Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Weekly.

Hi loves.  I miss you all.  The last little bit has been so crazy in the Philippines for so many reasons.  Last week I forgot to mention that the Pope was in the Philippines.  So it was complete madness all week long, and everyone was talking about the Pope and not really wanting to talk to the mormons.  Alas, it was cool to say that I was on my mission while the Pope was here.  And then this last week was Sinulog.  Literally madness.  Its a giant festival.  Just go ahead and google/youtube Sinulog Cebu, and you should be able to also look up Sinulog Toledo.  It was absolutely madness, and there were millions of people. 
Also, just a fun fact, we have a new rule in the mission that you can't "email back and forth with people".  Don't worry, I can still email all of you, I just can't "chat" or we can't have a conversation back and forth as if we are texting.  Hopefully that makes sense.  However, we are just going to take this time to write some quality emails.  Maybe now, I'll actually send a worthwhile response to people when them email me.  The point is, I love you all.  Keep the email and support coming.  :)  I miss youuuu.
Last Wednesday we were supposed to have a district activity, but it kind of fell through.  So we ended up all just going to the beach and taking pictures for an hour.  It was so much fun.  We went on exchanges that night with the STL's here, so we stayed at there house.  One of my STL's is Sister Robertson.  I talked about her a long time ago in Carcar.  She was the one who shared a beautiful testimony that changed my mindset on Jesus Christ, and also the one who I nearly fell off my chair laughing with when we were talking about wearing skinny jeans again.  Anyways, this is her very last transfer, and I feel so lucky to get to serve with her in the same District.  She's amazing, and so incredibly on fire.  I've looked up to her my whole mission.  
Thursday we had exchanges, I worked with Sister Lamoglia, a sister from Abu Dabi (the middle east).  It was fun, I had to lead the area after only being here for a week!  But it was good.  She made us stop and buy some street barbecue.  She bought me street meat!  Chicken intestines of all things.  She made me eat it, because she was completely shocked I had been here for almost a year, and had never had it.  It was okay tasting.  The texture is interesting.  But when I was thinking about the fact that I was eating intestines, and what the primary function of intestines are, my stomach churned a bit.  That night we went back and had interviews with the STL's and they gave me some really great advice.  For the first time, my interview wasn't geared toward me being new in the mission.  They looked at me and said "you only have six months left.  So what are you going to do?"  WOW.  That was a crazy feeling.  They were so sweet though, and I felt really good after it all.
Friday I decided to try my hand at cooking chicken curry, and poor sister lefler was my guinea pig, but we think it was good.  We went out to work, and it was pouring rain, and we got punted for HOURS.  You just gotta laugh and say that it's part of the missionary experience.  We just walked for hours in the rain talking to anyone who would listen to us.  Luckily that night we had a dinner appointment, so we had something to look forward to.  
Saturday was such a good day.  We had a service project, we sprinted down to macdos to get breakfast, and walked in at 10:31, didn't think anything of it, and then they tell us that they stop serving breakfast at 10:30!  Well we had already paid for the trike to take us there.  So we ate a cheeseburger at 10:30.  I would definitely not recommend it.  We went out to Bato, the really far part of our area, and it was just the two of us on the trike. We were driving for the fifteen minute stretch of highway along the ocean, and as we were looking at the ocean, we just started talking about our Savior.  We got to talking about the Atonement, primarily the enabling power of the atonement.  And how we have changed because of it.  I never understood anything about the atonement before, and I won't pretend to understand a lot about it now, but I do love it.  I love our Savior, for loving us enough to give his life for us.  As we were talking just the two of us in the trike, the waves started coming up, and spraying us with ocean water.  It was such a cool moment, its really hard to explain it.  I was just so filled with love for my Heavenly Father for sending me to the most amazing, wonderful place in the world to learn about my Savior Jesus Christ, and teach others that He Lives.  We had such a good day.  We taught an AMAZING lesson to a woman named Flora.  Probably one of the best lessons I've ever taught in my mission.  We left just feeling so on cloud nine.  Sister Lefler looked at me and said "I've never had a lesson feel like that"  and then she was just quiet for a long time before saying "Is this how missionary work feels?  I've never felt so happy in my entire life"  and I just had to grin, I see so much of myself in her.  And I remember feeling that exact same way when I was new in the mission.  It's a rush and a thrill that is so hard to explain.  There is nothing that feels better than missionary work.  We went back to Toledo that night and they had the grand opening for a 7/11 here.  DREAMS.  Seven eleven is totally high class.  As we were trying to walk home, Sinulog was in full force.  They had a parade of people, at 8:00 at night, and the streets were just packed!  Literally hundreds of people walking down the streets holding candles and Santo Nino, (a saint here, it is the whole purpose of sinulog).  Well, we surely do not believe in Santo Nino, nor did we have candles, and to top it off, we were walking the complete opposite direction of the parade.  I've never stood out so much in my entire life as I was trying to walk the opposite direction of the crowd to push my way back to get home.  There's got to be a parallel here somewhere.  We got home and just layed on the floor and laughed and talked about what a good day it is.  There's nothing better than being so tired, and so happy all at once.  Missions are crazy experiences. 
Sunday: I had to speak in Sacrament meeting and teach gospel principles.  Goodness, I was so aware of my visaya haha.  In relief society we were reading from the manual and they read "tigpalit" which was talking about a woman in the story who was the one buying someone.  And they all started laughing and yelled "Sister Beyer!".  I was so pleased with that wonderful visaya joke.  And then the relief society president came up to me afterwards and kissed me on the cheek!  It's coming back!  I will get all the nanays to kiss me on the cheek.  :)  
Monday we were able to have our zone interviews.  It is so good to be able to see President and Sister McCurdy and talk to them and have one on one time with President McCurdy.  It was so good to talk to President. I think we had the best interview I've ever had.  It was so spiritual.  We talked a lot about the things I'm facing, the things I'm worried about and he just gave me the sweetest council and advice.  I told him I was scared to go home, and that in fact, I think it would be nice to live here forever, and he just laughed and told me that that is not in fact allowed.  So I guess I'll see you all after all in August.  He just looked at me and smiled and said "Sister Beyer, you're surely not the same girl I met 6 months ago".  That feels really good.  I don't feel the same. I feel really different, and it's a good feeling.  We talked about what I need to do the next six months to make sure that i can go home exhausted, having given my absolute all.  He just smiled and said, "sister beyer, I've never seen you look so happy".  I really am so happy here.  It just feels so good here.  I also got a fabulous package from home, filled with endless betty crocker meals, and stovetop delights and all things american.  Thank heavens Sister Lefler likes American food. We have a whole shelf of our pantry dedicated to American dinners.  I don't even think we need to go grocery shopping later.  We just need to buy vegetables.  I also got a ton of christmas cards from people back home.  I even got some from families in the ward, that I'm not sure I've even met.  So spread the word that I say thank you!  It really was so sweet.  
Yesterday:  We just worked and hiked mountains.  Tuesdays are usually pretty busy days.  But I feel like I never really have a lot to report.  Oh!  Other then when Sister Lefler and I were trying to cross a little bridge thing, I stepped on the wood, and it came up and hit her foot and impaled a chunk of wood in her foot.  And then I had to go all doctor on her and do surgery and pull chunks of wood out of her foot.  This is a big deal, because if I see any kind of blood I pass out.  But I was a nice companion and doctored her foot up nice.  I'm growing up so fast.  ;) 
Okay, to answer some questions.  Sister Lefler is from Logan Utah.  She is 19.  She went to USU.  She is an amazing singer, and is probably going to be a music major.  She is the tenth of eleven kids.  And I love her.  She is exactly what I need right now.

