Monday, August 26, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 49

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: August 26, 2013 12:05:42 AM CDT


This week has been eventful to say the least, lots of things happened this week as you well know: Baha (flood), Temple Tour, and Stake Conference. Not sure I wrote it all down sufficiently in my journal. :) But it has been a growing experience.

I felt like Stake Conference was very successful. The adult session on Saturday was done in a different format. It was more done like a college class almost with more discussion rather than a couple of speakers. The more involved you are, the more you learn. :D They had us do a role play of Ward Council and at the end, they were like, we should have a pair of missionaries go up as well, hmm... looking at all the Elders, then they look at us. SISTERS! (these kind of things seem to happen to me frequently. God has such a great sense of humor. ^_- )Talking with members afterward, they were fired up to do missionary work. We will stop by a couple of them and see in what way we can help them fulfill that desire before it fades away, as desires tend to do without action. 

Splits with the Pasig 3rd Sisters went well. I went with Sister Taufa. She is a GREAT missionary and has a strong passion for missionary work and wants to do the best that she can. She's Tongan, but from Utah. Her Tagalog is very good for someone who has only been out in the field for 3 months, she just lacks confidence. So I gave her some tips with the language and encouraged her to use it more. The flow will come, the more you speak the language. ;) She is training and white washing an area. Her "anak" is from Maryland and is super shy, super tall (6.2), and very cute. The mission is calling for people to step it up now. But working with them, they were definitely more prepared to the task than I ever could have been. There are some Amazing Sisters here.  
I'm very excited for their area. Though they are "young" in the mission, they have a great desire to know the area, help the Pasig 3 ward, and to find more people. Having a Baptism with 13 members of a family is going to be a great start for them. ^_^

Oh, meet a part Japanese family, the Renin Family, while going on splits with Sister Taufa. (they're the ones that all of them are getting baptized on Saturday). It was really awesome at the beginning because everyone was speaking in different languages. Japanese, English, Tagalog, and Basayan (another Filipino Language), The crazy thing was, I could understand it all. O.o The gift of tongues is real! 
Anyway, this Japanese family kind of reminds me of a Japanese Yakuza, with the mother as the Main Boss, with a little Filipino twist. It was pretty AWESOME! Glad I was able to meet them before their baptism. Its taken them a couple years to decide that this is what they wanted to do, but now they are determined. They will be a spiritual powerhouse here in the Philippines, and their desire to share the gospel is Super strong. ^_^ 

Praying for ya'll! 
Sister Elsmore

Monday, August 19, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 48

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: August 19, 2013 3:31:12 AM CDT

Kumusta ulit!

Lets see... Lots have happened this week. 

My new companion is Sister Suarez (I was SUPER off on the spelling last week. HA HA HA!)
She is 27 yeas old
5 feet exactly.
She is from Bicolad (same place as Sister Velasco, so she's Ilonga)
She has been on her mission 15 months and going home in December (she is serving a 19 month mission)
She has had many jobs in the past, one was selling Mary Kay beauty products. Yes, they even have them here. Its the Philippines. You can find anything in the Philippines... or so people say...
Hmm... lets see. She is the complete opposite of me. So its been an interesting past couple days. But we are getting along. :) 

Traveling Sister. 
We are assigned over 5 areas. So every Wednesday and Thursday we go on splits with other sisters. We go to MLC (missionary leadership coordination meeting.) which used to be just for Zone leaders and the APs. Then, settle any problems that happen with the sisters, or pretty much do anything that president asks. That's about it... Not really doing anything yet but going on splits for the first time on Wednesday. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Walked through water that was up to my knees. So that was fun. I'm really enjoying the rain. Felt cold from the weather for the first time in a long time! SO weird!

Funny you ask about the crocks Mom. They have been working miracles in the floods, but now I've worn right through both of them. Well, they have lasted... I think 9 months in the Philippines (now that's a weird thought). I guess its about time for a new pair. Hmm... weird, everything seems to be falling apart right now. cloths, bag, shoes, scriptures, even me for two weeks. I'm getting old, its the only explanation. ;)

Well, lets see... 
We had a FHE with the Abano family. We have been teaching Andre (9years old boy) and Gerry (7 almost 8 year old girl, I know, people name their children anything they want here.) We taught them about Baptism and the Holy Ghost. We did a role play for Bong (their father) to baptism them. It was the first time for their Dad, but after a couple tries with his kids he got it down. :) It reminded me before I was baptized for a FHE we also did a role play. I remember it was really fun and it really did help me before I got baptized  I knew exactly what I was going to do and what was going to happen. It gave me peace as a child  I could concentrate on the feelings that I felt that day because of it. (I know, its weird that I remember all this. Teaching all these part member families and their children are giving me more flash backs of my childhood. Its kind of cool. Helps me to relate to them more.) 

