Mission Time In Cebu

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Half way through Transfers oh no!!

Mayoong Pasko!!

Skype was soo amazing!!! I was soo overwhelmed with happiness I forgot to tell you about my finger. So that morning I was walking past our electric fan. Its metal and it has a cover but a small opening and BOOM sliced my finger...I was bleeding a lot and S. Falculan thought I lost my thumb but I started laughing...but was in real pain...its pretty deep but I'm okay, too bad I didn't get to show you.

So we just got back from our district activity, we went to the mountain view where there was a beautiful view it was lots of fun, I really like my district. and I've heard of Elder McBride I'm excited to see him at transfers.

So Christmas was a little hard our investigator Marlon drank on Christmas Eve so his baptism is being pushed back to January 22, ONE DAY AFTER TRANSFERS! I was soo disappointed and his wife will wait to be baptized with him but we are going to try to have their baptism the Thursday before so I can still experience it. But either way I'm happy b/c both husband and wife are being baptized and they have two little kids!! Eternal families!!! Ever since he drank on Christmas eve he has really been progressing, his wife has soo much faith she went to Bohol this week to tell her family about her baptism, she took their two kids and Brother Marlon I think realized how much his missed his family. We gave him pictures we have of them and he was really touched he kissed the picture. soo cute!

We will be having 4 baptisms this Sat. and I can't wait!!! Elder Haitt will be baptizing them which is funny b/c the last investigator he baptized has a major crush on him...haha. We had a district community service yesterday...we cleaned the basketball court in the neighborhood where all our investigators live then played basketball...I LOVE playing with the kids...everyone loved our district. The APs have been teaching the live in of S. Delilah and he finally believes in the church, promised to go to church this Sunday and wants to get married. The power of faith and prayers and fasting!!! Miracle gyud!! I am soo excited for her she is one of my favorites. Her boyfriend was just very shy to listen to sisters. So the Ap's were an answer to our prayers!!!

I can't believe we are already half way through transfers. All my investigators said they don't want to think about the day I will transfer, me neither!!! I have a hard time with change and I just can't imagine loving people in another area the same way I love people here. But I know I will. I am really learning how much God has the power to change hearts.

So I am really mad right now at one of our investigators. I found out he's been treating his wife really bad and sometimes punches her. I am soo mad luckily he hasn't been around b/c I know I would have a hard time teaching him. Please pray for Sister Mamming her life is hard...she is always having to watch her three little grandchildren. She suffers a lot for the choices of her husband. So yes mom be thankful for dad!! I have seen soo many broken families and I am soooo much more thankful for my family and the choices of you and dad. Even though I'm farther away then I have ever been, I feel much closer b/c I have been able to realize my blessings!! So even though skype was hard...I was sooo thankful, and yes I was a little emotional and homesick b/c I know the next time I can see your faces again will be in person. But its okay b/c I am where the Lord wants me to be and he is eternally blessing me for reals!! I have made soo many eternal friends and I finally am doing something worthwhile everyday with my life. I love it sooo much!!! Its hard and stressful and I am always tired but I always feel a sense of true happiness and have never been soo excited for the future. I always feel soo honored to be walking to streets as the Lord's representative. and sometimes I still am in awe that I am in the Philippines.

Oh by the way my english really is suffering. S. Falculan said it is awkward for her to hear me speak english sometimes. hehe. I contacted on the jeepney in english and was trying to translate visayan to english b/c sometimes I think in visayan especially if I'm thinking about investigators or things pertaining to the gospel...haha. The mothers day phone call will be pretty confusing hahaha!!!. WELL I love you alll soooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Year Left, Sooooo Fast!!!

Siggi!! I am soo excited about skype and a little embarrassed b/c I know I will cry like a little baby in the middle of the internet cafe. haha. I have been super homesick, but its okay b/c while I'm out working I am focused on the work but when I get home and lay in bed that's when I become a little emotional well kinda a lot.

I will probably be skyping sometime around 9:00 am my time on Dec. 25 so Christmas eve for you. I'm not exactly sure your time. BUT, I don't remember my information so if you could send it to me. Thanks!!! I am soo excited.

So my Christmas will be like any day...we have to go home by 6 b/c there will be a ton of firecrackers.

Even though last week was hard....we needed to be humbled and realize that we can't do all this work on our own and then the Lord has blessed us!!! We had 11 investigators go to church. and 4 baptisms on Jan 1 and maybe 4 on Jan 8. YAYYAYAYAYAY!!! I am sooo excited, one of them is Zaldy on Jan. 1!! We are soo blessed. Obedience and hard work and lots and lots of prayers.

