Monday, July 28, 2014
Week one of this transfer, I would say it was a great success! Progressionnnn! (imagine me singing that in one of my happy sentence sing voices) We are happy. And we are have a bright future ahead amidst all the clouds in this country!
First off, just got news that our investigator in my last area was baptized! Shows that conversion processes take different times for everyone. So happy for Doodz! Sister Williams found her sister when she was talking to someone on the side of the street and then we taught the family. And now Doodz is baptized. The Gospel is amazing!
Remember our investigator Gina? Yeah she is wonderful on every level. We are basically teaching their entire family, 6 kids, but the father is just never around! But we taught them three times this past week, we taught: the plan of salvation, the doctrine of the Sabbath day, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our lesson on Saturday night was just so sweet. The spirit was so warm, even though we were reading 2 Nephi 31 in her doorway (she sat against her door with her kids and we sat on a small bench facing them) and we used my flashlight to read. They really understood the doctrine of Christ and they came to church the next day! We went to pick them up and man, they were all ready to go! Waiting for us even! So at church we put in a little extra work and told the bishop their name that they announced during sacrament, told everyone to go say hi to them, and they welcomed them into each of their classes. They LOVED church, especially Eddielyn in Primary. :) Some of the kids didn't come yesterday so we hope they all come next week! They are progressing, reading and praying. Just working on that true personal witness for each of them.
Also yesterday at church, the other sisters in our ward had a lot of investigators at church! We are so excited to finally have this area progressing! Our gospel principles class was the biggest I have seen here! Things are changing here in San Pablo!
I got to go on exchanges with my fellow housemate, Sister Kekauoha from Hawaii. She is so legiiiiit. I learned a lot from her, she has such a good working mentality. She just goes with the flow, follows the spirit, and when we get punted and cancelled, she is still happy and seeks for something else to do! I love that. We had a great working day and we reached all or key indicators and even surpassed some. What a great day!
Some things I would love to share with that I have learned here on the mission:
Servitude. I love being a true servant of the Lord. I am here to serve Him and no one else. I have learned that is my purpose. I have absolutely nothing better to do here in the Philippines than to find, teach, and baptize people who are prepared to follow Jesus Christ. I love the things he teaches me. I came on a mission because I love the Lord. But I have just seen here that no matter what I do, he will always bless me more than I could ever expect! The Lord is so good, and I know this works for members of the church without missionary nametags, if we live the law of Consecration, we will see him open doors that we never knew were there.
This week were working with one of our ward missionaries (she is one of my favorite people ever!) and she asked me what is one of my favorite things I have learned on the mission. I said, "Pagbabago!" Change. In me and in others. I am learning how to change my nature in order to align my will with His. As I allow myself to be in His hands, He will help me become like Him! And that is the greatest desire of my heart! I just want to become like Him. Overcome my weaknesses and allow Him to take me to new levels of understanding. I love His goodness and love towards us.
Things are getting better here after the storm slowly just getting back to normal. Thank you for your prayers; they are a huge asset to me here! I thank you all for everything and I love you more than you can ever know!
Doctrine and Covenants 121:4
Monday, July 21, 2014
Well well well. So much to say. My heart kinda hurts about writing this, but it sure was an adventure! So here goes for a play by play of this week.
