Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 27, 2016 - It's a Good Thing I Love Roller Coasters

If you've got a queasy stomach maybe thing twice about serving a mission because it is literally just. like. a roller. coaster. Just kidding everyone that is able to should strive to serve a mission because the Lord will use you to help others shape their lives to the gospel and around the atonement of Jesus Christ, and he will shape and refine you while you're doing it. They don't call it refiner's fire because the metal doesn't experience any pain, stretching, or bending, in order to become what the master intends for it to be. This week was a very wonderful opportunity for me to feel that. And shouldn't we count our trials as blessings? 

- We had exchanges one day this week and Sister Bleak (my old MTC comp and tunay na kusama)  and I had a little thanksgiving celebration. I was reminded this week of the importance of gratitude no matter what our circumstances are. Sometimes when times are so hard you feel like you could pray for 2 hours listing all the things you think you need...I love to limit my prayers to mga pinapasalamatan (things your are grateful for). You find there are still too many to count. 
-We switched areas with the Elders and got to teach one of their investigators that had been investigators for a couple of years now and never came to church. We felt the power of being "bold and loving" and sure enough they were touched, they prayed about coming to church, and at our follow up lesson the dad said he felt the Lord say "Pumunta ka anak" (Go child) On Sunday they showed up with their two grandchildren as well and the ward worked their fellow shipping magic so we will see where that goes. 

Light Moment:
- In ward council my companion suggested the ward start weekly ward Friday nights for us to invite investigators, retain recent converts, and reactivate less actives, 3 in one.After like 10 minutes of discussing it, a brother in the council (he is older now but used to be the bishop) slowly raises his hand and just says "I suggest we have a ward night where we can invite investigators, include those who are new in the ward, and bring back the less actives.." He is a little bit slow but SO funny and everyone sat for a second and then burst out laughing cause that's exactly what my companion said. We just thanked him for the great idea and continued planning :) 

You Know You're in the Philippines When...
No one means any harm by how blunt they are with what you look like. On sunday I got people asking what was wrong because "you look pangit today" (you look ugly) hahahaha it actually lifted my spirits a ton because it was so funny. I love it here :) 

Bubuhatin tayo ng Diyos (God will lift us) 

This is for all my fellow missionaries but for all the members and just everyone in the world actually: Alma 17:2-3 "rejoice exeedingly because they were still his bretheren in the Lord...waxed strong in the scriptures..and this is not all..given themselves to much fasting and prayer..taught with power and authority.." We are asked a lot of us as missionaries but isn't that fitting because of how much Christ has done for us? No matter how tough our missions are I know we will rejoice in the day we all see each other again and we will know how everyone endured, and endured well. In a way they were refined and shaped and molded and strengthened. I have spent a lot of time on my knees this week, with my scriptures, and fasting, even more than 24 hours when necessary. I would like to testify that the Lord does not take away our trials when we do this- but he gives us a better blessing- his power when we teach. There is power to our testimony, conviction. We have his permission and blessing to teach his gospel in his way as if he was the one extended the invitations to his children to come and repent and follow Him. Please never give up. Turn to the Lord and rely on His atonement. Look in the mirror at the person the Lord is making out of you. What are you learning? Thank him for that challenge and as you reply on scriptures, prayer, and fasting, you will see him lift you. 

Sister Walters 

November 20, 2016 - Everything Seems like a Blur

My "four words" sa mission (this is something all the missionaries have to do for our conference)
The title sounds like some cheesy song but that's the truest thing I can say about this week because It's going on two weeks that I haven't been able to find contact solution here and glasses are annoying to wear's literally just been a blur but HEY there is a blessing because...well I'll tell you all later in my funny moment. Stay tuned. 

We found this AWESOME new couple (Brother Alex and Sister Angie) that actually like right across from the Elder's apartment so we tease them that they've been there for like three years and haven't been taught yet but when sisters go...Sister Power is real. Hahaha just kidding everything falls in the right time table! Anyways we clicked right away because they have 6 kids and the mom reminds me so much of my beautiful and compassionate mom. She just wants the best for her family, so right away the lesson was awesome about eternal families, they came to church on Sunday and even woke up early that morning to read their assignment in the Book of Mormon. They treat us like their two kids and I am just super excited to continue teaching them. Missionaries can never give up on finding efforts because after patience and hard work the Lord will guide you to those that are ready. 

