Sunday, August 9, 2015

Aug. 3, 2015 --- It takes FAITH.

Hello Family!!!  I love the pictures everyone is growing so much!!  Especially Melissa haha ;)  There has been a lot of fun things that have happened this week, as always :) 

This week I realized I'm not a very nice companion dahil...while we were riding our bikes in the middle of a nowhere, I saw a goat on the side of the road and thought it'd be funny to scare it.  So I went off roading towards the goat and it just stared and stared at me until got scared it might charge me.  As I turned to get out of the way of the goat, it finally got scared and charged at Sister Ungos on her bike!!  Ah haha long story short we all survived, no one wrecked, and I'm working on being a better companion so no more goats charge at Sister Ungos.... ;)

We had a really incredible time at Zone Conference where we focused on the importance of the Sacrament and attending church.  One of my favorite things that I learned is that we really need to prepare for the Sacrament.  Preparation "starts a long time before we walk into the church," because the Sacrament isn't just basta, basta (or whatever).  It's an opportunity that we have to really focus on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and what it means for us.  The preparation is truly all week, everyday.  As we prepare for the Sacrament during the week and in our homes we prepare ourselves to receive the blessings of partaking of the Sacrament.  And Sacrament changes from a snack on Fast Sunday, to something that can be truly inspiring.  I realized that I really needed to work on my preparation during the week, so I did and I testify that it really does work and church was amazing!

During Sacrament meeting the Spirit was so strong.  Not just strong but really, really strong.  I also loved the testimonies.  Many of the testimonies in the end hit the same message.  That although it can be hard we just need to continue building our faith.  Because the blessings are endless for ourselves and for our families, now and in eternity.  This morning, during personal study, this quote really hit me so here it is for you! :)

“It takes faith—unseeing faith—for young people to proceed immediately with their family responsibilities in the face of financial uncertainties. It takes faith for the young woman to bear her family instead of accepting employment, especially when schooling for the young husband is to be finished. It takes faith to observe the Sabbath when ‘time and a half’ can be had working, when sales can be made, when merchandise can be sold. It takes a great faith to pay tithes when funds are scarce and demands are great. It takes faith to fast and have family prayers and to observe the Word of Wisdom. It takes faith to do ward teaching, stake missionary work, and other service, when sacrifice is required. It takes faith to fill foreign missions. But know this—that all these are of the planting, while faithful devout families, spiritual security, peace, and eternal life are the harvests.
                             - Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Oct. 1952, 50–51

I hope that you're finding ways to build your faith with actions.  I know also that really preparing, yourself and in your homes, all week for Sacrament meeting is absolutely an act of faith, an act of faith which absolutely brings blessings.  Blessings that will be eternal.

I love you all!! And can't wait to hear about your acts of faith.  Have a great week!


Sister Marshall :)

Lots of fun in Olongapo!!

July 27, 2015 --- "It's Friday, Friday.....partying, partying, yeah!"

Hello po family ko!!

Just so you know...Sister Ungos and I found the yummiest little bakery here in San Mar.  Our favorite treat is a roll filled with coconut and pudding...mmmm!!  Also we think the rat is gone for good..."hopefully."  But other than bakery's and lost rats, there've been more great things happening in San Mar.  

This week we've been teaching a lot of really amazing people.  The Galias Family is super great and there are lots of kids.  It's been really fun to teach them because the parents and kids are involved in the lesson and have lots of questions and love to pray!  They're a super sweet family.  There's another family who we've been teaching but the father will just never listen.  On Friday he finally listened!  The lesson was really spiritual and we're super excited to go back mamayang gabi!  

Friday was also really great because we got to see these guapo brothers get baptized.  They're super awesome and they remind me a lot of Cam.  They're super funny, smart, spiritually strong!  One of my favorite parts was listening to them bear their testimonies.  Especially at the end when Lliam (the youngest) bore testimony of how he now knows Jesus Christ.  The spirit was so strong!  Chaim and Gave received the priesthood on Sunday and they're really excited to pass the sacrament next week.  They all want to go on missions too.  Gave, the oldest, is already planning/preparing to go after high school in 3 years!!  They're a really stellar family.

