Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Request from everyone!

Hello! This is a shout-out to all those who love me and want me to be happy in life. Will you pleeeease take a few minutes to send me through email your MP3 files of church music so I can put it on my USB and have something to listen to in my apartment? Me and my companion are going crazy without music. It has to be an arrangement of a church hymn but it can be anything. Instrumental, vocal, I don't care. Just send it as an attachment. Thanks, love you all!

March 16, 2015

Maayong araw..

This week has been really great for finding people. One of our less-active families just lost their baby to health complications which has really stirred in them the desire to attend church again. The father of the baby is not a member and was very interested when we shared our first message with him last Tuesday. Their whole family showed up at church yesterday and they got a lot of support from the ward. The relief society presidency also introduced us to a recently widowed woman with two young children. Her husband died in January and it felt so good to be able to give her comfort through a short and simple message about the plan of salvation. It broke my heart to see people grieving so much but I can feel Heavenly Father's love for them as we teach them. 

Unfortunately, our baptism had to be pushed back because our candidate suddenly got caught up in her new job. It was really hard to see that her spark and excitement was gone when we came back yesterday because she hadn't had time to read the Book of Mormon or come to church. Overall she just seemed different. You can tell when people are reading and when they're turning their hearts towards worldly things. The discouragement is hard to handle but we taught her about fasting and how she can make a good decision with the Lord's help through this divine means. 

I'm also grateful for the priesthood! Bryan, who will be baptized on Saturday, has been a long time investigator who has had a problem with social drinking. He was too embarrassed to decline when offered alcohol so we suggested a while back that he receive a priesthood blessing from the elders. They gave him one and ever since he's had no problems with the word of wisdom. He said he's found it helpful when he brings the Book of Mormon to work and reads it in his down time. I'm so excited for him! Anyway, that's it this week. Short on time. 

Lahat ng aking pagmamahal,

Sister Wilson


I like this picture because inside the tricycle, we noticed that little sign down at the bottom... it means, "Strive to observe... Not allowed to fart here" 
She's crazy.

This was our family home evening last night. I'm in disbelief that we fit so many people in this itty bitty living space with so few chairs. There are several people here you can't even see because they're hidden from view


Is everyone still alive? All is quiet on the western front... Believe it or not, I still care about the boring details of everyone's lives. 

We've had tons of success this week in our area. President Bertin has made fantastic goals for the mission this year and to help, he has made giant maps of our areas for each apartment and given us stickers to mark each member with a number according to the CMIS as well as investigators so we can see the location of our members, investigators and less actives. This will help in planning, fellowshipping and tracting. 

This ward is the most hardworking and best fellowshipping ward I've ever been in. They're giving us at least 5 referrals per week so baptizing is going to be a ton easier. This week was the highest number of lessons I've ever taught in 1 week and I can see how the members really and truly make the difference. Each day we have 2 or 3 sisters working with us and friendships are forming quickly with our investigators. Along with the help of the ward, I know these great things are happening because of our commitment to be exactly obedient. We have been practicing it each day and I don't even have to think about teaching anymore, it just comes. The spirit literally drops thoughts into my brain and I finally understand the feeling of being "simply an instrument." It's a miracle and I'm amazed. President Bertin always promises us, "If you're being exactly obedient, you have the right to expect miracles." We've been teaching like mad and we've found 14 new less active members this week. I know it's inspired that we have been assigned in this ward because the sisters told us, "We've been waiting for sisters to come here so we could visit the people with the missionaries. Before, we were never allowed to work with missionaries because we only had elders." There is a cesspool of less active members in our farthest area who have been overlooked for the longest time. Now that we've found them we're going to work on them. A good number of them even showed up at church yesterday, and one of them has, since our lesson, begun the process of becoming worthy to be endowed. I'm so excited for her. 

Pope Francis came and visited the Philippines this past week and it's really putting a cramp in our style. "I <3 Pope Francis" t-shirts and mugs and banners and his red carpet event that everyone was watching on TV has caused a revival of Catholic pride in the hearts of the people. We've had to make a special focus on priesthood and prophets in our lessons because people really don't understand how prophets are called by revelation. 

My daughter ate balut from a street vendor the other night! I'm so proud of her. She did it in 2 big bites and didn't say anything about it except, "I'm sorry little bird, don't tell your mum!" Haha, she's fearless. We were walking down the street the other day and this guy has a gigantic snake wrapped around his body and he asks us if we want to hold it. She immediately held out her arms to take it and says, "Oh yeahhh, she's a beautyy!" as it hisses emphatically in our direction. It's been super fun being her comp, you don't have to worry about safety when you're always with a rugby player. 

