Monday, December 28, 2015

My Christmas Miracle...A White Christmas in Talisay

It's still not real to me that this is my last day in the mission, but Jacob did say that time passes like a dream! I cannot say how true that is. It has just been too fast. I can't express exactly what I feel right now, I'm happy but sad, excited but nervous, eager but hesitant. However, I have to face the fact that I'm leaving the place that has changed my life tomorrow, but the Philippines will always be in my heart. I have to take this name tag off in just a couple days but it will forever be engraved on my heart. I'm going home a better person because of these eighteen months, because of these beautiful people, and because of the hand of the Lord.
I've become a humble person. The situations these people are in have brought me to state of humility. They work all day just so they can have dinner for that night, and they are still the happiest people I have ever met. They don't even think about murmuring about their trials and hardships but they are thankful for them. I am changed.
I've become a loving person. These people love you the second they met you and you feel like you are part of their family! I have learned that from them, to just love unceasingly, to love people enough to see their potential and past their weaknesses. Love is to be shared and expressed. I am changed.
Group picture of FHE at Jenny's home,
theres smoke from the oil lamp behind my camera.
This time has been the best time for my life, I truly feel like I've walked with God. My spiritual eyes have been opened and I have seen Him and I have felt His love. I read a verse in my personal study yesterday that really comforted me, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I don't know why I always compare my going home from the mission to dying but I guess its going to feel like the same thing hah but I just loved this verse. Not things present, nor things to come is going to separate Their love for each and everyone of us. Even though I'm sad to leave, these beautiful, wonderful people are children of God and He loves them so much and he will take care of them.

-White Christmas(: Katrina isn't she adorable?
Okay so I'm gonna tell you guys about my Christmas miracle. Her name is Katrina Erodias. I've told you guys about her before. She is very special to me. I know we knew each other in the pre-earth life and I was sent here for her. She was so prepared, like I don't even feel like we did anything. She is the smartest cookie. She bore a firm testimony of the restored gospel and I know she is going to become the most powerful servant of the Lord! I'm so honored to have been the missionary that was lead to her. Forky Aries from my fourth area, Sum-ag, is who introduced her to the church and gave her a Book of Mormon. She's just been waiting for us ever since, three long years. It's the best last baptism I could've asked for. Heavenly Father's love will not separate from us! "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that looseth his life for my sake shall find it." yup. Kbye Stay Fresh!!

Sister Schimbeck
Joseph giving the spiritual thought! We had FHE out in the
middle of no where and they had no electricity so we used
lamps and oil lanterns for light.

The bonfire! 

I taught them how to roast marshmallows haha they loved it! 

Edwin and his smore!

We had so many people work with us on Christmas Eve! 

Christmas Eve with the couple missionaries and Sister Loveday!
The drink I'm drinking just smelled like Christmas, it was beautiful.

The baptism of Katrina with some members 
 and her family even came to support her in 
her decision.
Talisay Ward Missionaries! I love Talisay so much.

This jeepney gets it.

Monday, December 21, 2015

I've Been Dreaming of a White Christmas!!(:

So I just wanna tell you guys, I've never felt the spirit of Christmas more in my life than in a place that not even everyone celebrates Christmas. Weird no? For example, they don't have Christmas lights on their houses or decorations in their homes or big trees with ornaments or even snow.
Merry Christmas! 
Most of them honestly don't even have money to have Christmas gifts so they don't even celebrate the holiday. It just breaks my heart. There is still so much to be thankful for and celebrate! This is the season to remember the birth of Jesus! He is the gift. The members here are the most inspirational people though! They truly get the meaning of Christmas and they just give all they can even when there is not much to give. They know that Jesus is the reason and the gospel is all that matters. I have been forever changed because of these eighteen months that I have spent here.
Yeah there just some random trees on the sea shore, its cool.
I've learned to be grateful in all circumstances and what ever life throws at us we throw back a smile(: The message of the gospel is a message of hope and I know it is all we need in this life to be happy! Welp, have a great Christmas(: And guys! Sister Katrina is going to baptized this Christmas!! I've been dreaming of a white Christmas!!(: Christmas miracles are so real. Stay fresh kbye!

