Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hello October...It's Still Really Hot

Last Friday we had our first American Sign Language class. I'll admit, I went into the whole thing with pretty low expectations in relation to attendance. Remembering our English class in Fairview with a record attendance of six people, I was careful not to let my hopes get too high. On Friday evening as we arrived to the chapel, we were greeted by 35 people. Watching people trickling in made my hands and knees shake. I was so nervous; I began to ask myself what I had really gotten myself into here. My companion and I took a moment and knelt in prayer, asking for comfort and guidance. By the time the class had started we had a room of more than 70 people! We introduced ourselves and our purpose as missionaries. Almost one third of the group were non-members and over half were educators in the community. In the next few weeks we are expecting to not only receive many referrals for ourselves, but for our surrounding areas. It's all pretty exciting. This is just the kind of opportunity I've been praying for. I'm so thankful for the response that we've gotten.

Besides for that....I got a much needed haircut, fed some stray cats that now won't leave our front door, walked in torrential downpour with no umbrella for about two hours, and hit my head about six times. Gotta love it.

Until next week,
Sister Cork

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Hey y'all, here's the update!

This week we had two typhoons hit our mission. The rain came down like I've never seen before. The storm took both of my umbrellas as their victims. The floods were an interesting experience. Our house turned into a mini-waterpark. The water just poured and poured down the stairs. We had several inches of water downstairs by the time we woke up. The people down the street just lives in little bamboo/mud huts. Their homes were destroyed almost entirely. We tried to keep up with the water, but it was just too much. We stayed the night at the mission home. It was like a 12 hour vacation. We made cookies, took hot showers, and slept in air-conditioned rooms! It was like we were royalty. Everything was so clean, the fridge was full of food, and there were windows to keep out the rain. In short, it was awesome.

This weekend we got to see Sister Ludy enter the waters of baptism, which was really such a special experience. She was just glowing with happiness. After her baptism she was invited to say a few words and out of her bag she pulled out an entire talk that she had prepared which covered almost every lesson we've ever taught her, including Word of Wisdom and Tithing. It's so wonderful to have been a part of the conversion of someone who has been so prepared by Heavenly Father. We hope to soon begin teaching her family. She will be a bright light in our struggling ward. 

Have a great week!

Sister Cork

 About sixteen homes once stood here. They had it all cleaned up by the next day.

 This is actually a real problem we have here. People don't know how to use toilets.

 Homemade cookies!

 These little kids play at the church every day almost. It's big, grassy, and no one has to worry about getting hit by a car. We told them that they should come to Primary and this Sunday sixteen of the kids from the neighborhood showed up to church. If only adults were that dependable!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

It's A Kiwi!

So, last Wednesday was the day I'd been waiting for/stressing about. I attended a short training for the new trainers and then we headed to the chapel for the new companionship announcements. I looked over at the sisters: one Fijian, one New Zealander, and four Filipinas. One by one they matched each Filipino with a foreigner and vise-versa. It slowly filtered down to two sisters, one Filipina and a New Zealander. I said a silent 'thank you' as I knew the Filipina would be assigned to me and the foreigner to the other native trainer. President Bertin called my name and with a smile on his face, as if reading my name, he assigned me to train Sister McCarthy, from New Zealand. Talk about a shock. I can't even tell you what my reaction was as I quickly realized that I wouldn't only be teaching a new missionary about missionary life, but teaching her an entire new language. Fun fact: Sister Cork is the youngest (in mission months) foreign missionary to ever train a foreigner. They always give them to the native missionaries. 

After shaking off the shock and getting to know her, I know it was an inspired choice. I absolutely love Sister McCarthy. She graduated from BYU-Hawaii last April in Sociology. She is a true islander, laid back and funny. She is teachable, yet I'm pretty sure I have a whole lot more to learn from her than she does from me. And, I thought I really didn't have much of a handle on the language. But right now as I teach entire, hour-long lessons by myself, I realize that maybe I do. And I can see where I need to improve my language skills. Despite being highly intimidated, I'm extremely excited. I can't wait to grow as companions and as a missionary.

Love y'all!

Sister Cork

Monday, September 8, 2014

My life in pictures

 A day at church with Ezekial!

 Transfer meeting with E. Fisi'hoi from Tonga.

 Cleaning boy's toilets, that's true service.
 New puppies!
 No electricity? No problem.
 Deparo Ward Sisters 

Sister Andres & I
 Family Home Evening with some of my favorite kids!
 My girls!

A little girl stopped and asked me if I'd braid her hair like mine, how could I say no to that?

Ready or Not

Well, transfers are here. I'll be sad to say goodbye to Sister Resurreccion tomorrow, we've become really good friends. But, simultaneously I'm excited for this next transfer. Training is pretty intimidating, but I'm excited for the challenge. I know that Heavenly Father gives us hard things to help us become the people he needs us to be. A few days ago I was feeling so overwhelming and just plain inadequate, so I knelt and said a prayer. My feelings of stress have changed into feelings of determination and enthusiasm. I'm eager to meet my new companion tomorrow. I know there's lots I will learn from her. I'm excited to watch her grow as a missionary and to be a part of that experience. I think of the quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Come what may and love it!" 

Have a great week!

Sister Cork

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello September

Hey y'all!
This week we added three new investigators to our teaching pool, are who are deaf. My companion and I had such a wonderful experience teaching them this past week and are excited for our return appointment with them. We hope that this upcoming week they will attend church. It means I'll have to interpret for them, which is pretty terrifying, but the Lord is on my side. It's so wonderful to share the gospel with all of Heavenly Father's children. Yesterday I received the infamous phone call from my zone leaders, informing me that I would be training next transfer. To be honest, I'm pretty nervous. I still feel so new myself, much less ready to train a brand new missionary. I know training will help me to grow as a missionary. I guess that's why it's called growing pains. Sometimes experiences that are the very best for us aren't the most comfortable. But if the Lord feels that I'm ready to train, I trust His guidance. It's hard to turn our will over to our Heavenly Father, but I know His sight reaches further than mine. Oh and just one more thing, I would like you all the know that my companion and I waded through flood water past our knees in absolutely pouring rain yesterday to get to an appointment. The water was moving so fast we thought we'd lose our shoes. When we got to the appointment no one was there, but their little cement home had about four feet of water inside. Little kids were swimming down the streets in the murky brown water, loving life. How can you not love the Philippines?

Love you!

Sister Cork