Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25 2013

Kumusta!!!!!!  (I don't know what that means but she had it in the beginning of the email so it must be important.  Her keyboard is kind of weird with letters not where they are usually so if something doesn't make sense I did my best to figure out what she was trying to say)

Well friends and family... the MTC is truly amazing!!

I love being here. It is a lot of work, and quite challenging sometimes but I do love it!
I guess I should start at the beginning!!! I said goodbye to my brothers at home, mom at security, and my dad at his gate (right next to mine) and then I was officially by myself. Except four other missionaries were flying with me! One of which was Sister Hansen (Marissa Hansen) whom I was friends with at Kuna the year she lived there and she was also the friend that got me to join the tennis team! We flew out together and it was grand. Also one of the missionaries, Elder Merrill was her friend from her other high school, and he is in my district, so that was cool to meet him and then see him every day since! It was great to see my roommates and family in Provo and then my cousin Jess dropped me off at the curb!

My Kasama's are great! Yes that was plural. I have two companions (Kasama) instead of one! Sister Waldrom is from Phoenix and I absolutely love her. I think we would have been friends at BYU before this had we met. We get along so well and really enjoy being together. I love her personality, and her enthusiasm. She is so dedicated and excited about the gospel and being a missionary. We get to spend so much time together and I don’t think I am ever going to get sick of it! It is great! We can talk about anything and I really enjoy it! Her favorite Tagalog phrase is Kitakits! Which means see you later. I love it too!

 My other kasama is Sister Mafi. She is sooo cool! She is from Tonga and I think I hear her speak Tongan more than English when we are with our zone. She is really nice though and I love being with her as well. She is the only person in our district not going to the San Pablo mission. She is going to the Manila mission. She was originally sent to the Philippines MTC so I feel blessed to have her with us. She has the greatest funniest personality and I love when it comes out! The only trouble with her being from Tonga is that she has more appointments to go to than any other person in our district, and so we miss more valuable class time. Every minute here is scheduled to a T and there is literaly not a moment where we even have time to think about the outside world or anything except Tagalog or “Preach my Gospel” until ten at night or until today! We can look out our classroom door and see the Y on the mountain perfectly. I'm glad we can see beauty out our window, but sometimes it reminds us that we are in Provo and that’s a little weird. Four of us in the district went to BYU before this so it feels weird to us to see something so normal to our normal day at BYU while feeling like we are living in a different world. But we do get to see friends who work at the MTC and that is nice!!

I guess it is also cool to tell you that May 22, 2013 is a famous day now. It is the first day in the history of the world that there are more girls than boys at the MTC!!! Isn't that cool! There are seven girls in my district and only four elders! I love love love love love the sisters in my district though. We are becoming fast friends and most of them like to run with me!!! I ran a mile the first second I could at my first gym time because I have so much energy I want to get out. I mean, all the work I do right now is mental work... all day long.... sometimes it just gets to the point that I just want to get up and jump around! I am not used to sitting all day long and I want to sooo badly! That might be the hardest thing... sitting all day. Maybe that is why I like meals so much! It is a break from the classroom that is my new home... A spider crawled on me today though, and I freaked out a little. I also am sick of every single one of us having to say our name and where we are from every single time we get a new teacher (whether at a workshop or the fact that our real teacher is out of town and we have subs) I have it memorized where everyone is from, and want to spend my time getting to the good stuff! I think our name, where we are from, and sorry are the only three things we are truly confident in.

We had a wonderful meeting with another district that came in the same day as us and our branch presidency. It was amazing! I love them already! We went around and introduced ourselves and our family and said why we are going on a mission. I am surrounded by angels. I really am. It is humbling. One of the counselors in the bishopric was companions with someone from my home ward in Kuna. I can't remember the counselors name at the moment though so it doesn't do much good I guess. But don't worry mom I will tell you his name later, I am sure you are going crazy wondering and he was companions with Brother Fisher. I think Brad Fisher (Bernie's son, that's Brad right?) We are told to prepare a talk in as much tagalog as possible every Sunday, not knowing if we will speak or not!!! It is going to be interesting. I don't mind giving talks, but in Tagalog? AHHHHHHH!!!!!!

We taught our first lesson with an investigator last night in all Tagalog. It was horrible! We don't even know sentence structure yet and we were trying to talk. It was great until he asked us a question we didn't completely understand or know how to answer. We had a great bonding  with our district laughing about how bad we were all doing! We teach another lesson tonight, but I doubt it will be much better because it is P-day and we have no language instruction beforehand. But I’ll let you know how it goes!!! I don't even know what to say right now  cause there is just too much to say.

