The Cutest Blog on the Block

Monday, December 31, 2012

Maligayang pasko at Manigong bagong taon!

Is that not like every kids dream shot for his baptism?! Yeah...I know
Bro . Isaac and Bro. Steven
Dec. 30, 2012
What a fantastic in, i don't really even know where to start, especially cuz it took me a while to upload all the photo's....the photos probably speak for themselves....its been pretty eventful!
Of course, for Christmas Eve and Christmas, we had an early curfew, so we were in by 6pm. Last year, I remember Sis. Fajardo and I stopped by this local pizza place, and bought pizza that didn't taste like was soo gross...but it's okay haha then we reparied the hymn books from the chapel. So, this year, we started making a we bought pizza again. Only...they have a Shakeys in the next town over, in Dagupan, and one of our ward missionaries, bro Ammon agreed to go to dagupan and buy pizza for us and bring it to us so we would still make curfew, and we still had a pizza dinner, we were so excited! hahaha real pizza! haha :) Then....we wanted to do a service project again this year, so we were trying to think of something we could do in the apartment, then we realized the baptisimal clothes here were just thrown in a closet and were dirty and not washed and just, we thought, let's wash the baptisimal clothes. That's what we did! Afterwards....I made them no-bake cookies...they had never tried them...and of course we don't have an oven thats what we did. It was a lot of fun!!! :) So whenever a single woman or man bakes or does dishes, or wahes clothes they have a kinda funny frequent saying they say here, thats: "pwede ka na magasawa" or..."you can get married now" when your cooking is good, or when you're masipag at washing christmas night...they said "pwede ka na magasawa sis. allen" yes..pwede na daw. hahaha It was really's true...I was pretty busy washing clothes and baking... celebrate Christmas and New Years...filipino's love mga putok-putok....or lighting we hear fireworks all night long...and even sometimes in the morning. they're not even the really pretty sparkly kind...they're just the noisy big blast kind. haha
I got an extra special christmas present this year. Yesterday when I went to church, I had a present waiting in the foyer for me...the Reyes Family and Bro Brix & Mark....they were some of my first baptisms in Lingayen 1st ward...remember the Reyes family? Last Christmas that's what made our christmas "white" here....they'r wedding and baptism. Well, they all came to say hi....and we got to chat...and this time really chat because I could talk to them!! :) They're soo sweet, I just love them. It made it a really great Christmas.

Not to mention, this Saturday we had a baptism. Even though bro Steven is only 12 years old....he is soo cute, and his testimony really is real. His older Brother, Bro. Isaac got to baptize him. We took one look at the baptisimal was funny because I said jokingly at like 8:50am (the baptism was gonna start at 9am)...well, the water's really dirty, and look there's even sand in it. We might as well go to the beach. And then they said Yeah....lets just do that instead. haha I love it, the filipino's are such spur of the moment, whatever kinda really did to go the beach. haha It was my first baptism at the beach, and it was soo great! It was a memorable experience, as we sung "I'm trying to be like Jesus" on the beach for the musical number...I don't think I'll ever forget that feeling. :)

Anyways, another great year has come and gone. I can't believe tomorrow it's 2013. Whenever anyone asks me about when I go home I always say "ah..matagal pa, next year pa" or "it's still a long way away, not till next year" but now...I can't say that...less than 3 months! ah...crazy.
Anyways, I love you all, I pray for you always, and it was soo good to hear your voices again! Take care, and enjoy the rest of this holiday season!\


Row 1   L: Our Christmas party   R: Me & Sisl Valera
Row 2 L:  Christmas morning  R. Gift exchange under our mini-
Christmas tree...who knew Santa even makes it over here in the Filpines!
Row 3  L.  Christmas Dinner- Shakey's Pizza    R: No-bake cookies

Row 1  L: Yup...a fish and shrimp tree!  R: Me & Sis Penna before trnasfer.
Center:  Us at the manger scene.
Row3 L:  Me & Sis Valera at the Capitol    R: Opening our Gifts

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Maligayang Pasko!!!

