Sunday, August 29, 2010

Josh's Alberdi District

Family Jurado

This is the Family Jurado that Josh frequently mentions. The mom is the YW president. Josh asked me to write a letter to her with suggestions of how to help the young women achieve their personal progress goals. Only, he asked me to please write it in Spanish! Hmm, he has too much confidence in my rusty spanish speaking (writing) skills, but I will get Bridget to help me!

Megan's 8-16-10 e-mail

Melanie's comments: Rick was sustained as the Bishop of our ward on 8-15-10 and this is the response from Megan. I don't usually include her 'signature' but thought it was so special:

I am so excited for you Dad!!! That has a very special ring to it. "Bishop Dustin" WOW!!!!! I think I may have to call you that for a while when I get home just like you are all going to have to continue to call me Sister Dustin until... I don't know when, at this point. my heart is so full!!!! I love the Holy Ghost. He whispers to me things that I would never be able to know if it were not for him!!! I love the Book of Mormon and my testimony is stronger that it's ever been and that seriously if we have ANY ANY ANY ANY ANY ANY ANY ANY problem in our lives, if we pray, read the Book of Mormon and ask the Holy Ghost for the answers to our questions or for solutions, I have no doubt in my mind that you WILL receive peace. You WILL receive answers!!! You will KNOW what you need to do. This is an act of faith!! You have to believe that the Holy Ghost is going to answer you.
I CANT BELIEVE YOUR THE BISHOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH DAD!!!!!!!
i love you so much family and I have so much to say but I have to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your VERY VERY own
Sister Dustin (Bishop Dustin's daughter)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A La Iglesia

We saw this sign at Tilcara and thought we should bring the rock to our area and temple/monument place.

Melanie's comment: The sign says: "To the church"


TODAY we went to a place called Tilcara and it was awesome! They have these old ruins there from people like the Inca´s who lived there. The houses were really small. They rebuilt some that tourists could go in and I had to crouch down to fit in and I am not very tall! They also had a church and a temple. They also had a llama pen with four different kinds of llamas! I never knew there were four different kinds of llamas! But we stayed our distance after one llama tried to spit on a elder in our zone. Hahaha. It was actually really funny. He was just standing there and the llama ran up to the fence boundary and spit!

Josh's 8-9-10 e-mail

I sent a picture of Elio and Cristina. Elio should be baptized in two weeks. Their son´s name in the picture is Alvarado. Elio this Sunday said to me what am I going to do when you leave???? It made me feel very humble, grateful, and realized how much harder I need to work. I LOVE THIS WORK!

Megan's 8-9-10 e-mail

Our baptisms were a complete success. All 7 were baptized and then confirmed yesterday and it was an absolute miracle! We were so happy!! They all came up and bore their testimonies after the baptism and one of them cried. Her name is Gingging and she is the wife of the ex-preacher. I love this work so much and I don't want to go back to "normal life" This is the greatest work. Josephine and her daughter got baptised and we pray and hope that her husband and other daughter will follow their example in September. They're not just words when I say that I am constantly praying for these people..especially one of our investigators right now, his name is Martin. He's 12 and I have so many dreams for him. I love him! I told Heavenly Father what I wanted and I hope that my wishes are granted me. I want to help him with all of my heart. This is my wish: that he will be baptized, that he'll never drink or smoke, that he'll go on a mission, that he'll go to the temple, that he'll get married in the temple, and that he will never fall away from the truth and he'll raise his family in the gospel. I believe in miracles with all my heart and I am caused to believe more every single day and me and my companion are never alone...we have lots of other spirits with us helping us. Sometimes it hurts me how much I love these people because I know that I'll have to say goodbye to them, it's an inevitable event!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Josh's admonition

