Monday, December 30, 2013

Balot, the Hospital, and a Maligayang Pasko!!!!

there are two letters from stephanie today  We were out of town and I didn't get last weeks posted.

December 24, 2013

Well this has been a very eventful week. Luckily we did not have a transfer here in batangas and so Williams and I get to spend Christmas together along with Waldrom and Teaotai. We are very happy about that and so is our ward! This last week was eventful. We had Zone Meeting, Jimmy and Julie-Anne told us how they were led by the spirit to meet us, and Teaotai's 24th Birthday, the ward christmas party where we got to eat Balot for the whole ward... (they like having foreigners too much) and then Christmas Conference and a trip to St. Patrick's Hospital for yours truly all ending with nice Christmas email to you! 

Let's Start with the most recent-----HOSPITAL! 

So I've been having a pain in my chest the last two or three weeks just for about a minute or two at a time and only two or three times a week. Then this last Friday it starting getting more often and then saturday more painful, and by sunday I was just dying. But I got a blessing from elder Kaifoto and Pablico (which we have officially made Kaifoto Jealous of our microwave---only one in the mission baby!!!) But I decided to just try and stick it out. Monday we had Christmas Conference which I will talk more about later. By monday night I was just in tears over how much pain I was in so Waldrom called the Peterson's and they told us to go to the Hospital. Not really sure that we could get a Jeepney late at night we got our nice neighbor with a car to drive us there... you think driving in the philippines is scary? Try it with a philippino who thinks he is an ambulance..... he drives fast and crazy! But we got there and Sister Teaotai is just a gem. She HAD to bring my pillow for me, she is very sweet. I didn't actually need to use it though. We get to the hospital and they ask me all these questions, and then my american insurance company won't respond and I'm in enough pain I just agree to pay whatever without insurance (let's face it... the ECG was only about 10 bucks in american dollars... and the ER about 6) They hook me up like I’m frankenstein... we're talking metal clips on my ankles, and wrists. And then four on my chest... kinda wish williams wasn't over paying the bills so I would have a picture. but I'm all hooked up like they are gonna electrocute me or give me super human powers and get my ECG done to check out my heart. The nice doctor guy looks at it for a while, he was really good at english it was awesome. But he said that there is something wrong with my heart-the beats are sometimes off, but that would not cause my pain. they think it is something like costochondritis. It is only supposed to last two or three weeks daw (they say) but I hope I'm just at the tail end of it. Anyways they then do this skin test to see if I'm allergic to some pain meds they want to give me, seriously that skin test shot was the worst shot I have ever gotten it burned and was really long and horrible! But I was good so they gave me an IV and then some pain meds that just made life wonderful. So then we were on our way to get some nice zzz's after paying a fortune in pesos for some nice pain meds that actually aren’t so great! But anyways then we were out in the real world at like 11 at night. It was a little weird but the Christmas lights and stuff were so pretty in the Bayan! I love it! lights hanging on vines and it was great. Sister Teaotai was so confused at why people were out and about.... "Don't they ever go to sleep?" Apparently in Kiribati the whole island goes home to bed around 9:30 and wake up at 5. Weird huh? Then a trike driver tried to rip us off but me and waldrom talked him down in price... and we were on our way home. That was my adventure. It is really hard to be sick on christmas in a foreign land, but it doesn't feel like christmas because I'm in short sleeves and still sweating more than I ever have before in my life. 

Now I will tell you about our Wonderful ward christmas party! It was SO MUCH FUN! BEST CHRISTMAS PARTY I HAVE EVER BEEN TO!  Our ward is very talented, and they turned up the air-con so I won’t sweat which was awesome! We had quite a few investigators and less actives in attendance too! But we perform Angels we have heard on high with williams on the Violin... and then the ward says that they have a present/surprise for us... they have us turn around and then they are all super loud and talking about how we are all foreigners and stuff and other things being yelled in tagalog that none of us understood. They have us turn around and the ward is set up like stadium seating to see us... They've got primary all sitting in the front and then the youth and the adults and some standing on chairs... all in a grand semi-circle to see...... four sister missionaries eat BALOT! Let's be honest it was awesome. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this I’ve been avoiding it... it is a fetal chicken and you eat it warm with salt and vinegar... my first bite I got some of the bird and some of the other part. I just about died. To be honest it was only half as bad as I thought it would be the taste was ok if I didn't think about what I was eating, but then I got some bones and I knew what I was eating and I just about died. But I have survived and it was more entertaining to see the ward just on fire laughing and taking millions of video and pictures... they had the time of their life it was awesome! Family- I hope you are ready to come to the Philippines and eat some nice balot! 

