The Cutest Blog on the Block

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"

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Longest Word Ever: pinakamakapangyarihan

The Provo Temple in fall.

 Nov. 11, 2011                        

Hey Hey!!!!

This week was another great one. Just got back from the temple. Sister Sharp's Mom sent her a bunch of family names she wanted done at the temple, so we all took them and did the work. I think next week instead of doing a session we might go and seal them together. BTW kind of have a question for you Mom...she was wondering can we seal them together? On the card it says they can be sealed if their parents work has been done first. do we make sure that that work has been done? How does that all work? I knew you'd know the're the family history queen :) She has 4 sisters so Sis. Morton, Sis. Ycmatt, & Sis Sharp & I were all going to go and be the 4 sisters and get sealed. How awesome would that be? :)
Well...Pretty much I'm freezin like crazy 24/7. All of the Elders make fun of me. They have a joke about everything, because my backpack is soo huge and I'm so short...we were busting up laughing because Elder Westenschow made the comment that the sizes they make are Maternity, XL, L, M, S, Petite, and then Allen size. hahahaha It was hilarious...I really never thought I was that's just that they're growing boys!
Mom, thank you for posting all of my letters and making sure they're up to date on my blog, I really appreciate it! I know that it takes forever, so thank you soo much! Also, I hope you travel safe in the snow. You are in my prayers, as always.  Oh, how are things going with the phone plan? Everything ok? Let me know if you need anything/ or need info about anything. I heard they made an iphone for Sprint...thats pretty sweet. Kenna is happy I'm sure! :)
So...17 days left!!!!! Oh my goodness It is soooo CRAZY!!!! I'm in trouble...that's for sure. But oh well, I've already embraced the fact that I'm sure I'm going to get to the Philippines and be like...what the heck were they teaching me in the MTC for 2 months...this isn't tagalog! haha :)
So  lots of great things happened this week, like every week. On fast sundays here at the MTC they have a Mission Conference where the leadership all talks to us for 2 hrs. Then we break and have a district mtg, then eventually go to sacrament. At Mission conference it was really interesting, Pres. Mcliff mentioned a statistic that really stuck out to me: Our church is increasing at a rate of 54% per year. If we continue even at 30% our church membership will be at 68 Million by the year 2080. If it continues at 54% we'd have 264 Million members. How crazy is that? 2080..I could maybe still be alive...but that would be insane. That is so many members! So awesome!! He also talked about the Standard of truth and jokingly asked who had that memorized...I actually kind of do...because of Dad :) I love the standard of truth!!
We will be getting our travel plans this next week I think, kind of crazy...and becoming more real! Every night we all get together which I think I've told you before. But the other night all of the sisters in our zone, and in the other zone that we're such great friends with, all of us sisters got together just in our hallway and sung hymn 220: "Lord I would Follow Thee" again...thought of Dad...his favorite song :) There was such a great feeling there! We have also been practicing "A Childs Prayer" every night too because all of the sisters in our zone (8 of us) are going to be singing in church on sunday! I'm excited about that, that's one of my favorite songs. Such a basic, but very important message in that song. "Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every child's prayers. Some say that heaven is far away, but I feel it close around me as I pray. Heavenly Father, I remember now, something that Jesus told disciples long
ago. Suffer the children to come to me. Father in prayer I'm coming now to thee. Pray, he is
there. Speak, he is listening. You are his child, his love now surrounds you. He hears your prayers, he loves the children of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of Heaven". LOVE IT!
Last night at TRC we had to teach our first 40 minute lesson. usually we do 2 20min lessons. It went well I think! Walking out, we were getting ready to head back to class and this Filipino guy yells: "Hey Sisters!" We turned back and it was one of our first investigators we taught together as a companionship a few weeks ago. He said "There's my two favorite missionaries!" He asked how we were and we said good! He just said "Hey, i want you to know the thing you taught me about prayer, I used it in my lesson at church on sunday! We taught him in our lesson a few weeks ago about prayer and then had him read the summary under: prayer. Which, btw, if you haven't read it, I would highly encourage it, because it is SO great! Anyways, it was such a simple thing but it really hit me. First of all, that made me happy he even remembered us, and I really could not believe we actually shared with him a message that affected him. Even in our poor, broken up tagalog, he still was able to not only get a message out of it, but take that message and share it with others. I got teary eyed, (not shocking...this happens at least once a day haha) but I really was soo excited! :)
It hit me really hard yesterday too, we were talking about tithing, and practicing teaching with each other. It hit me that some of these people don't even make $4 a day. That is insane. And we're telling them that it is a commandment from God to give 10% of that up. That of course, is how that could be interpreted I know that God could have his church progress with or without or funds that we contribute, but tithing really is put into place for our own good and benefit. It blesses us so much, and it is a trial for many. I just know that it is going to be a huge leap of faith on the part of the Filipino people that I teach, but I also know that God will provide a way. We may struggle by paying tithing, but we will be blessed. so much, that, as the scriptures say, there won't be room enough to hold it.
Well, I can't think of much else to share with you. I love you all so very much!
The word of the day is the longest word I've yet found in the tagalog language it's: pinakamakapangyarihan. I found it like my 2nd day here when i was reading the scriptures and it scared me to death. All it means is: almighty!


