oh where oh where has the last week gone, where oh where can it be?

So this week was better than the last. I was not sick, we got more lessons than we have in a long time, and I just felt good! I hope you are all just feeling good too. Its good to feel good, right?

Last week Kori asked me if this is a proselyting mission and I can tell you that it is, but it seems like we really aren’t doing much tracting or proselyting! It actually used to be banned because the church leaders here wanted to focus more on reactivating less active members, but the missionaries were doing to good of a job. They were supposed to be asking for referrals and still teaching people in members homes, but they were so focused on the less actives that everything else went out the window. So recently, before I got here, there began to be more of a focus on finding new people to teach and we are supposed to tract and find and try and get the members involved. But a lot of the missionaries are still used to the way things were before that it is hard for them to change and to tract and find people on their own. So its a work in progress and you definitely have to WORK before there will be PROGRESS!!

We have a couple new investigators this week. There is Rosalina, who is related to the Barangay Captain who was recently baptized. We taught her one lesson and she came to church the next day. She is struggling with some really difficult problems and she was crying when we were teaching her the lesson. Sigh, it makes me sad to see people struggle and cry.

We also got a family referral from a less active who was recently reactivated. There are two young girls, and three old women, and one man. We have taught them several times. The girls and one of the old women are really interested.

And Vernond and Regine are still working on getting married. Sometimes we wonder if it will ever happen.

The language is definitely coming along, I find that I can speak more and more everyday. And I understand almost everything I hear. It really excites me. I have great faith in the gift of tongues too. There have been times in lessons when I really felt the need to say something and I open my mouth and Tagalog falls out. I know what I’m saying but I have no idea where it is coming from, then after the lesson I revert back to my very basic Tagalog. The Lord really helps us, sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith and actually open our mouths to talk.

I also know that he is helping us in our work and he gives us promptings to help us know what to do. Last week when we were planning on got the impression that we really needed to invite a specific member to come with us to visit a specific less active member. We were able to have her some with us to the lesson and it turns out they both had similar experiences of being offended by members and they were both more alike than anyone would have thought. There were tears, and the Spirit was present and it was the best lesson we have had with that less active sister. And at the end of the lesson the less active sister took me aside and she said, "She is the person I needed to meet. She is kind and accepting and Understanding." and I said, "I got a feeling here (putting my hand on my heart) that she was who you needed, so we asked her to come here for you." and she was surprised and started to cry again. It was a good experience for me, it helped me to know that the Lord trusts me to teach his children and to know how to help them.

Anywho, I hope you are all doing well. I love you all. Miss you. Stay strong in the faith and God be with you till we meet again… OOOOooooo…. Speaking of "God be with you till we meet again" I got to sing that this week for the funeral of our bishop’s mother. I’ll help in any way I can!

Mahal Kita!

~Sister Mary Christina Cox

cox.mary

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Advertisements

May sakit ako.

HELLOOOOOO people of the normal world. How are you all? I hope you are just wonderful! So the loose translation of May Sakit ako is "I’m sick!" Ok I’m actually not sick anymore, but it sounds more dramatic if I say I am. 🙂 So the week started out great, I had a temperature, a headache and was rather nauseated. I slept for almost the whole day, then a whole night and I felt much better on Wednesday. Then on Wednesday we had zone meeting. I like Zone Meetings. We really focused on good planning and goal setting. Honestly, if every person were to plan like missionaries are supposed to plan, and then followed the plan, there would be a lot of successful people.

So Fun story for you. A drunk tricycle driver tried to give us a ride the other night. We had just got done visiting a member. And one of the guards outside the subdivision called over a tricycle for us. We watched the guy get tipsily onto his motorcycle and then drove wobbly over to us. He started drive slow, squiggly circles around us and he asked in slurred English ,"Whhheeerreee aaarreee youuuuu gooooooooing?" we told him where we lived and he looked really confused and said ,"Wheeeerrreee’sssss Thaaaat?" At this point I said," are you drunk?" and he responded with ,"Yessssss. Buuuut I’mmmmm OOOOOOOk tooo Drivvve. Reeaaaalllyyy." Sister Taobure was about to climb in and I grabbed her and said, "Thanks but we’ll walk." The guard got a pretty good laugh out of it.

This week has probably week the longest week for me since I’ve been here. I was sick and then one of the other sisters in our apartment was sick. She is newer than I am here and she doesn’t know much Tagalog or English so when she had to go to the hospital my companion had to go with her because they are from the same country and speak the same language. She’s been having a rough time, the other sick sister, she is actually at the Missionary Recovery Center in Manilla right now to find out exactly what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix it. She has been sleeping a lot and get tired really easily, making it pretty much impossible to work. Her companion is going to be in a trisome companionship with us until the sick sister returns and is able to work. Watching this other sister struggle has really made me grateful for my health, which is usually pretty good. One funny side note about Philippine culture, If you are sick, menstruating, or injured in any way (sprained ankle or other appendage) You are told not to shower! GROSS!!!! Whenever I have a headache my companion always tells me not to shower and I found out that one of the new sisters doesn’t shower when menstruating because a doctor told her that the cold water could make her go into shock and die. Ano Ba Yan?!?! oh my gulay, these people are so strange sometimes.

