Monday, December 8, 2014

It's All Typhoon-y Again. 12/7/2014

Bamboo products, anyone?

Vegetable garden service project! Took forEVER..

The new batch of STL's :)
Waiting for our new comps together

We found a Dairy Queen!!! But the sizes are ridiculously small... and it's just not the same... oh well.
The kitchen... AFTER the cockroach rampage.
Two Americans praying over their pizza in a Filipino restaurant.
K:  Mom, I bet you saw a lot of this on the Amazing Race, right? :) There's barbecue blood, chicken intestine, chicken skin, skewered hot dog and pork BBQ. You eat it dipped in vinegar, onion and garlic. Doesn't that just get your appetite going? ;)

Mom:  You're not seriously eating that, are you?

K:  Lol, no, 
I'm eating turon! It's a banana fried in a crunchy wrapper. I was just hoping you'd think I was eating that. ;)

Hey everyone,

It's all typhone-y again. But you should be glad when you hear that because it means that I'm not sweating for a day or two. It still doesn't feel like Christmas, no matter how many lights are hung or how many Christmas songs I hear. I just can't really make the connection in my brain with hot weather and Christmas. It feels like I'm frozen in time in an eternal summer. 

I don't have anything really news-y for you this week. I do have a new companion though, Sister Andres. She's 4 foot 10 so she looks more like my side-kick than my companion, hehe. She's from Isabella, pretty close by but they speak a different dialect so sometimes I have nosebleeds. She has a LOT of energy and is always bubbly and happy, loves to cook and clean, so we're set. I'm supposed to train her to be a sister training leader... but I still don't know what I'm doing myself. We'll see how it goes! And guess who I get to take on exchanges? Sister Gison! :) I get to see my child again! 

Yesterday we really saw the blessings of fasting! The Suelen family whom we've been visiting for 7 months came to church for the first time on Sunday. And following them in through the door was an investigator we had taught for the first time the previous day. It was so unexpected but I was so happy and filled with the spirit that I bounced right up to the pulpit to bear my testimony. After the meeting, a visitor asked me if I was an albino Filipino. I guess Tagalog isn't really a problem anymore so that's a relief. 

And the blessings continued after that. Brother Jeff, our ward mission leader, worked with us after church. Usually we don't work without breaking our fasts first but we decided we wanted the extra blessings so we stuck it out. I was glad because we visited Brother Butch (who is actually the uncle of my trainer, Sister Surio! SMALL WORLD!), who has been a drug addict his whole life. He always talks about how he and his sister see spirits and Satan talks to him and stuff. Pretty bizarre guy... the only reason we came back to him was because he told us he wants to erase his past through the church. Luckily Brother Jeff faced a ton of people like Butch on his mission so he was able to help us. We taught Butch about the power of the atonement and the power of prayer, he was really excited. He couldn't figure out why he felt good when we were there and then the feeling left with us. He was ecstatic to accept a baptismal date after we explained that he can have that feeling always through the gift of the holy ghost. He asked if he could be baptized on Wednesday, bless his heart. His 2 neighbors who sat in to listen also accepted dates on the first lesson. Then we visited Takder and he said that after he watched a scary movie, he couldn't sleep for 2 nights and then he remembered what we taught about prayer. So he prayed, fell asleep and had a dream that Jesus Christ was walking him through the blackness. I'm so amazed at how close that kid is to the spirit. His parents fed us dinner so we caved at 7:30 and broke our fasts. Another blessing, it was delicious. ;) 

This morning was an adventure! I accidentally forgot about some wet sheets from a month ago and spent hours cleaning all the black mold. We also went through 2 cans of Bigon exterminating our apartment. My new companion couldn't handle the filth so she opened up the cabinets and tried to clean it all out when an explosion of cockroaches erupted. It was so disgusting. Then the cabinet doors fell off and we were all freaking out and stomping all the cockroaches we could catch. If that wasn't fun enough, she cleaned the bathroom too and found that our non-flushing toilet is full of black water inside the tank and there are things living in it. I'm not sure what's in there but I'm not touching it.

Sister Wilson

Friday, December 5, 2014

December 1, 2014.

The zone yesterday... mga chuploks!
My beloved Fontamillas family... <3 Brother Jun is in blue and Sister Baby is in orange. 

Honest-to-goodness infographic posted in the Stake Center.  ...  Oh, the cultural differences!
Talagang malakas ang impluwensya ng espiritu sant sa buhay namin itong linggo. 

