Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A WONDERFUL NEW YEARS EVE PRESENT!

We got a wonderful New Years Eve present tonight - pictures from Jayme!   In every picture we see, she looks so happy!  Also, a wonderful young lady in her area took a bunch of pictures and sent them to us via Facebook - if you have a Facebook account, check out the pictures - they are beautiful!  We are so grateful to this young girl for sending us so many pictures.  Jayme always looks so very happy!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well...let's start in the very beginning... it's a very good place to start! I'm sitting in the internet cafe listening to Bob Marley right now... enjoying this New Year's Day :D 

Alright...Discovery Hills was awesome! It's like this "super sketchy Catholic playground."  It felt like being in Jurassic Park or some zombie movie.  Like all vacant and really old...and gorgeous in every way.  It was seriously a blast!  It was one of the last times my whole zone would be together.

I seriously have the BEST zone and Zone Leaders in the world.  Last week we ran out of load (like minutes/texts for the phone) so we can't call or text anyone.  A couple of times we've hiked down the hill behind our house to borrow the cell phone of our landlady's husband.  But EVERY night, our ZL's have called us to make sure we got home okay.  They are the best!  My whole zone is just the best!

Which is why my heart is broken! Transfer calls came Monday... Luckily Sister Yap and I are still together and in Lacion!  There was a possibility that she would leave because she's been here for 4 months now and I memorized the area already.  Luckily we'll be together at least one more transfer. For sure she'll be leaving in February (Sad face). 

This week, we had a lot of changes.  About half the zone is leaving; including one of our ZL's - Elder Rayos. He's going up to be a ZL in Bogo.  Sister Duke is going to Lilo-an, Sister Crowley is going to Bohol to open an area and be a Sister Training Leader!  Elder Estrada is going to be a District Leader up in Catmon... and a whole bunch of other elders are all going to Bohol.  It will be so different.  Back to just four sisters...

But the saddest part was Elder Verano, who received his final transfer call to head home today. In his BR page, I compared him to Nephi.  And he still is a TON like Nephi, but I think now, after Monday, he's more like Moroni.  Lemme tell ya a bit about this kid.  So first we watched a video that his ward gave him as a farewell gift - it was like a slideshow.  Then he sat in the front of the room and everyone left a message with him.  To All my friends in the Cebu Mission, if you ever end up on Negros, chances are that you'll hear of his legacy.  He's like the stuff of legend.  Then he bore his testimony.  It was so sad.  One thing he said really hit me.  He said to have held the keys to gather Israel for the past two years and to realize that in just two days, he would have them taken from him was so, so sad. 

Elder Verano went on to talk about his conversion story.  He said he saw the missionaries for a year before being baptized.  He said the first time they came over, he was sitting there wearing only shorts and he had a nose ring and after that, when he would see the missionaries, he resorted to such desperate measures as jumping out windows to get away.  But after a year, he converted and he's become one of the most successful missionaries in the Cebu/Cebu East missions.  It made me wonder...how many of those missionaries thought that they had failed with him?  He's living proof of the ripple effect.  Like walking hope. I hope that maybe someday, all the investigators that we've had to drop will enter the waters of baptism and be saved.  And I see that hope in people like Elder Verano.  Anyways, he's taught me so much.  All of my zone has, and I'm gonna miss all of those who are leaving.  Like a lot.  Chances are I will be in Lacion for at least two more transfers because Sister Yap will probably leave in February and I'm the one who will stay and teach someone else the area.

Yesterday, New Year's Eve, we had our last zone activity.  We met up at the church at 5pm, piled all the couches we could find into the relief society room, ate Pizza Hut Pizza and watched Monsters University and part of some movie called like The Most Epic Turkey Movie Ever or something like that.  Yeah it was weird to be watching movies while on the mission... but I definitely felt at home with my family.  They are so great.  Then all the Elders went to Elder Estrada's apartment and Sister Yap and I went to Sister Crowley's apartment where we watched Turbo and waited until the fireworks at midnight.  The elders did the same.  It was so cool. People go all out here.  The whole sky was filled with fireworks.  So cool.  New Year's here is a HUGE deal.  Bigger than Christmas.  Many people don't celebrate Christmas, but everyone celebrates New Year's!  I'm lucky I get to spend two Christmas's and New Year's in the mission as a sister.  Very lucky.

Weird food of the week: chicken intestines!  Yup barbecued.  It was...different.  Not bad, but different. 

Quote of the week: "I know it's time to get out of the shower when I start sweating... cuz then I'm like: 'Well, this is counterproductive.'" - Elder Johnson. Ha ha.

The picture is of the zone at Discovery Hills except Elder James and Elder Peterson, who were sick.  We were playing this game... it was like a  sign game.  It was super fun! 

Love you all. Best wishes!

- Sister Warner -






Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHRISTMAS EVE!

Bad news:  we don't get to Skype until tomorrow night!  Her zone leaders planned an activity and she can't get to a computer with Skype until tomorrow night - we now have to wait another 20 hours!!!!

