Mission Time In Cebu

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Half way through Transfers oh no!!

Mayoong Pasko!!

Skype was soo amazing!!! I was soo overwhelmed with happiness I forgot to tell you about my finger. So that morning I was walking past our electric fan. Its metal and it has a cover but a small opening and BOOM sliced my finger...I was bleeding a lot and S. Falculan thought I lost my thumb but I started laughing...but was in real pain...its pretty deep but I'm okay, too bad I didn't get to show you.

So we just got back from our district activity, we went to the mountain view where there was a beautiful view it was lots of fun, I really like my district. and I've heard of Elder McBride I'm excited to see him at transfers.

So Christmas was a little hard our investigator Marlon drank on Christmas Eve so his baptism is being pushed back to January 22, ONE DAY AFTER TRANSFERS! I was soo disappointed and his wife will wait to be baptized with him but we are going to try to have their baptism the Thursday before so I can still experience it. But either way I'm happy b/c both husband and wife are being baptized and they have two little kids!! Eternal families!!! Ever since he drank on Christmas eve he has really been progressing, his wife has soo much faith she went to Bohol this week to tell her family about her baptism, she took their two kids and Brother Marlon I think realized how much his missed his family. We gave him pictures we have of them and he was really touched he kissed the picture. soo cute!

We will be having 4 baptisms this Sat. and I can't wait!!! Elder Haitt will be baptizing them which is funny b/c the last investigator he baptized has a major crush on him...haha. We had a district community service yesterday...we cleaned the basketball court in the neighborhood where all our investigators live then played basketball...I LOVE playing with the kids...everyone loved our district. The APs have been teaching the live in of S. Delilah and he finally believes in the church, promised to go to church this Sunday and wants to get married. The power of faith and prayers and fasting!!! Miracle gyud!! I am soo excited for her she is one of my favorites. Her boyfriend was just very shy to listen to sisters. So the Ap's were an answer to our prayers!!!

I can't believe we are already half way through transfers. All my investigators said they don't want to think about the day I will transfer, me neither!!! I have a hard time with change and I just can't imagine loving people in another area the same way I love people here. But I know I will. I am really learning how much God has the power to change hearts.

So I am really mad right now at one of our investigators. I found out he's been treating his wife really bad and sometimes punches her. I am soo mad luckily he hasn't been around b/c I know I would have a hard time teaching him. Please pray for Sister Mamming her life is hard...she is always having to watch her three little grandchildren. She suffers a lot for the choices of her husband. So yes mom be thankful for dad!! I have seen soo many broken families and I am soooo much more thankful for my family and the choices of you and dad. Even though I'm farther away then I have ever been, I feel much closer b/c I have been able to realize my blessings!! So even though skype was hard...I was sooo thankful, and yes I was a little emotional and homesick b/c I know the next time I can see your faces again will be in person. But its okay b/c I am where the Lord wants me to be and he is eternally blessing me for reals!! I have made soo many eternal friends and I finally am doing something worthwhile everyday with my life. I love it sooo much!!! Its hard and stressful and I am always tired but I always feel a sense of true happiness and have never been soo excited for the future. I always feel soo honored to be walking to streets as the Lord's representative. and sometimes I still am in awe that I am in the Philippines.

Oh by the way my english really is suffering. S. Falculan said it is awkward for her to hear me speak english sometimes. hehe. I contacted on the jeepney in english and was trying to translate visayan to english b/c sometimes I think in visayan especially if I'm thinking about investigators or things pertaining to the gospel...haha. The mothers day phone call will be pretty confusing hahaha!!!. WELL I love you alll soooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Year Left, Sooooo Fast!!!

Siggi!! I am soo excited about skype and a little embarrassed b/c I know I will cry like a little baby in the middle of the internet cafe. haha. I have been super homesick, but its okay b/c while I'm out working I am focused on the work but when I get home and lay in bed that's when I become a little emotional well kinda a lot.

I will probably be skyping sometime around 9:00 am my time on Dec. 25 so Christmas eve for you. I'm not exactly sure your time. BUT, I don't remember my information so if you could send it to me. Thanks!!! I am soo excited.

So my Christmas will be like any day...we have to go home by 6 b/c there will be a ton of firecrackers.

Even though last week was hard....we needed to be humbled and realize that we can't do all this work on our own and then the Lord has blessed us!!! We had 11 investigators go to church. and 4 baptisms on Jan 1 and maybe 4 on Jan 8. YAYYAYAYAYAY!!! I am sooo excited, one of them is Zaldy on Jan. 1!! We are soo blessed. Obedience and hard work and lots and lots of prayers.

My stomach finally gave into the food... I was doing soo well. I almost felt like I was going to die last night. I threw up 6 times and didn't sleep at all last night. I wanted to literally die. It was coming out both ends all night and I am super weak today and I HAVE to work b/c we have to prepare these people for their interviews this Saturday so yes I am a little miserable. But its okay.

Friday we had our ward Christmas party and it was soooo fun!!!! Our investigator Marlon was sooo funny he was dancing with all the girls and he dances super funny too. Zaldy and his friends performed Love Story by Taylor Swift it was super good. We had 25 investigators at least there!! Karioke and lots of performances.

S. Alma is happy at her job now, I told her to talk to her boss and things are good now.

We went Caroling with the Senior Sisters and couples in their building on Sunday, and I learned Filipinos don't like caroling...they were all scared haha.

We loved your decorations and S. Falculan was excited about the stocking, she says thank you! and my investigators all love you and want to meet you someday.

I am soooo excited for SKYPE!!!! and really hope it works...I'm a little nervous I wont get it all figured out...

I can't believe I only have 1 year left, and only 1 month left in Mabolo. NONO NO!! I do not want to leave....even though I haven't seen very much of the Philippines yet I don't want to leave these people. By the way I have a ton of pictures but no way to send them until I get a cd. So after the baptisms I will make a cd for all of you. Late Christmas present. Well I love you all...can't wait till Saturday. So 9:00 am my time, Christmas day for me. I can't wait...Ill need to bring tissues!!!

Love, Cari

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

hapit na PASKO

Musta mo?

From Sister Hansen, we can skype so just tell me when you want to do it, on my Christmas eve or Christmas?

So I will be skyping!!!!

I'm sorry about the money, I have been buying a lot of things for investigators, its really hard for me not to, but I have learned my lesson and am going to stop....its just super hard not too!! so sorry oops!!! I got my packages!! birthday and Christmas all in the same day and they were perfect!!!!! Mom you did sooo good!!! I loved them all!!! and shared everything...everyone loved it!!! I needed them too, b/c I have been having a very depressing week. Well not super depressing b/c I have been trying to be optimistic...But I know I just have 6 weeks left here and for sure I will be transferring next transfer b/c I will have been here 6 months which is usually the limit and we have soo many people soo close to baptism...but Satan is working sooo hard. I've been trying to learn that I can't do everything and I just need to rely on the Lord.

Lots of problems but we have had amazing progress with Zaldy. He is the older brother of Mariel and he was really really against the church and her baptism...and now he wants to be baptized. He usually reads about 2-3 chapters a day and has given up smoking, when before he smoked about a pack a day. Who would have thought. He is really a leader among his group of friends and the people in the neighborhood so he is really setting an example. Amazing progress!! Our other investigator family that would be baptized is having problems, apparently the husband still drinks and punched his wife in the face. So we didn't push her to go to church. So now their baptism is postponed, please please pray for them. They need lots of help.

So beginning a new transfer I have a new district three greenies-two Americans, they knew Karlie Brand in the MTC, they say shes really cool. Its fun to have greenies before I was always the newest...haha. We are going to the temple today and have zone conference tomorrow.

As for me I'm holding up, I'm really learning to rely on the Lord and not pressure myself soo hard but sometimes it feels like there is just this amazing load on my shoulders but I have been learning from the Lord that he is able to lift those burdens. I've been reading Jesus the Christ and have been crying b/c I can't believe the great sacrifice Jesus made for us. I feel closer to Him than ever before and I am somewhat able to understand His love for his brothers and sisters, as I feel that love for my investigators. By the way I'll be more careful about the money I feel bad, its just sooo hard...all my investigators are squatters and have very little money and they always give me soo much. But I will be better. Promise!! I told them all the stuff from the packages were from my mom and that made them even more excited!!! haha. They just don't get to experience the things we get to, like good chocolate or even money to buy post its and stuff. I don't think any of us understand what we take for granted.

I can't figure out how to send pictures either with this other camera so maybe another cd but those are expensive. So I dunno. grr. haha. Well thanks for for the packages again my favorite part was the card with your voices...I think i might run the batteries out soon from listening to it soo much. But the packages were soo perfect!!! Loved them!!! By the way your tree is amazing. Please tell Janet I got her package and loved it....yummy yummy!!!! and I will write her soon!!

Naghigugma ko Kaminyo!!!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Staying in Mabolo Until Next Transfer!

Well I get to stay in Mabolo one more Transfer until January 21st!!!! 6 months diri!!! I am soo happy!!! I thought for sure I would transfer after the Ap's decided to mess with my mind and tell me I will be transferring. I tried to hold back tears b/c we should have two families baptized on Christmas and I am not ready to leave my friends.

The Christmas spirit is really amazing here. There are lights and of course they have been playing Christmas music since September. Apparently their tradition is they go to bed early Christmas eve and then wake up at midnight to watch movies and feast. I thought that is kind of a fun tradition but too bad I can't join...we are having our barkada (the group of teenage boys) perform at the ward Christmas party...I am soo excited they are really opening up even though we are sisters. We just need them to stop smoking...haha. I've been wanting to play basketball with them, too bad I am always in a skirt.

So the miracle will Sister Alma. Not a miracle, her new boss treats her badly and she cannot handle all the work, we've been trying to work it out all week. Grrr. I felt like a protective mama bear, no one treats my convert like that!!!

