Amazing Pictures from Hilongos

February 22, 2010 Week 7 Hilongos

AHHH! I lost all of my email because of... circumstances. Halaaaaaa. D:
Oh well. Time to start over.

Hello my family and friends<3

I am still in Hilongos as you can see by my email title!
As for my title, I'm not sure if I should call it week 7 or week 16?
to include the weeks I was in the MTC.

I INCLUDED PICTURES! HOORAY! Rainbow, me and the church, my first
zone, me & s. holden in a put-put, etc etc.

S. Taunan is my new companion. She is such an enthusiastic
missionary. She also speaks English well, so we don't have problems
communicating. (It's still hard to listen to Cebuano! They speak so
fast / have so many words!) Nanoy said that the there aren't jokes in
the Philippines? It makes sense to me though, because I tried telling
them jokes a couple of times, and they didn't laugh. I don't think
they know about the concept of a punchline. But S. Taunan's really a
joker in her own way. She says things that aren't true, and then ends
with "just a joke!" Like, that she's from Utah, or that I have a twin
sister at home (who is the one in my family pictures :P) or that she's
only 16 years old. She's fun. :)
She's also really hardworking. She hurt her foot a couple of days ago
but is still limping about. I forced her to go back home last night
to rest her foot because it was night and there wouldn't be any more
put-puts to drive us around. She said "Endure to the end!" and I
said "Do not run faster than you have strength!" She was saying
"ouch" every 10 yards or so, so I took it upon myself to be the health
enforcer for the evening.

On that note I wrapped her foot up in a elastic bandage because she
said it would start swelling, and told her to elevate it. She did so
with no comment, but when I tried to give her a cold compress she
said: "What are you doing?!" I said it helps to keep it from
swelling. She said she didn't need it because a member had put some
herbs on her foot. I gave her a disbelieving look and she laughed.
This is where Philippino and American medicine clash.
We have a lot of fun though.

I keep getting ripped off because I'm white. D: Some trike drivers
(The picture of the street has a trike on it. A motorcycle with a
frame for passengers to sit in) like to overcharge when I pay because
I'm white, so they assume I'm american and rich and its okay to
overcharge when they're rich, right? >_< Same with buying things in a
market. I think for the most part, people are honest though.
What makes me feel really bad though is the people who assume that I'm
rich so they put out their hand to ask for a hand-out. It's usually
really old people or young children. So I feel really bad, but I'm
not supposed to give out money as a missionary, and personally I would
rather give them food than money.

Feliciana came to church! But she left after sacrament. :(
Christopher and Janice are still really good investigators. They're
so buotan. (kind) and they look forward to our appointments.
This week I want to focus on finding investigators through members.
Our best investigators that I've been talking about are all from
members! Feliciana is an exception, but real missionary work and real
progress comes when the members are involved in teaching their
friends! I feel like I know how to be a much better member now than
ever. I can see and understand the reason behind home and visiting
teaching, and how missionaries need the help of members! It makes me
want to become BETTER. AH so excited. :)

Alma 26:27 And when our hearts were depressed, God promised to give us success

~the end~

February 15, 2010 Week 6 Hilongos

I got the emails!! WOOO. (The
last one is my TRAINER! YAY. Email them the website for the blog too
plz?) 10 pages a day is reading the entire BoM in 6 weeks! AHH. I
tried that in the MTC but I didn't finish all of it yet. :S

I'm glad that Zoey's working out right now. :) I think that part of
it might be because you have more experience feeding the baby and
everything that makes it a little easier. I like that you wrote about
how Zoey's growing now. I'm trying to imagine it in my head. :)
We're not SUPPOSED to eat balut, so I'm not sure if I'll want to even

~Nanoy, Mila, Ian, or a Philippino person
Can we buy pilit in America? To make biko? Apparently the dessert's
Tagalog name is malakit. I've never eaten it at Mila's house so I

Oh Mom! It takes 1-2 months
for a package to get to a missionary here. So I might not see the
package for a while if you sent it recently. YAY I'M GETTING A
PACKAGE!! I'm okay on money. I'll email you if I'm running low or

get them later tonight! GEEZE. That's like the last possible minute
to give it to us! (I'm ranting because I don't know if I'm staying in
this area or if I have to pack. We think that I'm staying but... I
don't want to just ASSUME. Of course Sis. Holden is packing
everything up.)

