Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Miracles, Punting, Giant Spiders and Such!

Wow I love skype. It was so great to see you! This week was full of so much! probably one of my slowest weeks... it feels like ages since I Skyped you!
Christmas Eve was great! First I got to skype you, then of course we went out to work! We worked hard then went to a member's house for food! It was great! This guy owns his own channel and his house is MAGANDA. They fed us spaghetti! People here usually only eat spaghetti on special occasions because it's kind of expensive to make. It's delicious, but here in the Philippines spaghetti is sweet! They put sugar in it! I thought it was perfect for Christmas Eve because I felt like buddy the elf eating it. not even mad. 
After we ate we had to be back in our apartment by 5 because everyone get's drunk on Christmas Eve. So we thought we would just go home and study... not our best idea. I don't know why, but everyone here LOVES karaoke... people are always playing it... especially on Christmas eve... way too loud...all night long... and the next day... awesome. 
Christmas was good, we spent the morning going around inviting everyone to the Christmas party later that day and sharing messages about Christ. At night we had the branch Christmas party. It was a great turn out! The Amecay's came and stayed the whole time, they're basically members it's awesome. Us missionaries of course had a part in the program so we broke down angels we have heard on high. Oh you know me and Sister Mafi were all over that. It was way fun! Then they fed us. Sorry mom! I was going to make Christmas Dinner you sent to me, but now I get to save for another night! but I want to fully enjoy it so we're cooking it this week! Instead for Christmas I ate fish (the whole thing), clams, seaweed, rice and chickenish stuff. The weird thing? I loved it! haha I'm truly becoming a filipina! 
The rest of the week was rough we got Punted to no end. We couldn't teach anyone, because everyone was busy and recovering from the Holidays! So we just walked around and met new people. No effort wasted right? 
Saturday the Elder's had a baptism and Melinda Amecay came with us. She loved it and afterwards told us that she can't wait for her whole family to be baptized! I had little dance party on the inside. It's times like that that make everything worth it! 

Funny Story of the Week: On Sunday the speaker got up and said he wanted to share a couple quotes from President Ox Troff. I thought that's weird.. I don't remember him so I just listened and then I recognized the talk as President Uchdorfs! hahaha he literally said Ox Troff like 6 times and I couldn't help but laugh a little each time. Why can't Filipinos say Uchdorf? Earlier that week the ward mission leader said President Ot Duff. hahahaha I'm sorry but can't you just picture a short chubby little filipino tatay saying Ot Duff? Great times. 

Miracle of the Week: Monday night we received a referral for a part member family from some other missionaries who said the man was their tricee driver. We decided to contact them the next day because we were in their area. We go there and come to find out the Mom has been a member for a long time and loves the Church, but her husband died and she got remarried so she moved and hasn't come to church because she didn't know anyone and has been scared. One sunday she even came to the Church, but was too afraid to go inside. Se we taught her and her family and she has said that her son (now old enough to be baptized) wants to be baptized as well as her husband. They came to the Christmas party and to church yesterday! Heavenly Father does not forget about these people. 

I love being a servant of the Lord! He is definitely working through us! Jesus Christ's mission is still not over! It won't be over until EVERY son and daughter of God, who want to, will be able to return home. I am so grateful to be a part of this great work and how lucky I am to be able to do it during Christmas time! 

Love you all! 
Sister Abelhouzen 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Spiders & Snake & Machetes-Oh my!

The weeks are getting faster and faster!  I feel like I'm already a different person. Today I was doing laundry (have a mentioned how much I hate that?) anyways I looked down and saw a spider on my foot. I didn't even freak out! I just flicked it off! After sister Bettilyon just looks at me and says, "wow, you've come a long way." When I first got here I would literally freak out when there were bugs anywhere.

Christmas conference was this week and it was so great! I got to see Sister Lainhart and Sister Odom as well as all of the other missionaries in the mission! It was a lot of fun! We started the day off by having a devotional from President and Sister Barrientos. They're so cute and always uplifting! After we went to a nearby college and played sports (soccer, rugby, ultimate frisbee, capture the flag...) I was in heaven. I miss sports! You can only run for so long haha. Afterwards we went back to the chapel and performed our skits and dances. Apparently we're the righteous zone, because our skit was spiritual and everyone else's was hilarious..whoops!

