The Cutest Blog on the Block

Monday, December 26, 2011

Maligayang Pasko!!!

December 25, 2011

The Reyes Family - Wedding

Well Hello there! Long time, no talk! :) I think it's been...not even a full day yet!  It was soo good to hear all of your voices on the phone! Oh how it made me home sick...I was talking with Sis. Fajardo and I told her the same thing Mom, It's a really good thing they put an hour limit on the phone call, talking longer would have been worse. To answer your question about putting pics up- again it's your call, whatever you'd like to do! And I dont know what you're talking about...I'm the most patient person you know :) hahaha joke lang. Alam ko, I'm not.
I really don't have that much to talk about now because I just talked to you. Christmas was great, probably one of the most humbling I've ever had...for obvious reasons. Pres Jensen asked that we be in our appartments by 6 pm on the 24th, 25th, 31st and Jan 1st just to be safe, so we have been doing little projects since we still need to be productive and do good. So, we repaired all of the hymn books because it was bothering me...because they're all totally trashed. So we washed them, and pasted them back was great! Also...we made little care packages or treat bags to hand out to all of the families on sunday for Christmas. It was fun, we went to a few members' houses on christmas eve and for christmas and all of them gave us a merienda (sp?) or a snack- which pretty much is a meal haha they love hot dogs here...yum....not haha and they put marshmallows on the end of the skewers- random I know. But they also like lumpia which is really delicious...and pansit of course- one of my favorites- it tastes kind of like top raman. Anyways, Brother Reyes fed us hot dogs over rice- sounds disgusting...i know, but seriously he used to be a chef and so his sauce that he put on it was soo good I asked him for the recipe- I'm going to try and imitate it tomorrow, we'll see how it goes. But anyways, I'm loving rice these days! haha
So at our mtg last sunday with the RS pres, I asked them if they all had a list of all of the RS sisters and a notebook or binder to hold all of their material together. They said no. The RS pres just has like a small notepad...400 women are dependent upon a little notepad. Crazy. So...thats my next project for them. I want to make sure they all have notebooks and also a list of all of the current RS women- so on the 31st and 1st I will go through and highlight all of the active women.
Things are getting a little more organized here- Christmas we had a good turn out with Less Actives- but we actually had 4 Investigators come with us to church. All of them are really progressing in their testimonies of the Gospel and have a real desire to be baptized I think...we'll see! 
It was so funny you mentioned in your phone call home that David Archuleta was serving a mission because EVERYONE is talking about him here, and how they all hope that he'll serve a mission here haha they LOVE joke! They all love like sappy love songs, and just my kind of music...we walked into a Less Active members house and in their front room they had posters plastered of Justin Bieber and Kelly Clarkson it was hilarious, I thought i was in a pre-teen's bedroom for a minute! :)
Funny stories this week- ok well you may think they're not very funny- and maybe disgusting but I was in tears I was laughing soo hard. K so first we are walking on christmas day with Brother Ramon Reyes (recent RM) and a future Investigator, his friend and we are walking inbetween all of these fish ponds trying to just be careful not to fall in. And to the side I see this dead fish kind of flopped over this tree branch- but it was still kind of in the water. And Brother Ramon was like aw...another fish drowned again. And was so sad and serious and no one said anything. So like seriously 1 whole minute later I was still processing it and I was like " does a fish drown?" hahahaha everyone busted up laughing. Sister Fajardo was like...joke's a joke hahaha It was funny! Then right after that we were trying to walk to Matalava area and we pass cows and sheep and just whatever animal you can think of we pass them ALL the time. The first week it was weird- but now no big deal. Anyways we pass this huge cow and all of a sudden as we're passing all of these cow pies start dropping like rain and I just look over totally disgusted. And all Sis Fajardo says is "Ooooh....wooooOW" haha it was soo funny. Ty say "wow" all the time in this cute little voice and it makes me laugh every time!!
Anyways, those were just some of the tender mercies the Lord gave me. In every home we taught this week we somehow tied in Alma 7: 10-12 and asked about what gift they had received from Jesus Christ this year, and what they could give to him. We would ask many what the purpose of Christmas is, and it seemed that their replies were all similar. "Time to be happy and spend time with family". I seriously was surprised that almost none of them mentioned the Savior and his Birth. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his birth. The Atonement has helped me in my life in more ways that I can possibly list, and I know without ang Simbahan ni JesuCristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw I would be lost. I would not know my purpose in life. I love all of you, and wish you all the best especially during this Christmas Holiday, and may the spirit of Christmas last all year long! :)


Monday, December 19, 2011

Ayaw Ko Po Mga Aso!!!! At....MALIGAYANG PASKO!

The Reyes family gave us real live crabs-
that was crazy they laughed as my eyes got big
when they started crawling out of the pot towards me...

