Hey mama papa, & fam.
Madre, you asked me to update ya on the status on my investigators. The man that attended church, he has a baptismal date, although it may take a little longer than expected because he is trying to overcome smoking. Although I am 100% sure he will get baptized, he is trying hard to overcome his addiction. The young man that was baptized has an incredible testimony. He bore his testimony to me before I left Daet, and I will always keep his words close to my heart. Now he wants to now serve a mission. He even worked with us, and bore his testimony to some of our other investigators. The sister who I helped do laundry- I sent a separate email a few weeks back about her situation. I hope you received that. Oh and you asked about my ear, its fine, no biggie. I got some good ear tonic, and I think the problems solved.
Anyway, I've been transferred. This past week I packed up my bags, said goodbye to Daet and now I am....in.......SIPOCOT! Say bye bye to Tagalog land, because I’ve entered the Bicol region. I'm still in the North, I'm about an hour out of Naga. Although i'm grateful i'm still here in the northern region, because it'll be easier to learn Bicol here. They mix the Bicol and Tagalog, so they speak 50% Tagalog 50% Bicol. Although I am impressed with how much God is helping me learn Bicol. Its truly a miracle. Like i'm even getting teary eyed thinking about how incredible it is. I was quickly able to recognize the sentence structure, main conjugations, and personal pronouns, then I intently listen to people and my companion, and when my companion uses Bicol words, I know exactly what they mean in Tagalog. I can get away with speaking Tagalog here, but I need to learn Bicol to understand the people. Its their native language, and the one they use more frequently. Children and Old people speak pure Bicol, the middle aged people usually are the only ones who speak some Tagalog, because its taught in schools, and they use it to communicate to other Filipinos not from the Bicol Region. I'm incredibly grateful for the language challenge, because its a good way to teach me patience, long suffering, and humility. God is so wise in blessing me with certain challenges so I can learn from them.
So I'll tell ya a little about my area. I actually have 2 areas, Sipocot and Lubigan. They are 2 tiny branches. This is a small town, and I mean really small, like I thought Daet was province. shaa. If we need any supplies we have to wait until the one trip zone conference in Naga...this town really has nothing. We buy rice and vegetables from investigators and members who farm them. The way the Filipinos describe the town is mountain and mountain and mountain and mountain. Well they're right. I have yet to find level ground. People have built tiny bamboo homes up the side of a mountain. One of the first things my new companion Sister Soto asked me was "So...do you like hiking?" She wasn't kidding. I'm either restraining myself from falling down a rocky muddy hill, or using a tree to pull my entire body up the hill. My body has never been so sore. I even gotta laugh at the trycie rides, because the hills as so steep, that on the way up we have to get out and hike up, (the trycie can barely take the driver up) and then on the way down, they will turn off the gas and we'll soar down the mountain. I feel like its a ride at an amusement park. We catch some serious speed sometimes, and we're near some neat cliffs, I even get that butterfly rollercoaster feeling.
I'm sorry I wish I had more time to write, but I don't. Take care and love ya all.
-Sis. Rach. Han.