Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 43 in the Philippines Laoag Mission: Christmas!!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!! Or that is
what all the carolers sing. I’m not sure what a ‘New Year’ here is but I’ll
let you know once I find out.  So first with the funny stories: This
actually happened last week but I forgot to say. We were walking home
from a FHE out in Palonglong- one of our further areas- and it was
dark, no trycees or anything in sight. We have a long walk home ahead
of us for sure. As we are walking I look down and see Cathy’s shoes.
The sole of her shoe had separated from the upper half and her toes
were poking out in the front and her heel was dangling out the back.
For sure, her shoes had randomly combusted and were no more. So I
cried out “Cathy! Your shoes have died!!” which makes sense in
English, but in Tagalog you don’t speak of inanimate objects as if
they have life so ‘namatay ang sapatos mo!’ is not a real sentence.
Sister Ganaden and Cathy both busted up at my grammar and my overall
misunderstanding of the Tagalog language in general. Regardless of my
grammar, the problem still stood. What were we going to do? There is
glass and other such nasty things on the road; Cathy cannot go
barefoot. But she refused to take my shoes or sister Ganaden’s shoes.
So Sis Ganaden removed one of her shoes as I removed one as well then
we tried to wrestle the dead shoes off Cathy’s feet. Eventually she
relented and we began walking again, all with mismatched shoes. At that
point a large white van pulled up out of nowhere and a guy stuck his
head out the window. “Where are you going?” We ignored him and kept
walking. “Are you going to centro?” Sister Ganaden stopped, I was
panicking (there is no way we can outrun a car, let alone in these
mismatched, dead shoes) but then the guy says ‘We can give you a ride
to centro we are going to the fair.” And then his wife pokes her head
out the window and waves and we hear their kids in the back laughing.
So peace is restored as we got a free ride home and got to meet their
American cousins who were visiting from Hawaii. It was kinda fun
swapping off from Tagalog to English between the American’s who
couldn’t speak Tagalog and the native Philippines who wanted to know
how the Americana learned her Tagalog. In that moment I was quite
fluent and could understand everything they were saying- when just an
hour before in the FHE I could barely get a sentence or even a word
    Another funny story must first begin with a bit of cultural
background. Filipinos are very blatant. If you’re fat they tell you.
If you’ve got acne they say ‘kawawa ang face mo.’ Or “your face is so
pitiful/sad.” So that always helps with the ego. But while we were on
splits working with some members sister Vera and I went to visit Nanay
Tina. She always has a lot to say so I was a little scared to go as
she speaks so quickly. The conversation went along these lines:
“Hey, Nanay! How are you?”
“How am i? how are you? What happened to your face?”
“What? Oh, it’s just acne.”
“Did you get cursed by a witch?”
“Witches are real; they’ll brew up a potion and curse you just by
saying your name. You’ve got a bad curse on your face.”
“Well, if this is a curse it's not so bad I guess.”
“Not so bad?!? Have you seen your face lately? It’s definitely a witch curse.”
So apparently I need to keep an eye out for pointy hats and avoid
them. Sister Ganaden said that I should make my acne my best friend,
so they will all go away. [She calls all cats she sees her ‘best
friend’ and they always run away too.] so I guess I’ll just have to
love having acne at the age of 21…
    This week was not only December 25th but it was also Christmas
Con, so all the missionaries of the Laoag Mission met up to play
games, sing and dance. Yes you read that right. Dance. My zone did the
Pandaggo ng Ilow or ‘the dance of lights’ we were supposed to learn
how to dance with the cups with lit candles inside them on our heads
but… that didn’t go down. A large portion of our zone are all Polys so
they weren’t too into the graceful flow-ie dance and mostly wanted to
do aerial jumps which doesn’t really work with that dance. We had a
great time at the con and I learned a lot about myself and from the
trainings given by President Andrada.
    I had the opportunity to skype with my family this week and they
asked me a question that really struck me: How have you changed on
your mission? I said ‘mostly cultural changes.’ But in all honestly I
think perhaps the biggest change I have undergone on my mission is
becoming patient. I think patience is both the best and worst
attribute to gain. It's rough getting it but the end results are
incredible. [sorry family for not saying that on skype, but that’s a
hard question!!] I’ve almost mastered my patience with others, but it
is the patience with myself that is the hardest. I’m still working on
it!! However I feel like the biggest trial I have experienced my whole
mission is simply learning the language, it is a constant patience
battle as I am not picking it up as quickly as I would like or as fast
as the other Americans. Ha, we actually have an elder here who arrived
on his mission two cycles ago (12 weeks) and he speaks more Tagalog
than I do! I like to tease him about it. But the thing with patience
it has to be coupled with understanding. My trial is the language, and
so it will take time, his trial will be something else. But the end
result will (hopefully) be the same for all missionaries- or any one
in general; we will become who God needs us to be.
    Another thing that happened this week was a new schedule.
Starting January 1, 2017 worldwide missionaries will have a different
schedule. Here in the Philippines we will still get up at 6:30am, but
we won’t leave the house until 10 due to studies. 10am-9pm will be up
to the companionship so long as it requires the rest of study time and
such. That means more flexibility in schedule to fit the
investigator’s needs and any other obstacles that may be unique to the
area or culture. It's just another example how the Lord is hastening
the pace. Speaking of hastening the pace, I was studying the
Millennium this week and realized something: all the earthquakes and
scary stuff that we are to expect before the ‘end of the world’ is a
social and physical terraforming of the Earth to prepare for the 2nd
coming of Jesus. Science! It’s for real, as is Science fiction… I’m
still waiting for my personal TARDIS but we will have to see about
    During one of the many Christmas Parties this week at the church
we had one that was geared specifically towards the Church’s theme
“Light the World” where certain investigators and less actives were
brought who were going through some financial difficulties. We played
games and ate and gave away presents donated from the members to the
families in need. Did I mention the whole thing was put together in 3
days, without any help from the missionaries? All we did was suggest
investigators or members we thought might need the help and showed up.
The ward is incredible.
    This week was also ‘transfer text week’ so… on December 24 sister
Ganaden and I were just about to go to bed at 10:29 thinking we had
passed the time where we would get the text when at 10:31 we got a
text” Ho ho ho, and pack your bags! Sister Ganaden, you are being
transferred!! So that will make 3 months for her here and 5 months for
me, and still counting!! It was a lousy Christmas present but it’s from
the Lord so we will have to come to terms eventually. I’ll get my new
companion next week- so a whole new batch of experiences and things to
learn from her!
From the sister with mismatched shoes
Sister Eldredge

