The Cutest Blog on the Block

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Week...

The Andaya

Me, Edrian and Sis Ragragio
 July 29, 2012
This week has been an interesting one. We had a baptism, Sis. Victoria Mayo. She has been an investigator now for 6 months, and she is soo dedicated, she was really ready to be baptized. It was a great baptism, but of course I have noticed that every baptism has it's challenges, it always never goes according to the plan. haha That is what I have learned, expect the unexpected- try to avoid any mishaps, but inevitably, it will happen anyways. So this saturday, we actually had a power outage or "brown out" as its called here. The power was shut off until 5pm. The baptism was supposed to be at 6 and the water for the bap font is hooked up to the electrical- so if no kuriente, that means there is no water- well, it turns out that in order to fill the bap font it takes about 3 hours- plus they still had to clean it before we used it. We tried everything- even hauling in other hoses to fill up the baptisimal font- it was crazy- even with us trying everything we could- our baptism still did not end up starting until around 7:30pm. It was a double baptism- cute little Edrian was finally baptized- completing this family. He is soo cute, my heart just melts, it makes me miss my nieces and nephews!  it was still a great experience- and the members were real troopers, even though we had to wait for an hour and a half.
I have spent the last 3 or so months with Sis. Olila here before just planting and harvesting seeds, and not it's fun to see the fruits of our labors- see the people coming unto Christ and being baptized or finally coming to church after months of going to them.
We have one less active, Bro Carlos Marquez- we have gone to him for 4 months now and at first his heart was soo hard- he would just hide or ride his bike the other diretion if he saw us coming. He really didn't want to have anything to do with us. We used his children as a tool finally. A few weeks ago we just invited his children to come to church and they agreed- so we went and fetched them, and they came to church- and now..finally this week for the first time in 4 months, brother Carlos agreed to come. I about nearly died when we taught him sautrday and I asked him where he was going to be sunday morning, and he said- well we have church, right? haha I'm sure my mouth dropped I was so shocked he was willing to come to church, he with his 3 children.
Although we had a lot of successes- we also had a lot of challenges. Tears started to fill my eyes as I heard that a few of our returned less actives, one family in particular that I thought was becoming soo strong in their testimony- I found out he has been drinking, and had vulgar language and nagsugal siya or...he was gambling. Tears started to fill my eyes, I don't know what else I can do to make my teaching more affective, to really help them wake up. I know of course, we sometimes have disappointments in the mission field, but it is true it is the work of the Lord, I just pray that he will help me in order to really help these people here. I want to figure out whats missing- how to help them have that burning testimony. It's like they say; missionaries get tired, but they never get discouraged. Thats what keeps running through my head. I know we will continue to see success if we continue to do our best.
Anyways, this week was a good one- busy- the time is flying by we just have 2 more weeks in the transfer cycle- then maybe I will be getting transferred. I'm not quite sure. I dont want to leave my area. I love these people, I dont want to leave them, there is soo much work to be done. As in, SO much!
Well, I love you all. Mom & Dad- please try to keep your remaining 9 fingers until I get home :) haha Joke, I love you and I'm so sorry that happened of course you're in my thoughts & prayers.

Rambutan...a fruit that looks like a Christmas ornament!

Inside Rambutan....It is really quite good...sweet!

Monday, July 23, 2012

What A Week

The back of a tricycle...a lot of members here
are proud to be LDS  :)

July 23, 2012

So, this email is gonna have to be short, because our Mission president had us fill out a questionaire online, so that took up our time...but I just wanted to say this week was a really great week, it felt really productive, there were several days when we sacrificed our lunch break and just worked and it felt...good...I am grateful that Sis. Ragragio is willing to sacrifice like that sometimes, because I've had other comp's that aren't willing...and we kinda need to be willing. Sometimes...cuz that's our whole purpose here, to help them, and sometimes we just don't have enough hours in the day, and it requires extra time.
We're really trying to work on building ward unity, that's one thing I really want to say I accomplished before I leave this area. So, we had a ton of Family Home Evenings, and we arranged so that Members were present at all but 2 lessons that we gave the entire week! I was soo proud haha it takes a ton of extra coordination and texting...haha but it's okay, it's worth it :)
During my interview with Pres Monahan, he sat me down and after we prayed- the first thing he did was showed me the picture they took my first day here in the missionfield- (he showed me on the computer with my release date- April 17!) and then he said well...knowing what you know now sister Allen, what advice would you give to yourself the first week in the mission? I said...."sabay na agoos" or just go with the flow. Let it all happen, love every  minute and soak it up. haha :) He just laughed. He is full of the spirit...he really is such a great Mission President! One of my friends, Elder Kemmy walked out and was like "man, he basically quoted my patriarchal blessing to me" he's soo inspired...haha it's really true. He is going to do great things for the Baguio mission.
President said my time will be short with my companion here, ut I need to teach her how to become a leader because she's gonna be put in a place where she needs to be a leader. He told me to tell my mom & dad thank you for raising a leader. so...thanks mom & dad :)
We now have 6 Investigators with Bap dates- that's not our mission focus, our focus is the less active effort, but for some reason they just keep coming our way. I'm really excited about the Hernandez Family. I remember when Sis. Olila & I were companions, it was a really dark night and it was stormy- we were coming from a less actives house- and we walked by and Bro Jerry was on his front porch. So, I told Sis. Olila- we need to talk to them. We did- and he turned out to be an inactive member too a long time ago. We started teaching his family now- who are not yet members. Bro Jerry has now returned to church- and now his family, all 5 of them have a bap date Aug 25- I am soo excited about it. It's one lesson I learned that we need to really listen to spiritual promptings- it could alter your life. And also...families are soo great when they all live the Gospel. It's so important.
Sis Mayo passed her bap interview, so we have a double baptism...2 of them this saturday. Next week is the baptism of bro Ryan and sis Ginalyn Marzan too...hopefully they pass their interview.
Mahal kita everyone, sorry for the short email this week

