Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 5

Continuing madness this week. Every week there's something extra in our schedule so it's made for a crazy transfer! We had check-ups this week, which was awesome. All the new missionaries and trainers meet together and I got to see my batchmates from the mtc! So great. We told funny stories about being here and basically cried together tears of joy from reuniting. Love those girls. I ate a most delicious mango shake this week. Definitely tasted some condensed milk and nutmeg. Tasted like dad's papaya shake. My companion had some really golden one-liners. Also, we decided to really make the absolute best of our time together because what are the chances that people as similar as us get put together again? slim to none. mostly none, though. We got a referral this week from our 13 year old investigator...SO CUTE. he's already a missionary, we were so touched. Elections are going on this week and the traffic has been insane! Basically every candidate puts words to an american pop song and blasts it though every neighborhood. The cars start at like 6 am and go non stop! Thank goodness the madness ends today. Also, philippinos LOVE karaoke. i heard a celine dion song this week...reminded me of abuelo.

We had some really great lessons this week! Also a really terrible one. I had that one lesson that every new missionary needs to have…where your investigator randomly brings up all these concerns right before their baptism. Then she asked so many deep doctrinal questions. It was so hard to bring it back and to feel the Spirit. And we couldn't even understand a lot of what she was asking because we didn't know a lot of those words in tagalog. crazy. but we went back again and just really emphasized our purpose and helped her understand more about the book of Mormon and joseph smith. Which is definitely the answer to everything! I could just feel the difference in my ability to understand and teach in tagalog and english when the Spirit was there.

We taught a lesson in a tree house this week. Literally the size of the tree house, but it was on the side of the road. i love this place! Several times a day i just look around and kind of laugh to myself. Who on earth would have thought I would have come here? So cool (: I love those moments.

I read from 3rd Nephi to the end of the book of Mormon this week! Literally could not stop reading. My testimony of the book of Mormon has grown so much as I’ve really read it with the desire to learn. I can remember things more easily during lessons and I just love reading it. On our way back from checkups this week, we had a really cool conversation with the AP's and Sister Burt about some deep doctrine my companion and I have been talking about. Interesting conversations for sure! I love being around other missionaries.

Have a great week!

love, sister gaspar de alba

me and my girls!!! YES. after check ups on thursday. it was so good to see them again! they were all in my district in the mtc

sister meti making us chicken curry. i was basically in HEAVEN.

sister burt was in my district in the mtc and we are in the same district in the field! seriously she has been such a comfort to me. shes also basically the smartest and most cultured person i know (after my dad)! i love her. this is our first trip to mcdonalds in the peenes! after district meeting on wednesday. i get to see this girl once a week. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week 4

Time is seriously the weirdest concept on the mission. It goes by fast...but at the same time it doesn't! Every day is long, but by the end of the week it feels like only one day. It was a great week here in the Philippines! There was an earthquake but it was really far. Natural disasters here are pretty much no big deal because they happen all the time. I have 31 mosquito bites on my legs. That's not fun and pretty ugly. But good for practicing self control. Pray I dont get danghi! a lot of people get that here. We met an american this week. He was from Hawaii. Kinda interesting. Of course i was so excited! YES. we get to teach an american. oh wait...hes a seventh day adventist. He actually ended up trying to teach us. But don't worry everyone, I definitely asked him if he ever heard the missionary discussions. He said he has a lot of mormon friends but hasn't ever heard from the missionaries. I gave him a pamphlet and talked to him for a bit. Random thing for the week- I heard my fav shakira song! estoy aqui (madeline, rebecca and gab heres a shoutout!) it was so funny! also, I heard faithfully by journey and a depeche mode song. Not going to admit i enjoyed it. definitely not.

We taught a lesson to 23 kids this week. One of our investigators has a one room house and we fit 23 neighbor kids who wanted to listen! Kinda interesting...but we are hopefully teaching their families this week. 9 of them actually came to church. The sweet bread here is so good! We have this one bakery that we aways go to. And we know when the bread is hot and fresh-life literally can't get better than walking to a lesson as a missionary in the philippines, eating tinapay that melts in your mouth. with lechera on top! i love this place. also i had adobo this week! finally. it pretty much blew my mind. people can cook here. the food is so good. i also had sinigan which tastes a lot like caldo. it was really good.

We committed 3 people to baptism this week! rackin up those numbers! hopefully they stay. Our investigators are doing good. And i am hopefully getting better at teaching. This week I learned a lot about following the Spirit when you teach. Our lessons this week were really powerful as we did that. I felt like because I really listened to them and their needs, I learned to love them. I felt that love this week. Coolest feeling ever (: I felt real love for them and want for them to develop testimonies about Jesus Christ. This week I read 3rd Nephi. Always a pleasure. Studying the scriptures is my favorite part of the day, I am learning so much.

