Maayong hapon tanan!
MISC: 1. The poverty here is just SO unreal. 68% of the country is unemployed. It’s so hard for me to see the conditions in which these people live. Its hard to get people to come to church because they have to work on sundays otherwise they will not have enough money to put rice on their tables at night. 2. One thing I’ve struggled with is how things are done in the church here. They need a lot of help as far as the organization of the church goes. My mission president has even talked to the First Presidency about it as well and the First Presidency said “The gospel is in the Philippines but the church is not”. But the people here NEED the gospel, so hopefully in the next 30 years, it can improve.
FUNNY STORIES 1. These spiders are not obeying my “no spiders on my bed rule”! The other night, I was about to take a shower (aka the ultimate ice bucket challenge-dumping a cold bucket of water on my head ever night) and I saw a HUGE spider on my bed. I tried to kill it, but then it jumped from my bed to my towel (another “no spider rule”). Anyway, I finally killed it but then I felt my towel and bed had been violated and I was not happy lol. 2. After visiting a family one day, my companion said, “Let’s stop at this house, they have a buwaya in their backyard”. Thinking it was a type of cow or something, I followed her. She pointed it out and I learned a new word-buwaya means crocodile in Tagalog! These people had a pet crocodile in their backyard! I asked them what they fed it and they responded- “gamay nga mga irro” (small dogs).
LANGUAGES: The languages in my area and soo intertwined. Sometimes even the people have a hard time understanding each other. It’s like the Towel of Babel all over again! And then you have this white girl from America trying to learn all three haha! (Cebuano, Ilonggo and Tagalog)
COMPANION: Uhm, yeah she does not like me very much haha. I’m not sure why. We have differences but I don’t let them bother me like they bother her and I think because it doesn’t bother me, it bothers her. Does that make sense? I’m also her first American companion and it’s also her first time training so she’s definitely having to adjust. But she thinks I’ll train a new missionary soon after our time together. It’s definitely an adjustment for me being around so much estrogen all the time!
INSPIRATIONAL: “I’m glad we’re called human beings and not human doings. It’s not all about what we do but rather who/how we are” (shared by my dear friend Chelsea Palmer)
SPIRITUAL: This week, I’ve thought a lot about testimonies and how important it is that we keep our testimonies in shape. Elder Richard J. Maynes said “our ability to endure to the end in righteousness will be in direct proportion to the strengthen of our testimony and the depth of our conversion.” Just because we had a strong testimony or spiritual confirmation in the past doesn’t mean it will be good enough to get us through the rest of our lives. We need to create enduring testimonies and spiritual stamina in order to endure the whirlwinds that naturally befall us in this life. We may hear a nice talk from General Conference or in church where the spirit was able to touch our hearts. But the doctrines that are being testified about which can help us endure are USELESS if we don’t apply it or put it into action in our lives. I testify that “luke warm” testimonies are not good enough in this world of ever-changing values. The Savior needs people who have His doctrine written in their hearts (2 Cor 3:3). I testify that if we have His doctrine written in our hearts, we have His promise of comfort and peace to overcome life’s challenges. But we need to do our part by developing enduring testimonies and can do so by studying the principles of the gospel and doing our best to live them. Don’t just go through the motions, but live the gospel and you will find peace in the midst of all your challenges.
PEOPLE: Yay! The Mahinay kids got baptized last Saturday! The youngest one was so scared though, she’s never experienced the ocean or completely immersed herself in water so it took like 30 minutes to help her lol. We are currently working on helping Danielo and Marlene get married hopefully by Oct 31 so he can baptize her the following week. We also found the Orot family who is SO READY for the gospel! More about them to come soon.
PICS: Some of the people we teach, one woman was like 90 years old! I took an “elder type” photo, I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out which one. The buwaya. The Mahinay kids baptisms. And other photos.
As always, love you all. I got some handwritten letters this past week and I can’t tell you how GRATEFUL I am that you take the time to do that for me. I am so blessed to have you all in my life! Love ya,
Sister “If I say ‘trick or treat’ will you send me sweets?” Moyes
Sister Taylor Moyes
Philippines Cebu Mission
Gordo St Lahug
Cebu City, 6000 Cebu Philippines