This week I am so much grateful. I didn't notice this until this week, but all of these cute Filipino sisters say "so much grateful" in all of their prayers. I've decided to adopt it, because that's exactly how I feel this week. With Macau moves calls looming, it brings to my mind again that I won't stay here for the rest of my mission. But that's alright. I've learned so much here already.
Sister Baby (Pen3 investigator) isn't doing very well. She hasn't been reading her scriptures and hasn't been to church since my first Sunday here. All of the Pen3 members are worried about her, but as full time and branch missionaries, we decided to just let her be for a while. We'll still keep in contact, but she's definitely not ready for baptism yet. She still needs more time to prepare. Her twin sister (RC) is worried about her too, but agrees that she just needs more time to prepare.n That's alright. She'll be baptized someday. She just needs more time to prepare her testimony.
Sister Dang (Vic2 RC) is still doing awesome. She loves the church and is excited to learn more. We started her after baptism lessons this week. She is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy! We're so glad she loves to read it. She has some kind of eye infection so reading these past few days is hard, but she's willing to read just a little bit every day. We also helped her get the Gospel Library app on her phone so now she can take her scriptures with her everywhere she goes. She's doing so well.
Sister Blossom (Pen3 RC) is doing alright as well. She's having a really,really bad time in her family situation at home and nothing there seems to be going well. Her husband has found a new wife and is turning her kids against her. When someone confronted her and told her that all her trials are because of how she joined the church a few months ago, she turned to them and told them about how Christ was tempted several times while in the wilderness for 40 days. She said "This is my trial, and I will not give in to temptation." She already has such an amazing, strong testimony and is so willing to share it. She told us yesterday that she went finding with the missionaries as an investigator and that she just loved it! That's so awesome. She already has such a wonderful testimony of missionary work and service. She didn't get her day off on Friday for the statutory holiday so she was unable to go to the temple, but she's excited for when it's open on Sunday in a couple of weeks so she can do baptisms. She really wants to go to the temple.
Sister Jill (Vic2 RC) Sister Jill has been in the Philippines for several weeks and we didn't know that, so when she came back we were so happy to see her. We were worried something had happened. We think she has some health problems that she's dealing with as well but she seems to be doing alright. We talked about missionary work with her and invited her to continue to share the gospel with others. She was more than happy to. She's super cute and I'm glad I finally had the chance to meet her.
Sister Mila (Vic2 LA) We met with Sister Mila this week. She hasn't really been reading the Book of Mormon, so we really focused on teaching how it can help her. We gave her a new copy of an English Book of Mormon (she finds it easier to understand than Tagalog) and a copy of the Liahona. She accidentally forgot them at the church, so we pray her employer will let her have a holiday this week and we can help her find her stuff. it took her till Saturday night to realize her stuff wasn't in her bag... but it's okay. We send her a text every evening with a scripture on it, so hopefully she's reading those.
Sister Jonah (Vic2 investigator) We ran into her in the park while finding last week. It was a hot day and the both of us were just exhausted. She saw us and got really excited and invited us to sit with her and her friend Lorena. We shared the Restoration with them and gave Lorena a copy of the Book of Mormon. Both were really receptive, though Lorena was a little quiet. We were so blessed to be able to share with them our love of the Savior and the Book of Mormon. Sister Jonah has international holiday so it's hard to know when we're going to see her again.
I love serving in these branches. Whether that changes today or in 6 months, I don't mind, because I've learned so much and would be happy here for a while. It's hard a lot of the time because people really want to speak Tagalog with my companion- people, being people on the streets, members, investigators... So often times I stand there and listen as they speak Tagalog and they point to me and ask if I understand, to which my companion says no, and then they continue talking. I just feel so dumb sometimes, even though I have nothing to feel dumb about. I just wish I could contribute more to conversations. But that's alright. I'll be okay. I'm learning a little Tagalog just from hearing it all the time, and it's very similar to Spanish so I can understand a little bit, but not a lot. I'm really just "so much grateful" for my time to serve here, and I love it. I love the Lord and know that He loves these sisters, so much!
Monday: Grateful for zoos. We found a zoo on the way home from riding the longest escalator. Yay for orangutans and turtles.
Tuesday: Grateful to stay in my area! No transfers (yet.)
Wednesday: Grateful for sisters on the street who are so excited to get the Book of Mormon!
Thursday: Grateful for helping the district RS prep for Friday's activity...and the pizza they bought us afterwards.
Friday: Grateful for chicken salad sandwiches on croissants... MMM. love it when Americans cook for district RS activities.
Saturday: Grateful to meet members from other countries.
Sunday: Grateful for chocolate after a long day of fasting. And water. DANG it's hot.
Love, Sister Crook!
Are you still able to use your Cantonese? There is one sister who's Chinese who comes to our Sunday branch sometimes and I got to meet her yesterday, turns out she's actually a member that goes to both Tsing Yi and Kwai Chung, so I've met her before. she just comes to the English branch because she has to work on Sundays bit wants to be able to take the sacrament. So I got to sit and talk with her yesterday, and she was like "Thank you so much for sitting by me today." She doesn't know hardly any English but knows that church is more important. what an example of faith. I'm also teaching my companion Chinese... haha. she speaks a little and accidentally slips into in on the streets and it's way funny.
FYI- I'm moving. Tomorrow. not sure where yet though. but my comp is training. chaaaaaahm