There is a missionary who just returned home here in San Marcelino and it makes me realize even more how fast time is going.  Hopefully I can just stay here forever. ;) It's really fun here in San Marcelino and missionary work is great.  It's really amazing to see the way the gospel changes lives and seeing the way that other's have been gaining testimonies and how mine has grown so much.  I truly love the gospel and the way that learning never stops.  We are able to learn more each day and change our lives for the better each day.  The gospel is really amazing.  I hope you're all reading the Book of Mormon each day and learning the things that Heavenly Father has there for you to learn.  :)

Love you all, lots and lots!
Sister Marshall

Lots'a white....Gave, Chaim, Lliam, mama Cathy, ako, and Sister Ungos!!!!!!!!!!!

One of the members gave us this coat to keep us safe at night, super cute huh?!  ;)

July 20, 2015 --- AH RATS!!!

Hello family!  So this week was a little crazy!  

Monday - Sister Sarfraz and I found rat poop on our beds!!  EEK!!
Tuesday - Sister Sarfraz found out she's leaving me, so we went and said lots of goodbyes it was sad, but I'm excited because she'll be with Sister Walker(one of my housemates when we were in Guagua) so they'll have lots of fun!
Wednesday - Said goodbye to Sister Sarfraz and my new companion is Sister Ungos.  She is adorable.  Sister Ungos reminds me a lot of my first companion Sister Bautista.  She's super maganda, maliit, and magaling (pretty, little, and talented!).  She's been really fun but got really scared on our first day when a HUGE, BLACK SEWER RAT ran first at her feet, then to mine, then to into the cupboard!  AHHH!!  We threw a box of rat poison in the cupboard and tied the doors shut but we think it got out.  Sobrang gross!!
The rest of the week has just been really fun.  Sister Ungos' first full day in the mission and it was great!!  We were able to find and teach some less-actives and find some new, really great investigators!!  We're super excited!!  It also rained HARD!  One day we rode bikes and when we were kind of in between two cities we ended up at a vulcanizing shop just with a bunch of people from a religion who will just not listen to Mormons.  We got everyone out of the vulcanizing shop almost as fast as the rain got them in.  Haha but this week has been really fun adn we've been experiencing a lot of miracles together.  Sister Ungos is really sweet and nakakatawa (funny)!  She's such a great missionary and loves to work hard. 

There's lots more fun that's been happening but I'll tell you later.  All in all though, the Philippines is just so great!!  Also so is the Book of Mormon.  Siyempre!  One of my favorite scripture from this week is Mosiah 16:9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.   I just love it because anywhere we are, light always over comes the darkness.  The moon and stars were created so that we have light, even at night.  Following Christ's light is so important for us because He truly is our lighthouse leading us home.  As we search for and follow his light, we will have His guidance in our lives and we will be where we need to be on our journey home.
Love you all dearly and hope you have a great week!!

Sister Marshall

Goodbye sa lumang kulot mga kabahay ko (my old curly haired housemates)

Hello to my favorite newest missionary - Sister Ungos!!!

July 12, 2015 --- Mabalis lang...‏

Good morning beloved family!  

So this email is going to be short because today Sister Sarfraz and I are going to get her hair rebonded (like a perm but staight - I'm really excited to watch it!).  I was thinking about it too but one time I dreamed I rebonded my hair, and it was so ugly I ran away from the hairdresser into a thunderstorm to wash it all out.  Haha so guess that's paghahayag that I shouldn't do it ;) 
This transfer went by so fast!  I can't believe how fast they're getting now and I just wish it would slow down.  I feel like every week I say this because it really is too fast ahh!!!

This week and last week I've been realizing a lot the importance of teaching while we find and I love the rule of needed someone of our own gender in the lessons.  Because of it we've found some really great investigators.  One of them is a Tatay who we usually teach with his wife.  When we went there, his wife said she couldn't listen because she was cooking.  We told him in order to teach him we had to have some women present and asked if his could invite his daughter, who usually doesn't care to listen.  So somewhat reluctantly, she came as well as two of his other daughters who were just there visiting.  The lesson went really well, and one of the daughters had a lot of questions and is going to read the Aklat ni Mormon.  We're really excited to continue teaching them!
San Marcelino is so great!  I love the people here a lot!  Sister Sarfraz thinks she's transfering because transfers are right around the corner, so next week I'll let you know if I'm lucky enough to stay with Sista Sa'fraz one more transfer!

