Monday, August 12, 2013


Happy birthday to me! cha cha cha.... happy birthday to me cha cha cha... happy birthday happy birthday, happy birthday to me! (here in the Philippines they sing the happy birthday song in English but don't include your name in it they just repeat happy birthday another time) yep! It's the big 21! Can you believe it? Well... me neither. It has been an eventful week. Everything from a snail in my shoes and a praying mantis attacking sister Carmichael in my room... and then getting lost in there... to emergency transfers to Candelaria interesting exchanges.

Sister Basa is still sick. President came to Tayabas with the AP's and I practiced my tagalog with elder Burton and Pascua while president talked to Basa for a really really long time. She has been sent to the missionary recovery center in Manila and I have been transferred to Candelaria until Thursday which is transfer day and I will get a new companion. It will be interesting to see if president gives me another companion that knows what they are really doing and speaks the language so that I will be more ready to train or if he will put me with a native who has been here only 6 or 12 weeks. Whatever happens it will be what I need in order to be able to be my best as a trainer in probably six weeks. Many in my batch are supposed to train I am told.

I was able to help comfort sister Basa by reading her some of the letters that my sister sent to me in the MTC concerning her health. Lizzy is really going through a tough time but she has learned so many things about herself and the lord and about trials and their purpose it was a blessing to have something to share with her. She has a high possibility of being sent home.

I am cursed! This week I sent Basa to the ICU graveyard of little return and since I feel like the sister training leaders have been a big part of my training these last three weeks I have been companions with them so much and gone out to teach with them more than Basa I feel like I’m "killing" them too... Sister Cayanan is going home and sister Carmichael is being transferred for her last transfer and I have sent her to her deathbed.... all figuratively of course! It will be a new adventure here in Tayabas with all new sisters.

I have been transferred to Candelaria! And in my first transfer I have officially worked with every sister missionary and in every single area in my zone. Rare. But I learn a lot from watching and teaching with the other sister's. This week is going to be interesting because of who I am working with. Sister Maka is good. But sister Mckinny has only been here 12 weeks and Mecham only 6 like me, and we do not know the language very well... and we are also a bunch of white American girls from the Philippines.. wish me luck cause I’m working with Mckinny today again and Mecham on Wednesday (Tuesday your time) it will be interesting, but I know the lord will keep us safe and that we will learn a lot and grow. Thursday I will return to Tayabas with whoever my new trainer is. I have been able to see what my weakness's are and my strength's compared to the other sister's and it gives me more insight on what I need to work on. So that is a blessing.

 I have been getting a little sick from all of the stress. It really stressed me out to be taking sister Basa to the hospital and translating to my mission president and his wife, who both do not speak tagalog, what is going on. I think I am just starting to relax a little. so with that and only four hours of sleep the night we found out sister Basa was being sent to Manila cause we had to pack at night and then wake up early for travel my body just couldn't handle it very well... plus I accidently ate some wheat so it was a rough day but I managed.

 Working with sister Mckinny has been crazy! We don't understand sooo much! I am a little nervous to work with Mecham but excited as well. It will be an eventful week to say the least! I am excited but I also just want to return to Tayabas because my investigators are sooo neglected! But I guess I need to work in the lords time. I am learning a lot about how inspired my placement here in the Philippines in Tayabas really is. And just as my brother told me but I never really truly learned until now that many times missionaries are put somewhere to be a missionary to or to help their companion just as much or more than the people in the area, that has been more than true in my case here in tayabas. Sister Basa needed me. and I needed the experiences. And since I have not worked with her much in the past two or three weeks I have been compelled to excel and use what I can and I have gained a lot of confidence and been humbled to rely on the lord. I learned things I could only learn in this situation and that scares me a little... some of the things I have learned... what is the lord preparing me for!?!?! But he also sent me to live with the sister training leaders who had the abilities and authority to teach me things that I have to be learning when my companion is too sick to do so. I am very sad to see them leave!

Me and sister Carmichael had quite the adventure this week! When I was on splits with s. Cayanan, a member took us to a house of some of their investigators that just moved in the middle of the banana jungle in the baragay Wakas..... I thought I could find my way back and show sister Carmichael where it was.... well I got to the jungle all right and made the necessary turns for a while... but then I couldn't remember which of the twenty million little dirt paths off of the main path were for the house we were looking for... nor could I find it... and since it was a little later in the day and it was getting dark, we admitted defeat and returned to civilization before it got too dark... It was pretty cool to be in a banana jungle and not just a coconut/palm tree one.... And it sure was a sight... two American white girls walking around in the jungle... the few people we passed and talked to sure were confused and amused! It was great! I'll have to send some pictures next week cause I forgot my adapter!

Also I ate the cutest little bananas I have ever seen in my entire life.. they were also the most delicious.

I had to travel to Diversion this morning with Mckinny to get more book of Mormons and pamphlets from the zone leaders which means I also got to get my pouch mail! And I got my birthday card on my birthday! How cool is that! It had some really cool party glasses in it. I also got a letter from my mom from around July 9.... that took a while.... :) But thank you to everyone who has sent me happy birthday emails! See you when I’m 22! haha... It is always good to hear how everyone is doing and it sounds like at least Josh is really enjoying his last week of summer!

I love you all..... and a special happy birthday to my cousin's Jessica and Maren. It is a little weird not to celebrate my birthday with Jess... but I ate some ice cream at jollibee at the diversion so that was quite delish!

Much love sister stephanie hellewell

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