Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 16 in the Philippines - "Happy New Year!"

Hi my beautiful family and friends!

How was your Christmas? It was sooo good to talk to you on Christmas and see your cute faces and hear your voices. I have the best family ever! I'm so glad we were able to get skype to work. I loved how you had prepared questions. You're so cute. Thanks so much for the awesome teaching resources, the puzzles you sent me! I already used the Plan of Salvation one in a lesson with a bunch of kids. Every time I set down another piece to the plan, all of the kid would all look and read what it said. I also have been reading that awesome talk by Elder Maxwell. So interesting! I\m learning so much! Also, on Christmas eve and Christmas day, my comp and I visited lots of people and shared a Christmas message with them. I brought the papers with music and scriptures you sent me and they were super helpful!

Christmas eve and Christmas day were super fun. We got to celebrate with a bunch of our investigators and members as well. And every single person we visited fed us so much food! They pretty much eat all day when they celebrate a holiday and Sister Parada and I felt sick. We ate so much. But I got to try some awesome new foods this week. I tried chicken blood, I can't remember what they call it. It's black and the chicken blood was cooked with all the insides of the chicken. yummm :) haha Good thing there were lots of spices. I also tried adidas, chicken foot! We have an investigator with a BBQ stand and so I got it from her. Everyone watched me eat it haha. It was rubbery and hard to bite haha. I also tried uga for the first time this week, which is the terribly smelling dried fish. It wasn't too bad but just super super salty. not a huge fan. but I guess I need to try it again because I didn't know you're supposed to dip it in vinegar. maybe that will make it taste better. I want to try balut sometime, but our mission pres banned it. Foreign missionaries aren't allowed to eat it:(

Oh my goodness I'm sending you a picture of this baby goat I got to hold on Christmas day. It was the cutest thing on the planet. Only like 4 days old. It made me really happy haha. Also the picture with people is me with our awesome investigator Pamela and her granddaughter Welchie. I love them so much. and yes I have terrible sweaty pits in this picture. sorry! haha They're excited about their baptism on Jan. 18. Also the other day we went over to their house and Pamela told us she had good news for us. SO her husband causes her so much grief because he drinks all the time and is really stubborn. It makes her so sad. He never wants to join our lessons or have anything to do with church. Her good news for us was that her husband prayed for their family on Christmas day for the first time ever. She said it made everyone cry. It's a miracle! He also joined our lesson! He asked us how he can change. Can you believe it? It's truly a miracle. God really does answer prayers!

Also on Christmas day the most adorable girl got baptized. Her name is Lovely Joy. If you go onto facebook and look up Sagay ward (2), you can see pictures from our baptism. She was sooo excited and just made me have the best Christmas ever:)

So yesterday they asked me to play the piano in sacrament meeting for the second time. I don't get to pick the hymns and I haven't played the piano in months. that's my disclaimer. ALSO, the F key doesn't work! So our opening hymn was Far Far Away. I played the intro and started playing but the first note is a F and no one joined in singing! I just kept going and no one was singing. Finally  they came in on the chorus! hahahaha It was terrible, but not that bad because we're in the Philippines so it's not a big deal:) thank goodness.

Also, we live right across the street from a church. They are so loud. Yesterday, we were trying to study in the morning and it was impossible. The church has a microphone, loud choir, drum set and everything. They would sing super loud and then the preacher would yell super loud and then they're sing again. We went to church at 1 and they never stopped. They were still going on until we went to bed. It reminded me of the church where Jare and the tribe women worked before they got the house. I seriously wanted to just join in because if you can't beat them, join them. That's what the women would do in Uganda! We'd just all get up and dance!

I hope you all have a fabulous, safe and super fun New Years this week! Yay for 2014! I love you all sooooo much! Thanks so much for all your love and examples to me and for being so amazing!

Love, Sister Malyon

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week 15 in the Philippines - "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

My dear, lovely family and friends! Merry Christmas! Maligayang Pasko!!!! 

How are all of you? Are you feeling the Christmas spirit? What have you all been up to during the Christmas break? Lots of people have Christmas lights up, which is fun. We found some Christmas lights stars that someone left at our house, so we put those up and we bought a little baby Christmas tree! :) We also made snowflakes last P-day to get in the spirit. Every night, we see lots of kids going around to homes caroling. They carol and then ask for money hahahaha. So naturally every single kid does it. Too bad people don't give you money in America for caroling, otherwise Josh would be out there every night:)

Apparently the popular thing to eat on Christmas is spaghetti, filippion spaghetti, it's not the same. haha We've heard from the appointments we have for Christmas Eve and Christmas day that we'll be eating spaghetti. I wouldn't be surprised if they still  eat rice with their spaghetti:) 

I got the big envelope package from you the other day! Thanks soooo much! I'm going to wait until Christmas day to open the two wrapped presents. I'm so excited to bring the Christmas scripture and songs papers to our Christmas Eve FHE so we can have an awesome Christmas program that you sent me! We also got Christmas cards from the First Presidency! How cool is that? They send every missionary a Christmas card. I love the gospel:) 

I want to tell you about a couple of our investigators. We have this golden investigator, Sister Pamela. We just met her by talking to people. She used to be Baptist, but stopped going because she felt they were lacking something. :) The perfect thing to say. We've been teaching her and her granddaughter, Welchie, and they both came to church yesterday!!!!!! I was sooooo happy yesterday. Sister Pamela is awesome. She always reads everything we leave with her and she answers questions so thoughtfully and asks awesome questions. She saw a picture in the pamphlet of someone getting a blessing and asked if she could get a blessing because she's been in pain and sick for a while. The bishop gave her a blessing at church yesterday and she was just so happy. They have a baptismal date set for Jan. 18! 