Another talk was by Elder Christofferson which was the story he tells about his father. It goes as the following , ¨ .Years ago, when my brothers and I were boys, our mother had radical cancer surgery. She came very close to death. Much of the tissue in her neck and shoulder had to be removed, and for a long time it was very painful for her to use her right arm. One morning about a year after the surgery, my father took Mother to an appliance store and asked the manager to show her how to use a machine he had for ironing clothes. The machine was called an Ironrite. It was operated from a chair by pressing pedals with one’s knees to lower a padded roller against a heated metal surface and turn the roller, feeding in shirts, pants, dresses, and other articles. You can see that this would make ironing (of which there was a great deal in our family of five boys) much easier, especially for a woman with limited use of her arm. Mother was shocked when Dad told the manager they would buy the machine and then paid cash for it. Despite my father’s good income as a veterinarian, Mother’s surgery and medications had left them in a difficult financial situation. On the way home, my mother was upset: “How can we afford it? Where did the money come from? How will we get along now?” Finally Dad told her that he had gone without lunches for nearly a year to save enough money. “Now when you iron,” he said, “you won’t have to stop and go into the bedroom and cry until the pain in your arm stops.” She didn’t know he knew about that. I was not aware of my father’s sacrifice and act of love for my mother at the time, but now that I know, I say to myself, “There is a man.”

Awesome, huh? We are a chosen generation and all of you are doing a terrific job, but I know we can be more terrific in following our Savior and we can know that Friday will come. We can fulfill our duty on how we treat others like Elder Christofferson´s father. I love that we can change for the better in our lives.

Josh's message for the week

This week I read two different conference talks that greatly changed my view on many things in life. One was by Elder Wirthlin, entitled, 'Sunday Will Come.' Elder Wirthlin said, ¨Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays, but I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

Josh's 8-2-10 E-mail

Sunday during church we had a surprise visitor...a stinking dog! People kept letting it in the chapel and nobody would take it out, except me! I took it out four different times. Luckily, I was toward the back and didn´t disrupt any thing. I was a little frustrated at the end …hahaha. A dog in sacrament meeting. Insane huh? I will always remember this Sunday!

Melanie's comment: Bridget wrote home with the same story when she was serving in Honduras. I think dogs are closer to God than we give them credit for! After all, 'All Dogs Go To Heaven."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Megan's 8-2-10 E-mail

There is this little boy that keeps following us around and sometimes I don't know what to do with him...he doesn't know how old he is, he's only been to 3 weeks of school, he has no parents and hes always asking for food. I don't know what's right...we teach him the lessons and he lives with members but they are inactive and's just complicated. I know that he's been put in our path for a reason. I feel bad for him...his name is Robert and he's probably about 9.

All 7 of our investigators are getting baptized this Saturday and it's soo exciting!!! We were getting soo worried on Sunday because they weren't there at 9...930...940...but then finally they all showed up. I love these people so much and I know that it's been given to me because I've never really had a love for people like this. I've been praying that I'll know what to say, know what to do, where to go, and how to help and serve these wonderful children of our Heavenly Father... our attendance was 85 last Sunday in our tiny little bamboo hut for a chapel and it was really happy. It was testimony meeting and the spirit was there. I love being a missionary. I'm grateful for the chance I have to humble myself and strive to become more like Heavenly Father..

(Melanie's comments: I'd REALLY like a picture of that little boy and the little bamboo hut they have church in. She just doesn't have the time to upload pictures, I guess. Well, I treasure every word she writes and when she gets home we can go back through the blog and add in all the pictures!)

Snow in Argentina

Josh said snow is rare in Jujuy (Northern Argentina), and if they do have a storm it lasts at the most a few hours. He said this storm lasted for three days, but everyone thoroughly enjoyed playing in it.

Josh spoke at a Funeral!

