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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #75

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming... Don't drown... Just gotta keep swimming.

So this week was an interesting one. Again. Every week is interesting here so that's a normal statement haha

Monday: A normal p-day but then for some reason we were super punted sa work. As in... No one was home. So we walked for a little bit and then ran into Nanay S. And she was not herself. Like she was going crazy because of worry. So we walked with her to where she was going and we comforted her the whole way and listened to her problems. And when we finally got her home, she was way happier. So even though we didn't get any actual appointments in, I still felt like we did some good. 

Tuesday: District meeting. And the AP's were there. So that was fun. After that, we went out and worked (of course...) and it turned out to be a good day. We got Brother L interviewed for his baptism and he was super excited :) And we also got to go adventuring in a part of our area that I hadn't been in yet. My area is so pretty :) I love it over here. 

Wednesday: Sister B's 22nd birthday! YAY! haha And we were super punted. So we visited some members in our area and shared with them. And then ended the day by going to visit V and Ry came with us. We tried to resolve his concerns but he doesn't want them to be resolved... So wala kaming magagawa... He either wants to be right or for us to be wrong. Sorry bud, it doesn't work like that... We had a mini birthday party for Sister B after we got home that night. That was fun.

Thursday: Weekly planning. Yay. Only 3 weeks left. Then we went out to work and got punted again. *sigh* But we still got 3 lessons in so I guess it's not that bad.

Friday: We didn't get punted :) hehe We got 4 appointments in and got 5 new investigators. And it just went smoothly. Like it was all planned out. I love days like that. We ended the day with an FHE and that was a lot of fun. 

Saturday: We had a baptism! YAY! My first and probably last here in San Mar. Brother L was baptized and he was sooooo happy. He told us that he couldn't even explain how happy he was :) We were pretty dang happy for him too :) We also had MCM and discussed the problems in the branch. And then had a fireside that was kind of an epic fail. Besides the missionaries (6 of us) and the branch mission leader (R) and the executive secretary (Ry) there was only 1 other member attended.... So it was a quick one. And after that, Ry went with us again to teach V. 

Sunday: Brother L was confirmed and interviewed to get the Aaronic Priesthood next week :) And church was fine. They had the primary program... After church, Sister C and Ry worked with us and we weren't punted, even with the Manny Pacquiao fight going on. Ha! We got in 4 appointments and ended the day by going to President S's house for a PEC meeting. That was fine too. 

And that was my week. It was a good one. And my mission is almost over. This is the only true church. And the only true gospel. Missionary work is the best. The Gospel changes lives BUT you have to let it :) 

Thank you for all of your love and support. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Ingat kayo palagi. Excited ako na makita kayo ulit :D
Love always,
Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #74

I am an old woman. 21 na ako... Time to go home :))))

This week was a good one too. Lots and lots and lots of walking. I think Sister B and I walked all the way around our area maybe 3 times this week.... And our area is huge... haha but that's ok. It was fun :)

So as you all know, Monday, we went to Manila. Got the fingerprinting done, ate at Army Navy and then went home. The end. And we didn't work because I was completely dead on my feet when we got back.

Tuesday: Birthday ko! YAY! haha we had district meeting and it was good. That's about all. We went and worked and we actually got 5 appointments and 2 new investigators. And one referral from R, a branch missionary who is awesome. Best birthday present ever. And the F family gave me a cute umbrella for my birthday :) (so that I can stay white daw) and J S gave me a watch. I swear that had revelation. Those were the two things that I actually needed haha SWEET :) And then we ended the day with a FHE at President S's house. That was a lot of fun. People were made members of booga-booga >:) hehe Happy Birthday to me :)

Wednesday: We had companion study in the morning (happens every morning now because of the training schedule) And then we went to lunch at the R's house. Then we went straight out to work. And I remembered why I do not like the training schedule. Work in the afternoon starts at 1 pm. And here in the Philippines, that just doesn't work. Because 1 pm is nap time. Patay.... So that was our first punted day. We still got 2 new investigators so that was good. But only got 4 appointments. Eh, ayos lang yan.

Thursday: Weekly planning. We went to  Rabanes to work. I officially love Rabanes. We've been doing some exploring there because the areas that are close to the plaza are just not progressing. So we found some new investigators. But yeah, and we walked and walked and walked.

Friday: Another day where we went out at 1.... urg. But we finally got to teach the F family. R and Roy tagged along. It was an entertaining lesson. And we shared with Brother L about the priesthood. He's really excited for his baptism next saturday. And he's stopped smoking too :) YAY!

Saturday: I got to go sign up for college classes.... yikes. malapit na... Then we went out to R again. I seriously love that place. And then we had MCM and went out for pizza afterwards. That was fun too. Then we dragged Ry with us when we went to share with V. And Ry actually helped a lot I think. When we got home, I didn't have to erase my stress with nutella. Thank goodness. 

Sunday: Church and yup. haha We visited V N and J, our new investigators, and they listened to our first discussion. They were super receptive and I'm really excited for them :) Then we had a rescue caravan with the members and got to go visit the P family. Then we came back, reported and then went to the Fa's house for dinner. Happy day. 

And that was my week. Super duper long. But still a good one. 4 nalang.... hehe :)

Ok I'm out of here. Thank you for all of your love and support. This is the only true church. And the only true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Ingat kayo palagi!
Love always,
Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #73

Sorry, this is gonna be short.

