Thursday, July 25, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 44

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: July 22, 2013 12:22:07 AM CDT


This week has been a lot of walking, with a little bit more walking, and a lot more sweat. HA HA HA! But we are enjoying it. Its been so humid because of the rain that Sister Dowe and I are dripping in sweat sometimes. Oh well, so is everybody else here and we get a good laugh out of it. 

There have also been a lot of birthdays... Here for birthdays they typically have pancit (like fried noodles, yakiniku). Its... ok... I'll eat it. Its not something I crave, especially now since it seems like every house we go to has pancit. O.o I should be more grateful. Beggars are not choosers. HA HA HA! Its just funny that everyone wants to feed us pancit over, and over, again.

The Lord Leads in Mysterious Ways....

So I got sick this week with a cold along with my kabahays. (don't worry its just a cold.) Went tracking all day. Walk, and walked, and walked (just like that primary song: Pioneer Children, except there wasn't much singing involved...) and finding no one, felt like my throat was going to give out. So we went to a nearby store to buy menthol candies and juice. In the juice section this guy comes up to us and says in perfect English, "Oh, your buying juice too?" 
Me, "Opo" (yes)

Man, "Yah, I have a cold, so I'm just stocking on juice."

Me, "Ako rin" (me too)

Man, "Oh so you speak Tagalog!"

Me. "Konte lang po. Nagtututo pa kami" (just a little bit, we are still learning) 

He looks at our name tags... "hmm... Jesus Christ...Oh, so your 
missionaries. From What Church?"

Me,"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"

Man"Is that like catholic?"

Me, "hindi po. Iba. Mas kilala tawag yung Mormons po" (no, its different, its more know as Mormons.)

Man, "oh... mormons." :)

Sister Dowe,"ano po...ang...panGALang...ninyo?"

Man, "My name is Brother Bert. So do you have a calling card or pamphlet"

Me "Opo"

Bert, "Oh and write down my name and number. Hopefully I can hear from you sometime."

We chatted with him about his family, job, and religion for a bit them we parted ways. Just never know who might be looking for a message of the gospel. Try everywhere you can, and the Lord in the end surprises you and blesses you for your efforts. :D

Thoughts on Alma 62

Humility is a hard thing, but I feel like in this chapter it shows the qualities of those who are humble. vs 41- There were many wars and afflictions, and some people were hardened by it, but others were softened and humbled themselves before the Lord.
First, we choose to be humble. We recognize that our trials are a opportunity for us to grow, and become better people, draw closer to the Lord. Of course this is no easy task; however, it is the better way. Rather than becoming bitter, hurt, and hard, we can become soft, humble, and gain peace. 

Verse 48-51 The Lord eventually blesses them for their righteousness. However, rather than growing prideful their wealth, they remember the Lord. The many blessings that he has given them and in the past, their times of trial and tribulation, how the Lord helped them, delivered them. Then they continued to pray always to our Heavenly Father. Then the Lord continued to bless them.

Second, we have gratitude and remember what we have overcome with the Lords help. Sometimes I feel like after a dark period in our lives we want to forget it... but these people allowed to be a part of them. They turned the situation around and used it as a constant reminder to be humble. Draw closer to the Lord and remember him always. Especially in prayer. For this... they were blessed exceedingly, for the Lord will never give out on his side of his promise and he will always be there for us. How spoiled we are as children of our Heavenly father. ;)

Thank you for all the insights and comments on going to church with children. ^_^ Many of them made me laugh and gave me good ideas to share with the people we are teaching. You are all such great examples to me and a great support! Love Ya'll! Praying for Ya'll!

Sister Elsmore

Friday, July 19, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 43

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: July 15, 2013 2:02:20 AM CDT


This week has been eventful. 

22 less actives came to church on Sunday! YAY!!!!!!! It was such a Happy day. Sister Dowe and I were freaking out as each and everyone of them entered into the church building. So proud that many of them gained the courage to come back to church, act on their faith and desire to be closer to God, and partake of the sacrament. I hope they all had a spiritual experience. There were so many people in sacrament meeting, there was not enough seats. Parents where holding children on their laps, and we were all swished together (Fillipinos are SO good at putting as many people as they can into a small space. Houses, tricycles, jeepneys, cars, or in this case benches. :D HA HA HA!) 

