Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 65 "Keep the Sabbath Day Holy di ba sisters?" -Sister MontaƱo

Week 65

Haha funniest experience.....Walking out of our teaching appointment yesterday (Sunday) with one of our investigators and we saw one of our members walking past us and she's hiding something behind her back....slowly she hands us some candy and says "Keep the Sabbath Day Holy right Sisters?"  Earlier at church we literally got lectured for the full 3 hours about keeping the Sabbath day holy.  Guilty conscience got the best of her.  So funny, I love Filipinos.  They are so funny. 

Dear Fam and Frenz, 

We are coming to 'ber' months (September, October, November, December) so that means the Christmas season has officially started here!  Can't believe August has come and gone. SO weird. But I just wanted to wish you all a happy start to the wonderfully long Filipino Christmas season.  Christmas is just too fast in Utah I think? Part of November and then December? It just begins and ends too quick.  I think the Philippines is a win for celebrating Christmas season haha. 

We had an awesome week this week. Grateful as always to be serving and having the opportunity to be in such a fun place serving these amazing people.  I say that every week, but every week it is true.  We had some exchanges this week as Lubes was still recovering from her foot issue...but she is now recovered which I am so glad...I feel like I have changed companions so many times during the foot recovery. Grateful for some consistency finally.  We also had interviews this week with President Fermanis. Always so blessed to have some one on one time...I come in with like a million questions and discussion topics....especially with being my first interview with him. But its cool to see the spirit settle in and I love my mission president. He's so awesome. Grateful for his advice.  His favorite saying is, "Don't push the water up the hill with a rake." Just let things happen...haha he's the best. 

WE HAD SOME DEVELOPMENT THIS WEEK. Sister Jovelyn was revived this week and she came to church with the new skirt we gave her.  We were so excited.  We had some awesome lessons with her this week. She won't be able to be baptized for a while because of her live-in boyfriend and Word of Wisdom. But baby steps are steps...we are happy for her!

GEMMA....she is from last week. We sat down and talked with her and basically had a 'come to Jesus' moment. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she said that she is waiting for a sign from God. She knows the church is true and she felt that from the first time we saw her.  WE ARE SO PUMPED. Punch dancing returned and it was the first time Lubes had witnessed it.

Also had a random moment. We were walking in our area and we felt that we should turn down this specific eskinita (alley way thing) which means we would go in a complete circle...nonetheless we did it anyway. Then all of the sudden we see this lady out of nowhere and she says "WAIT WAIT I have something for you" so we just waited there and she comes back with this ancient Book of Mormon that has so much dirt on it. She said that some Elders left it on a jeepney and she saw it. And for like 10 years she has kept it and read it.  She said she saw us earlier but was too shy to talk to us, but she told us she made a promise to herself that if she saw us again she would talk to us. Which explains us walking in a circle :) SO SWEET. We booked a return appointment, we don't even know what her name is BUT IT WAS SWEET. Right place at the right time.  

Finish off with a spiritual thought. For this week I have been studying 'How to Stay more unspotted from the world?' and its been really cool--it was an assignment Presidnet Fermanis gave us. That even though I wear Jesus Christ's name everyday...there is more than enough work to do to become like Him. And I have found that to be true. I love D&C 59:9....part of being unspotted is taking the sacrament.  Grateful for that opportunity every Sunday. Also loved in Alma 1:26 to not "be better than the learner or the hearer." That we are equal in the sight of God. 

Have a great week every body :) Hope its one to remember. 

Sister Zarbock 

Pictures from Sunday--I look like a fruit salad
Our sweet Joshua :)
Me with the Lubes

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 64 "HEY JOEYYYY...."

Week 64

I had to dedicate one subject line to "hey Joe". All the American Elders get called "Bad Joe" because they are white and that's what the Flipinos call us. I get called that sometimes. But one time this week I said to the trike drivers we see every morning, "Hey brother, babae ako, siguro JOEY na lang!" or "Brother I am a girl, maybe you could just call me Joey!" Every time I walk by them now they call me Joey...be careful what you ask for :) 

Dear Family and Friends, 

Grateful to be emailing all of you today this rainy morning. We had an interesting week, I think I have learned to never get comfortable on the mission. Cause right when you do, God sends you something you weren’t really expecting. That is what happened to us this week, but it was a great week nonetheless. Can never complain cause being a missionary is just the happiest thing despite bumps in the road. 

