Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Monday, May 30, 2016

Wow what an amazing week!!

This truly has been a highlight of my mission. The three sisters of the family we were teaching were baptized and confirmed as the newest members of Burnham 1st ward, Baguio stake :) There hasn't been a more beautiful site than them all in white! They have been so excited and we didn't have to move their baptism date at all! Usually you set a goal date in the first or second lesson, but then move it because they fall through with church or commitments but these sisters have truly hungered and searched for the word of God. Reading their scriptures every day, helping their family have family payer, walking to church every Sunday, attending service projects and youth activities, everything! They even have expressed interest in serving missions and are so excited to be able to go to the temple. Their mom was unbelievably touched by their change and testimonies and she is solid for baptismal date later in June! Hopefully the whole family will be able to be baptized and in one year be able to be sealed! This work is so amazing as a missionary. You always hear that "Mormons have a different light about them" but it is hard to tell when you grew up in the church. Now I have seen that light grow in someone and I could never deny that this gospel is true. That is works a mighty change in a persons heart if they let it. Experiences like these are what makes all the hard long days worth it! I didn't expect this to happen this early in my mission, especially because I am so inexperienced as a missionary. I feel so unqualified to teach and convert someone but their conversion has nothing to do with me. I am simply a mouthpiece for the lord. I am his feet to walk the streets, his hands to knock on doors, and his heart to love these people. They are the ones that decided to truly accept the gospel and the Lord is showering them with his love and blessings. I am so grateful to be a missionary!! 
You know you're in the Philippines when...
Someone telling you you're fat is not rude at all, just an observation! It can often be a compliment too. For example, saying "Mataba ka dito" (You are fat here) while looking at a picture of someone is definitely a compliment. The same goes for saying payat (skinny), pangit (ugly), maganda (beautiful), or kung may bundok ka (if you have a mountain, meaning zit) hahahaha Just blunt observations! I love the Philippines. 
Missionaries can Laugh too...
One really funny experience this week was we were teaching a younger investigator about the Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We told him Jesus was our older brother. He got a really confused look on his face and said "Pero hindi siya lumabas sa tiyan ni Mama!" (He didn't come out o mom's stomach) hahahahah so back tracked and explained that Heavenly father was all of our father but he was confused again and exclaimed "Tatay ko si Jun!" (My dad is Jun!!) Hahaha so yeah we are going to have to really personalize his lessons :) My companion and I and his mom were crying we laughed so hard! 

Tagalog Word of the Day...
"Wala" means none and you usually say it while waving you had back and forth. You can also express "wala" by just doing the hand motion. 

Spiritual Thought:
I really like the scripture in Ether 12:27 (at least I think that is the scripture) Where Moroni expresses his fear of his weakness in writing. This is so ironic because even though he feels unqualified or inadequate, I am now using his words in Moroni 10 to convert our investigators in the Philippines. And his writings have already inspired, taught, and converted millions around the world!! I also know that many prophets, including Moses, and Joseph Smith shared their fear of their inadequacies being too great to fill their calling. Brothers and Sisters where would we be without the works of these men? Where would we be if they had given up or shrunk from their calling, thinking they were not qualified? I am forever grateful that these men had enough trust and faith in the Lord to strengthen their weaknesses and make them tools for his work. I know that this feeling is not foreign to me as a foreigner in this county, to this language, to these people. There are definitely times where Satan speaks to me and makes me wonder if I can. I use the example of these men to build my faith and lose myself, allowing the Lord to shape me into what he needs me to be. 
I know sometimes our callings the Lord gives us or what we are expected to do and be as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can sometimes feel overwhelming. DO NOT LET YOUSELF THINK THAT YOU CAN'T. We are commanded to magnify all our calling and I know that the Lord will fill the gaps of our shortcomings if we try. In D&C 4 it says to him that has desires to serve god, he is qualified for the work. I believe this with all my heart. I challenge you to trust in the Lord a little more and try a little harder to really strive to fill whatever the Lord has asked you to do at this time in your life. Because we all have a part in God's work :) 

Mahal Kita!!
Sister Walters 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Week Highlights: 
-We had Stake Conference this week and the choir director asked our mission president for reinforcements so we were able to sing and that was way fun! The Filipinos LOVE singing and it really doesn't matter how in tune you are, as long as you're confident hahaha 
- I celebrated my 100 days in the mission and my companion celebrated her 5 months! In order to not get "hard headed" on the mission after 100 days, naturally I tried ulo ng manok (head of a chicken) because that's pretty soft.. Yeah I'll talk more about that later. 

We went as a district to these gardens where they have you dress up as the igoro tribe..
-While we are on the subject of food I also tried dugo (blood, but they barbeque it somehow), and keso ice cream,. yes it's cheese flavored ice cream. 
-We had FHE with a member family as a district which was so much fun! The filipino games are hilarious and whoever loses always has to do some sort of talent :) 
-Rainy season is definitely here or very on it's way because we get rain about 3 times a day! 
-If you remember the Pascua family, we started teaching the mom first (the funny pregnant one) then focused on the teenage daughters, they all came to church this sunday! The mom just had her ninth baby but she walked with her 8 children to come to church. Seeing them in the best sunday clothes that they could, so happy to be at church, was honeslty one of the prettiest sights I've seen in the philippines! 
We love the Pescua  family !  So fun to see all of them come to church and humbling as they walked all the way...

