Saturday, November 2, 2013

Week 4

Week 4!

WOW! I cannot even believe that it's been 4 weeks already! Time is just flying right by. There's always so much to say, as usual, but this week has definitely been an interesting one.
Sooooo...Basically all of our investigators have either dropped us, not kept their commitments, or have not come to church. Actually, all three of those things have happened with pretty much everyone. It's been a really discouraging week to say the least. Sister Banzali (another sister in our house) got really sick and had to go to the Lipa Hospital. She ended up staying there the whole week, as Sister Tafiti and I tried to clean the entire house ourselves amongst doing our work of salvation.. We spent SO MUCH money on jeepney and tricycle fares to Lipa putting together bags of garments and clothes and other necessities... It made me think about my dad getting surgery on his hip... I'm not sure how ya did it mom, but I understand how you felt now!

Elder and Sister Smith (the senior couple in charge of checking all the apartments in our area) came by to take a look at our wonderfully spacious new house, bringing the extra washing buckets for laundry and showering. They ended up staying later, and we had an appointment and had to leave so they just told us they would lock the back door and leave the screen door open, and lock the front door and screen door. We weren't worried since we have a big yard with barbed wire fence around and pretty much no neighbors... We literally live in the forest. The walk home is always so lonely and depressing (haha), we always think of our first apartment in Poblacion 2 in San Jose and get so sad since it was next to everything... and civilization. But then we remember the mold and the lizards.. :)

Anyways. We get home after a long, unsuccessful day of tracting and canceled appointments, ready to plan and drop into bed. Lo and behold, we LITERALLY cannot get into our house because the back door is BROKEN! Bless his sweet little heart, Elder Smith didn't shut the door right and the door got stuck in an awkward position and it was jammed in there pretty good. Both of us tried to get it open, but it just would not budge. After deciding we only weighed 110 pounds each, there was no way in the world we would be getting into our apartment tonight. We just looked at each other and started laughing and crying at the same time. We thought about going back to Lipa and staying in the hospital with Sister Banzali until the morning, but we didn't have enough money to do that. After talking about it for 15 minutes, calling the STL's and our sisters, I said, "Ok kasama. We ARE getting into our house tonight. I refuse to sleep outside with these lizards and spiders." I don't know how I did this, but I did. Prepare to be amazed:

So, our windows are EXTREMELY high. We have two little ones right by our front door that also lead into the dining room. They're probably like... oh..... 10 feet high. They're also very tiny square windows. I thought of a genius idea to pry open the window and just crawl inside.

Literally, if I did this in America:
            a)  the alarm would go off and/or people would think I'm a robber and stuff; and
            b)  there's no way to open the window from outside

sooo I wouldn't be able to do it.

But, here in the Philippines:
            a) no house alarms
            b) apparently this is normal, and
            c) The windows don't have locks on them and they slide.


I had my kasama give me a boost (actually like 5 boosts) and I made it up onto the window sill. My kasama is just laughing her little head off the whole time and saying "What are you doing?! You're going to die! You're going to fall!" I Just sat and chilled there for a second feeling extremely proud of my ninja abilities and then realized how HIGH it actually was, and how I had no idea how in the heck I was going to get down...

I look at my kasama and say, "Soooo.... Now what?" We just bust up laughing, I'm sweating and wanting to cry and all we can say is "Elder Smith!!!!! WHYYY!!" hahaha "Never again!"

We had three plastic chairs outside, and I had the idea then to take one of those chairs and put it through the window and just carefully drop it and hope it lands on all fours so that I can slide down inside without breaking a limb or something. I tried the first two chairs and both of them fell over.

Well, looks like I'll be sleeping perched up on this window sill with all the lizards and ants. And birds.

I only had one chair left and so I just took a deep breath and tossed it and IT LANDED!! I slid down carefully without scrapping my arms, and just used my awesome arm strength to slide down slowly and carefully... Anyways, I landed, opened the door and my comp and I just fell on the couch laughing and thanking the heavens that we made it safe into our house. We just looked at each other and said, "Never AGAIN." It went in my journal, for sure. I never thought I would do half the things I've done on this mission... Each day brings something new and you just have to be creative and work with what you get. Usually those are the best moments, anyways.

Don't worry mom, I'm fine.

On another note about tricycle and jeepnee's..

OK seriously, the tricycle drivers all know me since I'm the only American sister in my area for the next 100 miles. I was riding on the back of one of the tricycles and as we drive by one of the trike stops, he honks his little horn and yells "Americana!! I have Americana!" They all cheer and hoot and holler. It's like a game or something, to see whose trike or jeepnee I will ride on! It was really awkward to say the least, I'm starting to just accept that people stare and point and take random pictures of me but all I really can do is just smile my little face off and say kamusta. Haha! It's just fun.

In spite of all the bad and weird things that happened to us, I'm excited for this week and the new adventures ahead. This work is really marvelous and is something we all have a duty to share. All of us! Badge or not, we can all think of someone we can talk to about our church. We can all think of someone that we can serve and do something for that is not of our faith. It's incredibly important to just SHARE the gospel. God is counting on US to share it. He needs us! I'm so grateful for this gospel, and I know that God knows me. I know that we can (and should) turn to him for every thing. I hope and pray that I can continue on this hard and grueling journey, and that you'll all know that I know this church is true. It's not easy to live the gospel sometimes. It's not easy to be a good example all the time. But I know that ONE example, ONE testimony, and ONE person's faith can really change so many other's lives. Keep praying, keep reading, and most importantly keep sharing!! Hopefully this week we can find some more souls that are ready to hear our AMAZING message.


xoxo, Sister Seastrand

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