Sunday, January 25, 2015

Week 72 in the Philippines - "miracles!"

Wow, I am full of so many mixed emotions! This week has been crazy. We had so many miracles happen this week! 

One I want to share with you:) So Sister Ginalyn is about 14 and so awesome. She's friends with the recent converts that all live in Nacab-all the Yound Women. So she's been coming to church and investigating for a while now, and ever since we've been teaching her, her mom has been telling us that she likes for her daughter to be involved in the church and everything, but doesn't want her to get baptized and change religions. Well, we've been teaching her mom and praying so hard that she would have a change of heart because Sister Ginalyn had such a big desire to get baptized. We have seen such amazing changes in her as she has been living the commandments of God. So we prayed really hard and then asked Sister Ginalyn's mom on Wednesday to please reconsider. So she agreed to talk to her husband, because Ginalyn had personally asked her as well, and said she'd get back to us. On Friday, we went back and before we could even ask, Sister Alma (Ginalyn's mom), told us that she and her husband had talked it through and decided that Sister Ginalyn can get baptized!!!!!! It was so amazing. 

At the time she told us, Ginalyn wasn't in the room and she still didn't know. When Ginalyn came back, her mom asked her what day she was getting baptized and Ginalyn's face lit up soooo bright! "I can get baptized?" Then Sister Ginalyn gave the closing prayer and started crying while thanking Heavenly Father with all her heart that she could now get baptized:) Sister Respicio and I got teared up as well and even Sister Alma. MIRACLE!!!!! We know one day, not too far away, Sister Alma and their whole family will follow behind Ginalyn's lead and get baptized too:)

I'm so grateful and know it was the work of the Spirit that touched Sister Ginalyn's parents hearts and helped them realize that getting baptized was the right thing for their daughter. It was so neat yesterday when we were reviewing the baptismal interview questions with Sis Ginalyn, she shared with us the changes she saw in herself personally since accepting the gospel in her life. It was sooo incredible to hear a 14-year old girl seeing the effects of learning how to and implementing how to become more like our Savior to become a better person. 

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much.

Also, yesterday Nanay Maria got baptized!!!! It was soooo beautiful!!! Her son, Bishop Quinquero baptized her and it was just wonderful. She was glowing and soo happy! 

I love this work so much:) And know it will continue even after I get home. There's so much we can do as member missionaries! I love you all so much! See you soon!

Love, Sister Malyon

P.S. THANKS SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR THE AWESOME PACKAGES!!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE THE MOST AMAZING FAMILY AND SUPPORT GROUP EVER!!! Seriously, I got them this week and it was perfect timing because with this being like the most emotional week ever, all I wanted was chocolate! Heavenly Father's timing is perfect and I have the most incredible family ever. Thanks so much mom, dad, Aunt Kathy, Grandma, Grandpa!!!!! All of you!!!!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 71 in the Philippines - "kasanag ni Cristo"

Dearest family!

How are you all cutie pies doing? This week was so amazing:) We had a one-day mission on Saturday, which was my first time. It was so cool! We met at the church in the morning with a bunch of ward missionaries and even some other members. We listed all the different areas within our ward and then all the less-actives in each area, then split into groups and visited everyone! Well, almost everyone;) We worked in the morning, came back to the church and had a delicious lunch together and then went back out in the afternoon. It was so awesome because we got to visit so many people with all of us working together and the results were amazing as we had a high attendance at church on Sunday. There's so much power in working together with members to do missionary work! 

Yesterday at church we had so many investigators, I think the most I've had my whole mission! It was so amazing! They were mostly part-member and friends of members. There's this one group of young women that is so amazing. They are all from the same little neighborhood and now there are about five of them who are recent converts, one who has been a member for a long time, and gradually more and more of their friends are being taught as well! It's so cool. Yesterday, they all showed up at church together and they brought their friends, including one friend we had never even met before, but wants to be taught! One of their friends who has been going to church for a while now and we've been teaching, Sister Ginalyn, really wants to get baptized and her friends have all been so supportive and encouraging, but her mom doesn't want her to:( Her mom doesn't want her to be the only one a different religion, with the rest of them Catholic. We've been trying to teach her family too and now we are all praying that her mom will soften her heart and let her get baptized. But it's just been so cool to see this cute group of young women be so excited about the gospel that all their friends want to learn as well!

So I think I told you about Sister Maria who is getting baptized this Jan 25! She's getting baptized on her 80th birthday and is so excited:) It's so cute because she has made friends with one of our recent converts, who is another one of my favorite people, Nanay Alicia. She's about the same age as Nanay Maria and they both sit by each other every week in church. Anyway, this week Sister Maria was telling us how she used to want God to just take her because she's ready, but now she wants more time to keep going to church! She was like, I just now started going to the true church, I need more time to keep attending! She prays every time we visit her that she will have the strength in her body to be able to attend church that week:) She's so cute. 

Well, I was just noticing this morning how miraculous accepting the gospel into your life is. Witnessing someone who either embraces the gospel for the first time, or makes changes in their lives to come back to the fold, is truly the most incredible miracle. You can see/feel a tangible light that comes into their countenance as they leave behind the darkness and come into the light of the gospel! It's so amazing. I just love the gospel of Jesus Christ and know it is the ONLY way for us to truly be happy here on earth, despite our circumstances, and experience eternal happiness in the next life.

I love you all soooooooo much!!!!!!! I encourage you strive to see the miracles in your lives everyday:) There are always miracles as long as we have faith in Christ.

