Sunday, April 27, 2014

Week 39: What time is it?! Summer time! And everyone is on vacation.... Except the missionaries. Woohoo!

So yup. The subject of this email basically sums up the whole experience that we had this week. 

Monday: P-DAY! honestly I don't know what I would do without p-days. I just might go craaaazy. Thank goodness for p-days. We had an FHE and that was super fun. We played a game and me and Sister M. lost and the punishment was that everyone got to throw baby powder in our faces. fun fun. But they were worried that it wouldn't show up on my face because I'm "so white" haha. good joke. 

Tuesday: Ok Tuesday was awesome and it also feels like it was a bazillion years ago. One of the new mission rules is that the Sister Training Leaders are in charge of the workshop every third Tuesday of the month. That means that me and Sister L. got to have some fun. Our workshop was on using time wisely. But we were soooooooooo tired of the cliche practice teaching that we felt like mixing things up. So we did a boot camp. And it was AWESOME. We split up the districts and then gave them a list of 10 things to do and told them that they had 20 minutes to do everything. The each zone leader was in charge of a district and they were like the drill sergeants and their job was to actually slow down the districts. So it was super fun. They all succeeded and they learned a lot in the process. The other requirement, not only did they have to do everything in 20 minutes but they had to be unified in everything. Needless to say, that was the awesomest workshop ever and I have no idea how we're gonna top that next month… 

But the work afterwards was a bit of a downer because the punted-ness all started up. We went and taught Sister Le. and then we walked and walked and walked and walked.... aaaaand walked. Because no one was home and because it was so hot, no one was outside. The other appointment we had that day was with Brother B. and that was a good lesson too. Patay. 

Wednesday: We went out and worked in the morning and taught C. who is a recent convert. He is a dancer and he's really good but because of that he can never go to church. So we'll see what happens with him. In the afternoon we switched up our normal plans to see what would work. We went and taught Sister P. first and that was fun. And then we went to visit Sister E. who we hadn't taught for a while. We taught her and extended a goal date to her and she accepted. Then we went and taught Sister Li. And then we taught Sister D. M. and the P. family. And we didn't ride in a tricycle at all. We just walked and walked. You know you've done a lot of walking when the members start saying that you've lost weight. Which they totally do here.

Thursday: Another punted day but that was mostly our fault. We decided we were gonna spend the whole day finding. We didn't plan on it being hotter than ever. But we did find a new less active. His name is N. and he's 20 years old. He was baptized back in 2007 and he became less active because all his friends went less active or moved away. So that's what happened. We're gonna try to get him to come back too. We also went and taught Sister Le. again and then went and taught Brother B. again.

Friday: We finally had a member come work with us. And we went and taught Brother T. He's the one that we don't know if he's a member or not. And that lesson was the funniest thing ever. We tried to teach him the Book of Mormon intro and he kept trying to translate everything we said into Ilokano bahaha super funny. The look on Brother A.'s face was hilarious. We went and got punted again and then went and taught Sister D. M. again. And then were just punted until the end of the night. Woohoo.

Saturday: We went and taught P. and M. again and told them to go to church. Then we went and crashed a birthday party. We didn't know anyone there. We just walked up to a group of 20 year olds and stood there awkwardly smiling at them (Elder C. style) and they told us to come in and sit down and eat some spaghetti. Ok sounds good. Can we teach you as well? Of course! Yes hahaha sounds good to me. We got 7 new investigators out of that one hour and it might have just been because I'm white but they did actually listen. And then after that lesson we went to 7/11 and got slurpees as a reward haha 

We then went and taught Sister F. and then went to the church and attended the baptism of Sister J. and Sister V.'s investigator. It was good. And then we had a meeting right after that and during the meeting, the rain started. And not just sprinking. Pouring. And we didn't have umbrellas. but that was ok. We just were stuck in the church until 9 and then we went straight home. That was it.

Sunday: We did everything we could to get investigators and less actives to church but! it wasn't enough. They didn't want to come. And so i've decided that Sundays are the most stressful days of the week. Missionaries have to worry about EVERYTHING on Sundays. The members, the investigators, the less actives, the stats, and sometimes to top it all off we have to give surprise talks or play the piano or be the chorister. Man. It's pretty exhausting. But that's ok. We worked after church and went to Sister Le.'s again and shared with her and then went and taught Sister D. M. And then we went to one appointment and got two new investigators, Sister P. and Sister Lei. They're awesome. And then ended the night at the Po.'s and they fed us pancit. It was a good day.

The whole week was fun and interesting but in the end we learned a lot. So yeah. But this next week is not gonna be like that. I refuse to be punted again... So yeah :)

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. 
Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week 38: Just stare at the ground and keep walking. Or look up! that's an even better option. Just don't look straight ahead because it is Holy Week here in Bataan, Philippines...

This week was very very interesting. It was also very successful but yeah. Holy Week is an interesting thing here… 

Monday: monday was my companion's birthday. So it was a lot of fun. We did our normal p-day thing. Partied it up, you know. At 5 we went out to work just like every p-day and we went to Brother C's house and taught him. He's an interesting kid. If you didn't know, filipinos are really really good at dancing. And Brother C is a recent convert who is on a dance team. And because of that, he doesn't have any time. After the lesson to Brother C, we went to a family home evening at the home of our recent convert, Le. It was a ton of fun. And then we got to eat a ton of food :) I love the Philippines.

Tuesday: District meeting! That was a lot of fun. i like our zone. After district meeting we went and got Shawarma. Remember on the Avenger's at the end when Iron Man says that he saw a Shawarma sign and he thought they should go get some after the big battle was over? Well Shawarma is actually a filipino food and it's super yummy. It's kind of like a pita wrap but nevertheless, they are delicious. I ate two :) yummmm. After that we actually got the chance to meet up with the Cobb family. Brother (used to be Elder) Cobb was
wearing weird normal clothes and his mom was super nice and gave us all hugs and we all took pictures with them. I'm sure you've all seen them by now. They're a very sweet group of people. Then we went home and took a 15 minute nap and went out and worked. We first went and visited Sister Li. We taught her about the plan of Salvation. I love teaching that to recent converts because it has so much more significance to them now. They know that it's true and that all they need to do now is endure to the end and then everything's gonna be ok. it's awesome. And then after that lesson we were super punted. Dangit. but that's ok. We just went around and talked to everyone but EVERYONE was BUSY. Patay. But we did get to teach Sister P's daughter and son. Her daughter's name is Pr and she's 21 and her son is M and he's 20 but honestly you'd think he was 16... he's super immature and loves joking around. But we taught them anyways and now they both have goal dates for baptisms. Woohoo!

