Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 59 in the Philippines - "part 2"

This is a picture of Sister Laulu and I with Mommy Boncag. Everyone is the branch calls her "Mommy". I love her sooo much! She is one of my heroes. She's over 70 years old and is one of the most faithful people I have ever met. She is so amazing. This week she worked with us two different days! When she was working with us, we had to climb over this ladder to get over a wall and we had to go on a crazy bumpy road and walk a lot. She never complained, but was so happy to do God's work. She loves sharing her testimony with everyone! In one lesson, it was so cool because she talked about how she knows how important it is to endure to the end. She is a living example of giving your life to God and putting His work and will first in your life, no matter what trials come.

Mommy gave Sister Laulu and I the shirts we're wearing in this picture. hahahah They're definitely old granny shirts, but we knew it would make her happy to see us wear them so we wore them to church yesterday:) Normally she's smiling, so try to picture her with a smile:)

This picture was taken after the Special sacrament in Sua. Jennifer and Don Don (Don is in green and Jennifer is in brown, sitting) are getting married really soon and then they will both get baptized! They have been investigators for quite a while now and are sooo ready and so amazing. They have one daughter, Clarice, who always wants candy! Brother Don Don is the kindest person ever and always gives us rides to and from Sua, no matter what time we need to.

I love being here so much! I'm so grateful for the beautiful restored gospel on the earth! I hope and pray you are all happy and doing just great! 

I love you tons and tons and tons and tons!!!!!
Love, Sister Malyon

Week 59 in the Philippines - "part 1"

Hey Family!

This week was so amazing! Full of so many miracles! The most wonderful miracle of the week was the baptism of Jerry Espinosa:) It was soo amazing. So the Espinosa family is this awesome family that we're super close to now. We love them so much! The oldest daughter, Jane, was the first to get baptized back when she was a little girl. Then her older brother, Jeno, got baptized and they were the only members for a while. Their mom came back home from working in Manila earlier this year and got baptized in September, Sister Nory, and then Brother Jerry, the dad, just finally got baptized yesterday! He had actually been taught for a really long time, but something held him back from accepting baptism. The whole family was soo overjoyed that he finally fully accepted the gospel with them:) Sister Jane gave a talk at his baptism and when she was bearing her testimony, she got so
emotional talking about her dad and how excited she is now for their family to prepare to go to the temple to be sealed together! Brother Jeno got to baptize and confirm his father (his first time doing a confirmation!) and Sister Nory was the happiest person you have ever seen witnessing her husband enter the waters of baptism. Brother Jerry gave such a tender, sincere testimony that brought the Spirit so strong into the service. He bore his testimony of how much he knows this church is true and how he should've accepted it a long time ago. He talked of how grateful he is that the missionaries never gave up, never stopped teaching him and his family. He got all emotional while he was bearing his testimony, which was a side of him we've never seen and I'm pretty sure rarely comes out (he's one of those people where it's really hard to tell what they're feeling, doesn't show his emotions normally). Just overall the baptism was sooo wonderful!

Yesterday was such an amazing day! We had our special sacrament in Sua and so many people came and Sister Rhodora gave this awesome talk about love and our less-active member, Brother Dorio, we've been visiting for so long now, finally came for the first time! And one of our investigators, who referred us to her sister this past week, came with her sister to church and they brought their niece. We ended up having so many investigators and it was just so beautiful:) The Lord truly is hastening His work!!!! So the second picture is our cute Sua group

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 58 in the Philippines - "pagbago"

Hey family!

Sorry I didn't write yesterday because we had our Zone Conference yesterday, so our p-day was moved to Tuesday this week. Thanks for the emails! I love hearing from you cuties! 

Well we had a busy week! We ended up doing two exchanges this week, Tuesday with the sisters in Isabella and Thursday with the sisters in Kabankalan. I stayed in the area with Sister Mckee on Tuesday and then I went to Kabankalan for my first time and worked with Sister Watkins there. Both were really amazing experiences working and learning from such devoted, awesome sisters. I feel so privileged and blessed to get to know such incredible people on my mission and work so closely with them. 

