Monday, December 28, 2015

My second Christmas in the Philippines!

I hope that everyone back home had a wonderful Christmas this last week!! My Christmas was great spent with my Filipino families and the love of Christ filling every home we were able to visit. Being a missionary is the best, especially when it's Christmas :)

This week was full of great events! I'll go ahead and share them with you :)

Wednesday we had our Christmas Conference! It was held here in Ormoc with Maasin, Carigara, Sogod, and Biliran zones! It's always fun when zones join together in the celebration :) We were able to feel of the spirit and enjoy some fun Christmas games and musical performances! It was so much fun and everyone left with a Christmas gift! So nindot.

Thursday I got to Skype my family!!!!! THE BEST GIFT EVER. Everyone looks so different but so happy which really makes me happy!! I laughed and cried and just enjoyed seeing your cute faces and hearing your voices. (I'm still in denial with how deep Carters voice is.) I am so blessed to have an amazing family! I love that I get to be with you for time and all eternity :)

Friday was Christmas!! We treated it like any other normal day but really wanted to focus on sharing the true spirit of Christmas. Well many people were drunk and singing loud karaoke so that didn't go as planned but we ate so much from the members and visited Sunny and Marita! They are really progressing!! They came to church again this Sunday and have a savings so they can get married! They are sharing the gospel with their family and friends and even brought Maritas 19 year old cousin to church who told us last night he loved church and wants to be a missionary someday like us! We are teaching him with Sunny and Marita and can really see the changes they have made and are making in their lives.

Saturday was our ward Christmas party! I love Ormoc 1st ward!! It was full of spiritual messages, games, musical/dance presentations, food, and more! They weren't sure if they would do a lechon baboy (roasted pig) but I joked with them that I was going home so darn it I wouldn't get lechon for Christmas! And what did they do? Got lechon and made sure to give me a big plate full! Haha I love them!!

I hope all is well and that you are all enjoying the cold snow! I am not looking forward to having that again! I am loving this weather and enjoying the Christmas palm trees :)

I love you all!! Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Still can't believe we are almost into 2016!!

Sister Wilde 

Our Christmas Stockings!!
Thank you Connie and Ron for our cute Christmas tree!!
It's Christmas in our bedroom!

Even though I'm in the mission, I still get to wear new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve! Thanks Mom! :)
Christmas jammies!
We loved Christmas!!
Our first Christmas tree before we got the one that Connie and Ron sent! Impressive? :)
Ward Christmas Party!
Sister Lopez and I at our ward Christmas party!
FHE with the Jardin family!! :)
Had FHE at the Bishop's house and thought of dad as we had a beautiful presentation playing the recorder ;)
Christmas Conference!

Elder Fehoko!
Sister Maurer and her daughter asked for my help to catch a tricycle! I had to steal a picture because they are adorable!!
Elder Utai is so good at drawing! He whipped this out in 3 minutes.
These pictures were taken at the Christmas Conference and Sister Maurer posted them on the mission FB page. We feel so blessed to have such an amazing mission president and his wife looking out for our girl. She loves them both so much!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

He is the reason for the season.

Hello my sweet family and friends :) I feel like I just emailed you all, but that's okay with me!! This last week has been fun because everything is new to Sister Lopez! She is always saying, "Ah this is so cool!" and "I love this place!" It is so different from her other areas that it has been fun for me to see the shock on her face when we cross the river and walk through rice fields :)

We had exchanges this week with Sister Lunar and Sister Culangan. Sister Culangan is actually in my going home batch too! We were companions and worked in our area. She is seriously so funny and I loved working with her. Even though we were punted all day, she had a big smile on her face and a positive attitude. I always learn from the sisters I get to go on exchanges with and I learned to always have a positive attitude even when things are going wrong and you want to feel upset and frustrated from Sister Culangan :)

We made sure we were at the church early on Sunday to greet the members and keep an eye out for our investigators that committed to come to church. I always find myself having anxiety every Sunday waiting at the church for our investigators! Because we pray so hard and do all we can to get them to church because we know how much it will bless their lives and help them progress in the gospel. Well our Bishop called us in for a meeting before sacrament meeting started because we now have 6 missionaries in the ward I am in! The most missionaries I've had in one ward in my mission is 4 so this is nindot! After our meeting sacrament was about to start so we walked into the sacrament hall feeling disappointment because none of our investigators were there :( We sat down and I said a prayer in my heart still hoping they would come. As the opening hymn started Sonny, Marita, Angeline, and Irish all walked in and sat next to us! They all came to church!!! Last week just Marita came but his time, they all did. We ended up having 7 investigators at church which is the best I've had here in Ormoc! SO HAPPY! I'm so thankful to Heavenly Father for helping them come to church! We taught them later that night and they said they loved church and can't wait for next week! They have also started a savings so they can be married and then baptized! We love them!

