Thursday, January 27, 2011

Megan's new language!

Sister Blonquist and Sister Jones(they were in the MTC together) are now together and they are also in Tacloban and they are the new 'sister AP's' ...what??!?! They will be giving trainings and trying to make their area into, "Mormonville" They have more sisters now close to Tacloban to try and help out the area-my first thought after they told us that was..."This will be in preparation for a temple in this area...." i know it will happen! My area is Waray Waray, so I'm learning...but it'll be just fine cause I pretty much understand, but I've just never spoke it yet...but it's fun! haha I just laugh at my self. I'm surprized at how comfortable I've gotten in Cebuano , that it's kind of like going from English to Cebuano...but I am completely confident that the Lord will help me.

1-23-11 Megan's 3rd Area & Sister Brinton

I Transferred!!!!! I am now in Dagami, Leyte-Close to Tacloban! and my new companion is Sister Brinton, she's from Arizona, and she's awesome! She's been here for 3 months, and Sister Blonquist trained her!! We just all keep following each other around!!! I came to Sister Blonquist's area...and Sister Farnworth went to Balaquid!!! She's with Sister Insong!!! And they're gonna be so good together!!! They texted us the first day and said, 'We already love each other!' ahaha!!! My two daughters are now working together!! The first daughter is follow-up training my second daugther!! Sorry, we have this silly lingo in the mission!

Melanie's comment: My employer used to live in Arizona and when Sister Brinton got her call to Tacloban he told her family that Megan was in that mission. I spoke to her mom and answered a few questions about the mission and now our daughters are companions-small world!

Josh's Brownies

Melanie's comment: Josh is in the first area where he is able to cook and asked for some recipes. When he was home he made brownies from scratch almost every Sunday so I sent him the brownie recipe. He was able to find all the ingredients, a pan and even has a little oven to cook them in. This was his comment to me along with a picture of his masterpiece:
"I have made the brownies and no bake cookies. I almost cried when I ate the cookies!!!!!!!!!!!"

Megan's last week in Biliran

Our attendance was 146 this week, which is really good!!! we were really happy-we sang in church and we had an investigator come that I didn't think would step foot in the church..where was my faith???? This week is transfer week and who knows what will happen. I have been here for 7 months, same as Palompon, and I have a feeling that I will still have a last area! What!!! Last area, what!? I am amazed at how fast time flies! I don't have much time, but I want you all to know, that I love the Lord! He is so kind, and loving, and He teaches me things that are so precious, I never want to stop learning about Him, I want to know Him-He is the ONLY way! I talked with an Austrailian man who thought that Jesus and Buddah were about the same level of holiness...he said that he read about Buddah's life and that they were the same- I didn't get time to talk to him because he left, but I was amazed, and I realized, that so many of God's children do NOT KNOW their SAVIOUR!!! DO you NOT SEE HIM!!?? Do you know who has carried your pains? Just like it says in the Book of Mormon,,, there is NO OTHER name! He employeth no servant at the gate. It's our mission to Know Him!!!! I love you all so much!

Megan's 1-16-11 e-mail

This week we decided, as we were walking in all sorts of terrain, muddy, slidey, soggy(because of all the garbage underneath our feet) that there would be no adventure in our lives if we had things like...a sidewalk. All you have to do on a smooth, cemented Walk! You don't have to eek, or scream, or go, Ew!, or as Sister Insong said, "hold on for dear life!" You just walk boring right? That's when we came up with a motto: There's no adventure in a sidewalk. Going along with this...why, when coming home for lunch and getting ready to go back out into the treacherous rain, put on a dry pair of socks when you can just put back on your wet ones from the previous morning? The adventures that we have had...are countless! haha. But all of these things are worth it! We are growing in ways we may only see in years to come.

Josh's 1-10-11 e-mail

Well, this week was wonderful! I learned praying behind trees is really fun! hahaha. We are looking for people who need the gospel of Jesus Christ and we went to a neighborhood to knock doors to find some people especially a family who needed the gospel in their lives. A missionary in district meeting said that he had a companion that enjoyed praying behind trees because he found people who were prepared to hear the gospel. With this story in my mind I grinned at my companion and asked if he wanted to pray behind a tree. I offered the prayer and at first felt a little sheepish and than just asked if Heavenly Father wanted if he could help us find people who were prepared to hear the gospel. Afterwards we went to go knock doors. I had a feeling that Heavenly Father would help us and I had confidence he enjoyed that we prayed behind trees. We found George that day, which turned out to be the answer to our prayer. George´s brother is a member of the church and George wants to listen now to the missionaries. When we returned the next day to visit George we found his family wants to listen also. It brought tears to my eyes and I know without a doubt God answers prayers. He listens and loves us. Sorry I don´t have very much time! Love you! Elder Dustin

