Love Always, Sister Welling

Love Always, Sister Welling
"I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, & set you & your families free. That is my missionary promise to you & your missionary message to the world" — Jeffrey R. Holland

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Aren't they the cutest:)

Hello to my dear family,

Another full, wonderful, eventful, spiritual, difficult, rewarding, exhausting, hilarious week in the Philippines. There are times I just sit back and ask myself, how did I get here? Who would have ever thought that at the age of nineteen I would be living in a third world country, sitting on the  floor of homes, teaching and testifying about our Savior.

Well you have a heartbroken daughter... We had to say goodbye to our investigator Liew this week.  My heart is absolutely broken that our lessons with Liew have to come to an end.  I know Liew will be baptized in Singapore, and I wish I could see him in white.  In saying goodbye I just wanted to continue telling this sweet family how much I loved them.  It’s funny how as a missionary- working in the name of our Savior you feel His love through you- it comes so fast and It’s such a genuine real love.  There's nothing like it.  Seeing the divine potential of individuals and families.  Desiring their salvation.  I just love the Win Hong family. 
Our last lesson together was powerful.  We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The spirit surrounded the room.  I wanted to leave Liew with what I really really believed.  I wanted him to know and understand and feel my testimony in our last meeting.  I wanted him to remember that from me.  Throughout the lesson he continued to express what he has learned for himself to be true, since we began teaching.  He's all the way through 2 Nephi and he knows that the Book of Mormon is true, he repeated those words over and over.  He said that our church answers the questions that his other church could not- where did we come from.  He said that other churches just say to do good- be good.  But our church has commandments and structure.  It actually shows HOW to do good.  What we need to do in this life.  He said whenever he says angry words to his wife he immediately starts praying for forgiveness and that he has felt himself become more loving and patient.  When he was upset at night he used to go outside and "smoke and smoke and smoke" but now he reads the Book of Mormon.  In teaching Liew I felt the spirit literally work through me.  Brother Liew helped teach me of the person I want to become  He taught me through his example.  He helped strengthen my testimony of prayer, of the Atonement, of the Plan of Salvation, of the truthfulness and power of this gospel.  I can't wait to see him again whether it be in this life or the next.  I will forever pray for the Win Hong family.

Zone conference was the spiritual fill that I needed.  I know that my mission President has been called of God.  He is such a kind, thoughtful, intelligent man.  Every time he speaks, I ask myself how did he know that I needed to hear that?  I'm so blessed to be able to learn from them.
However, the highlight for me during Zone Conference were the testimonies of the four new couple missionaries.  I just pictured my sweet grandparents standing there at the pulpit.  I thought of my grandma and grandpa Welling, and my grandma and grandpa Brown. 
The couple missionaries just stood and cried, I was so touched by their spirits, and their genuine love for us.
Oh they're so good.  It made me long for my sweet grandparents, but I truly felt their love and support surround me.

 Then when the musical number was “Consider the Lilies”… sung at both my grandparents  funerals.. you best believe I just cried and cried. 
I feel them so close to me while I'm serving.. I wish I could explain.  I feel all three of them bearing me up and strengthening me, I know they're so close- I feel them so close.

Sister Sabiano bore her testimony at the closing of the meeting.  Sister Sabiano shared her story with all of the missionaries.  It is one that I've heard more than once but it hit me stronger than before and I wanted to tell you a little bit about my incredible companion.
Sister Sabiano....My Nanay
The night before Sister Sabiano left on her mission her parents told her that if she left she couldn't come back.  She spent months preparing for her mission and every time she would come home from working with the missionaries her father would slap her.  The morning that Sister Sabiano left for her mission not a single member of her family was home.  She hasn't received a single letter since she has been serving in her eighteen months. 
On her mission she has completely given herself over to the Lord.  Every week she emails her family about her spiritual experiences and the blessings she has received from serving, even if she knows they won't respond. 
When Yolanda happened she was finally able to talk to her parents and her mother said that she knows that her families life was spared because of Sister Sabiano's service.
Their  hearts are being softened and she will return home.. She knows that the Lord has worked this miracle because of her faithful service.  I know she is right.

I wish I had time to write all the details.  To write all the details of what my companion has taught me.  But all I can say is that I've been blessed beyond measure. 

A few things from the week-

After an appt. we were walking and I started asking Sister Sabiano about the different trees and plants.  Every single one was some kind of fruit.. and they were all fruits I had never heard of! Seriously I loved it. Seriously I love the Philippines

Brother Liew said when they're in Malaysia for a few weeks visiting his family that they're going to find the church.. and meet with the missionaries in secret. ha he cracks me up.  I don't doubt that he'll do just that

Sister Sabiano and I have a rule that we will not go home unhappy.  So if we've had a disappointing day or evening we do something that will make us happy before we return home.. it usually includes finding corn and buying it :)

President visited our appt.  he reminded me of a loving father.. checking every single lock telling us of everything we needed to do to check our safety

I think I'm going to need to meet with President.  I have more than one boyfriend.. All under the age of ten.. or over the age of sixty.