Sa aking pag-aaral sa linggo na ito, mas napansin ko kung gaano kahalaga ang pagbabayad-sala ni Jesucristo. Buhay talaga po siya at nakakita ko na kung ang mga tao ay tatanggapin ang sakripisyo niya para sa kanila, mas magiging matatag sila sa simbahan at sa pananampalataya nila. Anuman ang mga problema natin sa buhay (sa pamilya man o hindi), lahat ay pwedeng maging maayos sa pamamagitan niya. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Paki isipin po ninyo ang kahalagaan ng pagbabayad-sala sa buhay ninyo at gamitin ninyo siya. Alam ko na babasbasan niya kayo. 

Sister Wilson

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Nagkakaroon kami ng tagumpay! 

The work continues to roll forward in our ward. At the start of the week we had a CSP and enjoyed being able to serve Bishop Espinoza. I really love the people I serve with. They all set really good examples and make me want to be better. For our service project we shoveled cement into bags and carried it a distance in the heat of the afternoon. Things like these usually make me become selfish because all I can think about is how hot it is and how tired I am. But this time I saw it with different eyes. Some of the other missionaries and I likened it unto taking up our cross and following the Savior. As we began the project, the by-standers were skeptical that a bunch of American white kids could take on such a task. They kept asking questions if we could really do it. Other people had different responses. Some even stopped along our path and showed concern by taking our bag of cement mix and carrying it the rest of the way for us. I watched as elders supported each other and would take two bags if one was tiring out. It reminded us missionaries of how Christ lightens our load and carries us under our load when we struggle, and how he does it for us daily.  I have seen that come true as I continue to adjust to changing circumstances in missionary life. We, in turn, must do the same for others in our lives. But I know he loves us and wants to help us do this for others. We are never alone!

Sister Strickland and I both felt a brief absence of the Holy Ghost in our teaching together so we read chapter 4 in our companion study in Preach My Gospel. We determined that our prayers were pretty weak and we've been striving to pray more fervently and specifically. The next day's teaching was immensely better. We even had a sweet older lady pull us into her house off the street wanting to "hear more of the word of God" and struggling as a single mother. You can see immediate blessings when you pray with faith! We also gained the full trust of an investigator who has been ready for baptism since last month (but is waiting for her marriage license). We knew it when she opened up to us over dinner about how her fiancee has a mental disorder and was institutionalized 3 times for suicide attempts. And when she came into his life, he was able to function normally again. Then was when he realized Heavenly Father had answered his prayer and that was when he started bringing Shara to church. Now she's being baptized and they have a goal to be sealed in the temple. We were so touched by their story and the way that our father cares for his children. 

Sister Strickland is starting to really contribute good ideas to our lesson plans and I feel like she's not dependent on me anymore. The only thing we've struggled with this week is her taking control in lessons and not being afraid to be bold. We talked about it in companionship inventory and she's starting out small with extending firmer commitments. Other than that, she's great. She feels like my sister and we have a ton of fun together.

Yesterday was a fantastic Sunday. We just barely got a less-active couple to return to church the previous Sunday and the bishop had them give talks yesterday. They chose to speak on faith. We visited them after church and they explained to us how they were embarrassed that they kept telling us they were "not ready to return to church yet." They said that it made them think when even after they told us they didn't want to come back to church, we kept coming to their house and teaching them. We asked them how they felt after deciding to be active again and the husband said, "I came out of church just feeling happy. I don't know why. It just feels good and my worries are gone." And then his wife added, "I don't know why he was happy either, but since he was happy I was happy too. And we're so grateful you reminded us how to be happy again." This was probably one of the most joyful experiences of my mission. I felt like Heavenly Father really used me as a tool and the people responded. In addition to that, someone that we OYM'd on the street and taught a short 15 minute lesson a month ago showed up to church yesterday with his family. His wife told us that he never goes to church because he feels hopeless about life and bitter towards God for how he has ended up. But he remembered our invitation to him and the promised blessings that he would receive and he came. The wife said she has always wanted to attend a Mormon church because she has a lot of friends that are missionaries serving in Isabella. It was completely unexpected that they were there and they told us they would be back next week. And the last one we didn't expect was a teenager we had taught Saturday night. We thought she was the daughter of a less-active. The mother wasn't home so we just taught her thinking she was also a member. She seemed completely uninterested and we didn't really think about her again. The next day, this couple I just told you about, showed up at church with her saying that she isn't actually a member of their family, she is part of a protection program. She is in hiding after being abused by her mother since childhood and raped by her step-father a year ago. I was completely shocked. They said she was happier than they've seen her before and that our visit did her good, she is just afraid of people. I know it's not a coincidence that we found and taught her.

