Jan 25, 2009 - Hilongos Week 3

You are so faithful! ;) I love getting your emails. You probably are so good because you were a missionary too.

So Eva sent me a lot of questions, so I'll get to those first.

So do they have any cool foods that you've encountered?
There are a TON of breadshops here. The downtown area where there are a lot of (small) shops there are like 10 little breadshops. They have little baked good things. Today for lunch I ate Palabok(?) It was a noodle dish with a sauce of sorts. But what's really good are the two desserts that I've had here. Hala-Hala and LangDang(?) The first is a like... ultimate snow cone. There's ice and condensed milk in a bowl and there's coconut jelly and jackfruit and corn and cornflakes and red bean and ube in it, and you mix it all up and eat it. You can get it topped with Ube ice cream too if you want. And LangDang(?)... When I first saw it I asked Sister Holden if it was a fruit soup. And that's pretty much what it looks like. A purple soup thing (probably with ube in it) with coconut jelly balls (like boba but BETTER) and bananas and stuff served hot. The name of it changes according to where you are in the Philippines. Oh, and according to some health guidelines that I got when I first got here, I'm not allowed to eat Balut. Oh well. ;)

Have you gotten sick yet?
Actually yes... This week Sister Holden and I stayed in the apartment because on Thursday I had to run to the bathroom unexpectedly a lot. ;P It's was going to happen at some point or other. But I was fine the next day.

Do you have a pensionista that cooks for you or do you go to appointments/members for food?
Sister Holden has been doing most of the cooking. We aren't allowed to have househelp because the missionaries are the only ones allowed inside the apartment. We have bread/fruit for breakfast and some sort of thing with rice for lunch. The best way to make sauces is with a bit of "Magic Sarap" for seasoning. :P Oh and with onions, ginger and garlic too. Yum. We ate at a members house once, but thats because they decided to feed us after we finished our New Member lesson. And this week we met a fellow (non-member, not-investigator) who wanted to talk to us, so we ended up eating at his house. o.O Sister Holden told me: "Just so you know, this never happens." That family normally lives in Manila, so they weren't going to stay in town long. :(

Do they drink cold water?
Sis. Holden told me that Filipinos think that drinking cold water makes you sick. So for the most part, not really.

How are your showers? do you feel clean?
My showers usually consist of me dumping water over my head (from a bucket thing). It's actually kinda nice now that I'm not scared of the cold water anymore. ;) And it hasn't been that hot yet (rainy season or something) so I feel relatively clean throughout the day unless we go to a muddy area.

How are your feet? How's the stink?
My feet are fine. :) I think the MTC was worse than it is here. I don't even need to use foot powder for the most part.

How do you like your rubber shoes?
They're okay. They felt weird at first because the heel was kind of squishy, but then it was nice to have squishy things on your feet.

We have geckos that like to hang out on our walls in our apartment. I'm not sure if geckos eat bugs or anything, but I'm REALLY glad if they do. They're much more welcome as apartment guests in that case. ;) And sometimes late at night we can hear rats in the attic. They sound like dogs running. Which is a little bit frightening. =x

In my last email I said that the people call us "Mom". I was mistaken. :P What I heard as "Mom" was actually "Maam", pronounced "Mah-ahm" which means M'am. hahaha.

Brother Bishop would be happy to know that I started putting together my first Scripture Chains this week!! YAY. Scripture chains make me feel super smart and researched. I hadn't even heard of them until the MTC. So I finished a couple this week. About Baptism by immersion, God introducing Jesus, Christ's Divinity (that we didn't finish in class. Hebrews 1 is GREAT for ending that.), and how man can see God. I used the Bible dictionary for most of my research, so it was easier than it sounds. :P What I'm really trying to figure out how to make a scripture chain for is why you have to be baptized again (I have D&C 22, but I wanted some more) and why there is only one true church/one way/why you need ordinances. A lot of the attitude here is "Jesus gihapon" which basically means, "It's all Jesus, it's all good, All churches can get you salvation"

I want to read the Bible, I want to read the Book of Mormon, I want to read ALL the church magazines in our apartment! BUT THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME. AHHH. I actually like studying now. Oh my.

