Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Adventure of Sister Elsmore 66

Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>


Lets see...

Christmas was fun. SO MUCH FOOD! I'm pretty sure I gained like 5 kilos (10 ish lbs). O.o HA HA HA! But is was so worth it. Filipinos are SO good at cooking. And when they cook, they cook a LOT! So feasting all day, every appointment. And Filipinos don't take no for a answer when it comes to offering food. ^_-

Also, its been really nice to hear different gifts people would give to Christ for Christmas.

Food ^_^ (Nanay with Alzheimer  said this. Her Sister was like, "Jesus doesn't need food, he wants us to show our faith." Nanay... "Hmm... that too along with FOOD!!! Got to love the elderly. ^_-)
Going to church
Remembering him
Reading Scriptures more
Sharing the Gospel with Friends

Traditional things they do here for New Years:
Wear red with poka-dots
Wear zodiac bracelets which match with the year. 2014 will be the horse. MY YEAR! >_< Super lucky if you wear horse things next year.
Put up huge statures of horses in your home
Eat Tahoy (cant remember if this is what its called... get back to you on this), its like a Chinese rich cake dessert which you fry in eggs and brown sugar. Super good. 
Have lucky plants (lucky because they are REALLY hard to kill. ^_-)
Blast a million fire works. >_< (was walking and a couple a kids lit one RIGHT in front of their house which bounced straight up onto their roof. Luckily it went out right away. Figured that's another reason why everyone has tin roofs. ^_-) 

Slaying more Ipis:
I killed a cockroach in the middle of a lesson. It was just running around in front of us and a Total distraction, so I grabbed the nearest slipper and asked if it was ok if I used it to kill the beast and they said it was fine. SO I slapped that thing with a loud SLAP!!! It was twitching and we thought it was dead. But after the prayer, the cockroach started to make a run for it. The investigator, Joe, grabs the alcohol and doses it with it. Note for the future... Alcohol super effective in killing ipis. (roaches). Joe ,"Now we just light it on fire." HA HA HA! jk. :)

Helpful tip...for mosquitoes:
Put Vicks, Vaporub on it. It stops the iching and gives a cooling effect. Super awesome! 

Oh, last Saturday, both me and Sister Pope were home sick. We read through old letters together and had a good laugh and good food for thought from your spiritual insights. Thanks you all again for the letters and the support and laughs. Each and everyone of you are amazing and a inspiration! ^_^

Watched this last week the Mormon Messages on Daily Bread and Patterns of Light and it has been a inspiration to me. Made me understand the importance of little steps in life. Sometimes, even though we want to see the big picture, God just gives us a little taste or just enough knowledge and strength to move forward. Because we have agency. God has taught us correct principles and expects us to make our own choices. This life is all about walking by faith, not by sight. We are never alone though.
Makes me want to meditate on what at the little steps in life I need to take this next year. And little by little learn to work at to the ultimate goal of eternal life. I want to be better. I want to keep living, growing, loving life and the gospel. With little goals, I think I'll learn to have a better direction in my life and greater patience for results. ^_^ Sana (hopefully) ^_-

Hope you all have a great New Year and Gain Some good achievable goals that make you stretch and become more like Christ. ^_-

Love Y'all! Praying for Y'all!
Sister Elsmore 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Skype with family on Christmas 2013


Make this short because we will talk on Wednesday!
YAY! My companion want to skype at 10:00
so I'll just be on waiting whenever you are on. ^_-

Excited to chat with ya'll! 
Sister Mandy Elsmore

so we are at a members home going to skype.
So my companion is going to go first, be about 30- 1 hour.
Is that ok? Sorry! >~< Excited to talk to ya'll!

Sister Mandy

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 65

Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>

Maligayang Pasko! (no one ever really says it in Tagalog though. Just in songs.)

