The Cutest Blog on the Block

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kumusta Ka?

YSAs @Jennifer Madind's house having FHE
We played the "spot flour" fun!
January 29, 2012

Hey Fam! Another week gone by- time is really starting
to fly here- I feel like it was just "p day"! We're preparing
 Tommy for his bap interview this coming saturday-
and then he'll be baptized next week-
Feb 11th! Last week we had 1 bap candidate- Tommy,

this week we now have 7! haha How that happened,
not really sure, but it looks like we'll be having more
baptisms Feb 23, Mar 5, and Mar 18! I cannot believe it-
all of them we've been working with for a while and
being patient- and this week it felt right to extend
bap dates to...we'll see what happens! :) Some of them
are under 21- so we need to get parental permission-
we'll see what happens.
To Answer your question mom, I started laughing so
hard cuz you wrote"Dear Sister Allen po ako" which
basically means Dear I am Sister Allen. haha ako means
"i" and po is just a form of respect you can add to
whatever- like "i hate you po" and its respectful that way
haha jk but kind of true haha :)
Anyways, before you send the package- um...they don't

have deet here-is there a way to send that? :)
there any way to send another bottle of that "big and
sexy shampoo"? I dont know if that is too hard or
expensive- if it is just let me know. My hair is falling
out big time though with the shampoo here...I keep trying
different brands- I even found pantene here- but it still
makes my hair fall out- not as badly though- I can deal with
it...will you still love me if I come back bald with mosquito
scars all over me?! haha
So this week we had many many miracles...again! I cannot

believe it We had 22 less actives attend church- and
12 investigators! As Bro. Ed Fernandez was giving his
talk and I was sitting on the stand b/c I am always either
chorister or pianist- he said "if you bring but one soul
unto me how great shall be your joy" and I started to have
tears come to my eyes at the thought of being on the
other side of the veil and seeing these good people there
too with their families. How great would be my joy!
The church was even more full and we ran out of chairs
once again- and we had to change classrooms there
were too many people- my eyes filled up with tears as
I had to go downstairs to a classroom and I entered it
and it was packed with our investigators and less actives
returned- it was such a great sight to see! :) They showed
a movie on ikapu or tithing- and it was Pres Joseph F Smith
back in the day- and they dubbed it so all these white
people were speaking tagalog- it was the funniest thing
I've ever seen- It just doesn't look normal for white people
to be speaking tagalog! It was funny too cuz last Pday
we saw this white man- and I just stared...and I  asked
Sis. Fajardo- what is he doing here? haha it was so funny-
I suddenly realized how everyone else feels about me!
The Reyes Family is becoming even more and more like

family- they had this ginormous crab! We named it Allen
because I freaked out when I saw it- it was still alive-
and it had claws- and it was climbing toward me...of course
I freaked out! haha They all just laughed! We boiled Allen
later that night- Sis. Fajardo ate her the next day haha!
This week Sis. Fajardo opened up our 3rd area since being

here- it's  a new turf- and we're finding all of these less
actives- we're the first to return in a very long time- and
many of them are anxious to return- have just forgotten
about the church or been lazy and just needed an
invitation to return! So many miracles we saw- from people
crying because they had lost their job- saying that they
were praying for some kind of sign of what to do or how
to make life better- and then we showed up- to new
investigators ready to hear the message of the Gospel-
it was great! Things are starting to change in the church
too now- we started sacrament mtg on time...not half an
hour late! And the hymns were already selected, the program
was run without flaws- the speakers had talks prepared-
they used a microphone when doing a confirmation so that
the people could hear! Others were there to help us set
up the chairs for sacrament- and most importantly-
couldn't believe it! When Sis. Fajardo and I went to visit
them they were all raving about how the bishop came and
talked to them and how special that made them feel- and
then The Galsiem family talked about Bro. Udtu and
Tatay Frederiko- and how they came and did their home
teaching to them. I couldn't believe it. My jaw dropped as
one day we heard that same comment 4 times- I could
seriously not believe it! They accepted the call we gave
them - they're acting on it now! Yay!!! And how happy the
people were to know they were cared about!
This Saturday we had a baptism! It was Brother Udtu- a LA-

well he is pretty active- he's the sunday school pres- but
his wife is totally inactive- and she is not interested in
the gospel at all- so last time we shared Alma 56 and how
important moms are for the stripling warriors- anyways-
his son was baptized. This was decided the night
before- the bishop interviewed him right before the bap-

the family wasn't even present for the baptism- and nothing
was planned out.
so...they still have a lot to learn here about how things run.
Anyways, we tried to make it as great of an experience as

we could! I just kept thinking about Gavins upcoming
baptism and how Logan and Jared and Steven had theirs
within the last few years and how great they were in
comparison- how lucky they are!
Anyways, the work here is so great! I love you all and I wish 

I had more time to write!
Boknoy Udtu's baptism

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hello po Ulit!