Investigators this week:
Loriano Beltran is amazing!! We taught him the Plan of Salvation lesson this week and he was surprised to hear that coffee was bawal (not allowed). He said it was his favorite and he spent several minutes talking about why it was his favorite. (I didn't really know what he was talking about, except that it was about coffee. o.O) But then he ended by saying "Well, I still have some in my house, so I'll have to find someone else to give it to." So he committed to keep the Word of Wisdom! :)

We've started asking for referrals from ANYONE. Including investigators, and so we got Alvin and Wilma Bilbar, the neighbors of the Fulache family (who are investigators). Sister Holden said that this is the first time she's asked for referrals from investigators. The branch is so small though, I even suggested that we might be able to "fellowship" our investigators with other investigators. Alvin and Wilma are special. :) They are very open and they said that they've been attending different denominations so they're looking for the truth. Sister Wilma just glows. We went to teach them the second lesson and her brother was at their house, so we spent all of our time answering his questions (cuz he had a lot of them) like why we don't worship the cross. So we ended up giving another MR (message of the restoration). But the really awesome thing is that Wilma and Alvin were actually trying to answer his questions themselves, with what we had taught them before! So I'm really excited because they're really understanding what is going on in the lessons.

KK~ I love you all! Write me! Send me more questions too! :)

Hebrews 1: Christ is a God
Alma 32: The Word is like a Seed
2nd Nephi 31: Why Christ was Baptized

Oh and there are way more than two areas here. Sister Holden is just special and she was only assigned to two areas. She knows all the members here and MOST of the Less-active members. So that's really great so she can understand whats going on with people, but I think that being here for so long has made her lose hope in some people. :( So I don't know if I'm annoying or refreshing when I say I want to visit everyone. :P Like tonight, we're going to visit some "perpetual investigators" of sorts. Roy Matas says he knows the BoM is true and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, but he doesn't need to be baptized and he's already enduring to the end. And he doesn't attend church, so tonight we're going to ask him about his testimony.

~the end~

Janaury 18, 2009 - Hilongos Week 2

I had a bunch of emails when I signed in today! YAY!!
There were some questions, so here are some answers. :)

I got that suitcase at the MTC. There was a couple of occasions where there was a suitcase at the free box. o.O And the "pictures" that you saw on the memory card were my videos. I didn't put any pictures on that card. You just didnt push play or something. ;) Or maybe her camera couldnt read them as videos since my camera is newer? BUT you proved that they're on there, so yea.
I forgot... I was going to bring my book because I wanted you to add my MTC teachers to my email list. The only one I remember is and I'm not sure if that's right. If it is, ask Bro. Morrey for Sister Lillywhite's email too plz?

Thank you for the lovely offer of buying me a Ever After DVD for when I come home. But I already have it. :D I bought it at Best Buy or something when I saw it for $5 (SO worth it.) I also really liked the email that you sent me. It was really funny because I could tell for sure that it was you writing it. Dad can send me jokes in every email, it'll remind me of him. :)

This week I was like: Oh. Zoey's probably born now. So I'm glad to hear that Kira has taken a liking to Zoey. :D Updates would make me happy. <3 Oh and ask Ian where he's from in the Philippines. Mila/Nanoy sent me an email and they mentioned "North" but thats about it.


I forget that I'm "Amerikana" until we leave the apartment and people start staring again. Oh yeah... I was warned in the MTC that people would call us "Joe" because we're Americans but that seems to be only for Elders. At least for the most part, they understand that Joe is a male-nickname or something. No, Sister missionaries get different names. I said in my last email that a lot of people like to say hi. It's REALLY true. Sister Holden is used to it, so she just ignores it but I still feel the need to wave or something. They also like to call us "Sisters" for the people who have seen missionaries around enough, and "Mom" for other people. I'm assuming they think we're Mormon nuns or something. Oh, and the occasional "Beautiful/Gwapa". I don't think I'll run low on self-esteem here, the way that happens often enough.