Love you tons!
Sister Malyon 


Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 70 in the Philippines - "scripture study"

 So this week I think the biggest lesson we learned was how important scripture study is. Sister Respicio and I have been emphasizing scripture study so much lately and we are seeing the results! There is a direct correlation between scripture study and church attendance. It's so amazing the less-actives that are now returning because they are reading the Book of Mormon again. It's like we don't even have to tell them the importance of coming to church or focus so much on trying to resolve their concerns because as long as they are reading and pondering the word of God, He will resolve their concerns and give them the strength and reminder to keep His commandments, like going to church. 

Lessons are fun too because when we invite them to share about their reading, we get to be the ones who learn from them! After emphasizing it's importance so much,now we have people,like our recent convert who is 13-Bella, who as soon as we saw her, excitedly told us "Sis, I'm in 1 Nephi 11 now!" 

I read Elder Scott's talk this week about faith and how scripture study is one way we strengthen our faith. He was very bold in saying that it is Satan's lie to us when we think we are too busy to read the scriptures. He said that nothing is more important, not even sleep or school! One cute ward missionary who is also a recent convert, wrote me a letter this week and in her letter she told me how even when she is so tired from working all day,she still reads the Book of Mormon every day. Yesterday she got to go to church because her boss this week changed their work schedule so that now her day off is on Sunday! She said she had been praying so hard that that would happen and it did! I know that it was because she was strengthening her faith in Christ everyday through reading the Book of Mormon;)  

One cool experience this week was that we have been working with this one investigator to try and get her to stop smoking so she can get baptized. Most of her kids are members and she's known the church is true and everything for a while now, but just hasn't been able to quit smoking. This week she finally stopped! She's been coming to church every week and reading the Book of Mormon and even got a priesthood blessing,using all her resources to receive the strength she needs to quit. We even made a no smoking sign with a picture of how your body is a temple;) haha It was so cool though yesterday because her kids showed up at church and told us that their mom was exhausted from doing all the laundry the night before and wouldn't make it to church. But she surprised us all by coming late! She ended up deciding to come even though at first she was shy that she would be late, but decided she should go to church anyway. I think she is realizing how much she needs all the help she can get to change and overcome her addiction and truly show her repentance. So amazing.

Also this week one of our ward missionaries referred her friend to us and when we went to teach her, her mom and younger siblings all joined and they were all so interested! It was so cool to see how they were just so engaged in listening to the lesson of the restoration. We emphasized how the gospel is for families and the mom said next time,they will gather everyone together to listen:) so cute. It's so amazing to meet such prepared people everyday! And see the importance of referring our friends to the missionaries!;)

I love you all soooo much! Keep reading the Book of Mormon and you will not go astray!

Love, Sister Malyon

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 69 in the Philippines - "new years resolutions"

My dear family!

Happy new year! Welcome to the exciting year of 2015!!! Woohoo! How was your new year celebration??? You should all feel sad for missing out on macaroni salad that comes with new year celebration here:) Macaroni salad here is not what you would imagine. It consists of macaroni pasta noodles, sweet cream, fruit cocktail, cheese and sometimes corn. Ya it's not too bad, but when every single home you
visit on new years day, serves you a big bowl of it, you start to feel kind a sick to your stomach:)

Well, this week was pretty hilarious. We just had funny experiences every single day. I love Sister Respicio because we just laugh at everything. One such experience went like this: So we were walking and Sister Respicio pointed to a sister and said "That's Sister Rios", who is a LA I haven't met yet. So I approached who I thought Sister Respicio had pointed to, and just started talking to this sister like
we were old best friends, thinking she was a LA member who already knew Sister Respicio... As we were talking, Sister Respicio asks her "Where do you live?" Which made me all confused because I thought she
already knew where she lived...So then I figured out this was not the sister she had pointed to and had to introduce ourselves and ask this sister her name... But the crazy part is, she turned out to be a member after all! She hadn't been to church in years, so we got to invite her to come try again. So even though Sister Respicio was laughing so hard at me for approaching the wrong person, someone we had both never met before (she thought maybe I knew the sister from a previous area), and pretending we were close friends and everything,

Heavenly Father purposely put her in our path so she could be reminded of her membership in the church:) He sure works in funny ways sometimes, or maybe just through unobservant people off in their own world;)

One other experience I would love to share with you all, is about Nany Maria, who is in the picture I am sending. She is Bishop Quinquero's mother, who is one of our investigators. She attended church for the first time last week and again yesterday. But the cool experience was on Tuesday. We were teaching her lesson 3, planning on extending baptism at the end, but she beat us to it! We were talking about the importance of baptism, and she stopped us and said "Sisters, I am ready and want to get baptized". And then when we extended the day for Jan 31, she was like, "how about January 25! On my 80th birthday!" 

She had it all figured out:) It has been so amazing this week to see the change in her though. She used to be hesitant about everything until she finally got to church! and now everything is just coming together! She is so excited for her baptism, telling everyone, she even invited another one of our investigators to get baptized with her! Every time we visit her now, she is so much happier-the power of the gospel:)

Well, I just want to leave you with a quote I read by Elder Cook from his talk about choices from the priesthood session of last conference. He said "...I encourage everyone, both young and old, to review goals and objectives and strive to exercise greater discipline. Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to
rise above rationalizations and distractions. It is especially important to make choices consistent with our covenants to serve Jesus Christ in righteousness. We must not take our eyes off or drop that ball for any reason...In all things we should remember that being "valiant in the testimony of Jesus" is the great dividing test between the celestial and terrestrial kingdoms."

I thought this was such a good reminder as we make our new years resolutions for the year 2015! I love you all! Thanks for your examples to me and to everyone! I love you all tons and tons!

Love, Sister Malyon