Wednesday: We went out in the morning and taught Brother J who is a die-hard Catholic. He's also a member of the Catholic church's choir. He's invited me to join them multiple times. Not gonna happen but thanks for the invite. Anyways, we taught him the word of wisdom and he was funny about it because he said he would live it. That's the weird thing about him. He knows all the stuff we teach him is true but he doesn't want to become Mormon because he's Catholic. Or that's what he says... Interesting. 

After teaching him we went back home and ate lunch. And then went right back out into the heat. 

We visited Brother T who is someone who contacted us on the street and said he was Mormon when he was a little kid. So we said we'd come back and visit him. And we finally did. We taught him Lesson 1 and he said he vaguely remembered it. He's kind of old and we're still trying to figure out if he's an actual member or not… 

Then we went and visited Sister Le again and taught her. She fed us fish balls which are super duper yummy. Then she brought her neighbor, D over and we taught him. He's super nice and wants us to teach him. So we did. And he said when he knows that what we teach is true, he'll be baptized. ok sounds good to me :)

We then went and taught Sister D M who is another recent convert. That lesson was interesting. After that we walked to the next appointment and taught the P family. 

Thursday: If you're ever here in Bataan in Holy Week you will see decorations of huge crosses. You will also see people crawling around in the street with bandannas covering their heads, shirtless, and people hitting them with a rubber strap. You will also see more men walking around shirtless, with a bandanna on their head, tied to a cross. And last but not least, more men walking down the streets, shirtless, whipping themselves and getting blood on everything.

But anyways, Thursday was another punted day. But we still got some lessons in. We found Sister M J who thinks that the only people who go to church are those that have sins. We also taught Sister Li again and Sister P and Brother M and then we went and visited Brother B. 

Friday: Good Friday. Me and Sister L went to Balanga for a leadership meeting. Yes! And the meeting was really good. I learned a lot. Then we came back and worked and I've got to speed this up because we're almost out of time. We went and taught Sister Le's husband D and that was interesting because he was drunk haha but it was fun. And then we taught some other lessons

Saturday: good good good

Sunday: It was fun and we got to teach Le's daughter, J and she was good too.

So yeah. Sorry. But this week was interesting and I'm so glad that I'm here. I love this work and I love the Filipino people when they're not doing crazy things to themselves. Yup.

Thank you for everything. Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess 

Week 37: I am now a member of Sunset High School..... hahahaha juuuust kidding. That's never gonna happen. Even though I'm now in Apollo ward, once an Aloha Warrior, always an Aloha Warrior :)

Man oh man. Lets just say that sometimes transfers are a very very very good thing.

I am now in a different city. And my new companion is Sister M, a Tongan from Alaska. I've got my first American companion! WOW! It's super fun but I've realized just how Filipino I've become. It's pretty weird.

So my week in review...
Monday:We had p-day and it was really fun. Last day with all four of us and so we went and had fun together. We did a family home evening and yup. Just had fun.

Tuesday:This day was interesting because we were all really preoccupied with the idea of transfer calls. We went out and worked and both W and D worked with us. We visited some investigators and I honestly don't remember the whole day. But at the end of the day we ended up in Balintabog with those crazy kids. On the way there both W and D told me that they had the feeling that I was gonna be transferred. But I didn't feel anything so I just shrugged it off. And then Sister T kept texting us and freaking out because we hadn't got the text yet and I was freaking out every time she texted because I thought it was the ZLs. And then they finally did text. And I got transferred :) I wasn't sure how I would feel about it but the initial reaction was just a big YES! and then I sighed a big huge sigh of relief. I think if I had stayed there one more transfer I might have gone crazy... So we headed home and I started packing and didn't get to bed until 12:30 that night.

Wednesday: We got up at 5:30 and headed to the victory bus station. We got on the bus and rode all the way to Olongapo. Then we got off that one and rode another bus. And then we got on a trike and went to Pizza Hut. Man oh man I miss American pizza. It was soooooo good. Then we went to the apartment. We went out and worked and taught Sister L who got baptized on Sunday. She's super sweet but all the people that we visited kept saying that they miss Sister Ma a lot. I don't blame them. She was here for a really long time. But the people here are really nice. This area is way different from my last ones because it's kind of like a city. But it's cool.

Thursday: Went out exploring the new area again. I got to meet Brother H Z who is the son of L. He's really funny and he told me that I need to only speak Tagalog to him and he will only speak English to me so he can have practice. Ok sounds good to me :) His family is great too. We also taught G, one of our 17 year old boy investigators. He's super funny. The whole day, everyone was shocked by my Tagalog. 

Friday: We went back to Sister L's house and visited some less-actives too. The less-actives here are really progressing which is weird but awesome and they're all gonna return next month :) yesss. 

Saturday: First session and second session of General Conference. i looooove General Conference. I learn so much every single time. 

Afterwards, we went and visited the B family who are less-actives too and are super funny. Brother B is a college professor and super smart. We talked about the different languages here in the Philippines for a while. Did you know there are more than 97 different languages in the Philippines? it's super awesome. 

Sunday: General Conference again. I loved President Uchtdorf's talk and Elder Bednar's talk. Soooo good. After church we had L's baptism. She was super happy and so are we. And now I'm sitting here writing all of you.

I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ and I know that families can be together forever in this church. I love this work so much and I can see how much it has blessed my life. 

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. I love you all

Mahal ko kayo! Ingat kayo palagi!
-Sister Hess

Week 36: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Honestly, this week has been the hardest week of my whole mission. And I thought the 12 week training was hard.... Nope. Apparently, Heavenly Father still thinks that I'm not humble enough and that I need to improve faster.

I guess I didn't really tell anyone about my week 40 either. I'll just say it was good and that I learned a lot. If I say everything that happened this email will take me 3 hours to write. 

So week 41.... it was super interesting. 

Monday: So for March we had a goal of getting 200 baptisms or more in the whole mission for the whole month. We aimed high but we didn't hit 200. Instead we got our mission standard of excellence. We have 188 missionaries in this mission and we got 188 baptisms. Woohoo! So we all got to go the mission home. Every missionary here. It was so happy. We had a giant water fight and watched 17 Miracles and ate Lechon Baboy which is one of those giant pigs that they roasted on a spit. It was a lot of fun. And we didn't get home until 9:00 that night so we didn't work.

