Monday, November 21, 2016

I'M 21! HOLY COW!  My companion decorated the apartment with these balloons for me. :)  

Hello po! 

I have had an excellent week.  I am now 21!  Ahh!  Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes and all the love.  I was so surprised when I opened my email this morning and saw that I had FORTY emails from my ward, family, friends, and people that I love.  Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness and kindness.  I felt your love!  I am thankful for each of you.  Thank you so much!  I had a great birthday.  The pday before my birthday, I treated my companion and housemates to lunch.  Birthday celebrations in the PH are backwards....if you have a birthday in the US, everyone treats you.  In the PH, you treat everyone else!  So I celebrated my birthday Filipino style by treating them to lunch at a yummy restaurant in Tuguegarao.  It was fun!  On the morning of my birthday, I woke up to my housemates and companion singing "happy birthday."  They decorated my desk with balloons and a happy birthday sign.  It was cute and simple and perfect.  I also opened my birthday package from home that I had been saving.  I loved it!  Thank you so much.  After that, it was a normal day.  We taught a bunch of lessons in Alimannao and had a good day of hard work.  I didn't want attention, so I didn't tell anyone that we visited that it was my birthday.  I didn't want the focus to be on me.  It was a perfect day.  That night, we bought a yummy dinner of 15-peso fried chicken, rice, and banana cake (Anna banana cake!).  It was yummy and just what I wanted haha.  As soon as we got home for the night and for dinner, it started raining really hard and the power went out, so I ate my birthday dinner by the light of my flashlight.  It sounds like a weird birthday, but it was perfect for me!  It's so crazy to think that I have already spent two birthdays in the PH!  I am excited for this, my 21st year. 

My companion and I are doing well.  I love Sister Urdaneta!  She is one of my favorite companions that I've ever had.  She's so spiritual, obedient, fun, and energetic.  She is a great missionary and we are working well together.  I can already see how good of an influence she has been on the area.  She's amazing! 

It was a good week.  We had almost 30 lessons this week.  This week was very very rainy.  It rained hard for five days straight!  Actually, it is good that it rained so much so that all the green of the plants and trees can grow back again.  Everything was muddy and slippery and all the people were inside their houses for the whole week.  One of the rainy days, we were working and had just come from an appointment on the third story of an apartment building.  The slippery stairs and my slippery rubber shoes were not a good combination.  I slipped pretty hard and fell down one flight of stairs, my bum bumping from one step to another.  Somehow, I landed perfectly on my feet on the last stair.  If I were in the Olympics, I would have got the gold!  When I landed I saw a girl standing there, staring at me, about to come up the stairs.  I blurted out, "hello po," and walked away.  Sister Urdaneta and I have been laughing about it for days.  She calls it, "the Fall of Sister Allen."  After that, my bottom, neck, and arms were pretty sore, but I'm fine! 

Our work is doing okay.  We don't have anyone that is really progressing right now, but we are still searching for those golden investigators that are waiting for us.  We found two really great investigators, Linda and Rozan Cancejo.  Linda is 59, Rozan is Linda's 15 year old niece. They have huge potential and I can see that they really want to attend church.  Right now, they are struggling because they are shy to come to church.  We're looking for a perfect fellowshipper/friend for them.  This week Linda accepted the invitation to be baptized.  I'm excited to see what happens in the coming months. 

On Saturday we had a CSP (Community Service Project) at the house of one of the widows in our ward.  Her house got completely torn apart from the typhoon, so we helped her put it back together.  Even though it rained hard the whole time, we still had a lot of fun and got a lot done.  We moved and organized the new and old wood, swept water out of her house, washed things, and moved metal roofing.  It was hard work, but fun!  I always really enjoy CSP's. 

This coming week is Thanksgiving.  Obviously, Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the PH, but I of course will celebrate it!  I hope all of us can take some time this week to count our blessings.  I am so thankful for so many things.  I am so thankful to have served a mission here in the PH.  I am thankful for my eternal family.  I am thankful for the gospel.  I am thankful for being born in such a wonderful place to such good parents.  I am thankful for clean water.  I am thankful for flush toilets.  I am thankful for the simple things in life that make life so great.  I am thankful for email!  I am thankful for my mission president and his wife.  I am thankful for the Grandview 1st ward. I am thankful for each of you.  I am grateful to be a missionary.

I love you all so much!  I hope you all have a fabulous week.

xo Sister Allen

On my bday we taught this group of kids. 
 They are a mix of members and recent converts.  
They are crazy!  But I love them. 

Me and those cute crazy children. 

Me and my cute housemates and comp.  I love them!
We are in our "Mormon Helping Hands" uniform.

The destruction of the house.  No roof!

The church donated wood and yero (metal roofing) for the repair work.

Me, Sister Fukofuka, and Sister Undaneta at the CSP.  
A few of the guys from the Elders Quorum are in the background, fixing the roof.

This is Tatay Chito (yes as in Cheetos) fixing the roof while we were cleaning up inside.  
Kind of dangerous, but the Filipinos don't do it any other way haha.

The group of Elders Quorum, Relief Society, and single adults that helped out at the CSP.  
There was a lot of us, so the work got done fast!

Me at our CSP washing and washing and washing those white trays.  
The Nanay who owns the house has a business selling nata de coco.  
We helped her out by washing and fixing and cleaning her house.  

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