Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

The days are really going by faster and faster! I can never even remember the week by the time I can write sorry if this is lame. I need to start taking notes and just send those in an email. 

We have been so busy with teaching people..if only you could see my shoes. I've been here not even two weeks and we have to go buy me some new shoes today because they are all worn out and muddy-Ya I know I'm so rugged now..haha joke lang! 

Where to start? 

Each day we have companionship study and make lesson plans and practice in english then in tagalog. I'm always annoyed because nothing I say in english can I say in tagalog so we start with really really simple sentences. Through this I've learned that the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple! It doesnt require a degree or a diverse knowledge of language. It is simple. 

Family and friends I know that as we do all we can to follow the example of Jesus Christ we will be blessed. We will see the blessings as we are obedient to the commandments of God. They may not come exactly how we expected or when we expect, but they always come. 

I'm running out of time. Expect more next time. 

Be happy! Happy New Year! 
Sister Mahe

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Adventures in Palawan

Kumusta Po Kayo!
Family and friends! I am now in the mission field and in my first area of PALWAN.
I am so grateful to be here! All the manila missionaries dream of coming here- so lucky me! There are only 8 sisters on the island and we are all in the Puerto Pricessa area! So last Wednesday we went to transfer meeting in Manila and they announced I was going to Palawan, and to get there you travel by plane and I could only take one bag that was 20 kilos! So momentary panic attack because I have two suitcases both well over 20 kilos. So I still have a bag at the mission home in Manila and I cant even remember what I left and what I brought? I brought my clothes some shoes and my scriptures..the rest is well apparently not going to be important for now.

 We got here around 10pm on Wednesday and I met my trainer Sister Thompson from Idaho, she is great and helps me a ton! I call her nanay which means mom and I'm her anak (or child) haha so glad I have a cool nanay. Her tagalog is great and she is white so whenever we ride in tricycles (the main for of transportation- think motorcycle with a seat attached on the side) everyone is so surprised that she can speak and understand them. My understanding is getting a lot better and my vocab is expanding tons- I just want to have it perfect right now!!! But I know that will come with time. The ward we are in is super wonderful! Our Branch president works for the church and goes to mainland Philippines and Manila a lot and this pastsaturday brought us back krispy kreme donuts- he is a saint! 
Last night we had a brown out (or loss of power) and just as we were finishing prayers and going to sleep it came back on! Yay for fans in the night so we don't die of heat! 

A part member family we teach a lot is the Gonzalez family and I love them! Sister Gonzalez was just recently baptized and we are teaching her husband and cousin. The live in a small thatched house and there is not electricity so whenever we teach it is by candle light! It is a blessed experience to be teaching in such humble circumstances- but really they are spiritual giants and love the gospel of Jesus Christ...and they always help me with my tagalog and smile and agree even when I know they have no idea what I just said..haha bless their hearts! 

Something I have really learned so far is about true conversion- it is not just having a testimony and being baptized..It is truly being converted to the true gospel of Christ, it is being so converted to the Lord that even when life becomes a struggle and challenges come our faith will not waiver. Being converted means truly becoming a disciple of Christ- following his example and following it forever. Of course we will make mistakes, but if we have faith enough in our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit we can have an assurance that we can be forgiven- that all that is unfair in life can be made right.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 
I really do hope its a good one and that it finds you happy and surrounded by love ones! 
Mahal Po Kayo
Sister Mahe

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Manila, Manila, I'm going to MANILA

Maligayang Pasko lahat! Merry Chirstmas everyone! 

Funny story to start off with, this week I was playing basketball at gym and we were all getting really into it. Sister Haffen and I were running after the ball and she dove for it and I slid on my knees to reach it first, we all had a good laugh and then I looked down and realized not only had I bumped my knee but I burned a hole in my pants..I KID NO, friction or the laws of motion or whatever, there is a melted hole in my workout pants now. The lesson? Get up and keep playing even if you burn holes in your knees of your pants-cause the pain is temporary but that free shot I made..priceless!  