Hope you are all SUPER excited for the Christmas Season and preparations for it are going well. ^_^ We have already been enjoying the effects for Christmas. We had 2 Christmas Parties. 1 for the Branch and one with the Relief Society. SO MUCH FOOD!!! People have been asking me what my waist size is here. (which is really weird by the way) then when they find out, automatically want to feed me more... O.o? I'm ok with that. ^_-

Its been nice to share with people the Christmas Story in Luke 2 and watching Christmas Movies and talking about them. Amazing what the scriptures and a little technology can do to invite the spirit. ^_^

Sister Pope:
10 months on the Mission.
From Idaho, Went to BYU Idaho
Math Education Major
Super NICE! Little quiet at first, but once you get to know her she is quite the story teller. :) We are laughing a lot about the Mission, life, etc... ^_^ Fun to be with a American Again. ^_-
Word to describe her- Meek, something I'm striving to learn from her. ;)

True or False
Erik is one of my favorite investigators right now. ^_^ Actually, when I was here on exchanges and while back, I was with Sister Fakao'si (Sister Pope's trainee) when we contacted him. He was a referral of a member. Small world. Get to teach him now. :) Anyway, he has been wanting to find out whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. So he's been reading a chapter or 2 each day. His understanding of the scriptures is amazing also his hunger for the scriptures is real. 
"Sister, I know you only assigned one chapter, but is it ok if I kept on reading?"
Anyway, we came to teach him and he was like...
Erik, "Sisters, so I do you know the TV show for ADD?"

Me, "...ADD?...? O.o???

Sister Pope, " Ano yen? (what's that?)

Erik,"Ang Dating Daan" (its a church here in the Philippines)

Me and Pope, "Oh... :D" (Thought it was the disease)

Erik," So I was walking by this one house and it was going on. Then the pastor says that "Hindi totoo ang Simbahan ng Mormons dahil hindi totoo ang Aklat ni Mormon." (the church of Mormons is not true because the Book of Mormon is not true)
Pero (but), right after it said that, I thought of all the times I read the Book of Mormon and how I always felt good reading it. I felt peace and happiness and my thoughts were, No! The Book of Mormon is True. Then I realized I got my answer. ^_^ Totoo ang Aklat ni Mormon. (the book of mormon is true)

YAY!!!!! ^_^ It is always so edifying to see the progression of investigators and see them feeling the spirit and gaining a testimony for themselves. It strengthens my testimony. And no matter what opposition is out there, nothing can stop God and the Holy Ghost to a sincere individual willing to act on faith and the will of the Lord.  

After Gaining his testimony now, he came to Church for the 1st time this Sunday. :)

Best Christmas Gift Ever

Question and Answer:

What does Antipolo Mission mean?:

Antipolo is like saying I'm from Dallas, but I'm really to be more specific from Frisco because there are a lot of little cities right next to each other. All my previous areas are under 30 minutes away from me where I am now. HA HA HA! All under Antipolo City, or Rizal. I'll have to find a map and take a picture of it so ya'll can see. Or you can probably just google map it or something...

Of all the things you did to prepare for your mission, what was the best thing you did?  What do you wish you had done, or done better?

Good Question...
Pretty much I've learned that my whole life just living in the church has prepared me in coming for a mission. There are things that happen that I'm like, Wow, so glad I did that before. Totally needed that here right now. 

If you want One thing specifically that really helped me, that would be...
Reading the Book of Mormon and gaining my own testimony of it. I was never a scholar or knew a lot of scriptures by memory, but the small testimony that I had of it has lead me here. Its been my foundation for a lot of things. 

Thing I wish I'd done better. Practice the piano. HA HA HA!!! >_<

Anyway, I wrote ya'll another Novel. ^_- Hope you enjoy Christmas and feel the peace and love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the Atonement this Christmas. Love each other. Serve one another. Say I love ya more (you if you don't want to say it like a Texan. ^_-)

Love Ya'll! Praying for Ya'll
Sister Elsmore

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Another E mail from Sister Abonitalla

Jonah Alayon Abonitalla <jonah.abonitalla@myldsmail.net>

 Kumusta po!

Thank you very much for the package. Me and Sister Elsmore received our package last Thursday. I became excited of the Japanese treats inside. I'm grateful that I have Sister Elsmore beside me to translate the Japanese writings on the packet. I love the Hello Kitty coin purse especially the nativity stickers. Maraming Salamat po! Sister Elsmore is so lucky to have parents like you. You made my Christmas more happy and merry. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance.

