Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sis. Grants email address

Please note that we have added Brooklyns new official church email address for those of you who wish to email her on the left hand side. Thanks for supporting our sister missionary :)

I caught the first mouse in our apt. on Friday!!‏

I made it a full week! How bout that huh? I just love it here, its pretty dadgum hot but beautiful! Everything went really well this week, It's been pretty difficult to work and the month of April will increasingly get harder because the Filipino people love to throw fiestas! There has been a parade or fiesta in our little town everyday this week! Everyone is graduating from school so they have all these parties and celebrations it makes it hard to teach because everyone is really busy all the time preparing and practicing. They also just started the big basketball tourneys here so every where we go there are big games going on and EVERYONE goes to watch B-Ball. It's huge here. I love it but its hard, all I want to do is play haha. Also, this week is Holy Week...very interesting. We have to go back to our apartment for two hours in the afternoon everyday this week according to Pres because they parade up and down the streets, We also have to be back in by 8 that gives us like NO TIME but Its ok I know the Lord will bless us for our obedience.

Ok so this is going to be hard to summarize but just go with me. Ok 3 Siblings the Oldest sister wealthy, member, very bossy but nice, Brother, sweet as can be , had a stroke 2 years ago now he cant speak, Sister husband died 2 years ago very shy and reserved member but inactive basically controlled by the older sister, has a 17 year old daughter that comes out with us like everyday. The oldest sister and her husband Never come to church because they are always out of town on business and have been like once in the last 2 months. The wife of the Brother, Sis Natinga is Awesome I love her! She is very devoted to her "Life of Ministries" Religion and is the epitome of a southern baptist in the Philippines mom ha We've been teaching her and she really wanted to go to church but she cant make the walk and the older sister and her don't get along at all , haven't for a long time, younger sister to shy to do anything and can't make it to church herself because she doesn't have money for fare. On sat we were teaching her and we got the shy sister to come with us, I felt prompted to tell her that we were going to walk to church tomo. She looked at me like I was crazy and so did my comp! Its pretty far and We all knew that she couldn't make it and neither could the younger sister probably but I promised them that if we showed the Lord our faith and desire to go he would provide a way.

Next morning we round them all up and all 6 of us head off to church we had already walked pretty far, I was praying sooo hard, All the sudden Sis Natinga just says I can't do it, Sis Grant! Then out of nowhere The Oldest Sister Drives up in her car with her husband they had just got back in town and were headed home. We loaded them in the car and they all went to church together!!! Oh I was sooo grateful it was such a blessing and the lesson in SS was on forgiveness and Pride! ha tender mercy anyone? The older sister and Sis Natinga were both deeply touched I could tell and later that night we were all able to meet at Sis Natingas house and teach a lesson with everyone there it was wonderful. Well I hope you can follow all of that. I hope that all is going well, I loved your letters mom and Denee, Thanks! I'm still trying to get used to the food, but its good. Dad...Sure is Green!! :) and Alexa and Bailey I think about you all the time High school Musical is HUGE here haha Oh and the other day we were teaching and the house next door was BLARING Mama Mia oh it took everything in me not to stand up and start doing the dance Alexa hah I go ta little homesick the other day thinking about Conference coming up but I'm excited to here about it. That's still my favorite trip we take by far (besides heap reunion of course) Well I love you all so much! and I can't wait to hear from you again! Tell everyone I said Hi and keep me posted on everything going on. Denee send me updates on every ones blogs ;)

With all my Love,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bago City

This is Bago City where our Sis. Grant is serving. It's the only picture I can find until she sends home her first set for us. Also included is a map with Bago City highlighted.

Boy is it HOT HERE!!

Well folks...no one said it was going to be easy did they. Haha I am finally here in the Philippines and I can't even put into words my feelings. It is so incredibly beautiful here and the people are as warm as the weather! I love it. My companion is Sister Manzon she is Native and has one month left on her mission and she gets to spend it with me poor thing :) So I've been assigned to the Bago area in the city of Valladolid its right on the coast and gorgeous! I can't wait to show you pictures. Funnily enough they just opened this area to sisters and I am the FIRST American sister to serve here....yup. You should see the reactions when they see me its priceless. Our first day Pres told us to start learning Ilongo because that's what they speak here...are ya kidding me? I just spent 2 months stressin and slavin over TAGALOG! HELP BRO LESLIE! I know you said to continue with Tagalog but Pres. said to learn Ilongo and my comp only speaks Ilongo to me...Its getting interesting to say the least ;) I feel so helpless at this time because I cant speak this language and I don't understand it when they speak but the lord is helping me and I pray literally every minute for strength and comfort. There is one thing I can do and that's attract people! HA every where we go there is at least 6 or 7 people following us just to see what we're doing and where we're going. This makes my comp very happy because it gives us a lot of teaching opportunities!

