Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ayoko Sanang Matapos" (I didn't wan't it to end)


Ayoko Sanang Matapos" (I didn't wan't it to end)

sobrang saya. ayoko sanang matapos" (So so happy. I didn't want it to end) Is was Narciso said 
when I asked him how he felt after his confirmation as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
 Latter Day Saints. Man my heart soared that Sunday and on Friday when him and his wife
 Carolina were baptized!! Their testimonies were incredibly strong and Tatay even talked about how hard headed he was before but he said the Holy Ghost has softened his heart and given him strength against temptations and told him the gospel is true. We gave them a picture of the Manila Temple and Carolina just said "In 1 year" and smiled :) 



We sang a rendition we made up of "How Great Thou Art" and Bishop said again he wants us to come back to sing at his funeral haha. He also had us sing it in church! That is my all time favorite thing to do. I feel the spirit so strong and just know I am not really the one singing. 

Our mission president came to the baptism! He surprised everyone when I started leading the song and he said "wait!" He ran up to play the keyboard haha and THEN he came to our ward activity the next day at the beach and sang karaoke to his wife! He is seriously hilarious. 




Also transfer day this week so...drum roll please..I am...STILL IN BACNOTAN! Found 5 (fifth transfer). My sweet companion and trainee will be going home for medical reasons and not gonna lie it's hard to see her go because she is an incredible missionary. 






Released as a Sister Training Leader finally but actually...I am really going to miss looking after and learning from all those sisters! Then I was confused when the AP told me they still need me at the meetings with President because he called me as the Coordinator of Language Study for the mission! SO...please pray for me to know how to help the foreigners learn Tagalog and the Filipinos study English

Tagalog/ English :
Matigas ang ulo- Hard headed 

You Know You're in the Philippines When:
If you can't walk to the appointment you take a tryke, and if the cart is full on the side of the motorcycle you just ride on the back of the motorcycle and hold on for dear life! It's super fun. Not sure how safe though. 

Spiritual Thought:
Elder Bednar gave a broadcast the Philippines and man I love him. No sugar coating. One thing I really loved it was my bestie in the mission mentioned in her email (sister Bleak) that mistakes are not sins. We often are too hard on our selves in evaluating how well we are "pressing forward in faith" but he said pressing forward IS faith. Faith is action. So if we are acting in accordance with the covenants we have made and living the gospel, we still have faith. Having questions or making mistakes doesn't mean we are lost. We are only lost when we stop. moving. 

In D&C 97:8 it says "All among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits are contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice- yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command- they are accepted of me." 

So let's not be too hard on ourselves if we are honestly giving our best with a willing and broken heart, sacrificing the things we and the world want, for what God wants. 

I love you all. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. He is the my strength and my song and the reason I am here. 

Sister Walters 

February 20, 2017

Heeyyy good week full of lots of fun surprises!

1) I have been officially re-assigned to the Manila Mission. Just kidding but round two at the MRC with my companion who is getting her foot checked out! 



on the bus to candon zone training



2) The elders were so kind to teach our investigators while we are gone and the Villanueva passed their interview with flying colors! Their baptism will be this week 


3) You probably don't remember but last time I was here I met two africans in Abby's ward and realized one wasn't a member yet, asking if he wanted to be taught. Sister Zarbock and I ended up teaching him at the church together and the spirit was awesome we commited him to baptism in the first lesson! So he was the first thing on my mind when we walked into the chapel and guess what...HE WAS BAPTIZED THE DAY BEFORE! That was a tender mercy meeting him on that back row and introducing the gospel, to seeing him confirmed a member and given the holy ghost. He just shook my hand and said "thank you thank you" Him and his sister are so strong. 


4) Earlier in the week we had a zone conference in Candon! Usually white sisters aren't allowed there so that was cool. Got to see my nanay again (mom / trainer) 


5) Oh yeah I turned 20 haha my birthday happened pala. THANK YOU MOM AND DAD FOR THE PACKAGE! The new bag has done wonders for my back. Also the Ortega family and the elders showed up at the house in the morning with burgers and a cake. Such a fun surprise. 



