Saturday, June 29, 2013

I am leeeeeavin on a jet plan, don't know when I'll be back again.....

The time has come.  And I feel about every emotion in the book.  My MTC experience has been so amazing.  But, I am so ready to get to work in the Pilippinas!!!  Gahhhh last night our teach did a Q&A and showed us pictures from San Pablo and oh man, my excitement increased about 137%.  I am going to the Philippines!!!!  This is NUTS!  Ok let's start this email organized.
Sunday, June 23rd, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the MTC choir for the World Wide Broadcast for Hastening the work of Salvation.  I knooooow I was never seen on camera, but I promise I was there!  But after re-watching the broadcast, I found half of my body on the camera!  I am at the top in the green shirt and pink belt.  I think they purposefully cut my head off because I may or may not have been tearing up....  it seriously was just sooooo powerful!!!!  I am apart of this great movement of missionaries.  I have been called to serve and am going to hearken the nation of the Philippines!  It was an amazing experience to sing live to the apostles and listen to their amazing words about this great work.  I hope you all have a renewed excitement for member missionary work.  Seriously, without the members, my job as a full-time missionary would be a thousand times more difficult!  Thank you for all you do!  Don't be afraid to give referrals and don't be afraid to speak up about this wonderful gospel in your lives to your friends.  I also got to sorta talk to Elder M. Russell Ballard through his car window.  He told us, "You are doing an amazing job and I am grateful for your service."  Yeah, cool moment.  
This week was my first week where I had a few bad days.  Just days of frustration, irritation, and a whole lot of dumb feelings.  Having those bad days was really frustrating because I feel like my day was less productive, but really though, this week I think I worked the hardest I have worked yet.  I made super good use of the study time I had, our district had an english fast (only Tagalog all day) and I learned so much in class.  This week we were pounded with information before we leave; for example, yesterday we had in-field orientation.  That thing was amazing!  The amount of effort the MTC and teachers put into it was awesome!  The classes were all themed and interactive and I really learned a lot to prepare me for the field!  Some people don't like in-field orientation because it is long and can be boring, but it really is what you make it... just like how the rest of this mission is. 
Ok, so I am real excited and real nervous to leave.  Where has time gone?  I feel like I got into the MTC last week!!!  But I came up with a list of what I learned in my first 6 weeks of my mission and want to share it with you so that not only I remember what I learned, and for my friends who are coming into the MTC (Emily Dahl, Madeline Foutz!!!), but also for you family and friends. These points can also be applied in life!  So here goes:
The 6 Most Important Lessons I Learned in the MTC
1. Know your Purpose
If you don't know this, then you might as well go home.  This is what life revolves around as a missionary.  I knew that coming into my mission, but didn't realize how amazing each word in that statement is.  I wish I would've internalized Our Purpose moreso prior to my mission, but I have gained a great love for it and it solely is the reason for missionary work and my desire for being here.
2. Make Friends
Life as a missionary is wayyyyyy different, and if you make friends with other missionaries along the way you just bond so much!  Making friends gives you sanity and time to help each other out.  And you know you are always uplifting others when you talk to them and help them, cause this thing we call life ain't easy.
3. Be Diligent
When receiving a mission call, you are called to dedicate all your time to serving a the Lord and leaving behind all personal matters.  I have learned that this is the Lord's time.  I cannot waste it.  I am only dedicating 18 months for this work, so stinkin use it wisely!  When there is a spare moment of a few extra minutes here and there, be productive.  Read some scriptures, study some language, comfort a friend, ask your teacher questions, say a prayer, do something! 
4. Forget Yourself
I kinda mentioned this last week, but seriously, this mission isn't about me, or you, or anything.  It is about the people who need the gospel in their lives and Christ.  Seriously, this mission is supposed to change a person, and that change is supposed to be permanent.  Don't return to the old habits, keep the new ones!  This is all about serving others.
5. Don't Compare
This means don't be hard on yourself when others progress faster than yourself.  I have struggled with that here.  "Wow that companionship is better than mine.  She is better at the language.  She is more spiritual. She is more popular.  She is prettier.  They work harder.  They are practically fluent.  I am no good!"  It is hard when you feel like there is no encouragement.  There are no cheerleaders here, there are no parents or old friends, there is just you and the Lord.  And you have to learn to listen to the Spirit when it is cheering you on and inspiring you.  Know that you are a Child of God and He has blessed each of us differently.  We all go at different paces, even if it is different than what you would want.  He is always with you and help you be prepared and ready to perform His work.
6. Turn Outward
This comes from Elder David A. Bednar's talk on the "Character of Christ". Christ turned outwards unto others when many of us would turn inwards.  Every person is different and often times it is difficult to understand and love every person we come in contact with.  But if we come to understand how to turn outward and become Christlike, then you are doing something right in this life.  This applies to missionaries and everyone at home, love everyone.  God loves us all and we are all His children.  We must love them all too, especially by bringing them the Koloob (intangible gift in Tagalog) of the Gospel.
Ok, just thought you might be interested in what I learned, and please share this with anyone who may be going on a mission so they can learn these things far before I did!  I miss you all and the next time I email, it will be from halfway across the world.... Mahal kita lahat!  Ingat po!