Missionaries can Laugh Too: 
The funniest moment of the week was probably my reaction to barbequed chicken head..i expected more like a chicken nugget so I just bit into it. I came to realize it really is just a head and it has brains and bones and yeah. Iyan lang. 

For my 100 days I celebrated and learned...ask before you eat....

Tagalog Word of the Day: 
Eh di WOW- this is an expression here meaning like "Good for you" 

When your mom sends you some rockin EFY music in a party!

Spiritual Thought: 
In our 90 Day challenge for the Book of Mormon we are now in Alma, reading of the teachings of Alma and Amulek. I noticed something I hadn't before about Amulek's experience taking in Alma, being an hungered and faithful servant of the Lord. Alma requests some bread and rest and Amulek replies that he can come in because he knows he is a prophet of the Lord and he will bless his house. Then as I paid more attention to the wording and sequence of the story, I realized that while Alma dwelt at Amulek's house, an angel came to Amulek to teach him and testify of the things Alma was going to teach. This way Amulek gained his own testimony in his house before he went out to preach with Alma. 

Brothers and Sisters do we accept our Prophet and his Apostles into our homes? Do we listen, study, and apply their teachings in our families as Amulek did? He had a testimony of Alma as a prophet and knew he would bless his house. I know that the words of our prophet will bless our homes and make them a place of revelation for us, just as the angel revealed truths to Amulek. Let us make more diligent our study of the Prophet and more faithfully apply ALL his teachings and into our families. How would you want your home to appear if the Prophet was going to come? And more importantly what spirit would you want in your home? I challenge you to prepare your home and lives every day so you could accept the prophet just as Amulek did, at any time. 

I know Prophet Thomas S Monson is truly called of God and speaks God's will to us. I know through diligence to his teachings we are following Christ and will fulfill more completely our divine roles as children of God. 

Mahal Kita!!
Sister Walters 

service and jeepneys

Week Highlights: 

-We had another lovely rain shower but this time I got to experience it without an umbrella haha! I had left my umbrella at an appointment apparently but the work must move foreward! I was soaked to the bone and looked pretty sad but it helped some people have pity on a soaking wet, looking very out of place american, so they gave us some shelter and we met some new potential investigators! I might as well just through away my umbrella now ;) 
-The Philippines has National Day of Service and we were able to serve with our ward painting the railings and cleaning the street in a section of the city! It was so much fun and three of our investigators came as well! The same sisters that walk to church every sunday together with the pregnant mom that we started teaching first. 
-Those sisters are so cute they don't really have the most modest sunday clothes but they try with tights under their skirts and sweaters even though it's so hot! The YW leaders are awesome though and gathered clothes to give to them for church! MEMBERS BACK HOME: PLEASE HELP INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH. Missionaries need the support and friendship of members every step of the way. 
- You never know what the ward is going to need you for as a missionary and I had the lovely opportunity of speaking in church yesterday! At least I had more notice than the first time- the first sunday you are here they invite you from the stand to bear your testimony haha! I spoke on the power of the Book of Mormon as that is a huge focus in our mission right now. And mom here is the moment you have been waiting for....I am sorry I didn't keep up piano lessons and appreciate your persistence to continue because yes the stake choir needed me to play until the pianist showed up hahaha 
-We held a stake missionary fireside on sunday night about how the members play such a huge role in the conversion and maintaining of members. I really hope it helped because missionaries love their investigators so much but we can't do all that the members can. We are here to teach and to help lead to the waters of baptism but members are there to bear their strong witness of the blessings of the gospel in their life. They are there to friendship and provide support when times get hard to be a member in the world we live in. Missionaries have to leave the investigators we love when we are transferred so we just pray and pray that the members love them as we do. 
-Overall just another awesome week full of ups and downs like the stair in Baguio :) 

You Know You're in the Philippines when... 
You ride a Jeepney into town which looks like a hippie but on stereroids crowded with people hahaha look up a picture online! Also there are so many people and you just pass your payment up the row to the driver so there really isnt a way to be totally sure if everyone pays their fare. But apparently there is a guilty conscience because one jeepney had a sign inside that said "GOD KNOWS HUDAS NOT PAY" hahahahaha I love Filipino spelling. 