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kumusta Ka Na?

The view from our backyard

July 16, 2012
So this week was really challenging for me, because I was really sick! I have never been this sick in my entire mission, I'm still not really sure why I got so sick, I just know it was the worst feeling not being able to work for 2 days...just 2 appointments each day...that was all I could do. I asked for a blessing from our Zone leaders, and they gave me one. After Sis. Ragragio told them that she slept in cuz she was feeling tired, but said that I still woke up for studies even though I was in pain...they just looked at me and then quoted the scriptures like a missionary does and said "do not run faster than you have strength" haha...I was dying all during studies, but I wanted to be I suffered haha but its okay, they gave me permission to rest for a little bit, actually they told me I had no choice, I needed to take care of myself first, which is true...I know, but its really depressing just being inside when you can be working. I felt lazy! Anyways, I am feeling good now, and we're back in business :) We worked really hard the other days to try and compensate for our lost work.

This week I have noticed a lot and I mean a LOT of success. We have worked really hard to coordinate with all of the members, if we think they could become good friends with our less active members and recent converts, we have scheduled them to come with us to our appointments. We had like 8 Family Home Evenings this week...haha that's a LOT, but I want to help them build friendships. So, that's what we're doing, and it's working!!! WE had one family that we went to last sunday, Bro Elmer Medina & Bro. Jerry Hernandez- Bro jerry is inactive, he's been inactive for years because when he was 19 he was ready to go on his mission had his papers in and received his call, and his stake president told him he couldn't go, that they needed him there to help their priesthood. I dont know whether to really believe that or not, because I know that's not possible they have no say once you have your call, but I just know that somehow he got offended and didn't end up serving and ended up being inactive. As a result married a non member, but now they went to church this last sunday, and we have another fhe scheduled this week and other lesson, they want to become members, and brother wants to return, there's a lot of work ahead in teaching them the doctrine and making sure they understand it, but this family is golden :) I'm excited to be a part of it!  Part of the reason why they feel so welcomed now is because we've had right fellowshippers come to our lessons with them.'s been fun to watch!

Our district meeting this last week I was soo surprised when Pres & Sis. Monahan showed up to it! haha They are soo great, and I love that Pres Monahan really wants to be involved with everything that we do. That's the first time I have seen a mission pres show up to our meetings- usually we only see them when we transfer or have a special conference. once every few months- not common. I was freaking out though because I had to speak in english. When I first got here I thought "yeah right, there is no way i'm ever gonna freak out and struggle speaking english, that's not gonna happen to me" but...I was wrong. haha sometimes I just sit and wait a second for it to come to me in english haha it's soo funny. Sometimes Sabi ni Sis. Ragragio that in my dreams I will sleep talk in tagalog. haha kinda funny. Anyways we were having a "role play" demonstration and the elders were doing it in taglog. I was sitting next to Pres & Sis. Monahan and President asked me to translate for them. So I was sitting there translating....first of all I didn't realize I could do that, so that was pretty neat feeling- and second of all...i was struggling haha but its okay, hopefully president understands and doesn't think I'm intellectually challenged. haha

I'm excited about our newly appointed high council man here, he wanted to work with the ward leaders- and so he did, he wanted to work on the missionary work- he asked us a bunch of questions, and then worked with our bishopric and of course me and Sis. Ragragio it was great he owns a car too...that's the first time I've ridden in a car in 10 months. haha it was a really weird feeling! :)
Anyways, that's my week in a nutshell...I know it's quick and not much- but basically it was a good week- even though I was sick and I felt like dying for a few days, I'm alright now :)
Love you all

I bet you have NO idea where the dog's eyes are huh?

