Monday, February 24, 2014


Wow! I can't believe it's already P-day again! Didn't I just write you all two days ago? 
First, my rash is no more! Sorry to leave you hanging about that. It went away the Tuesday after I wrote you about it. It was an answer to many prayers! Heavenly Father is so wonderful! Someday, I send you the pictures so you can see why we had to go to the doctor. (As long as you don't post it to my blog, haha!) It looks pretty... unfortunate. I'm actually writing a letter to you with more detail about it today. Anyway, all is well now! 

So, this week I decided to focus on our investigators- real missionary life. I realized as I read through my last emails that I haven't really talked about that yet! Pshh! That's why I'm out here, right? We have 9 progressing investigators right now, seven of them with a baptismal date. It's pretty amazing! The people are so ready here and our schedule is so tight next week, that we've already been scheduling for two weeks from now. 
We have two youth investigators, both of which will hopefully be baptized March 15th. They are ready and have almost all the lessons, they just need to keep coming to church. One of them is 12, and her little sister is the cute Filipino child I was telling you about. Last time we taught, her little sister was begging for attention so I gave her my plan of salvation to play with. Um, yeah. She took it and ran into another room, shutting the door behind her. I'm pretty sure she thought I was giving it to her. I tried really hard not to get up and chase after her... and thankfully she came back with it five minutes later. She didn't really know what to do with it I think. She sucked on the ziplock bag a lot. Haha, oh well. As long as it kept her busy.Anyway, both of our youth investigators are great!  
On the other end of the spectrum is our 84 year old investigator, whom we all call Lola. (Grandma) She actually reads, prays, and comes to church! She's been three times now. She is a pretty tough old lady too. She still does all the ironing and cooking and cleaning. Seriously, I want to be her when I grow up! She doesn't have a baptismal date yet, but she committed to being baptized once she knows it's true. Awesome. Oh, speaking of "awesome", that's like, one of the top phrases here. EVERYONE says it. They think it's such a cool American word. Haha! 
One of my favorite investigators to visit right now is 29. She's the one that put on her door, "pick a religion, decide now." Well, she decided! She knows it's true! She told us last lesson and I almost cried, I was so happy and full of love for her! It's like witnessing a miracle. It is witnessing a miracle!! Especially for her because she really took the time to know- through diligent study and prayer. She doesn't just have a testimony, she's converted! Yay! I love missionary work! 

Ano pa? We had a really cool youth activity in our ward this week- one I think y'all back home should do! It was focused on "A day in the Life of  a Missionary." They got to the church at nine in the morning and were out teaching less-actives in groups of 3, I think. At one, they met up with us and taught some of our investigators with us, as member presents. Then at five, we went back to the church for a baptismal service, (the other sister's investigator). Afterward they had a testimony meeting. It was so wonderful! How cool for those youth!  Our 12 year old investigator came along and it made her even more excited to baptized!! Yes! 
This week we are having a missionary fireside and during it, we are going to have the members practice giving away pamphlets to their friends. We have a chart to give them where they make "missionary goals" as to how many people they are going to share the gospel with! What a really great idea! And what a great ward I live in here! Seriously, they are ON FIRE about missionary work! 
Oh yes, and guess who came back to church this week? All those "Jesus Loves You" boys. Seriously, all of them came!  They were wearing much nicer clothes this week, with their hair all gelled back. They stayed the whole time and were very reverent! Can you believe it?!!!!!!!! If they come again, we might start teaching them! 

Well, I really miss you all out here sometimes! Frozen was already out on DVD when I got here and so people are always watching it. Karaoke is pretty big here and I always here children doing "Let it go" at the top of their lungs. The other day, I heard "Do you want to build a Snowman?" I literally started crying!  It made me miss my little sister sooooo much! Yeah, but I don't miss you all enough to come home!!!!! I love it too much here! 
Wow, I don't know what else to write! I love it here- always! The lifestyle is very different, but so fun and exciting! The people are wonderful- members and investigators alike! And of course, the food is pretty great too! I've learned the magic words that will get you a meal around here, haha. It's, "What is your favorite Filipino dish?" That always follows with, "Awesome, I'll make it for you!" I love these people!!!!!!!!! They know how to keep us well fed.
Till next week  
Sister Beaumont

From the Other Side of the World- Hello!

