Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Monday, August 29, 2016

Highlights:

- A member treated us to a random but very generous buffet breakfast at this nice hotel this week (yes they had salad :) ) 
-Sister Berry and I singing "scatter sunshine" and "there is sunshine in my soul" as we walk in the pouring rain. (It actually makes the day a lot better) I am pretty sure this is a highlight for all those within hearing distance 
My coat that I wear ALL THE TIME!!

-I was so touched this week by the service by some members in our ward. We were visiting a family enduring some pretty hard trials this week, sickness, financial, everything sabay-sabay (at the same time). In the middle of the lesson a member of the bishopric and his family came in with bags of bread, eggs, and rice, at least enough for two weeks worth of groceries and the look on the mom's face was hard to put in words. The church truly is the same everywhere, wonderful :) 
-Bought a chicken and had a chicken picnic last P day just to be cute comps.
Random sunshine means picnic time!

-Oh yeah, ummmm a BAPTISM!!! SISTER AILYN MY BEST FRIEND WAS BAPTISED AND CONFIRMED!! I will write more on that later :) 


Missionaries can Laugh Too:
In the middle of relief society, this cute old lady (who doesn't say much usually) decided to speak up and almost yelled "Na-antok ka na ba??" to Sister Berry my companion (meaning are you sleepy?) Everyone stopped and looked at my comp and she got super red because they all thought she dozed off, when actually we are pretty sure sweet old sister Gray dozed off and that was the first thing she exclaimed upon walking up. I did support my companion but I have to say I laughed pretty hard first hahaha :) 

You Know You're in the Philippines When...
They have cool fruit like Lychee :) 

Tagalog:
"dow" means you are quoting someone else so when little kids come to the door and say "Wala dow sila" it means "They said there's no one here" Which then causes us to wonder...who told their child to tell the missionaries no one is home? Hahaha :) 


Spiritual Thought:
This week I was reminded of the miracle of prayer, and the role of the holy ghost in one’s conversion. We invite as missionaries so many times, our investigators to pray and ask God about every aspect of our mission. It can be tempting to start to doubt the power of your invitation when it seems redundant and almost impossible that someone could decide to change their life based on a feeling after a whispered prayer, BUT we can never doubt the power and promises of God. Although as a 19-year-old, white missionary walking around in the Philippines, I am so weak, but with this message and the promise of God I have full power witness to others that God WILL answer their prayer and if they are faithful they will be blessed by acting on that feeling. Sister Ailyn's testimony at her baptism was the most genuine, simple and powerful that I have ever heard. At every point in her testimony and learning of the doctrines of the gospel she repeated "Ipinagdasal ko siya, at naramdaman ko siya, at alam ko na. Iba ang pakiramdam. May something dito." (I prayed about it, I felt it, and now I know. It's a different feeling, there is something here.) When investigators have that witness personally from the holy ghost, there is an inseparable bond there that nothing in this temporary world can pull away. We must never lose faith in the lord's promises. I know He will back up his faithful missionaries and answer the prayers of their investigators.

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Missionary work is incredible!!



Sister Walters
 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Highlights:


-We had a mission tour this week! Elder Haney of the area presidency came and gave an incredible workshop on obedience, teaching with the spirit, and "finding scattered Israel", that means finding those who the lord has prepared because this is the time to harvest! He was super bold and didn't sugar coat just the way I like my speakers, kind of Elder Holland style "just enough to singe your eyebrows" 
- Our ward auxiliaries came up with a plan to have FHE's at houses of recent converts or investigators getting baptized to really stress the importance of foundations in families we all got together at the Pascua house last week! Its still so incredible to me to see the difference and spirit in their family after they were baptized and now we are teaching the Dad because he is back from Manilla! What an awesome experience to see those you taught, use their conversion to teach others. Sister Lani Pascua is already the most incredible missionary. 
- MY FAMILY SENT A PACKAGE! Yes mom the protein bars are a.maz.ing. and it actually came just in time for my....
-6 MONTHS SA MISSION FIELD! ("sa" means like any preposition, in this case meaning "in") We celebrated by eating breakfast at Macdo (mcdonalds) which actually is a pretty big deal here. That American super bad for you breakfast tasted so. so. good. Still a bitter sweet day though because honestly I am Filipina now and I love it here and 1 year is just not enough time left. 

