Sunday, January 25, 2015

Week 72 in the Philippines - "miracles!"

Wow, I am full of so many mixed emotions! This week has been crazy. We had so many miracles happen this week! 

One I want to share with you:) So Sister Ginalyn is about 14 and so awesome. She's friends with the recent converts that all live in Nacab-all the Yound Women. So she's been coming to church and investigating for a while now, and ever since we've been teaching her, her mom has been telling us that she likes for her daughter to be involved in the church and everything, but doesn't want her to get baptized and change religions. Well, we've been teaching her mom and praying so hard that she would have a change of heart because Sister Ginalyn had such a big desire to get baptized. We have seen such amazing changes in her as she has been living the commandments of God. So we prayed really hard and then asked Sister Ginalyn's mom on Wednesday to please reconsider. So she agreed to talk to her husband, because Ginalyn had personally asked her as well, and said she'd get back to us. On Friday, we went back and before we could even ask, Sister Alma (Ginalyn's mom), told us that she and her husband had talked it through and decided that Sister Ginalyn can get baptized!!!!!! It was so amazing. 

At the time she told us, Ginalyn wasn't in the room and she still didn't know. When Ginalyn came back, her mom asked her what day she was getting baptized and Ginalyn's face lit up soooo bright! "I can get baptized?" Then Sister Ginalyn gave the closing prayer and started crying while thanking Heavenly Father with all her heart that she could now get baptized:) Sister Respicio and I got teared up as well and even Sister Alma. MIRACLE!!!!! We know one day, not too far away, Sister Alma and their whole family will follow behind Ginalyn's lead and get baptized too:)

I'm so grateful and know it was the work of the Spirit that touched Sister Ginalyn's parents hearts and helped them realize that getting baptized was the right thing for their daughter. It was so neat yesterday when we were reviewing the baptismal interview questions with Sis Ginalyn, she shared with us the changes she saw in herself personally since accepting the gospel in her life. It was sooo incredible to hear a 14-year old girl seeing the effects of learning how to and implementing how to become more like our Savior to become a better person. 

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much.

Also, yesterday Nanay Maria got baptized!!!! It was soooo beautiful!!! Her son, Bishop Quinquero baptized her and it was just wonderful. She was glowing and soo happy! 

I love this work so much:) And know it will continue even after I get home. There's so much we can do as member missionaries! I love you all so much! See you soon!

Love, Sister Malyon

P.S. THANKS SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR THE AWESOME PACKAGES!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE THE MOST AMAZING FAMILY AND SUPPORT GROUP EVER!!! Seriously, I got them this week and it was perfect timing because with this being like the most emotional week ever, all I wanted was chocolate! Heavenly Father's timing is perfect and I have the most incredible family ever. Thanks so much mom, dad, Aunt Kathy, Grandma, Grandpa!!!!! All of you!!!!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 71 in the Philippines - "kasanag ni Cristo"

Dearest family!

How are you all cutie pies doing? This week was so amazing:) We had a one-day mission on Saturday, which was my first time. It was so cool! We met at the church in the morning with a bunch of ward missionaries and even some other members. We listed all the different areas within our ward and then all the less-actives in each area, then split into groups and visited everyone! Well, almost everyone;) We worked in the morning, came back to the church and had a delicious lunch together and then went back out in the afternoon. It was so awesome because we got to visit so many people with all of us working together and the results were amazing as we had a high attendance at church on Sunday. There's so much power in working together with members to do missionary work! 

Yesterday at church we had so many investigators, I think the most I've had my whole mission! It was so amazing! They were mostly part-member and friends of members. There's this one group of young women that is so amazing. They are all from the same little neighborhood and now there are about five of them who are recent converts, one who has been a member for a long time, and gradually more and more of their friends are being taught as well! It's so cool. Yesterday, they all showed up at church together and they brought their friends, including one friend we had never even met before, but wants to be taught! One of their friends who has been going to church for a while now and we've been teaching, Sister Ginalyn, really wants to get baptized and her friends have all been so supportive and encouraging, but her mom doesn't want her to:( Her mom doesn't want her to be the only one a different religion, with the rest of them Catholic. We've been trying to teach her family too and now we are all praying that her mom will soften her heart and let her get baptized. But it's just been so cool to see this cute group of young women be so excited about the gospel that all their friends want to learn as well!