Week three in the Philippines starts- NOW! Can you believe it? I'm already three weeks in! It feels like a day and a month all at once. Sometimes I try to picture the US. I literally can't. Sorry People. The Philippines is the only real place now. But seriously. Are you all frozen in time, waiting for me to come home? That's what it feels like. Haha- Life on the flip-side.
So I have so, so, much to tell you! Like always. I'm going to do my best to fit it all in. Like always.
First off, congrats to dad for his mission experience and congrats to mom for the clean carpets! Congrats, congrats to Trevor for his papers. Oh and Nathan, my favorite food is mango- of course! But I like their peanut butter and I pretty much eat a jar a week. Not much has changed, has it? I also like this filippino dish called sinigang. Yum, yum. Oh yes, and of course, I can't forget the Tinipay. (bread) We stop at the street bakeries like every day. I just can't get enough of it. They have great pastries! Who knew, right?
So now, Monday. We went to the Palanke! (Market, probably spelled wrong.) It was really fun and I have pictures to show you! They have everything you can think of there. I bought a moo moo- all the sister missionaries have to get one. It's like a rite of passage or something. I actually have the same one as my companion's. Um... I'm not sure how she feels about that. But that's okay. I love her so much and we have the most fun together! I never knew missionaries were allowed to laugh as hard as we do! They probably aren't, actually. 
The best part of the Palanke was getting the fresh fruit and vegetables! Yummy! I made some delicious food this week with our fresh food! The Philippines is a little harder than America to find fresh food, but aparently not if you are at the Palanke! Yes! Finally! Seriously though. It was wonderful.
As we were heading back from the Palanke, we found out that our appointment fell through. Darn. So we were left with a Monday night and no appointment. Monday is a hard day to re-schedule, folks. So after about a half hour of literally sitting there trying to decide who to teach, going through EVERYONE, we thought of this Policeman we met that day at the Palanke. He came running up to us while we were looking around. At first I was a little worried, haha, but then he said, "I'm mormon too!" I love meeting other mormons! Yay! Anyway, he told us that he was baptized about ten years ago, but then two years ago he moved and got a new job. His new job, "policeman" made it impossible to go to church because he was always working. He asked us if we had a Book of Mormon. We felt awful because we didn't! We didn't think about pamplets or BOM's because we were shopping and it was P-Day. Heavenly Father taught us to be prepared, even on P-Days.
We thought of him as we were struggling to know where to go and decided that he was perfect. We took him a Book of Mormon and man- his face. After two years, he was finally able to read it again! Happy is an understatement. As we drove away, we watched him reading the Book of Mormon by the small light overhead near the Palanke. Seriously, five minutes later, he was reading it. Amazing. Heavenly Father knows what he's doing when your appointments cancel.
This week was one long train of canceled appointments, actually. Not always did amazing things like that happen. But we had so many opportunities to OYM. (Open your mouth). We also met some pretty weird people. One- two Americans! They were actually really nice and friendly. We were excited- until it turned out that they were missionaries too, for another faith. Whoops. Um, we couldn't really get anywhere after that. Second- a very crazy lady who followed us for about a mile, telling us all about how she was catholic and born again and Jehovah witness and Mormon and she needed help. She had a letter that she had written to herself, explaining why too. It was really hard to shake her. 
Lastly, a stalker for Sister Williams. We were walking down the street and he called out, "Hey sweet girl! Where you going?" to her. She didn't hear him and was really excited when this guy came up behind us and asked," Going to seminary?" I knew exactly who this fellow was and I could totally tell he was more interested in a date than a missionary lesson. We got his information though and invited him to church. So far so good, I guess. Who knows. Maybe one day this eighteen year old chap will be bearing his testimony about how he was converted because he chased down this cute american missionary. Um, nope. We were half-way through a first-time investigator lesson when he turned up on the doorstep, like some lost puppy. He hung around for a while, staring at us awkwardly. Finally the member shooed him away while the investigator teased us about future dates. Awkward, awkward, awkward. He came to church though. We thought, "Okay maybe." But then when we tried to reschedule a time for us to visit him and teach a lesson he told us that he was ONLY free 9-12 Sunday mornings. Um, yeah right bucko.
We also had 8 boys about the age of ten show up to church wearing Jesus Loves You t-shirts. They were really rowdy in the main entrance for a while and countless members went out trying to get them to behave or leave. (during sacrament meeting.) Finally, a very wise sister lead them all by the hand INTO sacrament meeting and scattered them among the members. She made them stay the whole time, even for primary. She's so smart! They all came up to me afterward and asked, "Can we come again next week?" Wow, I don't think anyone expected that.
As far as investigators go, we have a new woman who lives in the jungle side of our area! Yay! Finally get to see the jungle! This is what the Philippines is all about!  She literally has a bamboo house, with bamboo everything inside. Bamboo chairs, bamboo staircase, everything. They feed us so much, even though they are very poor. Awe, I just love these people.
The other main investigator was really awesome and progressing! He was actually going to be baptized this week. Last week we were supposed to teach him on Friday, but he never showed. Saturday, the morning of his interview he texts us and says, "Thanks for making me a better person. I've moved to Isabella Permanently." Darn. It was really rough. Sister Williams had worked with him for a long time and he really, truly was golden. He did everything he was supposed to and was so excited to receive the priesthood. I think though, he just had some hard times in his family that caused him to move. Darn, darn.
Anyway, I've got to go now. Love you all!!
-Sister Beaumont

