Sunday, October 23, 2016

Week 11: FOLLOW-UP TRAINING!!!

Maayong udto everyone!! 

Another week already come and gone. It's freaking me out I don't know how time is working here. Anyways I won't ramble I'll just get straight to it:

So we had follow-up training this week!! Yay! That means I got to see everyone in my batch or group of missionaries that came out with me. It was so great to see fam all together again and see how people have already aged like five years haha. Missions are no joke people. 

Funny story this week: I made chicken curry which was mega delicious but we crammed ourselves full of it for lunch and then went to visit a members house. At the end the brought us soda and cookies (a lot of people here do this and it's SO nice, even if you know they can't afford it they'll go to the nearest store and buy cold drinks and snacks for you) and I was already SO FULL of chicken curry but I forced myself the 7-up and cookies. Then my companion told me her stomach can't handle the soda so I drank hers too!! I seriously thought I was going to die but the Lord strengthened me to eat more haha. The power of the gospel folks! 

Cool person this week: Marvin. We have investigators that we call "mga guple" which literally translates to "out-of-nowhere's" and those are investigators that will randomly join our discussion with a progressing investigator, and then start progressing SO much more than the investigator that was our focus haha. The second day we met him he went teaching with us?? And testified in the lesson??? And he came to church on Sunday, WALKING, in the pouring rain. Where did he come from??? He seriously has just made my week and is a straight up miracle. 

That's pretty much it for this week, I finished the Book of Mormon :))) I started when I went into the MTC and finished yesterday and I feel so incredibly blessed. There are so many small and simple truths that I learned from it and I know that it's true. Why else would I be in the Philippines showering myself with bucket water haha, it's true! Really a blessed week, thank you all for your love and support, it means the world! Love you all,

Sister Pope

1) Basketball boys :) Carl, white shirt black hat, will be baptized next Saturday and Marvin is the one standing next to me. This area is sssSSOooOOOoo blessed!


2) Analy and Aleah! I love these girls so much, Analy was baptized my first Saturday I was here and we've been best buds ever since, even though she calls me "aswang" sometimes (that means monster)


3,4,5) At request of my dad, apartment pictures! The first is my bathroom, then my shower :))) Bucket showers yAY! They're really not that bad, but they're also really not that great haha. The last is just a picture of my desk, messy as usual. wa'ay ko labot!




Week 10: TAKE IT EASY



Hey everybody!!! 

So it feels like I was here yesterday writing an email to you guys about last week and here I am already writing for this next week. WHAT. Time is blowing my mind. Especially with how long every day feels haha. Anyways lets move on to my week:

Biggest shout out ever to Morgan Higdon for real!!! She sent me a package of Halloween candy and the Filipinos here LOVED IT. She's just been a huge strength to me while I've been on my mission and I'm so grateful for her. Everyone should go one of her. Haha. Except Morgan I guess is a gender neutral name so when I got a package all of the Elders were like "whhooaoaaaoaoaooa who is that??!?!?? Sister Pope has a bbOOoooOOyyfriendDD!!!". Boys are so dumb sometimes haha. Anyways THANK YOU MORGAN I LOVE YOU!

I've mentioned Ricky Boy before in previous emails and he's been going on lessons teaching with us which has been really cool. He has such strong faith and is even thinking about serving a mission. He was baptized a month ago folks! He'll get the Aaronic priesthood soon and then baptize his brother and his brother's friends. That family is just so blessed. Ok that was my nice thing about Brother Ricky... ok storytime. We were teaching with Brother Ricky when Bishop invited us over for dinner so Ricky came with us. He fed us chicken curry which is like the tastiest thing ever and I wanted to be nice so I ate my plate and then seconds. However later that night, Brother Ricky in really broken English came up to me and said I needed to "take it easy" and "concerned really for stomach of yours, it may become like large woman" :/ Never had a boy tell me to not eat before haha. It's ok though I'll just account it to the culture difference...

