Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fun Group Picture!

Sister Warner's quote of the week:  
"I love talking to little kids. We're at about the same level :D"

Thank you Ruby for the beautiful picture!  This is a picture from the Ward Caravan on Sunday. Jayme (Sister Warner) went with Sister Ruby and Sister Mondarte (Sister Ruby's aunt) and Sister Mondarte's daughter. It was an awesome time! Some other wonderful sisters went with Sister Yap's group!  

In order from left to right:  Sister Warner, Sister Cutay, Sister Angel, Sister Irish, Sister Yap, Sister Ellen, Sister Blanco, Sister Ruby, Sister Mondarte.

Jayme said:  Sunset from the cliff-like location. I was facing west and you can see the outline of the coconut trees and stuff. The coconut trees here are massive! Like sometimes over 3 stories!

We got quick emails from Sister Warner this week; she didn't have much time!  She said, "Dogs and cats are naughty in the Philippines! We put our trash outside so that we could remember to throw it away (we have to throw it in the big bins down the street) and the neighborhood strays ate it for us! Trash all over the front part of our house. It took us like 30 mins to clean it up! And so many bugs...ugh that was the worst. Lots of fruit flies and ants! The ants here are small but they are MANY!

This is called sambag. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but it's super sour and delicious! I think it's similar to tamarind. 

Champorado. It's a rice soup's very sweet! It's made with chocolate and sugar. And It's SO lami kaayo siya!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Questions for the Week - January 21, 2014

Kamusta Kamo?!?!?!

Good to hear from everyone always - sorry about not sending an email last week...just answered personal emails and questions! Basta...

1.  On Sunday, you shared a message in Relief Society. What was the message?  

So I shared the Spiritual thought in Relief Society - I was talking about how we are all Fishers of Men and I was tying it in with the new 2014 Philippines Area Goals, specifically the "Rescue the One" and every member being a missionary. Without the members, missionaries can't do their job. So I was just talking about all of that.

2.  Tell us one way you saw the tender mercies of the Lord this week?

Tender mercies of the I've had to look a lot harder this week because they haven't been super obvious, but I've loved it. The work here has been lacking. Like REALLY lacking. And it's hard not to be frustrated sometimes. But I've come to see that God is very aware of us. Between the last two and a half weeks, we've gotten 21 new investigators. Not all of them are progressing, but every day the Lord helps us find and find and find. And that is amazing. As missionaries, we come out here to help Him, only to find that actually, He's just helping us. Whoa. I can't even wrap my mind around that. 

3.  Anything funny or weird?

Haha so Saturday, all of the areas surrounding Lilo-an went to the Lilo-an church for the 2014 Philippines Area Goals. While I was there, I got to see some of my batch (actually just Elder Larson - who I see all the time - and Elder Johnson) and we were talking about language mistakes. Haha. Yeah, Elder Johnson told us of his most recent - one of his investigators asked him if he feeds his cats at his home...but Elder Johnson mixed up "feed" and "eat" ("kan-on" and "ka-on) and so he thought the investigator asked if he eats his cats at he responded by asking if they were delicious. LOLZ! And luckily most of the mistakes I've made have been with Sister Yap during practice teaching at our apartment...but there was that one time I accidentally testified of soy sauce...And I was taken back to the Christmas Party where I got to talk with my WHOLE batch...yeah. Mistakes are bittersweet. Sometimes funny, sometimes embarrassing, sometimes bad. Most of us are singing that song: "Will I Ever Learn this Language?" haha.

4.  Tell us your favorite thing that happened this week.

My favorite thing...ambot. Everything is my favorite thing! I guess I'll share my most spiritual experience of the week. So Sister Yap and I had just finished teaching one of our new investigators, and we were taking a back road (short cut) to the main road to go to a different area. And both of us got the impression to stop by and visit one of our investigators. We normally only teach her once a week with the rest of her family, but we had scheduled her as the backup of our backup plan. And as we were walking by, we both just kind of stopped and turned and headed up to her house. It was definitely the Spirit. Anyways, we got up to her house and we just planned to visit a bit because we didn't have a plan really - we didn't intend to teach her, and so we were knocking and yelling "ayo!" over and over...and nobody came to the door. So we turned to leave and started to walk away, when we hear a "kamusta!" and we turn and see her opening the door. Basta, our intended 10 min check up turned into an hour of teaching and really getting to know her. She told us so much that before she had kept so private. And we finally understood her concerns. It was suck a spiritual experience. Words can't really describe it...but I was very aware of the Lord's love not only for her, but also for me and Sister Yap throughout that lesson. Also, she's been reading the Book of Mormon. On her own. Yeah. We didn't even ask her to, she's just been doing it. Whoa. Yeah, that story doesn't sound nearly as good in words as it feels. 