Missionaries can Laugh:
Filipino's just crack me up so bad. Sister Swainston was pretty wiped from our bus ride and was quiet in the car on the way to the MRC- the driver just stops talking and goes "sister swainston. COME ON." You're smiling Mona Lisa- no teeth. Maybe you have a gum or something." Hahaha that got her laughing. 

what the abenojar's son drives us home in at night hahaha 


You Know You're in the Philippines When:
You can ask anyone how old they are- it's not weird at all 

Tagalog:
Puyat- running on no sleep (not to be confused with puwitt (rear end) or payat (skinny)) 
star bucks in Manila



Spiritual Thought:
We watched an amazing talk on the importance of the sacrament given by Elder Holland before I was even born but I think it is just as or more important today. In Mosiah 3 King Benjamin talks about the atonement how much Christ truly suffered, "tempations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish...." We pain at thought of our Savior and beloved brother experiencing all this, and almost wish we could take him from that pain. We feel this because we love Him. But if we truly love Him, we will take of his emblems with complete respect and reverence because we understand they are what represent Him now. We need to come to church with enough time to meditate and prepare ourselves spiritually (although that preparation starts on Saturday even as we know from the primary song). We all need to sing the sacrament hymn because it in itself is a prayer and no one’s voice is unworthy of a prayer. The men are encouraged to wear white shirts. We need to put in our hearts the words of the prayer, and use the quiet time to review our week, the life of the savior, pray, and make covenants to try better the next week and how. 
I know that the Sacrament is indeed a blessing and can be a resetting point in our life each week to not only obtain forgiveness but also strength to endure what is coming that week. We need our savior Jesus Christ and we need this Sacrament each week. I am so grateful for this and know it blesses me as a missionary when I partake of it worthily! A different power enters into my life when I center it on preparing for the sacrament. 
we got new tags with our mission written on it


Mahal ko kayo! 
Sister Walters 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Highlights:


-So, remember how I was frustrated with faith, agency, and unanswered prayers last week? Well the Lord gave me a sweet reminder that he DOES always answer prayers and gives us what we ask for if it is in faith and if it's right. I had fasted and prayed ALL night last Saturday for tatay villanueva to come to church and he didn't show up. I prayed specifically the lord would prompt him to come. When we came back the next week Tatay looked straight at me and said "Sister Walters, I couldn't sleep all night because God was telling me to go to church." YES!! I was so humbled, and happy. I smiled and asked him what he would do so he could sleep better this week. He said he was gonna force himself to stop his work and come to church. THEY ALL CAME TO CHURCH as a fam and their baptism will continue for the 25th. God answers prayers. 


-Hazel said she wants to be baptized as soon as possible so we had to teach the Word of Wisdom right away because they have to keep it for a month before they can be baptized. Her face when we said we shouldn't drink coffee was SO funny but at church she told us she stopped right away and when we husband was a little annoyed she said he could drink hot water with salt in it if he wanted but they weren't drinking coffee because God said it will make them sick. She is amazing. 

-Also my heart melted when she was reading out loud in relief society and struggling a little bit so sister Ortega comes behind her and puts her own reading glasses over her eyes. The ones we bought her got lost and sister ortega's kindness came to save the day!! 
The Other Sister Training Leaders

- Remember that group of little kids we taught last week? They came RUNNING up to us the other day so excited and said in one big burst "SISTER WALTERS! I read every day and I prayed and asked if the sister missionaries were true and I felt something like God said yes, it's true. We believe you." Um, am I surprised that Jesus Christ ministered to little children and angels surrounded them? Not at all. Their faith is incredible. That particular one is Mark and he turns 8 today. 

- No big deal um....I have been on my mission for 1 YEAR! We had a meeting with the other sister training leaders and zone leaders on Friday and they were looking at my pictures I keep with me- one was the day I came into the MTC and the they noticed the back said February 10, 2016. They were like TODAY YOU HAVE BEEN HERE FOR A YEAR! I was like..oh yeah..haha that's a long time. Mission is too fast everyone. 


Missionaries can Laugh Too:
Filipinos say their "p"s as "f" and "f" and "p"s. We were talking in english with the Macabuags for dinner and I said "how was your day brother Alex?" he cleverly replied "Fine- like a fine apple" (meaning pineapple) Maybe you had to be there but I DIED. Filipinos talkenglish SO funny. 