Dec. 23, 2012 they say here in the Filipines...Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!!!!!! Or...Merry Christmas to all of you!
So, This week was soo awesome, and soo crazy busy. We had our trizone christmas conference, and watched the Charles Dickens "A christmas carol"....a first time for many of the filipinos. It was great! Not to mention we had a ward christmas party, and soo many members came! It was fun, Sis. Valera & I were in charge of the Christmas was sooo fun...I still can't get over it. the last game, we had everyone involved and we played my favorite game here in the Filipines.... hahaha It's hilarious, and I love the game....some other time, I'll have to explain it. The filipino's just laugh and laugh...I love their sense of humor here!
We're here at CSI right's like a is brand new and just opened up this's soo nice. I remember when I was in my first area, lingayen...they had just started the ground breaking...who would have thought I'd return here to actually see it and go shopping :) I'm excited, we feel pretty spoiled!!!
Brother Steven Bernardo had his baptisimal interview. He looks like we'll be having a baptism this next weekend! I'm pretty excited about it. We also extended a baptisimal date to the Soriano Family for January 24th....they are such a golden family, and I absolutely love them. They went to church this last sunday for the first time...and they both had prayed to know and have been reading the book of mormon, and they both felt good and both received an answer. Before Sis. VAlera and I could extend a date, they asked us how they too could become members of the was such a great experience. Sorry, I've used up all my time now so I don't have time to really accurately explain. Basta, this week was a great week!
What a very merry Christmas...Last year, we had a White Christmas with the Reyes Family being dressed in white...this year, it will be Brother Steven
How very blessed I am to not only be enjoying Christmas...but actually understanding it in a very truly significant way.
Love you all. Even though I may not be "home for christmas"'re always in my heart.
I love you all

Me & Sis. first companion the MTC.

Sis. Alvaro.  She is so cute.  I really love her!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Alam ko ito. Ipinapamuhay ko ito. Mahal ko ito.