I successfully finished my transfer as a lone sister training leader and I must say, it was a blast. Sister Gison is transferring to Valenzuela in Metro Manila and I'm staying here and getting a sister training leader companion. I'll miss her like crazy! We've become so close and it's sad to see her go. But the neat thing is seeing her progress from her first day here in the field to where she is now. I can really see, even in her countenance, how Heavenly Father has helped her. 
I was strengthened in ways this transfer I didn't expect by all the wonderful sisters I got to go on exchanges with. This week I went with a brand new sister from Fiji. She just converted to the church a year ago and is the only member in her family. She and her testimony is amazing.

Thanksgiving I didn't go hungry! The bishop had us over for dinner. It was Filipino food but I was grateful. I think this was probably one of the better Thanksgivings I've experienced because being out here has made me realize how much I really have to be thankful for. Truly, I don't think I've ever been more aware of my blessings in my whole life. I'm now looking forward to Christmas because it will truly be focused on the Savior. President Bertin is focusing our proselyting based on a recent video release of the church: "He is the Gift" (

Brother Marvin is finally gaining back his faith in Christ. He invited us over for a family home evening with them where he prepared several object lessons on how hard it was for him to gain his faith back. One of them he had us pass a candle down a line of people in the dark with the fan going, symbolizing how many times his faith had died and how he felt lost and in the dark. But then he told us that over the process of us teaching him he has gotten back on the right track. They made a little stand for the candle with a picture of Jesus on it saying that he is now the foundation for their family and they thanked us for helping Marvin find his way back to Christ. They made us our favorite foods as a way of showing us their gratitude and as a "late Thanksgiving" for me. We were so touched. 

Sunday we worked with "the 3 Nephites" as we like to call them, 3 really tall almost missionaries leaving in January. They had some referrals for us so they took us to one of them, a former investigator who was going to be baptized last year but it was intervened by her mother. I felt prompted to ask the other 3 boys how they gained trust in God which ended up being perfect because one of them ended up being the only member of his family as well, against his mother's will. The girl got emotional and said she couldn't believe the perfect timing of our coming there because she said she was feeling depressed that her faith had died not being able to attend church. "She said it was exactly what she needed and hoped this time it would be the right time to be baptized.

At transfer announcements yesterday, the zone leaders thought it would be funny to make me think I was getting pulled out of my area. It wasn't funny to me... but it made me realize how much I love everyone in Malolos. My first thoughts were, "What's going to happen to Marvin? Jun? Baby? Takder?..." etc. And after transfer announcements we held a surprise FHE with the Fontamillas family. Brother Jun shared his thoughts at the end which really gave us hope; he said how grateful he was that we had brought the gospel to his family. He said even though we don't see it, they were always fighting but it has stopped. Baby often reminds him, "Remember what teh sisters told us!" He also said he is developing a relationship with Heavenly Father and thanked us for our patience in the process. He knows he still has a long way to go, but as he put it, he intends to finish his journey through baptism. His remarks helped me understand that however small or slow the progress of investigators, it does make a difference! No efforts are wasted. 

I love you all,

Sister Wilson

(P.S. - Here's a reminder to always use the toilet properly, brought to you by Malolos Stake restroom.)

November 23, 2014. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eat some turkey for me, will ya? I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving solo this year... with no food. I'll figure out soon how that works. I guess I could start with what I'm thankful for. First and foremost, I'm grateful for my wonderful family. I could not ask for a better family. They are supportive and loving... and hilarious! There's never a P-day that goes by that I'm not laughing hysterically to myself in the computer shop with everyone staring at me. I could definitely not do what I'm doing right now without their prayers and encouragement. Second of all, I'm grateful for my calling! It is absolutely incredible being a missionary. Words can't express in emails the things I feel and see every day in peoples' lives. Then I get here and sit down to write about it and forget most of it, so I apologize. Anyway, I'm so thankful to be a part of the most important work in the world that is so much bigger than myself. It has changed me in ways I never would have experienced otherwise. I'm thankful that my father in heaven allows me to be a part of the conversion process of his precious children and that I get to watch them grow. It builds my testimony daily. I'm grateful for my savior Jesus Christ and the atonement that makes it possible to return to him despite lifelong weakness and imperfection. I'm also soooo thankful for the good health I've had in the Philippines. I've dodged a lot of nasties and I haven't had lice yet, praise the Lord! 