We have a baptism this Wednesday, Christmas baptism, for the sweetest lady in the world. Her name is Mariacel and we've been teaching her cute daughter, Lovely, as well. They are both getting baptized this week. She invited us over to dinner this past week. She is the most giving person ever. Her home was totally flattened by the typhoon, so they basically have no shelter. She's a single mom with two kids and supports them by selling produce in the market everyday while holding her baby.I love them so much. We're gonna do a CSP for her to help get her house back up. When we were at her house, there was this goat, she has lots of goats, that kept following me. Every time she got close to me, she would rub her head up and down against my skirt. It was the weirdest thing ever! 

Also, guess what? My worst nightmare came true this week. This girl gave a talk yesterday in church who has worked with us a couple times. She went into detail about when she worked with us one time and included the detail that when we were talking to a lady feeding her chickens, Sister Malyon stood far away because she is scared of chickens. awesome. Now the whole ward knows! and they will never forget. When we were walking home from church we saw a member and he said "Sister Malyon I have a gift for you. A chicken." 

Well, I just want to leave with my testimony of our Savior. I am so grateful to Him for coming to the earth, descending below all things for us. He has ascended above all and descended below all in order to understand each one of us perfectly. He loves us so much that He suffered, bled and died for each one of us, personally and individually. He came to earth to free us from bondage. I was reading in the Liahona and Elder Bruce D. Porter said, "Whatever binds us-sins, circumstances, or past events- the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Immanuel, came to set us free. He proclaims liberty to the captives and freedom from the bonds of death and the prison of sin, ignorance, pride and error.It was prophesied that He would say to the prisoners, "Go forth" (Isaiah 49:9). The only condition of our freedom is that we come unto Him with broken hearts and contrite spirits, repent, and seek to do His will." I know that is true. I know that it is through our Savior, and best friend, Jesus Christ, that we are freed from sin, pain, sorrow, heartache. He loves us soooo much! 

I hope all feel the unconditional love of the Savior and share that love with all those around you! I love you all soo much! 

Merry Christmas! Love, Sister Malyon

My companion Sister Parada loves you all too! She's awesome:)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 14 in the Philippines - "love"

I know that God is watching over all of you and I'm so grateful for that. You are all in my prayers too! Wow, I'm amazed by all the missionary work going on back home. You are all so wonderful. It makes me so happy to hear about that incredible conversion of those three sisters who got baptized. God has people prepared everywhere!  You will be blessed for every effort you make to share the gospel! Missionary work is the best!

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting, we had 6 young girls get confirmed. I just started crying thinking about the work I am involved in. None of the girls were people we taught. Some were the elders and some were 8 year olds in the ward. It was so neat though and I just felt the spirit so strongly remind me of how incredible it is to be participating in helping to bring others to what they need to return to their Father in Heaven. It's amazing. 

We also had 7 investigators come to church yesterday! It was a miracle and I was soooooo happy. I was also so grateful for the members who talked to them and sat with them and made them feel welcome. We actually went to pick up some of them. I told you last week about the mom's and their kids that we've been teaching. We went to pick them up and they were all sleeping! Our church is in the afternoon. We waited for them to get ready and were late for church, but sacrament meeting is the last meeting, so it turned out to be okay. It was awesome because they all got dressed up in their best clothes and were all excited. It was so great. I wish I could send a picture but the connection is slow. next time!

We also have this awesome investigator named Ann. The first time we taught her, she told us that she wants to serve God. She's so close to God. We were teaching about prophets and when we asked her if she can see God physically, to make the point that we need prophets to help guide us, she had such a hard time answering that question because she feels His presence. So cool. She's 19 and when we went to pick her up to have her lesson at a members home, she went in and changed into a skirt to be like us:) I love her so much! She's so cute and so prepared for the gospel!

We went on an adventure this week to find the home of this sweet lady we just met one day and asked if we could visit her. I'll try to explain how you get to her house. So you walk off the main road and through a path in a sugarcane field, then you enter this forest and walk through that a little bit and then you come out and pass a couple homes and goats and cows and carabao and lots of chickens. Her sweet husband joined us for the lesson and they were so excited to have us visit them. They are the cutest couple, maybe in their 60's and I'm excited to keep teaching them:)

The gospel is the only thing that brings true peace in our lives, in our families and on earth. I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, for our Savior who made it possible for us to return to the presence of our Father. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share with everyone I meet-- His love for them. We are so blessed to have the gospel truth! I love you all so much! Thanks for all your prayers and support and love and for being the awesome disciples of Christ that you are.

Love, love, love, Sister Malyon

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 13 in the Philippines - "carabaos"

Hello family and friends! How's everyone doing? What are the Christmas plans:)? When does school get out? Isn't it crazy to think Christmas is almost here? And it's still super hot and sweaty! Has it snowed yet? hahahahaha walking to school in the dirty snow. fun times:)

I'm sending some pictures this time so you can see how beautiful my area is! I am the luckiest girl in the world! Yesterday we were working with out ward missionaries and mission leader trying to find some referrals and LA members. We went on an adventure through trees and mud and over streams and through fields and by carabaos and cows. It was awesome. 

We found people that just kind of live away from everything and shared with them short lessons and asked if we can come back:) Since we opened an area, we're doing lots of finding right now. Talking to lots of people we just see wherever and then teaching them! We even teach the animals:) And everyone knows I'm afraid of chickens. awesome. I think this is the time I'm going to overcome this silly fear.

