Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 62 - 3/31/2014

Big news!!  Transferred, my first comp and probably to my last area!  Catbalogan 2nd branch, on Samar just a few hours away from my first area in Catarman and I'm back to waray-waray but now to the H version of the dialect.  Basically, a dream come true!  I loved waray and from being in Cebuano for over 7 months I had forgot it and it made me really sad that I couldn't even speak it anymore and what do you know, the gift of tongues is so real that within about 2 days, I was able to switch over most of my talking to a language I spoke so long ago and even had to change it.  And the best part of about it is...Sister Brown is my companion!!!!!  We are only the best of friends, survived the typhoon together, were in the same zone in Cebu mission and now we're COMPANIONS.  We literally have spent more time together on our missions than apart!  Super fun.  At least 5 times every day we say, "Hey guess what?  WE'RE COMPANIONS!”  She is probably the happiest person in the world and so fun to be around.  She's from Idaho and is the greatest singer ever.  I love being with great singers because they make me sound so much better!  We sang a musical number in branch conference and then in the choir and President and Sister Andaya and their family so it was really fun to get to know them.  They have 4 kids- the oldest 19, and the youngest 10 and they are so fun to talk to!  And the branch is so great.  Actually reminds me a lot of my first area because it's waray, the city is pretty similar, actually bigger and it's summer and hot season!!  Our house is so hot, I slept without a sheet for the first time in forever.  This morning we went on a really cool hike to a place you can see the whole city and it's so beautiful here!  It's known as one of the dirtiest cities in the mission but I love it so much already.  I don't have much time, I'll try to update more next week.  It's interesting because this area was not touched at all by the typhoon so apparently they didn't experience the humbling that other parts did but I'm still so happy to be here.  I love this work!  And I love all of you!  Thank you so much for your support!

Love, Sister Pike

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 61 - 3/24/2014

Maayong Hapon Pamilya! 

I'm in Naval! And I'm actually working here! And transfers are this Thursday and I have a feeling I might transfer because I have technically been assigned here for 3...but only have worked here for 1 month. How crazy is that?!? It's nut's. Transfers are pretty different here from Cebu and other missions because you literally don't know ANYTHING until you are on your way! Where you're going, who your companion is, what language you're speaking... Even your companion you left behind has no idea, kinda crazy, but makes life interesting! So we'll be awaiting that call. But I'm ALWAYS wrong when it comes to transfers so who knows what will happen! But this week was excellent because we got to teach some less actives and they all came to church!! Success! So even though we had no investigators at church, that totally made up for it. And cool story, we went to this new place that I've never been to before in search of some referrals. One thing I LOVE about the Philippines is they know all their neighbors and if you ask them if they know them or where they live, they will drop everything to help you! Even go with you sometimes. There is no way we would find ANYONE if we didn't have other's help. But the cool thing was on our search for the referral (Golin family) we were pointed to their house. So we talked to them and they were supposed "golden investigators" that were dropped for reasons that we have no idea but as we were talking, we learned they weren't the Golin's we thought BUT they had been taught by the missionaries before and really wanted us to come back. And then we found the real Golin family and it was like the saddest thing ever because a husband and wife were all ready to be baptized but the husband dropped out at the last second because his word of wisdom problem. He had stopped for a month but he thought it was pointless because he just couldn't avoid it and the worst part was, he had no desire to stop, "It just not my time yet to stop. Someday I'll return, I can't give it up yet." It broke my heart! Especially since his wife backed out too only because he did. And we can't visit his wife because she works at the market all day, every day- that's another hard thing here is there are literally people who would be so good but literally cannot be taught ever. No days off or anything. But she's having a baby next month so maybe we can come back then. And then we went and taught the fake Golin family and they were amazing! Even all their kids were all involved and we had a great lesson. We would have never found them if we hadn't been looking for the real Golin family! Even though they didn't work out, it is definitely no coincidence:) And on Sunday too we made a whole lesson plan, but we ended up staying late for a meeting at church and it was too late to go where we had been planning so we decided to go to a DIFFERENT Golin family that lived in a way different part that was a referral given even before the storm that we never got to go back to. I promise Golin isn't a common name, it's just an incredibly small world. We taught them and they had 2 visitors that were not from there and they ended up being way more interested in the original referral! And one man asked us when our church was, told us he would visit and wanted us to teach his family. What?! That never happens. And once again, we wouldn't have found THOSE people if we hadn't taught the original people we were looking for. And they just happened to be there the day we visited. No coincidence! It's so cool when you do something led by the spirit, but you don't even know until you look back! I love being a missionary! And we've been praying in Tagalog all week, still super slow- I feel like a new missionary again! but coming slowly but surely. Words are even starting to replace my Cebuano which is so bizarre and the weirdest thing is we read the Book of Mormon in Tagalog to learn then we compare it to the Cebuano so we can learn what the words actually mean and it's like a relief when we can read it in Cebuano and actually understand it all! so nindot. It's actually 100x easier to learn Tagalog from Cebuano/Waray then from English- pretty crazy how that works:) I hope you all have a great week!

