Monday, October 28, 2013

Five Months...and a feeling of SUCCESS!!!

Before I get into the good stuff this week and tell you all about my wonderful adventures in the Philippines Islands and what the Spirit taught me, and how I have seen the atonement change the lives of the people I love here... I have a funny little thing to tell you of what I did this morning. 

me eating dynamite and listening to dynamite :)
So first you must know that I live in a cement house very close to many other houses. The one behind ours likes to play music a lot. Sometimes I hate it, cause it can be inappropriate. Sometimes I love to hear Christmas music at lunch time. Sometimes I do not mind a little Elvis or whatever they are playing. But sometimes it is really really really hard to stay concentrated on the work when songs that I know every single word to, and just love to dance to just play and play and play, and I spend my study time singing primary songs and hymns to myself. But today... was one of those play all of sister hellewell's favorites days. And also other songs that you could say are commonly played at YSA dances... Well Dynamite was played today..... Also, I ate some dynamite while listening to dynamite! Sister Calla made some dynamite today I’ll send a picture. I wouldn't say it is hot according to American standards, but for philippinas it was pretty hot... but also very very masarap!!! I loved it. 

Now to the important things that happened this week. 

A funny tree at the church building 

First you should be proud of this sister missionary. Yeah, I got us to San Pablo on Thursday... on time. And I’m pretty proud of myself and my communication with the outside world on finding out how to get us there. 
Disclaimer: my tagalog is still struggling, but I do know how to ask for directions! And understand a response! (most of the time) We went to San Pablo for the new missionary check-up. President said to me, that William’s group of missionaries is the loudest he's ever heard, when he was driving us to St. Thomas (half of the way home) I reminded him that It was two group's plus some. Me and all my group. William's group and then many of my group's trainers too! Crazy stuff. But it was good to see them, and learn from president and the AP’s. Mostly what I learned is that sister Williams is astig/awesome and I got the best companion probably. She really is incredible; I wish she could see it in herself. She really doesn't realize how awesome she is doing no matter how much I tell her. She is struggling to adjust at times, but who doesn't? 

Me and Williams on the way back from San Pablo

Also yesterday was the greatest day ever, so I will hold you in anticipation to hear all about it. 

Tuesday we worked with Sister G again. Oh man, I love working with her. But honestly she has the most hard to understand tagalog of my life! It is really frustrating at times. I was all discouraged and stuff like that and then we bid farewell to G and went to M's (less active) I understood her today! A fervent prayer was answered! We talked about her concerns and made a plan to resolve them. It sure is hard to go to church without your family when our church talks so much about the importance of families. But Also, my language study is helping! I recognized the word Pagabagabag! (It is used in the tagalog preach my gospel book under chapter ten under how to begin teaching. I've been reading those two pages in PMG everyday for the last week trying to really get good at how to begin teaching in tagalog. I know it in English... but some of the things I want to be able to say are still hard in tagalog.) Anyways, I was super happy to hear that word for some reason. Maybe because it is a deeper tagalog word and I really like saying it! But also M told us that we are angles and that always makes your day when people compliment you and thank you for what you are doing. I always hear how beautiful I am and stuff like that but that's not what I want to hear! I want people to tell me the message I share with them is exactly what they need and most beautiful to them! 

Thursday M.A. was baptized. IT was just wonderful! She said that she could not sleep for the last 24 hours she was so excited to be baptized. Me, Sis Williams, and Brother and sister Reyes sang “Nearer my god to thee”, in parts for her baptism. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL I think that mostly I miss hearing a base part being sung, but also it really brought the spirit. 

Also Thursday morning president and the Ap's came to practice teach with us. That was a lot of fun and a good learning experience. I loved it. We practiced the baptism invitation and resolving concerns. The first time was a little rough and I feel like we started to resolve the concern but it didn't fully happen. The second time though... it was good. Elder Merriam said " Wow that one was just... powerful. There was no denying it!" which made me feel pretty good about that practice. I love practice teaching. Mostly I love after we evaluate and do much better the second time. We also got to practice teaching what to do when someone does not read the Book of Mormon, which is really all we want our investigators to do! They can't know if what I am teaching them is true and that the church was restored to the earth if they don't read the evidence I give them and pray to god to know if it is true! So we practiced that with Elder Calling, and it was something that we are able to repeat time and time again. I learned a lot. I need to shorten my questions, especially since if they were long in English they will be a million times longer in Tagalog. And I also really just need to focus on what the real concern is- is this church true? Was Joseph smith a prophet? and Is the Book of Mormon the word of god? That is really all someone has to decide for themselves. When they do, everything will fall into place. It won't matter that they were already baptized in the catholic church or iglesia. It won't matter that they are tired and do not want to read, it won't matter that their family may not support them. They will know that God has restored his true church here on the earth, and they will want to follow Christ’s perfect example. 