As for Toledo.  It is a branch again.  It is a port town, so people are always coming and going, and there is a huge boardwalk, and then a huge dock for the ferries.  It's fun to watch the ferries come in and go out.  It is known for having some of the best siomai.  We have a senior couple here named The Halls, I don't really know them yet.  There are THREE grocery stores, and concrete homes.  I'm totally in culture shock.  The trikes are totally different.  And we live on the top of a huge hill.  So you can see the ocean and the port and all the ferries and I love it.  And of course the macdo sign just shines for miles around.  We walk pretty much everywhere in our area.  We basically only ride a trike to get out to Bato, but other than that, we walk.  Up and down mountains every day.  My feet hurt, and my legs are going to be in shape!  We live five minutes from the church, and I love it.  And that my friends, is my life right now.  I'm out of time.  But I love you.  And I'll talk to you next week.  Next week I hit February, we're almost at a year.  That's scarier than I can even begin to express. But.  It's gonna be okay haha.  I love you all so so much.  I'll talk to you soon.  
Sister Carlee Beyer

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


My loves, I email you right now from the Island of Cebu.  I won't lie about it, I love Cebu Island so much. It feels so good to be back on my island.  To be back to my home of Cebu.  I think I'm definitely a Cebu kid.  
Anyways this week has been a complete blur.  On Wednesday it was complete madness to get me packed AND Sister Villacorte, to get everything ready for the two new sisters coming in to our area and to say goodbye to everyone.  The joys of being in an area so long is that not only did I have to say goodbye to my branch, but the other branch that meets in our building because I got so close to them.  One amazing family from that branch brought us dinner one night to our house since we couldn't go to their house for dinner for a goodbye party, so they just brought it to us.  It was all things last minute and goodbyes.  So many people gave me such wonderful gifts as I was going away.  My favorite one was from the Pacaldos and Detche.  Its a yellow shirt, that has black velvet writing on it that says "You need Jesus".  I will basically wear it off of the plane coming home hahaha.  We said goodbye to some of my very favorite people in the world in a part of our area called Hope.  We gave them all hugs and they got us on a trike, and then stood in the middle of the road waving as we drived away, and I openly wept as I watched them.  We were able to go to the Andersons because Detche had got her mission call!  So we were there when she opened it.  I've been working with Detche for six months, we kind of have a relationship like SIster Horn and I did.  
Thursday life started real early, we had to get up at 4:30 to transfer.  We got on the ferry, and we were able to lay on the bunk beds they had and just talk and look at the ocean.  And then we landed in Toledo!  Sister Lefler is my new companion.  She is so sweet.  There is also another sister here named Sister Larsen who I love.  But when they saw me they both looked at me and started laughing.  Why you ask?  BECAUSE THE WEIRDOS READ MY WHOLE BLOG BEFORE THE MISSION.  I'm so shy.  I forget I have a dang blog.  So they know my whole life story, and all my companions, and my areas.  It was so much fun though.  We went to Macdos for lunch #blessed. And Sister Lefler even bought my lunch for me.  We walked for miles that day, she's just got some crazy greeny fire happening.  And then that night we went to the newly called Relief Society Presidents house, because she makes us dinner once a week, every single week.  We are so blessed.  Sister Lefler and I live in a cute little blue apartment, it's just the two of us, we have a room, a kitchen, and a bathroom.  It's weird to not have roommates.  I've never not had roommates in my mission.  But we have fun together.  
Friday I decided to make us some mac and  cheese, she appreciated the glory that is mac and cheese.  And then a horrifying thing started on Friday that has not yet stopped. Everyone who I introduced myself to started asking me how many areas this was for me.  I would tell them four, and they would say "wow sister!  You're going home so soon!"  I would protest and tell them that I still have seven months, and they just keep telling me that I'm going home so soon, and how old I am in the mission.  This is a very scary thing and I have a feeling it only gets worse from here.  It's kind of crazy being the follow up trainer.  It's a tender mercy at times.  It'll kick your butt for sure.  It's crazy to be the one being in charge of the language, but it does go to show you that you do know a little bit more than you think.  It's cool to be able to look at Sister Lefler and remember how I felt.  To see things in her, that I used to do as well.  We've talked a mighty lot about two of my very favorite people in the world, Sister Rugg and Sister Passey.  I find myself time and time again telling her the exact things they told me.  I've been really grateful for the wonderful trainers that I had.  Also, Friday night I was lookin around the apartment, and there was a metal bar screwed into our concrete wall. I was trying to figure out what it was, and determined that it was a pull up bar.  So I decided to work out or something, so as I go to do a pullup on this bar, I say with total confidence "Oh yeah, totally a pull up bar" and to my dismay, the bar comes ripping out of the wall, as I fall on our clothes rack and to the ground.  Sister Lefler is still laughing over this, and just keeps telling me "oh yeah, totally a pull up bar".  I have a rad bruise on my arm from trying to be cool.  I guess I  deserved that.  