Here is what Sister Warner said today:

Maayong Pasko, everyone!!!

Sunday we got the Tacloban rundown from our Stake President. 48 ( I think that's what he said) members of the Church died. All the people in the church survived by hanging onto the rafters in the ceiling after the water came through. There was a family of 5 and a family of 7 that all passed away. Also all 12 members of the family of a missionary serving in...I don't remember what mission. So when he goes home, he will go home to no family. The Stake President couldn't even express the pain...

Allright. Can't dwell on the sad or else I'll cry.

So this week has been great. This is gonna be a little scattered cuz I'm SO tired! Pinoy's celebrate Christmas a little differently...they actually celebrate on Christmas Eve...by getting really drunk, singing karaoke at the top of their lungs, eating tons of food and launching fireworks all night! 

So thanks to our very drunk neighbors who were having a great time with the karaoke machine and fireworks, at about midnight Sister Yap and I gave up on trying to sleep and went ahead and opened the Christmas present you guys sent me with. Wow. I seriously have the best family in the world! Sister Yap loves you so much, too! She was shocked to get presents from you! But we celebrated until about 1am...then most of the fireworks were finished so we tried to sleep...but it was hard. It will be the same tonight and WORSE on New Year's apparently! PASTILAN! I'm gonna die!

Yesterday, all we did was teach and eat. ALL DAY. Pastilan, I've never been so full in my life! It started in the morning when our Landlord delivered a basket of delicious, fresh mangoes. Yeah....lami kaayo 'la. Then Sister Ara passed her baptismal interview, and after that, the Sabatins (who have a microwave - yes, a MICROWAVE) popped like 3 bags of ACT II popcorn for us and gave us American candy and California grapes! Oh, it was amazing. Then we had like 3 dinner appointments - two shared with the Zone Leaders, Elder Rayos and Elder Fabiano. We're both Lacion 3 - they're Lacion 3A and we're 3B. So we share our members. We had lots of Lechon Manok (BBQ Chicken) and Pinoy style speghetti. Lami. And "fruit" salad. It doesn't actually have any fruit - just jello stuff. By the last appointment, poor Elder Fabiano looked like he was gonna puke trying to finish his fruit salad! His eyes were watering and everything! We ate SO much. Our members take such good care of us. Even if they don't have a lot, they're always willing to give. 

Speaking of food, the blood jello isn't actually against mission rules! So now I have to try it. Elder Fabiano said it's good...just don't think about what you're eating! So I'll be trying that eventually...

And ice here. Yeah...What's that chemistry term? It's been awhile...but I think it's sublimation. Where ice evaporates...yeah that happens here all the time! If you put an ice cube outside, or even just on our table, half of it will melt and half of it will evaporate! What?

Christmas Caroling...people go all out here. They bring around full bands and lots of people...and they do it for money! What? Yeah!  Too fun!   Oh my gosh. It's raining outside so the owner of this internet cafe felt the need to turn on the heater. I feel like I'm sitting in Hades! Gonna die.

Monday was great, too. First I had my first horrible gross experience of my mission! Ready? Okay. So we were teaching Sister Ara and getting her ready for her interview yesterday, and her little brother was sleeping in his sheet hammock thingy...and his parent's didn't realize that he needed to go to the bathroom. First, you need to know that they were out of wash water. They only had mineral water for drinking. Second, they have to get their wash water from a pump that's about a 3 minute walk away. Getting a bucket of wash water takes about 10 minutes. Third, we were past curfew. Our lesson took FOREVER. 

Back to the story. We were teaching Sister Ara and her brother, who was sleeping, had to go to the bathroom. But his parent's didn't realize until it was too late. So his dad was running him out of the house, but he didn't quite make it...and he peed all over my shoes. And there was no wash water. And we were past curfew... luckily my shoes are waterproof... so I just dumped them out as best as I could and then put them on - gross! Luckily my socks soaked up the worst of it.  I had a 10 minute tricycle ride and a mile long walk home in pee. Yeah. It was...great!. LOL! Then I spent about 30 mins washing my feet, shoes and socks. Pastilan! I guess it could have been worse, though...

Monday during our district meeting, Elder Ewell (District Leader) gave the time over to Elder Fabiano (Zone Leader) for annoucements. Elder Fabiano started by saying: "Wednesday for our Zone Activity, we're gonna go down to the Waterfront Hotel and do some swimming!!!" Everyone's mouths dropped. Then he announced it was a joke and we were all laughing so hard. No. For real. Today for our zone activity, we're heading up to Discovery Hills. I hear it's super bukid and awesome. I'm very, very excited! Everyone but Elder Larson and I know what it's like cuz they went there two transfers ago and everyone loved it. 