My stomach finally gave into the food... I was doing soo well. I almost felt like I was going to die last night. I threw up 6 times and didn't sleep at all last night. I wanted to literally die. It was coming out both ends all night and I am super weak today and I HAVE to work b/c we have to prepare these people for their interviews this Saturday so yes I am a little miserable. But its okay.

Friday we had our ward Christmas party and it was soooo fun!!!! Our investigator Marlon was sooo funny he was dancing with all the girls and he dances super funny too. Zaldy and his friends performed Love Story by Taylor Swift it was super good. We had 25 investigators at least there!! Karioke and lots of performances.

S. Alma is happy at her job now, I told her to talk to her boss and things are good now.

We went Caroling with the Senior Sisters and couples in their building on Sunday, and I learned Filipinos don't like caroling...they were all scared haha.

We loved your decorations and S. Falculan was excited about the stocking, she says thank you! and my investigators all love you and want to meet you someday.

I am soooo excited for SKYPE!!!! and really hope it works...I'm a little nervous I wont get it all figured out...

I can't believe I only have 1 year left, and only 1 month left in Mabolo. NONO NO!! I do not want to leave....even though I haven't seen very much of the Philippines yet I don't want to leave these people. By the way I have a ton of pictures but no way to send them until I get a cd. So after the baptisms I will make a cd for all of you. Late Christmas present. Well I love you all...can't wait till Saturday. So 9:00 am my time, Christmas day for me. I can't wait...Ill need to bring tissues!!!

Love, Cari

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

hapit na PASKO

Musta mo?

From Sister Hansen, we can skype so just tell me when you want to do it, on my Christmas eve or Christmas?

So I will be skyping!!!!

I'm sorry about the money, I have been buying a lot of things for investigators, its really hard for me not to, but I have learned my lesson and am going to stop....its just super hard not too!! so sorry oops!!! I got my packages!! birthday and Christmas all in the same day and they were perfect!!!!! Mom you did sooo good!!! I loved them all!!! and shared everything...everyone loved it!!! I needed them too, b/c I have been having a very depressing week. Well not super depressing b/c I have been trying to be optimistic...But I know I just have 6 weeks left here and for sure I will be transferring next transfer b/c I will have been here 6 months which is usually the limit and we have soo many people soo close to baptism...but Satan is working sooo hard. I've been trying to learn that I can't do everything and I just need to rely on the Lord.

Lots of problems but we have had amazing progress with Zaldy. He is the older brother of Mariel and he was really really against the church and her baptism...and now he wants to be baptized. He usually reads about 2-3 chapters a day and has given up smoking, when before he smoked about a pack a day. Who would have thought. He is really a leader among his group of friends and the people in the neighborhood so he is really setting an example. Amazing progress!! Our other investigator family that would be baptized is having problems, apparently the husband still drinks and punched his wife in the face. So we didn't push her to go to church. So now their baptism is postponed, please please pray for them. They need lots of help.

So beginning a new transfer I have a new district three greenies-two Americans, they knew Karlie Brand in the MTC, they say shes really cool. Its fun to have greenies before I was always the newest...haha. We are going to the temple today and have zone conference tomorrow.

As for me I'm holding up, I'm really learning to rely on the Lord and not pressure myself soo hard but sometimes it feels like there is just this amazing load on my shoulders but I have been learning from the Lord that he is able to lift those burdens. I've been reading Jesus the Christ and have been crying b/c I can't believe the great sacrifice Jesus made for us. I feel closer to Him than ever before and I am somewhat able to understand His love for his brothers and sisters, as I feel that love for my investigators. By the way I'll be more careful about the money I feel bad, its just sooo hard...all my investigators are squatters and have very little money and they always give me soo much. But I will be better. Promise!! I told them all the stuff from the packages were from my mom and that made them even more excited!!! haha. They just don't get to experience the things we get to, like good chocolate or even money to buy post its and stuff. I don't think any of us understand what we take for granted.

I can't figure out how to send pictures either with this other camera so maybe another cd but those are expensive. So I dunno. grr. haha. Well thanks for for the packages again my favorite part was the card with your voices...I think i might run the batteries out soon from listening to it soo much. But the packages were soo perfect!!! Loved them!!! By the way your tree is amazing. Please tell Janet I got her package and loved it....yummy yummy!!!! and I will write her soon!!

Naghigugma ko Kaminyo!!!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Staying in Mabolo Until Next Transfer!

Well I get to stay in Mabolo one more Transfer until January 21st!!!! 6 months diri!!! I am soo happy!!! I thought for sure I would transfer after the Ap's decided to mess with my mind and tell me I will be transferring. I tried to hold back tears b/c we should have two families baptized on Christmas and I am not ready to leave my friends.

