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