Inside the courtroom, Pangasinan
  January 23, 2012

Well Hello Pamilya!!!! Another week sad. Actually, that makes me think of the quote Mom was talking about, about how we need to find joy in the moment. Not wondering when another companion will come our way or transfer, or when we'll have a family, or when we'll get our next job, the one we want; or when a certain event in our life will make us happy, but it's finding joy in the moment. I have always tried to live life like that...but I've never really been successful at it...I've always looked forward to the next event that would happen in my life. I have to tell you I had an "ahah..epiphany" this week. I walked into our CR (comfort room aka bathroom) and saw 3 buckets sitting there and started to cry. Not because I shower out of a bucket or the challenges that are here, but because I am truly happy. I have learned to love it here, it doesn't matter the little struggles that take place every day. I know I have had my share...and what scares me is there are plenty more to come my way I'm sure of it. Just when I'm comfortable...something else happens...thats how life is. And That's why the Gospel is so important, and why it's even more important to understand the Gospel. We will never be truly happy unless we understand that life is about challenges. We learn from them, we grow; and we move on, letting that trial make us a better person. The talk I think you were trying to quote mom was President Uchtdorf's "Forget me Not" which I have to tell you I read every day the first week of my mission here in the's like Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory- you have to find joy in the moment and not wait for the golden ticket but just savor the taste of the candy bar itself! Anyways, this is one problem I think a lot of the saints here have...a lot of them obviously have challenges we don't there in the US...well our family anyways and that is; living in complete poverty- not even being able to afford the equivalent of 40 cents to travel to church. But that is the problem- they are happy here- but they don't understand that the Gospel doesn't come into our lives and wipe all of the challenges away- sure it wipes away extra trials that we bring upon ourselves- but it takes ordinary problems and makes them bearable- so that we have kapayapaan or peace through the trials and know why we're experiencing it. Yep...that's my sermon- sorry I'm a missionary- it's what I do. Which by the way I have to tell you this morning we traveled to Dagupan which is the city- it's like our Provo or SLC where there is a mall!!!  yay! :) Anyways we were on the bus and this girl gets up and stands right next to me and starts yelling at the top of her lungs preaching to everyone calling them to repentance and quoting from the bible...I wanted to laugh but then remembered I'm wearing a nametag- I need to be more respectful so I didn't. She passed out envelopes for donations for her church- she didn't bother passing one to us haha...I told Sis. Fajardo I wanted to give her a restoration pamphlet- I seriousy was going to give it to her and say I really enjoyed her words, and they were true, God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotton son- I have more information for you about how you can return with your Heavenly Father some day- and then give her the pamphlet- but she got off the bus before me so I couldn't haha. It was a funny experience!