So I'm here in Manila right now. We just got done getting fingerprints. So that means that it's almost time for me to come home! And this is going to be a very short email because we've got a long time of travel ahead of us. 
Just wanted to let you know that I'm doing fine. Life is good. I'm training and my trainee is Sister B. She's awesome and I love her. And that's about the whole story. 

I'll give more details next week I promise. But for now, don't forget that this is the only true church. And that the Gospel is true and that I love you all. Thank you for your prayers and support and all the birthday wishes. 

1 Month nalang :D See yah all in December.
Mahal na mahal ko kayo! 
Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #72

LAST TRANSFER BEGINS THIS WEEK. I am now on my last planner. This is WEIRD.

And this was the final week. Sister S is going home :'( but that's ok because she wasn't trunky (thank goodness)
And I just realized that I forgot my old planner so this is gonna be a short one... Sorry. Just the highlights I guess.

Tuesday was the last zone meeting. We took a bunch of pictures and had fun. Elder S wasn't there because he had to go to the hospital to get checked out. He's all good now. No worries :)

Wednesday was the usual work. Sister M had a t-shirt made for Sister S that had her face on it flipped upside down so Sister S could see it if she looked down. Hilarious. 

Thursday we did weekly planning and that was good. Afterwards, me and Sister D went on exchanges. It was a lot of fun. We were super punted but I still learned a lot. We got to go from house to house with people running from us hehe Sometimes I just like to laugh at the people who reject us.... Silly people.

Friday: We finished up the exchanges in the morning and then we went out and worked again in the afternoon. Me and Sister M were really punted again and walked around our area until 6 when we had MCM/Sister S's goodbye party/Elder C's birthday party. That was a lot of fun. We ate cake. Yum :) haha

Saturday: Day of the Dead. And surprisingly we got 8 new investigators. They were all super willing to listen to us before they headed to the cemetery. And then we spent the rest of the day being punted again. But that's ok. We went to a birthday party and ate our fill of filipino spaghetti while the natives sang videoke. Good times.

Sunday: Church! Got to play piano again and then they made me the closing prayer too.... We went out to work afterwards and got punted again. Worked until 5 and then went to San Antonio for a Philippines broadcast. It was super fun because Sister C and Sister E got to come to San Antonio as well instead of going to Olongapo. Best thing ever. 

And that was my week. or the shortened version of it. Sorry. next week more details, promise.

Thank you for everything. The church is true. If you don't believe me, go read D&C 1:30. Jesus Christ himself says that this the the ONLY true church. Booyah.

Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo!
-Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #71

This is being sent early due to the fact that "my grandparents are tired and they won't go to bed until I send a weekly email". Very well. here is the weekly email.

So this week was an interesting one. 

Monday: Went and visited the S family. We shared with them. They're fine. 

Tuesday: We went out and shared with people. The usual. Got a couple of new investigators. Nothing too special happened. Shared with my good buddy, V again. He's still confused. Part of the Iglesia ni Cristo's doctrine is that Heavenly Father is God and Jesus Christ is just a person. And for some reason that is the most important thing in the world to him and he cannot believe that Jesus is God as well. So I just confused him more and gave him an assignment. 3 Nephi 11:14. Look it up. We'll see what happens with that one…. 

Wednesday: Total adventure. And not necessarily a fun one. We finished up personal study and were getting ready to go out and work in the morning when Elder C called and told us that Elder S was having an attack. We were like wha? And sprinted over to their apartment. We get there and find Elder S in a lot of pain. Seems like all the muscles in his body were cramping simultaneously and he had no control over them. He was having a hard time breathing. So we called one of the members who had a car and rushed him to the hospital in Subic. That was a very long car ride. We said multiple prayers and Elder C gave him a blessing while the member sped us there, weaving in and out of traffic and honking his horn all the way. We got to the hospital and they rushed him inside. We waited maybe 15 minutes and Elder C came out and told us that he was sleeping and that he was doing a little better. They found out that he has virtually no potassium in his body. That's pretty scary. But then the D's showed up and we all (including Elder C and Elder S) went to the mission home and ate waffles. They took us home and we went out to work. We went and shared with the F family. They're doing well. 

Thursday: Weekly planning. Then we went and had lunch at the W's house. It was sooooo yummy :) (Elder C and S missed out because they were still at the mission home). Then we went and worked again. We shared with C R again. She's awesome. We gave her a Book of Mormon and taught her about the Plan of Salvation. Then she told us that she's moving back to Manila. Darnit. But that she would text us every time she's back in San Marcelino so we can share with her. Works for me :) 

Friday: Katy Perry's Birthday (this is not important for me but it is very important for Sister M, so I wrote it in my planner haha) We had mission president interviews. Nothing special. But both President D and Sister D acted like I'm going home soon. Um not that soon... I still have 7 more weeks... :P We then went home and worked again. Got to go to a baptism and then walked around and were quite punted.... But that's okay. 
Saturday: Worked in the morning and got a new family of investigators that were from AMERICA. That was really weird. We taught lesson 1 half in English and half in Tagalog. That was weird. But turns out they live in Kent, Washington. hey! I could go visit them when I go home. Cool :) They're super nice and seemed really interested. We're gonna go back to them tomorrow. After lunch, we had MCM and talked about how the heck we're gonna help this branch become more unified. Hope it all works out.

Sunday: Brother L came to church again and he actually beat us there. YES! The S family seems to be thinking that they need to perfect their obedience to God's commandments. So A (one of the sons) wants us to teach him and K came to church. Everyone needs a good trial every now and then to keep them humble and to remember who's really in charge. 

