This week was a good week here in Burgos! We are busy busy busy every day and are working hard. It's still rainy season here in the PH, but even though it's rainy, it's still so so hot. It rains every night, so it's cool at night which is nice. But during the day, it's just the same hot hot hot weather. Our house gets really hot during the day, but at night it's okay. We had a "brown out" (power outage) for a few hours one morning this week. If we have a brown out, we have no electricity for our fans and the water also gets shut off. No power = no water. The power went out at about 5 am and I woke up because I was sweating to death. We had to go out back and use our landlord's bumba (pump) and fill up a bucket and bring it back inside the bathroom to take our showers. It was fun. :)
My Tagalog and Ilocano are getting better and better every day. I think and dream in Tagalog. Haha. Ilocano....not yet! I can understand Ilocano, mostly, but I just can't speak it as well. I really love the Tagalog language and I feel so blessed that I have been given the gift of tongues to learn this crazy language. I've been learning children/nursery songs in Tagalog lately, which is really fun. I will sing them for you when I get home! :)
We didn't have as many lessons as our goal this week, which was a bummer, but it's okay because we tried our best. We only taught about 20 lessons. School just started here in the Philippines (it's backwards from schools in America!) so we can't teach a lot of our younger investigators as often because they are in school. We're trying to figure out how to adjust our lessons now that school has started. We try and teach the older nanays and tatays during the early afternoon and we save evenings for our youth-age and family investigators.
This week we taught a new family, the Garuella family. Jessie and Selly are husband and wife and they have four sons. The oldest three are grown up and have moved away, but the youngest, Jeffrey, still lives with them. He's deaf mute. He's really nice. He can't hear or talk, but he can read and write.....but only in English. Haha! He doesn't understand Tagalog. He also knows sign language, which is really cool. We taught them the first lesson this week: The Restoration. They believed everything we taught and were so receptive to our message. They soaked in every word. Jessie had a lot to add and had lots and lots of questions. As we were wrapping up the lesson, Jessie said, "I have a question. Don't be shocked by this but...." (I immediately was afraid of what his question would be!) He continued, "Sister, what do I have to do to be a part of this church? What do I have to do to have what you have?" Ding ding ding! Golden question! We happily told him that all he has to do is come to church and be baptized. We invited them to baptized and they both enthusiastically said "yes!" We are excited to keep coming back and teach them. It was amazing.
This week was also transfer week. Transfers didn't effect Sister Escalante and I at all. We're still here in our same area in our one cute little branch, Burgos 1st. We got a new Zone Leader in the Burgos 2nd branch, Elder Bice from Utah, and a few new missionaries in the Burgos zone. They are nice and fun!
The people who got baptized this June are doing so well. Carmelita, Kylene, and Angelica are doing well and are continuing to come to church and progress in their gospel learning. Their conversion is also getting contagious. :) We are teaching more members of Nanay Carmelita's family, including her husband, Hildo (Who hasn't smoked in two weeks! Whoohoo!). We also started teaching Angelica's mom and two siblings and two of Angelica's best friends, Sherell and Regine. Conversion really is contagious. It's amazing! We are having a lot of success with Sherell and Regine and we were able to set a baptismal date with them for the end of July.
Me and Sister Escalante are doing good. Sister Escalante is getting better at teaching every day and is starting to figure everything out better. We are also officially halfway done with training! Training is two cycles (12 weeks). We just finished the first cycle, so only one more to go! I can't believe how fast this cycle flew by.
I miss you all so much! It's hard being so far away from you, but I know that it is worth it. I miss you every day. I am so grateful for each of you and for all the love and prayers that you send me. I love you so much! I'm sending all my love to you, always. Have a fun week at the beach!
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!
xo Sister Allen
P-day at the chapel where we played basketball and volleyball.