Did you know that cockroaches don't die even if you microwave them? In fact, I think they like it. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't do it on purpose. I just took out my water for my oatmeal (yes, I eat steaming hot oatmeal in 90 degree weather with 100 percent humidity) and I saw this cockroach just lackadaisically sauntering around our microwave. He didn't even care. And at that moment, I not only kind of liked that cockroach for his boldness, but I was also inspired by him. I had a pretty rough week. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself because things didn't quite go the way we'd planned, so naturally I took too much responsibility for that. So that led me to feeling really negatively about myself, and sometimes it's just hard to turn off that accusing voice inside your head. Yesterday was the worst, but today, that burden just disappeared. POOF! (Obscure reference to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I think. I've lost all confidence in my ability to reference Harry Potter movies. Lord of the Rings is still pretty good though, so no worries.) We went to the temple and I spent a good amount of time just pondering what I wanted to do with the rest of my mission. Time is flying by! I feel like I'm back at the YMCA on the treadmill. I'd always overestimate my desired speed at first, always a little too fast... that's kind of a scary feeling haha. But yes, it feels like time is passing faster than I want, and I have to run really hard to just keep from falling off the edge of the treadmill! But in a good way. But yes, I can't quite sum up what I learned today. I'm still pondering it, but I think Heavenly Father basically told me to just chill out and trust him a little more. I'm so worried about making myself the missionary that he wants me to become, but clearly I can't even do that. It's him that'll make me into the missionary he wants me to be. It's like a lump of clay trying REALLY hard to become a statue. Just ain't happenin'. So I think maybe I'll just relax a little. Heavenly Father's way smarter than me anyways.
We had a great moment in the apartment the other day after Sister L was jokingly complaining about something, and I told her to, "Be grateful Anya!" Then, because no one got the reference, I continued, "I am grateful... grateful to get away!" And then we all started singing songs from Anastasia and I felt almost like I was back home with Rebecca and Rachel. Wow, the sisterhood that comes from the mission is so so sweet!
I love the people in this branch so much! The Philippinas just make me so happy with their cute personalities and hilarious jokes and inability to understand sarcasm. Beautiful J (we call her that because she's GORGEOUS inside and out) keeps calling me Casper because my head always blends in with the wall when we take pictures together. I am seriously SO WHITE. I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I'm whiter than before my mission. But I don't mind, because it makes people smile haha. I'm sure Jesse understands, and he definitely gets way more white jokes than I do :)
I translated in Institute class this week! It was really hard haha, and at the end, all the boy said to me was, "Keep working hard." Then he left. Haha, I thought I did okay though!
Sister H , the sister who got baptized last week, spent the whole day with us on Tuesday, and it was such a special experience. She helped us teach and go finding, and during dinner we watched "Labor of Love," a beautiful, if cheesy, movie about the joys of missionary work. And at the end, she opened up and shared how happy she was sharing the gospel. She just kept saying it over and over again, "I'm SO happy. I just love it." She told us how much she loves reading the scriptures, and how she wants everyone she sees to know what she knows and feel what she feels. My heart was about to burst, and we all had tears in our eyes as we were talking. Wow, I feel like the Grinch. I mean my heart wasn't 9 sizes too small or whatever, but it's certainly grown so much on this mission. Heavenly Father stretches us a lot. And it sure hurts, but I love it.