Went to the MTC for a tour with the Ward Missionaries, Less Actives, Recent Converts, and a couple of our investigators. Found out that 200 people will be coming into the MTC here from all over the world this week. O.o about 15 years ago the Largest amount of missionaries here was 65! The work is truly hastening. :D

Question for Parents (or people with experience with kids):
How do you gain a spiritual experience still while going to church with crazy, yet loveable kids?
What made you still go to church even though its hard with young ones?

This has been an issue with many of the Less Actives and Investigators we teach...

Random Achievement:
So they have these bicycles here with a side car which one of our investigators has one. So, after a dinner appointment at a members home with them, I asked if I could try it. They said sure, so I petaled Sister Christensen, Miliza, and Jenny for about a quarter to a half a mile... I think... not sure... usually it talks about 20 minutes for us to walk that path, so whatever that means. Anyway, it was super AWESOME! Got out investigators to open up to us a bit more, and I did my bit of service for the day. Also got to feel that wonderful sensation where your legs feel like jello again. Its been too long. ^_^

Sad Story:
One of our Part Member Families that we have been teaching has pretty much become the modern day version of the story of Job. On Friday we went over there and Brother (not a member) was having a mental break down. He has been so sick he can't work. His asawa (live in partner and less active) and baby have also been on and off with illnesses, they have been evicted from their home, they have been rejected from all the family and friends that they know. They have no idea where they are going to go. He told us he was tired of all these trials. He can't deal with this anymore... We taught about trials and why we have them. That we can gain comfort, help, and guidance from the Lord in times of sorrow. We bore testimony that with Christ, even in our darkest hour, we can still have peace. That God loved him, we just have to let him help us in our time of need. Brother wept... I have never seen someone cry so hard...The spirit was so strong in that house, no one could deny it. Brother bore his testimony of the savior and calmed down afterward...
However, On Sunday, his asawa came to church alone with her 10 month year old child. You could tell she had been crying. We asked what was wrong and where was her asawa? She said he had left them. They had a fight and he took all his stuff and abandoned them. O.o
The ward here took action. The relief society presidency and the bishop made arrangements to help her get back to family. Its amazing what a ward can do for someone when they all band together. The comfort, love, and service they gave to this woman was amazing. 

I've had many thoughts about this experience... Before, it was hard for me to understand how someone could just get up and leave their spouse. I understand now more...
Not to say what this man did was justified in his actions. No one should ever abuse and/or get up and leave because of fear, doubt, and anger. But, when these feelings overwhelm and person, it leads to such actions. People become consumed in their own problems then forget that the people they are hurting are the ones they should be turning to. To support one another and overcome trials together, rather than destroying what should be precious to them.

Also, I have been thinking how inspired and important the Family Proclamation and the Law of Chastity are. That a family, unified through marriage and gospel principles, no matter what challenges come, are more better prepared to stand together, endure, and overcome. As they depend on the Lord, they learn to become more unified, firm, loving, trusting in each other. Its hard of course, but its definitely a better life. Not of sorrow or pain, but one of peace and personal satisfaction.

I'm very grateful for being blessed to live in a family with a foundation of gospel principles. I've been very spoiled in this life... Hopefully, I can help others to gain the peace and joy of the gospel in their own lives. :)

Love ya'll! Praying for ya'll. Tell your families how much you appreciate and love them. :)

Sister Elsmore ^_^

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 42

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: July 8, 2013 4:26:29 AM CDT


New Companion! 
Sister Dowe (pronounced like Daw, which is like quotation marks in Tagalog or saying "she/he said" which has been really funny to a lot of people here.)
Height 5.3
Age: 21
From: Tasmania, Australia (going to work on my Australian Accent)
Studied Paramedics before the mission (so I'm feel very safe. ^_- )
Has 9 siblings and she is the 7th child. O.o
Super nice and she deals with my craziness. HA HA HA! 
Tagalog is very minimum, but she is a eager and fast learner.
She looks like the princess in Sleeping Beauty. HA HA HA! 
One word to describe her... Curious- she is very eager to learn, and though she gets a little bit nervous about the world around her, she still wants to know about the culture, language, food, and the world around her. 
She is adorable. :D

Sorry no pictures. The computer really does not like me. (The keys are broken and its so hard to type right now. Ok, done complaining. I'll get off my soap box right now.

