Monday, March 31, 2014

Week Dalawampu-​Lima: Pushing off the Plateau

I warn you before hand, I really don't have much to say this week. I've felt a plateau starting, which of course isn't always good since I should always be trying to improve, but at least our plateau is a nice one. Week twenty-five now, people. That is beyond ridiculous. Remember when it was week ten? Week two? I sure do. Whenever I'm tempted to look at how much more I have to go with apprehension, I think of how much I've already accomplished. Which, though hard to recognize sometimes, is a whole lot.

We had an interesting week, it being transfer week. You might be saying, "Sister Green, you goose, you didn't get transferred." Yes. I know. But transfer week is always a big load of wacky times since our district is being shuffled around and new missionaries are coming in and their all bright eyed and bushy tailed, and I'm making myself sound like an old veteran when literally I've only been here a little more than they have and this is a run-on sentence. Calming down. 

We got the Standard for the fourth week in a row. It's sort of natural now - we're working on getting 40 lessons now to end the plateau, but I think that we're just catching our breath, so to speak, before we reach for the next wrung in the ladder. It's nice since we got nine new investigators this week, all with return appointments, so hopefully if they continue we can start seeing more progress in the area. This week was tough since it's graduation week at Bicol College and Bicol University, then they also have "graduations" from elementary and secondary school (which are big deals here) too, so a lot of our lessons fell through since people are partying it up. Melinda didn't come to church since apparently a requirement of her child's graduation is attending Mass across town.

We had an impromptu scripture study with a less active who is only less active because of her schooling. Her name is Diane. We're besties since she's also a super nerd like me. I explained to her and a member present the meaning of a few verses in first Nephi, talking about how cool it is that Nephi literally sees the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and the Revolutionary War. Of course he doesn't straight out say that, but I explained how you could draw that information from the scriptures and Diane told me that she had always wished that she could understand and "create and image" with the scriptures like I can. That felt good, since I remembered that it says in my patriarchal blessing that I'll be able to understand "mysteries" that many can't. 

The week was fairly good, steady six or seven lessons a day until Friday, when we only got a shocking two. It was a busy day - district meeting and district lunch, studying, and then a ward baptism later on - but still. Two? What? We were a little miffed, and I would have been more upset if I hadn't have had a really awesome day already. 

That day, though seeming unproductive, was excellent. We taught Daphne, who, like us had risen to a certain point and then plateaued. She's progressing but not progressing, if that makes any semblance of sense. Our lesson was about Eternal Families and we watched "Together Forever" with her, an LDS film that takes the cake with cheesy music but also is one of my favorite tools with missionary work. We finished the movie, and we asked her if she had any questions about the movie that centered on the message that families can be forever, and she just turned to us and said, "Paano?" or "How?". I felt like rubbing my hands together and cackling. I love questions like that. I always just want to lean forward and say, "Well, lemme tell you!"

We had an amazing, long discussion about temple ordinances and forever families, and how her one decision to join the church could affect her family generations afterward. I shared a lot of stories of friends and family that lost loved ones and the comfort that the gospel gives them. Being the highly emotional one when it comes to this subject, I started crying as I told Daphne how happy, how incredible I feel knowing that my family is sealed together for eternity, that no matter what happens, even if I drop dead right now in the internet shop, our family can be together after death. That's awesome. It's always been my favorite doctrine in this Church, and Daphne looked like she wanted it too. She wants forever too, and she committed to talk to her mom about baptism. She also, in a crazy turn of events, attended the baptism that was at the church later that night. We are just feeling super hopeful for her.

To make up for our lack of lessons on Friday, we fasted and got a stunning 11 lessons on Saturday. Yep. Eleven. That was crazy. I was so tired though, talaga. Good tired though. Another little testimony builder there. In other news, our bishop was released, so we'll be seeing some changes in the ward in the next few weeks.

I hope that your week is legendary. You are all fantastic. I love and miss all of you very much.

