Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is This Real Life

Okay so welcome to Episode 500 of Sister Walters mission this week seriously feels like another reality show because of how much has been going on these past weeks! 

Highlight Reel: 

- LOTS of hospital time but after more tests almost all good news! In short they found something in my thyroid too in an ultrasound and that was really scary after all the other diagnoses that have happened on my mission BUT after some blood tests, it is benign! That was such an answered prayer. Also with my liver and my stomach we've got some new medicines circulating so this girl is keeping more food down. And thanks to an AMAZING last package (you're the bomb mom) the protein bars are a huge help. I will go back to the hospital in Manila for the last time this week! 

-1st DEVOTIONAL! We performed "Come Unto Christ" in Agoo (the bottom of the mission) and it went so well. An area seventy came up from Manila and spoke at the end. Also the ward prepared so well and brought almost 90 investigators. I am so in love with spreading the Lord's gospel and testifying through music. 
     -Funny Moment: someone said something about "fans" and I thought they were hot so I went to get literal fans, but they meant there were some fans that wanted to take a picture with Sister Bleak and I after the devotional hahaha. Filipinas are SO cute. 

- I am still in love with working with these two companions. The spirit is so strong with them testifying by my side. 
   Tan family had a powerful lesson using the Restoration video. The DVD player was so quiet I prayed and prayed somehow they would hear it and when it got to the first vision part all the sudden the rain stopped, the wind stopped, you could hear a pin drop, and the family got emotional. The mom said "ito ang sinasabi mo na Holy Ghost?" "This is what you call the Holy Ghost" 
    Abat family came to church as a WHOLE family for the first time! Thanks to members coming with us to the lesson and extending a strong invite. MEMBERS HELP THE MISSIONARIES. 

Other Funny Moments: 
- I was really sick one day but we had to travel up to Baguio (on the mountains) to teach music so on the way up we pulled over for me to throw up. Upon seeing a white girl get out of the car this man runs out to his gate opens it and goes "Are you looking for a job??" I struggled to get out "No I just need a place to throw up" before I ran a little ways down the street. Hahaha I love these people. 
- We randomly here "ELDERS!" as we walk down the street and see a bunch of random people waving at us. 

Tagalog: "Taglish" English and Taglish is a real thing. But if they are going to say a word that starts with "s" there needs to be an "eee" sound before it. "istress" "istore" "isky" hahaha 

You Know You're Serving in the Philippines When: 
You're dripping in sweat walking to the appointment, then dripping in rain because it started storming after the appointment. And you walk across sketchy bamboo bridges, then try to hold the sides to not slip only to find that you just grabbed a pile of red ants too. Those things bite. 

Spiritual Thought: 
Sorry this email is long but my heart was so full yet so heavy on Sunday when we discussed a talk given in General Conference October 2016, "God Wipes Away All Tears." The story there is actually about a family in our ward and our stake patriarch. For details you can read the talk, but in short his first wife and all 5 children were burned in a house fire 20 years ago. His new wife, Monnet, one of the members I love, spoke on the continuous challenges her husband goes through and even her own from being his second wife after that traumatic experience. 
It was overwhelming to hear the grief He went through and to realize how small the trials I have experienced are. But the speaker of this talk mentioned he did not share that sensitive story to make us feel as if our current challenges are too small to be worthy of the pain we feel, his intention was that even the deepest of sorrows, Our savior can heal. 
"Even the darkest night turns into day for the faithful"
I know our Savior is real and that he truly suffered all the pain we will ever feel in this life. I know if we continue on the right path, in dedication and worship to him while our faith is tested, we WILL feel his healing and enabling power and those trials will bring us closer to Him. 
I am so grateful for Him and my heart was so full singing of Him and his love to all those members and investigators in Agoo, and can't wait to continue sharing with these amazing people of the Philippines. 
Every day try to look for how you have felt His love for whatever hardships you experienced that day! I promise you will see it. 

Sister Walters 

*Also today for Pday, President took us to Tangadan Falls to celebrate the work on "Come Unto Christ". It was sooooo beautiful. And of course, for breakfast, they served sweet spaghetti. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Blessings on Blessings

So president organized a special transfer this last week which happens to be my LAST 6 WEEKS (you can be excited mom but don't remind me cause I want to cry) and lots of things have changed! 

1) I forgot to mention this but I was able to be released finally as STL a week or two ago so I could focus on other assignments president needs for these last couple weeks. Those 10 months of my mission were so hard and at the same time so amazing because I learned incredible things from every sister about humility, true purpose of heart, diligence, and how to be a Christlike missionary not just do Christlike things. 
Coming back from conferences, this is what happens when you have to wake up at 4 am 

2) 2 NEW COMPANIONS!!! One of this is adorable sister Porter who is the most diligent missionary I have ever seen. On Sunday I almost passed out upon arriving at home because we walked so fast, yet talked to everyone, teach with this spirit on fire, like YES, I have missed this so much. She is from Colorado and about 5 months in the mission. And very tall. And blonde too. 
   I just cry to the Lord in gratitude because our lessons flow perfectly, the spirit is so strong, we all want to give our best to this work, and the took care of me sooo good when I was sick (again) this week. 
They take good care of me...and pray over me? 

