Thursday, November 28, 2013

Goodbye MTC Hello Angeles

This week was absolutely incredible. I am so so happy and GRATEFUL to be here in the Philippines MTC!! This is such a wonderful place. I'm grateful I have been able to have natvie speakers as my teachers, to adjust to the weather, and the food before heading out into the field. Speaking of which, I head out to the mission home on Wednesday bright and early!! :) Sooo exciting. This week we had another proselyting activity. We were supposed to do the same thing as last time where we went with some in-field missionaries to their appointments, pero Quezon City mission cancelled (which had never happened before). We were all a little bummed that we weren't able to go proselyting, but most of teachers live in the same ward just 15 minutes from the MTC. So they split us up into groups and we went street contacting!! It was so scary, especially because we didn't really have anyone that with us who knew the language. We made the record for the most referrals in that mission. But it's not about the numbers, it's about the lives of the people that we contacted. All those numbers are lives that can be changed for good through the gospel. Sister Nielson and I went to a laundromat and taught a lesson the the owner and his wife. Very scary, but it turned out pretty well despite the fact that I've been studying Tagalog for only a month. We ended up talking to lots of people, placing a couple of Book of Mormons, but I really feel like at least 2 or 3 of the people we talked to could be ready to accept the gospel. It was a really coll experience, but I had to rely so much on the Lord. That's one lesson missionary work had taught me- on our own we are nothing, but with the Lord, we can do anything. (See Alma 26:12) Other than that, the MTC has been the same old thing. Last night, our teacher was sick though and we had a substitute, and she ended up being the ivestigator that we were supposed to teach as well, but it was hard because we weren't expecting to have to teach another first lesson. So we kind of went in there not prepared with anything, but it's amazing how well it went anyway. There are so many little things that make me smile everyday and I'm so grateful for my district, for my kasama, and just for everything I have been blessed with in my life. I don't know why or how I got so blessed to be a part of this work at this time, but I'm grateful for the experiences I am having! Mahal ko kayo! :) :) Sister Holmes

Friday, November 22, 2013

Maraming Adventures

Dear Anyone and Everyone :)
 Oh man This week has been absolutely incredible. The time is just flying by faster than what I know what to do with. (PS my grammar is just going to be bad. So instead of at least knowing one language well, I'm bad at two). On Friday, I ran into Elder Josh Johnson, who was in my Youth Making a Difference group. It was a miracle I ran into him. We were both in the distribution center here and he was being re-assigned the next morning. But he was talking about the language and it just helped me feel a lot better. It was really nice to see a familiar face. Another elder in our district asked me how I was doing with the language, and I said, well I'm doing okay. And he said don't worry. The language will find you, the language will hunt you down, and the language will say "I'm HERE!" Which was funny, pero it also helped me realize that I shouldn't expect myself to be amazing at Tagalog yet, but that it will come over time. And the little I do know, I know a lot. :) Another little blessing was that we taught former investigator last Saturday. They are volunteers that come in to be taught by missionaries. We were teaching the Restoration and guess what?! I said it all in Tagalog even! :) what. I didn't even know I could do that. And now, for the most exciting part... proselyting. We went to a zone in the Manila mission, and basically went on splits. My temporary kasama was Sister T'oa from Tonga. She had only been in the field for three months, and her tagalog was really good. Sister Marila, my teacher, came with us though just in case .Basically I just bore my testimony.  We first taught a nine year old, CJ about the Holy Ghost. I think he just got baptized but had to wait until this Sunday to get confirmed. Then we taught another lady and her friend about the Restoration (couldn't remember the Tagalog then. Seriously the language they were speaking was NOT Tagalog). Apparently, she was a member, but never went and literally doesn't understand anything about the Church because when she was converted, she only agreed because she liked the missionaries. Sad, but I guess it's pretty common. Anyway, it was a very humbling experience. They were very crowded in their houses, but they seem content with their lives. Plus we got to ride a jeepney, so that was real exciting. When someone new gets in, they pay and they say "bayad po" so that you will pass the money up to the driver. But my kasama said, many service opportunites. :) Anyway, I love the Philippines. I love the people, and I love you all! :)
 xoxo-Sister Callie

