Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Santa Claus is coming to town.......

Joke lang. Just San Jose because here in Bohol it's FiEsTa!!! So their Patron Saint is San Jose. Right now, the streets are lined with yellow and green banners that say: "Happy Fiesta!" and all the people are gearing up for the great feasts that will occur this week. 

Miracles. Yes. Miracles. This week has been full of miracles. See question #3 :D

Speaking of questions...

1.  Do you teach a class on Sundays?  If so, what class do you teach and how many people are in it?

The missionaries take turns teaching the Gospel Principles Class. Most of the time the Elders teach, but I think we're starting to switch off cuz the other Sisters taught last week. 

2.  What did you do for service this week?  

Tomorrow Calape Zone is headed up to Loon in the wee hours of the morning to help do something up there....not sure what! Guess I'll find out tomorrow :D

3.  Tell us about one investigator or member who touched your life this week.

So we have this couple - they're so awesome. Mercy and Yul (short for Yulysses) They were found by Sister Pinkham and Sister Milligan back in...January I think. They were taught a few times by them, but never really progressed. Then, my first week in the field, Sister Salima and I decided to visit them. We visited their neighbors first and the neighbors mentioned that they were Iglesia ni Kristo...to those of you at home who are reading this, that probably doesn't sound like a big deal since Iglesia is only here in the Philippines. They have a reputation for not ever listening to the missionaries and for being really hard, hard investigators. So we were a bit leery of visiting them (Sister Salima and Sister Pinkham only taught them one time last transfer) but we went anyways. And after a great lesson, they told us they'd come to church. And they did! And they've come every week since then. They've payed tithing and fast offerings and participated in class and made great comments. And yesterday, they told us they want to be baptised and they want to go on a couples mission! 

Oh my heck. Even though it was like an oven outside and we were all sweating like crazy, I still managed to get chills. Unfortunately, they don't want to be baptized until June 24 (apparently the day that Jesus was baptized??? I'm not sure about that, but I'm just so happy for them.) so they're going to turn into a 6 missionary venture! Sister Pinkham and Sister Milligan who planted the seeds. Sister Salima and I who nourished them. And the two missionaries who are here in June will reap the harvest. And hopefully one day, in the next life, all 8 of us will sit together in the Kingdom of our Father and fully feel His joy. They are a miracle and I love them so, SO much. 

4.  Tell us one funny thing that happened this week.  

Funny thing...hmm...Most of this week has just been happy. 'Not funny' per se, but just really happy. I guess one funny experience. So every night we take the bus home. And people bring all sorts of stuff on the bus. Most people don't have their own vehicle, they just use public transportation. So the other night we stopped to pick up a guy and this guy had like 4 mattresses, a giant stack of chairs and bags and bags of stuff for his tindahan. Lolz. And it ALL came on the bus with him. The mattresses and bags up on the top of the bus and the chairs taking up the back bench leaving no sitting room. The poor guy who was putting the mattresses up on top of the bus got stuck up their (cuz the bus driver just started driving) and had to crawl back into the bus through one of the windows! Oh man we were laughing so hard. 

5.  What difficulty did you face this week and how did you overcome that difficulty?

This week, the heat has been almost unbearable. You can break a sweat sitting outside in a lawn chair at 9:30 at night after the sun has been down for like 3 hours. But, when we teach and we lose ourselves in the teaching and in our work, we forget about the heat. One of the many blessings from our loving Father in Heaven who is aware of our every need. 

Mail from March is starting to trickle in now...slowly. But I got a dearelder in which Sister Peng gave a breakdown of the average day. I like that idea, so I'm gonna do the same! Here it is:

About 5:45-6:15 = Sister Salima and I both wake up. We never set the alarm because the sun is always so bright in the morning that there's no way you can sleep past 6:30. We have no curtains on our windows,so the sun is our alarm and that starts rising at about 5:00. We pray and then I take the fan back to the Sister Training Leaders who live next door. 

If we're up by 5:45, then we go exercise. My favorite is when we run to the church in Calape and run laps around the church. Sister Salima prefers to exercise in the front yard doing more like muscle-y stuff.

6:30 Sister Salima showers and I write in my journal and exercise some more. Plus drink water. Nice cold water.

7:00 I shower and we both get ready for the day.