Peace 'n blessin's,
Sister Waldrom
Go read 1 Samuel 25


Saturday, June 22, 2013

I am going to the Pilipinas

Who got their travel plans yesterday?  THIS SISTER MISSIONARY DID!  Wooooooo!!! I leave next Monday, July 1st!  Right on time.  So stinkin pumped to fly to Portland, then Tokyo, then Manila, and then drive down to San Pablo!  It will be many long hours of traveling, but I couldn't have better people to do it with!  So pumped.  Ok now I will inform you on my true feelings.  I am so thrilled to finally be immersed in God's work.  I am so excited to be where God has called me to be.  I know that this is the mission that He wants me to serve in.  I am so humbled to have this opportunity, but man there are moments where I am a little terrified.  Some people say they are not scared at all, I think they are all wack.  I have never left the North American continent.  I won't have air conditioning, a washing machine, a real shower, or any of the simple necessities in America.  But if I have learned anything on the mission it is this: many people say the saying "forget yourself", but I say "leave yourself and never go back".  This mission is supposed to change a person's life; when a missionary comes home from their mission, they should not return to their old lifestyle, they should continue the ways they have lived on their mission.  Does that make sense?  I haven't even gotten to the Pilippinas, but I know I will always continue to live like a true servant of God.  I still don't know why I am so blessed to be a missionary in the Philippines, but I do feel incredibly humbled for this amazing opportunity.  I just have to keep remembering that this week and then I won't wet my pants out of nerves to leave.  I am mostly nervous for the communication barrier.  Gosh, I love Tagalog, but dang is it hard to say everything I want to.  GAH I AM SO EXCITED THOUGH!!!!! 9 days and counting! (in other words, I am ready to leave the MTC)
So something not so cool, I tore a muscle in my leg last week.  What?  Right when I start taking up running, this happens.  It happened two Monday's ago so when it didn't feel any better this past Tuesday, I wanted to be sure nothing was serious so I went to the doctor.  So glad it is just an inflamed muscle tissue/tear, but seriously, how long are these things supposed to take to heal?  I can't run cause it hurts and my body is starting to get restless. 
We had an amazing blessing come into our lives this week.  On Sunday one of the Districts left, but there was one sister who has been having some health problems and couldn't leave for the Philippines yet.  So she was reassigned to stay in our district.  She became my beloved Sister Mafi's companion since we were a trio.  My heart broke when I heard that she wouldn't be with me 24/7 anymore.  It is now just Sister Hellewell and I and we keep looking back for Sister Mafi but then we realize she is not our kasama anymore. :( But I couldn't be happier because we have inherited the one, the only, Sister Aruwititi!!! (pronounced ar-oo-wee-sees) She is is from the Kirabati Islands smack dab in the middle of the Pacific.  This sister knows how to make an impact on people's lives.  She is very softspoken, sweet, and gentle.  I have seen more examples of Christlike attributes in her than anyone I have ever met.  She has eye problems in one eye and has some other problems with her health.  She is in my room and gosh she is hilarious!  I was looking for her because she was my companion when we were on a split, and I was getting nervous... Then I see her walking down the hallway with a fresh cup of "cup of noodles" and I hollered, "There you are!  Where have you been?!"  And then she booked it into the bedroom and slammed the door!  I could hear her laughing and I was laughing sooooo hard.  Good thing I had a key, and I walk right in and she says, "Hindi Mabuti!" {no good} hahahahaha she is a gem!  So glad to have her join our companionship, we are like a quad now. 
Hard to think I have been out for a month today!  I still couldn't be happier.  Mom you mentioned how you don't think I am telling you how I am feeling (haha), I am being dead serious, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!  The MTC is so awesome and to think I will be doing this for realzzzz next week, is so nuts!  This week I felt old cause I got to host!  That is when you pick missionaries up off the curb and help them enter the mtc.  It was way less fun than I expected hahaha... But it was cool being able to serve these crying newbies.  hahaha Just kidding, but I hosted two sisters and I know they will both be amazing missionaries.  We got three new district this weeks, 20 sisters and 11 elders.  Ha!  Go sisters!  They are awesome, but I already miss our old districts so much!  Our zone was sooooo close.  But oklang, they will be amazing in the field!!
So tomorrow.  This is happening.  I get to sing for the prophet and his apostles.  I am so thrilled.  I am so grateful.  I hate singing, but it will be so worth it! So look for me!  I will be wearing a lighter/pastel green shirt (the one I wore when I entered the MTC).  I will wear my hear half down so it's not in my face.  Look for meeeeeeee!!!  So excited to hear from the prophet before I head to the field!!
Lastly, please remember this.  As missionaries, we simply "invite" others to come unto Christ.  You can do it too.  If you simply invite a friend to a church activity or to sacrament meeting, or invite them to read an article or invite them to do something, then what is the harm!?!   Remember, no one would be offended by a simple invitation.  That is something that I have learned this week.  Just do it.
Mahal kita at nagpapasalamat po ako para sa pagkakataon ito,
Sister Waldrom
Omni 1:26


