Friday, June 28, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 40

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: June 23, 2013 10:52:27 PM CDT


Sister Velasco was still sick this week. (Thank you for all your prayers though. :D) Went to the Hospital and she got a Cranial CT Scan. Which sadly I did not get to see happen because of Radiation. T_T However, hopefully we find some results this week. A member in our ward would is a chiropractor, found out that Sis V has been sick and offered to talk and look at her. He showed me how the stress from the muscles in the shoulders sometimes induces migraine. O.o WHOA! Showed me different points in the body where to look for stress in the muscles and simple stretches to help relax them. SO COOL!!! The body is amazing. Offered to give Sister Velasco more tips to help strengthen her body, so her heart (which has a weak heart beat) will not have to work as hard, relieve stress, and hopefully not induce migraines. The human body is amazing! 

Experimenting with more food...
Bagio Beans. If green beans and peas were to have a child, this would be their child. They are really quite good. Most people fry them, but I like to boil them with onions, garlic, and eggs with whatever other vegetables I have on hand. They also do really well in Gata (coconut milk) :)

Cool Story:
Got punted, so we decided to go to a LA, Jesusa, that lived close by. I had the impression that we should invited the member that was with us to come with us to this house. She said ok, and that she actually knew the family, but its been a long time since they have spoken to each other. We went to the house and they let us in. We asked how their reading was going and if they had any questions or things they really liked/ wanted to share. The sister shared in Alma 9:12 which is about repentance and if you don't repent you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, you will be destroyed, and face the anger of God. O.o Which surprised me to say the least. HA HA HA! 
We talked about the scripture and taught about repentance and we went through each of the steps to repentance using one of the church pamphlets about the Gospel. (the pamphlets are AWESOME! If you have the chance, ask the Elders if you can have some, read it, then share it with a friend. ^_-) When the Jesusa got to the 3rd Step about asking for forgiveness from others we have done wrong to, she stops, then explains what the step means. Then she stops for a few seconds, and says, I'm sorry sisters, but I need to say something to Cecil (the member with us). Is that ok? 
We say its ok, then she apologizes for not going to church with her a long time ago when she said she would. They made up, and felt super happy and relieved. They both felt like this was no accident and that God sent us to them so they could make up. They set up this Sunday to go to church together once more. :D 

It was just Amazing to see how repentance is such a happy process which brings people closer together and with the Lord. That such a simple act of just saying sorry can wipe away all feelings of guilt and pain from two peoples lifes. We did not know that they had a conflict in the Past, but the Lord knew. I think it strengthened all of our testimonies that day. Before, Jesusa said she felt awkward every time that she saw Cecil, and sometimes would even run and hide. Its amazing to see that through the gospel and with Christ, when we undertstand it and apply it to our lives, we can overcome our fears. Become better people. Prehaps one of the Greatest Miracles that the Gospel brings is change. Repentance is GREAT! The Atonement is real. :D

Love you All, praying for you! Say sorry more to those around you (when you need to of course) and to the Lord in prayer. 

Sister Elsmore ^_-

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 39

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: June 17, 2013 5:30:41 AM CDT


This week we were not able to go out to work hardly at all. Sister Velasco is getting worse... Migraines. We went to 2 different hospitals and hopefully this new medicine we got for Sister Velasco earlier will do the trick.The 1st hospital, St Lukes in Quezon City, I was like, ok this is nice, I'm not sure why everyone here freaks out how nice the Hospitals are, but it was nice... Then we went to the one in Globe City, and I was like, "IS THIS REAL LIFE!?!" It was 16 stories high, REALLY nice facilities, and had REALLY cool artwork all over the place. So good for my soul. We got there early and got to walk around and look at the views and different art work. It was GREAT!!! We are going to have to go back sometime this week to get a Cranial CT Scan of her head, which will be really cool to see. Figure, in these types of situations, got to particularly enjoy the little things, because its so easy to be overwhelmed by the massive problem at hand. Makes life easier to deal with problems.  

