Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 42 in the Philippines - "pictures!"

You are going to be so excited because guess what? I finally bought a new camera so you get to see pictures! Woohoo! 

Sis Moser and I last Monday had the funniest Jeepney rides to and from Bacolod. We got on this jeepney to come home and it was more packed than any jeepney I have ever been on! We squeezed on and they had these tiny benches to sit on in the middle of the two isles already packed to the extreme with people. So when we sat down we were face to face with people on every side and just said "Hi" and since we're American, they loved talking to us hahahaha. 

 These cute kids are Katrina and Lawrence Zapanta. We love this family so much! They are recent converts and the ones we had that FHE with where we were laughing our head off. Welcome to rainy season!

 Sister Siasone is in the red. I've talked about her before--one of my heroes! She works with us so much and is just amazing! This is taken next to Brother Nelson's house, the new golden investigator who is so awesome. 

 This is Sister Rhofa, with her friend the giant caraboa. This is taken in Napoles, our farthest area that is so beautiful! Sister Rhofa is one of the most amazing people I've ever met too. She is someone that lives the verse in 3 Nephi 13:33 "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto thee." love her so much! 

 This is Sweet. She is Sister Estherlyn's daughter and the cutest little girl on the planet! This week when we visited them to teach Estherlyn, Sister Sweet showed us her new church shoes and kept talking about how excited she was for church! her mom told us that every single day she would ask her mom how many more days until church! They make me so happy:)

Well, now I can keep you more updated on my life with some visuals:) 

One thing I've been thinking about and learning about a lot this week are the blessings that come from living the gospel. Two experiences made me realy think about it. One was when we went to visit Brother Nelson. Our second visit with him was a doctrine of Christ lesson because he was talking about how he wanted to change, so we introduced repentance and baptism. He told us this past week the blessings he has already seen in his life since we started visiting him and he has been repenting of his sins. He is the happiest person I've ever seen whenever we visit him and the whole time he just talks about how the gospel and our visits is blessing him and his family so much. 

Then when we visited Sister Estherlyn this week, we taught about obedience. It was the coolest lesson ever because we would teach a principle and then she would share an experience. We brought up the blessings of being obedient and then she shared with us about how when she stopped drinking coffee, she stopped getting stomach pains. She feels so much better, healthier since living the Word of Wisdom. So cool. 

I've reflected on my life and all  the blessings that have come from living the gospel, all the blessings in my life from having parents who are obedient and keep the commandments of God. We are so blessed to know the commandments that bring us those blessings when we keep them! 

We had exchanges with the STL's this week and guess who I went on exchanges with?? My trainer, Sister Livingston! So I went to her area for a day and night and got to work with her! It was so crazy to be with her again after so many months! It was cool to both see our progression and growth since being companions before and to catch up:)

I read the talk by Elder Holland this morning about The First Great Commandment, so my closing thought for you cuties is: Do you love your Savior? How do you show that love?

Love love love you all soooo much! You are all so beautiful and amazing! Keep it up! 

Love, Sister Malyon

P.S. Sister Moser gave me a hair cut! She had never cut hair before, but you would never know! She did such a good job! It was fun haha:) 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 41 in the Philippines - "salamat gid!"

I love you all so much. Thank you sooo very much for emailing me! I have no idea what happened and why I didn't get your emails that you sent last week! That's the first time I've had that happen with my account, at least that I know of. I really really appreciate all of your emails. I didn't mean to make you feel bad:( sorry. I feel so blessed to have such an incredibly supportive family! You are all so amazing. It's fun to hear all the exciting things going on with all of you! Happy Summer! Woohoo!

Summer break here just ended and now the kids are back in school, which means we have to change our schedule around. The moms we teach go with their kids to school to hang out with other moms haha and all the kids/teens/college students can only be taught in the late afternoons/evenings. We're working it out! With summer break ending, guess what is also ending...MANGO SEASON! It's the saddest thing of my life. I already miss having mangoes available to us pretty much 24-7. I think I gotta figure out a way to grow mango trees back home...

Well, this week we taught some of the coolest people ever. It all starts with faith! I've been learning lots about faith lately. Pres Lopez gave us this awesome quote about faith, "There is another kind of faith: more powerful, less known, infrequently observed. This faith in God compounds our ability to accomplish our righteous desires. It is creative, and a generative kind of faith. This is the faith, save for the exercise of, which things would not happen. This is the great causative force in human lives. This is the faith that moves mountains." -A. Theodore Tuttle

We have to have this kind of faith, and exercise it in order to see miracles in our area. We have to help everyone we teach develop and exercise this faith so that they will have the means of coming to church and things like that. We've been struggling a lot with having investigators that are actually progressing towards baptism, especially getting people to church. But we are gradually seeing blessings coming from our efforts. 