Also yesterday I COMMUNICATED WITH G FOR LIKE 20 MINUTES ON THE TRIKE AND JEEPNEY BACK FROM BALETE AND I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF.  I hope that my caps explain my excitement. We talked about random stuffs. and Then she told me she hoped her father hadn't locked the house gate yet and I told her the story (in tagalog mind you) about the time that I left the key in the house in tayabas and me and Basa were stuck between the house and the gate and how funny it would be to have watched two sister missionaries jump the fence.. she thought it was a funny story. Which was good... but really yesterday was better for many many more reasons:
because before that... was the greatest. 
1. R received the priesthood.
2. M A received the Holy Ghost. 
3. M's baptism was announced! And Planned! 
and I am just overjoyed and excited. And I know that yesterday felt like the best day ever, but honestly this saturday will definitely top it! 

I also received a lot of personal revelation from church this week. I know that we teach our investigators and members that this is something that really happens at church, but I have been struggling with it here in the Philippines when I am more focused on what is going on. What people are saying and translating to myself rather than really thinking deeply about what I am learning and applying it to myself. But I really did learn a lot that day by the spirit. Our Sunday school lesson was about the post-mortal spirit world. And I have really been learning a lot on my mission much much more than I ever dreamed of knowing about our life after death. And I was thinking about how thin the veil is between us and others. And I know that those who have passed on are right here with us, and that they are doing the same work as me right now, Missionary work. Their job is much harder than mine though I bet. They are teaching the people there who never had the chance to hear and accept the gospel while here, and they are also preparing people here to prepare the message that we as members of the church have to give to them. It's beautiful really. I just want to be a member missionary for the rest of my life. Both missionary work and family history are so important. It is the reason why we are here. To prepare to return to God, and we cannot unless we live the gospel. My love for family history really grew my last semester at BYU I am grateful for the people that influenced me to really get into it. And I can really see why it is so important to people. I am grateful for the example that my grandparents have set for me. And I really do miss family history and indexing and the blessing and happiness that came from it. I learned much more, but that's all I am going to share with you today. I hope that my family member's and friends will pray for the love of family history and to feel the spirit of Elisha in their lives. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for being so dedicated to it, and motivating me to do family history work. I'd thank some BYU friends too.. but honestly they are all on missions now too! :) I love that fact. 
Anyways... lots of love. And thank you all my family for all of the updates I love hearing how you are doing and am grateful for all that you do for me and each other.


Sister Hellewell

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Most Random, but AWESOME day: Best Baptism Ever to happen and an Indian Temple!

First off, I just gotta say... someone has done a cover for Pricetag in tagalog. Which me and my companion just found hilarious on our walk to this little computer shop... normally people just listen to music in English here... it was amusing. Also, then it got me thinking about pitch perfect and quickly about my roommates last year, and oh man... then I had to stop myself and remember to stay focused on other things... I just had to share this little experience from this morning. 

I'm sure many of you have heard about the ginormous earthquakes over here. It was not on my island, and I didn't even feel it, so I am safe and sound. I heard a lot of people were asking my parents how I am. I am on the same big island as manila right now, so it was more south. There is a temple on the island that it happened on... I think that it is pretty awesome that the temple is pretty much untouched, except for the fact that the angel Moroni turned on his spiral. I'm not sure how it happened because they told me there were no cracks or anything in it... but he turned... maybe you should google it or something, if that interests you. Our relief society president knows English fluently so she was telling me about it, and I actually understood, it was awesome! 

Also, We had Zone interviews this week! It was wonderful! My mission president is just awesome. He asked me what I learned in Preach My Gospel this last week. I answered something that I had learned that morning... I was studying the savior’s atonement and really just got to thinking, that I and the other missionaries I have gone on exchanges and stuff with, do not use the atonement in our teaching nearly as much as we should. The atonement applies to everything! It's wonderful! I am making a big effort to teach the atonement much more every day. President Peterson asked if he could adopt me... but I said my dad wouldn't allow it. Apparently my mission president see's a lot more in me than I see in me because he told me that he had specific areas in mind for me to go to that I could use my magic on. I said it only works when I don't speak tagalog cause the members feel the need to work with us, when really it is our investigators that need them, not us. He laughed and said I’d just have to pretend... but I really hope to stay in this area for the next transfer.... mostly because the ward is just amazing and always working with us. And I just love this area.... and I do not want to reopen again so soon. 

