Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

apartment din!


my infamous door decorating skills! and also my grandma pajamas

hahahaha this is how i had to dry my duckie after i washed it. kawawa naman



Yes, someone in the Philippines that's a Filipino too thought that I'm Filipina.  His remark made it to the top of my journal that night because I want to be Filipina sooooo bad.  Check one off my missionary bucket list.  Don't ask me why, but I just felt like a really proud missionary that day.  I feel like I'm starting to get better and better at figuring out this whole foreign thing <g>.

Sister Taylor & the Barecante Family
I spend my week walking through giant rice fields again and running through jungles.  One night, we had been teaching in a village literally the middle of nowhere, and the little tiny path that leads there (and over a hill, through a rice field and river) takes about 30 minutes.  So we've started walking down the long path, back to the main highway.  The sun was setting right behind us, making the whole sky turn bright red and casting a red orange glow over the whole field, all that was in front of me as far as I could see was the little path and giant fields filled with palm trees. There were giant trees that reached up so high and then drooped over our pathway, palm fronds sometimes blocking the path, and the musky smell that is so unique only here in the Philippines. So pretty.  Anyway, we're walking, excited about how well our lessons went, stopping to take pictures, and then all the sudden in starts to rain.  As in Philippines style raining- the kind that pours, that doesn't stop, that floods everything it touches.  We still have about 25 minutes to go, nothing to cover us, and still more appointments we needed to get to  Haha.  It was a great, life changing moment as a missionary here in the Philippines to imagine how we looked as we were running on this little beaten pathway trying our best to avoid and outrun the rain, laughing until we couldn't breathe, with the sun continuing to set in back of us.  

Sister Taylor, Sister Palmer & Barecante Family
Also, the Barecante family was actually baptized on Sunday, it really really happened!  It was the most perfect baptism on the most beautiful Sunday morning, all the members from the ward were there to support them (which is quite a big deal in our tiny branch), the Spirit was there, and I can't even describe how happy this family was.  All the trials and problems they had while we were teaching them, everything they had to overcome to get to this point, was all worth it as they bore their testimonies after they were baptized and expressed their conversion and deep love for the church and its' teachings.  No one really knows them or their trials except Heavenly Father, but boy oh boy He sure is taking care of them and I have seen it so many times as we have taught them.  They will still have problems, their life isn't magically becoming easier, but I know they took the first step.  He cares about them so much, and it helped me to realize yet again how much Heavenly Father cares about us.  He really just cares for and loves us.  
The Barecante's Granddaughter

Still getting ready for transfers and all this great new stuff that is starting to happen, trying to grasp the fact that I've actually been on a mission now for 4 months and that things are still happening at home haha.  As it's starting to get hotter here (101 degrees is the high today), it's snowing and becoming Christmas season for you.  And can I just say how long Anna's hair is!!  Oh goodness, it's getting really pretty too- I'm also jealous of your headband in the picture at Cornbelly's that you sent me this week.  And my brothers look so studly singing in the choir for conference.  I'm a proud sister!:)  I also remembered to send out letters this week!

Funny story:  Here in the Philippines, when the power goes out, instead of being called a black out, they call it a brown out.  I asked a Filipino why it's a brown out, she said probably because Filipinos are brown, not black like they are in the America.  Hmmm.  America for the win!  

hahaha anyway, have another awesome week!

Kapayapaan sa labas (taken from my dear Sis. Hess),



First, before you assume this whole email is going to be about general conference, I did learn other (quite hysterical) things this week.  But yes, like all the other missionaries that I'm sure wrote this week about general conference, get ready for another one:)  BUT I also learned this week that as a missionary, I all the sudden am a crafty person, I still have major problems with my cooking skills, and that most things are just different here in the Philippines;)

So first, I learned that I can be a crafty person, even in the Philippines, even as a missionary who only has time to eat and sleep.  This month because my companion is a training leader, we have to travel all over Bataan to visit the other sister missionaries to help them with planning and training and other cool stuff that doesn't really apply to me.  Being a greenie and a trainee still and all.  But anyway, we travel for forever and then my companion spends the morning helping the sisters do things right.  Or at least that's my view on what she does...   Because I'm the trainee and don't have to do anything when we go visit the missionaries, I have started taking odd and crafty things to do.  Usually I take my tape, scissors, old Liahona magazines, and cardboard from old boxes and sit on the floor of all these various apartments and make various crafty things that the Filipinos have taught me to make.  For the whooooole morning.  I've made collages, scripture cases, covered all my books and planners in pictures, organized my bag using cardboard (?), and read through like 20 old Liahona magazines while I sit on the floor cutting the pictures out.  I've realized that this might be what I'm destined and called to do for the rest of my mission:)  Just wait mom and dad!, all the souvenirs I'm coming home with are going to be preschool collages and things made out of cardboard:)  Your daughter is learning so much out here!
Sister Taylor, Sister Palmer, and Sister Snow

On a more productive note, I learned to a higher extent that I still can't cook.  One day, I tried making toast:)  Simple stuff that is.  We have a toaster over because regular toasters don't exist in the Philippines and I stuck a couple pieces of toast in there.  And forgot about them.  Oopss:)  I came out of our room about 20 minutes later to our toaster oven up in flames with two little pieces of charred... matter, inside still...  As we tried to drag it out by the chord, flames and all outside, the fire alarm started to go off.  gahhhh.  But not only did the fire alarm go off, but the carbon monoxide alarm too.  Turns out that we also had forgotten earlier to turn off our propane tank for the stove:).  Yaaaa.  But don't worry, we're still alive, we still have a toaster oven (slightly black), and I still got to eat pieces of toast, my companion just made them this time. 