While working with Sister McKee on Tuesday we had some cool/funny experiences. We worked out in Sua where we have the special sacrament (which I got to attend for the first time this week!). We went to visit this really old less-active whom I nor Sister Mckee, obviously haha, had never met. We asked people how to get to her house and when we got there we started yelling "Tag balay!" which is what you do instead of knocking on a door:) We said it like 10 times and we could see that she was in there.It was like she was ignoring us and then it dawned on me....I remembered that Sister Laulu told me she's basically deaf! I told Sister McKee and we were just laughing at ourselves. We finally somehow got her attention and taught a quick lesson using pictures:) 

Possibly the best lesson of the day ended up being at the most unlikely place. So Brother Jeno and Sister Jane were with us in the evening appointments and we were about to head home, when we stopped at this burger place called Angel's burgers. They all got burgers and I chose to wait til we got home:) While waiting for the burgers to cook, I asked the cute sister who I had met once before, if we could sing/share with her. SO you can picture this in your mind- this burger place is like a box/stand. So it's just outside and then there's always only one worker who cooks the burgers and outside the box you can sit on these metal stools around it while you wait/eat. I hope that helped haha. So the four of us were the only customers and we sang Jeno's favorite song "Because I Have Been Given Much". She had told me the last time I met her about how she has the night shift because the burger place is 24-7 and even though it's hard, she has to support her baby daughter (single mom). So we tied in the song to sacrifice and how Heavenly Father sees the sacrifice she is giving to her daughter and things like that. I can't remember everything, but I do remember that she got tears in her eyes while we were sharing and testifying to her. We of course ended with a prayer and then she had to serve some other customers. It was so amazing though.We all felt the spirit so strong and I felt this incredible love for cute Sister Evelyn whom I had only met twice. President Lopez talked to us yesterday about bringing the Sacred Grove into the homes of everyone we  visit. It's so crazy how we could even create a mini sacred grove at this outdoor fast food restaurant all because of the power of the spirit:)

Thursday I went down south a couple hours and worked with Sister Watkins in Kabankalan. Kabankalan is actually a separate zone, but they only have one set of sisters, so we are their Sister Training leaders as well. You can see it on that big map, I just thought of, that mom has hanging up! HAHAHAHA :) Oh man I miss you cutie pies! I loved working with Sister Watkins as well and I learned so much from her! 

On Saturday, we got a text from President Lopez telling me that he just baptized Brother Cuchumbu!!!!! I'm pretty sure I told you about him when I was serving in Alijis. Edmundu Cuchumbu was the investigator Sister de Leon and I found and taught who was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from having a stroke and blind. He had to be interviewed by Pres because of his past and Pres ended up getting to baptize him! It made me cry to hear that he got baptized! And Pres said he mentioned me in his testimony. It warmed my heart that he remembered me even though I only knew him for a couple weeks. President Lopez said he posted a picture of his baptism on FB so you should check it out! I talked to Pres about it yesterday and he said they had to have two people lower Brother Cuchumbu in the water because he can't even stand on his feet. I wish I could have witnessed his baptism! but I'm just so happy for him:)

Well, this work is really moving forward! Our training yesterday was focused on family history work and really implementing that in our teachings---filling out pedigree charts with everyone we teach! We're excited to be more involved in missionary work for the dead as well!!!! 

I hope you are all doing fabulously! Thanks for your love and prayers! I love you tons and tons!

Love,Sister Malyon


Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 57 in the Philippines - "madugang"

So I accidentally broke a mission rule and put a child on my lap, so don't post this pic anywhere, but I just had to show you these beautiful people! So on the left side are JR and Marynol. Marynol is our investigator, but they need to get married in order for her to get baptized, so that's what we're working on! She comes to church pretty much very week though and they are such a cute couple! On the right side is Russian(yeah that's her name:) with her "husband", Darryl. They need to get married too. But we just recently started teaching Darryl and he is so amazing! Russian and JR are both members. Darryl told us this week that he knows God has a purpose for him because he's on his third life. He's been in two crazy accidents where he should have died. He has totally been prepared! 

