Philippines Bacolod Mission

2016.09.26 Fat, Sick, Rain, Strays, and LOVING IT!

Dear Family and Friends,
What an amazing week! I can honestly say I have seen so many miracles this week! The saying is true, exact obedience brings miracles! Just in my one and half weeks here, I have see it! I really do love it here! Although, I do not understand half of what people are saying, I love it!
Everyone is so kind! And everyone knows that the way to my heart is... FOOD... So everyone feeds me... so yes, as of right now... I am getting fat. -_- And in my role that I am taking upon my self (of getting fat) I have to eat everything that is offered and just given to me... Which is exactly what I have been doing, but unfortunately on Wednesday about 1 am in the morning it hit me like a... train....? Sure a train :) Gastritis, I got it bad.  It was pretty bad for about 2 days with a fever, some nice LBM, (Dad, don't translate that word for the blog viewers hehe) and the chills. It was a blast!
Sister Abad and I still taught lessons during those two days.... awesome :) ...yeah it was nice. But, now I have a plan to be more cautious on what I eat... A Plan... We will see :)
Anyways! Sister Abad is seriously the best ever! We get along so well it's so fun! She is an amazing cook and takes real good care of me! She has learned so much from her past companionship to know how to make the best companionship, it's inspiring :) My foot is doing okay, still swells up like a balloon but Sister Abad is good about walking slowly. Sometimes I forget and start walking fast and Sister Abad will yell out "Hinay lang!" which is  " Only slow" It's the best, she's just the best. :)
Oh, so yesterday while out proselyting it started to pour! Now when I say "Pour", I am talking about it's like turning on a fire hose and putting it right on top of your head!!!! (okay not really, I am being a little dramatic) but seriously it was raining so hard!!!! I couldn't even open my eyes! Of course, we forgot our umbrellas but I absolutely loved it! I was laughing so hard, it was a blast! I was laughing so hard it was so fun! Sister Abad does not like the rain but since we were in the middle of no-where with no coverage, she just enjoyed the rain with me! We were drenched! I am so glad I got a companion that can tolerate me!
Like for example, you all know my love for dogs! Well, I bought a bag of bacon strips (you know, the dog treat ones in the yellow bag) well I bought a bag of those to give to the stray dogs.... but none of them will eat it!!! Perfectly "good" bacon and they won't eat it! They are all used to human food! Well ... scraps of human food! SO now that I know that... there is a little bakery in town  and I bought a bunch of little pastries that are like a peso each, and I give those to the dogs in need, and they love them! Sister Abad loves it everytime the dogs eat the treats! It's so cute! It's amazing that God blessed me with such a great companion!
Well, so last P-day I wasn't able to send any photos because my SIM card had some type of virus but the Elders in my district fixed it and I didn't lose any of my pictures! So here are all of them! Enjoy!!!!

- Sister Garrish

PS...Just kidding the chip is still messed up I guess the Elders didn't fix it -_-

He just walked into church one day wanting to know about the "Mormons" :) <3
Bishop on the right, Elder Baldwin, Elder Chapple, Brother MM, Ricardo Me and Sister Abad and the YSA to greet Brother Ricardo ;)

