Monday, July 28, 2014

pictures from the Mission President's Training -- Bago Zone

Mission President's Training -Bago Zone - held in the Mission Home in Bacolod
Monday, July 28, 2014  

Sister Javier and Sister Malyon
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Week 46 in the Philippines - "when you believe"

Oh my goodness this week was amazing. But first, how are all of you? HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KAMILLE!!!! Sorry I'm late. I am so sorry. Don't worry! I have not forgotten about you cutie pies! And Jonnypots birthday is this week! HAPPY BIRTHDAY POTS! Wow, Kamillie is 16, driving and Pots is turning 18????!!!!! I can't believe it. 

Well, this week was seriously amazing. So our biggest problem since I've been in Bago has been getting people to church and every Sunday is an opportunity to exercise my faith -- and it has been tested over and over and over again;) But this week we got to see a miracle! So last Thursday, we worked in the farthest area we've reached, Batang, and our WM, Oliver, is from there so he came with us. He asked is we could visit his brother who is not a member. So of course we were excited to! We ended up teaching his brother, Angelo and 2 of his friends. 

Then this week we went back and for the second visit, Angelo brought even more of his friends! There were 8 of them who all listened to our message. They were so awesome. And then we came back on Saturday and taught their individual families. Then 5 of them, Angelo and 4 of his friends all came to church yesterday!!!!! They are all teenager/early 20s. It was soooo amazing! They came after only being visited 3 times! We set their baptismal date for Sept 6, so hopefully they all keep coming to church and progressing! We see so much potential in them as future missionaries and leaders:) It's sooo exciting. Oh man, the power of members is amazing. Brother Oliver has been so key in helping his friends and family come to the gospel. We got to teach his older sister this week too! His mom and two brothers are the only members so far in their family and so the goal is for all of them to join!!!!

We ended up having 8 investigators at church this week, which was a miracle. And we had a baptism yesterday!!!!!! I sent you a picture from her baptism. Isn't she just so beautiful??? I love Sister Estherlyn so much! The baptismal service was so sacred and special. She bore such a beautiful testimony and shared how Satan had been testing her to keep her from getting baptized, but she felt the strength of the Lord help her work through the challenges that came. She said as soon as she came out of the water, she felt so much lighter and at peace. The Spirit was so strong. I sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" for the musical number. It was such a special day! They were so sweet and Sister Estherlyn invited us and a couple sister ward missionaries who visit her with us, over for dinner last night. 

 This is me with sister Rhofa. She's the most amazing ward missionary ever! I love her sooo much! We are in Batang, Napoles in this picture--the farthest away part of our area we've been to so far. It's so beautiful! Those are rice fields behind us (thanks so much for my fave new purple skirt! I love it!)

 My cute companion Sister Javier!

Sister Bitter (red), Sister Moser and I started Friday salsa day back when Sister Moser was here, so we've kept the tradition! Haha The Filippinas think it's so rice haha. Sister Bitter has become one of my best friends on the mission. I'm super sad she's going home the end of this transfer:( Sister Tampos is sooo cute, seriously the cutest person you'll ever meet.

Sister Estherlyn got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is so amazing. She told us this week about how much she has changed since learning about the church. It's so awesome because I've been able to see and teach her throughout the whole process and watch the miracle of conversion. She is so amazing. I love her and her adorable daughter, Sweet, sooo much!

I love this gospel so much! Miracles happen everyday! Heavenly Father is sooo involved in our lives. 

I love you all tons and tons!

Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 45 in the Philippines - "Sister Javier!"

Oh my goodness. Much better. I started writing your email, but couldn't think straight because I had to go to the bathroom so bad. I had this idea in my mind that they probably didn't have a bathroom here, so I'd have to hold it. But luckily they had one:) so all is good. 

