Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 63 in the Philippines - "SALAMAT!"

This is in Sua, our far area where we have a special sacrament- Me and Sister Laulu

This is SIster Laulu and I on the beach. We found a less-active, Brother Ernie who is in the picture, that we met for the first time here. He lives on the beach and works as a seaman/fisherman.

Here we are walking on this path that goes through a rice field, there are rice fields on both sides of the path, to get to our appointments!

  This is also taken in Sua with Mount Canlaon in the background. I'm standing in a sugarcane field! I carry this cool fan around because it's always hot!:) 

Hello family!

THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE HALLOWEEN PACKAGE!!! I'm pretty sure I'm the most spoiled missionary ever! You are sooo cute! Thank you so much for thinking of me and for sending me delicious goodies that helped me introduce some American Halloween candy to my filippina companion:) Also thank you soo much for the pictures you sent of Christ that I can give away to people! I know they will all be soo happy and grateful! Thanks a ton! Also your card was awesome. It made me smile real big, especially Kylie's creative poem;)

Sister Lilibeth got baptized!!!! Oh my goodness I love this cute family soo much! So in the picture you see Sister Lilibeth obviously dressed in white and then her husband, Brother Rex, is crouching down holding their baby son and then their daughter, Aleah is in pink. Brother Rex used to be a less-active member, but just returned! Meaning he is fully active again:) And now his wife just got baptized and they are the happiest, cutest family ever. 

Yesterday at church, Brother Joemil showed up wearing a button-up shirt and tie for his first time:) Elder McWhorter helped him tie the tie and he was all proud for finally looking the part:) He gave the opening prayer and while he was sitting on the stand, Sister Lazan and I could just see him being a future leader of this branch (that will definitely become a ward shortly:) He came to church with his three adorable daughters and the cutest thing happened when church was over-- I glanced out the window and happened to see the four of them walking home in the rain. Brother Joemil had untucked his shirt and spread it out to cover the heads of all three of his daughters who were all walking right next to him. It was just a tender moment to see such love between a father and his daughters:) 

He told us earlier this week when we taught missionary work, that he wants to focus on sharing the gospel with the rest of his family before sharing it with others. I know that his wife and son will come around in time!

I'm so grateful for the gospel and the hastening of the work at this time. I know we have so much we need to do to help prepare the world for the Second Coming, prepare God's children for the coming of Christ. I remember hearing in the MTC that the world is definitely wicked enough for the Second Coming, but not righteous enough. I'm so grateful for all your support and love! Thanks for being so amazing and for blessing my life!

Love you all tons and tons!
Love, Sister Malyon 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 62 in the Philippines - "one more pic"

This is from our fun FHE at the Espinosa home on Monday!

Love ya tons!

Week 62 in the Philippines - "hey there fam"

How are all of you cutie pies doing? Thanks so much for the emails this week! I love hearing from you so much:) Wow, well this week was crazy! I'm sending you a picture of when we went to Bacolod this week and ate at KFC hahahahaha with the two cute sisters that are the only other sisters in our zone, Sister Kumar and Sister Rosario. On Wednesday, we were in Bacolod at the mission home for the leadership meeting with Elder and Sister Ardern. It was sooo neat. I felt soo lucky to get to attend! We learned so much from him as he praised us for the work going on in Bacolod Mission but at the same time inspired us to work so much harder! I learned so much about ways I can improve. It's so crazy. I feel like I need to stay on the mission for another 5 years so I can implement everything I need to work on and become the best missionary I can be! There's so much I need to improve on! But I guess that's how life is; there's always room for improvement and we should constantly be striving to be better, right?:) 

So after the meeting on Wednesday, we stayed the night at a sisters apartment in Bacolod because we had mission tour all day Thursday, so that's when we got to go out to dinner.
It was so much fun Wednesday night to be with other sisters! And then Thursday was amazing as well. I just felt so spiritually uplifted and enlightened this week from being with so many missionaries, hearing of their experiences, and also with a General Authority- feeling of His powerful testimony and witness of the Savior, hearing from him the Lord's will for us in the Bacolod Mission and along with that, receiving so much personal revelation. I love being here so much! We are so blessed to know of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  

One thing I took away from this week, is how important it is to attend church. That is something I have studied over and over again and learned so much about since being on my mission because it is one of our biggest struggles here, getting people to church. Well, I'm sure it's a struggle all over the world. I have gained so much appreciation for mom and dad and their effort to get our whole family to church every Sunday. I'm so grateful that I was raised in a home where Sabbath day observance is so important! Sunday is not Sunday without going to church! I am working on noticing the blessings that have personally come into my life from living such commandments, so I truly testify from my heart, from experience, the blessings that will come to those we teach if they keep the commandments as well. One blessing in our family that has come from keeping the Sabbath Day holy, is how close we are to each other. We couldn't go play with friends, so we played games with each other on Sundays and did other meaningful things together as a family. so awesome. 

