Monday, August 30, 2010

What an Incredible week. President reopened Daet to now 4 sisters. So not only did I get a new companion, I got 2 new house mates as well. Last transfer, Sister and I combined our areas of Daet, but mainly focused on Investigators in my area. Well this transfer, I am in the other Area, so I am leading both areas. I will be going on splits this week to show the other sisters around that area, and then my companion and I will be doing a lot of Tracting in the other Area. My new companion is Sister Rifareal from Manilla. She's probably the funniest person I've ever met. We have such good chemistry and starting from our first lesson together we've taught with great unity.
Honestly this week has been incredibly spiritual. I only have enough time to share a little. Although i'm realizing the more you depend of God and be obedient, he will bless you incredibly. There are no exact addresses here, usually you just ask around and get tips from other people until you find the right house. Its actually pretty fun, kind of like a treasure hunt. My first night with my new companion, We went to visit 2 investigators, my former companion and I tracted last week. I am pretty fresh in the area and I don't know my way around. We were so blessed, Because trycie driver who picked us up was the same trycie who had given my former companion and I a ride the time before. He dropped us off near the house of our first investigator. That was honestly a miracle considering there are hundreds of trycie drivers in Daet. Next we went to hunt down the 2nd investigator. Dark came quick, and It started pouring rain. I knew the house was about a 20 minute walk away, but I hadn't a clue what direction. I prayed to God in my heart to help guide us to our investigators house. While walking I put all my concentration on the spirits impressions to help lead us. Our investigators house is about a football fields length into the jungle, with an unmarked pathway. We were persistently searching, completely drenched in water, when I suddenly stopped. I thought for a moment, and then took a left into the jungle. While walking miraculously, we saw a house in the distance. I leaped for joy, because I knew alone I could have not found this house, starting from such a far and unmarked area. God truly answered my prayers, and He knew how important it was for us to get to these people. We met our waiting investigators, had an incredible inspired lesson, and now they want to be baptized.
I have witnessed so many undeniable miracles this week. My companion and I are working so hard. I am expecting great works this transfer. My companion and I prayed all week to find golden families while tracting. God yet again answered our prayers and we found several families, all have returned appointments, and seem ready for the gospel in their lives. We found so many new investigators. I am really quite shocked with the amount of new appointments and people. I feel like God is putting His trust in my companion and I. Its really quite inspiring, because I feel like I have to keep living worthy to keep receiving Gods help. Perfect obedience is true Happiness. Thats for sure.

Like my story above, our life's journey is filled with several pathways. We have a final destination, we all want to get to the celestial kingdom. Throughout our journey, we will have opposition, and sometimes our pathway is darkened. Although, if we trust in the Lord he will lead us into Pathways that will bring us closer to obtaining our goal. Just never give up! The pathway if always there even if you stray off. God always goes to find the lost sheep, and rejoices when it returns. We just need to consciously choose to continue holding onto the rod by following Gods commandments. So many blessings are in store if you continue to trust Gods pathway.

Anyway. No time anymore! People are waiting for the gospel, and I gotta go find them.

Much love,
Sister Hancock

Monday, August 23, 2010

This week has been great. It was hard to see sister Batacan leave today, crazy how close you can get to one person, in just 6 weeks, being that we're from 2 different countries, having totally different livestyles, and languages. One of the only things we can relate with one another is the Spirit. This past week was such a testimony builder for me. I realized how much God cares for each one of his children on the Earth. One of the things is know is essential for a productive lesson is the spirit.(I don't like calling it a lesson because I like to imagine i'm visiting a friend and helping them, instead of "teaching") Although one thing I know is that the only way to speak about spiritual matters, is through the spirit. We had many lessons this week where I recognized the spirits presence. I will share one experience with you. We were visiting Nanay Pardo, and Nanay Arandea stopped by to visit as well. (Both investigators) Nanay Arandea and Pardo are Born Again Chirstians. This past month, They both have gained a belief in the Book of Mormon, and in Joseph Smith. Nanay Arandea accepted a baptismal date last time we visited her, although she didn't attend church this week. Come to find out that the Born Again Pastor came and picked up the Arandea and Pardo family to go to his church. After hearing this news and speaking with both of them for a bit, we asked Nanay Pardo to give the opening prayer to invite the spirit. I prayed so hard throughout her prayer, that sister and I could be enlightened how to help Nay Pardo and Arandea. I immediately had a scripture come to mind about Faith, and I thought of a good analogy to help them understand how they can build their faith, and act on it. After the prayer ended, Sister Batacan began teaching, and she opened to scriptures to the exact scripture I was thinking about, and gave a very similar analogy. While she was speaking I just had to smile and tears filled my eyes, for my thoughts were her thoughts. Meaning that the Holy Ghost knew exactly what they needed to hear, and He told both Sister and I, so It didn't matter who started talking first, because our message was from God. We are only the vessels carrying it to the receiver. I love being an instrument that God can use to reach His children. It's a good reminder to myself, that I constantly need to be "tuning" myself so I can be worthy enough to perfectly hear the Spirit.

