Um, WHAT?! All the Sisters here studied about this woman in their History classes! She is so amazing! She has a book about her life and her work, entitled "Colors of Light: Life Story and Paintings of Lucia Najera Mangapit Valdez" or something very similar. You should definitely look it up. She's a rockstar. And she took us out to lunch! To a restaurant. On Sunday. Haha, it was bizarre, but we couldn't see a way out! This woman is all alone, can't cook, and needs food. Wow, that was an experience.WOW TRAINING IS HARD BUT GREAT. This past week has been insane. For the first few days, Sis. Lopez and I worked together in both areas, which was so hard because there were so many people to talk to and to teach! Plus, I definitely didn't know the way to half of the places we were going. So.. I can officially that I've gotten lost in the Philippines. We all knew it was going to happen though, so it's probably not that much of a surprise. :) Anyway, Thursday rolls around and we have a District meeting with our new district! We sang America the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner since there were two Americans and it was July 4th. :) Nobody else knew the words or the tune, haha. But us two sang loud and proud! In summary, here is what happened after. Sis. Lopez and I went to Laoag! We met with the other trainers in the stake center and had our trainers training. I was scared to death. Then, all the new missionaries came in, and we were told that we were to go proselyting in the city of Laoag for an hour and a half with a new missionary. So, this sister named Sis. Ellis picked me, and we go walking around Laoag. I WAS SO SCARED. I don't know Laoag very well, and we didn't go proselyting when I came!! But, we placed a pamphlet and two copies of the BoM because as we were talking to one man about it, another came up and said, "Ma'am, can I have a copy of that book?" um, YES. But he took it and just walked off so we didn't get a name or anything. :/ still pretty cool. We go back to the stake center, and have dinner! It was catered, and absolutely wonderful. it's still weird to see entire cooked animals on the table though, I couldn't really look at the table because of the pig face looking back at me. then, we go into the chapel and get our trainees!! My trainee is Sis. Dollete (like dolyete), and she is from Roxas City in the Philippines. She is so wonderful! She served a short term mission a while ago, like two weeks I think, so she's pretty pro at updating and teaching already. We are working well together! It's real crazy to be in charge though.
- Her name is Lucia Valdez.
- She is 95 years old, still comes to church every week and is quite a spitfire.
- She is an internationally acclaimed artist.
- She has traveled the world many times, with her husband, who was the Philippines ambassador to about 20 different countries.
- She usually stays in Manila under the personal care of Fidel Ramos, a former President of the Philippines, who is also her cousin.
- She is related to the famed Ferdinand Marcos and is close friends with his equally famous wife, Imelda.
- She has a wonderful garden, some of which she donated to the Manila Temple grounds after she was converted (30 years ago)
- at age 75 she served a mission in New Zealand, just because she could.
- She is currently writing a couple of books, because she stopped painting 5 years ago.
Here are a few of what I like to call OITP's, or Only In The Philippines:1- IcyHot translates into LukewarmHeatofpurgatory.2- Two minutes is the recommended teeth brushing time, but may be extended to three if a mosquito flies in your mouth while brushing.3-Roosters do NOT only crow in the morning.4- Applying nutrition facts to your diet can be mildly hard when they are measured by Thai Recommended Daily Intake.6- When the power goes out, it is called a Brown-out, not a Black-out. I will let you interpret that as you will.7- All of my 'Hand wash cold, line dry' clothes are lovin' life!I just want to say thank you for all of the prayers and support! I can really feel it over here. I've heard that before from many people, that they can 'feel your prayers', but I always thought, "no way, that's so weird." haha, joke! It's true. Based off of what I have experienced so far, I want to say a couple of things. 1) GO TO THE TEMPLE. I don't get to here, and I miss it so bad. You have no idea how blessed we are to have access to a temple. 2) Read your scriptures. Enjoy them! They are so funny and great! Also, study about Gideon. He doesn't get mentioned as much, but he's officially my Book of Mormon hero. 3) talk about the gospel. All the time. It is THE ONLY THING in our lives that is important. Let people know that.Thank you all again, wish you were here!!
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