Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 63 The week dedicated to the LUBSTER

Week 63

Dear Family and Frenz, 

It was the week dedicated to Lubster (Sister Lubas) and her birthday. So nightly ritual that I have done for my whole mission is that every night my companion and I each say 3 things we are grateful for that happened that day and then you get to ask ANY question you want and your companion has to answer it. So...of course I asked Lubas what her favorite birthday experience was. And she said that she really had never felt super special when its been her birthday. She kinda had a tough upbringing so I felt this HUGE pressure to make her birthday a little bit special. :) And sometimes when you see other people just makes you happy. And I experienced that this week.  I hope her birthday week was one for her to remember! :) 

Lubes birthday!  Stayed up SO late writing 28 things I love about her
and to decorate the apartment :)
Birthday breakfast--her wish for her birthday was to eat a lot. 
WELL HERE YA GO. I made birthday breakfast and all that

Group Birthday pic!

Hope everyone else had a good week. We had one of our death exchange weeks this week. We only had two exchanges but man it makes you a little tired. I stayed over at the other's sisters house for 2 nights. And its always fun to hang out with different sisters and see what they are doing in their area.  We all had a lot of fun :) I feel like I am way more receptive to the spirit cause a lot of times you don't know exactly whats happening with investigators. So I hope I was able to help the other Sisters out this week.  That was 2 nights this week while Lubes stayed in our area.

Exchanges this week!  Weird--another white person haha.
She's from Canada--now in our stewardship :)

We had some awesome finds this week with Agnes--her husband is working overseas and we found her outside of her house.  Honestly we really never know what we are going to do in a day in our area. Sometimes timing is with us and sometimes we aren't so lucky.  But we found Agnes and her daughters this week and had an awesome lesson. So hopefully we can go back to her this week :) 

Sara who came to church last week is doing good.  We haven't seen her a ton this week but we just keep praying for her and hopefully God will continue to help her have that desire to learn. She said she loved going to church last week. 

Joshua is doing good. we are starting to teach some of his friends and he is the best member present...we love the kid.  It was after a hard day of having not a ton of appointments so we thought we'd go share with Joshua and he talked about how before he was baptized he didn't really pray or want to read the scriptures. But now he said he can't go to sleep if he doesn't pray.  Gave us that little motivation to go out and keep trying to find another Joshua haha :) 

Also had an awesome lessons with a Sister Pepito. We told her the Restoration and she said...that totally makes sense that we would need a restoration because the Bible stops after the apostles died. Lucas and I fist bumped each other on the way out of that one.  Love the restoration. 

Finish off on a spiritual note...we had stake conference this week and there was theme from Luke 22:32 about "when we are converted, strengthen our brethren."  I loved that thought. We need to be converted to the gospel and those who are converted are the ones that need to strengthen those around them.  Often times we really don't know the influence we can have on others, even if we feel insignificant. We were sharing with Irene our recent convert about Mosiah Alma changed his life to influence others for good. Sometimes we are waiting for something to change our lives, an angel to appear to us, or pursue something. I think we just need it. Choose to be converted and choose to change :) 

Have a good week everyone! 

Sister Zarbie the Bomb (Just picture my little filipina companion saying that 8 times a day) 

Who wore it better?  Lubes came up the stairs wanting to match ;)
Stake Conference!

Bishop's wife holding the sleeping child :)

All my bff's of the stake :) 
Sister Portez's mom at stake conference 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 62 "GRAPES!!!"

Week 62

I bought GRAPES for the first time in a year this week because they are super expensive here. But I told the guy that I would change his life if he gave me a discount on the grapes and he said sure...I gave him the Restoration pamphlet and told him to go to church on Sunday. OH the missionary humor :) Love it. 

Dear family and friends, 

Hello everyone I hope this was a good week for you. July has come and gone and I can't believe it my goodness. Where has the time gone?  Just grateful to be sharing the gospel. Rainy season is upon us for sure...we have broken a few umbrellas this week.  A little bit on to the week.... 

We were able to teach the Tripulca family this week. They are slowly but surely progressing. They just need a lot of love and support...we did an awesome family night this week. But we have great updates with Brother Manuel. So we have been teaching them for a while. So back then we would come to their house and he would be smoking, drinking--sometimes both. But it is so cool because we haven't even taught Word of Wisdom yet and he has already stopped drinking and smoking.  And his wife is seeing a lot of changes. 

