Sunday, July 21, 2013

Week # 10 (7-21-2013)

Wading through sewer water, eating with your hands, my Barbie hair, BBQ with Jenna! Following the Savior, Families are the best!

This week went fast. It scares me sometimes to think that every week is getting faster and faster. The first week, I have to admit, I just wanted time to go faster and I made a countdown of how many weeks I had left. I know, I'm a little bit ashamed of that. But I want you to know that I threw it away and I'm really learning to enjoy all of the aspects of being a missionary. It's kind of fun to wade through sewer water and eat with your hands and sit on branches or the ground. Okay, that sounds sarcastic, but it is really fun. You just have to look at it in a fun adventurous way. There is also the beautiful trees and greenery and this week I promise to take more pictures (it's on my goals list) and show you all the beautiful and amazing parts of the Philippines. This week we ate at a restaurant that has unlimited rice. Everyone loves it because they can go through like five plates of rice. (I'm stuffed after the first one). But basically there are no utensils. A lot of people eat with their hands and some of the sisters have been trying to teach me how to do it so I don't sprinkle rice all down my dress. But I normally give up half way through and use the spoon. This time, I had to use my hands the whole time. I succeeded! And I actually didn't spill that much. I'm excited to treat the whole family to a true Filipino experience and teach you because it's really way more efficient than the fork.  Also, this week we got to have a Zone activity at the Sinema's house. (couple missionaries) They had all American food like potato salad, BBQ chicken, lays chips. It reminded me of being at Grandma's house for the summer parties. Especially since Jenna was there and we got to chat for a full 2 hours. It was so refreshing and fun. I know the Lord put us together for a reason and I'm so grateful for the tender mercies He always has in store for us.  

While we are teaching lessons, sometimes the kids are just super hyper and loud and the others can't hear what we are saying. So I've started letting the little kids play with my hair because they think it's so fun to touch "yellow" hair. "It's like a Barbie!" Haha, so I give them each a chunk of hair and they just braid it over and over. It keeps them quiet and we are able to share.

I was talking to Sister Milamar after church yesterday and I asked her how young women was. She started beaming and told me she bore her testimony for the first time. I was so excited for her, I accidentally broke one of the rules and gave her a side hug.  Her excitement and joy over every aspect of the church is inspiring. She has so much courage and determination to follow the commandments and spends the time and money each week to get to church even without her family. I know she will be a great example to them and I know there are members across the world and even in Utah that are acting on their faith even though they may feel alone. God loves His children, knows us each by name, and rejoices when we follow Him. He is always waiting for us, patiently, to run into His arms. I feel so blessed and honored to be able to share His message of hope and happiness and tell people like Sister Milamar about her Father in Heaven, and help her learn how to feel of His love and live a life that will bring her the most happiness and peace.  

Families are so important in this culture and people always love asking me about my family, so thanks for all of the pictures you gave me. Every time they look at the family they always say how beautiful mom is. I definitely agree. "Woooooow, guapa mama" That's your new nick-name mom. Guapa Mama.  You are so beautiful and talented and you have taught me so much. I know I would not be able to be on this mission and helping these people without you. So in a way, all of my converts, are really your converts too. Thank you for all of your advice, wisdom, encouragement, support, and love you have given me my entire life. I know I haven't always deserved it, but I just want to make sure you know how much I appreciate you. 

Lots of love,
Sister Smoot

P.S. sorry if this letter is sporadic, short, and unorganized, sometimes I just have a lot going on in my head! Love you billions!

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