Saturday, June 15, 2013

I am at Peace

(sorry for the delay, bloggers have been out of town, away from computers)
Oh how full my heart is as I write today!  I don't think I have been so happy in my life.  I have reflected on 'what if I didn't serve a mission', and that thought simply breaks my heart!  The more time I am a missionary, the more I realize how the Lord has prepared me for this.  I have seen my spiritual gifts develop so much, I have built wonderful relationships with the people in my zone, and I worked harder than ever before.  This past Sunday I had the opportunity to watch the video of David A. Bednar's "Character of Christ" devotional at the MTC on Christmas of 2011.  That talk changed my life.  I have tried finding it online with my limited resources at the MTC, but it is no where to be found!  (your job: find that talk, read it, and send it to me to re-read!) Literally, that talk teaches about how to simply forget about yourself, turn outward to others, and live as Christ did.  I have made a big effort to follow these teachings this week.  And sure enough, I have found myself more uplifted, happier, and at peace.  If we but take the time to see the others around us for who they really are, what they really need, and how we can assist them, then you will go straight to heaven!  Jokelang (just joking)!  But seriously, that is the point of our mortal lives, to live as Christ did and return with Him after this life!  Ahhhh I just love Jesus ok.
Secondly, Happy Fathers Day!  I hope all my brothers-in-law enjoy this great holiday of watching your wives and munchkins do stuff for you.  To my father, thank you for e v e r y t h i n g.  You are they best!  You are an amazing example in my life and I look up to you more than you know.  Expect an AWESOME letter on Monday (sorry I sent it yesterday...)
WELCOME TO THE WORLD BABY DARREN PETER JARDINE!  I am a little disappointed you weren't named after me, pero, oklang.  I love you so much already and your mommy is sure a trooper for birthing you naturally!  Congrats Jardine family, the pictures of him are beautiful!  Can't wait to meet him when he a toddler... Psych!  Love you already Darr Bear.
This week we went to the stinkin Marriot Center at BYU for devotional!  Yep, all 2500 missionaries crossed the street at University Parkway... what a sight.  It was kinda embarrassing.  Nakakahiya!  lol Perrrrro, it was cool!  I am getting real pumped for the prophet to come!  Gahhhh!  Missionaries are the best! 
Tagalog is coming along.  I am so grateful that I am really catching onto the language.  My only problem is memorizing and remembering it... hahaha Tagolog is such a mutt language.  It is Tagolog, English, and Spanish all mixed together.  It is so weird.  But I love it!  My brain is pretty fried, but I've gotta just keep chugging along. 
My companions are awesome.  So get this, this week I took Sister Mafi to her dentist appointment again.  The doctor called us in and right as we are about to walk through the doorway, the power goes out!  Creepy sign right?  It was bizarre.  So we waited.  And waited.  Then we decided to leave the dark room and go sit in the hallway by the window to read.  Then this woman came and was talking to us and said, "No need to fear, the sister missionaries are here!"  I laughed but didn't really care about the power and didn't think too much to pray or anything.  Then a little bit later the power came back on!  But little did I know Sister Mafi tapped me and said, "I hadn't even finished my prayer and the power came back on..."  Our jaws dropped and we started laughing.  WHY IS SHE SO AWESOME?!  Like hello!  My kasama is a Tongan Spiritual Giant!  Love her to death.
I am not gonna lie, being ina trio for companions is hard.  Trying to balance all of our personalities and desires is hard.  But we have been working hard to find unity!  We are improving all the time.
I am seriously so sad that three districts are leaving me.  I am grown so close to them.  I don't know why, but the Philippine districts are the coolest, funniest, most spiritual, and greatest districts around.  I LOVE THEM ALL! 
Keep using Dear Elder, it is simply the greatest when I see a letter or Dear Elder sitting on my desk!  Mahal ko kayo at ingat po!
Sister Waldrom
Mosiah 7:33