The promise in Preach My Gospel from the First Presidency is making more and more sense that as we do this work, greater happiness awaits than we have ever experienced. 


Sister Wilson

P.S. Pictured is Sister Yolly who is being baptized 


I'm sooo white...

Ever had soda out of a plastic bag?
Ang isda ay kumakalabukab sa kanyang pinagkakalabukan. Hindi kakalabukab kung hindi pakakalabukabin. << Pretty cool tongue twister I learned this the other day about a fish.

Successful first week of the transfer! All except for the fact that Heavenly Father felt like one day switching on the "SUMMER" switch... It's here, and it's sooooo hottttt. Every morning I have to read the "Diligence" section in Preach My Gospel under Christlike attributes to keep me going. The hot makes me soo lazy. Anyway...


This is my FAVORITE bathroom yet... It's literally just putting water down a hole. 2 weeks ago, the drain started flooding sewage so we had to bring a laundry bucket into the bathroom and stand in it over the drain, and then pour the bucket into the toilet so that the spewage wouldn't come up on us as we were showering. It's thankfully fixed now, and the toilet now at least has... a seat. Woo!

We recently got a less-active couple back out to church for the first time in years. They are part of the 15 focus families of our ward. I don't think it would have happened without the diligent fast that Sister Strickland and I had in their behalf. They were offended by someone in the ward so we've just been working on getting ward members out with us to show our love for them and it worked. They said after church yesterday that they really felt the testimonies and the spirit confirming to them that they need to come back. That was probably the greatest success of the week. Other than that we've been punted a whole lot. It's kinda hard but we're doing our best, and I can see that the Lord is still putting us where we need to be at the time we should be there. On Friday we were punted from 4 appointments in a row, but along the way we were called out by several people asking where the church was and what time the meeting starts on Sunday, they having been less-active for ages simply because they didn't know where or when church was. Also had several people come to us with questions about the church off the street. Pretty cool to see how we're placed in the right situations when we're doing what we're supposed to.
Our baptismal candidates are all doing extremely well. We have 4 working to be baptized in the next 2-3 weeks. Their testimonies are solid, they are coming to church, no issues to work out, it's simply a matter of working lessons into their schedules. I'm so beyond excited to see these people be baptized. Each one of them have told us stories of how they have received blessings since they accepted the invitation to prepare for baptism. One of them, sister Milanie, said she was offered the opportunity to work abroad at the end of the year. Another had a similar experience. It's amazing to see how the Lord blesses these people as they seek to draw nearer to Him. 

We ate our first (and last) fried chicken head the other day. Skill, eyeballs, brain and all. Of all parts of the chicken that are available to eat, I just don't understand why the head appeals. It was ok with the vinegar you dip it in, but the bones weren't quite soft enough for my taste. 

Yeah that's it, and here's a pic of the bishop's little girl. Love you all!

Sister Wilson

THIS is how you do transfer announcements!

Trunky service project - helping decorate the church for the ward valentine's party... and then them making us stay for it! >.<


This was taken from the same balcony. It's stunning at night. You can see everything!
This is the most recent pic of me after district meeting yesterday... I had 2 inches cut off my hair after I got rid of my lice because the shampoo killed the ends of my hair. :'(

If you can see on the left over that hill, that's Manila in the distance where the MTC and the temple is. Probably where they shot the Amazing Race

Anong araw ba ito? P-day ulit?

