Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Travel time ..or shall we say forward in time....

Hong Kong Airport
Week Recap:          March 29, 2016
Well nothing really new happened this week... JOKE LANG I AM IN THE PHILIPPINES! It is amazing here. I love you so much family but I am never coming home. Joke lang again but seriously, I just have so much love for the people and the language and the place in general here. So we had over 24 hours of traveling and that was very long, especially when I was held up in security for my illegal pepper spray,
Talking to my family was so much fun for me :) We got a big conference call going and I was able to talk to almost everyone! My cute Kasama caught some pay phone action for me :) 
BUT we finally arrived at the Manila airport, greeted by the MTC president. We were pretty dang tired so I think the first day we just ate food, had one class, and passed. out. I sleep so good here because I am just so exhausted.
The workers wrote our names on our drinks and we didn't even give them to them :) Go having a tag on all the time hahaha 

This sleep eye patch thing has saved my life. I sleep soo good. 
All five of us girls from Provo are in a room together so it is super fun but a little more difficult with one shower. Good thing none of us care what we look like here in the Philippines. Our third day here we went out proselyting!! We each received a new temporary companion from the Manila mission and went out to whatever activities they had planned. My kasama was amazing and said we were doing finding the whole time. So off we went walking through the streets, rode a trike (if you can imagine those little tent scooter things you attach to a bike to put your kid in, it's like that but just the little tent thing and like four people crammed in there), and talked to mga pinoy along the way! It was so hot and we walked a ton but I just didn't even care because I was in heaven. I got so excited handing out my first pamphlet and bearing my testimony to people!! They are so so loving and are so surprised when this white blonde girl who has this happy-go-lucky smile on her face starts speaking Tagalog. The poverty is unreal here. A shed on the side of the street where you might place your dirty brooms or a lawn mower is what someone calls home. My eyes have been opened to so much and I am almost guilty for all the blessings and comforts I have at home. Despite the heat, and the poverty, and the dirt, man these people know how to smile. They are just so happy. All the time. My kind of people :)

The Manila MTC
Every day we have just had gym, class, and meals. The same as Provo, but so different. The food is super different. Like I can't describe any of the flavors because it isn't anything you expect but still so good. I don't really even know what I've been eating. But I stay away from cheese and too much rice and I haven't gotten sick yet so we are good! It is also a lot more intimate here because it is so small! All the other missionaries are from New Zealand, Australia, or Philippines. (Side note, my heart is totally locked, don't even know where the key is, pero I will marry a New Zealander.)
Today we had the opportunity to go to the temple and do a little shopping which was nice!

The temple is sooo so beautiful. Tomorrow I wake up at 5 to get my last travels over and OFFICIALLY start my mission as I head to Baguio. I could not be more excited or scared. I finally get to share what I know to be true, in the language I have pushed every day to learn, and to the people I have grown to love from the opposite side of the world. Wish me luck ;) 

You Know You're In the Philippines When...

No tanning lotion, white is the new beautiful!

Vegetarians can still have it all....
Man there are SO many things I could put in this section but I have 16 months to spread them out so...when the top half of your body sticks up over the bathroom stall because in this country we are technically giants. Like seriously everyone is so tiny and cute, it's amazing. 

Missionaries can Laugh Too...

Just to let you know I am still normal, which for me is weird..
So police are pretty strict at airports right? Because that is a place of some serious potential threat and danger. Now imagine a little, white. blonde missionary, sat down and surrounded by four or five airport police being held up in the security section. They are taking down her name, her passport number, all her travel plans. asking her life history, taking pictures, saying who knows what over walkie-talkies...and what is the girl doing? She is fighting her best to keep down her laughter. Because she knows to the 11 other missionaries waiting for her, the situation looks pretty funny. And it's all over a little can of pepper spray in her carry on that she doesn't even know how to use. That was me in Hong Kong :) It was hilarious. 

Tagalog Word of the Day...

Nakakapagpabagabag- worrisom or bothersome. (one of my favorites) 

Spiritual Thought...

