I have to honestly say, I sat down this morning to try and figure out what I wanted to say to you, this is the list I came up with (it only took me... like an hour).

I'm drinking lots of water because our mission president's wife gave an hour lecture on it last zone conference

first (and only picture) of my new companion
I put some of our family pictures in a picture frame on my desk last P-day.  We're super cute.

We helped one of our investigators get married last week... but missed their wedding because we were at a mission meeting

Made a cool mint green cardboard case for my really cool missionary planner

Bought a new camera. 

Had fun taking apart the old camera.

Met a little Chinese kid named Kyoichi (pronounced cutey) that speaks Tagalog

Ya, well it was just a really great week.  Sometimes, the weeks were "just the usual" happens is a lot better than the weeks where "all the abnormal" happens.  We achieved every single one of our goals this week, I finished up training my second child (and might get transferred), and have another couple of baptisms this week <rock on sign>. 




Last week, I was reading a little book of suggestions for missionaries that one of the old missionaries left in our apartment.  One of my favorite quotes they mentioned, "On your final Valentines Day on the mission field, realize that next year's Valentines Day will probably be just as lonely."  We all laughed for awhile at that one (because we know it's true, even for the Elders that say they have a girlfriend writing them...joke).  Welcome to the mission life:)

We spent our Valentines Day at zone conference, which is a pretty big party in the rockin' missionary world, I learned a lot, ate a lot, and got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in awhile.  I saw my old trainer (SIster Palmer) who is going home this transfer(!), my old, now grow-up, trainee (Sister Peneranda) who is still taking good care of our area, and even got to see old MTC friends.  That's the benefit of only transferring a city away from your first area, bonus points!

And I do have to admit (after one whole transfer), that I've taken a liking to my area here in Mandama (heaven forbid I actually say I like being here). and okay, I actually might be starting to really love this place.  It took awhile for me to adjust (I'll chalk it up to a ridiculously awesome first area), but things are doing really well.  My child/trainee and I are doing really well (I don't even call her step-child anymore haaha), and we are really working our best.  Of course, it always is easier to love an area when you have lots of investigators and lots of things to keep us busy.  There is a ton of potential here, lots of people to teach and members to reactivate.  Yesterday at church, we had to move our investigator class to the Relief Society room because we didn't all fit in one classroom.  I love these people, I'm realizing that no matter where I am, it's just so easy to love these cute, short little FIlipino people!

I've officially come to EIGHT whole months on the mission (who's counting, right?), and I have learned absolutely loads.  Things about life, me, what I want, and what I don't want.  Cool things about people, the way they act, and why life is so happy.  And obviously, I've started taking some time to think about what I'm really doing here.  I love this mission.  Everyone always asks why I'm doing this.  People always want to know why I would come here, to a weird place where I don't know anything, to tell people about a person (Jesus Christ) that some people don't even believe in.  

There could be a lot of reasons.  I could come up with lots of different answers, but it all comes down to about two sentences.  I am doing this because I love Heavenly Father.  I want people to come to know Him, and I want to be with and see EVERYONE I know in the Celestial Kingdom.  That's why I'm here right now.  It's why I'm sitting in a tiny, dark computer shop with people speaking another language, halfway around the world.  It's why I walk everyday, and talk to all these people that most of the time don't listen to us.  It's why I left my job, my home, and my family.  I love this work and I love my Heavenly Father!  And I will keep doing whatever I'm meant and supposed to do here because I know exactly what I'm doing here.  

My Cow Foot!
Still doing great, waking up everyday and going to bed every night exhausted.  Loving the work and just figuring out the hard parts as I go!

Funny story: So remember dad, when you told me you where going to make a contest of the craziest foods that me and Elder Dial could eat?  Well, I've got a pretty good list collected.  These people here are breaking me in hard.  A couple weeks ago, I ate a cow foot, skin, and toenails (I don't know if you can tell in the picture), then you can add shrimp brains and baby octopus to my list:)




realized everything I had planned to write you was just a mixed up combination of funny and maybe slightly embarrassing stories about this week/month.  So, in a truly organized, SIster Taylor fashion, I present the doings, nitty-gritty happening. 

My first week in Mandama the shower wouldn't drain and flooded every time we tried to shower.  It took the fix-it people a long time to come, so long that every time the shower flooded, little white worms would come out of the drain wiggling around in the dirty water...  Gross.  The question of that week was what was more gross, the worms or not showering?  I took the good of both situations and showered with rainboots for the week:)  No worms and a (pretty much) clean SIster Taylor...

We were teaching a family outside behind their house one afternoon, it was just starting to get dark.  We were teaching how to recognize promptings from the Spirit when they prayed about prophet Joseph Smith.  The Spirit was super awesome, I was in the middle of talking about why we need to feel the spirit and all the sudden I felt something crawling down my shirt and start biting me.  I'm trying to still teach about the Spirit, not laugh about what's happening, and trying to squish whatever it was in my shirt at the same time (all discreetly).  Big fail, but when we went home later that night we found a big giant ant the size of my pinky nail.  I took the liberty of sending it home to you:)

Yesterday in Relief Society, they spend 45 minutes talking about how many times it is okay to eat in one day and still "live within your means."  They decided the right amount was 5 times a day, plus snacks.  That, my friends, is the Filipino lifestyle.  No matter how poor they are, they need their meals.

i'm bringing the concept of "heart attacking" to the philippines
We are always seeing missionaries from other religions as we proselyte.  It's totally normal in the Philippines.  We always see the Jehovah Witnesses, Inglesia ni Cristo, Born Again, and in Madama they have some Methodist missionaries too.  It's always a funny sight as we pass each other, trying to be polite on the outside, but thinking about how to outproselyte each other (totally the Christlike thing to do I know).

We met an investigator last week and his name is Jimber.  One of the first things he told us was where his name came from.  When he was born, his dad and all his brothers were drunk.  His dad was drinking Gin, and his brothers were drinking beer.  So his name became the combination of the two, GinBeer.  I give him points for the creative story and name.  I'm not completely sure that it's true, but he seemed serious.

I spent an entire day wearing the nametag of one of the other sisters in our apartment and didn't realize it was not my name until we got home that night.  Everyone I introduced myself to that day remember my name as Sister Rossberg.  A good mission rule to live by, look before you put your nametag on.

The first two transfers of my mission, it was really hard for me to eat food at members houses.  Of course, filipinos always load the plates of missionaries to the top.  When Sister Palmer was my companion, she would always agree to eat my food for me because she knew I couldn't do it or I would throw up.  We would always think of secret ways to sneak the food onto her plate when no one was looking.  The time has passed, Sister Palmer is gone, and I am capable of eating my own food now (gold star on my forehead for that one).  But the tables all turned at a member's birthday party when Sister Villaviles turned to me and whispered she just couldn't eat anymore.  I did what my oh so loving trainer did for me and we secretly moved the food to my plate and I ate it all.  That is a story that comes completely full circle.  

And my one serious note:  JOSEPHINE!  My very very favorite investigator I left in Pilar.  I saw my old companion this morning ( we p-dayed in the city right next to my area) and she told me that Josephine and her kids all are going to be baptized this month!!!!!!  My prayers from my whole mission have been answered.  This was the one family I completely know I came here to meet and they are GOING TO BE BAPITZED!!!!! lkajdoqweuoidalkdafkjnxc.a; They are coming to church, doing church things as a family, and are just the best.  So now I just need to know when I'm getting transferred back to Pilar.  Yea, thanks president:)

Love you, miss you, talk to you later,