Sunday, December 28, 2014

A week full of work, and Christmas!

Hello Family!

Here is what my week looked like. On Monday we ran around like crazy to get some Christmas shopping done, and boy was it CRAZY! Now many of you know I love movies so the best way to explain how it is here during Christmas is to relate it to the movie "Mall Cop". The stores here are so busy just like that mall! Also, the part where everyone in the mall starts freaking out and running around like crazy because the mall is being taken over, well that is what it was like here in Catarman before the Typhoon. Then the mall is all of the sudden vacant. Just was just like Catarman. Nobody in sight! Basta, we had a great lesson that night with Katrina and Jay. We talked about the Book of Mormon and how Joseph Smith translated it. They were really receptive and the spirit was awesome :) We are also teaching a sweet 10 year old boy named Fritz and he is going to be baptized this Saturday! Woohoo! Our first baptism! I can't wait! :) We taught the 10 commandments on Tuesday and focused on Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. He's a little slow, and it's hard to keep his attention so I had to keep going over it to help him understand. The good thing was that every time my waray waray got better because I was learning new words. Plus he finally understood, so that was good.

I also had the opportunity this week to Skype my beautiful family!! Aw the best day ever! It was so much fun to talk to you, and to see all of your faces! Including my dog Gracie! ;) We then spent Christmas day visiting a ton of members in the ward which was really fun. We spend most of our Christmas with the Gundaya family. I love them! They were so sweet to let us celebrate Christmas with them! They had rented a Karaoke machine (Karaoke is HUGE here) and so we got to enjoy some great, and not so great, performances ;)

Friday we were able to have 5 lessons. We taught the Sarmiento family by surprise because they were taking a break from building their home (which is looking great) and they really wanted us to share a message with them. Could they be any more amazing?! We shared Ether 12:27 and Sister Skey talked about how we all have weaknesses and that through the Lord they can become strengths. I talked about how we all have hard times and trials that we go through, but through prayer we receive peace, comfort, and help because Heavenly Father wants to help us. They kept telling us thank you and that they aren't rich in money or things but they are rich in blessings because we shared a message that helped them to continue through this hard time. I love that I am an instrument in the Lords hands to help not only those who haven't heard the gospel, but those who are members of the church that need some help during a hard time in their lives.

Another great thing that happened this week was we found and investigator FAMILY! Yay! It's a common thing here in the Philippines to not get married, but to have a family and so many of our investigators don't count as families because they aren't yet married. But this sweet couple is! And they have 2 girls and a boy, ages 9, 8, and 2. They are so receptive and I can't wait to see what Heavenly Father has in store for them! We have been praying for a family to teach for a month and through patience and diligence we were able to find one!

I hope you all had a great Christmas just like I did! I can't believe it's almost 2015!! Where has the time gone?! I love you all!

Sister Wilde

Here are a few more pics from Mission Tour last week!

On our way to the Christmas Party!

This is Cha Cha and Index. I love them!
I got a beautiful set of sheets for the gift exchange!
Christmas Eve in our cute PJ's! Mom keeping the Christmas Eve pajama tradition alive in the Philippines!
I love the 3 Filipinas I live with!
Christmas at the Gundayas!
And the cutest little girl ever!
Brother and Sister Sarmiento fixing the roof of their home.
They are so sweet!!!
Here is a little part of our area
Okay mom, here is our apartment
This is the back area of where we live
Our whole area is currently flooded. Super gross.
These last two pictures were taken this morning!
We had to travel to Bobon for our Zone Activity!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

They really know how to throw a party in the Philippines!

Hello Family!

Let me just start by telling you all that Christmas in the Philippines is the best. Holy moly!! I LOVE it!! We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday from 2pm-7pm. Talk about a party. We had games, a devotional, presentations, a play, gift exchanges, and shemps TONS of food! On Friday Sister Skey and I stopped at the church to meet the ward missionaries that would be working with us when we saw a bunch of people from our warding setting up for the party and Sister Pedrola came up to me and handed me a piece of paper and said "Thank you so much for doing this! You'll be amazing!" Wait, what? They wanted me to sing O Holy Night for the play. I learned it right then and there and then performed it at the Christmas party. I messed up 3 times, but they loved it! And many told me they felt the spirit, and that's what I really wanted to do so score :) The performances were hilarious. The relief society did a dance to All I want for Christmas is you and it rocked. (I have all of the performances on film!) All of the missionaries sang Love at Home. Elder Maguale, who is in my zone, taught me a fun version of the song so we did that and the ward LOVED it! They all clapped with us and it was awesome.

Sister Skey and I opened the AWESOME presents that Grandma Worthington gave us, and we decided to wear our new shirts to the Christmas party, and we looked as cute as ever if I do say so myself ;) Thank you Grandma!

Mom, the Sarmientos are doing great. Their house is really coming along. We are teaching lots, it's just been harder since the typhoon. Also we were in Tacloban for 2 days this week for mission tour.

Bishop gave us a referral this week (referrals are the best). It's a family of four, Katrina, Jay and their 2 kids Jake and Genesis. Jake is 4, and Genesis is 11 months. They are the sweetest people. They have come to church, and they attended the Ward Christmas party :) I taught them how to pray this last week and afterwards I asked Jay if he could offer a prayer. We all kneeled on the floor in their tiny home and he offered a sweet and simple prayer. It was sweet and simple, yet it was so powerful. The spirit was amazing! I love teaching our investigators how to pray! We are going over tonight to give them a book of Mormon. They asked for one before we could tell them about it! I'm excited!