Baptismal Font in Famailla

In my apartment there is a shower, and a washer (R2D2)*. Elder Angell is a excellent companion and I love being with him. ummmm.....We walk and a couple of times we have taken a car to go see members that live really far out! Like one hour of walking one way. It´s wonderful to visit all the people here, they're wonderful. It´s really rough, but I feel like home here. I feel more comfortable than any other area so far. We were planning for so many people to come to church, but not very many showed up due to the rain. Oh well! At least we had a few! I believe they hire people to do the fonts! But it´s awesome isn´t it? Mom, could you make special prayer to help the members be excited here to go to church? They need to become a ward!

*Melanie's comment; These are answers from Josh to questions I asked him. The washing machine must be similar to one he sent a picture of early in his mission. He hadn't labeled the picture and I asked him, "What is that thing that looks like R2D2 (a little robot from Star Wars)? Also, notice the lack of attendance at church due to the rain-see my comment in Megan's post below...

Rain-the test!

The rain here hsa been realyly intense, and our last Sunday's attendance was really low and they it rained everday after that and so we were thinking it was gonna be the same this past Sunday, but we woke up to a beautiful dommingo(Sunday). !!! It was sunshine!!! And yet there were still people that didn't come to church whose excuse was last time that it was raining...Heavenly Father truly was testing them...ok, I'll take away the rain so that you can go to church....pero wala gihapon. (they didn't also.) I love you all so much and the church is sooooo true.

Melanie's comment: When we were in Hawaii recently it rained almost every day and I imagined the climate must be similar to the Philippines. The rain there is nothing like I've ever experienced; it's not 'drops' of rain, but 'sheets' of water pouring out of the sky for hours upon hours. We would of course run for shelter when it rained and I kept reminding myself-Megan works in this type of weather on a regular basis, she can't 'run' from it or she would spend most of her time inside avoiding missionary work! She's amazing!

Megan's 1-10-11 e-mail

Hi family! It's getting closer to Jan. 20, transfer day, and even more intense, stressful, sad, and exciting all at the same time!!!! Welcome to my life!!!!!! Our Sunday was really great, we had 3 investigators come to church and they are doing really great. We have shared with this older man 2 times now, and the third time, they ignored us and didn't open the door so that we could share,...then the next time they opened the door,but they were watching a movie that they couldn't stop, so they told come back the next we were thinking...oh no...we lost him, he is now in the terrible tago stage (hiding stage!!!! :( :( )but then, we got punted one day and so we decided to go up and try again and we had a member with us this time, and he was there and we shared and then the member said that this Sunday he would go pick him up and he did and then we saw him pass us on our motor and it was soo happy!!!! THE key is having a member with you,,,there's no other successful way!!! If they dont have a friend, they'll never come...just like any of us. We couldn't do it alone!!!???

Josh's 4th Area-Famailla

My companion is Elder Angell from Georgia! He´s a stud! We have grown to be close friends and it´s only been a week! I am his second companion. One of the first things I did this week did was go through the area book. The area book is information about the area! surprise! It has people who have been investigating the church, people who before investigated the church, and many other things to help work in the area. We went through and I was surprised to find many people without directions, without information describing them, and many other similiar things like this! As I went through the area book I realized the importance of responsibility. Every one of us has a responsibility in the church. Whether it be a calling, home teacher,visiting teacher,deacon, miamaid, mom, or dad..everybody has a responsiblity in the church. I hope we can fill our responsiblities.

Josh's 1-3-11 e-mail

Happy New Year! How are you family and friends? I hope you are just doing wonderful!
Well, for those of you who don´t know, I have changed areas. I am in Tucuman once again, but this time in the country side. I am in a town called Famailla! It is wonderful. I am in a branch and our church building is a rented out house. Myself and my companion are the counselors in the branch presidency. Yesterday only about half of our active members came, which were about 20. :) Good thing we have the help of God on our side! Famailla is beautiful! It´s green and the people here are extremely nice. I think I am going to love it here. Our pension is behind a another house. Which means we have to walk through the patio of our neighbors in order to go to our pension. Luckily our neighbors are a older couple who are very loving and respectful.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Megan's 1-3-11 e-mail