Sister Green

1) "Within You" - David Bowie
2) "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" - David Bowie
I have a real hard time not having DB stuck in my head. It's a real problem right now.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week Dalawampu-​Apat: Follow the White Elephant

Just when I think my life can't get any crazier, we have a week like this! I don't know how to even describe this week. Topsy-turvey, mayhaps. In case you were wondering, yes, we did get the Standard of Excellence again. And Sister Lang, one of my Sister Training Leaders, revealed to us that we had the highest number of lessons out of all the sisters in the zone. Don't worry - I'm definitely not getting a big head. This week was so insane that I can in no way take credit for the miracles that happened. And anyway, numbers don't matter. It's the progress of the people.

The transfer announcement came and went and my stressing was in vain. No transfer for me! I have to admit, after I knew that I wasn't, I discovered that the smallest ittybitty part of me was disappointed. I would have been devastated to leave, but it must be interesting to see different areas. No matter. It's not where I am that matters. I have to love my area or else no work will happen. And I do love Daraga - cockroaches and all! The cool thing is that since I'm not leaving I might start helping the senior missionaries teach English.

We taught some incredible lessons this week, people. Like, wow. The week started out so hard because I felt sick and so tired and we only had one full day of work because we had a ton of meetings this week, but dang this week was good. We taught this woman named Josefina Buitre. She's in her fifties and her husband and son died years ago. She's confined to her house because of her knees, and as she was telling us all this, though this was the first lesson I had with her, I started crying. Like, not sobbing, but I was tearing up really bad and my voice cracked when I told this woman that I knew there was a way for her to see her family again. Like, I just loved her right away, though she didn't seem overly interested. All the sudden, I felt like I knew her, I loved her like I knew her - something I haven't really felt with a stranger before. And I just wanted so badly for this woman to know what I do - to know that families don't have to end, that there's a plan for us to live with the ones we love forever. I hope she felt that spirit I did. I hope we'll teach her again. 

One night we were being slammed and rejected in this richer neighborhood, when we just sighed, stopped in the middle of the road and prayed for help. After that, we went to a house, and got rejected again. But at the same time we were turning from this house, two college-aged girls walked by. We started talking while walking, ended up in front of their house with one of their brothers, and we asked these nice kids if we could share with them. They grabbed a bench, and we sat down on the side of the road with them standing over us and gave them a lesson. That was an awesome experience of God answering prayers with his timing.

We had a "One Day Mission" this week with the members - essentially, we had a workshop in the morning about missionary work and then went out for three hours to work with a bunch of members. Even though the day started out really rocky (the elders were fifteen minutes late), the day was all in all a success. Somehow, by divine power, for real, we got six lessons in only three hours. Six. That's like a full days worth. It was a good experience for everyone, and the members really enjoyed the activity. The less actives we visited all had good experiences too. Progressing!

After the activity we went to Sister Bing's for her kid's birthday party. Ate way too much food, hiked down a mountain, watched the elders try to resist participating in videoke, which is essentially kareoke with random video backgrounds like nature and basketball games. I myself was resisting grabbing the microphone, so we hightailed it out of there.

Yesterday was a powerhouse of awesome. Like, so many amazing things. We met three new investigators in places I'd never think to look. Like, in one we were walking and I just saw through an open door a white, porcelain elephant. So naturally, I deemed that we needed to try the house. We met a girl and somehow convinced her to agree to a 10 minute, standing-up lesson. Turns out, she knows members and she said we could come back. The next house, which was in a place I'd never even considered but was chosen by my awesome comp, turned out to be a really nice house with a nice lady who also has member friends! Guess what she had in her house? That's right - three adorable green elephant statues. I was laughing so hard afterwards. God really does have a sense of humor.

