Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Monday, April 25, 2016



I seriously love this companion..
 Week Highlights:

-We went "sa baba" (down) to the low lands again for Follow Up Training this week and that was just awesome. I couldn't believe we were already at follow up training! This Wednesday will be one month in the mission field. I don't know if time is flying by over there in America but I am just blinking as the days go by here. 

The city is hot and beautiful..
-Because the lower lands are actually flat, my companion ran with me one morning!! Yes it was around 100 degrees but I just LOVE the heat here. Everyone thinks I am crazy haha. You have to appreciate the heat though because it makes the bucket showers so refreshing. Always count your blessings right? ;) 

-This girl got sheets for her bed! That was definitely a highlight haha 

-We experienced some pretty awesome blessings this week from more diligent planning efforts. I am a little OCD and like to do everything step by step by the book. I know this can get a little annoying though so I've been kind of quiet during planning sessions. After Follow Up Training though, I was reminded of the importance of making planning a revelatory time for our investigators as we show to the Lord we are earnestly trying to do our best to help them. I have a firm testimony in becoming a Preach My Gospel missionary so I asked my trainer if we could do weekly planning a little differently. We followed step by step, every line of the Weekly Planning section in PMG and yes it took us 3 hours but our plans felt SO much better. Then that day as we searched for investigators, Sister Lanie Pascua (the cute pregnant lady) was with her whole family and we were able to teach all her kids (she has 8 not including the baby) and her husband! I felt prompted to extend a baptismal invite for the whole family and they accepted! We picked up her three oldest daughters for church the yesterday! Brothers and Sisters the Lord WANTS to bless us. We just have to show him our best effort first. 

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

The only snow we will ever see!
Whatever someone is eating, if you approach them while they have food they will share with you. Even if they have just one cracker and it's the first time they met you, they'll split it with you. "Kumain ka na!" they say (You eat now :) ) 

Tagalog Word of the Day...

"Kuwan" there's actually no direct translation on English haha but it's when something is on the tip of your tongue but you can't remember the name of America when this happens we pause and think really the Philippines they just throw "kuwan" in there and that's good enough :) 

Missionaries can Laugh Too..

Of course, more stairs..

We get so hungry at night, cooking is awesome...
We were walking up some stairs (shocker) to an appointment and a group of adults were cooking their dinner, or cutting it, at the bottom of the stairs. We carefully stepped around the meat to not get their dinner dirty, the whole time I am assuming it's pig or something....well then I saw it's head and yeah it wasn't a pig. I guess I just stopped and stood there, my kasama was saying something and turned around to make sure I was listening, when she saw my face she DIED laughing realizing this was a new sight for me. So that was pretty funny. And gross. But mostly funny :) 

Spiritual Thought:

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is central to God's plan for us. We need to make our life plan in line with God's. This means the Atonement of Jesus Christ should be the center of our lives too. This isn't hard to do as it's blessings are remission of sins and strength through trials. Aren't we constantly making mistakes that we need cleansing from? Aren't we all enduring some sort of trial that we need strength greater than our own for? I find so much comfort in the fact that through the power of the Atonement, I can receive the strength to endure my obstacles and become the missionary Heavenly Father needs me to be. No it is not easy, but it wasn't easy for our Savior either. Let us not only say we are grateful for the Pagbabayad-Sala ni JesuCristo, but use it in our lives. Identify your weaknesses, your sins, your trials. Repent and change. This is sometimes harsh doctrine for us, but we don't have to do it alone. Ask Christ for help, on your knees, through fervent prayer, and because his love is unending and unbound, he will always help you. 

The road is rough, I said 
Dear Lord, There are stones that hurt me so,
And He said, Dear Child, I understand
I walked it long ago

but there is a cool green path I said
let me walk there for a time 
no child he gently answered me
the green road does not climb 

my burden I said is far too great
how can I bear it so
my child said he I remember it's weight
I carried my cross you know 

but I said I wish there were friends
who would make my way their own
ay yes he said Gethsemane was hard to face

and so I climbed the stony path
content at last to know
that where my Master had not gone
I would not need to go 


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fish massage and fast weeks...

Week Recap:  
I seriously feel like I was just sitting here at the computer, the weeks go by SO fast!! This week was another great one full of lessons, extending baptismal invites, teaching the restoration, and of course stairs :) Our zone set a new goal to pass out 6 Book of Mormons a week and have 100 baptisms in the month of May. My companion and I had to ask for more Tagalog Book of Mormons (or Books of Mormon whatever floats your boat) because we already ran out and had to stop at 8! I love testifying of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of this gospel. 

