Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 13 "Every Day rain is falling..."

Week 13

Dear Fam and Friends, 

HELLO PO LAHAT NG MGA TAO :) I hope everyone had an awesome week, my week was full of lots and lots of rain with lots and lots of work :) So of course it was another great week. So good to hear from everyone and a big fat congratulations to my brother Jack for getting engaged! Masaya po ako para sa inyo! So sad I won't be there for you on your special day, but I am so excited for you! Well like I said this week was a good one and I can't wait to tell you all about it :) 

To start out I would like to tell you about this crazy weather we have been having here! So like I said the rain has been crazy and so has the flooding here, in the streets all the kids are swimming and as missionaries we aren't allowed to walk in the water and we were wondering how are we going to get across the street? We need to teach investigators! We see a couple of guys with a giant styrofoam block with chairs on it and they said they would give us a ride! Haha so in like waist deep water these guys gave us a ride on a styrofoam block across the street--seriously only in the Philippines. They gave us no charge cause we were "People of God" best thing of my life. It was awesome :) 

Craziest rain ever!
Styrofoam water taxi?!?!  Only in the Philippines :)
So this week we had transfers and I got separated from my Nanay (mom/trainer)--bitter sweet saying bye to someone that brought me into the mission. It was a good six weeks with her. With Sister Holzworth leading that means its been up to me to navigate this crazy place because Sister Dolor is so new to the area. So that means there has been a lot of us walking around, getting lost, and a lot of prayers on my part haha :) In my defense I feel like the streets change everyday and its hard to recognize houses and streets that are flooded ;) But with that being said we still had a couple of awesome lessons and finds this week.

Last pic with the trio!
Saying goodbye to Sister Holzworth

Harold. Harold is a referral given to us by a super great family in the ward, he has been taught by the missionaries before so he knows a lot about the church. and we taught him twice this week. And on Monday, my Tagalog was just suffering. I couldn't form a solid sentence, it was just super broken and I came out of the lesson like what did I do wrong? Why was it so hard to teach? I left so defeated. We went and taught him again later in the week and I prayed so hard that I could just form a couple of thoughts or at least testify because this was going to be a big lesson to have him understand the Book of Mormon. And Sister Dolor looked to me to teach and I was so nervous but I literally opened my mouth and the words just came...I just spoke so naturally, I could talk to him and he understood and the other people there were super surprised too haha. When people talk about having a Gift of Tongues moment--it was always that thing that happens to other people but would never happen to me. But I walked out of that lesson and I just had tears in my eyes because I felt like in that moment God knew I needed his help and there's no way I could have done that without His help. Just a cool little experience from the week :) 

Next experience this week was with Yuta--he's Japanese, we have been teaching him ever since I came to the area and he had the best lesson this week :) We were talking to him about baptism and the Holy Ghost and he said that he wants to get baptized and hearing those words made me so happy for him and that he wants to do it, he is super new to Christianity and so this was a huge step for him. His prayer at the end was so great though, "Thank you The God for helping me want to receive the baptism and for being in me, and I know you are always there" It made me take a step back actually, because do I think that God is always there for me? Yuta says he just knows God cares and is there for him--I feel like I need to think like that more :) 

This week because there was so much flooding, it is hard to find people..Go figure right? So this week was super hard in that aspect. But one night this week we were walking around in the pouring rain and we were so tired, didn't have a dinner break yet and it was like 8:15. And we had only 45 minutes left. Sister Dolor was like we should go back--but I just felt like there was something more we needed to do. I just felt like we needed to stay out and keep trying. Within the next 10 minutes we found Brenda and Karen. :) and we taught them both. Super awesome experience that God will place people in your path, but only if you give him one hundred percent of your efforts. 

So the spiritual thought I would like to leave with you today is that I have felt a lot of long days on the mission so far, a lot of walking, a lot of studying, and I have just found that if I am continually obedient...God will bring miracles. Even if it is as small as being able to share thoughts in a foreign language and being guided to people to teach when you have no idea how to get around a city :) following and letting the Spirit guide is so important in our lives! 

Well I hope you all have a good week this week :) 


Sister Zarbock 

RM Sister who goes teaching with us
Woohoo!!!  Package from dear friend, Brock!

