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.
I LOVE YOU! MAHAL KITA!
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.