He prayed the other day that God would give his eyes the strength they need in order to read the Book of Mormon. It's been so rewarding to see the gospel seed work its way into his heart.  Love that. We had some great lessons and Bishop and his wife came over with us.  Shoot some prayers for them.  Their family is literally the cutest and we have so much fun with them.

And Sara and James are back in the game this week. We taught his wife a few times this week and she actually ended up coming to church.  She really opened up to us about what she wants out of her life and how much she wants to be with her family forever...we are happy for her.  Haha funny moment this week. We were walking past their house on our way home one night and we saw they were getting ready for a we went back the way we came and hid behind a bush so we could just coincidentally be walking the same time they were :) And it totally worked...we chatted with them and she said she wanted to come visit our church. Lesson learned is being a stalker sometimes works. 

Sara and James--caught them on a walk :)
To end we had an awesome lesson with Joshua (cute 12-year old we baptized) about missionary work and it seemed to strike something in him because he invited one of his friends to church and now we are teaching 2 of his other friends. I love that kid lots...we talked about the 2,000 stripling warriors this week and he loved it.  Love that little guy. 

Anyway finish on a spiritual note...we had an awesome note from MLC this week. President Fermanis was talking about how we pray and likened it to the Brother of Jared. He said that Heavenly Father gave him something to accomplish and he came up with a plan and then presented it to the Lord. We can liken that to our lives now....we need to likewise form our own plans and present it to the Lord. I have found that super effective this prayers have become more sincere :) Grateful to be apart of this work 

Alright I love you all. 

Sister Zarbie 

MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) last week
Sister Gabriel joined the MLC group
Me and Singer--MLC
Sister Skudders first and last MLC from New Zealand
The Wolcotts go home today....gonna miss them. They are from Montana. 
Elder with the glasses is from Utah--went to Jordan High
Taking Sister Lubas out for her birthday
Sister Lubas birthday lunch!
Selfie with my awesome outfit, hump day shirt is legit...what happened to me 
In our area

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Week 61 "SHAWARMA"....awesome restaurant here, kinda like on Avengers haha

Week 61

Dear Family and Friends and Phoebe’s new baby, 

Hello! This day got even better when Phoebe sent me pictures of her new baby boy Jackson.  I suggested that she should name her baby Jackson BACK in the day because she saw a picture of Jack my brother and thought if she named her child Jackson he would grow up and look like my brother. BEST THING ever. So Jack someone thinks you're cute on this side of the world. So good to hear from Phoebe.  We baptized her husband last September…time flies my goodness. I can’t believe he will hit his one year mark pretty soon since he’s been baptized. They're planning on getting sealed in the temple sometime soon so hopefully I'll be around to be there for it.  Anyway, we had an awesome week this week. Ya know nothing crazy happened but we had some pretty awesome lessons with some of our investigators. 

Jason (who we baptized in September) and Phoebe
Baby Jackson :)

First update…I stayed here for transfers, me and Lubie both. Which I am excited about. This marks the longest I have ever been with any companion ever.  Hoping for good things and more awesome experiences with her :) 

Me and Sister Lubas--together for another transfer!

We had some great lessons with the Tripulca family this week...they are hanging in there. We found them an awesome fellowshipper...the bishop haha :) Because we were wondering who could help him with his Word of Wisdom problem and we found out that bishop actually has had some of the same experiences as Manuel has. So literally had such an awesome testimony meeting with the Tripulca family and Bishop and his wife. :) We did a family home evening games and its so cool to see the kids get all excited. Good things happening with them.

Also we found an investigator this week named Sarena who is actually cousins with one of the sisters that served in our mission. SMALL world holy cow. So we have been talking to her and she really REALLY wants to come to church :) We had a couple of great lessons this week with her. 

God really has been putting awesome people in our path this week. I really feel so blessed that we keep finding and teaching such READY people. We just need patience and understand that our time is not God's time. So shoot some prayers for our investigators to make the step to go to church this week!!! :) :) 

Finish off with a spiritual thought...Brother Tetak (YM President in our ward) gave an awesome talk about overcoming adversity on Sunday. He has had a problem with his spinal chord since he was little...his bones are fused together so he can't stand up straight, I don't know the exact name of the disease. But it started when he was 15 until now...but he served a mission, and didn't let physical capabilities get in his way of being happy. Something he said was just "Love the life God has given you" and then shared D&C 101:37 that we care for "the life of our soul" and not for the "life of our body." Just reminded me that we are capable of so much in our lives and I was reminded from Bro. Tetak to just love the life God has given me :) 

Well I love you all and hope this week is a good one...HAPPY AUGUST. Grabe naman--mabilis ang oras. (Holy cow, time goes by too fast) 

Sister Zarbock

District Picture
Sister Albana transferred into our District!
Our P-day with Sister Nelber and her anak

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Week 60 "Totoong kulay ng buhok mo atay?"