Mosiah 7:33

Hello, I am a missionary

So fam.  GET THIS.
There is a world wide broadcast on June 23rd, with only the PROPHET, FIRST PRESIDENCY, AND THE TWELVE APOSTLES.  This will take place in the marriot center ar byu, and guess who will be singing in the choir for these fine men, ME!  I GET TO SING IN THE CHOIR!!!  Hello, I absolutely despise singing, buuuuut, this is an opportunity that cannot be passed up!  I am so stinkin excited!  I actually did choir this past week to see Dayna, and it was actually kinda fun... but I didn't really just say that.
So Cady... WHEN IS MY NEPHEW GOING TO ENTER THIS WORLD!?!  I am so stinkin excited for you and your family!  Dear elder me ASAP when he comes! 
Lauren- I am bugged I couldn't see you when you were a mile from me.  But THANK YOU for the package.  It sure was a lovely surprise with Tristan's beautiful art.  <3
Em- Ok, what was up with your blank letter?  I talked to Mark and we were both VERY confused.... I may have cried from laughing at how bizarre it was. 
Ali- How is Uganda?!  I want to hear everything!  Dear Elder me your adventures when you get the chance!
Mom- I am proud that you survived Girls Camp.  And I appreciate you representing me with my awesome cat shirt.
Dad- Thanks for the NBA update.  I wear my suns shirt a lot to gym and what not and about 3 people say something to me every time I wear it.  Suns for life!  Even though we stink, the suns always win my heart. 
Today we were talking about our families, and I got to thinking, I seriously do not know why I was so blessed.  I began thinking of each of my sisters.  You are all so amazing!  You each bring so much to our family.  With living four years at home without you living there sometimes made you all seem so distant.  But you reall are not!  How lucky I am so know and be related to older women than I who have such awesome personalities, live amazing lives, and care so much about their dinky 19 year old sister.  You are all so great.  Thanks for being here for me!  But not to mention my awesome parents!  You two are more than I could ask for.  I have learned so much and you both have truly molded me into who I am today.  Love you all!  (and I know that is a blessing from God that I am still not homesick... in the least bit... sorry)
You have all asked about my days, so here goes one on average:
6:30 Wake up
7:00 be in classroom
7:30 Breakfast with Zone
8:00 class
11:00 personal study (fav. time)
12:10 lunch
1:00 Language study
2:30 Computer language program
3:30 GYM TIME BABY!  (I love gym time, I run 2 miles everyday and do ab and leg workouts.  I sweat my brains out and love not being cooped up in class hahaha)
5:10 Dinner
6:00 Class
9:00 plan
10:30 sleeeeeeeep
The days are long but the weeks are fast.  I love them.  By the end of the week, my brain is fried, but it is nice having P-day on Saturday cause it is kind of like a weekend.  This week we had a special adventure.  I went with my companion, Sister Mafi, to the dentist (I dont remember if I told you this is her first time away from Tonga)!  It sure was an exciting time.  We got to get in a car, drive a mile away, and be gone for an hour!  Yay!  It was sooooo weird driving by BYU since this is around the time that I was coming up for the first time for summer term last year... who would have ever thought I would be in the MTC now... But it sure was fun going with her to the dentist!  