Saturday, December 7, 2013

Until You Loose It

When people find out that I broke my thumb and had to be released, there is always this look in their eyes. They tilt their heads for a moment and their eyes seem to search my face, trying to decide if I am okay with it. They want to know if I spend every day eating ice cream in my bedroom, looking at my old mission photos or if I've moved on. 
When I first came home, I struggled so much. I didn't eat ice cream or spend all day dwelling on the idea of it. For the most part, I was happy and confident that Heavenly Father had a plan for me. But there was always something that I couldn't let go. It was the idea that everyone was ahead. Not only was my district ahead of me now, but so were all of my friends. When I put in my papers, I was among all the thousands of eager nineteen and eighteen year olds, readily accepting the call to hasten the work. 
When President Monson announced the age change, I didn't need a moment to think about it. The spirit immediately told me what I needed to do. The call to hasten the work filled the missing puzzle piece I had growing inside. 
So coming home? I felt like the puzzle piece had been thrown across the room. I couldn't get over it. Sure, I was positive and happy on the outside, but on the inside I felt like I'd just pulled a "move back three spaces" card from the game of life. Of all the misunderstandings I had from coming home, the thought that I took one giant step backward was by far the biggest.
There are NO "move backward" cards in Heavenly Father's plan. Every single step we take is a step forward, though we may not see it at the time. 
By coming home, I have had incredible experiences I couldn't have otherwise. Every single day since being home, I've woke up wishing I was in the Philippines. By the end of every day, I lay back and think, "I'm so grateful I was here for this." 
I've often compared myself to the currant bush from Hugh G. Brown's message. For a long time I was distraught. I kept thinking, "Why would this happen to me? I was becoming such a great missionary! Now everyone will look at me differently." Heavenly Father would always answer, "I am the gardener here. I didn't intend you to be on a mission right now. You have amazing experiences waiting for you at home. Someday, you will look back on this experience and say, "Thank you, Heavenly Father, for loving me enough to send me home." And I already have. I have come to realize what I would have truly missed if I hadn't come home. 
I wouldn't have the trust in my Heavenly Father that I do now. I wouldn't have the understanding of His time and His plan for each one of us. I wouldn't have the rock-solid testimony I have gained through so much prayer and fasting to understand the meaning in all of this. I wouldn't have been able to serve in the ways that I have, or know the people I have come to know and cherish.
Most of all though, I wouldn't have the deep appreciation and unbending desire for a mission that I do now. Perhaps the most famous of any phrase is "You don't know what you have until you loose it."
Loosing my status as a missionary has given me the opportunity to be outside, looking in. 
I took so much for granted as a missionary. The irreplaceable time we have to study the scriptures as a missionary for example. NEVER can you study the scriptures the way you do on a mission. Or most importantly, I took for granted the constant, strong companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost. As baptized members, we have the gift of the Holy Ghost. As a missionary, the Holy Ghost becomes your best friend. I loved so much deeper than I ever knew was possible as a missionary. I worked harder than I ever did in my life and each morning I woke up anxious to prove myself further. 
When I become a missionary again, I will never take for granted what I did the first time. I will never want to waste a single second of my mission because I will always think of being home and how desperately I wanted to be out there. 
I was once told by a mentor of mine that every trial we have is a gift. When you are in the midst of a trial, remember to stop and think, "What is this trial giving me?" 
Heavenly Father always gives so much more than he ever expects.Though it is hard to see at first, our trials are gifts from Him. As someone once said to me, "He really is too good to us."

The Currant Bush message by Hugh G. Brown can be viewed in this Mormon Message.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Home for the Holidays

One of my favorite quotes of all time is the one that pretty much everyone has hanging in their homes- "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." Being home has been like a ongoing storm and the only thing I can do is dance. Dancing isn't ignoring the rain, its accepting it. There is no way to stop the rain but there is a way to make the most of it. 
So it's been a long time since I last "blogged" and I had a nagging voice in the back of my head for about 2 weeks to write. I hate backtracking to the past, even when I'm trying to record experiences in my journal. However, despite any grumbling and inner angst that may come from finishing the story, I'm going to backtrack to the MTC. I last wrote about Friday, right? 

