Monday, July 21, 2014

Magandang Umaga po sa inyong lahat.

Magandang Umaga po sa inyong lahat.
This week was a great week and the last of this transfer... My dearest Sister Buduan is getting transferred. and here is for the big shocker... I'm training haha kawawa ang trainee ko. diyok lang. pero yes I'm very excited. I love new missionaries, because they're just so excited to get out there and do the work of the Lord. It'll be an awesome experience!
I had exchanges this week with Sister Teely! It was awesome! I learned a lot! She's from Fiji and is a   boss! 
Remember that less active family of over 30 that I told you about? well yesterday, nanay came to church. It is a miracle. She told me when I first met her that she would never come back to church, pero sapagkat masdan yesterday morning there she was!!! I was so excited! I know this is just the beginning and many more are going to return!
We also had baptisms this week yay! Brothers Sherwin Tuberra and Cresendo Agcaoili are officially members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
Sherwin Tuberra was met by the missionaries a week before I got here and was extremely prepared to hear this gospel. He was at a point in his life where he was on the search for happiness, but he didn't want any of that temporary stuff. He wanted long lasting. That's when he saw the missionaries laughing and walking down the street. "I want that." He said to himself. Then he stopped them and asked for a pamphlet. When we met him for the first time he sent us away because he was embarrassed he was drunk.  We came back and he informed us that he has spent his whole life drinking and obtaining temporary happiness, but he wants real happiness, he wanted to change. He has not had a drink since.  He saw something different in us. The first time he came to church, he felt at home and found what he has always been looking for. He was confirmed yesterday and has already been called as a ward missionary. People used to refer to him as the drunk on the block, he is now Sherwin yung mabait. or 'the kind one'
Tatay Agcaoilie has been an investigator forever. let me give you a little time span. Elder Asuncion was one of the missionaries to teach him, after his mission he moved back to claveria, got married, is now the district president, and has 4 kids the oldest being 14 years old. Long time... the reason being tatay is just a little stubborn he wants to know everything, which I absolutely love because now I know he will remain a faithful member of the church for a long time. He has changed his life as well and is a good example to everyone around him. Everyone loves tatay he's incredible and KNOWS this church is true.
This gospel changes people! I'm happy to report that both will be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood next week and both cried during their testimonies! The church is true!
pictures: this morning we went hiking to the falls! and the baptism!

Monday, July 14, 2014














Hello family! 
So this is going to be short one because I didn't have time to think about what I wanted to write about... We woke up at 3am this morning to come to Laoag so we could withdraw our money. I was planning on thinking it about it on the bus, but those of you that know me know that I can sleep anywhere... so I was out haha.

This  past week was the fourth of July!!! how is it in the good ole US of A. don't worry I celebrated. I wore red and we sang the national anthem and america the beautiful for companionship study. My poor companion had no idea how to sing it. 

So on the mission I have this rep... I'm the fearless white girl. I have to confess that is so false. I have fears... I get nervous every time I go talk to someone, but the Nike phrase just goes through my head. JUST DO IT. so I do. I will just walk up to someone, help them wash their clothes, run up to catch someone on the street, crack jokes in the jeepney (usually not that funny, but they laugh because I'm trying to speak Ilacano), or help them gather their vegetables.Then, it usually turns out pretty awesome, we've found a lot of really great people. Don't get me wrong I have been horribly rejected as well, but you've just gotta shake it off and go to the next one. "I just think about Jesus Christ, He wouldn't even care, he would just do it; because he loves them." David Archuleta said that. Pretty cool, and soo true. 

Other than that we had an awesome Zone Training, some baptismal interviews, and I realized just how tall I am. 
We have two baptisms coming up this week so It should be great! 