A couple weeks ago, we went to this one area called Tanke and it's kind of farther from the city, so we can't be there in the evening. But it's now our favorite area. We were just walking along the fields to get to a LA family and some people just yelled "Sister!" We decided to go talk to them. We ended up teaching like three or four mothers and their children all together. They said they had seen elders walk by before but had never talked to them. We've been back a few times now and I love them. I'm sending a picture from our FHE with them. It was so much fun. They remind me of being with the Tribe women in Gulu, so fun, so sweet, so nice, so loving. They're all really excited to come to church next week! Yay! In the picture we have black on our faces from a game we played:)

We also met another sweet lady in Tanke that was sooo grateful we stopped and talked to her. She said that she saw us the first time we passed through her neighborhood and wanted to talk to us. I'm so glad we stopped and talked to her. Heavenly Father is in control and is making a way for each of His children to hear the gospel:) Anyways, we talked to her and right away she started telling us about the different churches she has visited and how she feels something is missing. GOLDEN! I love love love finding people that are so obviously ready. It's amazing how the field truly is white already to harvest. Her name is Pamela and I'm so excited to keep teaching her!

The gospel is so beautiful. I know that it's what will bring everyone the most incredible, indescribable joy. I feel so incredibly blessed to be in this gorgeous part of the world, among such loving and strong people. Even though it's hard being around chickens all the time and seeing spiders as big as your hand just chillin above your pillow and using soap with teeth marks in it (I think it's a rat), it's all worth it! I also love my companion, Sister Parada! We are learning so much from each other and having lots of fun together.   

Yesterday we had Stake Conference and they talked a lot about unity. Members, leaders and missionaries need to all work together in unity to build God's kingdom on earth! It's sooo true! I'm grateful for all that you are doing to build His kingdom. You are doing more than you realize. I love you all sooooooo much!

Love, Sister Malyon
P.S. The last picture is of our Thanksgiving meal from last week

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 12 in the Philippines - "merry christmas!'

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a blast stuffing your faces with delicious food and being together as family!

We celebrated here as well:) My companion was actually sick pretty much all week, but we still had a big Thanksgiving feast. I live with one another companionship, Sister Ang and Sister Shakespeare. Sister Shakespeare is also from the states and my companion Sister Parada grew up in the states so we made sure Sister Ang had a great first Thanksgiving. We couldn't find turkey, but had chicken instead. We also cooked mashed potatoes, green beans and had rolls and corn bread. We ate lots of food and it was super fun. They don't have pie here, so we made mango float instead, which is delicious. I missed grandma's homemade, amazing rolls. That's so fun that you had such a huge group together for Thanksgiving! I'm so glad Josh was able to come home as well. 

So if you saw those pictures on Pres. Lopez FB, my companion and I accidentally sat in the wrong picture. We sat in the picture with all the companionships with missionaries that came over from Tacloban, but my companion's not from Tacloban. Also my new area is called Sagay, And it's awesome! It's kind of hard because part of our area is Cebuano speaking, but most of the people are still Illonggo speaking, so church is still in Illonggo. My companion speaks Tagalog and she's way good at Illlonggo, so now she's working on learning Cebuano, while I'm still focusing on Illonggo. Anyways, it's fun. 

Yesterday, we visited this sweet lady who we met one day when we were trying to find a LA family. She's 88 years old and hard of hearing. We also found out she only speaks Cebuano. So our lesson with her was one of the funniest things of my life. My companion would yell into her ear every time she spoke to her and she had her planner open with her list of Cebuano words so she could somewhat communicate with this sweet lady. Oh and her name is Presentation:) haha She's so cute. I'm not really sure how much she understood of our lesson. She loves talking to us though and I don't really understand anything she says. We tried to just help her feel the Spirit. It was so funny though. She told us that her daughter took the pamphlet we left her with last time to read, so we need to meet her daughter! It's awesome how the Lord works.

We have so much work to do in our new area! I'm so glad my companion is feeling better so we can get out and teach! It was hard for the elders before because their area was so big before we came and split it. They have lots of really far areas and it's super hard for the people they've been teaching to come to church. So there haven't been many baptisms in our ward. We're excited to get the work moving here! We're excited to have the support of the ward. Our ward is awesome. 

A couple days ago we did member exchanges, so that I could go out and work with a member while someone stayed home with Sister Parada. It was super weird working without my companion, but I was super lucky to have our ward missionary with me who recently returned from her mission. Anyway, we visited this LA family, especially the daughter Joy has been LA. The next day their whole family, except the dad, came to church and Joy brought two friends with her! So now we have two new investigators! It's the best when you get member referrals:) 

We moved into a new house this morning, us four sisters. We were temporarily staying in an elders apartment, but got to move today. I understand what Kels was talking about when she talked about moving into an apt and having to clean a ton. The elders apt was soooo gross. I'm so excited to have this new sisters apt:) 

I'm so grateful for the Lord's hand in my life. He's been teaching me so much and helping me become the person, the missionary he needs me to be. I've been getting frustrated with how hard it is for me to learn the language, but the Lord is teaching me patience and I need to exercise the faith to receive the blessings He has in store for me. 

I know that Heavenly Father hears every single one of our prayers and wants the best for us. He answers us in His time because He knows what we need to learn. He will help us become the best person we can be. I loved hearing the testimonies in Sacrament meeting yesterday of my beautiful brothers and sisters. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest blessing in my life. I'm so grateful for God's love for me and for every single one of His children. I love you all soooooo much!!!! 
Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 11 in the Philippines - "the mission is crazy"

Hi loved ones! 