I don't need a new camera I will just be happy with what I have and the other missionaries have those pictures they can put them on facebook after the mish. Still no birthday package, if it wasn't airmailed then it will probably take 3 months. ughhh....but ok ra. haha... tell chels I miss her a lot and have been praying for her a ton. I sent her, hillary, dan, and janice a letter hopefully they get it.

So we have sooo many investigators right now, 25 with baptismal dates....I know your worried but you always know I push myself too hard but that's how I enjoy life just going beyond what I can do. I'll probably return with less hair and bags under my eyes but I will be more beautiful on the inside, right? I think that's how I have really learned to love these people, like already they are easy to love but since I have almost given everything I have to them including ALL my energy I have truly learned to love them more than any love I have felt before. BUT, I was reading in Jesus the Christ (amazing amazing book) that he never lost his health although he was subject to a humanly body, soo don't worry I learned my lesson...we are trying to take it a little more easy.

As for my investigators they will all be excited to know I am staying...and we have a mom daughter and son with his wife scheduled for baptism on Dec. 25 so we are very excited!! My first family baptism. The husband and wife have two very cute kids too. I would send pictures but I forgot my chord, next week!!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Last Week of 3rd Transfer, Sooo Fast

Well...I have some bad news. My camera was stolen....I am very depressed but staying as a happy missionary. So I need a new memory card b/c as of now I don't have one really...so if you could send me one that would be great. I know you have already sent some packages and I feel really bad, I am just devastated about the pictures, I had soo many of my investigators, my birthday and some really cool ones from the monk temple we went to last Wednesday. Pero ok ra because I had my investigators to cheer me up. I told them about my camera and every prayer they said was in hope that I would find my camera, I was really touched by the love they have for me. Mariel even said she would go to our neighbors and ask them if they've seen it.

Transfers are next week and my investigators said they've been praying I wont transfer, me too. It will break my heart. But lets not dwell on the negative, I'm just grateful I sent some pictures home...my camera I have now is really not good, but I'll work with what I've got....The most important part is my work, so I won't let anything get me down. By the way I told my investigators that you pray for them and love them and they were so pleased, I told them maybe one day you can meet...but I'm not sure. They were soo excited though.

On a more positive note, I have experienced a miracle this week. So S. Alma has been facing a lot of persecution and adversity in her job for joining the church. Her boss finally told her if she doesn't stop going to church she will lose he job. Well I told her that I would ask everyone if they knew of anything. So that Sunday I went around to everyone desperately looking for a job and NOTHING. I told her to continue to pray and I would pray every prayer for her. That night we were visiting the Senior Sisters and the Senior Couple called and said they had a job interview for her tomorrow and a live in house help...exactly what she needed, with their investigators. So the next morning we got up early got her ready for her interview and SHE GOT THE JOB! and it is a way way way better job and her employers are investigators and soo much nicer, bigger house and bigger pay and way nice neighborhood. MIRACLE! we were soo excited I was jumping up and down.

We are also teaching this other family right now and I love them soo much, our whole lesson was in tears b/c their father will not allow them to be baptized and they want soo badly to be baptized their date is christmas. The spirit was sooo strong and I felt absolutley filled with the spirit as I told them that if they exercise their faith and read and pray everyday they will get permission. We all cried, I love them sooo much and we just found out their mom is pregnant. So we will see what happens pray for them. Mom- Mildred then daughters Divine Mary Ruth and Mary Rose.

Also, right now we are teaching an entire barkada (kind of like a gang but not bad or violent) they are 16 to 22 yrs old and extremely talented musicians so we are having them perform at the ward talent show...I'm excited should be fun.

So I spent my birthday with the senior missionaries they cooked a thanksgiving dinner and we ate cake, it was fun but the next day my camera was stolen from our apartment...so happy and sad birthday. Its good I have an eternal perspective now b/c for the most part I was able to just put my heart break to the side and focus on the work. We have soo many amazing things happening right now. We should have a family baptized on December 18th. They are pretty amazing, the Husband (Marlon) had work and even though he asked he couldn't get it off and we thought for sure he wouldn't show up at church....but the next day there he was. Their faith just amazes me!!

Don't get me wrong I am a far far far from perfect missionary I see soo many weaknesses everyday and do a lot of repenting...haha. But I am working soooo hard, one night it felt the same way like when I was finishing my marathon just walking home...haha. The APs told us that President wanted to let us know he is very proud of the job we are doing right now and for turning around Mabolo. It felt good to have some more support. It is a very difficult job, I feel like I have all this weight on my shoulders and it might be good you can't see pictures of my b/c I look very tired. But I am happy happy happy, b/c God is blessing this area...sooo much!! Miracle....I am soo grateful for all of my experiences, not the lost camera yet...but I did learn to put material things aside b/c in the end they aren't important. Its funny I teach ,my investigators these principles and then I learn I have to live it also...haha.

And Mom I got your package...thank you...the calender was amazing and we are all excited for your next packages. Yes not just me my investigators also...so hopefully there is a little something in there for them. haha. Love you I testify about all of you all the time and your importance to me, Miss you all.



Happy Birthday Week

This week was amazing!!!! What an honor to spend my Birthday with three new members of the church that I LOVE!! For my Christmas package...do you have any piano books?? My investigators have just started to take piano lessons and they are obsessed!!! haha...so I want piano books for them...and movies are DVDs they love Legacy and Mormon Pioneer movies so like the Work and the Glory they just love it!!! Also maybe the foot steps poem and toys for the kids and of course more pictures!! I really only want things for my investigators...b/c I really don't need anything but pictures and a little love from home :)

Mabolo is doing AMAZING we are teaching two families.... two that are really progressing. I think we should have at least 8 baptisms next transfer...please really pray for them. There is soo much persecution in their neighborhood. S Delia's daughter is not speaking to her b/c of her baptism and she goes with out food for days sometimes. But she is soo strong and has an amazing attitude. I am trying to be as charming as possible and bring gifts for people so I can soften hearts to the church. But it is difficult...one Dad ended up slapping his daughter b/c he didn't want her to come to church...BUT she still came!!! These people are just amazing, and humble and add to my testimony EVERYDAY!! I have never worked sooo hard and been soo exhausted, we basically worked straight yesterday until 9 PM 15 minute lunch- but it is sooo worth it, I have never been soo happy and sooo in love with the work. The ward sees our progress too and are really wanting to help now b/c we have soo many investigators. I really love these people they consume my thoughts and energy...it is true that you will only be happy when you lose yourself in the work. Lose yourself for the purposes of God and then you will find yourself.

tapos, the culture here is soo different, walking the streets is very interesting...there are cock fights...they even put knives on their feet very bloody and spiders also fight to the death on the little stick and they make bets. Also Ive eaten heart and blood this week...loved the heart didn't like the blood. These people are just soo generous!! aLSO SOMETIMES PEOPLE SHOWER IN THE MIDDLE OF the street and lets just say I got flow blown exposure of a very fat man in a speedo that while partially removing his speedo to clean his hind side...haha.... I was like well hello mister..haha. Well I have NO TIME...I will try to send pictures soon...I LOVE YOU ALLL SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!


Baptisms and More Miracles

Thank you for all the emails- they make my day!! Another thing for Christmas packages my investigators just LOVE church movies but I am very limited so if you have ones you don't watch like Work and the Glory, or Joseph Smith Story, or the movie about Emma Smith I WOULD LOVE THAT!!

Mabolo is amazing!!! We are working soo hard but seeing many miracles. A family that has been taught since last December, FINALLY came to church for the first time and are wanting to be baptized now!!! Miracle!!! It has been almost a year but now they are getting to where they are ready!!

I love these people soo much, my heart is soo full as in!! and last Sunday I even began to realize it more, my love for these people. We were in ward correlation meeting and we have our three baptisms coming up...one being Mariel (11 years old) The bishop and his counselors didn't want her to be baptized for the fear of her going inactive. Well lets just say I fought, I actually cried in front of the whole counsel...I mean really cried, they haven't worked with her they didn't know her faith, they don't feel the love that we and God has for her. They cannot deny her, that opportunity her opportunity for salvation and becoming a member of the church after all she has worked for, and they cannot be so hopeless to say she will go inactive. I told them all of this, while I cried...haha. Embarrassing but it softened their hearts. We have some other young investigators and I just knew they need this chance, they are precious souls and no one deserves to have that opportunity taken away. I also called Pres. Hansen and he agreed with me...so I will be talking to them again and make sure that anyone who wants to be baptized will. S. Falculan and I are speaking this Sunday...hopefully we continue to soften hearts. They are really starting to help us though, they gave our new members callings and are really starting to take us seriously, probably b/c they saw us bring 8 investigators to church last Sunday!! God is really really blessing Mabolo.

So the baptisms this Sabado are really gonna be a big event. I think half the barungay are coming....tons of investigators. We are probably going to have it in a different room then the baptismal font room b/c its too small, I cannot wait!! Lots of birthday friends and I love these soon to be baptizeees!!! I cannot wait!! Sis. Falculan says I have to stay in Mabolo one more transfer to harvest these souls we've planted...I totally agree. Our investigators say they will cry if I leave and I will too. I just love them all. S. Delilah really wants to be baptized but her live in wont marry her. So we've been really praying and fasting for her, we've been teaching her about the power of prayer and that miracles can happen. Hopefully she softens his heart...I know she will. My favorite present from my investigators are the letters I've been getting from them. Its amazing to see lives change and someone faithless grow into a rock and strong gyud member of the church. We have 15 others committed for baptism. so a lot more baptisms next transfer if I stay, keep your fingers crossed!!

Courtney I love the pumpkin pie chessecake, Mom no package yet but I can't wait....well my time is up. short kaayo!!

Love you all.