 I love being a missionary! Our ward had a fireside yesterday and we did some practice teaching with the members helping them learn how to approach their friends. It was SO good. and we had a great turn out! my ward here is so great. We get so much help and support from them, and they are so strong in the gospel. I am really blessed to work with them.

sister gaspar de alba

me, sister waldrom(my companion), and sister meti! she's literally the cutest ever.

just the usual...walking in the rain! ps- not all our neighborhoods are this pretty!

classic tricycle ride with sister becking. literally...most sisters cant even fit in one with their companion. my head touhes the roof. basically, its like in the aristocats when they use that side car thing. but it has a cover on top. they are so cool!

me and my comp chowin down on some mang inasal- our fav restaurant! unlimited rice. thatswhatimtalkinbout

here's a bunch of sisters in my ward. they are great(:

sister caunin! we work with her a lot. she is an rm and her husband is the first councelor in the bishopric. she is seriously the funniest. love her!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 3

There were complaints from some family members (mom) that i don't write enough in my weekly email. We don't have time! We have an hour and lots of people to email. So stressful! Anyway, I will get all the details out eventually. This week was good, the days are starting to go by at a decent pace now. For some reason I forgot my name tag like 4 times this week! SO embarrassing. And a pain for my companion. This was definitely a week of firsts. I had my first soda in a bag, first typhoon, first massively huge spider in our house, saw my first entire cleaned out pig hanging in a eat shop. It was also a really busy week! With conference, and exchanges. We went on exchanges with the sister training leaders. Who actually live with us, so it was cool. We ask them questions all the time! They are such pros. I learned so much about using time more effectively. We also had zone dinner last night which was pretty cool...they fed us a huge 36 inch pizza! And fried chicken and rice. They eat so much fried chicken here, its crazy. CONFERENCE WAS SO GOOD. seriously. conference is like Christmas on the mission. We were so excited and loved it and it ended way too fast! But really...I learned something from every talk. And there were so many things that I can use to help my investigators with. I loved, loved Elder Holland's talk, and Elder Scott's talk about the Atonement. Also, pretty awesome singing called to serve with everyone! I had one of those really cheesy cry moments. But it's just so exciting to be a missionary right now. This week was so great with this one family we are working with. The parents are working towards getting back to the temple, and getting ready for their 2 last kids to be baptized in November. I love teaching about eternal families. And I am so happy for this family! I just finished Alma yesterday and realized i started 2nd Nephi in the MTC. I love how much study time we have. The Book of Mormon has become so precious to me as I’ve really studies it with the desire to learn. I know it's true, and the teachings in it are of Christ. If you let them. The scriptures can become a huge source of comfort and peace in times of trial.
Love you all!
Sister Gaspar de Alba

Riding in a Jeepney, going out with a member

Me and my trainer!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Week 2 in the San Pablo Philippines

Hello hello everyone! This week was pretty great. I'm still adjusting and I still wake up kinda shell-shocked but it's getting tons better. I've prayed a lot this week and i've felt the prayers of so many loved ones! THANK YOU! i needed them this week and they really became a strength to me. This week I committed 3 people to baptism, and we had 2 other investigators tell us incredible experiences they had with coming to know the church is true. I am so so grateful I'm here! I've had a lot of time to think and kinda regroup this week. And I've gotten some great advice from everyone. I really am blessed to be here with these people. Philippinos are really funny! They are probably the friendliest people ever. Anyone we talk to agrees to let us share a message with them and people are just so happy here and smiling all the time. Plus it helps that my companion and me are American. We definitely get some creeps but for the most part, people want to talk to us. Literally everywhere we go people say hi to us and wave and gawk at us. Its like we're strolling down a dang red carpet or something! So funny. Probably doesn’t help that my companion is literally the prettiest! People take sneaky pics of us all the time...awkward. But anyway, I love the people. And the ward we are is is so amazing. A lot of the members do so much for us. We get fed a lot and they come out with us to most of our lessons. There are like 5 single women in our ward who are RMs and they come with us on the daily. They are so great! And their conversion stories have been so inspiring to me.
They are already playing Christmas music here! CRAZY! But it's cool...they play a lot of Buble. kinda funny. My companion has introduced me to her snacking ways in the peenes. We love ChocoMuchos and going to little bakeries to buy breads for one peso! There are little bakeries and tindahans everywhere! Everyone runs them out of the front of their house. I made fresh veggies this week. I feel so much better! That food in the MTC is seriously super gross. I eat fruit every morning and rice like every night. They eat a lot of roasted chicken here, not so bad. I did laundry by hand! Only took about an hour, i was impressed. The transportation system here is seriously the best! There are jeepneys going both directions of the main road that everyone uses. You just hop on the one that says the place our going to. You pay 20 cents and if you have to go into a little town called a Barangay, you get on a tricycle and drive out for like 16 cents! Look up pics, the trikes are super funny looking. For exercise, I literally runs laps around my tiny house for 20 minutes! I couldn’t sleep well last week, so I started doing better with exercising and drinking tea. They've really helped me sleep.
We have had a lot of fun this week! My companion and I have had all the big convos that really bring you together! And we laugh a lot and smile a lot. I feel a lot better this week! As i've kinda adjusted and accepted how things are here, I've been able to forget myself more. This work is amazing and I am so blessed to be a part of it. I know Heavenly Father answers prayers and he does that because he loves us. I know the book of mormon can give you guidance for any problem you have. It's done that for me several times this week.
seester gaspar de alba
ps- the philippinos english totally sounds like mexican english. it's kinda the same accent. so i can totally understand their english! i'm going to come back and sound like nacho libre!