Thank you so much Lyle for all of those pictures! They are sooo fun! You're the best and know exactly the kind of things I want to see from the family. Thank you! If anyone else has more pictures of Jake's graduation I would love to see them! Congrats brother! You're done with high school! Holy cow that's so crazy. So my title to this email is bababa ba? Which really is something in Tagalog! It means "are you going down?" or it could be "are we going down?" This is the question I am asking myself as this Wednesday I will hit my 9 month mark. Halfway na! Words can't express how crazy that is to me. I still feel brand new and according to other missionaries, that may never change haha. All I can say is I am grateful for every day that God has given me here, and I hope that I can do my best to do with each day what He would have me do.
As I wrote to President Balledos just before opening my email, I admitted to him that this week has been a pretty tough one for Sister Nott and I. I think I have mentioned this before, but in every day there is always something positive to take from it. Even if it was full of struggles, I have still learned something every day here and that is great. But some weeks you just have to work a little harder to find the positive. This was one of those weeks. The winds were strong and the rains were stronger. People were hesitant to let us into their homes because they were nice and cozy inside and we were soaking and would wet their homes. Sister Nott and I truly came to understand the meaning of getting "punted". I think I even got some bruising on my bum from getting punted from so many appointments. Wait no that was just from falling down the slick hills here in Baguio haha. But hey! It was still a great week! Here were some of the great things:
1. President Balledos officially gave permission for the Bamba family to be baptized! Bishop Canite here in Burnham 1st ward told them that they couldn't because Brother Bamba has a former asawa. But he was confused and we were able to clear it up with President. So although they didn't come to church this week (we have no idea why but we will find out sana (hopefully) this week!) we are still on track for their baptism.
2. We went to visit the Limbauan family this week on Friday. Their church attendance has been so inconsistent because brother will just randomly decide for the family that they won't go to church that day. But when we came on Friday, they were getting their laundry together to be able to have it finished by Saturday so that they could come to church on Sunday! Sadly the rain was pouring sooo hard on Saturday so not only did their laundry not get done but also Sister Limbauan got really sick from working out in the rain all day. So they also didn't come to church. But we hadn't seen that sort of commitment from them yet so things are still progressing!
3. To be completely honest I can't really think of anything else to share. This week was a really rough one. I hate sounding negative so I won't say much more. But I will share in closing the story of a member in our ward. Her name is Mommy Bennett :) We call her mommy because we go over and share with her and she feeds us a delicious dinner every Sunday night! She loves speaking english with us because her late husband is an American from Idaho. She is over 80 years old but looks, I am not kidding, like she is in her 50s. We asked her one night what her secret was and she told us, "positive thinking". She said, "I HATE thinking negative! If someone is going to speak negative things, I will either ask them to leave, or leave myself."
Mommy Bennett has been my inspiration for this week. Also, I know that positive thinking won't just keep us looking young. It is a huge part of this Gospel. Through His example, Jesus Christ has taught us to be compassionate, selfless, and loving. How do we expect to be these things unless we keep a positive attitude? At times I know it can be tough, but in the end, the blessings will come. I am grateful for these opportunities to be humble and be able to turn to my Savior who through Him, all things will be made right. I love you guys so much. If any of you are having hard times, good! In the Philippines they say kung walang pagsubok, patay ka na. If you have no problems, you're not living! Take this chance to turn to our Savior Jesus Christ who stands with open arms, ready to take our burdens away from us, after ALL we can do.
I know He lives, I know He loves us. Have a great week and please pray for me :) Love you!
- Sister Sawada