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

Monday, March 31, 2014

"Everyday is Hilarious out here"





WEEK TWENTY-ONE
Jenna loves the children!  This is one of my favorite pictures:))









Hello to my dear sweet wonderful family,

I loved the pictures I received from your vacation and I hope you're all enjoying yourselves!

I have to tell you it is the strangest thing to hear about snow............ remind me what snow is?

As for me here in the Philippines it is summer now. It makes for beautiful days. The sky is so blue, like the blue in the kids painting set- that blue.. the weather is the perfect weather for being in the swimming pool. But don't worry if you can't make it to the swimming pool you will still get to feel like you're in the pool :) oh baby its hot hot hot. 

On Wednesday morning this week our appointment fell through and so we spent an hour talking to everyone we could.   I sat on a bridge with green tropical trees surrounding me and gave a Nanay a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation after learning about recent deaths in her family.  I told her of our Father in Heavens plan for her personally.  I told her that she would be able to see her husband and eldest son again.  
Elder Packer made a promise that as we talk to people and get to know them we can find a gospel truth that applies to their situation in life immediately in which we can testify about. Its been an amazing thing seeing this promise in action.  THIS GOSPEL IS SO GOOD

Everyday is hilarious out here.  My comp sometimes has a hard time understanding english and I sometimes have a hard time understanding tagalog. Oh fam.. I wish you knew how many things get lost in translation.. it gives us something to laugh about on a constant basis. 

We taught a lesson on the top of a mountain this week. Whenever we teach outside and I'm surrounded by nature- Gods breathtaking creations- I feel the spirit intensified.  So as I sat on a little tree stump and watched closely the Borja family to discern their needs.. I felt the spirit work through me and my companion.  It was our first lesson with them, they seemed soo excited about our message and attending church.  Brother asked over and over where and when church was- he even wrote it down..
turns out he didn't make it yesterday and so we'll pray next week :)

In PMG I was reading about Humility- which includes "gratitude for His divine help".  I feel His divine help bawat araw.  I have been striving to have a grateful heart at all times- even with the things that it is harder to be grateful for.   I'm grateful that the language is coming slower for me... its made me learn how to rely 110% on the Lord- on the Spirit.  Its made me realize I really can't do my work without His "divine help".    When I have His help, His spirit, if they don't understand each word they can feel of His spirit.  I'm learning to rely wholly on Him and how to work for the spirit.  I love the way the Lord goes about fulfilling His purposes.  He is teaching me so much through this struggle.  Its the coolest thing, and I wish I could more adequately explain all these realizations I've had.
But.. I'm just grateful for the Lords divine help in each aspect of my life. 
There is this song apparently "look up" so everyone in the Philippines do this for all their pics.. hahaha 


Mary Gold, sweet Mary Gold told us in our lesson this week that she wants to serve a mission! and so we will be helping her prepare and by this time next year hopefully she will be Sister Montejo :) I want nothing more for her.. I know that a mission will deepen and strengthen her testimony and conversion.  I look up to Gold so much.

Sister Are always says after lessons how crazy it is that I can always understand almost everything that the investigators say.  Its so cool..in the lesson settings I can always understand all Tagalog..

So, two nights ago I spent a good twenty minutes in the bathroom scrubbing, and I mean scrubbing my body with soap- and then as I was writing in my journal in bed I noticed that my feet were still dirty.  I have a feeling the dirt on my body might be permanent for the next eighteen months-- momma how do you feel about this? :)

Team. I really pray my body will hold out my entire mission.  I get home and I wonder how a body could be so tired.  It feels so good.  Every night I feel utterly exhausted and utterly content and happy.  

This morning sister Are said something to me in English, I couldn't understand her and so she repeated it- in Tagalog- and then I responded. weird.

We took Tatay Reynaldo to a baptism and so he could experience one before his own.  It turns out he took the whole "baptism will make you clean" rather literally..when the little girl got in the baptismal font he turned to me and asked where all the soap and shampoo was... oh Tatay.. ha

We were able to have interviews with President this week.  My mission President is one of the best men I know.  He is so easy to talk to and its so nice to have some kind of father figure out here.  He is just so sweet- so sweet.  I'm so grateful I get to learn from him.