My "3" words for 2012
 Dec. 16, 2012
If you don't know what I said in the subject heading, it just means. "I know it. I live it. I love it." haha
How's it going family?!
Well, Christmas is only a week or so away, how quickly it is coming, and how how exciting!!!!
This week has been an exciting was TRANSFER WEEK...and of course, as expected...I did NOT transfer. haha Sis. Valera and I are doing great, and going to enjoy our last transfer being together, because we will be finishing the training program at the end of this transfer. It's been fun to watch her grow, and be a part of that process. It's also kind of funny because while I'm with these new missionaries, I realize so much about myself, and how much I've changed...and it makes me laugh. haha especially as we were sitting on the floor (the house was a bamboo house...or bahay kubu) and as we were teaching, we saw this huge daga (rat) crawl across the floor in front of us, it didn't touch us, but it went right by us, and Sis. Valera just screamed and moved around. hahaha I just looked at her, looked and watched the rat, and then went on with the lesson. hahaha Then...I just laughed afterwards....because that totally was my reaction. hahah I can't believe that didn't affect me. haha It was funny. A lot of times stuff like that has happened...and it just makes me laugh.
Last night the Vinluan family had us over for dinner. Sis. Valera started laughing as we started running home cuz we were going to be late for curfew, and of course, we need to be home on was soo funny, we just got to the staircase and just collapsed laughing...that was her first experience doing that....that's happened way too many times to me here in the mission.
Because this week was transfer week, Sis. Carr transferred to Dagupan, so she is no longer there. I'm the only American in the apartment now...and now we're multicultural because Sis. Alvaro is now training...she just finished being trained and she went directly to be a trainer. She is soo great, and her companion is from Sri Lanka...and she hasn't had any language training guess who gets to be her :) It was sooo funny...Sis. Valera wanted to film me yesterday because I was trying to speak english to her...and I really was struggling soo hard. hahaha It was soo funny....if I get going and speak in english, it becomes easy...but sometimes I really do stumble and it's hard. It's been fun to teach tagalog...I'm soo glad that I've overcome that challenge...and I'm so grateful for the gift of tongues. I just kept telling Sis. Navarthba (from sri lanka) that the gift of tongues is real....but you have to work for it first...don't think it's a free gift. But if you do your part, you will be blessed with that gift. From my first few days here in the Pines, until now, I have seen that gift time after time, and I am so grateful for it.  It was kinda funny I started to cry as I was teaching her I thought of the so many times when I first got here and I was soo frustrated and I felt useless because I can't help the people if I don't know what they're saying...and how I learned that...if I try and do my part, the Lord really will give you spiritual impressions, and help you understand if you are patient enough.
Oh...I do have to tell you something funny. For whatever reason we were telling stories about our families, and I mentioned that in our family my Dad always says "You know what?" to us and that we always say "You love me" because if you respond "what?!" He just says "I love you!" so we try and answer him instead of ask! was funny, because usually before we go to bed I always say "Mahal Kita Sis. Valera. Matamis na panaginip" Or "I love you sis. Valera, sweet dreams" so...before I got the chance to, she said "Sis. Allen. You know what?" hahah i just laughed soo hard..and told's just not the same when you say it...and when my dad says it...but I know you love me. hahaha It was funny, so now we've adapted now every night I think of dad as I say to Sis. Valera. "Sis. Valera, Alam mo ba?" or (you know what)'s funny :)
Yesterday was their primary program, they are soo cute. We have 4 investigators that are children still, and it was cute to see them participate in the program. The sad part was, or the problem, was that their parents (who are less active members) didn't come to church because they were "busy" so they missed out on seeing the children perform...sayang. That seriously is the challenge.  All of the little kids want to come to church, and their parents don't want to be bothered, so they have no support....and there are other missionaries who have baptized these little kids, and because they don't have any support...they just fall away and become inactive...until they're in their mid 30's and have married another person of another faith and have no interest in the church anymore, and then we find them and start teaching their's just a pattern that keeps going on that needs to be broken here. Anyways...we're trying really hard. Fellowshipping is difficult here, not because we don't have people, but because they're always "busy."
Anyways...with fasting and prayer...we'll figure out how to help them...and what to teach them so they become more excited about helping others come unto Christ too...and become member missionaries.
Anyways, I love you all I'm out of time
TALK to you...and I mean literally TALK to you next week!!! :)
Anyways, we really had a great week...again...of course...and I know this next week is going to be great too. We have our TriZone Conference, so I should have lots of great pictures for you next week....we also have our ward christmas party. Sis. Valera and I are in charge of the games, so that should be pretty fun. :)


