Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 1, 2013


This has been a crazy week! It has had its ups and downs, hilarious moments and moments of panic when you can't think of the right word. I feel like it has been an eternity since I last emailed!

My Kasama (companion) Sister Mafi is absolutely one the funniest people ever, I love her so much! And she shares my love of cheetos. I thought I loved cheetos, but now I think I just sorta like them compared to how many she eats! My old roommate Haley thinks one of the only five foods I eat is Cheetos... that just tells you how good they are to me. The other night the three of us were getting in bed and sister Mafi had her desk light on and was walking around. She said "I can't go to bed yet I have to eat my cheetos!" A few minutes later as sister  Waldrom and I were saying our good nights the only salutation we got out of sister Mafi was "Good night cheetos".  For some reason every small thing is hilarious here, but maybe that's cause the littlest things will entertain us! Also, usually sis Waldrom's reaction to something that is only slightly funny is even more amusing than whatever actually happened!

                                    The Kasama's: Sister Mafi, Sister Hellewell, Sister Waldrom)

One thing that is so great about the MTC right now is all the people I see from all areas of my life (Indiana, Idaho, and BYU) all together! I saw josh Winger three times a day and sometimes more for my entire first week. I also got to see Kaylyn Johnston and Hannah Christensen multiple times! I've seen some friends who work here, two who teach Tagalog, and then also Derrek Stewart.  I see Jonah Seeley all the time too! I guess if I couldn't be in the MTC with my two best friends I might as well get to see their little brothers all the time! Also, to my family, Dan Barfuss says to tell you hello for him, he works here. I just love seeing sooo many people I know especially when I find someone I never said goodbye to before I left!!! Oh! Also I saw Adam Hill for the first time Yesterday!!!! That was super cool. He didn't see me until I taped on his shoulder.... and it was great to talk to him! I am so happy to be in the MTC with him along with all my other friends! 

                                                           Sister Christensen and Sister Hellewell

                                                      Sister Johnston and Sister Hellewell

Here's a little shout out to the longest friendship I have ever had to..... wait for it..... drum roll...... Lauren Welden! Best Friends since first grade, and even a few thousand miles couldn't break that friendship, and I know a few thousand more won't break it either! Happy Birthday! (I know, it was  a few days ago...) I hope it was the greatest and that you didn't get too much ice cream in your hair! Or maybe none this year.... who knows! Love you girl!

One of the great things about the MTC are
 Sunday and Tuesday devotionals! At the Sunday devotional I believe it was... I actually don't even remember who spoke... but he shared a story/video that really touched me. It's a commercial he made for the church called SPLASH it is about a girl named Aly, everyone should look it up, I bet you could find it on YouTube or something. Anyways, Aly is a little girl who is on a swim team. She never wins a race; her team always comes in last every time she participates, which is once a swim meet. But, she never gives up. She never quits or gets discouraged, and she comes out of the water smiling brighter than anyone else. At the end of the commercial you see her legs getting put into supports, and see her walking with her team, needing the use of crutches to walk. This was really inspirational. It just tells you to never give up on what you want to accomplish. You may come in last, and struggle significantly on your way, but if you never give up you will always finish. And isn't that what the Lord wants us to do? Never give up on what he needs us to accomplish? Sometimes it can be really hard to be patient with ourselves, especially when we are working towards something we really desire and it isn't coming fast enough. The great thing about our Heavenly Father is that he will never give up on us, he will be forever patient with us, and help us finish our task, he is even more willing and happy to help when we never stop trying and do our best!

My district is seriously the greatest ever. So many people are hilarious.... Me and mga kasama used to sit next to the air thing in the room but it was super cold... so we switched with the elders who were always hot.... and now I can't look to the other side of the room and make faces at Sister Cowley cause she is right next to me... I'm not sure it would be appropriate to be making faces at elder Sorsensen all the time... so I am restraining myself now... it's a little weird. But anyways... so  many people in my district are really really funny I love it! There are seven sister and four elders, so our tiny little classroom is packed full but we love it! We also have a great view of the Y out of our window... a lot better than most views of the other buildings... so we like it! But sometimes it reminds us that we are back in Provo (four of us went to BYU) and that is a little weird sometimes... I miss hiking so much! I miss working outside!!! It is really hard to sit all day long except for the hour of gym.... but I guess that's good cause that means I will love the workout of walking in the heat and humidity of the Philippines!!!!

                                           all District members in front of the Provo, Utah Temple

                              Sister Missionaries in the district, in front of the Provo, Utah Temple

Hmmmmm.... I feel like so much happens here and I find it hard to explain all that I feel and do while I am here. Every minute is scheduled to the crossing of T's and dots on the i's. But it's really cool to see how much you can get done, I mean I can speak Tagalog now! Not very well, and it is mostly memorized sentences and phrases and probably incorrect grammar most of the time but I love it! In Tagalog as far as I understand it the word are all roots words that have other conjugations added onto the word so that you say it how you want to... which is kind of cool, but it makes for really long words. for example: “Pananampalataya” means faith. almost ALL the words are super long! It's pretty crazy... but I do love it when I find out a word is the same as a Spanish word! I took so many Spanish classes at BYU (14 credits to be exact) and spent so much time learning spanish that I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't use it for much of these 18 months.... I'm still hoping I don't lose too much of it due to practice being non-existent, but that's alright! I was talking to some sister's while running on the track the other day who are speaking spanish on their mission. I realized that right now I know more than they do in spanish after them being here for about four or five weeks. Truly it makes sense, but it also made me think maybe the Lord knew I needed a challenge right now! Confession time... in one of our lessons to a pretend investigator I couldn't remember (really, had never heard) the word I needed to say so I said it in spanish....... oops! The "investigator" understood and went with it though so that was cool!

I think in my last letter I had already taught my first lesson IN ALL TAGALOG!!!!! The second lesson was pretty good. We had our dictionary to find the words we couldn't get for the life of us and our little green book to tell us some phrases we could use. The third lesson was amazing! By that time I was able to mostly memorize the things I wanted to say, and be able to sort of respond to the things that came up in the lesson that I needed to share. By the fourth lesson this past week we had to teach without notes, and all pretty much by memory... it was pretty scary but it turned out fine! It's amazing we are already conversing in Tagalog!!! Alright, so the investigator is really a BYU student who served a mission in the Philippines and who is actually a teacher at the MTC for Tagalog... we actually see him all the time.... :) and he talked pretty slow and explained words we didn't know until we got them... but it was pretty cool. I am starting to love Tagalog... lots of the grammar doesn't really make sense yet... but I'm learning bit by bit... I feel like little concepts I didn't understand at first either are starting to make sense now or are starting to pile up!!! It's fun most of the time though!

Also... thank you to everyone who has written me in the past week! It is so fun to hear how everyone is doing and to get words of encouragement. Sometimes when I get a letter from someone it says exactly what I need to hear at the end of a long hard day! The days before Sunday were super long, but now they just feel like sort of long days instead of three days in one so I guess that is good! But thank you, really, I love it! Welp, Out of time! 

Lots of  mahal (love)!

-Your favorite sister missionary (Probably, and hopefully since you just read this entire thing!) Stephanie... I mean Sister Hellewell :)


  1. thanks steph! you're awesome. i love you and i'm glad you're having a good time! :)

  2. We love reading about your mission and your MTC adventures. Thanks for sharing and also for whoever or however you're getting your communication on this blog.

    Bishop and Sister Brems

  3. this is stephanie's mom. I will pass on any comments people make to her either on here or on facebook.
    thanks so much

    Anne Hellewell