I got your package!!!! Oh my gosh it was perfect!  All of us sisters roasted the starbursts over the gas stoveJ) 

okay really there are a million things that have happened, but I don't have any time.. so until next week :)

To answer your question Mom, our investigators are still progressing, which is the most incredible thing to be a part of.  We have four investigators who will have their baptismal interview this Saturday and then three more next Saturday.  Which means we have finished all the lessons with them and this week we'll just focus on preparing them for the interview and checking their understanding and personal testimony of everything we've taught. Their baptisms are set for March 8 and March 15.
I'm famous because I know Sister Chandler Welling! This is a missionary from her mission!

Chan's Anak

Love Always,
Sister Welling

Monday, February 17, 2014

All I Can Do Is the Best I Can Do:)


It is Fiesta!  These little chicks are everywhere!  Pink, Purple and Yellow

 My sweet family,

I loved the pictures!  Holy Cow Madelyn looks gorgeous!  Sounds like the dance was fun!
I love you all and miss you so much.  Sounds like there is so much going on right now and I am
Praying for you all.

I'm not sure where to begin. 
I'm so happy.
I'm so happy being a missionary.

I have such a humble confidence in the Lord's power. I've been reminded this week that all I can do is the best I can do. And then when I do the best I can do, heaven comes to help with the things I can't. I know that the Lord will never ask us to do something we can't do. I'm learning that as a missionary, doing His work, I'm entitled to His help. To His power. and if I know anything, its that His power is real. I'm seeing His power literally change the lives of others right now. And most of all, its changing me. In the MTC we were instructed more than once that we need to be our own first convert. I have always considered myself converted. But I'm learning the importance of everyday conversion. I'm learning of this gospel and growing in this gospel in ways I didn't know possible.
I'm so happy being  a part of this work.  I'm so blessed to feel the Lords power and to see the Lords power in my life every day.

I wish I were better at expressing just what I feel, and what I'm experiencing- but there are no words for it.

I'm learning
I'm growing
and I'm changing so much

We have a family that we're teaching right now that is so dear to me.  Brother Ignacio is a less active member and his wife and children are not members.  When we visited them his wife began crying at the end of the lesson and said that that morning she had prayed for Heavenly Father to give her a sign in how to improve her and her family's life.  In the first meeting Sister Laarni, Jusleighn, and Juan Carlo agreed to be baptized. 
I know that the Lord is always preparing His children, He wants them all to find this gospel and return home with Him.

We were teaching brother Liew this week. I have never seen someone so willing to change.  Everything we teach he applies it to his life.  He has taught me so much.  But like I said, he is so willing and just wants to do what is right. 
This week we taught him the word of wisdom, and he opened the pamphlet to the first page to see the five main substances we have to refrain from he then let out a word that I can't repeat as a missionary.. shooooot.  I had to start laughing.  He's just trying so hard to do what is right and we keep throwing new things at him. 
This experience doesn't sound as funny as I'm writing it, but trust me if you were there, you would have laughed.

I went to introduce myself to a family this week- a big smile, hold out my hand, ako po si.. point down to my name tag so they could see the Sister Welling.. just to find out that there was only a clip, no name tag.  I literally felt like I was standing there naked. 
But no need to worry the name tag was found the next day in the rice field.  phewf

Elders from my MTC batch!  I love them!
We had a Trainer/Trainee conference this week and it was amazing!  

I get asked on just about a daily basis "do you want husband"
I'm considering saying yes, to see what will follow.

One of my top ten favorite experiences:: when you're walking past an investigators house to see them out front just reading the Book of Mormon.

It was fiesta this week.  fiesta makes it impossible to work, but all the streamers and banners and karoke and food and parades and shows and blocked off roads are fun.
During personal study I had about six men dressed up in leotards on our porch blowing fire and banging drums, they kept begging us to come outside.  But we stuck to our studying, because we're missionaries- ha

I've begun to point to things with my lips

I flush my toilet with a bucket

I'm  so grateful to be a missionary at this time.
We had stake conference this week and we got to hear from the leaders of our area, from President and Sister Revillio and from Elder Fajardo from the Quorum  of the Seventy.  Every talk seemed to be exactly what I needed.
It’s funny how I probably couldn't remember much of the details of what was said without looking at my notes, but I remember exactly what I felt. 
I love how the Spirit testifies and lets us know of spiritual truths through our thoughts and feelings.

