Malibagong taon! (Happy New Year!) I can't beleive 2015 has already come to a close. Hello, 2016! I am excited for this year! Thinking that I will be a missionary for this entire year is crazy. It seems really long. But, I am so so happy to be here! I think this will be a good year for all of us. New Year's here in the PH is so exciting! People love it here. We returned to our apartment at 6 pm and had a nice dinner of spaghetti. (Hooray! No rice!) Then we watched Inside Out. It was so cute! I really liked it. And yes, I cried multiple times. I think I've cried in every movie I've ever watched haha. There are a lot of gospel themes that I saw while watching, but one that has been on my mind is about talents. Towards the end of the movie, when Rylie is on the bus running away, all of the islands in her mind are destroyed and the little Headquarters workers can't make her feel anything. This part made me think about how important it is for us to develop and keep our own "islands" of personality in our lives. The scriptures teach us over and over again to develop our talents and to continue to grow and improve. And if we don't develop our talents and try to grow, we will become like Rylie: we will feel nothing. I think that is exactly what Satan wants us to feel. Satan wants us to feel nothing and be nothing. But, through our talents, our families, and our experiences, we grow, our personalities grow, and little "islands" of personality and experience appear in our minds. This church encourages FHE, family time, sharing talents, has callings for people to show their talents, and encourages people to grow in knowledge and experiences. I really enjoyed the movie and New Year's, here in the Philippines.
There were SO MANY fireworks. Everyone has the big up-in-the-sky ones that explode out. And there was also these dynamite fireworks too that were so loud, our house shook. EVERYONE at midnight was lighting up fireworks. We were allowed to watch the fireworks at midnight, which was awesome. Everywhere you looked, there were fireworks in the sky. There was a lot of smoke too. At midnight, I heard everyone cheering, car horns honking, and more fireworks. No one does New Year's like the Philippines! It was a lot of fun!
This week I also got a new companion: Sister Teabwabwa! She is from Kiribati, which a little island in Polynesia. I was so so nervous when we got assigned and I had a little breakdown when my nanay/trainer left me, but I am so happy now. Sister T is a great companion and is so wonderful! She is so humble and so strong. I admire her very much. She is the epitome of peace and quiet grace. She is a great missionary, teaches very well, and has a lot of good ideas for our area and companionship. I can see how much she loves missionary work and how much she relies on the Savior for strength. Also, since our common language is Tagalog, I am speaking more Tagalog and am learning more about the language. I think I have learned more this one week than in my first twelve weeks here. I am looking forward to this cycle with Sis. Teabwabwa!
Our investigators are doing well too. I had a cool experience with one of our investigators this week. Her name is Rosalie and she is about 28 years old. She reads and prays every day, and wants to get baptised, but her husband doesn't want her to. When we got to her house, I introduced my new companion to Rosalie. Rosalie told us that she knew my companion and that she had seen her before. They are from different countries, and it is impossible that they could have seen each other. But, I got an impression in my mind that Rosalie and Sister T knew each other before they came here to this earth. It was a subtle thought, but I know it is true. I felt the Spirit so strong. I just smiled and laughed and moved on with the lesson. But, I think that they really did know each other before. I am excited to continue teach Rosalie with Sister T.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! MAHAL NA MAHAL KITA!
So sad to say good-bye to my first companion.
The sky was purple!
The coolest tricey ever!
(A popular mode of transportation is the motorized tricycle, for hire like a taxi. The "tricey" is the most popular means of transport in small towns, especially in the rural areas. They are usually made by building a sidecar and attaching it to a motorcycle.)