With love, Sister Abonitalla

Adeventures of Sister Elsmore 64

Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>


Thanks for the pictures. Sister Abonitalla and I enjoyed them! ^_^ SO GREAT! Was surprised you sent my school pictures. Ainako! SO EMBARRASSING! You two never cease to amaze me. ^_-

Sounds good for Christmas Skype! Talk to ya'll on 25th my time. and 24th your time. ^_-

Let you know next P-day if things change. 

Oh, we got your packages. So much fun to see Sister Abonitalla's reactions to the candys. ^_^ he he he!!! So great! She deserves it. 

This week has been CRAZY with the Christmas Parties! We had our Christmas Conference and each Zone learned a Tagalog Christmas Song and did a skit. Cogeo Zone did "Kumukutikutitap" and our skit was Juanny Linggo. (Johnny Lingo as a Missionary in the Philippines.) The skit was really funny in practice, but everyone froze up onstage then... kinda palpaked (failed) HA HA HA!!! aw man! Oh well. President and Sister Revillo with the office elders and the APs also did a skit which was HILARIOUS! I would be... They stood in line all dressed up like different professions and one by one say what they were and acted it out, then the other characters would also start saying their same lines from earlier and acting and running around. President was a assassin with a Nerf gun and Sister Revillo was a pregnant woman. >_< BAH HA HA HA!!! Anyway... I'm not doing it justice... sorry...

We had the Ward Christmas party this week as well. The theme was Cowboys and Cowgirls. Why? I have NO idea. But it was fun. SO MANY PEOPLE CAME!!! Almost ALL our LESS ACTIVES AND INVESTIGATORS CAME except 2!!! YES!!!! >_< Plus the ward fellowshipped!!! Awesome!!! >_< Nothing like the Spirit of Christmas promote love and friendship. 

Sister Elsmore to the Rescue!
So on Sunday, Sister McCarthy my kabahay was supposed to give a talk; however, she got food poisoning from the Christmas Party the night before and we got to church late because of it. O.o Poor girl! While she was in the bathroom, they announced her name over the pulpit for her to speak. Everyone is looking around and wondering, Saan si McCarthy? (where is McCarthy). The bishop and his counselors are looking at Abonitalla and giving us the look like, What is going on? 
So I run up there and whisper that Sister McCarthy is in the Bathroom not feeling well, then ask if it would be ok that the last speaker be first. Bishop says she is the only speaker. 
Me,"... ANO!?! (what)
Bishop, "Nandito ang high council man natin," (the high council man is here)
Bishop, "Ah sige... Ikaw na lang Sister Elsmore magspeak." (oh ok... you'll just have to speak Sister Elsmore)
Me... sige po... (ok)
I walk down to grab my scriptures and the Second Counselor goes up and announces over the pulpit that Sister McCarthy is Sick in the bathroom so Sister Elsmore will be speaking for her. 
Ainako... Is this real life!!!! Did he really just announce that over the pulpit....
ok.. calm thyself Sister Elsmore...
I walk back up to the pulpit and say a quick prayer what to speak on. The thought come to share Luke 2. The Christmas Story. :) Talked about what gift we should give to Christ this Christmas, being its his birthday. 
Was a short, but sweet talk, but felt the words flow from me with the Spirit. Was a awesome experience if not random. ^_^

Anyway, love ya'll! Praying for ya'll!

Oh, almost forgot. I'm transferring. To San Isidro. (like 15 minutes away.) HA HA HA! My mission is the Antipolo Mission. I'm not going to be STL anymore, which will be nice to have a break. Sad to not serve the sisters and see them as often anymore, but I think it is time. :) My new companion will be Sister Pope. Super nice, meek Sister. Like her a lot!

Well got to run!
Sister Elsmore ^_^

Monday, December 9, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 63

Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>

Sounds Super Cold over there. O.o Thanks for the pictures. I've enjoyed them. :) Hope things warm up soon! Glad you all stocked up on your 72 hour kits recently. ^_^ I laughed about your scripture Dad about using prophets to warm up the place. HA HA HA! Hope it does not come to that. ^_-
Here is a weekly scripture from my Dad 
[D&C 133:26]
"and they who are in north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence."
"If it doesn't warm up soon, we may need the prophets over here to fix our ice problems."