- WE ARE MOVING! Yes we actually realized there are more things wrong and unsafe with our apartment besides the sink hole next to our house (apparently we are supposed to have a flushing toilet? Didn't think that was a big deal...) anyways we found a new apartment and are now in the process of having leaders look at it and stuff like that. So that's exciting :) 

Tagalog Word of the Day:

"iniano niya yun' kuwan" - literal translation means "he is what-ing the thingamajig" Filipinos like to congugate "ano" meaning "what" as a verb when they feel it's obvious what they are trying to say and "kuwan" is the word you use when you don't quite have the right word on the tip of your tongue. That sentence is not very uncommon so you can see how vague the language is hahahah I love it 

Missionaries can Laugh Too:
We visit this very older member in our ward every other week and she is super hard of hearing so Sister Berry is praying and in the middle Nanay Gray asks if she should start praying or who should be praying, then towards the end she asked if Sister Berry was done praying yet. After the first interruption literally I thought I was going to bite my hand off I was laughing SO hard on the inside but stuck my fist in my mouth to not burst out during the prayer. When she left to grab us some crackers Sister Berry and I diiieeeeddd laughing- those moments when you are trying to pray and be reverent but something interrupts hahaha
 

You know you're in the Philippines when..
The Bathroom is called the "Comfort Room" or CR 


Spiritual Thought:
I realized my gratitude again this week for our knowledge or modern revelation, and that God didn't stop speaking to his children after the Bible. Through God's power Joseph Smith was able to not only the Book of Mormon but the books of Abraham and Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. These support, clarify, and solidify all gospel truths taught in the Bible and we were able to show that to Sister Eilyn this week! (She is one investigators SO prepared by the Lord, her obedience, excitement, and willingness is so inspiring to us) She had a question about us being spiritually alive before we came to this earth and she LOVED how the creation in Abraham 3 added to her knowledge of the creation as told in Genesis. A number of times now when she bears her testimony of Joseph Smith and this church, she refers to that experience and the holy ghost that filled her (maiinit na pakiramdam "hot feeling") when she read that- deepening her testimony that Joseph Smith really had the power of God to give us revealed truths and this Church contains the fullness of the Gospel. 2 Nephi 29:9 I know what that scripture teaches us about God is true and I feel so so blessed every day to be a missionary of this church. We are so incredibly lucky with the complete and perfect gospel that we hold. 


Sister Walters 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Highlights:
- The family we have been teaching that everyone called "eternal investigators" accepted a baptismal invite!!! We were almost encouraged to give up on them but my companion and I kept praying, studying hard for them, and relying on the spirit that the Lord promises to accompany us with when we testify, and lo and behold, the gospel once again works it's magic and they've accepted a date for the end of the month :) 
- We met yet another incredible "golden" investigator that the Lord has totally prepared to hear his gospel message. I'll write more about that later :) 
- Fast Sunday was such a highlight, I actually really do love them even though as a missionary you are slightly scared for your life walking all day on the hills and such with nothing in your body, but it's pretty amazing the way the Lord can fill you when you just get over yourself and focus on the people your teaching, their needs, and what you're fasting for. 
-We had like 2 straight days with no rain!! Then it came back, but at least no Typhoon this week. 
-Halfway through with Sister Berry's training! Time seriously FLIES.  


Missionaries can Laugh Too:
-Magaling akong mahulog. (I am good at falling) hahaha seriously some of the muddy roads get pretty slippery in the rain but I am so good at tripping now that my last week one was pretty big and obvious in front of a group of gambling filipinos trying to climb down a ladder but I managed to get NOT ONE SPEC of mud on my clothes. My arm was covered but hey, that's pretty good ;) And yes of course it was very funny still. 

You Know You're in the Philippines When:
A new investigator mom after a first lesson asks you to leave your blessing (as white girls) on her baby by licking your finger and then wiping it above the baby's eyebrows. Yeah I felt pretty special. And I thought she didn't even like us haha 