Speaking of Elder Larson...Pastilan, he and Elder Ewell live with the only two Pinoy's in our District and they taught him how to cook Pinoy food! Like Adobo Chicken! I still haven't learned...Sister Yap likes cooking and I like doing the dishes...so we kind of have this system. I DON'T like cooking or washing floors, but those are the two things she LIKES doing. So it works out perfectly. 

Oh. Saturday we had a "decompress" day at the Mission Home and we met Sister Tanner's sister who is on her way home from China where she and her husband have been teaching for the past few years. And FRANK! They love Taiwan!!!

Speaking of Frank..and Taylor and Luke and Caden - got their letters! Thanks guys :D feelin the luv! Miss all your beastlynessswagmonstersofswagness! Thanks for taking time out of your gaming to write to me! Even if my mom made you cuz you were living at our house ;) still much appreciated! They all made me laugh...but Frank...you forgot I don't read Chinese very well...or like..at all except for like 3 characters...so I don't know what you said! Taylor at least translated his!

Sunday's Relief Society Lesson was on "Your Wonderful Journey" by Pres. Uchtdorf(I think). I've been thinking a lot about my wonderful journey. Since coming on my mission, I've seen countless miracles. Better yet, I've been recognizing more of the countless miracles I've seen in my life before my mission. Countless, countless, countless. This truly is a wonderful journey.

Alright. Gonna go celebrate Christmas more :D The picture is from one of our dinner appointments - the Monticarlo family. They're very sweet and nice. 

Love you all! Best Wishes! Maayong Pasko :D

- Sister Warner -

Quote of the week: [When talking about our millions of mosquito bites that we both scratch] "I looked down the other day cuz my leg was itching and there were flies like straight up eating the flesh on my leg!" - Sister 


Johnson. Crazy the stuff we deal people here deal with! 



Jayme also sent us this picture - it was taken Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

AN EMAIL AT MIDNIGHT!!! FINALLY!!!

Kamusta Kamo?!?!

Well, I'm currently in the Mission Office in Lilo-an. Sister Tanner and the Robertson's, the office couple, are currently in Camotes scoping out the area for a new apartment. Pastilan I hope they put sisters in Camotes! I would love to go there! President Tanner is driving missionaries to the Airport to go home now! We have two leaving today and like pretty much my whole zone is leaving in January :'( very sad! I'm going to miss them a LOT. And it's Lilo-an's temple day, so Sister Crowley, Sister Duke and Sister Stoddard ran the office this morning and Sister Yap and I are running it now. It's pretty fun! AIRCON!

Questions...

 1.  WHAT IS THE CHURCH BUILDING LIKE: Our church builiding is brand-new. And 3 stories. Nindot. With aircon and an elevator! Whoa! 

2. ARE YOU IN A BRANCH OR WARD:  I'm in the Lacion 3rd Ward! There are 3 wards in the Lacion Stake! My zone covers the Lacion Stake.

3. WHAT IS THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK:  This week...how about happy/wonderful? On Sunday I was waiting for ward council, and Sister Yap was talking about stuff with a whole bunch of Returned Sister Missionaries in Visaya and they were talking so fast...so I was playing the piano and singing with Elder Fabiano and Elder Rayos and two Returned Missionaries - one from our ward and one from the 1st ward. And it was just so nindot. Brother Lukas from the First Ward is an excellent pianist and was playing EFY songs and we were all singing. It was very fun. 

4. TELL US ONE THING THAT MAKES YOUR COMPANION SPECIAL:  Sister Yap...where to start...So many things make her special. I guess I'd say the power of prayer. So far, everything she's told me she's praying for she's gotten in one form or another. She is very faithful and she is always praying.

5. TELL US ABOUT ONE INVESTIGATOR:  How about Sister R? So Sister Yap and I were panted a TON one day like a week an a half ago and we couldn't get a tricycle so we were walking back to our area really downhearted and we passed by this woman brushing her daughters hair out on this bamboo bench. So we stopped and talked. BOY was she prepared. We're just waiting until we can teach her whole family together, but she is so ready and receiving the message. She's amazing.

Wow...So last week we had the first annual Philippines Cebu East Mission Party! 

We did the 12 Weeks of Training for our zone talent...it went something like this:

On the ____ week of training, my mission gave to me:

1. A trainer from Ozamiz City
2 Brown outs (weird bumps - Elder Larson's blisters...)
3 Sick Days
4 Super Typhoons
5 GOLDEN GEZ
I'm really trunky(or 6 Dear John Letters depending on what Elder Raymundo felt like saying)
7.2 Earthquake
8 Tuko's Talking
9 Hours Trackting
10 CSP's
11 Kwan's a-Kwaning
12 Trunky Letters

And we were arranged from youngest to oldest in terms of mission time :D so I was first! Sister Yap is from Ozamiz City...

Some of the songs if you want to hear them:

Naayong Pasko - Tony Gonzaga
Star ng Pasko - Sarah G
Pasko na Naman - Martin Nievera

Yes, they're all in Tagalog. No, I don't understand. Only a tiny bit.

