26 April 2015

Letter 78: Thoughts of an RM

Maayong gab-i!

Hannah here, so .. . . yup, it's a weird thing to say! I'm home!
Mom was kinda excited
 It was crazy, going to Iloilo on Monday, having that last interview with President Aquino. I'm happy to see that when he realized that I'm STILL 20, he actually said, "ahh.. Still young. You don't need to get married right away." (Hallelujah, Praise the Ginuo)

We bore our last testimonies to the Office Elders and they gave us a farewell song, and President gave us one last Book of Mormon to give away before being realized (I gave mine to a nice woman in the airport, Sherry, moving to Florida to join her parents. It was nice, to give away one last Book of Mormon as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

We got up on Tuesday and did NOT go to Manila in the morning so we could go to the Temple >:( You might say that I'm still a little tiny bit bitter. Just a bit. So instead we went to a Career Meeting. Helpful. . . . but I got the exact same help from LDS employment center here on Thursday. (which is why normally only the Filipinos go to the career workshop, and the Foreigners go to the TEMPLE. . . ok. I'm over it. I promise.)

So we left in the afternoon, and we all headed to Manila. I sat next to an Elder who turns out to be my Bro in the mission (my first district leader is his trainer. which makes us family.)

and then we waited. . . and waited.. . borrowed a cellphone. . and waited some more for a car to come get us. Sister Quent and I decided that it just had to happen that way, because that's what happened the FIRST time we came to Iloilo, hahaha.

Eventually the car came, and we went to the hotel so that we could leave in the morning. All the missions in the Philippines with the same transfer day as us were there. . except our MTC district of Bacolod. Another thing that just made Sister Quent and I annoyed. We wanted to see Sisters Moser, Kumar, and Watkins. . . but noooo....

And then we left for Tokyo 9:30 am 22 April, left Tokyo 2:30 pm 22 April, and got home to Seattle 9:00am 22 April. How's that for a time change? Might as well paint the plane blue and call it a Tardis, because I went back in time! (Doctor Who joke, anyone?)

And then Seattle to SALT LAKE CITY.

No words now. . . Just pictures

Mom and Dad

Grandma and Grandpa

The Bytheways
I can't believe she got
 so tall and gorgeous!
My Favorite Nieces made me signs!
She surprised me!
This little boy did not
want anything to do with me
But after an hour or so of
Babysitting, we became friends :)
 So yeah. Went home, got released and all that good stuff. I've been to LDS Employment Offices (I'm so bored, oh my gulay I need a job. actually. I just need a schedule again.) I babysat my nephew, went to my sister's Madrigal State thing. it was great to hear chamber music again, and had to go buy new jeans because ALL MY OLD PANTS ARE TOO SMALL. It was a terrifyingly sad moment that I knew was coming. There is no way that after 18 months of daily rice intake and walking for hours would dare let me fit into my old jeans from highschool. *sigh*
Also, It's weird to wear all my old clothes again. (also, why do I have so many clothes? goodness, I'm glad I'm used to going without and I can just hand them down now) I feel like I've woken from some weird dream called a mission, and I'm just Hannah again. It's really weird. I'm trying REALLY HARD not to turn into what I was before (a useless couch potato that does nothing and should get a life) it's definitely a trial.
Scripture study is good. :) Future RMs, you hear it all the time. NEVER STOP STUDYING. Praying is really good. Talking in Sacrament was just as nerve-wracking the first time, but that helped too.
I'm doing good with adjustment to Babylon, I really think the hardest thing is not knowing what to really do with myself. (still have to unpack that last suitcase. . ahem). I think I might have thought of it as truly a dream, if it weren't for this missing piece over my heart (literally, it feels like physical yet emotional thing. I'm so AWARE that there is no more tag)
Don't know what I want for a job, just want to work. I'm thinking of going to SLCC for the summer. :/ I'm sure I'll have more of my life figured out next week I've only been home 4 days you know. . .
So yeah, this will be the last time this blog will have a post, thank you for all who have read these, and thank you so much for all the prayers.
I love my mission, and I will always carry it in my heart. It was truly God's plan for me, and I know I did the work He sent me to do.
The Church is True.
Christ is our Savior.
This Mission is the BEST 2 YEARS (or 18 months. ahem) truly and undeniably.
I love you all.