We focused on a part member family this week that hasn't been sealed in the temple and has a child who isn't baptized yet and it was so touching their desire to become worthy but the mom just felt she had strayed to far. I felt like Ammon when his heart rejoiced to see the sadness of the other servants when the sheep were scattered because he saw the opportunity to insert the power of the gospel. We had an FHE at their home with the Bishop and were able to encourage that there is no one who the Savior can't reach and bring back into his fold, and to his temple. 

The power of District fast is awesome because on Sunday our couple investigator came, that whole part member family, a less active who I have never seen at church and turns out she is an old class mate of sister Vangie our investigator, and another less active we have been visiting who surprised us by coming to church!!! My heart about lept out the chapel doors seeing them all there. It's pretty funny for a normal teenager maybe a cool concert or some new clothes would excite them but for missionaries seeing investigators or less actives at church is like CHRISTMAS. 

Missionaries can laugh Too:
One of our members has a handicapped child who I love, his name is Humphry. Anyways before we ate she told him to take a shower and he ready for his shower right there. And after his shower came and sat down to eat some rice...hubad pa hahaha. It's a good thing I didn't wear my glasses this week right?? 
Our computer shop!! (super mainit so there is a massive fan blowing) To all my batch mates Elder Decosta took this hahaha

You Know You're in the Philippines When...
If you can't cross the whole street in one time you just walk to the middle and stand there until you can cross the other side too. There aren't really thing such as traffic laws or lanes. 

Spiritual Thought:
II really love Nephi's story in Helaman 10:1-5. He preached and no one listened and eventually he was just "alone in the midst of them". He walked away weighed down with sorrow but the voice of the Lord came unto him and didn't say "why don't you have 40 lessons this week, 20 investigators, and 10 people being baptized" he just said "blessed art thou" because he preached the word with unweariness. I am so comforted by the fact that our best is always enough for the Lord and all he asks is that we follow all his commandments with unweariness and with faith that he will compensate the rest. Never give up because you don't see the physical fruits of your work. Angels are "silent notes taking" and God is aware of all his faithful servants. 

Love ya all!! 

Sister Walters 

Nov 13, 2016 - DON'T WASTE A DAY :)

I teach in primary now every week :)
So basically, a mission is like a literal time warp and I don't even know how this happened but I looked at my calendar this past Thursday
Can't believe how time flies :( 
and realized that 9 months before that I went to the MTC. Sister missionaries only get to serve 18 months...of course I freaked out "I AM ALREADY HALF WAY?!" It's super depressing honestly. There is still just so much I want to learn, must learn, need to improve, and time is just so precious to get to share the gospel to these amazing people in the Philippines. So any one who just barely came into their mission, DON'T WASTE A DAY :) 


We got to do some service this week and I had so much fun. Siste Cudiamat is a returning member and she was way too shy to let us help in any way so we literally just showed up friday morning and said we were doing chores for her. She was still shy but she couldn't say anything as we took of our shoes and help her "mag-gapas". This is the part of the rice process where you seperate the actuall rice from the plant. You just stomp on it and seperate it with your feet (it's super itchy but still fun), then you scoop it into a woven plate thing and throw it in the air/shake it like a pizza dough (that kind of motion), then you pile it into a bag. After that I told Sister Cudiamat that I saw some laundry inside and I was going to fold it. She said she wouldn't have any more work to do and I said "Tama. Para makapagsimba ka" (Exactly, so you can come to church :)) She opened up to us as we folded, and sure enough there she was at church on Sunday :) 

Missionaries can Laugh Too:

Sister Aurelio thought she saw a woman who looked depressed as we were walking so we went back to talk to her but as she looked up at as she just had this really funny wicked witch laugh and asked if we had any money. It ended up she was "baliw" (crazy) and the other's on the street really got a good laugh and so did we but hey she is also a child of God so maybe she needed our smiles at least :) 
Helpin out my kambal sister Brooklyn! 