We taught Mario for the second time, the middle-aged man who is unfortunately not Italian. He was going somewhere, so I employed my new favorite phrase, "10 minutes lang", which he agreed to. His lesson ended up being an hour long, he had so many questions. And he told us that after the first lesson last week, he hadn't been that super interested and he had been prepared to write us off. But then, he told us at the end of the lesson that during our talk he had felt the need to keep studying. He said he now felt like this might be the right time for him to hear the gospel. And in his closing prayer? He thanked Heavenly Father for sending us to him now that's he's ready to receive us. Man, Mario. I love that guy.

But the crowning moment was Annie's lesson. Annie is our other golden investigator who hadn't committed to a baptismal date since her kids' schooling is funded by another religion and she's afraid they'll pull their support away if she becomes a member. We took her to our Bishop's house and watched the Restoration video with her to help her envision Joseph Smith's experience. The movie started, and so did my anxiety, since in an attempt to be nice, people were putting food on the table and being a little distracting. I really wanted Annie to have a good experience, so I was just getting a tad irritated. But I didn't have to worry. Annie's eyes were glued to the television, all her children's too. And even when our Bishop's wife interrupted and told Annie to eat the snacks on the table, Annie told her "I'd rather watch. I don't want to miss anything." I nearly sang. Annie watched the entire video, and afterwards, she had the biggest smile on her face. She said she really related to Joseph Smith with trying to find the right religion, and she said that now she understands. She really believes and you could just see it in her eyes, how happy she was. The spirit was so strong and Annie just looked so happy - like she new her search was over. It was one of if not the most spiritual moment on my mission so far, something right out of The District. I felt like floating away, I was so happy to see her so happy. She's almost there. She understands it now. When we dropped her back off at her house, she clasped our hands in both of hers and thanked us again. 

I love being a missionary. I love feeling like I'm helping someone find their home in this gospel. I love helping people realize that the pain and suffering they experience on the earth is so temporary - there is so, so much more for us. I love recognizing the Lord's hand in my life, how He is always guiding me to be better, to help bring his children home. I love this gospel, this church, the way that it gives hope and light to all it touches. If you want a home, if you want friends, if you want relief, if you want faith, if you want more than just this temporary world, I promise with the whole of my soul that there is room for you here. There are answers in this gospel. Trust me. 

"I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed." -Richard C. Edgley
Stay excellent, my friends!

All my love,
Sister Green

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week Dalawampu-​Tatlo: CONSTANT VIGILANCE

Let me tell you something - missionary work is tiring. Like, I have never been more tired in my entire life. We work all day and we have to be one hundred percent aware of everything happening around us. We walk all day, we have to be professional and personable, and we have to strive to listen for the Spirit to guide us every second. Sometimes I collapse on our cool, tile, ant-covered floor just for a moment to breathe. I want to rest so bad sometimes, just have an hour to zone out and turn off my brain, but I comically employ the phrase, "We can sleep when we're dead." Of course, we never run faster than we have strength, but we have to dig deep for that strength all the time, and by the time P-Day rolls around, we're scraping the bottom of the barrel. I almost suggested abandoning internet time today for a nap. I'm mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.

So tell me, why am I so wonderfully happy?

I have a headache the size of Mount Mayon and it's so hot all I want to do is curl up in the office and sleep with the air-conditioning, but I somehow have the strength to keep going, a drive that I didn't know I had. Being a missionary? Stressful. Tough. Draining. You get rejected 60% of the time and then disappointed the other 35. But that last 5 percent? That tiny little window of success is enough to make me want to push harder, to feel that wonderful five percent again. Yeah, I'm tired. But man, I love being a successful missionary too. 

We got the Standard of Excellence again for the second week in a row. And wow, it felt good to do it again. Like, we've got it down now. We've set the bar and there is no way I'm sinking below it again. We want to prove that we're here to work. The first week was the proof it was possible, the second week was Sister Siola'a and I stating to the other missionaries that we weren't going to let up. Our leaders are proud of us, we're happy with the progress, and despite the interrupting desires for a week long nap, we'll keep on exercising one of my favorite sayings from a fictional character, as quoted in the title. 

