Hello family, I hope you are all doing great! Sister Surio and I are going to be best friends forever and go on awesome family vacations together :) ha She's really great. I had lots and lots of great experiences this week though, and I really do know that being here is the Only thing for me right now-it brings me So so much happiness. I am in love with missionary work :) It will test you to your very limits...but the rewards truly are like in my call "happiness that I have not yet known." It's amazing!
So a few funny things I'd like to share this week...I learned the Filipino way to kill snakes!! haha We were walking down this road when all these men stopped us, then we saw a big gross snake in the road. So they throw a board on it and then call in all the jeepnies!! They run it over one by one, and after each jeep they check to see if it's dead. They're all checking it and yelling "Python iyan!!" and not letting us walk by, but it really wasn't a python :) ha It was just so funny to watch them all freaking out. But I think then Heavenly Father wanted me to see how it felt and the other experience is ME freaking out! We were walking to an appointment the other night and saw these 2 HUGE rats running around the streets and down the gutters. I literally couldn't even walk, I had no idea what to do. Sister Surio too...we were SO scared! Then she just takes off running down the road leaving me there with the rats running around, so I couldn't even breath and was like screaming running after her! This man was watching us and I'm sure he was very confused about what was going on and the crazy American running around screaming from a few rats... haha It was gross!!
We also had some really great spiritual experiences this week that really helped me remember why I'm really here. There's a family in our ward, the Tripoli family, and they are my very favorite!! My heroes really :) They're so poor, but SO so strong. (I sent a picture a couple weeks ago with one of the little girls) but we walked by last night and Pingky told us that they were having some problems.. SO there's Nanay (the grandma) and then her two daughters and son, and then all the grandchildren..all living together that we visit each of them. Sorry if you're confused :) But we found out they were having problems so we shared with Nanay, Grace (one of her daughters) and then Pingky's kids and had the most spiritual lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked a lot about Faith, and about the healing power of Repentance. Not just for our sins, but also for all of our pains in life. I was able to share this scripture that I had only found that morning in my studies and they were crying and the spirit really was so strong. I know that I will love them forever, and I know that those are the reasons why I've been called here. I am so so grateful that I have this chance to be an instrument of the hands of the Lord to bring such peace and happiness to people's lives.
Now about today...It's still morning but we've already been partying hard here in the Philippines! ha We woke up this morning at 3:15...yes 3:15 am. The elders picked us up at our apartment and we hiked up this mountain, we got to the top about 6 for the sunrise!! However...it was so smoggy and rainy that we didn't even see it, it just was all the sudden light! haha A little disappointing...and literally it was straight up for 2 hours..I didn't think I'd be able to make it really! But we still had lots of fun, and then afterwards we were able to go to the other missionary's bishop's house for buko! Or, baby coconut! ha They got them down straight from the tree and chopped them open then we drank the coconut water and scraped out the buko, and they also had the brown ones that the coconut is a little harder, and that's my favorite way to eat it! Anyway it was absolutely delicious.
So needless to say, I am doing fantastic. I know that this is where God has called me to serve Him, and as long as I stay faithful and do my very best I can be successful, and happier than I can imagine. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of the Gospel and the light it brings into my life. I know that this church is true, I know that God is our Heavenly Father and loves us, I know that He truly has a plan for all of us. I couldn't be more grateful for all that I have. I love you all so so much!!! Take care :)
PS this might just be the best picture so far on my mission :) There was a way cool waterfall too up where we were but sadly the program on this computer changed and my camera won't show up...So I'll have to figure that out..