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Miracles in the storm

It's amazing how many good things can from such a bad thing. As you probably know, all of the missionaries from the Tacloban mission are here at the Manila MTC. We never really see them because they stay in the temple patron housing next door, but they eat meals here. they will all be reassigned to missions around Manila, possibly Angeles. On tuesday night, when the first wave of them were arriving, we were asked if we could donate some of our clothes because all of them had only the clothes that we were wearing. Don't be mad mom, but I ended up donating a couple skirts a dress and a few shirts. Sometimes we see them wearing the clothes we donated and it's cool. But we went to take our clothes down to where they were collecting them and there was SO MUCH stuff. I was amazed and as we were coming up the stairs there was a line of elders carrying the donations and singing called to serve. Just thinking about it now touches my heart. This gospel is so incredible. The support we can find in it is so incredible. We were able to hear some of the stories. One elder we were talking to said that he was trying to cut a whole in the roof of his house because the water was rising too fast and the machete slipped and it cut him all the way across his fingers, and two of his middle fingers wont move anymore. there was some elders who had to hold a kitchen table up for three hours to keep their roof from collapsing on them. There are so many stories of all the horrible things they saw and experienced, and I expected them to be so tired and exhausted and drained emotionally, and physically. But you know what? they were still smiling. What amazing examples. It was a wake up call for me. I'm progressing how I should be with Tagalog,but I can't help but feel like I'm not doing enough and not learning fast enough, and it has been somewhat of a challenge for me. But seeing these missionaries still smiling after what they had gone through made me realize that I should be thankful for the trials that I do have. Anyway, on to the next matter of business. As language training missionaries, we do a proselyting activity twice before we leave. Can we talk about how nervous I am because our first one is on Wednesday and I don't even know Tagalog. Excuse me while I go throw up. I'm so so nervous. But I've heard good things about it, and besides I will have a kasama who has been out in the field for awhile. I cant wait to tell you all about it though! Our investigators are progressing well. I don't remember how much I have told you about them, but there is Sister Janeth and Brother Rodney. Brother Rodney has a word of wisdom problem, but wants to be baptized so he can be a better father to his children. Sister Janeth also likes our church and feels like it's true, but her mom is very against the church and she wants to maintain a relationship with her mom. Both hard situations. But Sister Nielson and I are getting very good at teaching more by the Spirit than by relying on our wonderful little tagalog cheat books.. :) Anyway, I love the MTC and I'm doing well. I miss you all SO MUCH and mahal ko kayo!
PS Letters take 3 weeks to get there.  If you are writing Callie send the letters for now to the mission home. Callie although positive, needs a bit of uplift and letters would be appreciated.  She mentioned how thankful she is for the love and support from so many. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm Alive and Well!

They are letting spend a couple minutes during our language study time to email home and just let you know that I'm doing okay. The storm was really horrible in the Southern Philippines, but all that we hear is what our teachers tell us. My teacher Sister Marila has family that she cant get in contact with because there is no power, so it's really hard for a lot of people. PLEASE keep the people of the Philippines in your prayers. Keep the missionaries serving in those areas in your prayers. Pray that those who have lost their loved ones will someday find comfort in the Plan of Salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm so grateful I have the gospel, and I'm grateful I have such an amazing and supportive family. It's amazing how the needs of my investigator are my needs. We all can e more converted, araw-araw.

I want to share my simple testimony in Tagalog.Alam ko po na mahalaga po ang mga pamilya at ang ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo. Alam ko po na totoo po ang Aklat ni Mormon. Buhay po and Diyos at si Jesucristo. Alam ko po na mahal po tayo ng Diyos. Alam ko po na tinutulungan po ng Diyos and Kayang mga anak dito sa mundo at will help Kanyang mga anak dito sa Philippines.

Mahal ko kayo!!
Sister Holmes  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Helamen District.
 They celebrate birthdays every two weeks....This means Pizza and Spaghetti Dinners!  She was pretty excited she said despite what the picture looked like.
President and Sister Beck. Sister Gonzalaz,, Sister J, Sister Neilson and Sister Holmes outside the MTC

Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm not the Baby at the MTC anymore! :)

Dear darling everyone,

It's official. My district is not the baby batch anymore! A new batch came in today. I haven't really got the chance to meet them. We've been very busy today with all of our P-day things. It's amazing, you wouldn't think that P-day would be so scheduled, but it totally is, down to the hour. But at least I get everything that I need to done.

Let's see, well we eat fish about every other day. I'm not gonna lie, I'm struggling a little bit with it. There was some fried squid that I wasn't brave enough to try yet. But they feed us really well. We usually have rice, some tye of vegetable dish, and then some kind of meat. Then usually a fuit or dessert and soup/salad! Lots of options. I really like most of it.So this typhoon business. I guess it is hitting the south the worst, but here at the MTC it has just been really rainy all day. I'm thinking it will probably rain some more, but basically for us it means that it's extra humid. Please keep the people and missionaries in the Philippines in your prayers. They are the sweetest people in the whole entire world. All the Filipino missionaries here are always so kind. No fail they say hi and ask you how you are when you pass them.

we've been teaching a couple different investigators while we've been here. AKA our teachers. We also had a less active to teach, which was super difficult. My Tagalog is coming along, but I need all the help I can get. We are learning so much, I just wish I could remember it all. One of the coolest thing that happened to me this week was when we were teaching our investigator, I felt prompted to share an experience with him. I couldn't really say it in Tagalog, but I did my best and the Spirit was so strong. I think he could feel it as well, and he was able to open up to us, which really helps us to better understand their needs so that we can teach them a meaningful lesson.

My district is so funny. We are just like a little Helaman family. We tease each other a lot and have lots of fun. Elder Paea and Elder Loto'aniu are so funny. Elder Loto'aniu will always high five or grab Elder Paea's shoulders and Elder Paea will always some up with something like " I swear on my journals name (on this computer, on my dog's name, etc) if you ever touch me again, i will give you a big........ NGITI (smile)." It kills me every single time. So funny.

But basically, most of our day we are in the classroom, and every night we teach an investigator. It's a lot of work, but I have never grown more in my entire life.Know that I'm missing and thinking of you!

Mahal ko kayo!!! :)