Well that was my week. It was an interesting one for sure. But then again, every week in the mission is different. I know the church is true (Don't worry, Grandma, I'll explain to you why I say that when I come home). This is the ONLY true church on the face of the earth and that's why this is the fastest growing church right now. Because it's TRUE. You better believe it. 

Thank you for all of your love and support. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Ingat kayo palagi.
-Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #70

Mu-mus, bitter melon, Toron, mac'n cheese, chicken burgers, and Ilokano

Monday: We had FHE at the R's house. The missionaries in this area sometimes have 2 or 3 FHEs a week. It's super fun. The dinner afterwards was really good too. They had some kind of squid soup as an option... I refused to eat it and so they made me eat steamed bitter melon instead. That is a vegetable that they have here that is NASTY. It's called bitter melon for a reason. Brother R, our BML, made me eat it and I wasn't allowed to show on my face that it was gross. Totally accepted his challenge and succeeded. Boom! Sister D got it on video. That was fun :)

Tuesday: We had a district meeting and that was fun. The STLs did the workshop (I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore). Afterwards, we went all the way to Castellejos and ate at a yummy restaurant. We got back and met up with R, our investigator. We decided that we were all gonna fast together so that he could get Sunday's off. So we opened up our fast and then went out to work. That was a good day for work. We found 4 new investigators and got to adventure a little bit around our area. 

Wednesday: Wednesday morning was a low-bat morning. Because we had been fasting, I had no energy at all. We walked around and talked to everyone we could see. Then we finally went to the market and bought groceries for the week. We went home and told R to drop by the house at 12 so we could close our fast. He never came by. I was stuck cooking lunch while fasting. That is not a fun thing to do. But I made Bicol Express for the first time ever which is my favoritest thing ever in Filipino food. (Yes, family, I will cook it for you when I get home :)) So we broke the fast with just me and Sister M and then proceeded to stuff our faces with spicy goodness. We then went out to work and it was a good day. We taught the F family about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited them to be baptized. They accepted. So we'll see what happens with that. 

Thursday: Weekly planning. Sister S and Sister D sat in on it because we were gonna do exchanges. That was interesting. I've never had an STL sit in on our weekly planning before. But afterwards we ate lunch and then went out to work. Sister S was my companion. It was fun except that we were super punted. As in, there were no people in our area. It was super weird. We still got 3 appointments in but it was really sad. 

Friday: Went out in the morning and got 3 appointments. That's more like it. Came home and ate lunch and then went back out. I missed having Sister M as my companion. She's awesome at finding. So yeah. I'm grateful that Sister M is my comp. We had MCM and that was interesting because we just sat there with our BML and he told us all the problems in our branch. And there are tons... He said that no missionary truly experiences missionary work until they're assigned in San Marcelino branch. And yeah, I guess he's right. After that we went and taught the F family about the Word of Wisdom and they weren't very happy to hear about the stuff that they shouldn't put into their bodies. 

Saturday: Went finding in the morning. Found the Y family. They seem nice. And then we went and had an adventure in the market again on market day. That was super fun. We got mu-mus and just got to go exploring. Then we went home and ate lunch and then went back out to work. We visited the D L family who live out in the middle of nowhere and then went to the church for our fireside. It was a good one. We all presented about the Family pamphlet about family history and about the Temple pamphlet. Hopefully the members start getting more involved in things here. 

Sunday: We had 4 investigators come to church :))) And then went out to work. Got 3 new investigators. Had a Rescue Caravan where all the members go on splits with the missionaries and visit the less-active. Sister C F was my companion. She just got back from her mission the week that I got here. She's awesome. And we had a lot of fun. After that, Sister M and I went to visit V, a recent convert and I told him the story of the Nephites and the Lamanites and the Jaredites using pens as the groups of people and then explained a lot of US history. It was a lot of fun.

So that was my week. It was a good one. And a lot of fun. The Church is true. The Gospel is true. Missionary work is the best. I love the Filipino people. The end.

Have a great week!
Mahal ko kayo!
-Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Email: Week #69

This was #1's email from back on Oct. 12th. Her reaction here on the Jeepney brings back a lot of memories for me…..I remember seeing people who were clearly not Japanese on my mission. It was a rare occurrence, but it was so strange when I realized that I wasn't quite sure how to respond to them. 

I have no ideas for a subject heading. The only thing I can think to say is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the face of the Earth. No ifs, ands or buts.

So this week was a good one. Lots of funny things happened. And lots of things were learned. 

Monday: P-Day! Went to Olongapo and got some money. We went shopping and Sister M and I got facials (I feel like such a girl but it was actually really nice). Then we got home and went to an FHE at the P family's house. They're super nice and it was a lot of fun.

Tuesday: We had a zone meeting and that was a lot of fun. Then we went out and worked. We only got to work until 5 because we had to take Sister S to Subic and drop her off at the mission home. But we got to teach 2 lessons before that and got 4 new investigators. And then we went to Subic and on the way home we were all tired and I totally got a "Can I have yo numbah?" moment... Wait a sec, and I'll tell you…

We are on the jeepney and we just got into San Marcelino and the jeep stops to let some people on. And 3 BIG guys get on that look like literal African Americans. Both me and Sister M were shocked and we had no idea how to react to them. One sat down right next to me. So we just ride all the way to the bus stop and the two guys sitting across from us start talking about us. They read my nametag out loud but I didn't know how to react. We all get off at the bus stop and two of them walk away but one comes right up to me and says, in English, "Sister Hess, can I have your number?" 