Sister Gison is one week away from finishing training and she is so ready. I have absolutely loved having her as my companion. Throughout her training I never really felt like she was new. She instantly caught on to teaching and study techniques. She has also taught me so much about patience and service. I've never heard her complain and she loves doing service for me and our house mates. She will do great things in her mission!

On Saturday we decided we really needed to buckle down and find new investigators. We really sought to follow the spirit in our finding and it produced 7 new investigators in a day. I was thrilled. One of them we found as we were walking down the street - she was an old lady hauling home a rice cooker so we carried it for her. When we asked her if we could teach her, she was very happy to listen, telling us that something important to her is people who live their religion. She kept saying how service is something that defines a true follower of Christ and how she could tell from our actions that we were. Another lady we found did not trust us right off the bat. But we convinced her to let us in and within 5 minutes she was an open book. Sister Gison's theory is the ones whose trust we gain so fast are the ones the Lord has prepared for us. I liked that idea. 

One struggle we are having is our investigator Marvin who wants to be baptized. He has one problem (and it's kind of a big problem). He was reading in Alma 32 in the BOM and really related to Alma.  The amazing thing is, I'm seeing the power of the Book of Mormon. I don't feel like we're doing anything. From what I can see, he reads it and the Holy Ghost does the work. We just invite him to act. It's incredible! But he said that he feels like he has lost his faith because he can't understand why God gave him an autistic son. It's his only child and it's really a burden on his family. They love him so much but they struggle with it at the same time. We have made some plans on how to respond to his concern but I'm worried it's between him and the Lord to sort out. His wife didn't know he ever felt this way for 11 years until he opened up to us and her at the same time so she was pretty broken-hearted. It's been weighing down on me and Sister Gison since that lesson... sobrang mabigat sa loob. We really want him to find the faith again in God to be baptized. Praying we will be inspired when we go back...

Fun cultural fact for you all: When the language barrier hits and you don't understand each other, it's called a nosebleed. Well, during an OYM we were talking to these people and they asked how I learned Tagalog. They said, "Akala naming nosebleed ka!" meaning they were afraid to talk to me because they thought they would have a nosebleed. Well that very instant, my nose started dripping blood for the first time since I left home. Heheheh. 

Also for those who are interested, I know these kids that were in this performance. It's really cool! 

Enjoy the holiday. I love you all and am deeply thankful for all of you. Take care! Enjoy this picture from last Sunday. This is part of the Cristobal family.

Sister Wilson

November 17, 2014. Hump day, half way home...

Cutest primary kid ever.

Baliwag, P-day adventure.

Hi, mga chuploks!

Today was a normal day in the Philippines. We went to Baliwag zone which is even more of a rural province than Malolos. Rolling hills of green and... beautifulness. We had these two Filipino women at a tourism office lead us through this rocky mountain of rivers and up a waterfall, which we scaled in our bare feet, which led to a huge cave surrounded in vines that you can swing on where we ate tropical fruits and played the ukelele. Hehe, it's true what they say... it's more fun in the Philippines.
We had a baptism, hooray! Hershey and Kaycee Cristobal were baptized on Saturday. I was so sick that day, but I was able to get myself together enough to get to the church. They are so makulit. I'm broken so I don't really remember the English word... but that's how I would describe them because after the baptism when they were asked to share a message, they said, "Thank you sisters, we love you, amen." Oh well... I'd like to see anyone else try to teach 10 year olds church doctrine.
I also had exchanges with another pair of sisters. One of them is brand new from America so I was really happy to go on exchanges with her. I remember how much exchanges helped me in my training. I can really sympathize with where she's at. Right now is the hardest part so I knew exactly how to conduct the exchange. I also witnessed her first street food. It was so fun, and relieving to chat with an American for a while!

I feel like we've hit a wall with a lot of our investigators and because every week we have to go on exchanges, we don't have much time left to help them work out their problems. But last night we had a good experience in proselyting. We were trying to contact a referral but nobody was home. So we walked the opposite direction and I had the very distinct impression to talk to a lady sitting on her front porch. She looked very emotionally weary. We talked to her for about 2 minutes and we asked if we could teach her. She thought for a minute and let us in. She opened right up to us and at the end of the lesson, she told us, "So many people come here telling me about religions and I never let them in. I don't know what's different about you two, why I let you in or why I feel so comfortable opening up to you. I really don't understand why I'm doing this, but you two are different." The spirit was really really strong. I'm really glad I was receptive to the spirit at that time.
So... yun lang. Sorry, wala na akong sabihin pero mahal ko kayo, siyempre! Ingat lagi!

Sister Wilson