Tuesday, April 30, 2013

 Amy's February 10th email home!

Hello my wonderful family,

Time is sure flying. It feels like I JUST wrote you, and here I am
writing again. We have about two weeks left of this transfer, and I am
excited and nervous about it. I have SO much more to learn! I am
constantly reminded of how very weak I am, and how much I need to rely
on my Savior. It's definitely a work in progress. I will be getting a
new companion this next transfer, and because Sister Acenas is going
home, I will be the one leading the area. Our area covers a large
area, and you know how I am with directions. :)  It has been a
challenge, but I feel like I know where everyone lives now. I've been
praying for the confidence to lead and to comfort my companions. They
are constantly reminding me that I need to memorize the area which
doesn't help matter, but it's true. It has taken me a while, but I've
got it down now. I am grateful for the extra long transfer this time.
Heavenly Father really knows what we need. He's very aware.

This past week I've been able to witness some amazing changes people's
hearts. I think I told you about one older man named Tatay Jun last
week, and there is another young woman in her upper twenties that just
received a confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true!! She's been
praying for a long time, and has been frustrated that she hasn't
received an answer, but this last time we went to her house, she said
she knew! She was obviously excited. We were excited, too! This gospel
is true!!

Having native companions definitely helps with the language
improvement, though it has definitely been a challenge. I feel my
comprehension increasing dramatically, though there are still many
times where I don't understand people. It's still sometimes a
challenge to jump into the conversations and to be involved because my
comps are so close and chat away in Tagalog all the time. I often feel
like a pain asking so many questions, but I need to be involved. I
need to learn. If I don't ask questions, I won't learn. So I keep
bugging them! (They told me to). :) We are a companionship. We need to
be unified. I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining, because I'm
not. It is a blessing Heavenly Father has given me to help me learn
and grow! :)

We have interview with the Mission President this week, so I'm looking
forward to that. He has suggested that I lead the area this week to
comfort and better gain the trust of my companions, so I'm going to
try that out.

Service is so amazing. We went on exchanges yesterday, so I went with
Sister Acenas to a couple appointments while Sister Abonitalla and a
member from our ward went to the other area. Sister Acenas and I went
and visited a less-active in our ward whose father just died and whose
baby just got out of the hospital. She has three young children and is
extremely busy trying to take care of them all. We shared a short
message with her and then insisted on taking her dirty laundry and
washing it for her. She resisted,  but we were stubborn and took the
bundles anyway. :) She was very grateful. We had a washing party this
morning, and it's all drying right now. We'll take it to her either
later today or tomorrow. It felt so good to do.

I am grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His example to us by
serving. Service is so important!! If you are down, serve!! If you are
happy, serve! Serve serve serve!! Look for opportunities to serve one
another in secret, too. You feel so good, and your love for the person
you are serving increases. I am grateful for this gospel and for the
light it gives to our lives. Even though times are not always easy, we
can always trust and rely on our Savior Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly
Father. They are ALWAYS there. The scriptures are amazing, too. Study
them! Love them!! They are truly the words of God.

I love you all!! Keep being amazing examples of strength to those around you!

Sister Harston

I'm waiting for my comps to finish up, so I thought I'd update you on
the balut situation! I have officially eaten balut now. :) The first
time it was offered to me I refused, but I gave in the second time
since I had watched my comps eat it. They had survived, so I decided
to give it a try. It wasn't so bad. I don't know that I will eat it
again, but I can now say I've eaten it. Haha. I've also eaten a fruit
called Durian fruit. Apparently most foreigners don't like it, but I
did. My comps are trying to give me a lot of different experiences
when it comes to food, so I've eaten a bunch of new things. I am now a
fan of fresh fish, especially talapia. Delicious! I wasn't a fan of
shrimp before, but now I like it, and I love all their veggies and
fruits here. They are very different, but I'm loving them. The bread
is also delicious, and there are small bakeries everywhere, so if
we're hungry as we're walking, we can stop and buy a pastry or roll.

Ok, my comps are done now, so until next week! Thought you might enjoy
a bit of an update. :)

Sister Harston

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