Tagalog Word of the Day:
Pag-aayuno: Fasting 

Spiritual Thought:
"We believe in a God of Miracles" Mormon 9:19, 21 

We experienced a miracle coming from obedience, diligence, and opening your mouth to everyone this week. Last sunday when the Baguio was storming, it was admittedly not very fun to be outside in the rain and wind and cold but we knew that proselyting time is so important and weren't about to quit early. We decided to try a different area that Sunday and go back to a potential investigator we hadn't been able to get a hold of. She ended up not being there but her brother answered the door. He explained to us he was of a different faith and would just let us worry about his sister a different day but we shared a short message about our church just standing in the doorway and went back out into the rain. A day later we get a text from him saying he is interested in hearing the word of God from us and set up an appointment! The lesson was incredible and filled with the spirit as we realized how prepared he had been by God for us with all his questions and experiences leading into a perfect lesson about the Restoration of the gospel. He accepted a baptismal invite that day, asked where he could get a Book of Mormon and spent the whole sacrament meeting (yes he came to church) searching the copy we gave him. Never waste a minute of proselyting hours and never assume someone doesn't need to hear even just a sentence about the amazing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we have. It's amazing to see God really hearing our prayers for us to find those he is preparing for us. Never lose faith that God WILL answer your prayers but only AS you are trying to work yourself as well. 

Mahal kita!!!


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Sister Walters  
PS from Michelle :  I really miss Rheas sense of Humor and her imitations (especially southern and Miranda Sings) .  Every so often she send me things to make me laugh.  Videos somehow make her seem not quite as far away...enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July 31, 2016 Baguio Means Storm (Not just the place)

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Baguio Means Storm (Not just the place)


Highlights: Let me just say the Spirit is the most incredible super hero..here's why 
  - Sister Bernadett expressed feeling continuous promptings to read the pamphlet and Book of Mormon we left her, even though she doesn't read the other religion's 
  - Sister Cherry cried in our first lesson saying she "just felt something light" as she saw us two foreign girls in her home 
  - Sister Maffy from us just asking what we could do for her to help her come closer to Christ in the first lesson, started crying and kept apologizing saying she didn't know why because she isn't usually like that 
  - Sister Eylin said she feels a really hot feeling inside when she prayed to know if she should be baptized, reads the Book of Mormon, and especially when she took the Sacrament her first time at church on sunday 
  - The spirit urged us to talk to Sister Aliyea one night on the side of the road, to find out their mother had just passed away earlier that day and she was more than grateful for the Plan of Salvation pamphlet we were able to introduce and give to her, inviting her to read it 
  - ALWAYS BE WORHTY OF THE SPIRIT. I realized even more this weak how much our investigators are aware of our personal worthiness and they NEED that convincing power of the Holy Ghost to feel our message is true and can give them true happiness in life as they come closer to Christ through the fullness of his Gospel. 
  - Zone Service Activity moving lots and lots and lots of books to the Institute 
  - First Signal One Baguio (We work until Signal 3) 

You Know You're In the Philippines When...
You're 3rd hour combined class in church is one big slideshow on Emergerncy Preparedness for the Baguio outside, the ones coming, and Code Red Dengue Fever. (Don't worry mom, we've got the Lord on our side :) ) 

Missionaries Can Laugh Too...
You know those random times where something is just so funny but you don't know why? Well Sister Berry and I were dying laughing one day on the side of the road because I really do try to always be positive because life is just better that way, and a concescrated missionary doesn't say anything negative...but something slipped as we passed by yet another feral dog with creepy red staring eyes as it barked at us and I said "Wish ko may salita para sa "hate" sa Tagalog (I wish there was a word for hate in Tagalog)...cause I hate that Dog." Sister Berry was just shocked that came out of my mouth and we both died because it really is a pretty ugly dog hahaha 


Spiritual Thought: ANSWERED PRAYERS
This one is short and sweet and may seem insignificant but I have been reminded this week of the power of presenting plans to the Lord, and him fulfilling them. Just as He did with the Brother of Jared in Ether 12:23 "What would you have me do..." We can't just simply request things from the Lord and hang up the phone and wait like a food order to our house. He gave us a brain, and expects us to "study it out in your mind" then ask him for his approval and his help. Something you lack on your mission is free time. Actually not just lack, you literally have none. Even personal study is for your investigators. This is to help you be completely focused on those you serve but I admit I was wanting just a few minutes every day to just read the Book of Mormon for myself. I thought about how I could do this without taking any time from my preparation and asked God if he would help me wake up a little earlier every day, without an alarm so as to not bother Sister Berry, so I could start my day with some personal scriptures. The next morning until now I have been waking up at 5:40 on the dot, refreshed and happy, with enough light through the window to get my English and Tagalog Book of Mormon side by side and start studying. It is the best start to my day :) I testify of the Lord's willingness to answer our prayers and help us with our righteous desires IF we think for ourselves first and call on his name with our plans. 