Oh, and I'd say that the package only takes like 3 weeks- not even so yeah...I'm sure I will get it soon. Actually they were kind of hesitant to send my package- so I'm not surprised customs searched it haha I'm just glad everything was in there. You got my dvd in there too right? Did you watch it? I'm glad you liked your keychain :) It made me cry too when I was picking it out! And It cost like probably equivilent to $18 dollars- it was
sobrang I probably won't be sending another pkg like that till next Christmas haha but its just because the keychains were so heavy. Oh...and Mom if you send another package- do you think you could send some CD's? Like EFY or pretty church pretty music- sometimes the MOTAB isn't my style not that they're not pretty- you just...know what I mean) :) You can even put them in zip lock bags so that way it weighs less! And Stickers---like the ones before :) Maraming salamat mom! Oh and you asked me how many baptisms I have so far- it's 6 with one more on Feb 11! Oh and I forgot to tell you yes...i just rolled my eyes and screamed "stop...oh my goodness" when I heard "good morning to you, good morning to you" come on that recording that you sent haha Sis. Fajardo was like "what...what?" haha it was funny!
So this week the work went well, of course. We had Stake Conference this sunday- I was soo impressed. Pres. DeGuzman asked that we stand in front of our stake and introduced us and was like "these our our missionaries, they are soo nice!" - only sa tagalog he said that hahaha anyways it was funny! :) It was really well organized and they ran out of chairs again- our ward was well represented- and we had especially this one family that Sis. Fajardo and I have visited now for 4 weeks. Every time Sis. Orpia says that she is going to come to church- but she never does. But- we wanted to keep visiting and trying- so we did. This time we really really prayed hard about what to teach her and share with her. In my personal studies the week before I had read Mosiah 2:19-24- (its either 2 or 4) about how we are eternally indebted to God because even if we serve him with our whole soul- he blesses us again- and then we are indebted to him- and he gave us everything that we are. Anyways, I told her we have visited her now for 4 weeks and it's not because we are trying to convince her to come to church but we visit her because we want her to remember the covenant she made to God- and to return to church and be active again. I asked her if she wanted that. Then I asked her if she did- why wasn't she doing it? And then Sis. Fajardo asked her what she could do to prepare to return to church? We were very bold...very bold- but also very loving. The spirit was totally there- we asked a lot of questions and let her teach herself. She knows the answers- she just has to remember them and why it's important.  We can promise all the blessings in the world to these people if they return to church and keep the commandments but it's not going to make any difference to them if they don't see how it's personally applicable- everyone wants to know what's in it for them. So- we let them teach themselves what's in it for them. Then Sis. Fajardo used her favorite question at the moment "If not now, when?" haha I love her! We walked out and both were like wow, what just happened. The spirit was so strong- there were many moments there when we would just stop- and wait for what we should say to come next- we do that often- but It's never been soo powerful yet, at least for me since I"ve been here. Turns out- she came to church. With...her entire family! It was soo great! We also had 11 investigators at was soo crazy! Oh my gosh soo many miracles! We have been teaching at the Reyes families house ( they are our recent converts in December) and they are so anxious to share the gospel with everyone...they gave us 7 referrals in 1 week haha it was soo funny but great! Bro Ali and his son Rendil- and Sis. Inday all of them come with us and help us out...they are the best family! I just love them! All of the Young Single Adults go and hang out at their not really a's more of bahay kubo (nepa hutt...made of bamboo like all the houses here) haha Anyways, they have these 4 investigators who are all young- one is married with a baby on the way but the rest are 18-28 years old. We teach discussions over there- and it just feels soo great I love it, I feel at home- and the atmosphere is so great! Soo awkward though the other night Sis. Marla (she is 16) asked if she could ask me a question...this was in front of everyone...and I said sympre (of course) and she asked me "My brother wants to know if you have a boyfriend or not" ...Her also an investigator...who was sitting in the same room hahaha...I was like uh...."Mayroon, Mayroon!!!" meaning "I have, I have"....I was NOT about to say that I didn't have a boyfriend---so awkward- I'm not quite sure who he is- but...I needed to say I have one haha. Everyone was laughing because I turned bright red! Anyways- back to Sunday- I also met a 98 year old woman- She literally walked bent in half- her back was complete scoliosis and she was pretty much bent in half- she had to have people help carry her-  but she comes to church every week- even at that age with all the struggles she has- because she knows it's important. I just thought wow- I couldn't believe her faith was soo great!
We have been visiting Brother Tommy Our investigator- that really was baptized in 1985- the one with the lost record- teaching them the basics again which is good because they really don't know it. Sis. Fajardo says the missionaries before here taught "Fast Offering" as what the church could do for them- that if they came to the church the church would help them- which is soo wrong- it's what you can do for the church- so we made sure to clarify that which is good- they didn't even remember what it was. I got 32 mosquito bites on my legs that night! It was ridiculous! And that's with Deet & permatox sprayed on me and my stockings and clothes- I don't know what more I could's okay though...I'll deal with it! Oh...can you also send in a package "after bite" we got it at the Mish's been a real life saver! I love it!
So you sent jolly ranchers in your last package right..? So I gave one to Sis. Rose (our friend that comes with us sometimes) and I look back and Sis. Fajardo was like "Did you just eat that with the plastic on it?" We just laughed...she didn't know to take it off...I don't know how she didn't know that...but it was really funny! Lots more funny things happened too this week...but of course I am out of time again but I love you all and I hope you had a great week too! Oh PS in Dagupan they have a pizza hut...its like an equivalent to olive garden in the US haha its a sit down restaurant...we ate there today and the pizza was sooo good haha
Lagi na mamahal,

The Governors Office, Pagasinan
Capital Building, Pangasinan

Inside Capital Building, Pagasinan


Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello Po!!