We met this brother, Nelson, and taught him this week and he is so golden! We are so excited to keep teaching him. He told us right off the bat that he wants to change and wants to know how to return to God. He loves his family so much and does everything he can to make sure they will stay together as one family. he even told us right away that they don't have any addictions, like drinking and smoking:) That's rare. We felt the Spirit so strongly with him. He has such a sweet spirit and such righteous desires. Every time we see him, it just warms our heart!

We also had a member take us to a referral they had for us yesterday. It's a family and they asked us during our first visit if it's okay for them to come observe our church next Sunday!!!! This was right after church where we only had one investigator attend. What an incredible blessing. Heavenly Father loves us so much:) This family is so funny. They asked us questions, like are we allowed to listen to music and do you have to pay a penalty if you do not show up at church one week. It's interesting to learn about the ways in other churches!  

This week I read the talk from last general conference called "Your Four Minutes". It is soooo good! You should all read it! It reminded me how precious our time on earth is, how precious everyday on my mission is. We prepared for many many years before coming to earth, for this time and the things Heavenly Father would have us do to move forward His work while on earth. This is our time to perform! We are so blessed to know God's plan for us and be able to share it with others-- help them understand how precious our time on earth is and what we need to be doing to make the most of every day! Don't procrastinate the day of your repentance:) We never know when our four minutes is up.

I love you all so much! Thank you for all that you do for me, your examples to everyone around you and just for who your are!

Love, Sis Malyon

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 40 in the Philippines - "diin kamo?"

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so blessed to have the most incredible, supportive, loving father in the whole wide world! And the best grandpas ever!!!!! Thank you so much for all that you do for me! You are all such amazing examples in my life and have blessed me in so many ways. 

Well, we had Zone Conference this week, so we got to go back to the Mission Home. The minute we stepped inside, our zone leader asked me to do the musical number and then I turned to see my name up on the projector next to "Faith in Jesus Christ". awesome. man alive I am learning how to try and control my nerves and stress on the mission! haha And how to trust in the Lord big time, all the time. Trusting in Him is what gives me confidence:) 

Luckily Sis Moser grabbed some music before we left the house just in case, so we did "Where can I Turn for Peace?" Sis Moser played and I sang. It turned out pretty well and the Spirit was there, which is all that matters!:) Then later in the training, 6 of us had to give 3 minute talks in Illonggo for Lesson 3 and mine was on faith. 

Guess what? Sister Shakespeare was there!!!! One of my closest friends on the mission who lived in the same house with me in Sagay. It was soooooooo fun to see her! Her zone, Sipalay was with our zone for the conference. She goes home soon so it was so good to see her before she goes home. 

This week, Sister Moser and I have really been focusing on having more love for everyone! You know the spiritual fast we told you about? So we each have a list of ten things that we have given up. My list has things like getting irritated with people, unrighteously judging others, fear of talking to people... and this week I really realized that as I focus on having more, praying for more, love for every single person, everything else on my list becomes easier! If I have love for people, I don't get annoyed with them or judge them and I have a desire to open my mouth and talk to them about the gospel! It's the best feeling ever:) Obviously I still have so much to work on but it seriously all goes back to LOVE. (right jaim?;) This love has helped with feeling more compassion and being more understanding, asking more questions to get to know people...etc. 

Speaking of love, we have this new investigator that we just love sooooo much ! Her name is Rosalie and we met her one time on our way to visit a LA family because Sis Moser just started talking to her. We taught her yesterday about the Book of Mormon and when we reviewed the restoration she remembered and understood it all so well. She said that with all the different churches and missionaries she has heard from, our message is different. She was so excited about the Book of Mormon, especially when we told her that she got to keep it:) and said she really does hope that it helps her and her family like we promised. Her husband works in Saudi and she has these three adorable boys. She showed us a picture of the three of them when they had long hair and they seriously looked like girls! Their hair all used to be way long! The oldest boy, Vince is 9 and he left like one chunk of hair in the back that hangs down and the rest is short. so awesome. Have I ever told you that Jonnypots style of super short hair on the bottom and then lots of hair on top is super popular with boys here? pots would fit in:)

Last night, after our Preach My Gospel class, we went with all the ward missionaries to visit Bishop Pineda, the sweet brother who has an illness that makes him all shaky. Before we left, it started dumping down super hard rain and then the power went out haha. So we used our flashlight to find black garbage bags in the church and each person put one on to keep dry and then we all went out in the rain to the Pineda family. We looked like the funniest group in the world, all walking together in the rain in our black garbage bags. We then sang the Army of Helaman medley for the Pineda family. Oh goodness, it was quite the musical number. Half the group is tone deaf, but it was great:) I love this ward so much. We have the awesomest ward missionaries that work with us! Missionary work is just the best:)

I love you all! Happy Father's day liwat! 

