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

    Monday, October 7, 2013

    Week Four in the Philippines - "love"

    This week I thought about dad a little bit and his experience as a convert. We have this investigator, Roldan, whose 23 and super smart. At his lesson this week, we asked about his reading and he said he's been comparing the Bible and Book of Mormon and has found so many similarities. He proceeded to tell us about how in both it talks about the scattering and then the gathering of Israel and how he read John 10, the scripture mastery about other sheep I have that are not of this fold. He recognized that the Book of Mormon fulfills that scripture. He's so smart and was basically teaching us! I just thought about dad and how you were seeking truth, just like Roldan, and you are both so smart and desire to learn. I was imagining how much the gospel will bless Roldan's life and his future family, just like it has blessed dad's life and ultimately my life and our whole family so much.

    We had Zone training this week, which was good. I learned a lot from our ZL's and our STL's (sister training leaders). Then after that, we had exchanges. So one of the STL's, Sister Martinez, came with me to my area and Sister Livingston went to their area. I loved exchanges. I was super nervous about leading my area, but it was actually really awesome to get that opportunity. I had to step it up and lead us to each appointment and start lessons and things like that. I was a lot more involved, but she helped a lot. 

    Sister Martinez goes home soon and is the kind of missionary I want to be! She's fluent in the language and so comfortable just talking to EVERYONE and she makes people feel comfortable around her and she shares the gospel with everyone. It was neat to see her example and work with her for a day. I had to keep in perspective that I've still only been here a few weeks and still have so much to learn, but it will come. Sister Martinez taught me the importance of really loving people and being flexible so that you are okay with doing unexpected/unplanned teaching all the time. 

    We actually visited, unplanned, this lady who's husband just passed away. He was an investigator that was supposed to get baptized, but he ended up passing away from health problems. She had been opposed to the church, but when we visited her, it seemed like her heart had been softened. We just had a short prayer meeting with her. That's where we offer them a prayer and we basically just tried to comfort her. I really felt the spirit and I'm excited to keep visiting her! I know that the gospel is what brings the greatest peace in life.

    The next day, after doing studies together, we switched back companions. We rode out to Silay, the STL sister's area, to switch back. Their area is a little farther out from the city and so beautiful! As we were riding away from the city, I was just amazed at the beauty. 

    It was pretty beautiful one evening as we were proselyting in Sibucao, which is like a little fishing town right on the water, we ended up talking to a big group of children right on the water. They all gathered around and we prayed with them and shared about how God is our loving Father in Heaven. I love children! They have that light in their eyes and innocence and closeness to God that it so precious. It was a pretty incredible moment.

    We found out that Elder Anderson is coming to visit our mission! He's coming November 2nd!!!!! I'm super excited!  I love the church and our awesome leaders.

    Well, the ward's great! We had ward missionaries work with us this week, which was super nice. The bishopric bought us lunch one day, which was also really nice.I am being taken care of, don't worry. I love my companion and the other sisters we live with and everyone we're teaching! This work is the best! 

    I love my Savior so much. I love that God is so involved in our lives. I am learning to trust in Him  because He knows His children perfectly, and I don't. I need Him and His direction. He loves each one of you and wants for you to be happy. I know that's true with all my heart. He cares about you and everything you care about. Talk to Him! It's the best!

    I love you all! Keep doing those little things that gradually bring you closer and closer to God and more and more like Him. I know He will bless you!
    Love, Sister Malyon