Alright so the line, “trudging through rice fields, climbing the hills” is from our Naga mission song and it is so true! Especially in Tigaon, we climb lots of muddy hills and trudge through many rice fields so it’s great! And our area is actually the most developed cuz we’re in “centro” and the elders areas are farther away but we still have lots of adventures.
On Thursday we had our district meeting but after we had like a 4 hour exchange with Sister Simbol and Sister Pal. They wanted to help us in our finding less actives efforts so yeah it was super nice and helpful of them. We finally got a list of all the names we have for people that live in our area so I organized them all into barungays (like a neighborhood) and so now we have so much to do! Plus we have 4 new investigators just from this week. Hopefully we can get some of them progressing though cuz we only kind of have one progressing investigator.
Friday was my 6 MONTH MARK! Soooo crazy how fast it’s gone. It also feels like I’ve been a missionary forever but it also has just flown by. I’m one third of the way done and I’ve learned and grown so much! I can’t wait for these next 6 months.
So I’ve heard a lot of missionaries say that 6 months is usually like the mark for feeling confident in the language. So I’ve kind of been expecting to feel like this sort of fluent feeling sometime around now and… well I still don’t feel fluent! I know I’ve been blessed with the gift of tongues and I’m doing really well with the language but there is just sooooo much to learn when it comes to learning a language! And I don’t want to sound American when I speak and I want my grammar to be right so I think I just have high expectations for myself but I’ll just keep working hard and keep being thankful that I don’t have to learn Japanese like Court! I’ve been learning a good amount of Bicol lately which helps a ton with understanding. But that’d be sweet if I could be pretty good at Tagalog and be alright at Bicol when I go home! Oh but someone did ask if I was born in the Philippines or if I was at least part Filipino cuz I could speak to them in Bicol/Tagalog so that was cool! But I know I still do have an American accent that I might not ever be able to get rid of.
Random things: I wore a jacket for the first time since I’ve been here! I still had my fan on but I was just a little chilly with my fan so I put on a jacket and it was like the best feeling ever. I almost miss feeling cold but I know once I go home and after it snows I’ll be wishing I was back here in the Philippines. I spoke in church yesterday on missionary work so great topic! I actually had a few days warning so that was nice to be able to prepare. I think it went okay except I still haven’t been able to break my “ummm” habit! You’d think the Tagalog would help but so far I say “umm” even in a different language.
Neat story! So I think on Friday we went to this pretty far area to try to find some less actives. Well the Lord really leads missionaries to those who are prepared because this sister named Victoria, saw us and asked who we were trying to find but then had us come sit down outside on this bench. She was really curious and started asking all these questions about baptism and if babies get baptized and things like that and it was so great. We didn’t teach very much to her cuz the mother of the less active we were trying to find, walked by and started talking to us. She has met lots of elders in the past cuz they taught and baptized her son (he actually moved) but she said it’d be fine if we came and started just visiting her so that’s super good. Well before we left we gave Sister Victoria a pamphlet and a Book of Mormon. Well there were other neighbors just kind of around and she liked what we told her so far so she asked for more pamphlets and started handing them out to like everyone! She kept telling everyone to even read about it cuz it was about Jesus and I was just super thankful I had just loaded up by bag a couple days before with more pamphlets than I usually carry around. Oh she also said that maybe the reason we were there was not for the less active but maybe for her to hear our message. Yes! I think so! Super excited to see if that goes somewhere.
Well that’s about it for things that happened. Our area is really started to grow and I decided I really like opening an area. Even though it’s hard at first, you really do get to start seeing the fruits of your labors (although we’re having a hard time getting people to actually come to church.) But yes we have so much work to do and Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much, we’ll just keep working hard and striving to be exactly obedient! This Gospel is true and it has blessed me in so many ways. I love our Heavenly Father, I love His son, Jesus Christ, I love this Gospel, I love the people here, I love the Philippines, I love my family and I love being a missionary!