That is MOLD growing in my shoe....yuck!

Monday, July 9, 2012

What A Week!

Ochona Family on the Baptism Day....July 4

July 9, 2012

So...this week has gone by soo fast! I know I say that every day...but more so than ever! It has been quite an adventure, and really great actually getting to know all of these new people taga carmen east and exploring the new area!!!
Wednesday was probably the highlight of my entire week, first we got to go to Urdaneta again to meet with Pres & Sis. Monohan, our new Mission president here, and they are SOO great, ah I just LOVE them! They just went one by one and hugged everyone and just said "mahal kita" or love you! They're soo friendly, and Sis. Monohan, the first thing that came out of her mouth when she read my name tag "Sister ALLEN!!" then she ran over and gave me a hug and said, "you know, you have the best parents in the whole world. How did you get so lucky?" And I just said "I know, I really do have the best parents, I don't know what I did to deserve them". She then just said how much she LOVED Mom & Dad, and then that she gave me that big hug from my parents, and that it was fun to be able to see them before she came here. They're soo sweet. Pres. Monohan can tell he is a lawyer...and a good one at that. He is soo great, and soo kind! He just talked about how before the focus of Pres & Sis. Jensen was to help us focus on Christ, making Christ the center of everything we do and helping us grow and draw closer to him. He said he wants to take things a step further, He wants us not only to focus on Christ, but to let Christ's light shine through us. He just said that evrything happens for a reason in our lives, and that there are no coincidences in the gospel. His spirit was just really strong as he spake to us, I can tell that he is really going to do great things here for the Baguio Mission.

After conference, we went to our baptism! The Ochona family! They are soo great. At the end they of course shared their testimony, and brother cried as he just got up there and said how much he knows that this is the true church. The spirit was very strong....they really have a great firm testimony. They have had a lot of challenges, the place where Brother Ochona works which is the resteraunt at SM Mall, he is a chef, and I guess they had the other 2 chefs transfer to other locations and one quit this week- so he alone is there and so his shifts are crazy. He said he really didnt know if he was goig to make it to the baptism wednesday, they really didn't know how, but somehow, God took care of it. They had a lot of challenges right before their baptism! Then on Sunday they made brother work to cover for the missing chefs, but somehow he worked it out so he could go to church and receive his confirmation. Just, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

This week, one thing Pres Monohan talked about to us is Faith and he used of course the famous Alma 32 but he used the IF...THEN statement, if we see great miracles, then we'll believe and the problem there. He challenged us to,  if we encounter mga less active or investigators, that we should use the tactic and put them to the test then and there, ask them to kneel and pray and ask then and there and promise them they'll receive an answer. He said we have authority to do that, if we feel it. I that is really bold, I don't know if I can do that.   Well that night, we went to brother Ryan Marzan, who has a bap date of Aug 4 and he is having a lot of problems. His schooling, which is a baptist school is holding his record and won't let him transfer until his debt is payed off, but he has no way of paying it off, especially because his father just left his family, so his mother, who has 8 kids is providing for them and taking care of them. She is also a returning member now, I just Love sis Edna. Anyways, he has the option given him to go to baptist school and they said if he was active there they had a quarters for him to live in and also pay for his food and tuition if he would just be active. I asked him what he should do, he didn't know. I told him the Story of Joseph Smith again, I don't know why, but that's what I did. haha then, I asked him to pray then and there and use what Pres Monohan had told us earlier, and asked him to ask God to help him feel that this was the only true church, and that his decision was correct to be baptized, even though the offer was very tempting at the baptist school. Anyways, the spirit was SOO strong, tears started streaming down all of our faces, and needless to say, he is continuing with his baptism. Later he said to me, out of all the missionaries that have taught him, that's the first time that anything like that has ever happened, that he's ever been challenged to pray right then and  there, he said he was taken-aback when I actually wanted him to do that. haha I'm just grateful that he actually did it :)

Funny story, bro. Sammy Gamboa lost his key to his tricycle, his son misplaced it. We were just passing by and I asked him, "did you pray and ask for help to find it?" they just laughed at me...I just said "I'm serious...haha" Then he said huh ok, maybe. kind of shrugged it off, he didnt'want to do that. haha Anyways he said later on to me that he was desprate the next day, when he still couldn't find it, and so he actually tried it, and prayed. He said he immediatly had a thought pop into his mind, and he was able to find his key!. hahaha We just kind of laughed, he is a returning member, in progress so I think that helped his faith, even the simple, tender mercies that God gives us! :)