We also got to do exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders this week. It was awesome, they really helped us with our planning abilities. And I’m super excited to see how much it will help our work. Our teaching pool is pretty much dead, it seems like we teach the same people every week with very few changes, but we are supposed to have a teaching pool of about 40 people and it should always be changing and growing and I’m super excited for that to happen because I don’t feel like I’m reaching my full potential as a missionary. But I want to. I want to be the best instrument for the Lord that I possibly can be. Like I’ve said before, I am so grateful to be here. I am learning so much. I love you all, and I miss you. I hope you are all doing splendid and I love hearing from you, thank you for the emails. Remember to read and pray always. God Bless you all.

Sister Mary Christina Cox

cox.mary

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

:)

So I’m running out of things to talk about. So if anyone has any questions, feel free to shoot me an email! 🙂 So this last week was pretty good. We are still trying to get the hang of having four sisters in the apartment. It’s difficult sometimes but we are learning! We have started doing laundry two nights a week because if we all try to do it on Monday it takes forever and there isn’t enough buckets or sitting space to go around. We wash our laundry by hand, and I’m getting pretty good at it now. There was one day this week that we didn’t get out and do any work. I was feeling sick all morning and felt like I was gonna toss my cookies, and when I finally felt better, Sister Taobure didn’t feel well. So we stayed in and read and studied and I felt so useless and lazy! Geez!!! The language is ok. I try and speak as much as a can but I really feel like I’ve plateaued, I understand a lot of what is being said but I can’t say everything that I want to say. GRRR….
Ok. So… Investigators, pretty much the same as last week. Brother Vernond and Sister Regine are not married yet. They have a plan to be married in August now. It’s funny how the date changes, first it was June, then it was July, now its August. I really hope next month it doesn’t change to September. It seems like they want to get married but Brother Vernonds parents aren’t super supportive of it. And he doesn’t want to get married without their blessing. It’s difficult. He has completely quit smoking, he quit pretty much cold turkey. It’s awesome.
Sister Mimi didn’t come to church again. We don’t know what to do with her. And Brother Mel. Ha. He is a funny old man. Two weeks ago he asked us "bakit kayo dito?" which means, why are you here?, and so this week when we weren’t able to see him until fSaturday he acted like we abandoned him. He said, "I missed you so much! Where were you? I waited and waited!" silly old man.
We did get a few new investigators this week, but none of them are considered progressing investigators. It was a good week. OH!!! Happy late birthday to my brother Kade and happy early birthday to my brother Wyatt. Love you! Sometimes it makes me a little sad to miss family events. And then I start working and I forget that there are even people on the other side of the world partying without me. 🙂
Love you all! I hope you are all doing well. Miss you!!!
~Sister Mary Christina Cox
cox.mary

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

a little of this and a little of that…

I missed the 4th of July?!?!?! Ok so I wasn’t able to celebrate with my family but I did have my own little person display of patriotism by wearing red, white and blue on the 4th. 🙂 It was a little weird to be away for a major holiday, it was just like any other day and it was a little sad to think that my family, on the other side of the world, was partying it up without me! haha. I’m sure I’ll get used to it before I leave the Philippines. Speaking of parties… We now have 4 sisters in our apartment. Four sisters, one bathroom. YAY!!! haha ok so it’s really not that bad, we are all adjusting to it rather well. One of the sisters is Sister Francis from Pakistan, and the other sister is Sister Atata who is from Kiribati like Sister Taobure. So sometimes I feel little out of the loop because I am the only one who has English as my first Language and its difficult Sisters Atata and Taobure talk to each other in Kirabati, and Sisters Francis and Taobure talk in fast Tagalog, and I’m just sitting there thinking, "why do I have to be American right now?" Its fun tho. When we talk in English and in slow Tagalog we get laughing a lot.

So I realized that I haven’t really said anything about the food here. We eat Adobo (so good), and sinigang (also good) and it seems like we use cabbage, onion, and garlic in almost every meal… I haven’t tried anything that I really really didn’t like yet. I’m a little anxious to try Balut but I want to try it once before I leave. So in general I like the food. There are a lot of fresh vegetables at the palengke, which I absolutely love. The mangos are going out of season, 😦 but its ok, I just need to find another delicious fruit to take its place. haha. When we first got here our Mission President told us that Mangos are the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve were told not to eat, and I can say that they really are delicious above all other fruit that I have eaten. 🙂

This last week we really focused on less actives and part member families. We were able to teach Captain Mel’s wife and his sister in law. His wife is Catholic and his sister in law is Iglesia ni Cristo. Both seemed pretty interested. We also went to a members house and asked him for referrals and he told us about his brother and his brothers wife. His brother is the only member left in the family that is not a member. We are going to teach him on Thursday of this week. Super Excited!! We also when to one of the young women (Alex) in the ward to talk to her family, Alex wasn’t home but her mother was and we were able to teach the first lesson. And it’s amazing to see the affect of our work on other people. On Sunday Alex was bearing her testimony in Relief Society and she was saying how she had been praying for her mother to have an interest and she was saying that she was so happy that we had come by. It makes me happy to know that what we do makes a difference, and that it affects more than just the people we teach.