So then, Saturday. Saturday I woke up with the most incredible sense of peace. It was stronger than just an average, "I think everything will be okay" peace. This was hardcore, overwhelming peace- Heavenly Father gently telling me that everything is in His hands. And, okay, if I have learned ANYTHING while being home, it's that Heavenly Father is in control. I have truly come to love the scripture words, "Be still, and know that I am God."
However, I am in NO WAY saying I got over the idea of coming home. I don't think I ever will "get over" the idea. I accepted it though. I knew it was what God had planned for me and I decided I couldn't stop the rain now. I could only dance. 
Honestly though, there were several times throughout that day that I really, truly believed I was dreaming. I would try to wake myself up somehow and realize that it was true. In 2 days, I wouldn't be a missionary. 
I did all the p-day stuff and then went over to talk with the district president because I STILL hadn’t heard anything from my parents. (Talk about stress!) I went to the front desk and my conversation went something like this.
“Hi, my name is Sister Beaumont and my district is leaving in a day but I’m not going with them because I broke my thumb three days ago and need surgery for it and I need to speak to my parents so I know when they are picking me up and I don’t know who to talk to because the district office is closed. (deep breath) And… I lost my ctr ring. It’s white. With flowers.”
The man eyes popped for a second. Then he regained composure and said, “Let’s see what we can do.”
I got in really fast, probably because I was beginning to look on the wild side. (No idea what was going on with going home, GOING home, broken thumb, not being able to do my hair or make-up, etc) The district president immediately brought me into another room and called my mom for me. Then he took my kasama out so I could talk to them alone. After some tears and some reassurance, it was decided that they would pick me up at 5:30am Monday, right after my district left. 
We went back for district lunch. As we ate, I felt like a fly on the wall. I wasn’t a part of those excited and scared out of their minds missionaries anymore- I was in a group of some of the best friends I ever had and never had I felt so alone. The temple couldn’t have come sooner.
I hoped to feel peace and have a revelation of why I needed to go home while in the temple. I was surprised by a strong feeling of detachment. I think that the "mantel" of a missionary was leaving me and I could feel it. My heart was so heavy and my mind kept racing and racing. With tears I silently prayed. “I want to be thy servant, Father. I’ve only ever wanted to be thy servant. Please, please let me serve thee.”
All the feelings of discouragement and detachment left and my mind emptied. Suddenly the words of I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go came to me. It may not be on the mountain height or over the stormy sea, it may not be at the battle front my Lord will have need of me… I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord… I’ll be what you want me to be.
Tears streaming I realized that I was still a servant of God. Through my desire to serve Him, He was placing me where I was needed most.
On our way back, a sister in my zone stopped me and told me she had been fasting for me all day. Another sister stopped me and said, “So… I think your name ended up on the temple roll over 5 times.” I looked at my own district and saw their deep love for me in their eyes. I felt their prayers and knew it was their prayers that brought such strong peace to me that day. 

Sunday came and went like the space of a few hours. There were a few hard moments but my district always supported me. In relief society, the president had all the missionaries entering the field that week stand. I watched, heart-broken, as all the sisters around me stood- all except me… and my companion. She smiled at me and said, “I don’t feel like standing.” I found out that a few of my elders fasted for me that day too.
For our district musical number in sacrament meeting we sung our favorite song, “Nearer my God to thee” and then with the other departing district, “God be with you till we meet again”. Just as the tears started, my district goofed the song horribly and I was too busy trying to contain my laughter to cry. I realized more and more, I wasn't alone at all. I was supported by so many and most importantly, I was supported by God. 

The next morning came too fast. Suddenly it was 4:30 and I was standing with my district in a long line, waiting for their buses. A few sisters from my zone woke up to say goodbye and stick with me. It didn't hit me until my district started to load. Sister Burt came to me first for the hug. I realized this was it. This was the moment I dreaded for so long. The final moment, when we would part ways. I broke down. I sobbed into everyone’s shoulder as I hugged them goodbye for the last time. The elders all shook my hand with their reassuring smiles, and I just sobbed. Sister Williams was the last of my district to board and she called back to me, “See you in a few weeks Sister Beaumont!” I was so relieved that the other sisters had come, because I sobbed into their shoulders until I regained composure. I took a deep breath and told myself, “Time to start your next adventure.”
We took my suitcases to the front, a long parade of about 12 people following who had all come to say goodbye. We called my dad and less than 5 minutes later, he was there. 
With a heavy heart but faith in God that this was all His plan, I got into the car and drove away. And that was it. I wasn't a missionary. I was just plain me again. 

You know though, I think that was exactly what Heavenly Father wanted me to know all along. It isn't about the nametag or the title, it's about the service. Since being home, I have served Heavenly Father in so many unique and unexpected ways. Though not a missionary, I am a child of God and further, I am still his servant. I am going to serve a mission, and hopefully the waiting is almost up. I'm crossing my fingers to leave by the first week of December. But a missionary isn't what Heavenly Father expects right now.
Just plain me is all He needs. 