We were able to attend a baptism this week for another pair of sisters and it was so awesome!! Their testimonies afterwards about how the gospel is working a change in them were incredible. 

Also, way cool story this week about planting seeds and how the Lord works in mysterious ways. We "TC" (testify of Christ) as we walk to appointments and sometimes we do so many that you never know what is going to come of them. PERO we pass children playing a lot and if they have internet access, we give them a pass along card with on it. A child gave this card to a 19 year old named RJ (everyone's name is RJ or JR here), then he said he was a "gamer" so looked it up online, chatted online with a missionary in Thailand to get our number, told his friend, then became a referal from another set of missionaries, and wanted to meet us so he came to the baptisimal service with us! The next day him and his friend came to church, stayed for all three hours, we had a lesson after, and then he asked if we had church the next day again. Hahaha isn't that awesome! Sadly we had to tell him church was only every sunday :) 

You Know You're in the Philippines when...
An extravagant "fish massage" is only 200 pesos (about $4) and going to Macdo (Mcdonalds) is like eating. out. like suuuuuper nice occasion 

Missionaries can Laugh Too...
You know how all these lovely Filipinos want to become whiter so they have those whitening creams and lotions? Apparently I was using my kasama's whitening soap for the past three weeks. She died when she realized I didn't know :) 

Tagalog word of the Day: 
Nakakatawa (funny) Sobrang nakakatawa ang lahat tao dito (All the people here are so funny) 

Spiritual Thought: 
If any of you are working on patience I encourage you to read the story of the Sons of Mosiah. I studied Patience as a Christlike Attribute from Preach My Gospel last week and found their words and experiences so inspiring. In Mosiah 28 they list their desires to serve missions (I think verses 2-8) then in Alma 26 it talks about the results of their missions! They were "depressed and about to turn back" because of the trials and disbelief of the people, but the lord told them to have patience in their afflictions and he would give them success. So they pressed forward. I think verse 29 lists all that they endured. Notice that after the Lord told them to be comforted, he didn't bless them with an easy mission. They endured SO much. The Lord DID bless them with strength, and with perspective. If you jump down to verse 35, they say "Yeah no man hath reason more to rejoice than we" (no one get upset if that's not exactly right, I don't have my scriptures out in this internet cafe). How did they do that? How did they suffer all that they did and remain in a state of not simply just not angry or impatient, but rejoicing in their God? 

I know we all have trials in our lives. Whether big or small, there is something you are enduring right now. Endure it with patience. Ask the Lord to not take it away from you, because "all these things shall give you experience" but ask him to give you strength. Patience doesn't just mean not complaining, it means enduring calmly and hopefully! Rejoice in your trials, see the blessings they are bringing you :) That is the only way I have been able to love my mission so much. Yes it is hard. No RM is lying when they say it is the hardest thing they have ever done. But no RM is lying when they say they were the happiest they have ever been on their mission. This is from "cheerfully and patiently submitting to the will of the Lord" Mosiah 24:15 

Mahal ko po kayo!!
Sister Walters 

    Monday, April 11, 2016

    Mablis ang Panahon (The time is so fast)

    Mabilis ang Panahon! (The time is so fast)

    That week seriously flew by! Probably cause we got fed this week! We actually got like 3 dinners I think, it was awesome. The food here is so good. This week was another great one, sorry if I sound repetitive but the life of a missionary is just so fun :) Granted it is tough. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am constantly reminded that even my best efforts 100 percent of the time are not sufficient. But then I am constantly reminded of the power of Christ's atonement in my life and the strength it gives me. It fills the gap between my weaknesses and the expectations of this mission. I see miracles every day as I speak a language I never imagined myself learning, adapt to cultural changes I didn't know existed, and help people grow closer to a being they didn't feel the fullness of His love and blessings in their life before. 

    A highlight of this week was missionary exchanges! I was SO scared and nervous the night before. When you go on exchanges you proselyte with and are companions with a Sister Training Leader for 24 hours. Sobrang magaling sila. (They are so skillfull/talented) So obviously I was nervous to pair my week-long missionary self with them! But my testimony grew so much of prayer and obedience. I prayed so fervently for my love for the people and desire to be the missionary God needed me to be that day, was enough to teach more powerful lessons than I ever had that day. The STL I was with pushed me. She would just tell me to start the lesson, teach a principle, expound on a scripture, so on. I literally would just open my mouth and the spirit taught. It was the coolest feeling! Later during planning, she said to me that she hadn't seen her investigators open up that much ever before. I testify that that had nothing to do with me, it was a gift from God that day. 