Much love!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Letters to Kylee. 
Kylee writes her sister all the time, she loves, and misses her very much. 
Here are two letters Sister Hancock wrote to Kylee.

Dear Kylee,

Thank you so so so much for the Email. It made me so happy! I miss you so much. Mom tells me your growing up so fast, I can’t wait to see how much you’ve grown. You asked me a couple questions so I will now answer them! You asked me how I wipe without toilet paper--well this is how. They fill up a bucket near the toilet, and then I scoop some water out of it, and splash. My hands usually smell afterward, so I make sure I wash my hands twice. Sometimes the Philippinos come out of the bathroom without washing their hands, so I’m wondering if they know a trick that I haven’t figured out yet.
I sleep on the floor on a tiny mattress. I don’t use blankets because its so HOT here. The biggest bug I’ve seen was a spider the size of dads hand. It crawled next to me while I was teaching a lesson, and I screamed “Ano ba lyan! pinatay ito!” which means -what is that! Kill it! Everyone laughed, but no one did anything about the spider. So I kept my eye on him the rest of the time.
I eat rice the most. We eat rice with everything. It is like their bread. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, always RICE! My favorite food is actually one of my least favorite foods. Let me explain. There is this sauce called Mang Tomas. Its sweet and delicious, so I put it on everything. Well one night I was eating dinner with this family and they asked me if I tried banana ketchup yet. I said “yes, I don’t like banana ketchup but I like mango ketchup. The family and my companion was really confused, they told me they didn’t have mango ketchup here. I said yes you do, Mang Tomas. Everyone burst into laughter, and told me that Mang Tomas was the brand name, and that it was actually liver sauce. How would you feel if your delicious mango ketchup was actually made of liver? I still like liver sauce, but I really dislike livers.
I just got a new companion today. She is one of my housemates I had before. Her name is sister Batacan. It is now just her and I living in our house. She barely knows any English, and I barely know any tagalog.
You asked where we buy groceries, and this is probably the most different thing abut the Philippines‘. If you go to a groceries store all youwill see is aisles and aisles of junk food. If you want fruits and vegetable and meat you go to the palengke. There’s whats called the dry market and at wet market. The dry market is where people are selling the fruits and vegetables they have grown, and the wet market is where you buy the fish people caught or the pigs and chickens they just killed. There is a reason why its called the “wet” market and that because there is blood and water all over the tables, animals hanging around and it smells awful. When you want part of the animal, they will cut it off and give it to you. Bone, skim, and fat---everything. When they cook the animal and fish they cook everything. Sister Batacans favorite parts are pig fat and fish heads. I just stick to the meat part.
There are some girls you age in the ward. One is named Charlotte. Her and I have become good friends. She teaches me tagalog words, and sometimes Bicol words. You would have so much fun here. There are kids everywhere, always running around outside, and they LOVE Americans. Whenever I walk by they always follow me, so whenever we go house to house, I will look behind me and there will 20 or so kids giggling. Sometimes they will come up to me and pet my skin, and say “puti!” which means white. They love white skin, and they never have seen it before.
Anyway I love you so much, and share this letter with Shay, and tell her I love her too. The church is true, read the scriptures.