I fell asleep but they still helped me celebrate 11-11-11 @ 11:11 pm!
Sister Sharp is holding the clock & calendar!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tender Mercies

District 2 @ MTC
This is our study time!  Apparently if you fall asleep with the book ON your face--you learn better!
Elder MacMillen,  Elder Orth,  Elder Sasagi,  Elder Leasasu
So this says "Teacher Cook, please bless my book green here! Thanks"
Sorry my Tagalog is bad....It's only been 5 days.
Ya....totally was supposed to say "please leave my green book here, Thanks"
haha...It was hilarious!
Brother Cook walked in & just looked super confused...then he just laughed!
 November 4, 2011
Hey Pamilya po ako!!

This week was just as awesome..lovin every minute of it here!  :)

First of all...Mom, thank you for the sweater, it was PERFECT...sorry I didn't tell you sooner, I thought I did!  Thank you also for the cool story about your 79 year old convert from the Charleston home! That was such an incredible story. Actually last night I was reading Enos 1 and I thought of him. You should read it. The last verse I put as my "funeral scripture" that I would hope to be able to say some day! About the curling iron, that one is perfect! i just wanted any one of them, so that is fantastic. Also, can you send my hot pink nail polish please? if you've already sent the package (which i hope so cuz I get real anxious) but if you have, don't worry about sending it! I just need that nailpolish for my toes. :/
I got a letter from sweet Amber Simons this week :) I LOVE LOVE LOVE her! I am so grateful for her...she mentioned the blog update was last updated my 1st Pday at the MTC though...haha :) What, it's almost like you've been moving an entire house or something?! haha :) Love you, and thanks again for doing that. Kelly, or Kari...or whoever is helping Mom with that, thank you all again! I appreciate it! :)
So Susie, my companion, Sister Morton's friend made me a duct tape's purple and silver and it's so sweet! I love's waterproof...for the philippines :) haha Also, I bought cinnamon certs this week...and thought of Dad. It brought back memories of sitting by him during church and he'd pass out his cinnamon certs to me and kelly :) Oh and Mom to answer your question about flying out with Sis. Morton...we're praying that we're on the same flight, but it's a real possibility that we might not be :( I am way nervous! She is serving in San Pablo Philippines which is way lucky because they speak purely tagalog there...she won't have to worry about learning a few more dialects once she gets there :/

The cafeteria food here is gettin hah I am so tired of's nasty...the only thing I like are the salads and even that is starting to get old because I eat that for like a couple meals every day! :) Oh well...soon we'll be in the Philippines!!!! I hope kelly's dentist appt went well...we were at the dentist at the same time :) Thursday I had a dentist appt too...I met with him and he said to watch it, he thought it might just be a sinus infection...which is kind of what i was thinking since I had been sick with a nasty cold earlier...but he took a couple of xrays. he had me put an ice cube on them and they hurt he said since i've still got a couple of weeks to just watch it and that we would still have time to get it taken care of before I left if it was a problem.
Thank you for sending that music. Also, I think I might audition to sing at one of the devotionals or something...I dunno...we'll have to see if i can get my voice completely
back from that cold so I can! But anyways, i really want to...we'll see :) we rented music for come thou fount and also Be still my soul which is a duet I might sing with one of the Elders...I dunno it's a real possibilty though :)

So on Nov 1st you wrote me about a Tender Mercy Mom, and said that it was amazing because it was terrible weather the day you moved Kelly out, but somehow you managed to avoid the rain. How awesome is that? It is also very awesome that Sis. Ycmatt talked to us in our "chika chika" time (girl talk) at the end of the day, and I also read Bednar's talk about that this week and started a journal just of tender mercies that I see :) I love that it's not irony at all, obviously the Lord knows I need to be better about recognizing all of the many tender mercies I'm given!