That was SO much fun! Pastilan, ...and because of that, Tuesday night the Bogo Sisters stayed over at our house and Wednesday SLEEP OVER WITH SISTER GRIGG! Sister Grigg and Sister Cuerquis and their trainers stayed at our house! It was so good to spend time with her again. And she got to meet Sister lil C, the girl who was baptized my second week here.

Speaking of Sister lil C...so we went to teach her last night, and as always, she was so excited and came running out of the house to say hello. Keep in mind that she's only 9 years old through the rest of this. First, about a week ago, she came running out with this box full of broken computer parts. From which, she showed me how many things she can do with them, like light a tiny light bulb and make this little motorized car run. Then Monday, when we were waiting for her parents, I was asking her about school and what she liked to do, and she told me that she likes to work. She said she doesn't like to go waste her time playing because she needs to work hard for her life. I was like "WHAAAAAT?" She's 9! She's so smart.

Anways, just a bit after that, she ran back into the house and came out with...you'll never guess so I'll just tell you. A Preach My Gospel. Whoa. Floored me. Then she proceeded to tell me about how badly she wants to be a missionary, so she's starting to study now. And she's got a count down until when she can leave! Wow. She's so smart and she's gonna be a great missionary.

The elders in my district went up to Bogo last week for two days to build houses. An "elders only" project...but Sister Yap doesn't like to do "man's work" anyways, so even if we'd been given the opportunity, I don't think we could do it. We'd have to go on splits. I want to help, though. So next time, I'm going! I'm so jealous of them! 

Katie! You'd love the worms here. They're massive! Lyssa, you'd love the sun! I'm starting to get a baby tan :D

Hey, can someone ask Ammon if he knows Kaylan Johnson? From EFY a couple of years ago??  She said he was fun.  

Alright. Love you all!!!!

Amping :D

- Sister Warner


Sister Elsie, Sister Yap and Sister Warner with neighborhood kids.  



        This is with some members at the Ward Christmas party. The two guys in the middle are NOT nurses. 
                                          They work as assistants for a massage therapist. :D


Monday, December 9, 2013

Creepy Spiders

Sister Warner said, "I'm not really creeped out by the people. Mostly it's drunk guys and it's just funny. What's scary are the freaking GIANT spiders. Like EVERYWHERE! And Elder Larson (from my MTC batch, now in my district) hit one with a leaf the other night while his companion (our district leader) was interviewing our baptismal candidate. Yeah he hit the spider, but mostly he hit the 50cent-piece sized eggsack it was carrying and BILLIONS of little eight-legged freaks EVERYWHERE! I seriously thought I was gonna die!"  It was awesome!

These are giant sized snails; they are everywhere.  Notice Jayme's hands aren't real clean!


This is at the Escorial's house. Half of their house is where they live and the other half is a store. It looks more spacious in the picture...it's not actually very big. They're a very active member family. They're awesome!  This is where I tried Balut, this is where I practice my Visaya, etc. They're so cool :D

HERE IS HER EMAIL: 

Hola!

Pastilan, I forgot my notebook that had all the important things I needed to tell you written in it. I'll just try to do my best by my recollection! So first I have to go backwards in time a bit - clear back to my first week here!

So, without fail, from day one, I constantly get asked 3 questions. First, when they see my name, they ask me if I'm the Warner Brothers. SO funny. They all know the Warner Brothers and my last name is Warner and I'm from America...busa, I must be one of them. They also ask me why I'm white...aka - where am I from. Sister Yap said it's kind of rude, but honestly I just think it's funny. When I tell them I'm from Utah, they ask me about David Archuleta. Like he is SO famous and popular here. His music plays like...everywhere. And so because I'm from Utah, I must know him, right?! Gosh I love the people here. If anyone reading this knows David Archuleta, please tell him to come do a free concert in Lacion. People can't afford to go to a concert - sometimes they can't even afford food or anything - but it would totally like make their day...week...month...year...whatever!

Also, when I was in the MTC, on one of the last days, Brother Wilkes was talking about his mission and he described this pig...and the dimensions he gave were like TOTALLY outrageous! Still, he's a teacher at the MTC, so I didn't disbelieve (is that a word?) him, but I figured that maybe somewhere along the way, his mind had exaggerated things a bit - sorry Brother Wilkes! Then, I was heading up to teach this family like my 3 day in the field...and I saw the biggest pig ever. Like the same dimensions Brother Wilkes gave. And it tried to eat my skirt. Yes, I attached a picture...but I don't think it really does the pig justice....anyways. It's massive. And now we have many investigators in that area, so I see it every couple of days! 