I don't have much to report today, other than they've cut our internet time, so my emails and replies might be significantly shorter. We had a District Activity today. We went to a place called "Wildlife", which is basically a zoo. Tragically, it didn't have any elephants, so I wouldn't even really constitute it as such. But it was fun. I geeked out about animals and we were laughing about how cool God's creations were. It was hotter than Hades outside, but it was fun playing with the District and having a good, ol', sweaty time. We all went to a buffet afterwards, but the sisters and I vetoed it for reasons, and since the tricey (a motorcycle with a size cabby) was wanting to charge 80 pesos to take us back to Daraga, we walked. We walked in the heat probably 45 minutes to an hour back to Daraga from Legazpi, a 20 minute trip by car. Man, I was sweating buckets. 

As far as the week goes, it was simply busy. We convinced a very very very less active member to host a Family Home Evening this next Wednesday. We were telling a ward missionary and inviting her to his house and she just raised her eyebrows in a "oh sweetie" sort of way, like we must be mistaken and she said, "He never entertains anyone, sisters." Oh, he does now!!! He even promised to cook for us!

Melinda agreed to a baptismal date in August, and she's attending church again. She's really finding answers for her questions in the Book of Mormon. Hooray! I love her so much and she's really solidifying her faith. She says she wants her children to be baptized too, because she knows it'll make a better life for them. 

Also, in Annie's prayer this week, she prayed for strength to accept a baptismal date, and we prayed for strength to act on her faith. It was so touching and beautiful. She also prayed, to my surprise, that I wouldn't be transferred from Daraga yet, since transfers are next week. Ugh, I'll be so sad if I leave. I just need one more transfer here. Things are finally changing in this area. I want to leave it better than I found it!

It rained this week. That makes me happy. Though someone told me that the rain was the last rain before it gets the hottest yet. So that's hindi mabuti. But I'll survive. I'm putting my shoulder to the wheel!

Everyone have a glorious week. I'm so sorry it's short. I'll be better next week! Back to the field to harvest!

Love, love, love,
Sister Greensies

1)"He Ain't Heavy"
2) "All You Need is Love"

Week Dalawampu-​Tatlo: Photos from the Zoo

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week Dalawampu-​Dalawa: Rising to the Standard

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone's week was so incredibly amazing and fulfilling and wonderful - mine sure was. Allow me to tell you about my fantastic week. But hold on, I have to tell some incredibly loud, screaming boys who are playing League of Legends in this internet cafe to be quiet because I can barely hear myself think with their squealing falsettos.

Ahh. That's a little better. Salamat po. Anyway, my week. This week was rather special. Yesterday, Sunday, was my fifth month missionary anniversary. Can you believe I've already been on a mission for five months? Next month, I'll only have a year left. Sometimes I feel like time is going so slow, but then when I think about only having a year left? I can hardly comprehend how fast life is moving. 

This particular monthly mark of time was rather special, since it was the end of the most productive week of my mission. In fact, this week was so productive that Sister Siola'a and I reached the Standard of Excellence for the Philippines Legazpi Mission! Thirty-five lessons in one week! This is no easy feat. Only five companionships in the whole mission did it this week, and now, we're one of those five! We're practically beside ourselves with joy right now. This joy didn't come till this morning since last night, when I announced to the apartment that we had accomplished the Standard, all I could do was collapse on the floor and laugh so hard that I cried, because finally it was time to rest. We needed a P-Day today. We are exhausted.
Our standard week is the bar I want to meet every week. We met so many amazing and interesting people this week tracting. For instance, last Monday we taught Charrise, a contact from the week before. Our lesson with her was so great. She asked really great questions like "If we're all brothers and sisters, why is it so hard to trust and love people?" and "How can I feel the spirit all the time?" We have another appointment with her today, so we'll se how it goes.