I pretty much hit a wall this week. A big, huge, fat, tall wall! I am so stuck on the language it is very frustrating. I have learned how to use all of these different conjugations but there are so many I am having a hard time remembering them all. And it is SO frustrating because the Elders that don’t' do squat during study time are pickin it up like there's no not fair! It seriously frustrates me joke! Anyways...last night I also read D&C ...honestly I can't remember which chapter it was but it totally comforted me. And at our amazing devotional this week the speaker just said; you know, you have been promised the gift of tongues. So make no mistake, you will receive it. Now it's just learning how to be patient till it comes, or making sure that you are working as diligently as you can so that you are worthy to receive that gift. It sounds so easy...apparently I have to work on my faith a lot. haha But for real, I know it will come so I'm trying not to stress over it. I just need to have Tiyaga...patience! :)

Um...I bought a shirt at the bookstore haha...they have all of these shirts with different flags on it and it says where you're going and they have them for all of the states too...they never have Philippines ones...but anyways so 3 of the other sisters and I bought random shirts. Sis. Ycmatt & Sis. Sharp went up to the counter and bought them and the cashier was like oh sweet, are you going to ohio? and the Czeck slovakia? NO idea how to spell that sorry...but anyways they just said no actually we're not, we're going to the Philippines. HAHAHA how funny is that? It was hilarious! Anyways, I got a Tennessee one cuz it said "Tennessee" "Sounds good to me" hahaha it was funny, anyways we're excited about those. Also, I was talking to another Sister and she said that her teacher told her she should have her wedding dress made in the Philippines cuz you can pay like $30 bucks for a fantastic dress, how awesome/ crazy is that? haha I thought that was pretty cool! Kind of random...but cool. Oh...we also decided everyone in my district would contribute some money to buy Elder Seuseu a camera. He is from Samoa, and he is the only one here in our district that doesn't have a camera. So w'ere gonna get him one, Elder Bradshaw talked to me about it, I thought that was pretty sweet of them. They really are great guys. I have to tell you Elder Bartleson takes care of me...he's so sweet. he always gives me his gloves when we walk to the temple and he gave up his desk so I could have the nicer one. He always clears my tray at dinner, and pulls my seat out for me, and all of the Elders stand when we enter the room. They are so great, I feel really really bad...especially because I'm not used to being treated
like that! Well, by Daddy...but thats all :) I love them so much, they're great! Like my brothers :)

Oh...I had to give a talk in church last sunday. They do this thing where they tell you the topic and everyone is asked to prepare just a quick 5 min talk and they announce at sacrament mtg that day right before you go up that you are speaking. I knew it was going to be me though. I had this huge overwhelming feeling. It was on the Holy Ghost, and I had such fantastic experiences with it this last week, that I just knew I was going to get up and share that. it was awesome. I wrote a talk, and then I left it at my seat and just talked for the 5 minutes on something completely different, shared a scripture and quote...but it was crazy. i have always gone up to the pulpit with at least a note card...but nope...just got up. It was cool...being a missionary is so great!

Happy LATE Halloween Family! Sorry I couldn't be there and see all of my nieces & nephews dressed up in costumes. For Halloween Sis. Morton and I dressed up as each other. We both own a black and white striped shirt, purple skirts, black shoes, black cardigan, and she wore her hair straight and wore makeup, and I wore my hair curly and up with no make up :) It was fun!

