Palompon Week 5 Pictures

Palompon Week 5 (7/26/10)

Hi family!

The week has gone by as usual it seems.
I included some pictures. (You better appreciate that! It takes so
long to load it. :S) That is me and Sis. Farnworth and the other one
includes our BML, Jetro. He's working on his mission papers right
now!! :D

We did have some investigator children sing a song for us yesterday.
Hahaha. We were really happy because it means that they think about
us when we aren't even there. Their family was really open from the
beginning, but now they're just like friends. This family, the Alayon
family is actually one family and lots of the neighborhood
youth/children. They are sooo welcoming and all love to listen, week
after week. Usually the kids would get tired you'd think, but they
come every time! And some of them actually read their assignments. :P

We had one investigator FINALLY BAPTISED AND CONFIRMED these past two
weeks. Joselyn Hylo. Her first baptism scheduled (The day after I
arrived here in Palompon), she forgot to come! Her second one, the
week afterwards, she was all ready and dressed up and she even arrived
2 hours early so she wouldn't forget. But it didn't go through
because we had missing priesthood! One person to baptize, and one to
witness, but no one else to witness! Agoy! So two weeks later, her
baptism goes through! But her fellowshippers didn't come because they
were doing laundry. Agoy. Then she didn't come to church on Sunday
because she said she didn't have a skirt. (she would always wear pants
before) So this last Sunday, she was FINALLY confirmed and given the
Gift of the Holy Ghost. Whew. She's had a lot of trouble getting
that to happen.

There's this philippino culture that I really don't understand.
Filipinos are really SHY. The word they have for that is ulaw. It
can mean, embarrassed, shy or ashamed or anything like that. You
invite them to read, or pray during the lesson and they say: Not mee,
I'm ulaw. Or this week we asked a youth to come with us to a lesson.
She was fine saying hi to us and talking, but as soon as we asked her
to come with us, she attached herself to a wall, wouldn't look at us
or say anything and busied herself with drawing on the wall with her
finger! ?! Then as soon as we found someone else was coming and she
didn't have to come, she came off of the wall and walked away like
normal. It's so umm... DIFFERENT. And the general populace of the
Philippines tends to just be ulaw. America is just so loud in
comparison. haha.

Haha I want to do a short term mission (One transfer) in California
when I get home. Just to see what it's like in the States on a
mission. :P

KK, I hope that your Book of Mormon reading is going well. Tell me
all about it. :)

It's been hard recently. Those ups and downs of the mission are really
starting to become clear to me. But I know that I'm supposed to be
here in Tacloban mission. I could feel it right as I read my mission
call letter. There's more to be done. I have a long way to go before
I become like Christ. Thanks for your support and love. I miss you
too and think of you. But I also know that I need to be out here for
the people here, for you, and for myself. Everything in it's proper
time frame. :)

Love you all. <3

~the end~

Palompon Week 4

Hello my family~ :)

What's the price of the normal hymnbooks that you see in the church? Haha.

I hopefully will never take washing machines for granted AGAIN!!
It takes soooooooooooo long to wash by hand. :S

We had our Zone conference this week. One of the members of the area presidency, Elder Teh came and attended. He actually spoke at the Temple dedication last month. The only part I remember him saying is how when he was young, he didn't know why his family was dressed up in white around an alter in the temple. But later on in his life, he knew exactly why he was kneeling at an alter with the "most beautiful girl in the world" on the opposite side. :P We got to meet his wife at the Zone conference. The Zone conference was different than usual. We came fasting to the conference, and overall I think everyone was a little more well-behaved. The catering we had for conference was COMPLETELY different too. There were tables and goblets and tableclothes and it was all really pretty looking! Ahh! It was funny to see the effect the atmosphere had on the missionaries. It was a lot more quiet than it would normally be.

I also got to have some one-on-one time when Elder Teh interviewed me for a bit. He asked about my family and I told him my connection to the Adduru family. :) He knows you! Hehe. One thing I really noted was when we talked just for a little bit about understanding the Spirit. He looked over to the side, paused for a bit and then said: "Yea, it takes practice." Haha!