Also, I got my mail.... and I got the most colorful letter I have ever received in my entire life... IT WAS AWESOME! And I read it in amazement on my bus ride home from Lemery. It pretty much made me the happiest missionary in the world. 

Anywho... I bet you are wondering about my, oh so random and awesome day! 

R was baptized on Saturday and I have never been happier in my life. He shared his conversion story with us, and I was just amazed. He really knows that the book is true! He actually read our search for happiness before he met with the missionaries, so he understands a lot of our beliefs, even before he felt that it was true. He still did not want to disappoint his member friends, but continued to learn about the church. He started meeting the missionaries, and one day after a long long day at work he was reading the book of Mormon and just wasn't getting anything out of it! He decided to pray again, and then read again. He read 2 nephi: 3 and said that he was overwhelmed with the spirit. That is a super long story super short. But I have never seen anyone more excited to get baptized, more in tune with the spirit, and his feelings were just unexplainable for him in English or tagalog. (he is perfect in English----blessing, yes, a very big blessing) He is just so excited to get started on family history and to go to the temple!!! I am so excited for him! 

So after the best moment of my life, my companion and I set off to D’s house. Sister Williams wanted to walk the back roads instead of taking a jeepney on the highway... along the way we talked to a man in DeJoya Subdivision. We had a nice conversation... and he was invited to church and well.... yesterday he just showed up! It was awesome! I had to carry on a conversation with him though... and I was actually amazed with myself that I was understanding and communicating with him fluently!!!! There were a few things he said that I did not understand though. I love it when I understand people. There are some people, especially here in Batangas that talk a little bit differently than they did in Tayabas, and they talk deeper than I am used to, and just keep saying the same words when I do not understand instead of just saying more simple things or simply using different words to see if I know that one instead... they are difficult people to communicate with and usually I just give up, and tell them to talk to the other sister missionaries or something... yes I admit defeat... but hey, we're surviving! 

Anyways... we are walking to D's house and just oym'd that last guy, and we are right next to this Indian Temple I have always been curious about.... This Indian Man invites us to see his temple! So we went in... but we had to explain to him that we need another girl or three guys in order to not be in a room alone with a man for our safety.... he didn't understand and thought we were crazy, but he got an Indian woman who doesn't speak tagalog in the room. They wear something over their head to show respect. and In their temple they have a rug leading to a shrine decorated with indian decorations I guess with an alter and I think their bible. It was just beautiful and I understood some of what he was explaining to us. Then he introduced us to their... man I don't know what to call him... prophet? priest? bishop? their important leader person... who doesn't speak tagalog or English. So our friend was speaking in taglish to us and indian to him and his wife. 
He asked us a lot about our religion which was a little awkward for him to ask us in his temple... but we answered his questions. We are asked to respect other religions and not proselyte near their places of worship... but I answered his questions about what we do as missionaries and about our savior Jesus Christ. We invited him to our services, he invited us to theirs, and we finished our soda, and went on our way to D’s.... 

a very random experience... yes... but It was really cool to learn about their religion and I'm sure we will continue to talk with him as we pass by his tindihan and temple. 
What were two indians doing in the philippines that don't know english or tagalog? I have no idea. But they have a beautiful temple! 

Also, I have been living a little on the wild side this week.. nothing too extreme... but I was starving and wanted some bread that always just looks so delicious on the side of the road... so I ate some! I didn't get nearly as sick as I used to at BYU when I ate wheat! It was awesome! I'm definitely going to eat more bread from now on.... it is worth it to feel a little sick because of how delicious it is!!! I just pray I won't get as sick as I used to if I eat too much. :) 

Also I have the best bishop in the world. He works with us once a week usually. It's just awesome! I love having the ward auxiliary leaders working with us... 

Well I hope all is well on your side of the world! I could use a few extra prayers on my Thursday and your Wednesday this week... I will be traveling to San Pablo with my companion... and have some vague directions that I must follow... there is no one else around here traveling to the new-missionary training check-up meeting so I am on my own pretty much. This is gonna be an adventure! But I warned my mission president that we will probably get a little lost so he's expecting it, I think... really we'll just see if I can do it! A jeepney, a bus, and another bus, and then a tricycle... we're just gonna go on an adventure! 

Well, love you lots! 