Love, Sister Malyon     

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 39 in the Philippines - "look up"

How are all of you doing? How are the South American travelers? How's the NYC cutie bum? How was Seminary graduation? I bet you're all still there cleaning up;)
Well, we had a pretty amazing week. We had some really difficult days, but in the end, the week was full of tender mercies and just lots of evidence of God's love for us and all of His children. We are so blessed to have a loving Heavenly Father who is always concerned for our eternal welfare. He wants us to grow and to be happy.
My testimony this week was strengthened of the power of the Book of Mormon, of the truth that all good is from God and the importance of gratitude despite whatever circumstances you are in.

We really worked on emphasizing the Book of Mormon this week in lessons and it was so effective in bringing the Spirit! I read the awesome awesome talk by Elder Holland that I love sooo much called "Safety for the Soul". Remember when he gave that talk all about the Book of Mormon? I totally remember watching it and just how powerful it was. Reading it inspired me to truly immerse myself in the Book of Mormon, to truly focus on helping everyone, not just investigators but members as well, read and study and apply the Book of Mormon to their lives. 
I also read these quotes mom sent me about the blessings of scripture study and all of that together just really blessed me and the work this week.

Did I tell you about the Gonzales family before? I think so. So we introduced the Book of Mormon to them this week and it was so awesome.We had such a good lesson with them and the member with us bore a strong testimony of how the Book of Mormon really answered all of his questions when he was investigating the Church. We've actually seen such a change in this family lately. At first, they were kind of hostile to us (in terms of Filippinos haha), but now every time we show up, they gather everyone who's home and all sit around and listen! They love sending us home with Indian mangoes and our relationship with them has just grown so much. They feel comfortable asking questions and everything. We love their family so much! We gotta build their faith to take off work so they can come to church! 

One thing to add about the Book of Mormon. I love the quote by Elder Holland when he said, "God always provides safety for the soul. With the Book of Mormon, He has again done that." With times getting worse and worse and Satan working harder and harder, we need this safety net. Even the elect are going to fall in these last days, BUT we need not fear!:) Because we have the Book of Mormon. If we are studying and feasting upon the words of the BoM everyday, we seriously don't need to fear at all because that is how we keep building our lives upon the foundation of Christ that will be able to withstand anything. We are so so blessed to have this safety for the soul that if we hold fast on to, will lead us to the tree of life, to everlasting life in the kingdom of God. I wish I had been better about truly diving into the scriptures growing up and just want Jonny and Kypoo to know that if they start now truly searching the scriptures, they will have the strength they need to resist any temptations that come while in high school. High school is rough! And of course it goes for all of us:). I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God for each of us individually.

One day, we were on our way home for lunch, when I had the idea in my head to go visit this one LA even though they weren't in our plan. So we did. We found bishop Pineda outside in his chair. He used to be the bishop for many years, but now has a disease that makes it so that he is always shaking and he can't walk very well at all. As soon as we approached him, he told us that he had been praying for visitors! We got to just listen to him talk and then we sang for him and prayed for him. It was such a good feeling to know of God's love for Bishop Pineda for sending us to visit him and for His love for us, that He gave us the opportunity to talk to this sweet, sweet man who is so good. He loves God so much and wants so much to do all he can to serve Him and his family. Lesson learned-always act upon good ideas!:)

We watched this really awesome church movie called "Ephraim's Rescue" for our first Friday night movie night this week. It was actually a success and lots of people came! We're excited to use it as a finding activity. Anyway, the movie changed my life! It's so good! I had never seen it before, but it's about the Martin Harris handcart company. You need to all watch it! Ephraim is this incredible brother who exercises exact obedience. He really inspired me. All the pioneers just made me realize how important it is to ALWAYS be grateful. Whatever may be going on in our lives, it shouldn't depend on whether things are good or not, we should always have an attitude of gratitude.

