Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer In The Philippines

Kumusta, Kumusta sa inyong lahat! (Hello, hello to you all!) 

I miss you! I love reading your emails each week and hearing about what is going on in your life. It's sounds so natural, everyday. I can't believe that you are still real sometimes. But anyway, I really do love and miss you and want you to know that my heart is with you this May 26th. 
I have a question. Did you all already see Les Miserables at Hale? If yes.... Why haven't I heard about it?!!!!!!!!!! I'm still sad I missed that one. Tell me all about it! 
But I think that's all. Keep telling me all about your lives!!!! I love hearing it!!!!!!!!! 

Well... another week has flown by. Sometimes I really wonder if seven actual days passed by... or if I just email home every other day. TIME.IS.SO.FAST!!!!!!!!! But despite how fast time feels, there is one thing that has felt very very slow in passing. SUMMER. Summer has been the LONGEST STRETCH OF SUMMER in my life. And it's only been one month. I feel like Summer has really been 4 months, or like... my whole life. 
Here's some everyday facts about the summers here in the Philippines. 
First off, you sweat every drop of liquid in your body everyday. Your clothes become one with your skin by the end of the day, so you literally have to peel it off to take a shower. Multiple times a day, I feel beads of sweat drip down my back, down the back of my calves... Yep. It's hot here. 
I've decided that there is one must have filippino conversation that we have with everyone, everday. It goes like this.
They start it off by saying, "Mainit!!!!!" Which means "Hot!!!!!!"
To which we reply, "Opo. Sobra." Which means, "Yes. Very." 
Then we sit for a minute, in silence, fanning our faces with lesson pamplets and blinking sweat from our eyes. 
Then they say, "Grabi, Mainit!!!!!!!!!" Which means "Wow, it's hot!!!!!!"
To which we reply, "Opo. Sobrang Mainit!!!!!" Which means, "Yes, it's very hot." 
We really do have this exact conversation with everyone we meet. I don't know if its a conversation starter or if it's just to hot to think of anything else to say. All I know is, it's really funny. 

Lately I've been eating what I like to term as the Feinga diet, after my companion, Sister Feinga. 
What is the Feinga diet? 
When we first became companions, I was amazed at how many mangoes and bananas she consumed. Each day on average, she would eat 10 mangoes and about 8 bananas. 
I thought she was crazy. But now... I eat the Feinga diet too. 
We estimated that between the two of us, we consume about 100 mangoes and 60 bananas a week. 
Aside that, this week I also ate Pinapple, apples, special bananas that you have to fry because they are too hard for your system, and buko. Fresh buko, straight from the tree. 
Buko is a type of coconut, but its green and bigger than a human head. As we were passing by this buko tree forest, a boy offered to climb up and cut us down one. Sister Feinga was of course excited. 
So we watched him crawl up this tall palm tree, Jungle Book style. Then he cut down one with his machete and we drank it. It was surprisingly, so filling !!!! Like, I just ate a steak, that filling!!!!!!!!!!!! It was pretty adventurous! 

The computers are having issues right now... So I might not get to email much longer. Darn it! 

I guess I'll just run through the important stuff. 
We are slowly loosing a few  of our investigators. This week the family that we tracted into that we were so excited about ignored us when we came over. We KNEW they were home, but they didn't come to the door. It was really sad. After we left, we could here them saying, "It's okay, they're gone!" Darn it! 
But don't worry, we've also found some really great investigators this week and were still busy with lessons. And of course, our other family is doing great. They will hopefully have their baptism interview this week. 

Well, the last piece of info is that next week is transfer week and I have a 60/70 percent chance of trasferring. I'm really hoping that I won't. I love Batangas and I love my companion!!!!!!!!!!!!
With Love, 
Sister Beaumont 

Emilee wasn't able to send any pictures again this week so I found these on the internet.
 Buko Tree



Mango Tree

Monday, May 19, 2014

Life Is Good In The Philippines!

Hello Family! I really hope that I have enough time to email you now! It was really hard to get the internet up and working today. The internet server kept rejecting the mission websites. Then I was struggling with trying to get my card reader to come up. I'm sorry but I guess I'm not sending any pictures this week. It's okay. I only have two to send anyway.

