Saturday, March 11, 2017

Week 31: ELMER

Maayong hapon sa inyo :) This week was really awesome so I'll just get right to it:

Sister Bernolo is my new companion! She's really sweet and cool and I already love her. She's super patient with me and already loves our investigators. Also she is really good at speaking English but uses Ilonggo around me. We're also batch going home! So no matter what I'll get to hang out with her again when we go home :)

Elmer's baptism was awesome. He was so really prepared and cried when he bore his testimony (he says he didn't but he did) and Raniel, his half-brother, baptized him. After he was baptized, he came teaching with us and really shared a powerful testimony to one of our investigators that's struggling with word of wisdom and deciding if he should change now. He's just so cool.. both of them are already talking about serving a mission. They're awesome :)

We're teaching a big group of boys right now and they're all pretty cool, we've really seen their sincerity and they're having to make a LOT of changes in their life. Most of them are under the age of 20 and are all smoking, drinking and not in school but they really want to change and working really hard to stop their vices. They're so cool!

So time is just going really fast on the mission.. next transfer I'll only have nine months left of my mission. That's insane! I still feel like I just got here. Really trying to take advantage of my time here and doing everything we can to teach and find!! Missions really are such a blessing. Thanks everyone for your love and support! 

Sister Pope

1) Sister Bernolo and I!!


2,3,4) Elmer's baptism :) he's really so amazing. 




5) These kids join in our lessons with the boys we're teaching and they're all super cute and ALWAYS want to take pictures


Week 30: TRANSFERS!!!

Hey everyone!!! Wow transfers are here already.. this transfer has gone by so fast have I have no idea where it's gone. This week was a huge roller coaster, but it ended on a high so I'll just get right to it:

Sister Lee goes home on Wednesday :( I have a new companion though! Her name is Sister Bernolo (I think) and I've heard that she's really nice and I'm super excited to be companions with a Filipino again. Sister Lee and I had a really awesome time though and I'm going to miss her soooo much.

This week was a hard week with our investigators at first.. Two of our most progressing investigators wouldn't talk to us and wouldn't even let us teach them. One of them was Raniel's half-brother Elmer who was planning on being baptized this past Saturday but he just stopped talking to us and then texted us saying that he didn't want us to teach him ever again. We were soooo surprised because we're pretty close with him and his Grandmother and we just cried. We went and visited him again though and apparently his aunt had gotten in a fight with him and said all these things about the church and he just got angry at her and then unsure about being baptized. BUT, he told on Sunday that he's received a witness that the church is true and can't deny it. He told us his whole conversion story and how he feels now that God really wants him to join the church and he's changed SO much, just in a week. He came working with us on Sunday and then at the end of the day set his own baptismal date for this Saturday. We already know that he's so ready and we're SO excited for him :) 

Other than that, stake conference was on Sunday and we had the most cool random investigators come and like it. Two of them are Christian and Ahmed and they're soooo cool and smoke like trains. They really want to quit though and are really wanting to change so we're excited to help them. ALSO at stake conference, the basketball boys from my first area were there!!!!! It was so exciting to finally see them again and they're doing awesome. I'm so proud of their change!!

Anyways.. I'll miss Sister Lee with all my heart but also excited for this coming week with my new companion. Thanks to you all for your support! Love you all :)

Sister Pope

1) Binggirl, a recent convert, wore some glasses to one of our lessons so she could look like me. Love this girl so much!


2) Stake conference! Raniel and Elmer joined the picture.. seriously like two worlds crossing it was awesome.


3) Bacolod 2nd ward!! Miss these members so much


4) Elmer and Raniel! They came to the stake building today (p-day) to play basketball with us. They're so awesome!!

Week 29: (:

So I didn't know what to title this email so I just put a smile face because this week was just so amazing from start to finish. We witnessed SO many miracles and taught some amazing people.

First, Raniel was baptized :) He was soooo happy the whole day and brought his grandmother with him. His Grandma was the first in her whole family to be baptized and has developed such a strong testimony of the church and has really helped Raniel and Elmer on their conversion path. Raniel just understands everything so well though and loves the gospel. He's already talking about serving a mission one day! Seriously he's just such an incredible person, we feel very blessed to have witnessed his change. 

I was able to attend a baptism as well on Saturday -- in Bacolod 2nd, my first area! We taught Daniel with the other basketball boys but he really started listening the last week I was there and the boys would bring him to church with us and he asked if he could be baptized.. seriously so cute. It was a special day for him and got to see him again :) Also got a picture with Joseph's mom, I mentioned her when I was in my last area how she was my mom here and she really is. As soon as I walked in the door she had Joseph's cousin go out and buy me white bread and butter spread (she thinks I don't eat rice). Love her so much!