Anyways, a great week, full of great experiences, and hard times too...not really knowing how to do this whole 2 area thing now. It's beautiful though...the new area, and the people are great!
I love you all and have a GREAT Week!
Pres. & Sis. Monahan, New Baguio Mission Pres.....July 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012


L to R:  Bishop, Sis. Teresa, Me, Sis. Ragragio- Our first time in Carmen East
 July 1, 2012
Well Hello Family!
Another transfer here in Rosales for me! I love my area, even though of course it has its challenges, but I'm grateful to still be here..This week was a good one! of course right,?! First of all, we had "transfer awareness & district meetings" with our whole zone- so a ton of elders and sisters were there bale 4 districts-
and anyways I thought it was odd, but they started our meeting at 11:30 usually its like 1:00...anyways, I didn't quesiton, I just went early. Well when I got there...there was this giant white board that just said "Happy Birthday Sis. Allen" And then all of a sudden all these elders came out holding a cake and candles and singing happy birthday to me and then they came out with pizzas and we had a huge party before our meeting! I was almost in tears I was touched, I just love them, they're soo great. The Philipino people are sooo kind...and aAmerican too haha but still I just love them! I had NO idea! So that was exciting! Also, we were shocked when it was announced that not only Sis. Olila was transferring, But Sis. McKinley was too. Ako lang ay naiwan dito. Or I am the only one that got left here hahaha so...I had no idea if we would have 2 sisters to come in place of Sis. Mckinley & Sis. Magalogo, or if I would be in charge of opening an area or what...Well, it was fun because I got to go  to the transfer meeting so I got to go along for the ride to Urdaneta even though I wasn't transferring, but I had to go because both of my companions were transferring, and there was no one else that I could go on exchanges with or no other sisters in the area, and of course I wouldn't be left alone,so yes, I got to go to the final transfer meeting of Pres & Sis complaints there, I was excited! :)  We sat down and when they announced "Senior Companion, Open Area, Sister Allen, Jr companion Sis. Ragragio" I about died. haha tears started to fill my eyes as I thought...what in the world? How am I going to do that....then I just remembered...alright...if God thinks I'm up for the be it. haha I then remembered my prayers and I even fasted a few times for Pres to help him receive revelation this tranfer, because I was so nervous about being left alone there and opening a new area, and I just asked Heavenly Father to please help me accept whatever came, and that it would be a challenge for me...that I would grow. hahahaha What in the world...I remember Dad telling me when I got my mission call and I said "huh, the philipines?" He just laughed and said..."kiddo, you asked for it. You told me you told Heavenly Father that you wanted a challenge". Then I just could imagine him saying the same thing to me...again and laughing. hahaha'd think I'd learn my lesson, right?! haha just kiddin, I really do want to learn and grow, I don't want the mission to be easy. So, we'll see how this transfer goes, but I'm excited for it. Things are already starting to change. I asked Bishop if we could attend our ward council meeting. When it came time for the missionary part I just passed around their list of "15 focus families" (which is their goal to have them active in the church by the end of this year) and I just asked him...who even knows who the 15 focus families are? Who has done anything to help them? Then I explained that there are only 2 of us, and now not only am I in charge of 500 people, but now I am incharge of over 1000 people in this ward. I told them that we can't do it by ourselves, and that the Prophet and area presidency has said that the 15 focus families are not for the missionaries, they're for the ward. I told them we have visitied some of them and they're not progressing. We need to work together because they're all capable and great leaders. Which is soo true, this ward is capable of soo many good things. They just lack the organization, and the communication with each other. Anyways, it's been a whirlwind. I've been studying the "church handbook of instruction" so I know how everything runs again (which is what I had to do in Lingayen). Anyways, I wasn't's like the scriptures say "be bold, but not overbearing". So....anyways we had a good discussion. They started speaking loudly with each other and as one of them said they wanted to get rid of a name and replace it with another. One of the men there, Bro. Poblico, we asked him to work with us 2 times now and go with us to visit one particular brother. The others wanted to get rid of his name, but because Bro Poblico worked with us, he stood up for him and just said "may pagasa jan" or there is hope there...and tears just started to come to my eyes as these people were defending those who may have hope, and then others just wanted to put their names aside like they weren't important. I thought about our Heavenly Father and how sometimes I think "Oh, they're not progressing, there's no hope there and maybe Heavenly Father is shouting "oh, there's still hope there, don't give up on him or her". These people are daughters and sons of our Heavenly Father. They are ALL important. I am soo blessed to witness mircales and have tender mercies every day that remind me just how important every soul, every person is to our Heavenly Father.
Anyways, that's all I have time to write,
I love you all, and I am really grateful for all you do

Bro and Sis Ochona

Lazaro Family- We have dinner appt with them weekly  :)