"SHY' - that's his name!
 January 16, 2012
Hello Po Pamilya! I was soo excited to open up my email and see an email from every one of my awesome is that? I'm so lucky I have the best family in the world! And I mean that...I'm so grateful for all of you! You make my heart smile just thinkin about you!
So this week...was great, had its challenges, but overall was another week in the work of the Lord. So I put up pictures of my favorite family- the Ferrer family :) We have a picture first with the Yanis family- Johnny and Lourdes- and their kids and me and Sis. Fajardo and Sis. Rose- those pictures are in the nice green pretty house. They just wanted a picture of me because I'm white pretty much. haha They want me to keep in contact with them...and of course they're investigators so I will forever be telling them about the for me! But yeah...the other pictures are of Sis. Gloria & Brother Tommy Ferrer and cute little Den Den. They are soo heavily in debt, because Sister got sick a while back so they owe their boss like $150 us dollars- that means they'll be working for him for years and years to pay that off- but yet they're still coming to church now that we visited them. They're a less active family that has now been active since we started visiting them 6 weeks ago. Brother Tommy actually was baptized in 1985- and his membership record is non existent so...he is now our investigator. We will be holding his baptism on Feb 11th! I'm so excited- this means we get to visit them a few times weekly! He has some word of wisdom challenges- so we're over there a lot :) When we broke the news to him that he would have to be rebaptized we were a little nervous about the reaction, obviously not wanting him to be offended- but he was so sweet. He said he has some things he's got to work on- mainly his coffee that he drinks once a week- but honestly in the scheme of things thats easy to fix! Anyways- Sis. Gloria told us that after we left he turned to her and just said- I've got to make some changes on my book of mormon habits and prayers. I'm going to do this. Well, yesterday at church he was 45 minutes early- waiting for us at the gate- the first one there to arrive. Also- when we went back to visit him sunday night we asked about his reading if he had read the BOM, and he said he missed one day because he was soo busy. So just a preface- they're the family that we have to walk like a mile to get to their house and it's in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fish ponds- and we're pretty much hiking in the jungle haha there are weeds and lots of bugs and animals and dirt of course ahaha but anyways as Sis. Gloria was walking us out she said the one night he didn't read it was because he was soo busy burning all of the weeds here because he felt bad that we had to walk through them. He wanted to clear a better path for us so that we wouldn't hurt ourselves or scratch our legs up- he is sooo sweet. Also just a funny sidenote that night when we were teaching he excused himself that came back out in this huge winter wool sweater- I thought i was going to die laughing-- he was freezing and it was probably 65 degrees outside hahaha...and I would probably wear that same sweater when it was 20 degrees outside in the dead of winter. it was soo funny. But ironically enough, I was freezing too...I'm adapting to the weather here- I know i'm going to die when I get back to iceland! haha
So I finally wore out my first pair of shoes in my entire life. I told Sis. Fajardo back home I probably had 30 pairs of shoes- i'm the queen of shoes, and I have never worn a pair to the point where there is a hole in it haha...don't worry I didn't wear out my nice keens...just some rubber shoes that I bought here- that cost like 50 cents- but still It was hilarious!
Oh Mom...I received your package- and that is soo funny because I LOVE skittles and jolleyranchers- and I just told sis. Fajardo I was craving them...seriously! And...your recording was soo great! I loved hearing all of your voices- and I cried as you all sang to me "I know that My Redeemer Lives". We have been focusing a lot on strengthening families here. I seriously have realized soo much that the true key to finding happiness in life is being with your family. Taking the time to read scriptures together and always always have family prayer. It works miracles, and strengthens you in a way that nothing else could. Its a simple thing- but it changes the outcome of how you enjoy your life.
