Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked and Walked and Walked and Walked.....(and so do we...)

Okay family please tell me you remember what movie that's from because that's what I sang to Sister Aurelio this week as we walked, and walked, and walked :) I think my feet are the tannest part of my body now haha!
Sometimes it is so hot you find your way to the floor to sleep...was that comfy sister Aurelio? :
this is a nice woman I gave a restoration pamphlet to.  She says she will read it after she plants this dragon fruit....

Highlights this Week:
-We will miss sister Barbante because she is now training and opening an area in Candon! (proud follow up trainer) Everyone asks me where "the little one" is now 
Good bye Sister Barbante....
- We had an awesome ward council where the bishop got everyone thinking of finding ideas to help up missionaries and they all want to fast with us for the people in our areas- the support is really awesome. 
- I realized again why Jesus loves little children so much and why he took the time to teach them in his time in America because little kids or youth are SO receptive to the spirit, and their are SMART too! They catch on to messages of the Restoration and Plan of Salvation faster than a lot of the adults. We have found the Nuel family and the mom (Roanna) has 8 kids. Three of them expressed they felt something in our message of the "foundation of the church" (prophets, priesthood, revelation) and how that is what this church has today. They were so excited to come to church but the mom was worried about what those of her faith would say...we are praying the mom will come around and be touched by the example of her children. 


Missionaries can Laugh...
When a member asks you if that pimple on your face hurts because it's so big and it's a genuine question...yup it's a good thing I could laugh that one off hahaha 
This is a jeepney!

You Know You're in the Philippines When..
MERRY LATE CHRISTMAS!!! Christmas actually started September 1st here but I was reminded to put it on my blog when we sang my Christmas song (Angels We Have Heard on High) in sacrament meeting yesterday. (No mom I didn't stand up when we sang my name because I am Sister Walters right now hahaha) 
​The superman missionary planner Sister Brooklyn made for me 

Tagalog:
Kambing - Goat. There are goats EVERYWHERE 

Spiritual Thought:
I really love the story of Ammon as a missionary and how he too admitted that he had struggles. In Alma 26:27-28 they almost turned home because of their hardships but the Lord pushed them to keep going and promised his comfort. They continued their mission and although the trials didn't stop they kept their heads up and their joy was so full that Ammon goes on a full chapter about it :) I know there are disappointments in the mission- to be honest, they happen every day. But there are miracles JUST around the corner and we just have to keep looking. We can't miss a beat. Keep the disappointment because that means you care about the work but you cannot let it become discouragement. That is where you lose your faith and hope and not only our shoulders and smile slacken but the work does too. I have felt the Lord carry me through SO many times in my mission and I know the best I can do to repay him is continue to give every day, every person, every area my best. To all other missionaries- just. keep. going. :) He hasn't abandoned you! 
Another missionary from my batch at MLC! (Missionary Leader Correlation) 
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Sister Walters ​


Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Revenge of Typhoon Lawrin :) (Not as shy as Typhoon Karen)

Highlights:
Getting the water from the well for Raven to shower (yes outside!)  before church...
Well I am happy to say the typhoon was not quite as dramatic as the title I gave it but...it was big. In more northern parts of the Philippines it was a super typhoon so we are keeping Loag mission in our prayers but here in La Union we still got a good signal 3. I was on exchanges the day before and we ended up switching companions early so we good be at our right houses when the storm really hit madaling araw (early in the morning). Thank goodness my companion bought me some crackers and tuna for my 72-hour kit hahaha :) There were definitely a couple times where I thought our house was going to break from the wind but our little apartment did pretty well! And my super smart Filipina companions thought of covering our door with plastic bags so it would stop the flooding. We had to stay inside the whole day but at least we got our WHOLE apartment SUPER deep cleaned, so we felt productive! And we have some good opportunities to help clean areas where trees have fallen and stuff like that. So anyways...the Lord protects his missionaries. My bigger fear is honestly this little annoying red ants that keep biting me in my sleep. (Shout out to Sister Hardcastle in Peru, I feel you with the ants) 
Cleaning the church after the Typhoon. The fallen trees are in the basketball court...

