This week flew by so fast. It was a very good week for me. I am doing well. I am enjoying the work and getting to know the area better. This week I have been working on not being too quiet or shy to the members so that I can establish a good relationship with them quickly. Sometimes I'm shy and quiet at first, but I'm trying to break that so that I can establish better friendships. I'm getting better! I am happy!
Sister Barranco and I are doing great. We've become close already. Working with her is easy. Our work and lessons just flow well and go smoothly. Even though we've only been companions for a short time, we already have unity and a good system of teaching. We were very busy this week with lessons and teaching and working hard. The work is much faster paced here, mostly because there is more people here in the city and the houses are closer together. We taught almost 40 lessons this week. It has been pretty cool weather here, which is surprising. They say that Tuguegarao is the hottest place in the PH, but his time of year is the "coldest" so I guess that balances out the heat. It's pretty warm during the day, but it's rainy in the evening and cools down a lot at night. We just got a text with a typhoon warning, so the weather will probably be pretty rainy this coming week. When it rains here, it rains HARD. Like, you're soaked in two seconds hard. Good thing we always carry our umbrellas!
Here are some fun things to know about my new area, Penablanca, Tueguegarao: Out of all the cities here in Northern PH, Tueguegarao has the most tricies of all! There are tricies everywhere here in Tugue (short for Tuguegarao). People also ride in things called kalesas. They are little horse drawn carriages that you can ride in for transportation. Students like to ride in them a lot because they are cheaper than tricies. I haven't ridden in one yet. The horses here are very small! Not like the horses in the US. Here in Tugue, their specialty food dish is called "batil patong." It's noodles with toppings of meat, egg, veggies, and this yummy sauce. It's good! In my area in Penablanca, the native language is Itawis. Yes...another language! But I won't be learning this one, haha. Thank goodness. People here mostly speak Tagalog, but there is some Ilocano too. Only people from Penablanca speak Itawis. There are so many languages here in the PH! Missionaries always joke that the tower of Babel was here in the PH, and that's why there's so many languages. In our area, most people work as farmers (farming corn or rice) or they work at the gravel and sand companies. There's a big river running through Penablanca where they excavate sand and gravel. Because of that, our area is pretty dusty. We live pretty close to the river.
I really love it here in Penablanca! I had missed my mountains. I love the mountains here....even though walking all day in them gets me winded sometimes haha. It is very foresty and lushy green here. When we walk through our area, sometimes I feel like I'm walking through the Jurrassic Park set because it's so green and wild looking. I love it!
This is my week:
On Tuesday we had our District Meeting with our district leader, Elder Clarite. All the people in my district are awesome. We learned and practiced "How to Begin Teaching." If you don't know what that is, you can look in Preach My Gospel. That is what we as missionaries do when we teach the very very first lesson to people and how we establish good relations with the people that we teach. It's always important to make a good first impression! It was a good meeting. That afternoon, we just taught a bunch. We taught two cute girls, Cindy and Jannalyn. They have been investigators for a while and have been coming to church for about three months. They haven't been able to get baptized yet because their mom doesn't want them to. We met their mom this week and were so nice and tried to build some trust with her. We're trying to soften her heart. We have yet to crack her shell, but we're trying. Cindy and Jannalyn are so cute. I know that someday, they will be able to be baptized.
On Wednesday we had another busy day of teaching. We taught this old less active lady named Nanay Valeria. We teach her a few times a week. She's almost deaf, so for us to teach her, we have to sit next to her right ear (her good ear) and shout at her. I always feel silly teaching her because I feel like I'm screaming. But she loves it! She loves us to come and visit and loves to hear our lessons. She is very old and lives all alone, and I think she is very lonely. It always makes her so happy when we come to visit.
On Thursday we had another good day of work. Work work work work work. :)
On Friday we taught a bunch of lessons. One of our lessons was with a young girl named Perlyn. She will be baptized pretty soon. We always start our lessons with a hymn, and my companion chose "Joy to the World" for us to sing. (Christmas already?!?! Hahaha). When I handed Perlyn my little hymn book to borrow, she said, "wait, where's the hymn?" I responded, "There! The one that says "Joy to the World." She looked confused and said, "Oh! I always thought it was called "JOIN to the World." I laughed so hard! So now when I sing that song, I always say "join" instead of "joy." Hahaha.
On Saturday we taught a ton. We met so many nice people and taught so many great lessons. It was wonderful.
On Sunday, we had church. It was good.
That was our week! It was so great and it went by so fast. I love being a missionary!
I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week!
xo Sister Allen