Oh my goodness this has been the craziest week of my life! Well, first of all how is everyone? What's been going on at home?  I love you all and am soooooo extremely grateful for all the amazing people in my love. I have the greatest family and friends in the whole world. seriously.

ok, so about my week. Tuesday I met my new companion, Sis Laulu. We were going to white wash the other half of my ward. So the elders left and we came in their area, which was still in my same ward. So some would change, but some things would still be the same. I love Sister Laulu! She's from Samoa and she's crazy. She's super talkative and fun and awesome. She also has three brothers and two sisters! Anyway, we actually got a call Wednesday morning from the APs saying that I was going to be transferred to Sagay! I was super sad to leave her and to leave all the people I love there. 

Thursday morning I met my new companion, another new companion! Some couple missionaries drove us to our new area in Sagay. The sadness of leaving my first area, all that I knew of the Philippines, didn't last long because the drive up north to my new area was the most beautiful thing of my life! Oh my goodness! Once you get out of the big city of Bacolod, this island is the most beautiful place in the world! There are these awesome rice fields and sugarcane fields everywhere and palm trees and the ocean and the magical mountains in the middle of the island. It's amazing. 

My new area in Sagay is like a 2 hour drive from the city, maybe 2-1/2. President Lopez is finally sending sisters farther out from the city again, thank goodness:) I love it here. I also love my new companion so much. Her name is Sister Parada. She was born in Manila, but was raised in California and Utah and then came back to study in Manila before her mission. She's so strong and I'm so grateful I get to work with her! 

We split the area here, so Sis Parada and I are opening our area, in a way. We still have elders in our ward, but we split the area. So it's been pretty crazy trying to find our way around and meet people and get familiar with everything. It's fun though:) and really hard haha. We are soooooo lucky though because we have these two Ward Missionaries in our ward, one recently returned from her mission, and they have been helping us since the first day we arrived. They are super super helpful and know everyone, including our investigators. They have been showing us everything and introducing us to everyone. It is the biggest blessing. Their names are Levy and Annalean. I love them! 

My second day we rode out to one of our farther areas, which is where I took that picture in the field:) It rained and was super muddy and awesome. We met some really awesome and receptive people out there with their homes hidden in the trees and grass. And guess what!? They speak Cebuano here! The farther parts of our area are Cebuano speaking, which means I get to try to learn two languages at once! Yay hahahahaha oh goodness. it's crazy.       

One picture I attached was from Pday, back in my old area, we went to the Ruins. It's an old mansion that got burned during WWII. Our district went and it was really beautiful and cool!

One picture is of my new companion Sister Parada, with our Ward Missionaries and the elders in our ward. 

On Saturday, we got to wear helping hands vests and help distribute kits of food and clothes to people affected by the typhoon. This part of the island was affected a lot more than my last area. It was nice to be able to help them a little bit.

Everything was crazy this week with early transfers because we got 19 missionaries sent over from the Tacloban mission. They shut the Tacloban mission down and evacuated all of the missionaries there. We have 264 missionaries in our mission now! So many! It's awesome!

Well, thank you for all your love and support. I am so grateful for all of you! I am grateful for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. It is through Him that I am able to work through every challenge that I face. I am learning how to exercise more faith in Him because that is the only way we can progress and see miracles in our lives. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel because it is the power to receive salvation and return to live with my Father in Heaven. I just need to share it with everyone! 

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are all safe and happy and having fun!
Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week Ten in the Philippines - "peace like a river"

Hi family and friends!

We had Mission President training this week and Pres. Lopez showed us a video of the destruction in Tacloban. Oh my goodness. I had no idea how extreme this natural disaster was. No wonder you were all so worried! We were not effected by the storm nearly as much as Tacloban. Wow. I can't believe the destruction and all the deaths they experienced. I feel really blessed to be so safe here.

The people I teach were barely affected. Only a few of them need repairs on their homes and things like that. My life is back to normal missionary work. It's kind of crazy though and sad because all of the Tacloban missionaries have to be reassigned to other missions in the Philippines. We're getting a bunch of them this week. 

My companion and I actually just found out this morning that things are changing, once again. My companion is getting a Tacloban missionary tomorrow and I will be getting a new companion. I will be "white-washing" the other area in our ward, so I'll still be in the same house and ward, but with a new companion and in a new area. I'm pretty freaked out because I'm supposed to "lead the area" and be the senior companion for the area, while my companion finishes training me. Yeah I don't really get it yet either. crazy. 

God has a lot of trust in me and I need to learn to seriously put my trust in Him! It's all good:) Lots of change constantly and lots and lots of learning experiences. I really hope and pray the Tacloban missionaries will be able to adjust okay to their new assignments after experiencing such tragedy. wow. I can't even imagine what they're going through. 

I met an elder at the training who is from Renton, WA! He went to Bellevue College and everything! So cool to meet someone from home. His name is Elder Sablan. He's actually FIlippino, but his family moved to Seattle and joined the church when he was like 15 or something like that. 