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 42: Visitors from My Old Area


Once Again this has been a crazy week! This week was the beginning of the new schedule (following the White Hand Book Schedule where you study in the morning instead of the afternoon) and i can’t say I’m a fan. I actually miss working the mornings! But, we will continue to press forward and see what else gets thrown in our path. I received a visit from my mission trainer Sister Bagalay along with the Branch President from Sarrat, and boy what news did they have! Apparently they have had a baptism nearly every month since I first got there! The branch is on fire and just stoked, even with just one set of missionaries! To top it off one of my old investigators (Benedicto JR) will be getting baptized this 23rd!! I'm so stoked for him!! It's always been my dream , ever since I got to Sarrat -waaaay back then-  to make it a place where missionaries are begging to go, and now oh boy are they ever!! Some of the most recent missionaries who came in November 14th had heard about it and had hoped and hoped to be sent there! I'm so excited for the progression there! Now onto my current area!
            So funny story first. After the exchanges with the STL there is supposed to be an evaluation, where the STL gives tips on what they noticed you need to improve on or suggestions on companionship unity. So Sister Hermosa is our STL and during the evaluation she mentioned how amazingly well sister Ganaden and I get along. Then as soon as the Exchange ended and I was back with Sister Gaaden we had a fight, and she refused to talk to me for the rest of the day. She would just sit there and glare at me. And then the next morning we got a text from our District Leaders asking us to do a small training on companionship unity during our meeting later that day. Sister Ganaden and I both looked at each other and we're all: “Can we do that?” But she forgave me luckily so we were good. It was just ironic that we would be complemented twice about our companionship unity after having a fight.
            There is not much else to say about this week besides that we had hoped to have a White Christmas (Baptisms) but that will be pushed back to January due to some utility problems so we will simply have three baptisms this upcoming January: Kim and Natalie who have been attending church together with some member relatives and approached Us and asked US if they could be baptized so that is absolutely amazing, and Daniel. Daniel is the son of a returning less active member and is incredibly smart, he wants to know everything about the gospel, he also enjoys sleeping in on weekends,  but he has finally formed the habit of waking up on time for church so hooray!!
            Today is Christmas Con, but as it's only part of the way through I’ll discuss it next week.
Masaya ang Pasko po niyo!! (Mah-say-ya a-ng pass-ko n-yo) or Merry Christmas to you!
Sister Eldredge

