Well...I'm not a trainer...yet! That's really the big news for the week. I also got my Christmas package from my parents! YES. Special thanks to the Grand Canyon Ward young men who wrote me notes and sent snacks! Definitely gave me a good laugh. I love Christmas. And everyone in my house is so happy because we have music to listen to now, thanks to my dad. Funny story- We turn on my ipod, and wait for the first song to come on. OF course we're so excited. Whats the first song that comes on shuffle? That father's day song the primary kids sing. Smiles turned into smiles AND tears pretty quick. We all miss our families a lot around Christmas time. Especially since the work slows down a lot here, but we have learned how to really lean on each other. And how to lean on our Heavenly Father. The sisters I live with are 23,24 and my companion is 24. Sister Asuncion always tells me: It's time to grow up Sister Gaspar de Alba! Time to be a big girl! That's for dang sure. Growing up is rough- but I'm glad I'm doing it while on my mission. I feel like there's no better place for me to grow up.
We really had some amazing lessons this week! And some really weird ones. One of our investigators who has been taught since June needed something from us, and for the longest time we have not been able to figure it out. Then the other night we went to her house and she told it to us straight. She said she has been waiting for a sign before she gets baptized, she wants Sister Waldrom to come back. She says she told God that if Sister Waldrom came back she would be baptized. We explained to her how missionaries work and how we change areas. That definitely didn't resolve her concern. Things kinda went on like that for a while and I was pretty quiet really praying for what to say. Then I repeated what she said to us before, how she asked God for a sign. I said, "Sister, God does not work that way. We don't decide how we receive answers from Him. He decides when and how we receive answers. But I do know one thing, if we don't move forward in faith and do the things He has asked for us, that answer probably won't come at all. Whether the way we expect or not." I had never been that bold before! I literally finished talking and my eyes got huge, I didn't know what I just said! But it felt right, and it really touched her. Then we went over Ether 12:6 with her. It was a good lesson and we finally got to her real concern! Love that feeling. Another cool lesson- we have been teaching an 18 year old girl who currently lives with her boss and we are not allowed to teach her in her house. The street is too noisy so I moved us to the house of some members. The completed family we baptized last month, actually. The teenage boy who has just baptized, was helping in our lesson! So precious. He bore his testimony about his baptism and really was so involved in our lesson. I told him what a great missionary he will be, and he just smiled and said he really wanted to go on a mission. He's got 4 years!
We had exchanges this week! LOVE exchanges. I went with Sister Andersen this week. She told me my tagalog has improved tons since my first transfer. She was impressed that I could teach the whole lessons. I was so happy to hear that! I've been feeling so bad about my tagalog with having a Philippina companion. I feel like there are just endless amounts of words and rules I need to learn.
We've gotten dropped a lot this week and we have been dropping a lot too- cleaning out the area book. We are tracting every day this week, wish me luck! I don't mind tracting all that much, I just don't think it's as effective. And I have to spend an extra 10 minutes explaining that I'm from America, and my last name looks Philippino because it's spanish. Then we have to steer the convo back! Kinda hard.
This week I have praying more than I have so far on my mission. The mission is so crazy- it's the most insane emotional roller coaster. I feel like your spectrum of feeling is just so much wider! Hard to imagine with me, because I already have too many emotions, i know! But I have really felt Heavenly Father's guidance this week. Pray is so powerful. Especially meaningful prayers in faith. Too often I pray kinda routinely, but it means so much more to me and to my Heavenly Father if I really just have a conversation with Him. An important thing i've also learned about prayer this week is we need to give time to listen. That quiet time after a prayer is giving Him an opportunity to answer us.
Merry Christmas everyone! Hopefully this time of year we can all find an opportunity to share with someone our feelings and testimony about Jesus Christ. I know it's strengthened my relationship with Him.
Sister Gaspar de Alba
|OUR TREE! (: and we got some presents for each other. Our Christmas party sa bahay is next monday! so excited. we are eating adobo and caldereta - by my request.|
|our weak sauce Christmas decorations. some is better than none! (and my comp brushing her teeth)|
|Me and sister andersen- classic double chin.|