Being stuck in the house, I've gained a better appreciation for the work and teaching people. I've missed it this week. Don't know how I lived before the mission with so much flexible time! O.o Super weird feeling. On the up side I got clean and fix a bunch of electric fans, area books, and serve my companion. Gave her head massages, cooked, and tried to get her to relax. I've gained a greater appreciation for those he take care of those who are ill. It is no easy task. But it brings unexpected blessing and a greater love for those you serve. :) 

Baptism!!! :D
Mark was Baptised. ^_^ He's nine years old and has the most impressive set of scriptures I have every seen a 9 year old have. Every time we gave him a assignment to read he would mark it in his scriptures or put a sticky not in it with notes. Then every time he would ask questions what things meant and give really awesome insights to his reading. Every time we would go over there he would always want more assignments from different books of the scriptures. HA HA HA! He truely has a hungry and thrist for the gospel. He will grow to be a strong priesthood holder in his family. He is a light I think they need. :) 

Crazy Story (WARNING: a bit of complaining...gets better at the end. ^_-)

Seems like everything about Marks Baptism, things would just go wrong, his interview and scheduling with people I've never had so many problems. O.o The day of the baptism, the taxi driver took a wrong turn and we were lost for 30 minutes in the crazy streets of the Philippines. The water pressure was really low for some mysterious reason. After 1 hour of trying to fill the font, the water was only 5 inches tall. Ran around trying to find a hose so we could fill it from water from the outside faucet, Finally found one, then the pressure came back on and we did not need it. Bishop and his counselors all bailed out at the last minute. After a confusing 30 minutes, got permission to do the baptism without someone to preside (Red Handbook was my best friend that day.) My companion was on the brink of passing out at any second. To say the least, I was very happy at the end of the Day to go to sleep. HA HA HA!

The Best parts...
Marks baptism was one of the sweetest I have seen. His nonmember mother and his less-active uncle were there to watch. (He has been raised by his grandmother who is a very active member of the church. When you need something done you can depend on her. ^_^) The spirit in that room just testified that this was God's will. That he was proud of Mark and loved him so much. His mother and uncle could not help but smile after he was lifted out of the water. It was a precious sight to be seen. 
Mark had written his testimony before had and walked up to the pulpit to bear his testimony. We meet in the cultural hall because workers were painting all the rooms. (another thing I forgot to mention.) As he stood there, he tried to muster all his strength and speak, but just could not do it. He turned away and was about to cry. We all were silent watching for a few seconds, then I ran up to the stand and kneed down so we could be face to face. I asked if he was ok. He shook his head no, then whispered that he was "Nahiya" (shy and scared). I gave his a few words of comfort that it was okay. Then asked how he was feeling. "Masaya" (happy ^_^). 
I asked if he believed in Jesus Christ, he said "opo" yes 
If the church was true. "opo"
I told him if that was all he wanted to say he could. I told him I know he can do it, because he has a strong testimony. If he did not want to share that was okay to, but I knew that he could do it. Plus we are all there to support him. We loved him. There was no need to fear. I pointed at Brother Alex Polidario as a example (one who baptized him) and he came up. Gave that boy a hug and held him and said he was there as his support. That he could do it and if he wanted to read his talk he could. Mark, gaining courage again, began to read. And though, I'm pretty sure no one could hear the words he whispered... There was no doubt of his sincerity in his testimony, because it took everything that boy could muster to do it. 

The church is True. Jesus Christ is our Savior, and he lives. God loves each and everyone of us and through Christ Atonement we are able to return to live with him. If we do our part and depend on him. We cannot fail. I'm so grateful for other members in the church, that can hold us and be a support to us when we feel like we cannot do it. We are never alone, and never will be. 

Got to run. Love ya'll! Go and give someone a hug for me that needs it (so funny for me saying this, for those of you that know me.)

Sister Elsmore ^_^ 

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 38

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: June 2, 2013 11:40:32 PM CDT

Dad! ^_^

All these experiences and upcoming Father's day, I was thinking about Fathers and their roles in the family. I'm so grateful for my you and the example you have been in my life. The priesthood which you hold which has helped me many times in my life. Giving me strength and comfort. The guidance and protection you have provided for us. The spiritual example you have been to me in teaching me the gospel and living it yourself. The importance of prayer, scripture reading,.going to the Temple, etc... You have taught me how to work hard, but also to have fun. To learn, grow, try new things, and have a quirky sense of humor. ;)You have provided for me and given me many opportunities to live, grow, experience many things. I would not be here if it wasn't for you. Physically and Spiritually. So, Thank you Dad! Love ya lots! Hope you have a Awesome Birthday and Fathers Day. Miss you! 