Parang nandito ako kahapon lang. Ang bilis ng panahon. Well it's been another wonderful week in the rolling (cement) hills of Batasan! We're loving the enthusiasm that the ward continues to show for the work. We had two really great events that had amazing results this past week. The first one was a one-day mission where the ward split up into groups and each group took a missionary. Every group went around and visited 4 or 5 of the focus families and some investigators and invited them to the missionary fireside and shared a short message. The reaction to the ward members was honestly a lot better than their reaction when we come and visit them. The average sacrament attendance almost broke the record the next day. We nearly couldn't fit everyone in the investigator class. 
That Sunday we held a missionary fireside. Sister Strickland and I were assigned by bishop to give the main event of the fireside, and President Bertin was in attendance (which means I went pure Tagalog in the workshop, hehe). We discussed the use among members of Preach My Gospel. The elders talked about the work of salvation videos and the ward missionaries gave fellowshipping workshops. It was an enormous success! The bishop afterward distributed a free copy of the manual to each member in attendance.
The ward is also doing incredibly with referrals. We received one last week of the neighbor of a sister in our ward. The referral given to us is undoubtedly prepared. In our first lesson, she explained to us that she had given birth to 16 children in the course of her life, and 8 of them died in their younger years while they lived in the province. The 8 living children and she live in a 10 x 10 room and there's hardly room to sit when we teach them but she's so patient and grateful for what she does have. She also just became a widow last year and moved here to Manila because it's cheaper to make a living. She was more than eager to hear the plan of salvation and came to church with us on Sunday. As we sat in sacrament meeting, I could just see the peace come over her in her face. She's on date for baptism in March. 
I LOVE THIS CHURCH. It is true. The Savior is the head and this is his work! I apologize for the lack of pictures. Since I transferred here we've found that none of the internet shops will upload photos or they will only upload 1 or 2 the entire 2 hours. We'll look for another place. I'm also sorry if people don't get responses or answers to their questions. Please forgive me! The internet is so... slow. You have no idea. I still love you regardless. :) 


Sister Wilson

P.S. THANK YOU ALL for keeping my Post Card Wall of Fame alive and well! 


Every dang day is an adventure out here...

I'll start out with the spiritual side of things. The other day I was trying to figure out how to become a better gospel teacher because I've felt my skills slipping a little bit. So I read in Preach My Gospel in one of the study and application sections. It asked the question, "How well are you doing in fulfilling your responsibility to love and serve those among whom you labor?" And it had a scripture next to it: 1 Thessalonians 2:8-9, 20 Which is the apostle Paul describing the joy of missionary work, "So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us... for ye were our glory and joy." I really thought about how I could impart of my soul to our investigators and how to show to them and to God that they are our joy and glory. I then proceeded to write down the names of the top 5 we have who need the most help and I'm praying about each of their names specifically and what we can do to help them. Now, me and my companion are making a plan to do these things to help them. I really feel more guided by the spirit and I feel like I received a direct answer to my prayer. We are now making very specific plans for each person we teach and the spirit is much stronger when we do. It brought the Holy Ghost back to our teaching. 

I can feel his influence stronger as well. For example, last night we were about to head home when a name was dropped inside my head I hadn't thought about for a month. We went and visited this brother immediately and found that he's not only trying to read the Book of Mormon, he's living the word of wisdom for the first time of his own free will and he expressed the desire to be baptized. He explained that he feels clarity for the first time in his life. And to make it even better, we figured out that his real concern was not having a fellowshipper. And it just so happens that that night when he was put into our thoughts, we had a brother his same age working with us who is more than ready to be friends with him. So cool! 

On Valentine's Day, I hit my 1 year mark. Holy ANTI-TRUNKY feelings! I was reading my journal entry from my setting apart and I can see how every gift that was given to me by the stake president has been fulfilled or is currently being fulfilled. I'm so grateful for the priesthood and the spiritual gifts I was given because of it. It grows my faith that Heavenly Father remembers and fulfills his promises when we are faithful.

So last Tuesday afternoon as we were waiting for our worker to come meet up with us, I noticed a crazy man walking down the street babbling gibberish to himself. I didn't think much of it except, "Woah. He's crazy." Then I noticed him again about 30 seconds later standing a safe distance from us. We took a few steps to see what he was up to and he followed each step we took. I started walking in circles and he even followed that. So we went in the gas station to get away and he waited outside, sucking on the rosary cross in his mouth and having a full-on conversation with himself. When our worker showed up, she had the security guard escort us into a tricycle and when we got in, this crazy man went in a full-on sprint to chase the tricycle. We finally got away and about 10 minutes later he shows up again (no idea how he caught up so soon) and then just walks away never to be seen again, staring at us as he goes. I think he was possessed or something. We were, at the time, OYMing a guy who started conversation with us about church and religion. He told us he would be glad to have a discussion with us so we went into his house. I thought he meant that he wanted to share with us, but no... he had different plans. He walked out with a briefcase that had all kinds of locks on it and pulls out a large book. He hands it to us and it's just full of numbers, or "codes." Then when we look up again he's wearing a purple and yellow cloak with the same codes on it. He goes on to explain that it was "the language of God" that one cannot understand without writing their own "book of codes." God gave him the name "Excavius" and he goes and does demonstrations in the Muslim area of the country. My poor companion, having little Tagalog in her, had no idea what was going on and I was trying to push us out before we got initiated or had to be killed for knowing too much or something, haha. I couldn't bear to stay any longer without losing it so I told him we also have a book that doesn't require any codes and tells us how to live in peace. I gave him a Book of Mormon and then we high tailed it out of there and about busted a gut laughing. 