I love this gospel.

Just laughing with my girl Sister Passey:)
and I love you all a whole lot

Love Always,
Sister Welling

Monday, February 10, 2014

There is no greater blessing than being a missionary!

 Hello my sweet family,

Wow what a week you had! Youth Conference sounds incredible.  I've realized just how blessed we are to have these kinds of activities.  Ones where we get to be edified, have our testimonies strengthened, and have so much fun at the same time.  This church is so good.  We're blessed to live somewhere where the church is so strong.

My favorite lesson of the week was with a referral we contacted.  We spent quite sometime trying to find where he lived, we were only given the general area.  And so after asking every person we saw if they knew an Alcris we were finally pointed in the right direction.  and to my delight it was straight through a rice field.  Sister Sabiano kept laughing at me because I wouldn't stop talking about how beautiful the rice fields were.. breathtaking.

Alcris lives with a lot of relatives, I was having a hard time following everyone's relations.. but we ended up teaching to four cousins.  They were all single adult age.  We began the lesson, giving a brief summary of our message, getting to know them, and their religious background, and setting their expectations.  We asked if they had any questions and they specifically asked me why I joined the church.  I explained that I was born into the church, but I shared with them my experience of gaining my own personal testimony. I told them exactly why I'm on a mission.  I told them how much the gospel means to me, how much it has blessed my life.  The spirit that was in the lesson that evening is one I'll never forget.  Our lesson turned into a big discussion and I felt that we were able to teach and testify to Alcris's needs, to Katherine's needs, to Victor's needs, and to Christian's needs specifically.  We have the most unique, special, life changing message.  We know the full truth, and there is nothing sweeter than sharing it with others. 

Last night we were heading to a lesson when we ran into three members in our ward.  They're all in the relief society and they had just finished visiting less actives.  They were so excited to see us and to turn back around and show us where the less actives lived and introduce us to them and so we could set return appointments.
As we walked and talked and laughed with these sweet women I felt like I was walking with my mom, Heidi Allsop, and Julie Winters :) I smiled the entire time.

I was talking to Sister Morrell earlier this week, expressing my frustration with the language- and how bad I am at it... when she reminded me that I've only been here a few weeks.  And so we talked about all that I've learned and all that I know for only being here  few weeks, she does a good job at making me feel better.

I felt good about my talk yesterday, its funny how talks don't really phase you as a missionary.  -- because that's what you do everyday.  Its such a tender mercy.. I wasn't even nervous :) I really enjoy speaking to be honest.

It is getting so hot, when we come home from lunch we just lie on the kitchen floor in front of the fan.  There is never any relief from the heat.  We just stick our faces in the freezer.  So strange to think that there is snow at home :)

Men walk around with their shirts up all day.  It makes me giggle, their shirts are all folded up and resting on their rice bellies.

Well family, I hope you feel of my love everyday.  Thank you for the constant love and support you show me.

There is no greater blessing than being a missionary. 
I know with all my heart that we have the full truth.  That the gospel has been restored through our beloved prophet Joseph Smith.  I know that He truly saw the Father and His Son.
I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is our Savior, our loving Redeemer.  And only through Him can we be forgiven, find mercy, and experience true peace and happiness.
He atoned for all of our sins and all of our heartbreak.  His grace is sufficient.  No matter who we are, or what we've done.  He has made it possible to return home to our Father in heaven.  Where we can live in eternal happiness.  All we have to do is act upon this gospel.  To show our faith everyday.  We get to change and be better everyday.  As we act.  It isn't a one time, I'm baptized, kind of thing.. its an everyday conversion.  It is changing and applying the Atonement in our lives everyday.  It is getting to know our Savior better everyday. 
I love this gospel and the person it is helping me become.  Without it I truly am nothing.

The gospel is true and I love you!

Love you Always,
Sister Welling

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I've had a few "Followers" this week!

Just another day in the jungle....

