Hello from the hot, hot Philippines! I hope you're all having a great week.
My word of the week for you is nakakapagpapabagabag, which means the highest level of worry. It's quite a tongue twister, but luckily I don't have to use it very often. I do have to use pananampalataya (faith) though and it took a lot of practice.
Today we woke up at 2:30AM and went hiking with our district. We went hiking in Timberland. Look it up, it's beautiful. It was exhausting and I'm already sore. It was so steep that most of the hike used both our hands and our feet. When we finished we were covered in orange dirt. I have never been so thankful to take a cold, bucket shower in my life. It was so nice to be out of the city for a little while. It was so calm and quiet and peaceful. We got to the top right as the sun was coming up over the mountains. We could see beautiful, lush valleys to the east and sprawling cities to the west. Our Heavenly Father has created such a beautiful world for us!
This week I met more families in our ward and went to their home for dinner. Two of the families have autistic children who function at varying levels. I have become good friends with both of them and love giving them my attention. There are so little resources here for children with disabilities. Many parents have no idea how to handle them and often are told that it's a result of their sins. Here they refer to them as "special children". It's been a wonderful experience to talk with several parents this week of the blessing of raising our Heavenly Father's children.
When I get back home I don't know how I'm going to every eat without using a spoon again. We eat with a spoon in the right hand and a fork in the left, used only to push food onto your spoon. I've gotten so used to it I can't eat with one utensil anymore! But, I definitely won't miss hand washing my clothes. It will be so nice to toss my clothes in the wash when I get home.
The work here is good. It's busy and demanding but I'm so thankful for it. It's changing who I am and reminds me every minute of the day what I stand for. Thank you for every bit of love, support, and prayers on my behalf. I surely do feel them.