So remember how I said our bathroom was fixed... yeah that's a lie. Oh well, welcome to the Philippines.
Here people love Christmas and carolers are constantly coming around asking for money. Yesterday these carolers came buy that were very talented! I'll attach a picture. They had drums and trumpets! We aren't allowed to give them money so I just walked out with an Aklat ni Mormon and asked if they wanted it. Suprisingly they said yes and played three more songs for us! I love Filipinos!
This week has been a little rough... it started off with our new schedule, which I actually really like, but now we go out and work at 8 to 12, then study, then go back out at night. We just got punted and punted! We didn't teach very many lessons at all.. Then came time for us to teach Eloysa about the Sabbath Day before her baptismal interview. We knew this would be hard, because after church she works every Sunday. Her mom and dad were not very happy with the fact that we were telling her that she shouldn't work on Sundays, but she agreed to follow. Two days later when we went to pick her up for her baptismal interview... wala siya. She was gone and her friend called her while we were at her house and said that she said she wouldn't be back until the 24th... She didn't come to church and we haven't been able to talk to her so she won't be getting baptized on the 28th anymore... I literally wanted to cry. I've known Eloysa from the beginning and we've grown so close. Hopefully we'll be able to talk this week and work everything out.

Funny Story of the week: So something about the Philippines is that most old people don't have any teeth so when they are just walking around they look very unhappy and kind of scary, but then right when you wave they get so excited, I think they're going to have a heart attack. One day Sister Bettilyon and I were walking and this nanay is staring at us holding a machete... we're kind of worried what she's going to do so I just say Hello po Nanay. Immediately her eyes got so wide and her Smile got so big and she started waving the machete (as if saying hello). Haha I thought it was hilarious I was laughing so hard and Sister Bettilyon was just saying ahhhh Ingat Nanay Ingat! (Be careful)

Miracle of the Week: Do you remember Jovan the 11 year old that can't read? His sister's name is Augustina, but everyone calls her Tin Tin. She has a birth defect so her neck is always crooked and people make fun of her for it. She's a really cute girl, but it's really sad. She has very low self-esteem. When I first heard of her, I asked Sister Bettilyon why we don't teach her and she told me that every time they try she runs away or starts crying. A couple weeks ago I caught Tin Tin hiding and I just walked up and said "ayyy Maganda Kayo! woww. Ako si Sister Abelhouzen." She just smiled and didn't say anything. Every time I've seen her since I've been working on trying to get her more comfortable around us. Now every time we see her she runs up and yells SISTTERRRR!!! and a few days ago she told us that she wants to be baptized!

It just amazes me how much the Lord is aware of us. He is preparing people, all we have to do is follow the spirit and be there to teach them. I am more amazed each and every day when people are willing to change their lives mostly because I'm pretty sure Sister Bettilyon and I are very hard to understand. We are not fluent in Tagalog, but we don't have to be. The spirit speaks to these people and touches their hearts. I know this church is true! If it wasn't, the missionaries would have messed it up a long time ago. Anything is possible with God. I thank him everyday that he's with me. Thank you for everything family!
I love being a missionary. Sometimes it's hard and as much as I wish I could be with you on Christmas, there is no where I'd rather be than here! I get to witness the atonement of Jesus Christ work in other's lives! HOW GREAT IS MY CALLING! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because through him everything is possible.  

mahal ko tayo lahat!
Sister Abelhouzen

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas is in the Air!

