Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 68 in the Philippines - "christmas day"

Here's a pic from the baptism. Sister Shaira is between us and then the Elders also had a baptism!

The other pic is from our visit on christmas day I told you about on skype, with Nanay Andrea. We gave her the picture of Christ hanging up in the picture that mom sent me (thanks mom!) and she was sooo happy! Sister Glyde, a ward missionary, cooked pasta that she brought to share with Nanay Andrea and then one of the neighborhood kids joined as well!

Love you tons!
Sister malyon

Week 68 in the Philippines - "christmas eve"

Dearest family!

It was so good to see all of your cute faces on Christmas! Thanks so much for adjusting to the time I called, sorry it was sooo late! I loved talking to all of you and am so grateful for all of you:) You just make me so happy! haha oh stretchy pants!...I mean leggings:) 

How was your Christmas? That's so fun you got to change it up this year by spending Christmas in the grand city of New York with Kelsie poo. And Jare and Jaim in the holy city of Bethlehem. wow. We must have all had really memorable Christmases!:) 

We spent our Christmas with all of our Nanays:) But first of all, we had a wonderful baptism for Sister Shaira. She's 17 and her little sister was baptized a few months ago and a bunch of her friends recently got baptized as well. It was so cool on Christmas Eve, the night before, we got to share a special Christmas lesson with her family. It was so awesome teaching lessons on Christmas Eve and Christmas day because we just got to visit with families and a bunch of our nanays (our moms/grandmas who didn't have family with them this year) and focus completely on helping them feel of the true spirit of Christmas. 

Christmas Eve we were on our way to visit some recent converts (they are the ones in the picture where we're all standing up, Ek is the chubby little boy and then his cousin sister Euliza and Euliza's mom, Sister Renaliza), when we ran into the LA sister. Her name is Sister Gloria and we didn't know she would be alone Christmas, but Heavenly Father knew, and put her in our path! We visited with her and at that time, she really needed someone to be with and talk to (of course! Christmas Eve!). So we decided to go back and visit her again on Christmas day:) We were so grateful heavenly Father helped put her in our path so that we could be with those who needed visitors during Christmas time. Perfect, we were away from our families and so was she, so we were family to each other!

Sorry I feel like my thoughts are so scattered today! Anyway, the one picture is us with Ek, Euliza and Renaliza on Christmas Eve. They were our last appointment. We love them so much! They are so funny! Especially EK. Seriously, every time at the beginning of the lesson, if we ask him who he wants to pray, he sits there for like 20 minutes and does some kind of eeny meeny minie moe thing to decide. Then during the lesson, we had to keep saying his nme and grabbing back his attention because he kept wanting to just dance! So cute:) 

The other picture is when we were with Shaira's family on Christmas Eve. Shaira's not in the picture because she needed to take a shower? anyway haha. We had a wonderful Christmas!

I love you all soo much! I hope you all felt the true spirit of Christmas as well! We are so blessed to have the gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope and peace it brings to our lives. I hope you all have a fabulous HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Love you lots! Sister Malyon


Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 67 in the Philippines - "MERRY CHRISTMAS! MALIPAYONG PASKWA!"

Merry Christmas my beautiful family!!!!

How are you? Are you seriously all in New York??? Holy smokes. That's what I understood from mom's last email, that the fam was headed off to spend Christmas with Kels in New York. WOW! How's that going? Are we still going to be able to skype? Well, I sure hope you're on because I haven't heard anything from you...I'll get on to skype about 1:30 pm our time here in Bacolod, Philippines:) I hope that's okay! I think that means it will be really late your time? I can't really remember the time difference. I hope that's okay with you though! And if not, we'll see each other soon enough haha!

Well, this week has been wonderful! I absolutely love my cute companion, Sister Respicio! She is so amazing. I have already learned tons and tons from her and we just get along so well and it's been great. She's my first Filippina companion who doesn't eat rice with every meal! In fact, she told me she's kind of sick of rice and I was so shocked! Coming from a Filippina! One day this week, we tried cooking a Filippino dish and cooking rice... I put her in charge if the rice naturally haha and she burned it! So we had brown rice;) so funny. Not that I'm any better (Kels knows), that's why I had Sister Respicio be in charge of the rice.