Sister Hellewell

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tagalog is hard, But conference was the greatest thing ever!

Well it has been another crazy long week here in Batangas. M had her Baptism Interview which was just wonderful. And I had the DL's companion help me with my tagalog while they had the interview. Lets just say it reminded me how bad my tagalog is and how nice the people are about my abilities. Yikes. I decided to read to him And Aklat Ni Mormon and thought it would be fun to read some Mosiah and learn the words of a wise king benjamin.... but really all I think I actually learned is that I still really struggle with the NG sound. It's a weird one, let me tell ya. I'm fine in words I've mastered like Panginoon (Lord) Panalangin (A noun conjugation of prayer) and Kapangyarihan (power) and other's like those but when it comes to words like Paningin (which I think is sight) and Bingi (which I think is deaf if I remember right) I am struggling! Saying that sound is worse than playing the piano! (And just for the record I quit piano and played the violin instead so that should tell you how hard this is for me.) 

I was feeling really down about my tagalog and such the next day when I was doing my personal study I learned something (Imagine that! ) I have decided to share with all of my family and friends who apparently read this thing what I learned by sharing some of what I wrote in my journal. Prepare yourself this next sentence is profound:  "I am the master of my own destiny." I feel very at peace right now, I have just been reading the Book of Mormon in Helamen 4 when the Lamanites are just so righteous and also in the book Jesus The Christ and have just been learning so much about christ and my eternal father. And ya know also about myself! And my for-ordination. And just about the Plan of Salvation in general. It's humbling but also just makes me feel so good at the same time. It is also causing me to think about how good feels this way, this love I'm feeling from him about all of his children. He may trust them differently, or maybe even like them differently, but I know that he loves us all the same. whether we are worthy of his love and trust or not. 

I am humbled that he trusts me so much right now REALLY trusts me! As a missionary of course but also to call me to serve at a time where much would be required of me early. I know that I was foreordained to do this. We all lived with our father in heaven before we came to this earth. We wanted to become like him. His First Son, Jesus Christ, accepted the role as savior and redeemer of the world in this life. Heaven Father did not create our sins, but he knew that in a world of temptation we would make mistakes and need a little mercy, that is why the atonement is a central thing in my life. I use the power it gives me every single day. I know when I lived with Heavenly Father before, I accepted this plan. I accepted all of the challenges that I would encounter in a fallen world. I have had many things that were big trials of my faith. But none of them compare to the one I face now. But I know that the lord called me to serve here in Batangas before I was born into the greatest forever family in the world! Just as the prophet Jeremiah was told that he was ordained before he was given a body too. The spirit has made this manifest to me that I was too. Back to the love and trust.....that I feel coming from my loving heavenly father. He really trusts me. As a daughter of His and as a missionary. I was called at a time when much more responsibility would be required as a missionary earlier, at least in my mission. As a trainer much of what I do will help set the course of sister William's mission. But also as a re-open. He has given me the faith and strength to succeed. But really I think I was just lacking in many areas so he put me in a situation to develop what I would need to develop in order to succeed in future assignments. and throughout my life. I am so weak! But I know that the Lord makes weak things strong unto him, and that is the process that I am in right now. All that I have done in the last 2 weeks is all just relying on the Lord to get his work completed---through me. I feel so humbled that he is trusting me and loving me blessing me so much. even with all those blessings I have felt...Missionaries still get sick! It all started with a sore throat again... but at least this time I got a fever so it wasn't just me feeling like a wimp that I didn't feel good. But luckily it came the same night the typhoon did so it cooled down like nobody's business around here. The philippas were cold and wanted jackets... I was just LOVING it. 
Also one of the temple sealers for the manila temple live in our ward boundaries. We met him as we were on a search for an investigators house. He thought that I had been on my mission longer than a year because of how good my tagalog is! (Personally, I don't know if he was just being nice or maybe previous missionaries were really bad, or maybe that was just a tagalog day for me...) But it made me feel really good! 