Also during my first week...so I met Sister Yap and then we went back to our apartment ... they had run out of dish soap and laundry soap...so we used this bar of Dial soap to wash all of our clothes and dishes for the first week. I will forever enjoy the refreshing taste of Dial :D

Then, on my second week, Sister Yap and I walk into our district meeting, and all the elders start calling me: "Ensign girl!" and singing happy birthday (with the clapping - Pinoy style :D haha) and I was all like "Whaaaaaat?" Turns out that Elder Raymundo and his companion, Elder Macabbad found the New Era Article and recognized me! Holy crap! Now they think I'm like really famous or something...so now I am officially Ensign Girl (cuz they don't really know what the New Era is...) So funny. But my district and zone are so awesome. We have 5 sisters - all from Utah but Sister Yap, and like...12 elders if I just counted right. Maybe more. Probably more. They're so great.

Speaking of my zone...so like my first zone meeting, we were halfway through the meeting when one of the Elders got a text from a member in the ward he's in saying they needed help with relief efforts for Typhoon Yolanda victims. So we took off right after the zone meeting and spent the rest of the day (8 hours) helping this company with relief efforts. It was awesome and I wish I had pictures, but we weren't allowed to take any :'( Basically, we took 50kg bags of rice, then divided those into 4.5kg bags of rice, then rebagged them. It was so awesome. We definitely grew as a zone and it was so great to help with relief efforts.

Just this past week, we did another Community Service Project up in the elders area - very bukid. Up on top of the mountain in Cebu. It was a gorgeous view of Cebu Island and we were outside the whole time helping with a landscaping project! Elder Larson went all Rambo on these bushes and completely hacked them out (just as requested) but there was some sort of weird thing in the bush and he has like this chemical burn on his had now. The blisters are seriously the biggest blisters I've ever seen and he drains them like 5 times a day. Poor kid. But he doesn't regret it! Afterwards they gave us coke and that delicious sticky rice...that I can't remember the name of. But it's sweet and amazing.

Thanksgiving. Yeah. THANKSGIVING! Sister Tanner, Sister Robertson (the Robertsons are from Hyde Park and they're our office couple!) and the Lilo-an sisters slaved away for a day and a half and prepared a legit Thanksgiving dinner! All of the mission came except the Bohol missionaries. Even Camotes came! It was lami kaayo. Like American Thanksgiving plus heaps of rice. And they made like TONS of Apple-crisp and they bought ice cream and we all sat around eating food and saying what we were thankful for. It was so great. 

We've had a few really cool speakers lately. First was Sister French - she was like a counselor here for the Missionaries in the Philippines and she is amazing! Here's a quote from my letter to my batch from last week: 

"Quick uplifting thought: I hope you all got to hear Sister French speak. If not, I'm sorry. But my favorite quote from her was were she was talking about how she asked her son to calculate the probability of her being a full-time missionary. And he did. Excluding the third of the hosts of heaven that left with Satan, each of us was hand-selected by God to serve him out of 93,000!!! How great is our calling?!?!"

She's finishing up her mission and will be going home soon :( sad, cuz she's awesome!!!!)

Also Elder Echo Hawk of the Seventy...man that was awesome. He spoke to us this past Wednesday...all day. One of my favorite parts of his talk: He was talking about his training when he was first called and was first in Salt Lake. Specifically the day he got to observe mission calls. He was saying that we should NEVER be disappointed in where we were called. He shared a very, very cool experience.  I can testify that where ever you are called to serve, that's where you are SUPPOSED to be. The Lord has a great work for YOU there. So no matter where you go, never be disappointed!

Alright. Now to some more recent stuff! Sister Elsie, one of the ward missionaries, has "Just Give Me a Reason" in VISAYAN as her ringtone! Go look it up on youtube :D it's got a lot of autotune from what I could here, but I asked her if the Visaya was correct and she said it was! So if you want to hear some Visaya....look it up :D  [IF YOU ARE INTERESTED:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3WRy3ZTOWY]

Also TAYLOR! My gosh dude, you'd love it here. I have discovered the pinapple! Holy lami kaayo. The B2 is my favorite. It's like the sweetest pinapple I've ever tasted! I wish I could send you some :( perhaps you'll serve your mission over here? You won't get to use your beastly Mandarins, but you'll enjoy the best pinapple and mangoes on the planet earth. I'm pretty sure that Cebu is the Garden of Eden. Or at least as close as it gets, ya know?

TODAY...today...yeah WE JUST GOT BACK FROM THE TEMPLE!!!! Oh my gosh, I can't even begin to describe it. It's very different from the temples in Utah. Such a beautiful experience! Even though 1/4 of the way through we had a brown out, so no lights, then 1/2 way through, the generator had a gas leak, so we had absolutely NO POWER at all! So I only did half a session. :'( SO SAD! We just turned in our names and filed out the door :( next month, maybe. Or maybe in two months if I'm still on Cebu Island. It was very different, very awesome, and it definitely proves that the Lord has an excellent sense of humor. Also apparently the Angel Moroni keeps twisting cuz of aftershocks...so I'll keep my eye out for that next time I go back. But it was amazing! So beautiful. And one I met an older couple from Logan!!!! Just about died :D they're going home in June and they've been out for a year and a half now! They asked me if it was still standing :D haha 

So the dearelders are great :D but it takes so long for them to get here! I'm just now getting ones from like the end of November. But it's funny cuz all the poems you're sending are ones I printed out and taped in my journal before I left! So great :D oh and Elder Pole'o seriously talks about you all the time. He loves hearing from you. 

