Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sister Waldrom and A General Authority knows Grandma Hellewell!

So last week I believe I was writing you in all suspense that I didn't know who our new house mate would be... none other than your FAVORITE SISTER WALDROM! It is pretty much the greatest thing of my life! We got to spend our 6 month mark together and we also celebrated her birthday! Wow, Sister Waldrom is just awesome. Her last ward sent her a birthday cake, bishop sent her a text, a friend sent her a package that had 30 letters from her BYU friends, most of them on missions, and I think we made it a great day for her! I love living with sister waldrom and I don't need to worry about sister Teotai being taken care of :) 

Also, I am emailing you just a little late this week because of mission tour last Monday! It was just amazing! Elder Neilson and his wife are the Area Presidency of the Philippines and I absolutely love them! They are from Idaho... and actually recognized the last name Hellewell.... Yes, it takes coming to the Philippines for me to meet someone who knows the last name Hellewell before knowing my last name! Him and his wife said that they know Helen Hellewell, and asked where my family was from. Burley isn't that big so I assume that we are talking about the same person. He said that his mother Lucille was good friends with her. It was pretty cool to talk to them. He may have known my grandmother more than I did since she died when I was so young, my few memories are short, and most of what I know about her is from my dad telling me stories. 

But I learned so much from the Neilsons!
 I can hardly start to explain how much I learned.
It was a crazy experience.... let's start at Sunday morning. Sister Williams gets out the Violin we borrowed from a ward member and is practicing her piece for the Mission Tour, She is fixing the shoulder rest and the bow slips off her finger...... AND BREAKS! Can you believe it? So we call the Reyes, and all that jazz, but there isn't much you can do.... Sister Reyes says she will see if we can find another bow. Luckily by 4:30 that afternoon we find one! In lipa too! (where the tour is at) but she can't get it to the elder's in that area until 8 that night so we don't get the bow until 9 at night! By that time we are just waiting at the chapel with the Office Elders (one was accompanying sister Williams on the piano) and with the Lipa Zone Leaders (who have the key to the church) We don't get to the sister's house we are sleeping at until about 10:45 or to bed until 11.... it was crazy... and the latest I have stayed up since May. Which is quite an impressively long time. We get a few hours of sleep and are back at the stake center by 8 the next morning. Their musical number REALLY brought the spirit and was just amazing. Williams is a violin Major from BYU and Elder Ano-os just has pure talent at the piano. I LOVED IT!

We got to have a sister's meeting with just Sister Peterson and Neilson that morning. She talked about how missions are for missionaries.... God gives us missions to save and strengthen the missionaries... if we bring a few more people to the truth of the restoration of the gospels then great! Then she told us that our next assignment, now that we have chosen to serve a mission, is to learn from it now, and go home, find the young man who did the same, and create a family that will change the world. (It was an amazing lesson and now that I think about it, I thought I got away from all the go get married talks when I left Provo behind... guess not. :)) But she talked a lot about finding the holiness in everyday life. and focusing on what we can do, not what we can't. She also said that we can always know if what we are doing on our missions is right, and if we are good missionaries. If we feel the spirit than that is just a huge stamp of approval that what I am doing is right and that god accepts it. 

Elder Neilson just talked about everything and it was just wonderful. He talked a little about the history of missionary work in the Philippines. Back in just 1961 President and Sister Hinckley Dropped the first 4 missionaries off in the Philippines and sister Hinckley has been quoted as saying: "Gordon, are you sure they're going to be okay?" Turns out they were because there are now 21 missions in the Philippines and 892 Chapels just a short 52 years later. Then Elder Neilson welcomed us to a miracle! Sometimes I forget that the church is so knew here, and needs to be established still. But 52 years isn't too much time, so I just need to remember patience. He also talked a lot about the Tacloban missionaries. And said that until they were found that he received many many calls from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles about the missionaries. And that all of them essentially said to him "Elder Neilson, we gotta find them all"   And they did. All the missionaries are safe, and some were sent home but the other's are happily in the other 20 missions at this time. He talked a little about our callings to missions and not that we are necessarily called to a specific place in the world but that many times the apostles will say that missionary needs to go to president Peterson! That was cool to hear and think about. He talked alot about the spirit. 