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 41: Exchanges, Investigators & Hair Troubles

[Insert catchy introduction here.] Normally I like to write down little notes in my planner when funny things happen during the week; however, this week just went by so fast I just couldn’t even keep up!!  The days are going by fast and I can only hope to be able to always look back with pride on my time here in the mission.  That being said I am slowly and painfully learning the difference between being a serious missionary and being a fun but obedient missionary. It’s a matter of balance. I have a friend (Ashley Little) whose favorite word is ‘Remember.’ For me it is ‘Balance.’ Life takes things to extremes, but I believe we could really and actually find peace on earth if we would simply find balance. That is not the same thing as tolerance, but balance. I just love that word.  

This last Monday was nuts. The Batac ward has been doing a salon class and is now at the final stages, so they needed volunteers to get their hair done. So Sister Ganaden, Cathy and I volunteered to have our hair permed. Now, this is something I have always wanted to do. Ever since I was a kid I remember having my cousins over and watching with fascination as my cousin Heidi Mock’s hair just naturally curled as it dried.  So you can only imagine my excitement to get my hair done, and for free!! I simply forgot one tiny, itsy bity, yet ever so important, tiny, little detail… MY HAIR IS VERY STUBBORN!! After sitting in the chapel for 3 hours (I had not eaten breakfast yet as we thought it wouldn’t take that long and it was getting close to lunch) I was very done with it. They finally deemed my hair permanently curled for 1 year and I left the chapel with my hair bouncing in gorgeous ringlets. Throughout the course of the rest of the day my hair dried and the curls went from ringlets to… straight. Now my hair is basically back to how it was last week before the perm, just slightly frizzy due to the chemicals. But at least I can say I saw an opportunity and took it, and I won’t have to live the rest of my life thinking ‘what if’ or ‘maybe I should have.’

We also got to help an investigator move into her new home this week and it was not only fun but we also got to meet her adult daughter who agreed to let us teach her! That investigator has also given us three referrals, two of which we are teaching and one of whom lives in the elders’ area. Honestly she would’ve been baptized months ago but she wants to be absolutely certain of her conversion and we are simply honored to be a part of it.  Apparently though we were supposed to arrange with the mission office about the service beforehand but we will simply be sure to do that next time and learn from our mistakes! Haha.

I also got to go on exchanges with sister Pangilinan, Sister Hermosa’s trainee. She has only been out for a little over a month now since first reporting to the MTC so I felt like a momma hen guiding her through the lessons and just enjoying watching her go! The whole experience just made me want to train so much. It was fun as I would give her tips on teaching and she would correct my grammar, so in the end we both felt edified and instructed! I can’t imagine what it would be like to train a foreigner as I can speak Tagalog- but with horrendous grammar- and they wouldn’t be able to speak at all and I’d end up teaching them the bad grammar I knew! We’d be a mess!! Haha! We had a great day together and I kept telling her how lucky she is to not have to worry about leading the area her first cycle like I did!