(FYI My title says I hate dogs!) hahaha They are EVERYWHERE here! And they bark and chase you haha its okay though...I have not gotten bit yet. Sis. Fajardo says the umbrellas we have aren't for the rain, but really to beat the dogs away haha. True true.
To answer your maraming questions...Pureworks has saved my life...I actually am not even through with my first bottle yet, and you sent me with two. I'm thinkin 5 bottles could probably get me through my mission. I'm surprised, because I use it all the time, but it doesn't seem to be going down that fast. It's awesome. Maybe God is just blessing me with that tender mercy cuz he knows I need those every once and a while. haha As far as packages and letters go, I usually get my letters every week at district mtg, if they have a chance to get us the mail. All of our pkgs and letters go to the mission office in Urdaneta, which is about a 4 hr jeepney ride from whenever someone travels this way like a zone leader or ap, then we get our mail. I only get packages like...every 2 weeks I think...just again, whenever they can get it to us. To email you we just go to a local internet cafe- wherever we can. We just get to spend 45 min emailing and reading and then 15 min to write our white letter weekly to Pres. Jensen. So my pic was up on the buzz in baguio? Cute...haha They had us back up there this week for continued "New Missionary Training". We got pizza...and also had a mtg just to make sure we know the rules and everything about baptisms...etc. Also to make sure the trainers were doing their job. Don't worry about me not eating...I've found the treats and things I like here...nope...haven't lost any weight haha. And I've made improvised american food for my comp haha it's kind of fun to show her american things! I think...that answered your questions.
Well they had me speak in sacrament yesterday...that was fun...for everyone I'm sure. haha Everyone just kept saying Unang area sa iyo? talaga? Magaling sa tagalog! (First area for you? really? You're so good at tagalog? Seriously...they're all just way too kind. They know it's not true. haha I talked about Elder Jose L. Alonso's talk which, back home I probably never would have paid attention to, but now that I'm here, it has been very useful. It's about doing the right thing, at the right time, without delay. And fellowshipping non members and rescuing them. Which, is very appropriate! We need their help. There are 750 in our ward. And there are 2 of us assigned to it. Yep, we've got a lot of work to do with only about 150 of them active. Seriously without the missionaries, they'd have a hard time functioning. We got to church early, set up all of the chairs in all of the many rooms, got all of the books ready for all of the classes, and hymn books out. I played the piano as people started to come in. We cleaned the chapel, I led the music in relief society, Sis. Fajardo taught gospel doctrine, then afterwards we met with the RS pres again, EQ pres, had PEC, MCM, and then got to work for the day. We usually just bring a sandwich and chips with us that way we dont waste time. We don't need a lunch, just to be kept busy. Every minute counts here. So...yesterday we actually had like 7 men...ok really boys from the ward come with us to visit families, it really is a theme here.  All of the youth LOVE to be actively involved. Our ward clerk is 21. Our EQ president is 21- both just got back from their missions. Our assistant ward clerk is 18. The whole EQ Pres is under 21. Its crazy. At least they're all Elders- I had to ask though because they don't look old enough to be. Thank goodness for them though. One of the pics I sent was of some of them laying on the little kids' mats waiting for Sis. Fajardo and I to finish our comp study in the other room so we could get to work sunday after our mtgs. They're so great! They kept teasing me and were impressed that I could say araw-araw without sounding american apparently thats a hard word for most of us to get down.
Saturday Night was the Reyes Family interview to see if they could be baptized. They passed! haha Yay, we knew they would! They are going to be so strong and great! The whole ward is making a huge deal about it! On the 23rd we have their kasal (marriage) at 1:00, binyag (baptism) at 2:00, and then Ward Christmas Party at 3:00. What a day! See...I still do get my white christmas here...only we'll be dressed in white :) That will be my 6th baptism since I've been 2 weeks...and baptism isn't even our focus on the mission. haha CRAZY!
So...usually every thurs night we eat at the stake pres house, Pres Nick De Guzman. It was cute. They made fried shrimp, but then fried chicken just for me haha with katsup haha they were so proud they tried to americanize it for me. Still had rice though. haha Dinner was awesome until I saw a HUGE cockroach- we're talking the size of a small mouse crawl right next to my feet and across the kitchen floor. My eyes got huge I'm sure, but I tried to cover it up and no one seemed to notice. After we got out I told Sis. Fajardo and she just started laughing. That night on our way back from the Castillio house- we were walking through the wet market- next to the jail/ courthouse- and it's a darker alley way- don't worry Mom, I was safe- but all of a sudden I saw a cockroach and I started freaking out, then I saw like 20 more and they started flying- then I turn to the other side and I saw a HUGE rat crawl- and then a few more- I was hopping and running through the alley way and Sis. Rose (member &ward missionary) & Fajardo just started laughing at me and I was freaking out. It was funny. THEN we returned to our apartment. i went into our bedroom after daily planning, turn on the light and see this huge lizard on the wall. I screamed. haha and then when Sis. Fajardo got near it I swear it started flying from wall to wall. I just got on my bed and started jumping everywhere trying to get away. It was sooo funny. Then it ran out of the room so I hurried and shut the door so it couldn't get back in and Sis Fajardo was STILL laughing. Then I told her we had to find it. She said dont worry about it, lets go to bed. after we tried and couldn't find it. So that night was a rough night, I didn't sleep much. haha But again, I'm getting used to it now. hahaha
This morning we had our first District Activity @ 5:30 AM since I've been here! Oh my gosh it was fun! We went to the beach! We talked about Luke 15 the parable of the silver coins- and how even if you have 6 and loose the 1 how you still look for the one, and tell your neighbors and rejoice when you find it. They drew out areas in the sand for us and he said there were 7 silver coins- find them. First companionship to find them wins a treat. haha So we did- it took forever! Then afterwards he said dedicated to me, since he knew how hard it was to not have a white christmas with snowmen- that we could go build snowmen out of sand! so we built sandman and I wrote "Maligayang Pasko" merry Christmas! :) So, I attached that picture too!
This week we have a zone activity on wed- its our christmas activity, everyone is really excited about it! This christmas will definitely be different, but I have a feeling It will be my best one yet!
We taught a lot of great families this week. So many spiritual great experiences yet again :) Also, they are great woodcrafters should see some of the stuff. Pres & Sis. Jensen have a Captain Moroni that I want to get for you Mom & Dad. you would LOVE it! Super cheap too, of course. Your 12 days of Christmas keeps me going every morning Mom! I love the little things! I opened the paddle ball this morning- I'm sure that little Den Den in the Ferrer family would LOVE it so I think I'm going to give it to him next time I see him!
Pictures- soo many, The Reyes family gave us real live crabs- that was crazy they laughed as my eyes got big when they started crawling out of the pot towards me. haha It was fun to kill them haha . Also I have a pic with a group of kids- they just started following me...cuz I'm "Americano" haha We have the bridge that I walked on- that is like 2 poles wide- it was fun hiking in the jungle to the Ferrer family haha then lets see...I also have pics oh..the baguio sign...isn't that hilarious? They dont even know what cold is.
Anyways, I'm out of time but love you all dearly! I will talk to you on...I think Saturday for you! :)


Our first district Activity  @ 5:30 am.  We went to the beach.  It was fun!