Love, Sister Pike

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Week 60 - 3/16/2014

Good news!!! I'm back in Naval!! Yay! It was sad to leave the other sisters that we've been living with because they are so wonderful but we'll still get to see them at zone activities which is so great. Saturday, the office elders picked us up in their van and drove us the hour to naval with all our stuff which was so nice because it would've been so hard on the bus! And we actually ended up moving back to the apartment where I lived with Sister Estes before! I don' t know if you remember me talking about it before but it was really small just for the two us so now with 4, it is really, really small. They redid some stuff so now it's cute and really bright and we have running water all day (before it would only turn on at 3pm till we went to bed so we needed to fill up a huge bucket to shower with) and flushing toilet and a shower but we all just fill up a bucket anyways, it really is the best way! The main problem is the room where we would put all of our clothes and luggage and stuff is where the other sisters sleep so we're living out of our suitcases which are in a little covered area outside that connects us to our CR (bathroom). I'll need to take some pictures, it's hard to describe. And I have a lot of pictures to send from last week but the internet is being soooo slow today! Usually it's not too bad but it literally took 30 minutes to load one email. Yesterday was our first day being in Naval (yay!) but 3 of us were sick so we just came home right after church and slept...the irony. But it was really great because we all did companion study together because Pres. Andaya wants us to send all the miracles we have seen after the typhoon- in our other missions and our return to Tacloban so we shared what we wanted to write. For most of us, we haven't experienced very much- just the jump in attendance but the biggest miracles were in ourselves, healing, getting over it, moving on, what we learned, etc. So it was SO cool to hear what Sister Henshaw and Lindsay shared because they were 2/10 sisters that were on the roof in Tacloban that almost died and they were SO traumatized. When I saw them in Manila, I thought no way they would keep going and be able to function in another mission but they did! And they are so amazing! and they shared their own personal healing and how they dealt with everything. I wish I had time to share everything that they did but alas, time is short. Long story short, the atonement is so real and ready to help anyone in whatever capacity. He is always there with open arms and we just need to turn to him. We knew we would go through everything in our lives and he prepared us with a way to face it all. There's nothing we can't handle.  I am super excited for this week to actually work in our true area! But cool thing- last week when we were still riding the bus a ton, Sister Adasme and I brought flashcards of 150 Tagalog verbs and we learned them all! We came up with the craziest ways to remember them and just laughed our heads of through it all. That's one of the things I like most about being with her is we're helping each other so much in the language and we just have so much fun doing it! And then, our new zone leader (American) spoke in sacrament meeting and he just came from Bacolod mission speaking Ilonggo and hasn't spoken bisaya in a year so he gave his whole talk in Tagalog and we understood almost every word. It was so fulfilling! I'm going to miss when I don't get to learn a new language every 6 months :) This is definitely the mission for me. Now with 4 Americans in the house and we're helping the other 2 with Cebuano it might put a damper on our Tagalog but we'll find a way. I love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Pike