Throughout the week all the missionaries in Batac Zone are all preparing for Christmas Con which will be next week. We are going to do a folk dance with cups and candles and I’m supposed to dance with a candle on my head and I'm not so sure how this is gonna turn out but at least if I catch on fire then I can try getting a pixie hair cut… so let’s hope I don’t catch on fire. I have also noticed something. Members often say how they have so many great memories with my companion that they can hardly believe she has only been here for 2 months, yet they seem surprised that I have been here 4 months! So I guess I need to make some memories! I’m just worried that I will fade out of the memory of the members here.  So I need to just speak more and get my grammar under control!! Haha.
Like in Sarrat there is now a Festival going on in Batac. There was even a parade with floats and stuff going down our street on Sunday so we had to walk to church since we couldn’t get a tricee! Christmas here is nuts and I can’t tell you how many little elves (kids dressed as elves) running around. I think Santa’s workshop is actually in the Philippines, not at the North Pole.

Mery-Jane and Jennifer simply amaze me. Starting the night of their baptism last month their grandmother (who cares for them) has been in the hospital. The doctors are not too happy about the diagnosis and their grandmother is quite certain she is dying. Yet, through it all they are so hopeful and not only that but they are preparing for the ‘what ifs.’ They have decided that if their grandmother does end up passing away they will move in with their aunt who is a less active member and reactivate her and keep her newly baptized children (their cousins) active in the faith. They are shy, but they are strong. We are also starting to meet with their brother Greg, who is Iglacia Ni Christo. In the end it’ll be up to him anyways, but we did get to meet with their whole family to celebrate Greg’s birthday and that their grandmother had been released from the hospital and seems on the mend! What miracles.

All and all the work is progressing and we will continue to have baptisms monthly here in Batac- the top progressing area of the mission. (or that is what I tell myself).

From the mother hen,
Sister Eldredge


Pennies from Heaven.

This song is my theme song. I find on average about 20 pesos every week. sometimes it'll fall from somewhere and hit me on the head or I'll find it on the ground. sometimes it's just one peso (a piso) and sometimes its 10.

When i gave the sister missionaries at home rides and they said i would be blessed for giving them rides i never knew it would come in the form of free money! whoop!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 40: Baptisms, Temple Trip, Mini Mission and Forgotten Shoes

Jennifer & Mery-Jane at their Baptism

On the First day of Christmas my true love gave to meeee…. Nothing, because I haven’t met him yetttt….

         Yup, we’re in December y’all so it’s time for caroling and 25 days of service! (#Light the World ) The weeks and days are eternal yet over in a second. However, Mondays always go by too fast. This week has been interesting as we have been trying to find things to do to serve members, investigators, Less active members… everybody. Even if it’s just sitting with a lonely sister and chatting for a bit, we want to serve. This makes me think of Ammon in the Book of Mormon. He was there to serve, he wasn’t there to deceive or anything else. First and foremost he was a servant of God come to help others grow closer to their God- and in order to do that you’ve got to be their friend first! Haha.

I have found out that I have been saying the wrong thing my whole mission this week. So whenever we knock at a door and I think there are no people I say “Isip ko wala tao.” (isip= to think or brain ko= I wala= none tao= people) but apparently that is not how you say ‘I think there are no people.’ That is how you say “My brain, no people!” So I guess you are never too old in the mission to continue learning- the only problem is my companion thinks its cute that I say that so she won’t help me figure out how to say ‘I think’ so I’ve been researching and reading the Tagalog, English dictionary to try and figure it out but so far no luck. So I guess I’ll keep saying ‘my brain’ instead of ‘I think.’ But how many companions have I had and they didn’t correct me?!?! Auhg.

          We both still felt exhausted from that morning but we went out with a smile on our face- as that afternoon was Mery-Jane and Jennifer’s baptism!! We showed up to the church a little early as Mery-Jane and Jennifer normally beat us there and we wanted to greet them. After 5 minutes sister Ganaden insisted I was hiding them from her again which only made me laugh which only made her more suspicious. Luckily they came and we got to take some pictures before the baptism.