Missionaries can Laugh Too...
Alright mom this one is for you too...the Miranda voice came out to our investigators. Tagalog Miranda might just be more funny than English Miranda. They did enjoy the Miranda dance as well. It was the same day that I was soaked to the bone so if you can imagine a dripping wet Sister Walters speaking an aian/spanish language will doing some weird monkey dance and talking like miranda with only one side of her might just laugh as hard as we did :) 

Tagalog Word of the Day: 

"Gusto kong masarap na pagkain" I like delicious food 

Spiritual Thought: 
I have had the chance to read Our Search For Happiness by M. Russel Ballard during my personal study for the past couple weeks and I strongly encourage everyone of us to read it. The book is written for those who are not as familiar with our faith so it is amazing to go back and read from a fresh perspective how simple the gospel of Jesus Christ is. It just makes sense that God would have a plan for all of his children and that that plan is for us to achieve lasting happiness in this life and in the life to come. This plan doesn't provide worldly happiness, it is lasting,a higher happiness, so clearly his standards are higher. It's like shopping at the pharmacy for medicine when you have a cold. You can buy the cheaper medicine with less money, but it might only heal your symptoms for one day, or leave a little bit of your headache still there. Or you can pay a bigger price but feel completely renewed, refreshed, and free from the weight of your sickness. God has laid this plan for us to have all that is unfair in life, all our trials, all our questions, answered for and give the strength the endure, but he asks us to pay a higher price. Brothers and Sisters let us not look at the standards of the church as a burden or restrains. They are our life jacket, our railings on the cliff, our map, our flashlight to safety and happiness. The Bishop spoke on sunday about never lowering our standards for any occasion and invited the members to reread For the Strength of Youth, as it is not for just youth. That was such a good reminder for all of us that I want to extend it to you at home as well. Every decision we make has a consequence and will either draw us close to Christ or farther away. There are no "free bie" choices that have no effect on our eternal progression. 2 Nephi 2:27 God has given all that is expedient to man to judge good from evil. Let us use these standards and our knowledge of God's plan for us in every decision that we make, trusting in his promise that we will experience greater blessings and greater happiness, greater self-confidence and and understanding of Christ as we follow his simple commandments. 

Mahal na Mahal ko po kayo! 
our Mission presidents wife

Sister Walters 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Week Highlights: 
-Two cute little investigators of ours age 8 and 11 were able to be baptized this week and it was such a happy moment for their grandma who takes care of them as their parents aren't involved in their lives. They both bore their sweet testimonies and one of them accidentally started it as a prayer "Ama po namin nasa Langit..." (Our father in heaven" hahaha 
-The family that we extended Baptismal Invites to last week is really progressing! Their cute daughters walked to church on their own with their 11 year old brother (they all wore tights and jackets with their dresses even though it was hot, so cute) and they loved it! We also brought them to the baptism and the youth in our ward really took them in. Ward members are SO important for the conversion of investigators 
-Our other investigator that became interested from a pass along card that a kid on the street handed him, is also progressing SO well. Watching the conversion of him and his sister deepens my testimony and love for the gospel with every lesson. He wanted to bear his testimony in sacrament meeting too, can you believe it?! And he asked US when his baptismal interview was. Wow. His sister also has a baptism date as well. The Lord is truly moving his work foreward and I feel incredibly lucky to be an instrument in his hands. 
- I experienced my first real Filipino rain fall!! I LOVED it. Of course we were soaked and I had given my umbrella to my trainer because she gets sick if she gets to cold and wet, but I didn't even care because the rain storm was so cool to me. Lightning lights up the WHOLE sky and thunder cracks so loud. Astig :) (It's cool) 
You Know You're in the Philippines When... 
To let someone know you are at their house, you just ring the doorbell right? Well here there obviously aren't any doorbells and there may not even be a door so you just stand outside and yell "Tao po". It literally means "people". hahaha try that next time you get to your friends house. Just shout "People, people, people!!!" 

Missionaries can Laugh Too... 
So this week we had some extra little guests in our apartment...maggots. Cute right? Haha it was my first time with those too. We were talking out our trash and I moved the "food waste" bag off the floor then noticed lots of little things moving. We didn't really know how to kill them so we were stepping on them and trying to sweep all the little buggers into our dust pan but the brooms here aren't super stiff just lots of little sticks so it was pretty difficult but were were just dying laughing the whole time. That's kind of just our attitude here- you just laugh :) 

Tagalog Word of the Day: 
Baliw- crazy (as in like a crazy person) 

Spiritual Thought: 
Our ward mission leader asked us to write a letter than we can give to less actives in the ward and as I was writing I had a pretty cool experience with the scriptures! I had written that through Christ, and taking his name upon ourselves is the only way we can receive salvation, and "pinaka-kaligayahan" (the highest happiness) in this life. I turned to the scriptures to find a certain verse and my page opened to one I hadn't noticed before but stated "and under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby man can receive salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenent with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives." Mosiah 5:7-13 is an incredible reminder of the weight and important of the covenant that we all made at baptism. Taking upon ourselves His name, the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, is not just given to us at the waters of baptism. This is a conscious choice we make every day to represent and live as He would. I encourage you all to read those short verses and think about how it personally means to you to be a witness of Christ. He will call to us at the last day, let us remain one of his fold even until the "ends of our lives" so that we recognize his voice and be called one of His faithful servants :) 

Mahal Mahal Mahal kita!
Sister Walters