She has to get two root canals this week... poor thing!  The dentist in Tinga put the wrong fillings in her teeth!  I feel so bad for her!  I have grown real close with Sister Mafi.  She is so funny!  She can be very quiet, especially compared to some Tongans.  But fun story, all her Polynesian friends come in our room at night.  5 of them at one time were eating cup of noodles... it was the best/strangest thing of my life, I had to snap a pic.  They literally make me laugh so hard!!! Every night one sister comes into our room with some thing new from the free box (there are "free boxes" in every hallway where missionaries put stuff they dont want in there for others to take).  One night she came in with the tie from a bath robe and wore it as head band, the next night she came in with this weird hippo thing, then she came in with american flags on her head, and then she came in with a doo rag... what?! I love all my new Tongan, Samoan, Fijiian, etc. friends!  They are sucha grand time and make my experience here that much better.
On Wednesday there was a record number of incoming missionaries: 967!!!  Dang.  The work is truly progressing!!!
This week I have learned so much.  I appreciate all the love, support, letters, and packages from you all!  It sure brightens my day!  But I find myself always making new goals for myself.  Not only with the language (where goals are daily), but for me as a person.  My goal right now is to not have a relationship with God when I need Him, but to always have one at all times.  I have committed to walk with Christ.  Always having Him with me.  Not only when I am struggling or need help.  He always wants to be by my side, and now I am making sure He is always there.  I encourage the same goal to the rest of you.  Do you walk with Christ?  Do you use his guidance only when you need it?  We will be judged for our desires, whether they be righteous or not.  Desire to live like Christ and desire to live with Christ.  He has always been there for you and for me, now let's be there for Him. 
I have learned so much Tagalog this week it is nuts.  I love this language.  Sometimes I think, Can I really do this?  This is so hard.  What am I doing?!  But then I think about it, and truly, this is the perfect mission for me.  I know this language will take time, but I know with prayer, dilligence, and hard work, I can master it.  Sometimes the Pilippinas seem so different and scary, but I know that God has prepared the people to be taught.  And He has prepared me to teach them.  But overall, this mission is not about me.  I am performing the work of the Lord for Him.  I have come to know that this is not some study abroad, this is about people and their lives!  I want to be the messenger who tells the everyone that Christ's church has been restored!  He has a plan!  There is a purpose to this life!  God loves you and wants you to be happy!  I am no where near being the perfect missionary, but I am sure trying my best. 
Anyways, I love YOU ALL!  I miss seeing your faces and hearing your laughs, but I will be back before you know it!  Keep staying awesome.  Oh and rememeber, God loves you! lol
Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Waldrom
Elder McKellar and Sister Waldrom