So story time. Since I was little I had this hair disease called Alopecia. Basically it's when you lose hair in sections of your scalp and for the longest time my mom and I couldn’t figure out why I was getting it and how to get rid of it. We came into contact with a dermatologist who gave me lots of injections in my head where I was losing hair to shock the hair follicles and it would evidently help the hair grow back. Not fun--but it worked! And over the years sometimes it comes back and sometimes it doesn't. Well since being on the mission it just started to happen again but its all good, we got it taken care of.  A senior Sister serving here from Utah is a nurse and she got me all lined up with a dermatologist here who could give me the injections :)

But had kind of an awesome thing happen this week. We just found a new investigator named Gemma. We were talking to this huge group of kids that wanted us to teach them and so Gemma was the nearest adult in sight so we went and piled in her house to teach them all. Then we came back to teach her a second time...and it was perfect timing for us to develop a strong relationship with her. Her uncle had just died THAT DAY and so we were able to teach a little bit about the plan of salvation.

Then when she was praying to finish the lesson she just burst into tears...and of course I thought it was because her Uncle just died...but she talked about how her daughter had started to lose hair all over her scalp and she had NO idea why. As a mother, she was overwhelmed with this problem--understandably so.  I was thinking that's so sad...then it dawned on me....maybe she has Alopecia. So I showed Sister Gemma that bald spot that I had and told her that I had the same thing and maybe her daughter has Alopecia. And she just had the biggest look of relief on her face that there was nothing seriously wrong with her daughter. 

Now I don't know if it was a coincidence or what. But I just thought what are the odds that I found a bald spot on my head the very week we met this distressed mom.  My guess is that it wasn't really a coincidence. As little as it was I am grateful I could give some sort of comfort.  Just made me feel like a real missionary. Gave her a big hug and later came back and gave her the rest of my vitamins I use for my hair.  Sweet moment with Gemma this week. 

Some other surprises for the week was when Lubie got a wart, callous, growth thing removed from her foot...ewwwww ;) She hasn't been able to walk for the last couple of days...so shoot some prayers for her. And so I have had a lot of new companions for the week to be able to work. But it has its perks because we sat in the church through 2 baptisms and I am getting really good at setting up chairs, being a leg rest for Lubie, and being a chorister :) WHOOP. 

Lubie using me to elevate her foot :(
The Elders' baptism
Visiting the Caraan kids during exchanges with Sister Ta'ofi.
They got baptized on Saturday!
The Caraan kids' baptism
Sister Craig attended the baptism--so fun to see her :)
Spent like 2 hours making these candy leis with Sister Ta'ofi for the Caraan kids
Candy leis--WHOOP WHOOP!!

Also some updates is that Sara is still doing good...we gave them some bananas because her husband was sick. She was not able to come to church but we are praying for next week :) She is super awesome! Reading the book of mormon and everything. And the Tripulca family is a little MIA right now...bleeehhh...but we love them!  Maybe their time isn't now but we just wanna stay in their life :) 

Well just wanted to finish off with a little spiritual thought...just my testimony that God places trials, people, experiences in our lives for a reason. And a thought I really liked from Zone Conference was when President Fermanis asked us what are the trials of being a missionary. We all raised our hands and said being dropped, no appointments, no investigators at church. And he stopped and said "Are these trials? or just missionary work?" And then he said the same with what are the trials of life. We all said our thoughts and he said again, "are these trials? or is it just life?" and that kinda sat with me for a little while. That ya know...is our life full of trials or is really just life? And I testify that God loves us and I think he sends us exactly what we need even if we don't think we need it :) He knows us and I am grateful for His divine plan. 

Have a good week everyone :) 

Love you all, 
Sister Zarbock

Zone Conference pic
Zone Conference!!!
Sister Ta'ofi and Sister Singer--Zone Conference
Sisters pic--Zone Conference :)
Sisters pic
More Zone Conference!

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 happy....it 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 27...how 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 to...do 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 walk...so 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 week...my 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 too...fun 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