So I think I told you about Sister Maria who is getting baptized this Jan 25! She's getting baptized on her 80th birthday and is so excited:) It's so cute because she has made friends with one of our recent converts, who is another one of my favorite people, Nanay Alicia. She's about the same age as Nanay Maria and they both sit by each other every week in church. Anyway, this week Sister Maria was telling us how she used to want God to just take her because she's ready, but now she wants more time to keep going to church! She was like, I just now started going to the true church, I need more time to keep attending! She prays every time we visit her that she will have the strength in her body to be able to attend church that week:) She's so cute. 

Well, I was just noticing this morning how miraculous accepting the gospel into your life is. Witnessing someone who either embraces the gospel for the first time, or makes changes in their lives to come back to the fold, is truly the most incredible miracle. You can see/feel a tangible light that comes into their countenance as they leave behind the darkness and come into the light of the gospel! It's so amazing. I just love the gospel of Jesus Christ and know it is the ONLY way for us to truly be happy here on earth, despite our circumstances, and experience eternal happiness in the next life.

I love you all soooooooo much!!!!!!! I encourage you strive to see the miracles in your lives everyday:) There are always miracles as long as we have faith in Christ.

Love you tons!
Sister Malyon 


Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 70 in the Philippines - "scripture study"

 So this week I think the biggest lesson we learned was how important scripture study is. Sister Respicio and I have been emphasizing scripture study so much lately and we are seeing the results! There is a direct correlation between scripture study and church attendance. It's so amazing the less-actives that are now returning because they are reading the Book of Mormon again. It's like we don't even have to tell them the importance of coming to church or focus so much on trying to resolve their concerns because as long as they are reading and pondering the word of God, He will resolve their concerns and give them the strength and reminder to keep His commandments, like going to church. 

Lessons are fun too because when we invite them to share about their reading, we get to be the ones who learn from them! After emphasizing it's importance so much,now we have people,like our recent convert who is 13-Bella, who as soon as we saw her, excitedly told us "Sis, I'm in 1 Nephi 11 now!" 

I read Elder Scott's talk this week about faith and how scripture study is one way we strengthen our faith. He was very bold in saying that it is Satan's lie to us when we think we are too busy to read the scriptures. He said that nothing is more important, not even sleep or school! One cute ward missionary who is also a recent convert, wrote me a letter this week and in her letter she told me how even when she is so tired from working all day,she still reads the Book of Mormon every day. Yesterday she got to go to church because her boss this week changed their work schedule so that now her day off is on Sunday! She said she had been praying so hard that that would happen and it did! I know that it was because she was strengthening her faith in Christ everyday through reading the Book of Mormon;)  

One cool experience this week was that we have been working with this one investigator to try and get her to stop smoking so she can get baptized. Most of her kids are members and she's known the church is true and everything for a while now, but just hasn't been able to quit smoking. This week she finally stopped! She's been coming to church every week and reading the Book of Mormon and even got a priesthood blessing,using all her resources to receive the strength she needs to quit. We even made a no smoking sign with a picture of how your body is a temple;) haha It was so cool though yesterday because her kids showed up at church and told us that their mom was exhausted from doing all the laundry the night before and wouldn't make it to church. But she surprised us all by coming late! She ended up deciding to come even though at first she was shy that she would be late, but decided she should go to church anyway. I think she is realizing how much she needs all the help she can get to change and overcome her addiction and truly show her repentance. So amazing.

Also this week one of our ward missionaries referred her friend to us and when we went to teach her, her mom and younger siblings all joined and they were all so interested! It was so cool to see how they were just so engaged in listening to the lesson of the restoration. We emphasized how the gospel is for families and the mom said next time,they will gather everyone together to listen:) so cute. It's so amazing to meet such prepared people everyday! And see the importance of referring our friends to the missionaries!;)

I love you all soooo much! Keep reading the Book of Mormon and you will not go astray!

Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 69 in the Philippines - "new years resolutions"

My dear family!

Happy new year! Welcome to the exciting year of 2015!!! Woohoo! How was your new year celebration??? You should all feel sad for missing out on macaroni salad that comes with new year celebration here:) Macaroni salad here is not what you would imagine. It consists of macaroni pasta noodles, sweet cream, fruit cocktail, cheese and sometimes corn. Ya it's not too bad, but when every single home you
visit on new years day, serves you a big bowl of it, you start to feel kind a sick to your stomach:)

