Monday, November 18, 2013

So long Cabuyao

I got this email today from Jean Caunin who is a ward missionary.  Morgan loves her and all the members of the Cabuyao Ward.
Today at 6:07 PM
Good day to you nanay! Last Sunday Sis waldrom texted us and tell us that she is going to be transfered by monday,it was unexpected because we knew that their tranfer day in on next week, after knowing that she will,we meet her & her companion at the chapel that night, I saw some of the members tearing their eyes including me because we will miss her, of all the missionaries who were assigned here she's the only one who so closed to us because she is so kind and sweet missionaries we ever meet,her uniqueness is so different from the others.

we supposed to have a surprise activity today for her birthday,but now it was change,We decided to give her a gift and sent it to the mission.We will surely miss her,she's one of a kind & thoughtful sisters in the mission.We are so blessed that she came into our ward.

I read to her your mail and i gaved her a hug as what you had said.
a last lunch with some of the members

OK. What just happened....

Well hello.  I write to you in a very happy/tired/scared/excited/worried/weirded out state.  I was emergency transferred today.  To Batangas... Good news is I saw the ocean for the first time earlier! The coast is in my area!  (sorry mom, you just told me you wanted me to stay away from the ocean) But I have been given a special assignment to help my new companion, Sister T, from the Kirabati Islands.  We both got here in the mission at the same time 5 months ago.  A bunch of changes happened here today because we just inherited 15 new missionaries from the Tacloban mission.  So my child, Sister Gaspar de Alba, has a companion who just came from the traumatizing storm.  We got a text yesterday from President saying: "Sister Waldrom, give me a call when you have time", of course I thought worst case scenario.  Grandpa.  I was freaking out internally that something happened to Grandpa.  Then he called me and told me this: "Sister Waldrom, you are always asking me to see how you can help me.  I need your help now.  You have a special assignment.  You're being transferred to Batangas tomorrow to help a sister.  She struggles with English and Tagalog and obedience."  Well, then the tears started.  Sister Gaspar de Alba and I knew our amazing companionship was wayyyyy too good to be true.  It was ripped from us when we least expected it!!  We promptly went to visit Marivic, our progressing investigator. Little did we remember that it was the one year anniversary of her husband's death.  We remembered right as we walked into her house.  I just couldn't stop the tears just telling her how amazing I think she is and how I will miss her so much.  She was crying, her nanay was crying, and my comp was crying.  Just a big cry fest.  I couldnt even handle it.  Then we visited the Tajan family which was pretty happy. Then we went to the church where thankfully the ward members all met there from returning from a big devotional in san pablo.  I couldnt help but cry when I said bye to all of them too!  I will miss Cabuyao soooooo much!!! The people there are amazing.  Even some of the members cried.
Ahhhhh.  Then the bishop and his amazing wife dropped off pizza and cake.  And I ferociously packed my stuff last night.
This morning we headed to San Pablo.  We got to meet all the missionaries from Tacloban.  Sounded pretty crazy down there.  They experienced the huge storm, dead bodies, and loads of crazy stuff.  I cant believe the devastation down there.  My heart still goes out to them.  We had a mini transfer meeting (because real transfers were a couple weeks ago).  It was good.  I love my companion.  She is so sweet and funny!  I really do feel honored that president feels that he can trust me and give me a chance to learn and grow.  He talked to me about my new responsibility to help her be exactly obedient and really teach her about missionary work because her past companions were not the best.  I am really excited to help her progress and reach the growth that I know she can obtain.  Once I got to the area, the first thing I did was checked out the area book.  Ehhhhhh.  K.  A LOT of work ahead of us.  No addresses.  Not many investigators.  Great.  I love starting fresh again!  It seems like a great area full of lots of people who speak different Tagalog than I know.... So I am gonna have to figure that out too.  Also I live with my old companion from the MTC, Sister Hellewell.  This should be fun too.  I am really excited for this experience.  I am really sad to leave my first area and my first child, but I know this is an opportunity and a challenge from God to learn and really forget myself and help my new companion and my area.  President also told me before I walked out of his office, "Sister I know your mission is not going to be easy, but I know I can trust you and you can do it."  Sure love my president.  We shall see how this week goes.
Also went on exchanges this week with a sister training leader.  Learned so much.  She says I underestimate myself.  Whoops.  It was a way good experience to learn from her awesome example.  Also one of her investigators thinks he is a prophet and we met a guy who is from England and claimed the Beatles were his neighbors.  Whaaaaat
Also thought I would share how I am studying the different powers of the Atonement.  So far I have got redeeming, cleansing, enabling, strengthening, reconciling, and comforting.  I love the Atonement and am slowly but surely learning how to apply it in my life.
Well, I am feeling whooped from so much crying, traveling, and newness.  I am way blessed to be doing this and am happy as can be.  I love you all!  Change for the good.

