I have neglected to put any of Sister Eveland's emails up recently. I am so behind, but am going to put them all up now. Bear with me and read as you please. There are a bunch. You can also just look up the label Sister Eveland and her letters will be there as well.
Grabe! Wow. What a week. I don't even know where to begin.
I am always either hot and from sweat, or hot and wet from the rain, or both, or at the church I am freezing cold because of the Acon. There is no between here in the Philippines. Electircal stroms every night are ordinary, which is awesome. It is so pretty. I wish I could capture a picture of it. Especially when it's not raining but the thunder is so loud that it sounds like the whole sky is going to come crashing down. It's crazy. The other night we were out walking from appointment to appointment and it had been really clear and hot during the day which is normal and all of the sudden it just started pouring. Actually that is normal here. Anyway, it got really muddy, my companion and I were talking and she was saying in one of her areas she totally fell in the mud. Right then I stepped in this sticky thick mud, we just laughed as we kept walking and my foot was so heavy with mud that I couldn't walk very well. It was great.
The language is coming. I just try to do a little more everyday. And as for the rumors of speaking in English and not in Tagalog that is not true for the Isabela Providance, where I am. It is like that in Manila and some other areas. But we have a lot of people we teach or talk to that are Ilocano speaking which is a different dialect of Tagalog. The members speak English, church is in Tagalish, somethings are done in tagalog others in English. But it is good for me. As hard as the language may seem and even though in some lessons I don't know how to everything that I want to and I have to speak in English and they have no clue what I am saying, the spirit is still strong. It just goes to prove that the Lord speaks every language.
On Friday we had some really cool experiences. We had weekly planning that morning, and we had some contacts and less active members we were going to try and contact later day, I had been praying that the Lord would lead us to those He has been preparing. Later when we went out we stopped by the home of the sister of the second counselor in the branch presidency, their father had just died and we he asked us to try and teach her. We left her a lesson two pamplet about the Plan of Salvation. I didn't really know what was going on. But there was another lady, in her 30's maybe, who had asked if she could have a pamphlet too. We started to talk her and found out she went abroad to work for a year in Sinagpore, she had lived/worked for a British family who were members, the husband was actually the Bishop. She had gone to church every week with them, she even has a copy of the Book of Mormon. We had an appointment to teach her last night but we were early and she wasn't home from work yet. So we are going to stop by her booth at the palankie, the market when we go shopping later. She seems to be interested. Then we contacted a less active. He wasn't home but his wife was, she isn't a member. But he wanted her to get baptized but she got pregnant so she never went to church, and her husband is now a police officer so he hasn't gone to church in a few years. She told us that they got the Liahona and she really likes to read it. We have a return appointment for this week. That was just two experiences that day. It just goes to show that there are people the Lord is preparing. I love it!! Oh and there is another family we are working with. The Tocoyo family. They are less active. They have three girls that live at home still, and one the daughters has a live in partner (that is not unusual for here, we work a lot of people who aren't married). Anyway, the saturday after I got here, so like my second day, we went to teach the family, I gave the spiritual thought, 3 Nep 18:20-21, about family prayer and then my comp answered some questions that the family had. Helle came out( the live in partner, the sisters before tried to teach him but he wasn't interested) we commited them to come church, of course they said yes. Everyone here says yes to anything we ask them, but then they hardly ever follow through. Well the day we were sitting in Sacrament meeting and the Mom and Leah and Helle all walked in. It was awesome. We talked to Leah and she told us that before he didn't understand what the missionaries were teaching him, but the night before he started to understand, even though we were teaching to him. Sunday morning Leah got up and said she was going to keep the promise she made this time and before she knew it he showered so he could go to church with her. We have taught him two times since, and he actually reads the pamplet and writes down questions for us. It's awesome!!! I was getting ready to teach him the first vision and of course as soon as I started we had a brown out. (a black out) Satan does all he can to stop our work from progressing. But the spirit was still really strong! I hope he continues to learn.
We work with a lot of less-active and part member families here, there are a lot of them. Sadly.
Okay so some crazy things about the culture:
1. A frog, the size of the one mom and dad brought home that one time. But it was fried to the side walk with one leg up. It was really funny looking.
2. We have a mouse in our apartment.
3. Our pets are little lizards, lots of them, they even like to shower with us. haha
4. Shower buckets aren't TOO bad
5. I haven't eaten anything weird yet. But I reallywant to. When we get BBQ next I think I am going to try pig ear or Chicken head.
6. It rains, thunder, lighting storms everynight. And when I don't have my umbrella is when it likes to down pour the most. No joke
7. Everyone rides around in tricees. Motor bikes that have a little cart thing attached. It cost 16 pesos for my comp and I to get to any place in our area ( 35 cents)
8. Everything is cheap. a peso is worth about 2 cents, but you can by a lot for 5-10 pesos. for example my lunch today cost 65 pesos.
OH yeah, the Cebu temple dedication was yesterday!! It was awesome, we watched the broadcast. But president Monson, pres Erying, Elder Oaks, Bishop Burton and some others were there. President Monson even played this childish song on the piano on his way back into the temple after the cornerstone sealing. It was so funny. He kept cracking jokes, but it was just him being him. I don't think anybody in our branch has ever seen a temple dedication before and not very many of them have been to the temple, it made me grateful for where I leave for that opportunity that I have to go often. If you are close to the temple, make it a priority to go OFTEN!!! I promise you, you will see blessings in your life, even if it is just to do baptisims.
Well mom and dad thank you for raising me to enjoy the outdoors. It makes the no make up, constant walking through mud, trees, over bridges made from bambo, TONS AND TONS of bug bites, from masiqutos to flees, to ants to everything else in between a lot more bare able!! So thank you!!
I love you all! Never forget that a sister missionary in Cauayan Philippines prays for you everyday!
Love sister Eveland!