It has been a hard week, but I have had the best of moments and the worst of moments. 
I am very grateful for the opportunity and blessing to be serving my God as a representative of Jesus Christ at this very special time of year. I have been studying the life of Christ- his attributes, and how to become like him this last month and I have learned so much about charity and humility. I love you all and I hope that you have a maligayang pasko! See you Next Christmas!!! 
Love from the philippines, 
Sister Hellewell

ps. sorry I am out of time and can't tell you how much I love my investigators and how wonderful they are. 

December 30, 2013

May Sakit Pa! = I am still sick.

I'm sorry I don't have really much to report about this last week.
Since Christmas I've pretty much just hung out in the apartment with
Teaotai, Waldrom, and Williams. I was going to just send you a nice
collection of pictures of me in the hospital or hanging out with
Teaotai who had an IV in for two days or maybe even some great ones of
all four of us sisters sick and hanging out. by hanging out I mean
laying on mattress's and laughing at the fact that all four of us have
gotten sick. We officially set the record in the mission! We are the
first apartment to have all four missionaries sick at once! Waldrom
picked up some stomach virus when she and Teaotai were at the hospital
and then shared it with Williams. I felt sick, but I got some good
medicine for it before it really hit. Pretty much, the Batangas
missionaries have done almost nothing this past week. IT IS KILLING
ME! I want to get out and work soooooooo badly! I miss our
investigators and members! Speaking of the member's here... they are
just angels from heaven. Doctora Acosta has taken good care of us. She
has given us lots of prescriptions, and taken sister Teaotai to the
hospital practically for free! All we have had to pay for is the
medicines. And she is a specialist in the area that Sister Teaotai is
actually sick in so it is perfect. Really though, she comes to our
house twice a day to give Teaotai med's in her IV or to help us with
anything and check-up she even went and got MacDo for us the other
night. And then her mother made us Chicken and Rice Porridge sunday
morning! It was VERY delicious. Then Bishop and his wife brought us 8
apples, 4 mangoes, a huge bunch of Bananas and GRAPES! I love grapes,
but they are so expensive because they have to be imported. It was
amazing. There are so many ward members that have helped us. Sister
Mondano drove the other sisters to the hospital, and just so many
people are being blessed i hope for their service to us.

I'm still not better, almost getting worse. I havn't really talked
that much about me being sick, but my chest really hurts, now my back
is aching and I am getting exhausted by doing small things. President
came to give me a blessing last night. I was not doing very good.
Luckily I started some new medicine that helps more than the last one,
but I'm still in pain. I didn't think that our situation was really
that bad, but I made sister Peterson and Elder Merriam tear up, and
president is really worried about us, and today elder Malit texted us
and said that we are amazing and thank you for the humbling experience.
I think they are pretty worried about us cause they brought me some
delicious gluten-free food today that I am just excited about.
President said that if I don't start feeling any better in the next
few days he will send me to Manila to recover and figure things out.
Part of me wants to just go to Manila so that I can really rest and
stop worrying about Teaotai or keeping Williams cooped up.

I had a very precious experience when president gave me a blessing. It
is very personal, and I don't really want to share it with the cyber
world. But When president gives blessings it is just like the door of
heaven is opened and the spirit witness's truth unrestrained. He
is just so insiteful. He talked some about the pre-mortal life and who
I was and about a great purpose that the Lord has prepared for me to
accomplish at this specific time. I have about 3 full pages in my
journal about all that was said, but I don't really want to share it
with everyone yet. But I am prompted to start studying more in the
scirptures on who I was in the pre-mortal life.

Also this last week I have had the wonderful opportunity to read the
conference issue of the Liahona from this last General Conference.
After studying the atonement, and character of christ, and how to
become like christ this last month I can clearly see one big theme in
every talk in Conference-- The Atonement. Every single talk just seems
to be talking about the atonement and what it does for us, and how it
can strengthen us to accomplish the lords work. I also love that most
the talks are about missionary work. My friends, now is the time to
get into missionary work and family history is the prophet telling you
that wasn't enough.... go back and read his words and listen now.

Here is a quote I loved from conference of someone quoting  Geroge Q Cannon:
"There is not one of us but what God's love has not been expended
upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed.
There is not one of us that He has not desired to save, and that He
has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not
given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and
contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth
remains that we are the children of God, and that He has actually
given His angels-invisible being of power and might- charge concerning
us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping."

Well Family and Friends, I hope you had a Maligayang Pasko and are
looking forward to a Manigong Bagong Taon!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Hellewell

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