Anyways, the work is going great! I love all of the people we teach soooo much! i get to be with the cutest people in the world! I think I maybe told you about Marjoe and Joemar? Marjoe is a recent convert and now we're teaching his cutie bum brother. This week, at one of our lessons, Marjoe was supposed to teach Joemar how to pray. They're 12-years old:) They started arguing when we brought it up about how Marjoe didn't teach him, but Joemar didn't want to be taught! They're the cutest. So we suggested that we'd teach Joemar and then he could listen to Marjoe pray first and then copy him and pray right after him. What happened was that Marjoe started praying and after every could words, Joemar would repeat what he was saying! I was trying soooo hard not to laugh during the sweet prayer! It was the most adorable thing in the world! So they both prayed together, the same prayer! :)

Oh my goodness, there's this street food that is chicken intestine. My companion bought it the other day and asked if I wanted some. I said I better not because I just knew it would make me sick. I'm adventurous, but not THAT adventurous. oh man, the sight of it makes my insides turn and squirm. So just so you know, mom I'm being careful:) hahaha Just try picturing what an intestine looks like and that's exactly what it looks like! All squiggly.

My testimony of repentance was truly strengthened this week. I'm so eternally grateful for the gift of being able to repent and become clean and free from sin. In one of our lessons this week, I witnessed our investigator recognize a serious sin he had committed and feel godly sorrow for what he had done. He felt so terrible. He prayed at the end of the lesson and started crying. I could see the process of repentance working within him. It was my first time ever witnessing someone experiencing that. I could not stop thinking about him and praying for him. I'm so grateful though for his desire to follow Christ, to not sin, to be better.

I'm so grateful for this opportunity to help others become free from the bondage and guilt that comes from sin. I can't believe that Heavenly Father is allowing me to be involved in such life-changing and miraculous work. It's truly incredible! The gospel is so beautiful and brings so much hope and joy and peace to my life! I know that it is only through Christ that we are able to be freed from the bondage of sin and move on with our lives. It is only through Him that we can return to live with our Eternal and most loving and gracious Father in Heaven. I love my Savior with all my heart:)

We witnessed a miracle this week by having 6 investigators attend church!!!!! Getting people to church is one of the hardest parts of the work here, so it was truly a miracle. The Lord performs miracles when we exercise our faith and do all we can, relying on Him, to achieve our goals. 

I love you all so much! Thank you so much for all the missionary work you are doing. Your examples have a much greater effect on others than you realize!  

Love love love, Sister Malyon

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

All missionaries have been contacted, all are safe - recovery efforts continue in Philippines

All missionaries have been contacted, all are safe - recovery efforts continue in Philippines

Published: Monday, Nov. 11, 2013    
LDS Church News           
The Church reported that all of its missionaries serving in the 21 missions in the Philippines have been contacted and are safe following the devastating loss of life from Typhoon Hayian. 
The Church expressed its love and sympathy to all those affected by this disaster and all the people of the Philippines. Church buildings provided life-saving refuge during the storm and are now serving as shelters and disaster relief sites. The Church is pleased to engage with other relief agencies in the Philippines to address the aftermath of the storm. We are providing food, water, shelter and other life-sustaining resources.
Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan made landfall in the central Philippines on Friday, Nov. 8.
Seven missions were impacted by the storm. According to Church welfare reports, access into the Tacloban area remains very limited. More than 10,000 members and 4,000 others have sought refuge in 200 meetinghouses, according to the report. There are no reports yet on the status of Church member homes or meetinghouses.
Winds from the storm topped 200 mph. The wind, storm surge and heavy rains caused widespread flooding and landslides. The Philippines government is reporting significant loss of life and severe damage to buildings and infrastructure.
· More than 1,700 people are confirmed dead with thousands more missing as search and rescue efforts continue.
· The Philippines emergency management agency claims that nearly 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon.
· More than 23,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes.
· The Philippines government has mobilized thousands of troops, planes and ships for a large-scale emergency response operation. The U.S. government has pledged full support to rescue and relief efforts.
· Water and power systems have been damaged or destroyed, creating a shortage of clean water.
· Communication is still problematic in the Samar and Leyte areas.
· Debris and downed power lines continue to block roads.
After the storm, the Church provided food, water, shelter and other basic supplies to displaced families. Church leaders in the Philippines Area are procuring transport to send larger quantities of these supplies, along with blankets and tarps, for both members and the community. In addition, the Church is coordinating relief efforts with government and other humanitarian organizations.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week Nine in the Philippines -- "I'm safe!"

Hi family and friends!

Thank you so much for your prayers and love. Wow, it sure is exciting living in the Philippines, that's for sure. You never get bored. Well, thank goodness for a mission president called of God who is so on top of things.

We got word of the super typhoon-- I was not really sure what to expect-- on Wednesday and were told we had to be home by 6:00 pm on Wednesday. We had to stay indoors all day Thursday and Friday. The storm didn't really hit until Friday, but I guess it was wise for us to err on the safe side. It just stunk because we didn't get to visit very many people this week. My companion and I have a super nice house that's concrete, so we were totally fine through the storm. We got to study A LOT.

Our sweet neighbor came over Friday morning to make sure we knew what was going and to know that if we needed anything, he's right next door. It was pretty insane all day Friday, watching the typhoon out our windows. I was praying my heart out all day for all of our investigators and members and everyone that lives here. I couldn't stop thinking about their little homes held up and made out of bamboo and so many people in our area live right next to the ocean and in areas that flood all the time, even when there aren't typhoons. It was hard to concentrate on studies when I couldn't stop thinking about all of them.

We found out that the church was opened up for people to evacuate to, which is a relief. A lot of people sought refuge in the church. I'm grateful they were able to do that. On Saturday, we had a mission-wide CSP and tried to do whatever we could to help people and serve them. We weren't allowed to go in any flooded areas, which made it impossible to visit a lot of the people I was most worried about. But we were able to serve the people in our neighborhood by sweeping and then we went with the elders in our ward to help repair a family's home. We were also able to just visit some people to make sure they were okay. 