Alright. So. This weeks been great! Last week...or two weeks ago, actually, I bought a new bag cuz the zipper broke out of mine. So Lunes when we were walking to our zone lunch, the strap breaks off my new bag! Whaaa? So I told Sister Yap that I would take it back and have it replaced...but guess what? They don't do that here. :/ not amused. So I decided to hand sew the strap back on. So I finish, and I check to make sure it's holding tight, and it's strong - and it is. Yay! So I go to put it on annnnnnd...PASTILAN! I sewed it on backwards! Now there's a twist in the strap permanently! -__- really not amused. Maybe it will break again and I'll resew it on correctly. Pastilan!

Also, last Thrusday, I had splits with the STL's! While they didn't admit it, I know it was a test to see how I'm doing and how awesome Sister Yap is at training. I hope I passed! But I learned so much. We split with Sister Lindsay (from Tacloban) and Sister Villamartin. Sister Villamartin and I taught this lady...she's really old and kind of...desperate for attention. It was an interesting lesson. She also taught me how to tract! Before the mission, my worst nightmare was that I would tract a whole street and someone at the end of the street would watch me go door to door, just knowing I was coming for them. And then it would be awkward. And guess what. That happened! Well, sort of. We were tracting down this area and this woman at the end of the "street" stood in her doorway eating lunch and watched us go from door to door, person to person...she just watched the whole time. And then we got to her. And she ended up being the only person who was interested in talking to us! The first thing she said was: "Sulod" or "come in". It was so nindot. I learned so much from Sister Villamartin. She goes home in March, so she's very experienced and knows so much. 

Yesterday Sister Yap and I were teaching one of our investigators, and the investigator started talking about her amazing singing voice. Then she started singing for us...for like 10 mins. A very Catholic choir song....On the inside, I was laughing so hard! Her voice was so sweet, but the whole situation was just....I think she was a bit drunk to be honest.

I haven't taken a lot of pictures the one attached is from our Zone Activity at Discovery Hills. It's about half of the zone :D my team for the Signs Game :D

Alright. I think I've blabbed enough! I hope you all are doing well and staying safe and warm! I love you :D

- Sister Warner -  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Questions and Answers

This week we did something a little different; we had Jayme answer some questions.  Unfortunately, she did not have much time because she was trying to upload some pictures of a beautiful butterfly for Katie.  Of course, Katie and Alan LOVED the pictures!!!  We have included them below.  

What time does church start?
We meet at 8:30 a.m. But people run on PST (pinoy standard time) so usually we start at 8:45 or 9 haha!

Do you understand much of what is being said now? 
Of course I understand more now than before! People like to try to speak English, so usually it's a perfect English/Visaya mix. So I actually get most of it. It's much easier for me to understand than to speak. But sometimes the lines of that song "will I ever learn this language" run through my mind...

How do you usually break the fast on Sundays? 
Fast...well, in November we broke the fast with Thanksgiving Dinner...and in December...I can't remember what we did...and in January...Dinner at the E family's house :D

Are you worried about transfers?  Do you have a preference as to where you would like to go? 
I actually am pretty sure I will stay here in Lacion next transfer. Sister Yap's been here 5 months at that point, and God has blessed me with a sense of direction, so I got the area down! Except boundaries, cuz nobody really knows those...which is bad. But I'm fine with staying here. I love it and I'm just starting to really get to know the people. They are amazing! And the work is kind of picking up again...we've had a lull the past couple of weeks...IF I did transfer, I would like to go somewhere in the Cebu East Mission where God needs/wants me. I'm good with anywhere :D

On average, how much do you walk a day? 
On average...we actually don't walk a ton. Our area is pretty urban, so usually we sakay (ride). So yeah....we're not walking as much as I walked on Trek, I maybe like 3-5 miles? Not really sure...I don't keep track!