On a really hot morning this week, Friday perhaps, we were tracting in a bit of our area we've never been to before and we were beyond hideous rejected more than ten times in a row. People more or less were slamming their doors in our faces. As soon as they heard "missionaries", they would wave us away, say they were busy, or tell us flat that they weren't interested. We were determined to get the standard though, so Sister Siola'a and I kept going. We finally were let in by a quiet nanay named Norma, a lady who quickly told us about her children and grandchildren and her life battling breast cancer. Her husband, Guy, was a shirtless dude smoking a cigarette, sitting at his sewing machine. He has Mormon friends in Manila and he told us that he had been told by his friends that if he listened to the Mormon Missionaries, "he would be greatly rewarded". We had a really good lesson and we have a return appointment.

After Norman and Guy, we were on our way home for lunch when I felt like we should try a particular house with a bunch of child flip-flops outside. The father, Ben, let us in and he and his wife Neren listened to our message about family as their little daughter, named funnily enough Benjemin ("with an e", they insisted) screamed and danced and made noise around us. She kept telling us that her socks were broken. It was a hoot.

For all of you John Green lovers out there, I met a Nerdfighter! I was scoping out a less-active's bookshelf, and I discovered an almost complete set of John Green books, along with big titles like Wuthering Heights and Life of Pi. The books belonged to a 24 year old in the house named Annie, and we immediately geeked and talked about how much we love books. The problem is, is that when I freak out, I immediately switch to English since I can't geek in Tagalog. But she's skilled in English, so it went okay. We're best friends now.

A miracle happened with one of our less-actives, Ron John. Ron John has a really good testimony, but he hadn't been attending church because he has the night shift at his work and it really drains him, so he sleeps all day. I went there with Sister Pace (we were on exchanges) and Ron John told us that he quit his job so he could go to church every week. He said he missed feeling the spirit and sharing that part of his life with his family. He said that he had known working on Sundays is wrong, and he knew that if he wanted to have a better life, he needed to make the sacrifice. Isn't that incredible? I was so happy I almost hugged him. He quit making an income so he could come back. We found the lost sheep. I was just so thankful for his faith and spirit. Ron John came to church and he wants to enroll in institute again and work with the missionaries!

Annie is progressing too. She knows the church is true and while we don't have a firm baptismal date (yet), she's reading the Book of Mormon and praying. Rhea, although she didn't come to church like she promised, told us the first lesson we had about the Book of Mormon that she totally accepted it as the word of God. She had a lot of questions about baptism that we easily answered with the Book of Mormon. She has a gift of understanding doctrine, and she and Annie both are very child-like in the Christlike sense, that is to accept His word immediately.

Speaking of progression, Melinda! She also told us that she believed the Book of Mormon is true, she's already read the introduction. When I asked her to commit to read the BOM, she just nodded with a smile and stroked her copy we had just given her. She answered in Tagalog, but the English translation was basically, "Yes, Sister. There are prophets in here I've never heard of. There are names that I've never seen. I want to know them. I want to know them all and I want to know their stories." Oh, I practically fainted. She's amazing. I love her so much.

Then there's Mhau. We met her in a dark alleyway on a night we were trying (and failing) to tract. She was hesitant to give us any personal information - I didn't blame her, I'd be a little weirded out by two foreigners approaching you in the dark too - but we talked to her and set up an appointment for Sunday. Mhau is 21 years old and an English teacher at Bicol College We met with her yesterday. We showed her around the church, answered her questions, and then had a lesson about the Godhead, Families, and Prophets. She really liked how we focused on family, since she said she had a rough relationship with hers. She was a little confused about prophets initially, but we answered all her questions. 

