Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 35

From: Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>
Date: May 27, 2013 8:55:28 PM CDT


Going to comment and answer a few questions from ya'll. So forgive me if its a little more scatter brained...

Continuing to write in my journal, etc... Its one of my forms of stress relief and way to identify my feelings and organize them. Its nice at the end of each day to Evaluate what happened and identify the little miracles I was blessed to see everyday.  I'm SO tired sometimes, the writing gets extremely sloppy. Can totally tell from the days I'm totally wasted and days I've got a little bit more energy. Its amusing to see. 

Not sure why I'm training either to be honest (Dad). But rather than asking why, don't worry. I'm asking, what does the Lord want me to do in this situation. Its very humbling training. Truthful, I feel like I might be getting more out of training than my trainee. Doing more self-evaluations on how I we can improve and how I can be more patient, understanding, and loving to my companion. Trying to think of fun ways to train my companion. Help her adjust. Do you guys have any suggestions?

My companion/ anak:
Sister Velasco
Height: 4.11 1/2 (we usually just round it up to 5 feet though ^_-) 
Ilonga- From Himamaylan City, in the Philippines. Ilongo is her language. Its kind-of like the french of the Philippines. Very sweet sounding. 
One word to describe her: INTENSE!!! :D
The way she talks is very spunky and she's got a lot of fire, confidence, and spirit for someone in such a small body. 
Her dream job is to work on a barge. Loves cooking (so YAY!!! Going to learn some new recipes.) Can't survive without eating rice. :)
I'll send a picture of her next time. 

No, I'm not with Sister Magalogo anymore. She went to Cogeo, right next to my last area. She taught me how to love life no matter what life's trials bring. Truly just being herself. Miss her, but we will see each other around. :D

Spiritual Stories (its been a while)
1) We were teaching Narciso (23 years old) how to pray. He was baptized when he was young, but he's family has been less active for a long time. As we talked about pray and how we can communicate with our father in heaven his countenance changed. The spirit entered the room and you could tell he truly wanted to communicate with God. We knelt down together in their small little swatter home, on the hard cement floor. We invite him to pray after Sister Velasco prayed. Sister Velasco gave a simple sweet prayer and then it was Narciso's turn. At first he was super shy, we encouraged him and he started out saying: "Ama po namin sa Langit" (Our Heavenly Father). Then stopped, we waited for 5 minutes and he looked up with tears in his eyes and said... "ikaw sister" (you sister... meaning you do it sister).
I told him, ok, but asked if after me he could pray. He said he would. It was one of those moments that you just felt like God was there in the room. I gave a short but sincere prayer that Narciso would have the courage and strength to pray. That he would know what to say and feel Gods love for him. The spirit was so strong, testify that God really was there for us. That he wants to listen to us. That he loved Narciso and was proud of him and his desire to pray. It was amazing. 
Narciso gave a short and sincere prayer after that. Thanking god for his family and us missionaries and ended. 
We left that house with thankful hearts and a deeper love and appreciation for God and the opportunity we have to Pray. I know that God lives. That he loves each and everyone of us. He knows us. He WANTS to listen to us and talk to us. Just like any loving parent wants to talk and be close to their children. I'm so grateful for that day. To be able to feel God's love so strongly and the opportunity to be uplifted with one of God's children.

2) Went to the Temple Tour with Maria Russel, Susan Mirador, and her apo (grandson) Mark. It was Maria Russel's first time going to the temple. We got there early, and sat together next to some flowers. She told me that, if it wasn't for her getting sick that week, she probably would not have taken the time off to come with us. She felt like it was God telling her to take a break sometimes and take time off for what is really important in life. She loved the temple. We conversed about the feeling of peace we felt there. The it seems like all our worries and problems just disappear  There is a Peace of Mind there like none other. Its clean. Pure. Beautiful. Wonderful. In short, a house of God. Told her about how that feeling is even stronger within. She's inspired to enter in the Temple and do work for her ancestors now. :)

Funny Cultural Superstition:
People when their baby is having trouble sleeping lick their finger and then rub the saliva on the bottom of the foot of the infant. Why? I have no idea. It just is. :D People do it for each others babies... HA HA HA! Still not sure what to think of it. 