Tuesday, we got word that a typhoon was on the way of the mission. It was expected to be pretty big, but always in the past, we hear the news and not much ever happens to us. So I was honestly surprised by what happened to us here. Tuesday afternoon continued as normal and we visited our investigators, including the Diaz family (take note of them). And before we went home for the night, we figured we would stop by the store to buy some candles, matches, water, and of course a tub of ice cream! So the night continues, we decide to put our stuff up from the ground like suitcases and everything just because it was raining outside and our house tends to flood. Then we headed to bed at 10:30 pm. Around 11pm, the wind started picking up, and I kinda had a hard time sleeping considering the fact that I was nervous the house would flood and it was loud outside. Then it just kept getting stronger and stronger. The rain was so noisy and intense on the metal outside of our roof and we could hear the trees blowing. Around 2-3am the power went out and our electric fan was kaput. Then around 3:30am I put my foot on the ground by my bed to feel for water and sure enough I did! The water had entered the house! So I woke the sisters up, they claim it was in a frantic manner, but I think I was pretty calm. hehe So we wake up and clean up, and then we had the bright idea- oh shoot! The power is out! Our ice cream is gonna melt! So Sister Wilson and I threw that pint down our throats. So that was nice and partially melted. Back to sleep again at 4am. THEN the rain had stopped and the wind.... Hmm. Kinda suddenly too. So I am kinda like whaaaa? Tapos na?? (finished?) But then surely enough that was just the eye of the storm, where everything is quiet. And then the tail of the storm hit us! It was a nice break for everyone to get on their sheet metal roofs and do some nailing down for part two! Then it all returned and lasted till 9am. I was exhausted and woke up when it was about finished and then we were all like, "Well, we think our zone training meeting is cancelled..." Sweet! Sister Wilson and I didn’t have to do the workshop! We got to work, mopping out the water from inside the house, sweeping up the leaves outside, and then we kinda just wait to see what we should do. Eventually the office elders drove over to check on us and they said we were allowed to go out and serve, so we threw on our jeans, grabbed my working gloves and headed out! Man, it was so dang kuwawa (sad) to see all the snapped trees, broken power lines, missing roofs, trash flown around, and crumbled homes.
We headed to down the street to the closest members, the Sael family. They live right next to a small river....... the flood in their home was up the their shoulders...... their house was completely emptied out and they moved all their things to higher ground. We helped them retieve their things. It was so sad to see their scriptures and sunday school books soaked, mission memorabilia covered in water, and everything was just pretty useless. I cannot comprehend how this family just kept a happy face on! They were simply grateful to be alive! I am in awe with these wonderful people! But I will talk more about their wonderful attributes mamaya. Then we went to our bishops house, rounded up a few more members and we went on a search to check up on all the members. It was hard for the other members to go check on everyone because they had to fix their own houses! So we took the honors since our home is a nice and stable missionary home. No one really wanted our help because they are all "shy" and everything was basically already fixed. There was some heavy destruction. Then we decided to head to the railroads where a lot of members and investigators live. Basically whenever we saw a person, we stopped and asked them how we could help, everyone has some kind of problem. Then we passed our investigators, the Diaz family. I told you to remember that name earlier, so Tuesday, they had a house. Wednesday, they didnt. Everything was down. A tree fell on the house and everything was in shambles. I couldn’t help but get teary eyed as were watching the son try to put some roofing back on to create some kind of shelter. They seemed as if they had come to terms with it. I asked them how we could help, they said there was nothing we could do. I asked them what they were going to do, and sister just said to me, "I don’t know, I don’t have any money." There was just a huge pit in my stomach. I walked away from their home and I just couldn’t stop crying. Keep the Diaz Family in your prayers please! I hope we can continue to teach them even though they have a lot going on now. Oh and Dad, to answer your question, no, none of our investigators have insurance! They barely have jobs! Then we went a bit further down the rail road, and the Madrid family, a member family, there was literally NOTHING left of their home. They had somehow built a new structure further back on the land and their things were all in there as well as with 80 year old grandma. We came back on Thursday to serve them since it was getting dark out. When we returned we basically had to force them to let us wash their wet clothes. It was so sad to see these things but so happy for us to serve these people!
On Saturday we managed to plan a service activity with the whole zone for our stake president. We cleaned up his subdivision and it was good to be with our new zone considering that Transfer day still continued on Thursday. I will try and send some pics from it.
This was the most brutal storm that the province of Laguna has seen in years. Throughout it all, we didn’t have power for 4 days, cell phone service for 3 days, a moldy and odorous fridge, managed to finish reading the book of Mormon and also learned to not eat old eggs that have spots on them and that hard boiling them will still make you sick... (learned that the hard way). But the greatest lesson I learned was how to be happy even when everything else around you isn't. These people don’t have much, and now that most of their things are ruined they still thank the lord for what they do have and are happy to continue to serve him. I love the Pilipino people and I count my blessings everyday to be here to serve them the best way I can, even if it is not rebuilding their homes, I can share with them the gospel. I love it here!! Please keep the San Pablo mission in your prayers as we overcome all that has happened. I am doing ok, and have definitely felt your prayers. I love you all and cannot believe that I have less than 4 months left now!! Stay strong, but keep your faith stronger!
