Sunday, October 27, 2013

Where did October go?

Ahhhhh, this was a dec week. (Picked up dec from my comp. shortened version of decent.  I dig it.)  We got to teach M again!  She was the investigator who knew everything was true but wanted her fam to all be apart of it.  We got to meet her husband too and hope things will progress with them.  She is so awesome, she has so much faith.  We helped resolve her concerns and questions about the Restoration and read in 3 Nephi 11 and she loooooved it.  Oh and after our lesson, she walked us out to pick up a tricycle and we saw some people running and I could sense the vibes.  Not good.  Come to find out, there was a knife fight around the corner.  Yeah we booked it out of there, and we survived! 
Last week we had our family mission plan fireside.  Then Tuesday we went to the T family whose kids are being baptized next weekend, and the first thing the 13 year old son said to us was, "Meron ako isang referral para sa inyo!"  AH IRVINE. YOU ARE ADORABLE.  He gave us a referral of his 12 year old classmate who lives in the next city over so we cant teach her, but we sent it to the other missionaries.  So tender!!  So the point of it is, if HE can give missionaries a referral, YOU can too!!  Love those kids.  And so pumped for their baptism next weekend!  Love bringing people into this amazing gospel.
We also taught M this week.  Last week she brought up her concern of not knowing why she had to join a different church... we were like uhhhh, have you been listening to our lessons?  We returned with some plans to help her, but the lesson kinda went haywire.  That was the first time I walked out of a lesson kinda sad with the result.  We returned with the Bishop's wife because she is also a convert from the Catholic church. She helped her really understand the blessings of baptism and the gospel in her life.  Then we asked her at the end if she felt that baptism was the right thing to do (she had been praying about it for a few weeks...) and she said YES.  Oh, my heart almost exploded.  So she is pretty set in stone for baptism.  Bless that wonderful woman.  Just gotta help her be faithful to church attendance and she is set! 
I can't even explain how my LOVE for the scriptures has grown in the past 3 weeks!  Basically in my spare time, I read the bible dictionary... Have you ever done that?  It is literally fascinating!!!!  Take a moment, you might learn a thing or two.  The scriptures are so helpful, interesting, and a blessing for us sent straight from God.  Just finished 1 Nephi today searching for scriptures about faith.  Loved it.  There were so many, Nephi was so faithful to the Lord and such an example to me.
This week we also had new missionary check ups!  Sister Gaspar de Alba thanked me afterwards for being the trainer that I am. :') Tender moment.  She is the best trainee I could ask for.  We are literally always on the same page and our lessons just flow like crazy.  Good thing we should have another transfer together.  Love her.  She also likes to quote my "Waldrom One Liners" as she calls it. hahaha
Also, this week we went to the grocery store and I saw CRISPY M&M'S!!!!  Does anyone else remember those?!  I remember they made them when I was like 10 and then stopped and we loved them at our house!  Then I also remember signing a petition at BYU for this girl who wanted to bring them back. lol. I found them here and they were delish to the max.
Elections are going on right now.  And we were taking a tricycle to an appointment.  And then we straight up got stuck in a parade.  And then everyone was screaming and staring at us white people.  And it was really awkward.  I hate all the election trucks with the tremendously loud music that blows off my ears.
Also, the most Christ-like person I know, Sister Meti, came to our house for exchanges.  She is from India and is in my district and made us the most legit Chicken Curry.  Yes, it totally cleared my sinuses from the spices and I loved it. 
I miss you all so much and I am just pressing forward here in CabuyaoMahal Kita,
Sister Waldrom
1 Nephi 22:30-31

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Companion has 31 mosquito bites