Well, i wasn't going to mention this..but thursday night I spent the night at UVRMC Emergency Room. We thought it was an appendicitis attack.....Not me though! :) Mom, I could just see the look of panic on your face :) Anyways, for real though. At about 9 Sis. Funaki started to be in pain. I didn't see her till around 10:30 and she was curled up on her bed in tears. I went in the room and asked her what was wrong. She told me she was having a sharp stabbing pain on her right lower abdomen. Does that not SCREAM appendicitis?! Anyways, I told her to rate the pain on a scale of to 1 to 10, 10 being excruciating pain. She said she was at an 8. So, I called down to the front desk at 11:00 and told them about it, and they said bring her to the front desk. I took her there with Sis. Ycmatt, and they talked to an oncall dr at the moment he said to bring her to the ER. So, we did. We got to go in the shuttle, dressed in our pj's with our nametags..carrying preach my gospels and took her to the ER. We were there till 3:00 in the morning. i wish I would have had my camera. Turns out the Dr. also thought she had appendicitis, but the UA test they did was Neg, so his next conclusion was that she had an ovarian cyst. Anyways, the pain stopped and we came back home. Man I wish i would have had my camera. And...she's totally fine now, we took care of her :) It was crazy! Right before that I sent another Sister to the Doctor too cuz she had such a severe migraine, she even took lortab and it didn't do a thing! Crazy stuff goin on around here!

The spirit was so present this week as we have taught our discussions and learned so much. I felt this overwhelming feeling the other day to include the investigators who I will be teaching in a few weeks in my daily prayers. I have tried to do that. I pray so hard that they are being prepared to hear the gospel, and that they know how much Heavenly Father loves all of them. I pray for all of you multiple times throughout my day! I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for you!!  This week we had a special
experience with our investigator JD. We have struggled with him because for the past few lessons we went to teach him and he was totally trashed/ wasted and we couldn't even teach him. All we could say in our poor tagalog was that drinking was bad, and not healthy. That God loved him, and that there was another way to be happy. That wasn't the answer. So this time we prayed soo hard that the spirit would be there and that JD would be able to feel of that love. So, we went in and we felt like we should ask JD to say our opening prayer. As he said "Diyos" God...the spirit filled the room. He said it as a question as if he didn't know if he was even there or not. He was. Sist. Morton and I just started to have tears pouring from our eyes. He asked if God was there, and told him he was grateful for us and that he wanted to know the truth. We looked up after he finished the prayer and he looked at us and I felt like I should ask him if he could feel how much God loved him. But I didn't ask. Then he asked me, why are you crying? Then I knew I should have asked him that question, so I'm grateful I was given another opportunity to ask. I asked him, JD, could you feel how much God loves you? And he started to cry too and said yes. Then I told him I could feel that love too, and we talked to him for a minute. I don't know why...logically it didn't make sense...but I felt this prompting to ask him to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. He said he wants to but wasn't ready. Then Sis. Morton nudged me and said, ask him the date thing. So I asked him if he would prepare himself to be baptized on Nov 17th, and that we would help him and made him a promise that he would be ready. He accepted. It was so amazing...the spirit truly does all of the teaching. It is crazy how the gospel changes lives. I'm so grateful to be a part of this great work!

Anyways, I love you all soo much! I pray and think of you often!


We Started a Legacy!

My pumpkins!
Make me smile every morning!
Me & Sister Sharp.  Her mom sent her a mask too in a package!  She put hers on so I had to wear mine too!
P.S.  Don't worry.  That's not my bed in the background.  This is Sister Ycmatts!
Me & Sister Morton dressed up for Halloween!

I'm lovin the treats!
 Actually I wrote Elder Davis' girlfriend a few times & she sent me the hot tamales & M&Ms.  I gave them to the Elders & they loved me!  Oh...& I'm eating Gee's popcorn she sent!

  Oct 28, 2011

O Hey Pamilya!