Much love,

Sister Hancock
Dear Kylee,
You are a sweetest person I had ever met. THANK YOU SO MUCH for earning money for a Philipino Family's Christmas. You don't know how much that means to me. I was so happy to hear that I started crying. The Philipino's are extremely poor, and I wish I could do more for them, but I don't have much money. So thank you for caring about them, just as much as I do. To answer your question, I live on about 100 dollars a month. That pays for my house, food, transportation, and personal hygiene items. My day off is only half a day, we go to work in the evenings. So during the morning, I wash my clothes in buckets of water, because we don't have laundry machines. So Laundry usually takes me 2 hours. Then we clean the house. After that, we go to the Palengke (the market) and go buy food for the week. We have 2 hours of study time, go email and then our P-day is over. being a full time missionary we don't have a day off, its called preparation day. We prepare for the whole week, so then each day all we are doing is teaching and visiting people.

Wow school is starting for you now! Time goes by so fast! You will have to tell me all about your classmates. What sports are you playing now? Are you still playing soccer? When I get back home, we can go play sports together, because I love playing all sports. Maybe you'll be better then me! In fourth grade I used to love playing football with the boys. I was a tomboy when I was little. I loved playing catch with dad outside. I hear your good at soccer. I bet you are getting soo good.

Anyway, I love you so much. Thank you for writing to me. I really appreciate it. If you want to write me again, you should dear elder me, because I get that letter in the middle of the week, so its fun to get mail other than monday. Take care. Always remember God loves you. He knows you so well. God knows when your happy and when your sad. Always pray to him, and he will help you through anything. When you were baptized, you received the gift of the holy ghost. That is the best gift in the world. God can speak to you through the holy ghost. The holy ghost can tell you things inside your heart. Always listen to the holy ghost, and you will always be happy. I promise you that.

Much love. I think about you a lot.

Sis. Rachelle Hancock

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hey Family. Man I am getting eaten alive out here. I'm in a constant war with the bugs, and considering sleeping with one eye open. and I'm either allergic to my mosquito repellent or I have a million tiny bugs living under my skin screaming bloody murder each time I spray. I haven't figured out which one it is yet, but i'm leaning towards the second.

Anyways. I don't have much time to write today, so I will just share a short story of another lesson I learning from the Philippines. This lesson is that things don't always have to go your way. My companion Sister Batacan always cooks way too much food, and each day we end up wasting a lot. Throughout growing up, I was raised not to waste food, and just to "take a small scoop of ice cream and you can always go back for more". Although each meal, Sister prepares large amounts of food for just the 2 of us, and we usually are low on funds with our limited budget. I haven't said anything for fear it might offend her. I'm grateful to apply my patience, to analyze the situation a bit more. I want to share with you my realization. One morning I woke up, and my sweet companion had cooked breakfast for us. I had bought myself a prized loaf of bread to last me the week, because having rice with every meal can be very tiring. My companion cooked herself a meal, and then she had toasted me 6 slices of bread. I almost said something, because I could only eat a maximum of 2 slices, and now my bread was wasted. I'm glad I didn't say something, because right then I had a culture realization. Even though everyones poor, they always want to make sure you have enough to eat. Sure it makes sense logically in my American mind, that if I wanted more, I could have toasted more. Although this was Sister Batacans way of showing she cares. She just wanted to serve me and fill my belly for the day. She wanted to make sure enough was available. Of coarse I couldn't eat all the slices, but I got the returning reward of having my still hungry companion eat 3 slices. Sure 1 slice still went to waste, but the fact that I had conquered patience, and that we showed brotherly kindness to one another was a greater price than the cost for the loaf of bread.

I love you all, and just remember, that when you sacrifice something for another, you'll always gain more than what you lost. Whether your sacrificing your time, money, or even pride by saying sorry to another, its always more rewarding seeing other peoples points of view and forgetting about your wants and needs.

Take care!

Sister Hancock

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Hayyy Family! Wow there are weddings happening left and right. My own sister, some of my best friends, my life at home is moving on without me! Totally happy for everyone though. All my friends that are left without spouses, I want to hook ya all up with Philippinos. They are the funniest people, and they LOVE americans. I gotta tell ya, my future husband better be real gooood at complimenting. I go out of the house with no makeup, hair in a tight bun, and in a never ending sweat, shaving? pshh, yet every where I go people are like "wow maganda!" I just have to laugh everytime. They think every American is like a goddess. Im feelin pretty good by the end of the day, until I actually look in the mirror. Ha! The children always follow me around and giggle, some get daring enough, and stroke my skin. They think white skin is so neat. Such a flipside in America, just goes to show that people want what they cant have, Americans want to be Philippinos and Philippinos want to be Americans. I wonder if Satan has anything to do this polluting the beauty industry? hmmm....