My dinner night to cook this week--chicken pesto, squash, salad :)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 12 "Life is a highhhhhway, I'm gonna riddde it all night long..."

Week 12

This song came on in McDonald's the other day, I had an awesome moment let me tell ya. 

Dear Family and Friends, 

Hello everyone! Magandang Hapon! Hope everyone had a great week, its so awesome to be able to email everyone and hear about your weeks--thank you again for all the love and support :) This week was transfers--wasn't really expecting anything to change for us pero we got a little surprise today! Sister Holzworth will be transferring and is becoming a Sister Training Leader, I AM A PROUD ANAK :) So Sister Dolor will be finishing off my training. Sad to see Sister Holzworth go because we have had so many awesome experiences and so much fun! This should be a fun next transfer with Sister Dolor--Can't believe its all ready been 6 weeks in the field. But anyway, this week was a good work week, can't wait to tell you all about it.

The trio no longer--Sister Holzworth transferred :(

BGC--Big fancy city where we teach the English families

We had an awesome work week of finding people and a lot of our investigators are progressing, which is the best. It is so awesome to be teaching someone and see the light of Christ grow inside of them. :) This happened with Glinda this week, we have been teaching her the past couple of weeks . We taught her about baptism and the holy ghost and we asked her if that would be something she wanted in her life and she just smiled so big and said that she would want nothing more! Aaahhh! How awesome is that? :) She is doing good and we hope she continues to progress! 

We taught Christina this week, just a Less Active from China who just needs a visit every now and then to have someone to talk to, she's deaf so its kind of hard to understand her sometimes. But we went and she told us that she was so grateful for our last visit to her--we taught about how important it is to go to church and how we need to keep the sabbath day holy. She came to church and she said that the lesson could not have been more perfect for her situation, her grandpa passed away and the lesson was all about Resurrection. She just talked to us about her life and when I start to listen to members or investigators trials and challenges, I just love them more and more. I think Heavenly Father has a special place in his heart for Christina. 

I think this week was a week of a missionary appreciation, we were able to visit the Kanigan family this week. The Dad works for the Embassy and they have lived everywhere. Brazil, Africa, all over the states--its awesome! And we were sharing a thought with them on how they can be Member Missionaries, they have four boys and one girl--reminds me of my family a little bit. And at the end of our message Brother Kanigan shared a little bit about how grateful he is for us and that we are coming to strengthen the members, spend time in their houses, and we were able to kneel in prayer with his family. As he was talking to us I couldn't help but tear up because I have never really heard so far on my mission how grateful people are that we are furthering the work and that we are spending time with their family, obviously I am happy to serve but it was just a cherry on top to hear that from a member. :) 

At an investigators house--with their cute puppy

We had a lot of awesome moments of talking to people and finding new investigators this week, we started to teach the Genesis family this week--we definitely follow kids around in the street to see where they live, so that was super cool it worked out. :) We also met a couple of new foreigners this week--we are over all foreigners in the mission. Its way fun when we are walking down the street and we see a white person, or a black person from France--that was a nice find this week. Haha they are always super nice and we automatically form a bond because we are the minority--its awesome. :) 

Well just thought I would end with a quick spiritual thought this week. I just started the New Testament and am reading all about the miracles and how Jesus went about doing good while he was on the earth. And I just love how Christ serves without thinking of himself and serves anyone without judgement, we shared this week with a part member family all about how we are Christ's hands while we are on the earth. And how we need to be able to take his name upon us and to really think of others before ourselves, no matter who they are or where they come from. If I have learned one thing on my mission so far, is that we need to serve anyone and everyone--because you never know who needs the gospel :) 

Well I hope everyone has an awesome week! Until next time! 

Mahal Ko Kayo! 

Sister Zarbock

Gospel Principles class, Yuta is on the far right--isn't he the coolest?
The guy in the middle is going to Rhea's 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 11 "The Rains Came Down and the flooooods came up"

Week 11

Dear Family and Friends, Boys and Girls of all ages,

Well hello everyone! The week seems to go by so fast! :) I can't believe it is already another Monday, it feels so good to be able to talk to you again. You have no idea how much the emails help. Love all of you! :) Rainy Season is still here, there was a lot of flooding this week and the wind and rain were NEVER ending...I can't believe there is so much rain. It's kind of fun to go out but also super challenging to try to see people when their street is flooded in knee-deep water. But the work must go on, right? 

