Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Week 34 - Feeling the heat

Week 34
All the weeks are blurring together! It takes a really decent amount of effort to try and remember what happens when. Shout out to the Berk&Kara Whetten fam who hooked me up with some mexican candy that everyone here has loved. It's always wonderful to get packages from the family! I got one from mom, too. But the best part of every package is letters and pictures from all the crazy kids and cousins! and my parents, too. I feel like myself again in all the bright colored tees she sent me. This week we got over 20 referrals. YES. that is some awesome member work. We had lots of new investigators last week and about 6 of them are really prepared people to hear the gospel. Miracles(: This week was SO hot. I was dizzy for like 4 days straight. This filipino heat is killer. But it's started rainy season so i'm pretty excited. 

We tried a lot of new things last week. We started doing shorter, more frequent visits with our investigators. It's really helped us to find those people who are ready to accept the gospel. We had a really great lesson with a family who was referred to us by their member neighbors. It's so cool to recognize Heavenly Father's hand in our lives and to notice His had in the lives of others. He is so patient with us. 

Last week was a little rough emotionally. The mission is hard in that way, I feel like my emotional spectrum is even wider. Yeah, it's possible. BUT. My companion is amazing and helps encourage a lot. Even though I have been out on the mission for a while now, I still miss home every now and then. And that's okay as missionaries. That's not going to go away. But what I've learned this week is how important it is to just be where He wants us to be. And decide to always be happy about it. I love being here in the Philippines on a mission, sometimes I just forget how much I love it. The best thing I have found to do when I feel like I am stuck in self-pity is to just get outside and work. To pray and make the decision in my head that I am going to stop thinking about myself. Then muster up the courage and strength to do it. And The Lord really helps us as we do that. He gives us the strength we are lacking. 

Life lessons on the mish- priceless!
Love to all!

Sister Gaspar de Alba

 a super yummy dinner at the house of one of our members. 

 this is mayce! she enters the MTC in about 2 weeks. we are so excited for her 

Week 33 - busy week, golden contact, 9 months down, 9 to go

Week 33
Busy busy busy. We need 30 hour days- there is no time for everything we have to do! But it's good, i'm learning some hard core time management. This week we had 3 convert baptisms in our ward YAY! 2 from the other sisters and one from us. So exciting. Hearing their testimonies is such a cool thing. It is literally so hot here, I'm pretty sure my boy just never cools down. Also we saw President a few times this week! Always a pleasure. 

So the baptism was so great! This man was so ready to be baptized. He was actually an OYM. (street contacting) And we gave Him a book of mormon when we met him. Came back 2 days later and he had read some of it and had lots of questions. He has a really different learning pace than i'm used to. Even for here. We had to start from the very VERY basics and move very slow. This man has taught me more about patience than anyone I have ever taught or worked with. He wasn't really progressing for the first 3 weeks of teaching but we kept feeling like we needed to keep coming back. 3 months later, he's at the pulpit with tears in his eyes sharing with us his testimony of the book of mormon and Joseph Smith. What a privilege it has been to teach him. Also cool thing- he told us last week that he had been taught by elders about 10 years ago. WHAT! We never knew that. There really is a right time for everyone to accept the gospel. If they choose to. But The Lord really provides a way. 

Me and my companion have just been having more and more fun. She is literally hilarious. One of my favorite things she has said to me was this last week. We had already finished planning, it was about 9 pm and she made some eggs and rice. So she said- come eat! the food's ready. I told her I was too tired that I was just going to go to bed. She says in one of those annoying mom tones- "hey- come eat this food. If you don't eat it now, you are going to be hungry in 20 minutes and eat it then. Then you'll have to waste time and re-heat it because you're too mayaman (rich/spoiled) to eat cold food. And if you don't eat, you won't be able to sleep. So come eat it right now!" I seriously laughed so hard. haha! She knows me all too well. 

This week I kinda hit a breaking point. On saturday, ALL our speakers for the baptism fell through and like basically the whole program. That morning i was reading in PMG about being effective with time and planning. So of course I was questioning everything we had decided and planned for the coming week. Anyway so I totally lost it and started crying as I was explaining to my companion what i was thinking. classic. She is the best. She kinda laughed a little and said to quit worrying so much. That it would all work out. So we re-did some weekly planning and wrote a list of solutions for my problems. Literally solving the problems we have in life is so simple. We need to pray and ask for direction, study it out in our mind (come up with solutions and DO them) then seek approval from The Lord for our choices. As we live the gospel, He will provide the comfort and direction we need. I really believe that. 

