Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015: Lessons in Self Reliance

What an adventure of a week. (totally cliche because I think I say that almost every week, but it's true.) I always feel like crazy things are always being thrown out at us, but I love every second of it. We had a cool experience in our finding on Wednesday and another on Friday.

Wednesday we set out for a long day of finding, and it was hoooot. We were tired and getting ready to head up to the WorldWide to do some more finding. On our way there, Sister Arevalo had a thought to go talk to a sister wearing a hat. She was in the middle of a ton of other Filipino sisters and it's always scary to walk up to a ton of them. Turns out she was alone- and looking for a pen. After we let her borrow our pen, we continued to talk and teach her for over an hour! She has so so so many questions and is so humble and willing to learn. She was waiting to meet her friend so she couldn't come to church with us, but we'll definitely see her again this coming week because she wants to know about the Word of Wisdom. How crazy. We were so blessed to meet her!

Friday was awesome as well, as we had planned to meet an investigator's best friend in the WorldWide to help her get to the agency, and we'd teach her afterwards. As soon as we got there though, she said she'd already found someone else to take her to her agency (she's finding a new employer). Well. We decided to make the best of our time and start finding. We were sad this sister cancelled, but she said she'd still come to church afterwards so it was all okay. So we headed up on the roof of the IFC mall and literally the first person we see is a lady named Faith. She said she had nothing to do that day but find peace of mind- so of course we jumped on it and told her we could help her. She was more than willing to come back to the church with us. We ate lunch together and then attended the first part of church. She had to leave early but said she'd come back. When she never did and never answered our calls, we were really sad, but late that night she texted us and said she was so sorry she couldn't make it back in time for the rest of church. She still has interest and wants to come to church with us every Friday. So cool. Sister Robinson once told me that when you're in the right place and the right time but everything seems to be going wrong, look around you and start talking to people. That's exactly what we did and we had an amazing experience. Though we didn't get to actually teach Faith about the gospel (more than what was said in church, anyways) we'll have the chance to this week. So cool! I love the spirit and the Lord's hand in all things.

We had two baptisms this weekend- Sister Dang and Sister Mary Belle. Both shared such wonderful testimonies and I am so grateful to have been here to help them be baptized. I know neither of them really know me or really feel comfortable speaking English with me around (they like to speak Tagalog...) but I just love them so much. They have such incredible stories and I'm truly so blessed to be here serving them. I love the Filipino people. Every day my love for them just grows more and more and more.

I've had to make some adjustments to how I do things. Some things are just a little different- the fact that I only have 20-30 minutes in the evenings to prepare for bed is always hard. I am used to having that much free time to write in my journal and say some really sincere prayers, but I just don't have time to do both anymore. Prayers always take priority. I just love Sister Arevalo. She's hilarious and we make a great team in teaching the gospel. Our sihfaahns in the evening are probably the best thing for us as we learn to teach in English.

This week we had the opportunity to attend at least part of or all of church 3 times! I love that! We had a lovely presentation on Self Reliance this week (three times.) and I learned so so so so so much. Even better was that it's all in English, so I really took it in. We learned a great pattern that I actually used this week in my own life. In regards to problems, we have to first ask ourselves what the *real* problem is, not the problem we think comes from another person. Then we had to analyze our options and then act on our decisions.

I found a way to use what I learned. On Thursday I washed my bedding, and because the dryer was full of lint, it dried slower than normal. So even after 4 hours in the dryer, it wasn't dry. I ended up going to bed with hopes my stuff would be dry by morning, but it wasn't. Even worse, it smelled like wet laundry that had sat in the dryer almost all night. Super lame. By Friday night our whole apartment smelled like wet laundry, even though I'd hung out my blanket to dry. So I decided the real problem was not that I couldn't wash my blanket, but that I just couldn't use the washer. (With 6 of us living there, laundry is a struggle.) But I decided to take the initiative and that evening I washed my giant blanket by hand, rinsed it, and let it dry out over night. I applied all that I learned in self reliance class and felt pretty awesome. Now I have a nice, clean, hand-washed blanket and a sense of satisfaction that I learned something at church. Good stuff. So mom, be proud that I know how to hand wash and dry laundry.

I just love these two branches. The members love me (even though they think it's weird there's an American sister missionary serving there- one sister even told me she hadn't seen an American sister in 3 years, besides the senior missionaries) and I love them even more. Its hard to not speak Tagalog, but it's okay. If anything this is helping me learn how to improve my teaching skills by practicing in English first. I love this opportunity. It's such an adventure.

Love Sister Crook

Questions from mom:

Where do you go to use the computer?
We can use the apple store in Kowloon Tong if we want- it's just busy and noisy and play lots of worldly music. Right now we're in the HK Convention Center. actually just ran into a member from Layton that works for deseret book, so that was cool. I'm in the basement of this massive center and I think we're in a library of sorts/.

I (mom) would make a terrible missionary, I like my worldly music.
it's fun. exhausting. but fun. Also my filipino companion may kill me with the food she makes. it's so good. also I accidentally ate pork liver yesterday. wasn't too bad actually. till I knew what it was. oops.  just never had the desire to eat liver. :P The members cooked for us after Sister MaryBelle's baptism yesterday. most incredible food I've ever eaten. they made some deep fried sticky rice which literalyl tasted like a glazed donut. soooooooo good. if I dont' leave soon I fear I'll gain back all the weight I've lost. haha. just kidding. but really, these ladies cook SO GOOD.

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