It is so beautiful here, like the garden of Eden

hugging the trees dahil (because) never leaving 

I have also seen so many incredible things this week this section could be a novel, BUT the most incredible thing I have seen is god's children. God's children are not just our family. They aren't just our neighbors, friend's, ward, stake, or all the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Every single individual on this earth is numbered as one of God's beloved children, and numbered as such in his mind. What has been amazing for me, as a missionary, is to truly adopt the perspective of Christ and see everyone as He would. I am still so far from being completely in-line with the Savior, that is a constant and eternal goal for all of us, but you get a little crash-course in the time you serve as a missionary. We saw so many mga pinoy (Filipinos) that in the US or if not a missionary, I would be hesitant to talk to. I might even worry that I would get a weird smell on me, or need to shower, or at least avert my eyes if next to them. This is so horrible to admit but for those reading back home, what do you think when a homeless person comes onto the bus? I know I am not the only one. But here, now, I would be talking with someone about my love for my family, this gospel, my gratitude for the savior, and only when I was leaving even notice they probably had less teeth than I have fingers, weren't wearing much more than...well much at all, and lived on the blanket they sat on. I just loved them as soon as I saw them. I wanted them to have what I have and know what I know. Because this gospel makes me SO happy. It is my hope at the end of the day that all my efforts are worth something. The Plan of Salvation is the light at the end of the tunnel that I WILL see my savior someday, and will be received into his arms. The Restoration reminds me that we are so blessed to have God's true and direct authority on the earth, in this church, today. The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells me exactly what I need to do and how to live in order to fulfill my purpose in this life and fulfill it joyfully. All of God's commandments are a reminder of His love for us and are our safety vests in this skydive of a life here. These are the lessons that I teach as a missionary. These give me purpose. And my purpose is to help others realize theirs. So I challenge you to see each and every person you see tomorrow as a child of God, as your brother or sister you had in heaven. Treat them as such. Be a light and an example of love and service. Share what you know whether by word or example. Then thank Heavenly Father for the insights you received that day. The next morning, as the Lord to open your eyes to continue to see His children the way He would, and do it again :) 

I love you all so much and appreciate your prayers ( I will especially need them my first week) and support! 

Mahal ko po kayo, 

Sista Walters 


Monday, March 21, 2016

Thy Faith Hath Made Thee Whole - March 17, 2016

Thy Faith hath Made Thee Whole                                 March 17, 2016

Week Recap

THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME! So I'll start with last Thursday. (Before you skip this paragraph because you think I am going to go through every day and it will be too long and you have better things to're probably right pero I am going to try to make it short still.) My Kasama and I had the magandang pakakataon (beautiful opportunity) to take a new Kirabeti sister through the temple.

It was such a great reminder of how special the temple should be every time. Go to the temple every week. We have a place like heaven so close to us. These sisters from Kirabeti have to go to Figi just to experience the temple.
My fav Kirabeti sister, she is always so happy..
Friday we got maybe the most exciting mail yet (and packages are pretty exciting) our....drumroll...TRAVEL PLANS!!
Travel plans!
I AM REALLY LEAVING THE MTC. I really think I was born here. It starts to feel like you were called to the MTC. Next Wednesday I will fly to LA, then a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong, and 2 hours to Manila.
So this is the last email from Provo! The rest of the week was filled with the usual. Our lessons are getting better and better as we are working more in unity and more in tune with the spirit and the gift of tongues. I had my district try a day of just Tagalog speaking. That was fun :) I ended up being the only one who really did it but they tried their best! I am just kind of annoying with how much I love the language and want to learn it. So when they kind of want to punch me for speaking Tagalog, I just give back rubs to the sisters and my treats to the elders and everything is fine. Oh also I had another magandang pakakataon to speak in church. Haha. They tell us approximately 30 seconds before we go up if we are speaking or not. And also my Kasama and I sang a rendition of I Need Thee Every Hour and Guide Me to Thee in sacrament meeting! Pretty cool. I like that girl.
We love each other!
New sisters in our zone...
AND ANOTHER AMAZING THING! One of the new sisters likes to run and I advised a companion split so we could run outside. My heart was pretty much on the pavement. As much as I love running 50 laps around an indoor track, the outside world was beautiful. 