I had a great week, and I hope all you did too, Love you all, Be safe, Be healthy, Be happy.

Until Next Time,

~Sister Mary Christina Cox

cox.mary

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Just another Week in the Philippines

So I totally forgot to talk about Zone conference last time. So there were three zones that got together and President Peterson taught a lesson or two and so did the AP’s. So we have a new key indicator. It’s called OYM. Which stands for Open Your Mouth. Before this was just a "you need to do this because it will help you" thing. Now it’s a "You need 70 OYM’s every week and you will report on it." An OYM is when you talk to someone and share at least two principles of a lesson and leave them with a commitment and preferably to have contact information. 70 a week is killing us. It’s only ten a day, but its more difficult than one might imagine. We were also told that we needed to start tracting more middle class areas and to teach people who can understand English, in English.

We also did companionship exchanges this week. I got to go to the other sister’s area and work with Sister Asuncion. It was a really good experience for me to see the different styles of teaching. We also got to go tracting and it made me realize that more people speak English here than I previously thought. She is really funny, she told me that I am a very confusing person. She said that me personality was confusing because, "you think about things so deeply, and you are really serious and have a strong testimony, and then you are really funny and happy and silly sometimes and it’s just confusing!" haha. She is funny.

At Zone conference President also gave us all a Book of Mormon and told us to read it and to focus on the principle of Faith. We are supposed to write all over in the book and take notes and just really get to understand the principle of faith and then we are supposed to write a one page paper on it and turn it in. 🙂 I actually really like the assignment. I love reading the Book of Mormon. I could read it anytime, but most of the time I just read, I don’t really focus on specific topics. And I love how I have a purpose now when I read, it makes me realize so much more about the assigned topic. Can you imagine reading the Book of Mormon a hundred times and picking a specific topic every time and keeping notes and then writing a summary about that topic. We would all be masters of the Book of Mormon and understand so much doctrine. It’s awesome. 🙂

On a completely unrelated topic…. Why don’t all married people conduct companionship inventory? We only do it once a week as missionaries but married people could do it whenever. But its great to tell people what they are doing good and how they are appreciated. And then to make suggestions (NICELY) on how they can improve something. If both people are open and honest it is a great time for growth and bonding. People should just talk more I guess… And just be honest.

So I think I’ve talked about Sister Regine and Brother Vermond before but I am going to talk about them again. Brother Vermond is progressing really well, and Sister Taobure and I really love to teach him. He always has questions, which is good for us, because it challenges us. He and Sister Regine are still planning to be married but haven’t set a date yet. We found out that he smokes, and he made a goal to be done smoking within a week. I know it seems like a short time but I think that he can do it. He has a lot of faith and desires to be a good father and husband and he really wants to get baptized.

Brother Mel made us laugh pretty good at our last lesson with him. We asked him if he had any questions and he said, "Only one, What are you doing here? I am already converted, shouldn’t you be out teaching someone else, converting them too?" We told him that we had to review all the lessons with him to make sure that he understands everything. He is a wonderful missionary. He has given many referrals and invites his friends to church. He spoke in sacrament this last Sunday and he brought his cousin along and he agreed to meet with the missionaries, so hopefully we will be teaching him sometime this week. Brother Mel is a wonderful example of a Member Missionary. Did you all see the broadcast? Wasn’t it amazing? We got to watch it last night and we were all super excited about it. Sister Folau (who is leaving next transfer) said that I am so lucky to just be starting my mission. And I feel lucky. If we can be part of getting the members involved in missionary work, we will be lucky. I think its awesome that the church is putting such a stress on this right now. Can you imagine if every member of the church were to participate in missionary work in some way or another? We would be an unstoppable force, well we already are because we are on the Lord’s side, but if more members were actively engaged…. well, lets just say that it would suck to be Satan or a Third part of the hosts of heaven. The missionaries getting online stuff does not apply to us yet. I think they will start it in Utah and spread it out from there.

I know that the Every Member a Missionary message isn’t new. We’ve all heard it. But I think that a lot of the time we get scared to share what we believe. Why? Why do we get scared? Hindi Ko alam! (I don’t know!) But I do know that the Lord can help us overcome that fear. I pray everyday for the courage to speak to people in a different language. I pray to have the boldness to share what I know to be true. And right before I start a conversation with someone I feel butterflies and I’m terrified, terrified to make a mistake, to sound stupid, or to not be able to convey the Lord’s love to that person, then I say a prayer, and I might still be worried but I go ahead and talk anyway, and when I do, I find that I can say more than I think I can, and I can say it with a power that isn’t mine. I’m so grateful to be here and to be learning so much.

Anywho….. I really super appreciate the emails, they always make me smile. 😀 I hope you are all having a splendiforous summer.

~Sister Mary Christina Cox

cox.mary

Also several people have requested a mailing address for letters and packages so here it is:

Sister Mary Christina Cox

Philippines San Pablo Mission

Barangay San Juan, Aliminos

4001 Laguna

Philippines

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.