this week was full of interesting but amazing events... yesterday, our attendance was cut in half 'because of the rain'...but its amazed me and sister insong the more we think about it who pulled through and came to church despite the trials that were before them.after churhc sister insong asked, What if, only those people who went to church today, were saved." that is such a good point, what if, at the hardest moment when its the hardest for us to obey, we do not win the prize because of our justification?????There is an old woman, 77 years of age, who lives at the farthest west side of our area, which happens to be the farthest away from the church, and her, her daughter and her husband and their three kids....all came to church-and like the rain,...was nothing! Nothing was going to stop them from keeping the commandments. There was on the other side, a family, who lives closer, but still quite a way away from the church that didn't come because they said the wind and the rain were still really strong-and we can't judge, 'cause it was true, but we are amazed at this old lady's faith. Her name is Rosita Samong and she is preparing to go to the temple. We are edified when we come to her house and try to edify her-her faith is solid and we always become so inspired when we visit her. She always testifies to us of the power of fasting and prayer. I want her to go so bad to the temple.

The Creator

I Love the Glorious Plan of our Heavenly Father!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!How many people, how many of His children, really understand His will for them!???? Ya know when you're little and you and your friends converse about which superpower you would want to get if you could?? I realized, that can become a reality-we can be given His power...We can CREATE. He is a creator. This is my desire! This is my dream! 'Through Him I'll gain my fondest dream' I DO believe in Christ! He is my King. He will be the king of the earth! That is HOW we can have perfect hope.

Megan's 12-26-10 e-mail

Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! your voices were so good to hear! at least most of you...:) we are such a blessed family.
I love how the Lord puts people in our path. This morning we were waiting for the bus and this guy came and sat down next to me. I started talking to him and he is the sibling of a member and he's been gone for 8 years, only to have come back 3 days ago. He had received the discussions when he was 17 when he still lived here and he wasn't waiting for a ride, he just wanted to sit down next to us. I pray for the courage every day to talk to as many people as I can. It's so silly because satan still works on me and makes me think that I'm not good enough at the language, to 'really tell them how I feel'. I don't know how he gets in my head and does what he does-but we can overcome all temptations through our PLeading with the Lord. I want to learn tagolog. Sometimes I struggle because for example I will promise to our investigators and completely believe that if they have a problem in their life, if they read the Book of Mormon they will find their solution- but sometimes I don't believe that can happen for myself...and then I think about it and I realize that that has happened in the past, but that for example right now, or in the past couple of months I felt I've been left alone in finding a plan or solution for how I am to help those we were teaching. I need to just come to Him in complete humility-that's the key-and I will find a plan.

Josh's almost mugging

We almost got robbed yesterday! A drunk man came toward us and he tried to grab and started yelling give me your phone. It was intense, but nothing big happened. If we are obedient, the Lord will take care of us. Sometimes we can be spiritually drunk also. This happens when we are not obedient to the commandments. We are insensitive to the spirit and cannot focus on his voice. We don´t know what to do and all we know is we are lost. There is always hope in our lives to try and try again. The commandments are not here if we would like to obey, they are here to always obey. Sometimes we are brought down low so we can be lifted up higher.

Josh's 12-20-10 e-mail

We had our Nativity this past Saturday and it was great. I stood up on the water tower with a microphone telling the birth of our Savior. In the some of the pictures you can see my hair is white, my companion thought it would be funny to be a complete angel and put flour in my hair….oh well! It washed out easily. Afterwards members and non-members came up and said you are a great angel! This made me think about the angels in my life. You happen to be one of them! Thank you just like Elder Holland, for being so amazing and for helping me so much in my life. God sent you to me because he knew I needed help. Thank you for not giving up on me even though I am full of imperfections. Thank you for showing your love to me even though I might have not deserved it. Thank you for forgiving me even though I might have hurt you. Thank you for being a angel in my life.

Josh's 12-13-10 e-mail

This week on Friday we performed as a missionary choir in the Carmen. The Carmen is further up in the mountains. We have been practicing every time we have had district meetings. I believe we sounded all right due to only having time to practice one time every week for a month. We went to the Carmen and only five people showed up! But hey, we did have five. During our performance a rain storm came in and cut the power in all of Jujuy!!! We didn´t have a piano either because it is a plug-in piano. So we sand acapella. It was great! The spirit was present and we could feel our testimonies grow about our beloved Savior. The final song brought tears to my eyes. During the entire concert the storm kept getting more intense. Rain, and then hail, and then wind. We couldn´t hear very well, but during the final song the storm stopped. The song was Silent Night. It was so beautiful! I knew without a doubt and I still do right now that Christ our Savior was born to save us. After we left the chapel we discovered the streets were flooded. We were soaked by the time we got home! We had to go through the streets in order to get to the bus station. Like I said before the power had been cut and that included in our little town also! It was dark and scary. The only light we had was when a car passed by. We managed to get back to our apartment in safety and lit candles to help us see in the dark. It reminded me of the importance of putting light in our lives. We absolutely have to use the sword of the spirit and read the scriptures to help us get home. About a hour or two after the blackout, the lights came back on. We were able to walk without fear and not in the darkness.