Hey fam!
This week flew by! It was great too!
The week started off with one of the nanays in our ward offering me to make me a skirt for christmas conference! I'm picking it up right after this! Also remember goat lady? We met her this week! She's awesome and hopefully we'll get to keep teaching her!
Eloysa is getting baptized on December 28! haha I know you don't know who Eloysa is but still it's exciting! My first baptism! Eloysa is a 18 year old who's dad is Less Active, in fact he's so less active that none of his family knew that he was a member! We've been working on the rest of the family, but Eloysa is just so prepared! The family sells fish and shrimp so one day we decided to buy some. When we got it we realized something... this fish had no meat. It was dried fish. which means its the skin, bones, eyeballs, and teeth..... yum. but apparently they really like it so we'll see. 
I taught my very first lesson to a drunk person... exciting. we went in to teach some of our investigators and half way through the lesson this drunk guy just walks into the house and sits down... uhmm okay? haha so we kept going until he interupted us every five seconds. finally Sister Bettilyon just said really fast: Mensahey namin ay totoo sa pangalan ni JesuCristo Amen Pray muna Tayo! I said a quick pray and we got outta there faster than you could have thought. haha we could have been frustrated, but we chose to laugh instead. 

This weekend was great, it was fast Sunday so we thought we would be smart since we still have to proselyte on Sundays by starting to fast Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, but then our branch President gave us pizza at one of our meetings and well we had to eat it for two reasons: Pizza here is very expensive and that was really nice of him! and I LOVE PIZZA. no regrets. haha it was the most delicious meal I've had since being here! So we just fasted all Sunday and we were fine, Plus I HAD SIX INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH! that's so great especially because all the other missionaries usually have 1 or 2 ahhh we were so happy! What a great Sunday!

Funny Story of the Week: We were walking to one of our appointments when a lady stopped us and wanted to take a picture with her (not uncommon) So we took one and of course used it as a teaching opportunity! We ended up going to her Giant Maganda house and she was telling us about her family when this man walks out. I immediately turn and say "Kamusta, Ano ang Pangalan mo brother?" he just looks at me when the lady says "oh no he doesn't." the guy looks and me and says "Hi i'm Ron" with no accent and perfect english. I literally forgot english for a second so I said "ay magaling kayo sa Tagalog" he just laughed and said "you know I don't know what you're saying? I grew up in California" I just say "you're english is so good" hahah. I honestly think I was just shocked couldn't believe I was speaking to an american! It was great! We ended up talking for over an hour and he is very familiar with Salt Lake and the LDS church! and get this, he LOVES family history! Who knew when they said you'd use it in the MTC they weren't kidding. We have an appointment with him this week! I'm just so excited to teach him in English!

Miracle of the week: One of our investigators JoJo is a born again and Sister Bettilyon and I have been getting really frustrated because he just hasn't been progressing and thinks he knows everything. When we teach him, his whole family usually listens. Finally one week we asked everyone to come to church and stressed the importance! Sunday came and no Jojo, but his sister, Melinda and her kids came! This week we taught just Melinda and found out that she has been really sick and been in and out of the hospital for years because she has blood clots. She loves our gospel and believes that if she turns to Christ, he will help her. We asked her if she wanted a priesthood blessing and she said yes. Some of the Elders in our district came and gave her a priesthood blessing and the spirit was so strong! She said she already feels stronger and she excepted a baptismal date for January 18. Priesthood power is real! 

Here in the Philippines, it's Christmas everywhere! Lights and Christmas music! We have Christmas conference this week where we will be performing a filipino dance. Stoked!

Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season! Never forget what Christmas is all about: Christ! Honor him by serving others and always remember his love for us! Thank you all for you love and support!
Sister Abelhouzen

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunsets & Trees

                                             gabi-gabi here in vigan... sunsets are magical 

This week was rough: 
We didn't get to teach very many lessons, literally nobody was home or everyone turned us a way... oh well a mission is like a tree.

One of our investigators, Jovan, who is 11 and had been struggling to understand, we found out only speaks Ilocano. HE ONLY SPEAKS ILOCANO! why did nobody tell me this??... oh well a mission is like a tree.. we'll keep working

All of our investigators with baptismal dates in December missed church yesterday and since you have to go to church 4 times before getting baptized we have to push them to January... oh well a mission is like a tree.