Well my dear family this gospel is true.  I know this to be true with all of my heart.  I always anticipate bearing my testimony in lessons.  Its all I want to do.  Because this testimony continues to be strengthened each day and I just feel like I have to share it.  I'm so grateful for it.  This time we have is so precious.  This time to prepare ourselves for the eternities.  Through living the gospel we will reach our divine potential, something thats blessings last for forever, for all time.  Each decision matters.

I love you I love you.

Love Always, 
Sister Welling

"all these kids come SPRINTING at me when they see me (sometimes its a little frightening :)) but they love saying "up top tayo" which means high fives for everyone :) they're so cute.."

Monday, March 24, 2014

"I have been finding so much joy in the work"



 WEEK TWENTY

Hello to my beautiful family!

Grabe, another week down! There is nothing like sitting down at the computer and finding such encouraging, inspiring, and loving words from the people I care about most. I don't know how I got so blessed. Thank  you everyone for your support. I'm the luckiest Sister missionary there has ever been.

I've been finding so much joy in the work these past few days.  I've been focusing on gratitude.  Saying a prayer of thanks as often as I can remember, while listing off in my head a gratitude list.  Makes the day go so much better.  I encourage you all to try it.  It works, I promise :)

I'm beginning to see changes in myself.  Changes that I'm so grateful for.  I feel overwhelmed sometimes with how far I have to go, and how much I need to improve and change.  But I love the ways I've already started my process, and the changes I’m going through.

After a Zone Meeting on the Atonement I decided to dedicate at least fifteen minutes every day to studying the Atonement and the life of our Savior.  I've seen firsthand a fulfillment of my mission president's promise- the better we understand the Atonement the easier and happier the work will become.  The more I study the more I have a desire to teach.  I used to be so afraid to randomly start talking to people during the day and now it is something that I look forward to.  I want to talk to everyone.  I want everyone's lives to be changed, to improve from this gospel, from our message. (I sound like such a missionary ha) 

Don't just analyze the Atonement, internalize it.

At lunch yesterday we were discussing our funniest moments on the mission.  And we recalled an experience that happened two weeks ago.. Sister Verdeflor, Sister Morrell, and I were teaching the Ignacio family.  I was in the middle of speaking when Sister Morrell got up to move from the floor to the chair.  Right when she moved baby Cassie who was right next to her let our a loud toot.  Everyone looked at Sis Morrell thinking it was her- and even though I was in the middle of teaching I couldn't help it.. I lost it and began laughing so hard. yup, I'm real mature. 

So yesterday.. I was throwing up everything I ate.  My stomach, in so much stinking pain.  But there was so much work to be done!  And so I prayed that I could feel well enough to go out, and I was so blessed.  We were able to extend six baptismal dates.  
(This is from several weeks ago )

Tatay Reynaldo (the elderly man I was drinking soda with in the picture) came to church! I love that man as if he were my own grandfather.  During sacrament meeting he turned and said to me, I like this place I'm coming back next week.

The Cruz family, such  a golden family.  They're very intelligent, and have a strong family relationship.  They ask a lot of questions, they're seeking more knowledge.  I know our message has exactly what they're looking for.  I'm so excited about them.  Sister Jolly, Alvin, Jomarie, and Joshua all accepted to be baptized after we taught about the Plan of Salvation.  Alcris.. a former investigator that Sister Sabiano and I taught way back, came to church yesterday (for the record there is no better feeling than seeing your investigators walk in those beautiful church doors- its comparable to Christmas.. or taking state.. or your birthday, and this is not exaggeration. the feelings are real) after the meetings we taught him and his brother.  I see such a sincere desire in Alcris.  
I see all these people that the Lord has been preparing.  THEY'RE SO PREPARED.

