We send a letter to Mandy's companion sister Abonitalla and this is a respond back from her. You can see that she is a wonderful missionary and we are grateful for her and we are happy she is a Mandy's companion.
Jonah Alayon Abonitalla <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Good day po,
I'm shocked to receive an email from you but knowing Sister Elsmore's teasings, of you guys emailing me. Thanks for the email. I really appreciate it. I'm good and having Sister Elsmore as my companion makes it more good. My family lives in Beaumont, California. They've been there for a couple of years now. Hopefully after mission, if the circumstances won't let me live with them, at least I would like to visit them.
I do have a fascination with the Japanese culture and traditions. Since my childhood days, reading manga and watching japanese cartoons helped me knowing more about Japan. I loved also learning Japanese language. And I know that coming to Japan will help me a lot. That is why when I was preparing for my mission, I really liked to be assigned at Japan. But I know that the Lord has put me here in Philippines Quezon City Mission because I will have to experience things that only here can take place for me to become more like my Savior.
It's really hard to think of Japanese stuff I want. They're too many of them, but I'll leave them to you to decide. I know that you know better than me.
I like Sister Elsmore's laugh. It makes our place more lively. She speaks Tagalog well. She's really serious on learning it. But she said it makes her to forget speaking fluently in English. Sometimes when she's trying to speak in English, she mixes it with tagalog words. Also, she feels awkward praying in English.
Being the eldest in my family and the only girl (besides my mom), made me to know cooking. I am not really a very good cook, I just know how to cook. I like best the Filipino dishes with coconut milk and anything seafood. Right now, she is collecting this bunch of recipes of Filipino dishes. She's excited to cook these for you.
Thank you very much for your heartfelt prayers for us. We are protected and strengthened because of your prayers. Knowing that I have more people praying for me, makes me determined and courageous to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Having a chance to become a missionary, especially in this glorious time, has been a big privilege to me. It helped me to know more my loving Father in Heaven, my Savior and my Redeemer and myself as a daughter of God. It helped me to polish my attributes to become more Christlike. It also helped me how to love people whoever they are.
I'm privileged to know you and thank you very much for the compliments.
With love, Sister Abonitalla
On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 6:43 AM, The Elsmore family wrote:
Kumusta! Sister Abonitalla,
Hi! How are you? We just wanted to thank you for being a such a good sister missionary and companion to our daughter Sister Mandy Elsmore. Mandy told us that your family lives in San Diego area. Did you grow up there in SanDiego or grow up in Philippines? Mandy's grandparents live very close to San Diego in OceanSide, CA. San Diego is a very nice area and we love to go there to visit. We would like to live there when we retire someday. Are you going to live there after your mission is over? We may be able to visit you after you are back from your mission.
Mandy said that you like Japanese stuff so We are thinking that we should send you some Japanese treats or something for the Christmas. Tell what kind of Japanese things you like.
So, what do you think about Mandy? Does she speak Tagalog O.K? I am glad that you are her companion so, you can teach her to speak better. And she said you are very good cook. She said she is learning to cook Filipino food from you. We are looking forward to eat Filipino food when she get back from her mission. What is you most favorite Filipino Dish?
How do you like to be a missionary in Philippines? Mandy said people are very humble and nice. We are praying that you and Mandy will see a lots of success bringing many people get closer to Jesus Christ and change their life and have a strong desire to get baptized. And also pray that you will be protected from harm and will be healthy during your mission.
We just wanted to thank you for being a good companion for Mandy it means a lot to us knowing Mandy has good missionary experience because of you!
Here is a scripture we want to share with you today about how important it is to have or be a good companion.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat, but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him, and a threefold rope is not quickly broken."
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12
Sister Abonitalla we know that Lord loves you for who you are! And he is proud of you for your hard work sharing your testimony of our savior with Filipino people and people around you! We are grateful for your love and kindness and patience for our daughter Mandy. We are blessed to know you! When you have a time, please write back to us.
Brother and Sister Elsmore :)