Justin, our investigator is sooo good! But we didn't get to see him this week. :( He wasn't there when we had our return appointment, but we actually saw him going home on our way to another appointment. We were all riding put-puts though, so we couldn't really stop and talk. Just pointed and yelled a bit acknowledging that we saw the other person. And then we were sad because he didn't come to church, but later on that day we went to the Hospital to visit the child of a member who is in there. Justin was at the hospital because his 2 month year old baby is sick. His family was grateful that we stopped by. <3

The members are so poor here. But they all want to go to the temple!~ The 2nd counselor and his family are sooooo good. They don't have a lot at all, but they're saving money, little by little! Sometimes they don't have any food to put on top of their rice, or no rice at all. Our BML too, Jetro, wants to go on a mission so badly. He's trying to save up money, but his sister always "borrows" money from him so its really hard to save!! Even though he moved, she still shows up at his house and "borrows" his money. He says he can't refuse her because she's his older sister. (That's just how kind he is :[ ) They sacrifice so much! I really admire them. And I think how lucky and blessed I've been all of my life...

How's Book of Mormon reading? I'm in 1st Nephi again so I can re-read it again. :)

~the end~

Palompon Week 3 (7-12-10)


I got your email. :) I got all of the pictures too. It just takes SO long to even get close to looking at them. It'll probably take me a really long time to even look at them.

On that note of bugs, I saw a cockroach fly for the first time this week. I knew that they flew, but I had never seen it before! It's so weird because I imagine them as creepy crawly things, not flying things. I killed one last week. The thing is, I don't mind if they are there, as long as they stay out of sight (Ignorance is bliss in this case) and don't bite me. (I'm pretty certain I've been bitten a few times in my sleep! GRR) But to actually kill one is... urgh.

We have no TIME!!

We always have things to do and not enough time to do it! Including email! ahhhhhh. :S And the cafe we're using today is really slow too.. agoy.

Sis. Farnworth is always stressed, and this no time thing is starting to get to me toooo!

We had a golden investigator come to church on Sunday! All by himself!! His name is Justin and he's a dancer. He does choreography and his brother has been an investigator for a bit already. He ended the second lesson by saying: I want to go to church, I want to go on a mission, and I want to go to the temple.
WOW! By the way, that was from no prompting from us. Although we had just taught him about temples a bit. :) We are now teaching the temple in every lesson we have because of the advice of President Malit.

We're so BOOKED this week. If we make any appointments, they have to be like, for next week! Yay!

When I speak English now, sometimes I say things funny, because my brain is thinking Cebuano ways to say things. Like, I said yesterday: "I asked that of him"

How's your Book of Mormon reading going? :)
~the end~

Palompon Week 2 (7/5/2010)

WOWWW. I'm so proud of you!! :) I'm so happy to read your email. How many emails have you sent before that one?! Am I one of the very first people to get to receive an email from you? :)

We had a very eventful fourth of July. It was stake conference. So all of the members who wanted to go rented a bus and driver and the whole bus was full of us members heading to the stake center. (We are in a stake, not a district, but the area I am in is a branch.)

We had a pretty bad week actually! Sis. Farnworth and I don't understand it. We were punted pretty much three days in a row. Lots of things happened that were unexpected. o.O But we got a couple new investigators, so we're happy. :) In a way, I feel this is a step up in my mission experience. I've had much more ups and many more downs in the first week here than before. Hahaha.

There are still put-puts here. But there's a different kind of put-put here, but the idea is the same. We are still near the ocean, but it feels like a lot more of Hilongos was really near the ocean. Only a community or two is here near the ocean. Palompon seems bigger than Hilongos. There also seems to be a much bigger difference between the rich and the poor here. :S There are a lot of nice houses in one area, but the other areas are all bamboo.

This seems to be the order of poorest to richest houses here in the Philippines:
Cement with PAINT!
Even the nicest houses are made with cement, but then they have lots of stuff that makes it look really nice. Like paint and plants and a car. haha.

My companion is Sis. Farnworth. She's from Utah. :P She has a fraternal twin back home.

My mission president is President Malit. He's from Luzon, the top islands in the Philippines. That basically means that he speaks Tagalog. He doesn't know very much Cebuano. :P He and his wife served in the same mission, so I think that's where they first met each other. He's going to be my mission president for the whole mission. His mission ends in July 2011, which is the transfer after I go home. We had a meeting with him on Sunday, and he was such a joker! He tried speaking ghetto American because he was teasing an Elder. I'm a lot taller than him and his wife. :P haha.