Tuesday: This was technically our p-day. Kind of weird to have a p-day on a Tuesday but it was ok. We got everything done and went out to work. We got to teach J R, one of our recent converts. He's super funny and I honestly think of him as one of my little brothers. Then we went and taught B who is one of our recently returned less-actives. He's bi-polar I swear. He was feeling really stuck up that night so we just teased him the whole time. It was quite entertaining. 

Wednesday: We had MLC finally. Got to meet up with everyone again at the mission home. And I learned a lot. It was a lot about recognizing our weaknesses and working harder than ever before because this is the work of Salvation and Heavenly Father is hastening his work so we need to work harder too. We then went home and got to go out and work again. We went and taught Sister J again. She's really funny and doesn't really realize that a lot of the things she says are really really rude but at least it's entertaining to teach her :) Then we went and taught C (one of our investigators). She's really really quiet but promising. She just has to realize that the Born Again church isn't the true one... Then we went to teach Brother D. This is where my week started going downhill. Brother D has recently been hanging out with a whole bunch of his friends that are skaters. Not sure what exactly has happened but he doesn't want us to teach him anymore. He says he's happy he met us but he says that it's probably not his time right now to become Mormon so he's going to return to how he used to be and wait until he's ready. WHAT?! Are you kidding me? Why did I just spend all this time caring about you and praying for you and fasting for you and teaching you, just to have to throw it all away? And then I got really sad and mad at the same time. 

Thursday: Still pretty mad and steamed up. But I got through the day. We went and contacted a bunch of referrals from the zone leaders. They weren't actually home but we got to teach members of their families. They're all so awesome and so promising and I'm so excited to teach the actual referrals haha We also taught L and he's doing pretty good. He still has a coffee problem but we're working on that with him. Then we went and taught the Balintabog kids and played with them again. 

Friday: We had a district meeting and this one was fun. And afterwards, we went to this burger place and got Yolanda burgers. Those things are HUGE. It's a three layer bun with hot dog, ham, two patties, cheese, lettuce, ketchup, egg, and a bunch of other stuff. The bun is maybe 6 inches across. And I finished that thing in 20 minutes :) hehe yessss it was so good. We went back out to work and contacted more referrals and had more fun.

Saturday: We got to go watch the women's broadcast and it was really good. I learned a lot from that too. Then we went out to work but we were sooooooooooooo punted. We taught the S family and that was fun but now our area is nearing the finals of their basketball season so EVERYONE was at the plaza watching the game. So we wandered and tried to find.... Unsuccessfully.

Sunday: I love sundays. Went to church and it was fine. Got to do a MCM afterwards. We then went out and actually got to contact one of the referrals. She just wants us to make her mormon right here and right now. YES. That's what Im' talking about haha so yeah. And then it started pouring rain. So yup. Completing my day in the best way :) (no that's not sarcasm). 

That was my week. Now that I look back it wasn't that bad. Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts. I love you all. Keep smiling. 

Mahal ko kayo
-Sister Hess

Week 35: A personal email to Mom

Hello Mother dearest.

No I am not breaking any rules but yes, we are here in a computer shop on a Saturday night.

Just because we got 200 baptisms this month and we are going to have a MISSION activity on Monday so they told us to email now.

This week has been good. I probably won't be getting transferred. Please pray for me. I've got a big job ahead of me.

So yeah. And no D didn't get baptized this week. I'm not giving up on him.

So yup. That was a very very short recap of this week. Everything's good. Still working hard. I love you all.

Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess
p.s. you'll get more info in two weeks haha :)

Week 34: I almost got a pregnant cat thrown on me and I saw a spider the size of my hand. No joke.

Well.... Good morning everyone. How are you all? How is life over there (wherever you all are)?
This week has been interesting and... yeah... interesting. That's all I'm gonna say about it.

Monday: P-day. Just normal. No one was home so we went and taught E, our recent convert and that whole lesson just swatted at mosquitoes so they wouldn't bite us :P 

Tuesday: We headed to the District Meeting and then I got to hold a meeting with the ZLs and the DLs too. So after that, we went out to work. And I was on exchanges with Sister T. I love that girl. She's so awesome. We went straight out and started finding right away. We found one part member family and taught
them and they're very promising. We then joined up with our Branch Mission Leader and kept finding. It was so much fun. We also went and taught the O family and D and also the S girls. It was just a good day and super fun. And at the end of the day when the ZLs called to check in, I got to tell them that we got 3 new
investigators. Woohoo!

Wednesday: Me and Sister T went out in the morning and taught Sister P. Then in the afternoon we went out and found again. We found a new investigator named J and taught her and her 91 year old grandpa. That was fun. Then we went and found another member of the T family that we hadn't taught yet and we taught her. Evey time we go over there to teach them we find another member of their family that we haven't taught yet (all the others are mysteriously not home) and we teach them. Now we've taught 4 members of that family and there are more that we still haven't met yet. Then we went and taught the So. family again. The kittens all tried to follow us out again haha We walked to Balintabog and taught the little kids there too.
Brother D was home so we went and taught him too. He's starting to realize that his baptism is coming up really soon. He doesn't seem too excited about it. And he won't tell us why. 3 new investigators from

Thursday: Went back and taught the part member family that we taught on Tuesday. They're super receptive. They have an old lady that lives there and her name is S G. She is the funniest little old
lady ever. On Tuesday, it turns out, she had actually been there, just sitting in the other room, because she wasn't feeling good and listening. And then she let us teach her and we extended all of them a BGD and they all accepted. We then continued finding and found two other older ladies and taught them. After that we taught D again and are trying to get him ready for his baptism too. That day we got 4 new investigators.
Friday: We went out in the morning and taught J D who is an old less-active. He's the funniest little old man ever. We went back later that day and taught J. Her aunt was there and she would not stop going on and on about how cute I was and how good I was at Tagalog. And then she said she wants me to become her
daughter-in-law.... Oh dear... And then she admitted to us that she was drunk. hahaha man oh man that was a funny lesson. We taught her and her daughter and J and her grandpa. I've never had anyone offer their sons to me before... that was an experience. We then went to visit Sister G. Now this trip was really annoying. Sister G is my baptist friend who is married to a Canadian and thinks I'm a tourist. Yup. We've taught her before but apparently she didn't listen because whenever we go over to visit her she doesn't want to be taught. She just wants to compare America and the Philippines and tell me all the English swear words that she knows... Ok, sounds good. We won't be going back to visit you though. We then went and taught the So. family again and went to Balintabog again. Super fun. 3 new investigators again.
Saturday: Saturday wasn't as productive as the rest of the week because we got invited to a wedding of the older brother of our branch mission leader. And Filipino weddings are soooooooooooooo fun. And
there's so much food. But we still got to teach some lessons. We taught Sister M and Sister G S again. Then we taught L, one of our referrals. We also went to visit D to teach him and his mother told us that
he couldn't be baptized. What?! Apparently she could give permission for him to be taught and permission for him to go to church but he couldn't be baptized without the permission of his dad. Dangit. So
that's one baptism that's not gonna happen this month. Then we went and taught the S girls again. And then went on over to Brother D's house.