Sometimes it's hard, especially being a new missionary, because I want to conquer the world and teach everyone. We've been working so hard, but sometime it doesn't show... Then I remember the parable of the Chinese Bamboo tree. It grows underground for 4 years, but nothing shows. Then on the fifth year it shoots in the air up to 15 ft. I feel like that's how it is here. You work so hard, but nothing shows until finally that miracle happens that makes it all worth it! Not a lot is showing right now.. but it will. 

I know Heavenly Father is aware of me. One night this week I came home feeling like a terrible missionary and I just fell to my knees asking Heavenly Father to forgive me of my short comings and I remember having a distinct feeling that I needed to read D&C I opened my scriptures and the first page it fell to had 10:4 highlighted. It read " do not run faster or labor more than you have strength or means... but be diligent unto the end." That is all he wants me to do is be diligent and keep working!

Miracle of the Week: One of our less actives, Emma, hasn't been to church in a year since she came to get the Holy Ghost. She really didn't understand the importance. Missionaries have been trying to get her back and we went to her house this week and taught her one of the most amazing lessons! The spirit was so strong and she started crying. She promised she would come to church and she did! All the members were so happy to see her! 

Funny Story of the Week:  Yesterday my companion and I went to visit Mercy, our investigator who we haven't been able to teach in awhile because she's always busy and really catholic. Not to mention her husband doesn't like that she's taking lessons from us. When we got there she said she was busy because she was trying to understand her sons math assignment so she could explain it to him. I immediately asked, do you want some help and surprisingly she said yes. I then proceded to teach her how to add complex fractions and her husband listened to. They then fed us and were so thankful. We asked if we could come back and teach them a lesson on Tuesday and BOTH of them agreed! Who would have thought that I'd get to use my math tutoring skills to bring people into the Gospel? Ah! So awesome... so sisters... take school seriously haha.

Family thank you so much for everything! I love you all! I love being a missionary! Have and amazing thanksgiving! And never forget to be grateful for the Savior and his infinite atonement! 
Mahal kita!
Magandang lingo!
Sister Abelhouzen


Monday, November 18, 2013

Being in the Philippines

Uhm what? Is this real life?
Alright let's start from the beginning of my Philippines adventures.
When I got into the airport in Manila I was hit with humidity and heat.
We then got to stay in this very nice hotel in Manila. Seriously I was like alriggghhtt, I can definitely do this haha oh little did I know... ha they fed us dinner and welp I just ate rice, not really used to the meat yet. Then I took the last hot shower I would take for 18 months and went to bed. Since we didn't get to bed till 2:00 am we got to sleep in which also was my last time for 18 months.. sad day. So we woke up and they brought us breakfast which was the same thing we had for dinner except with some eggs. yum. so I ate eggs and rice. haha We got dropped off at the Manila airport 4 hours early... so we did a lot of contacting. dang, Filipinos are a lot nicer than Americans haha I gave out so many cards and pamphlets. My favorite was a man named Dente... he's a gem and said he would add me on Facebook haha Is that allowed? hindi ko alam... oh well We finally met up with more Elders and Sisters from the Manila MTC and since our flight was delayed we got real acquainted. They're great mostly Filipino, have I mentioned I love Filipinos? Finally we got on our planes and it was one of those awesome planes that you enter from the ground, I felt like I was on a movie or like the Queen. NBD. We finally got to Laoag and some Elders and our mission President and his wife picked us up. AH I love my mission President! He's really funny and his wife is a sweet heart!
We got the mission home which is really nice and they fed us Pizza and McDonalds, uh alright I'll take it. We woke up the next morning and had orientation about money and food and the rules. Most of the rules are great, like there is a rule saying that we have to shower twice a day... uhm don't mind if I do. We got to meet all of the Trainers including Sister Brewer ( from home) and Elder Glover (Zac's roommate) ahh I was so happy!.

