Friday, October 4, 2013

Sorry It's Been a While...More Updates Coming!

Thank you for your hand delivered notes and package! I am soooooo sooo grateful for the hymn book especially! Well, first for the letters and awesome drawing dad, and then the hymn book! I also got the bible and the extra led fir my pencil marker and some fun treats! i ecpecially got a kick out of the poncho aunt karen, thank you! and you know what- i actuall ythink it will come in handy. 

So let me tell you about this week:

JP and Roann (the couple who is supposed to get married and baptized and married) did not come to church again. So their date will be pushed back again. Grabe. So sad!! As you can imagine we have been praying hard to know how to help them so this week we changed our focus from church and obedience to the Book of Mormon. I think that as they focus more on the Book of Mormon and on the basic doctrine of the church, their testimonies will grow until they have the faith it takes to leave their bukid and come to church. 

The progression of our other investigators have been slow as well, but they are progressing. Because of this though, we felt that we needed to find new investigators and thanks to God, we found 5 this week! This was exactly our goal, and God helped us reach it as we tried to work very hard.

Sister Hamor, ang anak ko,  is doing well. This week pushed her out of her comfort zone as we spent much time trying to OYM to teach, but slowly she is gaining confidence. I think that one of her greatest traits is that she wants to do what is right at all times and is willing to try. This will be a great blessing to her throughout her mission and life. She has a lot of questions always and I know God will bless her with knowledge and understanding as she continues to study and ask. 
Our biggest goal right now for our companionship is to understand the importance of the Holy Ghost. To always remember that we are not the converters. Our words do not have to be convincing. We dont need to be perfect teachers. That is the role of the spirit. I know that as we teach true doctrine and simple doctrine, the Holy Ghost will testify of the truthfulness of our words. And through the feelings of the holy ghost, they will know how to come unto Christ. They will do anything they can to follow His gospel.

Family, God answers prayers. It sometimes takes a while to see that our prayer was answered (or is being answered) but I know that God answers each of our prayers. He is our Father. And He is perfect. I am beginning to understand my relationship with God more as I focus my lives on others- as backwards as that might seem. 

 I know that this church is true with our a doubt. It is such a blessing to be able to testify of that EVERYDAY! Gods plan for us- for the people here in baler, for sister Hamor and i, for our family now and my future family, and for each of us on this earth is literally awe-some.
I know that this gospel, that Christ, is the root for all true happiness. And family, I am pretty happy right now :)

Heather, I am praying for you and your baby! and daniels baby too i guess. haha. 