We got over there and reviewed the baptismal interview questions. Then we gave him the BCR and asked him to sign and he asked what it was and when I explained that he was giving us permission to baptize him he adamantly exclaimed that he wasn't going to be baptized. He said that he's not ready yet and then still wouldn't say why.

Sunday: We went to church and there was Brother D. We attended and I texted the ZLs and told them that they shouldn't come to the church because Brother D wasn't going to be baptized. Elder R. our ZL asked to talk to him on the phone and he did and the verdict was the Elder R would be coming anyways to interview him. So he did. And then we found out afterwards that the reason why Brother D wasn't ready to be baptized. The good news is that he can still be baptized soon. Woohoo! So yeah. and work was good too on Sunday.

That's a total of 14 new investigators in one week and on that happy note, I'm going to say goodbye until next week and ingat kayo palagi.

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Hess

Week 33: Just keep swimming just keep swimming.... wait. I'm halfway done?! WHAAAA?!

Well... This week has been very interesting. As I've started to realize every week is in San Agustin. 

Monday: As you all know, we got the chance to go to Mt. Samat which was awesome.

Tuesday: We had our half kind of p-day and then got to go out and work. We went out and were soooooo punted. We only got to teach one appointment to D and that was fun and then we went and visited Brother D. And guess what?! He had stopped smoking on Saturday and hadn't smoked since! YES! He learned that if you really want to do something, it's not that hard to do it. And so yes, he is going to be baptized on the 29th. 

Wednesday: We decided that if we were going to be punted we were going to contact all the referrals we had received the week before (and there were lots of them). We first we contacted was Sister R and her friend E and E's 14 year old daughter M(1). They're awesome. We just did how to begin teaching to them and set up a return appointment and they were very receptive and I'm very excited to go back and teach them. After that we went and visited the S family and they're still doing good. They have 3 little orange kittens. The littlest one is like my best friend and I call her my baby. She sits on my lap during the lessons and just purrs :) After that lesson we went and contacted our other referral and she's awesome too. Her name is M(2) and she actually was taught by the elders back when she was 17 years old. She is now 29 and she really wants to find the truth. Good thing we're there, because we've got it :) Then we went to Balintabog and taught all the little kids there and then played some games with them. I love all those kids. They're all recent converts and they're all so strong in the church even though they're only 11-14 years old. They are the future of the church. 

Thursday: We had our cooking demo and mission president interviews. The cooking demo was good and fun and we got to do interviews with President Q and with Elder and Sister D. My first interview was with the D's and they asked a lot of really good questions and it was super cool because I got to see how much I've grown here in the mission. I've been out for 9 months and I'm now halfway done and even though that is such a short amount of time, it's amazing to see the improvement. My interview with President was good too. He just basically encouraged me to keep it up and keep doing my best.He's such a great guy. After that was over we went out and worked again. We were punted again though.... So we went and taught D about LOC. That was fun haha because we're 20 year old girls and he is only a 14 year old boy that is very shy haha And then we visited the Su girls who are less-active. They're coming back to church though so that's great :) They're sooooo funny. I love them and love visiting them.

Friday: We went and visited the S family again and I almost got to take my baby kitten home with me (it's not allowed... Dangit). Then we went and taught Sister M(2) again. She's so amazing and prepared. I extended a baptismal date to her and she accepted, no questions asked. And then we went and taught Brother D lesson 3. We ended up I2L-ing his older brother who likes to talk to us all the time and then we got him to let us set a return appointment to actually teach him. Woohoo! We're just convert their whole family, I think :)

Saturday: We went to the Adult Session of District conference which was awesome. One of the members of the quorum of the 70s was there and he spoke. It was great and we learned a lot. Afterwards we all went back out to work but our stomachs hurt really badly so we stayed at home for a little bit and then went back out. We taught Brother D's older brother JC and it was a lot of fun. I really like that family because they make me feel like I'm at home. They're all quirky and weird and hilarious. 

Sunday: We went to Liozon for District Conference. It was a lot of fun and all the youth in our branch had gotten a choir together. They were really good but they refused to smile because they were told to focus on the music. They looked so bored and even angry and because we were sitting in the front row, I spent the whole time trying to get them to smile. It was really fun and I succeeded with a few. YES. haha And then we went home, ate dinner and took a super quick nap and then went back out to work. We taught Sister B and she's fine. Happy like she always is and a little bit shy but she's warming up to us. And then we went and taught the Balintabog kids again. We also got to teach three of their little friends. Super fun. After that we went to Brother W's house and got to eat dinner. His mom is an amazing cook. I love Filipino food. 
So yeah. That was this week. Fun and successful and just fun. 

And now I would like to announce that I am officially halfway done with my mission. It's gone by so fast and I'm still super happy here. I love you all. Thank you for all your love and support and prayers. Have a great week!

Ingat kayo! Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess

Week 32: A day late :)

Sooooo Hi :) How's everyone today? Everything's good over here. Just peachy :)

There's a reason why this is late and that would be because yesterday we got to go on another Zone Activity because we achieved the Standard of Excellence again for the month of February. And we just happened to be the only zone in the whole mission to achieve. Woohoo! So we got to go to Mt. Samat. If you don't know what that is it is a really big monument from world war 2. All about the Death March in Bataan. If you are at home, feel free to look it up. It's a really cool story about how the Filipinos and the Americans worked together against the Japanese. But the monument itself is amazing. It is a giant cross on the top of a hill. And you can go inside it and ride an elevator all the way to the
top. When you're at the top, there are windows on both sides and you can see from one side of the island (you can literally see the ocean) to the other (and then you can see the other ocean). It was pretty awesome. But the coolest part was the spiritual devotional thing we had afterwards. But yeah :) Yesterday was a good day.

But right now I'm supposed to tell you about this last week, so I guess I should get to that. 

Monday was fun. Support days are exhausting though. Support days are what you call the first p-day of the month and you go get your money. And then you shop and get everything you need to get done. And then we went out and worked. We didn't have an FHE planned to we went to our area and decided to do some finding. Brother C M worked with us. He's never worked with us before. We contacted a couple of referrals and I got to I2L a lady who wanted to talk to me because I'm white and speak English. The reason she wanted to do that is because her husband is Canadian and she needs someone to practice English on while he's gone. Works for me as long as I get to teach her. 

