Working with Sister Hiatt. This is a part member family that we met. They really have the potential to progress and they were very interested in our message.
I have had a good week! Christmas is so close! Only 6 more days. I am so excited! Christmas is the best time of year and it is also my favorite holiday. Christmas is also a wonderful time to be a missionary. Although I do miss being home with my family at Christmastime, I also love being here in the Philippines for Christmas. Someone told me in my emails once that a mission is the only time in my life when I don't have to think about anything I "have to do." It's the only time in my life when I'll be able to think purely about others. So, I am trying to do just that! I am doing my best to lose myself in the work. I am still working on adjusting to the area. I'm trying to memorize all the investigators and all of their houses so that I am prepared for upcoming companion exchanges with the other sisters.
As for me and Sister Delinila, we are doing well. We work well together as a companionship and we have fun together. I love working with her. I am learning a lot from her. We are working hard to help the other sisters under our care. About half of our sisters are brand-new to the field, so we're trying to help them adjust by being friendly and loving. We send out encouraging texts and call at least one companionship daily. So far, they are doing well. They have good trainers and they are working hard. It makes my heart wrench to see the foreign sisters' frustration with the language barrier. I was there once, and I know what that feels like. I think it would help the foreign sisters a lot if their trainers would translate for them in lessons, meetings, and at church so that they don't feel so outcast. We're working to help each sister according to their needs.
Here's what I did this week:
Last Monday after emails, my companion and I did our usual grocery shopping and errands. We went to a mall called Robinson's to do our shopping. The mall is soooo nice. I felt like I was in America! We did our groceries and then spent about an hour window shopping. It was really fun.
On Tuesday we had our usual district meeting. I met my new district here in Santiago. It was a good meeting. I was super nervous for the whole meeting though, because afterwards, Sister Hiatt would be working with us. Pres. and Sister Hiatt do these things called, "24 hour exchanges" with the zone leaders and sister training leaders once a cycle. They draw a name of a set of zone leaders and a set of sister training leaders to work with - President works with the zone leaders, and Sister Hiatt with the sister training leaders. We were the lucky winners! I wanted to die. I thought it was going to be the most awkward thing in the world. To my surprise, it was a really good day. Sister Hiatt is the best! I got a lot closer to her over our 24 hour exchange. She is a hard worker and is up for anything. We had some really great lessons with her. She brought a special spirit into our lessons. She also brought her iPad, which we used to show the #lighttheworld video in our lessons. It was really fun! We even cooked with her and planned with her. Everything we did, she did! She's awesome.
On Wednesday, we woke up and did exercise with Sister Hiatt. She's a beast! (I mean that in a good way of course.) She was even doing one-armed push ups. Ah! We did push ups and squats and ran stairs and did jumping jacks and did ab workouts for what felt like forever. Sister Hiatt is in much better shape than I am! After, we did our normal studies with Sister Hiatt. That afternoon when we went out to work, we were searching for a less active lady we had heard about. After a while of searching, we finally found her. We introduced ourselves to her and to her family and were able to teach a beautiful lesson. They are a middle aged couple with three young kids. The sister, Sharon Manlangit, hasn't been to church since she was a teen and her husband, Ariel Manlangit, isn't a member. Brother Ariel was so involved in the lesson and was really interested in our message. He is so ready for the gospel. He told us how much he wants the blessings of the gospel for his family, and that he was willing to sacrifice for it. He even asked us if he should quit his job so that he could come to church! (We told him to maybe just ask for Sundays off first.) They are one of the most prepared people that I have ever taught. I'm so excited to keep teaching them. They asked us to come back the very next day, which we did. After that lesson, we said goodbye to Sister Hiatt and had a good afternoon of work.
On Thursday, we had a new leaders training meeting in Cauayan with President and Sister Hiatt. It was a great meeting, and I learned a lot about how I can be a better leader. It was also fun to see the other sister training leaders and get to know them better. It was uplifting and spiritual.
On Friday, we had a nice day of hard work. We taught the Manlangit family again and they accepted a baptismal date for February 2017. We are so excited for them!
On Saturday, we had a baptism of Iza and Harold Bergundo. They are so amazing! Their baptismal service was nice and they both bore wonderful testimonies.
On Sunday, we had church and some meetings and then went out of course to work work work. It was good.
I am so happy to be a missionary at this time of the year! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!
xo Sister Allen
We're cooking! We're burning the skin of the eggplant so that we can peel it off.
Us contacting a guy.
Eating lunch! We made fried bangus (or in English, fried milk fish).
Pajama picture with Sister Hiatt!
Eating dinner with Sister Hiatt.
My trainer's trainer and my trainer's trainer's trainer visited us this week!
They are so cute. They fed us McDonald's. :)