Since they knew how hard it was for me to not have a white
Christmas with snowmen- we went and built snowmen out of sand! 
So we built sandmen and I wrote: "Maligayang Pasko"- Merry Christmas

A group of kids- they just started following
me...cuz I'm "Americano"

The bridge that I walked on- that is like 2 poles wide.

The Baguio sign...isn't that hilarious?  They don't even know what cold is!


People from the ward at Ward FHE
                                        Oh...and remember Maligayang Pasko!!

Kim's 3 Words

We just posted our Baguio Mission's "MY THREE WORDS" on YouTube for Christmas.
The assignment went out for each missionary to submit a picture of themselves and only three words they wanted to say to the world.  Some gathered on their preparation day during zone activities.  Some at other times.  But the end result was great.

 Merry Christmas from the Philippines Baguio Mission

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Every Day Is An Adventure!

Dec 11, 2011                                     
Kumusta po kayo pamilya!?? Well, my tagalog still sucks...haha it's getting better though.
I honestly don't really know where to begin. Every day is soo busy, and I feel like I never have a free moment, ever. It's great, I like things that way. Every day is also an adventure! haha
So this week, I had the priviledge at teaching in several homes, and by home's I mean we're lucky if they actually have walls and a dirt floor---but anyways, one of the homes had plastic bags as a ceiling- and I could see these big balls moving around up there- then I saw this ginormous rat right across from me- we're talking- HUGE! haha And I quickly realized that was what was on top of me in the plastic bags haha. The second house we visited that day had little cute mice- much better- but I could see it eating their food and in their dishes. It was terrible. Church yesterday had a little gecko there- and I've learned to just ignore them now. Yesterday I did freak out because we had a worm in our bathroom- it was not a normal worm though- it had spikes and it looked scary- so I ran and got my kasama, Sis. Fajardo and she killed it for me. hahaha She calls me her anak- her child haha and she's my mom. Its kind of nice not being the mom for once. haha
Well, I have finally mastered the skill of showering with a bucket now. In order to get a shower that I dont feel completely disgusting afterwards- I just have to take the bucket- go fetch water- purify it- then boil half of it so it's warm- then poor it back in the bucket, and use. haha It's a long process- but it's worth it to me, because my day goes much better when I take the time to have a shower I semi-enjoy. Pres. Jensen told me to take control of the things I can. Not knowing the language, sleeping where I do, the weather, mosquitos, bugs- that stuff is beyond my control so I just have to let it go. The things I can take control of, the food, the shower, the cleanliness and cobwebs- that I have changed. It is still gross though- imagine opening your retainer case- or toothbrush and seeing ants in it- when it is already packaged in 3 different containers to prevent it---there is no prevention. That I've learned. Now i just slap the mosquitos and ants and deal with it. haha
Well, as I mentioned, the mosquitos LOVE me. I have learned to spray my clothes daily with permatox which is what we spray our house with to avoid the bugs- but Sis. Jensen told me to try it on my clothes, that it wouldn't do any harm- and it seems to be helping a little bit. After our clothes are clean- they still smell disgusting- actually I think they smell worse after washing them, then had I just continued to wear them. Oh how I miss my washer and dryer. haha 
People here are so kind, the other day I lost my pureworks hand sanitizer- which by the way mom I use all day, every day. No worries, its my friend. Anyways it fell out of my bag in one of the tricycles. I was sad because I thought it was gone forever. Little did I know that we would run into that driver the next day and he approached me and asked if I lost my bottle of hand sanitizer- I said yes! Then he said oh let me run home and get if for you. He dropped his tricycle, got on his bike- and started peddling down the road. He then returned with a bag with my pureworks in it! I was so excited and I thought it was so kind of him to literally ride his bike all the way home and get it for me. What are the chances of me running into him, and him remembering me...well ok, I can see why he'd remember me I guess...I'm the only thing white here. haha
It's funny, everywhere I go I see "whitening lotion"- the Filipinas actually want to be white! It is hilarious- they all use their umbrellas when the sun comes up- and I just soak it in! They also LOVE kareokee music here! haha It is hilarious- right next to our church building we have a kareokee bar- it's hard to concentrate sometimes during sunday school haha it is SO loud!