Ack! hahaha that was a funny one. I politely told him, in Tagalog, that I couldn't because I was a missionary. And he smoothly covered with ,"Oh well I just wanted to invite you to our basketball game on Thursday." I was a bit impressed with the guy. He totally did all of it by himself seeing as his "wingmen" ditched him. He walked away after finding out that we couldn't go to his basketball game on Thursday because it was in Iba but we still waved at him when we walked away. We walked home chuckling a bit and all amazed that he had done that. Filipinos are very courageous people, that's for sure. Oh and btw, they were probably all half African American and half Filipino. 

After that funny thing happened, we went and taught one more lesson to our next-door neighbors. They're very nice and actually know a lot about Mormons. They seem to be pretty interested actually. 

Wednesday: We were in a threesome and it was actually a really fun day. We got in a bunch of lessons with 2 new investigators. And we got to go teach Sister D's recent converts. They're super awesome. And Sister S didn't come home that night.

Thursday: We had weekly planning and about halfway through, Sister S finally came home and then we were all happy again :) Finished weekly planning and then went out to work. We got in some more lessons, of course. And walked a lot, of course again. 

Friday: Went out to work in the morning. Got in 3 lessons (that's a miracle) and 4 new investigators (a miracle again). Then we had MCM, which is a meeting with our Branch Mission Leader. Brother R is our BML and he is awesome. He's very good at his calling. And after MCM, he worked with us and we got to find some more new investigators. By the end of the day, we had 5. Booyah. 

Saturday: GENERAL CONFERENCE! Finally. I love this weekend. Best out of the whole year. And I learned a whole bunch and the Spirit was really strong. So yeah. After it, we went out to work and got in two appointments. Tried to encourage the S family to come to Conference the next day. 

Sunday: Both Nanay and Tatay S came :) YES! I love when people do what we tell them they should do. Makes me feel like they trust me. And conference was great again. Made me really happy and more excited to share the gospel. 

So this week was great and I liked it a lot. There's never a dull day in the life of a missionary. Thank goodness or I might go crazy. 

The church is true. It's the only true church because it has a living Prophet and Jesus Christ is it's head. Also we're the only church with the WHOLE TRUTH. Try to beat that. Oh, that's right, you can't :) I know this is the true church. 

Mahal ko kayong lahat. Maraming salamat po sa lahat na gingawa nyo para samin. Ingat kayo palagi!
Love always,
Sister Hess 

#1's Weekly Email: Week #68

I got my trunky letter.... It's official ladies and gentlemen... I'm coming home in December

I think I walked more this last week than I have the last two transfers. That's what happens when your area is flat and stretches out for about 5 km in every direction. But it's still fun.

So this week.....
Monday: We had a super chill p-day. it was really nice. And then we went and taught Tita W, a recent convert. She's been having some health problems but she's still strong. After than lesson with her, we were super punted. So we just walked and walked until it was time to go home. 

Tuesday: There wasn't a district meeting because there is MLC this week. But we got some good work done and taught a bunch of people. Got 4 new investigators and got to go to a FHE for Sister C F who just got home from her mission. That was a lot of fun.

Wednesday: Another good day. Got 2 more new investigators. Found a couple more less actives. And that was about it. 

Thursday: Weekly planning again. and then work. We went back and taught a couple of our new investigators. Hopefully, they'll start progressing. And we found 3 new ones. Whoop whoop! :)

Friday: District meeting. I think we have the craziest zone ever because our two zone leaders are two white kids. I think I might have said that last week too but it was just proven to me all over again this week. We tried our practice teaching in only English. ha! #epicfail. I can't teach in English anymore… 

The rest of the day was fine. We got really punted but we contacted a lot of people. We're really good at talking to everyone these days. The only thing is, they're always busy... But that's ok. We just go back and annoy them until they let us teach them :)

Saturday: Another epic fail. We tried to go out and watch the Women's General session of conference and they told us all to be there at 2. Well it actually started at 1... So we only got to see the last talk. Dangit. And then we went out and worked. We got in a couple of lessons and got a couple of new investigators. Surprisingly, it's easier for 2 white girls to get into the big houses than it is for 1 Filipino and 1 American. Who'da thunk?

Sunday: Fast and testimony meeting. Good times. I felt like I was back at youth conference where everyone makes faces at everyone else, telling them that they should go bear their testimonies. But that was okay. After church we went out and Sister C worked with us. She's awesome. And the rain came down and poured. There were immediate lakes all over the road... And we were immediately drenched. But that was ok. 

All in all it was an okay week. No complaints. I got my flight itinerary this week. That means I'm going home soon... Grand. Not sure how I feel about that. Kinda excited. Kinda scared. Not trunky yet :)

Ok that's about it. I know that this is the true Church. The Gospel is true and this is the ONLY church that has it in it's fullness. No questions asked. 

Mahal ko kayong lahat. Maraming salamat sa support nyo sakin at sa pagmamahal nyo. Ingat kayo palagi!
-Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Email: Week #67

I transferred! i'm in San Marcelino

So yes, I've been transferred and I am no longer a Sister Training Leader, which surprisingly, I'm great with. Now I don't have to worry about anyone else, I can just be a normal missionary and help my new area out. My new companion is Sister M (my first white sister companion). She's from Kansas. And so far we've had a lot of fun. Our area is huge. It's Sister P and Sister R's old area. So that's pretty fun :)

So this is what happened this last week… 

Monday: P-Day. We went to Olongapo because we had a zone activity. We all hung out together and played games and had a good time before transfer day. And then we went and ate at the base. American pizza :) yummm We then went shopping and then went home. P-days in Olongapo are exhausting... So we then went to work. We visited the L kids. They're doing fine. 
Tuesday: Day before transfers. With President Q, they'd make us wait the whole day to find out who was transferring. Not that way with President D. They texted us at 2 pm and then we got to spend the rest of the day saying goodbye to our recent converts. I like it that way. So we knew that I was transferring to San Marcelino and Sister M was my new companion and Sister Ra would be replacing me in Matain. So we went around and said goodbye to everyone and said that I'd see them all in December. That made them all feel a little better.