Testimonies in Argentina

This fast and testimony meeting was wonderful. The bishopric pointed out that this was the last Sunday of 2010. Crazy! Person after person came bore their testimony. What impressed is what one sister does for her Christmas decorations. She said the last week of November she goes on a cleaning frenzy! She cleans the dust, cobwebs, and everything! The first days of Christmas she puts up her decorations to remember Christ her lord. She told us that she wanted the spirit of Christmas to be present and for this reason she cleaned as perfectly as possible. This sister tends to be extremely busy all the time and one day her 80 year mother told her to stop and rest. The sister /daughter looked at her mother and told her she did not have time to rest because she has to work for the Lord. This sister loves to visit less active members and bring them to church.

Josh's 12-6-10 e-mail-Elio's parable

Elio shared his testimony again. He shared the scripture in First Nephi 8 about the filthy river and the dangers of it. When Elio was 13 he was caught in a river current and got pulled in. Before being submerged he was able to grab the bank. With time he pulled himself out. During this time he was playing with friends and he looked for them. He found them further up the stream in calm water. Elio shared the dangers of even getting close to sin because we can be pulled into dangerous waters.

Megan's 12-6-10 e-mail

This week was great. We had 2 successful baptisms and confirmations and we had many investigators come to church. our recent converts are doing really good-except one of them-she hasn't come for 3 weeks and its just a really hard situation. I just keep praying that the spirit will continue to guide me as to what I am to do. How could I ever be happy if I knew that I didn't do everything I could for them to be able to receive the blessings of the gospel. The things that I learn in one day are inumerable. I learn so much about myself, about others, about the gospel. President Malit said that the Lord promises missionaries that he will bless them not only for their mortal lives, but forever.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ranch dressing and Heaven?

I learned a lesson from Ranch Dressing this week! So Mom and Dad sent me a package and it had a ranch dressing in it. It was so good to eat! I kept thinking ¨I didn´t even realize how much I missed this stuff, until now! and afterwards I learned a lesson. One day we will enter heaven and it will be familiar to us. We lived there before and we will live there again. I am sure we will be thinking I didn´t even realize how much I missed this place until now! Don´t let anything not let you have joy of a lifetime. Life is worth the trials, pains, sorrows, aches, punches and etc to have a eternal life of happiness. When we are tempted to complain, gain a eternal perspective. Look toward your goal. Don´t just go gold, but go celestial.

Josh's 11-29-10 e-mail

Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for you! I learned the importance of counting your blessings. When you are tempted to just give up and be cranky, just begin to count your blessings. I began to do this and it was awesome! I also laughed at some stuff that before I didn´t realize it was a blessing. Like, thank you for garbage bags, thank you for soap, thank you for not allowing me to be bitten today by our neighbour's dog... :) A attitude of gratitude will allow us to ¨see what God has done.¨

Melina is progressing wonderfully! She came to church for the first time yesterday and we had the primary presentation. It reminded me of when I was a little rascal and breathed in the microphone,said a sentence and then ran off the stage. The theme was I know my Savior lives.¨ They demonstrated beautifully that He does live and loves us. The primary sang the song, ¨How could the Father show the world, His love and tenderness? He sent his son a newborn babe to rise with living breath. etc..¨¨ As they were singing I found to my surprise tears in my eyes. The spirit touched my heart and allowed my testimony to grow about my Savior Jesus Christ. I want to ¨Live like his son.¨

Megan's 11-29-10 e-mail

Work is good. We have a baptism this Saturday and it'll be awesome. His name is Rodelyo and he was actually taught by elders a while back but then maybe because it wasn't his time yet, he just kept hiding from them until they eventually stopped coming. He was actually a referral from a ward member and he'll be great. I want him to be the gospel principles teacher so that he can learn the gospel in a really awesome way-by teaching it. This work is amazing; of course it is, because it's the Lord's work!!! Me and Sister Insong are good friends and I hope that we still will be even after our missions.