I'm so grateful that I get to be here in the Philippines during Christmas time, especially as a missionary. Christmas here is huge, and the ward has been so sweet to the missionaries! We have dinner appointments on Christmas Eve and Christmas! I hope you all remember the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ during this time, and try to become more like Him as He is the perfect example to us all. I know this gospel is true. I love it with all of my heart. Richard G. Scott said, "The message of the restored gospel is the best gift we can give, and the best gift we can receive!" It's so true! I love sharing the gospel with the people of the Philippines! Have a Merry Christmas everyone! I love you all!

Sister Wilde

Mom and Dad, I can't wait to skype with you and see your gwapa (beautiful) qwapo (handsome) faces soon! I love you both tons!!  LOVES.

Mission tour. Catbalogan, Borongan, Catarman, Tolosa, and Tacloban Zones.
We all did the 12 Days of Christmas. Can you guess what our zone was?

...and a partridge in a pear tree!
Catarman 1st Ward Christmas Party

Wearing our matching shirts from Grandma Worthington! We love them!

Sister Burton and I taking a selfie

Monday, December 15, 2014

Typhoon Ruby

Wahoo!! We still have no power, but we found a shop that we can email in, and I am loving reading all of the emails!!

What a week! Basically we spent all of last week doing CPS (community service projects) and our curfew is 6 because there is no power, so it's been hard. We are headed to Tacloban tomorrow until Thursday night for mission tour so I'm excited for that! But the hardest thing has been seeing the damage that has happened. I will try to tell you everything.

On December 2nd Sister Skey and I met with Sister Salvacion and had a great lesson. After the lesson Sister Salvacion asked us if we had heard about the typhoon, and if we were prepared. Um what? So we started asking around and everyone said yeah a super typhoon is coming so you need to prepare. At this point we hadn't heard anything from President Maurer or the AP's so we waited. 

Thursday comes and that's an all day cleaning day because transfers were the next day. We were sad to hear that sister Groshe was transferring, and as we were cleaning and helping her pack we got a text that told us to pack a 1 week supply of food and clothes and evacuate to the chapel because a super typhoon was headed right for Catarman. YIKES!! I honestly got a little scared at first, but I knew we would be okay. I was more worried for my area. We evacuated to the chapel and were so blessed to get updates from our stake president, President Pedrola, because he works for the weather station, blessing!!!

The whole Catarman zone evacuated to the stake center and we were there for 4 days. It seemed like forever! The storm was really scary. I just laid there on the tile floor in the relief society room looking out the window watching tin roofs flying and trees falling over. All of the Sisters slept in the relief society room and the elders on the stage. We tried to make the best of it and the members really looked up to us. They kept telling us they knew we were safe because we were servants of the Lord. My zone is seriously the best! We became even closer as a zone as we said constant prayers together and started a fast Saturday night. 2 hours after we (and all the Tacloban Philippine missionaries) started our fast, typhoon ruby was no longer headed to Catarman, but instead made a surprising turn. We did get hit, but there was no storm surge which we are so thankful for! Also the strength of the storm decreased a lot!

We were able to leave the chapel Monday and go back home. Sister Skey and I really wanted to go check our area. When we went to the area where the Sarmientos live tears filled my eyes as houses were crumbled to the ground. We immediately went to the Sarmientos and their house was to the ground. But what did they do when they saw us? Smiled and asked us if we were doing okay. I started to talk to Brother Sarmeinto and I said with tears in my eyes, pointing to his home, "Sayung brother...I'm so sorry. Malipayon kami magbulig sa inyo buwas." (We are happy to come and help you all tomorrow) And he just put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Okay lang Sister Wilde, mahusay siya...salamat para sa nagbisita kami." (It's okay Sister Wilde, it's beautiful (pointing to his home with a little chuckle) thank you for coming and visiting us.) Could he be any sweeter? The people here are amazing and continue to amaze me as they've come together to rebuild each other’s homes. I feel so blessed that I've been able to be a part of it!

We still have no power or water, but we are getting along just fine. I could feel all of the prayers and love from all of you back home! I love you all so much! Take care!

Sister Wilde

This was my bag for the week.

This is how Sister Skey and I left our room. We were nervous about losing all of our things.
Waiting out the storm at the church
Elder Villaneuava woke up during our photo shoot
We thought we were funny taking pictures with the elders sleeping. Haha so fun!
Elder Maguale, He is the best!! And some cute random little girl who wanted to be in the picture.
Sister Clerigo "sleeping"
BEST ZONE EVER!!! This was taken during the typhoon. We all smelled because there were no showers or fans, but we are so happy!
Sister Rodrigo, Sister Skey, and I! We got to be a trisome companionship again for a little while.
Elder Parcell is the bomb! He is from Samoa
This is how I looked after 4 days of being in the chapel. So haggard! haha but that's okay! Malipayon ak!
Sister Sol and I! This is our "We made it through typhoon Ruby!!!" hug.
Here I am right after I showered when we got home. I am wearing the nanay dress Sister Groshe gave me!
Myrna and her two boys. She is a returning LA!
This is Pablo, a ward missionary. We took this picture because of all the pink!
Selfie with a Carabao, it's like a water buffalo
Jerico, Pablo, and Rick. Future missionaries! All leaving in January!
Drinking out of a coconut! SO YUMMY!
I also tried sugar cane! It's alright ;)
Our last day being in a trisome companionship so we went to the beach.
So windy!
I love you Mom, Dad, Kaden, Carter, and Tate!!!!! (Gracie too)
It is so beautiful here!
Before the typhoon. Petty cab ride.
Sister Rodrigo and I doing laundry! I always pump the water because they all think I'm so strong. Haha!
Having some fun taking random selfies. I love Sister Skey!

Saw this monkey and almost peed my pants. Yeah, didn't go near it!