Maupay nga Aga!
I'm emailing in the morning today! Kind of exciting huh? Except that everyone's going to be disappointed that they missed me. It's okay, ayaw kabalaka. Sigi? Maupay ak!
Waray Waray is going good! I'm still horrible at speaking it, but it's amazing how much easier things are when you apply them. Every since I started applying the language in my lessons, I've gotten a lot better. I still have a lot to learn, but it's so cool and rewarding when they understand you. Every time I ask them a question, and get most of it out in the language, I get that much more confident. And then they answer me and I realize I have no idea what they just said. But that's okay! Thats definitely where faith comes into play, every single hour of every single day. Sometimes I just talk and hope with everything in me that it's what the Lord wants me to say.
But sorry for the times I do use the language. You can't google translate it because it's just a village language. So I guess we'll both be using the gift of tongues!
Sigi, so this week we had a Sisters Meeting! Yes we traveled to Tacloban again. That's about 6 times in the last 8 weeks haha, it takes 2 full days out of our week. So I'm hoping next cycle it won't be this bad. We are getting 17 Sisters next week! Crazy huh? So we'll have 63 Sister Missionaries in our mission, and 37 of them will be American. When the batch before me got here, there were only 2 American sisters. It's so exciting to see all these sisters serving! And I love them all :) they've become a temporary replacement for my sisters and best friends, so it's really fun serving with them. I am so blessed to be serving at such a time as this!
So mom, you asked about the family who lost their daughter (this is the family that Katie and her companion were teaching and found out the daughter had leukemia and was dying - the family called the sisters back shortly after they left and when Katie and her companion got there the father was still holding this precious daughter who had just passed on)? They're are doing SO much better! They aren't the best at coming to church, but they came this week! And....THEY'RE GETTING MARRIED!! Sister T and I are SO excited. Sister D's baptimal date is July 16th, and their wedding should be the first week in July. So they are doing awesome.
We also have a new investigator, Brother CJ. He's 12 years old, just like our last one who got baptized, and his date for baptism is July 6th. It's so hard for me to teach him. He does not understand ANY English, only pure Waray Waray. So I feel really dumb whenever I teach him, and I just feel bad. Because mixed Waray and English is harder for people to understand than just English, especially from an American. So i'm working on my accent! If I can talk like a filipina, I can be understood by the filipinos.
There was a worldwide training on Member missionary work?? That is SO cool! Why did we not hear about that?? I'm going to ask the ZL's today if we can watch it :) It sounded amazing! And I'm sure that everything they said in it was extremely helpful. Just know, that missionaries REALLY need help from the members. Our work is pointless, unless there is fellowshipping, as said by Gordon B. Hinkley, I think. We can baptize hundreds of people, but if the members don't welcome them in, they'll stop coming to church. Di'ba? I feel so guilty for asking for members help but not helping before my mission. I know it's hard, but it can also be really easy. Ask the missionaries what you can do to help. Taking a half hour out of your week to visit a Less Active could depend upon them coming to church, or not. So ask them how you can help :) They'll tell you EXACTLY what you need to do.
So it's rainy season here in the Philippines. I can't decide if that first week was so hot for me because I just wasn't used to it or if it was because I was in culture shock. Because I haven't been that miserable since. There have been plenty of moments of relief, and we live and work pretty close to the beach so there's almost always a breeze. Not as bad as Taiwan Uncle Scott. I'm counting my blessings, day by day. And oh my goodness, I'm getting so fat. Sorry for the lack of pictures lately. I'm still documenting, just not sending. You're better off, I PROMISE! As our branch president's wife would say, "It's part of growing up, you know?" Haha pero bisan ano, marasa ora ora pakaon didi. Or in Cebuano, pakaon dinhi, yummy kaayo! The food here is DELICIOUS! And I might get called to a bukid area next transfer where I'll probably starve. So bisan ano!
Sigi, waray oras na. I love you all! Have an amazing week! And perami magsimba, ngan magbasa adlaw adlaw, ngan magampo adlaw adlaw gihapon. (always go to church, read every day and pray every day)
Love from the Philippines,
Sister Hogge (or Sister Hodge as the second counselor still calls me)