Miracles in Mabolo

Salamat kaayoo for all the good news!! I love hearing everything!! Thank you for your email, everyones support means soo much to me. I felt really touched that Aunt Vickie compared me to Grandma!

This week has been AMAZING!! We had 8 investigators go to church!! and I've really been preparing for the three upcoming baptisms on November 20th!! Excited kaayoo!! They are all excited to celebrate my bday with me and I am planning a big dinner afterward and I got two investigators to cater the dinner...expensive but their souls are worth it. I keep telling everyone don't think to much about my birthday and that we are mostly celebrating the baptisms, but they are soo excited its on my birthday..haha. We are really beginning to soften these people's hearts and I feel soooo much love for these people. We have 13 people committed for baptisms but some are walay klaro. I keep telling them I don't want to be transferred b/c I want to see all of them be baptized!! Sister Erwina's sister Delilah really loves us and is opening up to the gospel but she needs to be married before there is a baptism. Mabolo is PROGRESSING gyud!! exciting. We are working soo hard, I learned the hard way I need to rest more b/c last Sunday I was on the verge of collapsing from exhausting, its just hard when there are soo many miracles happening to want to rest. But, don't worry I am taking better care of myself now.

The language is coming sooo much faster now, b/c S. Falculan talks mostly all Cebuano to me and but I'm helping her with her english at night. I don't know if we will be able to understand each other during the phone call for Christmas....it is super difficult for me to speak all english..haha.

I really love this culture and people, I just want to stay pinoy forever. and the mangoes here are unreal!! well actually all the fruit!! and Mom the bathroom thing is a secret...haha.

The charger is great!! I need more cds though, b/c I am very sick of all the music, haha. and I gave one cd to E. Johnson cause I felt bad he didn't have anyone and another to an investigator b/c she loves choirs and is sooo excited about our church music. Funny kaayoo. Her name is Sister Delia and she is a neighbor of sister Erwina. She attended the baptism of S. Erwina and there I joked with her that she would be baptized for my brithday on Nov. 20...haha! and guess what!? she is one of the baptisms!! haha amazing! I am soo excited for her, she reads 5 chapters a day and says we are her angels. She is says when I smile all she wants to do is make me happy. So basically we are harvesting all the people b/c of the baptism of S. Erwina almost all our investigators are her neighbors...haha!! Amazing...we are praying for many more miracles, and many more people to come unto Christ. We took about 9 investigators to a primary activity and they were about 3/4 of the attendance. It was Halloween, sooo fun!!! The kids are absolutely amazing here!!

I'm glad Elder Johnson is doing better, I pray for him and all my elders every night and hope they are being good...haha. Lots of temptations here for elders.

For Christmas package...more pictures like of friends things happening, print pictures from facebook. That is my favorite thing, crystal light, tank tops, cds, family home evening ideas. ambot, whatever. I just love love the packages. Thank you thank you for all the support, it means soo much to me. Things are amazing here, continue to pray for my people. Lots of love!!

Dad, I love your letters, I have little time, but thank you for writing me each week. Continue to update me on my failing cougars and your work and life!!

Oh continue to fast and pray for my investigators and new converts, they are really having some touch touch trials from family and friends...but they are soo strong and amazing!!



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Success Through Obedience

This week has been AMAZING! MIRACLES....success through obedience. S. Falculan is amazing but I cried at transfers. S. Person also and she had to lead the music, in front of everyone. I really get attached to people I have learned. But its okay b/c S. Falculan is amazing!! I saw all my Elders at transfers except for Elder Johnson, they all have new follow up trainers too.

S. Falculan is 25 and a teacher. She went on a mission after supporting her twin sister through her mission. We are working VERY well together. I have seen miracles happen in these past 4 days. We have 3 committed for baptism this November 20th (For my Birthday!!!) We decided we will have a Birthday celebration afterward!!! I am sooo excited!! S. Mariel is one to be baptized in November and I absolutely love her!! She is only 11 years old and has been wanting to be baptized since I got here, but she didn't have permission from her parents but after fasting and prayer....success, she has permission. She is soo excited and her testimony is strong. S. Delia attended the baptism of S. Erwina and I met her there and told her for my birthday that she would be the next baptism, jokingly. But its true!! I just love her and cannot wait. She loves the Gospel, she reads 5 chapters a day and cannot sleep b/c she is sooo excited for baptism. She has amazing faith. Then we have B. Jesus which I've told you about, I'm excited for him too. So even though it is scary we are committing EVERYONE on our first visit to baptism!! Its is amazing the miracle of obeying mission president to do this!! I am soo excited to go out and work everyday and I just walk the fastest I possibly can to get to all appointments. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this work. We went from having three investigators with baptismal dates to 11, some aren't claro but that is amazing b/c before I got here there had only been 2 baptisms in 1 year and now we had two last month and hopefully 5 (our goal) this transfer. I have such faith that this area can turn around and flourish. Please pray for them, and S. Alma and Erwina they are facing a lot of persecution right now from families and employers but they are still sooo strong!! They will never fall away, I know it!

My cebuano is really improving b/c I never speak English except for night now, b/c S. Falculan wants to learn better english. The church is sooo true!!! I just love it, and missionary work...it is hard. I am sooo tired but I just love laying in bed after a long day and knowing I served my Father in heaven with all my heart might mind and strength!

Oh mom I got your package and I LOVED IT!! Keep them coming, S. Person was excited about the crystal light. Everyone looked at the pictures and they think Mom is guapa gyud!! (very beautiful So she should come here...haha. I always agree.) and Scott looks like Justin Bieber and then one of my Elders said he can be my future brother in law for Courtney. Filipino siya, and the funniest Elder I know so I said I approve. I want you all to know I testify about you everyday and your examples to me. Oh by the way one of our investigators thought I was thirteen....so that's probably why people don't take me seriously sometimes. haha. jokes lang. So I love you all!!! Thank you thank you!!! Write on my blog anyone can email cause a lot of people have asked. And send me pictures through email, also.


Cari aka. Carry on! (like the Hymn)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Week 12 in Mobolo

SOOO MUCH happened this week!! Most exciting, Sister Erwina's baptism
and and afterward S. Person's bday!!! It was an amazing day....lots
of investigators showed up and she was glowing with happiness. One of
our Elders Baptized her, Elder Haitt. She is soo happy and has found
soo much light and hope from the Gospel. Afterward we had a Filipino
Birthday feast for S. Person's bday...and we found a new claro kaayo
investigator, neighbor of S. Erwina. We taught her this week, I think
its her time to be baptized but her life is tough...pray for her, her
name is Delia. and she feels no love from her kids...sometimes she has
no food, but she feels a special comfort from the church and at the
baptism she said she wishes that was her. Mabolo is growing sooo
strong, we have been working sooooo hard!!!! We have lots of new
investigators and very little time...haha. AMAZING! S. Person will be
transferred to Negros this Friday...sad gyud!! Pero, I get a new
companion S. Facualan-visayan Filipino!! Devao shes from. Sorry my
english is getting really bad. haha So I will be leading the area this
transfer, scary but exciting. S. Person has me making all the
decisions now and she said she really feels like I am being guided by
the spirit. Its true I just feel this guidance always now, about who
to talk to and where to go...truly amazing.

On Monday we had our district meeting. SOOO sad. Elder Clark and Elder
Holt are going home....their two years are up! They were great
leaders, S. Person and I made them candy lays and sang Love at home
mixed with tongan and then aloha oe...they have a video of it.
EMBARRASSING! But everyone loved it...i thought they would think it was
cheesy haha. I've been having a super spiritual week, and we had a
lesson about Mothers in relief society...I cries and I mean CRIED the
whole time. I really know mom that I am who I am today b/c of you and
your amazing example for me. I miss you sooo much!! and I am usually
soo busy I didn't realize how much, so thank you...for reals. My heart
just feels like its going to explode kanunay as I grow in love for
these people, my family and God, the gospel...I didn't know it was
possible to feel soo much love. I have become such a cry baby lately
in lessons and while testifying b/c everything is sooo real to me now,
my eyes feel like they are finally open. I took newly baptized S. Alma
on splits and to hear a new convert testify... is amazing, and one
month ago she had no idea about this truth. She wrote S. Person and me
notes. I just love her soo much and can feel her love for us.

So Mabolo is sooo crazy...Elections sa barungay this week. Sis. Person
and I were teaching brother Ryan and s. Gloria and these drunk men got
into a fight right next to us. They slammed a whole bench across a
wall and were screaming I'm going to drink your blood to each other and
we heard what sounded like gun shots..ahh. We went home right after.
Poor Ryan (he has tried to commit suicide) and just always looks soo
hopeless...I am worried for him.

S. Diosy one of our investigators loves to cook for us, and yes her
food is delicious. But one time we saw her preparing it and she used
the water from the bathroom!!! haha...same water they shower with and
stuff....shes going to kill us! haha.

So mom I live right by the mission ofice, I go there all the time so I
can always get my stuff as soon as it gets there...pretty lucky! Elder
Johnson has a new companion...he only had that bad one for one
transfer...I heard he is super nice (the new one) so he is doing

Oh by the way Sister Erwina's younger sister went to her baptism, she
is only 18 and has a child also, like S. Erwina. She is such an
amazing investigator, like her sister. We told her to start to read
the Book of Mormon and next visit. I asked her if she read and she
said only a little and I asked what she read and she said the
introduction the three witnesses testimony and testimony of Joseph
Smith and I'm like that is not gamay!! and then she said she felt
inspired when she read it!! Only problem is I don't think she is
married to her live in partner so I don't think she can be baptised
for awhile!!. By the way I have a ton of pictures...I'll put them on a
CD and send them next week! Love you all I appreciate your support
and love always!!!

Love, Cari

Happy Birthday Mommy!!!!

