Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 9 (I'm Good!)

I'm doing so much better! Sorry for my kind of crazy email last week, the culture shock hit me hard and I've been really homesick. But every day is a little bit better! I love Pakil! SO green and beautiful. The people are so nice and friendly and humble. They have so little but they always offer us food and invite us in. All the little kids run up to us and bless us (grab our hands and put it on their forehead, it's a sign of respect). We get a lot of stares because we are American haha but it's fun. They always try and use the English they know, like "Hello, how are you, where are you going?" And then start giggling with each other. Then we respond in Tagalog and they are shocked haha it's so fun.

Family Home Evening after playing a game with powder
Every day is a crazy, emotional roller coaster. But whenever I am homesick or discouraged I just look around me and realize I am SO lucky to be able to spend these next 16 months in this beautiful place, helping these amazing people. And that always helps. And I try not to think, "I have 16 months left before I can take a warm shower, sleep in a clean room, hold my nieces and nephews, get pedicures with my sisters, etc". But instead, "I only have 16 months left before I have to go back to being normal Abby Giles doing normal things!" Some days I really want to quit and go home, but I want to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and watch lives change so much more! So I promise I am going to give 100% these next 16 months. 

I have seen so many miracles and tender mercies this week!! I know they are all around us, we just have to open our eyes and recognize them. For example, one night I was so tired and hungry and really craving chocolate. It was almost time to go home but we had to finish our OYM goal (open your mouth, basically just being friendly and sharing a little bit). So we talked to this young couple on the side of the road and they ended up being so nice and invited us to teach them! They seemed really interested and said they loved how our message was centered on Jesus Christ. I can't wait to go teach them again. And THEN they gave us Sprite and fudge cakes. Seriously, a miracle.

Halloween was a lot of fun here!! We went to the church Halloween party and it was so fun! They had a pretty laid back costume competition. It was so different from the huge block party back home haha but it was still great. 

I haven't had anything too crazy to eat. But all the food I've tried has been really good!! The other night we had dinner  in someone's home and they encouraged me to try fried chicken intestines. I hate to say this, but it was actually good. But I think anything is probably good if you fry it haha. 
Every morning when I am so tired and have like 10 new mosquito bites and have to dump a cold bucket of water on my head I sing, "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today" and "It's a Great Day To Be Alive" (that old country song) and that really lifts my spirits. I know that although this is the hardest thing I've ever done, I can choose to be happy! 

I love you all so, so much. Thank you thank you thank you for the words of encouragement and prayers. I promise to hang in there and keep working hard. I hope everybody has a great week!!

Sister Giles

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