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!