So Sunday...on Sunday I experienced my first hardcore rainstorm! Sister Yap and I were teaching a lesson when it started, and we borrowed an umbrella from the family we taught cuz we had a 10 min walk home...yeah that was fun. We used the umbrella to keep our stuff as dry as possible, but both of us looked like we'd jumped in a pool! SO wet! The streets turned to rivers - we were walking in like 5 inches of fast flowing water, just from the rain. So crazy! We live on the top of this hill next to all these rich people, so the water was flowing so fast and walking up that hill was harder than usual. Luckily, we survived :D

Tomorrow (Wednesday December 11th) we have our MISSION-WIDE CHIRSTMAS PARTY! Even Bohol missionaries are coming! That means I get to see Sister Grigg!!!!!! Yay! And there will be 2-4 Sisters staying with us tomorrow night, so I hope she's one of them :D

Also, we have two baptisms scheduled for January 4th! These will be my first "legit" baptisms because I've been teaching them from the start. One little girl from a less-active family (who has since become active again - we'll be talking with them about temples soon :D so exciting!!!) and the other is this beautiful woman - she's a single mother and she is so faithful. She's amazing. I'm very excited for both of them! We'll probably be extending two more this week, one to a teenage girl and another to a man who lives up the bukid where the giant pig lives. It's been amazing to watch these people change. I feel very privileged that the Lord has allowed me to witness such amazing things. 

Well, I have a bit of time left, so I'm gonna go respond to some individual emails. I love you all, miss you all! Fiesta, but not too hard :D

- Sister Warner -



Monday, December 2, 2013

Another day in the Philippines....

This is gonna be short, but we had our first baptism! It's the girl in the picture. Her name is Celestial.

Weird food of the week: barbecued pig skin. I forgot what it's called...very interesting. I don't really know how to describe it.

We celebrated Thanksgiving American-style at the Mission home! All of the Cebu East Mission was there except those on Bohol. 3 zones, I believe. It was great to see everyone and so much fun!

On Wednesday Elder Echo Hawk will be here and on the 10th WE'RE GOING TO THE TEMPLE! So excited!!! Then a Christmas party. Hopefully Sister Yap and I will have two Christmas baptisms :D

Sister Yap speaks English! Very well, too but she's still learning. It's great cuz it's forcing me to speak Visayan.  Elder Ewell is my district leader! His companion is Elder Larson - from my MTC batch! They went to a temple sealing last week for one of their families, so that's why they didn't get to email. I believe they emailed yesterday, Sunday, while we were at the mission home for thanksgiving.
Sister Yap and I both do laundry and we both cook; mostly sister Yap cooks and she lets me do language study during that time. Usually we eat pinoy food. ;D noodles, rice, sudan - stuff on the rice. usually meat. I was pretty sick my whole first week here from so much meat. but I guess I'm used to it now. 

Very first discussion...was...crap. I don't remember but I wrote it in my journal, so I'll bring it next time. I think it was...never mind. I don't have the slightest clue - good thing I write this stuff down!

Sorry USC lost the basketball game to USU and sorry USC lost the football game to UCLA. So sad! But i definitely saw it coming ;D

Alright, love ya!!! Tell Jonni (Dursteler) and Carla (Gamez) that i said good luck and they're gonna love it!

Actually, the mosquitos are starting to lay off! sorry, no caps - keys are sticky. but the bites aren't as big now, aren't as itchy and aren't lasting as long. it's great! i'm getting used to it. 

Everything here is made for little people. often I feel as if I will break their furniture, unless it's the ground or a rock, of course. Which it often is. But the furniture and vehicles are made for little people.  The people here are so so humble. They have NOTHING. but they have family, and that's EVERYTHING. They're priorities are definitively in order. 

We have mosquito problems EVERYWHERE! 

So a jeepney is like a jeep that's been extended so you can fit more people in. See if you can google it! I'll try to take some pictures ;D the really boss drivers can fit like 30 people in, but most just fit like 15. Just two benches, one on either side of the jeepney and a tiny walkway in the middle. A habal-habal is a motorcycle. More like a dirt bike. And on average they cram 3 people on those things! But I've seen up to 6. In America, none of this is even CLOSE to legal. 6 people on a two-seater dirt bike...no way.

We get TONS of cat calls - especially at night if the Elders aren't walking us home.

Eyebrow conversations are hard to explain. you just have to see it! just pus-pus, two eyebrows raised and then lowered means 'yes', a mouth drop means 'repeat that please' or 'what?' one eyebrow up is a question, etc, etc. it's funny!

love you and can't wait to skype!