How's your Book of Mormon reading!?

~the end~

Palompon Week 1

I got my scriptures back! They're SO COOL LOOKING!! So neat and nice and book-ish. YAY.

I have foot tan lines! It looks really weird!
Do well in school!

Cafe rio is amazing. :P The best one to eat there is the pulled pork burrito. YUMMY!

I'm so happy for you!! <33 :)

Mom & Dad~
How's your Book of Mormon reading? :D:D

So we're in the internet cafe now and I have some news. I transferred! You could probably tell because of the title of my email. Hahahaha. I am now in Palompon, which is Sis Dustin and Sis Malicdem's previous area. Sis Dustin was actually transferred and so I arrived here. I'm with the missionary that she was training. ;) Her name is Sis Farnworth. Sometimes members call her Fireworks.

Palompon has some definite differences from Hilongos. One is that there is a brown out in the area pretty much every single day. The only difference is how long or when it will occur. This email is actually a day late beeeeeeeeeeeecause we had a brown out from about 2 pm until about 9:30 pm. So we wanted to email earlier today after our missionary meeting/reporting on Tuesdays.But there was another brown out. haha. And actually while we taught a lesson today. I was just thinking how loud the neighbors were with their music and how difficult it would be to feel the spirit during a lesson. About 5 minutes later, a brown out came on. Hahaha. The lesson went well. Then during the closing prayer, the electricity came back on. :P Hahaha

Sister Malicdem was actually talking a lot about Palompon when she first arrived in Hilongos. She made it sound like a magical place. And then Sis Dustin at the transfer meeting just kept talking about how she didn't want to leave. And that she wanted to be able to transfer back someday. :P (Even though she's been in that area for 7.5 months already) So basically, I've heard myths and legends and now I am coming to see if they are really true or not.

We have a LOT more investigators here than I was working with. There are a lot that are on different levels on their "spiritual journey" so to speak. Our neighbor Sherma, is actually a GREAT investigator. She feels that everything we teach is true. She asks so many questions so she can understand and she wants to be baptised but she is getting persecuted to the max from her Born Again church. Her pastor has told her this week that he wants to join in on the lessons, but we're not sure if his intention is to learn or to try to attack us. (He's been pastor for over 50 years... so that's intense hahaha) :P But Sherma is really smart, so she understands that he might have a ulterior motive. Hopefully we'll be able to meet him as a person willing to understand and be understood.

I've felt the spirit SO much more during lessons now and during the day. Part of it is being the senior companion I think. The other part is because I'm trying to be more obedient as well. I'm getting on really well with Sis. Farnworth. She's actually really good about being an example of a good missionary. I feel like she's helping me be my best. :)

KK, I gotta go. Love you all!!
~the end~

Hilongos Week 24

Hello my family and friends!!

I didn't really notice anything about the de-worming pill. Life just went on as normal.
I'm so HAPPY you have a room fixed up for me. It might get dusty from waiting for me to visit it though. :P

Happy Father's Day!!

Other news~
Our investigator, Floramae got married this week! :D Beforehand with the other missionaries, she had wanted to be baptised, but didn't want to get married. So now after we followed up, they planned to get married! =O I took pictures of them. :) It was simple, but sweet! She actually works at the computer shop that we're at right now.

We also had that companionship exchange that had me so worried. :P It was actually pretty fun being the "mommy". I taught everything that I could to Sis. Schnider about grammar that I learned in the mission field, because her companion now is a native, so she probably doesn't get a lot of correcting.
Is it true that Obama instituted social medicine? o_O Sis Schnider was rather enraged about it.

The attitude here in the Philippines is very different than America. Usually you are invited into their house if you knock on their door. Back home, if missionaries knocked on doors, it would be very rare that someone would let you in! So as a matter of fact, it's not too difficult to find new investigators. We just don't know who's just being kind, or is really interested in what we're teaching. :S

Our Mission President, President Malit is instituting a new program in each area. The missionaries are to organize a "Branch Mission!" So instead of only having 1 missionary companionship in each area, there will be lots! Starting next week, we're going to have trainings every week for the branch missionaries. So we'll have to come up with something new every week to teach them about how to do missionary work. :)

Transfers are this week! Now they're going to announce who is transferring tomorrow at 5 pm. Gaah! They keep delaying it every transfer! The suspense it the worst part. I've been here 6 months in Hilongos, so I will probably transfer. But who knows, I might inherit Sis. Holden's record of 8 months in one area. She was my mission mommy after all. :S

I got my scriptures rebound, so I'm waiting to get them back from the APs (Assistant to the President). So now I'll have Old Testament, New Testament, Triple, and Appendix/Index and Preach My Gospel in separate books. :P It'll be great for studying without having to turn pages all the time from cross referencing.

