This week has quite literally been the very hardest of my whole life. I don't think anything has ever caused me so much sadness in my life as hearing about the passing of Grandpa Edwin, a man that I love and admire so much. Since I have been on my mission starting back in November, I have always told everyone I meet about how important missionary work is to me because of the sweet testimony my grandpa has about missionary work. I look up to that man so much and have always wanted to make him proud of me by serving a mission. Before Dad called me last Sunday afternoon, I think I already knew. I already felt his presence. That whole morning I had been thinking about him and talking about him and praying about him. I know that it is because he was with me. For a long time I was angry with the Lord. I was so upset that he did not allow my grandpa at least one more week so that he could come visit me in my area before he left this Earth. I couldn't understand the Lord's reasons. But I got the opportunity to attend the temple in Manila the day before I left for Cauayan, that was my last opportunity to go to the temple for the next 16 months. At the temple I got to sit and have a long conversation with Grandpa. I know without a doubt in my heart that he was sitting next to me in the Celestial Room. And he was in perfect health, and he wasn't suffering, and he was so happy. I thanked the Lord and he sent my grandpa to me at just the right time, because I wouldn't be able to be in the temple again until the end of my mission. I got to sit and be with him before I left for Cauayan and be comforted by his spirit. I then understood a little bit better about the Lord's timing for grandpa. The Lord's ways are not my ways.
I love my area. I'm in Bambang, from Cauayan we were supposed to ride a bus for 4 hours to get to this area. BUT we rode in a van instead. think about this. 1 van. A NORMAL SIZED VAN. 10 suitcases. 4 Sisters. 6 Elders. 2 Drivers. FOR 4 HOURS. Just let that sink in. But anyways, this is the coldest area of all of my mission, because we are in the mountains and its SO beautiful. I am even more grateful for the sweet soul that is my trainer. Sister Escalante is my very best friend, my companion, kasama ko, my trainer, and here in the mission she's my nanay. I'm so grateful for her, she sets such a good example for me on what it means to serve the Lord with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. She is so kind and loving and her English is pretty great. I love her so so much. She always wants to talk to EVERYONE! It's so fun, because we always have people to teach. We taught a girl yesterday, her whole family are members, but she hasn't had any interest in the church. She's 14 I think, and we taught her and asked her if she wanted to be baptized, and she said yes! I love the Philippines and I love this area and all the people. We take a couple of the youth with us as often as we can for both tracting, as well as lessons, so that they can already get to experience how it is to be missionaries. My companion and I are the only sisters in our whole zone here, but it's okay, because we have really great elders and they are always looking out for us. I am struggling so much with the language and it is so discouraging, but it helps me really rely on the Lord. It has been such a hard week, but I love it here and I love the work and I love being a missionary. I miss you guys a lot. and I love you a lot.
ALSO MY DISTRICT IS GOING TO THE RICE TERRACES ONI AM SO EXCITED!!!