I realized last week I've never described my apartment and then I forgot to take picture so I'll just do it next week haha. But yes, I do take bucket showers and wash my clothes by hands. I've become pretty metal out here on the mission field. 

Oh yeah!! General Conference was amazing. Definitely learned a lot about becoming patient through afflictions and accepting the Lord's will. If you missed any of the sessions just go on LDS.org! 

Last thing, I have this bug bite on my leg that got so infected and I didn't tell the nurse about it until a couple of days ago and she said that bacteria has been eating my flesh away for two weeks :) I'll be fine I'll just get a really cool scar and tell people that I was shot in my leg or something haha. 

That's pretty much it for this week! Thank you everyone for your love and support, it's really appreciated by me. I feel so recharged every week! Halong kamo kag indi kamo malipat nga palangga kita sang Dios :) 

Mga palangga,

Sister Pope

1) Sister Tongco's birthday party. I ate so much spaghetti I didn't think I was going to make it home haha


2) The Tobongbanua's! This family is amazing. Such cute kids too


3) The basketball boys. This picture is just funny, we said Marlon looks like a young japanese girl haha


4) Pretty common view of us! It's always raining here but I've got waterproof shoes so its cool


5) Basketball boys again! Ricky and Marlon will receive the Aaronic preisthood next Sunday and then baptize the two other boys, Carl and Aldrich, pretty soon. Aldrich fell off a tricycle yesterday while it was moving though and totally destroyed his arm :(( he'll get better soon though


Week 9: INDI KAMO SULOD



Good week everyone!!! Hope you all are doing well.

This was another crazy and awesome week in the Philippines. The people here seriously make me laugh so much. When it rains they all but plastic bags on their heads. HA. Anyways moving on to the week:

The basketball boys are doing amazing, more and more of them join us in the lessons each time we come and they're so respectful. They're also really patient with me in trying to teach them and even help me with words I don't know. It's kind of rough because they don't understand me when I speak English but they also don't understand me when I speak Ilonggo. It's good though because they're nice haha. Every time they want to share a thought they have they always are so respectful and call us the full "sister", most people here just say "sis" which is also cute. Every time we visit them they want us to sing "Battle Hymn of the Republic", they love that song SO much it's awesome. We call them the Hallelujah boys now haha.

One of the basketball boys and recent converts (baptized beginning of September) has been going out teaching with us. His name is Ricky and his faith just blows me away. Maybe because he talks so fast when he's testifying but also because he has such an amazing spirit about him. I have to convince myself he's not a better missionary than me haha... the language will come though. 

Our investigator Gary was baptized on Saturday! He is seriously so golden. He's so respectful to us and the Elders and he has so much strength and knowledge in the gospel. He also thinks I'm hecka stupid since I can't speak Ilonggo but we communicate using caveman English haha. When we taught him Word of Wisdom though when I got here three weeks ago we committed him to stop and he hasn't smoked since. He just has such a desire to change.. it's amazing! 

Also when we go to teach him his nephew is there and he knows that if we're there, the TV will be turned off so we came a couple days ago and as we were walking up to Gary's house we were like "tag balay! Maayong gab-i!!" and the nephew opened the door, screamed "indi kamo magsulod!!" (something like you don't come in) and started freaking. out. Kicking, screaming, crying; the works. But eventually he just ran outside to pout while we taught Gary haha WHOOPS sorry kid but you are the spirit of contention in one tiny body.

Not a lot of weird stuff happened this week, other than the usual creepy old man that wants to shake my hand for a solid minute... I went on splits with another American girl here which is really interesting, being two white people walking across a dirt road in the middle of the Philippines. Hopefully this next week will be good as well. I love and miss all of you!!

Sister Pope

1) The best family ever! The dad and daughter will be baptized later this month and their faith is just so amazing. Ricky came to teach with us during this lesson, he for real is the bomb. Future missionary hopefully!!



2) Kim, Gary and Kyla. Kim and Kyla are Gary's fellowshippers!! For real, don't underestimate children. They're the reason he started being interested in the church and they'd help us teach lessons too.


