Magandang hapon po!
This week has been a good week. It's been so hot, but we are still working hard here in Burgos. I am loving it here. I am excited to continue working and teaching the wonderful people here. I'm trying to learn more Ilocano so that I can better communicate with the people here. Overall, I am doing wonderfully.
My companionship is doing well. We are getting better at teaching in unity and we are striving to improve in contacting as we tract. We are trying to tract more in some parts of our areas that we haven't gone to as much. We've found less actives and some new investigators, which has been good. We really want to achieve the standards of excellence. That is something we are trying to work on.
Tomorrow is my......eight month mark! Whoohoo! Time really flies when you're having fun. I can't believe my half way mark is so close. I have been a missionary for eight months, and within those eight months I have learned and changed so much.
I have grown so much since I first entered the MTC. When I was at the MTC, about halfway through my six weeks there, I started feeling inadequate. I felt like I wasn't missionary material. I felt like I wasn't the "missionary type" and that I wasn't "churchy" enough or good enough to be a missionary. I doubted my decision and wondered, "do I really need to do this?" and "is this really right for me?" As I was stressing and overthinking, we watched a talk by Elder Holland that kind of woke me up. He said that all we have to do is give ourselves - our will, our time, our heart, our mind, our strength - to the Lord, and He will make us worthy instruments. He will change us into a missionary. All we have to do is say, "Here am I, send me." When we do what He wants and don't hold back, that is when we are successful. I crept to the bathroom after the talk and knelt on the tile floor in humble prayer. I remember thanking Him, apologizing for not giving myself to Him, and I told Him that now, I was willing to start. I was willing to give myself to Him. I walked out of the bathroom, trying to hide my tears and the tile prints on my knees and legs. Just then, my district leader asked me if I would like a priesthood blessing. I was so relieved - that was exactly what I wanted. The elder gave me a beautiful blessing of comfort, one of the greatest blessings I have ever received. I remember him saying, "you're Heavenly Father wants you to know that He as always been by your side, before, now, and always." I felt so relieved and I felt such peace. When Heavenly Father is by your side, how can you have fear and doubt? You just can't! From then on, I felt like a missionary. I felt ready! Even though discouragements still come, I know that as I give myself to the work and to my Heavenly Father, it will all work out.
Right now is wedding season in Burgos! Weddings are similar to weddings in America. There's a ceremony, reception, white dress, etc. But here there's an addition....music! I don't just mean normal wedding music, but super loud, Tagalog, Ilocano, music that plays for 24 hours straight! All day, all night. There have been three wedding so far, close to our house. I like weddings, but I am NOT a fan of the music haha. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't focus on my studies, I could barely think! Next week there are more wedding next week. I am going to invest in some ear plugs this P day. Hahaha.
It is also so so so hot here right now (it was 98 degrees, but with the humidity if feels like 108). I was feeling cooler than normal the other morning so I checked my thermometer. It read 91 degrees! That's the "cooler" temp here I guess. A scary thing happened today earlier too because of the heat. I was feeling sick to my stomach and was just feeling weird. I realized that I wasn't sweating, even though my companion was. I was dizzy, my head was pounding, and my skin felt hot and tight. I was so dehydrated! I think I had a little bit of heat exhaustion. I felt like I was going to pass out in the heat. But don't worry, I drank a lot of water and Gatorade and am feeling better now. Usually I drink about 3 liters every day.
We have had a good week of teaching, even though we didn't meet some of the goals that we wanted. It seems that right when an investigator is progressing, coming to church, and preparing for baptism, the problems and distractions come and get in the way! They move, or they're busy, or they change their mind. But it's all right. We are continuing to look up! There's so much good for us to do here, and we are planting some promising seeds. Our investigators we do have are doing well. We are continuing teaching and helping them come unto Christ. Right now, we are planting. I don't know for sure, but I think I might be the "planting" type of missionary, as opposed to the "harvesting" kind. But that's okay with me. I love planting! There can't be a harvest after all if there's no one to plant. Of course, I am always looking for opportunities to harvest and I have faith that I am making a difference here. I am the happiest planter there ever was!
I love you all so much! Thank you for your prayers and all of your support. You are always in my prayers.
MAHAL KO KAYONG LAHAT!
xo Sister Allen
*Sorry, the computer I’m using won’t read my camera or SD card. So no pictures. :( Sorry!!!!!!!!