Sunday, July 28, 2013

Press Onward

Well I will just say the highlights this week:

Zone interviews.  I cannot tell you what a blessing it is to have President Peterson as my mission president.  He is an incredible man.  I was really looking forward to going in and asking him what to do about my different concerns and such, but he already knew them all!  He just started giving me counsel and what I could do or change.  He told me how I need to listen and discern.  Asking inspired questions is critical!!!  I am so grateful for the counsel of president.  He is a wise and inspired man.  I truly felt his love and care for me and it is exactly what I needed when I feel like I have no one to listen to me... (besides the Lord haha)
A member said this to me, marveling at my white skin, "You need more sun, and I need more moon." hahaha I tell ya, everyone still stares and takes pictures.  It is flattering yet very awkward.
As for investigators, we extended the baptismal invitation to two people!  And both rejected!  We're working with them, they just don't feel ready.  I actually teach a lot more in English than you would think.  But I am working on my Tagalog.  I love it more and more here.  I hope life is treating you all well.  I miss you dearly and love you tons!  I heard about how Prince William named his son after George, wow, who would've thought that our family would be connected so closely with royalty!  Cool!  hahaha ok Ingat po kayo!
Mahal Kita!!!!!
Sister Waldrom

Doctrine and Covenants 112:10

Monday, July 22, 2013

I am learning so much

It is simply amazing how the Church is the same all over the world.  The church is amazing in that it has the same leaders, doctrines, and beliefs everywhere.  When I sit in church on Sundays, I almost feel like I am at home, then I look up and around at the people, and then I realize, psych!  You are in the Philippines!  Silly Sister Waldrom!  I just admire the LDS church.  It is so well established.  Oh yeah, and it is TRUE.  Oh how my testimony has grown here!  Basically because it is all that I can rely on... and the Lord through prayer.  I truly have learned so much.

I lovelovelove our investigators.  Seeing them understand and ask questions warms my heart. Something that has been hard on me is that we "reopened" this area so we had to find a whole new teaching pool.  I wish I was seeing more success sooner. I have to wait for the people we are teaching to accept.  We have already dropped a lot of people and they have dropped us.  That is always a sad moment.  It's ok because we always find new people to teach, but that just means that they just rejected their salvation.... (I just pulled out the big guns) But seriously!  How can you say no to this wonderful gospel?!  Are you afraid to read the word of God or pray?!  That is all it takes!! (Oh and keep all His commandments... that is actually really hard) But goodness, I just love the people too much to hear them say "Pasensiya, catolico ako.  Salamat."  (Sorry, I am catholic.  No thanks.)  We have some investigators who seems to be doing pretty well.  We taught a sister last night the second lesson on the plan of salvation.  This was our second lesson and we brought a couple from the ward that she said she already knew!  She already has a support system!!!  She seems to understand the doctrine, now it is a matter of praying about it and to know the truth for herself.  I am excited for her and I see a lot of potential!  We have many other investigators, but not much to report on yet.  We are teaching a part member family's son and he came to church on Sunday!  He could be our first baptism.  He is ten and sure is a cutie.  He is real quiet so we shall see!!!

The Philippines are truly a blessed country.  They live such simple and great lives here.  They see the importance of family and religion.  I love the culture and the traditions.  I can't wait till the day that I can speak fluently and learn all about everyone's lives. That has been really a struggle this week. Mostly because I have been here for about 3 weeks and I am simply not fluent yet!  (haha) It's a constant personal battle.  I don't complain much to my companion, but I wish I could understand what people say to me.  I wish I could communicate. I guess my best effort is my short sentences, smile, and my heart.... cheesy but true.  

I am loving it here.  I hope this week we can have some more stories of spiritual progression, but hey, those will come.  Also, it just started POURING out of nowhere.  So that's cool.  I LOVE the rain.  I need some more umbrellas.  I love my crocs.  I love the food.  I love the transportation.  I love the members.  I love the people.  I love you all!!!! Thank you SO MUCH for all your support and love.  Remember that you are a Child of God and He gives you trials to help you grow!  Be sure you handle every situation in a Christlike way because if you do, He will bless you beyond belief!! (Romans 8:18)  Keep the faith burning!!!!

Mahal kita,
Sister Waldrom 
Doctrine and Covenants 58:16


Monday, July 15, 2013

I LOVE it here!