So here in Hilongos, Sister Holden and I are the only missionaries. There's 1 branch here with a total of 300ish members, but the activity rate is a little under 100. There is also a separate sacrament meeting that they do which we don't attend in the area farthest in the branch boundaries that counts for about 20 of those. It's really difficult for people sometimes. A good amount of people went inactive because they simply don't have a lot of money so they feel they can't afford the transportation to go to church. The chapel is here in the main area of Hilongos. And for some reason the church grounds is just filled with caterpillars. I haven't seen them anywhere else except the church grounds. Maybe because of the grass?

I seem to be pretty lucky. A sister in the ward told me that she was really surprised at my Cebuano (they call it Bisaya here because the islands around here are the Bisayas) because the missionaries who first started coming here were "English-speaking" that had a rude awakening when they arrived. xD So because of the efforts of missionaries that returned home, they've made a much better preparation for studying Bisaya in the MTC. But I still don't understand what people are saying about 85-90% of the time. Some people understand most English, but I'd say that isn't a standard. And I think the message means so much more when its in their native language. :)

We taught my first NEW investigator this week! His name is Loriano Beltran and he's the brother of a really faithful member who lives far but still comes to church every week. It was his first time meeting with the missionaries, so I was really excited. :) He's already been to Church twice with his brother. I think his brother has been a great example for him, and so he wanted to find out more about the Church. He's already said that he wants to be baptized if he finds good results from the lessons.

We also taught a Brother and Sister Rabaya, who are active Catholics. Brother wanted an English Book of Mormon to read, so they were given a copy of that and when we went to visit them, he said that he had read the first 3 chapters of the BoM! He really wants to understand the BoM and so he said he was reading it with the Bible. Sister Holden told me that they had not wanted to pray in previous lessons because they only wanted to pray with their memorized Catholic prayers, so we focused this lesson about how to pray. I was surprised, but at the end of the lesson the Brother did pray! He ended up ending the prayer with a Catholic recitation, but it sometimes takes so much to even get someone to TRY praying, that we were really happy. We can only meet with them every 2 weeks or so though because of Brother's work schedule. :(

The mission president doesn't want missionaries to spend time tracking/contacting so our pool of investigators was shrinking until we learned that we were allowed to ask for referrals. We also have a list of all the members in the branch, so we're going to look at any names that Sister Holden doesn't know and see if we can visit them.

Sister Holden is from New Mexico, and she was attending BYU-Hawaii before she came on her mission. This is her last area, while this is my first. So she's going to be leaving. :( Her mission has been interesting because she's only been assigned in TWO areas. She's been in Hilongos for 7 months (will be 8 when she leaves) and she was in one Waray-Waray area for 8 months. I think that that has some advantages. She made me a planner cover last night to protect my planner from the rain. :)

ITS BEEN RAINING SO MUCH. It rained for like 2 days straight this week. And then sporadically for the rest of the week. It's so unexpected. So we bought "plastic shoes" (rubberish) for me to wear. It was really hard to find anything in a size that I could wear. But they're easy to scrub clean and when it rains so much, its all that Sister Holden wears. It just seems like it would be easier to wear sandals because then you wouldn't be walking with water/rocks in your shoes, but we're not allowed to.

I might start listing some favorite chapters that I've read/used each week from scriptures.
Alma 7: The mission of Christ
3rd Nephi 13: How to pray!

So long, farewell~ Send me love plzz. <3's


Now that Julie is in the Phillipines, you can still write her DearElder.com letters. But you must select the Phillipines-Tacloban mission. This is still free of charge.