Conference!!!! Can be seen at

IT WAS AWESOME! (And they have it in english and tagalog here so I actually understood it! yeah!) It was an answer to my prayers! I wasn't going to write this, but I will. I've been trying to motivate my family to want to join in my joy of missionary work a little be more... especially since, with my parents callings they have alot of influence on the youth and children of the church but there I was just loving conference soaking it all in... and after  Gifford Nielsen I just felt like all my prayers were answered. THE TIME IS NOW! to do member missionary work. I am one of the 80,333 that can testify of that. Then I was just feeling like everyone was talking about missionary work. Also I loved ballard's talk. And I can tell you that we cannot work alone. 1. because we are not capable (at least in my case) and 2. it is not the lords way! The world needs it's chance to hear and receive or reject the gospel. PLEASE make the decision now, wherever you may be to follow the prophets, yes even the lord's own plea and command to SHARE! INVITE! all to hear and feel the love you feel each time you pray as a family, dad gives a blessing, we take the sacrament, my brother's use the priesthood, or during a personal prayer before, after or during scripture study. 
Decide now, to have a family council meeting (or set personal goals) centered on missionary work! If you didn't heed the call before, use the atonement in your life now and hold a family meeting to decide how you will bless and change the world by sharing your testimony. And if you don't have a testimony... get it quick! The world needs you to join the missionaries. I have a testimony that when member's work with us it makes a 200% difference in the lesson, whether my companion is fluent or not in the language.
If you are one of my friends that is not a member yet, still love me enough to be reading this, (you know who you are :)) I invite you to visit to understand more. Also I've got a great book for you to read! It's called Our Search For Happiness. And it is an Invitation to understand the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. Don't worry this book won't focus on converting you to my faith. But I've been reading it this last week, and I love it. It is really a book focused on explaining what my church believes and is written by M Russell Ballard, a leader of my church. I promise that it is worth whatever the cost and will help you understand my emails more, as well as what I came here to the Philippines to teach. Also, if you would like one of my friends out on a mission to come and answer any of your questions you have I would love to tell them to drop by. There are 80,333 missionaries out right now, and the number is growing. I promise we have time. They can explain the things I talk about in my emails and really be a guide for you to learn if what I am teaching is true. 

To all my friends and family: The message I am sharing is centered on Jesus Christ. And that through his gospel you can receive help in any problem or situation. I know that I have been called as a missionary by a prophet of god. to share what I personally know is true. Honestly, it is either true or it is not. And I hope that you want to find out for yourself. If it is false-well then, I will waste 18 months of my life and 1000's of dollars teaching it in the Philippines for 18 months, and well the 15million members of my church have been fooled, and caught in a lie. But. If it is true. God would like you to know it! If what I am teaching is true then the Book of Mormon is true, if that is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet. If Joseph Smith is a prophet then Christ established a church while he lived on the earth and the authority for that church was lost after the death of christ and his apostles, and the truth would need to be restored through a living prophet called of god. If all this is true, well then... my friend... I hope you would like to know for yourself. And you can! Through study of the Book of Mormon and a prayer. A prayer from the heart. That starts by addressing our god, our father in heaven and ends. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Not a recited prayer, but a prayer from the heart. And I know your loving heavenly father will answer your sincere prayer if you wait and listen for an answer. You can learn more at and also from that book I invited you to read or even from the Book of Mormon itself (which is free!) and can be delivered to your doorstep at a day and time you choose! Also, I'd love to answer any questions you have because I love you. So you can ask my facebook for my email and my mom, who has the password for that, will tell it to ya! I know that what i am teaching here is true. And I love every moment I spend sharing such knowledge no matter how hard I work, or how sick I feel, or how much I miss my family.
Much Love, 

Sister Stephanie Hellewell

Ps: whew! That was a long one! :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Spirit Leads the Blind Who Lead The Blind.

I am truly the blind leading the blind! I still feel like I have no idea what in the world I am doing! Talaga, I have no idea how in the world I have gotten through the last week. It's all just relying on the Lord and going for it. I've never done anything so hard nor rewarding in my life! President sent me an email today and said this: That he knew he was giving me a really hard assignment and that it would be ok, I just need to not run faster than I should and risk my health to doing it. I know that he must be really stressed out right now, obviously cause he's got a million foreigners like me running around the Philippines trying to spread the gospel, but also because I know multiple missionaries who have gotten sent home in the last few transfers there have been multiple. I know of four from my batch that have gone home and more as well. It is crazy! I'm sorry if this is really random today, normally I write down what I will talk about in my emails (I know, I’m a little weird) But it helps. But today I am actually coming straight from hiking in the jungle! I'm a little muddy, but also with a great big smile on my face!!! IT WAS AWESOME! AND WE GOT TO HIKE IN THE WATER THAT FELT WONDERFUL!!!! I'm actually starting to enjoy cold showers in my new area, because I have never sweat so much in my entire life! Apparently this month is the second burr month. Which means it is cold like burrrrr I’m cold. It's weird; I’ve never been so hot in my life. If I die during the real hot season, don't be surprised! Jokelang... jokelang..... (Mom, don't freak out, it's ok. I haven’t gotten close to dying yet I don't think) 

Also I found a spider as big as my hand. An elder put it in his bag to keep after our hike. It was disgusting. 