2016.09.19 I AM HERE BACOLOD!

Dear Famiily and Friends,
I did it!
I made it to Bacolod Philippines, speaking Hiligaynon!
I can't actually believe that I am here! I have been here for 6 days now and already so much has happened!
Well to start, the night I arrived to be transferred to my trainer (Sister Abad) she took me to an open casket funeral appointment... Yep. The body was just there outside someones home...So it just so happened, since I am a white blonde American they like to see me do things... SO I was called to be the Chorister, which is pretty much a solo performance. But yep almost at every meeting and appointment I am asked to be the chorister. I can also say with confidence I am always called on by the person we are teaching to say the opening prayer. I say about 100 prayers a day... no joke. The people here love to hear me try to speak Hiligaynon, I find it amusing as well.
SO fun now!
I had my first baptism this past Saturday! It was truly an amazing experience! Her name was Le-Anna, she is 10 years and is currently the only member in her whole family! It's amazing that such a little girl can have so much faith. The Saturday of her baptism we taught her earlier that day and she was so excited, then we left for another appointment and would be back to fetch her for her baptism. But while we were gone her older sister had called her and was very angry with her for being baptized and forbid it. SO when Sister Abad and I went to go fetch her she was in tears. But she still came with us... it was truly an amazing and humbling experience for me, to be here and see that sometimes faith is all they have for support.
I want to help everyone so bad and be the best missionary I can be for them and for God. They deserve it.
The people here are really the nicest people ever! They are so sweet and they will give you all they have to make you happy because they are so selfless! Its so amazing! I really get frustrated with myself when I remember times where I complained about the stupidest things just because I could!
I never knew how good I had it....
Please be grateful for everything you have. Even the smallest of small things that you wouldn't even think about. Like your toothbrush, rubbing alcohol, electricity, Showers, transportation, your health, or just living where you live.  We really are blessed. When you are grateful it not only makes you a happier person but it's easier for you to see the good in your life, than the bad.
While being here I have yet to hear someone complain about anything! That's probably why its called "The City of Smiles"
Well anyways some more exciting news, I have had the opportunity to commit two people to baptism and they both said yes! :) This is some of the commitment in Hiligaynon "Himuon mo bala sunod ang ehemplo ni JesuCristo paagi sa pagbabunyag sa isa ka tawo nga nakagaput sang awtoridad nga priestood sang Dios?"
Something like that ;) haha
It really is something else seeing their expressions when I asked.
Well anyways this past Sunday I was called on to bear my testimony in front of everyone during sacrament and I am happy to say my humor still exist in another Language! I was a little nervous while in the MTC about my humor leaving me... but I still got it ;) Don't worry Kyle and Alice, I know how much you both love my dry sense of humor :)
But yeah my humor still exists. I had them laughing pretty good but yet the Spirit was so strong!
I have had two formal dinner appointments with the Young Family and the Cobing Family and the dinner for both was so amazing! Let me tell you Filipino food is amazing!!!!! So much flavor! When I am not eating Filipino food, I'm missing Filipino food! It's really that good! I will probably be fat next time you see me and I don't mind! It's that good! I do have to say though I miss milk... And sweets... :( Before I left Manila I bought some Chocolate and we have a little fridge so I can keep it cold and every night before bed I eat a piece of chocolate piece as like a little hi-five to myself for completing the day.
Something fun my companion and I do now is I will cook an American Breakfast and she will cook a Filipino Lunch :) YUM!
Sister Abad is from Manila, and she is so sweet!!! The best trainer I could ask for! I am truly lucky! Shes very serious about the rules which is very good for me... :)
Anyways fun fact, They start celebrating Christmas here on September 1st! YAY! Christmas music for four months!!! Sweet ;)
So about my house, I am very lucky! They are really good to us missionaries! And I am not being sarcastic when I tell you this! We have a kitchen which is outside the house so lots of lizards and roaches everywhere, Huge lizards and roaches... HUGE! Also there is no shower, which is what I expected but it takes about a minute every morning to build up the courage to pour a bucket of cold water on my head. But once I get used to the water its actually quite nice and refreshing :)
I have three best friends at the house 1) My companion 2) The Blue Fan and 3) The White Fan
Without a fan I would surely die.
It's such a fun experience here! I love riding the Jeepnies and the Tri's, So Fun!
Well that's enough talk from me here's some pictures! :)

Sister Garrish

My first night in Bacolod with Sister Abad and Le-Anna at the funeral, with my hymn book ready to go.

The kids we teach.
Pretty is the one in the pink dress that I asked to be baptized :)

FHE at the Young's home

Le-Anna's baptism with a few of her friends

After Le-Anna's baptism we had some fun messing around in the parking lot <3

2016.09.14 I MADE IT TO BACOLOD!

I get one minute to let everyone know, I made it! Safe and sound!
Finally in the field and it feels amazing!
I can not wait to get to work!

Love you all!