The Pabora kids!! I love these kids so much,
I have adopted them as my own siblings. (I'm bringing them home with me)

FHE with the Bianan Family! Brother Hosea will serve in the San Diego Mission! 

Sister Mael and her adorable kids

Christmas decorations in the Pines!! (coke bottles if you cant tell)

Sometimes I just get so tired and I fall asleep writing in my journal, and then Sister G has to document it lol

Happy Christmas! They only have small Christmas trees here,
I haven't seen a big one yet!
It reminded me of us that one year that we had a small Christmas tree when we lived in the shed.

The flash got us by surprise! 

We were just newly baptized into the buga-buga tribe.

FHE with the Pahayahay Family and ward missionaries! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why We Put Lights on Christmas Trees

Hello! So this week was just a wonderful week(: We had the baptism of Sister Bernaflor Bornes! When I first meet Sister Bernaflor I was so scared of her haha! She was short tempered and yelled at her kids when we were there and just a very serious woman.

Baptism of Sister Bornes
Although as we continued to visit this family she started to change. She is very patient now with her children, she expresses her love for them and doesn't yell anymore (well not as much cause you know, kids) The spirit is most definitely abiding in that home. Oh and she smiles and laughs at my jokes now(: She has been soften by the love of God. The gospel truly changes people for the better. Guys, she bore the most powerful testimony after her baptism. I shed some tears. Sister Bornes is an incredible woman! Her husband is a long time inactive that is starting to come back because of her example! The gospel is so true!

I really enjoyed the Christmas Devotional yesterday (were late to watch it cause we're a day ahead in time) Oh it rocked my world! I love David A Bednar and Dieter F Uchdorf! What really hit me is how they all talked about the light Jesus Christ brings into the world! He is the light and life of the world. I love all the signs he pointed out about Chirst, two days of light when he was born, three days of darkness when he died.
Now in our day we put lights on our houses and on Christmas trees, in symbolism to His light. I never realized it(: It's beautiful. All light is from Jesus Christ, He came to be our light and He will always be that light because He lives and He loves us so much. What a wonderful season(: I love the pass along cards we have 'A Savior Is Born'. People see that light in us and feel it from our message(: We're so loved!! I love our Savior and the light He gives. I love the gospel! Stay fresh!

These are carts the carabaos use to carry sugar cane and
carabaos are very hard working animals so obviously we were being carabaos(: hahaha

Nanay Mary! She had a stroke and can't go to church.
She is the cutest thing and she loves when we go and sing to her(:
even if my voice is awful.

This guy was singing a native filipino song as he rowed down the river, I just had to get a picture(:

FHE with the Onate Family. They were just sealed in the temple this year!

Bernaflor with two of her kids that come to church 
with her every Sunday
Baptism of Sister Bernaflor Bornes(:

Sister Loveday! I Loveher! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fasting is For Real

So I don't even know where to start with this week. It was a great week!  I had my last zone training and my last fast Sunday, pasta there were lots of 'lasts' this week. It is so crazy how fast time goes by! I almost can't believe it and I don't want to. But I'm really enjoying the work more than ever(: guys its really the best being a missionary. I can't even express the joy it brings. One story:

Fasting is a real thing. We're really fasting for our investigators right now cause everyone is just so hard hearted and won't progress! And yeah we saw miracles! Sister Katrina, I've told you guys about her before she is like the golden referral buuut she wouldn't accept the invitation to be baptized. She was just super hard. Like we always felt so prompted every visit with her to invite her to be baptized and every time she just wouldn't answer or tell us no.
But this Saturday we visited her and we didn't even bring up baptism, we were tired of broken hearts, but she said to us while we're eating our pamahaw "Sisters, I want to be baptized.... this Chirstmas.." I about choked on my mango juice! Sister Katrina is a Christmas miracle(: I love Christmas time so much. There is a different spirit in the air. Peoples hearts are softening(: We have these cute little pass along cards that we give out like candy to everyone we meet and we've found some potential investigators! This work is the greatest work in the world! I love being a missionary and I love the gospel! Bye stay fresh!!