This week in church we RAN OUT OF CHAIRS! Can you believe it? I sure couldn't! haha When I got here we had an average attendance of 80. Last week we had 115 members at church and this week we had 125. Again- I was soo proud and excited- especially because now we have 5 families that have come to church 5 times in a row- which means they are now considered active.
So, we also had our area broadcast this week- President Michael Tae- a Filipino and his counselors (from America) all spoke to everyone. It was soo great- all of the leaders were talked to- and it was all about our VISION they have in store. They announced that the responsibility of the missionaries is to establish the church, and that would be our goal. All of the missionaries' efforts in the Philippines were going to go toward rescuing the lost. They have a vision of 5 things they hope to accomplish: Feast upon the words of Christ, Strengthen families, establish the church, save the rising generation and rescue the one. They told us terrible statistics about how the Philippines is the fastest growing area to accept the church- but we have 659,000 members here--- 114,000 are active. He quoted Proverbs 29:18 "where there is no vision, the people perish". And said we are 1 generation away from losing the church entirely in the philippines. They need activity- The main thing he kept repeating over and over was "if not now, when? If not us, who?" So...of course none of our leaders- except the 2nd counselor in our bishopric were able to attend- so we recapped the mtg in PEC mtg on sunday and were able to share that information with them. They have asked that each ward come up with 15 families to rescue- they are to submit it to the stake by feb 15- the stake will submit it to the area pres feb 25- and that will then be submitted to the first presidency. So...yes. On a brighter note- I look at our ward now from even when I arrived and I see a HUGE difference. We held a RS mtg- I gave them all notebooks and a list of all of the RS women so now they know who they are. We used the chalkboard- Sis. Fajardo and I showed them an outline of how their mtgs should be run and then we followed it- at the end I asked Sis. Madrid (the pres) to make assignments for next week- she did so now next week she will be the one to run the mtg...we're trying to implement these things because we know Sis. Fajardo only has 6 more weeks here- and I only have probably 12 more weeks here.
Anyways, things are great here, seriously the hardest challenge I faced here was 3 days ago- the day I received your package mom! That day- I was terribly sick- I had a fever and a really really bad headache, and a lot of sharp stomach pains and I didn't know why- I hadn't eaten or drunk anything unusual- anyways I seriously just wanted to curl over but of course- we had work to do- so I didn't- I just kept going- but finally I felt like I was going to faint so Sis. Fajardo told me to rest for a min. haha Anyways, we called the ZL and they came over and gave me a priesthood blessing. It was in tagalog- so I didn't get all of it haha actually I did understand all of it! He said that according to my faith I would be healed. That I would carry on and go forward to do the Lords work and that this sickness was just temporary. Well- I took a nap for about 30 minutes instead of eating lunch- and then I was good to go. By the next day I felt 100% again. I know the Lord is taking care of me, I just have to have faith. This morning during personal study I was reading Mosiah 26- and it talks about coming to know Christ. And how you will only be at the right hand of God if you know him. I thought- what does it mean to "know him" The basic answers- pray and read your scriptures. But then I thought for me personally- I knew Christ when I faced my greatest adversity. That is how I have developed my personal relationship with my Savior- we are teaching the DelaCruz family tonight and I think I'm going to share that thought- they're a less active family- with serious serious alcohol issues- we'll see...they' know it's true- it's just acting now. All I can do is as Pres Uchtdorf state "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary; use words".
I love you all and pray for you araw araw at gabi gabi!
Mahal na Mahal kita!
Love, Sis. Allen ps I got called Sis. Alien this week that was pretty funny