You Know You're in the MTC when...

Any Elder that talks to me or runs somewhere within a couple meters of me my cute sisters in my zone break out in coughing fits saying "LOCK YOUR HEART LOCK YOUR HEART." It is kind of very awkward and very funny so that is just really great. Sometimes I run away down the stairs to hide from Elders and then come back up when they are off the track. Elders are awkward. Love them all. But...basta. ("What I have said is sufficient") 
Missionaries Can Laugh Too...

No idea who's coat this is, but it keeps me warm!
As much as I say I love this language, I make a good amount of mistakes. In every single lesson for our follow up I asked our investigators how my husband was, if they went to church with my husband, or if they discussed the Law of Chastity with my husband. So I don't have a husband. Obviously. They were pretty good at acting confused but I could tell they were fighting a good laugh. 

Spiritual Thought...

I know I talked about faith last time but I want to say a little something about this very pivotal principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was asked to speak on obedience in sacrament meeting and I related it back to faith because they really go so much hand in hand. When we are obedient to the Lord's commandments he promises us feelings of protection, freedom, and peace. Sometimes it is easy to think following "strict rules" and "too narrow of guidelines" will make us frustrated and limit our happiness. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Enos is an incredible example of faith as we prayed for longer than we probably ever will for the remission of his sins. The voice of the Lord comes to him and reassures him "Thy faith hath made thee whole." That line caught my eye more for some reason. The footnote states "spiritually reborn." The thought that came to me was that when we exercise our faith and show obedience to the Lord, we come to understand and remember who we really are. We are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us. We had a life before this where we knew God and accepted His plan. That is so much a part of us, of course we experience discomfort and unhappiness in this life when we sin or do not follow the principles of the gospel because we aren't being true to ourselves. As we learn more of Christ and therefore more of who we should become, we will experience peace. Peace and a sense of completeness because that missing piece of us that we are unable to remember will begin to be restored to us. I have a testimony of the plan of salvation. It is God's plan of happiness for us. I know that as we try our honest best to follow the Savior's example, not only in baptism, but in thought and all action, we will experience greater happiness amidst our trials in life because we will be truer to our spiritual selves. We will enjoy blessings in this life and eternal blessings in the life to come if we exercise our faith now. I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and that at any point in our lives, we can use his sacrifice to start over, to start now, to remember Him and follow God's plan for us. His atonement has brought me so much strength and happiness in my life and on my mission. It will do the same for you. Iiwan ko na ito sa pangalan ni Jesu Cristo, Amen. 



Go out and serve someone today. For me J

Sista Walters  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Week 4 Still here and still standing....

Week 4  Still here and Still standing
The new sisters in our zone!
Week Recap: 

I really try to make this section interesting but really you do the same thing every day all day so this week wasn't much different than last. Yet in the repetitiveness of our everyday schedule, you learn so much! Just like reading your scriptures every morning or night  (which I all hope you're doing ;) ) although it is the same verses, you aren't the same person when you read them the second, third, or fourth time so you understand a little better, a little deeper, and a little more personally the lessons from the very same words! It is the same at the MTC. You are a different person each night you lay down (exhausted) than you were when you woke up that morning. So this week I was stretched and beaten down and built back up and grew a lot. My teachers have started to give real feedback and one of mine said in 18 months he believes I will be "mas magaling sa Tagalag sa Kanya" (More skillful at Tagalog than he is) Like that was super nice but no way do I see that light at the end of the tunnel. He said to not let the compliment go to my head and it definitely didn't  because when he turned into our investigator the next hour, he corrected my grammar like 1800 times. But hey I am trying my best :) The food is bleh if I may complain for one sentence. I just want something hot and not a salad but cereal is the dinner of champions right? Our district is getting super close and we have some awesome goals to keep us diligent, obedient, working hard, and positive! 

Also KEEP THE DEAR ELDERS COMING. I seriously love them. Thank you to all who were so thoughtful to write me a quick message. And yes I do pray for anything you need :) 

You Know You're In the MTC When...