Love you lots!!!
Sister Marshall :)

July 6, 2015 --- RAINY SEASON IS REALLY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Hello family!  Alright, here goes for a record fast email! This week's been great and just a little bit of everything else!  In our apartment, no one's lived there for a few years so there are plenty of critters.  The first couple days we killed a HUGE spider in the bathroom each day.  One morning I woke up and while I was walking downstairs I felt something tickling my shin, when I looked there was nothing on my leg.  Then a few minutes later, I felt it again super confused so I tried to itch it and felt something hard....I was so freaked out I just dropped my pants and screamed, "THERE'S A COCKROACH IN MY PANTS!!!!"  Sobrang gross and now I'm a little nervouse everynight before bed, ugh cockraoches!! But thankfully, Sister Lutao came to my rescue and killed it so it's gone now! 

Reasons I adore Sister Sarfraz:
1) While teaching about the Word of Wisdom, Sister Sarfraz said, "Tatay!  Do you want to become pogi (handsome)? Then you need to do this!"
2) When Sister Sarfraz realized the transfer's almost over, she said, "This transfer is so super fast, maybe I love you?"
3) Last night Sister Sarfraz let me try on her Pakistani  outfits, they are maganda.  I think she's secretly a princess over there or something.  The clothes are really so gorgeous.  With sequence and jewels , I felt like I was trying on some of Grandma Cook's fancy gowns and jackets.
4) She's just adorable in general!

It's hard to sleep at night now because it rains and rains and I can't help but watch it.  My bed is by the window and it's like watching my favorite movie/trying to fall asleep, I can close my eyes because I might miss my favorite parts.  The Philippines is a whole new world in rainy season.  Last night, we learned how to boil water for baths because we got SOAKED from the rains!! 

Our FHE on Monday was crazy because on the way there the tryke ran out of gas and we had to push the tryke until we could get gas.  While we were pushing the tryke two people stopped to help us, one was a less-active that wants the missionaries to visit and the other was a woman who's late husband was a Mormon.  She told us that she's finally ready to be a Mormon too.  They're both in some other missionaries area so we won't get to teach them but it was really fun to meet them.  I'm amazed at the way Heavenly Father leads us to people through small and simple things, even if at first they may seem inconvenient, there's always a greater purpose.  

We had exchanges again and I got to go to the beach again :)  We even taught a lesson, sitting on the sand watching the fun!  

This week, we were finally able to teach Ricardo.  He lives near a couple of the recent converts here and he just will not let us teach him, I think he's just been a little shy or something, and always say, "sige next time."  We were about to start a lesson yesterday and he was just kind of hanging around by his house.  So we started talking to him, and tried a different tactic.  Instead of asking if he'd join, we just said, "We have a message that will bless your life and you're not doing anything right now, you can sit right here."  Well it worked!  He listened and so did his friend!  Ricardo said that he has the pamphlet we give out and he's read it and it was good.  We gave him an Aklat ni Mormon and he was so grateful for it and said he'll read it.  Afterwards, I just thought, "Ah why didn't we do that sooner?" The people who are ready are just right in front of our eyes, all in took was us going that extra step.  

I know that at home and everywhere else, those "missionary moments" are waiting for you.  Each of us is truly is a missionary and Heavenly Father uses each of us to help others learn of His plan.  We know the way that the gospel has blessed our lives and everyone else deserves the gospel in their lives too.  We need to be ready and ask for courage and the Spirit to help us recognize those opportunities and reach out to those who Heavenly Father has put in our pathway. It is part of Heavenly Father's plan and syempre he is more that ready to help us! 

So I guess the email wasn't record fast, just really scattered.  But I love you all and hope you have a great week!!


Sister Marshall :)

PS The 4th of July was great here!  The Wright's (a senior couple) made us shrimp, crab, beans, and BBQ ribs...might have been the best 4th of July meal ever!!

June 29, 2015 --- Moving Day!‏

Guess what we did today??  We moved apartments!!  I'm so excited for our new apartment.  We're closer to the church and some of the members and it is like a palace, it even has two bathrooms yay!!  This transfers been going by so fast, only two weeks left, hopefully I get to stay here a lot longer!!

So one of my favorite things about this transfer is just Sister Sarfraz she is so funny and so cute!!  She just makes me laugh all day, everyday.  Her English is SO cute too!!  One day I told her, "Sister Sarfraz, I just think you're a hoot." to which she replied, "No Sister, I'm not hooting"  haha ah she's just so cute!  And she's really good at listening to the Spirit too.  She's honestly just amazing.  I absolutely love her prayers too.  They are the most humble, sincere prayers.