After placing we found out who our Trainers were and what area we had. I got Sister Bettilyon, she is sooo hilarious! seriously we're going to have fun. but the thing that scared me was that she's American and has only been out in the field for 3 months. Her Tagalog is pretty good, but she's not fluent, so I'm going to have to step it up. We've been doing pretty well in our lessons though! My area is Vigan and everyone is so jealous because supposedly its one of the most beautiful areas in my mission! Alright so we got to our area and did some proselyting... I'm pretty sure the language I learned in the MTC was not Tagalog because I have no Idea what these people are saying... It's so frustrating because I want to be able to teach them so much, but I can only say a few things. Everyone says I'm speaking well but I feel like I'm so behind. All the older sisters here are telling me that I knew more than they did, but I don't know it's just a humbling experience haha.We finally got back to our apartment, which is pretty nice considering we are in the Philippines, but I was EXHAUSTED. Literally I felt like I was going to collapse any second so after showering (we just installed a shower head so we don't have to bucket shower!) I passed out.
After the first day I was super overwhelmed, but I decided I would keep a positive attitude cause I knew it would get better! and it has! I still can't speak the language, but I pray at least 30 times a day so I'm sure that will come soon enough. After meeting our investigators it makes it all worth it. Seeing people's faith grow and watching them come closer to Christ brings so much joy!
When we were teaching one of our investigators, I saw a rat running across the wall. After I asked sister Bettilyon about it and she said it was a mouse... She said the rats are much bigger like the size of Chihuahuas... uh what? apparently everything is bigger in the Philippines except for the bananas and the people.
Sunday was our first time at church and we had FIVE of our investigators there which is awesome because it's really hard for people to come to church here because it's expensive and kind of far away. In relief society and sunday school I basically had no idea what was going on, but its okay I just kept smiling and nodding. In sacrament I had to bear my testimony.. people just kept smiling and you could just tell they were thinking oh how cute she's trying to speak Tagalog haha.... yeah. After church so many people came up to me... oh I just love them.
alrighhhttyyy so some things about the Philippines:
There are goats, chickens and dogs everywhere outside
There are ants and spiders everywhere inside
The people will just burp... all the time... its just normal... Ashton would like it here.
You call every women over 50 nanay and and every man over 50 tatay sorry mom and dad when I put that on your letter I thought that it meant mom and dad... nope just means your old and cute (:
They hook up little side cars to motorcycles and call it a transportation system.
It has a certain smell here... like curry mixed with smoke
They Love white people... seriously I will pull my hair in a bun, wear glasses, with no makeup, and every person is like ohhh so bran maganda.. uh what? ahaha plus most people will listen to us just because we're white.

It's weird how fast I've adjusted. I love it here.  I sometimes have to remind myself I'm in the Philippines and stuff happens. its whatever. I often find myself saying well that just happened. I just love it here!
This is hard a lot of the time, but the good out ways the bad! Heavenly Father is blessing me so much! I've never known more than now how much people need this gospel!
Love you all and miss you so much!

Sister Abelhouzen
P.S I'm happy to report I've only gotten three bug bites. I have been drenched with bug spray.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Safely Gathered in!

I made it to the Philippines! My mission president is letting us email real quick so that I can tell you that I arrived safely! It's amazing here. I absolutely love it. I got to meet all the trainers including my friends Sister Brewer and Elder Glover from college! I get to find out who my new companion and what area I'm serving in tonight. My mission president is so awesome! soo funny! and his wife is a nurse so they'll take good care of us!
 The air is wet. Rice is everywhere. the gospel is true!
 Love you all!
Sister Abelhouzen
We would like to let you know that the typhoon Haiyan(locally known as Yolanda) did not majorly affect any of the areas in the Philippines Laoag Mission.
                  All the missionaries here are safe. Thank you for your love and support.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ready to Fly out!