So on this typhoon craze...no typhoon but CRAZY heavy rain!!! I have NEVER seen rain like this, S. Person forgot her umbrella yesterday and we were SOAKED!! That little umbrella cannot cover the both of us...haha. Rivers everywhere on the streets, and you never know what is lurking in the water....haha.

I havent seen any nativities but there are some very famous sweet belts if scotty and dad want one. They would be starting a new fashion craze.

So our district activity was super fun!! I love and am going to miss a lot of them at transfers next week. I'm pretty sure I am staying but I think S. Person and a lot of them are gone.

Elder Cook, was amazing!! I got to see Elder Stirland and Elder Shenck...both doing well. Elder Cook is truly amazing had some really intense things to say about the Philippines, how it is really a choice country and amazing things are going to happen here and in the rest of the world b/c of the church here. Amazing things that I will be able to see in my life time. I got to shake his hand and you could just feel the power of the spirit... AMAZING GYUD! He told a funny story that he was acting out something to his little grandchild on the floor and his grandson just looked at him in the weirdest way, and at the end of FHE he came up to him and said...Grandpa, why do you cut your hair that way?? haha...he said it was the first time he could probably see the top of his head. haha crazy though, he really made it seem like THIS is the last days, there is no time to waste.

At interviews Pres. Hansen said that we are the only barrier between these people and fire and that time is not a luxury we have anymore. He was super serious, it was a little stressful....especially b/c S. Person got super sick this week so we didn't work Sunday or Monday. I feel soo bad, but she is a little better now...what a trooper. My body feels very very weak, also its really hard for me to work also, but were pushing through it and are stronger b/c of it.

It's S. Person's Bday week so E. Clack (district leader) bought her a cake and we had a little birthday celebration. S. Erwina is getting baptized on her Birthday and the Elders are baptizing her b/c we have NO men in our ward hardly haha. So were gonna have another Birthday celebration afterwards Filipino style- pancit, spaghetti, hot dogs and marshmallows...im always excited for food!! By the way Korean food is sooo GOOD!! Went to a korean restaruant, finally had some sushi...soo good!

We had a very spiritual lesson with S. Erwina...the Gospel really does bring hope to the hopeless. She feels soo much light and love from the Gospel for her and her baby. I love her SOOO much!! We were all in tears that lesson, she is wonderful!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these people and the Philippines, and I know Mom would love it too...It is a different planet, but beautiful and amazing. Mom should want to come here...Its hot, but its beautiful and soo much fun!!! I am soo honored to serve here, I can feel that it is really an honor to serve here, and this small little humble country will change the world.

I haven't gotten your package yet, but I am excited...S. Erwina and S. Alma will be confirmed this Sunday!! Yay!! two baptisms!!! With two super amazing converts!! The Gospel changes lives, FOR REALS!! I love you and appreciate your emails and love always.

oh by the way HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I should have done it earlier but I'm sending you a letter :)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mission Paspas (Going Too Fast!)

I cannot believe I only have two weeks left of my second transfer!! Ahh! I think I am staying in the area, but I think I will get a new companion. We have a district activity today-BOWLING. Exciting...haha.

So I LOVED conference. These past couple weeks my testimony has strengthened soooo much testifying of the Prophet and inviting everyone, and I mean everyone I meet to conference!! We had to pick up 4 people for conference and wow was that an adventure. One area flooded that night so we had to walk through ankle deep mud four times!! Welcome to the Philippines. But we got them all there and they really enjoyed it.

We have two scheduled Baptisms for the 23rd, S. Erwina and B. Jesus. S. Erwina is very promising but I don't know about brother Jesus. He is a security guard who lives on a bench. One of our fellowshippers was excited to meet him b/c they are the same age and there are hardly any men in our ward, so she came with us to teach him. then she asked him where his house was and he pointed to the bench. Well lets just say we will not be seeing a temple marriage from the two of them next year. haha. Poor Brother Jesus, he doesnt really have a friend in the ward yet, so I just stick with him and try to talk to him. But well see what happens with him.

Oh so I found a new food I really like, its called silingog or something maybe not. But it is the Pigs face, like his ears, and everything cut up into little pieces with rice...its is absolutely Lami!! (delicious).

Friday S. Person and I were doing our weekly planning and the Zone Leaders just showed up a our door and said mission President wants to talk to you right after planning. We were soo scared! We're like what could we had done? We thought of all the possibilities from good to horrible...and it was the most nerve racking jeepney ride I had ever had, and then we found out Sister Person just needed to pick up her money her mom sent. Walay claro!! I was soo mad at them, couldnt they just tell us that?? haha.

Thursday we had another temple tour, it was fun! The woman is E. Nicoletta and Hiatts investigator who is also getting baptized on the 23rd. Exciting!! She really enjoyed the temple and afterwards the AP's treated us to dinner at the Patron house.

Monday we got to work in the Bukids (mountains) in the ZL's area. Soo fun we got to ride on a motorcycle again!! I love it!! So we had to work with this fellowshipper b/c the elders can't work with a woman. And she wore S. Person and me out! She doesn't have a job or anything. She dedicates her life as an unofficial missionary for the church...haha. So we taught 5 lessons one after the other in a row... our brains were sooo worn out!!! haha. But the mountains were beautiful. Some times the beauty of the Philippines just takes my breath away.

Elder Cook is tomorrow, I will tell you more about that! I don't have very much time....but I just wanted you to know I cried through out all of E. Hollands talk. THANK YOU THANK YOU!! for supporting me and letting me have this most amazing experience of my life!!! I love you with all my heart and will write more in a letter but I thank god all the time for my family. Testifying about Eternal Families all day really has made our relationship soo much more sacred and special to me, and although I am across the world, my love has grown for all of you 10 fold.

Aunt Peggy- I got your letter and it made my day!!! Your support means the world to me and I love you sooo much!!! Thank you!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

First Baptism

So in The Philippines we get to watch conference a week late...haha!!! So thanks for spoiling the news, Mom, about the temple...haha! Its okay, I am sooo excited, we brought S. Alma to watch the GRS Broadcast and it was AMAZING, her first time seeing the Prophet!! She loved it. I was brought to tears when we sang with the choir during the intermediate hymn. TO see that the Church is actually the same all over the World and to feel soo connected with everyone was such an amazing experience.

So S. Alma's baptism-AMAZING!! S. Person and I sang love at home in Tongan, it sounded super cool actually. It took 3 times to get her baptism right, B. Sevilla is a new convert and was very nervous, but it just made the baptism all the more sweet. Afterwards in the bathroom I asked S. Alma how she was feeling and she said "I AM SOO HAPPY" (in english...haha) so cute, I was soo happy for her. Then we walked her to the jeepney and it was just soo amazing...how truly great is your joy when you bring souls into the gospel. The next day she was supposed to get confirmed but she didn't show up at church. There is a very long story but her boss is really mad at the Mormons and wouldn't give her permission to go to church. Soo sad, but she is faithful and going strong, when we take her to GC this Sunday I told her we would open the day with a fast so she could make a decision whether or not to quit her job. Pray for her it is a very difficult situation, and very complicated. She is still soo happy to be a member of the church and is continuing to read and pray. I just love her!

As for conference we have many investigators coming, I am sooo excited!!! Oh by the way we have 3 investigators with Baptismal dates. One is super ready, S. Erwina who I found my second week, I don't know if you remember the story...she is super excited, her baptism is scheduled for the 23rd this month. Its truly amazing since Mabolo has seen few baptisms and this month there is 2 maybe 3!! and next month there should be more!!! S. Erwina is a single mother from a broken family and has found happiness and hope from the Gospel. I found her when I was on splits and we opened up with a hymn while we were teaching her neighbors (less active) "Families can be together forever" she found me afterward and in tears asked me about the hymn and I made a return appointment. I just love her, too! We took her to the temple tour that we now have every Thursday and she was soo touched and excited to enter the temple someday. Amazing spirit!!

So yes we are doing temple tours now every Thursday, its amazing to be in the city actually. We had one last Thursday though that kind of bombed, it was in the morning and 70 engineering students from Bohol were touring the temple to see how it worked, and we missionaries were in charge of the spiritual aspect. Well that FAILED huge! I tried to talk to them about the temple (all boys) and they only wanted to know if I had a boy friend and then asked me to get married after the mission, well lets just say my face turned bright red and I went and hid behind the elders. haha.

So I have been trying to wait to say this news but it is just too exciting!! Elder Cook is speaking to us on Oct. 14 but only 3 zones near the city and we are one of them!!! We all get the privilege of shaking his hand and talking to him!! AHHH!! I cant wait!!!

Oh yes Mom...I love the Food, I ate belut again!! I just love it!! Dont think I'm weird, it was fried this time and I think like 18 days old, feathers, beak head-delicious kaayoo!! haha. There are soo many foods I love, just about everything. The bread, there are bakeries just about every other shop, and people are always frying and barbecuing on the street there is just food everywhere and tindahans (little stores on every corner) don't worry I'm good for clothes, we have two malls in our area, and the spiders and slugs have disappeared. I have a shower now, which is freezing, I really don't like showering...but dont worry I still do it-everyday!! haha. Oh we experience a lot of brown outs, thats when the whole city loses power...happens often, those are fun.