Sunday- yesterday was so great. It was crazy- everyone noticed our hard work, and everyone thanked us- because we had 16 less active/ investigators come to church yesterday. Sis. Fajardo said that's never happened before. I kept going up to all of the members and asking them to talk to the new people and befriend them. That's a huge problem here- as it is everywhere in the world. Sometimes the members don't feel welcome at first, so they don't continue to come. Everyone wants a friend, and at the beginning of church attendance, you need encouragement- until you can really build your own testimony of why you are there and come because you know it's the right thing to do. It felt soo good to see so many lost sheep come back to the fold. Its going to be a lot of work- but we need to stay on top of things so they continue to come. Which brings me to my next task accomplished yesterday. Yesterday we met with the RS presidency and EQ presidencies- showing them a short video clip- and helping them get organized. I have never read the church handbook before- but now it's become like another book of scripture. haha I need to know all of their responsibilities- and I am so grateful for all of the various callings I have had, and that I was raised in an active family- because were it not for that, I would not know how to direct these people. They really need to learn the ways of the church because God's church is one of order. Anyways, the spirit was really present at both meetings- but at one point in RS we had them all crying. I asked them what their goals were for this next year- we came up with Visiting teaching & strengthening the presidency as our main goals. Now, we've got to do it. Sis. Fajardo and I want to have a follow up meeting with both of them next sunday. Bishop wouldn't meet with us for PEC or MCM so...this is the 2nd week in a row he said he couldn't. Apparently his wife is getting on him, and isnt supportive of his calling. Which, great...another complication. Also- we asked if we could borrow the training DVDs so we could watch them- he said yes, but as he handed them to us we noticed they were still wrapped. Awesome. How can the DVDs help you if you DON'T WATCH THEM?! haha Yeah, one step at a time, but I think things are getting better. It's not going to happen over night, but I do know that I at least have 10 more weeks in this area- so we'll see! :)
So for FHE on monday night it was a ward FHS- they had food...EVERYTHING is made out of rice, I had no idea you could make so many different cakes and gross looking things with rice! haha I tried them though, it was...edible! haha :) and pansit...yum, thats really grown to be my favorite! Anyways, Sis. Fajardo and I ended up being the ones to teach the
  lesson that night. Then for the game they just took a towel and rolled it up and passed it around while we sung hymns- and you pass it around until when you grab it the towel starts to fold or bend downward- then that person is out. It's not that funny...but to them it's hilarious. It's even more hilarious when the loser has to stand up and spell their name with their looks pretty funny. hahaha ok...that is pretty funny! hahahaha
Today for PDay we're going to go to Dagupan, which is more of a city area- we're going to look for CTR rings at a silver shop. I can't remember if I told you about the Reyes family, but they're getting baptized the 23rd. They have lived together for many years and have 6 children. They were never married, and they've been investigators in the church for a year. They are very strong, and their testimonies are great. All of their children really have a testimony, and can answer all of the church doctrine questions I ask them. They are going to do great things in the church! They are getting married the 23rd first, and then right after we'll have their baptism. We taught them about obeying the law the other night and Brother Reyes' tricycle is not registered. We challenged  him to do that, and he just said yes of course. They really do have a lot of faith and want to do the right thing because they know that the gospel brings them greater happiness. It think it's sweet that they want to have their wedding rings be ctr rings :)
Oh PS its been weird getting used to Mom's just breast feeding in front of you haha...and whenever I walk down the streets I get marriage proposals every day. Everyone asks me if they can date- especially the little kids. haha
And its just cute. This week I had a group of little kids just follow me. for like half a mile. This group of like 10 kids just started following me and laughing and talking to me...kind of...I can't say much. But they thought it was cool to speak in english to me too.
I got to experience more of the jungle side of the pines this week. We must have walked through a mile of jungle to get to Sister Glora & Tommy Ferrers house. We crossed this bridge that was made ouf of 2 skinny bamboo poles and I was COVERED in mud. I am buying rubber shoes today because my other shoes can't take much more of the mud and rain. haha When we got there- I had a great spiritual experience with them, and again everyone was in tears. They've been inactive and Sister doesn't want to come to church because she feels her tithing is not enough. She is so sweet...they both are. I told Sis. Fajardo I think we need to extend callings to them, because they really do have a strong testimony. They have faith in Jesus Christ, and thats what it takes. Yesterday The Bidan family, which is another special family we're teaching- he gave us a mirienda (snack) and came out with bread and cheese bread. Which is disgusting- but I ate it because it was soo nice. and Pineapple juice which was masarap! (delicious) It was so kind of them. Oh and then last night the Reyes family gave us crabs. Sis. Fajardo loves seafood...haha Anyways he opened up the pot and crabs started climbing out of it. I freaked out and apparently my eyes got really big. Everyone just laughed at me. hahaha It was funny. We took them home in a pitcher---that was weird. And then we poured boiling water on them and killed them. I'm experiencing lots of cool things here hahaha
Anyways, I am out of time to write, but things are good and I love you all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