Sister Lee goes home on Monday.. It really is super sad and I'll miss her a lot. We've seen so many miracles together and really put ourselves out of our comfort zones with talking to EVERYONE and never getting up after being punted. She's taught me so much! Here's to our last week together.

Nanay Elma, Raniel's grandmother, had her birthday this week and we were invited. Things got a little out of hand and her two little grandchildren, Daniel and Arnie, but icing all over my face. Classic! It was a lot of fun though and great to celebrate with all of her little grandchildren. We love teaching her family and really feel like they're our family away from home here.

Anyways Sister Lee are trying to make the most out of her last week in the Philippines and working as hard as we can. I love Magsungay so much and the people we're teaching, I just feel really blessed to be assigned here. Thank you all for your love and support! It means the world :)

Sister Pope

1,2) Raniel!!! Bakod gid siya.. magmission sya segurado



3) Daniel! Such a cute kid and so excited to be baptized


4) Me and (joseph's) mom! 


5,6) Nanay Elma's birthday party. She looks sad but she's just blind and doesn't know where to look, she's probably partying on the inside



7) Daniel, Raniel's cousin. Love this kid so much


8) Brother Ibao came to work with us again this week, he's such a good ward missionary!


9) Getting cupcakes after Raniel's interview


10) Went to teach our investigator Emily and this little girl walks out with crazy hair. She's the daughter of a recent convert and had just woken up and looked SO tired and cute


Week 28: EXCHANGES

Maayong ugto sa inyu tanan!!! This week was another fun week filled with some crazy adventures. I'll just get to it:

I went on exchanges this week with Sister Fawcett! Her area is in Sante Fe so I got to spend the day with her having fun. It's cool because she's only a transfer ahead of me but super talented at speaking Ilonggo. Also fun getting people surprised at us for speaking Ilonggo to them when we're two white people haha. It never gets old!

We taught a really interesting lesson with two of our investigators this week.. We went in to teach them, they're two teenage boys around 17 and we started teaching them word of wisdom and they were acting so weird and out of it. We were in their living room and it was a little dark since the front room light wasn't on but then their mom came in and turned on the light and their eyes were soooooo red I just turned to Sister Lee and was like "oh my gosh they're so high!!!" Just kind of ironic we're teaching them word of wisdom. They swear to us though that they don't smoke or anything haha yeah we don't believe them. Also next time we go there we're bringing a member. Yay!

In other great news: Raniel will be baptized this Saturday! He is sooo prepared and so strong, we're so so excited for him :) It's been amazing to see his progression since I got in this area and helping him work getting closer unto Christ. He's really been a testimony to me of how nothing can keep you from being a follower of Christ as long as you have faith. It'll be a really special day!

That's pretty much it for this week, Sister Lee goes home in two weeks. Ahh!! But we're loving the work and loving the people :) Thanks everyone for your support!! Love you all

Sister Pope

1) This is the entrance to where I live, Villa Celia


2) Leaving a teaching appointment from Raniel's house and there's just two chickens casually fighting outside... and one of them is yellow and green. Classic


3) Our AP's birthday was this week.. Sister Lee and I bought the candle


Week 27: CHICKEN JOY

Kamusta kamu!!! Another great week in Magsungay. Sister Lee and I are having so much fun it should probably be against the rules haha. Here's for this week though:

Raniel, Elmer, Eljohn (Raniel's half-brother) and their cousin Andrew all came to church on Sunday!! We were sooo surprised because 1) they're teenagers and 2) we didn't remind them at all. They just came strollin up to church and their fellowshipper Mark welcomed them at the door and was like "heeeeyyy!!!!!" They all really like church and Raniel and Elmer both have a baptismal date and they're SO excited, we are too for them :) They listen so well in the lessons and ask such good questions, we've really seen their real intent and they're super respectful to us. It'll be an awesome month here!

We started to teach this part member family and lessons with them is always funny and crazy. The oldest is Janelle and we're pretty tight, we have a handshake and everything (she's eleven). Everytime we leave the lessons all the children attack us with kisses and hugs and they all want to take pictures. It's fun and crazy but they're super sweet and love listening to our lessons. Such cute kids!!