Everything looks so different. There are so many less trees and many destroyed homes and fences and whatnot. Our job this week is to help the bishopric find out what people need so we can help deliver the necessary resources to them. I wish there was so much more we could do to help, but we will keep trying to do all that we can. I'm grateful for the services the church offers and even more grateful for the message of peace and comfort we have to share with our brothers and sisters here.

I love this scripture about faith in 1 Nephi 7:12 "Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to His will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him." 

When we exercise our faith in Christ, meaning we keep doing all that we can to live His gospel and trust in Him, He will truly make up for our in-capabilities, for our weaknesses. I know that's true. I know that He will give everyone in the Philippines the strength they need to overcome this trial in their lives, if they just put their faith in Christ and keep doing all they can to live His gospel.

It applies to me as well, of course. I need to keep exercising my faith in Christ, in order to see miracles happen in my area. We have an investigator and a recent convert who are struggling with addictions and I want so much to help them understand this principle of faith in Jesus Christ. I know that with Christ, they can overcome their addictions, but we have to do all we can to show our faith in Him and desire to follow Him.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers for my dear brothers and sisters here that were affected by the damage caused by the typhoon! I love you all with all my heart! I know that Christ is our Savior and the only way back to live with our loving Heavenly father. He wants to help you return to live with God and inherit the kingdom of God with Him. All we need to do is follow Him, accept His invitation to come unto Him. I love you!

Love, Sister Malyon

LDS Church announced Monday night, Nov.11, that all missionaries in Philippines are safe

SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church announced tonight that it has contacted all of its missionaries in the Philippines and that all of them are safe, four days after a deadly and destructive super typhoon ravaged the island nation on Friday night, killing thousands.
The Philippines Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued an advisory that all missionaries "are safe and accounted for," according to the Philippines newsroom page at
Sunrise in the Philippines on Tuesday arrived at what was nearly 3 p.m. Monday in Utah — and new information followed swiftly as the effort to locate missionaries began anew.

Tacloban was hit particularly hard by Typhoon Haiyan — the British paper The Guardian described the capital of the Leyte province as "obliterated" while Euronews said it had been "flattened" — and communication was sparse. Only a small percentage of cell sites or towers were working.
The advance warning for the storm provided time for the church to move missionaries to secure areas outside of Tacloban city. Each missionary also had been provided a 72-hour kit ahead of the storm. Those actions allowed church leaders to express a measure of confidence that the missionaries were safe.

On Sunday night, Elder W. Craig Zwick, an executive director in the church's Missionary Department, said in a statement that "Church leaders continue to make contact with missionaries throughout the Tacloban Mission in the Philippines, and all those we have been able to reach are safe. We anticipate that as we continue to re-establish communication, the remaining missionaries will be located and found well. We unite our faith and prayers with others in behalf of the people of the Philippines."
The storm damage severed communication lines and and rendered roads useless, making it difficult to reach all of the missionaries.

The Philippine islands are home to the largest concentration of Latter-day Saints in Asia, with more than 675,000 church members. The church has 20 other Filipino missions, about a third of which were in the storm's path.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week Eight in the Philippines - "halloween!"

Hello dear loved ones!
Happy Halloween! How was everyone's? What did everyone dress up as? I didn't see any sign of Halloween celebration on Oct. 31, but they call Nov. 1st  "All Saints Day" and in the evening, we saw lots of kids dressed up and lots of parties going on. Most people visit the cemetery on that day and have a picnic there. Here's a picture of some of the kids we teach dressed up! They're so cute! 

We have this cute investigator named Erlyn. We found her through a LA family that she is part of. For the past few weeks, I have felt like something was not clicking. Finally, this week she opened up! Actually, last Sunday she came to church, which was a MIRACLE! She came with a LA friend and she really enjoyed it. Then when we taught about the Book of Mormon this week, she really opened up and voiced to us all of her thoughts about our church and her questions and concerns. It was awesome. I can tell that she's gaining trust in us and I know she truly has a desire to know the truth. The spirit was so strong in that lesson as we testified of the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon. We are so blessed to have the truth and I love being able to share it with others!
Oh my goodness. I have to tell you about the cutest boys in the world. We have a RC, named Marjoe, who's 12. He's adorable. This past week, when we went to visit him, he introduced us to his father and brother and so we started teaching them. Get this- his brother, who is also 12 years old, not twins, just super close in age, is named Joemar. And his father's name is Joemar too! I love it. Marjoe, Joemar. Awesome. Anyway, we're excited to teach them!
Also, the coolest thing ever is that Elder Anderson came to visit this past weekend! We got to hear him twice! He spoke to all the missionaries on Saturday and then met with our stake on Sunday! He talked about the effects of the earthquake in Bohol and what service the church is giving there. He said that we are part of the family of God, which means that we all help out each other. As long as we have food on our plate, we share with our neighbor. I love that. We are part of God's family. That is sooo true! We all need each other. I'm learning about that here because everyone here knows each other. Their front doors, if they have one, are always open. People are always outside their home talking with their neighbors. Back home we keep to ourselves so much. I love the sense of community here.
The spirit that was in the room when Elder Anderson was with us was sooooo powerful. I was filled with the love of God and gratitude for the opportunity to be addressed by one of His apostles. It was truly an experience I will never forget. I'm so grateful to be here. I know that we have a living prophet on earth today who leads us and truly speaks for God for us, Pres. Monson. I know that the true church of God was restored through Joseph Smith. We are so blessed to live on earth at this time when we have the fulness of the gospel. we don't have to live in darkness because we have the truth. God loves all of His children so much! He wants us to return to Him!
I love you all! Thanks for your examples!
Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week Seven in the Philippines - "new"

My dearest family and friends!