Last day as a district (Left to right, back to front: President Anderson, Elder Burbidge, Elder Matina, Elder Sailsbury, Elder Johnston, Elder Creager, Elder Jenkins, Sister Martinez, Sister Williams, Sister Gaspar De Alba, Sister Beaumont, Sister Seastrand, Sister Burt)

Sisters in the Zone- Last night in the MTC 

Last Devo- Kasamas! (With Elder Jenkins, photo bombing!)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 6- Part 2

Friday- three days before I was due to fly out and I found myself in the hospital. I still believed with all my heart that I would be getting on that plane. I even believed that breaking my thumb was a trial I would have for my first week in the Philippines.
We waited for 45 mins in the crowded waiting room of the hand specialist office. Everyone stared at me. Who was this missionary with the broken thumb? A few people asked me about it and when I told them I was meant to leave in three days, I could see the doubt in their eyes. Finally, I was called back. The doctor's PA came almost immediately. 
I will never forget the first words he said. There was no build-up or ease-in. He simply walked in and told me, "You're break is pretty serious. We will need to keep you here for the next two weeks." 
I didn't need a moment to let it all sink in. The words "two weeks" struck hard at my soul. To my surprise, and probably to the PA's, I immediately started sobbing. He told me that he was sorry, and then began to ask me questions. I literally couldn't speak. My heart was lodged in my throat. My kasama had to answer all the questions for me, while I sobbed into the only available cloth-a paper towel. He left and I continued to cry, my kasama sitting silent. Everything I had hoped for all of my life, everything that I had been preparing for for 4 months, and everything I had worked for for 6 weeks, had been yanked out of my life.  
He came back in and with him, more doom. 
"I've talked to the doctor and he wants to do surgery. You'll have to be here for 6 weeks and we'll schedule your surgery for next week, is that okay?"
Suddenly, I wanted to be home. Not because I didn't want to be a missionary- I had never wanted to be a missionary more in my life. I wanted my mom. 
I had never been more aware of my adulthood than in than moment. No longer was it up to my mom if I was going to let this stranger operate on me. It was my choice now and I had to make it -now. 
I said the quickest, and one of the most sincere prayers of my life. "Help me know what to do." Instantly, I felt the answer. I needed to let them do surgery. It was in God's plan that I stay behind.
I consented, still crying. He left and I sobbed harder. I grabbed more and more paper towels.
After what felt like five minutes, my kasama said "Remember the scripture Proverbs 3:5? Trust in the Lord and lean not unto thine own understanding."
I actually stopped crying. The peace that only comes from our Savior- his compassion, love, and understanding mended my broken heart. The words echoed in my head. "Trust in the lord... and lean not to thine own understanding." 
The real doctor came in and gave the final verdict. It would be 10 weeks and I would have surgery on this coming Wednesday.
We went into another room so he could wrap it and I got the first glance at myself. My eyes were red and swollen, my face as puffy as a marsh mellow. At first I was embarrassed and I tried to fix it. But then the thought entered my mind, "What if I wasn't crying? What would that say about my desire to be a missionary?"
The nurse wrapped it in the most secure bandage yet and in a few minutes we were back on the bus to the MTC. Tears swam in my eyes the entire way back, blurring my vision completely. My kasama chatted with the sisters behind us as if I had only been at the doctors for a cold. I couldn't speak. I knew if I did, it would open the flood-gates.
We went to the MTC doctor to report what had happened. He informed me that I would have to be released and sent home for the 10 weeks. As expected, I sobbed again. Being released was just about the worst thing I could imagine. He sent me over to the district president, who was in charge of finishing out my sentence. When I finally got in, I begged the district president through  to allow me to stay at the MTC. 
"Sister Beaumont, you'd only be spinning your wheels here. You need to go home, where you can learn and progress further." He said. 
He told me I was free to go and that they would call me down as soon as they got a hold of my parents. I left, dreading the moment I would have to face my district and give them the news. It was sooner than I expected.Five minutes later, as we were walking in to the main building they were walking out. It was break time for in-field orientation, which they had been at all day.
With tears rolling down my cheeks, I told them the final decision. In that moment, I felt disconnected. Here was 11 new missionaries, ready to brace the Philippines and I stood apart- setting off for home. I expected them to make judgments or speculate on why I Heavenly Father was allowing me to be released this close to the finish line. I was surprised instead by Sister Williams who immediately said, "Wow, they must really need you at home!" 
I realized that I had done nothing wrong and that this was God's plan for me. I promised myself that I would make it back out to the Philippines, that I would use my time at home to further build God's Kingdom, and that above all else I would trust in the Lord.