Ok, I wrote a novel. Praying for you all. Take some time to have some personal time with the Lord. You and the Lord will appreciate it. ;) Love ya Lots. 

Sister Elsmore ^_^

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 34

From: Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>
Date: May 20, 2013 11:01:17 PM CDT


Another Transfer has ended. WHAT!?! Where did the time fly?

Funny Story then Big News...

On Sunday, Sister Magalogo and I were teaching the Sabas Family with some ward missionaries. In the middle of the lesson, the phone goes off. Sister Magalogo checks it to turn it off when her face goes into shock. She shows me the phone and its the APs!!! (Sunday before transfers is when the call usually to say who is going to train.) She trys to give me the phone and I keep pushing it away. She puts it in my hand and then I pretty much throw it back at her. (I should have just turned it off. We forgot where we were... Lucky the people we were teaching were RMs so they understood later.) She answers the phone and while shes talking I explain what is going on and apologize. She then turns to me, her face grinning like the Cheshire cat and says, "Yah, Sister Elsmores here." Then hands me the phone. 

So yah, I found out I will be training this transfer. I find out who my anak (means child. trainees our children) is tomorrow at transfer meeting. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this... I'm excited to be able to help a new missionary and grow and learn from each other. However, I feel a little inadequate. I have a lot of weaknesses. Goodness, I have a feeling my prayers are going to get a lot longer this transfer. HA HA HA! But on a serious note, I plan to love my companion and depend more on the Lord. Look for the strengths that she has and help her to develop and grow. 

Read this earlier and thought is was appropriate. D&C 12:8. Gods trusting me to help someone in his work. Going to work hard to obtain more love, faith, hope, charity, temperance, and humility this next transfer. Ready for a new chapter in the mission and life. Bring it on! :D

Sister Bowman (kabahay) has finished her mission. She is a great sister and a great example to me of someone who had a quiet, but powerful presence. She testimony was sure, love of the people and the work was sincere. Was very calm and worked hard until the end. Many people here really loved and appreciated the work she did here. She affected and helped so many people her in Cainta. I'm going to miss that girl along with many others. 

Tried another fruit... called... Sabuyas... I think... goodness. I forgot. wrote it down somewhere... I'll have to ask again. Its small and round about the size of a walnut. It tastes kind-of like a grape, sweet but has this weird after taste. Hmm... Can't say its my favorite. HA HA HA! 

Picture of our recent convert's daughter Angel. Drew pictures of us and one Elder (her favorite one that came to help them move. HA HA HA). She's adorable. 

What happens when we are punted and waiting for the spirit to kick in to tell us where to go. HA HA HA! 

Love ya'll Lots! Praying for ya! Smile! :D Count your blessings! 

Sister Elsmore

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adventures of sister Elsmore 33

From: Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>
Date: May 12, 2013 11:53:58 PM CDT


HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!! I'm very grateful for my mother and all that she has done for me. The example she has set for me through my life and the support, love, and selfless service she has always given me. Love ya Mom! :)

Princess and Christopher were baptized this past weekend along with a 8 year old Valimer, I think his name was. Super cute to see his Dad baptize him. Brought back memories of my baptism. Thankful for my Dad! :) Only Christopher was confirmed though on Sunday. Princess (with a cold and having to walk 2 hours for church) just barely missed the time where she was to be confirmed. She was crying the whole rest of Sacrament Meeting. Its okay though, She will be confirmed next Sunday. It made me think that her desire to become a member is so strong. She can't wait for even one week. Shes great! I'm excited for her and Christopher. Another two great youth who will grow to unimaginable potentials in the church. So happy and excited for them.