That's pretty much all that's happened this week, I tried chicken joy for the first time. It's just fried chicken but it's officially "street food" so you could get like diseases and worms from eating it but I ate it and survived. Man it was really delicious. Good week though! I can't believe the transfer is already half way over... Sister Lee goes home so soon! We'll make the most of our time here for sure. Thanks everyone for your love and support, it's greatly appreciated :)

Sister Pope

1) Sister Lee and I riding in the back of the AP's truck. Their area is in Magsungay too and they just gave us a ride to our apartment on their way home one night. We got lots of looks from people on the street haha


2) Mark, a member, with Eljohn, Raniel, Elmer and Andrew. Andrew looks terrifying here but he's actually like one of the nicest people ever and wants us to teach him


3) Us with sila ni Eljohn


4) Getting attacked by Janelle and her cousins


5) Riding on the jeepney home. I look pretty offended here, Sister Lee probably said something mean to get my attention haha


Week 26: HALF-BROTHERS

Maayong ugto sa inyu tanan!! Another great week here in Magsungay, Sister Lee and I are loving it here. I'll get right to it:

There was this party at a senior missionary couple's house that served here a long time ago and we invited Raniel but we didn't think that he was going to go since he's so shy, but he came AND brought his super cool half-brother Elmer! They both had a really good time and then came to church on Sunday. They both stayed for all three hours and really enjoyed it, we're excited to keep teaching them this week!

We had an investigator, Edward, come to the church for the very first time with his family. His whole family are members and go to church every Sunday but he never came with them before -- until this Sunday! We made sure to get a family picture before they went. Families can be together forever :)

There was this HUGE festival in our area yesterday and all the members told us not to go out proselyting but we were like "no we're going out and working!!!" but we didn't realize how CRAZY it was. We only got a picture after we escaped from the crowd but there were so many people painted up in costumes and everyone on the street was throwing paint on eachother.. like the color festival except paint literally everywhere. We had to go home because there were so many people so kind of a bummer we couldn't teach anyone but it was cool and scary to witness haha.

Other than that, everything's doing good. I'm really loving this new area and am excited for the new adventures I'll have next week! Thanks everyone for your support, it means the world :)

Sister Pope

1) Edward at church with his whole family :)


2) Ervin and Inday, love these little kids so much


3) Brother Ibao, a member, came to work with us one day and played with an investigator's puppy, SO CUTE


4) I promise we do work but the beach was fun


5) Just a picture of us at district meeting this week, love Sister Lee so much


6) Crazy dancers from the parade, there were so many of them...


7) Raniel and Elmer with his lola, Nanay Elma, in the middle. She helps all of her little grandchildren get to church, it's so awesome


8,9) Raniel and Elmer, the first is because it was Elmer's birthday and we gave him a book of mormon :) then the second was at the dinner party thing at the senior couple's crazy nice house



10) One of the daughters of a really awesome RC family, we were walking to the senior couple's house :) such a sweet girl


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week 25: MAGSUNGAY!!!!

Kamusta kamu sa inyo tanan!!! This has seriously been the best week of my mission so far. So many things happened, we saw so many miracles, and the people in Magsungay are great. I'll just get to it:

So Sister Lee is the best. We have so much fun everyday and are loving the people we teach. There's this new investigator that we found this week, he's 17 and his name is Raniel. He's SUPER shy but he let us teach him a couple times but told us he's too busy to go to church on Sunday so we were really disappointed. But.. Sunday came and he CAME!! For all three hours!! And he really liked it! We're so excited to teach him again, we'll just have to catch him when he's not playing basketball (and he's seriously always playing basketball). He has a really sweet heart though and is really interested in learning more :) 

My new area is right next to the ocean so there's actually a few houses that border the ocean or are literally on stilts over the ocean. It's sooooo cool and kind of scary. The walkway to get to one of the houses is just this cement thing that's about a foot and a half wide and has ocean on either side. Really just saying prayers whenever we walk there that I don't fall in haha. 

Food in the area is awesome!!! We eat fishball or tempura or agogo everyday. Agogo is this creamy ice cream thing in the shape of an ice pop and they're sooo good. Sister Lee and I eat them everyday with no regrets. 

Cool experience for the week: so we were in church this Sunday after the meetings ended and one of the RM's ran in to tell us that a member's house had caught on fire. We went there as quick as we could and although the fire only burned for 20 minutes, their house and the three houses next to them all were burned to the ground. The one member's house had two bags of rice and a towel that was salvaged from the fire but everything else, including their clothes, had been destroyed in the fire. We talked with the mother though that lived in the house and she just said "ginatemptar ni satanas kami pero inde kami magupod sa iya. Sining ang pinaka blessed adlaw kay safe kami tanan" which means "satan is tempting us but we won't join him. This is the most blessed day because we're all safe". She just smiled and told us that everything was going to be ok. It really taught me about the perspective you're given when you realize what's important and what isn't. It wasn't important to her that all of things had been destroyed but that her family was okay. We're doing a service project for them this week so they can get their house built up as soon as possible. I love the mission and the amazing experiences I've been able to have here and feel so blessed for the people I've met. I'm excited for the time I'll have here in Magsungay and the transfer I'll have with Sister Lee!! Have a good week everyone, love you all :)

Sister Pope

1) One of the members, Bro. Marc, taught with us and he's sooooo funny. He always tries and speaks in English to us and it's just hilarious. Spiritual giant too, he's fellowshipping Raniel and being a good friend to him


2) Walking to a teaching appointment!! Seriously always feel like I might die here haha


3) Eating agogo every day. Seriously it's so delicious


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 24: TRANSFERS!!!!!!!

