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:)