Love you all~ I started the BoM again while I'm waiting for my scripture set to come back from the office. So now I'm in 1 Nep 15. :)
How's your reading going?

~the end~

Hilongos Week 23 Picture

Hilongos Week 23

I never realized the height difference between Sis Malicdem and I until I saw this picture we took yesterday. o_O She really is short! (Or I really am tall. :])

My name tag is actually in English. At first, the missionaries would have Cebuano name tags (My teacher in the MTC had one) but now the name tags are in English. There are so many languages in the Philippines, that they just use English on the Church buildings and the missionary name tags. Because the Church is organized/unified!! In our mission, there is 2 languages that you might be learning, haha.

Last Tuesday we visited a part member family. Last week, the mother said she would pray and read the Book of Mormon. We came back to follow-up and she said said she hasn't. She said she didn't see why it mattered, because she was Catholic. We spent the rest of the lesson sharing to her our testimonies that the Church is true, and we know because we received answers to our questions. Not from other people, but from feeling peace, love, and feeling the Spirit of God tell our spirits that its true. Let's just say, I felt it was a pretty awesome lesson, even though we barely taught any doctine. ;)

Next week is transfer week! We'll see how that works out! But this week is my first COMPANION EXCHANGE for one day. I'll be the SENIOR COMPANION for the FIRST TIME! Ahhh! I'll be leading the area! AHHH.

We also had interviews recently. It's so amazing that you can learn to admire your mission president even though you don't see him very often. Just from our interviews and Zone conferences, I've been able to know that he REALLY is inspired of God to lead us. I understand that and feel the spirit when I listen to his trainings and advice. This work is not of man, it's of heaven! :D

At every interview, Sister Malit weighs us and takes our blood pressure to make sure we're healthy. :) I lost 3 pounds. haha! I have a 10 pound range that I've been in since high school. When I left the MTC, I was on the very top of that range (There is a LOT of food in the MTC). Now, for some reason or other, I have lost about 10 pounds since then. I'm at the bottom of my range now! Oh wow! And she gave me a de-worming pill. Do you realize what that means?! That means I've been in the mission field for SIX MONTHS!

This Sunday, we didn't attend sacrament. I'm sure you're wondering why. WHY wouldn't the missionaries go to church?! Because...

We went to the Temple dedication!! (By broadcast) AHHH! It was SOOOO AWESOMEEE. We attended ALL THREE SESSIONS!! I can't even begin to express how happy I am. I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!! And of course, at every session we got to hear from the Prophet. :) I haven't had so much Prophet-listening EVER. A few of my favorite quotes (some are paraphrased) from Thomas S Monson from the dedication:
"When you're on the Lord's errand, you're entitled to His help."
"You're not qualified to become a son of perdition!" (Hahah!) - referring to a wayward missionary
"It is good for us to be here." - quoting peter the Apostle
"I thought it was a temple city!" -referring to a member's house that has pictures of temples on every wall.
"In our homes, where we have rooms for sleeping, rooms for eating, rooms for studying and recreation, let us make room for Christ."
"Let the temple be a cornerstone in our lives"
"The Lord has brought us to His house" - quoting a member from Guatemala that spent 3 days traveling on a broken bus that miraculously arrived at the Mesa Arizona temple.

I love you all! I think of you as I'm out here. I'm sure you think of me too. <3 I have reassurances that I'm supposed to be here. I've come so far personally. So long till next week.
~the end~

Hilongos Week 22

I don't know what happened about last week's email. I forgot to add Jessie and Mom and Emily to the list, but I DID add Eva's email, so I wonder why she never received week 21? I sent it again just now, so hopefully it'll work now. :S

Your new fridge sounds super awesome! I am jealous. :)

Mom & Dad~
I want to hear about your trip to see Eva! :) How is baby Jordan?