 Hello to the family of a state champ! wow, how does it feel?
Madds congrats! I prayed for you all day long, so glad all those blood sweat and tears paid off. I'm so proud of you baby.
Family, we have some of the very best progressing investigators right now.  All of which have accepted the invitation to be baptized, and all of which are keeping their commitments (can I get three big cheers??)  There is absolutely no better work to be apart of than helping people find the truth for the first time, find the gospel for the first time, find their Savior for the first time.
xxxx is nineteen years old.  I love teaching her because I feel like I relate so well.  She just moved here to work and to help take care of her sisters kids.  She misses her family a whole lot (something I just might understand) She is lonely and trying to adjust to a lot of change. 
We taught her about the Plan of Salvation this week.  I wish you could have seen the look on her face when she was hearing of God's plan for His children for the first time.  She just kept saying, this is new knowledge to me.. this just makes sense.  I always walk out of the lessons reminded how lucky I've been to always have the knowledge of this gospel.  xxxx is so prepared, she reads all the pamphlets, prays, attends church, reads the Book of Mormon, and asks questions.  Since we've started teaching her until now I have seen a literal change in her countenance.  She is finding the joy and the peace that comes only from this gospel.  Oh family, I wish I could put into words just how amazing it is to be apart of.
This investigator helps her with her Tagalog
Brother xxxxx is half Chinese half Malasiyan.  His parents were Buddhist and then he had adoptive parents who were Christian.  He married Roselle from the Philippines after they met in Singapore, Roselle is a member.
I have learned so much through teaching xxx.  When we asked him if he knew what prophets were he responded no.. and so we've studied so hard to be able to teach our message simply and clearly- explaining the things we usually don't have to. (ps we get to teach him in English which is another bonus... :))
xxx has such a sincere desire to learn more.  He said his first prayer this week at the end of our lesson.  I cried as I listened to the most sincere, beautiful, prayer I've ever heard. 
A woman began crying during our lesson as we taught for the first time and she said that our message is exactly what she has been looking for, and waiting for.  

I love that I get to play a role in bringing others to Christ.  I love seening people FEEL this gospel.  My investigators teach me everyday.  They remind me just how life changing our message is.  They remind me what is truly means to be able to pray to our Father in Heaven.  They remind me that God truly does answer prayers.  I love feeling this gospel.  I love seeing this gospel in action.  I feel absolutely blessed to be apart of this work.  People finding the truth for the first time, people praying for the first time, people changing their lives for the first time.  People finding Christ for the first time.
Happenings of the week:
I've had a few "followers" this week. 
A little girl saw us walking on the street and started following me, she followed me into the grocery store, down every isle, through the check out line, and down a few more streets.. until I think she got tired- I kept trying to talk to her, but she preferred just following in silence :)
Last p-day two kids just sat behind my computer screen and read every single thing I wrote for my two hour span of time.
We've had to start going down different streets because there are a crowd of kids who love practicing their English on me, they're so so cute- but they make it difficult to get to our appointments on time.
A teenage boy actually followed us into three of our appointments this week- I think he wins for hanging on the longest :) three hours of work.  I was thinking by the second appointment we should have started giving him some assignments so he could add in to the lessons.
The xxxxx kids.. oh how I love them.  Dianne Makmak and Totoy will be baptized on March 1.  All of their friends have started to join in on the lessons.  We walk down a narrow maze of homes and one by one we hear "the sisters.. the sisters" as each kid pops their head out of their house, go back in grab their pamphlets and BOM and then follow behind us.  By the time we get to the xxxx home we have quite the group.
We went to pick up Dianne, Makmak, and Totoy for church and instead of our plan for three- we found nine others in their Sunday best.  I wish you could have seen them, so stinking cute!
The cute kids all ready for church!
There are always teenagers dancing outside of our appt. every evening when we get home.  Choreographed routines.. that are incredible.  I always think how much McKayla would love it.  It takes everything in me not to go outside and join them.  so much talent
The most incredible butterfly landed on me this week and just staid there for a good five minutes.  Bright yellow, purple, orange.. unreal. isn't it written somewhere that that's good luck?
The sweetest Nanay was talking to me, she was telling me a story about her brother, pointing to a group of people.  I had the idea that the group of people were gathered for some election.  And so I responded so excited for her, kept saying, how wonderful.. thinking her brother was running.  She finally looked at me with such concerned and said in English, heart attack.. come to find out her brother wasn't in an election, but he had just died.  I felt really sick and cruel that I was acting so excited about her brothers death. #notspeakingthelanguageprobs I had to apologize to the sweet Nanay.
The Sister Training Leaders worked with us this week.  They were so kind and I learned a lot going into each lesson without having Sister Sabiano there to rely on.  I love working with the sisters in the mission and getting to know them and learn from them.
I asked Jenna to send me a pic of her bed:)
Its getting hooooott again.. I think Heavenly Father knew how much I would miss swimming for eighteen months and so he sent me to the Philippines where I could feel like I was swimming everyday.
I love Sister Morrell.  Seriously love her. I'm so so lucky to have her. Who knew two girls from Bountiful Utah would live together in the Philippines..

I'm so excited for you to speak mom- and dad I'm so excited for youth conference.  sounds sooo good
I love you all! sorry this letter was a little all over the place.  But know I love you!!! xoxoxox
Love Always,
Sister Welling