Sister Evans

Friday, July 26, 2013

Oie Pamilya Ko

First, THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you so much for all of the beautiful cards and letters and the package full of such wonderful and delicious stuff! I am soooooo excited to eat mac and cheese you have no idea. Also those packets for white sauce and TACOS!!!!! Oh my man. That alone would have been enough to celebrate my birthday! And guess what! I was so excited about the seasoning that I told the sister mccord about it (the senior missionary) and she got me beef and taco shells and some sort of lettuce type thing when they were down in the city!! (I don’t know who told you that we can get anything here because that is definitely so not at all true. Haha. Maybe its just this area, im not sure but … really… you cant get any of that stuff you sent here. SO THANK YOU!!! ) And the clothes are perfect. I especially love love the pants/shorts (oh yeah ;) )- I cant believe they are long enough!
Thank you really so much. The day was great- we started the day with sugar pancakes and ended with my first dinner appointment with Filipino spaghetti.  In between was all good stuff too J Thank you! Someone told me that this is the one year of my life that is completely dedicated to the Lord. Completely. In everything I do. I really liked that thought.  I am going to try my best to give Him all that I have (and more J) this year.
Okay quick break. I JUST MET A TEXAN!!!!! THIS IS REAL LIFE!!! And guess what!!! He lives in our area and he said we can teach him and his wife!!!! AND HE SPEAKS ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited! Haha! He just walked into the computer shop and an elder said “hey, it’s a joe!” (joe=anyone who is white) and immediately I was like YEAAAAAHHHHH!! It was the best thing! Ill be sure to let you know how our next meeting with him goes! Pray for him!
Alright, im back J The point of the first half is THANK YOU!! And if you ever send a letter ,send a packet of chesses from mac and cheese box, Mexican seasonings, pasta sauce, or really just any packet of goodness with it. Mom- that was the best idea ever. Thank you!
Also one other thing I cant forget- Heather or mom- or anyone- will you send me my simple pedigree chart? Just via email. I can print of here I think. Mom, I love all the pictures you are sending me of grandma and grandpa- its made me want my pedigree chart J
The work here has been going well. For some reason we are having a lot fewer lessons then the first month or so I was here. I don’t know why that is exactly. If its we are not working as hard or if its something else. I don’t know. Part of it actually is that each of our progressing investigators live on a different  end of our area so we are doing a lot of traveliung I guess. Hmm.. not really sure. We have some good goals for this week though.
Right now our investigators for august are Aiza, Liza, 3 different JPs, 2 Mercys, and 2 Jefferys. I don’t know how God orders the preparation of his children to hear and accept the gospel but it seems like here in baler He does it according to names. Its quite funny.
Liza is probably my favorite. She is 23 has 2 kids, and was really prepared to hear the gospel. Actually she is the one I told you about. How the spirit prompted us to go to her house- and when we introduced herself she said she had been waiting for us. She is progressing really well, she accepts everything we teach her AFTER she is able to ask all of her questions and ponder about our message for a little bit. Also, she is a very good example to me in the way she prays. Like it talks about in alma 37:36 “let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.” Everything she has done and felt in that day she tells God when she prays. And she does it with such optimism, hope and faith in God. For example she will say, Dear God, we live by the water, and we are grateful for that, but please bless us and protect us from the storms that will come. Dear God, I love my husband but sometimes he is very hardheaded. I pray to understand him. Dear God, even though life is hard and things happen that I don’t understand, thank you. Thank you for everything.
Really she lives in such humble circumstances. Her entire home smaller than laurels bedroom- with dirt floors, and one hammock for a chair. But I love the way she prays. She knows that her life is hard, that she is worse off than most of everyone around her. But yet she is so grateful for the things she does have and knows that her life is the way it is for a reason.  She knows that with God she can do anything.
I want to be just like her.
Continuing with this topic of prayer… I am trying to make my prayers more personal and to have formal prayers more often. (Formal just as in opening by addressing God and closing in the name of Jesus Christ) I have no doubt that I can do anything with God. No doubt at all. I know that when I need Him and His help, He is there. I think sometimes I just forget to ask specifically. I just go on as if he already knows what I need and that he will help me- because in all honesty he does know and he will help me if I am worthy. But I know as I take the time to kneel and to ask sincerely for help or comfort or whatever it may be, I know that my relationship with Him, with God, will grow. I will learn to rely on him more and I am guessing too that the things he will bless me with will be greater and of more help to me and to those around me. So I am going to focus on that this month.
Okay so now that this letter is forever long and I still haven’t told you about any of our investigators I must be going. I haven’t started the progress report yet.. opps.
But guess what. A week from today is transfers. Lots of Rumors but president told me that if things go as planned sister and I will be here for another transfer together. Tell you why later J It also sounds like ill train after that here in baler (after I kill sister evangeslita in September/she leaves). WHICH….. means I would be here until the middle of december! I would love that! But will know more next week. Oh but I guess it will be 2 weeks for you guys. Sayang. Oh well.

Okay I sure love you guys- I hope that you are each doing well. I love love you. And love hearing from you J
Sorry i didnt get to respond to the rest of you, but thank you so much for all your biurthday wishes and emails. ill be better next week about rsponding :)


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Oie- i found out this is how you really spell "hoy"

Okay this letter has to be short because I am out of time but i got to hear from each one of you today. what a perfect birthday present. THANK YOU! 
Alriught that is about the extent of my letter beacuse im out of time. but mom- dont feel bad- still write me 1000 letters if you can. I print them out and treasure them throughout the week. 
I love you all so much. I am so grateful for my family.


The building with all the grass is an elementary school- i thought heather would want to see it. we had a csp there doing landscaping stuff.
The other pictures are from "the big tree." its supposed to be 600 years old. we went there this morning to climb but then no one was climbing beacuse they said it was wet since it had rained the night before. I said forget that- im climbing this thing. And then 3 others followed. Totally safe and totally fun! reminded of my childhood in georgia... tear tear. haha. It was really fun though. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bakit Sobra Maraming Biyaya Galing Sa Diyos!?