Broken thumb comparison. Broken thumb is the one on the right.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Week 6- Part one

Well, I never thought I would be writing my next blog post personally! Week 6 was pretty much the longest and most emotional week of my life. Everything was exactly how you'd imagine the last week of the MTC to be... double the excitement, double the emotions, and double the work efforts.
Wednesday marked the almost-there-point of the week. It was also the second to last gym time, which for our district meant second to last time to play our favorite, volleyball.
We all raced to our favorite court after the amen. I remember a voice in the back of my head say, "Maybe you should start out with stairs today..." I pushed the thought out of my head as quickly as it had come in. There was no way that I was missing volleyball with my district! :)
Five minutes later, it was my second hit of the game... and again the thought came to me, "Maybe don't hit that one."
I hit it. The crunch sound was sickening, loud enough that almost the entire court heard it. I looked down, my whole hand throbbing in pain. My thumb was bent inside out- I could easily see that it was probably broken. From the tip of my thumb down to my wrist I was swollen and red.
Sister Martinez was the first to reach me. "Are you okay?"
"I think so... Actually, I think I broke my thumb. Should I stay here... or see the nurse?" I asked.
 "See the nurse!" She said immediately. She led me to the stand by nurse in the gym. The nurse probably sees hundreds of jammed fingers and I had a hard time convincing her that this was more than a few hours of pain.
"What do you rate your pain?" She asked me.
I gripped the table to keep from crying. "Uh... 10."
"Okay, well if 10 is child-birth, what do you rate your pain?" She asked, turning my thumb to see it better.
I didn't hesitate. "10."
She raised her eyebrows at me.
"Okay... maybe 9, 9 1/2-ish."
"So, you feel a lot of pain?"
After prodding me and moving my thumb around, I could tell she came to the conclusion that it wasn't broken. She had me ice it for the remainder of gym, and then wrapped it very loosely. The pain was really bad, but if she didn't think it was broken, I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. That night, an Elder in my district wrapped it more securely for me, which was so painful, but I'm grateful he did. Because of the way he wrapped it, my thumb was protected from further injury.
We decided to go to the doctor first thing in the morning. After waiting almost an hour to go back, the doctor only spent 5 minutes looking at it before he sent us for x-rays. The x-rays took about an hour and then we had to wait another hour before we could see the doctor again. He told me a broke it in a t-shape down the first knuckle and then around the back of my knuckle. The joint was also pushed back a little, which is why my thumb looked inside out. He set up another appointment for me, this time at a hand-specialist.
I knew that my thumb was broken pretty bad, but I had the innocent hope that in 4 days, I would be boarding a plane heading for the Philippines.

My cast!

My shower proof system!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Week 5

Wow! This week has been outrageously busy for me! 
First, the calling of sister training leader is a lot more work than I expected! Rather than having 40 minutes total a day to write letters or journal I have 5 a day! I literally carry my journal with me and write in a line whenever I get a free moment! We have an hour at nights to write and get ready for bed/next day, but with 8 rooms of sister missionaries to go around and give a small devotional to, I have no time! Last night I had three minutes to get ready before the lights went off! Whew! 
But I love being a sister training leader and being able to get to know so many people on a personal level. There is so much that goes into it, but its really satisfying too. Not to mention, I love spending time with our zone leaders. We are really becoming good friends now and they make the job fun! 
We are leaving at 4:30 in the morning for the airport on Monday, Sep 23. Our flight (for all the sisters) is at 8:45 and the elders leave 10 minutes before that. We then go to LA, then to Tokyo (elders and sisters on separate flights in our district) but we then meet up as a district again in Tokyo and all fly to Manila on the same flight! YESSSS! Isn't that so perfect? 
So... what else?
Our investigator committed to reading the whole book of Mormon. He prayed about Joseph Smith and is starting to gain a testimony. It is truly the coolest thing to witness. He asked us a lot of hard questions again and I used several scriptures to answer. Thank you, daddy for all of the scripture chases and missionary practices! It really paid off last lesson.
We had our audition for the musical number (Savior Redeemer of my soul) and we got call-backs! We are practicing really hard to get in so that we can maybe preform together the night before we leave the MTC! Isn't that so cool? Pray that we can get it for us! (I'm singing alto ps.)
What else? 
Last weeks' TRC was amazing! We didn't have enough volunteers because of the rain and so we ended up teaching two elders in our district. We had an amazing spiritual experience with them. As we were teaching the gospel of Christ, I literally felt my tongue bind so to say. Not in a negative way, but it was like the Holy Ghost was saying, "Wait. Stop and listen." Both my Kasama and I felt that and we paused for half a minute. Then suddenly, even though we had just asked Elder Johnston if he had a spiritual experience to share, I asked him again, this time if he could share one specifically on faith. He shared an amazing experience and then my Kasama and I shared one. The spirit was so thick in the room, it was as if we could literally touch it. My kasama started crying and bore her testimony that the savior and that God loved these Elders and that she could feel that love. I could feel it so strongly too. It was seriously one of the most amazing experiences I've had here! (I say that every week).
Well, I better go. Time’s up. Enjoy the pictures I sent you and I'm going to try to send home my card to get it emptied before the Pines. (I took a video of us opening the flight plans and I wanted you to see it!)
Also, I'm going to try to send stuff home next week, so be on the look out! 
Mahal Kita, y'all!