I am so excited Christmas is almost here, I love the Christmas season and so does the Philippines. Of course it is still like 90 degrees outside and humid as ever..but it is Christmas and there are lights everywhere and the spirit of the season is abounding! 

This week has been really great. It is our last week here in the MTC and my batch will leave for the mission field on Wednesday! It is sad of course to leave the MTC, it feels a bit like we are at missionary college and have this awesome job lined up already! But we are all mainly excited to get into the field and GET TO WORK! 

This past wednesday we went on outside splits with in-field missionaries again and this time we went to the MANILA mission!! So exciting, I loved meeting people and seeing areas I will be serving in sometime.

 The traffic in Manila is a little insane though! I'm pretty sure absolutely no driver here follows the rules of the road- the meaning green means go and red means stop and stay in your lane really have no relevance here. Driving is always an adventure, which is probably why manila is just a walking mission. 

Earlier this week we also got to watch The Christmas devotional broadcast from Salt Lake City! It was wonderful, I loved President Monson's point that Chrtistmas isn't about giving things, its about giving of ourselves. We should all be as the wise men and make that journey to Bethlehem bringing with us our whole heart as a gift to The Lord. As he expressed, The true spirit of Christmas comes if only we'd drop the last syllable and have The true spirit of Christ. In many on our lessons with people we shared messages of Christmas, most people don't have the means to buy their children and fancy gifts or sweets. But we all have the opportunity to share with them the love the Christ has, there are so many that need their burdens life, so many kind words to be said, so much peace to give. 

LETS give those gifts that matter most, give gifts of yourself and your time, because those are gifts that last, those are gifts that change lives. 
This is my Christmas wish for you all. 

Sister Mahe

Friday, November 29, 2013


Magandang Hapon,
Its been a really nice morning(umaga) and afternoon(hapon) here(dito) in the(sa) Philippines.
This week went by sobra fast!!! (very fast). The days still feel like forever but then all the sudden we're in the district room planning and like, Oh my we are already almost finished with week 3! The oldest batch or intake of missionaries leave to their areas on wendesday. So the batch I'm in will be the senior batch! And we get to start proselyting and teaching in the city for a few hours once a week! A little terrifying because (dahil) I'm not a tagalog pro yet. Pero ok lang dahil, kami (we) will just be masaya (happy) and subukan (try) our hardest to speak the language and meet people. Filipinos are all so nice and friendly too, so that makes it a lot less intimidating. The grammar is funny too, because me and my kasama laugh a lot once we leave our lessons and just say "Man we must sound like a bunch of adults with the vocabulary of a 1st grader". Pero if the spirit is there and we can convey our mensahe (message) with love and conviction, the language and cultural gaps will be filled. It was a bit weird eating fish and rice on thanksgiving..and I mean fish like the whole fish still with its eyes looking at me on my plate. Pero (but) I have so much to be grateful for so my heart was full. On Tuesday Elder Arden, an area authority came to speak to us. It was perpekto and what I needed to hear!
The premise of his and his wife's talk were about not forgetting your purpose as a missionary and the work you have been entrusted to fulfill. It is a privilege to be a missionary and wear the name of JesuCristo on my tag.
Elder Arden said this " We wont be perfect in this life. Don't panic, it will be alright."
He also said on the occasion when you have the need to ask yourself the question "Why am I even here?" ALWAYS remember the answer, "Because God called YOU HERE!"
WOAHHH and what more of a reason do I need to be the best missionary I can be. To work harder when I feel sad and homesick. To have the spirit to always be with me so I can open my mouth and speak the words The Lord would have me.
He also shared with us a scripture that I have always just passed over.
The Lord heals a man of palsy of his sins, but that miracle is not enough and the people need him to heal his disease to know he is the Savior. I think we often have the thought that the Lord doesn't perform modern day miracles. But it is not so. Through the atonement we can all be cleansed of our sins, from the pain of a broken inner soul. This is the miracle of all miracles. This is the miracle that matters. And this is the miracle that JesuCristo at Diyos (God) continue to bless us with. He has not forgotten or forsaken us. He never will. Alam ko po dito katotohanan. (I know this is the truth)

"Keep trying. Be believing. BE HAPPY. Don't get discouraged. Everything will work out."
- Gordon B. Hinckley
(Thanks for sending me that quote Sam, much needed and appreciated.)
Salamat Po family and friends
Until next P-day,
I love you all, Mahal lahat
Sister Mahe

Friday, November 22, 2013

Surviving Week Two!

