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