Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hellooo 2015

Happy New Year! It's a crazy place right now here in the Philippines. Last night the streets were packed with people. We could hardly get home. There are no small celebrations here. We had a curfew so we spent the night with hot McDonald's french fries and making homemade lumpia. There are no such things are "illegal fireworks" here so when the clock struck midnight, the entire place erupted in lights and booms. It was so loud the house shook. Air horns, vuvuzela, fireworks, crackers, and more. It went on for about two hours and then slowed down. It was awesome. 

I can hardly believe that this day, last year I stepped on an airplane headed to the Philippines. It's one of the best decisions I have ever made. Looking back on this year, I can see the Lord's hand in my life at nearly every moment. I definitely am not the same person that I was a year ago. I love my life as a missionary. I am so thankful to be here, serving the Lord. The work is hard, demanding, and exhausting in every way, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for 2015. No matter what things we have to face, easy or difficult, he will always be close by.

Love y'all!

Sister Cork


Maligayang Pasko

Monday, December 15, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat! Christmas is in full swing over here in the Philippines. I went on exchanges this week in Marulas, Valenzuela and it was so great. The sisters I get to work with are such wonderful women. We had a Christmas party and every group danced and sang. It was fantastic; the Filipino people are so talented. We laughed and laughed. I love my new area. The ward is like my family. I am so thankful and happy to be here this Christmas season. The members here in Meycauayan are an answer to my prayers. I hope you'll each take the opportunity to remember the first Christmas to the world, our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we let go of all the distractions of the world and allow each of ourselves come unto him this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

Sister Cork

Hello Meycauayan

Hey y'all! Sorry no time for stories this week, we're short on time because of the storm coming in. But just know that I already love my new area. My first Sunday at church they welcomed me like an old friend coming home from a long vacation. I'm so excited to work with these great members. Our house is a little scary. You know that interstate bathroom in the middle of no-where that you stop at out of desperation? That's pretty close to my new house. But hey, I'm happy. This week I go on my first exchanges and I'm equally nervous and excited. I'll let you know how it goes.

Love y'all!

Sister Cork

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello December, Hello Transfers

Hey y'all! Can you believe it's December? Where did this year go? 

Yesterday we have transfer announcements and I'm headed to Meycauan, Bulacan bright and early tomorrow morning. So far I've served my whole mission in the inner city, but Bulacan is the province. I'm equally excited and nervous for it all. With this new area I'll have the opportunity to go on exchanges with other sisters in areas around our mission. I'm super excited to get to know them and learn from them. Changes and moving and goodbyes are hard, but I know the Lord has work for me to do in this new area. I'm excited to grow and learn through this new assignment. I am sad to leave Sister McCarthy, she has become my best friend. She was the best trainee a missionary could ask for. She will accomplish so many great things on her mission. We had a great last week together. We ate cheese flavored ice cream, visited USA street, taught our last ASL class, and led the ward Primary program. It was a great close to a great companionship. 

Have a great week,

Sister Cork

A little bit of growing up.

Hey y'all.
This week was good despite being a little sick. I spoke in church yesterday and it was a great experience. I always learn a lot more than the people who hear me speak. I based my talk on the talk by Jeffrey R. Holland, "Remember Lot's Wife"; definitely one of my favorites. I spoke about how we have such a tendency to miss blessings right in front of us because we are stuck in the past. I see this in myself as the still-new missionary that moved into the struggling Deparo area. I was homesick not for home, but for my new found family in Fairview. I caught myself constantly "looking back" and not being able to focus on the work in front of me because of the things that I missed. Doing so made the adjustment difficult. But, I'm happy to report that I've come to love Deparo, and all its many hardships, dearly. As I sat in the front of the chapel I realized that not only have I come to love the people that I've been called to love, but they love me back. Although at times it wasn't as warm as I could have wished for, this ward welcomed in a pretty awkward, little American missionary and taught her a big lesson on patience, tough love, and not looking back. I love the quote by Francine Rivers that says, "Love God and He will enable you to love others, even when they disappoint you." I think this works both ways. Maybe in some ways I wasn't the fantastic, fluent, graceful missionary they were expecting. And this area and ward definitely took me for a surprise. But we've come to love each other and work together. I guess that's the beauty of the gospel; we all have room to change and the Lord is there to help.

Sister Cork

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's Fall Y'all!

Hey y'all. Can you believe it, it's finally starting to cool down a little around here. The weather is absolutely beautiful. Sunny, windy, and about 27C (80F). It's fantastic. We don't even have to have our fans on and I've worn a sweater every day this week. I've truly become a Filipina.

This week Sister McCarthy has been pretty sick, so we didn't get a lot of work done proselyting-wise. But, we each started reading the Old Testament together and because of all the time we've had at home and about six hours of reading a day, we're more than halfway through. And yes, that's a lot of reading. 650 pages in three days. It's been such a neat,unifying experience to study and understand the words of the ancient prophets. It's the first time I've read the Old Testament front to back and I can hardly put it down. Our house has been so quiet besides for the occasional question and discussion. I am so thankful for Sister McCarthy and the deep, interesting conversations that have come from our studies together. It's been really incredible to learn and see things like temple worship, priesthood, and other foundational doctrines outlined and instituted in the Bible. The Book of Mormon and the Bible truly support each other in every way. What can I say? The Church is true. I am so thankful for the faithful servants of God who preserved scriptures that we may have the fullness of the truth here on the earth today. 