So this week has been full of the miracles of the Lord! ^_^ Feel like finally seeing the fruits of our efforts. This Sunday we had a bunch of Less Actives and Investigators come to church. 
The Sacrament Meeting hall was almost filled. In Relief Society, we almost did not have enough room to put chairs in. ^_^ Also, people going up to them and fellow-shipping them. Going up, talking to them, sitting with them, helping them take care of their kids. The church was filled with the spirit of love and service. Also, we received a lot of awesome referrals. Just goes to show what a little love, encouragement, hard work, the gospel, and the spirit and a whole lot of prayer can do to change people. Great to be a missionary! ^_^

So, people are asking what I'm going to do when I get back home... Ok... Um, I'm just going to continue what I was doing before. Work, save, go back to school at BYU for Studio Art (maybe go for a Masters, but that is after a couple years...), live the gospel. Yup... in short, LIVE! Just live the way God would have me to live. With a little Sister Elsmore Flair. ^_- Which I think I'm a little bit more prepared to do because I understand myself better now, my weaknesses, and what I want to improve in my life. I don't have all the answers of what I'm EXACTLY going to do, but I have a little direction to my life and that is all I need right now. 

Anyway, right now, still need to focus on the work and the people hear. And keep enjoying the time where I can devote all my time and effort to the Lord in my protected bubble as a missionary. Feel like sometimes really, as missionaries we are COMPLETELY separated from the world. In the world, but not of the Lord at a higher level. Hope that makes sense... Kind-of hard to explain if you have not experienced it...

Patience is a Virtue (and a Christlike Attribute ^_^)
So for the past 5 weeks we have been teaching Vanessa Heart Pendon. Her family is returning less active family and she's SUPER ADORABLE! She will be baptized on Dec 28. She is super receptive and loves reading the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon. The only problem we had with her is that she would absolutely detest praying in public. SUPER SHY! She would pray with her family at night, but not around anyone else. We tried EVERYTHING!!! Trying to get her more willing to pray, teaching her about prayer, encouraging her, getting her friends to pray... Wala (nothing...)

We did the only other thing we could do. Pray. Everyday for her to gain a desire. Which she did! ^_^ On Saturday after teaching about Faith and Repentance we asked her to pray and she was like. Ok! Did not even bat an eye and prayed a sweet sincere prayer. SO HAPPY!!! ^_^ 

Really, no effort is wasted. Sometimes we have to be patient, do all that we can to share the gospel and help people in living it. Just trying is Success. Conversion is something between the individual and the Lord. We just provide the environment and the means for the Spirit to speak and work through us. ^_^ 

Inspiring Good Habits Though Art Projects

Been making little change banks from tin cans with plastic lids for people to learn how to save for palmasahe (money for travel) to go to church or for MariCris and Raffy save for their Marrage. Its been really effective! ^_^ 

Also, giving out the color in sheets for I read the Book of Mormon to people. They color in a box after they read a chapter of the Book of Mormon. They LOVE IT!!! ^_^ They are so proud to show off their sheets of paper every time we go to see them. Then tell us what happened in their reading. YES!!! The Book of Mormon is GREAT!!! >_<

Love Ya'll! Praying for Ya'll! 
Sister Elsmore

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Adventures of Sister Elsmore 62

Mandy Elsmore <mandy.elsmore@myldsmail.net>

Kumusta Kayo!!! ^_^

Glad to hear you all had a good Thanksgiving 

Thanks for forwarding the letters from the Abano Family. ( you can read them in my blog: Sweet E-Mail from Filipino Friend to Sister Elsmore) Their letters have helped me a lot recently. As you were saying mom about Satan's influence being real is SO TRUE!!! O.o I have the same feeling here. Agency is a hard thing to deal with sometimes, but at the same time, I would not have it any other way. ^_-

Day of Thanks
Thanksgiving we bought Lechin (roasted chicken) and corn on the cob. Made mashed potatoes and rice (to Filopinoize the meal ^_-). We were on exchanges with the sisters in San Isidro and there are 2 houses over there with 8 sisters. So 10 of us all together having a Thanksgiving Feast. Had a good spirit of Thanksgiving. Super Grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord. Super Grateful for our family and friends. Super Grateful for each other. And Super Grateful for the little food that we had filled us up (miss calculated on the amount we needed to buy. HA HA HA). 