So much has changed this week! It's crazy! I've been here for a full transfer now! We got the call Monday afternoon to find out my companion, Sister Livingston, was getting transferred:( She left Tuesday morning and my new companion is Sister Dequina! So, before we had four sisters living together and in the same ward. Our ward is split into two areas. Me, Sister Livingston, Sister Dequina and Sister Tampos. Sister Livingston and SIster Tampos were transferred and now Sister Dequina and I are companions! We are still in my area, so I'm leading the area...haha and we got elders for Sister Dequina's old area. So now our ward had two sisters and two elders. Sister Dequina and I live all alone.

I love Sister Dequina so much! She is my follow-up trainer and she's been out for 7 months. She's from a city close to Manila. She's the only member in her family and was baptized at age 20, about three years ago. She's AWESOME! She's so strong and amazes me. She speaks Illonggo super well, which makes understanding people so much easier and I'm learning so much from her. She is introducing me to FIlippino food! She loves to cook! So while I study Illonggo, she cooks lunch for us:) She's so sweet and always checks to make sure I'm doing okay, which I am haha. I'm actually doing great. I'm sooo excited about this transfer!

Also, Sister Dequina found my packet of seminary worksheets from mom and she loves them! I allowed her to have some of them and she loves trying to fill in the blanks of the scriptures. She thinks it's so fun. She wants to learn the scriptures, so the worksheets are helping her. She's so funny. She loves you mom, by the way. She actually thinks are family is so great. I have just told her a little bit about our family and she already loves you all. She has three sisters and she is the oldest. Her father passed away a while ago, so they live with their mom.

This past Monday night we had a FHE at Sister Polgo's house, this was with Sister Livingston. It was the cutest thing ever. They got all ready for us to have FHE all together. They greeted us when we arrived and they had put out a nice tablecloth and everything. Sister Polgo conducted and had everyone bear their testimony after the lesson! It was so cool and the Spirit was so strong. Sister Polgo is a maybe 50 or 60 year old lady who always lets us teach in her home. We teach a bunch of RC's at her house. Most of them were there for the FHE and one of them brought her non-member friend! After we played some games, they surprised us by bringing out food!  They were all so excited to serve us this delicious food they had made and then watch us eat it. It was the kindest thing ever and they were all just so adorable.

The work is moving forward! I love being here and am truly so happy! I love you all! Thanks for all the support and love!

"Yea verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."
-- 3 Nephi 9:14

I love this gospel sooooo much!

Happy Halloween! I've heard that they kind of celebrate it here, but I guess we'll find out!

Oh and we had Ward Conference yesterday! They had lunch afterwards and served Letchon! It's this huge pig, the whole pig! The whole body! crazy hahahaha

love Sister Malyon

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Week Six in the Philippines - "masskara"

    Hey family and friends! 

    We had a baptism this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOOOOO!!!!!! OH my goodness it was the greatest thing ever. Two boys that we've been teaching since the first week I got here, got baptized on Saturday. They're names are Kyle and Heaven. Kyle's 11 and Heaven is 13, yes Heaven, not Kevin:) that's what we thought at first too...They are cousins and their uncle, who referred them to us, is Rodney and he's a Recent convert, who is awesome and so involved and active. I love these boys so much! They are such good boys and I have seen them progress as we've taught them the gospel, in more ways than one. Heaven has a speech impediment and I've been able to see his confidence grow as we've been teaching Him and the Spirit has been working through him. I'm also gradually starting to understand him better. They are both so smart and so cute!

    Last week, we had to have them meet with our District Leader for their baptismal interview and so the night before we told them when and where to meet us. Kyle was the only one there so we had to trust him to relay the information to Heaven and Rodney, to get them there. I was a little doubtful that they would show up, but I had to repent for my lack of faith! They showed up right on time! They also came super early for their baptism on Saturday and both of the boys and Rodney, who baptized them, dressed in the white jumpsuits right away, like 40 minutes before the baptism started:) Just so you can picture how awesome they are. 

    I loved when they bore their testimonies after being baptized! Kyle talked about how he's become a better boy from the gospel. Then he got really shy and ended his testimony really fast:) The gospel is so awesome! I'm so excited for Heaven and Kyle to get to grow up in the church, pretty much, and have such awesome influences on their families and friends. I'm so grateful for the Young Men in our ward that have reached out and befriended them. It makes a world of difference! I love this gospel so much!

    Anyways, I was just so excited to share that. How are you all? Yes, I'm safe. On Monday morning, while we were doing personal study, the ground started shaking and I looked at Sis. Livingston and asked her if it was an earthquake. haha It lasted like a whole minute, but we just stayed sitting in our chairs because it was not hard at all. I'm so glad that Pres. Lopez keeps you posted:) He's the best. The epicenter I guess was in Bohol and it was a pretty huge earthquake. I feel blessed that no one here was affected or hurt.
    We had Mission Tour this week, which was amazing. The area president, Elder Nielson and his cute wife came. It was so great. I learned so much and was uplifted and encouraged and reminded of how awesome this work is! 

    We've been studying, in prep for Mission Tour, the talk by Elder Bednar called "In the Strength of the Lord". It's the best talk ever! I read it like at least 5 times and learned so much every single time! One thing I learned was that the Atonement truly makes everything right in the world. Everything unequal and unfair about life is made right through the Atonement because Christ suffered for EVERY single person. We are all given the opportunity to repent and receive strength from Christ through the atonement. The talk focused on the enabling power of the Atonement. We often focus on the redeeming power of the Atonement, but these two powers are so important and help us become like our Savior. The enabling power of the Atonement is what gives 86 year old Pres. Monson and 91 year old Elder Perry do what they need to do! Can you believe how old they are!? They don't seem like it.