So this week was another awesome week!!!  Kari... thanks again SO much for the Halloween package...I have pics of us enjoying the food coming your way! haha :)  Mom thanks for EVERYTHING!!  Yes the only store  I have here is the bookstore so I purchase things quite frequenetly haha that and the Temple cafe when we eat breakfast every fri morning! name I did work for was Ada A. Allen from NY born in 1844.  I wonder if somehow we're related?  I was really excited we had the same last name!  I am wondering if you could possibly send me the copies that we have of the "As Sisters in Zion and We'll Bring the World His Truth" medley...I think we all want to sing that for our week that we leave the MTC and I'll be super careful with it and send it right back before I leave the MTC!  Also...random you think you could find the sheet music to the "Prayer of the Children" you remember me singing that song in choir?  um...I LOVE it and it kind of reminds me of the work I'm doing now so I wanted to sing it.  It's the one that goes like "can you hear, the prayer of the children, softly pleading...crying Jesus help me, to see the light again" somethng like that?  Do you remember it...wish I could sing it to you so you would know what I'm talking about.  It is SUCH a great song! you get my recording I sent  home too?  How was that?  Thank you for the packages, and thank you Dad for slipping your little letters and milkduds in them....LOVE it. :)
Mom to answer your question: my mission home is located in Urdaneta Philippines now, but it is still called the Philippines Baguio mission!  And they put it as that on my plaque too...I think.  So...I know you can send packages to the mission home and they have an address on the blog and a bunch of shipping info that Sis. Jensen put on there to let Moms know.  Just go to their blog and look.  I think it's  It should be titled "Buzz of Baguio" I seriously can't find out any more info right now about it cuz I have no access to the computers  and nobody here knows haha so hopefully that will help answer questions.  I can ask too when I get to the Philippines.  Also...don't forget I get to call you from the airport too when I leave!
Honestly this week was fantastic, but I don't have much to say.  I learned that the Filipinos use their lips to point to things and move their eyebrows up and down a lot haha..also...guess what?  Pres Monson sent me to pretty much the the texting capital of the world!  I will get to text message on my mission a LOT! yay! jk...but I thought that was funny!
I have been really sick this I'm back to 100% I think and good to go!  Sis. Morton also was sick for a portion of the week, so my nursing skills got put to use! haha :)
The language is obviously very frustrating...but kind of not at the same time, because honestly I"m doing everything I can right now, so I just have to trust that the Lord will take care of me.  I was thinking about it this morning at the temple and I just thought Wow...there is NO way if I was learning Tagalog on my own that I would be able to teach discussions and learn this much in 4 weeks!  NO WAY!  so we had the best devotionals/firesides this week.  Well actually they're all the best, but seriously Elder Donald L. Hallstrom came and talked to us and he was fantastic...I can't remember what his role is..I think he's one of the 70's.    He talked abaout whe he looked out and saw us that he didn't just see us.  He saw our posterity.  He saw all of the lives that we are going to affect, and the loved ones that care about us.  He said that even though this is just 18 months or 2 years of your life, every day hereafter will be shaped and cemented by your missionary experience and that we will be forever changed.  He asked us a question:  "Have you decided what kind of missionary you are going to be?"  I loved it...because serioulsy it's something we all should have decided or be deciding now before we actually get there.  It's mission is no longer 18 months.  Now it's 17 months!  How CRAZY is that?  Anyways, he kept talking about how this is our legacy.  I'm not just serving for me.  I'm serving for my posterity.  Then afterwards at our group devotional we talked about what it meant to us and as the words came to my mouth I realized that Kenna and I are the first to serve missions in our family.  Ever.  That is crazy...we started a legacy!  How awesome is that-

Well, Alam ko po na natatanggap po natin ang pahahayag sa pamamagitan ng pagbabasa ng aklat ni mormon.  That is what we taught about last night at TRC-  "I know that we can receive revelation through reading the Book of Mormon"   Anyways...mahal ko kayo!
Kapayapaan Salabas---peace out


I Have A New Companion!

October 21, 2011

My District- 2B

Magandan Umaga Pamilya!!!!

So apparently, I write really detailed...i'm sorry if I give you so much detail, I can't help it...if it's too much...let me know :) I get teased here too because we only get 30 min to write back to everyone so that doesn't leave me much time to type my big post...but luckily I type really fast...and everyone just teases me a lot :) It's cool...I can take it! Basta!

To answer your questions Mom: The Red star that Pres. Stott had by my name...not sure which thing you're talkin about. There was a red dot the "dork dot" on my name tag for the first 3 days I got here to show that I was new. And then when i went into my interview with him he had a star by my name because he needed to ask me about my background. Because I had a unique story, and got special permission to be there. Thats what that was regarding! haha I believe I have received all of your packages that you have sent and THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!! I can't even tell you how lucky/ grateful I am to have such an amazing family back home that takes care of me! Thank you! That is way too crazy that you saw Jenny Powell at the post office! haha Yeah...her son, Elder Powell just took off to the Philippines this week. He is going to be a fantastic missionary! No doubt about it, especially knowing his amazing family!