Worked with some Ward missionaries yesterday, Joy and Elizabeth. Was standing by the faucet in a Less Active home with Joy. About to wash our hands. She turns on the faucet  but turns it on all the way. The water comes shooting directly at me and my skirt gets wet. We both Screamed. Then quickly turned it off. Freaked out the whole house and probably the whole neighborhood. HA HA HA! 

Taught the Elnars (Less Active Family) about Temples. They are not yet sealed in the Temple yet. There are just sometimes in the mission where you are blessed to see the growth and impact the Spririt has on people through simple testimonies of members and missionaries. The change in countenance. The look of hope and peace in their eyes. Sister Elnar still remembers the first time she went to the Temple. "The Peace of Mind" she had when she was just out side. She wants that in her life. She wants to be together with her family forever. She wants to change. The beauty of it is that she can. :D  She is excited to start that process and interview with the bishop. :D

Cooked Oyako Donburi for Bishops family and left a spiritual thought. Nice to do service and leave the spirit in their home. They are a great family.

Love ya Lots! Praying for Ya! Bear your testimony when you have the chance. ;)

Sister Elsmore

Monday, May 6, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 32

From: Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>
Date: May 6, 2013 5:34:34 AM CDT


I'm a little more tired right now than normal so, I apologize if the following letter doesn't make much sense. HA HA HA. 

Went on a Zone Activity earlier. Went to the top of a mountain, the hike was like the Y in Provo Utah. IT WAS AWESOME! Philippines is gorgeous. Flew kites at the top of the mountain. So much fun! I'm surprized I never thought of doing something like this before. It was prefect up there flying kites. 

On Sunday went to Bishop Soridarios and got to cook for them. Bishop had a emergency to go to, so he asked me if I wanted to make a dish for him. ^_^ I don't know what its called, but its with bitter melon (tastes exactly what it sounds like) with scrambled eggs, garlic, onions, and tomatoes. He told me how to cook it, then rushed off to the rescue of a member. (its hard being a bishop. I have a lot more appreciation for what they do for the ward. Thank your bishop next time you see them. :D) Jun, his son, 15 or 16 years old was there helping me cook. Told me stories from their Youth Camping trip and their many adventures. Like star gazing, cleaning a river, saving fruit bats tangled in netting, bird watching, etc... It reminded me of my little brother James. HA HA HA! I loved listening to his stories. New discoveries and desires to learn more. Camping is such a great way to gain appreciation for the earth, see the miracles of God's creations, and learn how to work. Teenagers are great. Great eager minds who are just starting to learn and understand themselves and the world around them. Conversations with them are fun, seeing new perspectives through their eyes. 

Met another Excellent Member. Sister Cruz. She's a return missionary who you can see that she really loved her mission and let it change her. She said that before her mission, she was super shy. But worked hard at her weakness and now is very loving and and enjoys talking and befriending everyone. She's getting her Masters in teaching those with disabilities, with a emphasis on children (I forgot what its called). She's a example to me of someone who loves people, not matter what circumstances they are from. Her brother is mentally retarded. Mentally 9 years old. Her patience and love towards him is amazing. Also, she surrounds herself with people of intellectual thinking. Professors of science, art, music, language, etc... She loves music and is very talented at the Piano. Something that I've learned from her is she uses her talents to serve others and invite the spirit into peoples lives. Through her actions, you can see and feel she truely loves each individual she serves. She's kind to say the least. I'm very blessed to know her and serve with her in the Cainta 2nd Ward. 

I'm learning more how to "bridle my passions" like the Advice Alma gives to his son Shiblon in Alma 38:12. To have a balance with stress but still be bold and loving, continuing to try my best everyday. But, when things don't go right, not to let it overwhelm me. Its still a struggle sometimes, but I feel like a weight has been lifted. Finally, letting the atonement work in my life. Repenting everyday. Changing Everyday. Learning how to forgive a little more everyday. Becoming more understanding, patient, loving. Hopefully more Christlike. The work is great. Life is great! Learning a lot more about myself and my relationship with others, especially my companion. 

Love Ya'll Lots!
Sister Elsmore