20 April 2015

Letter 77: Happy Trip and a Final Testimony

Dearest Panimalay kag mga Abyan,

Guess what? I'm in Iloilo typing on an iPad!! Technology. The couple missionaries are letting me borrow it because there isn't any time to go to a computer shop , and they want to take us out to lunch right now. 

It was a great week, I feel like I accomplished my goal: to preach repentance unto the people of Roxas with loving boldness. I really want to talk about everything. . . But no time. Rumpella got confirmed. :)

I already am done with my interview with President Aquino, and I leave for Manila tomorrow. TEMPLE trip. I'm way excited. Then off to Tokyo and Seattle, and I'll be home before I left, so let's just pretend that airplane is a police box, haha. I really can't say more, so I'll end with a final testimony.

Hiligaynon Version: 

Gusto ko nga ipaambit ang pagkamatu-od ko,

Bal-an ko nga matu-od ang Libro ni Mormon. Mga pulong sang Diyos siya para sa aton, kag nagabulig siya sa aton nga makilala ang aton Maluluwas nga si JesuKristo. Bal-an ko nga biskan ano ang mga problema naton, ukon kon may pagtilaw kita, makabulig ang Libro ni Mormon sa aton mga kabuhi. 

Bal-an ko nga Matuod nga propeta si Joseph Smith. Ginpanumbalik sang Diyos ang Ebanghelyo niya paagi kay Joseph Smith. Bal-an ko nga nakita niya ang Aton Langitnon nga Amay kag ang Iya Anak nga Si JesuKristo. Bal-an ko nga ginlubad niya ang Libro Ni Mormon paagi sa gahum sang Diyos. Bal-an ko nga paagi sa iya may priesthood kita diri sa kalibutan subong. 

Bal-an ko nga Buhi nga Propeta si Thomas S. Monson. Bal-an ko nga kon magpamati kita sa iya mga pulong, magpamati kita sa mga pulong ni JesuKristo kag aton Amay para sa aton subong nga adlaw. 

Bal-an ko nga napatay si JesuKristo para sa aton. Ginpayad niya ang mga sala naton para makahinulsol kita kag mangin matinlo kita kag makabalik kita sa presensya sang aton Langitnon nga Amay. Kag nagbanhaw siya, ti buhi na siya, kag ginagiya niya kita sa ulihing mga adlaw

Palangga ko si JesuKristo, kag malipay guid ako nga nakamission ako para sa iya. Salamat para sa inyo supporta sa akon diri sa Iloilo Philippines mission. Palangga ta kamo. 

Sa ngalan in JesusKristo, amen.

Si Sister Smith

English Version:

(Which may sound a little weird at times. . .because I'm translating it from the Ilonggo. . . . )

I want to share my Testimony, 

I know that The Book of Mormon is true. It is the Word of God for us, it helps us come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that whatever our problems are, or if we have trials, the Book of Mormon can help our lives. 

I know that Joseph smith was a true prophet. God restored His Gopsel through him. God restored His Gospel through Joseph Smith. I know he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know he translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God. I know that through him we have Priesthood here on Earth today. 

I know that Jesus Christ died for us. He paid for our sins for us to be able to repent to become clean and to to be able to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. He was resurrected, and at He lives, guiding us in these last days.

I love Jesus Christ and I am so happy to have been able to mission for him. Thank you all for your support to me here in the Iloilo Philippines mission. I love you all.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sister Smith.

Sorry,  this is short. Low bat. And I'm getting a little frustrated because this iPad keeps turning my ilonggo into English. . . . So it's kinda annoying. And there are no pictures. . . Because I'm using an iPad. . . Yeah. .  I don't think I can get over this using high tech technology thing.

I love you. See you soon :)

Joke lang. a picture. The AP let me use his computer :)
Last moment with Sister Robertson

13 April 2015

Letter 76: Q&A with Sister Smith

Dearest Family and Friends,

I hope you're doing well :) This Q&A is provided by Mom (and a few from Elder Simmons). Thank you for your participation. 

