Monday, August 25, 2014
Hello. This week was quite eventful. First off, I got a nasty virus on my camera; again, therefore I refuse to send pictures for my remaining time in the mission because of these lame computers in this country. They are filled with garbage from all the gamers here. And I see it as a wonderful incentive for you to just get even more excited for my homecoming to see my real face! Muahahaha. And maybe this way I will have more time for longer emails in order to satisfy my needy mother . >:)
Remember the Sasuya family in my last area? They were all baptized and basically sent from Heaven for us to help them know the Gospel. I thought that was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but now I am feeling God's love more than ever, because it has happened again to us here!!!!!!!! Wow, we are so blessed with such amazing investigators! The M family; I talked about them last week. They are so stinking prepared. Here is a list of their amazingness.
-the parents read together every night as a couple
-they have changed their prayers to the proper order (Dear Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.)
-Brother M cut his long hair without us even telling him to
-their children are even reading the scriptures
-they all came to church on Sunday and loved it!
-they came to the youth activity and had the time of their lives and made friends
-they participate in lessons and ask questions when something isn’t clear to them
-they understand our purpose as missionaries for them, they appreciate the changes we are helping them make
-they are allowing the doctrine to change them
-they keep their commitments
-they are so nice, humble, wonderful, happy, and perfect! I just love them!
Ok crazy experience. Thursday we had an awesome member take us up to the side of the mountain to teach her referral. On our way back we were admiring this huge house and she said a foreigner had just built it. As we walked by the owner was outside! He was from Kuwait and his wife was Filipina. We started talking and they spoke English. They had guessed we were from the UK or something. They invited us into their large air conditioned home, with a pool and basketball court out back. As we talked they told us about how they had both encountered missionaries in the past. They were so kind to us. We had the most interesting discussion of prophets and such. They were careful to not offend us and we did the same. I learned a lot about their beliefs. But I remember vividly the moment the spirit left. It was when they said, "We believe that Jesus is not the Son of God." My heart felt as if it was stabbed a thousand times. I thought, I have spent 15 months serving that person you say is not the Son of God, I know for a surety dependent of any other person that He is the Christ. That is top of my list of things I have come to understand more of on my mission, the Atonement. It hurt me that they can't receive the blessings of the atonement in their lives because He was merely a prophet to them. Our visit was nice and short and instructive, but it did leave me with a sad feeling for them. It made me even more aware of my purpose here to help invite other unto Christ, and I feel like that invitation was left with this kind family. Oh one other thing, he said that Christ spoke words right after he was born, so the next morning in companionship study, we sang "Away in a Manger" because we know the true Christmas story ;)
This week we had a little problem that we had to head to another area to help out. The Sisters were having some major companionship problems from their lack of communication. It had just reached the end of the rope and they called us in tears. Then President also came to help. It was so interesting how the whole situation was handled. I learned SO much. I know I will be a much better person, friend, and wife from the things I have learned on the mission about communication. It was hard to see the sisters so sad and upset but things seem to be better now. I am grateful that they trusted us enough to help them through it, but it was emotionally draining for us too. They also had baptisms in their area and it was so good to see more children come unto Christ. Glad everything worked out!
I can say I have changed a lot on the mission. Before, I hated taking the time to read a book, but now I can't get enough of them! I have created this long list of church literature I want to read and then I was thinking, how will I get all these books? But then I had the revelation! I go to BYU! I can just get them all from the library and become a thousand times more knowledgeable. And I so look forward to returning to the religion classes and learning from an educated professor on the depth of the scriptures. Wahoo! I am so stinkin lucky!
I am so grateful that I can also consider myself blessed that I have been a member since my youth. I was thinking about it and not many people in the entire world can say that! I wonder why God put me in my wonderful family and why He has blessed me the way He has. All I can do is do my best to continually please Him because of all that He has done for me.
I love you all and pray for you daily!
Monday, August 18, 2014
So one of my new all time favorite talks: "The Challenge to Become" by Elder Oaks. Shoot it is amazing! That has been my favorite topic lately, just coming close to the end of the mission, figuring out how to "become" and "progress". I want to be sure I apply all the things I have learned after the mission too. I feel like I gain a lot from talks, so thanks for sending your favorites to me!
An amazing skill I have come to understand more, and am seeking to understand more of is Listening. I was watching the Q&A session from Elder Bednar's book, "Act in Doctrine" and he talks about when we "think" we are teaching, we just talk and talk and talk. But we need to be better about listening. He even suggested studying the New Testament and noting every time that Christ is silent and listens. I plan to study that one day, probably when I am home. But dang, I just aspire to become a master teacher like the savior!