Heavenly Father really likes to keep my mission interesting. Mabuti n'lang.  Love you all.

Sister Wilson
P.S. Please enjoy this picture of an itty bitty frog I caught last week. It took half an hour to upload so you'd better enjoy it cuz it's all you're getting.


(Insert clever greeting here)

Hi everyone! 

We just came from our epic p-day adventure straight to the computer shop for emails... so my brain is a little bit fried. We went to Wawa Dam today! (Pardon my French.) It's in the Montalban zone here in our mission, about an hour drive from our area, and it ranks in the top 5 most beautiful places I've ever seen! We packed the 22 missionaries of our zone into one jeep, hiked up a mountain and ate lunch on floating bamboo huts near the waterfall and played games. Sister Strickland and I made the desserts - mango float, fruit skewers and banana pie, and the other sisters made our ulam (spicy coconut pork). BYOR - bring your own rice, hehe. It was like a different world up there -- quiet and serene, no garbage, minimal bad smells, cool breeze. I hope I get to serve in that zone. The mountains were huge and everything was super green.

I really enjoyed last Sunday. President Beck (general young men's president, I think?) came and did a fireside for the Fairview stake youth. We got to come as well and he talked about how we can make the sacrament a more spiritual experience and always remember the Savior even when we're not at church. He had the youth come up and participate, sharing how they would remember the Savior in their lives. I'm amazed at the youth of this generation! They are SO strong. Even as a full-time missionary the fireside topic was a great reminder. I really tried to apply it yesterday in sacrament and it made a great difference in the spirit I felt. The words of the hymns that I've heard hundreds of times growing up became real and touching to me and hit me with great force, and the atonement of Jesus Christ felt much more personal. When I take the sacrament, I feel like it's the Savior's way of telling me that he loves me and knows that I'm not perfect, but that because of this ordinance, I can come a tiny bit closer to being such because of Him.

Since I have a little more time to write this week, I can tell you a bit more about our area. We were supposed to have a baptism this upcoming Saturday for our investigator, Sister Shara. She's golden -- she grew up Catholic, went to a Christian school, but never felt much when she prayed. When the first missionaries showed up and taught her to pray, she knew this was it. We had planned her baptism for the 14th, and when we went over to talk to her about the baptismal interview questions... whoops! She's a live-in with a less-active member. We knew they were dating but didn't realize they were living together until that moment. Her conversion has simultaneously been a re-activation of Brother Carlo, double win! So we're waiting for their cenomar to process and hopefully she will be baptized AND married on the 28th. We are also planning 3 more baptisms for that same day. Sister Yollie is the wife of a recent convert who has been waiting for his wife to become interested because he wants her to join the church from her own desire, not just because of him. We've been teaching her and at first she was super hesitant. In fact, I'd go as far to say that it was uncomfortable in our lessons. Now, thanks to her wonderful fellow shippers, she is coming to church and wants to be baptized as soon as possible. I'll save Manilyn and Milanie's stories for another day. As for others, the members told us yesterday about a less-active member who says she's not Mormon anymore and joined another church. We went over there and unfortunately, she wasn't home. But two of her kids were and also some of their cousins. There wasn't an 18 year old present so we weren't able to teach them, but we did bear a quite lengthy testimony about the restoration and gave them a Book of Mormon. I could see their expressions change from being resistant and (can't remember the English word) matigas as the spirit worked on them. I find that almost all the time, people who are less-active or who have left the church have completely forgotten the significance of the restoration or what it even is. When we re-teach it, it's so clear that they never have objections. All they have left is their agency which we hope they will use to act on OUR message. The church is true!

Ayo-ayo! (Hehe, Visaya na naman ako eh!)

Sister Wilson
P.S. Sorry, more pics next week.


*Lets out a deep breath...*

I've gained an unshakable testimony this week of obedience being the key to joy and success as a missionary. After having been a little bit lax due to the number of activities from this week, we stopped practicing exact obedience for a few days and it really affected us pretty hard. But I'll get back to that...

Tuesday was our zone conference which was spiritually filling as usual. The workshops were centered on becoming a PMG scholar, exact obedience (coincidence? nope...), and mastering the mission language which will all lead us to baptizing twice per transfer. We had a testimony meeting at the end and when I bore mine, it was probably the easiest it has ever been for me to state the simple truths I have come to know to be true, such as how much I KNOW the Lord loves each of his children. It was in that moment that I realized how much I've learned and grown. I could literally feel the spirit thick in the air as I spoke, as if the holy ghost were repeating back to me that yes, I really do know those things. 

