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.

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