Your Eldest Daughter,
Sister Mandy Elsmore

Monday, June 10, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 37

From: Mandy Elsmore <> ^_^
Date: June 10, 2013 2:23:40 AM CDT


School has started! :D All the kids are SO CUTE in their uniforms and little backpacks. They are all super excited to go back to school. For a service project we painted shelves, cleaned, and helped decorate a school last Tuesday. Super fun! Man I love service projects. Sometimes I feel like its benefiting me more than those I'm serving because the uplifting spirit you get by doing it. Mosiah 2:17 truely when you serve its like you feel a little piece of the Lords praise and happiness in the work. :D 

This week my anak got really sick. O.o! Seems like all my companions get sick or have some kind-of chronic illness. I'M CURSED!!! (not really). On the upside, I've definitely learned a lot about medicine and how to take care of different forms of illness. :D On a serious note, its taught me to be a lot more patient and take things slower. My personalty is one that just likes to run as fast as I can, push myself to my limits. However, with these experiences its forced me to slow down sometimes and take a breather. Appreciating the hand of the Lord in all things. :) 

On the Down side, was not able to go see the family with the 12 kids. (for those of you who were wondering) We will try go see them this weekend. 

Funny Story:
Earlier, we were going to Angono (ZL's Area in the Mountains) in a FX (its like a taxi van/ bus. It just drives back and forth on the same route all day. Get in and tell them where on the route you want to get off.) Anyway, they put seats on the sides by the windows in the "trunk" of the van. (to fit more people). We were sitting back there and the people in the back seat got off. The driver keeps going, but then stops suddenly 10 minutes later. Sister Tingey and I move forward from inertia and the whole back seat collapses and we fall on top of it. We were so surprised, then all of us, including the driver start cracking up laughing. Yes... I love the Philippines. :D

Interesting Conversation:
On a jeepney was talking to Elder Watters who was in the MTC with me. He's a good Elder from Canada. Anyway, we were talking about obedience. How things have gotten a lot more strikter in the Mission Lately (lots of changes being made now to mission rules as the flood of missionaries rises). Had a realization. The difference between the lower and the higher law. For example- the Ten Commandments, tells you exactly what you can't do. The lower law, exactly obedient to the rules and laws given. Are obedient because it is required of you or you die (many examples in the Bible). The Higher Law, for example when Jesus Christ was on the Earth was 1) Love the Lord with all thy heart. 2) Love others as you would love yourself. The higher law, you understand the basics of the laws, why they are given, and you follow them because its the right thing to do. Don't need to be specific, because if you apply the basics, you already will do the things specifically listed. 
The Higher Law is easier, its allows for more freedom. It requires more responsibility and trust in the Lord, but on the whole, if you apply the simple basics of the gospel to your life. The rest will come naturally. Its becomes a part of you, and in turn, its easier to know what the Lord would require of you. 
Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts... This is probably a little interpretive of me, but it was a good conversation. :D

Food Stuff:
Absolutely in love with Gata (coconut milk). Feel like I've been depriving of myself of this glorious substance. It makes everything taste better in currys,  sauces, fish, ulam (anything you eat over rice), etc... Milk is hard to find here, and recently my stomach doesn't do very well with it (not sure if its because I'm becoming Filipino or because of my diet change here...). Shall experiment more. :D

The Weather:
Starting to rain a little on and off. The people here think I'm crazy because I absolutely love the rain. :D Just what happens when your a desert creature, you just get excited for the rain. A rare pleasure and blessing of the Lord, especially because the temperature has gone down significantly.  Sometimes its hard to teach because the roofs here are made out of tin. So we will be teaching and then all of a sudden it will start raining. Then you can't hear anything. HA HA HA! Got to use creativity in teaching then. Lots of visuals or sign language. 

So tired... Falling asleep on the keyboard... Brain is so fuzzy right not. HA HA HA! I need a nap. 

Love Ya'll Lots! Praying for Ya! Do a little secret act for service for someone if you can. ;)

Sister Elsmore ^_^

Its been a while. These are of this Toy Sister Campbell got in Cogeo (right next to Antipolo, my last area.) Its so simple ITS AWESOME!!! Little foam mouse, with a cylinder stone, with a rubber band, string, and a little plastic tube for where the string goes through the mouse. You can make your own walking mouse. (Mainly talking to you James ^_-) 


       1) My anak and I at the Temple. She's so cute!