This week was a bit slow because we had a lot of events going on this week. On Tuesday, we had our Zone conference and were interviewed for our temple dedication recommends. Next Sunday is the dedication! AHHH! This is my first time attending a temple dedication.

After Zone Conference, the APs were persuaded to drive us back to our areas. But it turns out that Elder Cruz the AP has a very special technique for driving. There were at least 3 missionaries who didn't feel very well (including me) after they were dropped off. Ahahah.

The members here have been preparing for interviews and announcing the temple schedule every week for a month. So the Branch President spent an hour interviewing the members for recommends. It was so sweet because there is a less active family here that has one daughter (Shirlyne) who ALWAYS attends church. Every single week. She's only 10 years old, but she's so sweet and loves church! She came out of the Branch President's office holding a temple dedication recommend! <3<3 She's the only one in her family who even asked for an interview. I just love her. <3

We also went to Tacloban area on Saturday because Sis Malicdem had an appointment to get her patriarchal blessing. She's been waiting for 9 months to get it. They were supposed to get it in the MTC, but they told her "Ah, just get it in the mission field." So she's been waiting until now, when she could FINALLY get it. It reminded me of the time that I went and got my blessing. :) I really love knowing that it's personal scripture, just for me. Tacloban is a Waray Waray area, so my Cebuano was pretty much next to useless. Having a Tagalog companion helped. :P

Ah, I really miss the temple too. Being able to go once a week before the mission was awesome, and in the MTC as well. So, I'm REALLY happy for the members here, that Cebu temple is SOOO close. From Hilongos, it's only about $4 and 5 hour boat ride away. Our branch missionary leader actually comes home every weekend from Cebu because he goes to school there. So it is relatively really close!

I'm starting the Book of Mormon again, and still working on finishing the New Testament. :)

Waaa, I love you all. I think about you and miss you all too! Life is so short, so do what you can today!

"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." -Prophet Thomas S. Monson

~the end~

Hilongos Week 21

I get the pictures in the emails just awesome! I love google! (Myldsmail has upgraded to google servers now...) Your hair is VERY long now! :O

Mom and Dad~
I love you :)

WOW! You sound SO happy and perky! Ahhh I'm so happy your life is so goooood! :D

I finally saw your fianche's picture! About my mission photo album, we had a crisis this week where a member accidentally gave a virus to my memory card so most of my pictures got deleted! =O But my companions have back ups of other photos, so it's only the really recent ones that were LOST FOREVER! Where are you going to school? What are you life plans now?! Your bridal shower was on the same that that Julius, our investigator was baptised! ;P But we were 16 or so hours ahead.

Tomorrow is zone conference. It's in Sogod chapel again. Waaa! I love zone conferences.~

My birthday was this week! I told the zone leaders so they came over for lunch and we took pictures. (But they were lost. So I told S. Malicdem that we have to have another party to take pictures again. ;) ) The elders brought dorian, a smelly fruit here in the Philippines. It looks like a spikefish, but more smelly and it grows on trees. He said it "Smells like hell, but tastes like heaven." But I actually think heaven tastes more like spongecake.

Christopher and Janice were baptised! :) They're going to be attending the temple dedication too! YAY!! When we went to teach them this week, a HERD of children/youth followed me around and asked about what I was doing. They said that I was an artista (actress). I haven't heard of that until now. :P So this week, we actually have a lot of new investigators. xD

Spiritual highlight this week:
We taught a new investigator named Gwen. She used to come to the church when she was a teenager, but her parents didn't allow it. Now that she's 24 she's old enough for herself. Her best friend (Geanna) is a YSA here. She REALLY wants to understand, and she's REALLY searching!! She said she's attended Iglesia, Baptist and Catholic but she still hasn't found answers to her questions. She was shy to pray at the end of the lesson, but we encouraged her, so she did. AHHH IT WAS AMAZING!! I could feel her sincerity!! We're going to teach her on Friday and show her the restoration video. :)!!!

We also decided to teach a former investigator for the first time named, Floramae, who is the girlfriend of a member and lives at their house. She didn't get baptised before because she didn't want to get married, even though she was living with them. A couple days after our visit, we heard from a member that she wants to be baptised and she's going to get married! AHHHH! We will have future updates in the weeks to come. ;)

I'm in Philippians in the New Testament right now. :)
~the end~