A great week- half way done training my cute little trainee and the epic 5 month mission mark!!!!  

We went ukay-ukay last week and I found the. most. epic shirt.  As in it has Audrey Hepburn's giant, perfectly round face on it in all of her glory and gorgeousness.  Even in the Philippines, in a tiny thrift shop, speaking a language that sounds slightly Chinese (I for some reason spent a lot of time this week thinking about what Tagalog sounds like...), my dear classic movie star still lives:).  I put her in my suitcase to bring home and wear after I'm home.  An oversized, gold sparkly shirt with a giant face on it probably wouldn't look super classy with a skirt right now.  But I put some normal people pants on and took a picture just for you!

This is theeee Shirt
Our dear Barecante family is still doing just lovely.  Tatay Barecante got the Aaronic priesthood last month, got ordained to a priest last week, and got to bless the sacrament!  He was so nervous (old grandpa's here get that way really easily), said the blessing so quietly that nobody knew when to say amen, and had to do it a couple times, but HE DID IT!  They are still progressing at lightning speed.  Tatay is almost done with the Book of Mormon, and Nanay worked yesterday with the missionaries to go to her daughter and family in the next city over.  She had a cute little part in the lesson, got to bear her testimony, and she said that it was such an awesome thing to help her family have the gospel too.  She thinks her daughter's family will be baptized too!  Ahhhh a cute family that can all go to the temple now (okay maybe I'm jumping the gun just a little early):):)  

Oh and yesterday she said that I'm their adopted grandchild while here in the Philippines.  Yessssssss.

We had an interesting week, it wasn't exactly as good as we wanted it to be.  Obviously those weeks are to be expected and they probably happen more than the good weeks.  We all know things aren't always easy, yes, well aware of that but goodness, you would think that just one thing could have worked out.  

One of My Favorite Converts in the Whole World-Janessa
"Except in the case of Jesus Christ, all that God has to work with is imperfect people.  That must be terribly frustrating to Him but He deals with it.  So should we.  And when you see imperfection remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work."  

Well, thank you Elder Holland.

So many times we come home at night and I go right to my broken, fake wood chair to plan for the next day, exasperated to the highest degree because once again, investigators aren't doing what they need to or I don't feel like we are getting anywhere.  JUST DO WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO PEOPLE!  Hmmm, ya that sounds familiar.  I sure that's what Heavenly Father wants to shout at me sometimes.  Sometimes He is probably so annoyed with me that I won't just listen to Him.  I don't do just the couple things that He's asking me to do.  Hee oops.

But the best part of that quote is that it says that when we see the imperfection, don't look at the limitation but see instead the divinity and infinity of the work.  So obviously we all have limitations, but think of all the things Heavenly Father does with us here because He probably see's the divinity of our work and not all our many, little, annoying imperfections. 

And with that, I bring you the best funny story for the week.  It probably won't sound as funny as it really was, but trust me, I was laughing so hard it was hard to get words out of my mouth enough to teach the lesson.

Funny story:  We found a less-active last week that we taught once and then the second time he had brought all his friends to listen to us too.  We taught them about Joesph Smith, the normal, and told them we would come back to teach them about the Book of Mormon.  Oh ya, they are all in their early 20's, jokers to the highest degree, and they are always our last appointment around 8pm.  So on Saturday we walk down the path, past the various houses and around the corner to his house.  As we stop at his house, he runs out from the back, stops in front of us, and starts to babble in Tagalog but trying his hardest to speak English.  He's telling us about how he read all the Book of Mormon, his dog is an American, we need to sit down before we sleep.  As in nothing he said made sense.  Looooong long story short, he was sooo drunk, all his friends were solidly drunk as well, and they had been for the whoooole day.  But the best part is I found out that drunk FIlipinos are the funniest thing I have ever experienced in my whole life.  Drunk FIlipinos are even funnier when we skip all the lessons and go straight to teaching the Word of Wisdom.  Drunk FIlipinos are the funniest still when there are a lot of them (that are allll drunk) all trying to promise to go to church...  I think it might be one of my top five favorite lesson so far on my mission.

sa buong puso ko,



The Infamous DeJesus Family
Haha just kidding.  When I got on my email earlier, I had about 8 emails just asking my if I was doing okay and how bad the typhoon was here.  The funny part is we didn't even find out about the typhoon here until late late last night.  I'm so used to having it rain super hard and having so much wind i could probably walk sideways that we didn't even realize it was a typhoon until after it was over.  Here in Bataan city and in Pilar specifically, we had crazy crazy rain (which seems pretty normal now) for a day and then we didn't have power for the day.  That's about all.  We couldn't work at night because the rain and well frankly, it's kind of hard to teach when it's dark outside, we're not sure if the roof is going to come off, and we can't see anything... so we went home about 7:30, lit up some candles, made some energen, and went to bed early.  Pretty sure we slept through most of it.  Too bad.  

This is the River We Cross Every Week

We heard that it hit super super hard down in the islands and there are missionaries missing too?  100000 dead now?  That's pretty insane and so sad.  I saw a couple pictures at our branch president's house from facebook and wow.  Not nearly as bad here as down there.  It's pretty far away so we won't get to help in cleanup or anything, but there are a couple missionaries that I now from down there who don't know if they're family and friends are okay, so that's been pretty hard.  

Other than random typhoons, it was a pretty normal week.  Still here trying to be a missionary.  My cute little trainee is doing fine, we're getting along quite well and she's picking up on things pretty fast, I'm impressed with her.  She is also helping me learn to cook.  Get ready for when I come home.  We will cook up a storm mom of crazy veggies and strange Filipino ingredients that I still can't pronounce right.  

