Sunday, February 2, 2014


Happy February Everyone!
    So I am going to try something new. I still get way too stressed out on email day trying to figure out a way to get everything into one email within one hour. So I am going to try to take pictures of where I go and the things that I do so that hopefully they will explain most of the stuffs and then I can just give a little description/the story behind the picture. Hopefully it will work better! :)
     So this week I figured you guys have seen pictures of me way too much. So here are some pictures so you can see the area better! These first two pictures our outside of Hesa Ancheta's house. It is very typical to have houses like this just made out of cement. This is probably most common in my area. There are some houses that are nicer and more developed and others that are just straight bamboo huts. But this cement style is most common.
     Hesa is the investigator who came to church two weeks ago and unfortunately didn't go last week because she was sick. And then this week we visited her on Saturday night to be sure that she would commit to come to church the next day. Unfortunately when we got to their house Rhianna was sick with LBM :( So this week was another week that she didn't come to church. PERO, brother Joseph, Hesa's husband, who would barely say hi to us when we first started visiting them, has been getting more friendly with us, and that night...without us even asking him to join the lesson (which we usually do every time we visit them)....HE JOINED THE LESSON! He just pulled up a chair and sat and listened to our entire lesson so casually it was as if this is what he did every week! But he doesn't do it every week! This was the first time ever! Oh my gosh I could barely stay in my seat haha I was so excited and the lesson was on the priesthood. How perfect is that? So we are realllly hoping they will ALL come to church this week. At the end of the lesson sister Hesa walked us out and she was so so happy. She said she hopes Joseph will come to church. The kids, Raven and Rhianna want to go to church. They call the church "America" because most of the missionaries to teach them have been foreigners so they think that since we come from "America", the church is "America" haha. They will say "pupunta tayo sa America??" Are we going to America?? So things are really progressing with them!
     And so my brilliant idea has officially been shut down for this week because my camera is now dead haha. But anyway so with other people, Brother Nardz and Sister Kathleen are both progressing so well! Nardz's baptism is in two weeks already! He has come to church 4 times now and says that everytime he comes it gets better and better. The first sunday he came we literally had to push him through the doors to priesthood because he was so nervous. But now some people think he is a member already because he is so comfortable and contributes a ton to the lessons. We met with him this week and explained what the baptismal interview process will be like and he started freaking out haha. But he is also really excited for it. And siyempre (of course), so are we!!!
      And lastly, Sister Kathleen! She has now officially been cigarette free for 2 days! Not one cigarette smoked since the beginning of February and I really think this is it. She is determined and really committed to this day of February 22. For some reason she loves the fact that Feb 15 is her sons birthday and then the week right after that, the 22nd will be her baptism haha. Whatever makes her happy right? We had a similar lesson with her about the baptismal interview process and we held a mock baptismal interview with her. It was the most beautiful thing ever. No joke I was so close to crying. She has come such a long way and is such a testimony to me of how the Lord is preparing people to receive this gospel. She is an incredible example to me and she is so so ridiculously excited for her baptism. And siyempre, so are we!!!
     Okay that is all I think I will have time to send this week. But I just need to apologize profusely to you family really quick. I am so so so so so so sooooo sorry that I haven't thanked you all for my birthday present from you all! It was the best present I have ever gotten! I read over it all the time when I have nothing else to do. I am so blessed to have the best family ever. Really, thank you for taking the time to make something that makes me so happy. I love you all so so much and I have a testimony that I am out here in the Philippines preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We preached by the way to this crazy old white man from Oregon who was telling us that you can't be mormon unless you are born mormon.
     I just smiled and told him "hate to break it to you sir but this has been my job for the past 5 months. I have seen people change their lives from being "not mormon" to being "mormon". Then he went on and on about stuff that isn't important haha but I was just thinking to myself about how beautiful this gospel is. I really have seen people's lives changed. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true and restored church on this earth. I know that with all of my everything :) I love you guys. Take care. And if life gets dark or dreary, don't forget to pray.
Sister Sawada

Typical House in San Juan
 Typical Road in San Juan

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