We also had a baptism this week!!!!!! It was so beautiful! Brother Steve is awesome. His wife, Sister Rhodora is also awesome:) She's a recent convert and has been praying so hard for her husband to accept the gospel and to change. Brother Steve mentioned in his testimony how he remembers when one day Sister Laulu and I came to teach their family, and normally we just focused on Rhodora because Steve would kind of come in and out, sort of pay attention, not really interested...but one time we looked at him and told him straight up that the gospel was not just for his wife, but him too. And from then on, we focused on him and he focused on applying the gospel to his life. We witnessed so many changes in him and his family. They are so much happier! Brother Steve's confidence has increased, which is so cool to see, even in a grown man. 

We also had the coolest experience this week. So we have this investigator, Brother Ernesto. His son is a less-active member, but doesn't live with him. Brother Ernesto has been taught by missionaries for a long time, well they stopped for a while, but we started teaching him again a couple months ago. He had never been to church, but read the whole Book of Mormon before and loves it. We have been working so hard to resolve his concerns as to why he wouldn't accept a baptismal date and go to church. Early this week, we prayed so hard and let the Spirit lead our lesson with him as we addressed how to receive answers to our prayers. And then Saturday night, we felt prompted that we needed to go back to him to get him to come to church. It was so amazing! He committed to come to church, finally! And the next morning, we arrived at church early and he was already there! He was sitting by a member who was already fellowshipping him (YES!) and he looked so tidy in a button up shirt and a huge smile on his face! We were soooo happy! He ended up having such a good experience at church and we just know that this is his time. So many miracles are happening here! It's just amazing:)

Well, that was a long email. haha I just love you all so much and hope and pray you are happy and seeing the beauty of the rain rather than waiting for the rainbow:) I read a quote from Pres. Uchtdorf about that so don't go thinking Sister Malyon can come up with wise sayings like that haha. Don't worry, I'm still looking forward to wearing my crazy, mickey mouse robe again:) I love the work of the Lord and how involved He is in our lives. I love my Father in Heaven and my Older Brother Jesus Christ so much and hope they can see that through my life. I love you all!

Love, Sister Malyon  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 61 in the Philippines - "pictures finally!!!"

Hey family!!!!

I'm excited to send you pictures because so much happened this week and pictures speak louder than words:) First of all, I love my new companion, Sister Lazan, sooo much! Just like Dad said in his email, she does match my desire to work super hard and we get along so well:) We are so excited to do all we can to help this area grow and become stronger! We are working on helping the branch become a ward, so we have lots and lots to do!

The first picture I attached is from this week in one of our areas that is right along the beach. We freaked out when we saw this amazing sunset and had to stop a to take a few pictures:) Seriously, I still can't believe I get to be in the most beautiful place ever! Can you believe this sunset? 
The second picture is from when we had a dinner appointment this week with the Sioco family. Brother Jeno, branch missionary, and President Castaneda, are also in the picture. I'm sure I've talked about the Sioco family before because three of them are all recent converts. They are so great. We talked about the priesthood this week and Sister Sioco shared how much peace she feels in her life knowing that her very own husband holds the power of God to bless their family. 

I think I totally took that for granted growing up! I feel so extremely blessed that I was raised in a family with the priesthood and that cutie bum dad was always worthy to exercise the priesthood to baptize me, to give me father's blessings...etc. 

Brother Don Don and Sister Jennifer got married!!!!!!!! Friday was their wedding and it turned out sooo well! In this picture, Sister Rhodora is in the purple dress. She is Jennifer's best friend and also a recent convert. She was the one who originally referred, quite a few months ago, the missionaries to teach Jennifer. She's been like their biggest fans in this whole process of getting them married and baptized:) The cute little girls were the flower girls haha. The wedding was actually super simple though in the chapel and it was so neat because there were so many non-members who attended, friends and family of the beautiful bride and groom:) 

Brother Jeno is in the picture all ready for the baptism because Bro Don don and Sis Jennifer both got baptized right after their wedding! haha it was sooo awesome. Of course, we had a separate program for the baptism and everything just turned out so well. Sister Laulu got permission to come attend, which made them really happy:) 

And then on Sunday, at our special sacrament in Sua, Don Don and Jennifer were confirmed the gift of the Holy Ghost and Don Don was ordained the Aaronic Priesthood, office of a priest. It was such a special meeting and the Spirit was so strong and I just felt so much joy and love in the cute little Semillano home with our 35 members/investigators who attended in Sua. We actually needed someone to pass the sacrament, so brother Don Don exercised his priesthood the same day he was ordained and passed the sacrament! It was so amazing and he was glowing! Oh goodness, I just love this work so much! 
Saturday was Brother Joemil and Sister Mary Grace's baptism! It was so wonderful! Their whole family came, which was so awesome. Sister Marian, the mom, has been supportive but not interested for herself, so we were surprised when she showed up! The same goes for the older son, Joemar. But we know that they will come around as well and one day in the near future, the whole Gamarcha family will be members:) I wish you could've all seen Brother Joemil's face when he came up out of the water. I don't think I've seen anyone happier than he was! He was just beaming and gave Brother Jondel, who baptized him, a huge hug! It was so cute. He also bore such a powerful testimony and shared a verse from the Book of Mormon that he loves, 3 Nephi 15:9, and had found in his personal scripture study. so cool. 