We taught a less active that we haven't been to in some time.. and after the lesson she told me that my Tagalog has improved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I still can't speak at all) but at least she saw some improvement. Those words were the sweetest I have ever heard

When I saw Mary Gold at church yesterday she grabbed my hand and told me how much she missed me.  and I was feeling the exact same way.  Who would have ever though that a nineteen year old girl in the Philippines would become one of my dearest friends. These relationships I've been able to gain on my mission are so special to me.  I have been so blessed. 

Well I love the work. and I love this gospel. and I love all of you.
Love Always,
Sister Welling

Monday, March 17, 2014

All I could think of were my Sweet Grandmas



WEEK NINETEEN


I love these sweet kids!!!


Dear best friends:

My big brother is engaged?! I couldn't be happier for the happy couple.  I can't wait to finally get a big sister.  Congrats Drew and Katie!

Sometimes I wish I could just talk to my bros about missionary work- I can't wait for the day we can all sit down together and share our experiences.
Joshua you are a STUD MUFFIN!! How is he so big?! I loved the picture of him hitting his triple!! Its funny, one thing I really miss are sports.. Josh's games to be specific.  I miss cheering my little (not so little) man on.  Good Luck Miss Madelyn on your “Night to Remember” this week.  You and Mom will kill it in the danceJ

My new comp Sister Are and the Ignacio Family
I was a little nervous for the baptism of the Ignacio family, seeing that I didn't have Sister Sabiano there to help make sure everything ran smoothly.  It was all on me.  And so when we got there and the baptismal clothes had gone missing, or when the baptism was supposed to begin at 5:00 and the Ignacio family didn't walk in the doors until after 5:30, when one of the speakers didn't come.. Grabe, I was freaking out inside and trying to not show it.  Pero, not to worry, everything fell into place and when the meeting began I felt the calming effects of the spirit.  There's nothing quite like seeing people you love take such important steps in changing their lives and coming closer to the Savior. 
The Ignacio family....aren't they beautiful?!
When Sister Laarni got up to bear her testimony she stood right in front of me and looked at me the entire time. She was crying, I was crying.  She talked about never wanting to join the church before.  However, when she prayed to her Heavenly Father for a sign to help her family and us missionaries showed up on her doorstep that very day she knew it was an answer to her prayers.  Since that day she has been committed to her answered prayer.  She has completely commited herself to living the gospel and has set such a strong example for her family. I admire her strength and dedication. 
After the meeting Brother Julius Ignacio took me by the hands and thanked me for all that I've done for his family.  His sincere eyes made me cry (am I always crying? yes) I could only feel gratitude for my Heavenly Father for letting me be a part of this families conversion.

Yesterday, we taught a members Aunt.  She is 64 and has breast cancer.  She is currently going through chemo therapy.  The lesson was a little rough for me because as her soft hands held mine and her cute hat covered her bald head all I could think of were my sweet grandma's.  Her kindness and her faith was like nothing I had ever seen.  She told us that she knew with all of her heart that the Lord was aware of her.  She said that she knew God was giving her this trial and so she could draw nearer to him.  I was so touched by her words, her strength reminded me of my grandparents strength.   
So today in personal study I studied the nature of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
I studied the importance of trials and hardships. and I loved what I found.
I was reminded that God created all things both in heaven and in earth, and that we are created after His image.  He created us.  He knows us personally, He knows what we need and what is best for us.  Man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend MSH 4:9; ISA 55:9 - His ways are greater than our ways.  Therefore, he knows a whole lot more than we do.  As we have faith and trust in Him and His plan for us, we will get to know Him better.  We will feel of His strength, His peace, and His love.

"It is in our weakness and extremity that God's power is fully felt.  Only when, of ourselves, we are helpless is His help truly appreciated." Elder Neal A. Maxwell
We fully appreciate God's power and strength only when we are helpless..

"Out of the refiner's fire can come a glorious deliverance.  It can be a noble and lasting rebirth.  The price to become acquainted with God will have been paid.  There can come a sacred peace."
Our God who knows us personally,  He will give us trying experiences.  I know that through these experiences is how we truly get to know Him.  How we get to know our Father and His Son.