Have a great week!
Sister Gaspar de Alba

ps- I hit my 9 months last week! pss- Birthday shout out to my little (big) bro for turning the big 1! LOVE YOU!

Me and President!

happy pina fiesta! literally ate the best buko salad ever

i love this country!

best part of the week!

which one of us is the filipina? ME. my comp spent 32 pesos on a gatorade bottle and i spent 20 pesos and bought 2 gatorades in a plastic bag. (it's cheaper) who's mayaman now! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week 32 - Road Trip!!!!

Week 32
Whoa. This week was HUGE. Lots of big things happened last week: I went to manila, we went on exchanges, and I got to talk to my family! The hard part was that we did not get to a whole lot of appointments and i totally missed my investigators. But we were able to see them thursday and saturday. 

First: MANILA. okay so we had to go do some immigration papers because there was a problem with some of our visas. So it was me and a few sisters in my batch. We were able to go to the temple which was wonderful. I was SO happy that we could go inside. It was so peaceful and wow. I just have really missed it. It really is the House of The Lord. Going inside, there's no denying the sacredness of it. I was having some weird deja vu of being in the provo temple when I was at the mtc. I felt like time has flown. I re-committed myself to really give my all to this mission and to Heavenly Father's work. These next 9 months are going to be amazing, I can feel it. 

It was so fun going on exchanges with my trainer and being able to see each other's progress and just have a really great day together. We basically went tracting all day which was so good. We found some new investigators  for their area. It's so neat to look back on who you used to be and how you used to act and then be able to look at the now. Even cooler is looking and thinking about the future and what God has in store for all of us. Whatever it is it's for our good. I really believe that's true. Even if we can't see it in the moment sometimes. 

Not much time this week! Have a good one all

Sister Gaspar de Alba

the manila mtc! with my batch(: sister martinez and sister williams

we got to go visit the manila temple!

fancy dinner and a hot shower. YES.

hey dad please flip this one! the two mexicans at a mexican memorial in the philippines

we are excited we are in the same zone again!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Week 31 - Another good week

Week 31
This week was SO GOOD. As always. Every week on the mission is good, even if it's not good. Because you're still a missionary and still doing The Lord's work. But really this week was awesome. Two really great investigators of ours got baptized(: And also one of our investigators finally quit smoking for good! We have been working with him on the word of wisdom for like a month. The best part is that what helped him the most was receiving a priesthood blessing from the 1st counselor in our ward and fasting last week to help him stay strong. He has a great desire to be baptized. Goaled for the end of May! 

So last week I like casually joked that I was tiring my companion out. Okay so not a joke. She literally started crying yesterday in companionship study because of how tired she was. We have no time to breathe! Our schedule is crazy. Last monday we cut our p-day a few hours short because of the appointments we had. Anyway long story short i felt terrible. And we are going to definitely make a few changes. I feel bad kinda. But i'm also glad she knows how to work hard. That is a big struggle here in the mission. Helping new missionaries get a good start about doing their best. 

This week I am in Mosiah in my Book of Mormon reading and I literally love King Benjamin. Chapters 2-5 are my favorite. He just makes everything so clear about our role in basically deciding how happy we are in the eternities. Christ suffered for our sins and our shortcomings. Because of that sacrifice, He has set the standards of how we can obtain that forgiveness. But WE decide to meet those standards. And WE decide whether or not to live His gospel. I really know that's true. And it's true for everyone, members and non-members. We all need his gospel to receive exaltation. I think sometimes about the work we have been doing in our area and how many people we have been able to bring to the gospel with the help of our ward. But then when I walk out of my apartment I see WAY more people that need us. And that need to hear the gospel. As members that's what we should all think when we look at those around us; they are children of God with the potential to return to him. It's our responsibility and privilege to share it with them. Seriously what a privilege it has been! And what a privilege it will be for the rest of my life. 

Sister Gaspar de Alba

the magno family! 

my and my nanay! YES. reunited at last! this sister is the best. 

gorgeous san paulo lake. we had the best zone p-day today just riding around the whole thing on bikes! took about an hour. it was so beautiful.

hey look we're the same height! haha. she got a good laugh. 

totally made my companion eat tacos last week. she liked it...but she kept saying: are you sure i cant eat this with rice?