How was your week?
It was great! I loved it :) We lost a few days because of choir practice and running errands for moving houses. But we still had good things happen (also. I've requested to my housemates they they just move when they become a trio next week. They've agreed. it will be way easier for everyone)

What was your favorite day this past week?
I really liked Wednesday because we had exchanges, and I got to spend one more day with Sister Scicluna (and I got to lead the area. so that was fun) But this time she's the STL. haha. She gave me some great advice. "Just be bold! You've got one last week to cry repentance, do it boldly and with love."

And Conference was WAY good on Saturday. I loved it

But Friday wins :) because Sister Rumpella got baptized. She's a Child Not of Record (as you could say) and it was a pleasure to teach her. She'll be confirmed next Sunday, and really I think the reason she was baptized Friday instead of next Saturday is because her Dad needed to be there to witness it before going to Manila. 
Family :)
What are you doing today?
Later today we'll be Singing in the Capiztahan Festival. I'm excited to get it over with. It has been so drama-drama and all of the missionaries in the choir are just DONE because it's been eating at our proselyting time.

What are you doing this week?
Finding. Teaching. Picking up Rumpella for church to make SURE she gets confirmed. Write letters to RCs and LAs from old areas. Also  Packing (ugh. I want to die). How is it that I feel like I'm giving everything away but I have so much stuff left? (souvenirs. . haha. ) And books are heavy. More ugh. I'm sorry if I have heavy luggage fees. 

What are you doing next Monday?
I'll be in Iloilo and I really have no Idea. I think I email one more time? I'll be hanging out with my Batch. I think I have my final interview with President. I really have no idea. Everyone else going home with me is in Iloilo. . I'm the only one far away! If I don't get time really to email, I'll ask my friend (the AP :]) to give me five minutes to send a "See you in a few days!" on his computer.

What was your favorite thing you ate this week?
Sister Menor makes a really Good Sinigang. yumyum. Also had fried rice for breakfast this morning (talk about healthy haha)

What's the best native food you've had?  
EVERYTHING.  Ube. Langka. Sinigang, Mongo kag gata. Saging. Menudo

What's one of your favorite Ilonggo words?
Basta. it means . . . "Just as long as" like if your at a food court and you're companion doesn't know what to choose, and you're just like, "I don't care what we eat. Basta Food." there are other uses. . but their hard to explain. like. . when it's hard to explain something and you're just like, "Basta it was nice." Like saying. . "Basically" 

Or Palagpat. It's like Ridiculous. or annoying. or kinda like having a rebelious streak in your personality, you can be palagpat. 

Tell me 5 phrases in Ilonggo
"Indi sia basta-basta" It's not something to be taken lightly!
"Palangga kita sang aton Amay sa Langit" Our Father in Heaven Loves us.
"Ta!" Let's Go! or in Tagalog "Tara!"
"Ambot Sa imo!" I don't know about you! (you're a little weird. or I don't understand you)
"Te!" It's like "See, I told you so!." 

Who was your favorite speaker in conference/ favorite one liner?
ALL OF IT. As in. I absolutely loved it. But Elder Pearson pulled a great one on me "To all missionaries past and present: Elders and Sisters, you simply cannot return from your mission [and] do a swan-dive back into Babylon." I did a sort of salute to the screen and was like, "Alright. Noted. Thanks For the Warning"

What miracles did you see this week?
Had a great lesson with an RC gone LA about Repentance and Change. It really followed the Spirit. And then he came to conference on Saturday :)

Tell me about some of the people you visited this week
The RC/LA mentioned above has a great brother that I love teaching. He's absolutely Hilarious. Unfortunately he's stopped progressing :( and I don't think he'll be baptized soon. . . but he knows the church is true. He just needs more time. 

