Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week 72 - 6/8/2014

Hello Family, 
Great week! Still kinda sick pero a lot happened and it was so great! We went to Tacloban TWICE. The first time for a mission csp (community service project) to clean up a park in Tacloban and then we went back home and then Sister Andaya told me to come back on Saturday for a doctors appt. We expected to stay for a while just in case of testing and stuff but she gave me medicine and I was out in like 10 minutes! Super great. 
For the service project, we rode to Tacloban on Wednesday night and stayed the night in Palo (a place just outside of Tacloban). It was so fascinating talking with Sister Kramer and Duke about the work that was happening in their area. They just opened the area this transfer and everyone expected that they would have TONS of baptisms because of the tragedy they just went through but they said it's like the same. But they also said it was really hard because all the members and stuff are just still not over it. Every single conversation starts with where they were during the storm and what happened. Their survival stories and they said they just cry a lot. And they're afraid to ask them where people are cause many times the answer is just, "they washed away." The members there all say that the numbers of death from the news only counted those in Tacloban city and not the surrounding areas which were hit just as hard. It's fascinating to see how every area really reacted so differently! And then I talked to Sister Vea who is in San Jose, where the sisters were that almost drowned, just 30 minutes away, and she said their work is exploding! People literally see them walking down the street and ask, "are you Mormons? Can you teach us?" And they don't have enough time for them all! It's amazing! She's training a new missionary and I told her, "don't get used to this! No other area in the world is like this but enjoy it while you can!" Thursday morning we worked at the park and it was SO good to see everyone! We did a lot of work, cutting grass, pulling weeds, still looks pretty bad but better! And don't worry mom, I rested LOTS and mostly just sat in the shade and supervised haha I'm just fascinated how up and running Tacloban is in general. The hospital is in better shape than it was before! They sure know how to rebuild and get things done! 
After the CSP, we went and showered and got cleaned up and had our last mission gathering with the Andayas ever! It was so great, but so sad! We all went up to shake hands/ hug them and I didn't even realize how big of a deal it was (because I know I'll see them next week at zone interviews) until I saw sister Andaya crying and I then I realized this is literally the last time they will see a lot of these missionaries ever. So sad! And then afterward, a bunch of Polynesians performed the most legit haka that I ever seen in my life! Super legit/ scary. And I FINALLY received my birthday package!!! whoot whoo! just 4 months late, but it provided excellent entertainment for the bus ride home and sister brown got a package too so we got lots and treats and shared with everyone. And I love the calendar! and the pillow case really is such great quality! 
Missionary moments- finally! haha On the bus ride home from Tacloban on Saturday, when I went to the doctor, I talked to this really awesome guy! The bus ride was 3 hours and I basically taught like 3 lessons in that time! He was so cool. Too bad he's from farther up north and not in our area, but it was so cool talking to him cause he was raised roman catholic but he said when he was in high school, he started reading the bible and began to see that they practiced many false traditions that came from different cultures that are not found in the bible like worshiping saints and infant baptism. Do you know how rare it is to find a person like this?! He was quoting the bible left and right and I was able to use all of the scriptures he used to help him understand the restoration, the Book of Mormon, baptism, it was so cool! I really hope he follows through and finds our church there, he would be such a great member! It was a really neat experience just to realize that there really are amazing people all around us. Sister Brown wasn't sitting next to me, but she said she could overhear and all she could think was, "how have the missionaries not found this guy yet?" 
And then yesterday, a member brought his cousin to church and we had the opportunity to teach him and his family last night and it was such a good lesson! Members’ referrals are the best! Especially when they bring them to church without even being taught! So that's a very, very bright prospect and we're excited to continue teaching them. And I just found out Crystal and Renaldo got baptized in Dumaguete! (he's the one with the mullet that I found just through street contacting) It's harder to baptize that way, but not impossible :) So great to hear about previous areas and that the work continues! 
Still kinda sick, but hopefully this medicine will do the trick and I'll be back ready to finish my mission strong:) thank you for all your support and prayers, I feel like the most blessed missionary ever!

Love, Sister Pike
My MTC teacher Bro. Pasikala came up with a group of RM's to do service projects so we joined.

Everyone got a little sun from the service project...

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