This is our silly Binalbagan zone! Back to the bukid zones where there are way more elders than sisters haha.

Week 57 in the Philippines - "pagpanumbalik sang ebanghelyo"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYLIE BABE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you're all having a grand ol time celebrating the cutie bum kylie poo! 

How's everyone? How was Conference for all of you??? Oh my goodness we just watched it this weekend and it was so amazing. I'm so sad it's already over:( I love General Conference sooo much! It was so great this time they showed it in all the ward meeting houses, so people didn't have travel far distances to get to the Stake Centers.Our cute little branch watched it together on this little tv! :) 

One of my favorite things about Conference, I've decided haha, is the music! I love hearing the Tabernacle Choir so much! Saturday night we were meeting one of our ward missionaries at the church and happened to catch the closing hymn of the priesthood session. Oh my goodness! It gave me the chills!!!! All those elders singing so powerfully together "Oh Babylon oh Babylon we bid thee farewell". Reminded me how awesome it is to be a missionary and a part of such a historical time when there are over 88,000 fulltime missionaries all over the world! So crazy!!!

One other song that really hit me was when MoTab sang "Praise to the Man". It brought tears to my eyes! The intensity with which they sang it and the conviction, testifying of our beloved prophet of the Restoration, Joseph Smith. I actually really felt like a lot of conference was emphasizing going back the basics-how incredible it is that we have living prophets, the Restoration and renewing/strengthening our testimonies of it, prayer, scripture study, strengthening the family. They are all things that we have been taught over and over again, but somehow, they are so easily neglected. 

I love how one speaker shared about the little boy who asked his mom "What's more important? Prayer or fruit?" Seriously, it all comes down to our priorities and not letting ANYTHING distract us from those fundamental basics of the gospel that we need so desperately every day to keep us safe from all the craziness of the world...aka Satan.   

I just have to update you on Brother Joemil. He is sooo amazing! We taught him this week more about the Restoration and when we committed him to baptism on Nov. 8, he asked us how he can prepare, what he needs to do. Wow. That is such an awesome question. He has the most sincere desire to follow Jesus Christ and to change and be so much better! He came with cutie Mary Jane to Conference yesterday-- not just morning session like most everyone else, but they came back for afternoon session as well! Even though it was all in English (by the way, how awesome to let them speak in their native tongues!), he really enjoyed Conference and told us what he got out of it. He told us that the one thing he understand and got out of it, was about how our life is like being in a boat and we have to stay in. He said the life jacket is the Holy Spirit who protects us and that we have to hold on tight with both hands, meaning trust in the Lord and everything will be okay. Sister Laulu and I were so shocked listening to him tell us what he got out of Conference. He just amazes me.  

One experience this week testified to me of the scripture 
1 Nephi 3:7. So one of our recent converts, Brother Sioco, works as a security guard. He has work everyday from the morning to the late afternoon. His work is out in the far area where we have a special Sacrament, so before he got baptized, he asked his boss for just 1-2 hours off to attend church. After a couple months of that, his boss told him he could get Sundays completely off so that he can worship God. So now he comes to church with his son and wife every week at the regular meeting house! It just strengthened my testimony that when we have the desire to keep the commandments of God and we do our best to do so, God takes care of the rest and He truly does provide a way for us to keep them. It's all according to our faith! 

I'm so grateful for the amazing people in my life! For all of the incredible people I get to meet everyday of my life here in the mission field and of course, for all of you! I feel so extremely blessed to be surrounded and supported by followers of Christ! I love you all soooooooooooooooooooooooo(dad;) much! Thanks for holding on tight to the boat so we can all arrive safely into the arms of our Heavenly Father and be with him as a family FOREVER! Keep it up! 

Love you all tons and tons! 
Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 56 in the Philippines - "tubo sa kampo"

My dear wonderful family!!!