I'm finally finished at the MTC... it's a bittersweet moment!
I'm almost finished packing and ya'll should be proud because I fit everything into a big bag, that I'll check, a carry-on and a backpack! WORLD CLASS PACKER! I have a great time at the MTC and it's flown by! My time here has consisted of lots of studying, laughing, par core (joke), food, and amazing growing experiences! I can't believe the moment is here! I'm going to be a REAL missionary!
Flying out Monday morning 5:30am- Salt Lake to Seattle to Tokyo to Manilla to Laoag-whew!!
Things I'm going to miss about the MTC/ America
1) Mga kasama ko- My companions have been so awesome! It will be really hard to leave them! at least we'll be in the same mission! 
2) Hot showers- I have thoroughly enjoyed my showers in the MTC. sorry sisters... but I took about thirty minutes each time.
3) Mint brownies- I have developed a love here at the mtc... I'm crying.
4) ENGLISH- Kay don't get me wrong. Tagalog is awesome, but I know I have a long frustrating three months ahead of me. Good thing the Lord is on my side!
5) Dance Parties in the dorms- Halloween was epic.

okay, now what I'm stoked about!
1) BEACHES! -literally everywhere! I'm so excited
2) Messy hair day every day
3) No make up, no worries!
4) my new companion! I'm sure she's awesome! 
5) meeting the people known as the friendliest in the world!
and finally, bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all those who don't have it!

It's times like this that I start doubting my self. I don't know the language, I'm not a scripture master, do I really have what it takes? but then I remember that I'm not alone! God is with me! I can do ANYTHING with him!
 Wow I'm so lucky to be a missionary! Heavenly Father has blessed me so much on my journey so far and I know I have so many amazing experiences ahead of me! Thanks for all your love and support! You're all amazing!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Abelhouzen

Monday, October 28, 2013

Time in the MTC almost over

Kamusta Everyone!

Oh wow this has been a crazy week, literally has gone by so fast. 
This week I have been focusing on becoming more Christ-like, It's been an amazing week!
Sunday Devotional was really awesome! (like always) but the most amazing thing about Sunday night was watching an old devotional by Elder Bednar called "Character of Christ" I was so so  inspired to be better. 
After devotional, the district older than us left. It was a bitter-sweet thing because they are some of the coolest people I've ever met. However, now we're the oldest district in the Zone! CRAZY!
Tuesday night I got to sing in the choir. We sang "Consider the Lilies" If you haven't heard that song, you should look it up because it's beautiful! The speaker for the devotional was Lynn G. Robbins of the 70 and his wife. They were awesome! They reminded me that I can't be afraid to open my mouth because we have a license to teach!
Wednesday I got to be a host for the new sister missionaries again. It brought back soo many memories. The day I got here was one of the craziest, most emotional, awesome days of my life. I feel like it wasn't that long ago, but now I've been here for over a month. To think how far I've come is insane... but I still have a long way to go!
Man I've had an awesome week! I loved the packages I got! Mom the Halloween package was so cute! My kasamas and I love the mustaches and the Homemade Carmel Corn is my favorite! I got some krispy kreme donuts that were gone in about 10 minutes from Michele. Grandma and Grandpa Bentley sent me a letter and a cute packet they're giving  to the new missionaries in their mission in Pennsylvania. Aw thank you all so so much I love you!

Okay but by far, the highlight of my week was yesterday when I got my travel plans! woot! I leave a week from Monday on Nov 4th!  Salt Lake to Seattle to Tokyo to Manilla to Laoag-
Awww guys I'm so excited! I'm going to be a real missionary!
Being a missionary is so awesome because you realize even more so  that there is no such thing as coincidence miracles happen all around us! I have become so lucky here at the MTC! My savior Jesus Christ is refining me and I'm becoming more and more like him everyday! 
This is the true church! I know it. I know that if anybody were to read and ponder the Book of Mormon and then ask God of it's truth then the spirit of the Lord would manifest it unto them! Ah man I love this gospel, It brings me so much joy! 
Thank you for all your love and support!
Mahal Kita 
Sister Abelhouzen

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Enjoying the MTC

Pamilya Ko!
Can you believe it's my third week?! I leave to the Philippines three weeks from tomorrow!