I had a crazy dream that I came home from my mission, couldn't speak English to anyone and so when I went back to BYU and tried to get into my apartment they wouldn't let me move in because I couldn't pass the speaking English test in order to get in.  I was crying, trying so hard to speak English to them and would cry even harder because it would only come out in Tagalog.  Welcome apparently to my deepest fears and problems here.  

Right now in out here in Pilar, I'm helping to split our area into a new zone *hopefully and into a new area *for sure because we have so much work, so many new missionaries that are coming in, and the work is moving to fast for just us two to be working here.  It's pretty cool to be working so closely with the leaders and become so invested in one specific area and to see soooo much progress in a town about as big as Murray.  

Last week we were working with a family that has been looking into the church for foreeeeever.  As in like 2 years.  But they will not come to church.  The problem though is they're just lazy.  They don't really have an excuse.  So last week we went over for about the 19349587232 time to teach them yet again about sabbath day and church attendance.  My trainee couldn't figure out why we were teaching it again if they didn't want to come to church, but we rolled with it.  We taught them our lesson, yet again they told us they would try but couldn't be for sure.  So we turned to a scripture that talked about being cast out of the presence of God when we aren't obedient.  Oh I forgot to mention, this family is so low-gets.  As in every single answer to every single question is "read the BofM and pray."  They read the book of mormon picture book even though they're 36 and 50.  As in soooo low gets.  Anyway, after we kind of shocked them with that scripture, we asked them why they wouldn't come to church if they knew they needed to.  They told us that some of the grandkids had been sick and it's hard to take them all to church.  We were able to promise them that if they would first come to church and listen and be faithful, all their grandkids (all 8 in the one house...) would be better.  They came to church, they went home, and when we went to follow up with them the next day, nobody was sick anymore.  Bam, the power of Heavenly Father through us as missionaries.  Great miracle that I was able to see.  

Funny story this week:  I got to eat papaya this week for the first time ever and I'm happy to report, it tasted exactly like the papaya soap at Bath and Body Works.  It literally is exactly the same.  So if you want to taste real, Philippines yummy papaya, just get some papaya soap.  Same thing.  





My (now old) Companion.
Ya, so I've realized that here in the Philippines, rice is kind of like the mascot here.  The crest in America has an Eagle, pretty sure the crest here in the Philippines has pieces of rice.  RICE HERE IS KIND OF LIKE THE JUSTIN BIEBER OF AMERICA. .....Is he even popular any more?  Beats me, but ya, rice.  Huge.  Every meal.  Every snack.  Filipinos put steamed rice in bags for snacks as we walk and you can buy frozen cooked rice at 7-11.  So this month was rice harvest season.  Didn't know what it really was until one day I came out and bam.  Rice stalks literally covering every single street and road.  So apparently what happens here is they harvest the rice and then lay it out to dry for a couple of days before they put it in giant sacks and ship it out to the rice-lovers of the world.  Here's the catch.  They spread out the rice all over the roads.  That jeepneys, trikes, and cars drive on.  But it's no big deal, since all the roads are covered with it, they just continue over the rice.  No problem.  So, the rice coming to you in the United States right now, it might have been (actually probably) driven on by a couple cars and random assortment of transportation.  And of course wherever we walked there was rice too, so think of me as you eat rice, because quite possibly, I've walked on it:)

My New Trainee.
Speaking of rice, I'M TRAINING!  It's been quite a ride.  She's FIlipina, doesn't speak English, and is the most emotional person I have EVER met.  Also the cutest, cleanest, and hardworking.  Since she doesn't speak English, my conversations to everybody now are straight Tagalog (before I could at least still speak in English to my companion).  It's not that much of a problem except for now, my English is soooooo awkward when I try to speak.  It's pretty fine when I write, but wow not only am I coming home as an awkward RM, but I'm probably coming home with English that sounds like a 2 year old boy.  AND I'M STILL IN PILAR!  I'LL BE HERE FOR CHRISTMAS!  Which means that when I skype home, I'll be skyping from our branch president's house and you can meet them all!  So training is fine, I'm realized how pathetic I was when I first got here to the mission, but also how much I've already learned (even though I still consider myself new...).  My trainee is smart AND knows Tagalog (well duh she's Filipina) and we are doing okey dokey here.  She's been really homesick and we all know how well I deal with emotions <sarcasm>.  Two weeks ago (my trainee's first couple days) we had no water.  As in the sink didn't work, the shower didn't work, and we couldn't clean, cook, or shower.  True to the Filipino way, I got to experience the fascinating way of showering with a bucket and ladle and carrying water from a water pump to our house.  And eating at 7-11 for a couple days.  And while my companion kind of lost it because we had no water, we are still alive and she is still here:)  

The Night Before Transfers-And Our Christmas Lights!

I forgot that Halloween was just a couple days ago.  Let's just say here in the Philippines, Halloween...whaaaaa?  BUT on Nov 1 everyone sleeps overnight in the cemeteries next to their family members that have died.  So we kind of got Halloween in a creepy, no one was home, we spent the whole day walking, kind of way.  

Funny story (besides this whole training experience): Earlier this morning the zone leaders called the others sisters (sister snow and sister baui) in our apartment on the phone.  Sister snow was in the shower and sister baui did not (as in really did not) want to answer the phone because she is sooo shy and she's new.  So she's holding the ringing phone, running around trying to find sister snow, speaking in Tagalog so fast I'm only catching 2 or 3 words.  Finally, standing outside the bathroom, she answers the phone and tells the zone leaders to wait a minute, and then throws the phone to sister snow... in the shower.  Glad it's not my awkward experience to have to claim, but thankfully their phone still works and the zone leaders eventually just called back later.  

Have a great week, enjoy the snow for me!  Until next week!