Kumusta, Kumusta

Kumusta, kumusta everyone! 
So week two in the Philippines is officially over! I seriously feel like it's been three weeks since I got here, not two! Time is so crazy! But I love every second of it. So, I don't really have enough time to write everything I want to but I'm definitely going to try! 
So, onto my week. I might not get to send pictures this week either, I'm going to try though. First off, is the mosquito. There me and my companion were, just studying peacefully when this huge mosquito wandered in. I swatted it away from me for like 15 minutes. I've actually been really fortunate to only have a few bites out here so far, so I wasn't to worried. Finally Sister Williams said, "Just smash it!" It flew over to her and she took a whack at it, succeeding, and smearing it across the wall. So yes, mosquito guts and grossness all over... and human blood. Yep, that's right. The mosquito had just bit a victim. We later found out that the victim was... me. I had two fresh mosquito bites on my neck. Basically, my companion had my blood on her hands. We took lots of pictures and had a good laugh about it. Haha, those moments.
Onto more spiritual stories, we taught our first FHE together, which was so, so fun! We talked about temple sealings (they are working toward it). After the lesson, I taught everyone how to play Simon Says. It was so fun and they were so enthusiastic. The adults were more into it than the kids, actually! Haha! Then we had rice cupcakes. Delicious.
We've had so many wonderful lessons this week and we now have 9 investigators with a baptism date. They are all scheduled to be baptized this transfer, but I don't think they all will be. I know that at least four will though. It's so wonderful to be in such a great area and have such a wonderful companion!
Wow, what to talk about??? Um, the Philippines is very different than America, that is for sure. I love it all though, even the.... um strange stuff that I see on a regular basis. For example, it is perfectly okay for people to walk around with a towel draped over their shoulder and their swimming trunks on, ready for a bath in the street. It's okay to pee in your neighbors yard if it's nighttime, and if it's too hot here, the men like to lift their shirts up above their stomachs. Children run free all the day long if they aren't in school and I'm pretty sure their parents only know where they are at dinner time. And of course, there is poverty like you wouldn't believe sometimes. It really helps me appreciate the simplicity of what we have! Clean water, a flushable toilet, tables and chairs and even healthcare.
We took a trip to the hospital. (don't worry, I'm fine. I just got a weird rash on my foot last week, which looks like I might have an allergy to dirt...) The hospital is so sad. There are benches along every hallway with people just crammed together, coughing and sneezing... the hospital is in an refurbished apartment that doesn't have proper patient rooms. You just sit at the front desk with everyone watching as you tell your doctor about what is wrong with you- haha, it's a little embarrassing if you have to tell everyone in the Emergency room that you have a rash. But I guess that's normal here. Haha, when in the Philippines, be a Filipino!
Most of all, I'm am struck by the absolute love, kindness, and charity of these people. We have been fed several times after a lesson and one time, a woman gave us her dinner that she had just bought. We insisted she have it like twenty times, but she kept saying, "I'll make something else."
And then last night we went to teach a family. Their poverty was literally astounding to me. They don't have electricity. They have a one room shack and sleep on the floor. We were teaching them in the dark last night, by the light of cellphones from the members who came with us. They have one "bench" a slab of wood. They insisted that we sit on it. As we taught them, a member's daughter fanned us with a piece of cardboard so that we weren't bit by any bugs.
I really hope it doesn't seem like I'm complaining or trying to be dramatic. If anything I want everyone to understand what I have come to realize- that we are so, so blessed. You don't realize how amazing it is to have sanitized hospitals until you see one that isn't and you don't realize how amazing it is to have electricity or a bathroom until you see those that don't. And despite their poverty, they love Jesus Christ and their Heavenly Father. They have testimonies and a desire to know God.
The church is true, no matter where you are and no matter who you are! His religion is for everyone! I have really come to see that Heavenly Father really does love us, all of us!

