Greetings from Guagua!

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This is my new companion. Her name is Sis Villaviles and she is like a Filipina Tangled Princess. She is so kind to everyone, really talks to everyone in this way that makes them feel good about themselves. She is also just very charming and pretty too. I am sad she is about to go home from her mission but I feel so privilieged that I get to be with her this short time in GuaGua!

This is my new companion. Her name is Sis Villaviles and she is like a Filipina Tangled Princess. She is so kind to everyone, really talks to everyone in this way that makes them feel good about themselves. She is also just very charming and pretty too. I am sad she is about to go home from her mission but I feel so privilieged that I get to be with her this short time in GuaGua!

Hey everyone!

How are things going out there in the USA? We sang the national anthem at district meeting and it made me feel very patriotic. Merica! haha…
 I just finished my 2nd transfer and naglipat ako(I moved!) Ha. It’s getting hard to speak in pure English sometimes. So I am now here in GuaGua, which is entirely a different area than I came from in Liozon. In Liozon everything is very close to each other and it’s all pretty rural. We didn’t have to walk across large rice fields or in the city, the houses were are all just really close together and we went from lesson to lesson basically along the main highway. So it is definitely way different here because it’s a real live city here and there are tons and tons of people around all the time. It’s a lot more like Manila. There are not tons and tons of poor people though, most people have jobs and work and studied too. It’s actually not that different from the States except for being in the Philippines obviously! Haha.
It was hard leaving Liozon to be perfectly honest. I had gotten to be close with the people there, even people I hadn’t had the chance to teach very much. I love all of them and so when I got here I honestly cried the first night.
But that is just like life right? We don’t like transitions naturally. Not because we are human but because we are actually eternal beings. Because we have this eternal, divine nature within us we are looking for the way things will be in heaven, which is unchanging. So change is hard for us as humans having this mortal experience. However, Our Loving Father in Heaven knows perfectly what is best for us because He knows us perfectly. So when I change happens, it is for the best. Always. We are here to be refined and to learn and to grow. And we cannot become the heavenly glorified beings we are intended to be if we do not experience refining moments here.
So after the first night that I was here in GuaGua I had my time to be sad to leave the people I had known so well, and then the next day I woke up and there it was, the new chapter and the new places and the new people all just waiting there to be experienced and lived. And there are lots of amazing people here that I am so privileged to get to know. Like Sister Lugey. She is our Branch Chorister and Choir Director and she takes her calling very very seriously. On saturday we were practicing and she is very bossy getting everyone together and making us all sing the right parts. And she has a good ear so she can hear when we are off too. Haha. oops! On saturday we had choir practice and I was able to meet a lot of the members and they are all amazing and super sweet. They all want to feed us all the time here. They had pancit before choir practice started. I also got to meet the Branch President and his wife on saturday. Sister Maragrag is president’s wife and she is so so funny and sassy and so we had a good time during choir practice. She has two adorable kids and President Maragrag is so kind, probably just in his 30s but he is so willing to work so hard in this area and to do his very best in his calling. He is a little more quiet and serious than his wife, but also very happy and friendly.
On Sunday we had Branch Conference and the spirit was very strong. pres Dahle spoke about how “all the heaven we will ever have is the heaven we make for ourselves” And how ordinances like Sacrament and in the temple help us to order our lives according to Gods priorities. When I was singing in the choir this weekend we sang Teach me to Walk in the Light and also the Lord is My Shepherd. While we were singing I felt so strongly with just this overwhelmingly sweet feeling that these people that I was singing next to, all so kind to me right away, they are all my literal brothers and sisters. I felt so filled with the Spirit just knowing that everyone here in the Philippines is my family, even the people I am just meeting. Especially as we sang Teach Me to walk in the Light I thought about how my parents had taught me that, and now I get to teach other people that too.
What blessings! I am going to love it here in GuaGua. We are right now in an internet shop in the heart of the city. My comp is Sister Villaviles and she is so kind, she is the trainer of my follow up trainer(my last companion). She is about to go home nex transfer so I feel very privileged I get to learn from her now. She is an amazing missionary and person. She makes everyone around her feel inspired and happy.
Love all of you,
Sister McLean
This is the Sotto family.

This is the Sotto family.

This is the Sotto family. Sis Jen and her anak si Rhianne. Sis Rhianne is very smart and though she is only 8 years old she is reading the Book of Mormon(in Tagalog! much harder than English) Her mom, Sis Jen next to her is also amazing and is one of our investigators. I thought she was less active because she is so so strong. They were very sweet and fed us lots of food. I am going to get fat here! Yay.

This is the Sotto family. Sis Jen and her anak si Rhianne. Sis Rhianne is very smart and though she is only 8 years old she is reading the Book of Mormon(in Tagalog! much harder than English) Her mom, Sis Jen next to her is also amazing and is one of our investigators. I thought she was less active because she is so so strong. They were very sweet and fed us lots of food. I am going to get fat here! Yay.

This is Nanay Diane and Sister Lugey. Sister Lugey is an amazing chorister in this Branch and did an awesome job putting together a musical number for Branch Conference.

This is Nanay Diane and Sister Lugey. Sister Lugey is an amazing chorister in this Branch and did an awesome job putting together a musical number for Branch Conference.

Yesterday we went to our furthest area from our house and this is the color of the fields so beautiful. My companion is so funny and so sweet. She is like a Filipina version of the Tangled princess so I was running after her on these little tiny pathway things they have in the fields. I took this picture and then promptly almost fell super hard and  ate it. But it was so fun and so beautiful.

Yesterday we went to our furthest area from our house and this is the color of the fields so beautiful. My companion is so funny and so sweet. She is like a Filipina version of the Tangled princess so I was running after her on these little tiny pathway things they have in the fields. I took this picture and then promptly almost fell super hard and ate it. But it was so fun and so beautiful.

And here is a pic with me and some cambal(twins) They were so cute and one of them accidentally bumped her head right before this pic and the other twin wanted to cry too. Sis V wants twins very badly. Not me! But they are adorable.

And here is a pic with me and some cambal(twins) They were so cute and one of them accidentally bumped her head right before this pic and the other twin wanted to cry too. Sis V wants twins very badly. Not me! But they are adorable.

This is Sis Jenny. she is very active YW, the only active member in her family. She is looking for a job right now but doesn't want to work on Sunday. There are quite a few YW who have caught the joy of the Gospel but their Moms, Dads, and siblings have not. Another one is Sis Camille. We taught Sis Camille with her mom this week and she reminded me so much of my own mom because I tried to tell her she is a good mom, and she just kept saying how it's her kids who teach her. I want to help Sis Candeleria come back very badly. Anyway, Sis Jenny worked with us yesterday, she wants to go on a mission soon. (Next year) She is awesome and really sweet and as you can see beautiful too.

This is Sis Jenny. she is very active YW, the only active member in her family. She is looking for a job right now but doesn’t want to work on Sunday. There are quite a few YW who have caught the joy of the Gospel but their Moms, Dads, and siblings have not. Another one is Sis Camille. We taught Sis Camille with her mom this week and she reminded me so much of my own mom because I tried to tell her she is a good mom, and she just kept saying how it’s her kids who teach her. I want to help Sis Candeleria come back very badly. Anyway, Sis Jenny worked with us yesterday, she wants to go on a mission soon. (Next year) She is awesome and really sweet and as you can see beautiful too.

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2 thoughts on “Greetings from Guagua!

  1. Bishop Steve

    Change, evolution, refining, growth… its all part of the Mater’s plan for us. We are in the process of becoming more like him. Its awesome. AND, I didn’t realize you are the tallest woman on the islands.

    Like

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