Singing in the shower turns into a full on chorus/competition of who can sing more righteously (and with more vibrato.) So I just try to like whisper sing to myself and still somehow some sister from across the bathroom will join in and I'm like I love unity but ANO BIYEN? (what the heck?!) I do approve of it though when the cute sisters from China sing because it sounds just like the really high voiced anime characters and it is soooo hilarious. 

Missionaries Can Laugh Too...

(or Missionaries can lose their marbles too) 

So....I kind of reached a breaking point this week. My kasama and the other sister's loved it because I have been Sister Sunshine and Rainbows the whole four weeks and I got frustrated for like 3 minutes. My teachers bumped up my new words a day goal, I had another lesson to teach to a fake investigator, we learned one too many grammar principles that day that messed with my head, I hadn't slept in a couple days really, and the salad bar girl was obviously new because she didn't spread my vegtables around super evenly and that doesn't even matter at all but it was kind of the cherry on top of a long day. So they saw I was frustrated and took the opportunity to get some entertainment and see how far they could push me. They were like "get all your anger out rhea! Tell me everything that's hard right now! Tell me more!" So eventually I was like punching and kicking a bench and they got a real hoot out of watching me try to get my anger out while being a respectable missionary. I really just needed some Rocky music and a punching bag or a good run outside. We laughed about it later and now I am like way cool with the sisters cause I had my meltdown. It's like official initiation. 

ok ps. I promise I am sane and super positive, that was only like for 10 minutes I swear. 

Spiritual Thought:

The past couple weeks I have talked about something I heard from someone else and if it is alright I want to share a thought I have studied about in my personal time. I have learned a lot about the Doctrine of Christ; Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Faith has become so much more of a concrete, tangible behavior to me. It isn't some abstract principle that we can make fancy comments about and create deep analogies about at church, then leave it at the building when we go on with the rest of the week. Faith guides our life. Faith guides our every thought, action, decision, the way we carry ourselves, dress ourselves, treat others, think of others, and how we follow and use the atonement. Faith is taking Christ's message and his example into our hearts and consciously trying to align our desires with His every day. We have all heard the phrase and scriptures that tell us blessings come after the trial of our faith. We understand that but do we accept that principle in our lives? We must fully commit ourselves to every commandment the lord and Prophet give to us, even the ones we don't fully understand. We cannot expect full blessings if we are halfway committed. The Lord doesn't tell his prophets to say "Hey God wan'ts you to try this out kind of, it's a suggestion, and then you can see what blessings you get, if you like the results you can fully commit." We will not understand everything God asks of us, but what we can understand is who we are and for whom we are serving. And we can strive our best to understand his simple doctrine. "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior" -Elder Packer. As we study his doctrine, we will understand the importance of our actions here on earth and how following the word of God is the only way we can achieve lasting happiness in this life and the next. Then we will want to and be willing to follow every commandment. So when the prophet says "Have family night, pray and read your scriptures as a family every day." Do it, then the blessings will come. When he says "Be modest." Change what you need to. When time and time again they encourage us to share the gospel, share it! I have such a testimony that after this life we all will know of the truth. Those you are acquainted with will see the happiness they could have had and know that you knew how to achieve it. They will ask you "Why didn't you ever tell me?" And if you know it, live it! When our leaders give rules regarding missionaries, whether it's their farewell, their communication, their time to come home, follow them. Even if you don't understand why you shouldn't be doing something. Even if the change will be uncomfortable for you. Follow the gospel completely. Don't fit it's teachings and standards to you by picking and choosing. Faithfully adapt your life and yourself to the standards of the gospel. Study the words of our prophets and follow them. Study the doctrine of Christ in order to be a better and more completely committed witness of Him. (2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 11, 3 Nephi 27) 

I love you all so much and can't thank you enough for the incredible support. Every piece of encouragement helps. The mission is tough but how could it not be worth it when I have the cure, the antidote for all unhappiness in the world? How could I be anything but grateful to share what I know, what gives me purpose in life, to all those who are looking. 


Mahal ko po kayo! 

