Monday, February 16, 2015

February 15, 2015

First I want to thank the ward and all family who have exercised their faith to fast for me. There was a point that I thought I was going home and I felt awful which brought me pretty low, but i feel so much better and I am going back to my area!! It has been a miracle to see how the prayers of the faithful can bring about miracles. Miracles still happen according to our fatih and I am a living miracle. thank you, thank you, thank you! 
 SO mom you can be calmed now to know that I am healthy now, not throwing up, and am finishing my mission strong :) 
 So I want to share with you some things I have done here at the MRC this last week. So first the MRC is a place where sick missionaries come to heal, recover, and do their best to get better to come back to their missions. IN the past this place has been very boring but luckily they have some fun projects and activities to do here. 
 One day we went to this place called Mabuhay house which was started by an old mission president who wanted to start a place to fix kids that are born with cleft lips, clubbed feet, and other things like that. Every week the MRC missionaries go to sing songs, do activities, and just have fun with the moms and the kids. People come from all over the Philippines to get these free surgeries. Sometimes they can be there for months before they get surgeries for their kids.These really help the kids for the rest of their lives so that they are able to get jobs and be accepted socially. We went to sing songs, and even decorated valentines cookies with them which was so much fun for all of us involved. The kids are just so cute and really look forward to having the missionaries come every week. It was a very tender thing to be a part of and make their day a little brighter. 
 Next i got to do two sessions in the Manila temple, one of the HIGHLIGHTS of my mission. I really really felt so good in their. The second time I went as I entered the celestial room i was just overcome with so much love that i began to tear up. You cant deny the spirit that is in the temple and you can't deny the presence of the lord there either. And the best part was that I spent valentine's day in the temple. It is a really small temple but it is such a blessing to have a temple here and even bigger blessing that I was able to do two sessions. 
 Sunday evening we made kitchen aprons and had all the missionaries sign them which was really fun. I have been the only girl with a bunch of other elders. Actually one of the elders here is my batch. We were in the same zone in the MTC and we are really good friends. That has been a nice tender mercy to see him again. 
 So my email hasn't been too exciting, sorry for that. I just feel so ready and excited to go back to work and work hard the last stride of the mission. Again thank you for all your prayers and love. I couldn't do anything with out your support mom. Tell everyone I love them and thanks for their faithfulness. 
I LOVE YOU MOM, more than you know. 


Monday, February 9, 2015

February 8, 2015

 You always send the best emails. They make my day. 
I can't believe that Brooke leaves soon...i'm sad that I will not see her when I come home. But at least I will be able to skype her more than only twice a year. Brooke, good luck and remember to just breathe :) It will help a lot. 
 I can't believe that spencer is home, that went by so fast!!! How is he? It is weird to think that that will be me soon. Only 12 weeks left in this beautiful to eat up every minute of it. 
 This week was ok. We weren't able to work much because i physically cant, but we have tried to do as much as we can.  It means more than anyone can imagine that the ward is going to do that. Thank you all so much for your prayers and your love. 
 This last week we attended the funeral of a member who past away this last week. She was really young, only like 47 years old. Of course it was sad but there was also an initial feeling of peace and comfort. I don't know if it is because i am a missionary or what, but it wasn't a sad thing. If anything it just adds to my testimony that heavenly father has such  better plans for us that what we have for ourselves. There is so much more out there and we only see the little picture. I know that this is not the end and it has been cool to see the ward come together for this family and see the hope that has risen in the area. 
 One miracle that i want to share with you. Since we haven't been able to work as we would like to, we have been worrying a lot about our investigators: if they are progressing, reading, praying, and if they really want to come closer to Christ. Especially Louie Belle. She is so interested and just loves learning and we were starting to think that things were going down because we haven't had the best contact with her. But The lord really does his own work. She was at church meant so much to me to see that the lord has been watching out for her and continuing to strengthen her. She means a lot to me and it has been hard to not see her frequently, but I know that she is in the lord's hands. We all are. When we feel as if we are lost, falling, or drifting farther and farther way, he actually is closer than we thinking building us up. 
 The general Young Mens President, President Beck came to our mission on Saturday. All the missionaries gathered and it was a sweet experience. You could just feel the power once he came into the room. He talked a lot about remembering who we are and acting upon that. We can't forget who we are. Of course we are mortal and we are going to make mistakes. So as we plug the holes we have in our boats or as we fix our imperfections we also have to put up our sails. We have to remember who we are, live it, and see the good in all we do. there is so much good around us, we just have to take a moment and look around. 
 In Sacrament meeting yesterday one of the members gave a talk about trails and other things that come up unexpectedly in life. I felt as if he was talking directly to me. He said one thing that really stuck to me, he said "we should be careful to not turn bread into stones". Meaning that we should not complain or be choosy with what the lord gives us and what he doesnt give us. We should always life in gratitude to him. Even in the darkest of places can God bring forth light. So true. This last week i started to feel sorry for myself, feel guilty for not being able to work, ad just felt down. But i realized that that was be going farther into darkness. But as we turn to the lord in Prayer and through the scriptures that is when the light starts to come through. I dont really know what is going to happen with my sickness, there are still more tests to do later this week, but I know that whatever happens, I am in his hands. Those feelings have brought so much comfort and peace and I know that I am in his hands. There is never any need to fear because we have the help of the most powerful being on our side. 
 mom, love you so much and I am so grateful for the example you have set before me. It has helped me to stay strong because I have seen you be strong through everything. Love you more than you know. 