Saturday Sister Lefler took us out to the furthest part of our area, it's called Bato.  It's amazing.  The first day I got here she told me that our area wasn't ~that bukid.  And then we went to Bato and hiked up a mountain for literally fourty minutes to get to one house and then come back down.  I laughed and told her that if this wasn't bukid, I didn't know what was.  It's the most bukid part of my entire mission.  But it also has some awesome city in it.  For example, MACDO.  And there is a lovely man that rides around on a bike with a side cart selling donuts.  Real donuts.  It's the best of both worlds.
Sunday was my first time here.  It was a little bit of culture shock.  I felt so out of place!  There was carpet and padded folding chairs in relief society.  I have seen none of that since Kamputhaw!  And there was aircon!  I will admit, I missed San Carlos when we were greeting everyone in Sacrament.  In San Carlos, I was so close with all the members, that every man, I would shake his hand, and every woman we would hug and do that adorable cheek to cheek kissy sound thing.  And I knew everyone by name.  So it was a little weird to start all over again.  And no one kissed my cheek!  Also in the middle of sacrament I looked up and the family in front of me brought their dog to church, so I glanced up to see just a furry face staring at me tongue out and tail wagging.  After sacrament here, we went out to Bato again, and were able to have a special sacrament service out there for the saints of Bato.  It was so amazing. It was my first time getting to experience such a thing.  We met under a tarp tied between a banana tree and a coconut tree, we sat on bamboo benches in the sand.  For the sacrament they passed around the bread, and they only had five cups for about thirty of us.  So we just passed the cups down the row.  It was such a special spirit.  We only get to do that once a month, but man, I loved it.  
Monday was district meeting.  So good!  I got to see some sisters who I just love!  I got to see Sister Agawin and Sister Robertson.  I haven't seen either of them for six months.  So once I saw them, they both told me how grown up I look, how I can speak the language, and how I've lost weight (BLESSED).  And the missionaries who didn't know me, figured out who I was really fast as soon as it came up that I was SIster Passeys anak.  One sister even told me that i looked the same as her.  Well, salamat!  And I met an Elder who is really good friends with Tyler!  
Tuesday:  We literally just hiked mountains!  It was amazing.  We would just hike up mountain ranges.  And it's hot as heck because it's almost summer again!  Sister Lefler is a champ and just marches up those mountains.  Man, the greeny fire is so real!  For the first time in a long time, my feet hurt last night.  She's a dang hard worker.  We had to hike literally 45 minutes to a house.  Thank heavens for the Gatorade mom sent me.  And then at night we catch a trike back home, cruise along the ocean side, and then walk home along the boardwalk and the ocean.  I'm so blessed to be in Toledo.  It's such a great area, and Sister Lefler is so amazing. I think she is teaching me more than I'm teaching her. 
I've been studying the New Testament this week.  Curtis mentioned on Christmas that I needed to set some goals since I'll be coming home sooner than I want to admit.  So I made some goals to try to really push myself.  This transfer,  I want to read the entire New Testament.  I started in Matthew and have just loved it.  I understand it so differently now.  I decided to mark everytime that Jesus heals someone, or performs a miracle.  The pages just come to life!  As I've read, I've shed a tear or two.  He is so amazing.  He is so filled with compassion.  I found a new favorite verse in Matthew 8:7.  It says "And Jesus said unto him, I will come and heal them".  Is there anything more beautiful?  I have seen it time and time again in my life, and in the lives of those around me.  His arms are ever outstretched to us.  He will heal us of any sickness we have.  Our fears, our insecurities, our shortcomings, our physical sicknesses, emotional, spiritual, mental.  He will heal us.  But not from afar, no no, He will come to us.  His arms are ever outstretched to us.  I know that He lives.  I have felt Him walk with me in these tiny jungle paths.  I'm so grateful to wear His name on my chest, and to climb mountains to tell people that He lives, and He loves them.  I love you all so much.  Stay strong.
Sister Beyer

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

vamos, san carlos.

