Greetings from CATARMAN!!! That's right, I'm back in my area with my anak (trainee) and these past two days have probably been the happiest of my life. Crazy right? But honestly! This week was just roller coaster! So, let's start in Manila, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were just crazy because Monday and Wednesday were holidays and the doctors weren't there and there was crazy flooding in Manila so on Tuesday there weren't any doctors either. So it was so chill, we just stayed in inside and Tuesday and Wednesday we got to go to the temple! Yeah! When I got there, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to because it was closed and it's basically every missionary's dream haha so I basically lived the dream. And it was just unreal how close everyone became at the Missionary Recovery Center- I literally viewed Sister and Elder Wood like our parents and it was just amazing the love and care they showed for each one of us. On Thursday night, I slept over at a hospital for a sleep test! Talk about weird! They hook you up to like a billion wires and I was pulling glue out of my hair for days. Quite the experience. Tapos, Friday was really awesome/ crazy. We went to S&R with the cook to get groceries aka COSTCO! It blew my mind! And they are so nice that they even treated us to the pizza and ice cream- literally exactly costco. And there were about a million white people, it was so freaky! Then I went and helped out at the MTC with some office work then that night, Elder and Sister Wood went out to dinner for their anniversary and another senior couple came and babysat us. haha But really! We ordered pizza hut pizza then played dominos until the other senior couples and they brought us back J.Co donuts- so good! I realized that all my time in manila I have kinda been treated like a child and it's kinda the best! For my sickness, I don't really need to be watched over, but for some, in case of emergency, there really needs to be someone there. And they also told me that afternoon that I would be going back to my area! He said, "all your test results don't come back until next week so rather than you just sit around here all week, we'll send you back and slowly ease back into missionary work. And if it doesn't get any better/ gets worse, we'll figure it out from there." Seriously, ecstatic! I've missed my ward, all the missionaries, and just missionary work in general so much! Even though it was kinda hard to be out of missionary work for a whole month, especially not knowing my fate, I am SO grateful for this experience because it will make me appreciate every single day of my mission SO much more. Not to mention the power and prayer and to be able to feel so much love.
So saturday, I boarded a plane to Tacloban! and got there in the mission office at. When I arrived, it was like people didn't even know I was coming back! But they were all so happy to see me and to ask about Manila etc, then I saw one of the Sister's living with Sister Doud (my companion)- I asked, "doesn't she know I'm back?" "No! We knew nothing!" So... one of the office elders called her to come get me and she got the shock of her life! She was starting to think I wouldn't be back until after transfers! (which is this wednesday) By 5, we hoped on a bus back to Catarman! And since, I've just been so happy to be reunited with all the people I love so much! I really couldn't stop smiling! It was awesome. Especially at church, so fun! It was really like coming home, I felt so much love and concern from all the members, I'm just so glad we have elders in our ward now so they could somewhat keep everyone in the loop. And on Sunday, we took it really easy, only taught one lesson and visited another family of investigators- she had her baby right when I got sick and I can't believe it's already been a month! She's so big now! And they haven't been able to come to church because the 3 months we've been teaching them, she was really pregnant so couldn't go any where and then she couldn't go while the baby was still new so without us even saying anything, she said they would all go to church on Sunday! WOOHOO!! I just hope they actually do! And it was kinda funny because when we had mcm(missionary coordination meeting), there are 3 ward missionaries who are preparing for their missions so they love working but they haven't been able to with us gone so they were so excited so scheduled a ton of times, especially on sunday. Then I got home and sat down and thought, "What am I crazy?! Have I already forgotten they said, 'take it easy'?" So we cancelled some of our appointments and rested and made a goal not to have more than 2 lessons a day hahaha weirdest missionary goal ever! But I just know if I don't set a goal like that, a limit, I just can't help myself and I'll push myself too hard! It's so weird though.
And it's been so good seeing all my missionary friends in the zone, they are just the best! And maybe some of them will get transferred this week so it's SO good to be back now. And then, right before I left for Manila, I got my FOOTBALL from Jenny! I was so happy but so sad at the same time because I didn't know when I would be able to use it! So today, they had a zone of activity of sports and it was so awesome because we got to use it! I really like football because you just stand there and throw it so I could do a sport I love, but not kill myself. At first it was so funny because all the elders played volleyball and we were teaching all the sisters to throw a football...usually it's opposite, no? But later the Elders joined in and everyone loved it. So happy:) So thank you so much! It's basically my prized possession. I'm actually so shocked I didn't even play basketball even a little! So we just played outside a chapel, talked with other missionaries and ate lunch that some members cooked- bodulbodul style aka no plates and you just eat with your hands off banana leaves. And it was just the best! Perfect last zone party/ reunion for me. And that's about it. Seriously so good to be back and a missionary again, it's the best feeling in the world. Thank you so much for all your love and prayers- hopefully I'll be a full working missionary soon:)
Love, Sister Pike