Monday, April 27, 2015

One woman's decision...

SO Exciting...two weekly updates arrived today from Sister Jenkins. 

I received a call from Sister Monahan (Mission President's wife) this morning to give us an update on Kylee's health.  She is doing much better, off the medications and is happy & working hard.  Kylee is learning to politely decline some food being offered to her...she is adjusting her diet to less meat, more fish, vegetables & fruits.  Get this...her favorite dish right now is broccoli in oyster sauce!  She says, "the pamilya would be shocked...I am a changed woman" and, she is right!  Love this!!!  Sister Monahan also shared that Kylee's companion, Sister Navarro, is on her final six weeks as a missionary...Sister Navarro told President Monahan this morning that having Kylee as her final companion was a "match made in heaven"...I know Kylee feels the same way!  They love each other and will forever be eternal companions! 

Update #1...
Wow!  This week went by SO fast!  We had an AMAZING ward FHE (family home evening), it was so fun.  I love all of the Manat Ward!  I experienced my first transfer awareness and we said goodbye & hello to some wonderful missionaries.  I have been trying to learn how to cook because those that know me know cooking is one of my least favorite things! haha but I am starting to really enjoy it!  From banana pancakes to rice pudding and chicken cabbage stir fry, I am trying to get more familiar with the kitchen...haha!  We said goodbye to one of our favorite couples as they headed back home to Austria.  We are so grateful for their kindness and love!  Saturday we went out with a super great lady in our ward.  She is so kind and willing to give of her time to go out and serve!  Sunday we had a great time at church.  It was great to remember the atonement and how it is for each of us and everyone of us.  Matthew 26:42 "...thy will be done."  Even through all of His suffering, He was willing to submit to the Father's will...even when there was such a high price to pay.  He paid it for all of us so that we could one day return to the Father's presence. 

I am so grateful for this gospel and for the calling we as missionaries have to serve and be an instrument in His hand! 

Update #2...
This week was AMAZING!  Wednesday we attended Sister Navas and Sister Fusmaono's investigator's baptism.  It was such a special time.  Her husband is less active, but ever since her meeting with the missionaries he has come back.  He talked at her baptism and his testimony was SO powerful.  One of our investigators attended so he could see what it was like.  After asking him what he thought, he said "When she came up out of the water, I thought my heart was going to burst.  I want that."  He now has a baptismal date set for a day in May.  It amazes me how one woman's decision to follow the example of Jesus Christ and the promptings that were given to her by the Holy Ghost can have a lasting impact on SO many people!  I think that is true for so many things we do in life, good or bad.  It is not just about us!  There is a quote hanging up in our room that by its worn out appearance, I am guessing it has been there for many missionary transfers...

"The decision to serve a mission will shape the spiritual destiny of the missionary, his or her spouse, their posterity for generations to come." - Elder Russell Nelson

I hope my decision to serve will have a lasting effect on my friends, my family and the people here in Urdaneta. 

Sister Jenkins

Sister Kylee Olivia Jenkins at a WWII war museum.

Birthday party for a recent convert!

At the capital

My kasama and me in our new ZONE t-shirts! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

She is amazing...

Words from Kylee's mom....we received a letter from Sister Monahan (Kylee's Mission President's wife) today to keep us updated on some health challenges Kylee is working through.  The missionary doctor has been very thorough in their testing and we are delighted with the care Kylee is receiving.  Sister Monahan shared that "Sister Jenkins is a high achiever.  She is trying hard to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture and foods.  Many foreign missionaries arrive in the Philippines and don't do as well as she has done."  We trust Sister Jenkins is in great care and as her body adjusts to the new culture, new foods and life as a missionary she will be well.  Sister Monahan's parting words, "Above all, don't worry.  We are taking good care of her!"  What comfort those words bring to a Mom....

No weekly update from Sister Jenkins, but in her email home she shared the following: 
My week was GRAND!  Nani Wang made me a dress out of a sheet (see final product)...I love it.  Sister Fuimaono is leaving tomorrow which is sad paro ok lang.  We are having a big going away party for her tonight so I am pretty stoked for some good Filipino food!  Please thank Stephanie Collett and Uncle Tom for their letters.  Your package hasn't arrived yet, but I trust I will see it when I need it most!