Friday was a rough day. I don´t know if you remember me talking about Victoria and Angelica. Victoria was in the hospital to do with something with her blood and we were told she was supposed to come home this past week. Well, on Friday we recieved a phone call form Hermano Tataca and we were told she had passed away. She had a blood clot in her head or something to do with her head. Which was why it was sudden and unexpected. We were pouring our eyes out. It was like losing a family member or a best friend. We were extremely close to her. She had 9 children and after we found out we ran over to their house. We kept hugging them and told them that they would live with their mom again. The next day we received permission from President Northcutt to go to the burial. There was a pastor there and he asked us, the Mormons, to come and share a message. Guess who shared the message? I was so nervous, but I taught the plan of salvation. There were members there, but I believe the majority were evangelistas. It was only possible with the Holy Ghost as I shared the message. Death is not the end, but only a part of life. As I was sharing the message a couple of people started saying Amen and then it kept getting louder! hahaha. It was pretty funny and we did feel the Holy Ghost. Mabye it will help them know the church. All the children will live with their aunt, but she lives in another area. Hopefully one day we will be able to see their family again, but they are in safe hands and we sent the missionaries in their area to their house. One of them most impressive memories I have is when Angelica shared her testimony in Sacrament meeting and she is not even baptized. I can say she had a testimony.The death of Victoria made me think a great deal about my life and how sacred relationships are. I am eternally grateful for every one of your relationships in my life. You have changed me and have made me a better person. Never doubt that you haven´t made a difference because you have, never doubt that you can´t change a life because you can, and never doubt that being nice is at any time wasted because you never know when your loved ones are gone. I love you all so very much and I love you and appreciate you. You are doing a magnificent job. Love you!

Josh's 20th Birthday

Thank you so much for your birthday wishes and love. Let me tell what one family did to me on my birthday. So I have talked a ton about the Familia Jurado.They love the missionaries and missionaries love them. Well, we went to go visit them and.....they poured flour and smashed eggs all over my head.....I have pictures and they are awesome! Luckily I wasn´t wearing nice church clothes, but p-day clothes. My companions gave me a flower and a cake also! I don´t know why they gave me a flower....I guess just to be different. A couple of members also made a card and President and Sister Northcutt sent me candy and a card.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Snow in Argentina

It was a dark and scary night.... no not really! But it was really cold and we returned to our pension huddled around our heater and then jumped in our beds to get warm! We woke and there was snow!!!!!! SNOW! The Argentines said it never happens and if it does it only lasts for about 3 hours. It lasted for 3 days! Luckily I had that coat that we bought from Christensen´s that has two layers because it honestly was cold. Everybody made awesome snowmen and I only saw one that was really big. They kept telling us ,¨it´s like the movies!¨ We responded ¨ Come to Utah!¨ It was really special and neat. Everybody looked happy. I saw one Dad playing with his daughter in the snow.

Josh's 20th Birthday

I also received the best birthday present ever! We woke up and it was freezing cold! I ran to the shower to get warm and came out and everybody was still in their beds! So I took off my blankets and took off my coat and put it on top of my companion and then went to go study. By the time my study got over, nobody except me had left their beds! For good reason it was cold! I was prompted I needed to do something for them. We had herbal tea, so I went and made that for my companion. Afterwards I saw a potato soup package that was on top of the fridge. So I decided to make Potato Soup for everybody. As I was cooking I heard the Holy Ghost say, ¨ Happy Birthday Joshua.¨ I was filled with a burning that scattered whatever cold there was in my body. I recevied the best gift ever! I was able to serve my companions. I am not trying to sound prideful or bragful, but I am so very grateful Heavenly Father gave me this blessing, to serve others and that I have been able to know his church for the past 20 years of my life.

Josh's visit to Victoria

Victoria was put in the hospital this past week for lack of blood. We went to their house and found out that her children didn´t have any food, so we went to the grocery store, bought food for them and afterwards doorbell ditched the food. It was a blast and we knew they were grateful! The day afterwards we went to go visit Victoria at the hospital. Her kids told us that visiting hours were only from 1-3 in the afternoon, but we went anyways to the hospital. We were waiting in line, got to the front, and were told that we needed to speak with the supervisor and we needed to go to another part of the hospital. So we went and the same secretary lady was there and told us to go down this hall. Well we went and found out we were in the hospital! We went and found Victoria and read the birth of Christ with her. It was really special.