Love you all so much! Stay strong and remember, they too are children of God, Love them! JUST DO IT! 
have a great week! 
Sister Abelhouzen

Pictures: 
The counters in our kitchen
One of the cutest ladies in our ward! 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Good is the Enemy of Excellence

Well family another week has come and gone... I feel as if each week goes by faster and faster.
This week we have done a lot of traveling. Not a fan, but it's alright you gotta do what you gotta do. We traveled to Laoag (4 hours) for zone conference and back the next day and then one day later to Pasuquin (3 hours) for district conference and came back the same day. Now don't get me wrong, I love road trips.But this is more like riding hours in a bus like the one in Harry Potter. They move so fast and turn so fast and slam on th ebreaks to stop. It's absolutely crazy. I steel feel a little sick. The hard thing is you don't really know how long it will take because you don't know how many times the bus will stop. There is no such thing as bus stops here. You just stand on the side of the road and flag one down then when you want to get off you just stand up. The picture is at the mission conference with the sisters in my apartment. My outfit is from ukay ukay and probably cost 4 dollars!
           So a couple more things about Claveria. I have fallen in love with Ukay Ukay... don't worry that's not a filipino haha its a store. It's actually the filipino version of the D.I. There are so many cute things for like 10 pesos (25 cents) yeah it's good. Also there are bugs everywhere. Yesterday we made spaghetti, but didn't realize the noodles had ants. when we poured it in the boiling water they all started popping up. The sad thing is, we were too tired to cook something else. So we just tried to get them all out but ended up eating it anyway... is that bad? I mean they were boiled... extra protein?
          This week we were finding all these little white balls and we didn't know what they were. Turns out they are lizard eggs. I thought it was awesome, but the other sisters thought it was gross. Maybe they'll eat some of the bugs?
          I have to tell you about Zone Conference because it was amazing. Elder Ardern from the 70 came to speak to us. I learned so much. His wisdom and his intelligence inspires me. He had no notes, but his thoughts were so organized and so profound. Something I really like that he talked about is that for missionary work to reach it's potential, there can't be a single missionary that settles for average or "good". He quoted someone when he said "Good or Average is the enemy of Excellence." We must not settle for average. We should always strive to become better. Even if we thing we are good enough, because "good enough" is never good enough. There will not be one should in the celestial kingdom that settled for good enough. WE must follow all of the commandments and put our focus on the weakest parts of ourselves to make it strong like Moroni did with his army. "The most important commandment is the one that gives you the most difficulty." President Lee. I hope none of us will settle for average & we will all strive to be better.
        Miracle moment: Yesterday while I was traveling back from pasuquin, I sat nest to a man. Then, like you're supposed to, I struck up a conversation with him. He then stopped me and said, "I appreciate what you do, but I'm Catholic." Politely, I responded with, "That's okay we both believe in Jesus Christ and that's most important." Then I proceeded to ask about his family and work. He eventually opened up and told me his whole life story. When I saw he trusted me I pulled out one of my pamphlets and said "I can see that family is very important to you, I'd like to give you something that I know will bless you and your family." He accepted and told me how he has a desire to move closer to our Savior. I took out my Book of Mormon and shared with him 2 Nephi 22:2, one of my favorite verses. "Behold God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he has also become my salvation." After he read he said "Thank you that was beautiful." I handed him my Book of Mormon and said "As you read this book, you will move close to our Savior Jesus Christ. These are His words." As he held the book he explained that he was feeling something and he feels that what I am saying is true. I just smiled and said "It is true." After a few moments he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "thank you so much, this is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me." When can you come visit me and my family?" Unfortunately he doesn't live in my area so I explained that I would give his name to the missionaries there. He was so excited.
Don't give up on people if at first they reject the gospel. They will come around.
The Church is True!
Sister Abelhouzen

Monday, June 9, 2014

Trust in the Lord with ALL Thy Heart

This week was amazing. My companion and I were so unified, we taught a lot great lessons and found a lot of great people I have come to love this area so much. we have really turned it around. Then, last night I received a call telling me I will be transferred to Claveria. It's bittersweet. I would have loved to stay one more transfer in Laoag, but I'm excited because claveria is beautiful and has a really great branch. you should google Claveria, Cagayan, Philippines. It's in the mountains, but also right by the beach. Rainy season is soon so I'll be getting lots of rain. Oh and I'm getting another filipina (: 

I'm excited, but it's hard to leave. That's the hardest part of a mission.. leaving. Time just moves so fast. Sometimes I just wish I could freeze time and take it in a little bit longer, but that's alright this is where the Lord wants me to be. Here's to new adventures with the mountain people. I'm sure I'll love it. 