Wednesday: Transfer day! We all rented a jeep and headed down to Olongapo. We hung out there for a while until Sister M and Sister S got there. And then we ate at McDonald's and then headed to San Mar. We unpacked and got all settled in. Then went out to work. Not sure about all the places we went because it was kind of a blur. All I know is that our area is huge! and I really like it. So yup. haha

Thursday: Weekly planning. Same old same old. Except all in English (weird) and we got distracted a couple of times because we started talking about obscure American movies (even weirder). But that was still fun haha And then we had lunch and went out and worked. We were super punted. But we did get into some rich guy's house from "tao po"-ing. Just because we were white. He's really nice and we taught him. :) 

Friday: We had a zone meeting. Our zone is pretty crazy. Mainly because our zone leaders are two 19 year old American boys from Utah. But it's a lot of fun. After that we went out and worked again. And got punted again. And had a meeting with our branch mission leader. 

Saturday: We went finding the whole day :) And the people we were finding were less actives. We found the L compound who is a bunch of less actives and a bunch of people that aren't members yet either. So we taught them all. And got 5 new investigators. And next time we go back there will probably be even more. There was also a baptism. 

Sunday: We got to go to church and I had to bear my testimony because I was in a new area. That will be the last time I do that :) 

So yeah. That was my week. It was a good one and I'm excited for this week to see what we can do here. I know that the church is true and missionary work is the best thing I've ever done. Heavenly Father loves all of us. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I love you all

Mahal ko kayong lahat. Ingat kayo palagi!
-Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Email: Week #66

Transfers again?! What's gonna happen....? Any guesses? :)

Hello everyone! How are you? How's life? Everything's good over here. Just getting ready for transfers. 

So this past week was same old same old. Missionary work parin. Masaya parin :)

Monday: went up the mountain and shared with the L kids. 

Tuesday: We went and taught the C family and then went finding. We got to explore some mountains. That was fun. The only problem is that not one person on those mountains is married.... Dangit. That really puts a damper on us wanting you to get baptized. But they were very receptive. We'll see what happens there. 

Wednesday: We got to go teach F who is 23 years old and we thought he was a part member investigator. Um... nope. Turns out he was baptized when he was 8.... We get to help him get his testimony back. Went and visited Nanay A again. She's doing ok. Still has a headache from all the drama that's still happening on the mountain. ey ey ey… 

The rest of the day we just taught people. Fun times. I love the people in my area. They're so nice.

Thursday: Weekly planning. And then work. Found out that J C, the 20 year old little brother of Ju C, went back to Bataan... Darn. But he took his Book of Mormon with him and told his nieces that he was in 2nd Nephi. Cool :) Referred him to the elders in Mariveles. 

Friday: Went out and taught a bunch of lessons. Climbed some mountains. stomped through some puddles. The usual :)

Saturday: We had an awesome fireside with the members, teaching them how to prepare for teaching. I hope they apply the things they've learned. And then we had the baptism right afterwards. S and L were baptized and they were so happy. Right after the baptism, L turned to us and asked, "Am I a member yet?" They're both 9 years old and so awesome. I'm so happy for them :)

Sunday: I got to play piano, like I do every sunday. And S and L got confirmed. Sister Co gave a really great talk about members fellowshipping new members. I hope the members apply that too. Then we went out and visited the people that didn't make it to church. The C family had gotten sick to they couldn't make it but they're doing great besides that. We also went and found C V and her mom who are less actives. C was so happy that we had found them and she told us to come back right away. So we said we would and went on our merry little way. I love when we go to someone's house and they say at the end, we'll be waiting for you to come back. Makes me feel so loved. 

Yup, so that was this week. Life is good. The mission is good. I'm excited to see what happens this week with transfers. I love you all. The church is true. 

Have a great week! Take care!
-Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Email: Week #65

I'm still playing catch up. This was #1's email back on Sept. 14th. As much as possible, I'm trying to get two of her emails posted a day.

"Know who you are and act accordingly"

This week has been really awesome. I've learned so much and realized a lot of things about myself and my role here in the mission and in this life. Hopefully, when you read this email you'll realize somethings too :) So I'm gonna give a short play-by-play of what happened this week and then I'll tell you what I've learned :)

monday: p-day. nothing huge happened. Just hung out at home and got ready for the rest of the week. And then we went out and had an FHE with S and L and M. It was super fun and I taught them the cup game :) 

Tuesday: We got a lot done because the rest of the week was going to be super busy... So in the morning we went out and taught Tatay M and Nanay A. We found out that Nanay A had another faith testing experience. On Monday, when we didn't go up to their house, members from her old church came up the mountain and tried to convince her to come back to their old church. P A was there too but when he saw them coming, he knew what they were going to do and he didn't want to be a part of it so he went down the mountain and didn't come back up until they left (YES! That's my recent convert :)) And then the members of her old church stayed at their house from 10 am until 8 pm. They said they were waiting for us to show up so that they could let us know that Nanay A was not going to be coming back to the "Mormon" church. HA! You guys are funny. They also gave Nanay A a newspaper thingy for us to read to convince us that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are one person. Um good luck with that. That idea doesn't even make sense... So it turned out to be a good thing that we didn't go up that mountain on Monday. And Nay told us that she told them straight up that she wasn't going back to their church and that she just wanted them to respect her and to be friends. Apparently they didn't like that. And she told us that when they left she was so tired. Like she'd fought a war all by herself that day. But the good thing was, she was the winner :) She's so awesome.