Week 60

"Is that the real color of your hair?" I was getting my hair cleaned today and I think every single worker asked me that question. There were like 7 of them surrounding us, just sitting around chatting....they all left their patrons and everything to come look at my hair. Best thing of my life...of course we got all of their addresses to scout them out later and teach them :)  I love the Philippines oh so much.  Nicest people ever. 

Dear Fam and Friends, 

This week was a good one :) We had so many fun things going on and mostly I feel like we just taught and taught. There isn't a better week than one full of teaching about the gospel.  Being a missionary is so awesome. But we first started out with exchanges...we had 2 this week which finished us up with the transfer.  We had a lot of fun. 

Haha funny experience with exchanges. Sister Craig caught the fever, death sick but we had exchanges so Luby stayed home with her and I went out with Sister Ta'ofi from Australia. So we tagged team their area and ours, it was tons of fun. But it was our last appointment and of course I lost the phone/forgot it at the house and didn't get the text that Sister Craig and Sister Lubas went out to work. So we get to our last appointment and Sister Lubas and Craig are already teaching the lessons....haha we just joined in :) so we just crammed 4 missionaries into this little house and had a great lesson. :) We had a such good time. What a great day! 

Exchange with Sister Ta'ofi--on a Jeepney

We taught the Tripulca family and the Tatay actually stopped drinking for a few days so we could teach them as a whole family.  It was SO cool to teach a whole family and the Tatay is super interested.  We watched the Restoration and the kids loved it. We are going over there with the Bishop hopefully this week. So we hope we can have them come to church this Sunday :) So awesome. 

The Tripulca kiddies

We had a lot of cool finds and exploring in our area.  So we hope we'll be able to just see God work his way into the hearts of the people here.  But I am super excited for what's to come. 

We have transfers this week...I can't believe its already been another transfer...time is going by SO SO fast. I hate it!! :) 

Finish off with a spiritual note....I was flipping through the Book of Mormon during sacrament.  I just was feeling like I needed a little something extra to work on this next week. And so I flipped through and then I picked a random chapter and verse. And it so happened to be in Alma 32...and in verse 8 and 15 how we need to be "lowly of heart" and not "compelled to be humble."  It just reminded me that humility is such a holy attribute.  It kind of just felt like an answered prayer.  So often times we feel like maybe we need signs in our lives but often times i think we just need to be a little bit more humble and just a little bit better than we were yesterday.  

Scared for this week and whats gonna happen if I feel like I need to be more humble...wish me luck on that one haha :) 

Have a good week everyone! 

Sister Zarbie--new one I heard this week (barbie and zarbock mixed) 

In our area :)
Pics with the Montana family...this little old lady is sooo sweet
Montana Family
Front view of a Jeepney
Rear view of a Jeepney
The Llarenes fam :) They are recent converts
We found Zion!!!  In the Philippines!  Who knew?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 59 Greenwich Pizza and No Sleep

Week 59

I am convinced Greenwich Pizza is the best and I am living off no sleep right now because of life is gooooooing good. 

Dear Fam and Frenz, 

Hello everyone...and another week down. I feel like I was just sitting at the computer like yesterday and here we are again. This week was a good one and a busy one. We had a lot of fun things happen and little by little we are seeing changes in our area...sometimes it is literally like an iceberg melting but hey progress is progress, am I right? 

So it was the death exchanges this week, we had 3....and I just love the sisters in our zone. They are super awesome. And pretty sure I learn more from exchanges than they learn from me. But the funnest part about having leadership in the mission I think is that I getta pick everybody's brain and steal their teaching skills in lessons while we do exchanges. It really is fun to get to know the sisters here. We had a lot of fun this week :) 

Exchanges 1, 2, & 3 this week :)

We had some development with James and Sara this week. James is super funny...he tries to make our lessons super deep and calls us preachers. Its kinda fun. They weren't able to go to church. Hopefully next week. I love their family. 