"As you and I walk the pathway Jesus walked, let us listen for the sound of sandaled feet.  Let us reach out for the Carpenter's hand.  Then we shall come to know Him.. He speaks to us the same words, Follow thou me.  and sets us to the task which He has to fulfill for our time.  He commands, and to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings that they shall pass through in His fellowship; and they shall learn by their own experience who He is."

I know that Nanay was completely right.  We are given trials and challenges so we can draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior.  I know this with all my heart. 

I love that I am a missionary at this time.  I know with all my heart that our Heavenly Father knows all things, and that He cares about the details of our life.  Each experience is for our learning, growing, and coming closer to Him.
It’s amazing to me that on each hard day, the days that it’s a bit of a battle to go out, those days are always the most rewarding. I find myself in lessons with people who need the gospel, who are searching for the foundation of our gospel.  I find myself learning from their faith and being taught completely by the spirit.  I feel the Lord teaching me at a higher level, especially while I'm struggling.  I know that His power and His love is real. 

The church is true and I love you all :) x874329847872638746. GIVE EVERYONE A BIG HUG FOR ME.
I'm praying for you!!!!!!! always.


Sis Welling

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

THE CONFERENCE WAS INCREDIBLE!!

WEEK EIGHTEEN
 


Dear Family,

Elder Echo Hawk spoke about an experience he had.  He was in a meeting in the temple, soon after he had been called into the First Quorum of the Seventy with the leaders of the church.  He was called upon to bear his testimony.  He said that standing there in front of the presidency of the church, the prophet and His apostles, he talked about the two missionaries who taught him the gospel.  He spoke of them by name.  Elder Echo Hawk a member of the quorum of the Seventy whose testimony has blessed the lives of I can only imagine how many people, his testimony began from the teachings of two missionaries.  As I sat in that meeting listening to Elder Echo Hawk all I could think about was how sacred and powerful my calling truly is.  In my notes from the conference I couldn't stop writing about the gratitude I was feeling to be a missionary.


Yes, I got called on to speak. They told everyone to come prepared and that they would randomly call on four missionaries.  I wish you could have felt how hard my heart was pounding when they called my name last.  Sister Sabiano could feel it (that's how bad it was) but she put her arm around me and told me I could do it (grateful to have a mother figure on the mish) and it was so strange because when I went up I wasn't nervous at all.
I decided to speak on not fearing and having faith.  It’s my favorite subject because It’s something I'm always striving to work on and to improve.  I had prepared a talk but when I got up there my talk went a completely different direction.  I have never once in my life felt the spirit work through me as powerfully as I did then.  I'm not sure if my talk made any sense at all.. but I believe I said something for at least one person listening because I was completely led to thoughts and words I had not prepared previously.

Elder Echo Hawk talked about how the Lord calls upon weak things of the world.  Think about Joseph Smith- a fourteen year old boy with such little education.  Why didn't he go to the University and choose the most learned professor..
It’s because God works through weak things.  As we set aside our fear, our inadequacies, our weaknesses.  He works with us-- He works through us.  I know this to be true with everything I am.  I know that to employ the power and the strength our faith must be founded on something.  There is no more solid foundation than faith in the love Heavenly Father has for you, faith in His plan of happiness, and faith in the capacity and willingness of Jesus Christ to fulfill all his promises.

Family this church is true.  And I love it with everything I am.

I'm a little nervous going into this new transfer.. but I'm just trying to remember to trust and to have faith.. and all will be well.  :)

The conference was incredible.  I love any opportunity we have to hear from President and Sister Revillo. 
Sister Revillo spoke about discovering the Book of Mormon over and over again.  She talked about the power in the Book.  She posed this question that really made me think-- how can we say we truly love our Heavenly Father if we don't read the scriptures that He has given to us.  If we don't study His words every day, If we don't pray every day.  To study the scriptures is not only a commandment but it is a way that we show our love.  It is a way that we show our appreciation to our loving Heavenly Father.  Through reading the Book of Mormon our Father speaks to us.  I know that there is power in the Book of Mormon.  The promise from Joseph Smith is real that "a man would draw nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book".  I love the Book of Mormon and I truly treasure the time I get to spend reading, studying, and learning from it.