Cute Sister from my Zone!

We had a really good finding this week, we have been all about finding the golden investigator and finding the golden families...and I think we had some pretty cool lessons and conversations this week. You really never know what you are going to find here, I think that's what I love about missionary work, you never know who is listening or how the person is going to feel or where the spirit leads you :) its really so awesome!

Some quick experiences for the week was when we were on the way to visit Sister Amalia and we saw this cute little family playing in front of their little store and we decided to talk to them and normally we don't go down that street but for some reason we thought this other way would be faster. We started to talk to the mom and turns out she has a husband and 3 little kids. AND THEY ARE ACTUALLY MARRIED! WHAT?? So we got a return appointment from them and taught them later in the week. And it went super well! :) We hope they continue to progress!

Another experience this week was with a man named Cesar--I called him Cesar Salad and he totally laughed. I thought I was pretty funny ;) But I started talking to him, I stopped him on the street when my companions were talking to some other people. He didn't look super approachable with headphones in, umbrella, head down--but I was like why not? So I stopped him and we got to know each other and he started to talk to me about how he used to be taught by some sister missionaries and he lives in the area. He started to tell me how he is has been super confused about which church is the right one, which one he should go to...I told him all about how I felt that a lot of times too, just confused about what is the right way in life and everything. He seemed super interested so we got his address and everything and should be visiting him soon.

We just had a bunch of little experiences like that this week and it really is so cool to see the little miracles that happen every day. A lot of the times they are small, a lot of the times you wouldn't notice it unless you took a step back and thought about it. :) But they happen and it really is so cool to be a recipient of that, to just be able to see Heavenly Father's hand in everything--because He really is in everything. 

Updates on some of our investigators this week:

Yuta--Japanese guy. By the way, how awesome is it that his name is "Utah"? Okay anyway,  his lesson went super well this week and he just had a cool comment about the Holy Ghost this week. We were talking about how you can feel the Holy Ghost: its the comforter, it brings us peace, help us make decisions...and he stops us and says "So its like God is in us?" and we took a step back and we were like, yeah that actually makes sense. It is totally like we have a little bit of God in us. We teach him so simply that sometimes you forget how important the role of the Holy Ghost is.

Jason and Phoebe--Phoebe is a less Active that we just got a calling for and shes been coming back to church and now her husband is going to get baptized soon! Our lessons with them are super awesome. He had a little bit of a Word of Wisdom problem so we had him start living that this week. But Phoebe is super awesome, she is always motivating him and you can really see the difference in their relationship just since they have both been coming to church. :)

Honestly this week has been pretty good, I have had more "aha" moments with Tagalog which is so great. :) You really just have to give everything to the Lord, when things get frustrating or I feel inadequate--or whatever it is, I really just take a step back and see how far I have come, count my blessings, and then try again :) That is what I am learning on a mission for sure, take correction with willingness! Be patient always and always remember the things you CAN do.

Just to end on a spiritual note, kind of having to do with just always improving yourself. I was reading in Alma this week and I came across a scripture I really like, Alma 60:23. Just talking about the "inner vessel" and how we really need to start inside before we can expect results on the outside. I have found that before I ask, "why isn't this person coming to church?" "Why are they inactive?" I take a look inside, see maybe a concern they have or where their faith is lacking and start there. Working from the inside out :) Just kind of a cool thought I had this week.

Well everyone, this week was a good one and I am continuing to love the Philippines more and more. Missionary work isn't easy, but it is definitely worth it :)

Have a good week!
Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Zarbock

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 10 Rainy Season is the best Season

Week 10

Dear Family, Friends, and people of all ages 

Well I hope everyone had a great week this week! This week was another great one here in the rainy Makati. Rainy Season is pretty crazy, lots of flooding in the streets and walking through waist deep water -- haha okay that last one was a little dramatic. But seriously the rain here is absolutely crazy, it just dumps all day on us but it is really fun because everyone is playing out in the rain. My favorite is at night when there is lightening and thunder -- it seriously is the coolest thing ever. Like I said though, this week was another great one! Can't wait to tell you all about it :) 

Rainy sunset--is that sky not the coolest???