First Impressions: Seriously......Where do I begin?

Me and my trainer, Sister Fajardo

Dec 4, 2011

Talaga...Hindi ko alam paano magsimula! (Really, I dont know how to begin!)
haha...this whole last week has seemed so surreal! So when I first got here I met Pres & Sis. Jensen, they are soo sweet, and I love them so much. They just kept saying dont worry about anything, dont be scared or have a bad time, but just be positive and you will be just fine. Their mission house felt like we were still in America. Seriously I thought..geez I can totally do this if this is what I get to live in. Well, on Friday I met my trainer, Sister. Fajardo. Sweet little Sis. Fajardo, I LOVE her, she is soo fantastic, and patient and loving and kind and Filipino! :) haha Anyways, we had another 4 hour ride in a Jeepney to my first assigned area: Lingayen 1st. That is also the ward we are over. When I saw our apartment, I about died. It is...different! haha The pictures that I took doesn't even do it justice, it actually doesn't look that bad in the pics, but trust me IT IS! Well I got to drop off my
luggage, and it was 8pm by this point so I thought we would just do daily planning and go to bed...nope. We went off to meet the Castillo family, and boy was I shocked. We were walking in pitch black night, and we went through like a jungle to get to that area. We then passed these houses made out of bamboo/ scraps of whatever they could get and saw this naked man just laying there, taking a bath...and it smelled I was in a bathroom. haha Anyways, we go to their house which really is about the size of Mom and Dad's bathroom downstairs...if that big. It is a family that are members, but not very active. Actually the daughter, Rose is active- she is planning on going on a mission, but her brother Berley and her Mom Rose are not active. Anyways, my kasama had me say the prayer and bear my testimony and talk about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and the Book of Mormon. I told her I'm not good at tagalog and she said so what, just say what you know and they'll
get the point.  So...I did.  They all said "Ay, Magaling  sa Tagalog!"  You're soo good at Tagalog or "Magandan Tagalog".  Beautiful/great tagalog. Well, I know they're being nice, but they couldn't believe it was my first day there and I could already speak tagalog! haha
Well, that night I went to bed feeling really good, because the spirit was really strong during that visit and I remembered why I was on a mission. Well...the second day here...that morning before I got in the "shower" and by shower I mean, bucket in a smelly room. I just sat on my bed and cried and told my trainer I can NOT do this.  I want to go home.   I told her I needed to talk to Pres. Jensen or something, because I couldn't do it, and there was no reason for me. The work would go on without me. was terrible. My first impressions were: I live in a dump, there are cobwebs and bugs everywhere. We constantly have fans on us because it is sooo hot and there is no AC obviously. I shower out of a bucket and supposed to go to the bathroom using my hand. I am covered with mosquito bites up and down my legs and arms. Everyone stinks here, and my kitchen is in terrible shape and disgusting. I don't eat hardly ever, and when I do it is food I don't like. I break out in hives every 5 seconds, and the water we use to shower and wash our dishes smells like and IS rusty water. I itch and feel terribly dirty even after I shower. My hair blowdryer and straightener dont work here, and there really is no point to using it anyway. I feel like there is a line of sweat/ water all over my body constantly, and acne is really common here for Americano's because of it. EVERYONE stares at me, and I have to wash my laundry out of a bucket here too. Lets see...I'm sure I could go on and on about first impressions. Seriously, I was ready to go home the first day. Then, my trainer told me to remember why I am here, which is what I have been saying all along It's not about me, its about Christ, and I want to help others to have the joy that I have. She said try it today and forget yourself and see what happens. Well, after personal study, companionship study, and language study, we got to work again. We walk a TON, but also ride a lot of pedicabs and tricycles...and jeepneys and buses haah. But anyways, we visited a few families that day, and had a baptism that evening. My first baptism to Sister Moisesa. Please show Logan and Kirt the baptisimal font, I'm sure it will bring back memories for Kirtis, and they'll both remember they're lucky that it is just freezing cold water and not dirty gross nasty water haha! I can tell already there is a LOT of work to be done here. They have about 780 Members just in this area- 90 are
active. Talaga? What the heck! I guess people here just joined the church because Missionaries before would tell them that the church will help them, and so they saw it as a personal gain for them, they thought the church would actually support them. Sis. Fajardo was telling me she even asked one member that they were visiting if she had prayed to know the book of mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and she said no. She was BAPTIZED! What the heck? makes me soo mad to think that the missionaries here just cared about numbers and just wanted a baptism. It's ridiculous. I honestly don't care if I have a single baptism here, I am focusing my mission on reactivating these people. Helping them to gain a testimony of the work, so that they know WHY- just like Pres Uchtdorf talked about last conference in his "forget me not" talk. Anyways, I have seen so many tender mercies here so far. I got to witness a baptism, I have extended an invitation to baptism of a family on March 4th- The Hernani Family- A father with 4 children, his wife passed away. It was so sweet yesterday when we visited with him and Sister. Fajardo went through all of the children and asked if they had prayed about Joseph Smith and the book of mormon and the young son, probably around 15 said he had prayed, and that he could not sleep because he kept thinking about it and he knows it is true. And then had tears in his eyes as we told him he could see his mother again some day. I have visited the 2nd counselor here in the RS presidency, who has been inactive the last month, because she wants to keep her store open so she can get more money. We told her, and she started to cry when I told her I had been to church, and I know the members can be frustrating, but the ward needs her. They need her leadership, and if she will magnify her calling and give all to the Lord, he will give back and she will be blessed. Yesterday we picked up an 83 year old man who seriously weighs 50 lbs haha legit...and he can hardly see, but he is a member and he wants to go to church but can't afford to pay so we walked a few miles and then payed for transportation and fetched him so he could come to church. We taught one member, Brother Rod who is a member but inactive- we taught him 2 nights ago and he said he was dating a nonmember and asked if that was allowed. I told him of course it was allowed. He said he would give her up if it meant he could come back to church again and have a fresh start. I told him he is always welcome and it is his personal choice, but he cannot be sealed in the temple to be with his family forever unless both of them are members and worthy to be there. The Reyes family- I cry when I just think about them. This brother and sister are not legally married, but have 7 children together- 5 boys, 2 girls. as I look at them, they have committed to baptism and that is going to be their Christmas present from God. Their baptisimal gift is the 24th. We are having a marriage ceremony for them in the morning and then they will be baptized later that day. The missionaries before told them they either had to be married or seperate if they wanted to be members. So, they are going through all of that to be members. They have been investigators for a year. I look at them, and their boys and I see such strength. They are raising another army of heleman. I have noticed here the youth are very receptive and active in the gospel, it is surprisingly the older generation that struggles with staying active and keeping commitments. I have seen lives change, and it hasn't even been a week. I still cannot believe it.
I have had moments daily when I want to go home. I get homesick so badly, and I miss my Mom and Dad and my pamilya madalas ay...I mean often and I want to be home. I also get so frustrated because I cannot speak tagalog, and understand most of what is being said. Filipinos talk/ whisper when they say a prayer, so I can hardly even hear what is being said, let alone interpret it. haha Everyone has a different accent. Like I said, I have an amazing trainer who helps me learn a lot and pushes me. She told me she was grateful for me because she has been able to feel the spirit every time I testify- and so have the members. Now...if only they could understand what I'm saying! haha...hopefully it will come soon! :)
So anyways, moral of the story is, life was miserable at first. I still think it is miserable at times. But those times are when I am thinking of myself. Well, thats not what I'm here to do. I am here to serve the Lord. There is a great work to do, many to help, and every time I get out there and work the day goes by fast, and I am reminded of my purpose. Please keep me in your prayers though...this is tough stuff out here.
Anyways, I will attach pictures for you to look at- know that life is crazy but good. Whats the point in life if you dont have a little adventure and suffer? ay? haha
Mahal na Mahal na Mahal Kita!!!