The Christmas spirit is really amazing here. There are lights and of course they have been playing Christmas music since September. Apparently their tradition is they go to bed early Christmas eve and then wake up at midnight to watch movies and feast. I thought that is kind of a fun tradition but too bad I can't join...we are having our barkada (the group of teenage boys) perform at the ward Christmas party...I am soo excited they are really opening up even though we are sisters. We just need them to stop smoking...haha. I've been wanting to play basketball with them, too bad I am always in a skirt.

So the miracle will Sister Alma. Not a miracle, her new boss treats her badly and she cannot handle all the work, we've been trying to work it out all week. Grrr. I felt like a protective mama bear, no one treats my convert like that!!!

I don't need a new camera I will just be happy with what I have and the other missionaries have those pictures they can put them on facebook after the mish. Still no birthday package, if it wasn't airmailed then it will probably take 3 months. ughhh....but ok ra. haha... tell chels I miss her a lot and have been praying for her a ton. I sent her, hillary, dan, and janice a letter hopefully they get it.

So we have sooo many investigators right now, 25 with baptismal dates....I know your worried but you always know I push myself too hard but that's how I enjoy life just going beyond what I can do. I'll probably return with less hair and bags under my eyes but I will be more beautiful on the inside, right? I think that's how I have really learned to love these people, like already they are easy to love but since I have almost given everything I have to them including ALL my energy I have truly learned to love them more than any love I have felt before. BUT, I was reading in Jesus the Christ (amazing amazing book) that he never lost his health although he was subject to a humanly body, soo don't worry I learned my lesson...we are trying to take it a little more easy.

As for my investigators they will all be excited to know I am staying...and we have a mom daughter and son with his wife scheduled for baptism on Dec. 25 so we are very excited!! My first family baptism. The husband and wife have two very cute kids too. I would send pictures but I forgot my chord, next week!!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Last Week of 3rd Transfer, Sooo Fast

Well...I have some bad news. My camera was stolen....I am very depressed but staying as a happy missionary. So I need a new memory card b/c as of now I don't have one really...so if you could send me one that would be great. I know you have already sent some packages and I feel really bad, I am just devastated about the pictures, I had soo many of my investigators, my birthday and some really cool ones from the monk temple we went to last Wednesday. Pero ok ra because I had my investigators to cheer me up. I told them about my camera and every prayer they said was in hope that I would find my camera, I was really touched by the love they have for me. Mariel even said she would go to our neighbors and ask them if they've seen it.

Transfers are next week and my investigators said they've been praying I wont transfer, me too. It will break my heart. But lets not dwell on the negative, I'm just grateful I sent some pictures home...my camera I have now is really not good, but I'll work with what I've got....The most important part is my work, so I won't let anything get me down. By the way I told my investigators that you pray for them and love them and they were so pleased, I told them maybe one day you can meet...but I'm not sure. They were soo excited though.

On a more positive note, I have experienced a miracle this week. So S. Alma has been facing a lot of persecution and adversity in her job for joining the church. Her boss finally told her if she doesn't stop going to church she will lose he job. Well I told her that I would ask everyone if they knew of anything. So that Sunday I went around to everyone desperately looking for a job and NOTHING. I told her to continue to pray and I would pray every prayer for her. That night we were visiting the Senior Sisters and the Senior Couple called and said they had a job interview for her tomorrow and a live in house help...exactly what she needed, with their investigators. So the next morning we got up early got her ready for her interview and SHE GOT THE JOB! and it is a way way way better job and her employers are investigators and soo much nicer, bigger house and bigger pay and way nice neighborhood. MIRACLE! we were soo excited I was jumping up and down.

We are also teaching this other family right now and I love them soo much, our whole lesson was in tears b/c their father will not allow them to be baptized and they want soo badly to be baptized their date is christmas. The spirit was sooo strong and I felt absolutley filled with the spirit as I told them that if they exercise their faith and read and pray everyday they will get permission. We all cried, I love them sooo much and we just found out their mom is pregnant. So we will see what happens pray for them. Mom- Mildred then daughters Divine Mary Ruth and Mary Rose.

Also, right now we are teaching an entire barkada (kind of like a gang but not bad or violent) they are 16 to 22 yrs old and extremely talented musicians so we are having them perform at the ward talent show...I'm excited should be fun.