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ulit Kumsta Pamilya?!

January 9, 2012
Hey, so another week has gone by! I have made it to my first transfer. Okay..I'm not getting transferred, but every 6 weeks we have transferrs. ON wed we have a "transfer awareness day" where we find out who is getting transferred- we have a 2 day notice and then on friday you go to transfer meeting and get transferred to your new area! I will be in Lingayen for at least another 6 weeks- I'm thinking probably 12 more weeks. The Church just started this new program it's a "12 week training program" which again- I'm in the 2nd batch of missionaries for them to experiment and use this program on. The goal is to get us able to BECOME a trainer in 12 know the ropes of everything in 12 weeks. It's going well so far...I think. I dunno, you'd have to ask Sis. Fajardo about that one :) Anyways, so for that you have the same trainer for 12 weeks, after which you then have a follow up trainer. Usually they keep you in the same area (according to Sis. Fajardo) and your follow up trainer comes in and just takes over...we'll see...I love my trainer though, and I seriously can't imagine being the mission field without her. She is so great, and we get along soo well. Yesterday when we were walking with one of our friends (member, Sis. Rose Castillo) she comes with us all the time which is great. I was just thinking wow...this is great...I feel like I'm hanging out with friends doing the Lords work. Can it get any better than that? :) It was fun! So yeah mom- that answers your question about transfers that I forgot to answer last week. And for your question about packages- Yes! I'm sorry I thought I answered that last week, but I received your envelope of pictures a week or so ago- I think it took 2 and half weeks to get here- and then another half week for them to get it to me from the mission home. So...great timing. As for the package- I have not received that yet. I have a mtg on wed- for transfer awareness though, and transfers are friday- so I would assume that if it came in the mail this past week that I would receive it sometime this week! But...I don't know! :) That is so embarrassing that Dad played the recorder in front of EVERYONE! Good thing they're senile and probably can't remember by now! haha I'm glad that talk came in handy with you now! I have found that before...I thought I was good at getting up and talking on the fly..but now, I'm gettin even better. Yesterday I had to play the hymns in sacrament mtg...again...which...I know how to play like 3 hymns so yeah...I'm sure you can imagine how well that went haha pagkatapos the teacher didn't show up to teach the "youth" which is ALL the youth because we're not big enough to just have seperate classes. So...We got to teach the class! Luckily the topic was "The book of mormon- the keystone of our religion" wow...i can teach that one in my sleep now! haha Pagkatapos- we planned a missionary fireside for yesterday to get all of the members excited about visiting teaching and home teaching! We had President Vick Sison (whom I love- we go to his house every monday night for dinner- and we teach his nephew who is an investigator- age 15) anyways he is great, and he's the 2nd counselor in our Stake Presidency. So we roped him into talking, then we showed the movie "only a stonecutter" from the D&C DVD's...and afterwards quoted him in saying "callings are seldom convenient" and talked about the importance ofcallings. Afterwards, sister fajardo and I did a role play- like we do in all of our district mtgs weekly. We roleplayed how a vt/ht assignment should be coordinated, planned with each other, and then taught to the member. How welcoming back to the church should be done- It was soo good! People were laughing because we exagerrated everything out obviously, ahha but it was just really good!
Can I just tell you how much I have come to love sundays? They're like Christmas- It's always a surprise and you get to see how well your work payed off from the week by who shows up to church! haha Seriously- I had tears come to my eyes this sunday as I looked up from the piano and counted 22 less active members- and 2 investigators. Mainly I was soo overwhelmed with a love for our lost sheep- our investigators. I have grown to love them soo much. I was like a proud parent when some of them even got up to bear their testimony. I also was soo excited when they had to pull out more chairs and set them up because there were too many people! Oh my goodness immediately after Church Sis. Fajardo got on our knees and thanked our Heavenly Father. We had one member, Jerilee Navarro- we taught her this last week for the 2nd time. We found her last week- she was born as a child with her family when they converted- never really went to church and when she did her Bishop apparently had an affair so she had a really bad opinion of the church