Then Sister Peterson talked about Happiness and I think that is something we always need to hear. 

President Peterson talked about the Book of Mormon. and shared president Holland’s testimony of it from the Mormon message video... go find that. watch it. be enlightened. and increase your testimony. 

Then we got to hear from Sister Neilson and she talked a lot about companions. She shared some experiences of her sons on their missions. One has a companion that hated him because he was American and did some mean things to him. But her son never criticized him and just loved him. Now her son and the companion are very good friends-and he lives in America. 
Another one of her sons had a companion who really helped him. He was just in the MTC and hated the fact that his companion was "exuberant" always just so happy. But it was exactly what her son needed he lifted him up and they became good friends, everytually they were companions in the field and then roommates at BYU. All in all I learned that I'm not here to change anybody but myself. And that my greatest gift right now is my companion. She doesn't have to be a Hellewell to be loved by a Hellewell. 

Then we watched the video clip from hastening the work of salvation about the family and talked about the things that the family did. (Go watch the video, it's online somewhere I think of the hastening the work website) this was our list. 
1- They just did small and simple things. 
2-it started with them going about doing good-they just had to act. 
2- They start and end the day/video with a prayer
4-They FOLLOW the promptings that they get
5-They start their day thinking about the savior
6-they simply act out of love. 
7-The son is studying preach my gospel on how to find. and gets a call... he essentially realizes now is the time to stop studying and act. 
8-everyone in the family is a missionary
9-They used the resources they had around them
11-There is a gap between the time of them being scared to act and just doing it
12- They have a plan
13-they open their mouth about the gospel they don't let the friendship stop at their small act of service they get the missionaries involved and become their friend. 
13-many of the times they were not already really close to the person they were helping. 

Watch it. Learn from it. And LOVE IT!... Then ACT. What's the point of learning something if you never apply it? 
Then he talked more about Establishing the church here in the Philippines and what we need to do. We already work with members so much here in this ward, but I know that it is still not enough! 
And I learned that when people are not doing what they are supposed to  in the church, treat them like they are already doing what they are supposed to... and from now on I will tell every Bishop "Bishop! You're the Best Bishop in the whole Church!" 

Then we had a question and answer section that I can't write about because I am out of time. But I love you all! Have a Great Thanksgiving! And please eat some turkey for me! I can get the Jell-O and Mashed Taters here... :) And then we will get a Buko Pie! (Coconut=buko, they have four different words for different types of phases of coconut it's crazy) 

I did not write about my investigators this week... so you will just have to be held in suspense to hear about a double completed family and my favorite people. 

Sister Hellewell

Ps: Please admire mine and sister waldrom's lovely 6 month picture together. :)
Pss: Grandma and Grandpa I am having a Family History Workshop on December 7th. I know some of the stories you have told me about ancestors or those who I did baptisms for, but if you could email me some stories about our ancestors that would be really cool if you get a chance. I love you! 

Psss: I have the coolest little brother in the whole world.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Emergency Transfers and I love you.

I am still doing alright since the Typhoon, the damage was really bad over in the Visayas area. And the Tacloban mission has been closed. My mission got about 20 new missionaries and the missionaries who are supposed to leave in December are going home tomorrow! Which means that my apartment gets one of the Tacloban Sisters!  We will get to meet her today and talk with her.  My mission is alright. There was some damage on the smaller islands, but all of us missionaries are OK, my area has little to no damage. But every house I go into that has a TV is always watching the news and the destruction is horrible!  The Relief Society President in my ward said that this is the worst typhoon the Philippines has ever had. It pretty much flattened a few cities, and communication is difficult.  Another missionary told me that the Tacloban missionaries arrived to our mission with nothing. Some with only one flip-flop and literally with nothing. I am excited to get to live with one of the Tacloban missionaries now. I guess we will see what is rumor and what is real. I have a feeling you people who get to watch the news and read online about it know more than me... especially since I only see the news when I walk into a house that has a TV, and that is in Tagalog.  My area is one of the best if not the best in the mission, so that is good to welcome a new sister. From the picture, the two sisters we received look philippino so I hope their first language was Tagalog because those missionaries are not only switching missions but languages as well. Lots of help and prayers are going to the Visaya's area right now that was hit the hardest. I also finally got to wear one of those yellow helping hands shirts! There is a lot of help being sent to the areas hit the hardest. 