Sister Waldrom
Helaman 5:30

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Praying for the 'Pines

Ok, after reading all of your kind updates on this typhoon here.... WHAT.  Since I have no connection to any current news, thanks for the info.  I was obviously aware how serious it was because we weren't allowed to work on Thursday or Friday but it was just intense rain here.  I have
previously worked in the storms that we experienced here.  So, didn't seem too bad.  Wow.  My heart truly aches for the people who were affected.  I am so thankful that we were not harmed and our members and investigators are all ok.  Please keep these wonderful people in the Philippines in your prayers.  What kills me most is to imagine how many homes were washed away as well as all the deaths.  Counting my blessings for our safety. 
Well, with better news, Leiden and Irvine Tajan were baptized on Saturday!  So happy for their completed family!  It was a great service.  The water in the font was a lovely shade of dark brown, but it works.  The elders in the other ward also had two baptisms at the same time... awkward.  So we combined the baptisms and there were so many members there!  It was tender to see them bear their testimonies after.  Proud to see they truly do understand the Gospel.  Another awkward thing, Irvine didn't come to church on Sunday and so only Leiden was confirmed...  that will happen next week.... It was also the Primary program on Sunday and Leiden was in it.  I felt like her Mother because I just sat in the congregation so proud of her. Love them. 
This week was a little rough with no lessons because of the typhoon and baptisms.  But I think all of our investigators are doing ok.
I sure loved having extra study time.  Ohhhh yesssss.  Reading conference talks and the scriptures galore.  So much happiness.  Especially while listening to rain.  Mmmm. 
Also, thought I should inform you about all my other roommates.  I live with about 3 mice, 7 lizards, 30 cockroaches, 100 spiders, 800 worms, and 2000 ants.  Yes, I hate them all.  And Permatox (bug killer spray) is my best friend. 
Really other than that, I am pumped to be starting a new transfer and having a fresh start.  Still chugging along here.  Following the spirit.  Teaching the doctrine.  Loving life as a missionary.
Please keep the Philippines in your prayers.  Thank you again for all your concern and prayers in my behalf, but please direct those prayers to those who really need it down South.  Mahal ko kayo lahat at ingat kayo!  Gusto ko ang ebanhelyo at nagpapasalamat ako para sa lahat mga panalangin mula sa inyo.
Sister Waldrom
2 Nephi 29:8-10

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Typhoon 11/8

We are anxiously waiting to hear from Morgan, hoping that they still have power and she will be able to communicate with us tomorrow night.  In the meantime, we are confident that she is safe and the Lord is protecting His missionaries.  Here is the email we received on Friday:
Dear Parent,
We wanted to let you know that as of Friday, November 8, 2013 6:30 PM Philippine time, your missionary is safe and accounted for.  We know you are concerned about the typhoon.  The eye of the storm is south of us but because it is so large, we are feeling the effects of heavy rains and strong winds.  All missionaries have been prepared with adequate food supplies, water, and candles to last through the storm.  They have likewise been instructed to remain in their apartments until the storm has passed.  We would welcome your prayers in behalf of all the missionaries in the Philippines.  We will update you in the morning.
Kindest regards,
Sister Hansen, Mission Secretary          Philippines San Pablo Mission      

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Camper

Maligayang Araw ng mga Patay!  (Happy All Souls Day) We had some early curfews this week because of this greatly celebrated holiday.  Kinda fun to have some extra study time!  They get pretty intense about celebrating here!  They all go to the cemetaries and celebrate the dead.  I think its a sweet holiday.

Today was Zone P-day.  So fun.  We went hiking to a mud spring.  It very well could have been the most I have ever sweat.  Yep.  And I am glad I wore my crocs cause the mud was cray cray.  But so rad to be in the beauty of the pines!  Wish you could all see this promised land.  I also love getting to talk with all the other missionaries and share experiences and life stories.  It's a good time. 

We had our first baptismal interview... and they are getting baptized this Saturday!  So happy and excited for Leiden and Irvine Tajan.  They are the greatest kiddos.  Their family will now be complete.  It is amazing to see people come back to their loving Heavenly Father as a complete family.  We teach them the doctrines really simply and this week we will really be focusing on how they can stay active.  I have faith in them!

Our strong investigator M is kinda struggling to follow what she knows is true.  She keeps coming back to her concerns of her family being Catholic and her being the only Mormon.  We are working to strengthen her testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith so she can be solid in that knowledge and desire to make those changes in her life to follow what God would have her do.

Ok I really want to talk about HOW MUCH I HAVE LEARNED.  I think my mind has expanded like 3847 times.  I just feel like I now understand the importance of an eternal perspective.  We have the Gospel in our lives to live it the way the Lord intends us to.  If we really do the simple sunday school answers (daily prayer, study the scriptures, and go to church every sunday) our lives will be more greatly filled with happiness and you will feel God's love more abundantly in your life!  It is so simple and clear to me now as I see people apply these things in their lives and those changes and blessings come to them. 

Mahal kita,
Sister Waldrom
Doctrine and Covenants 64:34