So we had a lot of meetings this week. District Meetings, Interviews with Presidents and Sister Ostler, and training afterward so we didn't teach a lot this week but the lessons we did teach were seriously so awesome and the classes that I had this week were super inspirational and motivational -- also kind of long haha. Long but good. 

District pic!

We had a way awesome referral this week. A Jewish lady was in Hawaii vacationing and went to the Polynesian Cultural Center and started talking with the missionaries, the sisters got her name and number and address, they referred her to the mission office in the Philippines Office because she is from Makati area. And after that she got referred to us! I seriously thought that alone was a miracle. We found her house and she is a diplomat of the Public Affairs for the Embassy here and we got chatting with her and she was like, "what is it about you mormons that makes you guys so happy?" and we were like WELL WE WILL FOR SURE TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT. And we just had a way cool experience with her and I got to just bare my testimony to her, in English because she works for the US but it just felt that I could really tell this lady about what makes me super happy as a missionary and as a member of the church. It was a super awesome referral, thank you Hawaii! :) 

I also had another cool moment this week when we were teaching Fema. Fema was someone we just started talking to on the street and later came back for another lesson. This was our second lesson this week with her. And she put out some benches in the middle of the street, it was like 6 and there was the coolest sunset - orange skies, we were teaching her about the Restoration and I just looked around and was feeling so lucky to be serving here. Here I am in the middle of the street, sharing the beliefs of our church to this person that knows nothing about it, the spirit was there, and she couldn't believe she had a loving Father in Heaven who she can pray to. I don't know it was just an awesome feeling and proud moment to be a missionary :) 

Just one more way awesome experience this week was we had a baptism!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!! We have been teaching Lawrence who is 9 for the last couple of weeks and he got baptized on Saturday. His little sister is 8 and also got baptized this week. And what an awesome thing to be apart of that their family is now all baptized! :) This baptism felt super special because it was a whole family event. The parents were both there and are members of the church and I really saw how families are blessed by being members of the church. Plus we totally got pizza and grapes -- grapes here are SUPER expensive so I felt super lucky ;) 

All my training meetings and interviews went well this week. I feel so blessed to have such inspired leaders! :) Training meetings are just a bunch of mini classes and we talked a lot about companionship unity. And I just love my companionship right now. Sister Holzworth and I have loved having Sister Dolor with us for the past 2 weeks. She is super helpful, sometimes a little clueless, and literally is the crazy grandma of the 3 of us -- because she is the oldest in the mission ;) 

Well just to end with a quick spiritual thought. We taught Glinda this week, I have talked a little bit about her but she has had seizures that have made her paralyzed on one side and this week we got to teach her about resurrection and how when we are resurrected we become perfect. And it just made me think of Alma 40:23, how not a hair on our head will be lost. When we told her that, she just cried! And I have never really, deeply thought about how we are so blessed to return to our Heavenly Father but to return to him as PERFECT versions of ourselves. Anyway, that just became super real for me this week. 

I hope everyone has a great week this week :) Keep on keeping on and remember mahal ni Jesucristo kayo! 

Mahal Kita, 
Sister Starbucks :) 

Just for you Jules!
These are the cute kids we get to see everyday while we work!
Look at the sign on the door--my name!
Got to see my favorite missionaries at training meeting!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 9 Kumusta po everyone!

Week 9

Dear Friends and Family,

Kumusta po everyone! :) I hope everyone had a great week of Summer and happy August to everyone! I can't believe it is already August honestly, where has the time gone??? This week was a really good week, I finally feel like I am settling into everything and getting a handle on missionary life, getting to understand people more and getting more and more familiar with the great and wonderful Makati City :) 

So I mentioned last week I got a surprise companion named Sister Dolor, she is awesome and fearless. She will go up to anyone, knock on any door, and it is so cool to see her teach. I feel like I have the best examples of missionaries with my Nanay Sister Holzworth (Mom) and Tita Sister Dolor (Aunt). Being in trio is literally the best thing ever, we can teach anyone and it seems like we all just communicate way better with teaching--the only downside is who gets the shower first when we get home and there is less room in the fridge haha :) I have loved having Sister Dolor join the Makati team.