The next day we had STL exchanges, and it just so happened to be that I got to go with my mission mother, Nanay Surio! It was so much fun to be with her again and to teach with her again after having been trained by her. It was good that she was there... because that day as I was brushing my hair, I noticed a bug in my brush, and she confirmed it as... LICE. Yep. To my wearied dismay, I had a headful of them. We spent about an hour picking all of them out (there were about 14 big ones) and I couldn't focus on anything that day. Let's just say I'll NEVER buy a hairbrush at a wet market ever again. Sadly I let it affect me too much and we didn't get out on time so we didn't enjoy the blessings of a successful day's work. We were punted most of that blistering hot day.

Aaaand the next day got even worse. In the morning, me and Sister Strickland dropped off our bedding to get it de-liced. The walk was a bit far so we got home late. It caused us to start studies late, shower late, and leave late. We again were sent away from appointments and didn't feel the closeness of the spirit nor its guidance. Later that night we were supposed to have a family home evening but nobody had texted us directions by the start time, so we headed to our next appointment which we had scheduled a week prior. Everyone started replying at once as soon as we arrived outside our next appointment, insisting we come back and "stop by" the first appointment. So we gave in and when we got to the meeting place to meet up with the elders, they had started up conversation with a tall Nigerian man. I didn't really question it at first. Then we started the hike to our appointment (which we weren't informed that we would have to do). The terrain was crazy! It was probably a 20 minute foresty expedition of hanging bridges, rivers, slippery rocks and hills in the black of night in a place where there were no houses. Then we noticed this strange foreign man was following us. 2 of the elders stopped him and stalled him so the other elders could walk us to this little bamboo house village where we found the family after a long hike and a few slides into the mud. The other elders then called us to tell us to stay inside because they suspected this man was looking for us sisters. By this time the other group was calling and asking where we were, having prepared all our favorite foods in large quantities. We had to tell them we wouldn't be coming. After an excruciating wait, the elders came back and said the man admitted he was just hungry and homeless. So they fed him and we didn't see him again. After we came back, the gate to our subdivision was locked so we had to go turn around and spend a ton of money to travel around and go in through the other side. We also forgot our bedding and ended up sleeping without any. 

The day after all this, we pledged to be obedient to everything, with exactness, and to make up to the sister whose dinner we missed. Even those small things affected our work and our guidance drastically. I can testify that obedience is all we need to have in this life. I physically felt myself choke on words in lessons those days we slacked in time management. The difference it made in the next day of teaching was like night and day. Sometimes I feel like the Brother of Jared. The Lord wants me to be obedient and do things for myself, and I'm here saying, "Um... here's a few rocks." But that's enough for Him, all he needs is something to work with. At the last day, I want to be able to say to the Lord that even though I'm not much, at least I was obedient. We've been through the refiner's fire lately and I've learned from the sisters around me. Sister Strickland was the example of laughing at difficult situations and being happy even when it's hard. Sister Surio reminded me that sometimes our confidence comes from the wrong places. Our confidence should come purely from our ability to stand in the presence of God without sin. It's very true that the mission is the school for eternity and I'm so grateful for experiences like these, even if it means an itchy head or a muddy skirt. 


Sister Wilson


Napakagandang hapon!

I'm finally in my 3rd area and I'm absolutely loving it! This week started out pretty crazy. After I met my trainee and we had our meeting at the chapel, the office elders handed me an empty area book, a cell phone with no numbers in it, a few packages of pamphlets and dropped the two of us off at our new (and very empty) apartment in uncharted territory. First missionaries to work in the area, and first to live in the house. I don't think I've ever prayed so hard my whole mission. So we said a prayer, unpacked our study materials and went out to proselyte with what little daylight we had left. We ended up teaching a mother and daughter we contacted on the street and I encouraged my companion to extend her first baptismal date, which she did! We came back to that apartment that night, happy that we had done what we knew how to do and having given the day our best effort, and the blessings immediately followed. The elders showed up a little bit after that with an area book with updated teaching records of those people who were once their investigators and those peoples' current phone numbers. They volunteered their help the next day to take us around the area and they also gave us the number of ward members who wanted to show us around. 

(Side note to my family: My area is only like 1/4 squatters, calm down. I wish more of it were that way because those people are the best!) 