-Sister Beaumont 
Waiting to open our flight-plans

Zone with flightplans!

District with flightplans!

Kasamas with flightplans!

Week 4

Hi everyone! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! :D I love you soo sooo much!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you because you are the best mom I could ever ask for! 
I just wrote you a letter so hopefully you'll get everything. I told you most of what I was going to say for my email, so don't feel too bad if it's not a long one. 
And, sorry about the last email, apparently it sounded really depressing! I am perfectly fine and loving life! I love everything about being a missionary and the only thing that would make me cry is the thought of coming home! (But I love y'all and I miss home too.) 
I am masaya! Which is happy in tagalog! It is actually one of my favorite words ever because when you pronounce it, it sounds just like messiah, so I always tell myself I'm happy because of my messiah! Masaya ako! :D It's a really special word for me. 
So our investigator Efrin. My kasama and I studied and prayed really hard for this next lesson because we didn't want to mess it up. He didn't complete the commitment, but he was more open to us than last time. He asked us the HARDEST questions, like why did Jesus send prophets before him and after him, why not just come at the beginning? We were praying so hard the whole lesson, but I think we did really good. We shared a few scriptures and testified, testified, testified. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon and ponder it. Hopefully he keeps this commitment. 
So, everyone got sick with a cold except for me. Go figure! I'm not taking any vitamin C either. I can't believe it! My kasama was really sick for the last few days and I've been going on splits here and there. :/ Well, she's feeling so much better though so no worries. 
So, I've been improving in my volleyball skills here at the mtc. I'm becoming pretty champ. at the sport! I've finally learned to how to hit it normally. There is this tall, Samoan Elder in my district. I love him to pieces, just like a brother, but he is he a beast at volleyball! Last time we were playing, I was going to spike the ball and suddenly I felt this huge mass come up right behind me and breathe down my neck! I literally ducked and let out a little scream, but it didn't even faze this Elder! He just whacked that ball like nobody's business! Another time I crouched to catch a low one and he slid right up next to me and hit it just inches from my face! I tell you what, playing on the same team with this Elder is giving me stress! 
So... two more weeks!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it???????? I just can't believe that two weeks from now I'll be in the Pines! What?! We get our fight-plans this Friday! 
The district that had just come in when we first got here leaves on Sunday, which is just weird! All of our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders are getting released so we keep teasing each-other in our district about being called. :D We'll see how it turns out, but we've pretty much all placed bets. 
I've been asked to participate in a musical performance/audition. If we get it, we are going to perform in front of all of the missionaries at Devotional! Right now, I'm either going to play the piano part or sing alto. We'll see. :)
Everyone keeps complimenting me on my voice. I always want to turn around and then look back like, "Me???" But seriously, everyone tells me I sound great. In the words of an Elder, I sound "boss!" 
Last night I was blow drying my hair and singing "How Great Thou Art" and I had three separate girls come up and tell me that they could hear me in their rooms (embarrassing!) and that they just wanted to know who was singing so beautiful! Awww! Well, obviously this is going to my head. I'm going to change subjects. 
My roommates all call me sleeping beauty. They say I sleep like a princess (Perfectly straight with my hands crossed over my stomach) and I've caught them more than once trying to capture a picture of me sleeping. :D Haha! 
Each week we have a thing called TRC which is when we get to speak with people from the Philippines and teach them a lesson sa tagalog! (in tagalog) Last week's TRC was so amazing! This old woman totally helped my Kasama and I. She was the sweetest and this week we are planning on popping in on her to give her a really big hug! 
Well, love you all so much! Talk to you in two weeks, probably at 3 in the morning! :D 
-Sister Beaumont 
Sisters in my district! (Left to right, back to front: Sister Burt, Sister Gaspar De Alba, Sister Beaumont, Sister Williams, Sister Seastrand, Sister Martinez)

Sisters in my zone! 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week Three