Funny Story:
Member was sick, so I had an idea to make her feel better. Told Sister Dowe we are going to draw on oranges. She was like, "WHAT!?! You can do that?" I was like, "Yah! Its awesome!" So we drew smiley faces on oranges and gave them to her as a present. Hopefully they tasted good, helped improve her health. and lifted her spirits by giving her a good laugh. ^_^

Cool Story:
Bishop asked if we could show him where this one member lived in the swatters. Showed him the way and the member's daughter had a fever. She asked if he could give her a blessing, he said sure, but them realized he had forgotten his oil. O.o I remembered that Brother Andoy lived nearby and my companion and I ran over there to see if he had any olive oil. Which... he didn't. O.o (olive oil is super expensive in the Philippines, so a lot of people don't have it.) remembering that another member who lived near by had a small tindahan (like a small shop). So we ran over there and we asked if she had any. She did not, but remembered that this other family probably had some in their house. Sent her kid to show us the way. Went with him, and low and behold, in their emergency kit, they had olive oil. :) On the way back, we ran into Jerald Lati  recent convert. The thought occured to me that it might be a good opportunity to invite him to see the blessing, so we asked him. He said sure, he would really like to. Returned back to the house, where Brother Andoy and Bishop blessed the child. There was a feeling of peace in that house confirming that everything would be alright. 

Afterward, we taught Jerald. Sister Daw shared a favorite scripture with him in Helaman 5:47. She talked about how the most precious thing that everyone wants is peace. We can have it through Jesus Christ and his gospel. :) I asked Jerald how he felt about the Blessing earlier. He said is was amazing to see the priesthood at work. It inspired him to be worthy of it in the future. He related it to the lesson last week about Melchizedek and the priesthood. He remembered, Alma 13:18 saying how Melchizedek established peace in the land, that he is called the "prince of peace" because of it. Jerald made the connection that Priesthood holders all have the potential of being princes of peace to those they serve through the priesthood. To establish peace and comfort to those they administer to. 
It always amazes me the insights/ revelation people gain from reading a simple scripture. How their testimonies are strengthened through their faith and witnessing/ noticing the little miracles in their live. I'm so grateful for the priesthood and the power it has to bring peace and order to this world of sorrow and confusion. Also for the many worthy men who hold it, appreciate it, and their service to others. Jerald is going to be a amazing Melchizedek priesthood holder someday. :D

Well, Got to run! Praying for ya'll! Say thank you to the priesthood holders in your lives. Let them know you appreciate them. ;)

Sister Elsmore ^_-

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 41

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: July 2, 2013 12:59:43 AM CDT


Lots of News... Change... This is the turning point of the mission. :D SO PUMPED!!!

Sister Velasco's brain is alright. She had some kind of congestion above the noes and behind the eyes though. She got some meds for it though so hopefully that will be effective for her. :) Seems to be getting better this week so YAY! I hope she continues to do well and improve in health. 

She is transferring to my 1st Area, in Antipolo. O.o SO EXCITED FOR HER!!! :D Know she will do well there. 

I'm going to be training again. Goodness, I can't believe it. I thought I would be able to train Sister Velasco the whole 12 week program... But I'm excited to help another missionary adjust to the mission. I have a better Idea who I am as a missionary and what to do with training. So I'm excited. I pick her up from the mission home tomorrow morning. 

We don't have transfer meetings anymore. We just go directly to our new areas like other missions now. Everyone is excited for this new transfer and I suppose sightly confused how to do things this transfer. HA HA HA! I'm sure it will all work out ok though. 

We have a new mission president: President Revillo. He, his wife, 16 year old daughter, and 6 year old son came here to the mission on Saturday. He is the first Filipino president in the Quezon City Mission. He is very nice and pretty funny. Met him yesterday. Excited to serve under him for the rest of my mission. 

