Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 29 in the Philippines - "changes!"

I'm doing great! Lots of changes this week, but I guess that's what
keeps things exciting and me growing! Sister Parada got transferred
and my new companion has been in the field for one month, so I'm
continuing her training. I can't believe I'm training! I still feel
like I'm a newbee, but it's fun:) 

Sister Davenport is her name and
she's actually from Vancouver WA, so that's cool. She's 19, but did a
semester at BYU before coming. Also, she's vegetarian. I guess it was
meant to be for us to be companions:) It's kind of fun and funny to be
with a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed companion who's all ready to work
and reminds me of what it was like when everything was brand new.
She's super cute! 

Also, Sister Shakespeare got transferred this week,
my housemate who has been here in Sagay as long as I have. I'm missing
her and Sister Parada a lot, but it's all good. It's exciting to have
change and get to know some new awesome sisters! 

We had miracles happen yesterday! Heavenly Father led us exactly to
the people he needed us to stop by and visit and remind to go to
church, before going to church. Every single person we stopped by to
remind to come to church, came. It was amazing. We went first to
Jovalyn K (there's 2 Jovalyn's:) and she said she couldn't go to
church because she didn't have money. When we suggested she go with
the neighbor again like last time, who are members, she said she was
too shy. So then we went and talked to the neighbors and went back to
tell her she could go with them and she did! 

Then later we saw another
Jovalyn, which was a blessing we even saw her because she was driving
her sikad, and we reminded her to come to church. She said she would
stop by with her son because she drives her sikad in town, by the
church. She hasn't been to church in a long time, she came once
before, before she started working. We've been teaching her for a
while now. During sacrament meeting, my head was down for a
confirmation blessing and when I looked up after it was done, I saw
her and her son in the second row! It brought the biggest smile to my
face and made me sooo happy to see them there! I'm so glad that they
weren't shy and just came in even though they were late and didn't
have church clothes on. It seriously made my day. 

Also, Sister Risa looked so cute yesterday! She wore a skirt for the
first time! She works for this really awesome family and takes care of
their son. We taught her once before but then didn't get to see her
for a while. She's been going to church with this family for a long
time now. We finally got to teach her again this week and it went so
well. She's totally been prepared and I'm so excited for her! The
family she works for is hoping she be able to go to the temple with
them in April, so we're trying to make sure she'll be prepared and
ready for baptism on April 12th! 

It's summer here! All of the kids are out of school now until May, I
think. It's soooooooo HOT!!!! Seriously, it's so hot. Like, it's been
hot since day one, don't get me wrong, but it just rose to a new
level. I'm praying it doesn't get any worse cuz it's crazy. I have
this sweat rag that I carry everywhere and after one day, it just
smells so bad and is all gross. hahaha probably too many details. It's
hard too because everyone just sleeps when it's hot haha. I don't
blame them...but we're so blessed to be in such an awesome area with
so many prepared people for the gospel. 

I love this work! I'm so
grateful to be here. I love all of you so much and seriously thank you
so much for all of your support and prayers and love. It means the
world to me! 

Keep looking up and you'll see all kinds of awesome

Love love love,

Sister Malyon

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 28 in the Philippines - "indi kamo magkabalaka"

How are all of you cuties doing? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!!!! Oh my goodness I seriously have the absolute best family ever!!!! Thank you sooo much! I love everything you sent me! It was fun that everything was all cute and wrapped up so I got to open lots of presents for my birthday. You are so sweet. I love you sooo much! It's been great wearing new clothes and everything is perfect. Thanks so much!

We had Zone Conference this week, which was way fun. We had it in the mission home, which was the best. I haven't been there since the first day I arrived in the mission! It was fun because our zone was combined with another zone and I got to see my trainer, Sister Livingston! It was so fun to see her and get to talk to her. She's so cute and is doing great. I loved being in the mission home because it was so comfortable and they served us ice cream:) It was also fun to be with other missionaries and receive some really great training. We got to stay the night in Bacolod the night before, so we had a sleepover with a house full of sisters! haha it was fun. 