In the afternoon, we climbed the mountain in Matain and shared with the C family. We got to teach J, the 20 year old little brother of J M C. He's awesome. He's so quiet but really smart. And we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he was going to read it. 

Wednesday: On Wednesday, we went to Liozon for a leadership meeting with Elder Shayne M. Bowen. He's a general authority in case you didn't know and he's awesome. He taught us a lot about being leaders and I learned a lot. And then we all went home. Sister S and Sister D got to sleep over at our house and it was a lot of fun too. That's about all that happened.

Thursday: This was the day where all the cool learning of things happened. We went to Olongapo and got to be there for a zone conference with Elder Bowen again. He and Sister Bowen taught us and it was super inspirational and spiritual. And that is the stuff that I'll tell you once I'm done with all this weekly stuff. After the meeting, we went straight out and worked. We went back to the C family and shared with them about the Plan of Salvation. That was super cool and I realized that that is one of my favorite lessons to teach. Probably because their minds are blown every single time :) And then we went and taught S and L again and the P family.

Friday: We went out finding. We got to explore Matain, purok 5. We had never been down there before and we got to teach 4 new investigators, two families :) After that we went back and taught the C family again. We wanted to teach J but he had left. But they told us that he reads the Book of Mormon every night, even if his cell phone is low battery and he has to read by candlelight. That's what I'm talking about :) 

Saturday: We got to participate in a one day mission with the branch. Me and Sister E split up and had members work with us. I got to realize how much I love having a companion. I had to teach two lessons to less actives all by myself... that wasn't fun. But it was nice to see the members get involved. After that we went to the office and found out that we had packages coming from America! WOOHOO! There was a can of hot cocoa and a package for me full of mac n cheese and red vines :) And then a package for the other sisters that they absolutely loved. Yay for my mom! We then went out to work and got a lot done. Sister Q, a member, worked with us and we got the teach Brother L again. He's awesome and gonna make a great member someday. 
And then we went to a baptism. It was another good one and afterwards went home really quick to eat a box of mac n cheese :) (feeling American again) and went out to the P family. 

Sunday: We had 8, count em, 8 investigators come to church :) The C family invited their whole family on the mountain to go to church and they all came :D Booyah! Recent Converts are the greatest! And then we went out and worked, even though it seemed like a typhoon had come in. It was raining really hard and really really windy. We were soaked in seconds. And we were using umbrellas.... But we climbed the mountain anyways and taught the C family. J now has a baptismal goal date :D We were going to go visit the L's at the top of the mountain but we got the stairs and I all of the sudden felt like we should go home. The wind was super duper strong and so we said a prayer on the stairs that lead to their house and asked if we should climb the mountain or go home. As soon as we said "amen" we felt three gusts of super strong wind, stronger than before, and so we decided that that was the answer and went home. As soon as we got home, we got a text from the zone leaders that there was a typhoon and we were supposed to work near our apartments. Cool :) Heavenly Father protects his missionaries. 

So that was my week. Are you ready for the things that I learned?

So we learned a lot about the priesthood and how it is literally Heavenly Father's power. We are so blessed to have it here and the men that have it NEED to be worthy to use it all the time. 

We also learned about who we are. We are literally children of God. We have a promise given to us by Heavenly Father that if we only obey him then we will be blessed. We are always in His debt but it's ok because he wants to give us everything. He want to bless us. And if we knew who we really are then obedience would not be a problem. Temptations would not be a problem. If we could look beyond the veil and see who we really are then every time satan tried to mess with us we would just say to him, " Um excuse me... Do you know who I am? Do you really think some little thing like that is going to stop me from doing my best to get my blessings?" We would be unstoppable. When we are obedient, exactly obedient, we become powerful. And Heavenly Father smiles down on us and says, "Sure, I'll give you everything you want and need because I love you and you are doing your best to be obedient." I know this is true. We tested it this week and that is why we had  investigators at church and J accepted a baptismal goal date. And that is why I am very very happy today. I love my Heavenly Father and He loves all of us. 

Thank you for all your prayers and support. Sorry, this email is really long but I hope it helps you :)
Mahal ko kayong lahat. Ingat kayo!
-Sister Hess :))))

Monday, November 24, 2014

Darn IT!

The last 20 minutes before #7 left were spent laboring over the word "it." "I, igloo, i-i-i. T, turtle, t-t-t." Over and over again. Each page began with "It."

The following two words came easy once we could get past "it," but each page was another hurdle to climb up and over as soon as the page was turned.

IT! How hard can it be?

The strange thing is that "is" is no problem. That's her word…"is." Why couldn't "it" be "is?" We would have easily passed this book on, but no, we've been working on this single book for four days now.

The previous books were easy to memorize and pretend that she was reading the words; the pictures were simple enough to read. She'd take one book back every day and bring home a new one….Encouraging. But again tonight, we will be left with "it" once again.

It seems that the Hess family is going to be entering a new world….A world of testing and working to overcome some obstacles that at times, I'm sure, are going to feel insurmountable.