Anyway, we had a super cool miracle this week. I think it was actually on Wednesday, my first time going to this part of our area called Pasil. We were walking on our way to a lesson, when a sister randomly called out "Sisters!" We stopped to talk to her and she told us right away that her daughter who was standing next to her, is a member that was baptized quite a few years ago, but then got kind of lost between missionaries and hasn't been to church in a long time now. 

We ended up sharing a lesson with the mom, Sister Shyrell, and her three kids-Sister Nova (18), Sister Shell mar (member, 16), and Bro Marcial (13ish). We found out her husband died about a year ago and she's been struggling to support her three children. When we shared about eternal; families, she started crying and opened up to us about how much that touched her to know that she and her children can be with her husband again. We got to visit them one other time this week and then on Sunday, they came to church! Sister Shyrell and her oldest daughter, Nova, both came! Sister Shell mar had work so she couldn't, but it was her mom and Nova's first time and they had such a good experience. Turns out that Sister Shyrell's husband is cousins to our ward bishop, so they already have a connection! 

It was so amazing to see how God had prepared Sister Shyrell and her family for the gospel, the missionaries, and the Spirit worked through her to call out to us, because neither my companion nor I knew them, even her daughter. 

I'm so grateful everyday for God's involvement in our lives and His effort everyday to ensure the return of all His children to His presence, including each and every one of us! 

On one of the book marks mom sent me, it has the picture of Christ as the Good Shepherd, searching for His sheep and I love what it says about the picture. The artist, Liz Lemon Swindle wrote, "As I painted this piece I found myself looking into His eyes and wondering, "Who is He looking for?" Then one day it hit me. He is looking for all of us. The Savior knows and loves each of us, and no matter how far we may wander He will never stop seeking after us until He has found us and carried us home."  

Another experience I loved from this week, was when we went to visit this nanay. Her name is Andrea and she is almost 70 and lives all alone in this tiny little, bamboo house. She walks around selling clams for a living and the only family member that ever visits her is one of her granddaughters. Her husband died and her kids all live far away. 

There's a member who lives close to her who has been inviting her to church with her the past few weeks, so we visited her and on our second visit we extended baptism. She was so excited, her response was, "Next week? Can I get baptized next week?" That has never been the response I've received when extending baptism! She is the cutest person ever. We explained to her that there's a lot more we need to help her understand and prepare to be baptized:) She came to church again yesterday and we're planning on spending part of Christmas day with her! 

I hope you all have the most amazing Christmas ever!!! Focused on our Savior Jesus Christ and all that He did and continues to do for us everyday because He lives! And He loves each and every one of us so much. I love you all so much too! I hope and pray you feel of His love for you everyday:) If you reach out and serve and share the gospel, you will for sure feel His love. I can promise you that. I love you! 

Merry Christmas!

Love, Sister Malyon


Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 66 in the Philippines - "crazy week!"

How are all of you doing? I hope you're all staying nice and cozy and warm:) I hope dad had a marvelous birthday! 

So this week was pretty crazy. Sister Snow and I were companions for just this one week, which was actually so awesome. We met so many new awesome, receptive investigators and loved serving together! We were so sad it only lasted for a week:( we got the call yesterday that both of us were transferring, the sisters in Pontevedra got pulled out, so now there will just be elders there. 

It was sooo sad to leave my family in Pontevedra! I love them so much, but I know that Heavenly Father's plan is perfect and if I just trust in Him, there's no need to stress:) My new area is back in my first zone! Bacolod North Zone, sa Talisay. My new companion is cute Sister Rispicio, who has only been out for one transfer. I'm excited to get to know people in my new area and work with Sister Rispicio! 

