

I forgot last week to tell you about the Philippines-wide broadcast that we attended. It was great! The area presidency all spoke and gave some wonderful insights. I just love the Philippines and especially the people here more and more every day, especially when I learn things like: The members in the Philippines submitted more names to the temple than any other country outside of the United States! I have really seen the wonderful result that the Spirit of Elijah has on the hearts of people here. 

I'm already out of time, but I'll try to answer your questions next week, Mom! 

Love you all!
Sister Marriott

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Questions

Pinalangga ko nga mga kauturan,

Question 1: Do you pull your hair back all the time so that it is getting moldy?

Hahaha! I totally worried about that for the first month of so of my mission. I always pull my hair back because if I don't it goes bonkers because the wind is so strong here, but I put it back after it dries. We don't use blow driers, but I shower in the morning and then have a electric fan on while we study and then by the end of studying, it's dry! So yeah. My hair is definitely not moldy.

Question 2: What good questions did you ask people this week? ;D

Actually, the first question that came to my mind was the baptismal commitment. That is probably the most important of all the questions that a missionary could ask. It takes faith, but it is important to extend even in the first or second lesson so that they can develop real intent and prepare to live and embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sister Anunciado has been really good at asking  the question. Proud of her! Other questions asked recently, "What do you feel when you walk into a place where everyone is smoking?" "Do you feel that your prayer was answered?" "What was the question you asked God?" "When you pray, do you feel that God is listening?" "What did Jesus do?"

I try to make the questions not yes or no questions, but sometimes that's hard when extending commitments and following up, in which case, it's all about the follow-up questions.

Okay, so we had a great week! Sister Anunciado told me that missionaries who serve in their area told her that time goes by really slowly as a missionary. Ambot sa ila. I told her the time in my mission has just flown by! I was glad to hear her comment the other day that time has been going by really fast. :D

I am loving the extra hour of study we have. Our Ward Mission Leader thinks that proselyting is more effective than an extra hour of study, but I think the extra hour of study is inspired. We love practicing and repracticing. It really helps us to evaluate and make changes in our practices and in our actual lessons with investigators.

Love you all!
Sister Marriott

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Companion and New Years

Dear ones,

I write happier than usual this week because my trainee arrived and she is so great and we are doing great! Her name is Sister Anunciado from Bohol, which is a neighboring island of Negros Island, but the language is different. She speaks Cebuano, which has a lot of similar words as Ilonggo, but is different enough that her first couple days she couldn't really understand. But yesterday after our first lesson she said that she could understand. She seemed relieved. I just can't believe how fast that happened, but I love how ready she is to learn the language. Even when we first met I spoke to her in Ilonggo and English but then asked her (in Ilonggo) if she wanted me to speak to her in English or Ilonggo and she said "Ilonggo," so that's what I've been doing even though sometimes she doesn't quite understand. That is what our teachers did in the MTC. Straight Ilonggo from day one!

She told me yesterday that when she first heard Ilonggo she thought: "wrong grammer!!" Haha! Ilonggo and Cebuano are probably comparable to Spanish and Portuegues. Maybe. I'm not really that familiar with either so I really don't know what I'm talking about.

What is New Years like in the Philippines? Everyone counts down as usual til midnight and there are a lot of firecrackers. Our curfew was early on the 31st. All missionaries had to be in their apartments at 6pm. So we studied in the evening and then went to bed. It was hard to sleep because the firecrackers were so loud. Then we went to the terminal/market on the 1st and there were literally only 6 tricycles in the terminal when there are usually about 30. Just about no one had work on the 1st. The marketplace was super empty. Weird.

I loved the training that they gave to us trainers before we met our trainees. During one of the presentations the Spirit reminded me of Matt 11:29-30:

"Take my yoke upon you....For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

I realized then what I now call the miracle of my mission. I've seen it in every area, where we're working so hard, and I just get the feeling that if we didn't have the Spirit, we would not be even close to capable of doing everything we were able to accomplish. But because it is His yoke, it is "easy." Not to say that being a missionary is easy per se, but sometimes I feel that He is carrying most of my load.

Love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Marriott