Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 68 The Iron Gates

Week 68

So we were trying to get in the church for District Meeting and it was raining SO hard outside...and outside the church there are these huge gates. You have to unlock like 3 locks to get inside. We couldn't get one of the locks. We tried for like seriously an hour..nothing worked. Elders were hopping over the fence. I tried and almost broke the key....we were like "How many missionaries does it take to open up the gate to the church?" Turns out kids had stuck wood in the lock and we nicknamed the gate...the iron one could get inside. We ended up going to a different chapel. Funny times. 

The Iron Gates :)

Dear Fam and Friends, 

So this week was full of lots and lots of fun surprises, God likes to keep you on your toes and that's what happened to us this week. First surpise...our area got split so the Elders took all of our progressing investigators and we are now in a brand new part of the area. Same ward but we are indeed starting fresh again. So that was a fun surprise. And the second one was that we had MLC this week!  Whoop!!  And Singer slept over for the night coming from Palawan. Definitely talked each other's ears off for a solid 3 hours. So you could say that it was a good week. And to end the week we had a baptism, Matvei! It was so awesome :)

Matvei's baptism! Elders in our district...tall white people are from Australia.

So to start out we had some awesome lessons with our investigators this week. One of them being the husband of one of our recent converts. His name is Jon Grullo.  His wife was baptized back in June. They are the only people we know in our new we've been visiting them a ton.  But he is really such an awesome guy. They have 3 kids...and all he wants is his family to be happy.  He has seen such an awesome difference in their family since his wife was baptized. They never argue, and they read the children's book of mormon as a family. SUPER SOLID. Haha I read that too... :) 

Also we have another awesome investigator named Lisa... we have been teaching her lots this week too. We found her last week...and she carried over to the new area. WHOOP!  So we are happy about that. She is the mom of one of the members. She accepted a baptismal date so we are just shooting prayers for her. She couldn't come to church this was actually my first Sunday in the ward.  They invited me to share my testimony. They didn't even try to say my name...they were like..."We would like to invite Sister Zaaar...New Sister missionary to share her testimony." Haha that's me. But it is a really great ward. 

Also Matvei was baptized...she was just the happiest person in the world. She was baptized with her little sister. She was skyping her mom so I was in charge of holding the phone and kinda talking her mom through what was happening.  I could here her mom crying on the other end of the phone. And man I was all emotional... But she bore the simplest, happiest testimony afterward. Matvei's parents work abroad in Saudi Arabia so she lives with the Bishop but has been waiting for over a year to be baptized.  It was a day to remember for sure :) So blessed to have met them. 

Matvei and her little sister--baptism day!

Matvei Baptism pic

Finish off with a quick thought from MLC... Just a quote from President Fermanis. He wrote in BIG letters on the board about being a leader and regards to treating people.... "Show an abundance of love, an abundance of appreciation, and pray for an understanding heart."  That has hit me SO hard for the whole week. Whatever is going on in your life, its important to treat people how Jesus would treat them.  Just one more that I loved was in regards to setting goals is... "I do not know the key to success but I do know the key to failure is trying to please everyone."  It just reminded me that when it comes down to it...we have to have a nice balance of being a good person and focusing doing what WE need to do to help our personal faith. 

Love those two thoughts...they hit home to me this week :) 

Love you all, 

Sister Zarbock 

Flooding in our area
More flooding in our area

Remember LITA AND JAN JAN...cried when I saw them.
We are in the same stake now and I scouted them out at church. 
Mesa Family
Mesa Family
Our investigator Mary Ann
MLC group pic
MLC--Sister Craig (black shirt) also became an STL (Sister Training Leader)
Always the best to see Sister Singer :)
Sister Cabrera also became an STL
Companions....Sister Baldelomar
I made Sister Baldelomar tacos...she LOVED them!
This is the Primary President....LIKE YOU Jules haha!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 67 Broken Toaster

Week 67

We had transfers this week and I came to my new apartment and all of the Sisters that we live with go...YOU ARE THE ONE THAT BROKE THE TOASTER. Hahaha I was sooo confused. But then I started thinking about it...I did exchanges here all the time when I was in Makati and I totally remembered I broke their toaster like 8 months ago and they still hadn't gotten a new one. I just laughed and laughed. Good times. 

