I guess it was thanksgiving at some point last week? Haha not much celebration over here but Sister Bircher my house mate is American and wanted to make a thanksgiving lunch. It was way yummy! She bought "chooks to go" which is a rotisserie chicken place, made mashed potatoes and a kamote (sweet potatoe) dish with marshmallows on top haha. It was fun and I think it made her really happy so that's good! It was another great week! I will get started na.
We had exchanges again! This time we were in my area in Bauang. Sister Mortell was my companion for the day. She is from Idaho and is so hilarious! We had some fun experiences together on our exchanges. First we taught a woman named Aileen. She was being taught by the Elders in our branch but they decided to have us teach her instead because she had a crush on the Elder that was teaching her, but since he has left, she has stopped progressing haha. They think switching to sisters might help. The thing is, Sister Aileen is def and mute. I had taught a def man before and so I wasn't too worried about teaching her. But to make a long story short, we struggled haha. I am so scared to go back to her again! Where we struggled was with getting her to answer our questions. Because she is able to read, so we type things down on her tablet, but she won't type to answer our questions. She is only willing to answer yes or no questions. So we are going to have to really pray and study hard before we go back to her again.
Also, when we ride on jeepneys we rarely ride in the front seat, it is higher up to climb in, and then we usually have to squish up against the driver and sometimes they enjoy that a little too much haha. So we usually just sit in the back. But Sister Mortell said she likes to feel like Indiana Jones so we sat in the front. But as we were getting out, my dress caught on something and ripped up the side! Luckily it wasn't too high so we just got on the first jeepney we saw going back to our apartment so that I could change haha and then got back to work. Before our exchanges started she said that crazy things usually happen when she goes on exchanges (when she went on exchanges with Sister Tanner, their umbrella got struck by lightning) Anyway, I thought our exchanges would be an exception, but they were pretty crazy.
So the title of my email is by the power of chika-chika. Which here, chika chika is the term used for like "talk story". And my companion Sister Aroa is the most professional chika chika master I have ever met! haha on our first day together, she walked up to a lady and started talking story with her. It was fun, we told her we would come back to visit her later on in the week. When we were walking away I asked if she was a less active or investigator. Sister Aroa said she had just met her that moment! I thought for sure she already knew her. She talked with her like they were close, like friends or family...did it just click for you like it clicked for me? It's alright because it took me 3 weeks to finally realize this.
In the 3 weeks of our companionship I have learned so much from Sister Aroa, but this is by far the biggest lesson I have learned. She treats everyone like they are already her friends or family. Like she knows them. As Jesus interacted with others and taught them, He knew them. He knew their thoughts, hopes, intentions, concerns, He knows us all. When I go out proselyting with Sister Aroa, and we see a group of people sitting out on the road, we will stop to chika-chika. We pull up any empty chairs we may see and make ourselves comfortable haha. Luckily in the Philippines this isn't rude or intrusive. In these 3 weeks we have found about 30 new investigators and I am in awe at how it happened. With past companions, we have struggled to reach the standard of the mission which is 5 new investigators each week. Last week we found 17. It's not because we are magaling (amazing/talented) missionaries. We are just doing our best to literally represent Jesus Christ. To do the things the way that He would do them. I shouldn't surprised that as we did our best to obey Him when He said to be "even as I am", that we would see improvement.
I was also able to witness a sad example of someone not being like Christ and the way that it affected those around her. We have an investigator named Colas. He is 17 years old but is actually only studying 1st grade. I am not sure why. Maybe he stopped studying and has decided to start again. But anyway he over all just a normal teenage boy! He just takes a little longer to teach but he has great friends who are members and they come to the lessons with us. They help him read the segments of the Book of Mormon and everything. He even came to church this week! But unfortunately in their youth class, there was a young woman who kept laughing at him. Later on on Sunday we went to teach him and he said he liked church, but he was really bummed about the girl laughing at him. We did our best to explain how the gospel is what is perfect and can help us, and sometimes the people in the church aren't the best examples. Luckily he doesn't seem so hurt and he said he is willing to try going to church again next week.
I have a testimony of our Brother and Savior who is Jesus Christ. He loves us and has given us the perfect example. So let's follow him people! Haha that is my invitation for you all :) I love you guys so much! Have a great week! Until next time!