8:00 is Personal study. This transfer I've devoted the first half of my time to studying Jesus The Christ and the New Testament. The second half I focus on the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel with my investigators in mind.

9:00 We sing a hymn, then we pray. We recite our Purpose, then various scriptures like our Mission Scripture (Jacob 5: 71-72) and D&C 4 in English and some scriptures we use a lot in our lessons, like John 3:16, James 1:5 and stuff like that in Visaya. Then we recite the First Vision in Visaya. Then share our personal studies and prepare to teach our investigators. 

10:00 We prepare for the day. If we have time, we try to eat lunch. 

10:45-11:00 is usually waiting for the bus to our area.

11:00-12:30 traveling to our area. 

12:30-6:00 is teaching. All day. Hiking through the bukid, mostly tracting. And we walk! Everywhere! Lots of walking and hiking and great adventures stuff.

6:00-7:30 is waiting for a bus back home and traveling back home.

7:30 is dinner

8:00 is planning and evaluation

9:00 is language study!

10:00 I go next door and steal the STL's fan. We have no fan of our own so we borrow theirs for the night. We have an AirCon unit, but it's too expensive to use. So electric fan it is! We only have sheets on our bed. Even though we die in the heat every night, we put a flat sheet over us so that we don't get bit by mosquitoes during the night. Then we read Ang Basahon ni Mormon together out loud until 10:30, when we pray and then lights out.

The days are long and beautiful!

Next week is transfer week! So I've had some time to reflect back on this transfer. Yeah, it's gone by ridiculously fast. Sister Salima and I have had such a great transfer together. Good times and bad times. We've been persecuted - laughed at, made fun of, mocked, pointed at, and been treated poorly. But we've also been so loved, so cared for, and so, soblessed. Whether it was singing hymns to get over broken hearts due to rejection, or whether it was taking our roller-coaster-like bus rides home, spending more time in the air than in our seats and gripping the bars in front of us as hard as we can. Laughing as we get pelted by peanut shells and trash that people have attempted to throw out the windows unsuccessfully. It's been quite the transfer. I seriously have had an amazing time.

I have absolutely no idea what will happen at transfers. No idea. It could go any and every way! But all I know is that I trust the Lord. I'll go where He wants me to go, I'll say what He wants me to say, and I'll be who He wants me to be. 

I love you all!!!

Sister Warner

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's Email Time!!!!!

We usually get emails from Jayme on Tuesday nights about 8 p.m.  Imagine our utter sadness when a windstorm knocked our power out!  No power means no emails!!!  We were crushed; however, we got them about 2 in the morning and were so happy!


Clarin is 100% green! Right now it is banana season, so bananas are growing on the trees everywhere. And pinapples! It's my first time to see bananas and pinapples actually growing on a plant. It's the coolest thing. Tons of bananas and tons of pinapples :D 

Currently it's the dry season, so it doesn't rain a whole lot. Mostly it's just SUPER hot! The rainy season will start up in June and, according to the people here, it will be raining just about every day. But when it rains here, it doesn't just rain. It pours! It rained last week and it was so strong it reminded me of the Fourth of July when the firetrucks spray their hoses. Even though Sister Salima and I both were using our umbrellas, we were soaked from the mid-thigh down. We finally stopped to hide under the roof of a tindahan. Then we went to teach our less-actives who live next door to the elders and were surprised to see the elders home (like 3pm). They had been hiking up in the bukid and didn't have umbrellas during the downpour and had been caked in mud and were sopping wet. So they had come home to shower right at that time. Haha. 

We have no idea when we'll move in, but it will probably be after transfers. So one of us might never get to stay in the new apartment! The owners of the apartment need a down payment to make repairs to it from damage from the earthquake. So then they'll clean it up and then we can move in. 

We already went shopping. We're gonna go home and clean and then watch General Conference in Visaya. We got a copy for one of our investigators. We'll give it to her later this week when we visit her. 

This week...I learn so much every week. It's hard to pinpoint something specific. I guess I've been learning a lot about Jesus as I've been reading Jesus the Christ thoroughly with the New Testament. I'm coming to know who He is and what He did. And the more I learn about Him, the more I love Him. He's my Savior, Redeemer, my Lord and my Brother. 

