Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bittersweet Goodbyes. Mission Accomplished.

Hey family,
I can't believe this day is here. I never imagined that this day would come. I can't even explain my emotions. I think the pictures below describe it pretty well. Bittersweet.
I wish I had a video of my mission. I have had the most amazing mission ever. The Philippines will always have a special place in my heart and I will always consider myself an American Filipina. This has been the absolute hardest and most rewarding experience of my life. I have never felt so physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. However I feel strong, and I know that strength comes from our Savior. He has been with me every step of the way. I can't count how many times I've said, "I can't do this anymore." Then I pray and as I pray I feel our Heavenly Father strengthening me. and then I feel as if I can conquer the world! and now, I don't want to leave.
I have eaten some of the weirdest things and had some of the craziest experiences, but I wouldn't take that back for anything. 
I have served with those known as the most humble on earth and I can testify how incredible they are as I see their sacrifices so that they may live their faith. They have some of the hardest lives, but are some of the happiest people. 
I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have had the privilege of witnessing miracles as people change their lives through the atonement of Jesus Christ. My heart is full of gratitude. It is so hard to leave, but I know that God has another work for me to do. 
I know this is the true church. My eyes have been opened and I am so grateful for what I know. We don't need to be confused we can ask God and He will answer us. I will never forget the times when I've heard those beautiful words, "I asked if what you taught was true, and I got an answer. I know this is true." 
Lives can change through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Families are FOREVER. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every family. Every family has it's trials, but if we stay faithful and trust in the Lord everything will work out in the end. Jesus Christ is our Savior. 
Alam ko na kilala tayo ng diyos at gusto nya na bawat isa sa atin ay makakabalik sa kanya. Alam ko na ang Simbahan ni Jesu Cristo ng mga banal sa mga banal sa mga huling araw ay totoo. 
Babaen ni Jesu Cristo makasubli tayo iti pagarian ti diyos. Adda Plano isuna para kanyatayo.  
Thank you so much for your support and help. I love you all so much! 
I guess I'll see you soon then. 
Love always for the last time,
Sister Abelhouzen

Monday, March 16, 2015

Busy Week: I partyed in Manila

ala pamilya mabilis ang araw. parang kailan lang..... 
This week was a good week, but it just went by soo fast. We had to go here and there for meetings and then there was manila. Yeah, we had to fly to manila Wednesday to get my fingerprinting done... up until this point in my mission I haven't really thought a ton about life after the mission. It just didn't feel real to me. Is this real? I can't believe that this part of my life is going to come to an end... 
While we were in Manila, I had a hot shower, but that wasn't even the best: we had the opportunity to go to the temple! I haven't been to the temple in 16 months and it was the most amazing experience. There is just something about the temple and spirit there. It truly is the House of Lord. I can't wait until I can go twice a week.
 When we got home from manila we had interviews with President. It focused on how 'God has a work for [us] to do'. In my interview president basically talked about what I'm going to do when I get home and how I just need to get married.... okay woah there partner I'm still a baby. haha I guess I'm slowly getting welcomed into reality. 

The rest of the week we've just been trying to teach as much as possible with the limited time we've had, but we definitely have some good things coming here in Pasuquin. 

Yesterday, we had MLC and received an awesome training from the AP's and President Barrientos. Which focused on the Restoration and who good it is to be here as missionaries. 
I absolutely love being a missionary. Everyday as a walk around the streets I just can't help smiling. Because even if it's Hot and people yell at you, man life is good and there are miracles all around us. 'It's good to be here!'
Have an amazing week and Happy Birthday to my cuties Ashton& Avery!
Love always,
Sister Abelhouzen

Monday, February 9, 2015

Amazing Week!

