Monday, March 31, 2014

Langka, Cowboys, and Beer Bellies‏

I really like this
Well pamilya and friends, kamusta and week nyo? Mine wasn't too shabby. Let me tell ya about it. So first of all, I tried pusit, AKA squid. It kinda tastes like chewy chicken. I tried langka too. We just walked by and these people were eating this giant yellow thing so I asked what it was and they were like, "You have to try it!" And Filipinos don't back down. So I tried it. It was awesome! 

Also, school is out and summer is in! You know what that means! The Beer Bellies are coming back out. The Filipino men do this funny thing where they roll their shirt up to their chest so their big bellies are sticking out. It must be some kind of self air conditioning. Graduation week also means a lot of drinking and videoke-ing. I love the mga lasing. They are just so sweet! One of our investigators was drunk when we went to visit him so we left. But later he sent me a text that said, "Sister Brownr, ILuvyouk" Then the first cowboy I've ever seen in the Philippines came up to me, asked if I was single, and proceeded to say, "I have a girlfriend like you, but you're a lot prettier. We could date." And I was like, "Missionaries po kami para sa ang simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw...." I love the Philippines!

This week was my 3rd Zone Conference! It's weird to think that I only have 2 left. It was kind of sad because President Peterson was really sick and couldn't come. I really missed him and Sister Peterson. They only have 3 more months here. I am so thankful for the 2 of them and the huge help they have been to me in my mission. I look up to them so much and I hope that one day I will grow up to be like them. I know that they are a big part of the reason I was called to this mission and I love them so much! 

Even without them there, we still learned things. We talked about the sacrament, the atonement, and repentance and what I got from it all was I really need to work on my relationship with my Savior. I don't think that we, as members of the church, realize just how amazing the sacrament it. Heavenly Father gives an opportunity EVERY single week to start over. How many times do we just take the sacrament and not even think of the Savior? I know I've done that too many times. But try this this week. Before you take the bread and the water, just hold it for a second and think about WHY you're doing it. It makes all the difference.

Thank you for all of your love and prayers! Have a fabulous week and be a good example!

XOXO, Sister Brown

Language study

One of our investigators sign shop

It was a long day...

Past companion #2


Zone Con Batch Pic

Past companion #1

Cute companion now..

Monday, March 24, 2014

Moses: Prophet and the next Michael Phelps‏

These kids all listened in our lesson so we taught them all how to pray
Kamusta na po kayo? What did you do this week? I planted 1,500 eggplants! With my bare hands! And also ate Pancit Hab-Hab. Also with my bare hands. Pancit Hab-Hab is the specialty of Lucena. It's name comes from the noise you make while you eat it out of your hands haha :) Filipinos are so creative. 

We also taught some people this week of course. My favorite lesson was with Felipa. She's like 70. Right in the middle of the lesson she covers her mouth and says, "Sisters! Nahihiya ako, nakalimutan ko ang ngipin ko sa labado!" Which translates to, "I'm embarrassed, I forgot my teeth in the kitchen!" Then later on I asked her if she knew what Moses did to the Red Sea. This was her immediate and very enthusiastic reply: "He went swimming!" Who knew?

I also finished the Book of Mormon again! This time as I read it I focused on "The One," those people who stood alone and made a difference. Some of these people don't even have names. They are simply known as "The servant of Helaman" or "The one Amalekite who was converted," but their acts of courage and faith had the power to influence everything. For example, there's Alma the Elder. He was the only one who heeded the words of Abinadi and because he wasn't afraid to stand alone, thousands were converted. And there's Abish, whose actions also resulted in the salvation of souls. But then there's also the Daughter of Jared. Her actions led to the destruction of an entire civilization. Sometimes I think we underestimate the power of "The One." Sometimes we think that we can't make a difference. But Nephi teaches us, "...By small means the Lord can bring about great things." (1Ne 16:29) Don't underestimate the power you have to influence others. You CAN make a difference. For good, or for evil. That choice is up to you. 

So use your agency and influence the lives of those around you for the better this week. The Lord will make you great.

Love you all more than the universe! 

XOXO, Sister Brown

My favorite Dr. Seuss house 

Brother Oliver's farm

Planting 1,500 eggplants

We rode in this thing

Rodilla's Restaurant

Monday, March 17, 2014

Surprise Attack‏

Elder Milligan!!
First off, the E on this keyboard doesn't work vry well so sorry if this is missing a few E's. Kamusta po kayo lahat? This week I got a new foot! So bet ya can't beat that. Bishop Sacil is sobrang malakas and well, I'm not. So he helped me switch it out and then I left the old one with them as a remembranc of me. I literally left a part of me in San Jose haha :)

Which brings me to the next story, leaving San Jose. I was sure I was safe. I was in the middl of training and it was already 8:30pm. Then the phone rings. And water may or may not have started running down my cheeks. What do the twins say? My eyes startd sweating haha :) And my heart broke a little bit. I loved my short time in San Jose. I would have served the rest of my mission there gladly. The members in San Jose were probably the kindest, most loving people I've ever met. They will forever be a part of me. I am grateful for all that I learned in San Jose and for the pople I met there. I can't even express it really, so let's just leave it at that.