The youth had a temple trip this last week and two of our recent converts got to go. I talked to Welche a little bit about it the other day and she had such a great experience. She loved it and they both told us they didn't want to come back home! They said the spirit was so strong in the temple. I'm soooo happy they got to go and experience being in the house of the Lord. It's so important to work on getting people to the temple as soon as they get baptized! I really believe it's an important part in their conversion process. Man, I miss going to the temple! Don't take it for granted that we have one so close to home! :) 

Yesterday at church, there were barely any people that attended because it rained super hard yesterday. But guess who did come to church???? Sister Pamela and her three grandkids all came to church. It made me soooooo happy. They are soo strong and have such strong testimonies of not only the gospel, but of going to church. I love them so much. They even live far and in this super muddy area with a really bad road and they still came to church! There were seriously less than 50 people at church. I'm so grateful to get to know such amazing people.

Well, I hope you are all doing just great! Sorry this is kind of short. I love you all soooo much! I'll leave you with this quote by Elder Timonthy J. Dyches, "Be assured the Savior still seeks to mend our souls and heal our hearts. He waits at the door and knocks. Let us answer by beginning again to pray, repent, forgive and forget. Let us love God and serve our neighbor and stand in holy places with a life made clean..."Wilt thou be made whole". Rise and walk. His 'grace is sufficient' and you will not walk alone."

I love this gospel!  I love all of you! 

Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 27 in the Philippines - "love"

This week has been pretty crazy! It's fiesta this week! It's called the Sinigayan festival. It officially started yesterday with the parade and ends tomorrow, but people started setting up their stands to sell stuff a couple weeks ago. This road that we walk along just about everyday, in our area, got decked out with booths set up all along the sides of it. It looks completely different and it's kind of fun to have a change:) The other day we were visiting our far area, Bulanon, and we had to stop walking because they were practicing their dance that they are performing for the festival. They were in the street and so we stopped and watched for a few minutes. It was so neat! The dancing was so awesome and the music was a group of guys playing these big drums. 

We did have a baptism this week! It was so wonderful. Sister Pamela's two grandkids, Cyrell and March, got baptized! Their mom came, which was soooo awesome. She has never been to church before and they were both so happy when she showed up at the baptism. Sister Pamela gave a beauitful talk. She shared a scripture about baptism and then talked about her experience getting baptized. She bore her testimony of the church and the power of prayer and how she knows that more and more of her family will keep joining the church because she prays for them everyday. She got really emotional and the spirit was just so strong. I love her and her family so much. They are amazing. Cyrell and March's older sister, Welche, left to go with some of the youth on a temple trip yesterday! I'm so excited for her and one of our other recent converts got to go as well! Shiela mae:)

I'm attaching some pictures of my birthday! It was sooo much fun! They spoiled me! We went to this brand new restaurant for lunch and then a couple hours later, the neighbor's invited us over to eat the goat they killed because it was our neighbor's birthday too! So I got to eat goat, with lots of hair that didn't get cleaned off, for my birthday! :) It was soooooo sweet of them and the goat was actually quite tasty:) My cute housemates were so sweet and got my little presents and bought me a cake and ice cream. Sister Parada made a "pin the nametag on sister malyon" game that we played too. They are the best! Also in the evening, some ward members surprised me! Sister Fanny made me this big cake with my name on it and everything. We got to end the night having an FHE with shielamae's family and we watched Finding Faith with them. I will definitely never forget this birthday!
"pin the nametag on sister malyon" game
"Sis. Fanny made this big cake with my name on it and everything"
Oh my goodness, I almost forgot. I have to tell you a chicken story from this week. So we were at Sister Pamela's house and we were sitting down at the table. Sister Parada warned me that there were some chickens behind me. I tried to just ignore them and not think about them. We were eating dinner. Then they got closer and I saw two of them out of the corner of my eye crreeping up right beside me. Then! One of them jumped up on the table right next to my plate! That was too much so I stood up and walked away from the table. Apparently the chicken got startled and tried following me. It jumped on my plate and then flew right into Sister Parada's face! His foot/claw/toenail scratched her on the cheek! Oh my goodness I felt really bad, but everyone was just laughing because it was actually pretty funny. Oh man alive. Poor Sister Parada has to deal with me...sorry!

Well, things are going great! I love being a missionary! I love all of you! I know this is the only true church on the earth and it's so wonderful to get to share the beautiful message fo the gospel with others. 

Love you all soooo much! 

Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 26 in the Philippines - "thanks a whole bunch"

Hi family and friends! 