    Bucket laundry!  Pretty fun Actually! The Filipino are crazy good at this squat position, very strong!
    Another highlight would be WE GOT WATER AGAIN! Of course it came on after I finished a wonderful, freezing, bucket shower. Oh actually another highlight, I ate isaw. (Chicken intestine.) That was super great for my stomach LOL. 

    Okay shoot one more highlight, probably the most important, GENERAL CONFERENCE! Sorry, I know I'm late but hey I am all the way over here in the Philippines. Conference was so amazing wasn't it? Seriously like Christmas as a missionary. 

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

    There are no such things as addresses, specific directions, street's always "Saan ka nakatira?" (us asking: Where do you live) Their replies: "oo, gin lang" (There lang) "sa baba" (lower) "Sa itaas" (higher) And there you go. 

    My companion uses my umbrella to keep her skin fair and I am hoping for a Filipino suntan!
    The address to our chapel is a an area of town close to the police station 5. Hahaha

    Missionaries can Laugh Too...

    P day is highlight and going outside to run is awesome...
    One of our investigators is like buntis na buntis (so pregnant) so we were visiting her and touching her stomach, the works. Then for some reason we were just patting each others stomach (Filipinos are so funny and weird. Like talaga. (really)" Sister Lani (our investigator) said "Oh you have ABS sister! I do too you know, A - Big - Stomach." Hahaha we all died. She is one of my favorite investigators. (If I am allowed to say that) 

    Tagalog Word of the Day: Ano nangyayari? (What is happening) I use this a lot. 

    The sisters faces are so funny when I eat my vegetables and they eat their meat. 

    So I decided to see what I looked like as a brunette, thanks to my companions help!

     Spiritual Thought:

    I always feel like conference has a theme to it, or a couple. For me, I noticed that a lot of the speakers emphasized the principle of "Don't be at ease in Zion." They spoke of always remembering our sacred ordinances, especially the sacrament. Many mentioned realizing every step we make takes us in a certain direction. This direction should always be towards the temple and therefore closer to Christ. We need to not just taste of the fruit and love of God once, but partake continously. Baptism was not a destination, but a entrance to the path we must always walk on. And if we stray from this path, never give up on yourself. The Lord will always reach out to those that are reaching to Him. I really liked how direct Elder Bednar was with the significance of baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament. Become worthy of the blessings of these ordinances. They are not given based on when we take them, or the ordinance itself, but by how we take them. Think of your baptismal covenants every day as you prepare to worthily take the sacrament each week. 

    This may seem a daunting task to always, always, always do the right thing. It is easy for the 3 hours at church. Or maybe the week after conference when it is fresh in our minds. But the Lord asks for always. In one of our lessons we were inspired to share the story of Christ at Gethsamne. He asked his apostles to stay awake for 1 hour. He asked them to watch and pray for Him. Not at the beginning, then wake back up at the end upon His arrival, but the whole hour. It seems incredilous to us that his loving apostles failed to stay awake, even three times. I'm sure all of us, if asked by the Savior himself, to stay awake for one hour long, would do all we could to not shut our eyes for a second too long. 

    Brothers and Sisters this life can be compared to that hour. It is so short in God's eyes. It is a little speck in the plan of salvation, yet a crucial and deciding point for us and our eternal destiny. The Lord is asking us to watch and pray for Him, our whole lives. He is asking you as personally as He asked those apostles- as our brother and our friend. Let us show Him our love for Him and appreciation for His suffering for us, by turning to him always. When our actions fail, let our hearts always desire to come closer to Him again and repent. For this hour long. 


    Sister Walters 


    Monday, April 4, 2016

    First Week in the Mission Field

    Magandang Umaga sa Lahat!! (Beautiful morning to Everyone!) 

    This week was my first official week in the mission. There is so much to say (and so many pictures, I know that's all you really want lol) but I will keep it as short as I can haha! So..drumroll please...I have been assigned to the Baguio City area (that may seem obvious as my mission is Baguio, Philippines but you don't always serve IN Baguio) My area is called Burnham 1B! My trainer is Sister Dariano and she is seriously just the cutest, funniest, happiest, little Pinoy!
    After you get your trainer and your area you just go straight to work! This is our schedule every day: wake up, pray, pray, exercise, get ready, breakfast, pray, study alone, pray, study together, pray, study language, pray, eat lunch, leave the house and walk walk walk walk testifying of Christ along the way to appointments, teach lessons, walk, (from like 1 to 8) then come home, pray, plan, pray, eat dinner if you are awake enough, then pray, pray, and go to sleep. So basically my life is pray, walk, and testify of Christ. It's honestly the best life ever. 
    Baguio has lots of hills and steps!