Do you use a hymnbook in Cebuano or English?  Can you understand the songs or do you just read the words? 
So while there IS a Cebuano hymnbook (mine went missing at the Christmas party...I think it is on Bohol) we actually sing hymns in English! English is the Church's official language over here...But yes, if I read the hymns in Cebuano, I can understand. But not always if someone is singing them...cuz I have to buffer...but I wish the language of the Church in the Visayas was Visaya...then my badge would be in Visaya and I wouldn't always have to try to explain the English to people! That would be nindot.

How much do you actually understand when you read your scriptures?
Actually I recognize most of the words when I read the scriptures. Only with the deep words I have to look up. But I read side-by-side with my English scriptures, so I always double check anyways. Most of the time I get by and I only have to write the translation for a word or two in the verse...

What interesting, fun or weird food did you eat this week? 
Hmmm...I got to eat my favorite food here: mongos. I don't really know how to describe it. It's like a sud-an (what you put on top of your rice)...a soup sort of thing. And it's got these leaves from this specific type of tree (I think it's maybe horseradish?) And I'm not really sure what all is in it, but it's very good. Also dried fish. It's SO lami! And puto...which is like some sort of rice cake, but it tastes like pancakes. And halo-halo, syempre. And....Pretty much it's all good. But did I ever mention the salty egg? Haha. They have these eggs - they're dyed bayolet color and the inside is like cured with salt or something? Anyways, apparently you're supposed to eat it with rice, tomatoes and vinegar, but Sister Yap didn't tell me that, so I just took a bite. Oh. My. Gosh. I thought I was gonna die. It was like eating a chuck of pure salt. Wow. So that's been the only thing that I haven't liked so far! But maybe if I ate it correctly...I'm scared to try it again, though...

The blood stuff tasted like black beans! It was not bad...kind of different after I knew what it was, though...

What was the best or favorite thing from this past week
My favorite thing this week was all of yesterday. Because I finally felt like I had a bit of a grip on the language! And our investigators weren't like "nosebleed" when I was talking and afterwards, Sister Yap told me she was proud of me! Usually she tells me that my Visaya is "kulang" or lacking, but we actually puli-puli (team taught) the whole time instead of her teaching and then translating or re-translating everything I say. It was a very, very good day.

What is one thing you are grateful for? 
Honestly, I'm grateful for all of my experiences here. This is seriously the best thing that's ever happened to me. Every day I learn so, SO much and I just am so grateful for everything that I get to learn. 

Anything else?
It's been stormy for about a week here. Like cold! At night I get cold! And the showers in the morning are SO cold cuz the water doesn't have the sun to warm it up! It's been raining every day for almost a week now! I love it :D it finally feels cooler! And so nice!

The picture of the scenery:   this is the view from the path to Sister C's house. It's one of my favorites, especially when it's stormy like this. This was taken yesterday (Tuesday, January 14)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A BIG Thank you to Ruby and Irish

To our Family and Friends,

Since Jayme, aka Sister Warner, left for her mission, she asked us to keep her Facebook page up so we have been doing that.

Imagine our surprise when over the past couple of weeks, we have received some wonderful and beautiful pictures of our amazing Sister Warner!  She is SO HAPPY there and loves everyone and everything about the Philippines and the people with whom she serves.  She was definitely meant to serve there - it is her promised land and she has made life long friends.  In every picture we see of Sister Warner, she is beaming with happiness.  

As Sister Warner's family, we are eternally grateful to her companions she has had, Elders she has worked with, families she has gotten to know and special people who have taken the time to love and care for our daughter!  

Here are some of the pictures we have received!  

Another Day in the Service of my Lord

Kaaaaamusta Kamo?!?

So this week we had another baptism! This adorable 9 year old girl; her family was less-active for 3 years after moving to Lacion, but they started coming back to church in October after a visit from Sister Yap and Sister Lolesi. Her family is amazing.