Tuesday: We had a district meeting and that was good and President Q attended our meeting. I got to give the Spiritual Instruction at the end and yup. That was it. Then we went out and taught. We taught Sister J who is an interesting old lady and also a member of Iglesia ni Cristo. That was an interesting lesson because she just wanted to compare our church with hers. Good luck with that. Then we went and taught D who is the cousin of some members here. He's a funny kid who is 14 years old and he's shy because we're girls haha. But it was a good lesson and now he has a baptismal date and we'll see what happens with that. And then we went and taught Brother D and Brother C worked with us again and he shared the scripture with him. Brother D has been discouraged a lot because he's trying to stop smoking. It was a good lesson and we've really been trying to encourage him. We'll see what happens there too.

Wednesday: Brother C M worked with us the whole day today. And we were punted. We still taught people and had a good day in that sense of the word but I haven't gone home that depressed or discouraged in a long time. Like since my training. I prayed so hard that night to figure out what I was supposed to do on Friday... And I refused to have a repeat of that day.

Thursday: Thursday was a very very good day compared to Wednesday. We got to teach another referral for the first time. Brother L, who is very smart and wants to be baptized too. And then we taught some less-actives and D and Brother D again too. And Brother W worked with us. I love it when he works with us. It was like a breath of fresh air. 

Friday: Brother C worked with us again. The day was good. We got to teach the lady that we contacted on Monday who only wanted to talk to me because I was white. She calls me Hess because she doesn't realize that that is my last name haha. She's a Baptist and we got to hear all about her life problems. It was very very interesting. Then we went and taught Tatay A who is one recent convert who recently suffered from a stroke. We got Brother C and Brother W to give him a priesthood blessing and the changes were dramatic. He sat up more and had more energy and we actually got to teach him. It was awesome. We also taught the S family again and Brother C taught them and he did it right this time :) And then we went and taught Brother D. He's really down on himself. We almost don't know how to help him. But we keep trying because we know that he can do it. So all-in-all the day was a really big success. 

Saturday: Happy Birthday, Dad! :) We had a meeting with our BML and we planned for a Mini MTC that we're gonna hold in two weeks. It's gonna be awesome!

And then our BML, Brother De worked with us. I love that guy. He's super funny. He's an RM that served in the Cebu mission and he's a really good missionary. We went and taught D again and it was a good lesson and then we went to teach Brother D. We were really hoping that Brother De could help him because they're best friends. And he did help him. Brother D was a bit more encouraged and willing to keep trying.

Sunday: Brother D's birthday. He worked with us all day and didn't smoke (because he couldn't). At the end of the day we went and dropped him off at his house and he told us that if it was last year he wouldn't have been working with the missionaries for his birthday. He would have been off drinking at one of his buddies houses. He told us that this birthday was a lot happier and then he said that he wasn't going to smoke anymore because he really wanted to quit and he knew he could. YES! Success :) 

So yeah. That was my week. It had it's ups and downs but that's just how missionary work is. I know that this is the only true church on earth and if we keep striving to be exactly obedient and never give up, the Lord will bless us in every aspect. I love you all and thank you so much for all the support and prayers. 
Have a great week. Talk to you next time. 

Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess :)

Week 31: Keep Calm and Don't Become a Nazi

haha this week has been super duper interesting. It was transfer week and guess what! None of us got transferred. We're still here in San Agustin. The only thing that changed in our zone is that one of our zone leaders became an assistant to the president and then we got two new ones. That's.... fun.

So yeah, crazy crazy crazy week over here.
Monday: We had a Family Home Evening at one of the members houses and it was super fun. We played a whole bunch of games and they all involved water :)
Tuesday: We went out and tracted and worked with the members and waited for the text announcing who was transferring. We were almost home and then Elder C called and said that no one was transferring. Not exactly the most exciting of transfer days.
Wednesday: We went around our area again and taught a bunch of people. Our last appointment was with Brother D. And he told us that he had relapsed and was super super discouraged. He told us that he wanted to give up. So we taught him a really encouraging lesson about David and Goliath and he got a priesthood blessing. That is some powerful stuff.
Thursday: We had a zone meeting where we met our new Zone Leaders. They're an interesting pair. This is gonna be an interesting transfer... Afterwards we taught J (who was getting baptized on Saturday) and that was super fun because we joke around with him a lot. We also went and taught one of our recently returned less-actives who is also a really big joker. And then he told us that we was going to work with us on Friday. Alright, that's good with us.We went and visited D again and he seemed to be doing a little bit better but he was still a bit discouraged.
Friday! We had MLC again and that was awesome. We went to the mission home and I got to see everyone I love because Sister C is now an STL as well! YAY! Reunions are sooooo happy. And I learned a lot too. And I'm definitely going to apply them to my calling as an STL. After the MLC, we went home. There I found out that all the branch missionaries had had a huge bunch of drama happen and while I was gone the other sisters here had fixed it. Ah I love these sisters... And then we had a baptism. Brother J got baptized and he was so happy. He says he wants to serve a mission. YES! After the baptism we went and taught all the recent converts that we have in Balintabog who are a bunch of kids that are awesome. We always play a really short game afterwards with them as a reward for listening to us. We played Hair Fight this time hehe
Saturday: This day was really successful. We got 3 new investigators and they were all referrals. We taught Sister B (16 years old) and gave her a baptism date but she says she can't come to church because she goes to church with her Grandma at the Catholic church. That's gonna change pretty soon. And then we went and found another referral and taught them too. Then we went and taught the S family who are recent converts. They're awesome and say they're gonna prepare a lot of referrals for us :)
Sunday: We went to church and it was good. We went and taught the O family again and Brother D worked with us along with Brother W and Brother Jo. It was a really fun time. And then we went and taught the kids in Balintabog again and then went to the Su family's house and had dinner. Nanay Su is awesome and she loves cooking for us. So yeah. This week was good and fun. I learned a lot and I plan on changing a lot. Thank you for all your prayers and support. I love you all. Have a great week! Until next time.
Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess

Week 30: This is the ONLY true church on the face of the earth. You can argue with me, say whatever you want. It's not gonna change how I feel. And if you try and make me mad in the process, I'll just speak really fast in Tagalog at you hahaha Good luck!

Well, this week was very very very interesting. Lets just say that I had two people try to convince me that the LDS church isn't true. Good luck with that….