This past week, I really learned the importance of opening my mouth and just talking to everyone! I read a talk addressed to missionaries that said that every time we open our mouths to talk to someone about the gospel, it shows an act of faith. And that is something I have been working on developing-- my faith in Christ because that's how miracles happen! Just through talking to people in our path, we met so many people that were willing to just sit down right there and talk to us! Maybe it's because of this wonderful Christmas season!  
But most definitely the highlight of this week was the baptism of Tatay Ernesto!!!!! Oh man, I love him so much! His baptism went so well. It was amazing actually how organized everything was this time. It was cool because when we asked him who he wanted to baptize him, he suggest three different people. So we asked one of them and he was sooo touched! Then one of them he requested, gave a talk. There were so many members that came out to support him. Everyone was so excited for Tatay because a lot of them had met him or at least heard about him for a long time now. 

Back when elders were in the area, they used to teach him because his son is a member. So now he finally fully accepted the gospel and was baptized. He was sooo happy!!! Now he is so pumped to share the gospel with his family and reactivate the less-actives around him. So this week we met and taught his wife:) I'm so happy or him. I love the fire in recent converts to share the gospel! 

Well, yesterday we got to watch the Christmas Devotional, and I just wanted to share an insight I had. It was actually while they were singing "Still, Still, Still", which was sooo incredibly beautiful. As they were singing, it made me think about how important it is that amidst all the craziness of life and everything we have going on around us, we should stop and take time to notice the beauty and holiness all around us, in everything that we do. We should pause to recognize and remember who we are and to "be still and know that I am God".  We are so blessed everyday with all the beauty all around us, all the amazing people all around. 

I love you all so much! Thanks so much for your love and support and for being so amazing.

Merry Christmas!
Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 65 in the Philippines - "wow!!!"

Hi family!!!

Oh my goodness!!! Annie got baptized!!!!!????????? What??? I had no idea she was progressing! Oh my goodness, Jonny pots where have you been? I need an update!!! What happened with her conversion and everything? I am so curious! When I read that she got baptized, it brought tears to my eyes! I don't even know her, but I've been praying for her and I just feel so happy for her! Please congratulate her for me:)

That's so cool pots that you got to baptize her! You're already a missionary, even before you leave on your mission. That's so awesome. wow. Pots! Tell me everything please! I hope that experience makes you even more excited to serve a mission! I bet she'll be so supportive because you see how much everyone needs the gospel! 

Wow, conversion is truly such a beautiful miracle. Tatay Ernesto is getting baptized this Saturday and I have been able to witness the majority of his conversion process, the changes in his countenance and is his life. It's been so amazing to watch. It's so amazing to witness people accept the gospel in their lives and see the results, the changes that come from them coming closer to Christ, feeling of his love and approval for their choices. Tatay is so much more happier these days than when I first met him back with Sister Laulu. 

Actually, thanks to the fam, we got to bring him Christmas yesterday. So I hope you don't mind, we ended up giving him the little Christmas tree you sent me and the nativity set. I took a picture to show you that I will send next week. We can't send pic at this shop. His face glowed with joy when we gave him the Christmas decorations. He lives all by himself, in his 60s, in this tiny, broken down little house. It's so dark and cramped, but the Christmas decorations made him and his little home light up so much! 

Thank you thank you thank you for sending those sweet decorations and I really hope it's okay we gave them away. I promise that they are in good hands:) You helped make someone's Christmas that much more special!

Also this week we had Zone Training and Sister Lazan I were praying so hard that we would figure out something we could do for the training to help our zone in boosting their morale and excitement for the work. Our zone has been struggling lately and the last training we had was so sad. Everyone was so down and there was so little participation, so this time we wanted to do something different to wake them up! Mom's cute package saved the day! 

Once again, I hope this is okay with you mom! We were inspired by the advent, so we implemented it in our zone training. We ended our training early so we could so a little activity to get our zone in the Christmas spirit. We gave each companionship one of the cool stars mom sent (there was a perfect amount), so we went around and each companionship read the scripture verse written their star, gave their insight about the title/name of Christ and then we had written up a bunch of Christmas songs on slips of paper and they had to draw one out of the bag and sing it. 