I forgot to write down what I wanted to say this week... and I’m not sure what to share. Mostly it's just been crazy with sister calla getting ready to go home early, and we had stake conference as well as Zone Meeting. There is another American sister in our zone and it is just nice to talk in English with people sometimes... I mean real English not the adapted English so that the philippinos understand us. But it was good. 

Jane and Mikee have accepted to live the word of wisdom even though they know that it will be hard to give up drinking coffee and they are praying for help! It just warms my soul to think about them. They are changing their lives, reading the Book of Mormon, and I feel that they have received the witness of its truth that all are promised as they pray with real intent. 

We have had many opportunities for small service this week. Which has been nice. 
And we are in grave need of more investigators! But I love the work and I am enjoying myself. Tagalog is still really hard at times, and I think my companions tagalog is already better than mine! It is crazy! 

Well I hope all is well in the promised land, and my family should be looking forward to probably the best letter I have ever written or ever will write.... sorry this is short this week. But I love you and hope that you are praying for missionary experiences in your own city. 


Sister Hellewell 

Dad wrote: "You probably like being the tallest of the group in your picture."
Stephanie wrote: "Well actually I keep forgetting that I am tall here in the Philippines... and I hit my head on stuff... like things on the street, or the wall coming down the stairs... I actually did that one yesterday when I was running down the stairs and forgot I have to duck a little... it's quite weird to be tall. It’s a new world."

Then she sent this picture and said:  "Sometimes I’m not the tallest!"

Monday, November 11, 2013


HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANAY!!!!  (that means mom in Tagalog!) 

Hello World! It feels good that so many people have been worried about my well being, from my best friends Grandmother, to my own! My entire mission is fine as far as I know. The storm was more south and church members have told us of the destruction. Please pray for the 80 Missionaries and the Mission President of the Tacloban Mission who have still not been accounted for. I am grateful to be safe and sound here on the main island. Some of the Mindoro Island Missionaries in my mission have been hanging out here because no boats were going out after our Thursday transfer day because of the Typhoon. I'm not sure what level four means, but I guess it is pretty bad, and called a super typhoon, I did not get the worst of it I am sure. 

We texted Thursday night (transfer day) to return home immediately around 6:00 for safety. IT had just started raining so we went immediately back to our apartment; luckily we were not too far away. It rained hard that night, but not much more than any other Typhoon we have had. On Friday we were not allowed to leave the apartment at all, which was really hard because it wasn't raining hard for most of the day and we had appointments. Williams and I decided to have a little Missionary fun.... what better than some AMERICAN MICROWAVE POPCORN!?! Yes, I bought it for occasions such as these, in my excitement I get to live in one of two apartments in the mission with a microwave :) So popcorn and the Restoration movie!?! and some Champy (chocolate chewy candy) I sent a picture:) We really enjoyed our day and we also got talking about some pretty deep doctrine, and we both loved it! We were just praying we would get to go out Saturday because we had a baptism! I'm sorry that my typhoon story really isn't too exciting! The worst of it came at night so we just got woken up all Friday night because of the sound. It was pretty strong here in Batangas, but not really strong enough to do tons of damage to houses like mine here! 