"Snail mail can reach me by two means. The first is a pouch mail service, where you send a single sheet letter (or postcard) to the headquarters in Salt Lake City so that mail can be bulk sent out of the country. The following describes the appropriate way a letter should be sent for the pouch service: http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/51446/Pouch-service-has-new-regulations.html

Sister Julie Ann Loveland
Philippines Tacloban Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City UT 84130-0150

This second address is a more direct address, where packages or larger letters that are not applicable to the pouch service can be sent.

Sister Julie Ann Loveland
Philippines Tacloban Mission
511 Maharlika Hwy
Fatima Vlg, Tacloban City
6500 Letye

Janaury 11, 2009

Oh my gosh everyone, I don't even know where to start. My P-days in the mission field here are going to be on Mondays. I guess that means its Sunday night over there for you. o.o

Our flights to the Philippines were SO LONG!!! We had an hourish flight to San Fransico, then 14 hours on EVA airlines until we hit Taipei in Taiwan. Then it was another hour to Manila and another hour until we got to Tacloban. Not including layovers, which weren't too bad. The first night here, I ate out with some sister missionaries and spent the night at their apartment. The next day we had orientation and some training from the mission president. That took all day as well, so it we spent the night at the sister missionaries apartment again. Then, my third day in the Philippines, a good amount of that was the 3 hour bus ride to Hilongos, which is the area I'm serving in! I sent a letter to Mom and Dad with a little bit of info in it, but you'll probably get this email before then. =O

On that note, it's probably MUCH faster to actually contact me by emailing me now. It takes like 2-3 weeks for a letter to come I think, and I'm only going to be getting mail during zone conferences which don't happen that often. So, its better to email me. :)

We're the only missionaries in our area, Sister Holden and I. We're both American sister missionaries, so its somewhat rare that we're assigned together. But she can show me lots of stuff, like how to wash my clothes by hand (WHICH WE DID THIS MORNING. OH MY GOSH) And we actually do have a shower, but the water's cold so I think I just prefer pouring a bucket of water over my head. =O

It hasn't been that hot yet! It's been nice weather lately, some occasional really rainy downpours. But I don't feel like I'm being cooked or sweating like crazy, so I'm pretty sure thats just because its been mild weather so far.

The people here are friendly. When I was at the airport in Manila, there were a couple of incidences where the people would be kind to me, like letting us skip them in line when our flight was calling for us. @_@ Or letting my cart through. It's funny though because here in Hilongos, the people have a tendency to stare. They think that white skin is beautiful so I've had a couple nanay's tell me that I'm "gwapa". Lots of people also like to yell "Hi" at you, because its the only English greeting they know. Just this morning, two children were following us down the street repeating "Hi" over and over again.

My hair is unmanageable, of course. It's going to be in a ponytail for the next 16 months I think. ;) And the bugs really like my fresh-from America taste. I have 32+ bites on my left leg and 4 on my right. I don't know why, but my left leg is especially delicious. I'm lucky because it doesn't hurt, I just look diseased or something.

The language is going alright. I can get my point across to people with my limited Cebuano. (I actually got assigned to a Cebuano area! YAY! I don't have to learn Waray-waray yet...) Actually understanding people is a different story though. Thats just another reason why I'm lucky Sister Holden is my trainer. She can relate to her first time in the Philippines and she's happy to answer any questions that I have. :)

I showed the family pictures that I got from Jessie to people and they're always surprised to see Ian. One sister from church pointed at him and said: "Oh, he looks kinda like a Filipino." It was funny when the other church members and I looked at her and said: "He IS." :) They always want to know where he's from, so Ian, WHERE ARE YOU FROM? =x They always ask about your family name too, but they've never heard of Adduru.