Anyway, thank you so much for the package again this week!!!! Oh my goodness. I have the absolutely best family in the world! I loved seeing the pictures of all of you cutie bums! You all look so grown up and different! Josh has a weird lookin beard thing goin're all so cute! I'm glad Grandpa had such a great birthday!!! He looked so happy! Oh man. I sure miss you, BUT at least I know I'll get to see you all again and I also know that Heavenly Father is taking care of all of you! Thanks for always being so supportive of me and of missionary work. It's the best. So, I was going to send you pictures so you could see my new cute companion, but this computer won't recognize my card reader. I am so sorry. Next week!Oh!Also, I absolutely love my new blue skirt! And the treats! That was heaven. Thank you a million times!

Sister Javier is my new companion and she is so cute! She is from Luzon area and is such an amazing missionary. She's been out longer than I have and is teaching me soooo much! We have been working our bums off and our key indicators were so high this week! I thought I was working hard before, but she's been pushing me to a new level! Not just with working hard, but with being obedient as well. I thought I was obedient before! I have realized this week how much more I have to work on and improve on. It's been hard (seeing your weaknesses and faults is always hard), but so good. It's exciting to realize things you can improve on and to push yourself to a higher level! 

Yesterday, we did member exchanges for church and Sister Javier attended Bago chapel and I went to the new group out in Pulang Duta. On the way, our stake leader that's overseeing our new group, asked me to teach Gospel Principle, which means teaching everyone the first hour of church. We have Sacrament Meeting the second hour. I was soooo nervous! You would think at this point in my mission, things like this wouldn't get me all nervous, but it still does! I was praying so hard for the Spirit to guide and for help with the lesson. Due to the Spirit, answer to prayer, and the awesome participation of the sweet members in Pulang Duta, the lesson went really well. We talked about the scriptures and everyone gave such good input and I learned so much. The spirit was so strong and I felt so much love for those faithful members at church. At the end, as I was bearing my testimony of the importance of studying the scriptures every single day, the Spirit bore such a powerful witness to me of how true that is. 

I shared with them how before the mission, I just read because I felt like I should, but how since being on the mission, I have felt the power that comes from really studying the scriptures every morning. It's such an amazing way to start off each day! I always feel like the hour of personal study is too short! It's so crazy. I just want you all to know that I have a testimony of the amazing gift the scriptures are for us. I truly believe that they are our protection for everything that comes our way each day. Satan is working so hard to bring us down and he knows our weaknesses so well, but we have the scriptures, which guide us, remind us of the bigger perspective and invite the Spirit to be with us always. 

It's most definitely rainy season now! We have storms all the time! The rain pours down so crazy hard. It blows my mind that there is so much precipitation that can come out of the clouds at one time. It's sooo loud too! And sooo muddy:) It's super fun. Don't worry. haha The other day, we were out working and we had two awesome members with us, Sister Siasone and Brother Oliver. As we were walking through the mud, well trying our best to avoid the worst muddy holes and puddles, a branch caught on my bag and I lost my balancing, landing my feet in this big, gross, muddy hole. My shoe got stuck as I stepped out! Brother Oliver got it out for me, which was very kind. I was laughing so hard. Luckily there was a bomba (the water pump), close by;). It's more fun in the Philippines!!!! 

Remember me talking about Sister Estherlyn? Well, she's finally getting baptized this Sunday! We are sooo excited for her! She wanted to get baptized on her mom's birthday as a special gift for her haha. Her mom is a member. This week, we've been visiting her a lot and one night, Sister Bing bing, I can't remember if I've sent you a picture of her yet haha she is so cute and so funny. Anyway, Sister Bing was with us. At the end of the lesson, Estherlyn's daughter, Sweet, was going to pray and Estherlyn told her that Sister Bing would help her. So she did the repeat after me thing. But Sister Bing is so hard to understand, she kind of mumbles, so the whole prayer, Sister Bing would say something, wait, SIster Sweet would say "What?" and then Sister Bing would repeat it and then Sweet would try to copy as best she could. I was trying so hard not to bust up laughing during the prayer. Oh man. I just wish you could all be here! These experiences are probably not nearly as funny without being there and knowing these funny, awesome people! 