Well, that was our incredibly exciting week! Now this week we have a leadership meeting with the Area President, Elder Ardern, on Wednesday, then Mission Tour with him on Thursday and then Brother Steve is getting baptized on Saturday! This work is hastening and so amazing!

I love you all and keep you in my prayers! I hope you feel the excitement of these times when the Lord truly is hastening His work.

I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only and true way for us to experience true, deep and lasting joy here in this life and in the next. I know that Heavenly father loves each of us for who we are, with all of our flaws and weaknesses and gives us the opportunity to change and improve each day through His son, our older brother, Jesus Christ. 

I love you all! 

Love Sister Malyon

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 60 in the Philippines - "HAPPY HALLOWEEN AND ALL SAINTS DAY!!!!!"

Hello lovely family and cute friends!!!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! They don't really celebrate Halloween, well it's different. November 1 is All Saints Day, so everyone goes to the cemetery to remember the dead and some little kids put on face paint and act like zombies and stuff like that haha. Everyone eats this food called valenciana, which is sticky rice, on All Saints Day. They have this yellow curry kind that's really good with like peas and bits of meat and then they have this sweet kind with coconut and sugar. So we got to eat lots of that on Saturday and still have lots in our fridge! :) So sweet! 

We also went to the cemetery and wrote down information from graves of the relatives of members to help them fill out their pedigree charts. The cemeteries here are so cool because they are all above ground since we're on an island haha. It's like going through a maze of all these graves! And everyone lights candles and puts them by the tombstones on All Saints Day. 

Anyway...I'm excited to share this cool experience with you that happened this week! MIRACLE! So we rode to one of our areas one day and while traveling, talked to the tricycle driver briefly, gave him a pamphlet and our phone number. The next day we got a text from him asking how he can join our church! We were shocked! So then we saw him the next day and he told us how he had a dream where there were two girls and an angel with them. They gave him a blue book in his dream! He said when he woke up, he thought of us! That we were the two girls from his dream! He took us to meet and teach his sister and her family and they were all so receptive and so amazing! 

We've only taught them one time and it had to be a quick visit because it was late in the evening, but we're so excited to keep teaching all of them! This tricycle driver, Brother JR, is sooo golden! He's obviously been prepared and I just can't wait 'til we share with him about and give him a Book of Mormon! ;) 

It's so amazing how Heavenly Father prepares people for the gospel! I know he's preparing people all around you as well, back home. We just have to follow the Spirit, so we'll know what's right and He will use us to connect them to the gospel! I also love how He communicates with us in the way we best understand, like for Brother JR through his dreams.:) 

Also this week we've been planning the wedding for Brother DonDon and Sister Jennifer! We are ssoooooo excited for them!!! They are getting married on Friday and then the baptism will be right after! We were planning with them and President Castaneda (our branch president) and it was just so crazy because none of us know what we're doing! It's Pres. Castaneda's first time to marry anyone, our first time planning a wedding, Jennifer and Don Don's first time...the blind leading the blind haha. Pres C would ask us "so what's the marriage blessing???" and we would say "We don't know!" So we'll see how it all turns out hahahahahaha. 

This weekend is so crazy and so awesome! So the two of them will get married and baptized on Friday and then on Saturday is the baptism of Brother Joemil and his daughter Mary Grace! I'm soooo excited for all of them! It's so amazing to get to be with such amazing people and witness these amazing miracles in their lives! I love missionary work so much:)

Well, yesterday we had Mission Leadership Council, so you should find some pics of us on Pres. FB (just so you know mom:). Our mission is getting ready for our mission tour next week! Elder Ardern, the Area President for the Philippines, is coming to visit our mission!

I hope you are all feeling the Spirit of Christmas already because the Spirit of Christ is a spirit of joy and love! I love you all sooo much and am praying for you! Keep holding on to the iron rod and you will partake of the greatest joy, that of eternal life! 

I love you tons and tons! 
Love Sister Malyon

P.S. Oh! I forgot to tell you I have a new companion. Sister Laulu got transferred yesterday and now I get to serve with cute Sister Lazan! She's a filipina sister from my batch, so we arrived in the mission the same time!  


mission leadership council - November 4, 2014