Well, I've been on a mission for 5 months now. I have 13 months left! What? I still don't know the language!!!!!!!! (Moms note:  When we skyped with her she had a hard time remembering English and speaking it to us so I think she is doing better than she thinks with the language, we have also had people from her ward tell us she speaks the language really well)  I feel like that came so fast. Has it been going as fast for all of you? I hope so. I've got the easy part of the "waiting 18 months to see you again". I'm having so much fun out here, I think I really don't even notice time passing. But speaking of all that, I am officially going home June 2015.
When I get released, I go to the mission home.   I think you can meet me there... So plan on that I guess... 
I do know that they have three days of meetings and activities with the mission president, and I'm NOT going home before that.Sorry! :)  
Um... yep. If you still have questions, just ask I guess.
This week we had companion exchanges. We went into the other Sister's area, which was really weird. I haven't "lived" in a new area yet. I felt like I went through culture-shock all over again. I thought I was over it, but nope! We went to downtown city to catch the right Jeepney. That was culture shock number one for me. It was straight scary trying to get that jeep. Everyone was coming back from their work, so there were about 150 other people waiting to get on the same jeepney we were. Each time it would stop, everyone would run to the street, pushing and shoving trying to get on first. It made me think of that line from the Brian Regan thing. "Everyone push and shove! This is the last helicopter out of Vietnam!" I felt like I was in some sort of zombie apocalypse movie or something- mostly because it was dark, in the city, and everyone was behaving... not like mature adults. :) But don't worry, we did get safely on a jeep, and arrived safely in their area. Just another reminder that angels are protecting the missionaries, right? 
Cuture shock number two: I found out that rats are secretly everwhere! This chirp-like noise that I kept hearing everywhere turned out NOT to be some cool exotic bird like I thought, but in fact, RATS. Haha, sometimes I surprise myself at how little I know about the world! 

But other than that, life is happy here in the Philippines.
 I had the unfortunate opportunity of sticking my hand in someone else's toilet this past week. Guess why? Yep, that's right. I dropped my NAMETAG in THEIR toliet. Don't worry. It was still "clean" water.... hopefully... but I definitely had a freak out session as I dived my hand in like some mad-woman. I then poured my entire bottle of alcohol over my nametag before I was satisfied. 
Yep, more fun in the Philippines.
Our lessons this week went very well. We had the opportunity of working with one of the people I baptized with Sister Williams. That was so fun. They had such a great perspective for our investigators.
Oh... darn. Times up. Sorry! Next week I'll be sure to pick a better computer. Love you all! 
-Sister Beaumont 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

Mom's notes:  We got to Skype with Emilee on Friday night (her Saturday morning) it was so fun!  So good to see her and neat to see the background. (She is defiantly not in Kansas anymore)  :-)  I am thankful to the family who offered to let the missionaries use their tablets to Skype home.  Troy said it would take him a few days after calling home for Mother's Day or Christmas to get back into the swing of things because everyone felt a little home sick.  I thought I could see a little of that in this letter besides it HOT!!!  Poor girl, but, all these things build character and I could already see a change in her she is not the same girl we sent in some ways but, the changes are all good. We really love her and miss her but I wouldn't want to take this experience away from her for anything.

So.... guess who was skyping for Mother's Day and forgot to say Happy Mother's Day????????? Yep, me. Literally, five seconds after closing the window, I slapped my forehead and turned to Sister Feinga. "It's Mother's Day and I forgot to say HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!" 

    So... um... yeah. Happy Mother's Day. I love you. All those things I should have said the first time round. But really, yesterday at church I was struck with just how much I love you Mommy. And just how much I miss you... and wish that I could give you a fan- hand out that all the other mother's were getting here. At least, when you actually read this email, it will really be Mother's Day, right? 
Other than that... I'm already counting down the days until we can skype again! I was so happy to see you all! You probably noticed, but I was crying on and off throughout the whole thing.It was a little weird to see you all too, because sometimes I really feel like I was born here in the Philippines and I'm going to die here too. I don't feel like America is real... but seeing you reminded me, it's not a dream!!!!!! You all do exist and I'll come back one day. Weird. Weird. Weird. 

       But yep. I feel like I've already told you all the good stories for the week and I'm not really sure what to write right now. But here it goes. 

          I decided to give our investigators fake names so I don't have always say, "The family that we tracted into..." or "The family that is closest to being baptized..."
So, the family that I felt like we should talk to and finally tracted into is the... Smith family. Really generic. I know. 
And the family that is close to being baptized and wants to read the BOM before their baptism is the Lewis family.

