Monday, July 19, 2010

Typhoon Season
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Hey! Fam!
This week has been definitely interesting. Sister Batacan and I have a hard time understanding one another, and for us to combine investigators and schedules it has definitely been trying. I am learning so much about myself, and this past week has taught me how to have patience and continuous love, even through a stressful situation. I love learning more about another person, and how I can perfect myself on making them more happy. Its sometimes so hard, especially because Sister Batacan really doesn't want to be here in Daet, and her weaknesses hurt me sometimes, but thats the great lesson being learned. Its not about me, its about her. I am determined to make her love these next 6 weeks, no matter how hard, misunderstanding and personally trying it is.
So I had a strange experience the other night. Sister Batacan and I were fast asleep, when we were suddenly woken up in the middle of the night by one of our Investigating Families. Brother was yelling "Tao po" through our bedroom window, so we quickly ran out to see what the problem was. Sister Batacan told me that they wanted me to wipe my saliva on their childs stomach. I was so tired and delirious, so I did what they asked. It wasn't until we were back in bed when I realized what I had just done. I turned to my companion and asked Why in the world did I just spit on some kids belly, and all I could understand was that it was some superstition they have called Balis. Something that has to do with an upset stomach happening after we left their home earlier that day. Im still confused about it, or even how the family found our house, but it keeps me laughing everytime I think about it. Ha. There is definitely joy in the journey.
Sooooo rainy season has hit the Philippines. and I found out I have an American Umbrella. The Philippinos have Umbellas twice as big as mine, and for good reason. The rain drops are like gumballs dropping a 100mph here. The streets flood fast. We've been walking to our investigators homes, in a street river up to my knees. Sister Batacan says she feels dirty walking in it, although its really entertaining for me. But maybe I would feel dirty too though if I knew what was actually in the murky water. We had a typhoon the other day, it was pretty intense. There was a black out for almost two days, and we had to stop working because it was too dangerous one night. It was near the end of our week, and we didn't have much food left, and they closed down the market, and the only store that was open was the bakery. We bought some bread and Icecream (american food!) and thats what we ate for 2 days. Except the Icecream melted because of the no electricity. Black outs are normal here though. Usually everyday the power goes off for some time, but those are just called brown outs. The Blackout was fun for me. I liked getting out the flashlights, eating and talking in the dark. Its like a new experience, a change of pace. Well, I didn't like the change of pace in not working for a night, I felt so ineffective. It was good for me to realize that though, so I can remember feeling like "I wish I could go work" so whenever I feel like I don't want to work I can remind myself that I like to work.

Oh yea speaking of Brownouts, we had a Baptism last week!!! My first one!!! I was so ecstatic. I think I was more excited than Ian, our investigator. During the service, the power went out, but the show went on. It was good that I brought my flashlight, because that was the only source of light available. I pointed my light into the faunt, and we watched him get baptized in the dark. I was excited I couldn't sit still. Ian is 21, and he wants to go on a mission. His faith is so strong. We've been teaching him in secret other than his home, because his parents are against his decision. He knows its true though, so even without his families approval, he did what he knew he needed to.


Mahal ko kayo! Ingat!

Pwede nyo pong sabihin kay Kylee, siguro kuhuhahin niya ang letter pamamagitan mail sa 4 mga araw!!!!
(umaasa ako, kasi nagsabi si postlady!)

Sis Hancock

Monday, July 12, 2010

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OH and I got kys dear elder! tell her thank you and that I mailed her a letter today. out of curiosity, when did she send it? I want to know how long it takes to get those.

OH Dear Fam of mine. What a week what a week. I just gotta laugh at how much God wants me to learn out here. Its pretty intense, and overwhelming at times. I had a rough few days, and it seemed like everything was hitting me at once. I have been feeling inadequate and my confidence has shattered here. My strengths have become weaknesses here. Things that I usually don't have a hard time with, is now a challenge. I can't express myself, and sometimes I’m at a lack of words. My sis Alvarado expects a lot out of me, and throughout our companionship she has put me on the spot several times, telling our investigator, "and now sister Hancock will teach you how to overcome trials." and usually that wouldn’t be a problem, but when I barely understand the investigators trial, I need to find a scripture, how to relate it to them, and then throw Tagalog in the mix. It wears on me a lot. Sis Alvarado and my housemates have never lived or had an American Companion, and they have big expectations from me. They treat me as a philippina missionary. Which I am grateful for because I have grown in the culture and language, yet I feel like they are always disappointed I cannot do or say things right. I have to keep lifting myself up on my own. I know I am progressing, and I have never tried so hard for something in my life. This language is difficult. But each time I pray to God, I feel less alone, and life gets a little easier.

We got some big news this week. Transfers. The next 6 weeks of my life is definitely going to be trying. My companion and I found out through our housemates. When sister Figuracion and sister Batacan arrived home, sister Batacan was wailing and crying and went straight to her room and cried all night. Its continued throughout today as well. Sister Figuracion told us that herself and Sister Alvarado were being transferred out, we were combining Areas, and sister Batacan and I would be companions. Sis Batacan was crying because she wanted to leave Daet because she has served in this area for most of her mission and this is her last transfer. My immediate response was I was pretty hurt because I felt like she doesn’t want to be with the Amerikana Sister- like in being passed around like rotten potatoes no one wants. Next I felt that its pretty childish that she would react to a calling of the lord this way. Although within seconds I recognized my negative feelings, realized its not about myself, and I changed my perspective entirely. I was filled with so much love and compassion for sister Batacan, I went into her room while she cried, and laying next her in my best tagalog I told her that I loved her so much and that God has so much trust and faith in us. I told her that I knew we could be so successful together, and that I had a feeling we would be the best of companions. I said I know its going to be hard but the lord will help us. I was filled with so much happiness and hope and I am determined to become Sister Batacans favorite companion. I actually am looking at this as a compliment from God, that he has enough confidence in her and I. Its going to be a really trying time for us, because it is just her and I, and her English is really basic, she has a thick accent, and my Tagalog is on the same level. Usually before with the other sisters together they could help me understand things, and now I only have sis Batacan who knows the least English out of all 3. After she calmed down last night she told me that I cannot speak English anymore and that she would really teach me how to clean my clothes and cook. I had to laugh a little because previously I thought about her being my companion and how impossible it seemed. She loves to tell me what to do and I have to follow all her superstitions. haha. Quite humorous to me sometimes. I am actually really grateful to God for this next transfer so that I can learn from her. I am already grateful for all the trials that are going to come because I know I am going to become a better person and more stronger. The zone leaders told us afterwards that our transfer was a last minute revelation the president received, and he had originally planned to keep sister Alvarado and I together. The president felt like this would be more beneficial to us, and I have complete trust in the him and the Lord. We have a lot of Area to combine, and so many investigators to sift through, but im grateful for this opportunity to come closer to the Lord and learn how to use the gift of discernment to know who God has prepared, and who he would have us continue to teach.

Much Love, Sister Hancock