So you probably always love to hear about our crazy investigators. We found one B. Marshall...severely on drugs...haha. S. Person gave him some of her food b/c he has no money since he has noo job. And he was just spitting on me the whole time while he talked....crumbs all over...soo gross. I was squatting (my legs are getting really strong...haha) b/c he had no chairs except for two and S. Person and our Ward member sat on the chairs. He was confessing about all the drugs he uses and we taught him about the word of wisdom..haha. Another Investigator, B. Donatu devoted seventh day Adventist. Oh he TRIES my patience. He is always preaching to us...I barely get a word in. And he was talking about the Sabbath being on Saturday blah blah blah. And I was like okay I have the perfect scripture Amos 20:7 about the apostles taking the sacrament on the First day. It was perfect, I was like I totally have him! So I asked him if he could read it, and he read from his own bible and he reads "and the apostles broke bread on the sabbath which is saturday" HAHA I'm like "WHAT?" haha his version is like written for his religion, he totally got me there haha. He is really hard to teach though you tell him something and he raises his hand in front of you and says "DILI DILI!" (NO! NO!) and shakes his hand, oh I just want to break it off sometimes...haha. But God is trying to teach me patience i know. PLus we teach him in the hottest room ever with no fan. Our teaching situations are funny we are usually squatting or crammed in a little area, never like in other countries where you sit on a couch in a living room...haha. no that never happens.

Also, I'm reading the Old Testament, its weird, haha, I am trying to love it but it has soo many weird things...happen. But I love being a missionary, S. Person is amazing. I have learned soo much from her. We are really trying to perfect our companionship and sacrifice everything to the Lord. Like I love eating while I'm walking, B/c we walk A LOT! But we decided to give that up soo we can look more professional, also we are never going to speak bad about others, which is difficult b/c many people can be frustrating...but I have noticed such a different and better spirit now!! I feel soo blessed as I know the Lord is perfecting and refining me!!

Hillary do not Dear John me!! I wrote you a letter its on its way!!

By the way you need to all stop being soo boring, and make yourselves do something interesting, so that I have one exciting thing to read...haha. just kidding I love every piece of news I hear. and Mom the Ipod charger is like the same thing we have that you plug into the wall, the white thing. I need more crystal light, its like S. persons favorite thing, we drink it all the time. Oh also...what missionary did you see a picture of me?

Well I love you all....and am glad your well and safe!!! I am happy always!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week 7 in Mabolo

So I now only have 30 minutes for email, so Dear Elders are much appreciated. And for a package another good thing would be Crystal light...I go through those like crazy, S. Person loves them too. Also, Pictures are the best-Filipinos love them!!

So this week!!!! Very exciting!!! We had zone conference and I got to see Elder Stirland and Elder Allen!! They are very happy and very optimistic. It was sooo relieving to see them and know they are doing well. Thank you for updating me on E. Johnson I have felt worried about him and now I know why. Let him know I pray for him every night. He was one of the kindest Elders I know and I know that if anyone can handle what he is going through, Its him. Very amazing faithful Elder. Keep writing him, for real it makes me happy and I know it makes him super happy.

So this week, this Saturday I have my FIRST baptism!!!! YAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait, I just know it will be such an amazing fulfilling experience. Especially after some of the little trials we have had this week. We only had 2 investigators to church on Sunday. It was super sad for me, I was trying to hold back tears. I felt a glimpse of what Christ feels like when we ignore the things of the Gospel and put him second in our life. Here, he made the ultimate sacrifice. He suffered beyond all comprehension true agony and we are to lazy to serve him with all our heart, might, mind and strength! We ignore his sacrifice for us. I never want to be ungrateful to that sacrifice, it is hard for me to express in words. I felt such a sorrow on Sunday and a connection to the atonement and the sacrament. It was such a sacred experience to partake of the sacrament that day and trust in the will of God. I am just beginning to get a glimpse of the atonement and what Christ really feels and went through for us. We taught a man, Ryan, who the day before we met him tried to commit suicide. I can see that while we are teaching him the hopelessness in his eyes, and if only he could fully understand the Gospel and the atonement he will never feel that way again, he will never feel alone. I feel soo close to my savior and I am just seeing promises in my patriarchal blessing unfold. I outlined it during personal study time and what I have to do to obtain those blessing, it was such a special experience and I know if you do the same thing you can really learn how to obtain all those promised blessing. I am soo excited about my life and whats in store and I want my investigators to have the same hope that I feel everyday. Sunday we went on splits, so I was with 2 ward members and our investigator S. Alma (baptism this Saturday, YES SHE CAME ON SPLITS WITH US-Seriously she is soo amazing). So crazy I had to lead the area and give all the lessons by myself, while they testified at the end. I even made S. Alma share her testimony...haha. I taught a whole family it was, just me teaching in Visayan and like 10 people listening, and I did it! All by myself...truly a testimony that the Lord blesses us for our sacrifices. He has helped me soo much with the language...I understand most of everything and can say most of what I want....and I know that I usually suck at the languages so it truly is all from the Lord and lots of hard work and sacrifice of sleep...haha. So Mom, don't worry, even when things are hard, I feel happy because I get the privilege to teach heavenly fathers children all day long. Its not easy. It really isn't, I come home every night my whole entire body aching from walking and sitting on the floor and ect. ect. ect. But now that I am seeing at least one fruit from my labors I know it is all worth it. S. Alma, I have learned soo much from her. I love her, I never thought that I could love like this, and I still have a lot to learn. I am BY FAR!!! and imperfect missionary still, there are soo many things I need to improve and E. Johnson is a lot more patient and kind then I am b/c I definitely wouldn't have put up with that from my trainer. I am still working on patience...haha. That is one of his biggest attributes I admired in the MTC. BUT I am improving! So I havent read your letters yet b/c I only have 30 minutes now and I want to give a good report to all of you. Just know that I am working my hardest, all my heart, mind, might and strength b/c I know this is the Lords time and he is shaping me into who I need to be so I can help these people. Thank you for your prayers and support, they mean sooo much to me!! By the way I just sent another CD of pictures...so hopefully you get them soon. unsa pa? Sorry I'm a little jumbled b/c I don't have very much time. The Philippines is such a different place, I hope some of you can visit it someday....it is already ingrained in my heart- and by the way the food is WAY better here, but I'm still losing weight. Slowly though..haha. I started gaining cause I was eating rice. Oh by the way Mom, E. Bennett says hi, he transferred but I saw him at zone conference. Well I g2g but I really do love you all. Keep sending stuff my way.

Courtney I only skimmed through your letter but the best thing to get at Sammy's is the cheesecake oreo with extra chocolate syrup added (special order)

love love love!!!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week 6 in Mabolo

The new house is great but we have to travel SOO FAR...cause its not in our area...but I am still glad for it. However. There are giant slugs and spiders in our bathroom...and I mean GIANT! Like 6 inches long and this huge hairy spider and not just one slug like 5 or 6. Its okay though. The whole house is PINK PINK PINK...haha. Makes me feel even more like a Sister now. We live really close to the Elders but we cannot see them without permission or else very bad consequences. Like our area will be shut down and we will get emergency transferred. So I know they must trust us a lot to let us live there. About the pictures...I'll just send you another CD on Monday we are printing pictures today anyway. Sorry! I have no idea, whats going on.

I got your package :) everything is great-Made my week, I was soo happy...shared my skittles with everyone.

So good things for a package:

Candies for little kids would be awesome
CD's like EFY (stand in the light, give the gift)
Birthday letters
USB plug for the wall like for an ipod. I bought speakers and it needs to be charged at a computer or the ipod wall charger. stinks. didnt know that before.

So things are great in Mabolo. We have a Baptism scheduled for October 2, S. Alma, our favorite investigator. She is working for a woman and her family as their maid. And they said we can no longer teach her...but she says she is still going to go to church and we can teach her after church. So her faith is just amazing...we are really being blessed. Another investigator, B. Jesus, came to church but I can't decide if he is coming to church for the two pretty ladies teaching him (that would be us...haha) or b/c he really is interested. he never completes his assignments.

And I am not LYING!! Belut is great! I need to become Filipino..haha. They all call me a cowgirl here b/c I am not squeamish to do or try anything...they say I am becoming Filipino. S. Person is really helping me with my accent. We read the Basahon Ni Mormon everynight. My Cebuano is coming really quickly...best blessing! :) I've been waking up at 5:30 am every morning to get some more studying in. Its helped me soo much.

So we have a new district now, 3 new Elders and 1 new Sister. And E. Shenck, transferred SURPRISE. I was soo sad I thought he would be here for a long time. He is somewhere north in the mountains.

I am soo grateful to be on this mission...Sis. Person gave me an amazing compliment and said that my biggest strength is when I testify and I know its b/c I TRULY believe the things that I am telling these people. I feel soo much strength behind my words and its crazy how much my Cebuano just flows from my mouth and I can testify soo easily...but as soon as my lesson is done my Cebuano returns back to is original form-struggling..haha. Its really an amazing experience though to have the Lord just put words into your mouth, I am trusting him more and more everyday that he will just lose my tongue and feel my mouth...so true.

A mission is amazing...truly. I don't know if I could have come to know God as I do now in any other way. I really am learning from these wonderful people the value of true happiness. I am trusting in God and his purpose. It does not matter if bad things happen here on earth...and trust me these people ENDURE! Many are jobless, can't feed their family...sicknesses everywhere. I see malnourished people all day, BUT they are happy b/c they have their families and the Lord and they aren't even of our faith. So me with my knowledge of Eternal Happiness and a mansion waiting up there for me in heaven, I have no room to complain ever. I wont complain, b/c life is beautiful. Even here in the downtown city I can see beauty.

The Philippines is an amazing place, I have never experienced anything like it. I meet people every day that have a profound effect on me and my life, Remember that whatever happens if we endure to the end there is the kingdom of God-true happiness awaiting us.

Love you all!! Amping!!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New House and Belut

Kamusta Fam and Friends!!

So this week is transfers- and yes I have been transferred to a new house, haha. I am in Mabolo, I'm thinking for at least another two transfers, and Sis. Person will be staying also. So no changes, which I'm happy about.