         The Smith family is doing great. They still won't come to church, but they are reading the Book of Mormon and keeping their other commitments. We are going to have to teach Sabbath Day for the third time now. Our mission President says you have to teach Sabbath day in four different ways before they finally get it. Sometimes, it's really true. But I love them so much and I love seeing the light and spirit that has come into their faces and homes. 

          The Lewis family is due to be baptized March 31st. They have come to church every week since they started investigating and are all reading the BOM. Sometimes I'm like, "But really, are you all secretly members or something?" This week when we went to teach them, they had a friend over. The eight year old daughter came running out to meet us at the fence and the first thing she said was, "My parent's friend is here.She hates Mormons." I felt something sink inside me. What did this "friend" say to them? And fear that she was poisoning our investigators hut. Psh. I had no reason to fear. The church is true, duh. They were really strong about it and the father even said that he's beginning to feel it's true, despite her opinions. 
As we taught, we could see the friend tense a little about some things, but thankfully she didn't say anything.  After the lesson, we found out that she's Iglesia Ni Cristo. (Church of Christ in spanish. I don't know how to spell it.) That church is intense here. It's a Philippine church that is broken off from the Mormon religion. If you have time, you should read about it on wikipedia or something. Its really interesting how they broke off from us. Anyway, love them so much and so happy that they are staying strong!!!!!!!!!
        We taught a less active father this week. He lives in this jungley area surrounded by other less active siblings. Only one of his siblings is active and she helped us set up a lesson for him. He has three kids and no wife. I don't know what happened to her. Anyway, we watched Together Forever. It was amazing the difference we felt in their home from the beginning of the movie to the end. I know that the testimony of families has real power and we could see a change in him after it was over. We hope to help them more in this week. 

     Well, the stories of this week are....

  Sister Feinga and I had a really rough Weekly Planning. It was about 110 degrees upstairs and we had already been studying in that stuffy,hot room for about 5 hours. It was hard to focus and to stay awake and every few minutes we would talk about how much we hated doing Weekly Planning and how much we wished it was over so we could nap. (As if we could actually take a nap.) After about 5 hours, I went downstairs to get a drink when suddenly, I saw this long trail of hangers outside our downstairs window with asign. "Weekly Planning is boring! Ayaw ko!" (Ayaw ko means I hate/ don't like.) I go outside to see Sister Feinga on our balcony with hangers connected together like monkeys in a barrel. She made a face at me and I just laughed and laughed. I sent the pictures to you so hopefully you get to see them. (Speaking of pictures, the ones of me and Sis. Feinga standing dangerously on the balacony was when we were watching fireworks last week. That angle was the only way we could see them. It was pretty stupid of us because all it took was one second of leaning to far and we would fall.) 

  As we were singing a hymn to open our companion study, facing the balcony to get a better angle, we suddenly see our neighbor come out on to his balcony, in his boxers, big potbelly and all, holding his orange cat. He took his cat, and exactly like in Lion King, held it high over the balcony; Simba-style. I have no idea what he was doing or why- all I know is that Sister Feinga and I only made it through one verse of our song before calling quits because we were laughing too hard. 

Well, the time has come to get off. I love you all so much! I loved skyping with you! I can't wait to see you again this Christmas!!!!!!!! 

And... HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Sister Beaumont 

The pic of me with my pens and sissors is after our nightly planning. I just started sticking pens in my hair... and then the sissors... just happened. 

There is a pic with three people from tonga. They are all in my zone. Sister Feigna is in the the same stake as the one on the far left. 

Elder Richards was our post for a pinata a mother sent for a birthday present to another elder in our zone. He's really, really, really tall. Like 6 ft 10 tall.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Another Week In The Beautiful Philippines!

Hello Family!
First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHAN!!!!!!!!! You are now sixteen. What? You can date? Finally? And drive. Yikes. If you are anything like the driver you were when I left, watch out over there everyone! He's on the road!  :) 
Second, WE GET TO SKYPE!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!  I love you all and I'm excited to finally skype and see your beautiful faces!!!!!!!!!! 
Yes, I did get to read that article in the Liahona about the Philippines. It was really good! 
Yes, I have actually seen a "Scouts of the Philippines" building here... but it kind of looked like it was closed. I don't know how big it is here. I haven't met any "scouts" yet. 
And, whoops. Sorry about that Breakdown movie. Um... when it was showing here it said it was PG. I think the ratings are different here. 