My favorite time of the day is mealtime. Even though I have to eat weird gluten free food that usually tastes good. And even though they only have my favorite cereal in the off-brand which contains wheat instead of the real brand I am surviving. But I love it because it is when I see people I know and love! I see someone new every meal that I know from either Kuna, Indiana, or good ole BYU!!!! And I love it! I see Elder Josh Winger every meal because our zones eat next to each other and I love it! I also got to see Sister Kaylyn Johnston and it was grand! I have seen sooo many people I don't want to write them all. But I will note that I saw Sister Hannah Christensen within five minutes of being at the MTC and I was attacked with a hug and it was sooooo awesome to see her since I didn't get to see her before she left! I just love being here, I really do. All I want right now though is really a grammar lesson! We haven’t had one yet and it is killing me! I want to form a sentence but I can't! Because even looking up the meaning of one word won't help me cause I don't understand sentence structure yet!!!! I already love the tagalog language though! I really do! Learning Tagalog is so much work and I am getting so worn out by the end of the day. It is work work work with no pause or slow pace! My kasama Sister Waldrom said this morning that she doesn’t think they give us enough sleep, and I could agree! One more hour in the morning or at night would be perfect!!!!!

I am out of time so this will be all for today, but I am grateful to be here where I feel the spirit so strong everyday and everywhere! I just love it! I have attached a picture of the girls in my district and my kasamas we took last night! I feel like this email gives my feelings about the MTC, loving my companions, and what it is like to learn Tagalog, no justice but It's what I've got.

Until next Saturday,

Sister Hellewell

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Where do I send all the letters I'm writing my favorite Stephanie?

I you are asking the question above, then this post is for you!!

Less than two weeks and I will be off on my mission! I am going to be serving in the Philippines San Pablo Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will serve for eighteen months, and I will learn to speak Tagalog! It’s going to be grand!
Also, new favorite quote: A missionary is someone who leaves their family for a short time so that someone else can be with their's forever! 

My plan to stay in contact with everyone is to just have this blog connected to my facebook, and my mom will post my weekly emails on here. If you would like to reply to this blog and actually want me to see it before November of 2014 feel free to write me a some snail mail post and send it to the Philippines! 
However, until July I will simply be in Provo, Utah learning how to teach the gospel and the basics of Tagalog! While I am there you can go to and type/write me letters for free!! And those letters will get to me the next day. However, you can still send me a regular old snail mail letter at
Sister Stephanie Anne Hellewell
Philippines San Pablo Mission
Provo Missionary Training center*
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
United States
*I don’t know my P.O. box number yet, but I will let people know before I go into the MTC. I will know a few days before.

After I leave the MTC and take an airplane ride across the ocean I am asked to ask you to send pouch mail. This is the fasted way to get a letter to me. If you prefer to just use an envelope that is fine, it will just take longer to get to me. If you want to send pouch mail here are some instructions:
“Lay the letter blank side down. Fold the bottom of the letter about one third of the way up on the page and crease. Fold the top of the letter to the bottom of the first fold and crease. Secure the long side with two pieces of tape about one inch in from each end, but do not seal the ends. In the top left corner write your name and complete return address. Affix first call postage in the top right corner. In the middle write the missionary address as follows:

Sister Stephanie Anne Hellewell
Philippines San Pablo Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City UT 84130-0150

If you don’t particularly like all the crazy pouch mail instructions you are more than welcome to send me a letter straight to the Philippines that takes longer but doesn’t go through Salt Lake you can send it here, but please note that this might change when I find out where I will actually be living:
Sister Stephanie Anne Hellewell
Philippines San Pablo Mission
Brgy San Juan, Alaminos

If you want to send me a package, well I sure hope it gets to me because 50% of the time it won’t! However, if you do want that to happen you will need to know that the phone number for the mission office is 63 49-567-1330. Then you will need to use this address:
Sister Stephanie Anne Hellewell
Philippines San Pablo Mission
Barangay San Juan, Alaminos
4001 Laguna

Additionally, I can use email! However, I am not just giving out that email because I will have limited time to use email. I prefer that you send me a snail mail letter and if you would like I could reply with an email but I am given limited time so I’m not promising it will be fast! However, I would rather hear from you on email than not at all so if you would like my email ask my mom (Anne Hellewell) on facebook for it. Or just post on my facebook page asking where you can get it and I hope someone can lead you in the right direction…..

Well if anyone is still reading this incredibly exciting post on how to get ahold of me while I am what feels like worlds away thank you for being a true friend! See you in November of 2014!!!

-Sister Hellewell