We have two amazing investigators. First, S. Alma, I remember when I met her, very shy, didn't seem interested it just seemed like we were forcing her b/c she was too shy to tell us no. I actually thought it was useless, she turned us away a couple times even. She is from Tacloban (another island) and she left her family behind to be a maid for this family. Sad story...but she LOVES the Gospel now. I don't know if you can get more Golden than her in investigators. She is always waiting for us reading her scriptures and she is soo cute. SOOO SMALL. she is 38 years old and likes to laugh at my Cebuano...haha. But she is such an awesome investigator that even though she doesn’t have plete (money to ride the jeepney) she walks to church! and she even went to our ward missionary meeting and went to pick up investigators with us to church...haha. Future ward missionary!! Her baptismal date is October 2nd! Second, S. Erwina is a signal mother and very smart. She is 20 years old and came to church for the first time she knew all the answers to the questions and loves church. Her baptismal date is October 9th. Also, we had 6 investigators at church again, and we had 180 contacts this week. It is sooo fun to work hard. I know the Lord is blessing us. S. Hansen told me that the majority of the ward is inactive and Mabolo ward is one of the most difficult to keep together, but it is really becoming stronger, and its amazing to see the change in people.

So this week I gained a stronger testimony of the priesthood. It really hit me that when men receive the priesthood they are literally receiving the same power that God has. He used the priesthood power to create us and the earth and the power is eternal. These men will have this power for all eternity...I just thought that was amazing.

So Last night was crazy 4 elders from our district came over to help us move houses. The truck ended up breaking down, while they were taking a load so me and s. person e. bennett and elder nicoletta were just waiting around, perfect timing to try balut, right? So I got a 16 day old one, I was nervous and after I got it I found out E. Bennett has never tried it. But the Beluit man was gone so he supported me as I tried this new exotic food, S. Person taught me how to eat it. So first you crack the egg and suck our the warm fetus juice or whatever it is, taste like chicken broth, very delicious, then you eat the yoke around it which taste like a hard boiled egg except better. Then you eat the fetus....it was actually super delicious, I loved it. And no I am not joking, and yes there were feathers haha. Then the balut man came around again and I bought one for E. Bennett a little more mature 18 days, except we told him 16 days...haha. Good sport. The Filipino Elders told me I'm filipino by the way I sit and act...I thought YES! best compliment ever. They said I'm learning cebuano super fast, which just made me feel so good, diligence and prayer.So finally we moved! Went to bed at midnight. Grabe! But we get to go to the beautiful Cebu temple again today.

I have really learned the power of prayer here. I am just constantly praying...I have never prayed soo hard in my life, for my language, for sis. person, for the area, the ward, our investigators. I just pray pray pray! Always, when we’re walking I just pray. I feel soo close to the Lord. I was reading in the Bible dictionary about prayer and it said it is aligning our will with the will of the Lord. Amazing, some of the most sacred experiences I have had is during my prayers to my Father in Heaven. He already knows what we need and is willing to give it to us, all we need to do is work and ask for the blessings. I have learned how to pray better, I never thought about having a moment of silence before my prayer so the spirit could speak to me and let me know what to ask for, but this has completely changed the way I pray and the way I can know how to receive answers.

On Sunday we had a little testimony meeting with the Senior Sisters (my surrogate mothers). It was an amazing spirit; seriously I have never felt more blessed then here on my mission. I have never realized how weak I am with out the Lord. With out him I am nothing. I have never seen sooo many of my weaknesses...before my mission I thought I was soo close to perfection. Joke joke. But, really now I see soo many things I need to improve and I am soo grateful b/c the Lord has shown me my weaknesses so that I can make them strong. Its amazing to see improvement every single day as I am trying soo hard to be a better missionary for these people. These WONDERFUL people that would take their shirts off their back and give it to you b/c they are soo loving. I love it here...although it is still SOOO hard. I am drenched in sweat everyday and never ever feel decent looking (just look at the pictures I sent...haha. BUT it is soo worth it, I just love it and serving these people. It is soo unfair b/c I think I am learning more from them then they are from me...haha.

I love you all sooo much. I have soo many more pictures but the internet is slow. Have you gotten the picture CD i sent you yet? Love you all sooo much...every person I hear from just makes my day and I love it!! The Gospel is true and really does change us and make us the people the Lord wants us to be!

Love, Cari

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Maayoong Hapon!!

Sorry you did not get this sooner, we had district activity today and we went on a hike up the river and a water fall.. GORGEOUS!! Seriously the Philippines is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I took a lot of pictures but forgot my chord to send them...next time Unta! So I have gotten a lot of good emails!!! Lots of thanks!! They definitely help keep me going!! Mom can you send Janet my mission address. Charlene sent the message to me, thanks Mom...she is more on the road to baptism now, pray for her...we visit her tonight!

The Reeds just left the Mission on Thursday, they were the office couple. and I know Elder Bennett, He is in my district!! Really fun, he said I am one of the fastest Cebuano learners...so he keeps my hopes up about the language!! but that is about all I know. How did you get in touch with Elder Johnson's mom with out hearing back from Elder Johnson...if you Mom's want you should get in touch with all the Mom's from our MTC district and you can talk to all of them. I don't know how you find these people though... haha

This week, soo good!! We worked SOOO hard 160 contacts, 29 Lessons, and we had 6 investigators to church!!! So amazing, 3 promising baptisimal dates scheduled. our hard work is paying off! and we found a house! It is in Lahug (Elder Shenk's area with the temple) and it is a much nicer apartment! so we are moving next Tuesday and Transfers are next friday. But, I don't think Sis. Person or I will be transferred, but who knows we find out the Wednesday before, just two days!!

Sunday we fasted for 25 ours....definitely a patience practice. So we had a birthday party/FHE with the Sevilla Family Newly baptized cute little Filipino Family) and we bought them a cake and it looked sooooooo delicious, but time went late and we had to leave for curfew before we could taste it. and I had been looking forward to it ALL day. I almost drooled as we left, soo sad. So ya we couldn't start our fast until 8:00 PM, so we fasted all day Sunday, I thought I was going to die-but I didn't want to complain. We had a dinner appointment at 7pm and when we got there...IT WASNT READY!! well 8 o clock rolled around and we had to leave-NO DINNER! Well we got home at 8:30 PM and FINALLY we could eat I almost choked on the food as I ate it. hahah funny kaayo!

Today is a little more boring week, no crazy stories. The work is going, awesome...don't worry I stay safe and aware, oh ya I hit my head really hard on the ceiling of a house...seriously I am way too big for this place. Oh I just want to say how incredible an experience it is to teach. I have never felt soo much guidance from the spirit telling me what to say, its truly amazing.

Oh ya...so Mabolo is crazy!! some of our investigators stories crazy. Like we have one who wants to get baptized and she's been to church but she has had several abortions, is living in and has been in a mental hospital. We have another one who would be promising but she should be in prison for 20 years b/c she left her first husband and remarried, against that law here. and so she flew Negros to Cebu to not face her court case and I think if she wants to get baptized she has to go to Prison first, i dont know. Crazy!

Here is a couple of shout outs!!

Blake Balkman

Dili ko nagkaon Balut pa, pero gusto gyud ko!! Dili Nahadlok ko. Pero Gusto ni Sis. Person safety para sa ako. Si Sister Person mao ang akong trainer. Kindont Kaayo siya! Naa mi maayong companitionship. Elder Valesco mao ang akong ZL. Funny kaayoo siya. Nagsulti siya nga ikaw sa iyang paburito companion. Nagsugat ko sa imong follow-up trainee, ni Elder Jamon. Ganahan ko so Pilipinas...nindot kaayo!! Lisod pero lingaw!!

Rhonda McPeak

I am soo grateful for you message...it means a lot to me that you read my emails and that my emails touch you. It really helps to know that there are people out there praying for me...such amazing comfort to me. This Church is the only way that we can find true happiness for us and our families. I was reading 1 Nephi 8:10-12 really reminded me of how desirable the truth of this gospel is and we can really only understand how amazing it is until we taste it.

Uncle Rod

I am watching out do not worry, and dont worry I am not beautiful here... trust me I will send pictures haha. The Philippines is very rough on my outward appearance, however, I know that I am able to grow more beautiful on the inside...and thats all the matters right? Thanks for your email, I miss you soo much and can't wait to return to Utah and see you again :)


Read Uncle Rod's shout out...I just wanted to tell you. I am being careful...No worries!!! Thank you for all you write me, the things you say are truly inspired and they help remind me of my purpose and to continue in happiness and trusting in the Lord. I can't wait to see you again and share all my experiences with you :)

Well...I love you all thank you for sooo much support. Amping Kanunay!!!

Love, Cari

p.s. I am also sorry, this letter is not as exciting as before, we have just been working super hard and nothing has been happening, except my trying lots of amazing food and our hike. Seryoso, Mom and Dad you have to come visit here, it is so amazing!! and I want to see you ride a hubble hubble or jeepney haha. Oh by the way I think I come home on the 23rd of December 2011. Two days before Christmas! Crazy!!...I do have another funny story, so some things in America that would be offensive are not offensive here. Like they will call you fat to your face and its not a big deal ( not me yet...thank goodness) But we have a very loud Filipino in our ward, Sister Alma, she is soo loud and sings sooo loud. The 1st counselor in the ward told her in front of the class to be quiet cause she is super annoying all the time..haha. I'm like wow that would never happen in my home ward. haha. soo funny. She is SUPER loud though!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ist Month Done

Note from Cari's mom: I got to "chat" with her tonight. It was wonderful! She asked me if I wanted to know about everything she has gone through and I told her yes, so she shared another scary experience (Yikes):

OK so there was a shooting in our area on Sunday! While we were there, One of the ward members sons got shot and killed, during our lesson we could hear gun shots and everything. sooo crazy, she was wailing in tears and crying, we did;t know what to do. But yet I still didn't feel unsafe, crazy. I feel this special protection over me, everyday and dirty old men rub my arm as I walk by and drunk men are everywhere at night. I feel this shield of protection, its pretty amazing


Kumusta Family!!