My new companion is Sister Strickland from New Zealand -- I get to train a foreigner! She is basically the dream companion and her accent is the greatest. Aside from the language, is pre-trained. Even though the language for now is a challenge for her, she doesn't let it keep her from fulfilling her purpose. She still talks to everyone at every chance she gets, smiles always and makes everyone she meets laugh. She doesn't beat herself up over her weaknesses but smiles and enjoys being new and can laugh at her mistakes. And the best part is... she sings! We're a dynamic duo, woo!

Yesterday at church, we  received the warmest welcome from the ward I've had my whole mission. They were so excited to receive sister missionaries in their ward. There are now 6 missionaries in Batasan 2nd, 4 elders and 2 sisters. It seems like every sister in the ward wants to work with us and we have at least 2 workers scheduled for every day this week. The ward is really supportive and not just in words, but also in their actions. We've had dinners provided for us almost every night and we have already had 3 productive meetings - 1 with the bishop, 1 with the ward mission leader and ward missionaries, and 1 with the ward council. They have a great vision and a great plan of attack to help their ward split. They told us after church that there was a different spirit there having sisters in the ward.

As for our work, we have 4 investigators on date for baptism, 2 of which we did on our own and 2 of which were taught by the elders. Sister Melanie is one that we found - she came to church yesterday because her uncle kept pushing her to come with him. She finally went and she said she felt good there. We got her number and visited her after our meetings. She was pretty quiet at first, but as we did the how to begin teaching she really opened up to us. She told us that she has never understood the gospel growing up as a Catholic and was really happy that we were there. Sister Strickland and I felt the prompting at the same time to extend a baptismal date and she accepted it happily. This area is my first area that has truly poor people. Because of their circumstances, they are a lot more humble and receptive to our message. It wasn't fun, however, getting caught in the rain last night in that area, for reasons you don't want to know.

That's all I have to say, but I'm really happy where I am right now. Things are going great and I can feel that we will be having a lot of success here in the Batasan 2 ward. Love ya'll.

Sister Wilson

P.S. Yesterday we actually experienced truly cold weather. There was a brisk, cold rain with heavy wind. We drank hot chocolate and wore coats. The cold makes my bones ache now. I'm not sure I can ever go back home after this. Sorry! ;)


I found this hilarious. They passed by a goat farm and started recreating the front of the restoration pamphlet.

The best zone EVER.  :)
Us and Takder, who was baptized last weekend!
Our last coordination meeting... :'( Those were so fun.
Our dunkin' donuts run afterward! :D We found one by our house!

After 1 birthday, 2 apartments, 2 different leadership callings, 3 holidays, 3 companions, 4 different elders in the ward, 5 house mates, 6 months, many disappointments and countless miracles, I'm leaving Malolos. It's been absolutely wonderful. 

I feel like I've grown up as a missionary in this area. The ward and the people I've taught have become so dear to me. I feel like we have really gained their trust. When I came here, the members were very cold to us. Now it's very different. People are (literally) leading their friends to us by the hand and asking us to teach them right then and there. Last Sunday we had 5 members approach us after our meetings and give us referrals. It will be hard to say goodbye here after 6 months and all I've experienced. They never told me in my call letter that I'd have to leave home more than once! But I'm also grateful to start again and meet new people. I'm also grateful that I've been able to fulfill my purpose by leaving this ward much better than I've found it. My favorite experience was completing two different part-member families through baptism and seeing a handful of less-actives regain their faith in Jesus Christ. There are also 3 investigators that are ready to be harvested in the next 2 or 3 weeks. They are so obviously prepared by the Lord that I'm overjoyed that we have found them.

I'm transferring to... drum roll please... Fairview! I will be opening the Batasan Hills 2 C area with my trainee, who I will meet tomorrow. It's literally an open area, as in nobody has ever worked there before. I will be the first, I'm sweating bullets. I will definitely be learning and growing a lot because all I have to go off of is the ward members. I also have no house mates to help me, we are alone. The area is affectionately known as... Bundok ng Basura... meaning mountain of garbage... because there are literally 3 enormous mountains made up of garbage. It's famous. And the place wreaks. Most of my area is squatters so it will definitely be a different experience. I'm trying to be excited. I don't have that much time to write but that's my update for now. I love you all as much as flies love basura. <33 Pray for me please...

Sister Wilson

Attached: Malolos 2nd ward missionaries at bishop's house for dinner last night


Inaku, I have another child.

Woooo, I'm training again! Not sure what's gonna happen yet but I got the email. I'll send more update next TUESDAY because it's transfer week. (That's for you, mom.)

I'm feeling terribly lazy so I'm just gonna paste an excerpt from my letter to President Bertin. (See below)

I have a cold and I want to go home so this is all for this week. 