We went to pick up this family to take them to church but the couldn’t come because of they were trying to fix their house. It had rained really hard with tons of wind Saturday night (it does almost everynight now) and as you can prob ably imagine they got really wet and no sleep. So after schurch we took the elders quorm and helped them make their home a little more water proof. They should stay dry now. They were so grateful and a little confused to as why we were helping (they haven’t been to church yet so they didn’t know any of the people who were there helping) It was a really great experience though!

After basketball. I was pooped. And red. Haha. So fun though. And don’t worry, my team won. ;) oh 
wait.. haha, actually we didn’t keep score. Haha. Dang it.

This is the family that lives in the house we were fixing. The are investigators (and referrals!) and are planning on being baptized the beginning of august! (The husband isn’t in the picture)

 These are some of the kids of one of our LA who has come to church the pst 2 weeks! I looove these kids!

This is a bad picture but it captures a lot of what part of our area is and I rarely get time to take pictures of it so I wanted to send it to you anyways. That girl is one of our inverstigators analiza who we were led to by the spirit for sure. The first lesson she was so excited we were there. She said she has seen us around and wondered why we hadn’t come to her yet. She told us she had been waiting. It was an amazing thing because I had  just the tiniest feeling that we should go there a couple weeks ago.  The tiniest. We always planned on it but we got caught up on splits/exchanges/showing the new sisters their area. That experience taught me not only to act on those tiny feelings  but to act on them right away.

Hey Family,
This week was wonderful! So good in fact there was a time when I did a hitch kick and yelled with my hands in the air, "bakit sobra maraming biyaya galing sa diyos!?" Which is broken tagalog for "life is awesome." haha. 
Let me quickly tell you why. I kind od already did in one of the pictures. But here is a little more of the story.
We have been teaching Aiza who is a LA, about once a week for the past month or so. It was probably about 3 weeks ago when I had the smallest feeling that we should go and talk to her neighbors house. I dont know how to explain the feeling really- Im sure you recognized it and know it better than I do. What I do know is that it was the smallest of feelings- closer to a thought really. 
I told sister this and we decided to go back the next time we would teach Aiza. But as I am sure youve heard 100 times, things happened and weeks passed and we still hadnt visited her until finally we did this past week. When we started to introduce ourselves, she told us that she knew who we were and was wondering why we hadnt come to talk to her yet. It turns out she was taught by some elders close to 2-3 years ago but wasnt ready to progress at that time. However, when we taught her she was so receptive. She was smiling, shaking her head in agreement, asking good questions.. everything you would want an investigator to do. She really wants to follow God, and knows that as she does she will find peace and joy. She came to church yesterday and has a baptismal goal date for the end of july/begining of august!

Okay couple of other updates-
1. Mom asked about Sherly's husband. There is not much new imformation except that he lets sister and her family go to church now and he is nice to us whenever we see him. (I think its only been 2-3 times). But that alone is great news! As far as news for that family goes, we are going to try to teach her oldest son sherwin. He said he wants to talk to us- i think he is interested in what his mom and sister are doing- and obviously we would love to talk to him but he isnt ever at home. But we are still going to try.
2. We talked to Kathleen and she said she couldnt come because she was with her family having a picnic and none of them would drive her back for her baptism. She wants to be baptized this week but yesterday she didnt come to church. So Im no really sure what is happening there. We are going to find out though. She could use your prayers! 
3. I am almost done with my training! Technically I have been done for the past 3-4 weeks- i dont know but its about to be different because transfers are coming up. Okay, i guess we still have 3 weeks but time seems to go so fast. Anyways point is- im nervous! Alright im jumping ahead of the game, ill calm down and then react when something actually happens. haha. Good news is that sister mccord said president told her ill be a good anchor to keep here in baler- that would be awesome. I really do love it here. And i really want to be able to speak tagalog to all these wonderful people before i leave here. haha.
4.Random question-When is heather due? I cant believe i dont know that.
5. The two new sisters that are living with us are Sister tupua and sister kaufusi. one is from fuigi and the other from tonga. Its a pretty different experience living in a house with 4 girls from all different countries. Its great though. Rumor is well have a 5th one at transfers- that the new girls will become a threesome. Ill let you know.