A parable in Argentina

I heard a really neat story in church that was a great example of the atonement. Once upon a time, there was a father who wanted a son. But when his new baby was born, it was a girl. Disappointed, but still caring the dad with his wife took young carmen home. Carmen soon won her father´s heart and his view began to change about his precious daughter as her warm smile and happy personality began to change his view. At age 10 Carmen asked her father about what he was going to buy for her for her 16th birthday. The father knowing that 16 was an important age for a young women told her something magnificentt and beautiful. Content Carmen went on with her ready for the feature. At age 15 Carmen discovered she had a problem. One day passed out in her kitchen and afterwards woke up in the hospital. Carmen discovered that her heart was failing and needed a transplant. Her loving Dad promised Carmen that she would have a transplant. After worrying for months Carmen was noticed that she had a doner. She went to the surgery and afterwards left the hospital only to find her Mom crying. Her Mom told what happened, Carmen started to cry and afterwards they went to the cemetery to her loving father, who knowing his daughter needed a new heart gave his to his precious daughter. Jesus Christ knowing that we needed help sacificed his life like Carmens Dad to give us something magnificent and beautiful. He sacrificed his life to allow us to have the opportunity to experience joy.

Josh-the influence of the Holy Ghost

We had a neat experience with one of our investigators this week named Patricia. When we started teaching her we couldn´t talk very much because she was telling us about her difficult life, but our last lesson that we had with her she told us that she often thinks about what we teach and that she can feel things change in her point of view. The Holy Ghost is starting to change her heart as it can touch anybody's who allows it. The great blessing of change.

Josh, the district leader

This week I taught my district about having Faith in Jesus Christ and how important it is to have faith in the mission field. If you don´t mind I would like to share a few things I taught and learned myself. Faith is in every aspect of missionary work and we could say life. When we are looking for people prepared or maybe when we are raising our children. In the scriptures there are hundreds of examples of faith. The brother of Jared, Ruth, Sarah, Abraham, the four Josephs, Adam, Eve, Nephi, Sam, ...hundreds! My district named many people and afterwards what were they before or are they different than us? No! We can have the same faith just the thing is to earn it. Faith brings us up when are souls are down. What is the hardest part of climbing a mountain? Well, for me the climb up, but the peak is the best. (sound familiar?) The climb is worth it. I hope this helped my district because I know it helped me.

Josh's 6-21-10 e-mail

The Lord blessed us with a baptism! Her name is Griselda and she is 22 years old. She is super shy and doesn´t like reading scriptures in church! But she came, read, and was baptized. I know it's surprising that someone can be more shy than me, but she won the cake! She wrote me a note that said thank you for helping me stay on the road that leads to God. That touched my heart greatly.

President Malit's parable

We go to church in a little bamboo house and it's awesome. 20 minutes away from us in 2 different directions there are as of now 2 churchs being built-One in Billiran, and one in Cabucgayan-that is the branch we are apart of.
President Malit and Sister Malit came to our district conference. They are jewels! President Malit gave a talk about commandments. He told a story of a man in the desert and he's stranded. He is very thirsty...and as he's looking out in the distance he sees a man who he thinks may be carriynng some water. When he get to the man he asks if he has any water and then man says no, but I have a lot of neckties!!! As he opens up his ginormous coat of displayed neckties, the man refuses his offer and with a frustrated face keeps walking on his search for water...he then sees a giant building with a fountain in the front....finally he's saved!!!!! As he gets closer he realizes there is a gate, and a guard. He approaches as if to just walk in to get his greatly need quench for thirst but the guard stops him and points to the big sign to his side which reads, "No necktie- No Water." In our lives we don't think sometimes that we need to follow all the rules or commandments...but if we don't, we will never taste of all of the Lord's blessings. Even if it doesn't make sense, have faith. Know that the Lord will always reward us if we decide to follow what He says.

