Sunday, April 27, 2014

Heavenly Father protects his missionaries!

:) :) So once upon a time I'm so lucky to serve here in the Philippines. Best mission in the world! (maybe I'm biased....)   

Anyway this week, there was one night where it was raining really bad and we were in our really far area. It's hard to get a trike if it gets past 7, and it's way too dangerous to walk at night. But, it started raining really bad, there was lighting, and we were in the middle of teaching a family. We did what we could, and told them we would come back. We ended up not being able to leave yet because of the lightning being so close. So we stayed with them and answered their questions about the gospel. We didn't really know what we were going to do, then Tatay walked in. Tatay just so happens to be a trike driver, and he decided he would brave the weather again and take us home. The trike wouldn't start and I was praying that it would start. Finally, the kids came and pushed it to get it to start going. I'm so grateful for the kindness of this family. We were honestly scared, but I learned a lot from the experience. It's hard to say everything I felt. But I know that Jesus Christ is always there for me as a missionary. Heavenly Father protects His missionaries for sure! 

Since Lindsey just come back from India, I have been thinking a lot about her and about my experience there and the things I learned about serving God's children. It just hit me how much Heavenly Father prepares us for the things that He wants us to do. I have felt the steps in my life have helped me to serve a mission here. But I'm so excited my sister was able to have that experience, because service like that it literally life changing. :) 

Also, I might have a stalker so that's cool. (don't worry mom, i'm safe. remember earlier, Heavenly Father protects his missionaries!) There's just a member in a different ward that really likes Americans. He's been known to propose a\occasionally, but don't worry.. I'm not ready for marriage yet! haha

I feel like I am a completely different person from when I started.. I have grown so much and learned so much. And I'm not as picky with eating (I tried cheese flavored ice cream, avacado shake, and other things this week...interesting for sure!). But really, I'm learning who I am and I would not trade my experience for anything. Missions are hard. I have never been so stretched to my limits, but that's why I have been able to grow. Always remember that anything hard we go through helps us become better! :) It's like when you exercise and you are way sore the next day, but it's a good kind of sore. :) 

Anyways, mahal ko po kayo! :) 
xoxo Sister Holmes

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"brothers, you need to come here... learn about Jesus"

So I really like it here in my new area. My companion is so fun! She's kind of a joker. So sometimes at night, when we get home before the other sisters and we hear them coming, we turn off all the lights and scare them. Last time we did, we turned off the lights and went upstairs. OUr apartment is kind of ancient and the upstairs has this old creaky wood floor. and so we waited for them to finish praying and started walking around real slowly and they freaked out. :) Then they called us and our phone rang, and the whole thing was ruined. But it was super funny.

We went to one of our areas, ( I need to take pictures, its like kind of farmland) and we found a Less Active there. His brother is special needs though, and is so sweet. He is just in his own little world. But I was reminded of how sweet those kinds of spirits are. He does not comprehend much, but he repeats everything that you say if he recognizes the word. So, that can be pretty challenging for me when he repeats what I say in Tagalog... :) haha. But sometimes he does add his own words. So during our lesson, he wandered to near the edge of the yard and there were two mean that walked by and he started talking to them and he said "brothers, you need to come here... learn about Jesus" So it was broken, but it was just so sweet. If only we could all be as loving and gentle as this boy is. 

Also, I had the lovely opportunity of speaking in sacrament meeting yesterday. I was freaking out. I get nervous if it's in English, let alone Tagalog. But surprisingly  I was able to do it. Literally a miracle and I wasn't even that nervous. Just another way I'm being qualified to do this work. There's no way I could have done that on my own. 

Speaking of Tagalog... Yesterday, I was feeling pretty down about my language skills and I dont think my companion knew, but she told me that she was impressed in one of our lessons earlier how fast I was speaking and how good it was.. So I guess I am getting to the point where I can teach pretty okayish.I still have a lot to learn!!! But it's getting better. Conversational is so hard. I really do understand everything, but if someone asks me a question, sometimes I can answer and soemtimes i completely blank. 

But life is good, I hope you are all doing well! Love you!! 
Sister Holmes

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finally Pictures Goodbye Mablacat

The Last Meal Appointment in Mablacat

First transfer

 Drum roll please. 
My new area is in Tarlac Ward 1! And my new companion is Sister Pascua. I'm killing her this transfer. Which means this is her last transfer in the mission, which also means I will be learning a lot from her. She's a really good teacher, super happy, and likes to tease me :( I'm the youngest one in the house and so they all call me bunso (which is the word for youngest child) But it's gonna be a good transfer. 
My new area is really city though. It's small and I'm pretty confused for now, but I'm sure it will be just fine! :) Of course, I miss Mabalacat, but  I am excited for this new area! 

So, good news! My Tagalog is okayish. I can understand things! I had a lesson the other day that went way smoothly and I was super impressed. So that was real cool. And one time I had a conversation with someone that wasn't awkward. Success!! 

Anyway, before I left Mabalacat, we taught that family from last week again. It just feels like I know them already and I really really hope they progress! But it's just amazing the opportunity I have been given to meet so many people who have influenced my life for good. :) 

Sorry so short, but I love you all go lang ng go! :) 
Sister Holmes

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Showering outside SO FUN

This week was so fun! We did a lot of hard work though. Missionary work is super happy! :) 

So there's definitely always fun adventures here in the Philippines.... This week we ha our CR (Comfort Room aka bathroom) painted. So we definitely couldn't shower for like two days. so we definitely took bucket showers outside (in our back laundry area) in our clothes. It was super fun an definitely an adventure. Believe it or not, bucket showers are pretty nice. I never would have thought i would say that before. 

Then, on Wednesday we went to find this address in a new area. First, we walked along the street to this area from another community. There's this overpass that we started walking under. But on the side of the road there is tons of cement powder and our shoes got stuck in it and our feet and legs are covered in dust. We are just laughing because we were stuck and everyone was just staring at us. finally we got to the area but thank goodness it was small because we didn't have the house number and the brother didn't have load on his phone ( i guess his requires explaining... here, you prepay for he minutes on your phone... there's not really any post paid, so the minutes are called load!). So basically we asked everyone 

We also had a referral from the office this week. We went and talked to them and they used to work on a cruise ship. I guess about a year ago they met a member on this cruise who really had a big impact on them. She gave them a Book of Mormon and they still have some communication. They are truth seekers though and I feel like Heavenly Father has prepared them. We had our second lesson with them last night and when we asked them how their prayers were, they said that they were able to pray together and ask if this is what plan the Lord has for them. We asked them what they felt and they smiled and said that they feel this the plan the Lord has for them. They really had an interest in the Book of Mormon and their desire is just amazing. I'm excited for how they will progress. I'm so grateful for the sister they met on the cruise that had the courage and the faith to share the gospel to them. She may never understand the seed she planted.

So i had a really good week! And I hope you did too! Mahal ko kayo!

Sister Holmes