My life in the Philippines so far: laughter and tears

“N.L! Let’s prepare your documents right away to go to the Philippines!”, my general superior told me. “No! Even though studying is always necessary, I like working pastorally meanwhile more than studying only”, I naturally thought.

Anyway, one of my friends told me “even thought studying is not easy, you will have a better service in your mission if God give you a chance to be carefully trained”, so I have said I have said “yes” with my superior, with my Congregation. Thus, I have lived here, in the Philippines for seven months  now with so much joy and there are sometimes tears, too.
First, there are the challenges that are worthy to be experienced. I arrived here with a fellow sister. We have no community, no any relationship, no friends and also not busy with any pastoral duty. These all are not problem except for difficulty in speaking English that causes us some problems. For example, immediately, we landed on the Manila airport, we

For example, immediately after we landed on the Manila airport, we had to stay there an hour more because we did not understand what the airport’s officer require me to

For example, immediately after landing on the Manila airport, we had to stay there an hour more because we did not understand what the airport’s officer require us to answer him. We were only able to leave when he had known that we are sisters.

Then, we had to go some officers in Manila to clear our visa. My sister was so worried about it because she did not know how to go there and of course, we could not speak English.

“Nevertheless, frequenting, Manila, usually, is a good opportunity to visit and know the Philippines. Everything will be ok,” I positively comforted my sister and enjoyed each time have to go the offices.
In addition, there were  some crying events that happened at the Goodsheperd Convent where I am staying I either understood the house rule or which others told me.

One time, a boarder turned back home very late. She was too angry because the door was closed and the light was turned off. She talked me with a strong voice and asked me many questions. I payed attention to listened to her that that time;  at the end, I said “I am very sorry, I don’t understand you” …Being too exhausted, she shook disappointedly her head and entered her room; I still stood there not knowing what I have to do.
Another time, I did not understand the convent rule. Thus, the management said me announce everyone to have a meeting. When the time came, there was only me present. “How about others?”, the management was surprised … She would inform for all boarders, but I thought she wanted to meet me for my fault.
The similar stories still happen sometimes. Hence, I had not only the new relationships or closer friends, but I also became resilent after these were been solved.
“The world is very huge and there are too many things to do”, talked I myself and enjoyed all things. I was really fascinated in going around and overlooking Malina, the capital of the Philippines. I tried to get almost vehicles as train, cars, buses, jeepney, tricycles…but I truly like the train because it is quite quiet; Just as I can see the city sights, so find I the good behaviors here. Going around to see and to think about something only is one of my likings. Especially, I spent and felt the meaningful Holy week here. While everyone did not go to work, I liked to go out to find the calm streets that contrasted with the busy, noisy and crowded routine. I dreamed when my country will have a day like that.
Nevertheless, learning English is my main work recently. I go to the Assumption language Centre all weekdays. Like a child, I have been practiced word by word, little by little. It is challenging and interesting! In addition, fortunately, someone has silently given me the school fee for English. Later, when I have been familiar to this city, sometimes, I followed another sister to visit the poor villages or to find the homeless people belong the street, I recognized that I was offer too much from the life which God created.
In this life, except my family, teachers, friends and my Congregation now, how many people who had quietly supported me to grow up by many different ways? I could not know. Those who are the wind beneath my wings. I am truly happy.
Nonetheless, two months, three months, and four months have passed away, I have attended the masses, joined the common pray time, especially during the Lent this year, I have almost gained nothing because of not understand English; so that I have always wanted to turn back my language. “O Lord, I like English, but I love Vietnamese!” I feel that I was losing something, my heart and soul seemed dry and hard, even to be stressful or tired.

Even I complained when I prayed, but the Lord seems not to answer. My E. have improved too slowly. Because of this, I made someone unhappy. So, I have spent a heavy time to think about it. How can I forgive when I have hurt those I love and they love me too? How…? Why..? Many questions have appeared in my mind. Someone said, “conquering myself is more important than doing a country”, it is true for me.
So, I have repeatedly reminded myself this quote “ Jesus Christ is Lord, but He has lived the human life, has loved with the human heart, has work with the human hands and has studied with the human brain, how about me? ”

So, I have repeatedly reminded myself this quote “ Jesus Christ is Lord, but He has lived the human life, has loved with the human heart, has work with the human hands and has studied with the human brain, how about me? ”

In return for it, I have been fortunately staying in a beautiful Convent that has the old buildings and a variety of plants, flowers and tall trees. My room’s window overlooks upon the green grass and the Convent’s entrance. How useful to pray by seeing nature and listening to its melody each morning when I get up! What a dullard when I only focus on the sadness, I made myself opaque to many miracles of life!
Therefore, looking back on the past time, I have totally been easy to adapt with a new environment, no problem with food, climate condition and I have a good health. Besides, I have more new friends, know more about the Philippines, its society and people. I also understand what someone told me more than before, it makes me happier. Counting graces, I will keep on the joys and more confident in the Lord.
O Almighty God, how grateful  I am to You for all presents You have given!

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