Pamilya ko, kumusta na kayo?!
MALIGAYANG MAHAL NA ARAW! [Happy Easter!]
First of all, it is most definitely summer now and we are MELTING. I forgot how unbelievably hot it gets here. Like I want to die but good thing it was SUCH A GOOD WEEK! (Is it ever not?) I feel like I say this every time but I have to say it again, we saw so many miracles this week. I love this area, I love Sister Loo and I love my calling.
This week we did exchanges with the sisters in Deparo. This was great because one I got to see Sister Sia (my trainee) and do exchanges with Sister Pau (her trainee). It was so much to tease her and make her feel awkward while I watched her be a trainer. I love her so much and I'm so proud of all she is doing! It was also great because I got to go back to my first area...it was one of the best/weirdest experiences. It was so weird to walk the same streets and talk to the same people a year later. So much has changed, I have changed. I'm so grateful for it all!! I love my mission more than anything. I also got to see the most important person to me in the whole Philippines, Sister Maricel. I don't know if you remember her but she is a 34-year-old women that is maybe 4'11", if that,who was less-active and we were the first missionaries to find her again. So is doing SO GOOD. She is preparing for the temple and going strong and she just means the world to me. As I walked up to their little cement house my heart was just pounding. The kids outside saw me and started yelling, "Sister Porter is here! Sister Porter is here!" I could just see the top of her head through the window as she came running. At that point I just booked it to her. The moment she came out we screamed, hugged and both started bawling and saying how much we missed each other. Ah that women is so incredible. I will never forget that moment. I just hope she makes it to the temple before I leave the Philippines. I want to be there so bad! She texted later that night and said, "All of my problems are still here but I don't feel them anymore after seeing Sister Porter." As we were teaching she bore testimony to her still less-active family about the difference now in her life. She said that her life changed on April 28, 2013 the first day we came. I am so grateful for God's perfect plan and how exciting it is to see how all our lives intertwine. Who knew I would fall so in love with this special women and so many others in the Philippines....but I am eternally grateful He gave me the chance.
Easterwas so incredible. First of all a less-active sister name Shirley was there with her 11-year-old son with disabilities who for the past month hasn't been able to walk, talk, sit or hardly even eat. We have all been praying for a miracle and it happened. His disabilities are still there but he is walking and beginning to talk again. So blessed. Sister Loo and I had the opportunity to speak about the Savior and Easter. We were seated on the stand a few minutes before the meeting started when I saw a family walk in the door. I absolutely freaked out and just grabbed Sister Loo and ran off the stand haha so was so confused. It was the Pangusan family, the last people in the world we expected to show up. They have been taught for years by missionaries without ever attending church or making any progress. We were re-introduced to them by a member, taught them two lessons and there they were! We grabbed Bishop and the whole ward just got excited about them. It was so great. In our gospel principles class with them, the members were fighting over who would come to their next lesson with us. It was so great. So blessed.
On a funny note, later that day,, we tracted into a family and their neighbors. As we were getting to know them I guess I zoned out for a minute. I had asked one of the men if he had a wife and was prepared to ask how many kids he had when he said yes...well that is what I though happened but when he looked all confused and said one and I looked to my side and saw Sister Loo with a terrified look on her face I knew I said something wrong...then suddenly I realized my mistake. I skipped a question and went from asking if he had a wife straight to 'how many?'. As if we don't already have a hard time helping people get over polygamy and then I asked that hahaha it was actually really funny and we all had a good laugh but it was super embarrassing. We are going back to teach them this week though :)
I am just so overwhelmed this week by the message of joy and happiness we carry and sometimes we don't ever realize it or too easily forget it. Especially this Easter, and always, I want to do better to remember my Savior-- His sacrifice, His love, His life and His resurrection. We all have the opportunity to live again as families in eternal happiness...doesn't that just make every trial, temptation and doubt seem smaller? I am so grateful for the opportunity to wear His name!
I love you all so much. Mahal na mahal ko kayo at namimiss ko kayo. Mag-ingat kayo palagi. Sundin nyo ang halimbawa ni Jesucristo at tandahan nyo yung ginawa niya para sa inyo. Dahil diyan may pagasa at kagalakan tayo. Alam ko na lahat ay posible sa pamamagitan Niya kahit anomang bagay.
Filipino Fun Fact:
This week was Holy Week which is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. They were so little cars on the road and lots of people walking. We saw people to pilgrimages with meat for I think burnt sacrifices. I also heard that a lot of people here will injure themselves for a remission of their sins and in remembrance of His sacrifice, but I didn't see it. So different. Just keeps reminding me I'm in a foreign country but at this point it feels more like home than America :)