So I spent my birthday with the senior missionaries they cooked a thanksgiving dinner and we ate cake, it was fun but the next day my camera was stolen from our apartment...so happy and sad birthday. Its good I have an eternal perspective now b/c for the most part I was able to just put my heart break to the side and focus on the work. We have soo many amazing things happening right now. We should have a family baptized on December 18th. They are pretty amazing, the Husband (Marlon) had work and even though he asked he couldn't get it off and we thought for sure he wouldn't show up at church....but the next day there he was. Their faith just amazes me!!

Don't get me wrong I am a far far far from perfect missionary I see soo many weaknesses everyday and do a lot of repenting...haha. But I am working soooo hard, one night it felt the same way like when I was finishing my marathon just walking home...haha. The APs told us that President wanted to let us know he is very proud of the job we are doing right now and for turning around Mabolo. It felt good to have some more support. It is a very difficult job, I feel like I have all this weight on my shoulders and it might be good you can't see pictures of my b/c I look very tired. But I am happy happy happy, b/c God is blessing this area...sooo much!! Miracle....I am soo grateful for all of my experiences, not the lost camera yet...but I did learn to put material things aside b/c in the end they aren't important. Its funny I teach ,my investigators these principles and then I learn I have to live it also...haha.

And Mom I got your package...thank you...the calender was amazing and we are all excited for your next packages. Yes not just me my investigators also...so hopefully there is a little something in there for them. haha. Love you I testify about all of you all the time and your importance to me, Miss you all.



Happy Birthday Week

This week was amazing!!!! What an honor to spend my Birthday with three new members of the church that I LOVE!! For my Christmas package...do you have any piano books?? My investigators have just started to take piano lessons and they are obsessed!!! haha...so I want piano books for them...and movies are DVDs they love Legacy and Mormon Pioneer movies so like the Work and the Glory they just love it!!! Also maybe the foot steps poem and toys for the kids and of course more pictures!! I really only want things for my investigators...b/c I really don't need anything but pictures and a little love from home :)

Mabolo is doing AMAZING we are teaching two families.... two that are really progressing. I think we should have at least 8 baptisms next transfer...please really pray for them. There is soo much persecution in their neighborhood. S Delia's daughter is not speaking to her b/c of her baptism and she goes with out food for days sometimes. But she is soo strong and has an amazing attitude. I am trying to be as charming as possible and bring gifts for people so I can soften hearts to the church. But it is difficult...one Dad ended up slapping his daughter b/c he didn't want her to come to church...BUT she still came!!! These people are just amazing, and humble and add to my testimony EVERYDAY!! I have never worked sooo hard and been soo exhausted, we basically worked straight yesterday until 9 PM 15 minute lunch- but it is sooo worth it, I have never been soo happy and sooo in love with the work. The ward sees our progress too and are really wanting to help now b/c we have soo many investigators. I really love these people they consume my thoughts and energy...it is true that you will only be happy when you lose yourself in the work. Lose yourself for the purposes of God and then you will find yourself.

tapos, the culture here is soo different, walking the streets is very interesting...there are cock fights...they even put knives on their feet very bloody and spiders also fight to the death on the little stick and they make bets. Also Ive eaten heart and blood this week...loved the heart didn't like the blood. These people are just soo generous!! aLSO SOMETIMES PEOPLE SHOWER IN THE MIDDLE OF the street and lets just say I got flow blown exposure of a very fat man in a speedo that while partially removing his speedo to clean his hind side...haha.... I was like well hello mister..haha. Well I have NO TIME...I will try to send pictures soon...I LOVE YOU ALLL SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!


Baptisms and More Miracles

Thank you for all the emails- they make my day!! Another thing for Christmas packages my investigators just LOVE church movies but I am very limited so if you have ones you don't watch like Work and the Glory, or Joseph Smith Story, or the movie about Emma Smith I WOULD LOVE THAT!!

Mabolo is amazing!!! We are working soo hard but seeing many miracles. A family that has been taught since last December, FINALLY came to church for the first time and are wanting to be baptized now!!! Miracle!!! It has been almost a year but now they are getting to where they are ready!!

I love these people soo much, my heart is soo full as in!! and last Sunday I even began to realize it more, my love for these people. We were in ward correlation meeting and we have our three baptisms coming up...one being Mariel (11 years old) The bishop and his counselors didn't want her to be baptized for the fear of her going inactive. Well lets just say I fought, I actually cried in front of the whole counsel...I mean really cried, they haven't worked with her they didn't know her faith, they don't feel the love that we and God has for her. They cannot deny her, that opportunity her opportunity for salvation and becoming a member of the church after all she has worked for, and they cannot be so hopeless to say she will go inactive. I told them all of this, while I cried...haha. Embarrassing but it softened their hearts. We have some other young investigators and I just knew they need this chance, they are precious souls and no one deserves to have that opportunity taken away. I also called Pres. Hansen and he agreed with me...so I will be talking to them again and make sure that anyone who wants to be baptized will. S. Falculan and I are speaking this Sunday...hopefully we continue to soften hearts. They are really starting to help us though, they gave our new members callings and are really starting to take us seriously, probably b/c they saw us bring 8 investigators to church last Sunday!! God is really really blessing Mabolo.