Well, this week was pretty hilarious. We just had funny experiences every single day. I love Sister Respicio because we just laugh at everything. One such experience went like this: So we were walking and Sister Respicio pointed to a sister and said "That's Sister Rios", who is a LA I haven't met yet. So I approached who I thought Sister Respicio had pointed to, and just started talking to this sister like
we were old best friends, thinking she was a LA member who already knew Sister Respicio... As we were talking, Sister Respicio asks her "Where do you live?" Which made me all confused because I thought she
already knew where she lived...So then I figured out this was not the sister she had pointed to and had to introduce ourselves and ask this sister her name... But the crazy part is, she turned out to be a member after all! She hadn't been to church in years, so we got to invite her to come try again. So even though Sister Respicio was laughing so hard at me for approaching the wrong person, someone we had both never met before (she thought maybe I knew the sister from a previous area), and pretending we were close friends and everything,

Heavenly Father purposely put her in our path so she could be reminded of her membership in the church:) He sure works in funny ways sometimes, or maybe just through unobservant people off in their own world;)

One other experience I would love to share with you all, is about Nany Maria, who is in the picture I am sending. She is Bishop Quinquero's mother, who is one of our investigators. She attended church for the first time last week and again yesterday. But the cool experience was on Tuesday. We were teaching her lesson 3, planning on extending baptism at the end, but she beat us to it! We were talking about the importance of baptism, and she stopped us and said "Sisters, I am ready and want to get baptized". And then when we extended the day for Jan 31, she was like, "how about January 25! On my 80th birthday!" 

She had it all figured out:) It has been so amazing this week to see the change in her though. She used to be hesitant about everything until she finally got to church! and now everything is just coming together! She is so excited for her baptism, telling everyone, she even invited another one of our investigators to get baptized with her! Every time we visit her now, she is so much happier-the power of the gospel:)

Well, I just want to leave you with a quote I read by Elder Cook from his talk about choices from the priesthood session of last conference. He said "...I encourage everyone, both young and old, to review goals and objectives and strive to exercise greater discipline. Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to
rise above rationalizations and distractions. It is especially important to make choices consistent with our covenants to serve Jesus Christ in righteousness. We must not take our eyes off or drop that ball for any reason...In all things we should remember that being "valiant in the testimony of Jesus" is the great dividing test between the celestial and terrestrial kingdoms."

I thought this was such a good reminder as we make our new years resolutions for the year 2015! I love you all! Thanks for your examples to me and to everyone! I love you all tons and tons!

Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 68 in the Philippines - "christmas day"

Here's a pic from the baptism. Sister Shaira is between us and then the Elders also had a baptism!

The other pic is from our visit on christmas day I told you about on skype, with Nanay Andrea. We gave her the picture of Christ hanging up in the picture that mom sent me (thanks mom!) and she was sooo happy! Sister Glyde, a ward missionary, cooked pasta that she brought to share with Nanay Andrea and then one of the neighborhood kids joined as well!

Love you tons!
Sister malyon

Week 68 in the Philippines - "christmas eve"

Dearest family!

It was so good to see all of your cute faces on Christmas! Thanks so much for adjusting to the time I called, sorry it was sooo late! I loved talking to all of you and am so grateful for all of you:) You just make me so happy! haha oh stretchy pants!...I mean leggings:) 

How was your Christmas? That's so fun you got to change it up this year by spending Christmas in the grand city of New York with Kelsie poo. And Jare and Jaim in the holy city of Bethlehem. wow. We must have all had really memorable Christmases!:) 

We spent our Christmas with all of our Nanays:) But first of all, we had a wonderful baptism for Sister Shaira. She's 17 and her little sister was baptized a few months ago and a bunch of her friends recently got baptized as well. It was so cool on Christmas Eve, the night before, we got to share a special Christmas lesson with her family. It was so awesome teaching lessons on Christmas Eve and Christmas day because we just got to visit with families and a bunch of our nanays (our moms/grandmas who didn't have family with them this year) and focus completely on helping them feel of the true spirit of Christmas. 

Christmas Eve we were on our way to visit some recent converts (they are the ones in the picture where we're all standing up, Ek is the chubby little boy and then his cousin sister Euliza and Euliza's mom, Sister Renaliza), when we ran into the LA sister. Her name is Sister Gloria and we didn't know she would be alone Christmas, but Heavenly Father knew, and put her in our path! We visited with her and at that time, she really needed someone to be with and talk to (of course! Christmas Eve!). So we decided to go back and visit her again on Christmas day:) We were so grateful heavenly Father helped put her in our path so that we could be with those who needed visitors during Christmas time. Perfect, we were away from our families and so was she, so we were family to each other!

