Mission Time In Cebu

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week 7 in Mabolo

So I now only have 30 minutes for email, so Dear Elders are much appreciated. And for a package another good thing would be Crystal light...I go through those like crazy, S. Person loves them too. Also, Pictures are the best-Filipinos love them!!

So this week!!!! Very exciting!!! We had zone conference and I got to see Elder Stirland and Elder Allen!! They are very happy and very optimistic. It was sooo relieving to see them and know they are doing well. Thank you for updating me on E. Johnson I have felt worried about him and now I know why. Let him know I pray for him every night. He was one of the kindest Elders I know and I know that if anyone can handle what he is going through, Its him. Very amazing faithful Elder. Keep writing him, for real it makes me happy and I know it makes him super happy.

So this week, this Saturday I have my FIRST baptism!!!! YAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait, I just know it will be such an amazing fulfilling experience. Especially after some of the little trials we have had this week. We only had 2 investigators to church on Sunday. It was super sad for me, I was trying to hold back tears. I felt a glimpse of what Christ feels like when we ignore the things of the Gospel and put him second in our life. Here, he made the ultimate sacrifice. He suffered beyond all comprehension true agony and we are to lazy to serve him with all our heart, might, mind and strength! We ignore his sacrifice for us. I never want to be ungrateful to that sacrifice, it is hard for me to express in words. I felt such a sorrow on Sunday and a connection to the atonement and the sacrament. It was such a sacred experience to partake of the sacrament that day and trust in the will of God. I am just beginning to get a glimpse of the atonement and what Christ really feels and went through for us. We taught a man, Ryan, who the day before we met him tried to commit suicide. I can see that while we are teaching him the hopelessness in his eyes, and if only he could fully understand the Gospel and the atonement he will never feel that way again, he will never feel alone. I feel soo close to my savior and I am just seeing promises in my patriarchal blessing unfold. I outlined it during personal study time and what I have to do to obtain those blessing, it was such a special experience and I know if you do the same thing you can really learn how to obtain all those promised blessing. I am soo excited about my life and whats in store and I want my investigators to have the same hope that I feel everyday. Sunday we went on splits, so I was with 2 ward members and our investigator S. Alma (baptism this Saturday, YES SHE CAME ON SPLITS WITH US-Seriously she is soo amazing). So crazy I had to lead the area and give all the lessons by myself, while they testified at the end. I even made S. Alma share her testimony...haha. I taught a whole family it was, just me teaching in Visayan and like 10 people listening, and I did it! All by myself...truly a testimony that the Lord blesses us for our sacrifices. He has helped me soo much with the language...I understand most of everything and can say most of what I want....and I know that I usually suck at the languages so it truly is all from the Lord and lots of hard work and sacrifice of sleep...haha. So Mom, don't worry, even when things are hard, I feel happy because I get the privilege to teach heavenly fathers children all day long. Its not easy. It really isn't, I come home every night my whole entire body aching from walking and sitting on the floor and ect. ect. ect. But now that I am seeing at least one fruit from my labors I know it is all worth it. S. Alma, I have learned soo much from her. I love her, I never thought that I could love like this, and I still have a lot to learn. I am BY FAR!!! and imperfect missionary still, there are soo many things I need to improve and E. Johnson is a lot more patient and kind then I am b/c I definitely wouldn't have put up with that from my trainer. I am still working on patience...haha. That is one of his biggest attributes I admired in the MTC. BUT I am improving! So I havent read your letters yet b/c I only have 30 minutes now and I want to give a good report to all of you. Just know that I am working my hardest, all my heart, mind, might and strength b/c I know this is the Lords time and he is shaping me into who I need to be so I can help these people. Thank you for your prayers and support, they mean sooo much to me!! By the way I just sent another CD of pictures...so hopefully you get them soon. unsa pa? Sorry I'm a little jumbled b/c I don't have very much time. The Philippines is such a different place, I hope some of you can visit it someday....it is already ingrained in my heart- and by the way the food is WAY better here, but I'm still losing weight. Slowly though..haha. I started gaining cause I was eating rice. Oh by the way Mom, E. Bennett says hi, he transferred but I saw him at zone conference. Well I g2g but I really do love you all. Keep sending stuff my way.