I think that is all i have time for. Quick takda or assignment.
As you read the scriptures watch for the words "wisdom/wise." Especially the phrase "wise purpose." I think you will be surprised to see how often it is written. You will find however, that over and over the scriptures talk about God does things for a wise purpose- many times for a purpose that we as humans dont know. Lets all try this week to remember that God does everything for a "wise purpose." He knows what we need to learn and what experiences will teach us those things. Really what raps it up is that he knows our potential. Lets do everything we can to trust in His wisdom. 
If you read the scriptures looking for example of this- and pray about it- the spirit will explain what im trying to say :) haha. thats a cop out if ive ever seen one. sorry. But it is the truth :)
I love you guys. I always am praying for you.

Sister Lyssa

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's Dad's Birthday!

Wait. DAD- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! 53. woah, that means im getting old. but dont worry dad, it doesnt mean youre old. haha. 
This week we finally received our new sisters! This is something that sister and I have been looking forward to for, well- since I first got here really. I cant believe that it has been 6 weeks already! We have loved having them here but it has made for quite an interesting week! For some reason although I knew they were coming to work with us, I didn’t understand the meaning of that. Ie. That our area was splitting. However, once we realized that was actually happening, Sister and I went over everything and decided that we wanted to be in the area of BORCS. (yes, i made that up) That is where the majority of our work has been done and we felt that we were making progress there. We told God of our desire to do his will and of the decision that made, and asked for a confirmation of this decision. However, wala na. Opposite in fact. So, we changed our area to ZIPS (This one too) where we have done very little work in. And by little i mean little. I know that this is where God wants us and that gives me so much comfort and joy; however, we are about to be going into a new area where we need to do a lot of planting.Ie. we have one family (the buenconsejo family) who are investigators and that is it. (Okay thats aside from the 6 people we have being baptized this week. Astig de ba?) We know of maybe 4 LAs in that area and 2 RC. Ibig sabihin, we have basically nothing. Okay I am more optimistic than that sounds- it is going to be hard but we will work hard. These past 6 weeks I have learned that we have so much support from our branch and more importantly from God. He is in charge of the work and as we do our part, He will lead us to the people that He has prepared. It will be great. 
And yes! 6 Baptisms this week! Its so wonderful and we are sooooo excited!! Melanie and her husband and two kids, sherly, and a youth kathleen (13yr) that has been being taught by the missionaries for the past 2 years! Its absolutely ASTIG!! and guess what- president, his wife, and all the couple missionaries are attending! talk about pressure! haha :) They are up here for a "retreat"/to teach our district about the temple (they have a trip in september where many families are going to be sealed/youth will do baptism for the dead). We had a fireside planned where president was going to teach the district/our investigators about the temple but they are canceling it so they can all attend the baptism. Its nuts. but awesome. I really just want it to be saturday already!
Dad/lahat, you would be happy to know that my tagalog improved this week. Only a little im sure, but i had some dang good practice and learned alot. This transition period of dividing the area is actually really great so far. Sister Evangelista has to go on splits with the new sisters to show them their new area (BORCS) and introduce them to everyone that lives over there. That leaves me to lead our area as I am on splits with someone from the branch. It has already taught me a lot- i love it. First, that I really love the people in BORCS and will miss them greatly. I had no idea how attatched i was to them. (Especially our investigator Manny who cam to church yesterday for the first time!!)  And second, (which should probably be the first) how to be a better missionary. As I am trying to lead, I can see God qualifying me. Everything from my Tagalog to my jokes (which we all know can really use help). Haha. But honestly, I have really loved it. 
God is really blessing sister and I, and I know that he will continue to as we work hard. Its awesome. Okay, I think I have used that word enough today.
So pamilya. It looks like you guys are all busy and having fun! I love it! Whats the weather like in HB? Did you guys get to enjoy the sun while you were there? Mom, will you send me your speghetti sauce recipie? I know its not really a recipie and that it changes everytime but just estimates would be awesome. Its proabably a pipe dream but i want to make it sometime in the next 16 or whatever months! Oh and Jman. When I get home I will make the the best sweet and sour chicken every. homemade. Oh yeah. Sobra masarap. Hey dude- are you working? Hey everyone else- are any of the other cousins pregnant yet? Have grandma and grandpa livingston officially moved? How is grandmas health? Are grandma linda and Grandpa tom in utah? laurel, do you get to eat with them often? 
Sorry this letter so so scattered but hey- i hope you know i love you. I am always praying for you. I cant wait for you guys to come down here with your real cameras so we can get some real great photos. 
I love you talaga. 