PS I just got a text from our mission president that we need to watch out for dengue fever, there has been an outbreak! So many mosquitoes here! aw shoooooot!
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Most if not all of you are aware that we recently had a typhoon visit our beautiful Philippines San Pablo Mission. It arrived Tuesday evening and lasted through the night into the early morning hours of Wednesday. We had warned all of our missionaries Tuesday morning of the pending typhoon and that its path would cut across our mission, so they were well prepared and had taken cover well in advance of the storm.
Following the storm, our first concern was to assure that all of our missionaries were safe and in good condition. The storm knocked out our power, cell phones, internet, and water in virtually all areas of our mission which limited our ability to establish contact immediately. Many of the roads were closed or clogged with downed trees, power lines, etc. Our cell phone service was the first of our services to be restored on Wednesday and we started reaching out to our missionaries. Thursday morning we went forward with our transfer day as planned and about half of our missionaries were at the Mission Home that day to pick up their new companions allowing us to check on them. We have been in contact with all of our missionaries and I assure you they are safe and healthy. I am amazed at the resiliency of these great missionaries.
Much of our mission still does not have power as I am writing this message my Friday night. Power was restored to the area around the Mission Home about noon today. Tomorrow we will need to drive outside of our mission to the closest location with internet service in order to send this email. Local crews are working around the clock to restore power to the balance of the areas as quickly as possible. Each of our missionaries are well prepared with sufficient supplies and we will continue to monitor the situation from day to day and take any necessary steps to assure their wellbeing.
Depending on when power and internet services are restored, you may or may not receive an email from your missionary this Monday. If they are unable to send an email Monday, we will have them send one as soon as possible following the restoring of services.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Yooooooooooo. How are you all?! I am good! This transfer ends this week. Officially three left! Well that hurts my brain!
Hey remember Gina who I told you about last week? She is awesome. And so are her kids. They have a baptismal goal date of August 30, and when we extended, her daughter immediate said, "What time? Because I have school from 9-11..." hahaha ok, no worries, we can work around your schedule!!! They are awesome. Progressing too. Sadly they didn’t come to church yesterday but thirty minutes before church started, there was a torrential downpour that even turned the power off in the church for a solid 40 minutes. Shoot. The Philippines.
Mom keeps asking about the Jimenez Family. They are ok, but not progressing right now. I really don’t know what to tell you about them. Just keep them in your prayers. We are visiting them tonight in hopes to resolve their concerns, I still love them and see a lot of hope. I just think their conversion process will not be a quick one. Their time is coming!
I went to Santo Tomas to work with Sister Beaumont. The other sisters in this zone were transferred there because they had a stalker... yup. So we went to help them reopen their new area! It was a great exchange. She used to be my housemate and it was so great to have the chance to work with her. I really learned from her how to love every person you meet. She has a lot of love in her heart!
We had missionary leadership council this week. First time with President Mangum, wow! He is amazing! And definitely feeling new. It is an interesting adjustment for me because President Peterson had everything down to a tee on how he ran things, but President Mangum is still receiving revelation of what he should do. I sustain him and see how he is going to help this mission. I feel blessed to be able to be a leader that can help him as he starts everything up. In our meeting he had a really cool idea for each of us, he said, "On a new piece of paper write at the top: things I will do. Then write numbers 1-5. During the meeting write down impressions of things you need to do. Then after this meeting, go do them. So here are my thoughts that I would like to share with you so maybe we can all do them together!
1. Turn outward. We need to keep our "eye single to His glory." And not get stuck in the "I" troubles. We need Him every hour. As we fall to our knees and seek to do the Lord's will, our eye will stay single.
2. Plan better for having ideal situation lessons (Page 160 of Preach My Gospel). That means doing better to have a member and their referral in a lesson together. It makes all the difference!