. She is a member but she doesn't really believe in it, because she doesn't really know about it. Anyways, in an effort to enlighten her, we returned last week and taught her lesson 1 about Joseph Smith. As we taught her, she was wandering around, yelling at kids, seriously was uninterested and had such a hard presence to her countenenace. Seriously. That's the first time I have walked out of an appt and turned to Sis. F and we both just said wow, that was interesting. Not a waste of time, but we didn't feel like we got through to her at all. Not even sure if she would want us to return. Well...goes to show you I dont know anything, because she came to church with her daughter. I could not believe it. seriously my jaw dropped...and it goes to show you that the Lord does know it, and her heart evidentally was softened. We also had Brother Bonifacio show up- we were searching for him and we asked a member nearby for directions- he told us it was a waste of time and that it's been years and years and he was uninterested. We got there- obviously forced ourselves on him and asked to share a message right then and there to him as he was smoking. We shared the message- and he lost his wife in 2004. So, I felt prompted to talk about how I know sometimes it's hard, but he made a covenant with the Lord through baptisms. And that he has many blessings he's entitled to- including returning home with his wife some day, but in order to do that, he has to be faithful. We focused mainly on his wife and how he could return with her. He promised to come to church and read and pray- we took it with a grain of salt, like we usually do so we're not disappointed when they don't show up. Well, guess what...he showed up too. Not only did he show up, but he had his scriptures in hand. And he got up and bore his testimony. And in it he said that he had had many missionaries attempt to contact him, but that he was uninterested, but for whatever reason, he decided to listen to us. (probably because we really didn't give him a choice) haha and then- he talked about how what we said hit him hard. To the point where when we left he read and he got on his knees and prayed hard and long to the Lord. He said he could not sleep- like a crazy man- he was up all night thinking about his wife, and how he wants to be with her again some day. And that he knew that God sent us. Well- I know that God sent us there. I have felt that many times- sometimes stronger with some less active members than with others- but I really do feel that, these are all God's children, and he really is mindful of each and every one of them. The Madrid family is very special to me too. Sis. Madrid is our RS President- her husband used to be a bishop and had stake callings- and for whatever reason is now inactive- he says it's because of work- I feel it's because of something else. I'm thinking because the people aren't friendly and he probably took offense- a common story here in the Pines. Anyways, he came to church too!!! It's probably because I cried to him a few days ago when we taught him. We taught their family about eternal families. They were not only sealed in the temple, as most people are converts here and are only sealed but they were actually MARRIED TOO! their children were all born in the covenant- and he's throwing his eternal family away. He told me he's disappointed cuz his children are lazy and would rather watch tv than go to work, but that he wants to make them but he can't. Well, I spun that and luckily could speak english to him and told him that just as he is frustrated and wants his children to realize the importance- Heavenly Father wants the same thing for him. But he can't make him do anything, just like he can't make his children do anything. But- I know that he can have an eternal family- and that he can set an example for his children. And then I cried and told him that his family is so special to me and since I have gotten here I have kept them in my prayers continually ....and in case you don't know...i pray a LOT-hahaha. Anyways...he CAME! I was so excited! Ah, all of these people are so near and dear to my heart! It takes love and nurturing and a lot of patience- but you just have to love them, and help them remember what the spirit feels like and why they need it.
So Sis. Rose taught me a new word. Everywhere we go she points to the ground and yells "Sister, Tae!" At first I was like tae...okay maybe it means rocky gravel or dirt...nope it means poop. haha She's been yelling that and i've been repeating is soo funny! I've decided the moon is very special too. I look at it every night and think you're looking at the same moon! It's my only connection to home! :) Also last night I thought it was kind of oxy-moronic of a man that offered to buy me a drink yesterday hahaha how funny is that! And last but not least- I dont know if I told you this already but I got so excited I ran into a white man here and rushed up to talk to him- and sis. F had to stop me because I was speaking in tagalog. It was soo hard to d a preach by the way in english. Then afterwards we were talking and she was talking in english and said something about the bugs flied all around. And stopped and asked me wait, is "flied" right? I said yeah, sounds right. Like 2 minutes later I was like wait no...its "flew" hahaha it was soo funny. My english is terrible! The other night when we were saying our comp prayers after appts she was smiling and I asked her what and she said "you're fluent!" You taught our lesson - and now I just think "wow- did she really just say that" when I talk- I'm excited...It's not true yet...seriously it's not, but it's gotten way better. Now I can understand pretty much everything. I'm working hard at it- they make fun of me but call me "masipag" because I walk around holding papers memorizing words- I only read my scriptures and preach my gospel in tagalog- and I try and always speak it- I'm trying...but it is really frustrating. Over time, I'm sure it will become even better! Anyways, I hope this weeks message was a little more spiritual than the last few weeks. It really was a great week. we work hard, I am very blessed to have a companion who knows how to work and truly is here for the right reason. I can't thank of Heavenly Father enough for my experiences here, for every day truly is a new adventure.
I love you all!!!