You Know You're in the Philippines When:
You have a list like this to count church attendance :
hahaha 

Tagalog:
"Kinakonscienca ako ng Diyos" That's an example of "Taglish" They made "conscience" a verb and said God was making them conscience. That's what Tatay said when he couldn't sleep haha.


Spiritual Thought:
Basically, I am inspired again by my amazing friends and this week I want to comment on Sister Hardcastles study of submitting to the will of the father. No matter how happy the mission is there are definitely still hard times, and times where you are treading water and close to running out of strength and breath, wondering when the rescue ship is coming. But I take comfort in studying about the atonement of Jesus Christ knowing that anything coming my way is something he himself has overcome. There is a scripture in 1 Nephi 9: 19 or 19:9 something like that that lists all the pain he went through and after every one it says "and he suffereth it" because of his "long-suffering kindness towards the children of men." We press through these trials on the mission because we love our investigators, and our companions, and mostly our savior. I know with whatever you are facing if you study his sacrifice and his atonement you will find the strength to break the surface of the water and start swimming strong- whether the waves have subsided or not. 

I'd like to close with what my grandma sent me when people are going through hard times and they ask their Heavenly Father why:

"Why are you taking me through such troubled waters?"
"Because your enemies can't swim." 

Love you grandma :) and LOVE YOU ALL!! 

Sister Walters
 



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kalayaan na Pumili (Agency)

First off I would like to formally apologize to everyone- before the mission I was definitely an email reader who got tired of the really long emails from missionaries and just looked at the pictures. Now I am that missionary who can't help but write everything about the week because I think everyone is obsessed about the mission, the Philippines, and the people we get to teach as I am. So I will try to be more simple from now on and fill you in on the details when I am home (just kidding I'm not going home)



Highlights
  • My beautiful comp's birthday today! Of course she got breakfast in bed. 



  • Stake Choir was a hit. We even got awesome costumes and called the Bacnotan Tabernacle Choir. 


  • Sister Hazel told us she wants to be baptized as soon as possible despite other influences telling her to think twice
  • Met 10 new investigators on one day because a bunch of kids latched on to us and told us to come back on sunday and teach. Little by little their parents and grandparents and others living in the neighborhood just came to sit down until it was a huge group of people just listening to the incredible message of the restoration. One of them was apparently the neighborhood official and told us we could come back anytime and he would gather the people. 
  • Carol Villanueva came all the way down to the stake center for church because she didn't want to miss a Sunday for her baptisms    



On the other hand..we had a couple hardships this week


In short we've had some investigators that were really strong use their agency in contrary to things that will help them progress towards baptism. I fasted and prayed so SO hard and bore testimony as powerful and heartfelt as I may have ever done, searched for the perfect scriptures, contacted ward members and other missionaries to pray...and I have realized after all we can do the Lord will never take away our agency or anyone's agency. I was pretty discouraged BUT I realized a couple things I'll write about later.
  • The poverty is something that has struck more on my heart this week. One of our investigators is so so poor and it may be 5 pm when we get there and her kids haven't eaten lunch because they don't have the money. We are excited to buy her reading glasses today though so she can read the Book of Mormon (thanks grandma for the birthday money! It's going to a good cause). And her faith is so strong she still committed to find a way to save money every week to come to church.


  • Missionaries can Laugh
    We thought we made friends with the monkey next to our house but it's actually like rabid so thats too bad.





​​​​Tagalog

Alam mo ba na ito ang mga chips ng Panginoon? (don't you know these are the Lord's chips?)

Know You're in the Philippines when

The ward rents a jeepney to go home in after conference. Also they put soft drinks into plastic bags with straws.







video








Spiritual Thought
I had to ponder faith this week because I had that temptation come into my mind to be a little bit upset with God. I remembered the scripture in Moroni 10:23 that says we can do all things through our faith in Christ. I didn't understand why things hadn't worked out with our investigators, why they chose the things they did or didn't understand or read...or how we could bear the strongest testimony of truth and they could say they have nothing to say. It hurt because we asked in faith and fasted and prayed and worked hard. But the last of that verse says "which is expedient to the Lord". All things will happen on HIS timing and according to HIS will, not ours. He still expects us to do our best but then humbly accept his plan and the agency of others, being satisfied that we have shown our faith still. I've been humbled and will continue to work hard for those investigators and try to submit myself even further to God's will to be an effective instrument in his hands.