As for this week. It was great we learned a lot and had a lot of experiences... good and bad. 
We slept outside again and I got sick... I know not my brightest idea. anyways I was sick, I had a fever and the power was out for 1 day. Yes it was awesome. It's hot here plus I had a fever.. I slept with frozen vegetables.. I got desperate. In the midst of all that, I still went out to work. I wasn't too bad, because every time we started to teach a lesson it was like I was barely sick. 
That's why president always says that work is the best medicine. The Lord will bless you. I testify. I got better quick and the rest of the week we were able to enjoy. 

One day we were walking to one of our appointments at night when an army of about 20 kids ran up and started chanting boom banes, boom boom banes banes over and over again. It's a chant that means Boom rotten... I don't really get it, but It's just a chant that all the kids do. It was awesome. Like an army of kids chanting as we walk. it was so fun! Man I love it here. 

This week I took part in one of the most humbling experiences of my life. we helped one of the sisters in our ward look for her 2 oldest children around the town. This woman has 6 children around the town. This woman has 6 children under the age of 14 and is pregnant. She has an abusive alcoholic husband. and is one of the strongest women I have ever met. we wnt with her at night and walked all the way around the town when finally we found them. There were selling necklaces they made from flowers just for food for the day. Sister told us that they usually don't come home and she has to go look for them every night, and sometimes she can't find them. the saddest part was there were with about 12 other kids. that don't want to go home because their parents are abusive or addicts. So they're left to provide for themselves. They told us they make anywhere from 50 to 100 pesos a day which is about $1-2.50 and that's what they live on. We knew we needed to do something so we bought them dinner. I can't even tell you the looks on their faces . It's like the first time they've had a good meal in a while. I can not believe people live like this and you know what, they're usually really happy. I hope everyone that reads this realizes how blessed they are.
With that said I know that sometimes in this life we have trials and we don't understand why. Something President Barrientos told me is, whom the Lord loves, he tries. because he knows that through trials we will become the person we are meant to be. Trust in the Lord and learn to be grateful for your trials, and through them the Lord will bless you. I love you all so much! 
Sister Abelhouzen

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lovin' life in the philippines

Hey guys, so the funniest thing just happened. 
I'm sitting in this computer shop when two young boys are behind me speaking in ilacano... and they're talking about me. haha but they don't think I can understand... I let them talk for a little and then I just turn around and say in ilacano, "yes I know my nose is big and i'm white." I wish you could have seen the look on their faces hahah then I just laughed and took it as a missionary opportunity. so they will be having some missionaries visit their home (: I love knowing other languages. 

I hope all you had a good week, mine was amazing. It started off with skyping my dearest family. You're amazing, I love you. After that I was so motivated to be the best missionary in the world. We went straight to work, me and sister Rodelas worked hard and it definitely payed off. We found two new amazing FAMILIES, had 5 investigators at church and 7 of the Less actives. yes I am in Laoag. 'the hardest part of the mission' and you know what... it's pretty awesome. 

Miracles are possible if you're exactly obedient and trust in the Lord. "Anything is possible if you just believe" cliche but it's true. 

Being on a mission has taught be so many things, but I think the most important is that I've realized how real the effects of the adversary are. I have been set apart from the world, so I see the adversary work and just how strong he is. He affects every single one of us and it is critical that we protect ourselves. We are fighting a war and we need the armor of God that is described in Ephesians 6. "We  have the  responsiblity to stand strong with a shield of faith against the fiery darts of the adversary. We are role models to the world, protecting God-given, inalienable rights and freedoms. We stand in defense of our homes and our families... How will you resist [Santan's] aggressive tactics? Put on the whole armor of God." Robert D. Hales 
Here is my  selfie with caribou!
 
Love you All!
 
Sister Abelhouzen

Friday, May 16, 2014

LOVE THIS WORK


So this week was pretty great! On tuesday I had exchanges and got to stay in the Sister Training Leaders apartment, which means HOT SHOWER! Yeah it was a great nights sleep. Their beds are twice the size of ours and they have a real mattress. Man it was so great! I felt so clean! My new companion became Sister Bobier. She's incredible. I was truly inspired by her story. She is the only member in her family and her parents don't support her serving. She came because she knows it's true. It made me realize how lucky I am to have your support!