Anywho. About my week I'm sure you are just dying to hear about how this oh so very puti (white) girl who everyone just calls barbie and then won't talk to me about the gospel that I want to share, has survived in Batangas. First off my ward is just awesome. They work with us a lot, and Bishop is also really pushing them to. The ward Auxiliaries work with us which is great! (Such as Relief Society President, Bishopric and their wives, Primary Presidency, YW president, ect.) IT is soo awesome! They are just working so hard with us! I love it! It rings true to whoever said (I know it is in PMG somewhere) something about how wonderful it will be when the members of the church around the world stop praying for missionaries success around the world and start praying for opportunities to spread the gospel in their own area. That would be a wonderful day. But right now I am just very grateful for what I have. I never want to leave Batangas, I’ve never even heard of a ward who works so much with the missionaries! 

We just do the work. We try our best. We have miscommunications. We fail to understand. BUT... we follow the spirit. We talk in Taglish, we work with members who can explain tough concepts to investigators. And we just find the people willing to listen to our pangit tagalog because they feel the spirit when we testify, and know that something is different. 

D got baptized last Saturday and it was just wonderful. A member brought their violin for me to play at it... yikes. After no practice since May.... It was horrible. But the member’s enjoyed it! 
(Next time I will just give a talk and let sister Williams play, her major was violin performance at BYU) 

Brother R is sobrang ready for baptism! I'm convinced he has a stronger testimony of the truth that multiple members I have met. He knows the Book of Mormon is true, and he knows that because god loves us he has restored his true church that was lost after the suffering of Christ on the cross, and the death of his apostles.
 The Book of Mormon is evidence that this restoration has happened. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. I read it every day! And it's a great book! It teaches me everything! And is really what gives me guidance and comfort in this rough time in batangas. 

Apparently my tagalog amazed a member enough to tell the elders in ward one that I am really good at tagalog. I just think that she only heard me bear my testimony in church my first week and hasn't tried to have a conversation with me. Either that or the spirit told people something other than what I did! Jokelang... but really... 
It is sometimes hard to train. Well......always. But it just brings back feelings of homesickness and anxiety over the language and other things to see someone go through it that I care about when I was just getting over the worst of it for myself. I fear that I cannot comfort her enough, it is hard. We eat chocolate a lot, but the chocolate she brought from America is gone now so now I have to either buy not delicious Philippines chocolate or extra expensive American! (Ok, it's usually about the same price as in America... but i'm in the 3rd world country spending a dollar on a chocolate bar is like a once in a year kinda deal. Sister Williams also has an immediate family member struggling with an illness right now, and that brings feelings of thinking about my sister more than ever who is also struggling. So that is hard. But maybe the Lord needed me to train her so that someone else could understand somewhat more of what she is going through. 

The work must go on, so I hope you are not only praying for me but for opportunities to serve with me (just not full time). I'm not really sure all of what is gonna happen this week. But I just take things one day, sometimes just one hour at a time and worry about what will happen when I get there. It sure is hard. All my weaknesses are slapping me in the face like a hot iron would feel on my hand. But I also have never worked so hard in my life or felt happier or felt more blessings from the lord either. My abilities at Tagalog are a miracle. And I never thought I would make it through this last week, I still don't really know how to get around my area so I still have more room to get lost in! 
But it was so nice to relax and get to hike. I just love hiking! And it was just more beautiful than the pictures I am sending to mom can describe. I am making many new friends. And it is always fun and just a relief to talk to another American (that isn't my companion) about nothing in particular at all and realize that I really have overcome many obstacles (though I have many more to adventure) 
I hope all is well with you and that you enjoy anything but heat where you live! 

(Also, did I mention my apartment is one of the three in the mission that has a microwave the rumor is! It is pretty much the greatest thing of my life.) (If only I could get rid of the ants on my clothes and in my closet and all the ones I find in my bed as I go to sleep!) (Although these ants don't bite like in my last area so it is more ok) 

I'm also super excited to get to see conference this next weekend!!! I know all you Americans already enjoyed it... so I’m excited to join you in your new knowledge!!! 

Much Love, Sister Hellewell 

Us in the jeepney... this is how I get around all the time. I wish the elder had a better picture of the whole thing... but aayos lang... I will get a better one next time
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Williams first trike ride too