This week, I've been trying a lot more to say better prayers, more specific prayers and it has been amazing.  We've had a some investigators and less-active members who we've been trying really hard to help come to church.  They'll keep any commitment we extend to them, but for some reason, church is hard for them.  This week we've been really trying to help them come and we let them know them know that we really, truly pray for them to be able to come to church.  Well that put together with really specific prayers has really, really worked.  They were able to come to church, the investigators and the less-actives.  After talking with one of the less-actives, she really thanked us for our prayers, and told us of how much she'd struggled to be able to come to church.  

I really love the opportunity that we have to pray, all the time every where. It is great!!  I know without a doubt that our prayers are heard and answered and more than anything that Heavenly Father is so incredibly aware of each of His children.  

Love you all!!
Sister Marshall :)

The picture I was going to send was of us in the new apartment but saying the computer wouldn't load it so here's the caption of the picture instead:
Our new apartment was the house of some of the members here.  They are the cutest old couple and just moved in with their kids.  They left behind cute vintage furniture and this PIANO!!!  Some termites ate some of the piano, but it's still so fun to play even though you can only hear 1/2 the notes.  Ah I love it here!!

June 22, 2015 --- Let's Go To The Beach, Beach...‏

Wow Happy Father's Day!!!!  I hope you're all having lots of fun at home with summertime!  This week was just SO FUN!!!  It rained almost everyday and ah I love, love, love it!!

So many fun things happened this week!
- We drank/ate lots of fresh coconut mmmm!!!
- We got lots and lots of mangos.  As in Sister Sarfraz's bike basket was full and I had a huge plastic sack full of mangos on the back of my bike.  We're so blessed here :)
- We went to a birthday party and while we were there, it started pouring rain!!!  It lasted for a really, really long time and we had to go because we had an appointment to get to.  Turning to Sister Sarfraz I asked, "Can you do it? Ready for a bike ride in the rain?"  She just looked at me and said , "oooh Sister Marshall the things you do!"  I wish I could record the way she says things it's so cute, especially when she tries to act like she's mad, but then smiling.  She's so cute and we had a really fun, soaking wet bike ride!

When it comes to funny things people say to us foreigners it's literally endless but here's just a few:
- a lady was walking by and asked, "Elders why are you so beautiful?"  We just couldn't say anything without laughing.
- "You're eyes look like the ocean.  If we were in Amerika by the river, I'd sing you a romance song."

It's just been a week full of a lot of laughs.  Sister Sarfraz is a hoot and it is so fun laughing with her all day every day!  But this week has been incredible for so many more reasons too.  Lately these past few weeks, we've been able to get in to the houses of less-actives who missionaries haven't been able to get into yet. And they came to church!!   Maybe it's just our foreigner charm ;) There are so many people who are just so prepared here in San Marcelino.

One of my favorite things to do is give out the Aklat ni Mormon.  There have been a few people lately who we just cannot find a time to teach them.  They are always out in the bukid (farm) at the times that we are able to go out and teach.  But although we're not there, they've found time after they're long day to read the Aklat ni Mormon.  Really that's the most important thing.  The Book of Mormon is the key to our religion.  Reading the Book of Mormon is just awesome!  Because the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, I've always wondered how much the Book of Mormon really says about Jesus Christ.  When I restarted, back in December, I started putting a red box every time it says Jesus Christ, or Son of God, or any other name that Christ is known by. It is amazing, one of my friends also marks every time it mentions the Atonement.  I love it!  I'm finally in 3 Nephi and tomorrow I'll be reading about when Christ visits the people of Ancient Amerika.  I absolutely love the Book of Mormon so much.  I have come closer to Christ through reading the Book of Mormon than ever before.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it is absolutely a blessing for anyone will put forth the effort to read it.  I love you all. I love the Philippines and the people here. I love being a missionary. I love the Book of Mormon and my Savior Jesus Christ.

Sister Marshall

1) I went on exchanges to San Felipe with Sister Laguerta.  She was my housemate during my first transfer in Guagua.  The first exchange I had was with her so it was really great being able to see the ways that my laguage and teaching skills have improved.  Also guess what...THEY HAVE A BEACH!!  So I got to see the ocean (and I touched the water for a was warm, ah swimming in the Philippines' ocean is for sure on my bucket list now but it will take a year or two before that happens, but oh I'm so excited!)