A typical home

First Baptism, Sister Moisesa

Bapisimal Font
Our Kitchen

Our Bath tub

Thursday, December 1, 2011

MTC MEMORIES 9-28-2011 TO 11-28-2011

T to B
Me & my black name tag,   Elder Montereith,  Sister Sharap really loved your cheese balls!,
Elder Sasagi and Elder Lausuasu with their 'stashes

T to B
Door knob- We duct taped a scarcrow inside our classroom so when you look in the peep hole this is what you see! haha
Elder Westerschow is a leftie!  We kept bumping arms
And....more studying! At least he's got the "Jesus the Christ" book on his lap!
Oh my I love them!  Elder Branshaw & Elder Bell sharing licorice!

T to B
My fav. part of this Sis. Morton in the background!
Me & Sis. Morton.  Sis. Sharp busted out her camera & took a picture because we didn't plan on praying the same way.  It just kind of happened! haha
Elders Hamson and Kemmy.  they're in my zone.  They'll be coming with me to Baguio!  Serving in the  same mission.
L to R:  Elders Bradshaw, Bell, & Sensen.  This is totally their personalities!

Sister Carr-  she just got here last week
& she's going to Baguio too!
Me and my Comp, Sister Morton
Statue at the MTC
T to B
Elder La'ula,  Elder Alldredge,   Elder Seuseu


Me and Sister Morton by the traditional map


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Last Day at the MTC

November 26, 2011

Yea Philippines!!

Here we go!

My Zone, before we depart!

Hey Pamilya!!!

Sorry my letter is coming so much later in the day than it usually does! My schedule is kind of weird today! Oh my goodness, I leave for the Pines in less than 2 days!!! I am soo freaking out right now! (PS Pines is so much easier to write than Philippines, so just fyi when I say that pronounces it "peens") 
Mom, seriously make a list of questions for me, cuz I will be calling you on Monday! Then we can go over whatever you need info on. Thank you so much for the package! It was soo cute, and I LOVED LOVED LOVED hearing all of the families voices! It made my day...actually last 2 months :) Thank you for always taking care of me and sending me everything. The outfits you sent are WAY CUTE! and the Journals are PERFECT! My Christmas stocking and decorations you sent I'm really excited about too. It is going to be perfect. I don’t know if they have Santa clause hats there...or stockings..or what they do so it will be cool to bring a little bit of my culture there too. Oh and thank you for sending the baby pics too...they were perfect! I just started packing and went to weigh my suitcases and I'm not all the way done packing yet and I'm already at 50 lbs each and my carry on is at 35 can only weigh 18. So...I'm going to be sending some things back home, because unfortunately I can't take everything that I really want to! :) This week it has been really hard to stay focused, but I really have tried to. I am lucky to have Elder Shaw here, he just came in a few weeks ago. He served in the Baguio for 2 months about a yr ago, was sent home, and now is back and returning to the Philippines. I think I've mentioned him, but he's been able to give me a heads up on some things for about the area. First of all, there's been a lot of talk about the toilet situation here...doesn't sound like I will be using toilet paper. I guess you can find it here, but it's such poor quality, they usually don't even bother with it. Yeah...its going to be interesting :)

I get 2 more showers before I leave and am showering out of a bucket! Yea!!! You really can't see our bedroom floor right now. Everyone has all of their suitcases out, clothes and trash is everywhere...and we have like 30 boxes in our room hahaha....and it's a small room, with 3 bunk beds and six girls...It is disgusting. It is really funny too because everyone always comments about how my bed and clothes are always perfect...but not so much right now. It's okay...soon we'll be done packing! Yesterday we had an infield orientation all day long so we just sat there and got taught some last minute lessons and interacted and practiced passing out pass along cards. It was pretty cool.  We watched a skit about involving the ward more in conversion, and using the members as missionaries, because part of our job is also to get them excited about missionary work too. I'm a little bit nervous because pretty much all of the conversations they were having with the ward and introducing themselves...I still can't say in Tagalog. My poor companion/trainer. I feel bad for her. I really did try my hardest though, hopefully she knows that!

I have an article to suggest that you read. It's called "Missionary work in Philippines" Ensign Nov 1992. I can't remember who talks about it...some Filipino guy. Anyways, it is a really cool article I got to read this week, I like it because it talks about the rededicatory prayer that Pres Hinckley gave in 1961 there and it is just cool to see all of the promises given to that land and the missionaries who serve there.