Sis. Martinez gave Sis. Fajardo a bug as a present- we were so surprised when we opened it up and it was STILL ALIVE!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Maligayang Bagong Taon!! (Happy New Year)

President (of the Baguio Mission) and Sister Jensen
Jan. 2, 2012

Hey Pamilya! Heads up this comp is being weird so I dont know if it's going to let me send pics- I'm trying, and they're comin via snail mail at least!
How was your new year? Oh my goodness they go all out here...It was sobrang maingay! So Noisy! haha Seriously their fireworks aren't pretty- they're just loud and bursts of fire haha it's like bombs going off haha but it was cool...I didn't sleep at all that night though, they kept going off haha it was funny! Brother Ali Reyes (our recent convert) is sweet and made us a whole bottle of this sauce that he knows I love and gave it to us so Sis. Fajardo and I bought meat and we made skewers and grilled it outside-  and improvised- and burned a bucket on accident haha but it's was fun! My new years resolution was to speak TAGALOG LANG (only tagalog) no more english!!! That lasted all of 3 hours. hahaha we were sitting with a bunch of memebers waiting for bishop to finish up some meetings so we could have PEC/ MCM with him and they were talking about how I could speak great and couldn't believe it was my first area, and then they kept saying oh yeah thats a great new years resolution, just speak tagalog and it will come even quicker. Well...then they kept telling me all these words asking if I knew them and I kept saying no. Then they would tell me what they meant, and I would say another word that I thought meant that...and they said oh, yeah you can use that word too. I got sooo frustrated. haha Every word they said I knew how to say the same basic idea, just through a different made me feel really overwhelmed that they have like 10 ways to say the same thing and I have to learn all 10 ways to say it haha...then I looked down and saw 7 sheets of paper all completely filled with words I need to memorize for basic vocab skills- asap. haha I just started to get teary eyed- that's the first time I have ever started to cry here...other then the 2nd day when I had a break down haha. But seriously, usually the work is too happy and I'm too busy during the days...but I just felt overwhelmed, but its ok...I will learn it. I'm trying my best and I know that's all I can do. the Lord will take care of the rest!
To answer your many questions Mom, It is very hot here, and soo humid. I feel like I have a layer of sweat on me like all the time, I've gotten used to it now, it's not a big deal. haha My rash has started to go away- I think it's fine, I'm not worried about it anymore. I've got a pretty bad farmers tan line, but I haven't really had to wear sunscreen a lot because honestly we use umbrellas so its all good! theaters- I was asking sis fajardo about that yesterday- they're like 150 pesos here...thats way expensive! like 3 american dollars, and you can buy pirated dvds for 50 pesos so people usually just do that haha
Anyways the work this week- it was great of course! So many funny great tender mercies every day, and so many great miracles being worked! I will just tell you on new years eve and new years every single appt we went to fed us a merienda...which wasn't a was like a full on meal! Sis Tigno---the 1st counselor in the RS presidency- she's inactive---but she has been to church every week since I've been here!!! She just needs support' she's the only member in her family, and she's been through the temple so you know she has a testimony- and she just needs a little extra time and to be reassured her Heavenly Father loves her...anyways...she fed us no joke: a weird Ham thing, Rice, Meat skewers, souflet, some weird jello pudding/ condensed milk thing, cake, babinka, chicken, lumpia....there was more picture all of these full on dishes sitting in front of a table of just ME and SISTER FAJARDO...AFTER coming from a lunch appt at Pres DeGuzmans house where we ate: Spaghetti with hotdogs of course, fish, bread, rice, fruit salad with noodles, watermelon, cheeze spread stuff, pig....yeah I think that was it...oh my gosh I about died! hahaha We ate...and we ate...I may gain weight here! haha Then we got out of there and I told Sis.'s one thing to eat a lot when you like the food...but when you don't even like's just torture! haha She laughed! So funny story with that too. We were at the Reyes Family- they're also inactive- such sweet people though, and Ramon Reyes is active, he's 22 just returned from his mission in Quezon City, and he is the current EQ president for the ward. Anyways we were there and before we left bro. Julius (his brother) said oh, we can't forget a merienda- so we just looked at was soo funny. Anyways, preparing to eat more food they brought out bread with this nasty cheeze spread on it...i'm telling you everyone eats it here and it is sooo gross. The first week here I saw a cupcake that said "cheese cake" well let me tell you it did not taste like cheese cake hahah it is sooo gross...its literal CHEESE cake..anyways they fed us the nasty cheese bread and coconut water. I was crying I was laughing soo hard becuase not only were we already full, but Sis. Fajardo knows how much I hate that stuff! When they turned around for a second Sis. Fajardo hurried and passed me a plastic bag. I put my sandwhich in it and they turned back to us so I quickly grabbed part of the crust and acted like I was eating it. Just smiling and nodding. Then I attempted the coconut water. I took a sip and made a face. Sis. Fajardo hurried and quickly put her glass next to mine when they turned around again and motioned for me to pour it into hers. I quickly did and then they turned around to us again right as we did that- then we quickly put our cups up to our mouth and pretended to be drinking. Me covering my whole cup with my hands so they couldn't see it was already empty! Oh my goodness it was soo hilarious, something you would see in a movie...oh man...that was just another tender mercy that day! Anyways, I feel bad I didn't share any spiritual thought...I will say that I have used Omni 1:27 MANY TIMES THIS WEEK and also Mosiah 2:21-24 with our reactivating members. haha The work is so great, and the happiness you experience through the gospel is eternal! I love you all

Newest group of missionaries
Front: Sis. Allen,,  Sis. Monotojo,  Sis. Ragragio,  Sis. Maiava,  Elder Elix,  Elder Abril
Back:  Elder Ereno,  Elder Davis,  Elder Merrill,  Elder Tauiliili,  Elder Kemmey,  Elder Harrison
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