Magandang Hapon mga tao (Good Afternoon People!)  
{Or at least I think that is how you say it.}

This week we have been learning a lot of grammar about the language. My word (salita) is is hard! It is exactly the opposite language structure as english so you can imagine the frustration it has been causing. But all is well, I have no doubts it will come and soon the people of the Philippines will tell me to stop talking so much! I love the MTC and mga gurros (the teachers) so much. They are the coolest. P-days are always fun because as soon as we wake up we get to eat breakfast and head over to the temple which is right across the street! And there is this super sweet underground tunnel from the MTC to the Temple, so we don't have to cross the insanely crazy traffic! Have you ever heard of a jeepney? Look it up, thats my form of transportation for the next 18 months..I'm so excited to experience it! 

The MTC is great and so nice, everyone says not to take it for granted! Becasue here we get awesome meals, showers, and clean water..oh and there are laundry machines. In the field, bucket showers, there is no drinakable water unless it comes from a sealed bottle, but they gave us self filtering water bottles that we can use for a whole two years! Oh and the laundry we have to do that in the river so I'll be super domestic next time you see me! Me and my kasama (companion) look out into the city all the time and dream about when we get to go out there and meet and teach our people! Which is December 18th by the way, until then we are learning and growing so much here at the Missionary Training Center! 

We teach 'investigators' every day and sometimes a couple and that is always a bit stressful becasue the language is still at like 1st grade level. But it is amazing how the spirit works! We were teaching Lucilia and she just kept falling asleep during lessons and was sassy the first time we met, the next time we prayed so hard before we went in to teach her and honeslty I can't even remeber what I said or what she said, all I know is that we understood each other perfectly. I think thats been my favorite part of this week, really understanding why I'm a missionary and why I came on a mission. Its becasue I love The Lord and I have seen his love and blessings in my life and want so badly for others to understand that, it is heartbreaking to hear our investigators say Diyos (God) doesnt care about their lives and will not answer their prayer..because it is completely not true! I know he is involved in the details of our lives, he wants to hear from you! He wants to help you..but it takes action, it takes faith! I know answers don't always come in the moment, or even that day, or week, or month..but I can promise you they will always come. So be of good cheer and have a little faith! 

The MTC is such a cool place to be because you see spiritual experiences happening all around! The other day we were walking around the garden and saw an elder reading his scriptures, sisters praying together, people planning lessons and preparing to teach. Its a pretty wonderful place to be. I love gym time too, haha I'm pretty horrible at volleyball but eveyone lets me play and I have a feeling I'll be kinda amazing by week 6...thats if I can stop getting knocked out by all the spikes from the polynesians! 

My district which is made up of 10 missionaries is amazing too! We are all so so different but have the same purpose as missionaries and we always have fun! Our district leader is 18! Wut I know crazay My kasama and I are like the oldest of the batch so thats a little..umm weird? But its okay because we have young hearts and are probably also the coolest..haha joke lang (tagalog for lol jk) Also I can't wait until I can find an awesome sew girl or shop, because I am already sick of all my clothes..but its cool I rock the floral skirt and polka dot shirt look (right? probably not). 

Time is still such a blurr here! I'm trying to remeber everything that happen this week and my mind can go back as far as about an hour ago..haha. But this week seemed to speed by! Its so true that the days seem like and eternity and then all the sudden it's pday and your are finished with week two! Oh and I made my district start doing the grateful circle (like I do with my family) where we all have to say just one thing we are grateful for that day. It is great..and I just feel so grateful everyday that I always have something to be grateful for! I think the more challenging task would be to have a day no one was grateful for anything.. I think it would probably be impossible. 

Isa Ating Diyos isa ating lahat. 