Remember last week when I mentioned that it was a relatively uneventful week?  Be careful what you wish for.  This week was a little too eventful for my liking.  Last Wednesday, we started off pday by going to the mercado after emailing and buying some fresh fish.  But they had some crazy cool fish that they had just brought in from the ocean, and they were huge!  So I started taking some pictures, well they loved that the Amerikana was taking pictures, so they put some plastic bags on my hands so they won't stink, and then they start having me hold huge fish to get pictures with.  It was way too hilarrious.  Then we went home, and Sister Villacorte put me in charge of cleaning the fish.  These fish were whole!  It's a good think I spent the last 20 years of my life watching dad clean fish every summer.  I think dad would have been proud.  I wasn't quite as smooth as him, but I did it.  That night we got my Christmas packages!  We all loved it.  We feasted on American snacks and decorated the house with our new Christmas decorations and had so much fun.  The weirdest thing was that it smelled like home.  It kept throwing me for a loop.  
Thursday I got a package from Nanay Naveo in Carcar.  It was filled with four of the most magical nanay shirts you have ever seen.  I'll send pictures next week.  And the Andersons called us to take us out to dinner instead of saying goodbye.  There may have been some teary eyes that evening.  
Friday, while Sister Villacorte and I were weekly planning, my glasses were really loose.  The side part kept jiggling.  So I took my little repair kit for my glasses to try to fix them, but once the screw was out, I didn't have my glasses on to see how to put it back in.  So I asked the sisters to do it for me.  Next thing I know, I hear them scream, and see the metal hinge of my glasses broken in half.  They tried to fix the hinge and broke it in half!  So I went to the one glasses store in the whole city and begged them to fix my glasses, and they told me that they couldn't.  That i would have to buy new glasses.  I may have cried.  As we were walking out, I saw a tiny tiny glasses store.  The man there felt really bad for the crying amerikana, so he rigged up a way to fix it for me!  I recieved very firm instructions to put my glasses on with two hands, and to take them off with two hands. And that once they are on, they are on for the day.  And once they are off, they are off for the day.  The sweet man didn't even charge me a single peso. He told me it would last until I got home to America.   Then we went out to Guadalupe and Juanito gave me some sugarcane from his front yard.  About ten feet of it.  It's a little weird to just gnaw on a stick, but it is so dang good! 
Saturday was madness.  We were able to do a service project out in a place called Macasilao.  It is the most bukid part of our entire mission.  Mind you, San Carlos is already in the middle of no where. Well we got on a jeepney for forty minutes, and then after that we got on a motor and went up for a thirty minute ride just over mountain ranges.  It was amazing.  We drove past wild monkeys!  And it was the most amazing breathtaking view I have ever seen.  I truthfully think that I was the only Amerikana these people had ever seen.  People were running out of their houses screaming and pointing at me.  It was the craziest experience of my entire life.  We made it to the Elders area and went to the humblest "church" I have ever seen.  They meet under a green canopy tent.  And we built them bamboo benches to sit on.  They are the most amazing humble saints i have ever met.  Living on top of a mountain in the middle of o where, going to church under a green canopy tent.  We went back home, and upon my arrival I realized I didn't have my wallet, and that the last place I had it was the jeepney.  Ugh, more tears.  But I got it all figured out to cancel everything and what i would need to do.  And then as I was going to bed, President McCurdy texted to let me know he was sorry that had happened to me, and to check if I was alright.  What a sweet man.
Sunday we knew it would be my last Sunday in the branch.  So it was filled with goodbyes.  We decided to go to the bus terminal to see if by chance someone had turned in my wallet.  Heavenly Father is so aware of me.  There are dozens of jeepneys there, and they are always coming and going.  But we found the one we rode the night before, after talking to the man for a minute, he asked me my first name, I told him and he handed me my wallet.  He had found it stashed in the jeepney in a different area, but not a single peso was missing and my cards were still in it.  Miracles lagi!
Monday:  Transfer calls!  They wrote on the board that I would be transfering to Toledo, which is literally directly across the ocean from here.  So I'm headed back to San Carlos, and I will be follow up training a little Amerikana named Sister Lefler.  I'm really excited, but I'm nervous that I'm the one who now has to know Visaya!  We also found out that Sister Villacorte would be transfering as well, so we had to make sure that our area book was prestine, and that we had a bunch of notes and things ready for the new sisters who will be coming in.  We had an fhe with some of my very favorite people, and had a night filled with tears and goodbyes. 
Tuesday:  Another day filled with goodbyes, and the hardest of all, my little guadalupe gang.  My little band of misfit boys.  And as we walked out of Guadalupe, I had to stop and say one last goodbye.  I stopped at Edgardos grave, and said one last goodbye to my boy.  It was a great week, but also a dang hard week.  Also, last night Sister Minguez got special permission to call me and say goodbye before she went home.  I love that crazy girl.  
Anyways, as I sit here with hours left in San Carlos, with my bags all packed ready to go, I've been thinking about my time that I've had here.  The last six months that I've had here.  "Vamos, San Carlos" is the cities slogan, it is all over the city.  Signs and petticabs and buildings and just everything.  I remember when I First got here I was just so excited.  I stepped off the boat just filled with fire.  I just felt like "yeah!  Vamos San Carlos!  Let's go!" and then tehre were other days where I just felt like COME.  ON.  SAN CARLOS LET'S GOOOOO.  
Well the days turned to weeks, the weeks to months, and the months to transfers and before I knew it, a third of my entire mission was spent here in San Carlos.  I got to thinking about my mission and I had a moment that I think every missionary is familiar with.  I just had the feeling of, what have I even done here?  Have I accomplished anything?  Have I done any good?  I talked to the Andersons a bit about it, and they just told me to make a list of things that I have accomplished.  And just like that, the tender mercies started rolling in.  Less Actives returning to church, progress in families, people finding a love for the gospel, successes in the tiny  branch, and new members.  But then I started questioning myself, thinking of what I could have done or should have done, but then I remembered the story of the old man walking down the beach throwing sand dallors back into the ocean.  A little boy walks up to him and asks him why he even bothers, because it doesn't make a difference.  The man simply replies "well, I made a difference to that one".  You know, I probably could have or should have done things differently.  That's the joy of hindsight.  But I would like to think that i did make a difference to a few sand dollars out here.  You know you really change in ever area, but man, this area really changed me.  It was hard and it pushed me.  But I can pinpoint some things that really changed me.  Edgardo was a huge one.  So was Charlyn.  I just really  changed so much here in six months.  This was where missionary work just became life for me.  Where it just became normal.  I'm goig to miss this area so much.  The people, the ocean, the sugarcane, the islamic mosque at 3:00 and 5:00, walking the same five streets, and everyone yelling Elsa.  
In our mission, we are supposed to talk to at least 100 people a week, well I've been here for about 24 weeks, which means I've talked to approximately 2400 people here in San Carlos.  I've talked to the whole dang city, and everyone here knows me.  I can't walk down the street without petticab drivers, kids, or just random people walking down the street yelling "Hi Sister Beyer!"  Or "Look, it's Sister Elsa!".  The other missionaries told me that they can't talk to someone in this city without them sayig that they already know Sister Beyer haha.  I love it so much.  They always say to leave your area better than you found it.  Well, we poured everything we had into this area, and are leaving them with three solid IBDs.  The work just exploded here.  I'm excited for Toledo.  I was brought back again to D&C45:61 "For verily I say unto you that great things await you"  I'm goig to miss San Carlos like crazy.  It is such a huge part of who I am.  But I'm excited for Toledo and what awaits me there.  So here I come Toledo.  
Vamos San Carlos.
Sister Carlee Beyer

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

the race.