Sister Schimbeck

All my bates mates at MLC!

Selfie with the ward missionaries! 

Me, Sister Guazon, Kirk, and Silas
I ruined the picture because I wasn't fast enough for the timer
but I love everyones laughing faces(:

My favorite Zone Leaders ever! They are so funny.

My trunk STLs, we were holding up how many months
we had left lol

Filipino shoes #americanprobs

Zombie dog

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Maaung aga! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Mauna aga and Happy Thanksgiving! Well Thanksgiving is over in America but we are still having Thanksgiving here in the Philippines. They actually don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, but its because they are so thankful everyday. They are the most humble and thankful people I know. I have been forever humbled and changed because of these people. I'm so grateful I was assigned in Bacolod to serve, the big guy up stairs really knows what He's doing.
These little kids go crazy overtime we walk by, they yell
"SEESTERS" and then attack us with hugs and kisses.
I love being a missionary.

This week we had our zone conference and we got to train on humility, Heavenly Father is trying to teach me something here I think. There were three zones, 70 missionaries and I was so nervous. But guys, I don't throw up like last time!! Baby steps. It was a great meeting! Sister Loveday our senior sister worked with us! I was so nervous cause she only speaks and understands English, but it was so great! They all loved her and she loved it too(: She's like my lola of the mission and we're going to be best friends when she gets home(:
Sister Loveday with the Sabadisto Family! And yes that is
their home, its about the size of a walk in closet.

So this week Sister Bornes was supposed to be baptized but a lot of stuff happened and it didn't go down. My heart literally broke and I got super discouraged. But cge lng, we won't dwell on it because later that week I read in Acts 9:16, "For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my names sake" Or when I read it "For I will shew Sister Schimbeck how great things she must suffer for my names sake." The apostles suffered so much when they preached the gospel, even death. So when I read that I just was like 'hey people aren't trying to kill me so I can do this.' Trials only make us stronger. But when we suffer it for the sake of preaching the gospel, Heavenly Father has got our backs(: I love being a missionary no matter how heart breaking it can be cause 'when you give your whole heart to inviting others to come unto Christ, your heart will change' <3 The gospel is so true! Halong and stay fresh!!

Part of Mom and Dads letter:

I totally forgot it was Thanksgiving!! I'm glad it was a good time and lots of good food(: I would've celebrated but I totally forgot. But we were still very thankful. Always thankful. Yesterday we visited an investigator and I was kind of annoyed because she didn't come to church again. But when she finally opened up to us she has so many problems. Her husband brings home 40 pesos (that's not even one dollar) everyday to support their family of 7. So she couldn't come to church because she had to go out and find money so she could feed her children.
This is that family that I just told you about, look at those smiles
(: They are and inspiration for me.
No matter what our situation is, keep smiling.
I just cried for her and bore testimony of the gospel and how perfect it is. We have plans now to help them out but at that time it just hit me so hard that they are so poor here. I am forever humbled because of the experiences I've had. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving here because they are thankful everyday. I know Heavenly Father loves his children in the Philippines so much, I can't even think about leaving them. But I know He will always take care of them(: it was a great week of realizations.

At the ruins

Only in the Philppines.
Toto and Nonoys cock fighting stadium!! Hahhaaha

I love finding notes that dad left for me(:

Yeah my hair dyed! Hahaha a member said that in English when he saw my hair!
"Oh sister you hair died!" They kinda hate me for it because now I'm not Taylor Swift lol