-Sister Beaumont

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week One in the Philippines!

Week one in the Philippines is officially over! It's crazy how time is here! Each day feels as long as week, and each week feels as short as a day! Haha, but I love every second of it!
There is seriously so much to tell you, but I don't know if I can remember it all! I'm going to try though!
So, plane ride first. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be- at all! I slept a lot of the time. The other part of the time I talked to this man from Laoz who had never heard of the church! First missionary experience-whoot! It was really fun and he had SO many questions for me. I tried my best to answer them like a good missionary should- I hope he's interested to know more. It sort of seemed like he became interested in me towards the end... good luck finding me in the Philippines, mister! Haha!
The plane food wasn't too bad either. My brothers would be sobrang jealous! I had salmon, a chinese rice soup with chicken, and some delicious tropical fruit! My only mistake was thinking that the grapefruit slices were watermelon! Whew, that was pretty tangy!
So then, getting to the mission home. We got off the plane and literally, I felt like I just climbed out of a swimming pool. It's actually been pretty nice weather here so it wasn't too bad. But the humility, man. It's intense. I'm always wet, I feel like! Anyway, we got off the plane and exchanged money- for just under a hundred dollars I got 4,200 pesos. They are so poor here! Then we started the trek out of manila on some church authorized cars. It was pretty intense. Manila drivers are crazy! At one time our little bus was sharing the lane with a bigger bus and a motorcycle- no joke. Oh yes, and many of the policemen carry around machine guns- no biggy. After that bus ride of near-death experiences, we got onto a bigger bus for about 2 hours. I was so tired but I couldn't manage to fall asleep so I spent most of my time trying hard not to look at the movie playing on the big screen at the front-haha.
Just when I thought that I wasn't going to make it, we got there. I love the president! He's so amazing! He's very understanding,humble, but also bold. One of his many mottos is, if you want to go home- you can't, I've got your passport. Haha, don't even worry president. There is NO WAY I want to do that! Anyway, they fed us and dropped us off at a hotel for the night. The hotel was a little comical and I had my first experience with a non flushing toilet. It was the classic bucket full of water action- just my luck to because I had to go to the bathroom like 6 times that night! I drank SOOO much water because I was afraid of dehydrating- probably didn't need quite that much.
We took our first jeepeny ride which was just the coolest thing ever! I really love jeepenys! They are just so fun! Then we had breakfast at the Presidents house and met our trainers.... so, guess who mine is????? Sister Williams from my MTC district!!!!!! Crazy, right? Yes, she's wonderful and we were both just so shocked to be companions. My mtc kasama was there and she just kept staring at us and shaking her head. And guess what else? President didn't even know that we were in the same district when he assigned us! Crazy, right? Heavenly Father's plan, in the works.
So my area is Batangas City and it's in the City. It's not as bad as you would think- nothing like Manila. It's actually clumps of houses and stores everywhere with palm trees and jungle life in between. The only city like trace is the smog- which unfortunately is pretty thick. They burn garbage here- plastic, paper, everything. It always smells like burning garbage, sewer, and plant life- it's a strange combination. The water tastes like cloride in our apartment but I think I'm already used to it.
Oh, my apartment!! It's really nice actually. It's blue on the inside and has two rooms upstairs, a kitchen, laundry area, and bathroom. And... drum roll.... flushing toilets and shower water! The shower water is bitter cold though. I always have to work up the courage to jump in- just like a cold swimming pool. It's not very pleasant, despite the humility. Hopefully, I'll get used to it.