This week was such an amazing week. Definately the best week I've had yet in the mission field. Well, at the MTC! haha :) Um...we had that companion switch and so Sis. Morton is now my companion. It was my first week I was able to have a real companionship inventory and actually plan and teach lessons with a companion! It was fantastic...I now understand why they give you a companion and you don't just fly solo! :)

Mom...first of all I thought of you several times this week. I noticed that they have an Emergency Prep plan of evacuation at our dorms...I thought you'd be happy about that. And then, oddly enough, that same day we had a fire drill and they took us out of our classes. We didn't know if it was real or fake...but it was great! And I saw some cute ladies dressed in their CERT training outfits and totally thought of you, and how you'd be so proud about all of their safety guidelines and emergency prep work that goes into the MTC! haha

I have been deathly ill this week...ok so not deathly ill...but really sick. I caught what I thought was a cold, and then it completely took my voice away my throat was killing me. My voice has been gone for the past 3 days, and finally it is returning again! :) For some reason though, I had to teach like 5 investigator discussions in the last 3 days, and I have been able to talk at all of them. Not very well, but able to at least! It was great, because when I got sick I was able to receive a blessing from the Elders in my new district. I love, love, LOVE them! They are so sweet and cute and just awesome Elders. It was so powerful to have all 8 of them stand around me in a circle and give me a blessing.  It was proud of them!

MY DISTRICT  IS OFFICIALLY THE OLDEST DISTRICT IN MY ZONE NOW!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO crazy!!! The Older district, and our mentors all left this week to the Philippines! They left multiple days, but they're all there now and it's crazy to think about them! On sunday it was awesome because they all got up and sung "Called to Serve". They started out singing in English, and finished singing in Tagalog! There were lots of tears of happiness, excitement, nerves, and love that day! And lots of hugs too!! The spirit was so strong when they were singing. To look up there and see all of these amazing people that don't know what quite to expect, but are so willing to go out and serve the Lord. It was such a sight to behold!

This week is our 4th week here, and on Monday that starts our 5th week according to the MTC schedule! It is crazy to think I am about half way done with my MTC time. It has flown by...not gonna lie, the first week or so was pretty rough....but lately it has been soo fast! Now that we are the oldest DISTRICT, we got a new district added to our zone. They came in on Wed. I just prayed soo hard for them before they came, and even after I still do, because I remember how rough it was for me! I actually know a girl from high school that is now in our zone, her name is Danielle Tamang. Also there is another sister going to the philippines, in a different zone but her name is Laura Schummway (probably spelled her last name wrong) but both sisters are great, soo nervous right now, but they'll do great! Also I see random people here ALL the time that I know. It's awesome!

Elder Scott was our visiting General Authority this tuesday for our devotional! It was soo wonderful. I just love him! He is soo sweet. He gave such a great talk and really got everyone pumped up about being missionaries, and the power that the room holds from all of us sitting in it. Something he did promise us was that we would find our eternal companion and would be blessed for serving. I just got in there and I told the elders, whenever you here Elder Scott talk about his sweet wife, it is soo tender and he is so cute, that is a man who you oughta be takin advice from! :)

When we were sitting in the Cafeteria I got to meet a cute older couple sitting next to us. They are getting ready to go on a mission to the Philippines together. They both served seperately there many years ago. I just thought, that is what I want some day. It really is! That is so sweet, and they're so happy and they're going to do a lot of good. That same day, I walked out and I saw another senior missionary couple and they had their little girl with them that had down syndrome. I thought of Kenna & Brad. Some day that will be them, and it is going to be soo great! All 3 of them wearing their name tags!

This week, I found my drive for missionary work. Truly I did. Um...we have this brother that I can't remember if I've told you about him or not, but Bro. Ward- one of the teachers here- he isn't really my teacher, but he wanders and helps people when they need it. He came by to see how Sis. Morton and I were doing and he saw this huge lesson plan sitting on my desk. he just asked what the heck it was? haha He's like wow, you've got every word you're gonna say written out. I just told him well yeah, because if it's not written out, I can't say it because I can't speak that well yet. He just took it from us and told us, yes you can. So...we went and taught without it. It went great! Later on, he just talked to us about being a cookie cutter missionary. Seriously, the spirit was SO strong when he was talking to me. I had the best feeling in the world. Because that's why I'm here. He told me that the Lord has been preparing me. That I have gone through my experiences, and trials and my life for a reason. Everything that I have experienced, whether in relationships, or with anything, all of that can be applied to my mission. He said the rest is set. He said your companions, your mission pres, the people you'll teach. All of that has been set already. It's like it's already happened. There are people out there who need to hear something specifically from me, and I'm going to be there to do it. I just have to work my hardest now to be able to do that. He told me never to try and be a cookie cutter missionary. Be myself. Teach unique to me. When I talk to people, I don't have to try and give them the "correct answer" because there is no such thing. Use my knowledge, my experiences to benefit them. That's what I'm supposed to be doing, and that is what I am going to do. But he also stressed you HAVE to get to know them and connect. You have to care for them because people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