So this week was amazing. It started off with an AMAZING General Conference! I hope you all got to see it, because it was really a great! Being able to watch it in a room with about 700 missionaries is powerful. The spirit is so strong and you just know that you're part of God's army! 
After General Conference, Vocal Point came to sing for us.... I WAS FREAKING OUT.They're amazing! They were all talking about their mission experiences and then sang for us... I love being a missionary (: 

I'm starting to get the language. On Friday, I went in to teach with no notes and it went so smooth! I could say everything I wanted! Plus I could actually understand what my investigator is saying... mostly (: haha

Today is going to be great! It's my first full P-day being here, because of General Conference last week, so I can actually go to the temple! I'm so excited!

Thank you all so much for your letters and packages! They make me so happy!

Before I came to the MTC, I thought I had a strong testimony. However it has been strengthened so much! This church is true! I find more and more evidence of that each day as I study. Not to mention, how strong God's spirit is ALL THE TIME. I am constantly seeing miracles and ways Heavenly Father has blessed me. I am so lucky to not only be a member of, but a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I get to tell people that not only does God love them, but he has a plan for them! He wants all of us to be happy, and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be! Our sins can be forgiven! We can find eternal happiness in this life! I am so blessed to know where I came from, why I'm here, and where I'm going! But, I am even more blessed to be able to share that with others!

Gumawa Tayo ng mga Himala ( We Make Miracles! )

I love you all, Thanks for your love and support!
Sister Abelhouzen

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life in the MTC

Pamilya ko! 
ahhh! I love you all so so much! 
So the MTC is crazy. it's so dang hard! my first day I walked into class and my teacher didn't speak english at all. I just smile and nod... hahah I already know how to pray and bare my testimony in Tagalog! Crazy huh! It's been three days! I just taught my first investigator yesterday, IN ALL TAGALOG. Let's just say it was rough haha. We had all these notes written out, but we decided to throw them all out before and go my memory and the spirit. We struggled with the Tagalog, but the spirit was there and we made it, we teach him again tonight! 
It is really hard, but I LOVE IT!
I love being a missionary! I'm so happy! The spirit is so strong here!
My Kasama is Sister Odom, she's from Arizona and she's awesome! We think a lot alike!
I'm on the new west campus! It's so nice and the food is soooooo good!  don't worry I'm trying to eat a salad at every meal so I don't get fat ha!.

My district is awesome! we have 4 elders and 4 sisters and they're all so fun! I honestly am always laughing! We're the only new district in our zone with Elders and Sisters so It's awesome!

Kay so it's FREEZING HERE! sorry but mommy... could you send me my SUU sweatshirt to work out in?  also another pair of sweatpants

Oh another thing I forgot to mention is there are 12 girls in my apartment. YES  TWELVE! and we have two bathrooms. If your bad at math lets just say the mornings are chaotic! I've been getting up earlier to get ready.

Kay so I love you all so much! thanks for your support!
Love always, Sister Abelhouzen
P.S. please pray for me and fast for me this weekend! Kaloob ng mga wika (the gift of tongues) is real and I need all the help I can get!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

And She's Off!!

The day has finally arrived & McKenzie has officially entered the MTC!  Today was full of emotions-sad to see her leave & lots of tears but so full of Joy for her experience ahead.  McKenzie was very ready & remained strong as she left her family at the curb.  When asked if she had some final words, she exclaimed, The Church is true & the book is Blue!"  We await her first communication & send her all our loving thoughts!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Unexpected Missionary Training

A couple weeks after I opened my call I had the amazing opportunity to go on a trip with a group from my school to the Dominican Republic.

I knew I would be following doctors and helping those in need, but I had no idea that this was going to be life changing experience. 

Things you need to know about the Dominican Republic
1. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Growing up in Southern Utah I thought that Northern Utah was green... until I saw this everyday.
2. It is ridiculously humid... I tried straightening my hair a couple times and it was hopeless. It made me appreciate Utah's nice dry heat. If you ever visit, expect hair like this

3. Obviously everyone there speaks Spanish so spruce up the good ol' high school espanol (kay I know that's missing the squiggly thing, but I honestly can't find it anywhere). While visiting, be sure to try your best to learn phrases. The people will be willing to work with you and they'll appreciate your effort.