Okay... now to my week. 

Spiritual stuff first- 
*We taught the Restoration again at one of our longer time investigating families homes. (The eight year old in their family needed that lesson still.) It was really cool for them. We used the Restoration video and Nanay (The grandma there) kept pointing things out, like, "Oh... he's asking questions now!" or "Oh... he's going to pray now and see Christ." And when Christ and God appeared, she cried out, "The pillar of light!!!" It was so touching to see that she had understood everything well enough to predict what was going to happen!!!!!!! The spirit was really strong as she testified of the Restoration after the movie. I loved it. 
*We taught another family the Plan of Salvation this week. It was actually a really special moment for me because their baby, (about 1year) really listened as we taught. When Sister Feinga began teaching about how families can be together forever, he looked up at me with really solemn eyes. I could tell that he actually understood what we were talking about. He smiled at me, and I almost started crying. It was as if he were telling me, "Thank you for sharing this with my family." It was so real.  
*This experience is similar to the one above. We were teaching a less-active, who is really struggling with her family. Her husband doesn't want anything to do with the church anymore, (he was a member), and her sons are doing crazy things with their lives. Her husband wants their baby to be baptized into the catholic church but she knows its wrong. Anyway, as we were teaching, her baby, (about 10 months or so) was getting a little fussy, so I started to help. As I caught the baby's attention- it was like night and day. He went immediately from crying to cooing. For the rest of the lesson, he kept smiling and cooing at me. He was really trying hard to communicate something to me. It was so cute and I knew that he recognized Sister Feinga and I as missionaries. Each time I would try to look at the mother and say something, he would get fussy again. He wanted my whole attention!!!!!!! So I ended up letting Sister Feinga teach the majority of the lesson while I engaged with him. It was so, so cute. 
*Another family that we are teaching is beginning to be converted. We had a really special lesson about revelation through the spirit and I could see the light in their eyes. They are beginning to accept it!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully, they will be baptized at the end of this transfer.

And now the stories, for my brothers.... 

This week has been a week of laughing. Really hard. Really, really hard. Because I have the funniest companion and the funniest housemates ever. 
Here's story number one.

Monday night I was in the laundry room washing my clothes. It was 9 pm- ish and Sister Johnson and Sister Ebeun were planning, while Sister Feinga was in the shower. All of the sudden, Sister Johnson gets up mid sentence and runs over to the bathroom. She looks at me with big, worried, doubled over trying to hold it. "Sister Beaumont, I have to go so bad!!!!!!" But Sister Fienga was in the shower- so she tried to go back over to planning. She made it about half-way before running back and pounding on the door, she said, "SISTER FEINGA.... I HAVE TO GO!" 
We hear this cheerful voice reply, "Okay po sister!" (In tagalog "po" is a word used to show respect to another person) And Sister Feinga shuts off the water. In less than 10 seconds, out comes Sister Feinga, wrapped up in a towel, dripping water and shampoo everywhere and in runs Sister Johnson. I don't think I have laughed that hard in a long time. Sister Feinga was so fast, like a fire drill or something. 

Saturday, we were doing our nightly planning and I was leaning forward on my chair. Suddenly, my chair fell out from under me. I had time enough to cry out, "Sister Fienga!!!!" Before suddenly I was under the table. Like, completely, under, flat on my butt. My chair fell over the desk, trapping me underneath. It was so bizzarre and we are STILL laughing about it. 

Because we are usually on the run, we eat snacks along the way. Once we stopped for some bread at a bakery on the street. After looking at all the choices, Sister Fienga ordered "dalawa" (two) pieces of some fancy looking bread. But when they hand it back, she gets TWO LOAVES. She had already paid, so there was nothing she could do. But of course, being the Christ like person she is, she handed it out to our investigators at the next lesson. I love her example so much!!!!!! 

I got called Elsa from Frozen about 6 times this week. I'm not really sure why, because here on the mission is the roughest I have ever looked in my life. But hey, I'm not complaining. And I knew Kaylee would appreciate that her older sister is her favorite Disney Character. 

Well, that's all folks!
Love you all!!!! Until Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Sister Beaumont