Happy last week of summer to you! I guess that's not really happy....but still. I hope you have a wonderful last few days of summer! Yay! I can't believe I’ve been on my mission for a year! Sometimes it feels like I only left yesterday, and other times it feels like I've been away for a lifetime.
This week has been pretty good. I am doing great! Still here, still happy. :) It's been pretty rainy and cool this week, which has been nice.
I'm not sure if the Filipinos watch the Olympics, but everyone is sure hyped up about the Filipina weight-lifter that got the silver medal. Her face is all over the place and everyone's talking about it. I wasn't even aware that the Olympics were happening right now, until someone told me that the Philippines got a silver medal. Haha, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to "world happenings" right now. That's the life of a missionary!
On Tuesday we had a district meeting with our new district leader, Elder Davis. It was okay. We talked about the Book of Mormon and how we can use it better in our teaching. Then we came home, had our studies, and went out to work. One of the investigators we taught was Frechelle. She is 13 years old and her dad is an inactive member. Frechelle is silly sometimes, but she really wants to make her life and her family better. We just read a chapter from the Book of Mormon with to her to help her start reading. If our investigators don't read, we read with them. I hope she starts reading on her own! It's really frustrating when an investigator or others tell you they will do something, something that you know will help them and bless their life, and then they don't do it. It's irritating! But everyone has agency. We had to come back early after that because Sister Escalante was throwing up. Yuck! But she quickly got better. It was probably something that she ate.
The highlight of our day on Wednesday was our lesson with Nanay Basilisa. (Her name makes me think of the Basalisk in Harry Potter....hahaha) We have been teaching her and her husband, Tatay Jesus, and they have a baptismal date in the near future. Tatay was at work, so we just taught Nanay. We taught her the Word of Wisdom. We were kind of nervous going in because Nanay ALWAYS has a cup of coffee in hand, but of course we shared boldly and lovingly and she was able to understand. She said her only issue is coffee, and she was very willing to stop drinking it. She told us that before, she was a heavy smoker, but she stopped. I asked her how and why she changed. She told us that she was sick all the time and was always in and out of the hospital. The doctors told her she needed to stop smoking. Her life was at stake. She said to us that she prayed every night to God to help her stop smoking and promised that she would stop. After, whenever a temptation or urge came to smoke, or she even saw or smelled someone smoking, she would throw up. I guess that's how Heavenly Father answered her plea for help. She said she hasn't smoked since, and even now, cigarettes still make her want to vomit. God works in mysterious ways. :)
On Thursday and Friday we just worked and worked and worked! Nothing notable happened (at least that I can remember haha).
On Saturday we spent the day tracting (going house to house) in a part of our area called Luna with some of our branch members. To be honest, tracting isn't my favorite. It's difficult and sometimes awkward, but we do it all the time because it is very necessary. We are always in need of new people to find and teach! Our tracting on Saturday was actually really fun and we met some great people. We were lucky to teach to three new investigators, and they all accepted our message and want us to come back again. We're excited to go back there and tract and teach again.
On Sunday, we worked in the closest part of our area, San Antonino, with some of our members again. My favorite lesson we taught was with Nanay Carmelita, our recent convert who was baptized in June. As part of being a new member, we teach her all the lessons again. Yesterday, we finished teaching her all of the lessons for a second time. Her grandson (who is more like her son because she raised him), Jason, was with us and bore his testimony to her for the first time. Jason is kind of shy and always was unwilling to bear testimony to his Nanay, but yesterday he finally shared to her his testimony. It was such a beautiful testimony, and I could see in Nanay Carmelita's eyes that she was feeling the Spirit, and that she was so proud of Jason. I felt so much love during that testimony, and such Spirit. That was a very powerful moment.
I am so happy here! I love the PH! I love being a missionary! I hope you all have a wonderful week. Keep being amazing and doing amazing things.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO SO SO MUCH!
xo Sister Allen
A nanay in our branch made us doodle, which is like corn bread but more sticky. It's yummy!
With some of the members of our branch. I cracked up at the little boys in the middle. They were too focused on their basketball video game, haha!!