How are you all? I hope life is treating you well and you are keeping your focus on Christ always. I am doing good. Now I am, at least, haha. It was kind of a weird week to be honest. So, like I said last week, Sister Mendez is sick. I thought last week that it was on its way out. Nope. So, on Tuesday, she had our district leader, Elder Snowden, and Elder Nambio give her a blessing, and then right after district meeting, we went to the hospital emergency room. We checked her into the hospital and we spent two nights there (Tuesday and Wednesday night). She was not feeling good at all and she was dehydrated too. The whole thing just seemed weird to me I guess, because in America I think she would have been given a prescription and told to drink x amount of fluids and sent on her way, but nope, here she was hospitalized and hooked up to an IV. And then after we left the hospital she was still feeling really sick for a few days. So, while she was resting and recovering I was able to go out and teach a little with one of the members, Gemma (remember the one who had the nervous breakdown? She's doing much better. She still is not back to normal, but she is super willing to help us out). She was my companion on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Gloria D. also came to our rescue and stayed with Sister Mendez in the hospital while we went out. Probably the worst part was feeling like our area was being abandoned and neglected because we could not go out and work very much. However, it was a good experience to be forced to lead our area for a little bit. The lessons we (Gemma and I) were able to teach, I had to handle by myself (Gemma usually just added her testimony at the end). So, all in all, I grew from it. And I know that this transfer day (Thursday), whatever does happen, I will be ready for it. Even if I am assigned to be a trainer...dun dun duuunnnn! haha, joke-lang.
And, just because I know you are wondering, the hospital we were at was one of the nicest private hospitals in Iloilo. Definitely much nicer than the sketchy Mandurriao hospital where we visited Gemma in the Psychiatric Unit. But, still, it was so not at all up to par with American standards at all. I'm pretty sure the only person I saw wearing latex gloves was the morning janitor. Yeah... Let's just call it motivation to never get sick or injured here. haha. Also, it was a Catholic hospital...lots of saints and graven images and whatnot allover the place. And there was a glow-in-the-dark crucifix above the hospital bed. Oh my.
So, a cool experience from this week: The less active that we were going to teach was not home, so we went to contact a sikad driver who we had given a pamphlet to. He wasn't home but his wife, Cuceta, was. I said "tagbalay" (they don't knock here, they yell for the owner of the house), and the door was already open and she welcomed us right in. It seriously seemed like she was waiting for us. She said that she had read a little bit of the pamphlet we had given her husband. She also said that she has been taught by elders in the past, but they had to stop teaching her and she never knew why. She is the sweetest ever. Wow. So, part way through the lesson, her adult son who had been sleeping on the floor in the other part of the room goes into a full-body convulsion. What? It was a little scary, but she just walked over all calm and held his head until he came out of it. That happened twice during the lesson. She said that he has blood on the brain and he has been having seizures since he was 1 month old. :( It was heartbreaking. I didn't know what to do, and she had it under control. That is just her life. She actually apologized for having to leave the lesson. She prays a lot and relies on God a lot. She accepted the invitation to be baptized. Wow. We haven't had a chance to get back yet, but hopefully tomorrow after zone meeting.
Another cool thing that happened this week: So Mae did not attend church (which is so not cool), but Kian did all by himself anyway. We visited them last night and Mae said that he started crying when he thought he wouldn't be able to go to church, but I think they had the primary teacher pick him up. I love Kian. He is so solid.
Looking forward to JOY'S BAPTISM tomorrow!!! Woohooo! We held our first Sign Language class on Saturday, not very many people came, but it was still fun. I am so excited for her to be baptized! She is so ready. :) Yay!
From my studies this week: Helaman 5. Such a cool chapter. I especially like what it says about the Power and Authority that Nephi and Lehi had through the Spirit. That is huge in this work. The only way we are able to have any success is because the Spirit is with us to testify to the hearts of the people.
I love you all so much! Palangga ko kamo! I am so thankful for each of you. I hope you have a great week. Think of the Savior always. Pray for and look for opportunities to uplift others. I love you!
Love, Sister Winward
P.S. Merry Christmas--celebration starts early here in the Philippines.