Ok, so I love it here! The language is still rough.  I can understand a lot, but I don't know how to reply to a lot because I feel embarrassed about how I don't speak well.  Thankfully alot accept English, but I am trying!!!  I can receive dear elders, letters, and pouch so write me!  I got a letter from the US in 9 days!!!! Holla.  I love district meetings.  They are a highlight in the week!  So grateful for them.  I love having my friend Sister Smart from the MTC to help cope through all this change.  I only get 1 hour and 15 mins to email and also email my mission president.  This time is so stressful for me cause I had 28 emails in my inbox.  Oh how I love you all! 
I feel like I am on my favorite ride in Disneyland 24/7.  The jeepneys are so jerky and crazy and life here is just fast and wild! 

Even though I already said this, I LOVE the ward here!  They have come out with us so many times and when they join in on a lesson and add another witness, it makes such a difference.  Being in this City is an amazing blessing.  I love it here.  I could stay here for 18 months.  There is so much land to cover and so many things to do. 
Our lessons this week have been wonderful.  It is amazing to see where the spirit leads us and who He has us talk to.  I don't always know why He puts us in some people's pathways, but I know there is always a reason.  We were looking for a less active in the rain, but they weren't home. We had some time to spare, so we were walking, and I felt an inkling that we should stop at this house.  We said "Tao po" (person in tagalog, you don't knock, just holler for a person to come out) and this mother let us in and gladly accepted our message.  I really hope she prays and knows the truth for herself.  Pray always for our investigators.  I love them all so much.  Honestly, here are just some pics of what has been going on.  This week was a lot of first lessons.  I am sure next week after we follow up, we will have some more amazing stories.
To answer some questions, the food is so great!  I love Porksilog.  It is rice, a poached egg, and fried chicken. It costs about 43 cents in American money.  The bread here is to die for. And the Mangos are unreal.  I want to eat them all the time. The heat is bearable and I LOVE the rain. 
I have felt your prayers tremendously.  I was really struggling, but all those fears are gone now and I know that is the answer to your prayers.  Thank you for your prayers, love and support.  I miss you all so much and pray for you all!!
Sister Waldrom
Morgans BYU friend, Madeline who
will serve in Argentina this fall.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Hardest. Week. Ever.

This week has been the most difficult and rewarding week of my life!  I don't know where to begin.  The MTC felt like a century ago.  Talking to the fam on the phone was so great!  It was good to hear from all of you.  The strange thing about it was that it made things more difficult for me.  I almost felt like I was at the airport to come home, but the truth was that I was going even further away.  My faith has been tested more than ever before.  The flight to Manila I got super sick, and the nerves and stomach aches haven't stopped.  But after a day and a half of traveling, we arrived in Manila and went to bed in a hotel at 12:30 am on Wednesday morning.  We woke up at 3:30 to be ready by 4:30.  We calculated about 6 hours of sleep in about 3 days.  I was exhausted.  We took a bus to San Pablo which was about a two hour drive without too much traffic.  And there was President Peterson, Elder and Sister Hansen (senior couple) and the President's assistants waiting for us!  Oh how happy I was to see their faces.  We waited for the missionaries from the Manila MTC to come and then we had breakfast.  There were about 25 new missionaries!  We then had an orientation and dinner.  Then president let us go back early and I was knocked out by 7 pm.  The next day was transfer day!  We had some meetings and I met my Companion!  Sister De Castro!  She is from just north of San Pablo in Quezon City and has been out for about 5 months.  She is so wonderful,  but doesn't speak english very well so that has been a struggle.  We share an area now with two other sisters who are amazing.  They have helped me understand this area and how missionary life goes.  They truly are a blessing from God.  Without them, I am not sure where my sanity would be.  My area is all city.  Lots of people, cars, and houses.  The ward here is AMAZING.  What a blessing.  On Thursday we went out with a member who is a returned missionary and she gave us two referrals and we taught two lessons!  Teaching a lesson is a feeling that is indescribable.  I am honestly more surprised with the homes than I thought I would be.  Many are made of mud blocks with sheet metal for ceilings.  They are so humble and many are willing to listen to us... so far.  Saturday we went tracting.  We got 15 OYM's (open your mouth) where the mission daily goal is 10!  Score!  And we got 5 new investigators out of it.  It is hard because we have to find all our investigators by ourselves because the other sisters keep theirs.  It is ok because we are working hard!  Sunday was a faith booster to see how strong the ward is.  We had a ward fireside on members working with missionaries and I am coming to know the members now.  There is a good amount of very faithful members and I am thankful for them since this is my first area.  Ah, honestly, this week has been so difficult because of my emotions.
1. this is all so new to me: lifestyle (different from mtc), language, culture
2. I am scared out of my mind.  I dont know anything!  