4. Bugs are friends not food. Totally kidding about the food part… I just wanted to quote Finding Nemo.. All jokes aside this is serious stuff. PLEASE BRING BUG SPRAY (unless you feel that little red itchy dots all over your body are flattering). While on my trip I was constantly drenched in bug spray and I'm proud to say I only got three bug bites and after seeing every body's polka dot legs at the end of the trip, I was quite happy with the turn out (: 

5. If you like cold showers, the place is for you.

6. If you like yummy fresh Mexicanish food, the place is for you.

7. For the most part, people are extremely poor. (Poor to us, is filthy rich to them). They literally have nothing, It breaks my heart.

8. Despite their hardships, the people are AMAZING. I've never met more loving, grateful, kind, and giving people. They may not have much, but what they do have they are willing to share.  
Like these lovely ladies they brought us all food, food they could have used to feed their families for a couple days. Not to mention it was delicious.

After the clinic days, my group had the opportunity to stay at an amazing resort and while it was incredibly fun to have warm showers and play by the ocean all day, I would have much rather spent that time helping more people.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip.

 While it may have seemed like I was helping the people of the Dominican Republic, they were helping me in so many ways. Not only was it good preparation for my full time mission, but it taught me how to love others, and cherish the little things and moments in life that we all take for granted.
"Where much is given, much is required!"

 Love always,

P.S. Here is a video I put together of the trip… be warned its not the best quality with bumpy bus rides and most of my footage coming from my iPhone. Hope you enjoy (:


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mission Call Opening Video

I was really excited.. (obviously) ha so my talking skills were at their minimum. I don't really know where that Texas accent came from but it works I guess (Thanks dad for making fun).  Also, rest assured I am going the Philippines not the Philittines haha.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Called to Serve

Yesterday was the day, the day that will change my life forever.  I will always remember May 9, 2013 as the day that I opened my mission call.
I woke up stirring, let's be honest ha I didn't sleep much. I immediately looked at the clock hoping that I may have slept in to 11:00, nope 8:17... ugh. four and half hours until the mailman comes. I spent the rest of the day cleaning everything I possibly could, and I mean EVERYTHING
By 1:00 I thought I would go on a run, and I might happen to stop by the mailbox on my way (I mean he could come early right?)  So I stuck my mail key in my sports bra and was on my way (no judgement zone? cool.) I honestly don't think I've ever run that fast, I'm talkin' like 7 minute mile people. compared to my 10 minute mile pace, I felt like Bolt. Despite my newfound running skills I was heartbroken to find that the mail had not yet arrived. 

I then proceeded to check the mail box every 15 minutes.. once 1:30 rolled around I was not very happy with the mailman. LIKE WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS BEING LATE ON THE DAY THAT MY MISSION CALL SHOULD ARRIVE! 

Finally at the 2:06pm the mailman (who was in fact a mail woman) emerged from her little white van-truck-thingy. She looked at me and smiled saying, "Are you Sister McKenzie Abelhouzen?" I must have looked desperate when I said "YES!!!" because she laughed and handed me the most beautiful huge white envelope. I could have sworn it was glowing haha

now all I had to do was wait six and a half hours.

don't worry I kept myself nice and occupied:
pressing it up against the window (those envelopes are definitely NOT see through)
figuring out a way I could open it with out anyone noticing (no luck)
and baking loads and loads of strawberry shortcake (well mostly eating haha thanks mama (:)

FINALLY, 8:30pm came and all my incredible friends and family began to come. My heart was pounding! I couldn't wait to open my call! 
All my friends and family gathered around me and I read aloud, 

"Dear Sister Abelhouzen:
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Philippines Laoag Mission!"

I was in shock! Just the night earlier I was telling my friends how sweet it would be to get called to the Philippines, but I honestly didn't think anything of it. I WAS GOING TO MY DREAM MISSION! 

I continued reading and learned that I would be leaving September 25th (FOREVER AWAY) and I would be speaking Tagalog, which I had no idea how to pronounce... so that's a good sign.

I'M SO EXCITED! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is TRUE! I'm so excited to share this amazing gospel with the people of the Philippines.