Saturday, February 9, 2013

Amy's February 5th Email home!!

Hello my wonderful family!

Thank you for all your letters and emails. I am so blessed to have such supportive family and friends! We had mail run today, and I got the Christmas package from Jerry and all the priests in our family ward. Tell them thank you for me! Thank you Jerry! And thank you to all the young priests! I get to share the goodies with my companions now. We are so spoiled!!

Sister Acenas tried the top ramen for the first time last week and thought it was delicious. We finished off the beef jerkey. Hickory Smoke was the favorite of everyone. :) Masarap iyan! Salamat po mom!! You are the best.

Sister Acenas will be going home after this, and I think it's starting to really hit her. It's interesting to see how Filipino's cope with stress and change versus Americans. Filipinos tend to laugh at everything and joke joke joke. Nothing is ever serious. If it is, they often feel a bit uncomfortable. It's funny because I tend to be more on the serious side, so they are always reminding me to laugh and have fun. I am definitely finding a balance, but I'm grateful for what I have been learning from them. We not only have to endure  to the end, but also enjoy to the end.

Tyler, thanks for the awesome pic. It made me laugh and I'm going to have to show it to my comps. :) Mom, you asked about when I'll be getting a new companion. This transfer is actually two weeks longer than usual ones, so we have until the end of the month until the next transfer. I will get a new companion, and so will Sister Abonitalla, so our area will go back to two separate areas. The areas are both very large, especially my area. I'm not sure how many miles/kilometers they cover, but it's far. We can walk to all the appointments Sister Abonitalla's area from our apartment, but my area is too far. We take jeepneys almost every day. A jeepney looks kind of like an elongated jeep, with two long benches inside along the sides perpendicular to the driver's bench. There are two metal bars on the ceiling parallel to the benches to hold on to, because you often have to secure yourself when riding inside. Driving here in the Philippines is crazy, and you must be very aggressive if you want to get anywhere. If you want to ride a jeepney, you wait on the side of the road and wave them down. You get on, pay, and tell them where you are going, and then when you have reached your destination, you say, "para po." So the jeepney is always stopping and going, very abruptly, too. It's almost like a roller coaster sometimes. :)

This past week, we've been blessed to be able to teach an old man in his 70s. We taught more people than him, but he is a really special investigator. We have taught him 3 or 4 times now, and helped answer some of his questions. He is so sincere and really wants to learn. The spirit is always so strong when we teach him, and his heart is changing. Right now he is so excited about the gospel!! He's reading the Book of Mormon, the pamphlets we've given him, and is praying for his answer to find out for himself if the things we've been teaching him and he's been reading are true. He actually came to church with us this last Sunday, and loved his experience. When he talks about God's love that he feels for him, he gets so excited and loves noticing the blessings God has given him in his life. There is so much I am learning from him. This gospel truly brings joy to our lives, and we shouldn't be afraid to show it, like Tatay Jun. He's so enthusiastic, and really has a desire to come unto Christ.

Our Heavenly Father is so merciful. He gives us the scriptures and gives us prophets to guide us! How amazing is that?? We have a living prophet today! Thomas S. Monson! We have scriptures with the words of the prophets from before! Heavenly Father loved His children before, He loves us today, and will continue to love them fo. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I love this gospel! Heavenly Father loves us so much that he provides us a way to return to him. He's given us so much, and all we have to do is follow His commandments by coming closer to Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. That's all! And it can be so easy!

I love you all and you're in my prayers! Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers, too. You are the best.

Sister Harston

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