Morgans study area

Sister Mafi from Tonga
Morgans companion

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Email overload... I think I had like 25 emails in my inbox!  Way to go!! I love seeing whats going on in the outside world of the MTC.  And I will try to email back as best I can cause I only have 60 minutes on the computer, which may sound like a lot, but you'd be surprised by how long this process takes. 

 Ali, I forgot you are in Africa... What?  How are your gorilla friends?!  Print out pics and send them to me so I can admire them for hours. LOL

 I saw MarkyMark Mckellar like 30 mins after he arrived! And a few times since. EVERYONE!  Send him some love.  I think it he is just a little homesick, heck, he graduated 6 days before he came here!  I couldn't even do that!  Love that kid.

 I met a kid from Phoenix... we were both so surprised!  He is going to Madagascar and he was way cool.  He went to Moon Valley but I thought that was way cool to meet a fellow Phoenician. 

 This week has been pretty great.  Not gonna lie, there have been multiple frustrating moments, but I find myself grateful for them.  They teach me how to move over the bumps in the road and how to react in the most Christlike way.  The language is a struggle.  It just doesn't make sense sometimes.  Why would any founding fathers force a society to memorize tons of root words for each verb conjugation cause you definitely are not allowed to mix them up!  Dumb!  But I love Tagalog. It is a beautiful and amazing language.  It requires a lot of patience though because I just want to be fluent already. 

My word of the day for you all: nakakapagakabagabag- disturbing..........
Why are tagalog words so long and confusing?  I have no idea. But I kinda love it. 

Devotionals.  They are amazing.  Sunday we had an amazing talk from Stephen B. Allen from the missionary department.  It is simply amazing how inspired our leaders are.  He comforted me in so many ways and answered so many of my prayers and questions.  But I loved Tuesday's devotional even more.  We had W. Craig Zwick from the quorum of the 70 come speak.  Oh my goodness.  It was so amazing.  He spoke on Christlike attributes which is what I have been studying in Preach My Gospel.  His lesson on becoming more christlike:
1. Start with the end in mind
2. strong desire and commitment
3. willingness and discipline to work hard
4. prepare for challenges
5. structural and spiritual integrity
6. total dedication to the lord

If we can follow these steps in living a Christlike life, then you will surely live an admirable life.  I encourage everyone reading this to go read chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel.  And look for an attribute that you would like to become more of.  I am working on diligence. I love this amazing quote which is what I am currently working on.

“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”–President Ezra Taft Benson
Also some another cool lesson on why we should not get discouraged.  Courage means heart spirit.  Dis means God of the Underworld.  So moral of the story, dont give your courage to the adversary!  Never be discouraged, God is always on your side!   

Ok but really, theMTC is great.  I am learning so much on how to be a missionary of God.  I am not doing this for anyone but the Lord and His children who he has prepared to hear His word.  It is amazing to think that God is preparing people in San Pablo RIGHT NOW for me to teach.  I already love them so much.  They are getting ready to hear the best message they will ever receive.  That message is that there is a Heavenly Father who loves you.  He has a plan and a purpose for you.  He has a gospel that has been restored on this Earth.  I may not be the best teacher, but I am working ever so diligently to be one. 

I love you all and am praying for you!  All is well here, and I hope you all have a great weekend! 

Sister Waldrom