Sorry I am running out of time today and we are trying to print a talk from conference that we need to read for mission tour, and well technical difficulties is a good word for my situation. :)

In addition to surviving the super typhoon I also survived transfers! By that I mean I get to stay in Batangas another transfer and I am really excited about it! I've never had a companion before for two transfers in a row! And I will also hit my six month mark here in another two weeks so that will be exciting as well! I Batnagas. Mostly because the ward is amazing and likes to work with us and just grabs onto progressing investigators and won't let them escape! Jokelang, but really they are involved and know our investigators by name.... not that we have that many now because they all just got baptized.... :) 

Von was baptized Saturday night! And it was just awesome! The Lozano family is now complete! (All over the age of 8 are baptized and they can progress towards being sealed for time AND all eternity in the Manila Temple!) He is ten years old and pretty much amazing. He bore his testimony in English! after his baptism, and the spirit was strong. I hope his dad felt it! I was also very impressed with his English talaga! 

Also Sister Baird wrote me today and told me that Jay still prays for me in her prayers in our lessons... that made me a pretty happy missionary! 
Ano pa... Ano pa.... I feel like I have so much I want to say and with a time constraint I do not know what to share..... 

We have a new friend here in Batangas... a few actually. May and Jeremy and their some sort of relative Jane we have started to teach this week. I absolutely love May! We ran into her again Tuesday and asked to teach her and she said come back in an hour when Jane will be there too... well she had already read the introduction to the book of Mormon. But she had to read it again before seeing us cause she forgot what she learned! She's amazing! (I can't remember if I talked about them in my email last week but she's the one that asked for a book of mormon to read before we even started the lesson!) We had a member present yesterday when we went back to teach her husband the plan of salvation too, it was just wonderful and may is just so excited for her baptism in December. They have a lot of questions about kids at church and what we do at church so we are hoping to see them there in two weeks! (next week is church in lipa for stake conf.) 

Well I am out of minutes, but I love you all! Thank you for my prayers for safety! Please continue them for the missionaries and people whose lives have truly been altered because of this experience. 
I love you all! 

Somebody give mom some chocolate covered cherries for me :)

Love, Sister Stephanie Hellewell

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ryanne Baptizes Marinel!----Duckpin

This last week was a good one. We feel like we worked hardest this week and we didn't feel that the numbers reflected that, but that's the life of a missionary I guess! We had 3 days with a 6:00 curfew this last week. One for election day, one for Halloween, and one for all-saints day. I am very grateful for the all-saints day curfew because NOBODY wanted to listen to ANY of the missionaries in Batangas. 

Tuesday was a good day. We got in 6 lessons and 3 new investigators, one of which asked us if she could have the Book of Mormon, before we even said the prayer to start the lesson, to read before she goes to bed! It was awesome! We got a few promising OYM's much closer to our apartment and a chicken flew over my head and hit me during a lesson. And sister L said she would miss us if we were transferred and was concerned about it! Which made us feel good. Apparently two pull-outs in a row (all new missionaries) have not been easy on the world over here. M has also came to the conclusion for herself that she needs to repent and return to church activity for herself and be an example and have hope for her kids to follow! I haven’t seen any action yet... but she is progressing. She said she wanted a picture of Christ to put up in her humble home so me and Sister Williams brought one to her later in the week. We gave her a reading assignment in the Book of Mormon as well. The next night we had a little extra time before we needed to go home and since she lives in our neighborhood we stopped by and gave her a requested Liahona magazine in Tagalog. And we caught her reading the BOM!!!! IT was a good moment. 

So Williams and I have a friend who we try to teach but she just would not focus in the first lesson bless her heart. Well I think she has this sixth sense that the missionaries are in Balete or something, it's a little weird. Anyways we ran into her once again and asked to go share with her. She said she had a pupuntahan (place to go) but we got her to let us come in for a ten minute lesson! I honestly think she just likes having American friends; a lot of people are like that here. I've never had my nose complemented so much in my entire life! Anyways she lets us in and suddenly decides that we need to go to her neighbors house (who are family of some sort, apo I think but her daughter was there too) anyways their father died four years ago to the day so she wanted us to pray for them. But they kept telling me all these things to pray for in Tagalog and I didn't understand them all and I was really nervous. They need a good lesson on pray so that they can know that they can just pray to their father in heaven, their prayer means just as much as mine! But I guess my prayer was alright the second time I started it, I'm not really sure what she interrupted me to say the first time I started to pray but I guess she was satisfied. Wow that was interesting. We are hoping to start teaching her with more extended family in hopes that J will stay seated and just listen to what we want to teach her so that she can feel the spirit! 