- Sister Warner -
                                 Apparently this pig tried to eat Jayme's skirt!

                                         Celestial - Sister Warner's first baptism.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An Early Christmas

Sister Warner and her companion made a little Christmas tree out of paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls.  The leaves were out of cardboard and her District had an early Christmas party - too funny!!!  This picture was taken the beginning of November at the MTC in Provo.


Enjoying the Philippines

Kamusta kamo?!

Well, it's hot here. Like REALLY hot. But seriously it looks like a scene from Lost - so beautiful. I'm now in Consolacion - Lacion for short.  Our apartment is very nice. We even have a shower! All the water here is only one temperature, though. Like...not cold by Utah standards, but it's not warm either. I thought I was gonna die at first, but now it's amazing. 

There are like mosquitos EVERYWHERE! My legs and feet are seriously turning into the Duggar family of mosquito bites...24 bites and counting...Oh they're so itchy, but Pinoy's put this menthol stuff on them and it feels so good :D

Driving is like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland - SO scary sometimes! I don't think there are any rules except half of the street is one direction and the other half is the opposite direction. There aren't any crosswalks either, and Sister Yap and I have to cross the National Highway every day. It's seriously scary - you just kind of look both ways and then go and hope that you don't get hit!

Every day we take tricycles and sometimes we take jeepneys and habal-habal. The habal-habals are my favorite, but the most expensive. And trying to straddle those things in a skirt is not the most lady-like thing I've ever done ;) but it's super fun! And jeepneys are a great way to talk to people since you pack in like sardines. Opportunities! Tricycles are what we take most often cuz it's cheaper than a habal-habal and the jeepneys don't go where we're going. Tricycles are okay...definitely not my favorite mode of transportation, but hey, it gets us where we're going!

My trainer is Sister Yap - she's super cool. She's from Ozamis City here in the Philippines. So Visaya is her native language. She's so helpful and she's so bold when she approaches people. It's amazing!

Haha. The language. Well, let's just say that when my MTC teachers said that on Cebu they shortcut things, I should have listened! Seriously they remove like as much of the word as they can - very shortcut! And they're huge on the eyebrows here. You can have like almost an entire conversation in just eyebrows. It's actually pretty hilarious. And if you don't want to talk, you don't have to. Just use you're eyebrows.  Yeah all the short-cutting was difficult at first, but I definitely understand a lot more now than when I first arrived :D

I got two mailed letters from you and one from the 4th Ward Laurels. I got one dearelder from you! Thank you very much :D I love mail. Hermana Mora wasn't kidding when she said that Hermano Mora still loves getting mail. It's awesome. 

Speaking of the Spanish Branch - I'm so jealous that Carla will be in the MTC for Christmas! That is so awesome. Tell her she's lucky and I'm jealous, please!

There's this family - the Escorial family - they are AMAZING! All of the kids who are old enough to have served missions have served, and they're all like Ward Missionaries and they're always working with us. I love them so much! And like all the members here and the people in general are just ridiculously nice. I think half of it is cuz I'm a foreigner...if I'm ever feeling bad about myself, seriously all I have to do is walk down the street.

I got a "sexy" on day one! Just like Sister Stringam said, with the hand motions and all. SUPER funny! I was trying so hard not to laugh! But yeah. This place is so awesome. The people are amazing. And I'm so privileged to be serving here.

It's so interesting. We go to these homes, and it's like a shack, and they won't have a mattress to sleep on - just like wood or metal or something, but they'll have like this crazy sound system with nice speakers and usually a karaoke machine. It's very interesting. But even though most of them have nothing, they are SO happy. They understand how important family is. They seriously remind me a lot of home in the Branch. So kind and so family oriented. This place truly is the Mexico of Asia :D

Oh the food here...it's SO lami (yummy)! There's this stuff called Halo-Halo and it's seriously like icy heaven in a cup. I don't think there's anything like it in the U.S....or at least that I've ever had. I don't even know like WHAT it is exactly except that it has jello and ice cream and beans and ice and some sort of milk stuff...it's so good.

Sunday night at the Escorial's house, I tried balut! Two 16 day eggs. It was...well it tasted like eggs and chicken, but the texture was more like...well the yolk was like normal boiled yolk, but the little bird was like...a boiled tomato? If that makes any since. All signs of pescatarianism are gone!

Also, the other day while we were waiting for an investigator, I felt itchy on my feet and legs and I looked down to find that I was standing on a red ant hill! AHHHHHHH! You know how I feel about ants....Luckily, after a brief moment of freaking out, I got them all off of me, out of my socks and shoes and skirt. I'm okay now. 

Well, outta time, but I love you all and miss you lots!

Kinasingkasing,

Sister Warner


Monday, November 25, 2013

Sister Warner in the Philippines

Pictures are hard to get from the Philippines; there is a little power from a back up generator so....  we wait patiently for emails and pictures.   This is hard because we are NOT patient!  We got this picture from Jayme's mission president - she looks so happy to be there and she is beaming with joy!   We hope to get a few more pictures this week (if there is power).