But yeah, lots of fun times this week but my testimony is stronger than ever.

So Monday: It was a normal p-day and then at night we had a FHE and it was super super fun. We made some more people members of booga booga and then we had a hair fight (we'll play that when I get home) and then played the needle game (Sister C knows what that is... hehe).

Tuesday: We were really really punted. We went from appointment to appointment and no one was home. But we still got some lessons in anyways. We taught L and D to help them prepare for their baptism and then went and taught De again. He was smoking 8 cigarettes a day and then he dropped down to 7.

Wednesday: Today was one of the interesting ones... We went and taught the S family (recent converts) and then taught N (one of our investigators) and then we taught brother De again (only 6 sticks today!) And then went back to the Methodist lady's house. She wanted to feed us and she had ordered my favorite Filippino food (Bicol Express). But there was a catch to that meeting... Someone had given her an Anti-Mormon magazine. I asked her about it, and she said she didn't want to talk about it because it might "ruin our friendship" and then we were like ok fine with us. But then she proceeded to tell us things about it and read us things out of it that were possibly the most ridiculous things I've ever heard about the Mormon church. We told her that they weren't true. Even though we kept telling her that it wasn't true and that it wasn't even written by Mormons, she said that she didn't know. Well, alrighty then. And then she proceeded to lecture us again about being "inclusive and not exclusive". Hmmm ok. Yup. That was the first interesting lesson that I got to be a part of this week. The good thing was the food was delicious :)

Thursday: Thursday was another punted day. We went and contacted the referral of one of our recent converts, and she's awesome. She really, really wants to go to church. The only problem is that they're really far away from the church, and they don't have any money to ride to church. So we'll see if we can fix that.

Then we got to the other interesting lesson. This one was to one of our less-actives that I had actually never taught yet. His name is R and he has actually been taught by another religion and they gave him a bible of theirs, and he's been studying it religiously. We went to teach him and we answered all his questions but he didn't accept them as answers because they're built on faith and not on fact. Let's just say that he made me really mad and yup. But the one thing I actually like about the hard lessons like that is that they solidify my testimony. There is no way they're going to convert me to their religion because I know that mine is true. Don't bother trying to convince me because I'm just as stubborn as you are... Ugh. So that was fun. 

Friday: This day was a lot better because I got to go on exchanges with Sister T. We went around her area and taught a bunch of people. I tried to help her resolve some of her concerns. We taught one less-active who says I look like Taylor Swift (when she came to church on Sunday that's what she called me and hugged me) and taught some more investigators and it was fun because it was two white girls walking around speaking English and everyone was pretty amazed haha

Saturday! Baptism day of Tatay and Nanay M and L and D. It was great, and they were all so happy because of it. Then we went to visit the O family (recent converts), and I got to play with their three little girls and their son. Man it made me miss my siblings so much. But it was fun. I felt like I was home.
Sunday: This day was good too. I got to be the pianist at church, and I also got to give a talk about our Missionary duty. I forgot how much I love giving talks. We also got one more of our investigators interviewed for baptism. Then we went and taught the O family again about missionary work and then went and contacted another referral and then went and taught Brother De again. He's down to two cigarettes :) His goal is to be completely off them by March 1st. I love this Gospel and seeing it change the lives of people. 

I'm so grateful for the chance to be a missionary. I know this is the true church. Not a doubt in my mind. Thank you for all the love and support that you give me. 

Mahal ko kayo!
Have a great week! Until next time.
Sister Hess

Week 29: Jeans, Sun, Wishing wells, Sand everywhere, Exchanges, Nutella, and Jam sessions on the piano

Greetings from planet Earth! I'm Jimmy Neutron and YOU'RE an Alien life form....
Hahah juuuuust kidding. 
Sister Hess here again. 

This past week has been super fun and we've noticed so many blessings in our work. 

Monday: As you heard last week, we had a zone activity on the beach over here in our area, and it was amazing and gorgeous, and I wanted to swim sooooo badly but I'm a good girl and I didn't. We also did a family home evening in our area and made a whole bunch of kids members of Booga-booga. That was super super fun. 

Tuesday: I went on exchanges with Sister A (trainee of Sister T). That was a lot of fun too. I learned so much from her. She's a great missionary and even though she's only been out here for 5 weeks. We got to teach a lot of people in their area and that was a lot of fun to get to know a whole bunch of new people.
Wednesday: We had a zone conference. It was great and I got to see a lot of my friends, and then we got to eat at a fancy restaurant. We came home and got back to work. We visited L and D and then headed to teach Brother D. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and found out that he has a drinking problem and a smoking problem. But he is so willing to change. That's always one of my favorite things about missionary work, seeing the change come over the people we teach because they know that the Gospel is true. I love it so much. 

Thursday: We were actually quite punted today which means that we go to our appointments and no one is there or they're super busy. But we still got to teach some people anyway. We went and taught the S family and then taught J (who is going to be baptized on the 28th) and then went and taught the O family. They're a family of recent converts, and they're awesome. They have 3 little girls and they always hang on me because they think that if they do, maybe some of my whiteness will rub off on them haha I gave the three little girls and their older brother and their mom some CTR rings and they were so happy. 

Friday: We were really punted today too. Because it was Valentine's day, and no one was home at all. It was really weird. But we still got some teaching appointments in anyways. We taught Brother E who is a recent convert too. He's a little spitfire. He's 14 years old and super funny. We pretty much just tease each other through the whole teaching appointment. And then we went and taught L and D again. They're ready for their baptism too. And then we went to our dinner date at the house of Sister Z, the Methodist. This was like us making up for the last time we tried to teach her. And it was actually pretty good but mainly because we didn't teach her anything. But it was fun anyways.
Saturday: This day was super super fun. We got to do a CSP or church service project. We went to the M's house and we got to chop up a bunch of vines that were making a mess everywhere and then we got to help pick mangoes. And *bonus* I got to wear my jeans! :D That makes a very very happy Sister Hess. And then we taught them the Law of Chastity and the Law of Tithing and reviewed all the baptismal interview questions in one sitting hahaha that was fun. And then we went and visited L and D again and reviewed the baptismal interview questions with them too. 

Sunday: Went to church and so did 6 of our investigators. We had a jam session after church and I learned to play some new songs and then 4 of our investigators got interviewed for their baptism next week. And yup. Now I have to go.

Thank you so much for all the love and support. I love you all. Keep working hard and keep smiling. 

Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess

Week 28: It is February and I am soooooooooooooooo sunburned. I love the Philippines :)

Magandang hapon po sa inyo lahat! Kumusta na po kayo? Seguro, gusto ko magtagalog lang dito sa email ko sa inyo haha pero hindi pala pwede kusi hindo nyo naiintindihan. Sayang naman…..