ANYWAYS another cool finding experience this week: we felt prompted to go to the hospital and see if we could leave our names as references for patients to talk to for counsel (from the finding list in our planners). We also noticed how many Liahona magazines we had that we aren't using so we thought of leaving them at the hospital for the patients to read or those that are waiting in the chairs. We wrote our number in the magazines and the information for church services in case someone because interested while reading. At the hospital we had to wait a while to talk to the appropriate person, but the whole time we felt peace in waiting, like a voice telling us to just wait. Then the woman who was the head of social services let us into her office and she thought her friend sent us to her because she is a less active who had told her friend she wants to come to church but there was a Bagyo. We were so happy to tell her the only person who led us there was God! We were able to get permission to distribute the magazines and had a lesson with her where she voiced that she wants to have us teach her nephew and bring him to church. The lord works in mysterious ways!! 
This little boy, Raven, we are preparing for baptism and he  has got my heart.  Walking to church...

Missionaries can Laugh Too:
When one of your companions prays that the other will develop the desire to follow the commandments of god and get married when she gets home, in your companionship prayer before leaving the house. I really tried to be reverent but I died laughing after. 
Cheese is so sweet here..literally a candy or dessert!

You Know You're in the Philippines When...
It's completely normal to start singing hymns acapella in the middle of your sacrament meeting talk and the ward may or may not join in. It is also acceptable to "bear your testimony in the form of a song" and then close your testimony and sit back down. Hahaha I love these people :) 

Tagalog / Ingles
Binabasbasan ng ebenghelyo ang mga pamilya - The gospel blesses families 
Sis. Barbante got a little jealous of my new companion!

Spiritual Thought:
My study is still focused on the Saviors teaching in the bible and I am reading Jesus the Christ. Something that stuck out to me was the expansion of the parable of salt. How we are the "salt of the earth, if the salt shall lose it's savor, wherewith the world shall be salted? The salt shall thenceforth be good for nothing..." 3 Nephi 12:13. Talmage's explanation in Jesus the Christ states "To be of use salt must be pure, to be of any saving value as salt, it must be salt indeed, and not the product of chemical alteration or of any earthly mixture, whereby its saltiness or 'savor' would be lost; and as worthless stuff, it would be fit only to be thrown away." (Pg. 232) This verse took on a new meaning for me. As members of the church the lord entrusts us the responsibility of preserving his work and his kingdom here on the earth. But if we are not pure followers of Christ- if we are halfway devoted to him and his gospel with part of us an "earthly mixture" or prioritizing worldly status or temptations...Jesus Christ has said we are not of use to him anymore. We will not be able to do our job fully if we are not centered "with an eye single to the glory of God." I think this verse is a good chance to evaluate our dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ and how true we are in our membership- how pure our salt is. I know this is the true way to become happy and gain peace in this life. I see the miracle of consecration work in missionaries every day and I know there is always more that we can do. 

I love you all!!

Sister Walters ​

Sunday, October 16, 2016

You Found 36 New Investigators This Week?

Well this week was all. about. finding. You know that feeling when you clean out your closet of all the clothes you never wear but you just like to see in your closet? Then there is only like 5 shirts but at least you know who love those 5 and will wear them. Then you go on a big shopping spree and it's the best. THAT'S LIKE FINDING. Our president is really encouraging not spending SO long with the same people who aren't (at least at this time) prepared to receive the gospel and getting more creating and going out and FINDING those he is preparing. So that's what we did :) 


Highlights:
- Now that there is three of us we did splits with members so we can proselyte in two areas at once and we were able to find so many new people. The member RM's are super magaling. 

- One funny finding experience with me and sister Aurelio...actually I'll save that for later haha 
- Exhanges again this week! This certain sister was sick but mom I applied your "suck it up and work" attitude and it worked!! I really new the Lord would help her feel better and the best medicine was working so we are distracted with the joy of the gospel, am I right? Their faces were funny when they explained their sickness and lack of sleep and then I still said we were going work haha but the cute sister was happy outside proselyting and replied that working actually does help. I learned a lot from that sister that day!! 
- We realized Karen is actually pretty shy. Karen is the name of the Typhoon that came our way this week. Church was cancelled, clouds were creepily heavy and dark, power going out but....the actually storm never hit our area. Don't worry mom :) 
- Saw my old batch MTC mates at the store on P day and we realized that day was 8 months from the day we entered the mission. CRAZY.



Missionaries can Laugh Too:
-For finding we prayed about where to go of course and what to bring. We felt prompted about a certain street and carry lots of book of mormons. The first house we found was a whole extended family cleaning because the grandpa had passed away just one hour earlier. My face I guess was pretty funny when they invited us in to see the body that was still on the floor, apparently that's a normal thing! But it was good because once inside we stole the brooms and started cleaning (of course I was careful sweeping around the body). After almost two hours all the dust webs and spiders were gone and we were able to share from the Book of Mormon with the fam. Pretty cool huh?? Closest I have ever been to a dead body. 