Megan's District Conference in Naval

On Sunday we went to Naval which is where we are now to internet, for district conference and these two less active boys who we've been working on for sometime now, CAME!! We were so happy! They are so funny! They make fun of me all the time, and they really are my good friends! I was telling President Malit one time about how hard it was to leave Palompon and he said, "If you never open your heart, you'll never get hurt." Meaning that when I opened my heart to them and then I had to go, I got hurt. As a missionary, the divine attribute of charity is essential. It is the "pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever." In Moroni 7 we learn that you "must pray unto the father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love..." Well, I've been doing that. And my prayers have very much been answered! I love these people so much! I love these less active boys! I love our investigators...and sometimes I don't want to ask Heavenly Father for this love because that means...and I know that it will happen, I will get hurt when I have to leave them! They don't know that I love them so much. I want them to progress, I want them to come to church! And most of all I want them to feel of our perfect Savior's love for them!!!!!! I want them to happy! And when they don't come to church or they don't keep their committments I am so affected!!

Megan's 7-26-10 e-mail

sorry about last week, the power went out and so i didn't get to send my email but we did have a chance to share a message and give a pamphlet to a guy that worked at the other internethan that we tried after it died at the one we tried first...His name is Joe and he's 27 and deosn't "have a religion." I was glad to have been given the time and courage to talk to him. Not this Saturday (August 7th) but the next we have 7 baptisms and one of them is a man named Eugene...he was a pastor at a branch of the Catholic church for 10 years. We realized last night after he testified of the Book of Mormon and it's need in our lives today at our Book of Mormon fireside that we have every Sunday night, that his experience learning and leadership in his pastor days has prepared him for becoming a member of the church. He WILL become a branch president someday!! A bishop even maybe! I am so happy for them. They are grateful that one day they were spying on my companion and her old companion as they taught their neighbor and that they saw them because otherwise they don't know if they ever would have found the church... Eugene has quit smoking and drinking and at works he talks about the church and us. He gave us 3 referrals the other night of people who have talked about us to them.

Megan had 12 investigators at church!

Life is great. It's hard, and spiritually intense, and you don't know if your really doing any good, but you just keep going with the faith that you are on the Lord's errand and so if you give it your all you have nothing to worry about. Yesterday was a day that made us forget allll the struggles and worries we had about our investigators, the area, everything. We had 12 investigators come to church!!!!!!!!!! After church I couldn't stop hugging Sister Blonquist. I was so happy!!! I had a taste of that joy that missionaries are promised if they serve with all their heart, might, mind and strength. I have never had that happen before. Saturday night we taught a family that we see in the near future getting baptized. I wanted them to go to church so bad, that I decided to fast. We started our fast on Saturday night and to our utter surprise the whole family came to church!!!!!!!! They kept saying they were gonna come all week, but when people say that here, seeing really is believing because it's their culture to say they will do anything you commit them too.. I pray with all my heart that they will just Continue!!!!! Just keep coming!!! Please! If I had days like Sunday everyday I would better understand why the sons of Mosiah were able to keep going for 14 years....they converted kingdoms!! Their joy was complete.

Megan's 7-11-10 e-mail

I love this one little girl soo much in my area. It seems like she has down syndrome a little bit, her face is just a little different, but she literally is an angel in a 5 year old body. She always finds me in the crowd when we are standing a talking to this one family. When we are about to teach them she pulls me in to sit by her. One time when we were about to go, we were saying good-bye to everybody and she bent down, picked up my shoes and placed them exactly in front of the door so that I could easily slip them on. My heart really does swell for these people. I want to give them everything that is in me-everything that I can-cause when else will I have that chance???

Balaquid, Philippines

Melanie's comments:
I have searched the internet for information about Megan's 2nd area-Balaquid. I can find the island of Biliran, and two of the cities she has mentioned, but not the community she of Balaquid that she lives in. She goes to Naval to use the internet: Naval is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Biliran, Philippines. It is the capital municipality of Biliran. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 44,288 people in 9,575 households.

Wikipedia states that Balaquid is a political division of Cabucgayan: Cabucgayan is a 5th class municipality in the province of Biliran, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 18,799 people in 3,372 households.