         The youth had planned to sing a musical number at the baptism called “I am His Daughter and had asked us to join them, so when the Elders arrived at the baptism we asked them if they had gotten the text that we were going to sing with the young women and they got all flustered and said they weren’t prepared to sing and then we told them what the song was and they were all “We are NOT singing that song!” It was hysterical I love teasing the elders. However, seminary ended late so they arrived at the baptism a little late! But that is alright as we sisters sang the song just us… which means I have sung at EVERY baptism I have attended so far on my mission! I love that. The baptisms were great, but poor Jennifer got dunked 3 times because the brother baptizing her kept stumbling on her name, or she would not go entirely under the water ect. Mery-Jane kept saying she was glad it only took her one time as the water was cold! Then the youth sang the song “Baptism” from the children’s hymn book so everybody got to sing!

         The baptism was really amazing and Mery-Jane and Jennifer both felt the strong support from the ward and even a little surprised to see how many people came to support them. Their grandfather Ludivico came and although he is a soft spoken guy and didn't say much it was fun to see how he couldn't wipe the grin off his face!

This week’s highlights come from the Domingo Family. They celebrated their one year baptismal anniversary in November and will be getting sealed in the temple on the 6th of this month! This Tuesday we were working out in their barangay (community) and invited them to join us to go visit Mery-Jane and Jennifer. We taught them and we then taught their father- who Mery-Jane has been trying to get him to listen to us for several months and now that they are baptized he has begun to be interested too! So the lesson with him went well and while we were walking Hannah and Leslie (the two oldest Domingo girls who had joined us) could not contain how excited they were about the lesson, and asked if they could work with us more and what it's like to be a missionary. We talked about what our schedule is like and they were aaallll about that. Since they are of mature age we set up a 1 day mission with them. So they worked with us from 7am to 8pm and joined us at the church building for lunch, and study time. We went finding with them out in an area we had never been to before and found 8 people just within two or three hours!! Let me emphasize. Normally I feel very proud and successful if we find two or three people in a single morning, the fact that we found 8 people simply blows my mind. Not to mention Sister Ganaden is sick- she can barely speak- so It was myself and the two Domingo girls and Cathy doing the talking. (I’ve spent the week trying to get her to rest and she finally did rest on Friday and that is when she finally started to get better.)  Basically the whole day was amazing and I especially enjoyed the companionship study and practicing doing lessons with the Domingo girls. It made me feel like I was training! They have such excitement for the gospel and are simply ecstatic to go to the temple.
         We were having a lesson with a family who lives just two houses down from the chapel when their son came home and told us that all the 1 year members from Batac Stake were at the chapel, and were now loading up to drive down to Manila. [in our church you need to be a member for 1 year before you can enter the temple, this is to show your commitment to God and the gospel and your desire to continue to serve God throughout your life.] We also have another 1 year member who is not only going to the temple for the first time but is going to be married in the temple with her member fiancĂ©e! When we saw her (Angela) she looked simply petrified! I asked her if she was excited and she paused for a moment, hiding her face and smiling before saying “…yes.” She is so dang cute! It's so hard to meet with her since she works in Laoag and normally gets back to Batac late at night and is busy on Sundays but maybe once she is married we may be able to meet more with her! But we also got to see the whole Domingo Family and the three girls (Hannah, Leslie, and Sharmaine) were simply bouncing up and down! They were so excited to go! This morning we actually got a text from them saying “We survived the bus trip! We are in Manila now!” so they realized long bus trips are not as fun as you would think but it was quite funny.
         Speaking of funny… so when I was in my first 6 weeks here in the Philippines I forgot my shoes at home, and was just wearing my house slippers. It was the first and I thought the last time that would happen. Apparently not. About three times this week I have made it out the door, down the stairs and at the road until I realize I’m still only wearing my house slippers. That being said there was one time I did not catch it in time. I had made it halfway to the church building when I realized. So I made sure that Sister Ganaden would NOT point it out. I forgot she is very bad at keeping secrets. We had headed to the church building to throw a surprise birthday party / surprise thank you party for all the fellowshippers who always work with us and the ward mission leaders. We had drawn out caricatures of all the fellowshippers (Angelo, Jared, Jennica, Cathy and Vera) and cooked a dinner for them. So we set up the party, hid it, and then texted them all that they needed to come to the church immediately for an emergency meeting. They all showed up (except Angelo who was still at work) looking frazzled. Once we had all sat down and they asked what the emergency was sister Ganaden pointed to my feet and said “Sister Eldredge forgot her shooooes again!!!!” they were a little confused until Sister Hermosa and Sister Pangilinan brought in the surprise party stuff and we all shouted surprise! I was poking sister Ganaden the rest of the night for pointing out my shoes- or lack thereof.