I am now in Tayabas, Lucena. It's the biggest city I've been in so far but it's still not really a city. It's kind of like Roy. All of the houses here are so colorful and they're kind of crazy shapes. It's like walking around in a Dr. Suess book. There are hundreds of little kids here. And hundreds of old people. All of our investigators are like 70+. We also have a pet rat that runs around in the ceiling at night. But I'm pretty sure it's not just a rat. It's an RUS. It sounds like I human being is charging around up there. 

My companion is Sister Lisaca. She is 25 and has kind of an interesting story. She is actually my batch (meaning she wnt to th MTC at the same time.) But she was assignd in Tacloban for 2 months and got sick and went home. Then she served in Bacolod short term because of Yolanda. And now she is assigned here. I'm still training since she is batch of my anak. She is my ampon. She is super nice and she is basically alrady traind. I am excitd to have her as my companion! Oh, and she's finally going to teach m to cook!

So this week was a little rough with the surprise attack and heartbreak, so I watched this.

 I think you should watch it too. Have a fabulous week! Mahal na mahal na mahal ko kayo! 

XOXO, Sister Brown

New house

Hanging bamboo bridge
Sis Lisaca
JR, Oliver, Nico, Sis Seastrand, Baby, Ako

Don't see this everyday...
Mateo and Eva

District 3
Sis Hingano, my favorite missionary!
Anak ko
San Jose last Sunday

Nico, JR, Johnathon

Monday, March 10, 2014

A week full of Fish Heads‏I

I ate that...
Kamusta po kayo lahat? So this week was actually not FULL of fish heads. Just one fish head. This week I added to my list of weird foods. Sister Valdez's favorite part of the fish is the head. So I thought, "Hey, I want in on this too!" And I ate a fish head, eyeballs and all! It wasn't too bad but I probably will never eat it again. I also had halo-halo like 5 times. They sell it on every corner in the summer here. It's basically genius. It has all 6 food groups in one dessert! Ube (purple yams), beans, cheese, ice cream, jello, langka, and basically anything else you want to throw in there. It's growing on me.

Also, I would just like to inform you that my Tagalog is doing awesome. Joke lang! I actually don't know how it is. Because this week multiple people told me I was like a white Filipina. But then there were also quite who a few who just stared at me and were like "Ano?" It's definitely improving though.

This week was kind of uneventful. We got dropped by one of our investigators but it's fine because we found 3 new ones who are basically amazing. I realized I don't think I've ever really told you about all of my investigators, probably because it changes every week but here's a run down.


Marvin- Has a new baby, lives with his member girlfriend, know the church is true, but needs to get married first. We're planning on the 2nd week of April. It will be a birthday/wedding/baptism celebration!

Evangeline- OYM, comes to church every week, wants to get baptized, but can't read and has a really hard time understanding the basics of our lessons.

Erica- Evangeline's 11 year old daughter who reads the BOM to her every day, she knows the BOM is true. She told us she did and when we asked how she told us she asked Heavenly Father and the thought came into her mind "Erica, the Book of Mormon is true." She's astig.

Raquel- New investigator and OYM, has 6 kids, she giggles a lot in our lessons but she is really interested because she has a lot of questions that we have been able to answer unlike any other church.

Lyza- New investigator and OYM, really wanted to know why there were so many different translations of the Bible and how we were supposed to know which one was true, asked for a where she could get a BOM at the end our our first lesson.

Justin- Lives at Evangeline's, also can't read, 19 years old, both of his parents died when he was young and he was separated from his sister. He really needs the gospel.

So there's the low down. I'll keep ya updated.

Spiritual thought of the week, faith is confidence. If we have faith in Christ, we have confidence in Him. We have confidence in His ability to help us, to help our families. For me, it means having confidence in his ability to help my investigators and to take care of those recent converts and less active members who are out of my hands. It means having confidence that through Him, I can do anything. And so can you.

Have a great week! Love you all more than the universe!

XOXO, Sister Brown

Even the eyeballs...
Fish heads

Wow 8 months!!

Practice teaching with the ward missionaries
Pres. Scooby Doo's last Sunday as Branch Pres. after 16 years
Ward missionaries
The RS of San Jose
Newspaper tree
The monkey that tried to kill us
Sista Smart