Anyways...sorry for the worldly thought..speak of the devil, as I write this, there is a Bakla (Gay) parade going on right behind me. Being Gay is totally accepted here, and some little children cross dress just to be apart of the popular scene, without really knowing or understanding 'gay'. My companion asked one of our investigators if they were a boy or a girl. I was shocked they didn't get offended, turned out she was a he. Pretty sad to see the influence here. Just one of the ways Satan can corrupt the formation of a family. Families are ordained from God and given to us to support one another, and help teach one another Christs gospel. Parents help show a firm faith and how to follow Christs example. Satan knows this, so whatever he can do to tear a family foundation apart, he'll try.

So I'll have deemed myself a worthy Marry Poppins. Like ligitimately I feel like a junglized Poppins. I just had to laugh at myself, actually I laugh at myself a lot, and cant really explain it to my companion. So I found this oversized umbrella, that I carry around even when its not raining, and I have a ginormous bag thats all the missionaries make fun of me for. But hey, that bag has been known to carry everything from Pancid noodles, to handsanitizer. So who has the last laugh now huh? To complete my Mary Poppins character even more, its helps that Im always wearing a dress and talking in a funny accent.

I want to tell you about the Canaria Family just because they popped into my mind right now. The first time I met Nanay Canaria she definetely took me off guard. She was eating something that stained her teeth a deep orange color (that I pray to God hoping i'll never accidentally eat) she's old always stares at me and lets out a deep full bellied chuckle similar to santa claus. I cant understand her because she can only speak bicol, and shes always hollerin something at me. It was an odd first impression, and we continue to stare at one another and just laugh, we both laugh because we both know how strange I look here in the jungle. Im just glad I have someone to share my humor with. We have become really close with this elderly couple, and they call us "Barcada" Meaning close friends. The other day when we went out to visit them, they were in the rice fields planting away, so we ran out, took off our shoes, hiked up our skirts and jumped into the muddy rice field to help them out. We took some grassy seeds, and started shoving them into the watery mud. Nanay was real quick with her planting, while I took my sweet time making sure my row was all orderly. She kepts slurring and yelling Bicol at me, and I'd just laugh. Then my companion told me she was telling me to move fast or the leaches would get me. Sure enough I looked down and I had little leaches all over my feet. It supplied a good laugh, and caught the attention of some of the neighbors. I wiped all the leaches off, I dont really know if they did some damage to my feet, It didnt really matter because my feet are pretty trashed as it is. I probably have thirty bug bites on each foot! and scabs from former bites. My companion says they bite me, because her feet blend in with the ground. haha. One of the neighbors saw my feet and she came back with some herbal ointment, that made my feet go numb. If I knew Bicol I could probably know why they were laughing at the ointment or why it made my feet numb. But as for now im enjoying not knowing and just supplying a good time. I do need to learn some bicol though, but it changes in every province you go to, so i'll hold off until I perfect tagalog more.

Tagalog is coming. Slowly but surely. The more I try to understand the culture the more I understand the language. Its really interesting how much culture effects language. Because each culture views life in a different way, and I have enjoyed putting on philippino goggles, and understood their way of living. Sometimes its hard, because english does not translate straight into tagalog, and it doesnt make sense to them. for example you wouldn't say "is anyone home?" you would say "have people here" and if you answered yes or no, that doesn't make sense. You either Have people or none. Thats a basic example, others take me more time to understand. I love it though. They have words that I wish were american words. Like "daw". Its a word you use when you dont really want to be specific on who said it. like "masirap daw" means someone said its delicious. But you can use it to repeat what someone just said, and you dont have to repeat their name. Learning this language I just feel like im a teenager finding new "popular" words to use. Like how in English you find new words like, rad, sweet, hip, neat, cool, in Tagalog all those mean- Astig so sometimes I just feel like im expanding my englsh vocabulary. Its me secretly deceiving my brain into learning a new language.

Sorry I ahve to go now, I just kept typing, about random things and boy oh boy look at the time. Sorry! I'll catch ya all up on more spiritual matters next time! Chow for now! Much love! Remember God loves you, and has given SO much to us. All he asks for in return is to love him by keeping the commandments!


Sister Han