Here it is friends, the first week of 2015 is down.  It was a relatively unneventful week truthfully, just lots of good missionary work happening.  So I have no complaints.  
Last Thursday was an adventure, because everything in the entire city was closed, so we adventured to find the only internethan and the only restaraunt open in the city.  And the internethan gave us a key chain as a new years gift hahaha.  And then it seemed like the entire branch suddenly had the same realization, because everyone started looking at me with sad eyes and saying "sister beyer, it's almost the fifteenth" which is transfer day.  You would think that staying another transfer would make it easier to leave, but it is actually so much harder.  That's been a big theme this week, is everyone getting ready to say goodbye to me.  THey all know I've been here for four transfers, and that I'm probably going.  There has already been some tears!  So this next week should be interesting.  
Friday we taught our new IBD Liza. She is so amazing.  She is a referral from a member of the branch, and she is beyond golden.  She came to church after we taught her the first time.  She loved it.  She takes notes in her book of mormon, and she asked us about a temple, and then got teary eyed when we taught her about it.  This girl is getting baptized ASAP!  It also rained all day on Friday, and was a tad bit chilly (okay, it was 85 degrees don't judge me!) so I went home that night and had some lovely hot cider.
Saturday:  We started the year off right by havin a baptism!  We were able to baptize Renante.  He is so cool.  He was a bible baptist missionary for seven years before, and then we met him.  He got into the water and before he was even baptized he started to cry.  He bore such a strong testimony that this is the truth.  And then he thanked me and Sister Villacorte for helping him to find the light while he was drowning in the darkness.  That feeling never, ever ets old.  
Sunday:  It was fast sunday, and I realized it would probably be my very last fast and testimony meeting ever in San Carlos.  It was my sixth that I've been here.  I felt like I should get up and bear my testimony.  I told them that I found my family here, and that i knew that this was all true.  I know it so strongly now.  And I told them that because of their amazing faith, mine has grown so much.  And then later I found a little pink teddy bear all wrapped up in my bag.  No one would tell me who it was from until a few days later, it came out that it was from Detche, a branch missionary who I'm super close with.  
Monday:  Not a lot happened.  Just missionary work.  :)  I was able to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ in district meeting.  IT is amazing how it has changed over the months.  He is so much more real to me now than I ever thought possible.  I truly do love being His missionary.  
Tuesday:  A really weird thing happened.  I saw an airplane in the sky.  Airplanes don't fly over this part of the Philippines.  And if little kids see an airplane they all run outside and scream and jump up and down with pure excitement.  It was the strangest thing in the world to look up through the palm trees and see a tiny white airplane, and remember that life exists outside of this tiny island that I live on.  
Alright.  Time to type like the wind.  When Sister Wilcox was very first here two transfers ago, someone sent her a poem called "the race".  She read it to us, and we each cried a bit, because we could each picture a specific moment in our lives and in our missions.  It's about a little boy who runs a race and falls, but his father urges him to get up and win that race.  He runs and falls twice more, with no hope of winning he wants to get up.  But his father urges him again to "get up and win that race".  It kind of became our theme and our motto for that transfer.  Well, the transfer ended and sister wilcox went hom.  And then last transfer, I was talking to Sister Minguez and I just felt discouraged, I just felt like I couldn't do it. And she just looked at me and said, "sister beyer.  get up and win that race".  It got me thinking again about that poem, but I didn't really have any way of getting it.  Well, Heavenly Father is mighty aware of little old me.  During the typhoon I was deep cleaning the house.  Including the book shelf with well over 100 liahonas.  I was going through them and throwing away some of the old ones when I went to throw one away, and a paper fell out.  I picked it up, and lo and behold, it was the poem!  A tender mercy gani!  I've read it time and time again, and some parts I love are:  
"get up and echo sounded low, you haven't lost at all.  For all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.  Get up the echo urged him on. Get up and take your place!  You were not meant for failure here!  Get up and win that race!"  And then at the very end  "And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face, the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.  For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.  Amd all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.  And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face, another voice within me says, get up and win that race"
When I Think of my mission, it is a blur of pictures and moments that flash through my mind.  But there are certain moments that just stand out and I can pinpoint them so vividly as a time when I raelly changed.  One of those was in Carcar when I did the study "and run".  I think of it often, and I've been thinking about it with this poem. 
Hebrews 12:1 "let us lay aside every weight and the sins wich doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race set before us"
and D&C 128:22 "bretheren, shall we not go on in so great a cause?  Go forward and not backward!  Courage brethren; and on, on to victory!"
I love the scriptures.  I love how real they've become to me.  How real and relatable and encouraging.  So this week my dears, let us run!  And on, on to victory.  For all you have to do to win, is rise each time you fall.  :)  Stay Strong, huh?  I love you.
Sister Carlee Beyer

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

malipayong bag-ong tuig. (happy new year)

