Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mission tour week :)

Hey everyone! 

So next week is transfer week...  It really is crazy how fast time flies by when you're on a mission.  Every day I feel a little bit/a lot more comfortable being here and the language get's a little bit better.  The gift of tongues is super cool!  Somehow I went from not knowing what anyone was saying when I first got here, to being able to follow most conversations especially during our teaching appointments and church.  While I still can't say much off of the top of my head, it's slowly getting easier.  I was promised that the language would come as I continued to open my mouth and speak, so that's what I'm doing... even though I know most (if not all) of what I'm saying doesn't make any sense, I figure it's better to try than to not.  :)

This last week Sister Quinco and Sisters I'loa and Suminguit were all sick for a few days so I was able to do a lot of extra language study while they slept and recovered.  I also was able to go on splits with Sister Wilson, an American sister who lives in the same apartment complex as us.  It was so much fun to work with her!  I've really enjoyed being able to work with three different sisters during this transfer, just to see their different teaching styles.
Unfortunately, because Sister Quinco was sick we didn't get to do very much actual missionary work, again, which was frustrating.  What appointments we did have though went well.  We met a couple named the Garcia's on Saturday.  Sister Garcia is a less-active member and hasn't been to church since I entered the field.  Brother Garcia is Catholic, and super loud and funny.  Their son, who was also a Mormon, passed away last December from cancer and it's been very difficult for them.  So after getting to know them a little bit better, Sister Quinco told me to take the lead in the lesson.  Our teaching over the last little over a month has been an interesting mix of me just starting out only speaking sa Tagalog, and then switching to participating a lot more but almost all sa English because that's what the Sister Training Leader I worked with recommended, and after talking with Sister Wilson the other day, I'm now back to not particating as much but trying to do it all sa Tagalog.  So I found myself there, in charge of the lesson, with no clue of what I should really say (which is how it's been for the past few weeks, however I was speaking mostly english then), and so I just began with lesson 1, the restoration of the gospel, and rehearsed everything I've been learning during my extra language study time.  It went okay, however I couldn't figure out how to really make it applicable to them using my limited Tagalog vocabulary, that's when I finished saying all I could and then Sister Quinco started speaking and was able to connect it to them, and their current challenges and it was really neat to see how touched Brother Garcia was.  He started crying which shocked me, because he seems like a pretty tough man and all, and when we asked if we could visit them again this week, he enthusiastically said yes.  It was an awesome experience, even if it was embarassing because I'm still such an inexperienced teacher.  I'm grateful for the fact that I have such an experienced trainer.  She has taught me a lot about how to teach and she really tries to apply whatever it is we're teaching to our investigators needs.  
The Filipino people crack me up all the time!  You really have to be thick-skinned if you live here because they have no clue what the word "tact" means.  They aren't afraid to tell you that you've gotten prettier/uglier, skinnier/fatter, that you need to trim your eyebrows (true story, although one I was not part of... phew...), and so on and so forth.  I've also been informed by one of the members of our ward that I look like Mona Lisa, but with eyebrows.  I really did not know what to say to that.  :)  Also, all white people look the same to them.  When I worked with Sister Wilson we had two or three different people tell us we looked exactly the same.  Since Sister Wilson is half-Japanese it was pretty ridiculous but funny.  They also say stuff over the pulpit that is hilarious!  Two days ago, at the general adult meeting for stake conference, The Stake President stood up and talked about how if you serve a mission you will be blessed to have a really attractive wife (this is a "fact" that is frequently brought up here) and then proceeded to give us an example by having a sister in the congregation stand up, followed by her beautiful daughter, and then asked if the father who he deemed "ugly" to stand up.  "See?"  he said.  "Even if your as ugly as brother so-and-so, if you serve a mission, you can have a beautiful wife and daughter." And then everyone in the congregation, including Brother So-and-so busted up laughing.  Hahahaha!!!  It was such a strange experience and things like that happen here all of the time!  No wonder people here leave the church so frequently because someone offended them!  I'm still trying to get used to this bluntness... it's pretty funny.  :)
Anyways...  Hope everyone has an awesome week!  We have mission tour on Wednesday where I will probably get to see a lot of my mtc district elders again.  Super stoked! 
Until next week!
Love, Sister Dickison

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