Anyways, the baptism was supposed to start at 11:00 a.m. so we got there at 10:30 with her family... and we had no key to get into the church.  Finally one of the landscaping crew let us in the gate and the member with the key showed up at about 10:45.  - We still had to fill the font! So we went up to the second floor and started to fill the font and... blech! The water was pouring out bright red like blood (probably from the pipes...) so we turned it off and spent about 30 minutes cleaning out the baptismal font.  In the meantime, all the other missionaries in my district showed up with investigators to observe the baptism! 

So here we are trying to clean out the font and we're all so late getting started... crazy!  And there's like a lot of people!  So we get the font cleaned out and start to refill it and the water is now coming out a nice yellow/green... which was better than bright red.  So it filled up with about a foot and a half of nice yellow/green water and then... poof. Wala'y hagas.  (We don't know what this phrase means, sorry!)

So then all the missionaries and the Bishopric members were going over options:  Try to transport everyone to the dagat (ocean) and baptize there, but the closest ocean is Lilo-an or Baha-Baha....s o there went that idea... or try to transport everyone to the house of a member with a pool - we were joking about President Tanner's house... but really only half joking... so there went that idea cuz, again, transportation.  So then we were thinking about the river out back with has about 3 feet of black and probably toxic water... yuck!

In the end, at about 12:30, she was baptized by Brother J. (he's heading to a mission in Brisbon, Australia at the end of this month) in a foot and a half of yellow/green water. He had to redo it once because her leg didn't go all the way under.  The second time, he had to stand on her feet and carefully dunk her all the way to the tile floor of the font. 

It was crazy to say the least. But it was amazing.  A baptism is a baptism, no matter where you do it or what the water looks like - as long as it's performed by someone with the proper authority. 

That was definitely the highlight of my week.  It reminds me of the line from that song called: "What Heaven Sees in You," and the line is: "Dressed in white once more, making promises to follow in God's way.  So much lies in store for the little girl who enters at the gate.. and the Father looks down and the angels surround that place."  This little girl, just like a few others I have gotten to know, wants to be a missionary!  SO much lies in store for her.  She's amazing!

Speaking of missionaries... at our District Meeting on Monday, Elder Ewell taught an amazing lesson on foreordination.  He shared two stories that I had never heard before, but that were super inspiring.  Look them up if you have a chance.  The first was the story of a missionary named Bill Carpenter and a convert of his - Louetta Frye.  The second was the story of a Japanese missionary who got called to a Spanish Speaking mission in South America... Colombia, maybe?  And he was like upset his whole mission, but the Lord had miracles waiting for him in his last transfer...B oth were so inspiring.  Find them and read them if you have a chance.  They're amazing.

Monday was Sister Yap's birthday and we have a part member family - the dad has been less-active since he joined the church in 2007 and the kids are not members, but they're very progressing.  Actually, they're our only progressing investigators right now, but they're very progressing.  And I seriously love that family.  In terms of foreordination, this family is some of the proof that this is where I'm supposed to be.  We literally just clicked on day one.  And one of the sisters is marrying an American and moving to California next month!  So I'll definitely see her after my mission.  Anyways, Monday was also the father's birthday!  So they invited us over for a double birthday celebration.  We had a lot of traditional food - lots of sea food -including fresh crab!  That was my first time eating fresh crab and let me tell you, it's amazing. And I learned how to eat them like a pinoy!

Oh speaking of foods... weird food of the week! So last night Sister Yap and I went to eat at Mang Inasal because Sister Yap was stressed about being panted a ton and she wanted to eat halo-halo. (we aren't sure what this  phrase means - sorry!) So we ended up just deciding to stay for dinner.  We both ordered this stuff called Dinuguan because options were limited... and... I didn't know what it was but it tasted like black beans with chicken in it...  Anyways I got about 3/4 of the way through it when Sister Yap said: "Yeah we can eat this." I was like... "eaaaah?"  She went on to say that because we are allowed to eat the blood jello, we're allowed to eat that stuff.   Then she told me what it is... cooked chicken blood!  Luckily she told me that after I had eaten it.  So the last quarter of it was a little harder to stomach than the first part... but it didn't taste bad.  I just didn't think about it.  It was...interesting.  I still have yet to try the blood jello and the chicken feet.  Eventually. Sister Yap wants me to be like a native.  She's great.

Anyways....gotta go do some other stuff now!  But I love you all and miss you all! 

- Sister Warner -