President Revillo spoke about how special this time of our life is, and that as we truly understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ we will have no problem in our mission.  I love when he talks about his mission, and how every blessing he has received in his life has come because of his service.  He has mentioned this fact a few times and I always love the way he says it with such sincerity.  President Revillo always leaves me wanting to be a better missionary.  He spoke about the talents parable found in Matthew 25- He spoke of the importance of not idling our time and using it wisely, using our talents wisely.  The servant who was only given one talent, buried it because he was afraid of man.  It made me think of the times when I have been "afraid of man" afraid to speak and say something wrong, afraid to use the language, afraid to approach people. But I have found that each time I trust in the Lord, trust His strength, and His ability to assist me I have been able to use my talents to the best of my ability.  I have seen Him work through me.  He wants us to grow and progress, we have to be grateful for our strengths and our weaknesses because through Him we can "double our talents" we can receive His help and become exactly who He has designed us to be.

I was so touched by Sister Echo Hawks spirit.  Wow, the power of her testimony.   Both she and Elder Echo Hawk were converts to the church and you could truly feel of their love for missionaries and missionary work.  Through her speaking I not only felt of her love but the love of our Heavenly Father for His missionaries, and for His children. 


This Saturday was the baptism of our four investigators.  Macmac, Totoy, Dianne, and Mary Gold.  Family I would have given anything for you to be there.  To feel the spirit that filled that room.  I just cried.   Macmac came out of the water smiling so big.. then broke into a laugh.  Mary Gold, who refused to get up in front of everyone and bear her testimony went to the front of the room and bore a genuine, confidant, powerful, beautiful testimony.  We sang "I stand all Amazed" as missionaries and as I sang the words to that song I felt the love of my Savior like I never have before.  I am so grateful for my Elder Brother, for the influence He has on my life and the way He changes each person who draws near to Him.  It’s amazing how I have felt myself draw nearer to Him than ever before through helping others get to know Him.  It’s funny how that works?

Macmac was really nervous to bear his testimony and so he would only go up if I went with him.. so I held his hand and stood next to him as he bore his testimony for the first time.  Then it was Totoy's turn and as I turned to him and told him it was time he grabbed my hand as well and so everyone laughed as I went up for a second time.  Gosh. I loved it. and I love them.  I was so proud (well pleased) of my boys and of Dianne and Mary Gold. 

Sister Sabiano left yesterday morning.  I closed the door after she left, sat down and cried.  I'm such a girl. ha.  I will be eternally grateful for my trainer Sister Sabiano.  I will be eternally grateful for the lessons that she taught me.  I will be eternally grateful for the influence she has had on my life.  I learned through her the missionary I want to become and the person I want to become.  I learned through her what it means to be a Preach my Gospel Missionary.  I learned through her that happiness is a choice.  I learned through her the meaning of pressing forward in faith.  I learned through her the importance of diligence and hard work.  I learned through her what it means to be a literal servant of the Lord.  I truly hope you have the opportunity to meet her someday, and if not she's one of the very first people I'm introducing you to in the next life :)

I get my new companion tomorrow.  Sister Are, she is Filipina and she will be dying next transfer, which means I will kill two missionaries.  I am staying in the same area and both Sister Morrell and Sister Verdeflore are staying!


I ate a star apple this week.. so yummy :)

Dad told me about what he did with the primary children by blind folding them and teaching them about faith.. I ended up using that four times this week! It was such a hit with the little kids.  Especially when you go into a home and find out you're in charge of family night for eighteen something kids-- so thanks papa

I miss you all in the best kind of way!

Love always,

Sister Welling

Visiting with Elder and Sister Echo Hawk


A wonderful day!

Sister Sabiano and Sister Welling with Sister Echo Hawk