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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Let's Feed the Dead People Day

minamahal kong pamilya at kaibigan, 
grabe, deba kahapon lang ang lunes? mabilis ang panahon.
This week has been so great! Great but difficult. We have worked soo hard. We just worked and worked even though it's so hot and everybody is punting us we just kept working. there would be some days where I'm like wow... that was hard. Even if the sun is beating, you're sweating, and you are just looking for people to except your message with no one listening, you just keep smiling and when you return home at night you feel complete peace and you know that the Lord is pleased.  That my friends is the joy of this great work. I love being a missionary. Even though it was rough we are still making progress. we managed to find two new families this week and heeps of new investigators and we hit our mission standard of excellence in lessons. 
I have to share some of the things I saw this week... crazy stuff. This was my first Halloween in the Philippines because last year, I was still in the MTC.
They actually call it All Saints day and it's on Nov 1 then Nov 2 is all Souls day. I don't really know the difference... maybe they celebrate the nice people or 'saints' that have died on the 1st then on the 2nd they just celebrate everyone that's dead?? haha di ko alam. 
So this is what happens everyone makes food, like a lot of food, and takes it to the cemetery and leaves it out for the dead... I don't think they can eat that. however some people just leave it out side their houses. so there is just ALL this delicious food sitting out side going to waste and did I mention it was fast sunday?... yeah rude!  after that... i'm actually not really sure what they do with the food, cause I know the dead people don't eat it... basta its gone now. That night,  they turn off all the lights and light candles and leave their doors open. I asked my companion about it and she said its so the 'spirits' are guided to the door?? but they don't leave their gates open... soo how's that gunna work? 
yeah so that's the philippines. It was really hard to teach those days because everyone was at the cemetery or had to entertain their dead guests with the lights off. but all is well we still taught even if a few lessons were with the lights off.
Man I just love this work! Yesterday we had a broadcast where a lot of the area presidency and Dallin H oaks spoke to the whole Philippines. It was awesome I got to see sister Lainhart and Sister Simangan. I wanted to talk about some of things they focused on. 
Family first- if we put our family and God first, we will always have enough and will be blessed
scripture study- if you want to stay spiritual strong read your scriptures EVERY DAY. "it's not about how many times we go through the Book of Mormon, but how much of what we read goes through us." Elder Ardern
Please if you aren't already, read your scriptures EVERYDAY. we need it to overcome temptation and the evil effects of the world. As we do we will, as Nephi promises "be made strong.. it persuadeth [us] to do good.. and  it speaketh of Jesus and persuadeth [us] to believe in Him and to endure to the end, which is life eternal." 2nephi33:4 Don't we just love the scriptures?? 
Love you all! Have a good week! The church is true! 
P.S. shout out to my momma who's birthday is this week!