I know it all just takes time.  What has been helping me is this quote by David A. Bednar, "fear departs when faith endures."  Oh how true it is.  

I love President and Sister Peterson.  Honestly they remind me so much of you, Mom and Dad.  I cannot wait to see them again in a few weeks.  

Funny story time.  I am completely serious when I say this, everyone stares at me. It is not common for white people to be in the Philippines at all.  So, when I am walking around, eyes follow me.  People have said to me, "Hey babe", Hello beautiful" and so on.  This sister that we met tracting just pulled out her phone and took a picture of me.  I was like what the heck?!  It was so weird.  I hate being a spectacle here.  It is so awkward.  But whatever lets me talk to people, right?  hahaha weird.  Ok love you all!  And I forgot my camera so here are some pics from my companions. 

Sister Waldrom
Helaman 6:3


Monday, July 1, 2013

Public Blog

Morgans blog invitations have exceeded the amount allowed so we decided to take her blog public. 
Today is a big day for Morgan as she heads to the Philippines.  Since she may not have a p-day for a while, here is some information about Morgans mission:

Morgan left for her mission to San Pablo, Philippines on May 22, 2013. She’ll be gone for 18 months. The first 6 weeks were spent in the MTC (Mission Training Center) in Provo, Utah. In the MTC she was enrolled in an intensive language training program and learned the basics of being a missionary.
The MTC helps them make the transition from being college kids with little more than themselves to worry about to individuals who can represent the church with a spiritual message in an area that is far from home and the comforts they are used to. The mission rules are strict. The idea is that these “kids” leave their lives completely behind them to focus on serving God and others. While they are on missions looking to help convert others, they also go through a conversion process themselves. They leave behind their families, friends, books and their music (unless it is worshipful and uplifting) even their “names”.  Morgan will wear a name tag for 18 months identifying herself as Sister Waldrom. She will be with a companion 24/7. They wear conservative skirts and dresses 6 days a week. On the seventh day, called p-day or preparation day, they can wear normal clothes. This is when they do all of their errands; buy groceries, do laundry, send and receive email, write letters, go to the post office, etc. They are allowed to call home twice a year (Christmas and Mother’s Day ☺).
After the MTC the missionaries go to the area they were called to serve in. Parents entrust their kids to a Mission President and his wife who oversee them. The MP and his wife arrange airport transfers and help the incoming missionaries get settled. They meet with the missionaries throughout their terms of service, and encourage, counsel and help with health or other issues that need to be resolved. A mission might have about 200 missionaries, so the MP and his wife keep very busy. The missionaries check in nightly with a zone leader (a more experienced missionary) who reports to the MP. The MP is also responsible for assigning each missionary a companion and sending them to the area where they will serve until they are switched. This switch is called a transfer.
A typical day starts at 6:30 am with prayer, exercise, showers and breakfast, followed by personal scripture and language study. After this they pray together and plan their day around any appointments they may have with people they are working with. By 10:30am they are out the door. Some days they knock on doors offering to tell people about our beliefs, or they may just talk to people in the street. On other days they might do service projects or teach people English. They are usually back in their apartments by 8 pm when they check in, have dinner, do some more language study and get ready to start again the next day - lights out at 10:30pm.
This is voluntary service.  Besides religious benefits there are others too. Although it seems like she has put his education on hold, she’s learning a new language, and she’s in an accelerated course about life. All this human interaction is teaching her empathy, tolerance, awareness, dependability, communication skills and insights on human nature and relationships. It is even teaching how to deal with rejection and developing her sense of humor (which she has always said is “underappreciated”). These are skills that will prepare her to be a better employee, wife, mother and for a lifetime of serving others.
Yes we miss her. We miss her a lot, but we are also grateful that she has chosen this path