Hi family! Week three in the MTC!
I'm feeling pretty tired today, partly because of the stress of the week and partly because of last night. Our Zone decided to have a sleepover last night. We were invited but because it was already so late and we could barely keep our eyes open, our room decided not to go. What the zone didn't tell us is that the sleepover was in OUR room. I guess its part of the second week initiation into the zone tradition. :D Well, people didn't leave until after 11. After that, we were too riled up to go to sleep until 11:45. It was partly my fault.
You see, a few days ago we got back into our apartment and it was so so hot! I turned down the air to 60 because I wanted to cool it off. I forgot about it though and so it was really cold for two days and we couldn't figure out why. :) When I finally remembered half-way through the night, I turned it up really high to warm us all back up. Of course, I forgot AGAIN and so last night we were all laying in bed, talking about how hot it was. Just as I was about to push all my blankets and sheets to the end of the bed so I could cool off, Sister Seastrand exclaimed, "Why is it SOOOO flippin' hot?!" It was then I  remembered.
"Oh, I turned the heater on!" I said, jumping out of the bed. Everyone freaked out. "What?!"
 By the time I explained why, we were all laughing uncontrollably. We didn't stop laughing about it for like ten minutes, especially because each girl in the room including me had complained about how hot it was!
Anyway, that's just another dumb-blond moment from your daughter. :D
Well, this week was just like the rest of the weeks and I just can't think of anything to write to you about. I already wrote you about shaking Elder Neil L. Anderson's hand, and that was pretty much the best part of the week, for the rest of the week.
We've been doing really good with our investigators. We have 2 new ones now. Kristy is our first. She's really interested in the gospel and listens really well to what we have to say. She also helps us when we struggle with the language, so we like her a lot. :D
The second investigator is Efron. We started teaching him yesterday and it was so stressful! We did a door approach and when we introduced ourselves, he told us he already believed in God and Jesus Christ and the Bible and didn't want us to teach him. We struggled to tell him that we wanted to share a message similar to what he believed and he just told us that he didn't like organized religion. My kasama saved us by saying, "This message has made me happy, and I want to make you happy."
He finally let us in, but for a minute I was worried he would shut the door and we would have to go back to our teacher, embarrassed!
He didn't really agree with our lesson and kept asking why we would need personal revelation or prophets if we had the bible. I know the answer of course, but I couldn't tell him in Tagalog because I had never learned that kind of vocabulary. We were really struggling and I could tell nothing was getting to him. Finally, I remembered you Daddy, and started to bear my testimony about the restoration of the gospel. I told him that I knew Joseph Smith was called of God and that he was a true prophet. Then I told him that the Book of Mormon was true. I knew these things because I had read and I had prayed and God had told me by the Holy Ghost. Finally, the spirit started to come back in. I told him that if he prayed, he would come to know what I knew. Well, he accepted the commitment to pray about it and hopefully that will help us get a foot in with him.
I realized half-way through the lesson though that part of the reason the spirit didn't come in was because I was just talking at him. I wanted him to understand so badly that I forgot to go slowly and to listen to the spirit. I was so focused on the spirit coming in, that I made it less of a natural process and more of a science. Does any of that make sense?
Anyway, this time in the MTC is for learning so hopefully I will have learned my lesson from all of this. 
Thank you so much for all you taught me Dad! The testimony of Joseph Smith really did change everything. I could see in his eyes that something was changed.
Also, I am coming along with the language. I can conjugate 4 verb-types by memorization and I can form sentences in Tagalog which is actually more difficult than it seems. They have subject, location, and object markers that change based on what you say and which verb you use. The sentences are also not in English- order so it’s really hard, but I'm starting to get it.
Awww, mom, I really miss you. Alma 56:48 has been in the back of my mind recently.
When I went to college, I finally realized what you do for me physically- laundry, cooking etc. Now I'm starting to understand what you do for me spiritually and emotionally. You have always been there for me, my shoulder to cry on and forever my friend that I can lean on. You always remind me to pray when things get hard.
I am a missionary because of what you and dad taught me. I do not doubt. My mother knew it and now I know it too. Thank you so much mommy! You made this wonderful, life-changing experience possible.
 Sister Beaumont

*Note: Elder Neil L. Anderson gave a devotional talk at the MTC in my third week. Just before the devotional ended, a security guard came out and informed us that it was raining too hard to go outside at the moment. We were instructed to stay in our seats and as we sang hymns, Elder Anderson would work his way around the room and shake hands. My companion and I were able to shake his hand as he came by, while everyone was singing Called to Serve. The spirit was so strong and the experience was unforgettable. Though not as hard, it was still raining as we walked back and we all got drenched. That is the reason for all the " soaking wet" pictures below.

Wet district! We all walked in the pouring rain after Tuesday devotional with Neil L. Anderson ( Left to right: Sister Gaspar De Alba, Elder Johnston, Elder Crager, Sister Burt, Elder Burbidge, Sister Beaumont, Elder Salisbury, Elder Jenkins, Elder Matina)

Kasama and I dripping wet!

