Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nainbug na bigat!
    That's actually Ilokano and it might be totally wrong...it's supposed to say good afternoon but let's be honest, I can barely keep up with tagalog let alone ilokano. But the title of my email this week is also in ilokano just to spice things up a little. Something so crazy amazing about the Philippines is just how many different languages people know here. There is not one person who is not marunog (has the ability) in speaking 2 or more languages. Because already, in school they are taught tagalog and english. And then they usually have their own dialect that they speak depending on where they are from. Here in Ilocos and Benguet (the areas that cover the Baguio mission), the most common other dialect is Ilokano. Many people also tell me that most of the Philippinos in Hawaii are Ilokano! If I am lucky I will be able to learn it and speak with people when I get back :) sana! Also the title of this email says "I am Philipina!" This week more people than ever have been mistaking me for a native. Here's a kind of funny story. 
     This week Sister Nott and I were leaving from an appointment and we opened up our umbrellas and started walking. I felt something on my hand and when I looked down it was an ipis! (cockroach) So I may have screamed a little and threw my hand to get it off but in the process also ended up throwing my umbrella into the highway! Luckily there were no cars so I quickly grabbed it. Sister Nott and I were laughing pretty hard at what had just happened and a man was walking by but didn't seem too amused. Still pretty traumatized I yelled something along the lines of "that was so scary!" and that was the time that the man turned around and really started looking at us. He had this surprised look on his face and we realized that he was surprised to hear me speaking english. He wasn't expecting that haha. Things like this happen on a daily basis. I tell people I am from Manila or other places in the Philippines and they believe me! They sometimes tell me that maybe Dad's ancestors are somehow from the Philippines because I look so much like them haha. Annnnyway. This has been a great week!
      Last weekend was a little rough for Sister Nott and I and we felt that we may have not been trying our best. We decided that starting this new week, we would really just forget ourselves and go to work. You may remember though that on Monday I wasn't feeling too great and that continued to get worse throughout the day and ended up being a pretty bad head cold. I was so upset and Sister Nott and I decided that we could either give me time to recover, or take the step of faith and push through it and see what would happen. We decided to do the second. We prayed that although I wasn't feeling well, we would be blessed for our efforts. And we totally were! We have been struggling this transfer to get members to work with us. They are very willing to work with us, but for some reason when the day comes, something else seems to come up and they end up no longer being available. But this week we were so blessed with members asking us if they could work with us! And it ended up being perfect that they were there because they were able to resolve many concerns with the people we were visiting.
       There seemed to be a theme this week of the importance of gaining a testimony. Early in the week we met with the Bamba family. We had planned to share a specific lesson but as we were getting into it, Brother had a concern. He said that he truly feels that baptism is the right step for his family to take. But he is worried that when his friends and family ask him why he made the decision, that he won't know what to say in response. In another lesson that we had this week with the Limbauan family, we asked a question that we thought we already knew the answer to. We asked them if they knew this church was true. We thought they would say yes right away, but Sister humbly said we are still searching. In our lesson with Maribel, she said that she had felt something in church last week and she thinks it was the spirit. But that she still doesn't feel like her questions in her prayers are being answered. All of these concerns can be resolved in such a simple yet deep and important way. This is through our testimonies. I don't have much more time on email :( so I challenge you all to read from the bible dictionary. Read the definitions of prayer, and conversion. These are two ways that we can learn more about testimonies and also add to our personal testimony. I know that a testimony is one of the only things that God cannot give to us. We must search it out for ourselves. He can help us, but we must put in the effort. I have such a strong testimony of this gospel. Of the ways that it blesses God's children and of the ways that it makes us better people every day. I love you guys and hope you have a great week! Until next time!
Sister Sawada
 If you want, email me back about your insights on what the Bambas, Limbauans, or Maribel can do to strengthen their testimonies. I hope this wasn't too magulo (scattered) love you!

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