Have a great week! 

Sister Cork

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Nobyembre!

Hey y'all, can you believe it's November? How times flies. I finished 10 months today.

So on Wednesday morning I received a phone call telling me that I would be singing for the mission tour on Thursday. I chuckled a little, because I lack a lot of musical ability. But later President called to confirm that I would, indeed be singing for the conference. Because we practiced for several hours, all of the sisters involved slept over at the mission home, which is always a treat. I used a hairdryer for the first time in 10 months. It was awesome. We snacked on ice cream, took hot showers, and squished in bed together and just chatted. On my mission I have become so grateful for sisterhood. What a blessing it is to be a member of such a strong network of women, no matter where in the world you may go. On Thursday we had a fantastic mission tour with Shane Bowen and Lynn G. Robbins. They had wonderful counsel, helping us the improve and further reach our potential. 

In other news, the rats in our apartment have gotten really smart. We don't know how, but they have learned to eat around the food on the trap. This morning we woke up and the trap was snapped close, food gone, no rat. So yeah, that's our current adventure. I always wore a hole through two pairs of shoes this week. We're walking like nobody's business over here in Caloocan City. Life is good!

Sister Cork


Monday, October 20, 2014

Here Goes Nothing

Hey y'all. Well, we are experiencing quite the change right now. Last week President called my companion and I into his office to tell us that our ward, which is us two and the other two sisters we live with will be expanding it's boundaries AND it will be left to just my companion and I. Yep, we're opening an area and expanding our ward in the middle of training. We prayed for more people to teach and we got about 65. I prayed to further improve my language skills and here I am leading a new area. I prayed to grow and progress as a missionary and there sure is a lot for me to learn here. So, in short, God answers prayers. Sometimes not the way we want. I've realized that rarely the things we ask for are wrapped up and mailed to us, but usually we're given a way to work hard and obtain them for ourselves. 

I'll be honest, I've missed a few nights of sleep due to some stress. But, if the Lord trusts us and the Mission President does too, that's enough for me. I'm excited to do hard things and learn to further rely on the Lord. Thank you for all your prayers.

Sister Cork

Picture, Picture Pag May Time

 Sharing the gospel with all who will listen.
 He thought he was sneaky. He escaped us for two weeks until now.
 Our American Sign Language class. To get in you have to sign what you learned last week. I'm so thankful for all of the great volunteers we have!
 Making our new area book. It was a stressful night.
 Me and my girl, Louie.
Ward FHE with CJ and Sister Romero

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Magandang Umaga

Good morning! How's October treating all y'all?

This week was great. Oh how I love General Conference. When I lived in Utah I under appreciated the efforts the Church makes to ensure that every chapel in the whole world receives the Conference broadcast. Now I find myself endlessly thankful for all those on a local, regional, and global area that make it possible for us in the Philippines to listen to the words of our prophet, apostles, and leaders. It truly is such a blessing. 

I hope you all listened to the messages with open hearts. If you haven't heard them yet or even if you're not a member of my faith, I encourage you to watch at least one talk. Take a few minutes of your time and make a plan on how you will implement what you learned in your life. Where do you need to change? What hands do you need to lift up that are currently hanging down?

Love you all. Check out my blog for pictures!

Sister Cork

Sunday, October 12, 2014


 The beginning of the lunar eclipse.

 Walking home in the rain from General Conference.
 My girls. I'm pretty sure this is an accurate representation of Laney & I at this age. They are such a handful. I'm so thankful for a good mom.

On our way to General Conference

Sunday Session with my "daughters" in the mission. Sister McCarthy is my trainee and I was Sister Papalietelle's senior companion when she first visited the mission.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life in the Middle

Hey y'all! Guess what? Last week I hit my halfway mark. I could hardly believe it. Have I really been out here that long? Thank you all so much for the support and love you have all sent my way these past nine months. I love y'all!

A lot of my feelings about how I feel about being in the exact middle of my mission can be described really well through Dieter F. Utchdorf's talk here

So, this week I just have a little advice for you. You know that person in church that you don't actually know? You see them one Sunday and you realize you've never really talked to them or maybe that you don't know their name. Go up to them, talk to them, sit with them, ask if they need anything, love them. Do you realize that sometimes coming to church takes courage? Welcome them, invite them, befriend them. I see first-hand almost weekly the difference it makes when someone is willing to reach out of their comfort zone in order to help someone establish a feeling of comfort for themselves. So, this week, say hello, shake hands, and have a chat with that person in church that you don't actually really know.
Love you!
Sister Cork

Pictures for the Week

 Building a fence
 Pretty sad little fence huh? We made the best of what we were given.
 ASL Class #2
 So, we all went to the stake center to watch the General Women's Broadcast, but there was a problem with the broadcasting system. So instead, women of all ages, cheered while watching the BYU vs. USU game.
 Public transportation is always an adventure here.

Bowling activity with our zone!