Hey family! 
Sorry this is a bit late, we've had meetings and a lot going in preparation for a general authority that will be coming to speak to our mission later today.... yeah we're stoked! That's like Santa Claus for us missionaries.
hmmm where to start.
I guess I can start with my exchanges in claveria. Yup I got to go back to paradise. It was amazing. I went and worked in the other sisters area so that my next transfer, I can go back to my area. It was so fun and I really loved it! I got to see the sasis family. This family is the rock in claveria and since I've been gone they've been sealed. Right when I pulled up in the tricey all of the little kids started yelling Sister Aby!!! including B-boy, who by the way could not talk last time I was there. We had a good visit and there house has all of the pictures of us on their wall! Ahh so fun! I was so lucky to go visit them.
We had some great lessons this week. We've been teaching a family, the father is actually a pastor in another church and they are very receptive. He even told us that he knows the church they are joined with is not true, but it's the closest they've found and are just looking for it. He has been really searching, but lately has been held up with how we use more that one cup in the sacrament because Jesus Christ only used one. We explained about how the church has expanded and we now have modern day revelation from a living prophet so we know exactly what to do. He couldn't let it go. I was trying to think about what scriptures I could share with him to prove it when a thought came to me... Sister Testify. at that moment I just bore my testimony about how I know this is true because I have asked God myself. I explained that I don't know everything, but I know that God does and He loves his children and will answer us if we ask Him. After he looked at me and said Sister I feel like what your saying is true, i'm just confused. I will ask. It was really cool and taught me that sometimes we don't need to say all the elaborate things or know all the verses in the bible. We just need to rely on the Holy Ghost and testify. 
Then after a sleep deprived week of hard work we had a baptism of Leonardo Gabuten. He has been an investigator for quite some time. His wife is a member and has been active for awhile just waiting on him.

A piece of advice for anyone that will be serving in the Philippines, Learn to Laugh. The church here is new and you will experience some crazy things... For example:
If when you arrive at the church and the gates are still locked.
Church starts 30 minutes late because nobody shows up on time.
the relief society president calls a return missionary to repentance because she hasn't married yet.. in the middle of class The gospel principles teachers asks everyone to give an example of a sin they have done.
the opening hymn in sacrament meeting sounds a little bit like a bunch of cats dying
everyone bares their testimony in sacrament meeting about all of their sicknesses they have and how strong they are if your baptism starts one hour late because they forgot to fill up the font.
These are just a few examples maybe i'll give more next week haha. Bottom line: I used to be so frustrated and stressed on Sundays, but I now I just smile and laugh and think, they're doing their best. 
For all of you Read this, It's amazing and changed my life:  http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1966&tid=7
I love you all have a great week, 
Sister Aby

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy 2015!

Hey Family and friends,
First of all Happy 2015! 
This year for new years was.... well yeah this is what happened.
We had to be home new years at 5pm because everyone does fireworks and drinks... not the best combination. So yeah my plan was just to just sit home read scriptures, right in my journal, and eat cookies (thanks mom(: ) but my companion had a different plan. haha we did training.... not missionary training. thai kuan do training.... It was way legit, but I was dying and for the next five days following my body was in pain. haha I couldn't even walk, my companion was laughing at me. sorry man I haven't exercised any of those muscles for over 15 months. 
Our area is doing good. It's progressing, but of course there is room for improvement. We just need to do finding finding finding so we have more investigators! My area is beautiful and is right on the beach yaaa love it. I'll get ya some pictures next week. 
Lots of cool things are happening, but yeah can't really remember. Just know I'm happy and Miracles are real in the work of the Lord!
"And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." Matthew 19:29-30
Never forget what is most important in this life, our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. They know our sacrifices and our un-commended service. Everything will be made up in the end hundredfold. Never forget which way you face! 
I love you all! 
Give everything to the Lord this 2015! 
Sister Abelhouzen

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Maligayang Pasko ang magandang pamilya ko!

This has been a great week! We started the week with having our annual Christmas Conference. Is it already time for that again? Crazy... The Devotional was first in the morning. It was amazing! I felt so motivated and excited to be better. A lot of great news came! First our mission had a goal for 2014 to have 1000 baptisms. We exceeded our goal! So for 2015 our Mission Standard has been raised and by raised I mean almost doubled when it comes to the amount of lessons in a week and quadrupled when it comes to the amount of baptisms.... yeah. at first I was like oh no... I'm going to die. haha I mean I'm already working hard right? Then I remembered a scripture, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" This is not my work, it's the Lord's and if President Barrientos has received this revelation, then let's do it. The Lord is hastening his work, just like he said he would in D&C 88:73. It's time. I'm so lucky to be apart of this work at this important time!
After our Devotional we had an amazing race. yes mom, I know you love that show. well that's what we did! We had to run all over Laoag and figure out clues and due certain tasks... did I mention I was wearing a skirt... yeah awesome. but It was really fun, I forgot how competitive I am.... I was sprinting everywhere. 
After Christmas conference we just worked really hard and taught way more lessons than we usually do. I didn't think we could work harder, but when you have a positive attitude and keep a prayer in your heart. Mircales happen! Get ready for a year full of miracles in the Philippines Laoag Mission! 
Love you! Have a great Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

'Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God'

grabe pamilya ko. november na. ang bilis. wellllll this was the first week of the transfer and it was a good/ difficult one. 
My new companion is sister Morallos and she's from Tacloban, Philippines. She has been in the mission a little over 10 months now. She's awesome and was home when the huge typhoon hit one year ago... she's got crazy stories! 
This week was so fast... 
somethings that happened: 
-we walked for two hours because there was no transportation... we may or may not have gotten lost and my feet may or may not have been bleeding by the end. gotta love it. 
-lots of parades. haha oh man the parades here are so funny. people just get on their motors and drive in a line with lots of people walking and holding balloons. no floats. but literally everyone is involved. nobody could do anything because they were all walking in this parade. 
-we worked hard. We had a lot of awesome appointments we saw a lot of great changes in these people that we're teaching. 
- I was so stoked for sunday we had visited our investigators saturday night and we had expected a turn out of 15 investigators at church. turns out there were more parades and none of them showed up.
I was really disappointed and have been praying about what I need my investigators to understand. I got my answer. 
'Seek ye first the kingdom of God.' 3 nephi 13: 33 
I feel like sometimes we forget which things are most important and push spiritual things aside because 'they can wait'. the truth is, they can't wait. This is the most important thing. The awesome promise is if we seek first the things of God, he will give us EVERYTHING we need in return! 
Love you all!
Sister Abelhouzen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Hello Family! 
Aw man we have had an AMAZING week! After weeks and weeks of struggling in this new area, we are starting to see some big things happen! This is one of the best parts of being a missionary finally seeing all of that hard work paying off! 

Let's start off with some of the cool things we got to do this week! 
We volunteered at the church where they were doing free screening for free surgeries for cleft pallets, clubbed feet, and cataracts. They had a doctor come up who lives in Manila. He's from Utah and is a retired surgeon. Many years ago he served as a mission president in manila and when he retired he decided to move to the Philippines and start a charity where they do free surgeries. It was amazing. Before we started volunteering he advised us that we should not share the gospel at all. He said, "We serve them and we don't expect anything in return. We serve them first, then when they see what the church is all about and they show interest, then we teach them." I thought that was really cool. When Christ came to America in 3 Nephi- He first healed all the people then he taught them the gospel. 
We had the opportunity to fellowship with a lot of the members this week! Yes you heard that right, THE MEMBERS OF BACARRA WARD ARE FELLOWSHIPPING. It's a miracle. We saw a lot of success and the members really enjoyed it. In fact most of them came up to us at church and thanked us and asked when they could work again. They've caught the vision and felt the sweetness of the work! 
Sister Lumanog and I gave a training at a Zone Training Meeting about what more we can do to be consecrated missionaries. It was really awesome and I think really motivated our Zone to be better! Big things are gonna happen in Laoag 2 zone. 
Alright here are some miracles that happened this week: 
We found a new family! Not just any family. This family is really prepared and are soo receptive. After the lesson we were really feeling the spirit and the mom told us to keep coming because her husband never listens when other missionaries come, but he sat right down and was really receptive! 
Our sacrament attendance in the last week increased from 95 to 140. do you think members make a difference?
We were just sitting in sacrament yesterday and I was just laughing and listening the the talks, when my companion leans over and says, "wait you understand this?" I realized they were speaking in ilocano... yeah I do... awesome. 

We have just been working so hard so get excited for all the big things coming up. I just want to leave a scripture that I read in my personal study today. " And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. 
And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation." 3 Nephi 26:9-10
 We have to trust in the faith that we already have in order receive more. It's sometimes scary and doubtful. But you just press forward until that faith grows into something that you truly know. Keep doing those things that help your faith grow. 
mahal na mahal ko po kayong lahat. Ingat palagi! 
Sister Abelhouzen