The church is always packed! The work here is just booming. There are 6 missionaries in my branch. Sister Salima and I, Sister Wolfe and Sister Rineieta (from Kiribas) and Elder Fox and Elder McQuiston. Our Branch President jokes about how we're probably the only branch in the world with and Elder Fox and a Sister Wolfe haha :D The investigators class is so, SO packed every week. I love it! We have manuals and stuff and we use them :D it's awesome :D

This area is very poor. Most people have no transportation of their own. If they do have transportation, it's usually just a motor. They're very, very poor. Also it was very damaged by the earthquake. Especially Clarin. Every day we go by two HUGE churches...with only one wall still standing or just random parts still standing. The rest just crumbled to the ground. Lots of people still live in tents and the majority of houses is at least partially tarp. The damage in Clarin is really bad, but not as bad as Loon. If they have homes, it's like woven walls and roofs from like coconut tree leaves. Cement houses are rare. Most people either drive (like tricycle drivers) for work or have a tindahan. But not a lot of people work...Most of the schools right now are destroyed from the earthquake. But they were like the schools in Consolacion. Just cement buildings with "windows" which are just the hole and a grate to allow air in for the kids. 

No service project this week! The elders all went down to Loon to help dig trenches for the woman that Elder Teh talked about (who lost her grandson and daughter in the earthquake) but the sisters didn't get to go. Elders only! :( so I was sad! Especially since I was the first to volunteer!!!

Haha traveling is...well traveling isn't too bad. I hate losing work time though for travel. I hate waiting for the buses when we could be teaching and I hate having to come home early. But usually on the bus rides home, the conductors just stand or sit next to Sister Salima and I and hit on us the whole time. So I'm never tired. Just always trying my best to represent my Savior...like "What would Jesus do in this situation?" Although I don't think He had to worry about the bus conductors hitting on Him...still, He gets it!



Saturday, April 5, 2014



That's "hello" in Samoan, in case you don't speak Samoan :D Where am I learning Samoan? Yes! From my awesome new companion!


1.  Tell us a little about your companion.  We know she was Sister Lange's companion in the MTC, she is from Samoa and her name is Sister Salima.  

She's from Western Samoa and she's still learning English. To make it even more impressive, she's learning Visaya IN ENGLISH! She's so awesome! She has the coolest hair ever. She puts it in lots of braids every day :D She's pretty tall - like 5 ft 6 in I think...but no, that's not normal for a Samoan. She's the tallest in her family :D She has THE COOLEST relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior that I've ever seen. She trusts them so much and she loves the work here. Honestly, she can be summed up into one word: Amazing!

2.  Tell us about your new area.  We googled it and it looks like there is a mangrove in your area!  Too funny!

My new area...where do I start? IT'S SO BUKID! Everything here in Bohol is so green - radical change from Lacion. There's REAL GRASS here! And trees! So many trees! In my area there are tons of like...coconut farms. Just fields and fields of coconut trees. And rice. So many rice fields. All I can say is that it's beautiful. Even if we can't find any transportation and we have to walk 3 miles up a mountain, I love it. I love every step! Speaking of transportation...so we live in Calape (see last question) but we work in Clarin. So we take like a 30 min bus ride to Tubigon every day, then a 20 min tricycle ride to Bacani (the base of our area) and then either another bus or tricycle for 10-30 mins up the mountain to the rest of our area. That's one way. So. Much. Travel. But I love it. The buses here are wicked scary! You know that magic bus in Harry Potter? I forgot which book...but anyways, the buses here are like that. It's so crazy! Sometimes Sister Salima and I just laugh and laugh at how crazy it is. Also they kind of remind me of the Polar Express cuz there's a conductor dude who also gives you REAL tickets that he actually punches holes in with a little hole punch. So funny! And when he yells for the bus driver to pull over for passengers, instead of yelling: "Lugar lang!" like they do in Cebu, he yells: "OOOPS!" So funny. I love the transportation here. 

3.  Where do you go to church?  Are you in a branch or a ward?  

We go to church in Inabunga. We attend the Inabunga Branch. It's pretty small - there are 3 sets of missionaries assigned to Inabunga - Clarin A, Clarin B and Sagbayan. Sister Wolfe and Sister Reineiete(? I hope I spelled that right - she's from Kiribas) are in Clarin A, then Sister Salima and I in Clarin B and the District Leader, Elder Mataupu and his companion, Elder McQuiston are in Sagbayan. They have Sagbayan Peak, the mini Chocolate Hills and the Tarsiers in their area...Elder Mataupu is a Samoan (yes, he and Sister Salima usually talk in Samoan) from New Zealand. Coolest accent ever. And he actually looks like a combination of Harsh and Taylor lolz!