Thanks sooooo much for all the emails and love you are pouring out on me! You're all just the best. Thanks so much! I love you all with all my big mushy heart! This will definitely be a birthday I will never forget here in the beautiful Philippines. crazy. I woke up this morning and as soon as I stepped out of my room, the three other sisters yelled "Happy birthday!" and they blew confetti poppers! They had decorated without me knowing with streamers and a banner and everything! They are so awesome. I love them so much. I'm super lucky too that my bday is on P-day! And right now the huge Sagay festival is going on so we are gonna go walk around it a bit today. There are booths set up everywhere with people selling stuff and there's a carnival with rides and a stage for live music and everything! It's in our area, so we've walked past many times the past few weeks and watched the set-up process. 

I'm attaching a picture of when we ate dinner with our RS president and her husband, the Bustamante's, Sister Fanny and Tatay Joe. They are so sweet and Sis Fanny is an amazing cook and baker. She sells these amazing cakes that she makes. They have two sons serving missions right now and are just a really awesome family. Tatay Joe really helped a ton with making sure the ward followed through with doing CSP helping Sister Maricel and Angelina to build them a house. 

This week we had zone training and they asked me to do the musical number. Sister Shakespeare and I just did the same "I believe in Christ" that I sang in sacrament meeting, but it went well! Pres and Sister Lopez actually came to our zone training to observe. 
We didn't have a baptism this week but we're super excited for our baptism this coming Saturday. Sister Pamela's grandchildren, March and Cyrell are getting baptized and we asked Sister Pamela to be the speaker. She was hesitant to agree, but we assured her that we would help her prepare. She's seriously the best. Sister Parada and I were talking about how awesome it would be if we could go through the temple with her in a year. Her husband, Tatay Willy, who kind of gives her a hard time and is in every single one of her prayers, has started calling us his children. He calls Sis Parada his child and me his adopted child because I'm white:) haha He's gonna come around sometime, I just know it:)

I ate chicken liver this week! Haha I wonder what body parts are left... haha Don't worry, I didn't even get sick:)

Well, things are great! I'm so excited to read all of your emails! Thanks so much for all of your encouragement, for your incredible examples to me and for your love!

Love you lots and lots!

Sister Malyon

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 25 in the Philippines - "happy birthday grandma!"

Happy birthday Grandma!!!! That sounds so fun you all went to eat at a Mexican restaurant and they sang to Grandma in Spanish! I hope you also ate some broccoli with her:) We're so blessed to have such an awesome family.

Well, we had another wonderful baptism this week!!!! Shiela Mae is 14 and her aunt and uncle referred her to us, the Bulahan family. This weekend was so amazing.So Tatay Rex, Shiela Mae's uncle, was LA when we first got here. Since we've been here, he has come back and gradually become more and more active. We're super close to their family. They're the ones I talked about having the FHE with last week. So we asked Tatay Rex if he would like to baptize Shiela Mae and he did! I'm pretty sure it was his first time baptizing and he also confirmed her on Sunday. I attached a picture so you can picture him and his wife is there and their daughter Joy, who is Shiela Mae's cousin. Tatay Rex was so nervous for performing both ordinances, but he did so great and it made me soooo happy to see him exercising his priesthood. It was kind of funny when he was baptizing Shiela Mae. He was so nervous and lowered her into the water so slowly and then barely put her head under. He had to do it again because her elbow was sticking up. The second time, he did the same thing and when they told him she wasn't all the way under, he finally just dunked her:) But after the baptism he came up to us and had tears in his eyes. It was a really beautiful baptism.

I'm also attaching a picture of Sister Arline with her 3 little boys. She hadn't been to church in a really long time when we arrived and we kept visiting her and finally a few weeks ago, Sister Pamela came with us and convinced her to come back to church, so now she's been coming with all of her little boys every week:)

Also, this week some of the YM and SA brothers went to visit some LA youth. The people they visited came to church this week and it was so amazing to see these 17 and 18 year old boys fulfilling their responsibilities as member missionaries. Members make such a huge difference! They made the LA youth feel welcome and like they had friends. It was so great to see. 

Also, another awesome success that happened yesterday is that so many people were crowded around bishop's office paying their tithing after church. It was amazing. We've been emphasizing tithing a lot lately and it's been incredible to see all of these members acting upon their faith and paying their tithing. Miracles are happening and it's so beautiful! God's work truly is moving forward.

We visited the police station this week because we know some members that work there. We ended up teaching this big group of criminology students and then came back with Book of Mormons for all of them. 

Well, I hope you are all staying string and pressing forward! I love you all so much! I love being here doing God's work. It truly is the greatest thing ever. I feel so incredibly blessed. I'm so grateful for all of your support and love and feel so blessed to have such incredible family and friends. I love you tons and tons!

Love, Sister Malyon