3) Devotionals are starting! The stakes are all scheduling across the mission so now every single Saturday until we leave is scheduled, some Sundays. and there will be special practices every Tuesday. So this is going to be a huge roller coaster of traveling, music, singing, then working in our area when we can. 
Batch mates in the mission! 

Health Update- Um just don't worry about it anymore mom haha, I'll just make sure I come home in one piece. 

You Know You're in the Phillippines When...
The People are SO open. About everything. Just talking to someone on a jeepney for 10 minutes and you know all about the past crimes they've done, family struggles, and of course favorite ulam. (thats whatever food goes on top of the rice) 

Fav Missionary Moment...
So jeepneys are like mini buses and sometimes it's kind of awkward to talk to people on it BUT we need to spread the good word God right? So I couldn't speak for a day but I really didn't want to miss out on the chance so I just smiled, waved, handed out cards to people on the bus so my comps were kind of forced to explain them so I didn't look like a crazy person. They totally caught on and by the time we got to where we were going every single person that got on that jeepney had been approached by a missionary. kill eeem 

Happy Father's Day- most especially to my dad, I probably wouldn't have made it this far without him. Love you so so much Dad. (Also I was like throwing up that day so I look medyo patay)

Spiritual Thought: 
Mosiah 14: 2-5 
President Blessed us with the opportunity to bear our departing testimonies at every. zone. conference. (He has a thing for impromptu songs and speakers) But it actually was a blessing to share what the Spirit prompted, from what I've learned on the mission. One zone conference I spoke on how my understanding of the Atonement, and more especially, His experience in Garden of Gethsemane has grown. 
I feel so humbled and honored to have experienced every challenge along with every joy on this mission because if I can experience even a fraction of what our Savior went through that night, I am beyond lucky. I know I would not have grown to love, appreciate, and know my Savior if I had not decided to follow the call and serve a mission here in the Philippines. 

If you are experiencing anything that really tests your faith, thank God. Any trial widens our understanding of our older brother and Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ and if not for those times we would not reach the divine potential we have, and the person we need to become in order to reside in his presence again after this life. 

Thank you again for all your support and prayers- ps please include that I won't get sick for the next 6 weeks because I really just want to work work work and give my best to the Lord while I get to wear his name on my chest.  

Happy Father's Day- most especially to my dad, I probably wouldn't have made it this far without him. Love you so so much Dad. (Also I was like throwing up that day so I look medyo patay) 

Love you all!
Sister Walters 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Faith, Sacrifice, and Consecration


There are a lot of things that happened this week that weren't, in short words, the happiest in my life, BUT let's focus on the positive and I'll tell you about my favorite day of the week. 

On Wednesday we WORKED, the WHOLE day. Ah it was soooo nice to feel that exhausted from walking, the heat, talking to everyone you pass by, helping current investigators, finding new ones, man I miss just straight hard missionary work. That feeling you were able to give the Lord your all is the best :) There was one finding experience in particular, an area where they are not kind to missionaries, to say the least, haha, but we just had faith! If they love Jesus Christ, then they will let in his worthy representatives. The person we went for was gone, but the next door we knocked on, was a family! And they let us in right away! I kind of just stood there with a huge smile on my face until they did but it worked! I love the feeling of teaching a complete family, how they can achieve happiness together through the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Speaking of families the Tan family is progressing great. It may be slower than I want, but at least they are sure. They really want to understand everything before moving on but the mom is very interested in her family becoming eternal. And just last night, we were walking home and the mom texted saying "good evening everyone. Sister Walters, I am happy to let you know we just prayed earlier as a family for the first time. Thank you so much." Aaahhhh tender missionary moments. 

As far as health. the ears are good, the stomach is okay, now it's just migranes from the heat and then I got a nasty cold cause it randomly starts POURING and my umbrella got stolen. I didn't want to stop working though so I said I was fine as long as my scriptures didn't get wet. And now I'm sneezing all over the place so my companions have a right to make fun of me haha but hey after everything that's happened on this mission, I will take a cold and some headaches 

Tagalog Longest word
something like this "pinakanakakapagngingingingingitanpinasinusinusinugalingan" Family can you please take a video of yourselves saying that? If you need you can start with "pananampalataya" or "nakakapagbabagabag" (faith and bothersome) 

You Know You're in the Philippines When: 
Bucket showers are far more preferable than head showers. And the cold doesn't even shake ya 