4.  How was church on Sunday?  

Church on Sunday was so different than Consolacion. First, we meet in a meeting house, which is like this tiny aparment. Well, actually it's big by Philippines Standards. We are so crowded in there, though! All the chairs were filled and people were sitting on the staircase and stuff. It's so full - we definitely need more room! So we all crammed in there and it was great. The Sacrament Prayers were in Visayan! Which made me happy cuz I've never heard it sa Visaya :D then all three of the new missionaries (Sister Wolfe, me and Elder McQuiston) spoke followed by two awesome sisters. The Elders taught the investigators class and then the last class was combined...5th Sunday, I guess? Anyways. There are lots of similarities between my new branch and Consolacion 3rd ward. I love it!

5.  What do you have planned for P-day?  

P-day. Well, my awesome new house has a washing machine! (See last question). So I washed all my clothes already...so we're just gonna go shopping and then go home and clean and study. We won't go out to work tonight because P-day doesn't end until 6pm and 6pm is the time that we start traveling home everyday. So we'll just study and clean and relax and write letters and shop!

6.  Tell us about your living conditions - are you with other sisters, in an apartment, etc.?  

Living conditions! So I love my new house. It's this tiny gated community and the Talbots (one of the Senior Couples in this mission) live in their house and then right behind their house, there is a little walk way and then three apartments side by side. There is a set of sisters in each of them. Sister Vui and Sister Clegg (The one who's still in training) on the far end, then...SURPRISE! My Nanay, si Sister Yap and her companion, Sister Alvaro in the middle - they are the Bohol North Sister Training Leaders - then Sister Salima and I on the end. There is a washing machine that all of us share behind the Talbot's house. Sister Salima and I have a toilet. No, it doesn't flush. We have a shower. No, it doesn't work. So we just use the bucket for everything! Our bathroom is a 4x4 tiled room with a lime green 5 gallon bucket and a nice big red scooper (about a liter) so we flush the toilet and shower with the bucket and scooper. The rest of our house is nice! Hard to describe...I'll try to take some more pictures. We have a couple of uninvited guests...several cockroaches and tiki's (the tiki's are always welcome) and A GIANT RAT! Haha it's been eating Sister Salima's bed - matress and sheets! Haha luckily I sleep on the floor, so I don't have any problems. Anyways, I went on a rat hunt and currently I've got it locked in the closet. We're still waiting for the guy to come take care of it...haha it's funny. I love living next to sisters and the Talbots. It's like this awesome little community :D


So Monday during District Meeting, Sister Salima asked me: "What happened to your eye?!" I was like: "Uh...what's wrong with it?" And she said: "It's so red! We call it 'too' [in Samoan]..." And she started talking in Samoan, but like, I don't speak Samoan. So I'm just like: "We call it 'allergies' and it's okay." Then she's like: "No! It will make you go blind!" So I started laughing cuz I have allergies all the time. But then EVERYONE kept asking me: "Oh, what happened to your eye?" So finally I dragged Sister Salima to the C.R. with me to take a look...SURPRISE! Not allergies! Guess I like burst a blood vessel or something in my eye somehow. No idea how cuz it doesn't hurt or itch or anything, it just feels normal. So we gave Sister Tanner a call to get some medical advice and turns out that there's nothing they can do about it! Just let it run it's course. So she told me to buy some eye drops, which I did. Elder Talbot's had this happen to him several times and he's even gone to an eye specialist about it, but there's nothing that can be done. It'll heal up in about a week. In the mean time, they check up on me twice a day - they're so sweet. So aside from the fact that I look like I belong on the set of a horror movie and people around here look at me like a leper, I'm totally fine! On the plus side, I don't have any problem getting people to look me in the eye any more ;)

Congratulations to Scott and Michelle - your baby is beautiful! My mommy sent me a picture!

Also congrats to Jaden and Isaac! So happy to have you join the forces :D

Nahigugma ko kaninyo,

Sister Warner