So this is the shoe-less wonder signing off!

Sister Eldredge

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 38: Mary-Jane, Jennifer & Rosie


So this week was nuts. I don’t think we really had any time to catch our breath yet our lessons were way low. We barely taught anyone this week, but Mary-Jane and Jennifer are all set up for their baptism this Saturday and I'm so excited for them. Mary-Jane (11) has completely finished reading the Book of Mormon and has started over while Jennifer is in 3rd Nephi (age 16) They were a referral from their grandfather who was baptized earlier this year, and we hope that the gospel will continue to grow in their family.
This Tuesday  I did NOT want to get out of bed but we ended up having a really successful day and even if we didn’t get that many lessons we did help some people out who seriously needed it. We also went finding (out trying to find new people to teach) on a rainy morning after a huge concert was held the night before so we weren't sure if we would find anyone (as they would probably still be sleeping) but THE CRAZIEST thing happened. We had walked for 2 hours and had only found one guy who didn’t seem that interested so we didn’t stop. We kept going in the rain up the mountain and past the cow.

So this is a side note but there was this cow who was, apparently he had decided he wanted to be a free range cow so he ran away from home. He was running and running and you could see the farmer chasing after him. After a while we lost track of the two as we continued walking but about 15 minutes later we saw the cow again and he was still running and the poor farmer was still chasing him. It was quite funny.

But anyways we went all the way up the mountain trying to talk to everyone but no go. We ended up at a less-active's house and chatted with the mother for a bit. She expressed how she wanted to encourage her whole family to be active but felt that she needed to stay home and work so they could go. We set up a FHE (Family Home Evening:  where the family gathers for a spiritual message, games and such) and then headed back down the mountain as we figured we could keep finding in the main part of town where there could be more people.On our way down we were feeling a little discouraged (having walked for 4 hours and only found 1 person and met with a less active.  As we were walking this sister approached us, just beaming, and said “Sisters! Remember me?” We had found her several weeks ago while we had been to the outdoor market buying fish and had given her a pamphlet. We may have found her those weeks ago but she found us this week. Let me tell you about Rosie. The first thing you think of when you see her is ‘wow, that is a gorgeous smile.” She is just beaming from ear to ear all the time. We got to meet with her youngest son and talked about the Plan of Salvation as her husband died two years ago, but you would never tell based on that smile! She had chosen that although she misses and loved her departed husband she will live her life well so she may be with him again- and that is before we started teaching her! It was simply the most incredible thing ever. We hope she will be ready for baptism by the end of this year.
That is really all that happened this week, besides the new trainee, sister Pangilinan from Manila. When Sister Ganaden and I were waiting for Sister Hermoasa and Sister Panilinan to get home we knew we would get home close to lunchtime so we kept checking at the door every five minutes or so to see if they had arrived yet. It was really funny. We have a squeaky gate so every time we heard it swing open we would fly to the door, but it was the neighbors getting home or the water delivery guy or a dog bumping into it.
As for Sister Salbation Espiritu. Her grandson JR has come 3 consecutive weeks in a row to church now and we are trying to work with him and the relief society to help him bring his grandmother with him to church. Salbatin’s mental state has greatly declined but there are days where she can remember the day of the week and she is just as adorable as ever. Her son, Edgar has also started to return to church and overcome some problems but the family is truly being strengthened by the ward and by God. It amazing to watch.
From the sister who will never stop smiling

