Sunday, May 31, 2015


School started today so this week we went to a few elementary schools and helped get the grounds ready for the students' return.

This sweet little girl has four older brothers that all sing and play guitar beautiful. I love going to their home in the middle of the rice fields early in the mornings and sing hymns.

All the prayers for rain that I've been sending up got answered all at once this week in a huge storm. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Praying for Rain

Hey y'all! We are sending up our prayers this week for rainy season to make its way on over. It's hot! But we are happy here in Balagtas. Finally starting to figure things out in our little part of the world. Names, addresses, faces...It's all beginning to become more cohesive. Can you believe May is coming to an end? Me neither. This week we stayed busy with teaching and finding work. If you don't already know, I absolutely love the Filipino children and there are plenty of them. There is one less active member that we teach and when I asked her how many children she had, she replied, "I'm not sure, more than 9." And she meant it. For the record, she has 11 children. On Sunday evenings we teach one of my very favorite families. They have six kids, the oldest being 8 years old. When we got there they were playing in the freshly harvested rice field. Barefoot, dusty, and falling over themselves with laughter. No toys or technology, just neighborhood friends and a whole field to themselves. Their happiness was infectious and I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. Makes me think of one of my favorite Thoreau quotes: "As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, no weakness weakness." Look at the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A doctrine that could be made applicable for every part of humankind. I love all the lessons I have learned from my life here in the Philippines. What a beautiful plan we have been given to have the opportunity to continually learn. Let us strive to live simply, happily, always learning. 

The slaughter house next to our apartment. What a sight huh?

Kangkong fields

The Elders are teaching a wonderful family. Sam and Joy are in their mid-twenties, with three children and have adopted two children with special needs. They are hard working, loving, and inspirational. 

My favorite way to spend Sunday evenings

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Unexpected.

Hey y'all! This week went attended a zone training meeting. After that we got some lunch and got a phone call. My companion answered a call from the mission president and as they talked her eyes welled up with big, fat tears. We found out that she needed to quickly pack her bags because she would be emergency transferring in the morning. We were sad, seeing that we have only been together for five weeks. I'm so thankful that I got to Skype with her sweet family on Monday. So we packed up her bags and I sent her on a jeepney to Baliwag. So this week I have enjoyed welcoming my new companion, Sister Rosales, to Balagtas. She is from Bacolod, the land of smiles, and has been in the mission for about 8 months. Back in October we actually thought that I was going to be her trainer. But thankfully I get to be her companion after all. It's funny how things fall into place. She is absolutely lovely. Even though I am sad to say goodbye to Sister Kaifi, Sister Rosales came right on time. She is Ilonggo and speaks my very favorite Filipino dialect, one that I've wanted to learn my whole mission. This week we met an extraordinarily high amount of people that just happened to be Ilonggo and prepared to listen to our message. Heavenly Father has plans for His children, I'm humbled and happy to be a part of it all. This week starts the beginning of my very last transfer as a missionary. I'm going to make the very best of it.

Before Sister Kaifi left we cooked at Bishop's house. She taught us to make roti and yellow curry and I made banana muffins. It was so fun!

A hot afternoon selling mangoes with Lola.

I love this little boy! 

My new companion, Sister Rosales and my favorite friend, RJ Javier. 

The Balagtas Missionaries

A breezy afternoon in the rice fields.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Rain or Shine

This one week has felt like three weeks all smashed into one. We made a trip to Manila, had zone conference, got lost in a rice field, celebrated a local fiesta, participated in the National Day of Service, and enjoyed a beautiful Fast Sunday. It's been a long one. And a hot one for that matter. Our thermometer reached 110 degrees this week. You know, it's funny, when it's hot season all we ever want is rain and when it's rainy season all we ever want is for the rain to stop.  If we always wait around for the weather to be perfect, we will miss out on a lot of things Heavenly Father has planned for us. Sometimes we just have to slather on the sunscreen or grab our rain boots and say that we're going out any ways. The same goes for being a member of the church, a disciple of Jesus Christ, and a child of God; we have to do our best, rain or shine, hoping in the days to come. Makes me think of this talk. I love the gospel and I love being a missionary. Y'all have a great week!

This little guy was just cruising around the neighborhood all by himself.

The Manila Temple

Philippines National Day of Service
This little boy followed me while I swept for the entire four hours. I bought him ice candy and he held on to my vest until we were done. Absolutely the best part of my day!
This day we got completely and totally lost in the rice fields looking for someone's home, but it made for beautiful pictures!