Courtney I only skimmed through your letter but the best thing to get at Sammy's is the cheesecake oreo with extra chocolate syrup added (special order)

love love love!!!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week 6 in Mabolo

The new house is great but we have to travel SOO FAR...cause its not in our area...but I am still glad for it. However. There are giant slugs and spiders in our bathroom...and I mean GIANT! Like 6 inches long and this huge hairy spider and not just one slug like 5 or 6. Its okay though. The whole house is PINK PINK PINK...haha. Makes me feel even more like a Sister now. We live really close to the Elders but we cannot see them without permission or else very bad consequences. Like our area will be shut down and we will get emergency transferred. So I know they must trust us a lot to let us live there. About the pictures...I'll just send you another CD on Monday we are printing pictures today anyway. Sorry! I have no idea, whats going on.

I got your package :) everything is great-Made my week, I was soo happy...shared my skittles with everyone.

So good things for a package:

Candies for little kids would be awesome
CD's like EFY (stand in the light, give the gift)
Birthday letters
USB plug for the wall like for an ipod. I bought speakers and it needs to be charged at a computer or the ipod wall charger. stinks. didnt know that before.

So things are great in Mabolo. We have a Baptism scheduled for October 2, S. Alma, our favorite investigator. She is working for a woman and her family as their maid. And they said we can no longer teach her...but she says she is still going to go to church and we can teach her after church. So her faith is just amazing...we are really being blessed. Another investigator, B. Jesus, came to church but I can't decide if he is coming to church for the two pretty ladies teaching him (that would be us...haha) or b/c he really is interested. he never completes his assignments.

And I am not LYING!! Belut is great! I need to become Filipino..haha. They all call me a cowgirl here b/c I am not squeamish to do or try anything...they say I am becoming Filipino. S. Person is really helping me with my accent. We read the Basahon Ni Mormon everynight. My Cebuano is coming really quickly...best blessing! :) I've been waking up at 5:30 am every morning to get some more studying in. Its helped me soo much.

So we have a new district now, 3 new Elders and 1 new Sister. And E. Shenck, transferred SURPRISE. I was soo sad I thought he would be here for a long time. He is somewhere north in the mountains.

I am soo grateful to be on this mission...Sis. Person gave me an amazing compliment and said that my biggest strength is when I testify and I know its b/c I TRULY believe the things that I am telling these people. I feel soo much strength behind my words and its crazy how much my Cebuano just flows from my mouth and I can testify soo easily...but as soon as my lesson is done my Cebuano returns back to is original form-struggling..haha. Its really an amazing experience though to have the Lord just put words into your mouth, I am trusting him more and more everyday that he will just lose my tongue and feel my mouth...so true.

A mission is amazing...truly. I don't know if I could have come to know God as I do now in any other way. I really am learning from these wonderful people the value of true happiness. I am trusting in God and his purpose. It does not matter if bad things happen here on earth...and trust me these people ENDURE! Many are jobless, can't feed their family...sicknesses everywhere. I see malnourished people all day, BUT they are happy b/c they have their families and the Lord and they aren't even of our faith. So me with my knowledge of Eternal Happiness and a mansion waiting up there for me in heaven, I have no room to complain ever. I wont complain, b/c life is beautiful. Even here in the downtown city I can see beauty.

The Philippines is an amazing place, I have never experienced anything like it. I meet people every day that have a profound effect on me and my life, Remember that whatever happens if we endure to the end there is the kingdom of God-true happiness awaiting us.

Love you all!! Amping!!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New House and Belut

Kamusta Fam and Friends!!

So this week is transfers- and yes I have been transferred to a new house, haha. I am in Mabolo, I'm thinking for at least another two transfers, and Sis. Person will be staying also. So no changes, which I'm happy about.

We have two amazing investigators. First, S. Alma, I remember when I met her, very shy, didn't seem interested it just seemed like we were forcing her b/c she was too shy to tell us no. I actually thought it was useless, she turned us away a couple times even. She is from Tacloban (another island) and she left her family behind to be a maid for this family. Sad story...but she LOVES the Gospel now. I don't know if you can get more Golden than her in investigators. She is always waiting for us reading her scriptures and she is soo cute. SOOO SMALL. she is 38 years old and likes to laugh at my Cebuano...haha. But she is such an awesome investigator that even though she doesn’t have plete (money to ride the jeepney) she walks to church! and she even went to our ward missionary meeting and went to pick up investigators with us to church...haha. Future ward missionary!! Her baptismal date is October 2nd! Second, S. Erwina is a signal mother and very smart. She is 20 years old and came to church for the first time she knew all the answers to the questions and loves church. Her baptismal date is October 9th. Also, we had 6 investigators at church again, and we had 180 contacts this week. It is sooo fun to work hard. I know the Lord is blessing us. S. Hansen told me that the majority of the ward is inactive and Mabolo ward is one of the most difficult to keep together, but it is really becoming stronger, and its amazing to see the change in people.