Hey everybody!!! This week was amaaaazing and then I got TRANSFERRED! So I'm moving out of Bacolod 2nd and going to Magsungay -- which are in the same zone haha. But Sister Lee is my companion and we're SOOOOO excited, it'll be such a fun transfer. But anyways I'll get to the week:

So these three adorable kids in Laurel (same place as the basketball boys) went teaching with us all day Wednesday. They're investigators and really sweet and just walked the whole day from appointment to appointment with us. They were so good the whole day that we treated them to ice cream afterwards :)

So Joseph, one of the basketball boys and Ricky's younger brother, was finally baptized :) He's had a desire for awhile but finally outwardly showed his desire by finally going to church consistently, reading the scriptures, and offering really sincere prayers. This boy has changed so so much and I've come to love their entire family like my own. The baptismal font in our ward though is outdoors and our ward mission leader was late so I just cleaned the font myself haha. It was a good adventure.

Anyways this next transfer in Magsungay should be fun, get ready for a lot of pictures!! Thanks everyone for all the support and huge shout out to my family that sent me Christmas cards :) It really means a lot to feel your guys support! Love you all and have a great week!

Sister Pope

1) Benjie, Gerry and Daniel :) Daniel wouldn't smile so I had to intervene


2) Treating these crazy boys to ice cream, love em


3) Sister Moy and Sister Fawcett!! Sister Moy goes home tOMORROW I'm seriously going to miss her so much


4) Sister Ducado and I :)) sisters 4ever


5) Sister Lee and I!!!!! New companions and totally ready to hit the field


6) Cleaning the outdoor baptismal font!!


7) Joseph :) so proud of him



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week 23: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS :))

Kamusta kamu everyone?? Another good week in the Philippines, we were productive and the people were nice but most importantly: there was no rain.

Good there was no rain because I left my umbrella in the Elders car on Tuesday from zone training and the WHOOOLE week it was so cloudy and we though it might rain but it didn't! #blessings

So I know you all are on the edge of your seats to know what disease/infection I have this week but I'll have to disappoint you all because I'm CLEAN!! Well I still have parasites in my stomach but I feel fine and working normal now!! 

Everyone's doing well, we got to explore more sketchy parts of our areas that we don't normally work in because Ricky worked with us. We're only allowed to be in those areas if someone is with us and if there's still sunlight. Yeah not creepy at ALL haha but it's good and we met some cool people.

Anyways that's pretty much all that happened, pretty normal week. I just want to say though that I know that Heavenly Father loves us and most definitely has a plan for all of us, even though hard times may come into our live and we have trials and think that times are hard, he's still there and he's working out amazing blessings for the eternities ahead. So we shouldn't give up the fight now, we have soooo many amazing things in store for us. Love you all and thank you all for the support :)

Sister Pope

1) Our zone! Love all these missionaries, I'm sooooo scared for transfers next week for real...


2) Trying to take a cute picture by a caribou and then it makes a horrendous noise and you think your life is in danger


Week 22: NEW YEAR AND WORMS

Happy new year everyone!!! And happy 2017 :)) it was a CRAZY new year here in the Philippines for real, I'll explain all about it:

So on New Years, people were just setting of fireworks the whole day, even like seven year old children haha it was actually kind of scary sometimes. The children like to light the baby dynamite and throw it at the missionaries and it's soooooooo (not) funny!!! But there's no sound rule or anything here so they started at like 5am and went until 5amthe next day haha. We just ate tempura and fries and played games in our apartment though until 10:30 and tried to go to bed and then didn't because it was soooo loud haha. It was fun though! We got free babylonian music all night and got to watch real fireworks from right outside our doorway. 

So you all are probably just used to hearing about my sicknesses now and expecting another one every week haha. You're right! The sickness special for this week: WORMS!! So yeah I have worms in my stomach and it's the worst but we're continuing on strong. Hopefully they'll go away soon though, I'm sure things will be ok :)

But anyways I can't believe it's 2017 already! Time has seriously flown by so fast I don't even know where it's going. I feel so incredibly blessed to be here in the Philippines though and feel so excited for all the things that will happen this year. Thank you all for your love and support, it means the world! Always remember to keep Zion in your hearts and in your homes and our Savior who died so we could live. He lives, and He loves us. Love you all!

Sister Pope

p.s. it's another one of those sketchy-computer-shop-my-usb-will-be-destroyed-here kind of days... next week I'll send some :)