Spiritual Thought: 
In our stake broadcast yesterday Elder Bednar gave an amazing talk on how true faith leads to sacrifice, and ultimate sacrifice leads to complete consecration of ourselves unto God. 
"Faith always leads to righteous action" said Elder Bednar.
Faith is also what leads us to sacrifice for the Lord. Elder Robbins called it "celestial math" that the Lord always gives us more than anything we will give up for him. This faith must lead us to willing obedience like Adam who, when asked why he was making sacrifices responded: "I know not, save the Lord commanded me." 
To be honest, this past week I have no idea why some things have happened and why other things are going to happen in the mission. There are some responsibilities, callings, or assignments or challenges that are so so hard. Many times I have wondered if I really can keep going. But I know I need to become like Adam, and not ask why. but get started, as my grandma says "pick up your bootstraps" and keep on smiling. Whatever I am asked to sacrifice I know the Lord has promised blessings in store. 
We may sacrifice a couple things for the Lord but true consecration is giving up our whole selves, our everything for the Lord to refine and rebuild us. We may sacrifice by saying we would die for the gospel of Jesus Christ, but Elder Bednar invites us to be consecrated to the Lord, consecrated members, and live for the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

these are some pictures of the views, investigators, and my companions on sister Ormby's 6 months, also our favorite buko shake stand, and seeing the Bacnotan members at stake conference!! 

oh yeah ps Funny Moment: played "hair fight" at president's house for a family home evening- you put a piece of hair on a plate with water and then blow it. of course, mine is the only blonde so I have to get reeeaallly close to see it. Then President comes and slaps the water with his hand I got a face full of it. Thanks, President Bangal ;) haha I'll also attach a video of the game I taught them for FHE, they LOVED it. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Timmy Saves the Day

This week was pretty crazy. We are praying for a normal week this week FULL of work with no interruptions :) 
Our favorite kids from the Tan Family! 

Missionaries Should Laugh: 
One crazy thing was when I accidentally dropped our keys in the tryke so we got locked out of our house....luckily I could squeeze through the first gate but then the AP's had to come and do some par cor (is that how you spell that) up the side of the house to get to our balcony and go through that door to let us in. There's your laugh for the day. 
New friends at the house. 

A big downer actually this week was that Saturday morning we get a text from Nanay Nida saying John wasn't going to be baptized was the day of!!! We spoke to him but he just got scared all the sudden. DARN IT, SATAN. He still wants to be a missionary though and come to church so we will just keep working with him. bbuuutt The baptism continued just with Timmy! Cutest little boy. Timmy came in clutch for Lingsat ward. 
Timmy's baptism

Oh, another laugh, Sister Ormsby and I were able to sing for Ward Conference and the stake president invited us to sing for stake conference next week! That will be fun but then I was asked to play piano for young women's anddd...that brought a well deserved "Sister Walters, maybe just stick to singing." Hahahaha, sorry I quit piano mom. 

Despite some, actually a lot, of trials, Sister Ormsby and I are still working hard, talking to everyone we see (just not always the creepy singing men), teaching the Restoration and Plan of Salvation on the spot to resting Filipinos, and working on other baptisms for the month of June. 
Visit to Ma-Cho temple for some...stretching :)

This is us summoning our eagle powers. 

You Know You're in the Philippines When:
I might have already said this but no matter who the person is you call them family. Literally any old woman is "nanay" (mom), older man "tatay" (dad), middle aged is Tito or Tita (aunt and auncle), then an girl or boy older than you is automatically called "ate" or "kuya" (sister and brother) Then if we see any little kid we call them "adding" (younger sibling.) I LOVE that about their culture. 
Family Picture- thanks for the photoshop fam ;) 

Spiritual Thought: 
I love this quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks 
"The apostle Paul taught that the Lord's teachings and teachers were given that we may all attain 'the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ'. This process requires far more than acquiring knowledge. It is not even enough to be convinced of the gospel; we must act and thing so that we are converted by it. In contrast to the Institutions of the world which teach us to know something, the Gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something."  

I was blessed with the opportunity to give a workshop on converted missionaries and this quote stuck with me all week. I have been pondering not only how the Lord has converted me on the mission, but how I will continue my process of conversion and becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ upon returning home. I know that life is no "spiritual picnic" But if we approach trials with faith, these refining experiences bring a deeper, conversion of the Savior's reality. That's what I have felt on this mission. Because it was been plentiful of trials and miracles, I have been further converted that our Savior is a real and living being. We MUST learn of Him, come to Him, and strive to be like Him, in order to truly achieve our potential in this life. On the other hand, the same testing experiences, approached in a "worldly way" cloud our view and weaken our resolve. 

I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I know this is HIS work not mine. Whatever Satan continues to to throw my way, I will not waste the Lord's time, even by becoming discouraged, because like Nephi, "I know in whom I have trusted." 
Rainy season is HERE. Crazy storms this week. Pero work pa rin :)

Mahal ko kayong lahat!! 
Ate Walters