We normally visit Rhodey, and he's way great and interested in the Gospel. I loved what he said after he finally came to church. "I Liked it! and I've started so I might as well keep going" but this week he was sick, so we haven't seen him.  :( but......  He'll be baptized in May :)

What made you laugh?
When you're companions with Sister Robertson. . Everything is funny. :) 

Actually, whenever we're home I love it. Sister Scicluna is a great story teller, Sister Menor and I just mess with each-other, and Sister Robertson can make anything funny. Sometimes we'll be out walking, and we'll see something humorous, but then Sister Robertson thinks is so funny she can't even continue walking. I love it. :)

What made you cry?
The Talk "Waiting for the Prodigal" made me tear up.I'm sure the crying will come on Sunday when I get on a Ceres and head for Iloilo. I dunno. Maybe on the plane.  

What were your successes?
This week? not loosing my patience at choir practice. This Transfer? Cleaning out that hideous area book. My mission? Learning what it really means to become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What's your favorite part of missionary work? 
Everything. EVERYTHING. I love the Schedule (our schedule actually changed. No more Language study if you're long time in the mission. out by 11am not by 12nn. and then Pday ends at 5 instead of 6) and just the consistency of two hours of study. Having to do lists, and to be lists and stuff. I used to hate planning, but now I love it. I even don't mind exercising now. haha

What things do you not want to forget?
Ilonggo. The people I've met, the Spiritual moments, the Companions, the Things I learned, just how much I LOVE being a missionary and being on the Lord's Errand. 

What's one of your favorite things you've seen?
I've loved seeing people changing their lives for the better. :) Seriously, it's so cool to see someone go from being addicted to smoking and then never want to touch a cigarette again. Or to see families become more united just because they start going to church together, or because they're praying. 

I've also loved seeing changes in myself too. I hope I'm a bit more Christlike now :) 

Thank you! Now that was a much easier letter to write :) hahaha. 

Anyway. It's hard to think how fast the time has flown. 

See you in. . I don't know how many days. Ya'll can do the counting. I'm not gonna think about it. 

The Church is True

I love this Work, 
I Love the Lord, 

Sister Smith
You know I love Sunsets

06 April 2015

Letter 75: It was Holy Week

Pinalangga nga Panimalay kag mga Abyan, 

It's been another week in Roxas, and things are going as . . normal. . .

I'm gonna make a request. I seem to have run out of things to tell you. . . so I'm requesting a Question and Answer for next week's letter :)

So some things have been happening. Apparently there was supposed to be this monster super typhoon that was supposed to come and destroy us all. . But that never happened. Don't know what happened to it. hmm.. (and yet it was Last Week that I had to wash my clothes a second time because they got rained on while drying)

Also, We have somehow been pulled into the Stake Choir? There is going to be some sort of festival on the 11th or 12th or 13th (date still in discussion) and different religious groups have been invited to have a choir of 30 perform. Which is why the missionaries have been asked to participate. We probably sound terrible. . .but whatever :) music is music, and it's the spirit that counts. 

Sister Menor found a "Friend" outside our apartment and we decided to take it to choir practice and scare the American Elders. hahaha.
This is my Friend the Horned Beetle (that's my hand, bytheway)
Speaking of Apartments. . we have NOT yet moved. President Aquino has been busy, our financial secretary is training the new FS, and is therefore busy, so because of all the busy-ness in the office we still don't have a down payment on the new place :P which is annoying. we wanted to move Wednesday or so. . but now it might be Friday, (which is ANNOYING, because Sister Robertson and I have a baptism then) and if it's on Saturday we'll just have to wait till next week because Conference is Saturday. And if we move next week I'll just be annoyed that I don't even get to enjoy the New place for more than a week. But at least we're moving soon. 

Speaking of Conference. Women's Conference was great! I love that it always has a theme. Temples last time, families this time. It really gets you thinking deeply about one subject. 

I've reached the point where Holidays are just another day now. Easter came and went as nothing special, probably because everyone in this country focuses on the death on Thursday more than the Resurrection of Christ on Sunday. (which, in my opinion, is a sad thing)

It's been great though, having extra time to really ponder about the Atonement and what it, and Jesus Christ have done for me and my life. I'll be eternally grateful for My Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ. 

The Church is True. 
I sure do love ya, 

Sister Smith
"Please don't throw trash here." hehehe. I love irony.