Funny….While we struggled with "I can't do this!" for the past twenty minutes, she tapped a cute little tune with her fingers on the book. It was perfectly syncopated. It, I'm sure, went along with the tune going on in her mind. There is so much more there….more than a little girl who struggles to connect the idea that letters have sounds and those sounds don't change.

That little rhythm somehow played as a little reminder to me that this child is unique. There are obvious weaknesses and difficulties, but there is also so, so, SO much more….So much potential.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #64

I woke up with the "Mana Mana" video running through my head.... Ano bayan?

And this week has been enjoyable. And I didn't get sick. Woohoo! 
Let me think let me think.... What happened this week....

Monday: P-day of course.Support day. We went to Olongapo. I don't like support day. It's stressful...  We went and had FHE at the P family's house.

Tuesday: District meeting. Went to Olongapo again. Ew. But it was a good district meeting. Learned a lot. And then went home, took a super quick nap and went out to work. We visited the C family and taught them about missionary work. And they got super excited to convert their whole mountain of friends. Cool :) We'll see what happens there. And then went and taught S and L who are also excited for their baptism. The Le kids are doing great as well and so is P A. 

Wednesday: The usual, went out and worked and tried to find. It is stinking hard to find in our area because there are some parts that we're not allowed to enter. Our area is actually really small and if you take out the places with the drug addicts and the Muslim area, it shrinks even more. But that's ok. We also had Sister W (a new senior missionary and Sister D's older sister) work with us. She's awesome. And I think she liked working with us. It was a lot of fun. And we ended up finding 4 new investigators. 

Thursday: (Happy Birthday [#3]!) Weekly planning. The usual. I finally finished the scripture cases that I made for the Le kids. And then me and Sister L did exchanges. Man I love that girl so much. I forgot how much fun it was to be her companion. We went and gave the scripture cases to the kids and you would have thought that Christmas had come early.They were so excited! And then we went and taught the C family and L and S and a bunch of other people. We just had a bunch of fun. 

Friday:Worked with Sister L in the morning and we had a lot of fun again. And then when we went out and worked in the afternoon, me and Sister E had a lot of fun. We went and taught Sa and got her to work with us. We got a new investigator. His name is Li and he is 55 years old. He's a funny older guy and he's really promising. 

Saturday: Mornings are not my friends in this area. We are always super punted in the mornings and end up spending the whole time walking and walking and walking. But Sal and Sa worked with us so at least it was enjoyable walking and walking and walking. And after lunch it was more of the same. But we still got a lot of lessons in. 

Sunday: fast sunday. Here in the Philippines, this weird thing happens where EVERYONE wants to go to church on fast Sunday. It's weird because I'm pretty sure the opposite happens at home... But Sunday was a good day too. We got in a lot of lessons and we had a lot of fun. 

I love this work and I know that it's so important. I'm so grateful that I have the chance to serve here in the Philippines. I know that the church is true and that this is His Gospel. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. 

Mahal ko kayong lahat. Ingat kayo palagi!
love always,
-Sister Hess

#1's Weekly Emails: Week #63

Trying to think of a heading but this week was one of the most boring weeks ever because....

I got sick! 

That's about all I have to say about this past week. We were stuck at home from Tuesday until Friday. 
And then Saturday, we went out and worked, finally! I missed working :) 

We went out in the afternoon to check on the C family. We climbed up and up and up to their house on top of the mountain. They were all doing fine and were super excited for their baptism later that afternoon.
I keep thinking about that family and how amazing it was that we were the ones that found them. They literally live on the top of the mountain. Our area used to be the Assistant's area but they never climbed to the top of the mountain. They stayed at the bottom. We were the first ones to climb up there and once we got there, there they were, just sitting and waiting for us. 

Their baptism was great and Sister C said that she was so so so so happy that she made the decision to be baptized. Her husband, J M, will be baptized on October 4th with their other daughter J-J. Yay for the Gospel :) haha

Sunday was good too. We went to church and worked afterwards. We found out that the L family had been having some hard times while we had been stuck inside, so we went and shared with them as well. Nanay is still going strong. In the past when members of her old church have come over they've said some pretty mean things to her to try to get her back to their church. And in the past, she's kind of just taken it and accepted whatever they've said. But now, it's awesome to see the difference. She is confident now and she knows without a doubt that this is the true church. And so because of that she just teases them when they come over. She's so much happier. It's amazing what a knowledge of the truth can do for you.

I love this church so much. It is the only true church and the only true gospel. No ifs, or buts. 

Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts in my behalf. Mahal ko kayong lahat. 

Ingat kayo! Until next week! (Promise, I'll have more news :))

Sister Hess

The Madhouse at this Point

The time has come…..

Sheesh! It's been FOREVER since I've been here. It feels strange to sit down in front of this screen and write. I know you probably don't even care why I haven't written, and really, I have no reasons for not, but it's become pretty clear that I need to get at this again.

I went to Time Out for Women a number of weeks ago now. I always feel so uplifted and inspired when I go each year, but this year's take-away for me was interesting….More than anything, I felt that I needed to get back to writing. Seeing that TOFW was so many weeks ago, you can see how quick I am to actually do things about what I feel. Oops!

The funny thing is that although I haven't been writing, recently, three or four times a week, when I sign on to Facebook, I find a notification telling me that someone new "likes Hesses Madhouse." Huh? Okay, well, I'd better get back on it.

First order of business--getting #1's mission emails up to date. That will happen in the next few days, so watch for a barrage of info from the Philippines. She's doing great and is preparing to return home…..Even to the point of having signed up for her college classes.