The people here are so kind and generous there is no where I would rather be, even though it is like 300 degrees and I have no idea how to communicate! On Saturday we did a service project outside and cleaned all around the church. We were picking weeds planting flowers and all that stuff for 4 hours. The chapel here is so beautiful. The Bishop is wonderful he asked me to speak in church when we were cleaning and I almost passed out...( pun absolutely intended) haha You talk about your tender mercy he asked me to speak to the congregation about FAITH. I gave my talk almost entirely in Tagalog and then a little in English with an Ilongo word in there every once in awhile. To a linguist ear it was probably a train wreck but the feeling in that little chapel is something I will never forget for the rest of my life. I may not be able to speak Ilongo and I may not have a clue what I'm doing yet but I know that the Lord will use me as a tool. After the service this tiny old lady came over to me and said in very broken English "we see your heart" and just walked away. I just sat down and cried. That's all I wanted, I know the Lord is guiding me in all that I do and I know that these wonderful people have been prepared and they will be taught by the spirit not by me. The opening hymn we sang in church was Hymn 85 (How Firm a Foundation) Bro Leslie, I knew I'd be ok ;)

We talk to everyone we see we have a lot of progressing investigators and it's exciting to see there desire and the beautiful families that are coming to Christ. My trainer is great she is such a hard worker and she really helps me try to understand and encourages me to teach all the time. I testify everywhere I go in Tagalog I love it! I taught a family how to pray yesterday in Tagalog and about the Plan of Salvation I love this work every house we go to is like another shot of energy and excitement about my purpose here. I'm so grateful for everything the Lord is allowing me to experience. I love you all so very much and I hope that all is going well. Alexa, Bailey I think about you often you would love the Bishops daughter she is your age I can't wait for you to meet her one day. How is the family? Dad how are your travels? OH i almost forgot the first night we got here guess who was at the mission home?!..Greg and Brooke Whimpey! haha random! it was good seeing a friendly face in a not so familiar place. I'm doing wonderful and my health is great mom so no worries. Bro Leslie Salamat po para sa sulat. Just what I needed. Again I love you all so much and I can't wait to hear from you. Mom keep visiting those temples because I'm gettin right back in the game when I get back and hopefully then I'll Cebu over you ;)

Love always,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pumped for the PINES!!!!

Well Family and Friends the time has come!! I couldn't be more excited to go tomorrow! My last week here in the MTC was everything I hoped it would be. First off for your peace of mind mom...My dresses are hemmed I bought 1 more so that's all I'm taking with me is 6 VERY lovely Jodys, I got my shot on Tuesday morning last week, I still have plenty of muscle relaxers and acute for the plane and the bamboo cots :) and Yes I got the package of custom packs thank you. I'm also being very diligent in taking them so no worries. Alright now for the good stuff! So since I got to the MTC ALL I wanted was to hear my name over the intercom haha I know its silly but whatever, since I've been here they have called it 3 times! for different things but I have never ONCE heard it!! and it became this huge joke with everyone in my zone I walk in and they'd be like SIS GRANT DID YOU HEAR IT?! and I I'd be like NOOOO! it was getting pretty annoying ha then yesterday after sacrament Sis F and I were packing in our room and all the sudden " Sis. Grant are you there" over the intercom in a mans voice in our room! hahah We died and I was like YESSS and he said can you come to B122 please so I said...should I be nervous? and the guy laughed and said No. so I said I'd be there in a sec.