Well this week was awesome. I had a lot of really great experiences with the Spirit. This Thanksgiving will be one I remember for the rest of my life. It is the best Thanksgiving I have ever had. I missed all of you, especially because in one of our meetings they had some volunteers come up and they put costumes on them and they all had a little part and acted out the first thanksgiving...and I thought of our family doing that and missed you! :( But...the events that took place forever changed my life. We did a service project. We made over 8000 Injury kits. It was awesome because the whole time when we were making them they blasted "popcorn popping" and "called to serve" and all of those songs...but they were put to pop music so it was hilarious because they were totally not church type music you'd expect to be hearing from the MTC. Our speaker that day was also Elder Russel M. Nelson!! He was awesome. I was sitting on the 2nd row and he looked at Elder Monteirth sitting next to me and then Elder Monteirth nudged me and was like "Elder Nelson just said hi to me" I said "No way, you're joking" Then I looked up and Elder Nelson was looking at me. He winked, smiled and nodded his head as if he had heard us talking. It was pretty cool that he noticed me! haha  For dinner we had a turkey dinner...dunno how it was, I ate about 5 bites of salad and half a roll. haha Yum....;) No but the main reason for that was that I saw this sweet old man sort of sitting by himself, but 2 of our sisters were near him, so Sis. Morton and I went and sat next to them. We almost didn't sit there, because I wanted to go eat Thanksgiving dinner with our Elders. Anyways, we sat down and I started talking to him. It was the same old man, Elder Kuhni that I met the 2nd day at the MTC in the Immunizations building when I had my huge meltdown because I couldn't talk to my companion and they were taking her away from me! haha He was there and told me that God was preparing me for something, and that he gave the toughest case to that who could handle it. Anyways, he offered me such words of comfort that day, and when you see this man...oh you just want to squeeze him..he's soo cute! I just love him! Anyways, he is adorable. Now that we've established that...he was the same old man sitting in the cafeteria by himself. I just said hi there, and we talked for a little bit. He remembered me, and as we chatted he proceeded to tell me about how his wife passed away 2 years ago that day. It was such a tragic story. She got bit by a mosquito 9 years earlier, and gradually lost control of her body. She was hospitalized for 7 years. 2 of the years, she was in a coma and awoke with 95% of her brain completely fried. He said he stayed by her side and took care of her for those 9 years, and it was especially hard those last 2 years when he had to bathe her and feed her...but he loved her. He talked about how thanksgiving 2 years ago she was shaking and having a particularly hard time that day. He said he had to leave the room because he didn't want her to see him crying so he left and got on his knees and asked Heavenly Father to please make this easier on her. Less than 2 hours later she passed away in her sleep. I was bawling at dinner! This sweet man, was so positive. I just asked him, wow, is this day hard for you now? He just said "No. Because I know I'll be with her again some day. I have forever, and this time will pass shortly." I started to cry even harder! He then told me that is why he is so grateful that he gets to serve his mission here and be with us. Because we are spreading this news to everyone. To let them know that they can have fun in life and be happy. That they can be together with their family forever. He said whenever he's just having a hard day or time, he just gets on his knees, and then he's okay. Take it to the Lord He then told me how he is the man he is today because of his sweet wife and mother. He then told me that he had one piece of advice for me if it was okay. I said OF COURSE! Then he, not knowing my backgound at all said: "When you come back home. You marry a nice man who loves you and will take care of you. Marry someone who makes you happy. He told me that I may find someone that makes me soo happy and it makes sense in my head and my heart. He said trust it. Don't doubt that feeling. Go to Heavenly Father and He'll help confirm that. If you find someone that makes you happy then. things will only get better. guessed it...I cried even harder. I doubt my judgment soo much, and it is a legitimate concern of mine. I just want to be happy, and I know that I will. I love how Heavenly Father knows I need to be reminded and assured of this, and he gives me those tender mercies. This experience changed my life. It truly was an answer to prayer, and I am so grateful that this man has helped me twice now exactly when I needed it. He wrote his name and phone number down on a napkin and gave it to me. He said he is sad he can't hug the sisters, but that he'll look forward to a hug in 16 more months, and asked if he could come to my homecoming. I said OF COURSE!!! Oh geez...I sure do love him! He then told me he had a few articles he wanted to give me before I left. So I met up with him yesterday during lunch and he had a manila envelope filled with talks for me. He gave me his address so I can keep him updated on my Mission. He is so great. I hope that someday I can be like him. That even though I have nothing, and all my loved ones are gone, I can still be grateful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father and know that that is enough. He is there with me every step of the way, and that if I am faithful till the end, I CAN be with my family forever and have happiness that I never dreamed I comprehended. I know this church is true. I know it with every fiber of my being.
Anyways, I love you all. Hopefully this experience was meaningful to you as well. It doesn't matter how tough life gets, or how little we have. It is so hard to remember that when we're in the middle of things, but ultimately...if you are comfortable, something isn't right. The only way we grow is when we go through trials, and through them we become so much more than we ever thought we were capable of becoming. We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today, but our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever.
I love you so much! I am so grateful for you!


Mahal na Mahal ko kayo!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Oh Hey!!!

November 18, 2011

Me and My Girls!  My Zone!
L to R
Sis. Morton,  Sis. Sharp,  Sis. Ycmafl, Sis. Tamang,  Sis. Allen,  Sis. Blake

So...I WAS going to write something funny on the bubble...but then Elder Alldredge saw the picture & in all seriousness was like: "Wait, is this suppose to be a blonde joke?" haha "Cuz the bubble is empty."
It was hilarious.  I just yelled "Rude...No!"  and the whole class busted up laughing!  I thought Dad would think it was funny!  haha