It's actually really easy to get investigators here. At least with
two Amerikana missionaries, EVERYONE wants to talk to you. The hard
part is being able to know when people are actually interested in your
message. If my next companion is Pinay, then we'll see how it
changes. I've had a great companion so far. I just wonder if / hope
I wont get someone crazy to follow-up train me. :S

Loriano was baptised! And he was confirmed on Sunday!!! He seems
happy. But one of the best parts is that his brother, Patrico Beltran
gave a short testimony after his baptism. Patrico actually performed
the baptism. He started to tear up a bit as he said afterwards how he
was so happy that his brother was with him in the gospel. At least I
think he said that. (Limited Cebuano) But I could feel what he was
trying to say! Because I could feel his love and happiness. :)

We have another investigator named Feliciana. She's an older woman
who runs a tindahan. She is really cute because when she came to the
fireside, she stood up and asked: "Where's the truth!?" (Asa ang
kamatuoran!?) And this week in sunday school we talked about how to
pray, and that we shouldn't pray to anything other than our Heavenly
Father. She realized that all of her saints that she owns (Catholic)
are images, and she realized that praying to saints is not how God
teaches us to pray. The best part is that she connected it herself,
and no one had to explain it to her! AHH so proud!

Alma 17:15 God reaches out to everyone
Alma 20:26 Love and service show your pure intentions
~the end~

February 8, 2010 Hilongos Week 5

Questions from dad!
What time do you get up in the morning and what time do you go to bed?
6:30 am - wake up
10:30 pm - sleeeeeep.

What are your beds like there? Are they pretty much the same?
The mattresses here are like long foam thingies. They have a cover on
them though with various patterns. I have my sheets on them. :)

Are you living with a family or are you in an apartment?
We live in a apartment owned by a church member. We actually live
right next to their business, which is a "Funeral Home". They arrange
funerals and sell caskets or something. I almost wanted to laugh when
I saw where we lived for the first time because I wanted to stick a
sign underneath it saying: Plan of Salvation! Where do we go after
we die?!

Is your Cebuano getting better?
I'd say my Cebuano is definitely better than when I first got here.
o.O I can speak more easily and there have been times where I feel
like I wasn't really hindered at all in speaking. :) I am more able
to understand what people are saying at their speed, but I still am
lacking several hundred vocabulary words to understand everything.

I'm just glad you're okay.

I'll just bring the email addresses next week, if I dont forget. -_-
I thought I wouldn't have to bring them this week cuz I was sure that
the one I had from before was correct. We'll SEE!!
We use alcohol to clean our hands.

Maybe the house will be completely different when I get back. :)

I was going to attach some pictures, but I forgot my camera cord. I'm
always forgetting things. I have a really awesome picture of the Bato
Zone (My zone) and it makes me think that the picture is meant for a
TV show cover or something. I think you'll understand what I mean
when I upload it next week. We're all different sized heads but
everyone is PERFECTLY positioned so that you can see everyone. I can
imagine the title now: BATO ZONE: PHILIPPINES. It's a new reality


I found out this week that I lied again last week. The dessert I was
talking about is called "Halo-Halo". S. Holden just laughed at me
when I said I wrote "Hola-Hola". The week before was "Hula-Hula".

OH. EVA. I ATE BANANA-Q THIS WEEK. I could just die and melt. So
yummy. :D And this other dessert thing called Biko. It's like sticky
rice... for dessert! Because it has coconut milk and sugar and things
to make it sweet.

Loriano Beltran had his baptismal interview this week! He was pretty
much an ideal investigator because he's the one who asked his brother
about the Church and he comes to church every week with his brother.
The hardest part of the whole mission is finding people who have that
desire. I've concluded the best I can do is help provide such a
strong environment with the Spirit that the people we teach will want
that Spirit in their lives ALL THE TIME. :D It's all very simple,

We have a TON of new investigators though. We had a investigator
fireside on Friday and we handed out some flyers in some areas around
the Church. We showed the Restoration (in Cebuano!) and gave a tour
of the Church and had a Q&A session. Why don't Mormons use crosses,
and about the "Mormon bible".

The LDS church doesn't use crosses because a cross is representative
of Christ's death. We acknowledge and even revere the death of the
Savior on the cross. But after His death, He was resurrected and so
our message is that He Lives! He lives and loves and guides us today
as our Lord and Savior, and we strive to show our devotion to Christ
through living our lives by following His example and becoming more
like Him.

Mormons use The Book of Mormon and the Bible as our scripture canon.
The BoM is another testament of Jesus Christ. It does not replace the
Bible, but exemplifies it. The BoM is a testament that God loves all
of His children and speaks to all of them. It testifies of the
mission of Christ and how we can become better disciples of Him.
Combined with the Bible, it becomes the ultimate witness of Christ and
His Divinity.