    You should check out the video clips on They're so awesome! Thanks for all you're doing to help the work move forward! I love that you wrote your testimonies of the Book of Mormon to give the missionaries and that you fasted for missionary opportunities and that's so awesome about all the investigators coming to church. Thanks for reaching out to them and making them feel comfortable. I know the missionaries appreciate you sooo much! 

     I spoke in church yesterday! We have Relief Society/Elder's Quorum, then Sunday school and then Sacrament Meeting and so they asked me to speak right before Sunday School. So I truly relied on the spirit to know what to say! I'm learning so much every day...:)

    One funny thing to leave you with...they LOVE Karaoke here!!!! It's so funny! everywhere you hear people trying to sing along to these blasting songs. Goodness. it's pretty hilarious. They're all really good at singing......not. hahahaha It's great.

    Well I love you and stay strong! Keeping holding onto the faith you already have! God loves you so much and He hears every single prayer you offer. He LOVES hearing from you because you are His divine heir!

    Love, Sister Malyon 

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Week Five in the Philippines - "Conference"

    Hi my wonderful family and friends! 

    Conference was sooo awesome! I loved it! We got to watch it this weekend with our stake and it was just so great. I definitely got re-energized spiritually and uplifted and felt so much support as a missionary! It's so humbling and incredible to hear them pray for the missionaries in General Conference and realize that's me! I'm blessed to be here and to be a part of Gods work at this time here in Bacolod. SO blessed. 

    How is everyone? What's the family mission plan? I'm excited to see it! I loved all the things they said about missionary work! Yay! I'm grateful for your awesome desire to be a part of the work and share this incredible gospel with anyone you can. Members working together with the missionaries does wonders and truly brings miracles. I'm grateful for the talks about that. We actually are trying to get the members here to get more involved as well. How are you all doing? Did you feel uplifted and encouraged by Conference to keep pressing forward, like I did? 

    One talk I really loved was by Elder Dube who talked about always looking forward and pressing forward. It's so important to make goals and I love that we have a mission vision that I need to always remember to focus on and work towards in faith. It's okay that sometimes we have set-backs and weeks that aren't as good as others, as long as we keep moving forward, striving to continually improve and rely on the Savior for strength. I liked how he said that faith is always pointing towards the future. 

    I thought of Kels during the talk by Elder Christofferson. Wasn't it awesome!? I love how he said that men and women have differences that when brought together create a greater whole. He put it so beautifully. We all have talents and characteristics that are needed in building strong families. I also loved President Monson, of course and how lovingly he spoke to us, as always. I really loved his message of the Savior's love for us and reminder that He has promises that "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." It's so true that Christ is ALWAYS there for us. He wants to help us much more than we realize! He will be our strength. 

    We actually visited this sweet lady, Sister Nita, I can't remember if I already told you about her. But her husband just recently died. We visited her the other day and shared that same message with her that Christ promises to never forget us.

    There are just some of my thoughts from Conference. I wish I could share much more and hear about all of your thoughts! It was so great. It was really fun to experience watching Conference here in the Philippines. Whenever the choir sang a song everyone knew, there are certain hymns that are favorites here, everyone watching would sing a long. hahahaha, not just the congregational hymn. During Love At Home sung by the choir, this girl offered to share her hymn book with me. I just thought it was so funny. Everyone also kept laughing at people it would zoom up on in the family choir on Saturday. Everyone burst out laughing when it showed the yawning little boy and then the old man that was shaking and closing his eyes while singing. The people laugh a lot here. It's so great:) It reminded me of funny things in sacrament meeting in Uganda. 

    Another funny thing that happened this week...or two. So we're teaching this sister who lives in Sibucao, which is this little fishing village. Earlier this week, we were teaching her outside and there were tons of chickens and little chicks everywhere. awesome right? so it was actually not awesome because it was really hard for me to focus! Especially while we were praying, I was freaking out that while I wasn't looking, a chicken would touch me or peck me or something! I felt so bad about it to Heavenly Father. I really need help. Then, the next time we went to teach this lady, her baby peed on her lap right in the middle of the lesson. She tried to ignore it at first and keep listening, but then started laughing a little so we all just started laughing and she kind of cleaned it up. Don't worry, we were able to get the spirit back:) the power of bearing testimony.

    I need to tell you about this one home we teach in. They are the best. So Sister Polgo is this member who lets us teach in her home. We have a bunch of recent converts we teach in her home and a couple investigators. I love them so much. MaryJoy and her son Jonfren are recent converts and they're awesome. Jonfren's cousin, Klay-Klay is also a recent convert and Annamae who was baptized when we first got here. We get to teach some of their friends sometimes, which is great. But they are probably my favorite place to go to because they are always so happy and so much fun and their community is super close and knows us well. I love them lots. 

    We also are teaching this new family that I'm excited about! This work is awesome! I love it! I'm so grateful for all of your support and prayers and love. I'm also so grateful for Christ's constant help and for being and giving me the strength I need to do His work. His atonement is what makes that possible and I'm very grateful for it. We are so blessed! I love you all soooo much! You are all amazing and God loves you each individually sooo much! 

    Love, Sister Malyon

    P.S. Happy Masskara Festival and Merry Christmas! They start getting ready for Christmas once the "ber" months start. hahahahaha