Alright English na lang. 

How is everyone?

I'm great over here in the Philippines. You know that statement that says, "It's more fun in the Philippines."? Well if you didn't know that well now you do and it's definitely true.

This week has been a lot of fun.

Monday was a normal p-day. Got everything done and got back to the house, cleaned and then went out to work. We went and visited a recent convert who right now is living as a single parent because her husband (who is also a recent convert) is working abroad. We shared a scripture verse with her and then she just opened up and told us all about the many problems in her life. Apparently she's having a really hard time with her youngest son.... We could only encourage her to keep praying and having faith. 

Then we went and visited a husband and wife who are members and they've been members for a while. That was a fun lesson too. They're both pretty old but the dad's a big joker. 

Tuesday was MLC or Mission Leadership Counsel. So I got to go to the mission home. And I got to see Sister Lo and Sister Le and Sister P and Sister Ja and all my friends that are also ZLs and STLs right now. And it was super fun. I learned so much, and after that I actually felt like I might be able to do this STL thing.  

And then we went and visited Brother D who is my favorite investigator right now. He's 23 years old and he reminds me a lot of Brother R over in Lubao. He plays the guitar and used to be part of a band and so we had a jam session :) That was super super fun. And then we shared a scripture verse with him and committed him to ask God if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. 

Wednesday was my first Zone Meeting here in Botolan Zone. Our Zone Leaders are Elder C and Elder E. They're both awesome. If I was going to use one word to describe Elder C that would be "intense". He loves missionary work and he is a very, very hard worker so of course he expects all of us to be that way too. Elder E is just kind of quiet but he's also a very good ZL. Their workshop was all about finding because they want to make sure that we're prepared for next month too. And then they challenged us all to find at least one new investigator every single day. And then it was time for me Spiritual Instruction (that's what STLs usually do in zone meetings). My SI was on improving yourself everyday and pushing yourself. My favorite quote (that I forgot to share) is, "The only person you should be better than is that person that you were yesterday." And then I compared missionary work with Cross Country hahaha yup, I actually did. I think it was good... but I'm not exactly sure because the only person I asked for an opinion from was Sister L and because she's my companion... She's kind of biased haha but oh well. 

Wedneday was the start of the finding game. The ZLs texted us and told us that we had from 2pm to 9pm that night to find at least one new investigator and then to text them the names of them right after we get out of the appointment (I hope that makes sense... my English grammar is so bad right now). And then once they knew who had investigators they would send a mass text to everyone so that we would push each other to keep finding. It actually worked out really well. 

So we went out and taught a lot of people and everyone we saw we would talk to and so we got two new investigators and a bunch of return appointments :) Woohoo! "It's fun to find, it's fun to find, it's fun to find." 

Thursday, this was a good day too and yes, the finding game did continue. We headed straight out to visit the M family who lives really, really far away. They live about a 25-30 minute tricycle ride away. But they're awesome. But the sad thing was that we got there and Tatay told us that Nanay wasn't there. She was at a funeral... Darn. We taught Tatay anyways. We just resolved his concerns again and he said he was 99.9% sure that he was ready to be baptized. YAY! But because we spent so much time there resolving his concerns, we didn't get back in time to do some actual finding because it was dark by then. We went and taught Brother J who is going to be baptized on the 28th and that was fun because he's a 15 year old kid that's really quiet but has his own way of joking. Filippinos loooooove joking so I fit in perfectly here haha After the lesson for J, we got to teach Brother D again. We asked him if he prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet and after the prayer he said he heard a really loud "Oo" (oh-oh) in his head which is Tagalog for "yes." It said it scared him really bad hahaha So he knows that Joseph is a true prophet of God. We then proceeded to teach him about the Book of Mormon and it was a really good lesson too. Then we committed him to be baptized on March 8th and he accepted :) yeehee.

Friday was a lot of fun because somehow we ended up with four members to work with us. All young men. The young men here in San Agustin Branch are craaaaaazy. There was Brother W, Brother Du, Brother B (one of our returning less-actives), and Brother Je. They are a hilarious group of boys. We got two new investigators on Friday too. One of them, Sister M, has a lot of potential and we're really excited to teach her again. The other, Brother A, probably won't progress very much but at least he listened. He told us straight up that he wouldn't go to church at our church because when he does go to church it's only at the Catholic church. Well, we'll see about that. 

Saturday, we went and visited a lot of less-actives. And that was fun and at the same time not so fun. Sometimes less-actives are really hard to teach because they are members that already know that gospel. So sometimes it feels like running head first into a brick wall.... But oh well. At least we keep trying. We went back and taught Brother D again and had another jam session. We shared a scripture verse and he had invited his two cousins to listen. It was a good lesson too.

Sunday, church time! And we had 6 investigators come. And they all have baptism dates :) Looks promising. Work after church wasn't as good as it was on the other day. We were so punted. There was no one home. But we still went and taught Le and De who are two little kids that are gonna be baptized too. They're super funny and I love teaching them. They're 13 and 11 years old and they've got a lot of spunk. 

After teaching them we went and visited our Methodist friend, Sister Z. It was a very interesting lesson.

So yeah. That was my week. Everything's good. And it was all fun. Gotta go now. 
Love you all. Thank you for all your love and support. Until next week. Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess

Week 27: I got emergency transferred?! SAY WHA?!

Well this week has been super duper interesting.

I got emergency transferred on Wednesday. That means (for those of you not familiar with missionary terms) that I got transferred to a new area on a day that wasn't a transfer day. So it was Wednesday, Sister C and I were just sitting there talking and then the APs (assistant to the president) called. Elder F asked to talk to me and then told me that he had news for me. I was being emergency transferred that day, and I had to be packed in 2 hours. And that was all he told me (later he told me that he likes leaving out important details so we freak out....). So of course we ran next door to tell the other sisters and found out that three of them were being emergency transferred as well. CRAZY. So we're all freaking out a bit and packing like mad-women and of course, speculating... Why are we being transferred? 

And then President Q and the APs finally got to Lubao. President told us that we're all being transferred because the Sisters from the Tacloban mission are going back to their mission. 

So I got transferred. I'm back in Zambales! I'm so happy :) And we're super close to the ocean. In fact, it's in our area :) WOOHOO! I'm happy now. 

Also my companion is now Sister L. She's super sweet and I like her a lot. And then to top it all off, President Q made me an Sister Training Leader (STL) which is a leadership position for a sister, kind of like a Zone Leader. 