Kasama and I with our teacher, sister Scott!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 2

Kumusta Po Kayo pamilya? (How are you, family?) Finally, I can write you a long letter! P-day this week couldn't come any sooner! Whew, what a week! Straight up learning Tagalog and speaking Tagalog, from teachers who only speak Tagalog... But I really do love it here! I can't think of anything I would rather be doing right now. This is such an amazing experience and I'm just happy to be a missionary! 
So, I wrote you about our investigator Ramir. Well, he became our new Tagalog teacher! At first it was a little stressful because he knows how terrible we all are. He is the most sympathetic, spirit led teacher I have ever had though and I am so glad he is teaching us. We are still teaching "Ramir" but we have a new investigator to teach on Monday. 2 investigators already and I've only been a missionary for 2 weeks! :D 
My district leader is amazing! He is really prayerful about everything we do and thinks about everyone. He is really inspired and I'm grateful he's in charge. He has a twin and I like to call him "Fake Elder Burbidge" because I have been following his twin before, not realizing that I was going with the wrong district. His twin is also serving in the Philippines though and he is also the district leader. Cool, right?
So... I love Gym time and my district has made it traditional that the last 40 minutes or so of Gym we play a game of volleyball against one another. It's pretty fantastic. I have a reputation in our little volleyball games. I don't know if you have ever played volleyball with me, but I can only hit it one way- punching it with one fist. I can always hit it right into the other teams court, but I just can't seem to hit it like a normal person. Of course, everyone teases me because they all say I go from angel to demon in three seconds in my volleyball-punching technique. Last time they tried to train me to hit the ball the right way, and It went completely awal- all the way across the gym. Just because I had hit it though, everyone cheered and gave me apir- "up-here" or high-five in tagalog. I've never got so much support for loosing a point! 
Speaking of the language though, my kasama and I have been saying "Kahunga-hunga" which our teacher has said meant wonderful. Our investigator/teacher Ramir told us that we were actually saying it wrong, because it means wonder-ful. Like to be in wonder. So when he said he prayed and we said "Kahunga-hunga"... well, you can just imagine how that went. 
Also, for my brothers, if you are asking someone if they are going down you say, "bababa ba?" and then to answer you say, "bababa."  :D . 
So I performed on Sunday a musical duet of Nearer my God to Thee. It was so beautiful and all in tagalog! Woohoo! Of course though, right after we sit down the ward next to us started the same musical duet- in tagalog! It was a little funny and everyone was snickering. 
I also joined the missionary choir and I love it. We sang a beautiful song- Precious Savior, dear Redeemer. When we first went to choir we accidentally sat in the wrong section so we were really out of tune. ;) To make things worse, the girl behind my kasama and I was really mono-tone off tune. We were already having a hard enough time! 
Also for Sunday, they took a Sister missionary picture to seal in a time capsule. My kasama and I are on the second row of the middle section, near the right side end. Can you believe it? We are so close to the front of the picture- how cool! 
So we went to the Provo temple. It is amazing inside- so,so beautiful. Of course the outside isn't all that much to look at, but I was told something really cool about it that makes it kind of beautiful. It is one of the few temples that aren't symbolic of the mountain of the lord. Rather, it is symbolic of the Israelites traveling through the desert. The bottom is there tabernacle, the middle section is the cloud that guided them by day and the long spire is the pillar of fire that guided them by night. Cool right?
By the way, despite all of this Tagalog, I found that I still have a little French left. A missionary stopped us and bore his testimony to us in French and I understood it all! 
I challenge everyone to read/listen/watch the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. It completely changed my life. It is seriously, the most beautiful life-changing talk I have ever heard. It  was given to the missionaries on Christmas day at the MTC. Imagine being a new missionary on Christmas! How sad! But the talk is just amazing. Please watch it! :D
I love my district, they are so amazing and really funny. My favorite is sister Seastrand. She is absolutely hilarious! Last night we were saying the closing prayer as a district and something stuck one of the elders as funny and soon half the circle was laughing. Sister Seastrand, who was praying said without missing a beat, "please help us all to be reverent during our prayers" and that got everyone but the District leader laughing. He caved in at the end with a loud snort though. Too funny! 
I just love my district. I wish you could meet them! 
Love you all and I want you to know I think about you when things get rough and remember that you are all my reasons for being out here. 

-Sister Beaumont
Cracking under pressure!- Kasama's picture (Left to right: Sister Beaumont. Elder Salisbury, Sister Seastrand, Sister Burt)