3. Come to understand God's long suffering and mercy more. Read Doctrine and Covenants 121 over and over again. Become a better leader, parent, person.
4. Don’t hide from mistakes, resolve them. (2 Nephi 9:41)
5. Budget my money and live within my means
Also President sent out a great talk that can all help us in our church callings. I will attach it and you should all read it!
Our Nigerian neighbor stopped by to give us the water bill. He gave us his pamphlets from his church so I decided we needed to give him some pamphlets too! So yesterday I gave him some pamphlets and he asked if we had an extra bible and we told him we didn’t at the moment but then we gave him a Book of Mormon instead! He said he would read it! Booyah!
Also I was reading in Ether this week. Man, the Brother of Jared is such a winner! My companion, Sister Wilson, and I were discussing him and my main thought was, do i need to see Christ to gain the kind of testimony, faith, and perfect knowledge that he had? As I pondered, I thought about how obviously, when you see Christ all doubt is gone, but I do believe we can reach that level too. We need to humble ourselves. As the Brother of Jared prayed he knew his unworthiness and nothingness, but he was still strong in his faith. Let us all come unto the Lord with humility and he will strengthen us as well.
This week I am really looking forward to working all week in our area with Sister Wilson. Like unto Moses we will fulfill our purpose!!!!!! Hoorah for Israel! I love you all!
Monday, July 7, 2014
Welcome President and Sister Mangum! I love them! We had a special zone conference on Friday and they introduced themselves, shared stories and pictures and it was super great and happy. Sister Mangum actually walked herself right up to me and said, "Sister Waldrom! I have heard of you!" I was star struck but it is pretty cool that she is a Jarvis! The Mormon world is a very small world.... After the conference I asked President Mangum for a priesthood blessing. Lately I have been feeling a little lost in my thoughts and needing some direction and counsel from the Lord. I learned some cool things that I wanted to share with you. President blessed me with the ministering of angels... again. President Peterson also mentioned that in my other blessing. I promise you that I have felt those angels dozens of times on my mission. This time I was particularly blessed with the angels of my loved ones. I couldn't stop crying because of the thought of all the people I love who have passed on have been here with me all this time. I know that too because I am in a pretty sketchy country roaming around often with a missionary who is newer than I am. ANGELS ARE REAL.
Also a fun thought I realized is that never again in my life will I be receiving the amount of prayers that I am. Every temple session around the world they pray for the missionaries, many members of the church do, and I know that my friends and family do as well. Gosh, I feel those prayers so much and it helps me desire to work harder too, Thank you for praying for me. I can't do this work alone and I know those prayers are giving me strength to do the Lord's work well. Please continue to keep our investigators in your prayers, I know they will feel them too.
We taught a new investigator on Saturday, Gina. We started the lesson asking her, "How important is family to you?" and she said "Very very important..." Then she started weeping. We didn’t know what she was going to say but then she went on to tell us how her husband is not perfect. She just cried and cried and her 4 year old son was just looking at her with sad eyes and his hand on her knee as he sat on a basketball. I couldn’t help but feel for her. She knows God has helped her through this and we taught her a nice lesson on how the Gospel will bless her family. She committed to come to church the next day. We went and picked her up and she and three of her kids came! We were a little late for church but it was awesome for the whole ward to look at us and see these new shining faces in the ward! It was fast and testimony meeting and you never really know how those are going to go... But it was perfect! It was so focused on family. And afterwards, Gina gave me the biggest smile ever and said "It is so happy here, I will bring all my kids next week!" She loved it! I loved it! Such a great experience. I hope things continue to go well considering we have only taught her once!
I also went on exchanges with the WONDERFUL Sister Ramsey! She has been super sick and so we actually didn’t get to go out to work, but I basically pulled her life story out of her. AND she was an answer to so many of my prayers and I know to so many of my mother's prayers! She was a freshman mentor at BYU and she gave me sooooooo many school tips!!! Goodness, I am pretty excited to be a better student when I return to school.
Ok I love you all!! Stay strong!
3 Nephi 9:13-14