The main problem with emergency transfers is that your brain and heart are kind of still in your last area. My first two days here were kind of a blur but then I got into the flow again. I'm comfortable here and the people are so nice. 

So I have to tell you about my awesome experience this week....
We have this couple that we're teaching. Tatay and Nanay M. Nanay is awesome and she's so excited to get baptized. She know's it's true and knows what she needs to do. Tatay is a little resistant. He has a few concerns but their all in his head. 

So we went to teach them the other day and it was my first time teaching them. Our topic was obedience and baptism and confirmation. It started out really, really good. And then he started asking questions. He wants to know everything before he gets baptized. 

And then a question popped into my head and I asked him, "Tatay, sa tingnin mo, hindi po kayo pwede patuloy na mag-aaral pagkatapos ung binyag nyo?" (or in english, "Tatay, Do you think that you can't continue studying after your baptism?")

Of course that made him stop and think for a second and then I continued in encouraging him that being baptized is the right decision for him and we shared some scripture verses with him and followed the promptings of the Spirit and then in the end, he agreed to be baptized on February 22. YES! Man I love it when lessons go like that. And the Spirit was so strong too.
That was probably my favorite lesson that I've been a part of in my whole mission. 

The rest of the week was really good too. The members here are awesome and they feed us all the time. 
We also had a baptism on Friday night. Brother A is 15 years old. And he got confirmed and ordained a teacher on Sunday. The work is progressing all over the world. 

Thank you for all your love and support. 

I know this is the true church on earth and that God loves all of us and wants us all to get back to him. 
Mahal ko kayo
-Sister Hess

Week 26: Wala akong creative headings ngayon... Sayang naman

This week has been a good one. Not too much eventful happened. Kind of just a regular week. 

Monday, Sister L's birthday! Happy Birthday! Woohoo! Did you know, fun fact here, when Filippinos have their birthdays, they prepare food for everyone else and then tons and tons of people come over to their house and eat their food. A little bit different than what selfish Americans do haha joke-lang. Anyways, Monday was good. We had our normal P-day and got tons of stuff done and then went out to work. We went and taught Sister E who is a recently returned less-active but we like to visit her anyways. She's kind of creepy... She's old and lives alone in this huge house. She's also a big fan of fortune telling and Sister C's got some fun stories about her from when she and Sister S went and taught her one time. But anyways, it was a good lesson and we helped improve her day (her words, not mine) and yeah. And then we walked around a bit more and I2L-ed a bunch of people.

Tuesday: We walked around one part of San Pedro Palcarangan that we had never been in before. We went and contacted a lot more people too. We taught three new people named Sister Am, Sister J and Sister Ai. Sister Am is an older lady and she's had a really hard life too. Something about her daughter getting a "husband" when she was 14 years old and moving out? Not exactly sure because she was talking really fast. And then something else about something bad happening to her son (that one was not fun to hear about and I understood every part of it. Gonna spare you the details right now). I love being a missionary but sometimes I definitely feel like a psychiatrist. I get to hear about everyone's problems. And sometimes (especially with the older ones) they don't have anyone to talk to about their lives and so they just love to spill everything when they talk to us. So that was an interesting lesson but that's ok because we're gonna go back and try to help her. 

We also got to teach the girlfriend of Brother K, Sister M. She's awesome. She actually lived in Japan for 8 years with her last husband and she has 2 kids. And she tried to teach us a little bit of Japanese. I am so glad that I'm serving where I'm serving. That language is so flippin hard. She used to live about an hour north of Sendai. I forgot what the place was called. But anyways. We taught her lesson one and she got it all. She said that she believes that it's true and so we'll see where it goes from there. 

Wednesday: We went and taught Sister M again. She's another older lady who looooooooooooooooves to talk to us. Her kids are part of one of those new Filippino religions that has some very... how do I say this nicely... *interesting* beliefs. Well anyways, Sister M went to church with her kids last Sunday for the first time. After church she said that her daughter asked her how she felt... This was her reply. She felt like she was only a visitor there and then she said that she felt more from when "the mormons taught her because we cheer her up every time we teach her." YES. Point one for the Mormons haha We then proceeded to teach her about the Plan of Salvation and she said that she was grateful for us, that we always come and visit her. And that we are a blessing in her life. Well that definitely made us feel good :) We then walked to Dela Paz and taught a less-active who has a gambling problem and maybe some other problems. It's always a nice reminder for me that even though we're members of the true church, we're not perfect. Everyone has problems.... And our job, as missionaries is to help them fix their problems. Anyways, that was an interesting lesson too.

And then we went and taught Brother J who is a new investigator. He's 13 years old but he is tiny. Like tiny tiny tiny. When I first met him, I thought he was 8 years old. But anyways, he's awesome and we've been teaching him a little bit at a time so it gets stuck in his brain. 

Thursday was interesting because I got sick. I haven't been sick my whole mission but I guess it happens to everyone. We worked for 3 hours but something just wasn't right with me. I was freezing cold, and it was like I didn't have any energy at all. We I2L-ed and then we ended up coming home. I went straight to bed and slept for a really really long time. 

Friday was another sick day. I think I was just physically exhausted. My body couldn't take it anymore. So we got me some vitamin C and some rest and now I'm good as new. 

Saturday was a baptism day for Sister L and Sister J and Sister P. So of course, we went to support. But nothing ever starts on time here. I'm talking like an hour late... So we got to teach Brother J again, and then finally, the baptism started. It was great. It was the baptism for 2 teenage girls who are hilarious and the funniest thing is that they used to live in Masinloc in my old area haha weird... But yeah. AND Sister Ca came up for the baptism :) She brought us brownies from Manila. I almost died. They were like homemade ones! Like from America! :) Sooooo happy. Anyways, after the baptism, we went to the house of a less-active that we'd never met before. They're great and we committed them to come to church and said we were going to come pick them up.

Sunday: We went to the house of the less-active to pick them up and they were actually there. We've tried to do that in the past but they've always flaked on us. But there they were :) We all went to church together and then Brother R showed up and got confirmed. Me and Sister C have missed that guy. He's been working in Manila and he says he's exhausted. Well that's what happens when you get a new job.
After church we went around and taught lots more people. And then had a Family Home Evening. I love FHEs here because they're always soooooooooooo happy. 

But yeah. So that was my week. I guess it was pretty eventful and definitely fun. 

Thank you for all your love and support and prayers. This is the true church, and I'm where I need to be right now. 

Mahal ko kayo!
Until next week!
-Sister Hess