On Wednesday we had a little dilemma of nobody being home and not knowing where to go. We had a 6:00 curfew already so we were just at a loss at who to go see. We could track more in hilltop and Meraclo site and hope that D got back from the cemetery before curfew or we could go closer to home in our subdivision and try a few people there. We normally do NOT go back closer to home with an hour or so left because we don't have very many things to do so close and we don't want to be left so close to home with so much time left. But we both had a feeling to just go back to st. peter. I questioned the inkling, but I decided to follow it, and then I found out Sister Williams had the same feeling so off we went! Luckily a potential we have been trying to contact for 6 weeks now was home! He was just leaving! And he is super awesome and also fluent in English and Italian and Tagalog and he's pretty much the best. We got to meet with him, and if we had waited any longer we would have missed him once again! So we were very glad that we followed the prompting we were given no matter how small it was, and even though we didn’t recognize it as a prompting right away. 

Halloween and saints day were rough. No one was home, no one wanted to talk to the missionaries and holidays are just hard!  It made we want to follow the multitudes of people going to the cemeteries and proselyte over there! 

Also Marinel is now the newest member of the church in Batangas 2! She was baptized and received the Holy Ghost this last weekend! And it was a very special moment for many reasons. Sister Marinel has actually been active in the church for about 5 months now, we could not find a record of the many missionaries who have apparently taught her so all we had to do was re-teach the information she already knew! But she did have deeper doctrinal questions than we are used to investigators asking. Anyways, she was baptized by Ryanne who has only had the priesthood for two weeks now and been a member for three! It was a very very special moment for both of them and everyone present. The spirit was so strong! And it just grew when sister Marinel shared her testimony. She is awesome. 

Her family lived a few hour drive and a plane ride away, I’m not sure where. But they are also listening to the missionaries. Their problem is that the church building is a 56 peso van ride away so it is very hard for them to attend church. They said that the elders whom are teaching them have been praying for them to find the means to get to church. And suddenly they are starting to catch more fish than they ever have before! The lord sure likes to make miracles happen with fish. :) 

The 8 missionaries in Batangas went bowling this morning for a good little p-day activity. We did some duckpin bowling. Which means the pins are smaller, and the ball, you can just hold in your hand... no holes or any of that sort of thing. I sent some pictures! IT was quite fun and satisfying! The elder's found it one day on their way to Atienza where about half of the 1st ward lives I feel like! (ok that is a complete exaggeration) I'm not good at any sort of bowling I have discovered! 

 In the picture is E. Kaifoto and Bodkin and Pacunla (his comp sprained both his ankles yesterday simultaneously so they went on exchanges with priesthood in their ward so that some work could get done) there is also Me, Williams Moimoi and calla! We had a lot of fun! 

 I am looking forward to another week of hard work! It is transfer week again so I am just hoping that neither me nor Williams will be transferred. I am not training new so I don't think we need to worry about it this time! I do NOT want to be transferred again! I am in the best area of the mission (lots of other missionaries have told me so) It's definitely not the prettiest area because it is all city but the ward is the best and that makes the area the best! We actually had eight extra missionaries in batangas last Sunday for them to have their last Sunday here in their favorite area! It was a lot of fun to get to see more missionaries than usual. 

Well I hope all is well in America and that you are enjoying not sweating to a seemingly death every day. Ok, that might me an exaggeration as well... especially since it is the "coolest time of the year" I don't think the word "cool" even exists here... or maybe it is just a myth. I do not know :) Well have a great week! 

Love, Sister Hellewell!  

Ice chunk I took out of the freezer this morning! 
This is what happens when we go 
2 weeks without defrosting it.