FYI: Megan's ward is having a fast for her on Sunday, February 15th. She needs to feel our prayers and the great power of the priesthood. Please participate with us if you are able.                           -- --Nicole (Megan's Mom)

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 1, 2015

First, i am so so grateful to call you mom...i have missed you so much this was rough...but at the same time i learned so much. 
 first thing, we went for my follow up checkup and i am to be on medication for 1 more month. I still am throwing up sometimes and my stomach hurts too. i just have to be careful with what i eat is all. I am not looking forward to this month and being on the medication because it makes me really really tired to the point that I have no energy. We worked only a little this last week because of that. It just makes me sad that for one of the last months of my mission I will be not doing a lot because I physically can not do a makes me really the point that sometimes i want to just come home. But i know I am supposed to be here and I know that it is a trial that will make me stronger and i can because who heavenly father needs me to become. Every missionary has to spend at least a couple moments in Gethsemane. but dont worry about me mom, you wont be seeing me until may :) i will finish strong, there is no other right way to end a mission. 
 We went on exchanges this last week with the sister's we live with. I went with sister Ghouri, she is from Pakistan and is just the cutest little thing ever. She has such great faith and really wants to work hard. Even if she is still struggling with english and tagalog, her faith is shining so much brighter that they things she lacks in. We actually got lost for about 2 hours which was fun. We are both new to the area so we had no idea where we were. It was fun. We just talked to a lot of people and tried to do our best with the little we could. it was just fun to hang out with her for the day. I have come to love and admire this sister a whole lot. 
 For some reason I have been abscessed with studying about the atonement and I have learned that that is the best thing that heavenly father has given his children, the opportunity to repent and become better. i was reading in the bible dictionary one day and it said that Our salvation depends on our repentance, it is not an option, we must repent for our salvation. We really can not bend gods rules, we have to do as he has planned. it may be hard but the other way, not gods way, is actually the harder way. I just love repentance and it feels to good to repent. I have made it a goal to repent everyday. Of course i still mess up, but i feel that there is more improvement that grief that i feel. 
 we have one really progressing investigator despite my lack of health. She is so good, Louie belle. We have extended to her to be baptized, because we really feel that she is ready and she knows that the book of mormon is true. She told us she wants to but wants it with her family, her mom and dad and other siblings. she will be that example for her family. this gospel really is for families and it makes me so happy to see the desire she has for not just her but her whole family to understand and enjoy the blessings that come from the gospel. She was a little hesitant with baptism but her faith is growing and so will her desire. 
 Well mom, i really love you. Thank you for your prayers and support. I really feel it, especially right now. Dont worry i got all 3 packages, thank you for the ipod :) you are the best/ 


