Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Weekfulness!

Hey hey hey!

It's me again! Your favorite missionary! So, this week has been good. We had a baptism on Saturday for 2 girls we have been teaching, Harlene and Christy. They are really cute, sweet girls, and they were really excited to get baptized. It was really cool to see them be baptized and recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost. Christy said after she was confirmed she really felt like her sins were gone. Before her baptism, she was really shy to share her testimony, but after she was confirmed, she was sitting in on a lesson with 2 of our other investigators, and she wasn't shy about sharing her testimony about baptism. It was really cool.

We are also teaching a girl named Jessica. She is the cousin of Harlene and Christy. At first she was just sitting in on the lessons, and we didn't think she was really interested, but then she surprised us by asking us when she can be baptized. So we have scheduled her baptism date for September 15. It's cool the change we've seen in her since we began teaching her. She really seems ready to be baptized now.

Another of our investigators is named Marlon. We found him while we were walking around one day looking for someone to teach. He was out on his front porch, and he we said hi to him as we passed, and then Sister Asuro suggested that we should teach him. So we found one of the young women in the branch to come with us (because we can't teach guys without a girl present), and we went back to his house to teach him. It seemed like he had a lot of doubts when we started teaching him, and I think he still has some, but little by little he's been more and more receptive to the gospel. Last time we taught him, he said that he feels closer to God since he has started praying everyday, because before we started teaching him, he only prayed when he needed something. He also said that when he reads the Book of Mormon he doesn't feel that it is bad, so he feels like it's true. He still hasn't come to church, and he still hasn't accepted to be baptized yet, but I really, really want him to be baptized SO MUCH! We're going to try to get some college-age guys from the branch to fellowship him because he is shy and that is why he hasn't come to church.

Sister Asuro and I are still staying with the Batac sisters. It's been really fun to stay with them. In fact, we might stay with them for the whole next transfer. We've been looking in Paoay for a new apartment, but housing is kind of limited there, so it's kind of hard.

I gave my first talk in Tagalog on Sunday. It went okay. I read the whole thing, and it lasted about 3 minutes. I think I should've been the first speaker, but sister Asuro went first, and her talk was a lot longer than mine. Oh well.

Oh, by the way, I think I experienced my first earthquake today. It was very small, so don't worry. I was sitting on a bench, and suddenly it started moving a little bit like a little-kid carnival ride. It was fun. :)

Well, it looks like I'm about out of time. I was going to attach photos today, but it's not letting me for some reason, so I guess I'll send them next week.

Thanks for your emails and your prayers! They really help a lot! Sorry I am not able to answer your individual emails today. I'll try to do that next week.

Love, Sister Boekweg

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hello Again!

Hey everyone,

It's P-day again. Sorry I haven't been able to respond to your individual emails yet. Last week my email time was limited and I wasn't able to print, so I haven't had a chance to read them yet.

It's still been raining quite a bit. We are staying with the sisters in Batac right now until we can find a new apartment because water comes in every time it rains.

Right now we are teaching a girl named Shadel. We found her on an old teaching record from some past missionaries. The first time we taught her, she said she wants to be baptized. She stopped meeting with the missionaries before because she got busy, but she says she knows it is true. As we were walking back from that appointment, I told Sister Asuro that I felt like Heavenly Father had just scooped me out a big scoop of "golden investigator" ice cream and plopped it in my bowl. It's really cool to find people like that who are prepared.

Life is great. The gospel is true. Keep reading the Book of Mormon, and praying, and going to church.

I love you all!

Love, Sister Boekweg

Monday, August 6, 2012


Hi wonderful family!

Life is good. It's been raining a lot this past week. Our house has been flooded twice (only about 2-4 inches of water though, so don't worry).

Sister Asuro and I are the only missionaries assigned to Paoay. We have a really great branch here, and the members who are active are really willing to work with us and help us. There are a ton of less active members though. I think there are about 300 people in the branch, but average sacrament meeting attendance is about 85. It's really hard because a lot of the people live too far away from the church to walk, and it's hard for them to sacrifice the money to pay for a tricycle ride to church.

I haven't ridden a Jeepney yet. The only thing I've ridden in is a tricycle, and we ride those almost every day. They are pretty fun, but very small, and usually kind of bumpy. We go out to the more rural areas a lot, and it's too far for us to walk. It's really pretty here. There are a lot of trees. And cows. And goats. And water buffalo. And chickens--in fact, when we wake up in the morning, it sounds like a choir of dying chickens because of all the roosters crowing. :)

At church they speak mostly Tagalog, I think, but they also speak some English here and there, and the songs are in English. The Branch President asked me to bear my testimony the first Sunday I was here. It was very short, but I did it in Tagalog, and people seemed to understand me.

The food here is really yummy. I'm not having as hard a time adjusting to it as I thought I would. So far here I've had pansit, empenyadas (I have no idea if that's spelled right), Filipino spagetti, and various kinds of meat and rice. It's all really yummy.

Heavenly Father has blessed us with some really great investigators, who have been really prepared to receive the gospel. We started teaching a girl named Winalyn recently. We have taught her three times, and she says she knows it is true and wants to be baptized. She has been diligent in reading the Book of Mormon, and praying, which is hard to get investigators to do sometimes, and right from the beginning Sister Asuro and I both felt she would be baptized. She just needs to start going to church, which she is shy to do at this point (which is really common among the investigators I've been teaching so far), but she knows it's important, so I feel like she will do it.

We also found a really great family, the Ninobla family. They live really close to our house, and we found them on our way home one night, when we had a little bit of time before it was time to go home. We didn't know what to do for the few minutes that we had, so we decided to find someone to teach. So when we saw them sitting outside their house, we started talking with them and asked if we could share a message with them (okay, well it was Sister Asuro mostly talking to them, since my conversational Tagalog skills are still really limited). They were really nice and let us in. From the beginning, the mother was very receptive. They are Catholic, but they are very open to our message. We gave them 2 copies of the Book of Mormon, and they have been reading it together. Sister Ninobla said she is really interested in the Book of Mormon because she hasn't heard about it before, and she wants to take it to work with her so she can read it during her down time. She has 2 sons, ages 11 and 8, and one daughter, who is 2. Her husband is away working in Saudi Arabia. Last time we visited, we asked her if she would be baptized when she knows it's true. She said she hasn't received an answer yet, but she won't say no because she still wants to learn more. Sister Asuro and I both feel that they will be baptized.

Tagalog is coming along little by little. I'm getting better at speaking, but I still don't understand everything that people are saying, so it's really hard to follow along in conversations, which makes it kind of hard to know what to say when we are teaching. But it's okay. I need to remember that I've only been here for 2 1/2 weeks.

Well, I'm about out of time. I love you all! Thanks for your emails and prayers, they really help me a lot! 

Love, Sister Boekweg

P.S. I ate cheese cake this week. No, not the stuff in a pie crust that you eat with cherry topping, but actual cake that was cheese flavored. It was interesting, but it actually wasn't bad.