Ok, I am just sooooo tired.  The mission works you like no other, but I can also say, I am sooooooo happy.  This week I have been able to really take a step back and enjoy this all.  I love it here.  I love my savior, I love missionary life, I love the scriptures, I love my companion, I love the ward, I love my investigators, I love the culture, I love the food, I love the Philippines. 
This week we had some major spiritual experiences.  We had a lesson on Tuesday with the S. family and they didn't do their reading assignment in 3 Nephi 11 so we read with them the first 17 verses.  Also, they had said they hadn't received an answer to their prayers yet.  Then we read together and they felt the spirit and they committed to baptism.  It was the Book of Mormon and the spirit that converted them.  So excited for them.  We also taught them again on Friday the plan of salvation and their father died 5 years ago and oh man, we just followed the spirit, and you could say there were tears by the end of the lesson.  Amazing how this gospel answers everyone's questions.  That is one of my favorite things to witness here, seeing people understand and come to know the truth. 
So we went to M's house on Wednesday and then all these kids in her neighborhood wanted to listen... so her house is about 10x15 feet... and the total of people at one time was 23 children, one Lola (grandma), one member, Sister Marivic, and my companion and me.... Crazy!!!  Such a random experience.  We just taught the restoration and thankfully I had my picture book, but they all loved it and even 4 of them came to church with us yesterday!  We taught M. again on Friday and taught her about Eternal Marriage.  Next month is the one year mark of her husbands death.  So you could say that this topic was emotional.  It really comforted her, but it also brought out some of her concerns which we are happy to be able to resolve now. 
We also had another investigator come to know the truth of the Book of Mormon and the church.  She wasn't sure about baptism, but she committed to pray.  I am just so blessed to see all this progression.  Yesterday we had four investigators come to church.  That is the highest I have ever had.  M. and her neighborhood friends came.  Some members thought she was a member because she seemed like a member.  She even gave the closing prayer in Sunday School.  Amazing.  I really feel her strong spirit and testimony.  I know God loves her so much. 
Yesterday we also had the most amazing ward fireside after church.  We planned it to help the ward with their ward mission plan.  Each family is going to come up with their own family mission plan where they come up with 5 names of people they can share the gospel with and make goals on how to help them.  It was a big turn out and the ward really loved it.  We had the members practice with each other how they would approach each other and then the 2nd counselor in the Bishopric spoke on how the members can help hasten the work of salvation.  it was so great to see a member discuss this and not just a missionary.  It makes a huge difference and helps the members understand how simple it is!  It was so amazing to see the ward get excited to help us.
And finally, this week's icing on the cake was zone interviews.  I just can't explain the appreciation I have for my mission president.  That man is so inspired.  He just knows how to encourage me.  He told me that I am doing enough and am worthy to have the spirit.  I really pondered those things and I have already seen a greater influence of the Spirit in my life.  Bless President Peterson!  I don't know what I would do without him!

So all is well here, loving life.  I love you all and don't forget to keep me updated! 
Mahal kita,
Sister Waldrom
Alma 26:12

Monday, October 14, 2013

I love the Prophet

General conference.  The best.  Oh man, every single talk was spectacular.  It is true, conference in the field is a different kind of experience.  I have been looking forward to absorbing all that advice and encouragement for so long now.  I just felt so spiritually full afterwards.  Didn't you love President Monson, President Uchtdorf, Elder Maynes, Elder Scott, and Elder Soares talks?  So gooooood.  And President Peterson surprised us and showed up to our chapel for the Sunday sessions, love that man, it was a pleasure to see him.  I love how President and Sister Peterson openly say I love you to all the missionaries here, I know we all feel their love.  But what I really learned from conference is that God needs to be everyone's priority.  If he is not, life is going to be a lot harder for you.  I have learned that.  When you seek to draw closer to Him, there is a difference in your life.  I also wrote a post it and taped it on my desk and it is from President Uchtdorf's talk.  I wrote, "How is your walk with Christ today?"  Good daily reminder. 
So this week was great, but a little slower than last week.  We had Ward family home evening on Tuesday.  Oh my goodness, these Filipinos make me laugh so hard.  The games are SO fun with them.  (Side note: it literally just started pouring outside, I can't even hear the sounds of my keyboard... its intense... and I almost left the house without an umbrella cause it was sunny when I left... classic.)  But it was a good time with our amazing ward.  Love them all.
So we have two kids with a baptismal date.  Their parents were less active and are now returning.  But when we extended the baptismal invitation, Brother said he wasn't ready.  But he has been meeting with Bishop and is now preparing to baptize his children!  So excited for them!!  And then they will be a competed family.  Awwww, so precious. 
M is progressing really well, she is so strong and is gaining a testimony.  Little did we know that the baptismal date was the day before the one year anniversary of her husband's death.  I know that God literally does everything for a reason.  So excited for her. 
Typhoon season ova hereeeeee!  Lovin on the ulan (rain).  It is crazy nuts, but crazy awesome.  And really bipolar.  But my area doesnt really get affected too badly thankfully.  I just get the great overcast weather and rain, but no destruction or anything.  It is glorious. 
Ok funny story, as you can see in pictures, there was a HUGE spider on our ceiling.  Probably the size of a roll of bread.  Ew.  I hate spiders.  Us three Americans in the house freaked out, then Sister Asuncion, our only filipina said, "Sisters, it's ok, I used to play with these as a kid!"  EW HECK NO.  Get it outta here!  So she got the broom, then it fell and went running, and all the americans stood on chairs.  then she moved some furniture around and finally got it with the broom against the wall, but oh wait, it had a huge egg sack on it.  Then the egg sack got detached and cracked open and then all the little babies went running!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!  I was about to gag at this point.  Then we got the permatox, (bug poison) and destroyed all of their little new born lives.  But mama was still running around the hose, eventually we got it, but it was an overall very traumatic and disgustingly hilarious event. 
So overall, this was a good week.  We also went on exchanges where you always learn so much.  I love learning from the examples of the older missionaries.  I still feel so new, even though I am coming up on my 5 Month mark?!?!?!  I love my companion, we get along really great and are working really hard!  Loving life here.  I miss you all and don't forget to study the conference talks again, because President Monson was right, that was a very powerful conference.  I love you all and keep the faith!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Waldrom
Alma 18