We were on a jeepney and then this foreigner hopped on. Sister Wilson and I get all weird inside when we see them because we don’t know how to act because we both see each other in our whiteness and know we stand out like zombies at the doctor's. So then his brown friend was sitting next to S. Wilson. And then she says, "Kumusta" to him and he gives her a weird look, and says, "I am from Thailand..." and we are all like shoot.... And then we start talking in English and it was a grand ol conversation. But then once some other people got off, his white friend scooted up and started talking like Frankenstein, and come to find out he was from Poland! Warsaw to be exact and the only city I know of in that country. How WEIRD. 2 Americans, a polish, and a thai, all speaking english in the Philippines! But cool thing was is that the Polish said our church was close by to him and he said they missionaries over there have talked to him about Joseph Smith. Way to go Polish missionaries! I love the universal gospel.
It is really weird and cool too when we teach lessons that are like in an amphitheater and ten people sit at your feet while you teach them repentance. That happened this week. It is quite the spiritual experience to practically give a sermon.
Sister Wilson. We get along way too well. SHE IS SO FUNNY. We laugh so hard. All the time. I will miss her when I am transferred. But good thing she is so excited to meet the Waldrom Clan, so we will all be seeing her again soon. And we will probably sit next to each other on the plane ride home. muahahha
Last night, we came across this ooooooold women. She say she is 97, but she cant remember what year she was born in. WOW. She lived through both world wars..... She could barely hear us and she said she was baptized into the church 10 years ago... as an 87 year old woman. WOW. And she just kept clapping her hands and looking up at the Lord and saying, "I am so happy!" In english too, and then we started counting, 13 times within our 10 minute visit and she kept trying to feed us. And then when we said goodbye she gave me the biggest hug and said, "You are my daughter. I love you!" I was like, shoot, I love you too! She was awesome! And sooooo losing it. I love fun times like that on the mission!
So I got to go on exchanges with one of my favorite Tongans. Sister Taufa. I have been here with her for 3 transfers and she has only been in the mission for 4 transfers and it has been amazing to see her progression! She desires so much to be a consecrated missionary. She taught me a lot of how I need to just get to work and save souls! They have 6 upcoming baptisms in their area and so one of their investigators needed an baptismal interview and I got to be there for it! Sister Taufa asked me to be the translator and man, I think I can count that as one of my favorite experiences yet! I saw how I was given the true gift of translating tongues! It was amazing. Their investigator has been taught for 7 months and has done everything she needed to to be worthy for baptism. She has such a strong testimony and watching the priesthood check her worthiness was amazing. I cried. I haven’t had the chance to be in an interview like that, it was so sacred and special to see this Daughter of God come closer to her Father through this special ordinance. So excited for her special day to come this Saturday!
Ok, so I have a strong testimony of how effective referrals are. Dang! We got one from the office that some other sisters met once. They are GOLDEN. The M family. We taught them Monday night. Great lesson. We taught them Saturday night. Great lesson again. Then the father came to church! Amazing! They are progressing and the message of the Restoration is already changing their hearts. It is so true! Oh and it was amazing right as sister Wilson was about to share Joseph Smiths experience in the Sacred Grove, the rain quieted on the metal roof and it was so spiritual. Their only concern was, "Can we be baptized into your church even if we were baptized in the Catholic church?" We resolved that concern quickly with an astounding YES. Hoping October 4 really works for them. Please keep them in your prayers!
Ok so I am definitely not trunky, but I do only have 3 months left exactly. So at this point in time, I would like to invite each of you to start playing "I'm coming home to you" by imagine dragons and prepping yourselves for the exciting day. I really am trying not to think about it, but for all of you, it is is totally fine if you start now, so please do so. It will be a glorious day and I do look forward to it. I LOVE YOU!
Hanggang sa muli,
Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-27
Sunday, August 17, 2014
August 11, 2014
What a weird week. Not too much to report on sadly.
My dear Sister Wilson has been ill with the flu. The poor thing! It knocked her out Wednesday night. She threw up all night and then the whole next day is was that awful post flu bug. And even until now, she doesn’t feel that great, I feel bad for her! She has just been lying on her bed is distress! I, however, have been using the time wisely! Studying, writing, occasional naps too, and I even went on some exchanges with Sister K in my house because Sister Rasmussen was sick too. So we went and checked on some of our investigators. But yeah, Sister Wilson admitted to groaning a lot when she is sick. And it is true. She just is always making these pitiful noises. She says it helps her feel better, and so be it if it helps! bahaha
I also remembered how when I was set apart as a full time missionary, I was blessed with good health. I have seen that tremendously on the mission. There hasn't been a day that I haven't been well enough to not work. What a blessing. I know God has blessed me that that cause He has got a lot of work for me to do!
This week I went on exchanges with Sister Cox in Santo Tomas. She is one transfer ahead of me. It is always interesting being with another experienced sister and seeing how they like to do things. She is really a talented teacher and tagalog speaker. I learned a lot about keeping our lessons focused on what they need and making sure they understand the doctrine of it clearly. Crazy hearing about what it is like to only have a transfer left!