As Christmas is approaching I hope we all remember the birth of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. 2 Nephi 19:6- "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." He lives my dear family and friends. He knows us. He loves us. It is through His Atonement that we can be cleansed from our sins, and have true joy and peace in our lives. Remember Him always. Not just this Christmas season, but every day. I feel so blessed to be serving Him, and wearing His name over my heart every day.
Have a Merry Christmas!! He is the reason for the season! I love you all :)

Sister Wilde

Sorry for the crazy hair and haggard face but I guess you could say that this is what hard work looks like ;) Actually it's just what living in the Philippines looks like ;)
This puppy was the cutest thing. Made me miss Gracie!
Celebrated Sister Lunars birthday!! She turned 23 but we say 13 :) We love our our primary sister!!
And shout out to my mom for the birthday supplies ;)
And here's Coco! I fed him another banana the other day. We are almost friends!
My anak, Sister Dumale, just emailed me this picture of her and her anak!! Yes, I have an apo (grandchild) They are adorable and I'm so proud she is training a new missionary. I am officially a Lola (grandma) here in the mission!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Slithery little sneaky snake.

Kamusta kamo tanan?! It feels like forever since I was last able to email! Even though it has only been 2 extra days ;) This week was so amazing especially since we had the opportunity to have Elder Ardern, the Philippines area president, visit our mission for mission tour. Both he and his wife gave amazing trainings that helped strengthen my testimony. The STL's and ZL's also had the opportunity to go to Tacloban last Tuesday where he he trained all the leaders. Sister Cailing and I were blessed and got to sit right in front. I was intimidated at first, but he is hilarious! He and president together are seriously the best. I learned a lot and laughed a lot. There is something Elder Ardern said at our mission tour on Thursday that I really loved. He said, "Sisters, you have 18 months to serve the Lord, and the rest of your life to look back and see how you served. Make it worth it." It was so powerful to me and I remembered the night I was set apart as a full time missionary. President Hadfield shared a story and said to me before I left, "Don't hold back." I'm so blessed to be a missionary at this time and really need to make every second count. This time is precious, and I couldn't be happier than I am right now serving our Savior, Jesus Christ.

This last Sunday we had a miracle...Marita came to church!! I couldn't believe my eyes! That may sound so bad but really we have been trying so hard, doing everything we can to get her to church and she finally came. She really enjoyed it and it was great because it was ward conference :) Sonny wasn't there, but she is really encouraging him and we really hope they both come to church this Sunday!

We taught Nanay NingNing the Law of Chastity this last week and the problem she has is the clothes she wears. Even thought she is 61 she loves short shorts and tank tops! She is too funny. When we taught her she knew she needed to wear modest clothes even if she was really hot. She told us she didn't know how we could do it! But she also told us she's thankful the Law of Chastity doesn't include having to wear clothes like the Muslims because that is too much. Haha I had a little laugh ;)

We visited Meriam and she hadn't been reading the Book of Mormon because she's been busy with her 2 little boys and work. We taught her the importance of reading even if it was just one verse every day. When we went back again, she told us she has been reading the Book of Mormon every night before she goes to bed! She rocks! We are so proud of her and she says she has the best sleep and thoughts because she reads.

Sunday night we got the transfer announcements and I was so scared because everyone guessed I would transferred. (By everyone I mean E. Means, E. Magtanum, S. Bernabe, and S. Cailing.) I felt there would be a change but I didn't think I would transfer. Well...Sister Cailing transferred. Yes, I have a new companion, Sister Lopez :) She is the trainer of Sister Cailing and is my going home batch! She is from Dumaguete and she doesn't like when I say her age so I'll just say she's 9 years older than me! But she sure doesn't look like it!! She's really wonderful and I look forward to this next cycle :)

In other news:

Elder Dingil is my zone leader again here in Ormoc! (He was my Zone Leader in Carigara) He is Elder Means new companion!

I held a snake this last week at our investigators home. Was I terrified? Yes. Did it squeeze my arm so tight that my hand went numb? Yes.

I fell again. I guess this area isn't Sister Wilde proofed. But I'm all good and have a nice scar on my knee ;)

JEBIE GOT BAPTIZED!! I taught her in my last area (Ormoc 2) and Sister Bernabe and Sister Lunar were able to finish the lessons and help her prepare for baptism. I couldn't be more proud of her and I'm so happy I got to witness her baptism! It was a beautiful service and she is amazing :)

Have a great week. Sending my love!
Sister Wilde

Held a snake this week.

Mission Tour! Remember Elder Balacano and Elder Gatil?? The four of us had a blast in Catarman :)
Elder Fakava and Elder Fehoko!
Me and my companions!! Isn't this the best picture ever?!? The only companions I am missing are Sister Rodrigo and Sister Minoza because they are both home now. But man I LOVE them all!
Sister Culangan is Sister Lunars new companion and Sister Lopez and I are now companions! I am still enjoying being the only foreigner around :)
I was able to say goodbye to Sister Talataina!! #missionaccomplished
Jebie!!! Just feeling so happy she was baptized!!!