So this week I gained a stronger testimony of the priesthood. It really hit me that when men receive the priesthood they are literally receiving the same power that God has. He used the priesthood power to create us and the earth and the power is eternal. These men will have this power for all eternity...I just thought that was amazing.

So Last night was crazy 4 elders from our district came over to help us move houses. The truck ended up breaking down, while they were taking a load so me and s. person e. bennett and elder nicoletta were just waiting around, perfect timing to try balut, right? So I got a 16 day old one, I was nervous and after I got it I found out E. Bennett has never tried it. But the Beluit man was gone so he supported me as I tried this new exotic food, S. Person taught me how to eat it. So first you crack the egg and suck our the warm fetus juice or whatever it is, taste like chicken broth, very delicious, then you eat the yoke around it which taste like a hard boiled egg except better. Then you eat the fetus....it was actually super delicious, I loved it. And no I am not joking, and yes there were feathers haha. Then the balut man came around again and I bought one for E. Bennett a little more mature 18 days, except we told him 16 days...haha. Good sport. The Filipino Elders told me I'm filipino by the way I sit and act...I thought YES! best compliment ever. They said I'm learning cebuano super fast, which just made me feel so good, diligence and prayer.So finally we moved! Went to bed at midnight. Grabe! But we get to go to the beautiful Cebu temple again today.

I have really learned the power of prayer here. I am just constantly praying...I have never prayed soo hard in my life, for my language, for sis. person, for the area, the ward, our investigators. I just pray pray pray! Always, when we’re walking I just pray. I feel soo close to the Lord. I was reading in the Bible dictionary about prayer and it said it is aligning our will with the will of the Lord. Amazing, some of the most sacred experiences I have had is during my prayers to my Father in Heaven. He already knows what we need and is willing to give it to us, all we need to do is work and ask for the blessings. I have learned how to pray better, I never thought about having a moment of silence before my prayer so the spirit could speak to me and let me know what to ask for, but this has completely changed the way I pray and the way I can know how to receive answers.

On Sunday we had a little testimony meeting with the Senior Sisters (my surrogate mothers). It was an amazing spirit; seriously I have never felt more blessed then here on my mission. I have never realized how weak I am with out the Lord. With out him I am nothing. I have never seen sooo many of my weaknesses...before my mission I thought I was soo close to perfection. Joke joke. But, really now I see soo many things I need to improve and I am soo grateful b/c the Lord has shown me my weaknesses so that I can make them strong. Its amazing to see improvement every single day as I am trying soo hard to be a better missionary for these people. These WONDERFUL people that would take their shirts off their back and give it to you b/c they are soo loving. I love it here...although it is still SOOO hard. I am drenched in sweat everyday and never ever feel decent looking (just look at the pictures I sent...haha. BUT it is soo worth it, I just love it and serving these people. It is soo unfair b/c I think I am learning more from them then they are from me...haha.

I love you all sooo much. I have soo many more pictures but the internet is slow. Have you gotten the picture CD i sent you yet? Love you all sooo much...every person I hear from just makes my day and I love it!! The Gospel is true and really does change us and make us the people the Lord wants us to be!

Love, Cari

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Maayoong Hapon!!

Sorry you did not get this sooner, we had district activity today and we went on a hike up the river and a water fall.. GORGEOUS!! Seriously the Philippines is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I took a lot of pictures but forgot my chord to send them...next time Unta! So I have gotten a lot of good emails!!! Lots of thanks!! They definitely help keep me going!! Mom can you send Janet my mission address. Charlene sent the message to me, thanks Mom...she is more on the road to baptism now, pray for her...we visit her tonight!