This week was usual!  First of all I want to appologize for the phone call home yesterday!
My tooth was bothering me a litle bit and I'm just way paranoid about having dental work done in Baguio, so I went in and they said that they don't have any dental insurance here, and so they asked if I wanted to call
my mom to see if I could do to the dentist.  I wanted to say hey...I'm not a 19 year old boy...I don't need my parents permission lol but instead I thought ok, she wants to call my mom and I'd love my mom's opinion on if she thinks I should go or not.  I didn't know they were going to call and say Hi, can I speak to the mother of Sister Kimberly Allen, and make it sound scary!  I am so sorry if that freaked you out or if your heart dropped at all...that was not my intention.  And then she sits there and talks to you literally I'm within reach of the phone.  I was so tempted to just rip the phone out of her hands and start talkin!  hah  That was hard!  Well...I ended up going to a dental appt. yesterday to a place where they give free evaluations to the missionaries.  So the Dentist was really nice, they were mean to me and made me cry because they shot cold water at the tooth that's been bothering me to try and narrow down which tooth it was.  Turns out it wasn't the one that Sis. Schofield  (I guess Dr. Schofield)  said I might need a root canal on.  It's the one behind it.  He said that's normal and they put this de'sensitivity paste on it and said that they wished they had more time to work with me but honestly my fillings looked great and he did't think I'd have any problems.  It was kind of cool because then his assistant came in and talked to us about how her mission defined her and made her the person she was.  She said you will never find youself in a deeper, darker lonelier hole than that time, but somehow in the end you come out walking hand in hand with God.  At first I was like this message suppose to be uplifting...haha but it really did end up making me feel better!  It was kind of cool because when we were waiting for the shuttle to come pick us up from the dentist there were 2 elders going to Czech that just got here last week!  We got to talk to them.  They told us Tagalog sounded sweet and asked us to bear our testimonies or to say something, so we did.  Then we asked them.  It was amazing to me because I was once again reassured that we are on the Lord's errand.  They've been here a week and are totally able to bear their testimony and they sounded awesome!  It also was so great because I didn't even have to try and translate in my head like usual...I just knew how to say it!  It was great!  Then it was cool because we got in the shuttle and we stopped at another dental office and Elder Seuseu and Elder Bradshaw hopped into the shuttle  Haha ..that was awesome, a surprise... it turns out that Elder Seuseu has to have his wisdom teeth taken out today...poor guy!

On Wednesday, we got to be host missionaries!!!  It was soo much fun!  Actually it was kind of sad at first because we just stood there and watched all of these Elders and Sisters hug their families for the last time in 2 was really sad to watch, and it brought back a lot of memories.  But I know they'll be taken care of and watched over!  It was funny  because the Sisters I was next to were talking about how long they'd been here and how they're so sick of it and they just want to get out into the field and I asked them where they were going and it was state side.  I just laughed inside because I though...oh haven no idea! haha   They'd only been here 2 or 3 weeks.  I for one am really glad I got to be here for 9 weeks.  I am because...I would have had a terrible experience if I was only here for 3 takes some adjustment...but once you adjust to it, it is the best experience you could ask for!   I have learned so much, and made so many great friends!  It's funny because when Sis. Morton was hosting one of her Sisters she was crying hysterically and she appologized and Sis. Morton just said,'s ok to cry!  It's gonna happen again...actually like a lot here!  haha it was hilarious.  She said it jokeing...but let's be's the truth!

Now for a sad story...If you can keep Sister Sharp in your prayers, it'd be much appreciated!  She has been in and out of the Dr.'s  office for the past week.  She's had several scans and xrays done, and even an MRI done yesterday on her leg.  It all of a sudden started hurting  her in her tib-fib area.  She had kind of tripped up the stairs and thought maybe she'd sprained it...but it was hurting her.  I had her elevate and ice it...but told her to see the Dr.  She finally agreed to go, and they think it might be a growth.  Could possible be cancer. She showed me the xrays afterwards and it's crazy...something is definately there.  She may have to have surgery, and she may not be able to go with us to the Philippines next week!  Please keep her in your prayers!

For exciting news...WE GOT OUR TRAVEL PLANS YESTERDAY!!!!!!!  I am so so so excited!  I could hardly teach last night I was so excited!  haha  So we leave here on Mon the 28th at 4:30.  We catch our first plane and arrive at the LAX at 9:10 pm.  The from there at 12:50am we catch our plane to go to Korea!!!!  how crazy is that...Then we will arrive in Korea at 7:15 am Nov 30th and 45 min later we have to catch our next plane to the Philippines and arrive there around 10:55 am on Nov 30th!  I am sooo excited, way nervous though!  I'm hoping since I am headed to Korea on the way there maybe I will get to go to Hong Kong on the way back.  Sis. Morton and her group are going to Hong Kong. I am actually the travel leader of my group...I'm in charage.  Makes sense give the person whose been on an airplane once the responsibility of being in charge...haha  I don't understand it, but hopefully my Elders will help me figure everything out.  Elder Davis, Elder Bradshaw, Elder Bell, and Elder Monteith, and Elder Kemmey have already promised me they'd take care of me!  haha  Between all of them...hopefully I'll manage haha   jokelang! haha

Last night at TRC I was pumped because we already had our travel plans...and it was our last night teaching volunteers...which is really sad, but exciting too...anyways we finished our lesson and Ty, the name of the person we taught, just said, your Tagalog is awesome, you're gonna be just fine.  I really, really needed to hear that.  Even if it wasn't gave me hope! haha insight I learned this week...Elder Tad Callister came and talked to us on Tues. for our devotional.  He is so great, and is so profound!  He was talking to us about the apostasy and how it was necessary and how it is so important that we teach this to our investigators, because they can't really understand  how our church is different from all of the other churches unless they understand the apostasy.  He then related it to the Bible and explained how the Bible would not have ended had there not been an apostasy.  Why else would God have stopped communicating with his prophets and apostles and children had there not been a reason.  It really put things in a new perspective for me.  I never thought about it.  That's why there is an end to the Bible...because the authority of God was removed from the earth.  It was then restored by Joseph Smith, when we were ready.  It gradually happened over time, because God wanted to ensure that it was not restored quickly, but carefully.  So that it would never again be removed from the earth.  Anyways, hopefully that was new insight for you as well.  I had never had it explained to me like that, and I definitely had an epiphany (sp)!

Well, I gotta go get my hair cut now...which I'm really scared about because every Elder I know that's gotten their hair cut's been way messed up...and how hard is it to cut a guys hair- Not that hard!  haha  We will see...hopefully they'll still accept me in the Philippines even if I look butch!
Mahal na Mahal Kita
Sa Susunod

My sweet cleaning glasses!

We love cleaning the bathrooms
for service!

Sis. Westover in her cute
cleaning "get up"