You Know You're in the Philippines When...
You ride a tryke which is like those things parents cam pull their kids in behind a bike, but it is on the side of the bike. It looks like it should fit 2 people but of course you fit like 6 people. (two inside, two in the back, one behind the biker on the bike itself and one on top of the whole thing) ​

Tagalog / English:
Ang magandang balita namin ay na pwuede maging walang hanggan ang mga pamilya natin / 
Our beautiful news is that our familes can be eternal. 

Spiritual Thought:
These are the questions I wrote down after each talk in Conference. As I review them I am picking one to work on every week or two until the next conference. I know the apostles speak the word of god that we need to hear right now and am confident that if I study and apply them I will get closer to the missionary and person that the Lord needs me to be. I encourage you all to do the same! 

What shall I give in return for so much? 

If I loved the Savior more, would I suffer less? 

Do I pray as if conversing with my Creator? 

Do I realize and appreciate the miracle of the life and faith of Joseph Smith? 

Am I praying or just saying prayers? 

When was the last time I asked God if my works were acceptable to Him? 

How am I doing as my part of the puzzle? 

What are my stumbling blocks to being "valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ?" 

Can I see the Book of Mormon as the keystone of my life? 

Am I comfortable now presenting the effects of my works, or who I am becoming, to God? 

At the end my search for knowledge do I rely on faith? 

Do I serve willingly without murmuring or complaint? 

Will I continue to play missionary work as a major cord in the song of my life even after I return? 

Do I let circumstances determine my happiness? 

Do I use Saturday to prepare for the sacred ordinance of the sacrament? 

Do I slacken my faith by forgetting the Lord is on board? 

Is my life a token and expression of how I worship God? 

Can I say I righteously judge myself? 

Am I receiving ALL things with gratefulness? 

Do I believe what I know? 

Do I see my calling as an assignment or a gift from God? 

How quickly do I forget my spiritual experiences and answers? 

Do I endure my trials in an ennobling way or just passing through? 

How can I prepare my children to know the Savior through my own example? 

How much do I value the joy of repentance over the opinions of others? 

Do I lack the godly sorrow, love for the savior, and courage to confess and repent? 

What "toys" do I put before the importance of eternal life? 


Mahal ko Kayo!!!


Ate Walters 


Monday, October 10, 2016

Road Trips, Hotels, General Conference!

ANOTHER GREAT WEEK! Wow I bet you're shocked, as if we hear anything else at the beginning of missionary emails ;) But hey we are just happy sharing the gospel, don't judge. 


Highlights:

-We had our MLC (missionary leader correlation meeting) in Baguio this week! So the AP's drove us up the mountain to a hotel that President reserved for our meeting.
There we discussed how the mission is going and what new directions we need to set. It was fun to have a big sleepover with all the STL's even though president made us tally surveys from all the missionaries until one in the morning haha :)


- Sister Barbante had her birthday on sunday!! Over the course of a couple burnt ones, I ended up making her some presentable birthday pancakes for breakfast :) And hey at least we know the fire alarm works. 


- We got a call from President on our way home from Conference and he said we would be getting a new kasama that night! Her name is Sister Aurello and now we are a threesome and it's actually pretty fun. She is a super awesome missionary. We feel like we just conquer the street now with three of us talking to literally EVERYONE we pass by. 

- Another fun finding experience. I just LOVE when we ask if we can introduce ourselves to someone and they just say "Bakit?!" (Why?) It's like "Hey we are missionaries!" "Bakit?" or "What's your name?" "Bakit?" It's a little harsh but I just smile a little knowing they don't know about our gospel magic and then I proceed getting to know them, sharing a little about our church, and pretty soon they can't resist and we are in their house singing I am A Child of God and she is crying telling us about her husband that passed away. Then you teach the plan of salvation and it's wonderful. At least that's what happened to Auntie Eldie this week :) 


Missionaries can Laugh Too...