Well, I love you all, but I think I have to go. :x I hope I'll have some exciting experiences to tell you about next week. <3

December 30, 2009

To my dear friends and family~
Did you get my letter I sent on Christmas? :) We got to have some time to write letters so I sent one out. Did you like my Christmas message that I sent? Jessie was supposed to show you. ;)

Since I'm leaving on monday, Friday might be the last day I get dearelders here in the MTC. It's going to take a bit longer for them to arrive in the philippines. Just in case you wanted to let me know about anything quickly. ;)

WHAT. MARRIED? YOU? :O We were supposed to be roommates when I got back. :( At least you aren't breaking my heart 1 month away from me coming home. ;) KATIEE. MAKE JESSIE TAKE PICTURES SO I CAN SEE. :D <3<3<3

WOW. So I got this awesome package thing in the mail a couple of days ago. It's like the most magical thing in the world and I could probably learn how to fly if I tried using it hard enough. I had no idea you had so many (and such awesome) pictures of us all together! :D It made me miss you a lot, but it also made me feel warm and fuzzy. <3

I'm so sorry that you're sick. :(! I know it's been a couple of days since I got mom's letter talking how crazy Christmas eve was, so hopefully you're feeling a lot better.

I laminated the pictures you sent me. :D They made me miss my family, but I feel warm and fuzzy when I look at those pictures too.
I really don't think that I can look at pictures on this email. But it might be different in the mission field.

Mila and Nanoy~
Thanks for the email card you sent. I know it said Merry Christmas, but I'm not sure what language it was. In Cebuano it would be Maayong Pasko or maybe Malipayng Pasko or something. I couldn't go to the site though, because the computers at the MTC don't allow anything but LDS.org or Mormon.org.

YAY! Activities Coordinator! That is going to be way fun. You get to plan ALL the fun stuff. :D

I suppose I wrote a bit in my letter already... But anyway. This is my LAST PDAY IN THE MTC!! I'm going to be leaving on MONDAY. Currently I'm stressing about how much to pack and if I'll need to pay anything to the airlines, because the luggage restrictions from Manila to Tacloban is annoying. It's 44 lbs of checked luggage and 15 lbs of a carry on. But I'm flying on Delta airlines as well beforehand to the San Fransico airport which complicates things too, but I don't really want to get into it. x_X

Elder L. Tom Perry and Greg Olsen came to speak to us on Christmas. At first I had no idea who Greg Olsen was, but then he started posting up slides of his paintings and talking about them and I was blown away. HE PAINTED O'JERUSALEM!! And lots of other stuff that I'm amazed at. But O'Jerusalem is pretty much definitely one of my favorites. :)

Cebuano is coming along I suppose. I'm trying to finish the MTC strong and to make use of what I can while I'm here. They have a languge learning program called TALL here that I'm trying to use a lot because I won't be able to after Monday.

The new Cebuano district is really funny. It's really strange because they probably think of us the same way that we used to think of the district before us. We thought they were all super smart and amazing and it was super cool that they were going to the Philippines soon. Just give them six weeks and the district after them will think the same thing. :)

I've learned a lot about what the mission field is going to be like from Eva's friend's sister and it sounds... intense. Oh ho ho. I'm going to remember what Eva and my teachers told me though. Don't fret over the differences in lifestyle, just accept it and you'll be so much better off in attitude and it'll be much easier to love the culture and the people.

I feel inadequete for this work, but I think that's one reason why I'll be able to do it. Those who are prideful in their skills won't be as open to the possibilities and to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Holy Ghost in Cebuano is Espiritu Santo... so I'll probably start feeling weird calling Him a Ghost and not a Spirit. xD) I've learned a lot. I've learned patience, love, diligence, humility, and my faith has increased.

I'm happy to be here. I know that as I go to the Philippines, my experiences there will only strengthen my resolve and knowledge that I'm doing what I need to do.

I love you all!

I am a LDS sister missionary serving in the Philippines Tacloban area. I made this blog so that I may share my experiences with my friends and loved ones and anyone who may need to hear my story. My sister will be updating this blog with letters that I'll be writing home.