I've been a little more diligent in my BoM reading this week than the
last couple weeks I was in the MTC. Already I've gained so many
insights and counsels I wish I had several months ago. ;)

HOW'S YOUR BOM READING GOING? I asked you to read it last week!
Sooo... Have you read anything yet?! (I'm talking to all of you. At
the same time.)

1 Nephi 11: We can all see God's work for ourselves, we don't have to
rely on the testimonies of others.
Alma 8-14: The gospel is for everyone! God is no respecter of
persons, missionaries can't be either. ;)

~the end~

February 1, 2010. Hilongos - Week 4


I'm so glad you figured out how to get my videos off the memory card. :) I hope you get to show it to everyone. And WOW. It's going to be a BOY!!! That's the first EVER. >:O Thanks for sending me the info on Geckos. The ones around here are yellow colored, but I still think they're cute. :D And I got your last week! The one that says "Welcome to the Philippines!" xD

YAY a job!

:) Hi mommy. I got your email this week, so I don't know if that means your email problem is fixed or not, but it was nice to read. I sent Dad that email earlier through your email, but I really want you to remember it too. We need to go to the temple together when I come home. :)

I have no idea what it was in the email you sent me. If it was a video, I'm pretty sure myldsmail snuffed it out.

Mom told me how you asked for "Jessie Loveland" at the hospital. ;) I like to hear funny things that you do or hear about. And I saw something here in Hilongos that I know you'd like, so I'm going to get it as your souvenir.

Last night I had a dream that we were together and we hugged because we love each other. :D I miss you dear, and thanks again for the lovely scrapbook. It really warms my heart.

I sent you a letter before I left the MTC, but I wasn't sure if you had gotten it or not. I wish you well dear. I don't know if I was able to convey that feeling to you. You are too important to me for me not to make the things that bring me the most happiness available to you. <3

~Greta & Marissa
I got your letter last week! :) It was way funny. I hope your polygydate goes well. And of COURSE Marissa got called to be RS prez. Its because everyone's in love with her.

I got called "Mother" this week. So I suppose I wasn't completely wrong when I said that some people call us mom. It was undeniably the word "Mother". I'm pretty sure that was a Catholic nun reference. And speaking of Catholic-ism yesterday was the first time ever that I've been "blessed". o_O It's ingrained in Filipino culture to put your forehead to someone's hand if they are much much older than you. It's because Catholicism is so dominant here. So I've actually done it twice because it shows respect to the really old people. But we were walking down the street and this woman led her little children to us and the little boy reached out his hand for mine. I thought he was going to shake my hand but then he put it to his forehead! xD And we taught a couple yesterday for the first time and a bunch of children surrounded us saying "Bless the Amerikanas!" and putting their foreheads to our hands. Children have a tendency to follow us. It makes me feel somewhat like a duck.

They have these things called "Put-Puts" here. They're much more efficient than taxis. They're basically bicycles with little seats next to them so people can charge you money to take you across town. And they have Trikes, which is for longer distances because its a motorcycle with a big metal body around it for people to sit in. Pictures are really the best way to describe them, so look them up. ;) And that dessert I mentioned last week is actually called Hola-Hola. Look that one up too. Though I'll probably start taking more pictures starting tomorrow.

Umbrellas are used year round around here. When its rainy, yes. When it's hot, yes. The Philipinas are scared of "turning brown" (as Sister Holden phrased it) so they use umbrellas to keep the sun off. I'm just scared of turning red. And Avon is here. But it's Philippines Avon. So instead of lotion that gives you a sun-tan, all the lotions advertise that they turn your skin white. No matter where you are in the world, it seems like people want to change their skin color.

We have a lot of new investigators this week and a lot that we still need to contact. I'm really excited for the potential of these people.

I have become a better person from this. I feel more patient, more loving, more understanding, more enlightened, more grateful, and more hard-working than I've been in my life. I'm not even close to being done, but I can feel the impact that my mission is going to make on my life already.

I exhort you all! (Yes, exhort, that big word!) to find yourself a copy of the Book of Mormon and start reading it! I don't care if you've never heard of it or if you read it every day. READ IT. You will find inspiration for your life, you will find out who you truly are, and you will become more like the person that you want to be! I have never been more enlightened by any other literature on the earth. You don't have to write to me, but I would love to hear about your experiences when reading and learning to understand it. READ IT.

2nd Nephi 29: God never ceases His word

~the end~

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.