Megan's 7-4-10 E-mail

I love Balaquid. It is SOOO beaufitul, I'm convinced it is NOT REAL!!! I live 50 feet from the ocean, and I can see Leyte from my bedroom. It is the most gorgeous place I've ever been in my whole life, I can honestly say that!!!!! Me, Sister Blonquist, Elder Webb from Arizona, and his companion Elder Aberin, from the Philippines, are creating a musical-with all the help of the members, random volunteers, less actives, and's gonna be so awesome. It comes from the chapters 17-22 in Alma and we are way excited. It was last Monday when we were enlightened by this idea-every Saturday we practice, and we had a good turnout our first time. We hope and pray that because of this activity, we can use the talents we've been given to bring others unto Christ. We really want to focus on the returning (less actives) members in this area, they say that there are a lot of youth. We've already found 3 and are working on bringing them back. I love the Book of Mormon with all of my heart, it brings peace to my heart, and it literally is the key to receiving comfort in this world. If we are down and want to speak with our Heavenly Father, read that book!!!

Megan's new companion

Melanie's comments: When Josh and Megan left for their missions and I started this blog, I had a note posted from a girl named Torie Blonquist from Illinois. She said she had found the blog by 'googling' Tacloban, Philippines. So she and I began corresponding by e-mail and I told her a little bit about what she may need on her mission. Now, she is Megan's new companion in Balaquid!

Megan's 2nd Area-Balaquid, Billiran

This last Thursday morning, at 7:10 am, I got just a taste of what the day will be like when I leave this wonderful God fearing country. I LEFT PALOMPON!!!! I never thought that it would be this difficult. I never realized just how much I had fallen in love with them until I had to say good-bye!! It was so terrible! We saw it coming because I had been there for 7 months, and I had just spent two transfers training Sister Farnworth, and so it was inevitable-i was going to leave my birthplace! We got everything ready on Thursday morning and was planning on leaving at 5:30 but then we never had any someone to be with Sister Farnworth because she couldn't stay with just male members, so we waited until finally the first counselor's wife came, but our bml and my new convert were up and ready to help us at 4:30!! They ended up sleeping out on the street in their potpot until we told them that we'd have to wait. But we finally go there to the terminal, we stand there for a while, while they're figuring out where to put my luggage, and we're just talking and laughing, and I'm ok, I'm not too bad's ok...then it's getting closer to 7:15, and I'm like here I I give Sister Sanoy a hug, and then Gary, the new convert, a handshake and tell him to never stop going to church even if he moves to other places for work or anything else and he says, "Ok, ok, Sister Dustin." Then I look at Sister Farnworth and I give her a big hug and I tell her, I'm so not even done being your companion! And then I give our branch mission leader, Jetro, a handshake and then I got in the van, and then I waited for a little bit until they were ready to go, and they were all still standing there right outside the window just waving and doing the I love you sign in sign language, and then Sister Farnworth starts crying and I told her she's not allowed to do that, but I was still ok, and then they looked at each other and kind of gave the nod like, ok, let's go, and then they all walked a little further, and then I said I love you to them a lot of times and then they were gone. and so was the damn that was holding back my tears!!! it honestly was like an instant waterfall. That was it!! That might have been the last time I will see those people, my other family, in this life! I didn't stop crying until an hour later. And then I am here in my new area and it's still really hard! I'm always thinking about all of our investigators that I wanted to continue teaching and that I knew were going to be baptized, and its really depressing. I love them soo much!!!!! I want them to be happy and to progress and to make the RIGHT choices and to read the Book of Mormon and MOST of all-I want them to go to the temple!!! I want them to serve missions and get married in the temple and I want them to nver give up and it hurts not to be with them. It's like I got dumped!! Now I have to force my heart back open so that I get hurt again, because I know that I'll fall in love with the people here in Balaquid, on the Billiran island, because eventually my itme here in the Phillippines will be over and then what? I pray for them every day and I love them so much. Change is very difficult sometimes. New this, new that, and it's hard to adjust!! Because I miss them so much!!!!!