Well, I sure do love all of you soooo much!!!! Hope you're loving your summer!!!! The Church is true! We are so blessed to be members of the only true church on the earth!

Love you!

Sister Malyon


Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 44 in the Philippines - "bag-o"

Well, the life of a missionary is just full of surprises. Transfer day was two weeks ago and we thought we were safe. but no. The APs called yesterday to tell us that Sis Moser was transferring:( Oh man. I love that girl so much. It was so hard saying good-bye to her this morning! She will be a life-long friend, for sure. But now I just got a new companion! Her name is Sister Javier and she is so cute! She's from Luzon area, filipina. 

Anyways, thank you so much for the package!!!!!!! Mom is the best:) It came at perfect timing, because the other night, we had some time at the chapel and played the new songs together before Sister Moser got transferred. So thank you so much! I'm gonna miss playing and performing music with her so much!  

Something really exciting happened this week! We started a new group out in our far area and had our first special Sacrament Meeting yesterday! We met in the home of a former bishop and had about 45 people attend! It was such a success. We are so excited because it's so much closer to the majority of our investigators and so we have so much hope now that this will really help our area progress. We also had a couple less-actives come yesterday as well and two of our investigators, one of which is Nanette. Oh my goodness, we love Sister Nanette so much! She is the cutest sister ever. One time when we visited her this past week, we had this really awesome lesson with her about the Sabbath day and then we told her how much we love her and God loves her. The Spirit was so strong and the three of us felt so much love! I don't really know how to explain how special of an experience it was. 

Also yesterday, the bishop asked us to visit the Ma-ao group, which is another group that started a few months ago, under our ward but in a far area. The elders are the only thing keeping it together. They've been kind of struggling. But we got to go visit their cute little group yesterday and be the sacrament speakers. There were only about 15 people or so and it kind of reminded me of Switzerland! Remember our adorable, tiny branch? It was so close and personal. The elders conducted, blessed and passed the sacrament and taught gospel principles. But even though it was so tiny, the spirit was seriously so strong. It's so amazing to see the church spreading all over, becoming more accessible to so many more people!

 Us with Sister Estherlyn, who is getting baptized on July 26th and her cute daughter, Sweet, and her mom, a member, Sister Linda. We love them sooooooo much!!!!!

Sister Bing Bing!!!! She is a lifelong ward missionary-all the missionaries know her:) She's so funny and we love her so much! She taught us how to make banana q the other day after working with us:)

I love this work and the gospel of Jesus Christ! We are so blessed to know what we know and to have what we have. I love you all soooo much! Keeo shining your light! Love you!!!

Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 43 in the Philippines - "Happy 4th of July!"

What did you all do for the fourth???? Watch fireworks? Have a picnic? Or maybe everyone was off doing their own thing. Sounds like everyone has lots of crazy summer plans! I LOVE the emails about the cutie pies in South America. Oh my goodness, sounds like a dream. I read Jaimie's emails out loud to Sister Moser and she loves it. She was asking me all these questions about how they're traveling and everything. I was like "I don't know. All I know is from their emails." And she was like "I gotta know so I can make this happen in my life!" She's so excited to meet all of you someday haha. On the 4th of July, for companionship study, we sang all three America hymns in the back of the hymn book and celebrated by making salsa and eating salsa with pita chips (no tortilla chips):)  

Thanks so much for all the emails and updates and love! You are the best!