P.S this computer does not have an enter button so sorry for the extremley long paragraph! {EDIT: Lindsey writing..I broke it up into paragraphs to post so it wouldn't be so confusing for you! You're welcome :) }

Please enjoy Thanksgiving for me, I will miss the turkey and stuffing, pie and football wathcing with dad and being around family and I hope you all will remember what matters most. Everyday is thanksgiving here at the MTC! I can't remember it exactly but there is a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley in our hall and it goes a little like If you want to be happy, lose yourself in helping others! So if you are finding yourself unhappy or down, get up and go out and find ways to help others- it is a sure cure for saddness! 
Be Happy! Masaya at Ngiti (Be happy and smile!) 

Mahal Kita,
Sister Mahe.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

The First Week!

Kumsta Po Kayo! Woahh can't believe I've reached my first week as a missionary already! Except it feels like I've been here for months and yet only left home a couple days ago. I swear time as a missionary is like this twilight zone I can never remember if something happened five days ago or five hours ago!!?? Whats up with that. Oh ok so let me start by telling you about the plane rides to make it to Manila. From Tampa to Detroit I met this super sweet woman, Emmie she was so nice and helped me find my gate in Detroit because our plane was late and told me all about the Philippines. Then on the flight to Japan and Manila I sat next to Ray Mendoza who turned out to be a member of the church! He let me take his window seat so I could sleep better and have more room! WHO DOES THAT!?? Oh ya filipinos because they are like the coolest people ever with massive hearts! 

We arrived in Manila around 1 am and stayed at a hotel along with missionaries from NZ, Aus, Samoa, China, Mongolia, and Tonga! We got there so late and our rooms were not even ready so we all went to KFC next door and basically stayed up the whole night until we were picked up around 6am and taken to the MTC. The drive was awesome so cool to see the city, the drive was like a rollercoaster! Road rules? What are those I'm not sure they exist here..haha. The first day was soooooo long, I dont know when I have ever done so much in my life. I was tired and felt like I could fall asleep in my chair when I asked someone what time it was....guess what it wasn't even 10am yet!! Brutal..just brutal that first day! But it was amazing at the same time! 

My kasama (companion) is Sister Telea, she is samoan and is from New Zealand! She is the best and I love her so much, we always have fun and laugh.. a lot! She always wakes me up early and tells me to hurry up. It's a blessing she isnt always late places like me, cause then we'd just be in trouble. Our MTC district is Lehi, the best district..haha! There are ten of us and only 3 from the states so the variety is so it! We are busy every single hour of the day, it is great and makes us so productive. But sometimes when we get flex time for like 10 minutes, me and my kasama go to our room that we share with Sister Stallings (texas) and Sister Gibbs(new zealand) and eat Sister Gibbs Nutella...she has a jar under her pillow and these delicious waffer stixs..haha oops!

So the second day we were here, we have to prepare to meet an investigator, Jay Pardito, we are all so excited and pumped to be teaching. Nekmint they tell us we have to teach in TAGALOG..wut?? I knew how to say Hello, Good morning and I love you. So that probably wouldn't take us that far. Me and sister telea began preparing and translating our lesson to tagalog and before we went in we just PRAYED! We just wanted to have the spirit with us so that even though our Tagalog was no good, our message could still be felt. Ahhh and was that powerful, so cool to see how the spirit works..because I know I felt it and so did Jay, and it was not because of anything my kasama or I said. It was all the spirit. This is The Lords work, not ours! 

We have lots of fun here too. Sometimes I just feel like I'm at Hogwarts or like a super special summer camp. We don't have any idea whats going on in the world around us. Except for what our teachers tell us and when I get your emails. I think it's super cool though. Being focused on The Lords work is the best thing in the world and I am forever grateful to be here. Oh funny story I had been brushing my teeth and washing my face with the city water and not the filtered MTC water for a while until someone told me not to do that..haha ooops. Joke Lang I know I'll be fine! 

Today for Prep-day we were able to go to the temple and also go outside to the market for some shopping. Our district went to town on buying up the whole candy aisle! I LOVEEEEE the Philippines, I can't wait to be out meeting and teaching the people of Manila! This is my home and my country for the next year and a half and I know these people are and always have been part of my family! 