Dear Family and Friends, 

Hello! :) So good to be talking to is every week but I am so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. Thank you for your emails and support and love. I appreciate everything :) First off, I transferred! And it feels SO good to be in a new place and have a fresh start. I always feel like a second wind of energy coming to a new place. Its awesome.  My new area is Mandaluyong 1st ward.  Its the weirdest De Ja Vu thing of my life because when I was a brand new missionary...the missionaries in this area were my STLs. Now everything is so weird because I am the STL now. Makes me feel old but still feel like a would think I would feel like an old, dignified missionary....haha just a greenie who forgot my umbrella twice this week and still doesn't know how to budget. 

My new companion is Sister Baldelomar...I call her calbo. So random. Bald in Tagalog means calbo. So thus calbo was born. She was my batch coming in to the mission. She is super awesome, super serious takes so much for me to get her to laugh. I feel like I am put with all of the serious people of the mission. But nonetheless, we get along just fine. I am excited. She has been in this area for 6 transfers. Holy crap that is sooo long...she knows EVERY single person in our area. Its great. 

New companion--Sister Baldelomar

When I left Paranaque I said goodbye to Gemma and her cute family :) She is super awesome and I hope she progresses. I will get updates from Sister Lubas and at MLC. Still am praying for that one.  It was a bittersweet moment leaving Paranaque. But excited for a new place and new experiences.

Saying goodbye to Gemma and her cute family 
We had some awesome lessons for the of them was teaching Mattvey (12 year old girl) that will be baptized on Saturday.  So we are looking forward to that. She is so awesome and is the Bishop's niece.  The bishop is super awesome here...he is only a convert of like 7 years actually. So that is super fun. I don't remember names of anyone but her...but I am excited to work with Sister Baldelomar. She is awesome!

Me and Sister Baldelomar at our Bishop's house
This is the bishop 
Awesome view from our Bishop's house!
Makati is on the left side, Mandaluyong is on the right!
More pics we took 10 minutes sweet!
Awesome sunset!

Something very cool happened on Sunday. Mandaluyong Stake was created and with the creation of this new stake...there are now 100 stakes in the Philippines. SO COOL :) Feel so blessed to be here, everyone is so excited because Mandaluyong has been waiting for SO long to become a stake. We didn't have tickets to attend the conference at the fancy theater but we watched it at Buendia Chapel. Elder Andersen came to speak and was a big deal! A lot of pioneer members of the Philippines were able to bare their testimonies...and it was such a testimony builder for me for them to talk about 'their' missionaries that taught them. One thing Elder Andersen talked about was "finding joy in the process."  I actually love that. Often times we think if we are rich enough, far enough in school, better at Tagalog, skinnier THEN we will be happy. But often times we just need to find joy in the process.  It was a super special meeting! Blessed to be serving at this time! 

To finish off with a spiritual thought...Before I left I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting at Paranaque and was so inspired by hearing the testimonies of members of the Philippines and Elder Andersen (the apostle)...and the power of testimony has been my study for the last couple of days.  I really like in 2 Nephi 31 and 33 how Nephi says he "glories in plainess" and I think the most powerful testimonies are the simplest ones.  

Just thought I'd end with my testimony in Tagalog 

Alam ko po na ang simbahan na ito ay totoo at ito po ang kaharian ng Diyos dito sa mundo ngayon. Alam ko na sa pamamagitan ni Joseph Smith ipinanumbalik ng Diyos ang simbahan na ito sa mundo muli. Kahit anong nararanasan natin sa buhay, alam ko na maaari natin hanapin ang kapayapaan at kaligayahansa buhay kung susundin nating mga kautusan ng Diyos. Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo at ang kaalaman na meyroon ako na ang pamilya pang walang hanggan. Kung gagawin natin na lahat na makakaya natin, magtagumpay tayo sa buhay. Maganda yan. Sobrang masaya na ako ay isang misyonero ng simbahan ng Diyos sa panahon ngayon. maganda naman ang oportunidad na ito. 