Megan's 6-20-10 e-mail

Tomorrow at 5 o'clock we will know if there is a transfer or not. I have many mixed feelings. I have grown so close to these people. Then if there is a transfer we will leave the next day at 4 in the morning to go to Tacloban and then by that night we will be in our new area...time is always playing tricks on me and I'm always in shock at how fast time runs!!!! Next week I'm half way. I will really miss all of our converts-I love them so much. I have learned so much from them-how to be a better member of the church. It is my prayer now and it will be forever that they will not give up-that they will keep going in the church-salvation is worth more than anything else. Please take a minute or two this week and just think about everything you have. You have the true teaching that will lead to your salvation and the salvation of your children. What else could you EVER need???????????? I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the Book of Mormon and the way it brings me back every time to my Father who I used to know face to face. I love the temple. I love the music of the church. I love being a missionary, even though it's hard. I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Megan's 1st Service Project

This morning I experienced the first really service project-it was up in the bukid and we built a house. It was really fun. They would help us nail and do all that manly priesthood stuff but we still helped. We took pictures of them and videos...we ate jackfruit that we chopped off a tree and ate rice and fish and jackfruit sudan off of a big huge banana leaf..with our hands. It was delicious. eating with your hands really is good-it's almost like your food tastes different...better.

Megan's 6-13-10 e-mail-'heckticity'

Yesterday we watched the 9 and 12 session of the Cebu temple dedication and it was like I hadn't eaten food for a month and then someone walked up to me and gave me one scrumptious spoonful of hot chicken alfredo from Olive Garden and then walked away-leaving me even more hungry than before. I love the temple so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really do "love to see the temple, I'll go inside someday!!!!" To think that I will go to the Manila temple makes me want to hurry up the months until then. President Monson was so....haha i cant explain it..!! He seemed like this old cowboy in the middle of all these dark cebuano speaking I said, I can't really explain it but it was so great. He and about 6 others mortared the cornerstone, then he played the piano a little bit, he kept saying, "Oh, that was terrible..!" Sister Farnworth was about gonna die of laughter at almost everything he said. Everything was in english. So, too bad for everybody but foreigners. Before and after the dedication they played this amazing video taping of a bunch of temples and it was sooooo peaceful. In a world of heckticity (ahhahahaha haha I just made that up, but I kinda like it though) we have a temple.

Megan's house guests

I have a story. Yesterday our sink broke underneath and so we called the owner's son to see if he could fix it-he did, and we said, 'Salamat kaayo brother!!!' and then he sprayed this coachroach spray to kill the cockroaches that were living under there-there's always one or two we find every few days when we come home from work there on our counter, just waiting to greet us. So he left after he sprayed this stuff and I went back to washing dishes. Well, all of a sudden one after another, all these cockroaches start coming out from under the sink. I'm like, Ah! Sister Farnworth! Look!She hates them even more than me. I'm ok after I see them, but I get startled if I don't see them right we try to kill some, but they are real fast...and then this one really big one... he's sitting on the counter looking at me and I'm about to hit him and he flies up and lands on to my skirt!! Then at the same time, it was like sirens, we both screeeam!!! Bahhh!!!!!!!!!!! get off!! baaaaHH!!! We're trying to get it off my skirt while all these others are crawling all around us and we seem helpless.. hahah. Then we start laughing and we hear our owner and her family start what's going on? What are they doing...then we hear a voice...uh...Dustin? We open the back door and it was the owner's son...are you ok?? He gives us a swatter and we start going crazy trying to kill all these...things. I'm jumping up to try and smack this one on the celing and it falls on my head!! We both scream again... and they are just laughing at us.... hahah!! Nagingon ko...para magkatawa mo!! bahaha! I said, 'So you will laugh at us!!' Then we took pictures and by the time we went to bed, we were still laughing. The cockroach attack!! Tune in next week for another showing.

