Alright everyone… Can you believe it?! This is my very last email from me as a missionary! SO FAST! But at the same time, it feels like I’ve been in the Philippines for forever. I really have totally forgotten what real life is like. I have no idea what I’m gonna do as a non-missionary in America. It’ll be fun to figure things out but just expect me to do some weird Filipino things… Love it!
So since I emailed last Wednesday instead of Monday, I actually don’t have too much that happened. Thursday was my last district meeting, Friday was my last weekly planning, Saturday was exchanges and was my last day of work! Sunday I spoke in sacrament meeting which I feel like went pretty good. Then in the afternoon, they held a branch family home evening/farewell for me and Sister Viau (she’s getting transferred). Haha everyone LOVES the missionaries here. Especially when you’re an American sister….. The young women in all of my areas just go crazy when I’m about to leave. Sister Andres said they act like I’m a boy band like One Direction or something haha. So I guess I’ll have to get to used not being starred at every where I go and not feeling like a superstar when I leave an area. I can get used to that haha. So anyways the farewell thing yesterday was so fun. We just started with a Hymn and prayer and then anyone who wanted to say something to me or Sister Viau got up and spoke and kind of bore testimony and then we ended with our testimonies. They had pancit afterwards and they we just took pictures and I said goodbye to everyone! Got tons of SRs! (small remembrance) So I’ll have lots to show you guys when I get home.
I went around and said goodbye to the Arabe family, Parma family and Ballester family after that and of course I said lots of good byes to the Agomaa family (Brother Allan, Claire and Lance… Didn’t see Joshua or Aldrin).
Soooo… This morning I finished packing up all my things (was able to give away LOTS of stuff which was super fun. I’m coming home with hardly ANY clothes. YES.) Then Sister Andres and I took a bus to Naga, dropped off my stuff at the mission office and we just ate lunch with lots of missionaries (Sister Praskash came and met up with us so I got to see her one last time! The Assistant’s said I can’t go to Sister Richmond and Sister Ril’s zone though to say goodbye to them… NO!!! So sad. Miss those sisters!). And now we’re emailing and I just really don’t know what to think! It really hasn’t hit me that I’m ACTUALLY going home. I feel sad to leave but excited too but goodness I just really can’t figure out what I’m feeling cuz I just feel like I’m just getting transferred or something. It’s SO WEIRD.
But I am just SOOOOO thankful and glad that I was able to serve a mission. Seriously the best decision of my life so far. This has changed me and it will forever change my life. I have made so many wonderful friends and I have grown to just love the people here so much. I LOVE the Philippines too. Seriously such an awesome place. I love my wonderful mission president and his wife, President and Sister Reeder. They have taught me so much. President can teach with such power and he has taught me things that I will forever remember. He has prepared to live the gospel the rest of my life. Sister Reeder loves EVERYONE. I don’t know how she can love so much. Every single missionary just feels so much love from Sister Reeder and she never judges anyone. I love rice! What? Yeah I actually don’t mind eating rice everyday for every meal… Okay maybe I mind a little bit but I can do it! Do miss mama’s cooking though:) I love Tagalog and I can understand and speak a little Bicol! Such neat languages… I’ll definitely try to teach a little to you guys! I love jeepney’s and tricey’s… Always feels like an adventure. In fact last week when we had to buy our filtered drinking water, we had to take a tricey on this tiny path that wasn’t really a road at all…. off roading on the mish in a tricey! Who needs amusement parks. I love Bicol. Yes I’m sure the whole Philippines is great but I especially love BICOL. I love all my companions! Sister Farnes (MTC comp!), Sister Simbol (special shout out to nanay! She when through a lot to train me), Sister Gerrard (2 Americans that can’t speak Tagalog… we did it!), Sister Prakash (panganay! Ate), Sister Richmond (April 2015.San Diego.Sweet reunion.), Sister Ril (bibisita kami ni Sister Richmond sa’yo!), Sister Saua (bunso! pangatlo) and Sister Andres (last and final! put up with my souvenir shopping and trunkiness.. sana hindi ako naging sobrang trunky!) I love missionary work! Haha I remember my first day in the field, I dreaded the thought of doing that everyday for my whole mission… good thing I got over it! I love it now! So sad that I will never get to go out and teach, wearing a tag in the Philippines again. But! My work is not done. Excited to be a better member missionary!
Alright this is getting too long and I don’t want the missionaries reading this to get too trunky… Haha but yeah there’s just lots that I LOVE about my mission. But here in the mission I have really come to love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I understand the importance of becoming like Him, following Him and helping those around us come closer to Him. Hopefully all of you will continue to draw nearer to Him everyday. I know that this is His true church here on the earth and that it was restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us!
I love you all! I’m so grateful for the great support I’ve had my entire mission. I have the best family and I get to see them this week!!!! Just so everyone knows, my mom has emailed me back and forth (usually late into the night with the time change) almost EVERY single Monday of my mission. How awesome is she! I also have had a great flow of emails from family and friends so thanks for not forgetting about me! See ya soon AMERICA. Can’t wait to see you Dad, Mom, Sidney & Cody, Mikelle, Jacob and Claire!
(She wasn’t able to upload any pictures. I got a text from the mission president’s wife this evening that she had been put on the plane from Naga to Manila. She will spend the night in Manial and then fly out heading to Tokyo, then Denver with a seven hour layover~no fun~and then headed to Montrose Thursday night. Yay!!!)