We then asked her to say the closing prayer. After teaching her how to pray correctly, we bowed our heads. As soon as she started talking, I felt the Spirit creep into my heart. I was surprised, but I prayed that Mhau was feeling that same sweet feeling from the Holy Ghost. Then she said "amen" and I looked up. Mhau got a weird look on her face and then she put a hand over her heart and she whispered, "Ano ba iyan?" ("What is that?") She told us that she felt like her heart was beating differently, exploding with a "masarap" feeling the spread through her during her prayer. She told us she had never prayed from her heart before, becuase her school always made them do recited prayers. A new light was in Mhau's eyes and a genuine smile on her face as she patted her chest and tried to explain how her heart felt in that moment. I was just trying not to cry the entire time as I thanked Heavenly Father for blessing her with his spirit. She'll progress.

I learned an important lesson yesterday too. We had been running around all day, since we had only five left till the Standard. All of our lessons were suddenly falling through, but we were too close to quit. At 8:30pm, we went to our last lesson, four members in tow, and when we got to Ian's house, it was dark. He wasn't home. With sinking realization I turned from the dark window and looked at the five others with shock evident on my face. We just needed one more. At 8:30pm on a Sunday, and with six people instead of two, tracting wasn't really an option. We went through our contacts. We had no one. We were completely out of options. I was standing there, feeling defeated and frustrated beyond belief. I just wanted to reach the Standard, was that so wrong? Sister Siola'a was trying to name people we could try, but I shot them all down, knowing they weren't options. I felt like a failure! Then, finally, we walked down the street. Sister Siola'a wanted to try a house that she had never been in and that I had only visited once. And you know what? They let us in. All six of us, and with that nay and tay, we had a lovely lesson. 

It hit me halfway through that I had just been taught a huge lesson. God hadn't wanted me to get the Standard of Excellence easily. I needed to work for it. And I needed to get over myself and trust in my companion and trust in Him that things would work out. If Ian had been home, I wouldn't have learned that lesson in humility - I cannot do this job alone. This is the Sister-Green-Show. I am a missionary. I am an unprofitable servant of the Lord. I had been so stressed and defeated that I had forgotten to ask for help. I hadn't been humble enough to ask for a miracle and I had swept aside any spiritual guidance that Sister Siola'a had been getting until the last option. I realized how selfish I had been, and I really realized how I'm on this mission to learn and grow, not to just easily get the Standard of Excellence with the drop of a hat.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Getting the Standard of Excellence this way has made it so much more wonderful and special for us. We learned a valuable lesson - especially me. I am beyond grateful that my Heavenly Father cares enough to teach me those important lessons so I can become more like he would have me be. I don't just want to rise to the Standard of Excellence, I want to rise to the standard of my Father in Heaven.

Have a great week everyone. I miss you!
Sister Green

Bucket Shower--In case you were wondering...

Displaying P1030873.JPG

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week Dalawampu-​isa: All is Well!

I apologize in advance for the shorter email. Today has been very busy and very hectic, I'm trying to download conference talks for investigators, and the internet is lagging. But then again, I don't feel too bad. One shorter email won't kill you. Probably 70% of you don't read my emails every week anyway, di ba? Don't lie, it's okay, I still love you.

Mission Tour was on Thursday, which was a nice big important conference for the Legazpi mission. The speaker was Elder Ian Ardern, the second counselor of the Philippines Area Presidency. He's a general authority from New Zealand, and he and his wife were our guests of honor. The conference was fun - I got to see a few batchmates and some friends that had transferred out of Daraga a few transfers ago. Funnily enough, Elder Ardern first started to speak on a taboo subject for missionaries - marriage. He began with this, "Do not unnecessarily postpone marriage." All the sudden, missionaries were looking around in confusion, as if to ask, Wait, he knows we're missionaries right? Very funny start to a conference. Eventually, we started talking about the work, and we all really enjoyed his advice and counsel about how we can increase our numbers. He really talked about how all missionaries are divinely appointed to their missions, so that really was a great reminder that I'm meant to be here.
I paid a woman in the other ward only 500 pesos (around 10 American dollars) to sew me a dress that I dress for her. I bought the fabric and she sewed it in about a week and a half. I love it very much. It kind of makes me feel like a Disney princess, so that's exciting. I have to take it back to her because it has a rip in the sleeve after one day, but I still like it a lot. So that's fun.