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 59 - 3/10/2014

Well, nothing super exciting- we had a zone activity and went to the zoo again this time as the whole zone then we hiked a mountain! This morning we missed the bus so we just fit four of us on the back of a motorcycle and drove the hour. As I was driving past the prettiest view in the whole world, I remember how incredibly rare that is and I need to just enjoy it all while I can! Even in other areas in the mission and other missions in the Philippines, no one rides motorcycles because they don't need to! But here it's basically mandatory. It's so nindot! And our activity was pretty fun, mostly to get to know all the missionaries that we don't see very often. We just found out our zone leader is opening the area opening up this week so we'll be getting a new one! That will be interesting. And on Sunday morning right before church they called and said they would be moving us into our apartment right after church- no notice at all! And then they checked our apartment and there was no key so they couldn't get in and turns out they still need to fix it so the goal is Thursday! It's so soon! The workers needed to work in our apartment AGAIN so we stayed in the other sister's apartment for the 3rd time! It's becoming a once a week thing, but it's been really fun getting to know everyone. And it's nice we're to the point in Balaquid (our other area) that we have progressing investigators and they're like our "go to" every night because it's so hard to find at night right when it gets dark at 6 cause I feel like it's like 11pm because of how empty and dark it is! 

Also, I got an email from Dumaguete (sister weber) saying Efren got baptized!!! He was the crazy prepared one that wanted to go on a mission after the first lesson, I'm so excited to keep in touch with him and see the great things he does. 

Hopefully next week I'll be reporting on Naval!

Love, Sister Pike

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Week 58 - 3/2/2014

Wow, I can't believe it's almost been a month since I came back! And I also can't believe I was in Cebu a month ago, feels like a million years! I don't have anything super exciting but it was a pretty great week. Last week on P-day just as we were going to get on the bus to head home, we ran into the other sisters and they told us Sister Ralph is transferring so they want to go to the zoo and we decided to go along! It was very spontaneous and really fun! It was just small and in the front yard of the mayor and just free but they had some crazy animals. A lion, a tiger and a LIGER and a monkey! And we got to hold some snakes! The lion and liger were crazy because sometimes they're really nice and friendly but we got there as they were about to be fed so they were really hungry so they would stare at us and if we got to close, they would reach their paws through the bars to try and grab us! But they didn't have claws so it was no big deal, but it was intense! And the monkey was really crazy too! For most of us he was just cute but with my companion, Sister Adasme, he hated her! He stole her glasses and camera he would latch on to her and go through her pockets to look for food... it was hilarious! 

And then, a tender mercy, Sister Bingham and Sister Woodruff came to do exchanges with us! Sister Bingham was my MTC companion and Sister Woodruff and I also go way back to the MTC so that was really fun. They're STLs so they travel around the mission and do splits with a bunch of sisters so it was really fun to get an update on everyone and where they were and how they're doing cause it's been so long since we've seen everyone! And then I was companions with Sister Bingham for a day and that was cool cause we were comps a year ago! So it's cool to see how far we've come. And we had a few interesting lessons so it was fun to just laugh with her. It was such a tender mercy because they weren't supposed to go with us but they rearranged their schedule at the last second and then they were supposed to go with the other sisters we live with the next day but while we were with them, they found out Sister Henshaw and Sister Lindsay- the other sisters in our branch- just became the STLs for our area so they don't need to go on exchanges with us anymore! And they found out they had to return immediately so they couldn't stay as long as they were planning! So it literally worked out SO perfectly and I'm so grateful! And then the next night, the workers had to come back and replace our doors and work all through the night again so we stayed with the sister again- I feel like we have wayy more sleepovers in this mission than any other, but it's so great! Especially since their house is so huge and there's even enough room for each companionship to be far away and focus on our own studies. And when the STLs stayed with us in our apartment, we fit 4 on two mattresses in the tiniest room you've ever seen. Our bedroom is hilarious because it literally just barely fits our beds perfectly on the floor and nothing else- I actually really like it! Especially when you fit four, no one can fall off the bed! Hopefully we'll be getting our apartment in Naval soon because we just got a bunch of referrals and the elders are so busy with all of our investigators! It's a crazy life! I love you all! Thanks for your emails! 

Love, Sister Pike


Walking to an appointment across rice fields - the path was so tiny and muddy from the rain that my companion slipped and got her foot stuck! It was quite the adventure. The member we were working with thought it was hilarious that I had never walked across one before - it was so hard!