Monday, February 24, 2014

Kumusta, Kumusta

Kumusta, kumusta everyone! 
So week two in the Philippines is officially over! I seriously feel like it's been three weeks since I got here, not two! Time is so crazy! But I love every second of it. So, I don't really have enough time to write everything I want to but I'm definitely going to try! 
So, onto my week. I might not get to send pictures this week either, I'm going to try though. First off, is the mosquito. There me and my companion were, just studying peacefully when this huge mosquito wandered in. I swatted it away from me for like 15 minutes. I've actually been really fortunate to only have a few bites out here so far, so I wasn't to worried. Finally Sister Williams said, "Just smash it!" It flew over to her and she took a whack at it, succeeding, and smearing it across the wall. So yes, mosquito guts and grossness all over... and human blood. Yep, that's right. The mosquito had just bit a victim. We later found out that the victim was... me. I had two fresh mosquito bites on my neck. Basically, my companion had my blood on her hands. We took lots of pictures and had a good laugh about it. Haha, those moments.
Onto more spiritual stories, we taught our first FHE together, which was so, so fun! We talked about temple sealings (they are working toward it). After the lesson, I taught everyone how to play Simon Says. It was so fun and they were so enthusiastic. The adults were more into it than the kids, actually! Haha! Then we had rice cupcakes. Delicious.
We've had so many wonderful lessons this week and we now have 9 investigators with a baptism date. They are all scheduled to be baptized this transfer, but I don't think they all will be. I know that at least four will though. It's so wonderful to be in such a great area and have such a wonderful companion!
Wow, what to talk about??? Um, the Philippines is very different than America, that is for sure. I love it all though, even the.... um strange stuff that I see on a regular basis. For example, it is perfectly okay for people to walk around with a towel draped over their shoulder and their swimming trunks on, ready for a bath in the street. It's okay to pee in your neighbors yard if it's nighttime, and if it's too hot here, the men like to lift their shirts up above their stomachs. Children run free all the day long if they aren't in school and I'm pretty sure their parents only know where they are at dinner time. And of course, there is poverty like you wouldn't believe sometimes. It really helps me appreciate the simplicity of what we have! Clean water, a flushable toilet, tables and chairs and even healthcare.
We took a trip to the hospital. (don't worry, I'm fine. I just got a weird rash on my foot last week, which looks like I might have an allergy to dirt...) The hospital is so sad. There are benches along every hallway with people just crammed together, coughing and sneezing... the hospital is in an refurbished apartment that doesn't have proper patient rooms. You just sit at the front desk with everyone watching as you tell your doctor about what is wrong with you- haha, it's a little embarrassing if you have to tell everyone in the Emergency room that you have a rash. But I guess that's normal here. Haha, when in the Philippines, be a Filipino!
Most of all, I'm am struck by the absolute love, kindness, and charity of these people. We have been fed several times after a lesson and one time, a woman gave us her dinner that she had just bought. We insisted she have it like twenty times, but she kept saying, "I'll make something else."
And then last night we went to teach a family. Their poverty was literally astounding to me. They don't have electricity. They have a one room shack and sleep on the floor. We were teaching them in the dark last night, by the light of cellphones from the members who came with us. They have one "bench" a slab of wood. They insisted that we sit on it. As we taught them, a member's daughter fanned us with a piece of cardboard so that we weren't bit by any bugs.
I really hope it doesn't seem like I'm complaining or trying to be dramatic. If anything I want everyone to understand what I have come to realize- that we are so, so blessed. You don't realize how amazing it is to have sanitized hospitals until you see one that isn't and you don't realize how amazing it is to have electricity or a bathroom until you see those that don't. And despite their poverty, they love Jesus Christ and their Heavenly Father. They have testimonies and a desire to know God.
The church is true, no matter where you are and no matter who you are! His religion is for everyone! I have really come to see that Heavenly Father really does love us, all of us!

-Sister Beaumont

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