Hello. I am good! I am happy! I am hot all the time! But I love it here! I really feel myself growing in so many ways emotionally and spiritually. Rice belly is real, but I am trying not to grow in that way any more. Ha!
Here, everyone was listening to Christmas music when I got here at the beginning of October! There's Christmas everywhere and people even say "merry Christmas" already to each other. Even in sacrament meeting they said, "Merry Christmas and welcome to sacrament meeting." Hahaha. It's weird, but fun. It makes me smile!
People do have a hard time with money here. Most people we teach don't even have money to travel to the chapel, and many of the old women aren't able to read the Book of Mormon or the pamphlets we give them because they have no money for reading glasses. It really makes me thankful for everything that we have, and I am so thankful for the life I was given in a nice home, and a family that has all they need.
The language is good, but hard. Everyone tells me I am good at speaking, but I still feel insecure about it sometimes. I can understand almost everything, but speaking is harder. I am getting better and learning every day. I just started reading the Book of Mormon in Tagalog. It's really hard, but I like it and I am learning.
I think I say this every week but....what a week! It's true, every week here in the mission field is great. I am growing and learning more each day. My testimony of missionary work and of this gospel grows more and more each day. More than I ever thought it could.
Yes, we are teaching a lot of people. We have about 40 lessons a week and contact over 70 people each week. It's really great! I'll tell you more about each of them next week. I'm almost out of computer time!
I was so stressed this week about becoming a better missionary and about meeting and making goals. So many names, needs, lessons, goals, and plans were running through my mind. As I sat and pondered about them, I realized that my fears weren't in the right perspective. I was stressing about our work in a daily and weekly perspective, when really, our work is for eternity. I realized I needed to have an eternal perspective. When we put our fears into an eternal perspective, they become nonexistent. We need not fear, because we are on God's side! I have a strong testimony of the power of making goals and plans, and I know that if Sis. Maroket and I plan and make goals according to what God sees fit - always keeping in mind that it is HIS plan, not ours - we will be able to succeed. Like one of my favorite scriptures says: "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (D&C 6:36). If we have any fears, when we put our Savior and the plan of salvation into the picture, our fears disappear. Really, we have nothing to fear. I am so thankful to have an eternal family and for the perfect plan that we have.
Our area is getting better each week. We have been able to coordinate more with the branch and the Branch Mission leader, and we have made some good plans together. We've planned for a half-day mission, a missionary fireside with us and the ward missionaries, and are making plans to get more members present in our lessons in the coming weeks. We are still struggling to bring our investigators to sacrament meeting. Most of them have work on Sunday, or don't have the money to travel to the chapel. But, things are looking up. We have one sister, Sister Jen Aguirre, who just got Sundays off from work, so she will be able to come to church. Sis. Maroket and I were so happy when she told us that she could come, we were practically jumping up and down with excitement. She is really progressing, and we are excited for her to come to church. I fasted for our investigators last week that they would be able to come to church, and my prayers and fast was answered! Sister Jen said she will come to sacrament meeting next week, and that she really wants to come to church and get baptized. I love her and am so excited for her. She is 17 years old.
I am so proud to be a missionary. I am so proud to be a missionary, here, in the Philippines Cauayan Mission. This is a great place, where great things happen. I am continuing to adjust every day, and I can feel myself growing and stretching in knowledge and faith. I know that through Jesus Christ, my Savior, all missionaries can become great, and that through His infinite sacrifice of love, we can do all things. I know He leads, guides, and walks beside me every second of every day.
I love you all! Always remember how amazing each of you are and how much you are loved.
xo Sister Allen