Monday, June 17, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

This week was very interesting. once again i dont know where my time has gone but heres a quick review:
1.we had a trainers and trainees training in cabanatuan soo we got to travel over 10 hours for a 2 hour training. haha...
2. Mel came to church and brought her kids and husband!!! 
3. Sherly didnt come unfortunately. But she is still planning on it- she just had a conflict this week.
4. ahh im out of time but hereis this:
This week I was studying in 2 Nephi. Over and over God is inviting us to walk with him. I have read those scriptures many times and even sang "walk beside me" in the favorite primary song "I am a Child over God" hundreds of times. This week, I actually began to understand what it means. 
My whole life I have been trying to follow God. This has led me to have a wonderful life thus far- full of peace and happiness. However, God invites us to to more than just follow Him. We can actually walk with him. What an amazing thing- to walk with GOD! I have never felt so close to God as I do now and I think its because I am beginning to walk with Him as I do His work. I am beginning to walk with my Father as I help Him lead His children back home.
I know that this is a divine work and that God is at the head of it. What a remarkable thing to be a part of. There is much to be done here- we are anxiously waiting for the 2 new sisters to arrive! 
I love you guys sorry this is so short- keep sending me emails though- i print them out and read them :) i loooove you!
til next week,
sister alyssa evans

ps. i really do love you!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Setting Goals

I am so sorry this is a weird email this time. its just a story about some of investigators- haha.
The thing that I have learned this week is that God has His own plan for His children- and often it is different than ours. However his is better and through his plans miracles will happen!
 Let me see if I can illustrate this point. 
You can say we have been praying pretty hard for our investigators this week and it really looked like that we would be able to meet our goal for baptisms. However, yesterday we found out that 4 (4!) of our investigators who were preparing for baptisms this month were breaking the word of wisdom. 4- in one day! haha, I was pretty shocked. However, president, I think that we will still be able to meet our goal because although we will have to push back 4 baptisms, we had an investigator that we met on saturday come to church yesterday, bring her children, and pay her tithing. Let me tell you why this was a miracle. We have been teaching Shiela (13) and Sherley Bihasa (36) since I have arrived here. They both had BGDs for june 1 but towards the end of of the month Sherley stopped coming to church because her husband forbid her to. When we would talk to her about it she would express to us her desire to come to church and be baptized but how she didnt think it would be possible. Her daughter Shiela was baptized on June 1 and we still continued to teach her. On saturday we taught her and had the impression to promise her that if her desire was truly to be baptized that God would soften her husbands heart and allow her to go. We did and she seemed a little unsure but accpeted a new BGD for July.  We left but went back later that day (which was Gods doing as well). There we met her and her friend Mel. As we taught Mel about the restoration, Sherly bore her testimony about her knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel and how she knows that God helps His children. In that lesson when we asked Mel if she would be baptized she answered, "Oo naman, kailan?" (God has prepared her to accept the gospel for sure!) In that lesson, Sherly also desired to be baptized Jun 29 instead of the middle of July. 
The next day, after Sherly and her family had gotten ready for church and she  asked her husband for fare a ride to church- he just gave it to her. He didnt say anything! A direct answer to our prayers. As mentioned earlier, She and her friend Mel came to church with their children. They were there an hour early and as Mel saw Shiela (the 13yr old RC) pay her tithing she wanted to do the same. So she paid her tithing and we haven even told her about tithing yet. So in one weekend we pushed back 4 BGDs and recieved 3 new ones. 
The point of this story is:
1. God answers prayers and performs miracles
2. We can accomplish our goals but it is only through God that we can. Without him we would not of made that promise to Sherly and we would not have met Mel and her family. God knows which of his children are prepared to hear and accept His gospel and He will lead us to them as we set goals, and are worthy to achieve them through our faith, diligence in work, and prayer.
I hope that you can understand the message I am trying to share with you. The point is president that I am so grateful to be here. This is a divine work and I get to be a part of it. I get to work with God everyday. 
I hope that you are doing well. I love you guys. SO so so much. I hope that you are all enjoying summer!!! Except for laurel i guess. haha. sorry laurel but school is awesome too.
Love you, talk to you mas next week!