We had missionary leadership council. Sister Gaspar De Alba, my first trainee, is an STL now! The meeting was great, the 5 things I will do that I wrote down this time are:
1. Dont have any fears and trust in the revelation that I receive
2. Have a better language study, speak beautiful Tagalog!
3. Help my fellow missionaries to progress. Seek ways to help them improve and reach their divine potential
4. Always be on my spiritual orbit. Out of the worldly things and continue on a personal spiritual level
5. Become a better leader by being a better example to others.
This week, with few lessons, we visited an active sister's less active husband. We have visited him a few times now and he is really great, knows the truth, but has had some trials which seemed to have shaken his faith. This past week we taught the Plan of Salvation to him and his wife. It was a good lesson, but we felt our invitation to come to church wasn’t as strong as it could have been. However, Sunday Morning, we sent them a quick text to invite him to church again. Then we see his daughter walk into the chapel as we greeted members and she said smiling, "Nadito si Daddy!" Her dad came to church! For the first time in a long time! He came in walking like a strong patriarch and his wife told us later on, "It's a good thing you texted us. When he read it, he went to the bathroom and shaved and then ironed his clothes. We are so happy he came." YES. THE CHURCH IS TRUE. So happy to have this family choosing the right together. So much joy in this work, so much joy. :D
Something I have gained in the mission is a stronger testimony of the scriptures. I love diving in and learning something new every time I read. So much peace has been brought to me through reading the Book of Mormon. I remember so vividly, when I would sit on my bed and Dad would sit on the floor nearby and we would read together. I remember couldn’t understand a thing! I was always like, ok Dad, so what does that mean? And he would go on and expound on the verses for me. Thanks for doing that Dad, it helped a lot! But now, I just love being able to read and understand and search for more scriptures to teach me more on doctrines. So neat. It is amazing how your mind can be opened as you have a greater desire to seek revelation.
And this past week I had a bad dream. I dreamt that my other friend was just released as a missionary and when she finished it was supposed to be my turn. I looked at her and she said, "I had to take my nametag off." And then I held onto my nametag with all my strength! I didn't wanna let it go! I really don't look forward to the day I can't wear it anymore, but it is motivation for me to continue to work hard. I love this work and I know it is true. I love you all. Thanks for all you do.
2 Nephi 28:30
Monday, August 4, 2014
This week, I witnessed many things.
-A women on a jeepney asked me to "laway" her baby, or lick my finger and wipe my spit on her baby as a blessing to her, then the women asked me to do it to her too.... I think they were pretty happy to have received my spit and my blessing.
-reached our highest record of lessons in one day, eight! Pretty gnarly if I say so myself.
-Made dinner at a member's house. "Pinakbit" is a delicious dish! Full of "Bagoong' (fish paste) and cooked veggies. And he taught us how to dry/fry talapia! Mmmmmm....
-Had zone Pday at twin falls in Nagcarlan. Sweet stuff, we have a great zone right now. Not many sisters, but we had tons of fun today!
-Sister Williams companion, Sister Cox, pierced her ears in the apartment at 10pm. It was weirdly awesome.
Questions for all of you:
1. Will you please send me your FAVORITE talk? This is a requirement for all family members.
2. What do you want from the Philippines? Any Requests?
I got to go on exchanges with Sister Maagad in Santo Tomas. I am amazed by how whenever I am on exchanges with sisters, I see the Lords hand in how he allows us to really find a middle ground and work well together! He practically carries us through the day. It is easier to go on exchanges for a day than to try to adjust to a new companion for a week! I know that is the enabling power of the atonement. Sister Maagad and I had a wonderful day. Our first appt was with an investigator that they have had a hard time accepting a baptismal goal date. But our member present was so powerful and Sister Maagad really taught the doctrine to her needs and by the end of the lesson, the investigator said, "I am willing to do what Christ wants for me." AMAZING. The spirit was so strong. Great day learning how to teach Filipinos more than just lessons.
Had a LOVELY interview with President Mangum, my first one! How much time did he give me? About 45 minutes!!!!!!!!!!! WOAH. I feel his love so much! I was one of the last, but I think my longest before was 15 minutes! But he really gave every missionary his time to get to know them and understand their needs. He really desired to understand me and my background and family. I loved it. I had prepared some questions and I loved his direction for me. I asked him what I can do now to progress and he helped me realize that I need to ask the Lord, "What would thou have me do next?" Basically new life motto. Love President and Sister Mangum!
Our area is doing well, we are seeing progression with some investigators and we had some of our less actives come to church yesterday with 3 of our investigators! We were so thrilled. Things are going well here.
I love the sacrament. Before the mission I feel like I didn't understand it's purpose for me. Now I can't go without having it every week. I love those few minutes to really think about the Savior and my special covenant and how I can keep it better. The atonement is real and brings me joy and forgiveness every week. I love the feeling of swallowing the bread and water and making Christ apart of me just like in 3 Nephi 20:8. My favorite.
I love you! Stay true to the faith you DO have!
2 Nephi 7:8-11