I'm very grateful for my Dad, that he was and is a worthy priesthood holder so he could have the opportunity to baptize me. It meant a lot to me. It was the start of me being a member of the church. I didn't know all the facts of the symbolism of baptism at the time, all I wanted to do was follow Jesus Christ and be a member and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Just like how it says in 2 Nephi 31:12. Even though I'm older and understand a little bit more doctrine. The underlining basic feeling is the same. I just want to follow Jesus Christ and feel the Holy Ghost. Because I know its the right way and there is no greater feeling than doing it. 

FHE is great! The spiritual aspects and time to just have plain simple fun! (we played the fork and spoon game and it became quite an intense game! :D )
Love Ya Lots! Praying for ya all! Have a FHE with your family and/or friends. Its worth it. ;)

Sister Elsmore ^_^

Sister Dowe and I in a Jeepney
Found Streets with names of Different Countries. Went down all of them last P-day and took pictures of them. :D

I'm in Japan! ^_^

No pics yet of Sister Suarez. Memory card is full. Just bought a new one though. Hopefully next week. :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 47

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: August 12, 2013 10:32:31 PM CDT


So end of another transfer and I have some exciting news. I've been called to be a traveling Sister. My companion will be Sister Schquarez (no idea how to spell her name) who is very nice and hard working from what I could tell when I met her at a Training Meeting once. We will start being a companionship tomorrow. I am excited to serve the sisters here in Quezon City Mission. However, I guess... I just have no idea what a traveling sister does, or what I am suppose to do... I'll learn though, and turn to the Lord and my companion for guidance.   

Little sad to part with Sister Dowe. She has been a GREAT companion and I've learned a lot about patience, diligence, and a love of the gospel from her. I'm excited for her to be in my 1st area though with my 1st Anak, Sister Velasco. I'm sure they will do well together. :)

There was a lot of rain, especially on Sunday, and we got splashed by a speeding car and soaked, and the lights went off during a lesson, but other than that, nothing serious here in Cainta, TayTay. Sad to hear about the effect the Typhoon had on people here. :( I'll pray for them. :)

Funny Story:

About to start a lesson with the Bilan Family and we have a brown out (they call black outs brown outs here.) We use our cellphones as flashlights and teach about Christ Ministry and the Apostasy. In the middle of the lesson. This huge ipis (cockroach) runs under the Bench Validez Bilan (16 years old), Sister Dowe and I are sitting on. Validez points it out, then the cockroach runs into the next room. After freaking out a little bit, we continue with the lesson. About 5 minutes later, the ipis runs back into the room. And Everyone is shouting where it is, then it runs back into the other room again. Then another 5 minutes later, the ipis runs back in through another crack in the wall on the opposite side of the room where Validez sister Luckybner is sitting. She screams and runs other to our side and her and Validez and standing on the bench hugging each other. Their little brother Elmer 4 years old, then runs other to them and joins the protective sheild group hug. The ipis, probably enjoying itself being the cause of such great commotion is running back and forth in the room. Sister Dowe and I are sitting on the bench with our legs crossed so they don't touch the ground. Sister Bilan, grabs a chinela (flip flop) and chases the cockroach into the kitchen. Validez and Luckybner run after her and even though Sister Bilan slaps the cockroach. It Survives and runs away. O,o
We come back to our seats and after much talk about the ipis, I get the idea to do a object lesson with this situation. We turn off the lights on our phones. So we have a Apostasy. We don't know where we should go. Or where the devil is (ipis). Then, through our actions, following the commandments, like prayer turn one cellphone light on. Then another, scripture reading, another light. Etc... I have now experienced, everything can be incorporated into the gospel. ;) Its so great! 