Sorry I feel like my thoughts are so scattered today! Anyway, the one picture is us with Ek, Euliza and Renaliza on Christmas Eve. They were our last appointment. We love them so much! They are so funny! Especially EK. Seriously, every time at the beginning of the lesson, if we ask him who he wants to pray, he sits there for like 20 minutes and does some kind of eeny meeny minie moe thing to decide. Then during the lesson, we had to keep saying his nme and grabbing back his attention because he kept wanting to just dance! So cute:) 

The other picture is when we were with Shaira's family on Christmas Eve. Shaira's not in the picture because she needed to take a shower? anyway haha. We had a wonderful Christmas!

I love you all soo much! I hope you all felt the true spirit of Christmas as well! We are so blessed to have the gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope and peace it brings to our lives. I hope you all have a fabulous HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Love you lots! Sister Malyon


Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 67 in the Philippines - "MERRY CHRISTMAS! MALIPAYONG PASKWA!"

Merry Christmas my beautiful family!!!!

How are you? Are you seriously all in New York??? Holy smokes. That's what I understood from mom's last email, that the fam was headed off to spend Christmas with Kels in New York. WOW! How's that going? Are we still going to be able to skype? Well, I sure hope you're on because I haven't heard anything from you...I'll get on to skype about 1:30 pm our time here in Bacolod, Philippines:) I hope that's okay! I think that means it will be really late your time? I can't really remember the time difference. I hope that's okay with you though! And if not, we'll see each other soon enough haha!

Well, this week has been wonderful! I absolutely love my cute companion, Sister Respicio! She is so amazing. I have already learned tons and tons from her and we just get along so well and it's been great. She's my first Filippina companion who doesn't eat rice with every meal! In fact, she told me she's kind of sick of rice and I was so shocked! Coming from a Filippina! One day this week, we tried cooking a Filippino dish and cooking rice... I put her in charge if the rice naturally haha and she burned it! So we had brown rice;) so funny. Not that I'm any better (Kels knows), that's why I had Sister Respicio be in charge of the rice.

Anyway, we had a super cool miracle this week. I think it was actually on Wednesday, my first time going to this part of our area called Pasil. We were walking on our way to a lesson, when a sister randomly called out "Sisters!" We stopped to talk to her and she told us right away that her daughter who was standing next to her, is a member that was baptized quite a few years ago, but then got kind of lost between missionaries and hasn't been to church in a long time now. 

We ended up sharing a lesson with the mom, Sister Shyrell, and her three kids-Sister Nova (18), Sister Shell mar (member, 16), and Bro Marcial (13ish). We found out her husband died about a year ago and she's been struggling to support her three children. When we shared about eternal; families, she started crying and opened up to us about how much that touched her to know that she and her children can be with her husband again. We got to visit them one other time this week and then on Sunday, they came to church! Sister Shyrell and her oldest daughter, Nova, both came! Sister Shell mar had work so she couldn't, but it was her mom and Nova's first time and they had such a good experience. Turns out that Sister Shyrell's husband is cousins to our ward bishop, so they already have a connection! 

It was so amazing to see how God had prepared Sister Shyrell and her family for the gospel, the missionaries, and the Spirit worked through her to call out to us, because neither my companion nor I knew them, even her daughter. 

I'm so grateful everyday for God's involvement in our lives and His effort everyday to ensure the return of all His children to His presence, including each and every one of us! 

On one of the book marks mom sent me, it has the picture of Christ as the Good Shepherd, searching for His sheep and I love what it says about the picture. The artist, Liz Lemon Swindle wrote, "As I painted this piece I found myself looking into His eyes and wondering, "Who is He looking for?" Then one day it hit me. He is looking for all of us. The Savior knows and loves each of us, and no matter how far we may wander He will never stop seeking after us until He has found us and carried us home."  

Another experience I loved from this week, was when we went to visit this nanay. Her name is Andrea and she is almost 70 and lives all alone in this tiny little, bamboo house. She walks around selling clams for a living and the only family member that ever visits her is one of her granddaughters. Her husband died and her kids all live far away. 

There's a member who lives close to her who has been inviting her to church with her the past few weeks, so we visited her and on our second visit we extended baptism. She was so excited, her response was, "Next week? Can I get baptized next week?" That has never been the response I've received when extending baptism! She is the cutest person ever. We explained to her that there's a lot more we need to help her understand and prepare to be baptized:) She came to church again yesterday and we're planning on spending part of Christmas day with her! 

I hope you all have the most amazing Christmas ever!!! Focused on our Savior Jesus Christ and all that He did and continues to do for us everyday because He lives! And He loves each and every one of us so much. I love you all so much too! I hope and pray you feel of His love for you everyday:) If you reach out and serve and share the gospel, you will for sure feel His love. I can promise you that. I love you! 

Merry Christmas!

Love, Sister Malyon