Monday, February 23, 2015

Coming to you from Baguio!

Hey Mommy!
   I saw that your email that you sent to me is titled coming to you from downtown Honolulu. Well today this email is coming to you from Baguio! Yes, Sister Concepcion and I made the twisty and turny journey from Bauang to Baguio. Yes we both got motion sick haha. But I must say it was quite worth it! Why? I was able to see the Bamba family!!! Oh my goodness I cannot explain just how full I was with joy. Not even full, just completely over flowing.
    Quick update on their family: Brother Ben is young men 1st counselor which is perfect because Stephen their oldest son is in the teacher's quorum. He is also the president of teacher's quorum. Sister Jen is the primary president! And she is continuing meeting with the church to get her self reliance certificate in order to qualify for the perpetual education fund. They are so hard working it is ridiculous! Sadly Stephen and Benilda weren't there but we have made plans to have lunch when I go up to Baguio once more before I leave so that I can see them :) it's so nice that Bauang is relatively close to them. Anyway, I am just so happy to hear that they are working with the missionaries, referring their friends and family, and ultimately just doing everything a new member should be doing and more.
     Now back to Bauang! This was a great week. Monday was pday. Tuesday: we had exchanges with Bauang 2 sisters. They are our housemates so exchanges with them are the least hassle so it's really nice haha. We actually had a 2 day exchange. Something we are just trying out to see if maybe it will help to make exchanges more effective. It's funny even though I am not STL anymore, I get to do most things STL with Sister Concepcion as my companion. It was way fun. On Tuesday I got to work in Bauang 2 area with Sister Paguirigan, yeah try to pronounce that. She is from Antepolo which is near Manila. She is just 3 weeks into the mission so working with her was sooo much fun. Probably my favorite exchanges yet because she was so humble and willing to try new things. I also learned a ton from her she is already very experienced because she worked almost every day with the missionaries before coming on her mission.
    Wednesday was exchanges but this time I was with Sister Golightly and we worked in my area in Bauang 1. Which was also a very fun day because Sister Golightly is a good friend of mine in the mission. We had great lessons with Rolly, MA and some less actives in the area but maybe I will share about Aida. So first, you should know that Sister Golightly is a big Justin Beiber (Bieber?) fan. So as we were walking along the road, we saw a home that had a big Justin B. poster up. We stopped to enjoy it for a second and then an old woman came out to talk to us. She explained that the poster was crumpled up in the trash outside her house and she thought "sayang" or "what a waste". So she uncrumpled it and taped it up outside of her house. She said many of the young women walking by enjoy it hahaha. So we started talking with her and got to find out her name is Aida and her neighbors are actually some very active members in our branch. She is in her 70s and is probably the sweetest thing I have met here. Sister Concepcion and I have taught her one more time since then and she is very open to our message. We are still not sure how much potential she shows, but it's great that her neighbors are such active members and such good examples. She said she wants to come to our church if that is where her neighbors are going. She couldn't come this week because she went to Manila. But we will see next week!
    Thursday and Friday were good days but maybe I will skip to Saturday. Well to Friday night. We got fed to the brim on Friday night. I was so so full and actually didn't feel very good. That night I started to feel very nauseous. Long story short, I was up most of the night throwing up and woke up Saturday morning with a fever. So it was looking like we wouldn't be able to go out to work. But we had to get out by 5 for brother Rolly's baptismal interview. This was my first time to be this sick in my entire mission! So we called up Elder Manning our district leader and asked him to come give me a priesthood blessing. He came and blessed me and also brought some medicine to reduce my fever. I was finally able to sleep a solid sleep and it was about 4 pm that I woke up and had enough energy to take a shower and we were out of the house before 5 to get to brother Rolly's interview! What a blessing. To add to the blessing, Brother Rolly passed his interview! His baptism will officially be held on February 28! Woohoo! Sadly, he doesn't want it at the beach anymore haha. But we won't complain!
     Sunday MA came to church! Sadly her dad wasn't with her. She came with her aunt who is actually just about the same age as me. Her dad is the oldest of 9 children and they are almost all members. Sadly Clarissa, the one close in age to me, is the only one still active out of all of them. But Clarissa gives us such hope because although it is so sad that her family isn't enjoying the blessings of this gospel, she is so so happy! She is always smiling and comes to all church activities. She is the perfect example and MA really looks up to her. She came home recently from working in Manila and will now be able to help us with getting MA to church and hopefully to the point where she can really embrace this gospel to see if she will be able to get baptized even though she is still pretty young.
     Well as usual I feel like I have just rambled off a bunch of nothing that doesn't make sense haha but I hope you are able to see just how amazing it is to be a missionary. Everywhere I turn, there is a new friend to make or a new example to learn from. And from each experience I gain here, it is solidified more and more how true the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. It really has all of the answers that we are looking for. I encourage you to find someone who needs this! Sometimes when I introduce our message as missionaries, I feel like a salesman haha. I feel like I want to give this message not just a lifetime warranty but an eternal warranty. We will never ever be disappointed with making our decision to follow Christ and accept His Gospel. I know that He loves us so much and I love Him as best as I can. I try to love Him more with each day.
      I hope everyone has a great week and know that I love you all :)
- Sister Sawada

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