Monday, February 8, 2010

I love the Philippines!

Hi! What a happy week. Thanks for the picture and video! (yes, it did come through). It was fun to see and hear your voices :) Is Jenny feeling better from her fever last week? Guess what! I found a sea shell this morning in our backyard. I guess it got washed over here from the typhoon a few months ago. Cool huh? Yes, my apartment is on ground level, but it has two floors. our kitchen and "comfort room" (bathroom) are downstairs, and then there are 2 bedrooms upstairs, and each of us has a desk. We have a wooden couch/bench downstairs, toaster oven, refridgerator, stove, and a water filter that hooks up to our faucet. Now hot water, but who would want it anyways in this hot climate! ;)
The neighborhood is hard to describe. On the road, you see a lot of Jeepneys, cars, motorcycles, and trikes. (by the way, when you come to pick me up, you have to ride on a trike - I don't ride on them often - usually Jeepneys - but they are my favorite!) Almost at every corner, there are "sari sari stores" that sell basic stuff and snacks. And yes, they have outdoor street markets downtown - it's fun but very crowded and noisy. You can see all sorts of vegetables and fish/seafood laying out for sell (heads and all). I should take a picture of it sometime. We usually go to Nepo Mall to get groceries, but Sister Garma likes getting vegetables at the outdoor markets because it's cheaper. Nepo Mall is like a normal mall - and it has a KFC, where we usually eat on P-days :) Hehe, one funny thing--so, you know how in America, they have buscuits at KFC? Well, here they wrap up "rice" in a KFC wrapper, so it looks like a buscuit. I got excited thinking that they had buscuits, but no-it's rice :) Hehe, Filipinos don't like to eat anything without rice. I asked Sister Garma if she had ever gone an entire day without eating rice, and she gave me a funny look and said, "That would be miserable!" I love the culture here. It's so fun. Oh, and basketball is huge here. It's the sport everyone loves.
Sister Bellones is native. Most of the missionaries here are native. Now that Sister Parks is gone, I think I may be the only blonde sister in our mission!
Just a couple of highlights: We've been teaching a sweet young mother, Sister Lea, and her mother Violeta. They are both so humble and sweet and teachable. I love them! Yesterday we answered some of Sister Lea's questions about Nephites and Lamanites and read and explained the "introduction" to the Book of Mormon to her. She is very interested and it has been neat to see her countenace brighten as we have taught her how to pray from her heart. In our first lesson to her, we invited her to continue to learn more the gospel and to prepare to be baptized. Her husband, however, is not interested,which is unfortunate because families are so central to the gospel. But we encouraged her to continue to pray for him and to exercise faith in continuing to read the Book of Mormon. I love using gospel art pictures when teaching and also singing hymns with them. I love Lehi's vision of the tree of life! It is so full of meaning and symbolism that can apply to so many different principles of the gospel! Have you read "Our Search for Happiness"? Wow. That's got to be one of my all-time favorite books. It is amazing! It gives such a powerful testimony of the restored gospel. I wish I had a billion copies to distribute througout the world! It's amazing to think about all the blessings that have been restored, after being lost for centuries - temples, priesthood, gift of the Holy Ghost, etc! One nice thing about the area I am serving in is that just about everyone is religious and believes in Christ. It makes it so much easier when we all have that same starting ground. Even jeepneys and trikes often have religious decorations and things about Jesus painted on them.
Well, life is great. I'm loving every minute. Thanks for your emails. I love them. Be safe and take care! Thank you for your prayers!
Love, Rebecca

Thank you so much to the Beck and Rex Family for your Christmas greetings in the mail! It was great to hear from you! :)

P.S.I'm sorry if I've neglected to respond or answer questions from anybody! Sometimes it's hard to keep track of things in the rush of P-days! love you!

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