Let me begin this by being cheesy and telling you all that I'm emailing you all from 2015, while you are still in 2014.  Thank you.
This week was absolutely nuts.  Pday just so happened to be on Christmas Eve, which meant that grocery shopping was insane.  We stood in the check out lines for over an hour just to buy our dang groceries.  But we got home and started bumping the classic Christmas music.  We had some Kenny G, and Amy Grant going and it just felt like home.  we went and taught some lessons that night, and had some great members of the branch invite us over to have dinner with them and spend some time with their families for Christmas Eve.  Ther are some really really great members in this branch who really love us.  It was so fun to be able to join in their family celebrations and have them take such good care of us.  For Christmas Eve, we decided to take all four of our mattresses and lay them under the tree.  we all slept in the living room on our mattresses under the Christmas tree.  And then at midnight, there were tons of fireworks that went off.  
Thursday we woke up, i took a hot shower (I made the mistake of doin it once, and now if it is even kind of cold, i have to boil water hahaha.  but it was a holiday!)  I splurged and bought us each a big orange to have on Christmas morning, even though we didn't have stockings, it was still a fun tradition to continue, and they smelled and tasted so dang good.  we had breakfast of fried rice and a banana shake to start the morning.  then we all exchanged gifts, i got a pair of completely hideous pants that i will rock, and a carribou necklace.  then we went and skyped.  man, it was so good to skype.  it felt so normal.  Even though "i have an accent" and suddenly all my nephews are fluent in english, eeven though i'm not.  it was so great.  and then after we finished skyping, the Pacaldos fed us breakfast.  We went back home, and went to he Andersons for our Christmas party.  we eate sloppy joes and potato salad and it was the most delicious Christmas meal of my life.  then it poured rain, which was the closest thing we could get to snow.  haha.  We went and visited some of the great people in our branch.  We went to one family who i just adore, I'm really close with them.  she does my laba for me, and i even call her lola (grandma).  they don't have much. We went and she insisted on feeding us.  we protested, but she wouldn't have it. i watched her as she took what little food they had, what i knew was going to be their dinner, and as she divided it ever so carefully between me and sister Villacorte.  They took all they had and gave it to us.  We protested again, insisting we were fine.  And she looked at me sternly and told me that the blessings that she would recieve were much greater than the food she was giving us.  And so with tears in my eyes, i sat down, thanked her profusely, and ate the Christmas dinner of spaghetti and macaroni salad.  these people are the most amazing people i've ever met.  
Friday we had the branch Christmas party, it was really fun, and we had a lot of investigators show up and love it!  And our little recent convert who has a learning disability gave me a Christmas gift.  He bought me a little plain white teacup and gave it to me all wrapped up with a note that said "from brother benitez" and it is one of my most cherished gifts.   Also, just as a fun fact, as we were playing games, a giant cockroach flew into my head and hair and everyone freaked out hahaha. Just my luck. 
saturday:  i was dreaming that i was at home, and then sometimes life is just like a bad missionary movie.  I rolled over a little too hard, and woke up clinging to my bed sheet for safety, i looked like Mufasa off of the lion king as he is about to fall off the cliff.  Then my sheet came untucked and i fell flat on my back on the tile floor, knocking over the electric fan, and I looked at the clock as it was 6:27.  welcome to missionary life.  
Monday we had to pack another 72 hour kit for a storm that was heading thorugh.  It poured rain and was so cold. we were all drenched from head to toe, we came home and put on anything we could and drank hot cider.  We were beyond freezing.  And then we realized it was only 82 degrees.  
Tuesday"  It was still rainy and cold so we wore sweaters all day long, and we had a banana tree fall on our house, no damage was done, and there were tons of bananas.  So I picked one right off the tree haha.
Wednesday was New Years Eve, we were able to work until 5:00, and then we had to meet at the church.  Everyone here has "fireworks" that are actually like miniture pipe bombs, so for safety we were all at the church and we got to hang out in our jeans and t shirts.  The Andersons bought us all pizza, and we were able to watch How to Train your Dragon 2, and Planes 2.  They were both really fun, and made me think of my boys.  it was funny how awkward we were as missionaries watching cartoons kiss.  we couldn't even handle it.  also the andersons surprised me with a present.  We were talking on christmas, and i told them that Christmas to me smelled like saurkraut because that's what we always have on Christmas for our German Dinner.  They brought me a can of saurkraut they had at their house that they had bought for a pretty penny at an american grocery store.  bless them.  we went home at ten, and then all stayed up until midnight.  Midnight was nuts.  It was basically a war zone outside of our house.  The tradition is that you go outside and are just LOUD.  You just yell and hit pots and pans and scream.  But it was really really fun.  And then this morning was weird, because we were told that we could sleep in as late as we wanted.  So i woke up at 8:00.  it was a lovely little treat indeed.  Finding somewhere to email today was incredibly hard, the whole city is shut down.  Including all the restaraunts, and where we go grocery shopping.  it's been a good week.  And me, being the little nostalgic thing that i am, got to thinking a lot about the last year, and the year to come.  I wrote down a few of my thoughts that i wanted to share. 
i was thinking about 2014, and just how good 2014 really was to me, but it was also h a r d.  2014 was the year of the Philippines.  My mission year.  i remember last new years eve, talking and planning.  i knew things would change, but i had no clue just hhow much.  2014 was the year i said goodbye to my family.  The year i learned all about the refiners fire.  the year i learned how to get down on my knees and really pray.  it was the year i made it to this perfect tiny island, where not only did I find myself, I found my Savior Jesus Christ.  It's where I've made some of the best friends i've ever known.  It's where I finally figured out who i am, and how to be happy.  it's the year i gave up a lot, and gained even more.  It's the year i met some of the most amazing people in the world.  It's where I've shed countless tears in bamboo huts singing I am a child of God by candlelight.  It's the year I learned to love the Book of Mormon.  The year I truly gained a testimony.  The year I learned how to study.  The yaer I learned all about how faith is power.  It was a year filled with jeepneys, trikes, rice, coconut trees, sugarcane, bamboo huts, bukid, beaches, mangos, rain, lizards, and mud.  It was a yaer filled with the most beautiful faces.  it was my missionary year.  It was the most amazing and beautiful year of my life.  
2015 is bittersweet.  2015 is the yaer I go home, the year i see my family again.  it's the year i say goodbye to the most wonderful place that i know.  But i also decided that it's going to be the best year yet.  It's the year i just hit it hard with missionary work.  Where I don't have to think about it like i used to.  i know how to do it now.  So I can just run hard and leave it all on the field.  i have seven months to give my very all.  To give Him my best, because He deserves nothing less.  And then I get to go home to my sweet, sweet, family and just...be home.  i get to go home and apply all that i've learned, and change all that i want and need to change.  It's scary, but it's going to be good.  It's all going to be worth it.  2015 is going to be the best year yet, I just know it.  I'm so grateful for 2014, for all i experienced, for the trials, and the tender mercies and the blessings, and the tears and the laughter.  I'm so excited for what 2015 has in store.  i love you all so much.  happy new year.  
Sister Carlee Beyer

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

mga milagro gani.