It seems that her emails will be replaced fairly soon--we're not sure when, but #2 is awaiting his call. His papers went in last Tuesday, and we've heard that calls can arrive in as early as ten days, so we are right now, very patiently awaiting some important mail. I will share that information here as much as I can.

If you've been wondering….everyone here is doing great. We have our ups and downs, but all in all, life is good. #1 gets home right before Christmas. #2 broke his leg, had surgery, and is still recovering--in a boot after many weeks on the couch--while he awaits his mission call. The doctors gave him full clearance, so he really could be called to serve anywhere in the world.  The fact is the broken leg put him out of work, so just after he'd finished earning the money needed for his mission, he was laid up….Nice timing, and great for me that I get to have this time with him before he goes….I'm NOT complaining in the slightest. One warning about #2, he intentionally doesn't smile in pictures. He'll be laughing and smiling and the moment he sees my phone primed and ready to snap a picture of him, he'll change his expression--just for me. **SIGH**

#3 is looking forward to taking over #2's room (known as the "tower"). She's all about choir and Pinterest and selfies (or in this case, "groupies").….

See what I mean about #2?

#4 is wishing he was playing indoor soccer for the winter, but I failed on the sign ups. Same holds true with #5 and winter basketball….These are the reasons my children will write their "Mommy Dearest" books. I guess you can say I got my defense going here, so you can vouch for me at their book signings. As I'm looking at it now, though, winter's going to be busy enough. These are just some activities that need to be nixed for now. 

#4 is in high school now and seems to be doing pretty well. He's taking an AP class, which has been challenging, but freshman year is such a huge learning opportunity, right? He's getting by and learning some lessons the hard way--the best way. The lessons learned the hard way are those that aren't soon forgotten, right? #4 is also ready to take on an Eagle project, so that will be a huge focus this winter.

#5 is now in middle school. He seems to like it. He's riding his bike to and from school each day and is playing the trumpet in band. He hasn't quite learned how to combine both--get his trumpet to school on his bike, so we're definitely open to any ideas anyone has. Believe it or not….That's one offering I haven't been able to find on Pinterest. You look up "bike" and "trumpet," and this is what you get….


Like that idea, as he may, that just ain't gonna happen. Neighbors, you're welcome!

#6 is enjoying school for the most part. He's all about Legos….Can't wait to get home and create. I have to hide them away so he can get more important things done first. Believe it or not, I have found THE BEST hiding spot. I thought it wasn't possible anymore, but it's like hiding something out in the open. He walks by the spot everyday but so far hasn't figured out that that's where they are….Amazing! Oh, my chocolate stash has found a new awesome home too. If you ever need to find a place to hide things, just ask me….I've become the master stasher. That's what having seven kids'll do to you….Oh, the skills!

#7 is in kindergarten. She is so full of life that school is tricky. She loves it….everything about it, but after having the kid who read Harry Potter as a kindergartener, it's interesting to have one who struggles with reading so much. Again, I'm learning new skills here. She's taking dance, which is perfect for her. She will frequently show off her moves no matter what tune is playing in the house.

There's a little update on all of them. As for me, I was writing quite a bit there for awhile even after I took my little blogging hiatus, but as that dissipated, shipping things to the Philippines took over. It was kind of a nice little change. I had a writing offer, but I sadly had to turn it down because the Christmas rush was on. Now, I help get things from point A to point B and offer a less expensive shipping resource to parents who have kids serving missions in the Philippines. It has been a BLAST! I have met so many wonderful people through this and feel like, with so many of them things just click. I feel like I'm shipping for my friends, and what could be better than that?

So, things of biggest importance around here right now…..
• Getting a house ready for a young woman to return home to--decluttering, painting, cleaning and scouring.
• Awaiting a mission call.
• Shipping Christmas packages for missionaries--lots and lots of them. 
• Surviving the everyday running around while attempting to create happy, functional children and striving to make a house a home…..which includes: groceries, laundry, tidying (endlessly).

Among all of this, look for more on this blog. You may wonder how I plan to do the things on my little but massive list. Well….there are some changes in the works, so be looking for those as well. I'm hopeful that there will be a little less madness in the Madhouse thanks to what I have in mind.

So now for #1's emails…..

Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 Portland-to-Coast (part 1)

A week ago now, at 2:00 in the morning, I found myself facing my greatest fears.

Since I was about three years old, I have been dreadfully afraid of the forest. It's a long story that I won't get into right now, but just trust me, I had a bad experience.

Yes, I go to Girls Camp nearly every summer, and I have a great time, but it is rare that you will ever find me in a forest all alone.

One such rare occurrence was early last Saturday morning….

It was me with my little headlamp in the middle of the Cascade Range in the middle of the night heading toward the Pacific Ocean, walking as fast as my legs could carry me.

I am a member of a 12-person, 2-van Portland to Coast relay race walking team. This is the second year I've done this. Only, last year, I had the easy legs of the race. Last year, I dodged homeless people and walked the bridges and waterfront of downtown Portland. My second leg was at 1am on a windy road in the middle of nowhere with no shoulder on the road to walk on--thank goodness for little traffic.

This year, I was surprised to find that I had been assigned the difficult and very difficult legs. Yikes! Last year, I was in much better shape. This year, I had been a major slacker.

When I received the email with my leg assignments, what could I do? I wrote back to the team captain and sent her five simple words…."I can do hard things."

What I learned from facing those hard things and the experience I had was astounding.

To be continued…..

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