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Munting Langit sa Lupa

 Dec 9, 2012

Well...what another crazy, amazing week!!! Well...I know everyone was a little depressed last week when I announced my mission call got extended...but...joke lang yun or...that was just a joke I guess. haha They extended the calls of the Elders...but the Sisters- they weren't allowed to extend. Instead...I will be coming home: March 26th!!!!! Crazy....time is going by SO fast!!!!! I have soo much still I want to do before I go home. When they told me at first that I would be extending to May...I just remember praying and telling Heavenly Father if he wants me here till that long, of course I'll stay...but that I"d like to be home for Derek's baptism and the birth of my nephew...and that Gee wasn't doing so good.......but of course, "Thy will be done" attitude. Because...My ways...are not always His ways. And....I came home one night and Sis. Carr told me she talked Pres monahan into letting us go home on our original date. Then she said...just kidding...she wanted to take credit, but actually the first presidency wouldn't let them extend the dates for the sisters-just the elders' dates got extended. haha So...Yep...March 26th it I guess...that is the Lord's will. Although, President did email me earlier and asked if he could extend my mission call another 5 years. haha I just replied and said...if you do that...YOU have to be the one to tell my family. :) haha
This week has gone by really fast...and it's been a fun one. We just got done with our zone activity...which was just pertty much a trivia game and eating...but its cool. haha
So our "tagalaba" or the sister who does our laundry was the RS president in Lingayen 1st ward- my first area. It's been really fun to see her all the time. It was funny because the other day she was talking to Sis. Valera bout me, and about how it's a good thing now I've learned how to take care of myself and that I look good...because before she just said I would just stand there, and sweat...and I didn't know how to take care of myself...or speak the language. It was just funny to hear her tell the story...because it's soo true. hahaha It was also fun because last night at the Christmas devotional it was at the stake center- so I also got to see members from my first area and reminisce and just tell stories...oh how I love and have missed them soo much! It was soo fun, they were all amazed now that I speak pure tagalog. It was funny at first, they tried speaking in part english to me...i guess thats what they used to do. haha
So, the member work here in Binmaley is a little shaky....or should I say...non existent at the moment...but unti unti or little by little we are working it out. This week, we had a family home evening at our Bishops house- trying to gain his trust. He is sooo humble, and such a great guy. HIs family is so wonderful...and of course we shared with them, and then asked them if they could work with us sometime. And they agreed- so they went to one of our new invesitgators' houses...which...actually came to church for the first time this week- and I think it's because we had fellowshippers. Also....we found a medyo less active faimly- and asked them to come with us to another less active's house to share a message...and they now they're working...and they were also all at church because of that...then...we taught another less active family....who recently started returning, and taught about the joys of sharing the gospel with others, so we have a fhe scheduled this week with them and they'll be inviting their friends who aren't yet members. Not to mention we also have a FHE scheduled later on tonight with our 1st councelor in the stake presidency here in our ward, trying to gain his trust. We're just really trying to work on gaining the trust right now, and getting the members to work. Thats the hardest part...but the missionaries come and go. They need to learn to be self're trying to work it out. Now with the new dates...i'm not sure if this will be my last area or if I wll be transferred this january...but...I'm hoping I'll get to stay that I can help them to be self reliant...we'll see. Gawain ng Diyos. :)
Well, I love you all, sorry for the short message once again...
I pray for you often, and love you

Hiking...Sis. Valera, Me, Sis. Carr, Sis. Alvaro


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Na!!

Dec. 2, 2012

Wow, It's December.....that's soo crazy!!! I've had this nasty cough for like 2 weeks now, hopefully it starts to go away, off and on too I''ve had a cold. It's kinda funny cuz...which I think I might have mentioned in my last letter, but when the members or people we're talking to notice I have a cold they mention it, then they always say "It's because of the season, or it's that time of the year. It's cold." Then I find myself agreeing and then think...wait a minute...what in the world am I going to do when I come home and it's freezing cold?! hahaha
Well one day this week, we totally got chased by dogs....and then got cornered by them....and lucky for us the wall that they backed us up to was freshly painted...sooo....we got white paint all on our back sides. hahaha It's kinda funny now if you think about it. All of a sudden...these 2 kids came to our rescue...they had big sticks, and they beat the dogs for us we're totally fine...but I thought for a minute I was gonna have to be getting a rabies shot. haha The dogs are SOO mean here, I don't like them. haha
We also got to have a study session with Pres Monahan again, He is so wonderful, I just love him, and of course, I learned a lot.  This week, we honestly worked soo hard. We took an area that had no progressing investigators, no teaching pool, and we now have 6 invesitors with bap dates, we'll be extending 2 more invitations later tonight, and hopefully if it all works out 4 more later this week. The Cruz Family- we extended a Bap date to them for January 19th, they are soo great, it's like they're already members, they just...haven't been officially baptized, but they understand everything, they actively participate in the lessons, and they follow the word of wisdom and all of the mga "bawal" dito. 2 of our other baptismal dates that we extended are to part member families. They're "married" but they haven't had a legal wedding, which means they've just lived together for a long time....if all works out...hopefully we'll be having a double wedding in December or January! Now that we're both starting to get into the swing of things here, our first month is over with...we both don't want to transfer. Almost 100% one of us will transfer in January
Anyways, lots of funny and great experiences this week, but I'm sorry I ran out of time cuz...well....cuz of distractions haha but I will write more next week.
Love you all.

Me and Sister Valera infront of Labrador falls.