I want everyone to know that I appreciate the dear Elders SOOO much kaayo!! They really help me know that I have people out there who support and love me...it means soo much!! Each letter I really cherish!

Things I need...more CDs, and that's about it, I'm in an area that I can buy whatever.

I would think this week should of been VERY discouraging but for some reason I just feel a fire to work harder. You know how I always love a challenge.

Sis. Charlene decided to back out of her baptism ( did she ever friend you guys on facebook...I know she wanted to be your friend. All the Filipino girls think Scott is sooo handsome!) But I felt like crying during the lesson, when she said although God told her to be baptized she doesn't want to be separated from her family. Well. I found a good scripture for her in Matthew 10 but she hasn't been home since, so we are going to try again to night. I want so much for her to be baptized I have prayed and fasted for her often, but no luck so far. We had several other investigators tell us to stop coming. Even though they know its true they are too busy with work and nothing we do can change their mind. Our spirits in our lessons are sooo incredible but we can only bring the spirit unto their hearts, it is up to them and their agency to let it in and open their hearts.

On Thursday I rode my first hobble-hobble (motorcycle) into the bukids (mountains) sooo fun!!! and beautiful!! I was working in Talamban b/c Sis. Person had one day left of training, I just love being in the nature areas and I know b/c I am learning to love my city area and working hard I will one day get an area in the beautiful area of Cebu. Patience, patience...haha.

Thursday night was completely crazy!!! Sis. Person and I were in a lesson and she felt very sick. We decided to leave b/c she said she was soo sick, and it was dark and we were walking and she said "Sister I cannot walk" So I decided to carry her, my backpack, and her bag in all!! It was crazy!! I was glad I had been doing push ups everyday....so here I was running through these houses and people, holding her until I couldn't hold her any longer and we went through the sewer area her holding onto me b/c she could barely walk. then we got to a field and I picked her up and carried her again ( I felt like super woman...haha. the elders were jealous cause they said they haven't even got to have a story like that yet) We got to the end of the field and I couldn't carry her any longer so we just laid down...she could barely lift her head...so she just laid in my lap. I didn't know what to do, then these men gathered around us and I asked for them to call a taxi but a taxi couldn't come to where we were so a man just picked her up and started running away with my companion! YIKES!! So I quickly gathered all our stuff and ran after them til we hit the street and got a taxi...Sis. Person kept throwing up and crying b/c of the severe pain. We called the zone leaders and they came and gave her a blessing. Hurray for the power of the priesthood and sister persons faith b/c shortly afterwards she was fine so we didn't need to go to the ER. The next day they made us stay inside and lets just say we were itching to get out of the apartment and preach the gospel.

Sunday, was crazy...their was a festival going on and a huge cock fight!! Lots of blood, injured roosters and rowdy people. Of course I wanted to stay and look for a second, but smart sister person just kept quickly going by. So far I have seen a couple cock fights. CRAZY! That night we had a fireside. Amazing, everyone from our district came and we sang armies of Helaman...the spirit was soo strong and I felt honored to be a missionary. It is amazing how much our ward is being strengthened, Sis Person said last time we had a fireside, only 4 people showed up. This time we had a very good number from our ward. Success!!

Monday, Sis. Erwin said yes to Baptism and I wanted to jump for joy and hug her on the spot. The spirit was soo strong, she has a long way to go before she gets baptized, but I pray for her every night!

Sis. Person and I have been working very very hard and I am loving every minute of it. Yesterday we had 57 I2L's and 6 new investigators. We were soo stoked!! I love my mission...it is soo hard, man its hard! And yesterday I accidentally told an investigator that God has death for each of us ( instead of purpose...oops!) haha funny gyud! But I pray and think of all of you often. Again...thanks soo much for your thoughts, prayers, and letters I feel soo blessed about all the people that are writing and I will write back!

Tell Courtney to keep me updated and Scott and Brooke on starting school!

Ayo ayo!!

Love, Cari

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kamusta Family and Friends!!!

This week, is still difficult. There are days where I have no idea if I can do this and there have been times where I just want to be home. But I am trooping it out and life is good. The area Mabolo is very difficult, it is usually a Elder area, and the people are always busy and we will have lessons where the spirit is sooo strong and they will feel it and then the next visit they quickly forget and don't want us teaching anymore or back out of their commitments or baptismal dates. But Sister Person and I are starting to turn around the area, strengthening the ward and inactive families, we are working really hard.

Wednesday I went to the Cebu temple, and it is gorgeous inside, except I was too big for all the temple clothes...I even had the dress on and it still didn't cover my arms all the way....haha. these people just think I am this giant. They all say I look like I am from Hollywood and I look like Brittany Spears. Also they sing the song "hey Mrs. Robinson" all the time to me, its soo funny!

I love the food here, so far I have tried squid balls, intestines, chicken feet (not my favorite you just eat the skin), banana ketchup (that's all they have here, well tomato is really expensive). The bread here is sooo good, I love it!

I have developed a strange rash so I went to the doctor on Monday, it’s all over my entire body and I also have a cough....but its okay, I've been taking medicine and both are improving.

On Saturday we went to the Primary Stake activity with two investigator children and their friend Sister Chona who is 20, they had fun and the kids did a bunch of cultural dances....it was cute.

We have been having the WORST thunderstorms at night, so loud I have literally jumped out of my bed. The lighting lights up the whole room, so I don't really sleep at night.

It has been training this week for the trainers so I have been working in the Talamban area, a lot more rural then my area-BEAUTIFUL! Yesterday though we were teaching a lesson on the law of Chastity and it was raining soo hard you couldn't even hear a word we said. I'm sure they got a lot out of that lesson. We trugged in mud all day up to our calves. It was soo much fun!! I've been praying to the Lord a lot asking him why he put me here in the city when I love stuff like trudging through the mud and getting dirty, and he told me that in time I will have my time and I will get to go to a beautiful place in the mountains. So I am being patient, and I know that I am learning sooo much and being stretched sooo much from being in this area. But, it is hard, everyone has told me they would not want to serve in our area.

I am really trying my best to be a good missionary, we work hard everyday...It is soo different working with a Sister. Although I have learned soo much from my companion, with my Elders we did things soo differently, so its hard to completely change how I am and the way I deal with conflicts and learning. Before I thought patience wasn't a big deal, I realized my lack of patience but I didn't think it would effect me. I am now completely valuing this attribute and being slow to temper and frustrate and I am thankful for my experiences with a new Filipino companion whose culture is different and attitude is different. I am thankful for being in an area no one wants to be in b/c I am learning to be patient with the Lord and trust in his ways and time and not mine. I am learning to forget myself and go to work. I appreciate all your love and support soo much!! and the growth of my testimony!

I sent some pictures, hope you like them. This is such an adventure, I feel so close to the Lord everyday and I always think about everyone who this mission is blessing. But I know it is especially blessing me and my future family, there is soo much I didn't understand about missions and missionaries until I actually became one. Everyone said it would be sooo hard, but I had no idea. I now realize why missionaries can't give up talking about their missions and speaking the language all the time. Its because it becomes a part of them...it becomes a special part of who they are. I know my mission is shaping the rest of my life...already the things that were the most important to me before don't seem to matter as much and the things of the Lord are the very most important because his love is the only love that can change a person's heart and life. One thing I've learned is that we are all missionaries, as soon as you get baptized you become a missionary and a representative of the Lord...so share the Gospel with everyone, by the way you live and never pass up an opportunity to talk to someone and share the Gospel....no fear!! 2 Nephi 22:2 "for the Lord is my strength and my song"!! I love you!!

Love, Cari

Week 2 In Cebu - Mabolo

Maayong Buntag!!!

Thank you for all you emails of love and support, they really mean the world to me!! Tell Dan I think of him often and love and miss him too, I always think of what it was like for him since he served in a third world country as well, it made my day that he thought of me! I pray for all of you back home and love you all and think of you often (when I am not working). Anyone can mail letters to the mission home and dear elders get here, two weeks after being sent. By the way, no one can email me except for my immediate. I need to be obedient as possible. And that would be awesome to get in touch with Elder Johnson's mom so I cant get updates on my Elders, I pray for them every night and think of them often. So thank you!!

So let me tell you about my area. I am in the most downtown poverty-stricken area of the city. No mountains, no nature all the other parts of the city have nature and mountains-not us! haha I am serving in Mabolo, Cebu City and it has been a challenge for my companion and me to love the area b/c most other missionaries are serving in beautiful paradises, but we have learned to find joy in everything we do. We laugh at all that happens to us and are learning to love the area, not b/c of the geographical circumstances but the people. I want you to tell you how truly humbled I am by these people, they are the kindness, most generous individuals I have ever met. I already love them with all my heart, my love keeps me going strong. For example a newly baptized family, the Sevilla family, they live in a one bedroom hut by a sewer and have very little. But they find joy in everything about life and love life and their family, they are soo kind and last night they fed us dinner and made us take home the left overs...which really touched me seeing what they had. They told me about all the exotic food i need to try-rats, snake, frog legs, intestines and they said they are going to by me beluit for me to eat ( dont worry Ill take a video for you ;) ) I'm trying it this week!

So far I found over 10 cockroaches, one on my leg in the middle of the night, and they are ginormous-but I dont even care anymore. Our house apparently is one of the worst conditioned houses in the mission so we have been looking with the zone leaders for a new one.

Sis. Carlene is 19 years old and I tell her she looks like Pocahonatas from the Disney movies, too bad she has never seen it. haha. She is committed for baptism on Sept. 11 and she is progressing-pray for her! she went to church this week and the spirit is always very strong in her lesson! Sis. Person gave me a huge compliment the other day, she told me even though I can't speak the language this spirit is soo strong when I testify. I hope these people can see how much I love them and how hard I am working to help them find the happiness I feel everyday from this gospel. Families are a very big deal to them and I always testify to them that even though I am sooo far from home and my family, I have great comfort and happiness that no matter what I will be with my family again forever!!