We head to the main building looking for B122 and when we find it...Its President Cleggs OFFICE! The 1st couns. in the MTC presidency..we were like ok... so Pres Breinholt and Pres Clegg are sitting there and they say to each other should we split them up or do it together... I WAS FREAKING OUT!! We both go into Pres Cleggs office and we sit down and he says Sisters...I am soo disappointed in you. I DIED. we just sat there in silence racking our brains trying to figure out what in the world was going on! and all the sudden he just starts Cracking up!!!He said I"M JOKING! SOOO NOT FUNNY!!! Elder Hamula and his wife spoke on Tues at the Fireside and they had left a package for me because Sis Hamula knew I was here they are from Alta Mesa Stake if you remember. It was so nice of her and we got to sit and talk with Pres Clegg for like 30 min it was so wonderful and hilarious! Jenny the Hamulas daughter had actually talked to him and told him to give it to me so at first after we stopped laughing he just said..ok sis grant...its jenny...Instantly I think Jenny Brown and somethings gone horribly wrong and I died then too! I was like Brown?! whats wrong what happened?! and he surprised at my reaction says she sent you cookies..I..Confused said why? she lives two doors down for me...then he was confused and we finally figured out it was Jenny Hamula and then we laughed again hahah it was great I don't think its everyday you get to spend 30 min laughing with all 3 members of the MTC Presidency but hey its the wonderful life of Brooklyn continuing into the life of Sis grant!

I'm all set and ready to go I have a little more packing to do today and then I'm done. I sent a package home of stuff I don't need so look for that. My favorite teacher and just all around incredible man Bro Leslie has a blog for all his districts thought you'd love that Denee and he wants you to forward him my emails. Also Bro Stott, he was 1st couns in my Branch Pres and I absolutely LOVE him Mom I want you to email him and talk to him, he's so great. I called him Grandpa! Keep him updated on me and He can tell ya more about what happened on my last Sunday with him yesterday it was quite emotional and he called me the Mission Mom during sacrament when I was standing up getting released form Coord. Sister. He started crying from the pulpit and it was all down hill from there. Oh how I love that man! I think that should be it I'm runnin out of time and got eleventy billion things to do still so I love you all and I can't wait to email you next time from BACOLOD!!!!!! I hope all is well at home and I can't even tell you how much I miss and love you all! Keep praying and don't forget, LAUGH OFTEN!! It's called the Plan of Happiness for a reason:)

P.S Please Believe Sis F and I have 2 matching Jody dresses! oh yeah that's gonna be sweet.

Love always!

Brooklyns 2nd Disk of Pictures

We got another disk of pictures from Brooklyn this week, but unfortunately there was no explanation with the pictures this time. If you'd like to see them bigger then just click on the pictures.

Moses Mishap

Ok real quick funny story we were teaching the 2nd lesson in Tagalog this week to the Boss of All Tagalog teachers and the main guy for the Tagalog zone haha and sis F got to the end and we were extending him a commitment and we were going to ask if we could also come back tom and visit him and so I said the commitment and sis F went to ask about visiting him tom and instead of saying pagtuloy which means continue she said pagtuli which means circumcise hahahahaha I thought I was going to die!!! His face was hilarious! and After he went and told all the teachers hahaha Oh MAN IT WAS FUNNY "can we come back and circumcise you tomorrow?" LOLOLOLOLOL!! I'll be calling from the airport tom anytime from 6 to 9 Utah time so be ready!!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Friendships, Flightplans, and Filipino Food

Well here we are my last week in the MTC!! Didn't see that comin so fast geez! Its been a usual week here, a roller coaster of emotions, and a whole buncha learning! I love it here so much and I'm gonna be soooo sad to leave. We got our flight plans on Thurs and by the time I get to Bacolod I'll have pretty much been to all the orient! I've already made my mark on Korea and then I fly in to Tiepe Taiwan, then down to Manila and then hop on a tuna can plane where I'll most likely be sitting on a bag of rice holding a small goat in my arms to get down to Bacolod! Then on April 17 we all get to meet back together and Fly to Hong Kong to do something we our visas!! HA! I will be sooooo excited to see everyone again after we've all been in our missions for a month!