Crazy birthday party!!
Tatay Takyo gave us those flowers :)
Late Thanksgiving! Best turkey ever. It was Sister Cailings first time eating turkey and she loved it!
Feeling excited for Skype!!!
My area :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Through Christ all things are possible

Hello my dear family and friends!

Kamusta kamo?? Maayo man ako :) Grabe this last week can be explained in one word. Rejected. I thought I knew what being rejected felt like but this week proved me wrong. This whole week we were punted and nobody would accept us. We were talking to everyone we saw and going to every house and either no one was there, they hid from us, they told us to go away, or said to come back. The ones that told us to come back later then said no or were not there. It was not a good feeling and we were really feeling discouraged. Then I remembered my ponderize scripture for last week in Alma 26:27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success. It helped me to not turn back, even if my heart was depressed but to keep going. Don't give up. Even though this week was hard, Jesus Christ was with us every step of the way.

I got to go back to Carigara again this week on exchanges!! I was with Sister Neemia.She is from Samoa and has been here for almost 6 weeks now! It was so much fun being with her and it reminded me when I was in my 12 week training, especially when it came to the language. She is seriously amazing and she has the best first area :) I also got to meet some new people which made me so happy because that means the work there is progressing :)

I also had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister Malu!! Yes, my best friend. We had a blast! But in a good way! We were able to go out and work, experience rejection, but also experience successful lessons :) It's always the best spending time with your best friend, and when you're both missionaries in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language, and sweating a lot, it makes it all the better :)

So Nanay ningning is seriously the cutest thing and is so prepared to receive the gospel, as well as her daughter. They are so open and have been reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day!! Yes!! The only thing is church, as they had something come up this last Monday but nanay almost started to cry because she didn't come to church but she is determined to come this Sunday no matter what! We can really see her desire to change and start a new life. She asked us for pictures of Jesus Christ and scriptures/quotes that she can put in her home and on her front door to help her overcome temptation and show everyone she is a Mormon. Haha she is adorable and is telling everyone she is a Mormon.

We had a unique experience this week with one of our investigators who I won't name due to privacy. But when we got to her home, we weren't sure what to teach. We both knew we wouldn't be teaching the lesson we had planned. (Priesthood) We saw an ash tray of cigarettes and the thought Word of Wisdom came to mind but then thought that would be chastisement. The thought kept coming into my mind and I really didn't want to teach it but when Sister Cailing asked me what we should teach it just came out! As if I didn't even say it. We started the lesson and I started to tell her what we cannot put into our bodies. We use an acronym. SAKIT. (It means sick in english)
S-sigarilyo (Cigarettes)
A-alak (alcohol)
K-kape (Coffee)
I- Illigal na droga (Illegal drugs)
T-tsaa (Tea)
After explaining that to her I asked if she had any questions or concerns. All of my investigators have had a problem with the Word of Wisdom, the most common being Coffee. I went through again starting from S and when I said Illegal drugs she just started to cry. I couldn't hold back the tears either. This investigator is so close to us and it just broke my heart. She told us we are the only people that know but that it's been a month now since she's done it. She also said they don't come around much now ever since they have been seeing us there. After that appointment I've been constantly thinking about her and my personal study this morning lead me to Mark where it talks about Jesus Christ healing a woman with a fever, casting out bad spirits, and healing the leper. As I read these stories I knew that we can all use the Saviors healing power through His Atonement in our lives now. There is no certain time. The Atonement applies to everyone and it is amazing for me to see the power of the Atonement work in my life, the life of those I teach, and even in the lives of my family and friends. The Atonement is a beautiful gift. It is my hope and prayer we don't forget that Jesus Christ knows who we are and what we feel. He can and will heal us.

I hope all is well back at home! I love you all! You are constantly in my prayers! I opened my email to find that Jemily (My recent convert from Carigara) emailed me and she is doing amazing! I am so proud of her for being an amazing member of the church and doing all she can to learn more and stay strong :)

I love you all!

Sister Wilde

 PS HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARTER!!! You are the best and I can't believe you are 15! You can drive!! Time flies, and I can't believe how grown up you are. I love you and hope you keep on being the amazing kid that you are. I love you!!!

We can't wait to hear our families voices and see their beautiful faces :) :)
My companion and our favorite treat! Well my favorite treat :) I will make sure to bring some home so you can give them a try!!
LOVE these sisters!!
My companion :)
Sister Lunar!
Sister Neemia!

Exchanges with Sister Malu :)
You all know the EFY song "Give me mountains to climb, give me rivers to cross..." That is my area!!

Nanay Ningning 61 years old but climbing trees to give us papaya :)