Monday, January 26, 2015

January 25, 2015

My dearest momma,
First, I am sorry if the call from my mission presidents wife scared you. I have actually been throwing up since august but the stomach pain just started Jan 4th. I am on some medication for a week and then i have a follow up checkup with the doctor this week. Scary, i hate the hospitals. It was a really nice one though, it was like i was in a hospital in America so hopefully that calms your fears a little bit too. The nurses and doctors were really nice. They couldnt believe that i could speak tagalog. So they played a game on all the new nurses and doctors that came on duty. They told them that i was a foreigner and could only speak english. they then told me that when the new nurse came in i couldnt speak tagalog right away, that i needed to wait til they started to ask me questions. Oh my gosh, their reactions were so funny when tagalog came out of my mouth haha. It was fun. And we had otehr missionaries come visit us in the hospital too. They were all little tender mercies to make being in the hospital bearable.

Not going to lie this was a very trying week. I hate hospitals, and especially when i am in them. I also really really hate needles which caused a lot of stress. There was a point that i just felt helpless. I just wanted to go home and just deal with throwing up for the rest of forever. Then came the day for the endoscopy. Words can not describe the fear as i sat on the gurney waiting for my turn in the endoscopy room. I closed my eyes and just bursted into tears...fear totally overcame me. Then i had a small thought to just prayer. I gave the most sincere silent prayer that I have given in my life. I just prayed for comfort and that my fear would go away and that i could feel of his love. After my prayer i was expecting to be overcome all of a sudden, but after a couple of minutes still nothing. Then a thought came to my head to sing my favorite primary song, "Whenever i heard the song of a bird...". As soon as i started singing, then the spirit just filled the room i could not deny the presence that I felt of the spirit and i could neither deny the love and comfort that I felt, it brought me to tears. Even when i think about it I start to tear up. I learned that even in our darkest moments we still have to act to show Heavenly Father that we know he lives and that we are still willing to do all we can to follow the Savior. That is one moment I will never EVER be able to forget. I know that God lives and hears every single prayer that is lifted towards heaven, even the most panicked of prayers.

since we were in the Hospital and i was told to rest, we were unable to visit our investigators which was really sad. All we could do was pray that they were still reading and praying and that they would come to church as well on Sunday. Well, Heavenly father heard those prayers too because our really progressing investigators did come to church and have been reading the Bof M even thought we havent been able to come. Such a great answer to our prayers and to know taht it is not us doing the work but that the lord really does his work. Miracles.

Mom, i love you so much and I really cant wait to hug you when I get home. Thanks for everything and i am grateful that my package came later because i needed some of you when I came from the hospital. LOVE YOU


Monday, January 19, 2015

January 18, 2015

This was a very abnormal week. 

First, we went to MINDORO!!!! I love going there. I love riding the boat ad just being there on the smaller islander. Even though every time we go people think that I don't speak Tagalog and that I am on vacation. Haha it is pretty funny. But the Island is so beautiful. I wish i will get assigned on a smaller island before I go home. We will see I guess. We were there from Tuesday to Friday. We helped out with their Zone training meeting and went on exchanges with the sisters there. It was fun to be with our sisters and help them in anyway that we could. Oh and on exchanges one man we taught said the closing prayer and thanked Heavenly Father that he sent two prophets to his house( meaning us). HAHA, well not quite, but at least he recognized the authority that we had, and that we had been sent from God. 

We have an investigator, Louie, and she is really progressing. We watched the Restoration DVD with her last Tuesday and she was amazed. She was so blown away and just felt the spirit so much that she couldn't put her feelings into words. She is so excited to learn more and excited for her baptism. Her closing prayer was the best when she said that she believes these things are true but that she prayers for the Holy Ghost to help her know that these things are true. SO GREAT! She will be baptized and we are so excited for her. 

The Pope came to the Philippines this past week and because of that, some shops were closed down and even cell phone coverage was down because of him. Wow they really showed his respect, do you think they would do the same thing of the LIVING Prophet came here or one of his apostles? Probably not, So that means we have a lot to do in teaching this beautiful land about the nature of God and that we really do have a  real, living prophet of God. 