It was a complete success. Thanks to mom's package and thoughtfulness, the level of morale in our zone increased so much! Everyone was way happy and so pumped up! It was a total 180 turn around:) Thank you so much mom! We took a picture for you with the missionaries holding up their stars.

Well, I have a new companion again! Her name is Sister Snow, from Provo, Utah. We were so shocked when Sister Lazan got the transfer call last night. President Lopez is full of so many surprises haha. I'm grateful to still be in Pontevedra and excited to work with Sister Snow!

Love you all tons and tons! Merry Christmas! Happy Sami Klaus Tag!

Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 64 in the Philippines - "Merry Christmas!"

I totally forgot to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving last week! How was it? Sounds like everyone is still all spread out! Crazy. I wonder when the next time will be that we all get to all be together again as one crazy happy family:) And no, I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving this year, but I wished Sister Lazan "Happy Thanksgiving" Thursday morning, so at least I still remembered the holiday in my heart haha. 

Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!! You lucky duck daddy poo! One year older and wiser too! Happy birthday to you!:) What are your plans to celebrate the incredible, life-changing event of your birth??? I'm sure grateful for your birth! I hope you have a fabulous day and everyone makes you feel and know how loved you are. 

Well, this week I went on exchanges with Sister Rosario in Binalbagan. It was so neat because before going out to work, we set a specific special goal for the day, which was to find a new family to teach. And guess what? We did! I have such a testimony of goals, faith and miracles! 

We tried going to a few appointments, but they weren't home, so then we were walking and decided to OYM (open your mouth) a home that we were approaching. A couple with their son were sitting outside their house, so we approached them and started talking to them. Sister Rosario asked them if they knew where the Lopez family lives (making up a name just as an excuse to talk to them...) and they started explaining to us how to get there. So then we asked them if we could offer a prayer for them before we moved on. They happily agreed, let us in and then we got to offer a quick message to them. 

They are this cute couple with one little boy and they were so interested! It was awesome too because the father has relatives who are members, so they have connections and support! They asked us what makes our religion different than others, so we left them with a Restoration pamphlet and they agreed for us to come back:) It was such a testimony builder to me that there are so many of God's children prepared all around us and we just need to open our mouths in order to find them. 

Also this week Sister Lazan and I had a neat experience. So the past few weeks we've been struggling to figure out how to best organize our time in this area. Our area is sooo big and we spend a lot of time traveling and have a hard time focusing on people to help them progress because we're so spread out. We decided to have a companionship fast to seek for guidance as to how to move forward. And guess what? We received our answer last night. 

We had just finished planning and had been discussing this past week and how we both feel like we need to be doing things different. We then decided, from reflecting on the different progress from different parts of our area, that we need to focus on Sua and the area close to the chapel. We need to stop trying to cover this whole huge area and instead focus on the progressing areas for now. 

And then, we got a call from President Lopez who was addressing some of our questions that we had for him and he gave us the same answer about our area! He told us that to be more effective we should focus on certain areas. It was a blessing to receive such direct guidance that confirmed our thoughts and made us feel so much more at ease about moving forward in this area. 

I'm so grateful for God's involvement in our lives, personal revelation, the people He sends to help us and all the resources He has given us to receive His guidance---fasting, prayer, studying the scriptures, leaders, companions, friends, family, patriarchal blessing...etc 

Speaking of patriarchal blessing, has Jonny gotten his yet?

Well, one little story from yesterday...So we had Branch Conference yesterday, which was awesome because everyone and their dog showed up haha, and I was the piano player. The power went out during the last speaker and I noticed it but didn't make the connection that the piano wouldn't work. The piano is electric. So it was time for the closing hymn and when I hit the keys, no sound came out. I was frantically trying to push buttons and replug in the chord to get it to work when the brother kindly goes "Sister Malyon, may brown out subong" or the power is out hahahaha Oh yeah...forgot... 
Well, there goes for off-in-space Sister Malyon:)

I love you all so much! Keep being strong! Hold on to the iron rod and don't let go!:) I hope you're all staying warm hahaha. Happy December! Woohoo! Christmas spirit!

Love you tons and tons, 

Sister Malyon