Ultimate Pictionary
Had Zones Conference. Yes, I meant to say Zones because now we have it with a 3rd of the mission. 4 zones combined for conference. Sister Abonitalla and I had a workshop on Using Time Wisely. We were the last workshop of the day. SO to refresh everyone up, we had everyone play Pictionary. HA HA HA!!!! President and Sister Revillo were the judges and we had 2 zones at a time competing against each other. The topics were things that are time wasters. Whichever Zone could guess all 12 things with the best time was the winner.  SO GREAT!!! Have not laughed that hard in a long while. BAH HA HA HA! Everyone was SUPER competitive. Especially President and Sister Revillo. ^_^ Then we all talked about ways we can improve using our time wisely by: 1) Setting Goals. 2) Planning 3) Being Accountable. 
Good workshop. I learned a lot about myself and have a better idea about what I want to improve on and how to do it. ^_^

Splits with Tacloban Missionaries

Sister Garcia
She is from Tacloban, so when the Storm hit, she had NO IDEA if her family was still alive, if they were ok. Nothing. She tried emailing, and calling them, but no response. Lines were down. No way she was able to contact them or vis versa. However, on the Wednesday After the storm, 5 days later, Her dad went to Cebu to get supplies for the members in his branch. He was able to call Sister Revillo and through her, contact his daughter. He told her, "Don't worry. We are all safe and doing well. Don't worry about us, just keep serving your misson and concentrate on the work. Because you are there, as a missionary, we are safe."
She is a amazing missionary who is truely dedicated to the work, not matter what happens. She wants to keep serving with all her heart, might, mind and strength. She has been a great example to me.:)

Cool about Elder Johnson. Sister Garcia says Hi! Also to SMILE (inside joke between them.) He served in her home ward or something. :) 
*Elder Johnson is a recent Return Missionary who was an AP (Assistant to mission President) in Tacloban City Mission happened to be from both of our parents are in the same Ward in Frisco Texas. I never met him but I heard about him through my parents. Check a blog about Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) and you will find an article about how the AP of Tacloban Mission went out during the storm to help sister missionaries and people of Tacloban.

Elder Cameron Johnson is the elder with his hand in the air. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Tacloban Philippines.

Sister Talatagod
She was in Samar when the storm hit. So the area she was in was not really affected at all. They also did not see much of the damage or the effects of the Storm; however, she still is going through the struggle and adjustment to a new mission. However; because of her strong testimony. She knows that God sent her here for a purpose, and whereever the Lord will have her be, she will serve. ^_^ Even if her heart aches to go back and help those in Tacloban.  

Until We Meet Again
Went on Exchanges in Masagana Again, my 1st Area. ^_^ Good to see old investigators and members. See how they have changed, for better or for worse. One of my favorite families, the Bautista Family, just had a loss. Brother's mother died on Friday. They were holding the funeral services when I came to visit. Nanay was one of the people I was blessed to be able to teach for a short time. We had a language barrior because she did not really know Tagalog all that well and neither did I at the time. But there was a sweet spirit in teaching her about very basic principles like prayer. :)

We talked, and I bore my testimony that we would see Nanay again. That right now, she's continuing learning about the gospel in the Spirit World without the burden of her sickly body or lack or sight and hearing. We are so blessed that we have the knowledge and hope of the plan of salvation. Also the atonement to comfort us in times of sorrow, loss, and separation. As her friend, and for her family, it inspires us to want to be better. So that one day, when we are all re-united, we can both be happy and look back and say, I did my best. And we can be together forever with God. 
The family is excited to prepare themselves to be worthy to go to the temple again so they can do Nanay's baptismal work after a year. ^_^

Love the Gospel,
Love the Work,
Learning and Loving Life with all that Comes.

Praying for all ya'll! Love ya'll!
Sister Elsmore