You know You're in the Philippines When:
You carry a little towel with you everywhere to wipe the sweat off your face 

Tagalog / English

Antok / Sleepy (by 7 pm we look like drunk walkers we are SO tired from the heat and walking but hey masaya pa (happy still) ) 
When president visits and lets you drive the car 

Spiritual Thought:
I Nephi 15:24 talked about how the word of god can provide the protection from the "fiery darts of the devil." And I think that is the perfect way to describe them- as a sort of shield that we can put on every day if we dutifully read our scriptures in the morning. I know everyone is busy in their lives- sometimes missionaries forget that other people have lives besides 24/7 gospel, but the truth is the gospel SHOULD be the center of every single on of our lives because it is the only thing that truly matters. 
In the Liahona there was an awesome analogy about two men competing in a race to cut down the most trees in one day. One man cut the whole day without stopping to make sure he would win. The other took little 10 minute breaks throughout the day. The one who worked all day was sure he would win and, with this in mind, was so shocked to see that his opponent had actually cut more trees. He asked him what he did during his breaks and he replied that he was sharpening his axe. I know that reading our scriptures does not take away from our busy lives, it is not a burden on our schedule. It is the very thing that quickens our mind, gives us the shield we need to abstain from temptations and be more in tune with the spirit to know how to manage all things (temporal and spiritual) I challenge all of you to experiment this week to read every. single, day. Restart the Book of Mormon if you need to, and even if it is only 5 minutes in the morning the lord promises you, you will feel and see the difference. 

Love, Sister Walters!! 
This is our district! 

Nov 6, 2016 - "Don't Worry Sister Walters, We're You're Family Now, Here in the Philippines"

The gospel is of course the same all over the world, but missionary work itself is so different depending on where you are and...I've got to say I feel so lucky to be assigned here in the Philippines because the missionaries really are special members of the ward family. I don't know if I can remember one name of a missionary in our wards in washington or utah but here I have got sisters, brothers, aunts, parents, even a twin! Christmas is already here and they know that can be a homesick time for missionaries so that's what they told me- Don't cry you'e got family here :) 

 - The cute Aguilar couple really felt like my parents this week because we had a 1/2 day mission with the ward! We went on splits and they were my companions. They did AWESOME in the lessons just testifying and actually Brother Ceasar took charge of one lesson, went straight into the Apostasy and why this is the only true church. I was worried the man we were teaching would get confused or offended on the first lesson but afterwards he just said "Everything you're saying is true, I really understand that. I always need to listen to you guys so I can gain more knowledge about God." And then he accepted a baptismal invite. So there, power of members. 
This is Sister Estelle and Brother Ceasar Aguilar! (My "parents" for that day) 

Missionaries can Laugh too:
- Sister Aurelio slapped me in the forehead (to kill a lamok (mosquito)) while I was reading a scripture in a lesson and i had to try SO hard not to laugh and keep the spirit. 
- Cute Nanay Romero (nanay means mom but it's what you call all older ladies) got up to bear her testimony and waved to the crowed before walking up with that big smile of hers, then proceeded to give her thanks for all that attended her lunch party last week and specifically named all those that didn't attend, but kindly gave public forgiveness to them as well. It. was. SO. funny. Even the bishop and his counselors were trying not to laugh on the stand. But hey our investigators still felt the spirit during the meeting because actually she bore a beautiful testimony. She is seriously the best :) 
Guess who is now in my zone!!! Welcome my beloved MTC companion Sister Bleak :) 

You Know You're in the Philippines When..
They will say "I promise" about five times while telling one story to add emphasis even though you haven't said you don't believe them hahaha 

Tagalog / English

"Masarap" = delicious but you don't only use it for food. You can say "masarap matulog" or "masarp ang hangin" (sleeping is delicious, the wind is delicious) 

Spiritual Thought:
I would just like to emphasize the power of patience and love. I thought I was a patient person before but I am learning true patience here on the mission. I read a talk in the Liahona about making the perfect grilled cheese and how you need medium heat. If you turn it up to make it cook faster you will get burnt bread and half melted cheese. But even on medium heat you can't just abandon the sandwich, you have to watch it and turn it over. I have learned I can't solve an investigator's problem in one lesson, I can't change behavior in our zone in one transfer, I can't overcome my weaknesses in just one day...and I'll be honest it can be frustrating because I feel like I am on a ticking clock. I don't want to waste even one day of the Lord's time, but I am constantly inadequate of the responsibilities I need to fulfill. But just like Nephi states in 2 Nephi 4:19 "And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of mine [weaknesses]...nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted." Missionaries need to apply patience to every teaching appointment, every ward, every companion, and especially themselves. But we don't just sit and wait, we are actively striving to improve and showing charity and love to others. The Lord has opened my eyes, broadened my perspective, made clear my struggles, but ALWAYS lifts me up and strengthens me to somehow accomplish what he needs me to do. Being an instrument in his hands is the most incredible feeling. I wouldn't trade that for anything! 

love you all :) 
Sister Walters