Sister Dolor, Sister Zarbock, Sister Holzworth

Teaching this week was awesome, we have a couple of really awesome progressing investigators. Because we are in the English and Tagalog ward we kind of have a strange mix of people we teach, I can't wait to tell you all about them :) 

So first, Jerry. Jerry got baptized last week and is a translator for this advertising company. His English is pretty good but when we teach him it is always super simple. When people are baptized, we reteach them all the lessons to make them fully active in the church so that is what we are doing with Jerry. And it is so cool because since he received the Holy Ghost you can really see the difference in our lessons.

Yuta is from Japan and it is the same thing--super simple. He has never believed in God or anything so we are really starting at the very beginning with him - this week was all about the Restoration and it really is so cool to see the wheels turn in his head and you can see his faith growing. He comes to church every week and I really admire his willingness to learn. And teaching Yuta so simply has really helped strengthen my testimony, he will stop and say "Oh that makes sense" or "that sounds familiar" and it really makes me feel like God really does bring things to our remembrance. 

All our finding is in Tagalog speaking areas, our English are usually referrals and out of our area--we are the only people in the mission who get to travel out of our area, so that is kind of fun. Our goal for this week has been finding new investigators--we go out and teach and find and teach and find...  :)  But anyway, what I love about the Philippines so far is you never know what you are going to get on the other side of a door haha :) One of these instances was with Joy and Glinda - talked a little bit about them last week. But they opened their door and we walked into their little shack houses - usually a lot of people live in one bahay. We just started teaching them and they let us come back for 2 more lessons - and they committed last week to be baptized and they just are continuing to progress. :) Glinda is paralyzed on one side and she is just the nicest lady and loves the fact that we can become perfect again when we die :) But what I learned from this is God has prepared people for us to teach, just as long as we work and are diligent :) 

We also got fed this week, every missionaries dream! haha :)  - there are a lot of people here from the states in our English Ward that work at the embassy. The Keyes family are from Idaho and the Jones family are new from Dallas. They are just super awesome families. Part of what our mission is doing is reactivating and strengthening the members, so that is what we have been doing for the past couple of weeks as well. :) They honestly are such hard working people - a lot of the moms say it has been an adjustment to move the Philippines and I totally understand so it is nice as missionaries we can just be a little support to them with all the change going on. :) 

The Keyes Family

This week we also visited Christina, she is Chinese, who's grandpa just passed away recently. She is a Less Active and is deaf - but she loves to have the missionaries over. So we thought we should go visit her. We were talking to her and she was telling us of her health challenges, her grandpa passing--and I just thought what am I going to say to make her feel better? I have never experienced anything like this in my life! But I thought of a scripture, Alma 7:23 about being patient with our afflictions and she looked at me with tears in her eyes and told me how grateful she was--that's exactly what she needed to hear. It is just little experiences like this that have really helped me realize how much missionaries really don't know about the concerns, or what is really going on with someone but how much we are vessels for the spirit and that is what teaches and helps someone. :) 

Just a spiritual thought for the week is about Grace, I think that has been the theme with transitioning and getting familiar with the people of Makati. A dear friend of mine sent me a talk written by Brian Wilcox called, "His Grace is Sufficient" and it talks about Grace. And to my understanding I always thought Grace was we are saved after all we can do. But what I loved about this talk was he described it as God pulling with us and how we really aren't alone and aren't expected to be perfect. But we are expected to try our best :) And just a main point from his message is about how a life impacted by grace eventually begins to look like Christ's life. 

That is what I have found this week! God is with us no matter if we are walking all over a crazy city to bring others to Christ, learning a new language, or trying are best to be what God needs us to be. He is pulling with us every step of the way :) 

Well I hope everyone has a great week! 

Mahal ko kayo, 

Sister Zarbock 

I got to hold a parrot at a Chinese mansion :)