I LOVE LOVE the food here ( and yet I still have lost 6 pounds...haha) The Bishop fed us fried bananas the other day-soo good! and the Senior couple treated us to Filipino food last P-day. Bread here is amazing and the whole time I'm proselyting I just keep smelling these wonderful smells, b/c everyone cooks on the street.

The dogs here are disgusting!! Always violating each other, hairless and diseased- Seriously I am finding dogs that rival Jack on the ugly scale.

My Cebuano is coming-slowly but coming, still a little frustrating but I know the Lord is making my weaknesses strong! and I'm remaining diligent and obedient.

I have found days where all our appointments have been cancelled, and everyone has turned us away but I remain happy b/c I am doing my best, and if I continue to do my best and reach my goals no matter what and work hard, then there is no room for discouragement. I remember, before I used to think to myself-WHY? why couldn't I serve state side? Why couldn't I serve English speaking? Why couldn't I be serving at least in a beautiful area of Cebu? But now I think I am soo grateful for all of this!! (Not that I want to stay here for my whole time) but b/c of this opportunity to learn this language and be in this area I have never felt closer to my lord and my savior, I turn to him in everything and am learning to trust in him no matter what! Its amazing what I have learned and the spirit that I can feel, I cannot thank my Heavenly Father enough.

We have had investigators in tears b/c of the spirit in our lessons, there have been whole families becoming reactivated that haven't been to church in 6 months and I am excited!! Even though, actually our success is pretty low, this area, an area with very low success is strengthening and becoming stronger, I feel it everyday b/c God loves his children here.

Next week is a new training program for the missionaries so a new sister will be staying with me, meaning Sis. Tatipu (my hilarious Tongan roommate from the older Cebuano district in the MTC) will be staying with me and she gets to be my companion for four days while Sis. Person is in training! I am soo excited it will be fun, even though we both don't know the language.

I just wanted to let you know that, this mission, has been the most amazing experience and gift in my life. There have been times where every part of me wants to quit, and go home. I have felt more pain that I ever have in my homesickness and my desire to go home...but I would not give it up for anything b/c I look back at who I use to be, the faith I use to have and I feel like it is nothing. I remember there were days where I would briefly read a chapter of the Book of Mormon and say a quick prayer, just to say I did. I would never do that again, I would never abuse these wonderful and amazing gifts God gives to us b/c they are the power and we can receive God's actual words through our faith in prayer and scripture study. I am soo thankful for my trials and every hardship I have experienced even for having to wash my clothes by hand, and endure exhaustion and ridiculous heat temperatures (more than I have ever experienced!) I'm even thankful for the cockroaches...haha!

Well I love you and tell Grammy thank you for her wonderful email, I have definitely found everything she said to be true. Don't worry about me, I am happy and I laugh everyday and have found joy in the work!

Naghigugma ko kanamo!!



P.S. I sent home a CD of pictures, so hopefully you get them! Most you have seen, but still fun di ba?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Week In The Philippines

Maayong Buntag!!

K best way to write me is dear elders...and I NEED letters of love, I am having a VERY hard time :(

I still cannot believe I am here in the Philippines. No one prepared me for how hard this was going to be. I am assigned to the city, which is very dirty and is destitute poverty, it is really hard to see and it is not the beautiful Philippines you saw in pictures, very sad. We are teaching a woman that lives on a bench with a sheet over it. No one has a nice house and it constantly smells of poop. My apartment is pretty humble. Lots of lizards and cockroaches visit us everyday. And yes I shower with a bucket of cold water and a ladle. Every morning I am woken up at 4 am by several roosters that cluck until 6 am so lets say I don't sleep much, especially b/c of the heat. Every night, when I come home I literally have to peel off my clothes from being drenched in sweat.
My companion is great. Her name is Sister Person and she is from Bagio, Philippines. She really helps me with the language and she is a great teacher. She has a lot of patience with me b/c I am absolutely horrible with the language, even though she and all my investigators say how impressed they are. I am lost all the time in the City, I never have any idea where I'm going. People stare and point at me all day and I feel like a stupid, tall american all day. They all call me guapa though which is flattering b/c I am sweaty without any make up, but I have had dirty drunk men touch my arm which is really gross.
The kids are adorable though and they love me b/c I'm a very tall american (by the way I am super super tall to them, they comment about my height all day) and they bless me all the time by taking my hand and putting it to their head, they are really the cutest kids ever! That is one thing that is not hard about the Philippines, the people. They are soo kind and not hard to love! As I attempt a very jumbled lesson or testimony they always listen and are attentive even though I probably make no sense. I've actually have had some pretty cool experiences so far. On Sunday we went on splits with the members and I went to visit a less active family. I didn't have any idea what was happening but I was prompted to bear my testimony about how hard it is for me to be here, but if I continue to trust in the Lord I will be strengthened and have joy.....

email continued...

the spirit was sooo strong in that lesson and then her neighbor had overheard our opening song, "Families can be Together Forever" and was super touched b/c she has come from a broken home and is a single mother at 20 and has lost hope. She was crying and I bore my testimony on families, and got a return appointment Sunday.
So I pretty much feel like inadequate dead weight right now though, its really hard for me to be here. I always want to give a testimony or experience but I can't in Visayan and so I become frustrated. I constantly miss and worry about my Elders b/c I cannot write them and it was very VERY hard to leave them. I cried like a little girl saying goodbye and so did Elder Johnson. I worry about him a lot and he got sent to a very hard area where they speak very fast and don't speak any english also their cebuano is a lot different from what we learned in the MTC! So if you want to be a very kind soul to me and him, please please write him and see how he is doing so I can know if he is safe and happy. He got me through a lot of hard times in the MTC and I miss him and the others a lot.
So I just want you to know that although, right now I'm pretty much dead weight and VERY weak, I am continuing to grow stronger as I am being pushed beyond my limits....This is what I wronte President Hansen:

President Hansen,

I still cannot believe I am in the Philippines. It has definitely been an adventure, but it is a lot harder then I could have ever expected. Sister Person is wonderful and soo helpful. I feel like a burden though, although she says my Cebuano is really good and that I'm doing a great job, I am not use to feeling like dead weight. I become frustrated as I want to share a incredible experience or a testimony in a lesson, but I can't find the words to do it. I find myself missing my district and MTC experience, and that I was able to have 5 other people that were going through the same exact thing as me and now I feel a little alone in this city. Its hard not having that foundation here of support that I had in the MTC and I struggle not having someone to talk to that understand b/c I cannot write anyone that was in my MTC District. I wish I could know how they were doing so that I could know that they are all safe and well, I find myself worrying about them often. I also been really trying to trust in the Lord and his will for me, I never ever have felt like a city is home for me so this area has been trying, but I have prayed and I know I am here in this place for a reason so I am keeping my hopes up.

However, despite all these worries and feeling of inadequacy and loneliness, this is a time where I have really grown closer to my Father in Heaven b/c even when I think that I have no one here that completely understands I turn to him b/c he knows me and he knows I can get through this. I pray to him all day, all the time to give me the strength to overcome my many weaknesses and I am continuing in my obedience and diligence. Its hard sometimes b/c the pay off is very slow. But if there is just one thing I have gotten out of this so far is a very close friend-Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I thought that I really came to understand the atonement in the MTC but my testimony keeps growing as I am being stretched beyond anything I have ever handled before. The lord tells me everyday that he is just working to mold me to be that person he wants me to be. The people here are soo kind too, they always listen attentively as I give jumbled lessons and testimonies, but at least I know they can feel the spirit as I speak, I am learning that that is a world wide language.

I feel inadequate all the time but as I pray I feel comforted as the Lord lets me know that I am doing whats write and eventually he will allow me to be a effective missionary if I continue to do that things that I'm doing. Sister Person is also a gift to me and helps me understand that I'm doing a good job and not to be so hard on myself. The Lord has also given me other little blessing I see through out the day to let me know that, he know this is hard and he is here to lift me up. I keep a smile on my face everyday and decide that once I leave the apartment I will show everyone the joy this Gospel gives to me by my smile. Even if I can't speak to these people I want them to know that they can have the same joy that I have from this Gospel.

Thank you for everything you do!!

Love, Sister Robison

Everyday the Lord has to assure me that I am doing the right thing, but I know I am. I thought I was a strong person and that I challenged myself but this is literally the hardest thing I have ever done. I continue to think to myself how much easier life would be if I just stayed home. But I know that I wouldnt be who I am now with out these experiences and if I can overcome this I will be able to overcome anything in the future. I sent you a picture of me smiling this is really the only sword I have right now to help these people, my smile and I know they can see the love that I have for them and that I am willing to go through anything to help them.

So here is some funny things about the Philippines- They LOVE karioke, they sing it all day and all night. Also their driving is crazy!! I ride in jeepneys all day and I cross busy roads, I really hope I don't get killed. Everyone is soo small and everything is soo small, I feel like a giant and don't know what the elders do that are taller than me. haha.

Oh and Elder Schenk is in my district!!!! That was probably the happiest day of my mission is that I got to see him, but the little stinker lives in an air condintioned apartment with and oven and hot shower no wonder he was soo smily when I saw him...haha. But he moves out today so he will have a rude awakening soon. Also sister Fluerry is in my district (in the older cebuano district at the MTC) soo good to see her but shes having a rouch time too. she said there has been times where she has literally fell on the floor to her knees in anguish...hope it doesnt get that bad for me.

So every night I come home exhausted!!!! I have never worked or been soo tired in my life, but I am keeping diligent, I speak little english and I am continuing to trust in my Heavenly Father. I love you all!