(Mahal Kita is apparently like just for your one true love in life so pisensia (sorry) for the unintentional flirting with all of you the past three emails hahaha 

Sister Walters 



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Week 3...March 3, 2016

Time is so weird at the MTC. I feel like I look at my watch and think "how in the even heck is it only 10 in the morning" but here I am writing about my week and it feels like I just got up from the computer last week. Another great week though! Those sisters I said moved in last week, obviously didn't like us because they moved out the next night. Ouch. Just kidding, they just got switched so they could like with other international girls! We did get 13 new members to our branch yesterday though so they already doubled us and then some! My kasama and I are Sister Training Leaders so I am going to do my very best to make the MTC as incredible for them as it is for me. I feel for the missionary babies, that first week is pretty much the longest of your life. The missionary oldies left us yesterday for the Philippines and it was pretty tough to say goodbye. You get close really fast here when you are enduring the same trials and stuck in the same building for 10 hours a day :) Tagalog is still coming along great, I love SYLing (speak your language). We are teaching three "investigators" right now and it could get overwhelming, especially when you have a relief society to direct and a district meeting to teach but hey who the Lord calls, he qualifies, so I'm relying a LOT on His help. 

Also Dear Elders are seriously like Christmas morning so feel free to write and just tell me about your day! The big man upstairs and I are getting really close so you can let me know if you need anything, and I'll put in a good word ;)" (unit number #204, departure date MAR 23) 

You know you're in the MTC when...

The chorister at the MTC devotional brings out the 1800's hymnbook and says we are throwin it back and singing "Come Thou Fount" and you seriously would have thought Zac Efron walked in the room with all the squealing from the girls. It was HILARIOUS how nerdy you get here about spiritual stuff. Missionaries are so weird. Okay yeah I got pretty excited. 

Missionaries Laugh Too...

So I don't have a story as good as the Sister Pizza fiasco last week but during our lessons this week I did something kinda bad. Our investigator was acting like a real Philppino and he was like adding praises to our prayer saying "oh yes Lord" and "mhmmm sister" and "Oh salamat, salamat (thank you)" and I just start busting out laughing. I had to basically chew off my finger so I could stop, because they get pretty upset if you don't treat it like a real lesson. Then he yawned really big and weird and I busted out again, and had to explain in as much Tagalog as I could that I just thought it was funny that he yawned but it's okay because I yawn too (how lame is that?!) it's all I could save myself with. 

Also I fell up the stairs to the cafeteria. Skirts are great for that. So that was fun. 

Spiritual Thought...

Tuesday night we had the opportunity to hear from Brent H. Nielson of the 70. He has had the pagkakataon (opportunity) (there's your Tagalog word for the day) to work closely with all of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12. He said on his mission, when talking to someone about prophets and how we have one in our day, a man on the street asked him "Well what is your prophet telling you today?" He had perfected his testimony of a living prophet but hadn't ever contemplated that question. It is an incredible and critical foundation to have a testimony of our prophet today and that they speak the word of God to us, but do we know what they are saying? Are we familiar with their talks and with their examples of Christlike behavior? God, because of his incredible love for us, sent us prophets to guide us. Are we using them to guide our everyday decisions and our life decisions as well? 

He went on to share just 6 points that he has learned from a few of the Apostles that are simple but carry significant weight in our lives. 

From President Monson- "He/She whom the Lord calls, he qualifies." 

From Elder Packer- "In this church, we have no fear. Fear cannot co-exist with faith." 

also from Elder Packer, the "Doctrine of Proximity" This teaches that revelation comes with action. The Holy Ghost will tell you where to go when you are out on the street. He will tell you what to say when you are on the front porch. You don't get closer to doing anything, when you haven't even started. So go out on a limb with what you do know and the Lord will tell you the rest as you go. 

 From Elder Holland- "Remember Lot's Wife" 

From Elder Bednar- "Alma 23:7-8" Bury your weapons of rebellion. 

From Elder Anderson- "Ask about them. It's not about you." 

I found ways each of these applied so much in my life, season, and mission right now. I could share how I expounded on them but I challenge you to look into these pieces of advice and study the words of our leaders. What significance do these principles have to you? How will you begin now to apply them? I know we have inspired leaders and we will be blessed as we diligently try to follow their counsel. 

Mahal Mahal Mahal Kita, 
Sista Walters