Have a great day errybody! 

Sister Zarbock 

Went to the Mall of Asia last P-day in Paranque before transfers
Biggest mall I've ever seen in my life :)
Mall of Asia
Inside Mall of Asia!

Mormons at the Mall of Asia who came up to us :)  This means "heart"

This guy is someone who asked to take a picture with me cause he thought
I was famous and asked if I would be his girlfriend...I gave him a pamphlet

Got your luau package mom!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 66 Mango Graham Cake

Week 66

We got fed by the members a lot this week because transfers are coming up...and I guess that means that everyone feeds you :) Haha I requested Mango Graham Cake...every single member's house we ate at had Mango Graham cake. Had it 3 times this week... :)

Dear Family and Friends, 

Grateful to be emailing you this week.  It's been a really fun week and again I can't believe it's Monday again. So crazy!  We've had a lot of fun as far as visiting members this week. We have had some awesome Family Home Evenings and dinners. Filipino food is just the best. And we finished up exchanges for this transfer. We have transfers this Wednesday so we will see what happens! 

But let's get right to the week! First we have had some developments with Gemma. She is doing so good! We have visited her a few times this week and we love her to death. We have been really trying to build her faith and so Ether chapter 12 has been our best friend. That Faith is not a "perfect knowledge of things" or "ganap na kaalaman." And she just has the regular fears of changing religions because her family has been Catholic for their whole lives. So throw some prayers her way :) We love her lots and we are just working that seed of faith in her. 

Had exchanges and I went with Sister Nicolas. Best thing ever. We talked about girlie books, our obsession of Harry Potter movies, and she is a dancer too. BEST FRIENDS.

Exchanges with the Sisters :)

Had some awesome FHE and I am always in charge of the never the spiritual thought...haha I don't know what the says about me but I had some awesome game ideas. One of which was charades but with Book of Mormon stories and acting out hymns. It was the best and everyone was SO into it. The other one was playing 2 truths and a lie. Hahaha....Nanay Villanueva totally didn't get it. But she is also another best friend in the ward so we helped her out.  I think what I learn through FHE's is that building members' friendship is SO important. A lot about missionary work is developing good relationships with the members. 

FHE with the Villanueva's
Dinner at the Villanueva's house
Vallejo Family

We had a service project on Saturday for a ward some missionaries in our district serve in.  I was thinking of cleaning the chapel or something like that. Maybe sweeping or washing some windows. Hahaha was totally wrong....they open up this vacant lot next to a member's house that was full of trees and tall grass.  They told us to cut everything down. So we had these huge ETAKs and we cut down trees for like 3 hours. Me and the Lubsters were hurting for a little while afterward. Not the best thing ever....but it was fun to do a service project. 

Service Project with my District
Service Project :)

Finish off with a spiritual was one of the member's birthday and our bishop shared a spiritual thought at the FHE from Alma 40:8 and he talked about how time "is measured by men" and that everything is "one day with God." Often times we always focus on time and what is going to happen NEXT, what are we doing tomorrow...and sometimes we like to live in the future. But it just helped me to realize that we should live life "right in the middle." I think my sister in law emailed me that one time. That if we are always focused on time, we tend to miss the important parts of our lives...what's happening in the now :) 

Grateful to be serving a mission, and going to do a lot more living in the now this week haha :) 

Have a good week! 

Sister Zarbock 

Birthday FHE pic
Birthday FHE for Amie (far right)
Typical food we have for dinner
What we eat most every day :)
District Picture
Me and the Lubster
Sunday pic--Lenie with the short hair
Elder Freese's last Sunday--this is Amie with us :)
Joemar our recent convert from March
Sister Mercy who works with us