I now have firm testimony of this. My lessons and discussions go sooo much better when I don't just think ok I'll teach them about the restoration first, then plan of salvation, then the commandments...and so on. My purpose is to get to know them and help themn come unto Christ. I do that, but finding out who they are, and what they need. I can't help them until I know that! I just can't. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. Do you know how much responsibilty that carries? Psh...I do now! My responsibilty is to share with them and help them just as Christ would if he were here to do that.

Bro. Ward then gave us a homework assignment to watch Elder Hollands 2009 conference talk called: Safety for the Soul. EVERYONE should read this talk! The testimony that Elder Holland bears about the Book of Mormon is soo powerful, and so undeniable. Actually you think you could possibly print it out and send it to me?! thanks much...i love you :)

I know that this church is true. I know that people are being prepared every day to find the Gospel. I know that God loves us so much, and that all he wants is for us to be at peace and have happiness. I know that I am doing his work, and there is nothing greater I could ever do in my life than serve him. I have seen his power and influence in my life, and he is teaching me more and more every day. I love this church, I love it's leaders. I love my family and I am so blessed to be able to spend eternity with them. That in itself holds such great happiness and power! I am soo grateful for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the power of prayer. I am soo grateful for the people here at the MTC, and for the people I am going to be meeting soon in the philippines. I do not know them yet, but I love them.

I love all of you..sorry again for another long post :)

Mahal Kita & Bahala Na!

L to R:
Sister Blake,  Sister Morton,  Sister Tamang,  Sister Allen
So all the Elders think I'm pretty cool cuz we all try & turn our cups upside down!  This is a poor example because it spilled a little bit, but I wanted you to see an activity we do every meal pretty much!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ahhhh, Sunday...A Day of Rest.......Not So Much

My 2nd District @ MTC in front of the Temple

  October 14, 2011

Well first of all...I like Dadalog a LOT better than Tagalog!  haha!  Your letters & box of goodies were much appreciated!  In fact...I'm still appreciating the rolo's as I'm writting this letter!
You asked me a little while ago what we did on Sundays...
Wake up @ 6:30 am.   Study time till 8:00 am breakfast.   Study time till 9:30 am when we watch Music & the Spoken Word.   Relief Society a@ 10:00 am.   11:00 am study time.   12:10 pm- District Mtg.   Lunch @ 1:00pm.   1:45 Sacrament Mtg. (which by the way you have to prepare a 5 min. talk for every Sunday.  They announce who will be speaking @ the beginning of the mtg!).   2:45 pm Temple walk with District.  3:35 pm Interviews with coordinating Sister.   Then study time till 4:30 pm choir practice.  5:45 pm dinner.  7:00 pm MTC Fireside.   8:00 pm Church Film.   9:00 pm Daily planning.   10:15 Quiet time.   Lights out @ 10:30 pm.
Every day is so planned out.  It's crazy trying to get everything done.  Even P-Day is like that.  But, It's good!
So, apparently I talk a LOT in my sleep!  I didn't think I talked that often, but since I've been here I've dreamed every night & been talking a lot.  This morning the Sisters were all laughing at me when I woke up.  They said last night I kept talking in Tagalog!   "Alam ka po na totoong pro peta po si Thomas A. Monson"...etc haha.  "I know that..............."  We were all laughing!  That' a good sign, right?  Talking in Tagalog in my sleep!
So I have lots of friends here Dad.   And yes, they're keepin me busy.  The Sisters are all so great & the Elders are like my Brothers. I love everyone!
Gee- I really miss your goodies & cooking!  I miss coming in and talking to you & Rusty
I know I'm on an errand, and I have truly lost myself in the work.  This is the Lord's time.