Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another Transfer, Naga Philippines
Dad have you read Jesus The Christ? Its all about Christs life, and pretty much walks you through the new testament, but with added information. I've been addicted to the book, its a great read that keeps you entertained and wanting to read on and on. I know that's right down your alley.

Anyway, this have been an eventful week. I know I told you last week that there was no transfer, but last Friday we got pulled out of our area. It came down to our decision to go through with it, but our area has become unsafe for Sister Missionaries. Elder have now come in. I had a great 6 weeks in Camaligan, and we left the Elders lined up with 3 Baptisms. We were moved to Naga. The place is a ward, and they are thrilled to have full-time missionaries again. We replaced the office elders area, so the area has barely been touched. We are pretty much opening the area. I'm pretty excited for tracting. I loooove it. Probably because when Sister Rifareal and I were together in Daet and we reopened a second area in Daet, we had some incredible experiences finding people to teach. Speaking about Sister Rifareal, she's training this transfer, and stayed with us last tuesday night. Our area is the central area for sisters, so if anything goes down with the sisters, they come and stay in our apartment. I never really knew how sensitive I was, until I served a mission. I pretty much cried all Tuesday night talking to Sister Rifareal. The miracles we saw together always puncture my heart. She is like a BOM missionary. Honestly the 3 months we had together, was incredible. I'm grateful for her faithfulness and friendship. several evenings due to transfers, this past week, we had sisters rotating in and out. Plus a little over a week, Sister Navarro was our temporary companion. Its amazing hearing peoples life stories, and learning from others.

I'll have to keep this email short, I just got distracted by a man, who came up and talked to me for about 30 minutes. Some times people just need somebody to talk to, and the foreigner seem like the most interesting person to pick. So you'll have to blame the old man for lack of email today.

Love you all,

Sister Hancock

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cooked Stingray
Hi, alright i'll give ya the details...Camaligan is a great place, filled with wonderful people. I ride around from house to house in a Padjak, which has a seat connected to a bicycle. I've pretty much met all the Padjak drivers, and now teaching a lot of their families. The bike ride is slow enough to get to know them, and ask them if they want my secret to happiness. okay okay I don't always use that line, but I like thinking of catchy phases to get their gospel interest.

Thanks mother for the questions, I'll try to answer all of them. The apartment is, is, is, uhmm... well I caught a rat the other day. He was just about as scared as I was. When I wasn't squealing he was. I first attempted smashing him with a broom, yet my heart broke when I saw the fear in his eyes. So I resorted just throwing a bucket over him. My companion just laughed and documented the entire chase of my furry friend and I. I kept him under the bucket for the night, wondering what to do, although we just ended up setting him free. Poor guy, he probably has a wife and kids. I just couldn't sentence him to death.
Soooo..I still sleep on a mattress, and a fan at my feet. I don't like the fan, although I have to use it so I'm not dinner for a million mosquitoes.

and I bathe... oh yes mom I bathe. I bathe like a philipino, using a bucket and splashing water of my body. The water is weak here, have to fill up my bucket the night before.

Each transfer differs in food, due to different companions. This transfer, sister and I consist of 2 meals. yep, 2. One American dish and One Samoan dish. PB&J and the other cabbage and corn beef. We both seem satisfied with our 2 meals. I cook PB&J for breakfast and dinner, then we pop open a can of corn beef for lunch. All quick and delicious. I consume about 30 PB&J a week, which makes me at 150 sandwiches this transfer. I think I might be a peanut addict. We found a cheap peanut butter here, The taste is a bit off, but it does the job.

Hmmm, I do have to admit, we do occasionally go buy our ulam outside...whenever we run out of canned corn beef. They say we should probably stay away from buying our ulam on the street, because we don't know how it was prepared, and it probably isn't sanitary. Although, don't worry mom, we always bless the food before we eat it. :) The other day I asked the lady what kind of fish she used in one of her ulams. I got a good laugh out of her response, for she was quite shy to tell me. She laughed and apologized, saying that Philipinos don't really follow the rules, and its an endangered fish. I hesitated for a moment, then justified it by thinking 'oh well, its already dead,' so I ate it. Well, later that afternoon, I pulled out the dictionary to find the English word for the 'Pagi' fish I ate. Welp, turns out I ate a sting ray.

(I'm sorry, The word ulam is just the term used for a dish or meal, but when we speak English I don't think I’ve ever used the word 'dish' to describe something I commonly eat, I just feel awkward saying dish to you all)

Oh yea, along with the food topic, we do have a dinner appointment each week with a member family. This is the main culprit for a slight weight gain. It is absolutely bawal or not allowed to leave their house, unless your have eaten so much food that it starts leaking out your nose. Good thing the Padjaks are always close by, because I feel like a penguin waddling out of their house due to an enlarged stomach.

Well, that's about all folks. lovin' life, day by day.

oh yea, and about the tsunami's, Philippines is on Alert, and one of our zones was evacuated. Although i'm safe, and not worried. Just stayin close enough to hear that still small voice, so Gods got my back wherever or whenever

Sister Rachie ola
I just got done with sending my president an email, and I decided to send it to you guys as well, so you could get a little feel for the work. .
Well, This was a great week. Sister Saua and I were teaching more powerfully, as well as combined with diligent work. We finally got into a groove where we've got things working together for us.

One of the weaknesses in our area, is we find a lot of new investigators, although not many as willing to continue listening. Then the ones continuing to listen, aren't willing to commit. I know what this means though. I need to keep praying to find the ones whose hearts are softened enough to make the proper life changes. Then I need to stay worthy enough to receive the spirit to tell me what to do with the current investigators.

Missionaries like to claim problems with the area, although in my opinion, the field is white already to harvest...which means there are people ready in any area. So the success in an area doesn't depend on the Area, is depends on the missionary.

I just have a lot of thoughts on what to do with Areas. For example, Its hard wanting to drop an investigator, when your companion is close to them, then you start questioning yourself for perhaps your being impatient with the non-progress. So patience? or Trust in God, he will lead missionaries back to them when their ready? Many thoughts.

We're going to start a workshop for Ward Missionaries this week. We have got them excited about the new member packets, and we plan on giving them assignments to go out and teach less actives as well.

Thank you very much for your replies, and time. I appreciate it.

-Sister Hancock