Hilarious thing. Sister Siola'a and I went to Cena Una, and she ordered a dessert called Mt. Mayon Choco Punch Boulders. The waitress asked how many she wanted and Sister Siola'a said four, because there are usually four little cakes on the plate. I clarified that she wanted one plate of four, but I guess the confusion remained, because the waitress brought four plates of this dessert! Sister Siola'a freaked out, trying to tell her that we only wanted one, but they expected us to pay for the four desserts. I wish I had a picture of our faces and the four desserts on the table. It was frustrating at the time, but Sister Pace and Sister Lang had a good laugh out of it as they at the extras back home. Sister Siola'a has sworn off Cena Una for good, but it remains my favorite. I'm not giving up good food for one misunderstanding. The entire thing was a good lesson in patience for us. 

Some great things that happened: We found a inactive member's house and while we were waiting for him to get home, we taught his 79 year-old mother, who isn't a member but who remembers with fondness the days she would have Family Home Evenings with her children. The son came home, fed us pili nut candy, and talked to us for thirty minutes until curfew. He's cool with us coming back, and he seems really open to discuss the church again.

The church tour with Arlene and her sister went splendidly. The spirit really testified during the tour, and it really opened Arlene up to the gospel, and now her desire to learn is so much stronger. Things are looking up there.

We taught Diane again, who's name is actually Darlyn. We taught her with a member of the stake presidency and his wife, Sister Manahan. Their help was indispensable, and now Darlyn is progressing as well, with a promise of another return appointment next week. 

We went to see Melinda again, our investigator that came to church without a single lesson. This was our second lesson with her, and we taught about Joseph Smith's First Vision. She listened quietly, asking questions when she needed to. At the end of the lesson, I just felt nudged to ask her to be baptized. It seemed a little soon in my mind, but I just tilted my chin up and asked her if she'd commit to be baptized when she knew the church was true. She looked a little confused for a second, but after asking some clarifying questions about what baptism would mean, she just nodded and said, "Yes. I already know the church is true."

Whoa, say what now?

But she was serious, and even though I'm not skilled in Tagalog, I knew what she was saying. Turns out, she had seen missionaries in her neighborhood for years, and she had never had a single desire to listen to them. But when she saw us, when we (by complete chance) walked down her road, looking for a shortcut, she said she felt something compel her to invite us to sit. And looking back, it makes a lot of sense. The first thing Melinda asked us when we saw her was, "Are you preachers?" and then when we explained we were missionaries, she invited us to sit down. But it turns out, that Melinda didn't know why she invited us that day, she had just been overcome with a feeling in her heart that she should.

It was a rather sobering moment for me to realize how much of a miracle Melinda and her family is. She wants to come to church a few more times before we set a firm date, but she told us she even went around shopping, looking for a cheap skirt because she wants to "look like a Mormon" at church. Ah, I love her. She told us that once she's baptized, she knows her family will follow too. Wow, I'm so excited. I just hope I'm not transferred yet so I get to attend her baptism.

This week was good. Hard, but good. Our work is picking up, and I'm feeling that this week we're going to get the Standard of Excellence, which is 35 lessons. We can do it!
I hope you all are well and happy and that you are just loving life. I sure am. Missionary work is the best. So difficult, so tough, so stressful. But there isn't anything better.

"I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world." - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

All my love,
Sister Green

2)"500 miles (I'm Gonna Be)"
3)"Come Come Ye Saints"


Displaying P1030817.JPG
This thing was literally bigger than my fist and it was just chilling in the grocery store on the beans. I nearly had a heart-attack and I was squirming and hiding behind Sister Siola'a.
I don't like mga gamba.