SO many awesome things happened this week. First, I want to share about Romeo. He is a recent convert, about 29? years old, single, parents have both died, reads the Book of Mormon all the time. The experience with him this week taught me about how important it is to hold on to the truth we know and the power of the Book of Mormon. We hadn't seen Romeo in weeks. Every time we would visit him, he would be gone for some reason, like this past month, and he hadn't been coming to church. We finally caught him at home on Tuesday. He opened up to us about how he had gone to church with his aunt and uncle at the Seventh day Adventist church because they are the only family he has, they always want him to come with them, he wants to make them happy, he doesn't like feeling so alone as the only member of our church...etc. He was even having doubts about our church being the ONLY true church and things like that.

It hit us like a ton of bricks because he has been like our strongest RC-reads the Book of Mormon everyday, going to church every week...etc that we couldn't believe it was him saying all these things. Don't worry, we stayed calm. So then we visited him Thursday and read the account of JS-H with him. We talked about Joseph Smith and asked him to think and pray about it before we came back, AND to keep reading the Book of Mormon. Then on Saturday, we came back with a member who is a RM and the only member in his family. It was the coolest thing ever. We started out asking Bro. Romeo about his reading. He had been reading in Alma 38:5 and he told us about his experience when reading, how he felt like Heavenly Father was talking to him and when he read it, he had started crying. It talks about putting our trust in God. He then proceeded to tell us about how he could relate to some of the feelings Joseph Smith experienced and things like that. The Spirit was so strong and he and the member connected as well. It was amazing. He told us at the end that he would be at church the next day and he was! He was one of the first people to show up at church on Sunday morning! And during Sacrament meeting, other SA brothers sat by him and he looked so happy all day at church. I love the gospel so much and the Book of Mormon!

The other awesome experience this week was with our really recent convert, Brother Rodel, the 13 year old. I attached a picture of us with him:)

He has the cutest smile. So, we saw this change in him after his baptism, where he seemed to completely close up to us, like starting all over. Satan seemed to be working on him and it was so sad to us. He missed a couple weeks of church and did not seem himself when we would visit him. But then, this week, something changed. We have no idea what happened, but something did. We had this amazing lesson with him. He opened up to us, was talking to us more than ever before, answering our questions and he even agreed to read a verse. He struggles with reading and has always been so shy to read, but he's been learning in school. When he read a verse out loud for us during the lesson, when he finished, he looked up at us with the biggest grin on his face and we were so proud of him! He seemed so much more confident. It was so cool. We brought the gospel picture book for the lesson and he loved it. He was looking through it and found the picture of Christ;s Second Coming and could not stop staring at it. He asked if he could borrow the book until we came back on Saturday and when we agreed, he looked like the happiest child on Christmas morning. When we came back on Saturday and asked him what picture was his favorite from looking through all of them, he took us straight to that same one again. so cute. Even his prayers have changed. He used to mumble them so quiet and be shy to pray, but now he confidently prays so we can hear and his prayers are so sincere. It's so beautiful and incredible to see this change in him!

I love the gospel so much and how it blesses everyone's lives so much-- whoever accepts it!

One adorable thing that happened this week, is we were walking through our far area in Napoles, finding that no one was home, when we saw this one Nanay, the cutest little grandma in the world, taking down her laundry. We came up to greet her and she took our hands and was all happy to see us and then gave each one of us a kiss on the cheek! We helped her take her laundry down and she sent us on our way so that we would get under cover before it started raining:) It was the most tender, cutest thing ever. We had only met her like one time before haha. 

Well, I hope you are all reading the Book of Mormon, like Bro Romeo, saying sincere prayers, like Bro Rodel, and giving Jonnypots sloppy joes! like sweet nanay:) Hold on to all the spiritual experiences you have ever had and don't ever forget the truths you know! The gospel is true and I know it without a doubt of my mind. I still have questions and there are things I don't understand, but that will come in time. I do know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Spirit has testified to me of that truth multiple times, and very powerfully when we actually visited the Sacred Grove. I hold that experience so dear to my heart. I love you all so much! You are amazing! 

Love, Sister Malyon

P.S. The other picture is with the Beler family. We had FHE with them:) They are hilarious!