Monday, October 7, 2013

Glory to God

I am jealous that you have already finished watching conference. I must wait another week to listen to the Prophet's voice and I cannot wait! 
This week could be considered the best week of my mission.  First of all, with two 19 year old American girls roaming around the Philippines, we have had a great increase of whistling, hellos, and creepy people taking pictures. 
This week I learned that prayers can be answered.  I have been really anxious for some progression in this area. It has been really slow since we opened here.  This week picked up like no other!  Monday started with a great lesson with M. She has rejected baptism twice already but we couldn't give up on her.  She is the investigator whose husband was killed in an accident at work with a building crushing him.  She lives in a home with her parents and three children.  On Monday, she told us she received an answer to her prayer and she knows that the Book of Mormon is true, that the Gospel is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. The spirit was so strong.  We taught her again on Wednesday on the Atonement and how the first step to applying the atonement in our lives is by taking the first step to following Him through Baptism.  She accepted!  So amazing.  We also invited her to the Relief Society Broadcast on Saturday and she was so excited to come, it was adorable.  She loved President Monson's talk and told us how she could feel something special about him.  Then we gave her a church tour.  She loved all the art in the hallways, it was a great experience for her.  Then she socialized with the members after, I think she had a really wonderful experience.  It is just so humbling to see people really come closer to Christ through the gospel. 
Then on Tuesday we went to a less active family's home and taught the two younger children who haven't been baptized and committed them to baptism!  The family has committed to return to church and we are going to work with the father to prepare to baptize his children.  So excited for them.
Ok lastly for our progressing investigators, on Friday we went to visit a referral that we have only taught once.  We have tried returning twice, but she wasn't home and it has been three weeks since we taught her.  We gave her a Book of Mormon on our first visit and assigned her to read the Pambungad (Introduction).  When we visited her on Friday, she just said she knows it is true.  These past few weeks have been a little hard, and she has just read the Book and prayed about it and she knows it is true!  Uhhhhh.... what?  We haven't even taught you about it and you already love it?!  M YOU ARE AN ANGEL STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN.  This woman is amazing.  She knows the Church is true and wants to be baptized. We didnt commit her to a date because she wants to talk with her husband because she wants her whole family to be apart of the Gospel.  Ok M, we will gladly let you talk with your husband so you can all be together forever!  So happy for them.  She is literally amazing, humble, and wonderful. 
So obviously, things are getting better and I can't complain!  Our numbers are improving, my language is improving, and I just feel so much happier.  Honestly, the Gift of Tongues is amazing.  My ability to speak just comes so much more naturally and I can actually understand.  Just working everyday to improve my vocabulary.  So thankful. 
And lastly, being a trainer/nanay.  I love it.  I love my anak. She is great.  We are really getting to know each other and we get along great!  We are working hard together and she is doing great.  I attached how I am kinda a hardcore trainer.  Yep, I am just like my own mother.  With all your lists of rules and schedules around the house as I grew up, I am becoming my own mother. hahaha
So overall, a great week.  Really looking forward to conference, bummer I am on the other side of the world and have to wait a week.  But I love you all and stay strong.  God is proud of you when you keep the commandments!
Mahal kita,
Sister Waldrom
Alma 29:9