I have been really sick lately and we don't know what is wrong with me. Sorry, don't mean to scare you. I have been having weird stomach pains and have been throwing up everything I eat. We are going to the hospital today to see what is wrong with me. Just pray that it is nothing too big. AND please don't worry. I am in the hands of the Lord and everything will be ok. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

December 28, 2014

We ate a lot of SPAGHETTI for the holidays. That is the big fancy, popular meal that everyone makes here when it is a holiday or special occasion. 
We had a fun Christmas Zone Conference with our mission president and his wife. We love them so much and it was so fun. We had lots of fun and games. President Mangum talked to us about being patient with ourselves are we become through the Atonement. That sometimes we have faith in his atonement to endure through the trials that come but sometimes things turn out differently than what we wanted them to. We have to remember that things happen according to the will of the Lord. We can even be doing the right thing are things turn out not in our favor. That is when we pray more earnestly just as our Savior did in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was a good reminder that as I am going through my Gethsemane moments to be patient with myself, with the Lord, and continue more earnestly. 
 I challenged one of the members the other night to place a Book of Mormon as they were waiting for some other members to go give service. They were very scared and thought we were joking at first. We left to go follow up on an investigator and then met back up with the ward to give service. They said that it was very face but they were able to give the Book of Mormon to a family and the look on her face as I told the story was priceless. There is so much joy as we share the gospel not just for missionaries, but for all members of the Church. She was so full of joy and I know that same joy can come to you as you show Heavenly Father you love him by sharing the gospel with others. 
 I AM TRANSFERRED!! I got transferred to Batangas and we are re-opening. I also will be getting a new companion tomorrow. Her name is Sister Price and she is a Filipino. I am excited to meet her. 
Well, sorry not a whole lot and not a whole lot of time. but I hope you enjoyed the pictures and your new years celebrations to come, oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOKE!!!!!!
I love you all. 


Monday, January 12, 2015

January 11, 2015

There is a lot so hopefully my hands can type fast enough in the time I have remaining. We had a great MLC this last week with the missionary leaders in the mission. One of the things our mission president talked about was the desires of our hearts. He said a desire helps us to act towards those things we really want to accomplish in our lives. Most of the new years resolutions are just wishes because more often than not, there is no action that leads towards that ultimate goal, whatever it may be. he said that you can tell what someones desires are from the way they act. That totally made me look at myself differently and how i need to start to change my desires. Our desires control everything we do. When we are driven to follow the lord and be come through him we can accomplish all the desires of our hearts. Alma 22:15-18, Enos 1:12. You should study those. they helped me a whole lot. Also read "Rise to your Call" By elder Eyring. It is so good and will inspire you mom. 

I also learned the real meanings of the word Straight vs Strait. Straight is used when talking about directions, something that continues in one way for ever and ever and has no change. In 2 nephi 31 we read about a strait and narrow way. The word strait means a path that is not easy but a path that is sure. That is exactly the gospel. We are not promised that life will be easy, nor are we promised that we will be happy 100% 24/7. But we are promised that it is a safe passage. Even though it may take forever to travel down and maybe scared along the way, we are promised Safety. That is the Gospel, that is the promise the heavenly father has given each of us, that as we travel through thick and thin, we will be safe. 

real quick. also something to study is Jonah 2 and think of how you will face adversity when it comes. 

Ok, one last story. We have found such a prepared investigator who is so ready to come to christ. She is a referral from a member in the ward. Her name is Louie Belle. Wow, my testimony grew even more about prepared member referrals after meeting this young woman. she is 20 years old and came to church at first with the family she is working for. The first time we taught her she told us that she cried at church because she just felt to good. At the end of the first lesson we extended baptism to her but she was a little hesitant. So we just committed her to read the pamphlets we left and then to ask god through to help her understand. WE came back a week later and she was so excited to tell us what happened. She said the fist couple of times that she read them she didn't understand and was really confused. But then one time she decided to pray first for understanding before she read and she was so amazed that she was able to understand it and she felt so good in her heart, she even got goosebumps. The spirit is the real teacher. Sister Price and I had nothing really to do with that but the spirit was able to tell her the truth. Now she is committed to prepare for baptism and loves coming to church. It has been a real miracle to see as we reopen here in Batangas. 

our SUPER YOUNG BISHOP and his family. His son turned one years old.

 Before MLC we got up way early to ride around San Pablo Lake in San Pablo City. 

Riding home from an area Philippines Broadcast with sister Ghouri!!