Monday, June 2, 2014

Week Tatulumpu't-Apat: Some Like it Hot

But I don't. It was very hot this week. I feel like my rubber shoes are melting to the pavement. Hopefully the rain comes back soon. We're supposed to be nearing the end of the "very hot" season. So I'm a happy puti over here. The only bright side of the heat is now I know Arizona heat will never bother me again.

This week went by quickly for once. I feel like since the transfer and since I've been under the weather, time has been positively slowing. Thankfully, it now seems to be picking up again. It's easier to focus on work when time seems fluid.

The email might be a little scattered since it was a particularly hectic one, but as Sister Sanchez said as we sat on boulders in a jungle to catch our breath, "Ah, mission life." Totoo iyan. If I'm not stressed, hot, or tired, something is wrong!

We had Zone Conference this week, which was just super great. I got to see some of my friends from a neighboring zone and got to eat fake Italian food. I was personally reminded of my privilege to be a missionary, and I really loved President Guanzon's thoughts about the importance of watching out for our companions. He just kept saying, "We are protectors." I love that guy. He's incredible and so inspiring.

We also had Branch Family Home Evening, which was really fun, especially since the branch is so small. Our investigator, May-Anne, came to the church for the first time and she just kept saying how much fun she had. Sister Sanchez and I gave the lesson about loving one another, despite whether or not we're friends. We really focused on gossip and excluding others. We shared the "Bullying - Stop it" Mormon Message, which I love and can't help but cry every time I watch it. This message is so dear to me, I relate to it so much, and I can't express how important it is for everyone to watch it. For those of you who are non-members, this is not just for Mormons, and it is not pointed toward that at all. It's a beautiful message about how we need to stop adding to the heartache in the world through our own ignorant actions. Everybody take ten minutes and watch this. Here's the link:

As far as odd things this week, I had an interesting experience the other day. We were teaching an investigator in her little outside stand, sitting on bamboo benches and just teaching a short lesson while she had time. Squatting below us was an little woman, probably more than seventy years old. She was silent and possibly mentally challenged, given the way our investigator acted as if she was a mother to her. During the lesson, I took my foot partially out of my shoe to shake out some rocks. Immediately, the woman reached forward and poked my ankle. Now, this, I was rather used to; children run up and touch my skin all the time. But she didn't stop there. As Sister Sanchez testified, I watched this woman wrap both her hands around my ankle and rub them over my entire foot. Then she continued, her hands going up my leg, all the way to my knee. She did this several times, reaching over to do the same ritual to my other leg as I watched with confusion in silence. At some point, Sister Sanchez wondered why I wasn't saying anything, and she looked down as well. My companion just asked, "Uh...Nay?" But the woman didn't stop. She just looked up at me and then poked my arm a few times, then settled back into her squat. I don't know why I was so affected by this, but it was possibly one of the weirdest experiences of my life that somehow caused a lot of evaluation on how I look at the world and the people in it, and in turn how people see me. Like, what was the little old woman thinking as she did that? Just figured I should share. Maybe one of you has insights.

We had a really good experience this week with an investigator. This is the woman in the family that I mentioned last week that we met by chance. The lesson before our last one, we invited her to be baptized, and she declined because she's very family oriented and she said some of her children are against her changing her religion. This lesson, she brought up some of those same concerns, but we assured her that if her entire family listens to the message, they will all come to a knowledge of the truth. She said the closing prayer, and she started to sob. She thanked Heavenly Father for sending us to her and she said she accepted us with all her heart. After the prayer, she revealed to us that she knew our meeting wasn't by chance. We found her on a road when we met her. It was dark and we were just walking by. She was standing on the side of the road, she smiled, and so we talked to her. She invited us back to her house and that was all the story I knew - a really good chance meeting that God gave to us. But Bangai told us that she hadn't known why she was standing out there. Her house is far back away from the road, and she never takes that way to get to the road. But she was just standing there, and standing there for so long, and she said he hadn't known why. She said she had just felt like she was waiting for someone, but she hadn't known who it was. And then we came along. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for prompting her to stand out there for so long, waiting for us. I know God has a plan for all His children to hear the gospel!

Have a good week everyone! I love you!

Sister Green

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