2)My anak with a Rambutan.
Its this red spiky fruit, which has these kind-of soft rubber spikes. It kind-of reminds me of those rubber toys you have as kids. Inside has this white jelly sweet jelly stuff. Its kid-of like those jelly cups you get at the Asian fruit market. Except in fruit form.

3)RAMBUTAN FEAST! (except half of them were bad. sad day... oh well, I'll just have to buy more. ^_^) 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 36

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: June 2, 2013 11:41:17 PM CDT


This week has been one of the CRAZIEST Weeks of my life. so tired, but I've learned so much...

Walked in on a Funeral for one of our Less Active's father. RJ is the only member in his family. The rest are Catholic. So it was done in the Filipino Catholic way. 
They rented a canopy, tent thing, with a huge picture of the deceased on it. Then people were gambling away the deceased little fortune. For this funeral, RJ's father's coffin was inside the house. (sometimes people will have it outside with them on the street). They decorated it with pictures or statues of Christ's crucifixion and do prayer chants around the body every couple hours. Its such a different expereince. RJ was just miserable... We shared with him about the Atonement and the Spirit World. That one day, he would be reunited with his Father who would have a perfect body. The Illness he once had, is gone. That Jesus Christ knows our sorrows and if we turn to him, we will gain peace and comfort. And one day, through him, all will be made right in this world. We left him feeling of peace and comfort of the holy ghost. 

Sister Tingey's grandfather died when she first got here on the mission. This week she got a recording of the funeral and I was able to listen to some of it. There is such a drastic difference. Talks of hope, peace, gratitude, love, and of Christ. I'm so grateful for the gospel and the comfort that it gives us knowing that because of our Savior Jesus Christ, this life is not the end. We can be together as a family forever, if we do our part, he takes care of the rest. 

Then the next day, I was asked to help plan and prepare and Less Active's Reception. WHAT!?! Oh man... For those of you that know me, you know how much I really don't like weddings. HA HA HA! Oh goodness. Perhaps that's why I got asked to help out with this one. Jomar and Maria Lee were married at the Church by the Bishop in Angono. It was a nice wedding. Simple, just with close friends and family. Then they returned to the house for the reception and had TONS of FOOD and Videoki (all celebrations here seem to have Videoki). I got to use my floral arranging skills and made a bouquet for them out of borrowed fake flowers. :) Then made a simple mango float cake. (mangoes, evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream, and gram-crackers.)
All this has made me think the importance of family. That with the gospel, things are so much better. You can just see and feel the difference when you enter a home based on gospel principles. You see how the family is so united and the love they have for each other is so apparent. They still have their trials, but they are so much more prepared to deal with them. There is a un-explainable peace in their homes. I just will all homes could experience and become like this. 

Tracking Story:
After hours of tracking, asking everyone for referals, and OYM, we were ready to give up. I prayed in my heart to the Lord saying, "Lord, we have tried everything we possibly can. I know that you know that there is someone here that is prepared to hear the gospel. Please lead us to them." I tell Sister Velasco that we will try one more house.
We turn the corner and there is a old man sitting on a chair outside his house. I say hello and ask for his name in Tagalog. He was hard of hearing and after a few awkward moments of trying to understand each other hes starts yelling for his family that they have a visitor. His granddaughter comes out, takes one look at us and invites us in. Yelling at the family that "We have visitors! A Foreigner" (very grateful for my ancestry at that moment. HA HA HA! ) We sit down and say, "your missionaries right? Of what religion?"
So yah, we found a family. YAY!!! They have 12 children! They all have different religions, but their mother said it would be much better if they were all of one faith. Well, we can help with that... ;) They are pretty receptive, we shall see how things go with them. 
Learned the power of prayer, and that the Lord is more willing to listen after acting on ones faith and trying all that you can do. After seeing our determination and devotion to him, he blesses us in ways we never expected. :D

Random Accomplishments:
Meet some people roasting a pig outside. They let me do it for a couple minutes. It was pretty awesome. 

Got to go! 
Love Ya Lots!

Sister Elsmore

PS: Sorry no Pics. The Computer Hates me. O.o