Cebu Temple Dedication

Next Sunday is the dedication for the Cebu temple. I love temples so very much. I long for the day that I can go inside one again. We are going to Ormoc, catching the van at 6 in the morning and traveling there for the 9 and 12 o'clock session. We are allowed to go to two if we would like-so we're taking our precious once in a life time opportunities!!! Here in the Philippines, as a missionary, we get to go to a temple dedication. Only about 20 or so members from our ward are going to the dedication because it's 220 pesos for the whole trip. People dont have that kind of money, but they also don't realize what exactly they're missing.

Laundry in the Philippines

The next time you do laundry, and complain about it... think about having to put that ginormous pile into a big tub of soapy water and scrubbing every little last sock with a bar of laundry soap and your very own two hands!! Haha. Wow. The Phillippines!! I feel bad for these huge families with like 13 kids and they have to wash all their clothes in a big bin...haha. No it really is ok, we survive. it does take a long time, but its an experience!

Megan's 2nd apartment in Palompon

We moved apartments about a month ago and the owner and family of the apartment are now our investigators. They said themselves that this was part of God's plan. They are 'born again'-a religion here. I don't even know now what's just here and what is also there in America. They said that they had lots of people want the apartment and that they offered more money than us but they said, 'Why did we choose you?' They are very interested and having lessons like that with them inspire me to even better my Cebuano. I can go so much further than I am now. I was asked the other day if I knew how to speak English. I really had to laugh. I am no where close to being a master at the language...people are just really nice here. People ask me every week how many years I've been here. I am honestly nothing-God works in a very mysterious way. I know that the more I humble myself the more that I will be able to be an instrument and be able to speak the languange so that I will be able to help people and become happy.

Megan's 5-30-10 e-mail

I'm pretty sure that I will transfer this next transfer which is June 23 about. I will have been in Palompon for 7 months!! I have stayed in one area since I got here in the Philippines. My life is as if it were a dream. Our lives as missionaries always seems like we are in a play...we have a script and a costume and there's a very foreign set all around us. Even the things that happen to us..we always say, that was like it was in a when they leave from the scene, it's like they just finished their line and left the stage. I have many fears. I'm scared that I will miss opportunites to share with someone the gospel who has been prepared. I want to truly become an instrument. That is what I am fasting for this Sunday and I'm asking you to fast with me. I want to return with honor and I want to find, teach and baptize all those to I am supposed to help while I am here because my time is so extremely short. I need more courage, more faith, more humility and love and patience. I want these people to accept the gospel so much. June 13 is the Cebu temple dedication. We can go to one or all of the sessions. The very next day the youth are going to do baptisms for the dead. I love the temple so much.

Megan's 5-24-10 e-mail

Melanie's note: Sorry this is out of order. I got behind and then posted several for Josh and now I am back to where I left off for Megan.

We have a zone conference every month which is this Thursday and so that's when we'll probably do them (interviews for temple recommend to attend the Cebu temple dedication). Zone conference is like a battery recharge. Sometimes it seems like it takes 4 or so hours to boost me back up, and then the whole month to drain. Tthe day after zone conferences, I feel like I could take on the world! haha. I realized at home, college, and in the MTC, I was spiritually spoon fed soo often-every single day in the MTC, and then you always have some kind of fireside or devotional at home, but here in the 'field' it's all up to you baby! And yes, we have the time to do it, but it's just awesome when you get to hear from someone else their insights-thats why I love zone conferences. I think I said this before, but I must have done something right to have the chance to know President Malit. I remember in my blessing that I would come to know the he is a man of Ggod and that has surely been a prophecy fulfilled. I am so grateful for the chance to be away from the world and to learn about the gospel. When we even get a small glipse of the world here, passing a tv, hearing the music around you, the world is so much more ugly-it's like we've gone through this quarantine-well it's not like we have, we have! Then when we get exposed to the world again, even a little bit, it's like we're automatically disgusted! It's so wonderful! ha. I remember one of my teachers saying in the MTC that when you get home from your mission, you will see everything as it really is-music, movies- and it's so true-we will see it so much more clearly as Filth!!!!