3) Us with Gary! He isn't smiling which is WEIRD, he's always cheesin but I guess the sun was hecka bright


4) More of the Tobongbanua family. We made spaghetti for the kids and this is just them munching on it. For real the cutest kids.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Week 8: ULAN ULAN GO AWAY

Hey everyone!!! 

Another crazy week in the Philippines. Transitioning from the MTC to the field was crazy (as in the whole they-didn't-teach-me-that-language-in-the-MTC is VERY real haha) but the people are amazing and my companion is great. I'll just go over the highlights of this week:

TONS of rain (ulan) here. Yesterday we had our umbrellas and were walking through the rain and NO jeepneys would stop for us so we had to walk so far in the rain. We were totally soaked when we got home and had to shower because the water from the roads is hecka nasty. 

Food here for me is I either love it or it's really... out there. Menudo and pancit are amazing and so yummy. I also tried dinuguan.. pigs blood.. and it actually wasn't bad. Wouldn't eat it again though haha. Also this is random but you see tons of people here snacking on the same brand of saltine crackers, "SkyFlakes". Like literally everyone you see everywhere is eating these things. I have an old lady in our ward that gives me a package of them whenever we see her.

Other random things.. there's a lot of lizards called "Tiki's" and my companion is absolutely terrified of them. Every time she sees one I have to swat it with a broom until it'll go away, it's so funny. I've thought of maybe a prank to do on her but she's too nice for pranks haha. 

I'll include a picture of my favorite people (not my favorite-I love everyone but... my favorite). We call them the "basketball boys". They live around a lot of bad influence but the two oldest in the photos are recent converts from almost about two months ago and the three others are siblings and friends, all investigators. The one in the back with the pink shirt is Marlon and he's so gentle and respectful and always gives us these squishy rice things called "puto", so yum. 

So that's about it, thank you everyone for your emails and support, believe me it is greatly needed and appreciated. Have an awesome week everyone!! Until next week!

Sister Pope

1) Some of the crazy primary/young women that help us teach one of our investigators. They always are touching my arm and playing with my hair, so cute.



2) The best people!! Marlon and Ricky are spiritual giants and great examples to the other boys that live in their area.


Week 7: BACALOD!!!!

Kamusta kamo!!!

So I'm finally here in the Philippines at long last!! There's a lot to do still today but I want to just share what the Philippines is like. So everyone here calls me Sister Barbie, I don't even know. The children on the street will run up to me, say something really fast in Ilonggo and then put my arm and say "awwww puti gid!!".. puti means white. Everyone, like EVERYONE here says how "guapa" I am but it's really just because of my really white skin. But, it's a great confidence booster haha. 

So I have my trainer, Sister Tongco, and she's seriously so amazing! She is a great teacher, a great friend and just so sweet. We even have the same first name! We both freaked when we found out haha. Our investigator Analy, 11, was baptized on Saturday and she's just so sweet. I'll include a picture of her and her parents. Her mom is a member and her dad is an investigator. The people here really are prepared to hear the gospel, it's incredible.

The members here are amazing, we have more member present lessons by far than other lessons, it's amazing! Like a big family. Bro. Lotayo gives us TONS of fruit all the time and gives us free rides on his tryke to appointments. 
Oh yeah, trykes and jeepneys. Lets just say that the traffic here is literally insane and I'm thankful I'm alive haha. 12 people on one scooter = indi maayo (not good). 

To finish I'll try and compile a quick list of what Filipinos love: roosters, sweeping (at 5 am...and sweeping nothing haha), sweet spaghetti, karaoke, and smiling. They're great. Although I;m hard on myself, I'm hoping this next week will be good. Love you all!

Sister Pope

​​​​​​1) Investigator, Samuel, with his wife and recent convert, Eva. Both have great faith and are really humble. I'll try and take a picture of their house next week


2) The rice fields here! Classic Philippines


3) Analy and my trainer, Sister Tongco. Both are amazing!


4) My two day companions, Elder Okerland and Elder Lee. Awesome companions haha, I miss them a lot​​​​​​​​