SALMAT GID!!!!SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously feel like the luckiest missionary in the whole wide world! Thank you so much for the awesome and delicious package you sent me!  You are so amazing. I love you all so much. I have to admit when I was reading your beautiful testimonies of the Book of Mormon, I got pretty choked up. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a strong family centered on the gospel. Your testimonies strengthen me so much! I am trying to think of the perfect people to give Book of Mormons to with your testimonies:) We have extra ones I will put the other two testimonies in. And the delicious treats! You're the best! Sister Laulu and I were lovin life eating those amazing brownies and chocolate covered nuts! Sister Laulu kept saying "Man, your mom is the best. These are sooo good!" Thanks a ton! 

Well we had exchanges again this week and I got to go to Binalbagan! I attached a picture of the two cute sisters who are assigned in Binalbagan. I got to work for a day with Sister Kumar, who is from Figi, but her family's Indian. She is so hilarious! We had a really awesome day working in their area, teaching lots of lessons, and learning from each other. Their ward missionary who worked with us, Charlie, just recently returned from being super less-active. For a long time in his youth, he totally fell away from the church and got involved in like a gang doing not so good things. I asked him why he came back and he said he finally got to a point where he realized something was missing in his life, so all on his own, he decided to get back involved in the church. Now he works with the missionaries, bears such a strong testimony of the gospel and is preparing to serve a mission himself! So amazing. I can't believe I get to meet such incredible people everyday and witness the miracle of the Atonement in people's lives. 

Jaimie wrote me this week! Thanks Jaims! She also talked in her letter about a missionary she met who has a similar story. It just amazes me how loving our Father in Heaven is. I truly believe that He has provided a way for every single one of His children to come back to Him and He does all He can within our agency, to get us on that path, no matter how far or how often we fall away from it. 

Oh my goodness. I have to tell you about probably the highlight of my week. So Saturday morning we went out early to work because we were supposed to have a Relief Society broadcast later, which ended up getting canceled. But there was purpose behind it because when we went out in the morning, we visited one of our recent converts, a 10 year old girl, Maryjane. Her father was there, our first time meeting him, and he willingly joined our lesson, Of course, we focused on him and started teaching lesson one with him. We invited them to come with Maryjane to church the next day and the father said he would. Maryjane's face lit up brighter than the sun and she had the biggest smile on her face! The two of them have this really endearing relationship-you can just tell they are super close. It made me miss my daddy!:) 

The next morning, as we were welcoming everyone to church, in walked Maryjane with her father! No words can do justice trying to describe the joy on Maryjane's face the whole 3 hours at church. Which of course also filled me with so much joy too. It was so amazing after meeting her father and teaching him one time, he came to church! And we found out he is related to the first counselor in the branch presidency and some awesome brothers fellowshipped him at church. 

As they were leaving at the end of church, Brother Joemil (Maryjane's dad), thanked us and said he wants to come back next week! MIRACLE! Later that evening, we visited them and when we asked Brother Joemil about his experience at church, he said that he felt sorry for all the things he's been doing wrong. He learned a lot about what he needs to change to become better. He is so prepared. I still can't believe it! It even brings tears to my eyes as I'm emailing you.

I just want you all to know that I love you so much. I love this gospel with all my heart and know that living the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way for us to feel true peace and true joy in this life and in the next. We are so blessed! I love missionary work so much! I will try this week to get you a picture of cutie bum Maryjane and her papa:)

Thanks so much for your testimonies, your support and love. You strengthen me so much. We visited a family this week who has a son serving and the youngest in the family has been less-active. We told him about how much it means to us as missionaries to hear about the good things our siblings are doing and their involvement in the church. We told him that what he does can have an impact on his brother who's serving a mission and invited him to church. He came yesterday! Woohoo! 

It just got me thinking about how grateful I am for such an amazing, strong family. I love you all tons and tons! I hope General conference lifted your souls! I'm excited to watch it this week:)

Love love love, 
Sister Malyon    


week 56 in the Philippines - pictures!

 Me and Sister Laulu in beautiful Sua!

These sugarcane workers stopped and asked to get their pictures taken haha:) There are tons of sugarcane fields here and they pile the sugarcane up so high on these huge trucks to transport to the factory.