We've been doing a whole bunch of culture stuff this week and it was so fun we learned so much about the food and transportation and just way of life I can not wait to go! I'm terrified don't get me wrong...there's kind of the whole I don't speak your language thing and I'm sweating to death thing and Oh wait I'm alone in the Jungle thing!! but I'm pumped none the less!! Sat night our class with Bro Leslie was incredible as always and then Sundays are always amazing here in the MTC and then of course the Temple this morning and then a group of us listened to a talk by Cleon Skousen about the True meaning of the Atonement...WOW please find that talk its incredible he gave it in a mission in Texas Christmas 1980 I don't know how you'll find it but DO! It changed everything about how I think of my Savior and the atonement, Its definitely an inspired talk.

I don't have much time to write but I'll be able to write again Next Monday. I leave on Tues at 5:30pm I hope all is well with everyone at home. Dad I'm glad your home safe from China I'll be goin there soon ;) and Colton I LOVED the letters from your family thank you so much they made my WEEK! Mom Im so glad you were able to get the whole "timeline" thing worked out and CHELS!!! Oh my goodness I'm sooooo EXCITED FOR YOU!! congrats ;) Well I love you all so much, Have a fantastic week!

Love always,

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hospitals, Humans and the Panginoon ( Lord )‏

I get my flight plans THIS WEEK!!! I can not believe it, my time here could not
have flown by faster its ridiculous. So many things happen everyday, I wish I
was a better journal writer because I know that I haven't been writing my
experiences down as good as I should but its SO HARD to put stuff like this into
words! I'M A TALKER! haha anyways this last week went really good we taught the
1st lesson again in Tagalog at the T.A and it was like 20 times better than the
first time. we had a really sweet experience with the man we were teaching and I
think we were really able to help him with some things he was dealing with. I
love when we go there and the whole "scenario" just goes out the
window and it becomes "real". I am positive that there is no
practicing in the MTC you are ALWAYS teaching and more than not when volunteers
come to the TA to be taught they bring their real life problems and concerns to
the table because they have been here they know the spirit is here and will work
thru us. what a great place to come for answers and guidance. what better place
other than the temple?! I have seen this happen each week and it pumps me up
every time because I know we are really helping people and its so comforting
feeling over and over the Lord working through us to reach out to his children.

So the reality of going to the Pines is really startin to set in and I'm not
really sure what to do with all my emotions ha I am soooo excited to finally
just get out there and meet the people and become part of the culture Ive been
learning so much about and start to teach and change peoples lives thru the
Restored Gospel ITS INCREDIBLE. but then there's the other side where all I want
to do is cry because of the people that I have been privileged to meet and the
way that they have influenced and completely changed my life forever will soon be
out of my life. I know that there are certain people that I have met here that
have established true eternal friendships with and I'm excited because they
are the ones going to Bacolod!! but even still It will be so hard leaving this
place and saying goodbye to these people and especially my teachers Oh MAN! How
I dread that day. those 2 men have affected me so much. they have taught me things
that truly changed my life.

ANYWAYS, Its finally started to warm up here it
hasn't snowed in almost a week and I could not be happier! Its beautiful outside
and we get to study out on the benches which I love! My health is going really
well. The Lord has really been helping me and blessing me. I stopped taking the
drugs the doc gave me on Tue and I haven't had any real problems its such a
miracle. They still aren't really sure whats wrong and I don't really
care to be quite honest because I know the Lord is watching over me and
protecting me. Nothings going to stop me from going to the Philippines and I
couldn't be more excited.

I taught all the sisters in my zone yesterday along
with my Branch President and it was amazing! The spirit was so strong and I
really got to express a lot of the things I wanted to, to my sisters. Theres so
much I want them to understand and know and The Holy Ghost was definitely leading
me in what to say and how to really touch there hearts it was definitely an
experience I will never forget! My Pres couldn't even speak when he got up I have
never felt the spirit work thru me so much and I know the sisters in my zone are
going to do Incredible things. I feel honored to be with them. Seriously the
missionaries here are unreal, The Pines doesn't even know whats coming!! there
are 22,000 boys in the pines that will be mission age in the next 3 years! and
guess where they are all going.... CHINA!!!! I could not be more excited to help
bring the gospel to the amazing people of the Philippines. The Lord has so much
in store for them. Asians teaching Asians!! HOW COOL! Ok well my time is running
out so keep the letters coming I hope all is well with all of you and everyone
is healthy and well! I love you all so much and think about you all the time!
Thanks for the love and support! K BYEEEE!!!!!