The Reeds just left the Mission on Thursday, they were the office couple. and I know Elder Bennett, He is in my district!! Really fun, he said I am one of the fastest Cebuano learners...so he keeps my hopes up about the language!! but that is about all I know. How did you get in touch with Elder Johnson's mom with out hearing back from Elder Johnson...if you Mom's want you should get in touch with all the Mom's from our MTC district and you can talk to all of them. I don't know how you find these people though... haha

This week, soo good!! We worked SOOO hard 160 contacts, 29 Lessons, and we had 6 investigators to church!!! So amazing, 3 promising baptisimal dates scheduled. our hard work is paying off! and we found a house! It is in Lahug (Elder Shenk's area with the temple) and it is a much nicer apartment! so we are moving next Tuesday and Transfers are next friday. But, I don't think Sis. Person or I will be transferred, but who knows we find out the Wednesday before, just two days!!

Sunday we fasted for 25 ours....definitely a patience practice. So we had a birthday party/FHE with the Sevilla Family Newly baptized cute little Filipino Family) and we bought them a cake and it looked sooooooo delicious, but time went late and we had to leave for curfew before we could taste it. and I had been looking forward to it ALL day. I almost drooled as we left, soo sad. So ya we couldn't start our fast until 8:00 PM, so we fasted all day Sunday, I thought I was going to die-but I didn't want to complain. We had a dinner appointment at 7pm and when we got there...IT WASNT READY!! well 8 o clock rolled around and we had to leave-NO DINNER! Well we got home at 8:30 PM and FINALLY we could eat I almost choked on the food as I ate it. hahah funny kaayo!

Today is a little more boring week, no crazy stories. The work is going, awesome...don't worry I stay safe and aware, oh ya I hit my head really hard on the ceiling of a house...seriously I am way too big for this place. Oh I just want to say how incredible an experience it is to teach. I have never felt soo much guidance from the spirit telling me what to say, its truly amazing.

Oh ya...so Mabolo is crazy!! some of our investigators stories crazy. Like we have one who wants to get baptized and she's been to church but she has had several abortions, is living in and has been in a mental hospital. We have another one who would be promising but she should be in prison for 20 years b/c she left her first husband and remarried, against that law here. and so she flew Negros to Cebu to not face her court case and I think if she wants to get baptized she has to go to Prison first, i dont know. Crazy!

Here is a couple of shout outs!!

Blake Balkman

Dili ko nagkaon Balut pa, pero gusto gyud ko!! Dili Nahadlok ko. Pero Gusto ni Sis. Person safety para sa ako. Si Sister Person mao ang akong trainer. Kindont Kaayo siya! Naa mi maayong companitionship. Elder Valesco mao ang akong ZL. Funny kaayoo siya. Nagsulti siya nga ikaw sa iyang paburito companion. Nagsugat ko sa imong follow-up trainee, ni Elder Jamon. Ganahan ko so Pilipinas...nindot kaayo!! Lisod pero lingaw!!

Rhonda McPeak

I am soo grateful for you message...it means a lot to me that you read my emails and that my emails touch you. It really helps to know that there are people out there praying for me...such amazing comfort to me. This Church is the only way that we can find true happiness for us and our families. I was reading 1 Nephi 8:10-12 really reminded me of how desirable the truth of this gospel is and we can really only understand how amazing it is until we taste it.

Uncle Rod

I am watching out do not worry, and dont worry I am not beautiful here... trust me I will send pictures haha. The Philippines is very rough on my outward appearance, however, I know that I am able to grow more beautiful on the inside...and thats all the matters right? Thanks for your email, I miss you soo much and can't wait to return to Utah and see you again :)


Read Uncle Rod's shout out...I just wanted to tell you. I am being careful...No worries!!! Thank you for all you write me, the things you say are truly inspired and they help remind me of my purpose and to continue in happiness and trusting in the Lord. I can't wait to see you again and share all my experiences with you :)

Well...I love you all thank you for sooo much support. Amping Kanunay!!!

Love, Cari

p.s. I am also sorry, this letter is not as exciting as before, we have just been working super hard and nothing has been happening, except my trying lots of amazing food and our hike. Seryoso, Mom and Dad you have to come visit here, it is so amazing!! and I want to see you ride a hubble hubble or jeepney haha. Oh by the way I think I come home on the 23rd of December 2011. Two days before Christmas! Crazy!!...I do have another funny story, so some things in America that would be offensive are not offensive here. Like they will call you fat to your face and its not a big deal ( not me yet...thank goodness) But we have a very loud Filipino in our ward, Sister Alma, she is soo loud and sings sooo loud. The 1st counselor in the ward told her in front of the class to be quiet cause she is super annoying all the time..haha. I'm like wow that would never happen in my home ward. haha. soo funny. She is SUPER loud though!