Have a great day!




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

After a LOOOOOONG flight I am safe in Cebu! Goodness gracious it's so gorgeous here! Everyone has super swollen feet and ankles from the long flight - we didn't do the exercises and now we are paying for it! Mostly we just slept! But we're all still super tired...
 
It's like 6:35 pm here right now and we just finished eating pizza and ice cream! For lunch (since we missed breakfast and arrived in Cebu like 4 hours later than expected) we had pancakes with guava and mango jam! And fresh bananas. Seriously I'm never going to be able to eat those nasty ones we have back home ever again!  This food is amazing and I am in paradise!
 
The mission home is a MANSION! Beach front property in a gated community. There's a pool with a bridge over it, and President and Sister Tanner are SO great! Tomorrow I meet my new companion/trainer and find out where I'm going. I don't think I'll be able to email again for awhile so you'll just have to wait until p-day to know where I'm at! President Tanner did say he's not sending any new missionaries to Bogo due to the destruction, so I definitely won't be there.  That's a relief!
 
Speaking of p-day, I don't even know when that is. However, I did find out that if we're on Cebu, we can go to the temple once a month! SUPER EXCITING! I've been taking a lot of pictures, so I'll try to get some to you next time. Right now we only have 3 computers and all the missionaries have to email.
 
We have 2 new Filipina sisters and a new Filipino elder. They all call me Snow White! I was standing in the sun today and they like dragged me out of it and told me not to stand in it! They're so cute and I definitely feel loved!
 
Oh for Taylor: So this place is pretty close to Taiwan....and let me tell you...you might want to reconsider seriously wanting to serve there cuz it's SO hot! Just standing outside - it's so humid that you seriously feel like you're swimming and it's so hot that I start sweating just standing outside not moving! Even when it was raining it was so hot that I was STILL sweating! All of those poor elders with their long pants...but I definitely wouldn't trade it for anything. It's hot as Hades year round, the rain feels like a hot shower at home, but I love it so much already. So yeah. If you don't like the hot/humid....it's like a billion times worse than Florida in the late spring. On the other hand, it is beautiful here!
 
Got a lot of tips from a companionship of sisters who were just reassigned here from Tacloban. They're super cool and awesome. Just gotta accept the fact that my arms and legs will probably be permanently scared by mosquito bites. But it's all good. Maayo siya.
 
Well, I'm gonna go let some other missionaries email. Just a heads up: if I end up on Bohol, I probably won't get a lot of time to read emails, so you won't have to forward me anyone's emails cuz I won't have time! We'll just see how it goes :D
 
Oh and my stinking district! Elder Jacobs and Elder Ellis left without saying goodbye! Elder Archibald would have as well if Sister Grigg and I hadn't climbed into the wrong vehicle and found him in there! And Elder Lasalosi, too, but his luggage got "lost" so he had to stay.
 
Love you lots and it was SO wonderful talking to you! I would have called in Manila, but the plane was delayed because we stopped in Honolulu (yeah, I made it to Hawaii!), then we missed our flight to Cebu and had to go to transfers, and they put us on a plane that was leaving just after, so we had exactly 11 mins to get through customs and all that. Then they didn't have enough room for all our luggage, so when we got to Cebu, we had to fill out lost luggage forms, and the people only spoke Cebuano, so I thought he said that my bag was still in LAX and so I was freaking out, but, tender mercy of the Lord, the lady had put it all the way through to Cebu, so it came in on the next flight.
 
Yeah, just to close up, I love you all! I miss you, but this is gonna be so worth it. Today Elder Johnson said something that struck me. He said: "Everyone keeps saying that part of the reason they're serving a mission is to try to pay back the Lord in some way. But I know we can't do that. Honestly, sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven. Serving a mission is basically just us giving our Father in Heaven and our Savior more reason to bless us." And it's so true. Since coming here, I have been SO blessed.
 
Love you! Amping! Kita Kits!
 
- Sister Warner -

Monday, November 18, 2013

NEW CONTACT INFORMATION

We completely spaced changing Sister Warner's contact info!  There are still 3 ways you can contact Sister Warner:

1.  Email:  jayme.warner@myldsmail.net

2.  Pouch:  Go to www.dearelder.com and select Pouch (FREE) on the left side toolbar.  Select:  Philippines Cebu East mission and have fun writing a letter.  The downside is that you can't use any photos or clip-art; it only takes text.

3:  Snail Mail:  Philippines Cebu East Mission
                       The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Compound
                        National Highway, Bajac, Liloan, 
                       Cebu 6002  Philippines


 Please be aware that there is very little power in her mission area and what is available is being rationed.  We may not always hear from her on her P-days but when we do, we will post them.  Also, we may not get many pictures - I guess many of the internet cafes don't have that capability!  

Thanks!!!