So the baptisms this Sabado are really gonna be a big event. I think half the barungay are coming....tons of investigators. We are probably going to have it in a different room then the baptismal font room b/c its too small, I cannot wait!! Lots of birthday friends and I love these soon to be baptizeees!!! I cannot wait!! Sis. Falculan says I have to stay in Mabolo one more transfer to harvest these souls we've planted...I totally agree. Our investigators say they will cry if I leave and I will too. I just love them all. S. Delilah really wants to be baptized but her live in wont marry her. So we've been really praying and fasting for her, we've been teaching her about the power of prayer and that miracles can happen. Hopefully she softens his heart...I know she will. My favorite present from my investigators are the letters I've been getting from them. Its amazing to see lives change and someone faithless grow into a rock and strong gyud member of the church. We have 15 others committed for baptism. so a lot more baptisms next transfer if I stay, keep your fingers crossed!!

Courtney I love the pumpkin pie chessecake, Mom no package yet but I can't wait....well my time is up. short kaayo!!

Love you all.


Miracles in Mabolo

Salamat kaayoo for all the good news!! I love hearing everything!! Thank you for your email, everyones support means soo much to me. I felt really touched that Aunt Vickie compared me to Grandma!

This week has been AMAZING!! We had 8 investigators go to church!! and I've really been preparing for the three upcoming baptisms on November 20th!! Excited kaayoo!! They are all excited to celebrate my bday with me and I am planning a big dinner afterward and I got two investigators to cater the dinner...expensive but their souls are worth it. I keep telling everyone don't think to much about my birthday and that we are mostly celebrating the baptisms, but they are soo excited its on my birthday..haha. We are really beginning to soften these people's hearts and I feel soooo much love for these people. We have 13 people committed for baptisms but some are walay klaro. I keep telling them I don't want to be transferred b/c I want to see all of them be baptized!! Sister Erwina's sister Delilah really loves us and is opening up to the gospel but she needs to be married before there is a baptism. Mabolo is PROGRESSING gyud!! exciting. We are working soo hard, I learned the hard way I need to rest more b/c last Sunday I was on the verge of collapsing from exhausting, its just hard when there are soo many miracles happening to want to rest. But, don't worry I am taking better care of myself now.

The language is coming sooo much faster now, b/c S. Falculan talks mostly all Cebuano to me and but I'm helping her with her english at night. I don't know if we will be able to understand each other during the phone call for Christmas....it is super difficult for me to speak all english..haha.

I really love this culture and people, I just want to stay pinoy forever. and the mangoes here are unreal!! well actually all the fruit!! and Mom the bathroom thing is a secret...haha.

The charger is great!! I need more cds though, b/c I am very sick of all the music, haha. and I gave one cd to E. Johnson cause I felt bad he didn't have anyone and another to an investigator b/c she loves choirs and is sooo excited about our church music. Funny kaayoo. Her name is Sister Delia and she is a neighbor of sister Erwina. She attended the baptism of S. Erwina and there I joked with her that she would be baptized for my brithday on Nov. 20...haha! and guess what!? she is one of the baptisms!! haha amazing! I am soo excited for her, she reads 5 chapters a day and says we are her angels. She is says when I smile all she wants to do is make me happy. So basically we are harvesting all the people b/c of the baptism of S. Erwina almost all our investigators are her neighbors...haha!! Amazing...we are praying for many more miracles, and many more people to come unto Christ. We took about 9 investigators to a primary activity and they were about 3/4 of the attendance. It was Halloween, sooo fun!!! The kids are absolutely amazing here!!

I'm glad Elder Johnson is doing better, I pray for him and all my elders every night and hope they are being good...haha. Lots of temptations here for elders.

For Christmas package...more pictures like of friends things happening, print pictures from facebook. That is my favorite thing, crystal light, tank tops, cds, family home evening ideas. ambot, whatever. I just love love the packages. Thank you thank you for all the support, it means soo much to me. Things are amazing here, continue to pray for my people. Lots of love!!

Dad, I love your letters, I have little time, but thank you for writing me each week. Continue to update me on my failing cougars and your work and life!!

Oh continue to fast and pray for my investigators and new converts, they are really having some touch touch trials from family and friends...but they are soo strong and amazing!!