The Gospel Blesses Families
I've always known this, but its just a blessing and a privileged to see it in action. No matter what kind of circumstances you come from, the gospel blesses EVERYONE. Here are two examples I was able to witness this week...

Humble Construction Worker
Jerald Lati is a recent convert. He puts the Lord first in everything he does, and though he only has the education of a 5th grader, he has such a great understanding and love of the scriptures, the gospel, and the Savior. He works very hard in construction in order to help his 7 other siblings. 2 of which are 2 month year old twin girls. His sister, Princess and him are the only members in the family. Though their family agreed to have a family home evening with us. 

The Genius American,
So we met this guy who lives in our complex named Scott who has pretty much been Everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere (said he has never been below the equator). Anyway, apparently he is a member be less active from all his travels. He has a Filipino wife and they have 2 children together.  He's served in special forces in the military, has a MB in Medicine, worked in Charity hospitals, toured the world teaching english, physics, biology, math, and I'm sure many other classes, he speaks 7 languages, helps people stop smoking, etc... He's a really awesome person. 

Anyway, we shared with them a scripture with both of these families and it was interesting to see the change and the difference the spirit can have on a family. Theses families were happy for the most part. They both were drastically different in their trials and lifestyles, but when a home, becomes a sanctuary of God... You can just see them draw closer together, become even more unified, and see the love they truly have for each other. The gospel is amazing, and the blessings, though sometimes hard to see are there. You just have to look for them. ;) The spirit it brings to a home is worth more than anything else in this world. I hope all families can experience the unifying power of the Holy Ghost and feel the peace and love of God.  

Anyway, praying for ya'll. Love ya'll!
Sister Elsmore ^_-

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 46

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: August 5, 2013 2:55:47 AM CDT

Subject: Sister Elsmore


Thank you for the support and prayers. I felt them this week. ^_^ I've been sick all week and so there is not too much to report. But I had a good rest and now that my voice is almost back to normal, I'm ready to head out and bring people closer to Christ! >_< FIGHT!!!

Things that have been really amusing...

People super concerned because I lost a lot of weight apparently. (I have not really noticed, but apparently its a DRASTIC change). Always ask, "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? YOU GOT SKINNY!!! 
Bah ha ha! Then I say that I was sick and was pretty much dying at home. So people want to feed us now to get me "back to normal." (whatever that means). Hopefully we can meet some new people threw all these dinner appointments. YAY!!!  I love the power and impact food has on people!

If you have lost your voice, they ask, "Saan yung concert mo? or Kumusta ang concert mo? (where was your concert?, or how was your concert? Because if you loose your voice, then you obviously have been doing a lot of singing)

People hit me a lot on the back on Sunday. Trying to FORCE out the cough in me. They taught my companion the "proper way" to hit someone on the back. You put your hand in a cupped shape then hit REALLY hard all over the upper part of the back. HA HA HA!

I'm really stubborn about silly things sometimes. (mom, you are right.) Once I've got something that I want to do or believe sometime to be true, its REALLY hard for me to change my mind about it... Even if I'm wrong, but in the end, after a ridiculous process of silly pigheadedness I'm humbled and change my ways. Need to work on being more teachable... (Everyone telling me I needed to rest, did not set very well at the beginning. HA HA HA)

Spiritual Thought:
Helaman 11:10-17 This might be a bit interpretive of me; however, when I read this, it made me think that even prophets have to plead unto the Lord over and over again. And it does not say here that God sent rain right away. It just says it happened that year. Sometimes, even though it might be a good thing that we are praying for, and we feel we have been sufficiently humbled by our trials, sometimes the Lord makes us wait, just a little bit longer. Because he knows when is the best time for us to receive blessings. When we will truly appreciate them and recognize them from the Lord. Also, perhaps to learn patience and greater trust in God. God truly is our Heavenly Father, and he loves us and wants the best for us. And if it means that I have to plead unto him, and learn to be more sincere in the blessings I wish to receive, and show the lord I am worthy of those blessings through my actions of faith, then its a small price to pay. And as the Lord says in D&C 121:7, "Thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." Which looking back at some trials, it has been that way. 

Love Ya'll! Praying for Ya'll!