Also, we had 2 more typhoons this weekend.

Sister Taylor, Sister Palmer, and Sister Querido
And last, conference!  This is for you grandma Crockett, because I know you ask every year!  Just like you mom, my favorite was Elder Bednar's talk about tithing.  I loveeeeed how he talked about that a grateful person is rich in being content.  Sometimes the beauty in simplicity is overlooked but really, Heavenly Father's way is a simple way.  Sometimes the blessings He gives us are daily, small, simple, but they are always there when we keep our commandments.  It's kind of like a game to search for the blessings in our lives but I've realized they are all there.  All the blessings that we're promised are all evidence that Heavenly Father loves us, that He isn't stingy with His blessings to us, but He is creative in the ways He gives them to us:)  Elder Bednar rocks.

And because I wasn't at home to pig out on all the food you make every year mom, I spend all Friday night picking out soooo many Filipino treats to eat during general conference.  Let's just say I walked in to conference packed and loaded (almost like a mom that packs snacks so that her kids will pay attention) and walked out so full of food.  And spiritual stuff.  Ha cheesy lines like that rock.

Have a great week!  As always, love you all!!




Sister Taylor with President and Sister Querido
Ya... almost.  I then I realize how many things I do now that sooo aren't American.  This week really did almost make me feel like I was in America though.  We got to watch the RS general broadcast (in English even! It made me miss you soooo much mom that we weren't watching it in the chapel together (me trying not to fall asleep because all the lights were off ha)and after going to Leatherby's for ice cream.  And watching white people talk in America and look like Americans was so fascinating to me!  Oh ya, the talks were really good too:)  We ate at McDonald's twice this week and even PIZZA HUT!!  And then the senior couples worked with us one day (even whiter that I am, from Idaho, and speak absolutely noooo Tagalog) and so we were talking almost everything in English (I didn't realize how difficult switching back to English would be).  And to top it all off, Sister Snow (a girl in my district from the MTC and in the same area as me now) were companions for a day!  Which pretty much means that two reaaaaally white girls who don't really know Tagalog or how to live in the Philippines went around together teaching people and navigating our way around my area.  So much fun.  Seriously, working with another American that is just as new as me was such an adventure.  Also made me realize I like being the baby still and having a trainer:)  So that was my small experience returning to being a normal American.
Jolibee (Fast Food Restaurant)

Speaking of being the baby and being trained, transfers are coming up in the next two weeks and my training will be over.  Not only am I pretty sure I'll be training a new missionary this transfer (this is coming after 3.5 months of being a missionary and only 2.5 in the Philippines) and but I'm pretty sure that I'll be transferring to open a new area.  Just a feeling, but we'll see.  I just want to call it now just in case.  Haha I want so badly to be wrong but I'm pretty sure this next transfer will be me just trying to survive until the next day.  And having to be in a new area, let alone start all the work in an area is my worst nightmare.  

But anyway, the work here in Pilar is still going just great!  More updates on the Baracante family, they are still doing just great.  Still getting ready for their baptism, still trying to work out kinks of them not having any money, but they still are so excited for everything.  This week Brother Baracante work up at 4am every morning to read the Book of Mormon before he had to start doing laundry and cleaning.  He's read all the way to Alma 8 and I'm so proud of him even though I know it's so hard.  Sister Baracante hasn't been getting sick anymore and some of their grandkids are leaving to go to Olongapo to stay with other relatives so they'll only have 2 grandkids to take care of now instead of 5!  They are doing just awesome.  Their baptism is (hopefully still) on October 20.
Filipino Money (Pesos)
So, I sent out some letters like 3 weeks ago, let me know if/when you get them.  Mail is sketchy here, so hopefully they get to you, they were rocking letters!  Also I got your mail this week again!  Thanks again and again for not forgetting about me!  Even if Nate and Ben didn't write me *coughcough* :).

Anyone Ever Played the computer game "Diner Dash?"
Funny story:  One night we had absolutely no appointments, everyone had cancelled on us for the night and all our backups were busy.  Actually it seemed like every Filipino was busy that night.So we decided to start walking down the highway in the middle of a couple giant rice fields.  Literally the Philippines middle of nowhere haha. So we've walked for about half an hour, it's getting dark, it's the end of our area, and the only thing left is a tiny path down the rice fields and we think we can see a light at the very end.  With nothing else to do, we follow the very long, wet, muddy, and rice covered path to the very end and as we're looking for the path to the house.  Let me also explain that we totally thought that we were guided to come here.  I have no idea where we got that thought from, but anyway.  W're looking for the path, and this  Filipino runs up to us and after asking us a couple of questions as to where we are going (our answers- "we are trying to get to the house with the light", "no we don't know where we are really", and "no, we don't know they people that live there, but we want to go meet them" he lets us know that we probably don't want to go there because the house is full of drunk people.  Ya, thanks for that prompting, Spirit.  So after a couple of hours of walking, searching, and following the "prompting of the Spirit", we ended up in the middle of a rice field, 9 o'clock at night, standing next to a drunk house, and left with a great and funny story.:)

Sa inyo hanggang wakas,