"I know I will be OK.  The medicine has helped a ton.  I don't feel so sleep deprived and exhausted which is good.  Sister Monahan and my wonderful companion have been helping me through it!  I love my companion so much.  She has been so loving with my health challenges, she is amazing!" 
I asked Sister Jenkins how she does her laundry each week....
"I could pay to have someone do my laundry by hand, but that is just being lazy.  So I do it by hand myself!
I asked her if they have a kitchen in their apartment and how they fix meals....
"We have a camp stove and microwave but I am learning lots of ways to cook and getting creative.  The pickiness is so gone!!!  I love lumpia's these deep friend tempura styled taquitos looking things that have meat and veggies in it.  It's so yummy!
"Lots of bugs...I can get over the cockroaches, lizards and geckos but NOT the spiders and ants. 
When do you feel closest to the Lord?
"I feel closest to Him when I am working hard and being diligent. 
When I truly feel like I have made a difference in someone else's life other than my own."
"Tagalog is coming. 
I am trying to work really hard at it and my companion is great. 
I am helping her with her "American boldness"...haha

Nani Wang and the beautiful dress she made for me from a sheet.  Love her!

Me at the Capital Building in our new zone, Lingayen.

Me and my kabahis roommates

Me and my kasama exchanges with Sister Lapura.

Monday, April 13, 2015

This is the closest to living I will ever be....

This week I have been amazed at the love our Heavenly Father has for all of his children and how mindful He is of their trials, their pains and afflictions.  His hand is in ALL things!

I had my first set of exchanges here in Manat and I absolutely LOVED it!  I was with Sister Combate from Hundred Islands my first day.  She is so kind and loving!  I learned A LOT from her!  It was good to realize that I really do KNOW our investigators and I don't need to rely on my Kasama to translate.  I understand just fine! :)  Sister Navarro has taught me well.  haha  I can find my way around our area which is something she has helped me a lot with ;) 

Friday, I was with Sister Tan!  I learned a ton from her as well!  We went to an investigator's house and he taught us how to make halo halo (it's like Hawaiian ice).  We helped him shave the ice, it was great.  He is great and is always asking good questions when we teach and I love it!  We LOVE answering questions!

Saturday was General Conference and it was amazing!  The spirit was felt so strongly.  We went into General Conference with questions that we had prayerfully pondered and asked and I can honestly  say all of my questions were answered between all four sessions.  It was amazing!  I am so grateful for the inspired talks and for a living prophet!

Couple additional thoughts Sister Jenkins shared with us...
  • Food is amazing...I love Spanish bread, bangus fish and coco rice!  Food from good, I miss it!  I don't even like ham sauce, but the things I'd do for ham sauce are unreal right now ;) hahaha
  • My companion is amazing!  She is the perfect example to me of selfless service.  I can feel not only my behavior changing, but my nature as well.
  • Today, before we went to email on this p-day I received three letters and IT WAS SO SWEET!  Thank you and thank Aunt Jamie and Aunt Kim.  Sooooo sweet!
  • The great thing about our missions, is that it's NEVER about us.  In my favorite scripture, Matthew 10:39 "He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it"....It is always about Him as it should be!  I guess that is why this is the closest to living I will ever be!
  • My kabahi is tongan and we were sitting there writing letters and she was like "Sister Jenkins, I think my sister just had her baby!"  And, sure enough, five days later on p-day she found out her sister had her baby that day! 
  • I am in the Lingayen Zone and I love it!
Soooo sweet!  Received three letters from home...thank you, thanks Aunt Jamie and thanks Aunt Kim!

Shaving ice for halo Hawaiian ice!

During exchanges...I am a giant. hahaha

A borrowed photo from Brother & Sister Roberts' beautiful!

Monday, April 6, 2015

This week has been crazy!

From Kylee's Mom...
No weekly update was received, but in a short email Sister Jenkins sent the following photos and shared just an "ever-so-slight" glimpse into her week...BTW Kylee hated any kind of seafood before she left for the Philippines!

This week has been crazy! 
I love it here and it has been a great week.
A little scary with the Typhoon Maysak, but all is well!
We have super delicious, amazing Filipino food!
I tried jumbo shrimp and I LOVE IT!  Ahhhh so good.
Also, if you can ever import's a fish from the Philippines and super good.
We have a lot of new investigators. 
We met a man on the side of the road and invited him to church....and, he came last Sunday.
"It is not for you to know the times or the seasons,
which the Father hath put in his own power.
But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem,
and in all Judaea,
and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:7-8
From outside our is so beautiful & peaceful!

Lobster boats

A massive oyster one of our members was eating!!!