American World War II Memorial in Metro Manila
Hello my sweet pamilia!
I sure loved seeing all of your beautiful faces the other day! I'm still dying over the fact that you've all gotten better looking- I didn't even know it was possible! I was a little worried that in hanging up the homesickness would set in, but I know I was so blessed because afterwords I felt rejuvenated and even happier. It’s amazing to me all the ways the Lord is blessing my life right now. I love you family and loved every second of our Christmas together.
I love the Philippines a little more every single day. I can't put into words the happiness I feel to be here among the Filipino people. The only way things would be better is if you were all here with me sharing the experiences I'm having. Think there's a way we could make that happen..?
So many times a day I find myself wishing Manda was here to capture all the incredible, breathtaking, heartbreaking, amazing images I encounter. I would want her to capture my very favorite tree with the vibrant pink blossoms that I pass every morning when leaving our apartment. I would want her to capture the Taytay's that sit on every corner with their legs crossed, looking so full of wisdom. I would want her to capture all the beautiful children who are playing barefoot in the streets no matter the hour of the day- the way they grab my hands and follow wherever we go. I'd want her to capture the humble homes with the clothes hung out on the line in front. I would want her to capture all the fruit stands full of bright ridiculously delicious fruit. But most of all I'd want her to capture the lessons. The way our investigators, or less actives look at us while we teach and testify. When you see in their eyes that they're truly listening and being taught by the spirit. I would want her to capture their eyes.
Oh family, I feel so blessed that I get to play a role in bringing others closer to Christ, there truly is no happier work.
Mom, I don't have Sister Tingey's address or email or anything but will you please tell her thank you. She sent me a stocking, a card, and money and it was soooo thoughtful! I got it the day I arrived and it completely lifted my spirits- she was so sweet to think of me. Tell her thank you thank you thank you?!
(Jenna's Balcony off of her apartment in TayTay)
Alright so the Jeepney's honestly feel like the Indiana Jones ride. The abrupt stops, all the obstacles, the way it will ride up on the side walk, the sound it makes. So pretty much its like I'm going on rides in Disneyland every day.
All the children when we sing will put their ear next to my mouth to listen to my voice.. I feel so sad to disappoint them with the sound they hear.:))
I'm getting really good at pretending that I know what's going on. Smiling when the people smile, laughing when they laugh, looking concerned when they look concerned.. its become a game to me to see how long I can go before they realize I don't speak Tagalog :)
Luckily the people understand English and so I'm able to teach in Taglish, and then I can usually follow what they say or else my companion will interpret for me.
|Jenna was able to attend a session in the Manila Temple on P-Day|
We had relief society.. combined with priesthood where we discussed how to be better ward missionaries.. (From what I understood)
Then we had gospel doctrine.. A very small class.. that was all in Tagalog so I didn't understand a ton. but it was about obedience.
Then Sacrament... I feel like a lot of the same people are called on. Like the Relief Society president does soo much she spoke in sacrament and gave the lesson. So i think the strong members,few as there are, do pretty much everything.. just what I'm kind of picking up on. These people are amazing.
Then we had a meeting with the ward missionaries, they're very involved, all preparing to go on missions- they came and taught with us after church . I really like them
Jenna and Sister Sabiano her wonderful trainer
The children think my hair is Barbie hair, so often they think it is necessary to pull it.. just to check if it's real. yep, it's real, and attached to my head.
I think I will continue hand washing my clothes for the rest of my life. Or at least until I become as skilled at it as Sister Sabiano. I love sitting next to her washing clothes as she tells me stories of home and how she would wash her clothes in the river. She makes it look like a sport.
I think its relaxing and I'm starting to enjoy having raw knuckles.:)
As I was preparing for a lesson the other day I read- Heaven is a continuation of the ideal home.
I loved reading those words. Mom and Dad you truly have made our home an ideal home. Founded on the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All my life I have known that our family would overcome any challenge, heartbreak, or trial because we have the security of the gospel teachings and because we have one another. Our home has always been, to me, a piece of heaven on earth and I just want to thank all of you for the spirit you allow to reside within the walls of our home. We are so blessed to have this gospel family. We are so blessed to have each other. I realize these things a little more every day and I imagine heaven truly being a continuation of our home.
Have a wonderful week and know that you're always in my prayers.
I'm learning how important ward missionary work is, so family make sure you're looking for opportunities to help and teach- and I'll do the same :)
I miss you all. Happy New Year!