-You know in the movies where someone is standing on the side of the road in the rain and to make the picture more miserable a huge van passes by and showers them with dirty water? That happened to sister Barbante while she valiantly covered me with her payong (umbrella). I owe my life to her now cause I just laughed my head off. And of course offered to help ;) 

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

- You shower(pour a bucket over your head) three times a day, morning, when you come home for lunch, and before you sleep because you sweat SO much from the heat. (pour a bucket over your head) 

Ilocano / Tagalog / English

Agyaman / Salamat / Thank You 

Spiritual Thought:

Wasn't conference incredible? It really is like christmas as a missionary because you love your investigators SO much but always feel unqualified for the perfect missionary that they need so you just hunger for any sources that can teach you how to be better. and what better opportunity than to hear from Apostles of the Lord? Although I am a little distraught I didn't get to hear from Elder Holland in General Conference (you're lucky all you priesthood!) I received so many answers from each of the speakers that I have been praying and fasting for. My note taking was a different this time and I am excited to apply it to my life. After each talk I just wrote down a question of self-evaluation that I will study until the next conference. Each week working on one by one. I forgot to bring my notebook to the computer shop but I will type the questions next week for you to see if any of them might strike you as well. But I know whatever you felt from conference is direct revelation for YOU and I know it is not meant to be left as pretty handwriting in a notebook in our closets. STUDY your notes. Use them side by side with your scripture study. And try to see self-evaluation questions there as well as you review, to make more clear the path you need to follow personally to come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ and become firmer and firmer in the faith. 


I love you all!!

Ate Walters 


Monday, October 3, 2016

I'm Not Leaving Bacnotan sorry Mom :)‏

Highlights:

- I had my first exchanges!! Of course I picked my nanay (mom or trainer) to exchange with first. Their area is actually usually bawal (not allowed) for white, girl, foreigners like me but I needed to check their house and area so...to Balaoan I went! We just had to be home by 7 pm. Anyways I learned SO much from the sisters there and of course it was so fun to be companions with my trainer again for a day. Crazy how fast the mission flies, we felt like we were just in Baguio and she was teaching me how to be a missionary haha! 
So fun to be with my trainer again...
- We were able to attend General Women's Conference (sorry, behind the times here in the Pines) and wasn't that so awesome! I learned a lot about faith; what it can and cannot do. I am so grateful to be on a mission getting that "bedrock understanding of the Doctrine of Christ" that the lord needs in women today. Also of course Elder Uchtdorf didn't fail to tie in his time of being a pilot and the love of his life, Harriot :) 

- I was humbled again this week by being reminded to rely on the Lord and his spirit and not ourselves. It's HIS time anyway and not ours! So one night we just stopped on the side of the street and prayed to know where he needed us. I felt to walk to a house that before rejected the gospel and there we met a less active that said he didn't know what had happened to him now, and then sister Barbante felt to visit another less active where the daughter had an experience that morning- she shared she felt she needed to start the Book of Mormon again that day and there she got enough strength to ask her boss if she could be absent on Sunday in order to go to church. It felt SO good to know the Lord is really there and willing to guide us if we just stop and ask. 
The beautiful area in which we serve...

Missionaries Can Laugh Too:
Sunday night it started pouring and I was the only one who had an umbrella out of the three of us (my twin Sister Brooklyn was working with us). All of us wanted to be the one to take it for the team so none of us ended up using it! We wrapped our bags in plastic and set out in the rain, it was SO fun. Especially when sister Barbante ran the last part home to make curfew hahaha :) 
Yes, Mom, sometimes I am so tired I still fall asleep on the floor, same as always!

You Know You're in the Philippines When...
You go to the outside market to buy your fruits and vegetables and the fish are so fresh they are literally jumping on the table 
Yes, this is a real chicken foot!

Ilocano / Tagalog / English

Anyana ti balayo? / Saan ang bahay mo? / Where is your house? 


Spiritual Thought:
 Let’s all just review President Uchtdorf's thoughts on faith and re-evaluate how strong our faith is. Moroni 7:33 says faith makes everything possible that is expedient to the Lord. We can't use our faith to force our will on the Lord or take away the agency of others. But the Lord DOES promise that he can work any miracle inside of US according to our faith. This was a good reminder for me and I am so grateful for my mission right now how it tests, breaks down, and builds back up stronger my faith in my savior Jesus Christ and how exactly aware he is of me. How he uses me in my weaknesses (cause there’s a lot) to be an instrument for his children here but he can only use me as strong as my faith is in him and his Atonement.
On Sundays we wear stripes, me and the YSA branch...

I love you all and have the best week!!!

sis. Rhea  Walters 

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