Merry Christmas Eve!  
In my absolute haste to get out the door this morning to get to email today, I forgot my study journal that has such a good studyyyy.  I'm so mad at myself for it.  But I'm going to try to piece it together to the best of my recollection.  
Last Wednesday, we finally bit the bullet, and splurged and bought ornaments for our Christmas tree and decorated it together.  We also went to a park by the ocean and took a bunch of pictures with the sisters we live with.  It was basically cheesy BYU roomate pictures.  We had a lot of fun though.  We found out that Sister Laub (one of the STL's who lives with us) had to go to Cebu to be fingerprinted.  So, me being the smart alec that I am, I said the same thing I say every time that the STL's go to Cebu.  "Take me with you!".  But this time, because of the typhoon and all the conferences, they have only been able to work in their area two full days.  So they texted the AP's and asked, and they said yes!   Heavenly Father is so incredibly good to me.  We went out and worked that night and I was fed squid adobo.  It was black from the ink, so my rice was pitch black haha.  But, it was actually pretty good.  Who have I become haha! 
So Thursday I was able to go with Sister Laub to Cebu.  We got on the ferry and crossed the big blue, and the Naval men on the ship were all in the Navy whites and put on Santa hats to sing Christmas Carols.  Then we got on a bus for two hours.  When we drove into the city, and I saw all the lights I just started to cry.  I don't know why, but Cebu just feels like home to me.  We got onto a jeepney, and drove through the city until we finally made it to the temple.  I saw the temple and had butterflies!  It just feels like home to me.  We went and ate at my favorite restaraunt that Sister Rugg and I always ate at, and then we went and stayed at my old house.  And!  Sister Littell lives there now!  I didn't think I'd get to see her for Christmas.  Miracles exist.  And what is more, guess who walked in the door, Sister Tandiman!  She had to get fingerprinted too.  So I got to see my Indonesian one last time against all odds.  It was a little weird to be in my old house again.  The house I lived in my first transfer.  Sometimes, I'm a nostalgic little thing, but I just had so many memories coming back to me.  It was weird, because all the sisters that I used to live there with are now home and moving on with their lives.  I was almost homesick for that transfer all those months ago.  I'd do it mighty differently now haha.  But we all pulled out all the mattresses, and slept on the kitchen floor.  
Friday:  We woke up, and I got to hang out in the mission office with the senior couple there.  I filed papers and had a grand old time with them.  I even got to go to the post office with them.  They were in the front seats of the car, and I was sitting in the middle seat with my feet on the hump.  I felt kind of like a little kid again.  We went to the post office, and I had a package from a friend filled with cookies!  I was stoked beyond belief.  I was able to see one member from Kamputhaw ward, he was so sweet, he immediately called his wife and had me talk on the phone to her.  I love those people.  She told me that she loved me and missed me, and that she was three months pregnant now!  We talked for probably five minutes, and then we loaded up in the car.  Whose car you might ask.  President McCurdy.  President and the AP's needed to go to San Carlos.  So we just went with them.  Which was the craziest thing ever.  We loaded into their car and took the most gorgeous drive I've ever been on up through a place called Busay.  It was just mountain ranges, we got to the very top and could see all of Cebu Island and the surrounding islands.  We got to the dock, and President asked us to go buy some french fries and McDonalds for all of us. As we are standing in line, they text us telling us to get on the boat right now.  SO WE START SPRINTING WITH A HUGE BAG OF FRENCH FRIES.  WE laughed so dang hard.  That's a moment in my mission I'll never forget.  Then President and I were able to sit on the ferry and just talk for two hours.  I don't really know him very well because I've been so far away.  But we had such a good conversation.  Heavenly Father is so good to me.  
Saturday:  I was able to finish the Book of Mormon.  I made it a goal that since the very first time I read the Book of Mormon was last Christmas, I wanted to be able to finish it again before Christmas.  Especially since my scriptures were my Christmas present last year.  I have never had a more cherished Christmas Present.  Or a more used Christmas Present.  They are true.  The Book of Mormon is so incredibly true.  And then Saturday night Sister Anderson asked if she could take me and Sister Villacorte out to dinner.  I was able to order a TURKEY SANDWICH AND A DR PEPPER.  The ultimate desire of my heart.  Heavenly Father is good to me.  
Sunday I was fed a meal of boiled bananas with fermented fish on top of it hahaha.  
Monday:  I got a surprise package with Christmas cards from my boys.  Brayden wrote me a letter and it made me cry!  it felt like home.  :)
I'm so out of time, I'm sorry.  But I'm so excited to skype you tomorrow.  I love you.  Merry Christmas!
Sister Carlee Beyer
p.s.  I was just really excited this week. I didn't focus. I'll do better next week hahaha. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

maayong pasko.