Sister Elsmore ^_^

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 45

From: Mandy Elsmore <>
Date: July 30, 2013 1:32:27 AM CDT


So still sick... Its so lame! I've lost my voice for 5 days! (Its coming back now and I went to the doctor earlier today.) Ok, I'm done complaining. On the upside its been a Great source of conversation with people. I've learn some interesting tips to get rid of a cold.
  • Don't walk in the rain or get wet at all (does this mean I don't need to take showers?...joke lang... Mom, don't worry, I'm still showering.
  • Don't eat Ice-Candy (their word for Popsicle) or drink cold water
  • Drink 3 tablespoons of pure coconut oil.
  • Put coconut oil and and warm water and rub it on your back and chest.
  • Roast Kalamance (little limes) and then squeeze the juice out of it and drink it.
  • Don't use old water bottles over again after 3 times, or the plastic chemicals get into the water which is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE. Apparently, pretty soon, I should be breathing fire. (The ward clerk was just kidding about this one)  
  • Just stop breathing. (HA HA HA!!!! >_<) Or breath though a handkerchief (gaining more and more appreciation for these things. They are just so handy. ^_^)

Anyway, went to see Elder Jackson the missionary doctor here, while my companion and Kabahays (missionary roommates) went in to do a session in the Temple. After talking with him, went to the MRC (Missionary Recovery Center) to wait for my companion. Its where sick missionaries from all over the Philippines go to get treatments and recover from illnesses. It was like a different world in there... O.o
I was talking a nap on the couch and they were like, "Sister, we have a bed for you if you want it." I was like..."ok..."
They took me into this room with a queen size bed and I was like, "Oh my goodness, you could fit my whole family on this thing!" O.o Then I went to take a nap, but was shivering to death from the air-conditioning. I had to go turn it off because it was just too much. BAH HA HA!!! I've become a Filipino... Made me realize how much I've really changed these past several months (9... 10? hmm... to tired to figure it out).  

Learning a New Language
We have a deaf investigator, Miko. They use FSL (Filipino sign language which is pretty much the same as ASL, but I guess they just want to make it Filipino?...) Maria Russel is teaching us the basics and we teach and she translates, or we write things down and he writes back to us. Deaf people are so Great! They are so refreshingly honest. Also, they are so expressive about how they feel and the world around them. Sister Dowe is SUPER Magaling (skilled) at learning sign language. I'm not so much, but its fun anyway. Its a bit weird teaching in 3 different languages. Talking to Maria in Tagalog along with Miko's younger brother Denis, then Miko in FSL or writing in English (he only understands English... interesting how they teaching deaf people here), then translating to Sister Dowe in English. I did not think my brain could handle all of this. The Brain is AMAZING! Super blessing of the Lord. Also, learned once again that the Spirit is the ultimate teacher. It doesn't matter what language you are speaking in, if you really want to have a spiritual experience, you can find it in no matter what the circumstances are. 

The Church is True
Had a chapel tour on Saturday. Thought it would be good for investigators and for members to invite friends to a not so "threatening situation." Things just kept going wrong though. People showing up Filipino Standard time (which is like 5 times worse than Mormon Standard time if you know what that is.), then it started POURING RAIN, then the Elders in our District were really confused, then I had no voice. HA HA HA! Oh goodness... Sister Dowe and I went in the Nursery Room and prayed that people would show up, that the rain would stop, and the spirit would be there to teach. Said Amen, and looked out the window and the rain stopped. Heavenly Father is too good to us. We really are spoiled. Things went alright after that. ^_^

Something that one of the members said struck me though... He said it out of frustration because people were late to clean the chapel for the chapel tour. "When I was a Catholic, and I came to church for the first time, I felt like this is the true church. Since this is the true church, the members should be true!" 
It just made me think about how important our actions are. Its not only our words that define us a a person, but our actions as well. Together, we can show the world that we are disciples of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of heaven. I think this is one of the critical factors that set the best from the best, those who are truly converted... That not only do we say we believe, but we LIVE it as well. The gospel is great. I hope more people learn how true it is and learn to be True to Christ and to God.

Love Ya All! Praying for ya'll! Appreciate your soft beds and listen to the Song I'm Trying to Be like Jesus.
Sister Elsmore ^_^

PS: Got this SWEET rainbow umbrella that is like the 3rd best thing that I've purchased on my mission. Hopefully pictures coming soon...