Sister Eldredge

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 37

Sister Eldredge & Elder Eldredge
Serving in The Ring of Fire


This has been a week… On Monday we set up a FHE with a member and invited two investigator families, however when we went to go pick them up they were not at home. So we arrived to the FHE sad until we realized that they had also invited their own nonmember friends! It was really cool. We had brought with us a sister who had just moved into town and had been going all the way to Laoag to attend church. She had a great time and got to meet their daughters who are somewhat close in age to her, then we went to the Espiritu’s home. An active member has been working with Edgar Espiritu (the son of Salvation) and he had set up a FHE and had invited us. Can I just repeat that? The members had set up a FHE in a LA home and invited us missionaries. When we got there basically all the young men were there to support JR, who is 17. Salvation loved all the visitors and all in all it was an incredible experience. Not to mention their economic situation is improving. We are thinking of talking to their neighbors and teaching them as a family. (the neighbors take care of nanay when Edgar and Jr are at work.)
    So Sister Ganaden is scared to go out and work now as we keep having days were we will do everything within our power to find, have appointments, meet with investigators, and all that good stuff- yet we keep having days were we are wondering and knocking on doors and it just feels like we are not making much of a difference. The Ward is great, we have two progressing investigators who will be getting interviewed this Saturday for baptism but it seems in the finding and lesson area we are lacking. We joke that Tuesday mornings are cursed, but we go out and we work our tails off trying to find those that are there. This is a city, so we know they are there somewhere we just gotta find them! And Find we did! We may not have made it up to the number goal we had set for ourselves but we found some families that seem really interested and have member friends!
     So this was a great pump up for Sister Ganaden, then we ran into an American. I was shy and didn’t want to approach him at first but Sister Ganaden was insistent so we went up and talked to him. In English. At the house and while emailing I'm pretty good at speaking in English, but I realized during our chat with Albert that I speak Taglish. That isn’t English. So it was slightly embarrassing how I couldn’t speak. He wasn’t interested and refused a pamphlet or anything so I was worried that it would make Sister Ganaden sad again but she was too busy laughing at my terrible English so it was all good.
    So Nanay Tina, the one with all the questions. When we first met her she was sooo against baptism, as she didn’t want to discuss it, and sometimes it felt like she just wanted to check and see how much we knew the bible, but it seems every time we work with her its just a milestone in spirituality. During the lessons you can tell the spirit is trying to talk to her. If he was any more present he would be visible. Sometimes it feels like he is waiving his hand in front of Tina’s face! But This lesson I feel like she finally got it. She had agreed to our discussions and the logic behind it but this time she felt the spirit and recognized it for what it was. She just kept saying ‘I want to be baptized. I want to be baptized.” You can imagine my excitement. She still has a way to go and a few more questions she wants to work through but it feels that she will begin to progress now. She still needs to work on building a testimony but she can recognize the spirit and to me, even if she isn’t baptized or anything I feel like I have made a difference in her life. I would like to also point out we had gone to her house every day this week but this was the first time she had been there (on Friday.) She teased us about not having come sooner as Friday was her birthday and she had a party to celebrate turning 61.
    Our progressing investigators are Mary Jane and her sister Jennifer. They are really good friends with the Recent Convert family that will be getting sealed in the temple this December [temple family sealing is making the family for eternity; they will always be a family.] and they always beat us to church on Sunday. This last Sunday when we got there we asked the members if they had seen them and they hadn’t. So we called them but their grandmother had the phone back at their house and said they weren’t there. So we called Sister Domingo- the RC- and she said she hadn’t seen them and was about to leave for church. Her daughters were already there but they said Mary Jane and Jennifer hadn’t come with them. We were just about ready to go and find them when they jumped out from where they had been hiding – they and all the Domingo’s had been pulling our leg and totally pranked us. Sister Ganaden chased Mery Jane around saying “Don’t do that!” and Mery Jane and Jennifer were just laughing and laughing. It was a good prank! Haha.
    This next cycle [6 weeks] will end on Christmas day and Sister Hermosa will be training again so we will have a new sister in the apartment, which will be super fun! I just can't wait.

From the Sister who, despite ups and downs, is working her hardest.  

Sister Eldredge