Sister Wilson

...  Our baptismal candidate was out of town this week so we had to push the baptism back to this weekend. Takder has grown up in the church but his parents are sort of less active. They told him that when he came of age to be baptized, they would let him decide if he had the desire or not to be baptized. If not, they would wait until he wanted to be baptized and then have the missionaries teach him. Takder is only 11 right now, and it started being a social desire because he was the only boy going into young men's without being baptized. As we've taught him the gospel, his enthusiasm for it has skyrocketed. He tells us every visit how neat he thinks the Book of Mormon is and how much he loves the stories. I'm hoping and praying that he will remember his feelings right now and stay active despite what his parents may do or say.

Because of the holidays our investigators and less actives have been largely unavailable, and not reading or praying. Without the constant strengthening from the missionary lessons and the nourishment from The Book of Mormon/prayer, their testimonies have dimmed. We're working right now to build it back up. As one of our very most progressing said, "My faith is back down to 0. I'm back to square 1." But it also builds my testimony because it shows how much of a difference it makes when people feel the Holy Ghost on a weekly basis.



My first email of 2015! I really have high hopes for the work this year. It's taken a pretty rough start because New Years is even more important here than Christmas. Nobody has been home, everyone is busy, no members can work with us, it's been pretty hard. We've been contacting on the streets like fiends hoping to teach someone, anyone. We actually found some wonderful people last Sunday while trying to grow our area by working in our farthest places. We don't usually go there because it's so far but we gave it a full day last Sunday. We found tons of new investigators. I really experienced the power of the Holy Ghost working through me in a bunch of these lessons so I know they're people the Lord wants us to be teaching. Brother Amos was a referral that we contacted and he has a big family - very kind people. So I was shocked when the lesson began and he began firing off attack after attack without allowing us to respond. I said a prayer in my heart and began to speak despite his talking. I don't even remember what I said, and I didn't even really know what I was saying at that moment but whatever it was, it worked. We pulled out and taught doctrine using his own bible and he allowed me to respond to his anti-Mormon slander about prophets. His response a few minutes later was a humbled, "Ok. I can accept that." I got chills because I was being spoon fed what to say by the Holy Ghost. Little did I realize that it wasn't Amos who needed to hear the message but his 30 year old son silently listening on the sidelines. After his father left the room he told us how many religions he had experimented with and how he wanted to know more about the prophet. I love the gospel! Sometimes it feels like an emotional workout in this work. It's a fact to me now that even when I feel like my emotional energy is drained to the dregs and I feel like I have nothing more to give, the Lord upholds me. 

We also experienced how service softens peoples' hearts. We've been trying to teach an LA for 4 transfers and she wouldn't even talk to us. Yesterday she was outside washing her clothes and we just greeted her and dove right in to help her. She started talking to us and even joking with us. After we finished her laundry she told us we could come back on Sunday. It's amazing how the spirit can even work without words, just a Christlike gesture. It's so true that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Now I have to tell you about New Years! It was the craziest New Year celebration of my life. We had lunch as a whole stake - it was a boodle fight where you eat with your hands off of a banana leaf. They dished out like 20 full roasted chickens and 10 gigantic cakes, and of course... seemingly endless rice, no plates or utensils. It was hilariously gluttonous looking if you can picture this. The bishop grabbed my hand and slapped down a giant piece of cake in it and that's pretty much when our district stopped caring and ate like cave men. It then turned into a contest to see which of the foreigners would eat the salted eggs. They're these big purple eggs that have solidified by means of salt. I could hardly keep it down. Then our ward mission leader started wiping cake on peoples' faces and a food fight broke out because of the stake presidency and everyone got into it. 

Later in the evening we had a 6 PM curfew where we played cards and wrote letters for a few hours. We were sent home with a ton of biko which is a coconut stick rice and then our neighbors brought us over a full course meal including drinks, pork BBQ, fruit salad, and carbonara. When it got to 11 PM things started getting crazy. The fireworks got stronger and music was blaring full blast from every house. 11:50, the entire country came out with blow horns, pots and pans, people got into their cars and turned on their car alarms and emergency blinkers, the music got louder and the fireworks just started ripping and roaring through the streets and in the sky. The sky lit up in every direction with flashes of light and color as far as the eye could see and the whole world got smoky. It gave me a brilliant headache but it was incredible. Sure beats beating the ball drop - more fun in the Philippines. Maligayang Bagong Taon!

Sister Wilson

P.S. I made a video that was too big to upload... sorry. Enjoy this picture of Filipino kids in a mall enjoying man made snow.