Besides that it was basically a really great week of working hard, sweating lots, and eating rice.  It's amazing the things I am learning here. I have never grown so much. 

Baptisms-so wonderful!. First is John Rey. He's a 16 year old boy that basically found the missionaries and asked them to teach him. I had the privilege of helping him come to know the truth, work through word of wisdom problems and he is  baptized and it was on my Birthday! Before preparing him for his interview, He asked us if he could share his testimony to us. He looked at us with tears in his eyes and said he finally felt like he was where he belongs. He said that when he first started taking lessons from the missionaries he wanted to stop, but then he had a dream. In the dream Jesus Christ was reaching out to him and told him to find the missionaries and join his church and then he would inherit the Kingdom of God. He bore a powerful testimony and told us he knows without a doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's Kingdom on the earth. 

That's why I came on a mission, to help people know the truth and finally end up where they belong, next to our savior Jesus Christ! 
We had a lot of fun this week! 
1. I realized I'm addicted to rice. I went one day with out it and was craving it so bad! 
2. We went through the drive through in a tricee. so if you remember, I told you that tricee's are these motorcycles with side cars attached. so it was a pretty interesting experience. haha but hey I love McDo so it was worth it!
3. John Rey's Baptism He was so so happy. After his confirmation on Sunday he just came up to me, shaked my hand and said, I'm a member! he was so excited, ah it made me so happy
4.My Birthday!! I'm 20 now. that's weird. Everyone made it so amazing! My investigators , Members, Less actives, all text me and president brought me a cake! It was a good day  
5. Mother's day! It was great having mothers day here, I reached out to the mother's day figures that I have in my life. How lucky we are to be members of this church that teaches us how to respect and honor our mothers. Mom, thank you for everything, you are incredible, strong, smart, beautiful, and an amazing example for me! I love you! So glad I was able to skype you, best B-day Present!

Something I learned this week is from one of my favorite scriptures, "Just be wise, What can I say more?" Jacob 6:12 So true. We know what's right, we know what's wrong. Just be wise. Follow the commandments and the example of the savior and you'll be happy. How hard is that? God has given us everything we need to succeed. Just follow him.
I love you all! Have an amazing week! Church is True! 
Sister Abelhouzen

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

There's a beach... in Laoag??

Hey family! soo some exciting news my companion is awesome, the area is huge, and we are busy!!! I"m loving the mission right now and I think this might be one of my favorite transfers of my mission! 
Monday before Sister Quimpo and sister Jornacion left we went to the beach!!! yes the beach! In Laoag city! and It's in our area! It was so fun with the members and so so beautiful! I'll attach a picture! 

Me and my companion are doing really well, we have been trying to work our hardest and be exactly obedient and the spirit has been really strong in our lessons. There have been so many times this week when people have told us they know what we are sharing is true, because what they feel in their hearts and the hair on their arms is standing up.  amazing! I love being a missionary! 

On tuesday- thursday we had two sisters come and stay in our apartment. They were waiting for their apartment to be done. one of the sister's first area is our area now so president said she could go on exchanges to visit some of the people. It was really fun to see how happy the people were to see her! It just made me think of when I go back to Vigan. I just heard my favorite family (Amecay) was just baptized and are so happy! They still write me all the time! I can't wait to see them again! 

This week 2 of our members were in the hospital and we went to go sing for them. It was a really humbling experience. So many people are sick here and they don't get the care they need. They get a huge room with no air conditioning and no fans (unless you can pay for one) and stick 20 sick people there. We went and sang for all those people and they told us our voices sounded like angels. well that was definitely the spirit haha. but it was a really good experience and I'm glad I got to help them feel better spiritually, and hopefully someday physically too! 

I really enjoy being a missionary, but sometimes it's hard because you feel a lot of pressure to be amazing. I have been really shown all of my weaknesses. At first it was overwhelming, I wanted to be the best so bad. Then I realized, like it says in the scriptures, that God gives us weaknesses so that we rely on him. That is the reason I we continually fast, pray, and study. So that we may have the Lord on our side. We need him. All we do is the best we can and then he'll make up the rest! I know that weaknesses are just a technicality if we turn everything to Heavenly Father! 

Love you all, 
Sister Abelhouzen