Saturday, August 17, 2013

First Week

Hello Family! 
So, I made my list of things to tell you all and it may be a little disorganized as I write to you, but this way I can write everything I want to. 
The first item on the list is that I ran into 4 people I knew on the first day! Crazy right? The next day I ran into 4 more... so far I've seen about 12. My Kasama (companion) tells everyone that I'm popular. :) I think it's just from living in Utah all my life and then attend BYU-I. That's where all the missionaries come from! 
Speaking of that though, our MTC president told us that this new batch of missionaries had the most international missionaries that there has ever been. There are missionaries from 32 countries! Can you believe it? Along with that, 895 missionaries entered the same day that I did. The church is becoming a powerhouse and it's so exciting to be a part of it. 
Next on the list is the shower! It's not as bad as a bucket, but I keep forgetting my shower shoes which is just a little gross. The first time I took a shower I forgot my towel. I was showering at 5 in the morning so there wasn't anyone to call out to. I just had to dry off on my clothes. Gross!
So my companion, Sister Gaspar De Alba and I are already best friends. We have so much in common! She has 4 boys and 3 girls in her family, we both went to BYU-I majoring in Integrated Art Studio with an emphasis in Photography- the list goes on forever! 
She makes me laugh all the time and we are always on the same page as one another. Good thing, right? 
When I first saw her name, Kristina Rebecca Gaspar De Alba, I thought I had 2 companions! What a crazy long name! 
Learning the language has been a lot of fun! It's hard work and you literally speak it/ learn it all day long. Our teacher only teaches us in Tagalog. Sometimes that can be a problem, like yesterday. She gave us an assignment to teach a new investigator, Ramir. We had to prepare a lesson all in Tagalog for him. Then she spoke to us for a long time in Tagalog that no one understood! When she was finished she asked if we understood. We all said "opo"(yes) because we were hoping our Kasamas could explain it later. Well it turns out she was giving us all instruction as to where to meet Ramir and explaining that we wouldn't have class during the next block. When the next block came around we waited for 1 1/2 hours before someone explained where we were supposed to be. (Don't worry though, it was constructive waiting). ;) So we went to teach poor Ramir really late! When it was our turn, we did pretty okay with the language and our lesson but then we asked him a question (really bad idea) and he went off for 2 minutes in tagalog. When he was done, my Kasama and I turned to one another like, "What?!" and then she asked, "Can we still pray with you?" 
He said, "Opo! Opo!" Like, haven't you been listening to me? It was really funny and a little bad for a new investigator, but oh well. Hopefully we can do better with our next lesson which is on Monday. 
After our 12 hour study/ class we are so exhausted that we literally do just collapse into our beds. Whew! You were right Tatay! (Father) 
The classrooms are really cold and my Kasama and I sit right next to the vent. We have come up with a way to make use of our "freezer" and we stick our water bottles on it so that we always have cool, refreshing water. Haha. Yesterday I forgot my name tag and didn't have it for the first hour. Whoops. An Elder called me out on it and I found it attached to my shirt in my laundry. :)
Okay. So Gym. I love Gym and was looking forward to playing a sport like basketball or soccer but you have to stay with your Kasama so I did weight-training with her instead. It turned out to be really fun though and I felt really good yesterday. If nothing else, I'm going to loose ten pounds instead of gain them because of the food and exercise, which I am totally okay with. I get to go to the temple soon and I'm really excited! 
I should probably end my email now.
Mahal Kita, pamilya! (I love you, family!)

-Sister  Beaumont
First P-day! (Left to right,back to front: Elder Matina, Elder Crager, Elder Jenkins, Elder Johnston, Sister Seastrand, Sister Gaspar De Alba, Sister Williams, Sister Beaumont, Sister Martinez, Sister Burt, Elder Salisbury, Elder Burbidge)


All the Elders- (Left to right: Elder Matina, Elder Jenkins, Elder Burbidge, Elder Salisbury, Elder Crager, Elder Johnston)

(Left to right: Sister Martinez, Sister Williams, Sister Burt, Sister Seastrand, Sister Gaspar de Alba, Sister Beaumont) 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Day

Hi Family!
First day as a missionary- officially over! Whew! It was so much fun, but wow, I am ready to sleep tonight!
My companion is Sister Gaspar De Alba.  I’ll send a picture on P-day, which is Saturday. Oh and before I forget I am expected to leave the MTC Sep 23rd and my mission ends the 11th of February 2015. Mark your calendars everyone! So what else?
The rumor that they throw you straight into Tagalog class is true! My teacher Sister Scott, speaks nothing but Tagalog and mimes until you understand her. It was fun! I learned basic phrases today in Tagalog. Then we had orientation which totally pumped me up to be a missionary!
Then we had the best part of the day which was investigator practice. We taught an investigator on the first day. Can you believe it? After that we took a tour and then finally unpacked. My shampoo exploded and our dorm smells really nice  It hasn’t been to fun cleaning shampoo off everything.
What else can I say?
I am happy to be here and I love the MTC.
I miss you all and I can’t wait to hear from you!
Well I am out of time now! I wish I could write more.
Mahal Kita!

Emilee (Sister Beaumont)
My Kasama and I
First night-all the disrict sisters! (Sister Williams, Sister Martinez, Sister Burt, Sister Seastrand, Sister Beaumont, Sister Gaspar De Alba)