    Now about my area- the land is SO different, peoples houses come out of nowhere and the living conditions are just so crazy. I am beyond grateful for every little part of my house at home. Especially the bathrooms and the space. Everything is very crowded here. The toilet paper thing is true, there is none so you bring your own. Bucket showers really aren't that bad, kind of relaxing actually.
    We had like literally no food in our apartment so the granola bars I brought are saving my life. The food here is...very interesting. I'm surprised I haven't gotten sick yet because I didn't even know fish like this existed or that you could cook them this way (or not cook them). 
    The language is coming along good!! It is easy to get discouraged if you let it but you just can't dwell on all your mistakes and weaknesses. I just laugh and continue to try my best. You learn SO fast in the field! People are SO surprised when they hear me speak Tagalog, it's hilarious hahaha. Philippinos are SO SO funny, they just laugh and smile all the time! They call me sister Barbie hahaha, not because I am anything special, but anyone with white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes is a Barbie. 
    Also....highlight of the week is I extended the baptismal invite on a first lesson to a new investigator of ours!! SHE SAID YES!! Coolest feeling when you are speaking a different language, in a different country, under the shade of a sheet of tin for a house, but the spirit is so strong and still exactly the same. 

    You Know You're in the Philippines When...
    The little kids ask you in their adorable Tagalog if you colored your eyes with a crayon and have fake hair :) 

    Missionaries Can Laugh Too... 
    Companions can wear matching clothes and cucumber masks, very bonding!
    Our two lotions side by side
    So I found a cockroach in our apartment and that was pretty nasty so I did that little bug dance people do when you feel like the bug is crawling on you even when it's like 10 feet away. My kasama thought it was sooo funny because that was just so normal! Then I during our planning we here the garbage that's weird and not okay...can I found out my Kasama didn't kill the bug she just put it in the garbage! Hahahah so after I found it in the trash still moving my bug dance came out again and Sister Dariano was just dying hahaha. So many things are different here.

    Tagalog Word of The Day- 
    Pagpapakumbaba- Humility 

    Spiritual Thought- 
    Our ward may be tiny, (as in relief society was 11 people, my kasama and I were 10 and 11), the people may not be able to decorate the tables with fancy flowers and table clothes, we don't have nice white boards to write on and videos to show, or lamenated pass outs, PERO, this church is exactly the same. Everywhere you go. And that is because we all are worshiping the same God. We are all using the same atonement of our brother Jesus Christ every day, to become better people. And we all feel the same companionship, promptings, comfort, and power of the Holy Ghost when we are worthy of it and are witnessing of Jesus Christ. I just want to bear my testimony of the Holy Ghost and how grateful I am for it. The Holy Ghost is what I felt during sacrament meeting when I understood maybe only 60% of what was being said. The Holy Ghost is what enabled me to bear my testimony on Sunday and in every lesson, and have the people feel the message they need to hear. The Holy Ghost is what Jessica felt (new investigator) when we huddled in her little house and told her as she listened to our message the gospel would improve her life, and she would grow closer to Jesus Christ, desiring to follow his example and be baptized, The Holy Ghost is what ignited her smile as she proudly said yes and asked if she could receive her own Book of Mormon and come to church. Brothers and Sisters we NEED the Holy Ghost in our life. God has a plan and a path for each and every one of us. He has given us a map which is the Doctrine of Christ but we need a guide to ensure us happiness, peace, confidence that we are going the right way, and signals of danger. The only way we can become who God intends and needs us to be is by following the promtings of the Holy Ghost. Pray for it's guidance every day. Remain worthy of it's companionship. Study how you can be the house of the Holy Ghost at all times and set goals for you self to be more sensitive to it's promptings. I promise the Holy Ghost will tell you all things that you should do. Your life and every aspect of it will gain a new light. I know without it I could do nothing as a missionary here in the Philippines. I know that with it, I can be an instrument of the Lord in causing miracles to work in the hearts of these people. Ito ay patotoo ko, sa pangalan ni Jesucriso, ang ating tagapagligtas, amen.