I just want to know the language so bad already! Being a language missionary was so much harder than I expected! I want to cry some days, I feel like I understand why babies cry so much now! How bad they must want to communicate with us and express what they are feeling but the words just escape them or they dont even know them at all! I feel like an infant most days! But I love learning, I have already learned so much and its only been a week! I forget to look at how much I am actually progressing sometimes. Every day we wake up at 5:30 to prepare for roll call and breakfast. Then the day begins and we start with personal study before our teachers come in for language and lesson study. Gym time is fun I play a lot of basketballa and 4-square..hahah! Then we change for dinner and continue planning until we meet with our investigators and teach lessons! My head hurts...ALL the TIME. There is so much to take in and my brain is on information overload! Ahh but missionary work is amazing, I know I may be weak in some areas and it will be hard, but The Lord qualifys those he calls to his work. I can already tell I am a different person than I was before I put my missionary badge on, and I am grateful for that because I couldnt not ever do this without Him. 

I am so grateful we are safe here in the Philippines, the day we arrived a super typhoon hit the southern area of The Philippines. It completely destroyed the Tacloban mission and surrounding areas were hit hardest. On tuesday night it was confirmed that ALL missionaries were safe and accounted for! The Lord protects his missionaries, what a miracle. All the Tacloban missionaries are here at the MTC in Manila. Their stories are INCREDIBLE and I get chills just thinking about what a tragic experience they went through. Many were stuck in homes were water was rising and had to hold tables above their heads for hours until help arrived. Some had to punch holes in the ceilings to climb to the roofs were they waited for help. But ALL were safe, how incredible. As we talked and met with some they were still smiling and just saying how grateful they were to have their lives, since all else was washed away with the storm. Their experiences are truly miracles and they are all preparing to be reassigned and go out teaching tomorrow! They are incredible. I met Elder Harvey (Alexas MTC friend) who said one of the last things he grabbed were some letters, and Alexas was one of them that he had and was able to read once he was here in Manila! Sister Grohse from BYU-H is also witht he Tacloban group and it was such a blessing to see her safe and sound here in Manila. 

Please continue to pray for the missionaries and all those that have lost their families and all they had. We met with the International MTC operator and he shared with us Ezekiel 34:2- Be a shepherd and bring feed His flock. It is our priviledge to stand among the ranks of some of the greatest shepherds to ever live! Joshua 24:15- Choose to follow Diyos today! 

Ok running out of time now and have to get back to the work! 

Mahal Kita. I love you all and hope this finds you happy and well! Ngiti! 

Mahal Kita, 
Sister Mahe.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Safe and Sound

Family and Friends.

Kumusta Po Kayo! Magandang Hapon!

I only have a short time to email right now. My actual P-day is on make sure you write me on Thursdays!!! They are only letting us email now to let you know we are safe since there is a super typhoon that has hit the Philippines. We don't watch the news or have any updates but they have said it has had a huge impact in the south islands particularly the Tacloban mission. Please keep the people and all of the missionaries in the affected areas in your prayers.

I have this to say about missionary work. It is the most amazing thing to be involved in and I am soooo in love with being a missionary and wearing a name tag so everyone (well all the other missionaries) know I want to represent Jesus Christ! Learning the language is tough and I can't remember if I'm speaking Tagalog or English most days, but I know that the Lord is qualifying me and my kasama (companion) for the work.

I love you all dearly and hope this letter is of some comfort. We are all safe here and I know the Lord watches over those He calls to serve. Keep praying for our people in the south affected by the typhoon.

Mahal Kita,
Sister Mahe

Monday, November 11, 2013

Arrived in Manila

{from Nov. 7th}


I have arrived! I am currently at the MTC here in Manila. I can only write a short email, but Friday's are my P-days so I will email you and update you more then!

I am safe and I already love it!

My companion is sister telea from NZ! We are going to have so much fun!

I love you so much family, I hope you are well.

Mahal Kita
Sister Mahe