Love ya all!! 

Sister Walters 

July 24, 2016

Highlights: "We Will Go Down"

- One elder treated us to Starbucks this week for his birthday...that felt super randomly white-girl american in the middle of the Philippines but hey who says no to a cinnamon roll and steamed milk? 
- Satan is working his magic here on one of our investigators that we just love to death. The whole family is progressing awesome, especially the mom, but their obstacle for baptism is the word of wisdom with the dad. We planned this awesome lesson (with the guidance of the spirit of course). We prepared motivational scriptural quotes on cards to put around their house, have everyone give up something so the Dad didn't feel alone, like they were all supporting each other, we prepared too, like giving up chocolate or ice cream or a bad habit like biting your nails, anyways we were pumped to teach and like four times something came up or they canceled...arrggg SATAN, but its okay we are stronger and we were able to teach to the rest of the family still with out the dad and we will try again this week :) 
-We got really excited too about putting our trust in the Lord if we present him with some specific plans so we set up this huge goal for a number of baptisms in the next 6 weeks, then worked backwards to how many people we need to commit to baptism, how many progressing investigators, new investigators, referrals, even down to the amount of people we need to "open our mouth" to every day. We've got some pretty high numbers and goals but we've got some new plans and ideas and of course the help of the Lord on our side as we pray earnestly and if it's his will for us in our area :) 
-Sister Berry celebrated her 1 month in the field! (Also our anniversary together :) ) I stuck a candle in her brownie to make it real. ​
-"WE DID GO DOWN" hahaha we went down to the lowlands for follow-up training! It was weird to be on the trainer side, I feel like I was JUST there as a trainee. But it was an awesome reminder of how we truly teach through example and the best way is to always show them charity and love- that feeds into diligence and obedience, knowledge of the doctrine, worthiness of the spirit, everything. And also the provided breakfast and lunch at the mission home was definitely worth it.

Missionaries can Laugh Too:
I am now a member of "Booga Booga" okay actually SO EMBARRASSING. It's a game we played (or they played on me) at a FHE. You are following the actions of one guy and when he sits down again and you follow him you find out that they put a soaking wet huge sponge on your chair so your behind gets SOAKED. I was so shocked I screamed and fell out of my chair. Yeah all the pinoys (filipinos) loved that, we were all crying laughing so hard. 


Tagalog Word of the Day:
"Napaka-" if you put that in front of an adjective it means like the most or the best 
"Napakaswuerte tayo dahil meron tayo ang gospel ni JesuCristo" We are the most lucky because we have the gospel of Jesus Christ 

You Know You're in the Philippines When...
Yes it's completely acceptable and sometimes encouraged to eat with your hands. I find it very messy and difficult but at least I have tried! It's easier when they have rice to mix with the meat and sauce but I can't eat the rice to the saucy meat or veggie juice just gets all over my face and hands. 


Spiritual Thought:
I really like what Jesus Christ says in Matt. 6:19-21 and 3 Nephi 13:19-21 about building treasures in heaven and not the worldly type that can be stolen or will waste away. We are so so incredibly lucky in this world that we don't have to rely on worldly treasures for happiness. We are all searching for internal peace, confidence, comfort, and happiness in this life but when we get our answers from the world it doesn't last long and doesn't fill us at all. This perfect gospel of Jesus Christ teach us what the real treasures are in heaven and how to obtain them here on earth. Our knowledge of our personal relationship to our loving heavenly father and our divine potential according to his plan of salvation, undergoes our every decision and gives us direction and purpose in a world full of people lacking that same conviction that their life is worthwhile. We know of the full capacity and magnitude of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to not only wash away our sins through proper repentance but literally carry us through our trials in life. Through a restoration of the restored gospel we have the keys to access God's power on earth and know of fervent prayer that provides means of communication and guidance to our all-supreme creator, not just memorized recitation. Even down to our temporal being, with the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity, where the world is behind us, now coming out with science and tests showing how correct and intelligent these revelations were from God back then. I get so excited every day to share this knowledge, this way of life, to every child of God and I hope you share the same excitement! Please "consider on the blessed and happy state" (Mosiah 2:41) of your family as you life the gospel, and imagine where you would be without it. Take an extra part of your day today and every day to thank Heavenly Father for this gift he has given you. You won't be able to share with someone else as well ;) 
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Mahal Kita!

Sister Walters