I love you all so much! You are in my prayers because you all mean the world to me! Thanks so much for being you and for just being so amazing.
Love you lots and lots!
Sister Malyon

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 38 in the Philippines - "power of God"

How's everyone? I can't believe Kels is headed off for New York! That's sooo exciting! And I love reading the updates from the crazy kids traveling around South America! Wow, our family is so adventurous. so awesome. I'm sure mom's like, "Why did I ever take my family to live overseas????" haha That was the best decision ever!:) 

Well, this week was pretty amazing. It's going to be really hard for me to describe it. So it started off last Monday when I received a comfort blessing. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Don't worry, I'm totally fine:) I was just struggling with some things, getting down on myself and things like that. I was a little shy about asking someone else for a blessing because I've never had one from anyone other than Dad! But it was all good haha. It was actually amazing because the Elder started out in the blessing by saying that I needed to know that the blessing was coming directly from my Heavenly Father. The whole time he was giving the blessing, I truly felt that the words were directly from my Father in Heaven, He was talking to me so directly, right to me. He told me about myself, what I need to do to improve, about our companionship and the blessings He has in store for me and for our companionship. It was so incredible. In fact, the blessing wasn't just for me, but for Sister Moser too, for both of us. She really felt that way too. I learned so much from this blessing and it set the stage for the rest of this amazing week. We felt a change in our attitude, in our countenances this past week. We felt so much more excited about sharing the gospel! 

First of all, I felt Heavenly Father's love for me sooooo strongly. I kept feeling of this love He has for me all through the week and for Sister Moser too. I also felt an increase amount of love for Sister Moser, which I didn't know was really possible haha, and for just everyone! It was so wonderful to feel that charity for others, which came as a result from me really knowing of Heavenly Father's love for me, Sister Malyon. This love led to us just opening our mouths so much more this week and talking to everyone! We found so many new investigators and met so many awesome people this week. I just want to bear my testimony to you that Heavenly Father truly is there for you no matter what. He loves you for who you are. He does not want you to try to become like anyone else, except for our Savior, but at the same time, He loves you for who you are and just wants for you to be happy. Becoming like Jesus Christ will bring you the most happiness. Heavenly Father has blessed each one of us with talents, skills, and gifts that we are to use to help bless others and build up His kingdom. We have inherited personality traits, characteristics and divine qualities from our Heavenly parents because we are literally their children! Embrace them! And keep developing them! :) That's what I'm learning about and just wanted to share because I love all of you!  

Second of all, my testimony and appreciation and gratitude for the Priesthood grew so much. It truly is so amazing that I could receive a blessing where through a worthy Priesthood holder, Heavenly Father could speak directly to me and have me hear and feel things that gave me strength, comfort, hope and excitement. It set the theme for the week of talking about the priesthood a lot in our lessons. With the emphasis on strengthening families, by focusing on the head of the household, we talked a lot about the responsibilities and blessing of the priesthood with fathers. In one of our lessons, we had this really neat experience. We went to teach our baptismal candidate, Brother Gerald. He's 16 and has been coming to church for a while now with his cousins. We started teaching his whole family a few weeks ago and now it's so cool because they always join in. One lesson we had this week for Brother Gerald, was on the priesthood. his parents joined and his dad was especially interested. He kept bringing up healing blessings, not really sure why. As we started tying in the priesthood to specifically his(the dad) personal potential to be a priesthood holder and bless his whole family, he started crying. It totally caught us off guard. Up to now, he's kind of been stand-offish, acting like he doesn't really take us, and what we've been teaching too seriously, but then this happened! He got super shy and embarrassed for being emotional and crying. He closed up, but the one thing he got out was just that some of his deepest thoughts had been touched. We told him it was the Holy Ghost! :) It really was a super cool experience and we see such potential in their family! 

We were sad though that Gerald's parents didn't end up coming to his baptism:( but the baptism was so good! Brother Gerald is so great. He had all his friends there to support him and when he bore his testimony, Sister Moser and I could just see that he's a future missionary and he is leading the way for his family! 

I love the gospel so much. I know that we are such important instruments, each one of us!, in moving His work forward in these last days. We gotta do all we can to help prepare the world for Christ's Second Coming! Let's help there be more righteous, strong people ready to receive Him when He comes. I love you all so much and feel so blessed and strengthened by your love, prayers and examples to me. I hope and pray you are all doing so great-feeling God's love for you as well:) 

Love, Sister Malyon