Sister Garrish

2016.09.09 Well I made it to Manila!

<September 8th, 2016>
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!
I will be able to email in about 5 hours! IN MANILA!
Sister Garrish

Sis. Garrish's flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong
Cathay 881 LAX/HKG

<September 9th, 2016>
Well I made it to Manila!
I am finally here! The plane ride was not to bad! Before we flew out my teacher challenged all of us to talk to someone so that's what I did!! The first flight was from Salt Lake City to LA.
The airplane was full of missionaries! I happened to be lucky enough to be seated with the only non-missionary on the plane! An older man by the name of PK he is from Nepal that was on his way home from visiting a friend in Idaho and from working. We sparked up a conversation and talked the whole way to LA! Near the end of the flight he comited to read the Book of Mormon and talk with the missionaries! He gave me all his information so that I could get him a Book of Mormon in his language and missionaries to visit him!
The other two flights I was with Elder Davenport and Elder Christensen! Hung out and talked to Elder Davenport almost the whole rest of the way!!! The best Elder!
After getting to Manila I was low on sleep and had been constantly getting fed! So knowing me of course, I get sick right before Manila. I got sick and threw up for about 5 minutes straight!!!!
Now it's off to bed for me!!! Pictures to come!!!
Manila is amazing!!!!!
Sister Garrish

Sis. Garrish's flight from Hong Kong to Manila
Cathay 901 HKG/MNL

2016.09.06 My Last P-DAY!!!!

I leave for the Philippines tomorrow at three!!!
I am up and walking on my foot! Truly a miracle! One day I am told I need to go home and get surgery, and 7 weeks later I am told I am healed and I am ready to go out!!!! The Lord works in mysterious ways. But I am so stoked for him allowing me to go to the Philippines!!!!
 The language I have been learning has been extremely difficult for me, mostly because I feel like everything starts with a "P" haha. I know that I will struggle for at least the first 4 months until I actually feel comfortable having a simple conversation with people! Although I am so excited to be in the Philippines, I am also so excited to meet the people and be indulged in the culture there!!!
This week I got a lot closer to everyone in my zone, and I am so sad I won't be able to see them everyday :(  I seriously have the best missionaries in my zone!!!
 The other day during gym time, since I've had to sit for 7 weeks during gym,  Elder Davenport peppered with me for about 45 min! It was the best feeling! I miss volleyball so much, and although I just stood there and didn't do anything fancy peppering. It just felt so nice to be standing up and doing something! Elder Davenport is the best!!!!
So some sad news, 2 wonderful Elders will be going home today, Elder Brown for his shoulder and Elder Gonzalez.
Elder Gonzalez just found out that his younger brother just got re-diagnosed with bone cancer in his spine, giving him 6 months to live. Elder Gonzalez is a convert to the church as of a year and a half ago after his best friend passed away from cancer. He is extremely strong in his belief in the church which is amazing! He is the only member in his family. Please keep them in your prayers! God prepares people... I know that.
Well just so everyone knows it will take about a month or two for me to get letters and packages! So I would love to get letters, but email is probably an easier way to get in contact with me! :) Love you all! My address in the Philippines is here on my blog if you want to send me a letter or packages! :)
Next time I'll be talking to you in the Philippines...hopefully ;)

-- Sister Garrish

Bats infested our other building so we were forced to moved to the Elders residence! 
Since they only had like 4 hours to move out...
The residence was a mess! ...and super crowded! -_-
So fun!!!
I saw Elder Christensen
My favorite Elders!
Davenport, Tatana, Glenn and Heywood!

At the Departing devotional with the companions!
The class and the most amazing teacher I have ever met!!!
Sister Whicker!​​​
​LAST ZONE PIC!!!!!!! ​
Sister Pope, Elder Lee, Elder Glenn, Elder Matsen and I

​I will never forget Elder Crowley, such an amazing person!!!
Lots of blessings coming his way!​

Elder Green and I!
Zone leader and Sister Training Leader! ​
Sister Gonzales and I :)
Me, Elder Heywood, Elder Christensen, Sister Gonzales

Thanks mom for the new watch...
 ... and celebrating my 8 1/2 birthday!!​