Watched the Missionary devotional on Sunday. SO AWESOME!!! Missionaries will slowly be able to use, blogs, and facebook to help the work progress. I think it will be a while before the Philippines becomes effected by this. Only 30 percent of the Philippines uses facebook. (not many people know how to use computers here...) But exciting to see the work progress. What a great time to be alive. >_<

Had my first talk on Sunday here in the Philippines. Yes, I'm surprised I lasted this long without giving a talk as well. HA HA HA! I gave it on Charity and Missionary work. It was a really Awesome Sabbath last sunday. :)

Cool Story:

After being punted, we ran into Angelo (a recent convert), he asks if we had some extra time and we were like, "I guess we have some time to spare, whats up?" He says that his grandfather wants to meet us. Aparently he is a member too. We were like, "WHAT!?!" So we walk over there in the Rain and Brother Gerry starts Freaking out (in a good way). He invites us in and wants to know right away where the nearest church building. 
After he moved here to Manilla about 10 years ago, he has not been able to find a church building. He recently moved in with his aunt (Angelo's mom who is younger than him. Lots of confusing complicated relations here in the Philippines and not enough words in Tagalog to actually describe family relations.) He noticed that there was a Book of Mormon on the self and asks his "apo" (grandson, but can also be used for just family members who are related to you, but just significantly younger than you.) 
"Mormon ka ba?" (are you a mormon?)
Angelo, "Opo"
HA HA HA! So excited to come back to church. :) Made arrangements and explained how to get there. Angelo and Gerry will be coming to church this Sunday. So Excited. :)

Learned, just having a book of Mormon out on the shelf can be a example and a testimony of who you are. Be proud of who we are. A Latter Day Saint! Don't be afraid to show it, even in little ways. If it is through pictures in your home, having a Book of Mormon in sight, they way you act and dress. Never know who might be searching for members/ the truth. :)

Love ya'll! Praying for ya'll! 

Sister Elsmore ^_^

Old couple which absolutely crack me up. Went to them yesterday and find that they have died their hair purple!!! WHAT!?! I ask brother, why he died his hair and he says its from all the rain. If you don't have a umbrella, your hair turns purple. BAH HA HA!!! 
Asked sister later why, and she says its because they are getting more white hair, so they just decide they might as well just dye their hair purple. Because now they can (black hair is hard to dye different colors.) BAH HA HA HA!!! I could not stop laughing. 

 Don't freak out, but I got my haircut again. Its super short now. Shorter than I wanted it, but It turned out better than I though. So yes, I have a pixie cut now. ITS SO EASY! Just wake up and ready to go. ITS SWEET!!!
*Dad, don't cry. HA HA HA!!! 
*Talia, After all this time you wanted me to cut it this short, I finally did. Hope you like it. ;)

 Coolest Jeepne EVER!!!

 Messing around at the Hospital. Sometimes you just got to do ridiculous things to relieve stress. Hope you get as much as a laugh as I did. :)

Respond to a Letters from Primary Children
Can you please tell E. Borjas that I got her letters from awesome kids: Liliana Welge, Kendy H., Kayla Boyack, and Hailee Paulsen. They made me Very Happy! :) Drawings were Adorable!!! Super magaling (skilled). 

"What is it like to missionary?" 
Hmm... Its FUN! Its hard sometimes because it takes courage to speak to people everyday and share something that is special to you. But you get to know a lot of amazing people. Help them and see them become happier when they learn about Jesus and his plan for us. 

"What is the Culture like?"
Its very poor here in some places, but the people here are always very happy. They LOVE eatting rice. Always have to eat rice. They have food that goes over rice called ulam (can be anything like meat, curry, vegetables, anything that goes over rice. People really like foreigners, but are very shy sometimes. Lots of Christians. Many believe in Christ, just don't know where to find him.

"What are some of your hobbies"
I love to draw. I sometimes draw people or pictures of Christ for fun. ;)

Kayla and Hailee! 
Way to give a Book of Mormon to your Teacher! That is AWESOME!!! I also did that when I was your age, except I gave one to a good friend of mine. Keep your testimony and love of the book of Mormon in your heart. Keep sharing and you will feel God smiling down on you. You will feel happy! Closer to God! Like D&C 18:15-16 bring one soul (person) to God feel Joy. Bring many will feel REALLY HAPPY!!! :D Your a great inspiration to me! You are all already great missionaries. Keep it up!

Keep being Awesome! THANK YOU for your letters again! :) Praying for you! 

Sister Elsmore