This week was a good week. We just do what we always do every day....work! I decided to change our family motto from "work hard, play hard" to "work hard, pray hard" while I'm here. Haha! We were busy busy busy this week. We taught so many lessons this week. We had 42 total lessons this week. So many! Sister Teabwabwa and I are working hard to improve our area and help our investigators, less actives, and recent converts.
My companion and I are doing great. Sister Teabwabwa is so amazing. If I didn't have her as a companion, I would want her as a friend. We have really warmed up to each other, and she has opened up to me about her life, her mission, and her ideas. I love hearing her stories about Kiribati and about her life. She is also so funny. We laugh and laugh all day long. It makes the work that much more fun. Sister Teabwabwa really is a great missionary. She has a quiet strength that I admire. Even when she's feeling sick, can't get a hold of her family for her Christmas call, steps on nails, and all the other crazy things that happen to us here....she remains joyful. If there was one word I could use to describe her it would be joy. I want to be more like her, as a missionary, and as a person. She is also a great teacher and is helping me become a better teacher too.
This week, we were walking back from an appointment on a little dirt path through a field with cows, carabao, and goats all tied up on long ropes. They can graze and kind of go where they want, but they can't get free. We walk past there all the time, but for some reason, the carabao close to the path was grumpy....and he charged! He snorted and all of a sudden ran straight at us. Sister Teabwabwa and I screamed and were running away into the field to get away. Luckily, the rope around the carabao's neck stopped him from coming closer after a few yards. Unfortunately though, while running away, Sister Teabwabwa stepped on a nail and it went right through the bottom of her foot. Ouch! We had to get her some medication, but she's all good now.
This week we also had the Area Broadcast from the area presidency of the Philippines. I had to play the piano for the opening hymn and closing hymn. Since being here, I've survived a typhoon, a tricey crash (Fam: I don't think I told you that....but yes, I got in a tricey crash on the highway! But we were fine. Haha!), and being chased by a carabao....all of which I could handle. But playing the piano for a group of people scares me more than those three things combined. It about gives me a heart attack! I don't know why it scares me so bad. But, I played, and it was fine. I think I'd rather take a charging carabao though.....
I love my area! I love the people in it and I love the branch. It is so fun. We have great missionaries all around us as well. The elders in our same branch are the zone leaders. They are great! Their names are Elder Treyes and Elder Navarro. One Filipino, one American.
Our investigators are doing well. And....we finally had some investigators at church! YAY! We had three people come: Novi, Lady Grace, and Keishi. Lady Grace and Keishi are cousins in their late-teens, early-twenties. They are so cute and fun. Novi is a young women age investigator. She told us after church that she made a lot of friends and wants to come back to church and go to the mutual activities. It made me so happy that our branch made her feel welcome. It is so important for people to feel at home when they come to church, especially if they are an investigator. I hope all of you are kind and loving to everyone in your wards. Everyone needs a friend at church.
Update on Rosalie: We would love to talk to her husband and teach him, but he is working abroad in Taiwan and has been ever since we met Rosalie. Rosalie only has told us about him and she tells her husband about us in their phone calls. He's okay with us teaching her, but he doesn't want her to be baptized. But we got his name, phone number, and address, and are planning to refer him to some missionaries. :) He just doesn't know about the church, so he is scared. He needs some nice sisters or elders to help him out! Rosalie is doing great. She continues to read and pray. She likes to flip randomly through the Book of Mormon and just start reading. She told us that everything she reads always applies to her. It's true! No matter who you are, what you're doing, or what you've done.....the Book of Mormon applies to you.
I love reading the Book of Mormon. I have started it over myself and I am in 1 Nephi 7. I have decided to highlight all words that describe our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (like "Lord" or "God") and I am also highlighting the word "heart." It appears many times! Everything in this gospel is all about the heart....it's about love with your heart, changing your heart, and making your heart more like the Savior's.
I love being a missionary! I am more focused on the work than I ever have been. I love it here. I am getting used to the heat and the language, and I feel better than ever. It's really hard work.....but it's such happy work! There's no where else I'd rather be.
xo Sister Anna Ray Allen
Sister Allen and her companion Sister Teabwabwa