The food is really, really good! I love it all! Actually, except their sweet spaghetti. Literally, it's sweet. It reminds me of the spaghetti on Elf. Ewww. Sister Williams made fun of me forever when I told her how much I dislike it. Apparently, they serve that a lot here. Along with food, our bishop is the greatest. He's fed us twice and gave us a ride home from the store. His food is really, really good. Hmmhmm.
So now, the people. I really, really love the people here. They are so friendly and sociable. They always stare at us because we're so white. I still don't see how we stand out, but according to them, we are very very white. Everyone really stares at us, and everyone can't wait to say, Hello Po or Morning Po! We always try to respond in Tagalog and it shocks them. They really can't believe we know it. Everyone always stares with big eyes!
Speaking of big eyes, I think I made a little Filipino wet his pants. He was just staring at me, not moving as we passed, so I smiled. I looked away, and then I looked back and he was standing in exactly the same position, with even bigger eyes- and he had peed his pants. So then I smile again, and made a face like "Ooops!" And then he started balling. Poor thing. But the kids here are so cute, family! I just love them all! There is this little girl named Ashley that is just my favorite. She always comes up to me and shakes my hand really hard. I always act surprised and say, "Malakas Ka!" (You are strong!) She always giggles at that. And she was just itching to see what curly hair felt like, because as soon as I bent over, she grabbed some and started running her fingers through it. Then she took a piece and let it boing. Haha, cute.
Oh yes, and before I forget- there was this family from India that we ran into. They invited us into their street shop and gave us soda. They weren't interested in hearing the gospel- they have a Sikh temple they own- but they were really interested in us. We left really soon afterward, because it was potentially going the wrong way. Anyway, one of them was drunk and took hold of my hand and kissed me saying, "I love you so much. You are so beautiful."
Afterward, we went to the COMPLETE opposite side of town. Don't worry too much family, everyone says we're beautiful here because we are white and I have tight curly hair. And lots of people even tell us that they love us on the street- mostly boys as a joke. Anyway, it's pretty common here. One man, actually from Africa, even went into deep detail on why I was beautiful- "beautiful skin and hair- I love your eyes. Your eyes are the best feature." Yep. It happens all the time, so don't worry. It was more funny than anything.
Okay, last but not least- the investigators. This area is a really, really good area- apparently one of the best in the mission. We have 8 investigators with a potential baptismal date- they are just so ready here! Almost everyone that we talk to is interested in hearing more. Finding time to see them is the issue. There is the wonderful investigator that we taught yesterday who wrote on her door "Pick a religion, decide now." She is so close to knowing that this is true and it's wonderful. She really has a strong desire and is diligent in reading her scriptures. Haha, but when we were teaching her it was so hot that I was sticky from it all night! She has a one room house so it was already tight with air and a blocked window. The door was shut and the fan was literally two inches from my face. Whew, I thought I might die during the lesson. But don't worry- all is well now.
So, that's all I have for now I guess. I love my companion, love the area, and seriously love, love the Philippines. It's so beautiful here- even the rundown city life of Batangas. I wish you could be here to see it. So come and pick me up in 17 months, okay?
Love you all so much! Hope you are having an amazing week at home, everyone!
Mahal ko kayo!-Sister Beaumont