Maayong Pasko!  *translation:  Merry Christmas*
Welcome to Christmas in the Fili.  It's officially taken off this week, and it's been so much fun.  Let me paint you a picture of what Christmas in the Fili entails.  Bamboo huts and tin roofs with Christmas lights on them.  Every single night we have little kids caroling at our house.  You always greet everyone by saying Maayong Pasko.  And I do get a little bit of a white Christmas here, because the miles and miles of sugar can fields, all have sprouted white at the top.  It just happened over night!  But it's so pretty, when it's ready to be harvested, it sprouts white up at the top.  May I make the cheesy missionary comment, that "the field is white all ready to be harvested"?  That is turning out to be true on many accounts here in San Carlos. 
Last Wednesday was actually a really boring p-day.  We already had plenty of groceries from the typhoon, the house was spotless, but we didn't have money to do anything.  So we sat at home and I wanted to go crazy because I had already sat in my house so much that week.  But we had an incredible tender mercy at lunch.  We were standing in line and I looked over and I out of the corner of my eye I saw someone staring at me.  I turned and immediately recognized who it was, and I ran across the restaurant to hug her, as she in turn ran over to hug me as well.  It was Eva, Edgardo's daughter.  I haven't seen her since  Edgardo's funeral.  She's doing so great.  I feel so close to her, she's really busy, but we talked and laughed for a minute and then I hugged her and told her goodbye. 
Thursday:  We went out to Guadalupe, man oh man, Guadalupe is amazing.  We have three investigators with a baptismal date in Guadalupe, and they are all a direct result of Edgardo.  I solemnly swear to tell you the whole story about them next week.  I was thinking about Edgardo a lot this week, he's still all over San Carlos.  I love that man, and I miss him greatly, but he's doing some amazing missionary work here in good old San Carlos. 
Friday:  Friday I hit ten months!  I’m over half way!  In fact I have more time behind me than I do in front of me.  Now that’s a crazy thought.  I have no idea where the time went.  We taught our IBD Renante.  He is amazing.  He is that man who Sister Bateman and I met, he was a Bible Baptist Missionary before, he is doing so good. He loves the Book of Mormon, he always asks really deep questions, and we have some good conversations.  He’s such a stud!  His baptism is set for January 3rd!  He is so excited.  Then we taught my main girl Charlyn.  Who is also doing wonderful!  She is loving the scriptures!  She read Alma 32 and ate it up.  And then she read Mosiah 2 and talked about how she wants to go to the temple.  She just gets it.  She always talks about “the delicious fruit” that is the Book of Mormon.   And then she gave us two referrals! She reminds me so much of Janine from Carcar.  And then I went home and had two surprise letters from my mom!  The STLs had got them and left them on my bed. 
Saturday we had our zone training meeting.  It was amazing as usual. I love being on a mission because I learn so much and I’ve changed my way of thinking so much.  We had to plan a skit for the Christmas Conference.  And can I just tell you that I do not in fact like skits?  It was like youth conference gone wild! 
Sunday:  Charlyn had Carl blessed.  His official full name is “Carl Blake Lehi Gumilao”.  My little namesake is a Mormon.  She loves the name Lehi.  She talked about him going on a mission, and there aren’t even words to describe how that felt.  I had missed this little imperfect branch of mine when we weren’t able to go to church last week.  Right after church we got on a bus and went down to Dumaguete for the Christmas Devotional.  It was a 5 hour ride, and they didn’t have any aircon.  So I rode with my arm out the window and just enjoyed the view, and then realized later that night that my left arm had a gnarly sunburn.  The life.  We were able to see so many wonderful missionaries.  Most of the missionaries I am good friends with are on the other island, so I wasn’t able to see them.  But I made some new friends.  There was this Sister there who kept looking at me, I knew she was still in training.  I walked over to introduce myself and she said “I already know you!  You’re Carlee Beyer.  I read your whole blog!  I stayed up until three in the morning laughing and crying.”  That was madness.  But she is so great.  We talked all day long, I feel like we have been friends forever.  We had so much fun together, her name is Sister Hayes. And all day everyone kept telling me how old I was in the mission.  It hit me as I met Sister after Sister who have only been on the mission for three months, or five months, that my heavens, I suddenly am old in the mission. 
Monday:  We had our Christmas Conference.  It was so great.  Also there was a Christmas Mircale, I got to eat Macdos for breakfast.  And all was well in the world.  I saw Sister Tandiman!  I thought I would never get to see my little Indonesian again, but I saw her from across the room and we just tackled each other.  She goes home in just a few weeks, so it was such a tender mercy.  It was such a good devotional, President and Sister McCurdy did a wonderful job.  Also, we performed our skit. We had to be models, I may have done my “look back booty pop” in front of the whole mission.  #oops.  Sister Hayes admitted to me that she was nervous to talk to me, and even fan girled a little bit over getting me meet me and I died laughing.  Literally, they are just missionary emails.  She’s way too much fun.  We got to listen to the farewell testimonies of the missionaries going home, which is always  so powerful.  And I got to hear Sister Tandimans. Then we went and ate dinner at Macdos.  I regret nothing.
Tuesday:  We got up at 4:00 in the morning to get back to San Carlos. We rode a bus for four hours and then they dropped us off in the middle of nowhere, and we had to wait half an hour for another bus haha.  What is my life.  Literally, we were just in the middle of a jungle.  We got home, and then it was just back to work.  We are some tired little missionaries over here in San Carlos.  But we love it. 
Gosh.  As usual, I had a study I had all prepared, but I have run out of time.  Again.  I’m sorry.  Next week I suppose.  But I love you so much.  Have a great week!  Hopefully it snows eventually over there! I want you to know I love being a missionary.  There is something really special about being a missionary at Christmas time.  It’s hard, but also, it’s so amazing.  It’s amazing to focus on what Christmas is really about.  And to spend every day teaching people about Jesus Christ.  I love my Savior.  And I’m grateful for this Christmas, it’s different than anything I’ve ever had before . But I love it.  I’m so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  And I’m so grateful to wear His name every day and be His missionary.  I love my mission.  I love the ways I get to learn and grow and learn of Him.  I hope you have a great week.  I’ll talk to you next week and then we’ll be a skypin!  I love you.  Stay Strong.  Maayong Pasko.
Sister Carlee Beyer