Had a cool find this week...the Tripulca family. We were walking in our area and I just decided randomly to take a different root that is the longer root, Sister Lubas wasn't too happy about that one...but we went anyway and we saw Sister Tripulca outside her house and she approached us and said that she has never seen missionaries like us by her house and she was super excited to see us and so we taught her and her kids 2 times this week.  Love when prepared people are put in your path. Its soooo cool :) 

Irene our recent convert has been having some issues with her husband the last couple of we decided to turn into marriage counselors this week. Whipped out the family proclamation and everything haha.  Guess what??? her husband went to church yesterday.  He has been in and out of being Less Active since Irene was baptized. So that was so awesome to see him at church.  

Me-Me and Rionna...a single mom and her daughter are doing great.  We had an awesome lesson with them about prayer this week.  

Overall it was a good week...we are going for the little successes and our investigators are just building their faith block by block...I am proud of them.  Joshua is doing good...I think he is my best friend in the ward haha. :) 

To finish off with a spiritual thought is from Sister Pablico...our trainee in our stewardship. And she was asking me about what keeps me going on the mission even when I am tired...and I just sat there for a second but then I thought about it and the word ENDURANCE came into my head. That sometimes if we just do things not for ourselves but do it for God...he gives us that endurance we need. It brought Alma 37:36-37 that says "let all things be done for the Lord," and "Counsel with him." And I am convinced if we do those things, he really gives us the strength we need. Even if its as simple as having the strength to be a missionary everyday :) 

Thank you for the love and support! 

Sister Zarbock  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Week 58 "Marayong Adlaw"

Week 58

"Marayong Adlaw" means good day in Visaya...Sister Lubas is trying to teach me her language and this might have been one of like 5 things that stuck. Good thing I only have to learn one language haha :)

Dear Family and Friends, 

Hope all is well and everyone had a good 4th of July. Mine consisted again of me singing the National Anthem at 6:30 in the morning and wearing a blue skirt and red shirt...yeah that was all my festivities for that day.  Hope all of your's was a little bit more festive than mine was haha :) But anyway this week consisted of a lot of change and new things..but on a mission I have learned to accept and invite change.  I think it's fun to live life always changing so this week was a fun one. 

First off we got a new mission president this week...President Fermanis and he is super awesome. He is from New Zealand...and their family is so fun.  They have 6 kids and brought 2 of them to the Philippines...their youngest boys. We gotta work with him a lot at MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) and he is just a cool guy. Super different than President Ostler but I am excited to get to know a new family and work with him more.  When someone asked in our "meet the president" meeting how he and Sister Fermanis about like 10 seconds he told us they met and then he went on a mission and then everything gelled together and they got married...and the look on his wife's face was SO funny. He clearly answered the question wrong...if anyone of you become a mission president one day tell how you met your wife in a better way haha :) 

New Mission President--President Fermanis from New Zealand
New Mission President's wife

Had a lot of good experiences and finds for the week. I think the best part of the week was for sure seeing Joshua pass the sacrament for the first is the funnest thing to see your recent converts progress in the gospel!  Love that kid...he told us after he was glad that he didn't spill the water tray...whooop Joshua for the win!

We had a super funny lesson with a new couple...James and Sara. Sara is a Filipina and James is from Africa. So our lessons are like a big combination of English/Tagalog...its so fun.  She reads the Book of Mormon in Tagalog and he reads it in English. Haha best thing of my life...we will teach them again tonight. They weren't able to come to church yesterday because of an "all day birthday" party for their baby turning one...its kind of a thing to do that here. 

Jovelyn is doing good and we were able to teach her live-in partner this week too, his name is Roger.  We knocked on the door and caught him reading the plan of salvation pamphlet...they are super awesome :) 

But to finish off with a spiritual thought is one from a funeral we went to this week for a member in our ward. He died of a heart attack...sad situation, but he lived a nice, long life :)  When we got to the funeral, everyone was of course sad...but there was just a feeling of peace in the room because we really do believe that our life is not finished after this one...the promise in Alma 11 that we will even know even as we do now..and it helped me put my life in perspective that we need to really live our lives right until the end like Brother Vicente.  

Grateful for the gospel and this opportunity to serve. Have a good week everyone! :) 

Sister Zarbock

Love this gal!!!  Sister Singer at MLC
Sisters at MLC--Sister Niu the Samoan is moving to Utah
Sister Bito...Filipina is my kapatid cause her nanay is Sister Holzworth :)
Sister Wolcott is my bestie 
This is my old kabahay Sister Otuafi, she goes home in a few weeks.
Back in my old stomping grounds to eat some lunch after our meet the president meeting 
Went to a funeral in our ward and I ran into an MTC couple--it was so
funny cause when I first met them I spoke literally not a lick of Tagalog :)