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 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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Be Still.

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who sent prayers and fasting my way, and to the way of the Philippines.  It was a crazy week for sure, but we are all really good here.  We are safe, and there was no damage to our area.  But man, did we learn a lot this week.  
Wednesday.  We got a text Wednesday morning that a typhoon would be headed our way, and that we needed to get a 72 hour kit together since it would be pday.  It was a crazy experience.  We took it seriously, but we didn't think too much about it at first.  Then we went out to work that night, and we started talking to our members and our investigators, and that's when it started to get really real.  We taught Sister Quiro, who was beside herself she was so worried for her little family.  We taught a really powerful lesson on faith in Jesus Christ, and about how we must prepare for the spiritual and the physical storms of our lives.  The whole city just had a really weird feeling to it.  Really quiet.  We found out that this storm was being compared to the typhoon that hit Tacloban last year.  And thus started one of the craziest weeks of my life.
Thursday:  We were out at work, when we got a text that we needed to go home at 4:00 and physically pack a 72 hour kit in case of evacuation.  The good news, is that I'm from Utah, and I'm totally pro and 72 hour kits because I have been taught it my entire life.  And all the things that dad made me take, that I told him I wouldn't need, like that giant emergency flashlight that I insisted was too heavy?  The roll of ducttape?  The extra medicine?  And so on and so forth, I was very grateful for in that moment.  We were allowed to go back out and work as long as we stayed as close as possible to our house.  The crazy part about being a missionary, is that we don't have any news!  We don't have a radio or a tv.  So we just went out that night and talked to as many people as possible.  Asked them if they were preparing, and encouraged them to buy extra food and water just in case.  And we went from house to house just talking to people.  If they had a tv, we would ask them for the lastest updates.  
Friday:  During our studies we got two texts, one that we would have to sisters coming to stay at our apartment with us.  Mind you, the STL's who usually live with us were stuck on Cebu, they had shut down all boats.  So it was just me and Sister Villacorte in the house.  They told us that we needed to fill up any bucket we had with water just in case, and that we needed to go out and buy more food for the sisters coming to stay with us.  We went to Gaisanos, and the lines were unreal.  Everyone was stocking up on food.  We were then told that we had to be home at 5:00.  When I got that text, it just hit me really hard.  I stood in the middle of this dirt road, and I just looked around me and realized just how small I was.  I looked at the little bamboo huts surrounding me, and I realized just how far away from home I truly was.  I wanted to panic, I wanted to run and hide, I wanted to go home.  As in HOME.  But there isn't a way you can out run a typhoon.  There isn't a way to get home.  You can't go around it, you've just got to go through it.  I stood in the middle of that little street and shed a tear or two, and said a silent prayer.  I think it's one of those moments I'll never quite forget.  
Saturday:  The storm was supposed to hit on Saturday.  We had the Sisters from another area staying with us.  We were inside all day long. President McCurdy asked us to say a mission wide kneeling prayer at 12:00.  I deep cleaned the house, wrote millions of letters and watched every church movie known to mankind.  We were really blessed, and the weather was really mild on Saturday.  We had a little wind and a little rain, but truthfully, nothing out of the usual.
Sunday:  We were told that we wouldn't be going to church.  We stayed at home all day, and were told to have a testimony since it was fast sunday.  The four of us had a really sweet testimony meeting.  Then we all just kind of kept to ourselves and did our own thing and waited for the storm to hit.  I brought out the Beyer in me, and went on an organizing spree. I unpacked, organized, and repacked all of my stuff.  It was kind of like dad and his garage in the summer time.  The Andersons texted us, and they told us they had gotten permission to bring us the sacrament.  So Elder Anderson came over and blessed and passed the sacrament to us, and we had a sacrament meeting with the six of us.  It was really powerful and so special.  We had a lot of time to think, to ponder, and to study.  I was really able to think about my time her, what I've done, what I could have done better, what I want to do.  I was able to just realize how blessed I am to be here.  We were so blessed, and by the night, the storm had pretty much passed over us.  The storm barely even hit us.  It was scary, but truthfully, I've worked in worse wind and rain than what hit us.  We were so blessed the whole time.  That night, it was actually rather chilly.  Only about 80 degrees in our house.  Which is the coldest it's ever been.  So since I had nothing else super important to do.  I once again spent an hour heating up hot water so I could have a hot shower before going to bed.  
Monday:  We got a text that all was well, and that we were able to go out and work.  It was a weird feeling to actually go out and work and be a missionary again.  We had a CSP in one of the elders area, about a 40 minute bus ride away.  We went up into the mountains to one of their members houses, and then we got into the river in front of their house, and collected rocks so that we could make a road for them that wouldn't get washed away in the mud.  It also felt very Beyer.  We all decided we felt a little bit like Lamanites.  And then I took a butong, (coconut) and a sundang (like...a sword) and chopped open my own butong and drank the coconut water within.  And that was the day I became a true Filipino according to all the elders I was with.  
Tuesday:  The Sisters finally were able to make it home!  And I met Sister Laub.  Our new housemate.  She is wonderful and I love her already.  Sister Villoria worked with us, and suprised us by taking us out to lunch to let us know she's moving to Manilla in two weeks to be with her family.  We're so excited for her, but I'll miss that woman like crazy.  And, that was our week.  It was madness.
I mentioned last week that I had a study I wanted to share, and I'm actually really grateful I wasn't able to send it last week.  I'll share what I was going to share last week, and then add onto it this week.  I'll be honest, when transfer calls came last week, I was a little disappointed.  I felt like I was ready for a change.  I felt like I was supposed to transfer.  And I was saying a prayer, to kind of ask for peace for this next transfer, and I just felt the words come over me ever so gently to "be still".  So I decided to do a study on the words be still.  The first scripture I read was D&c101:16.  "Therefore let your hearts be comforted concerning zion.  For all flesh is in my hands: be still and know that I am God." 
So I just thought, be comforted.  He has a plan for me.  All flesh is in his hands.  I am in His hands.  So just be still, lose the chaos, and know that He is God, and he is in charge.  In D&C5:34 it talks about standing still and that He will provide a means for us to accomplish the things he has commanded us.  In D&C61:36 we are told to be of good cheer, for He is in our midst, and he has not forsaken us.  And in D&C 123:17 it says "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance to see the salvation of God, and for His arm to be revealed"  And I just thought of that mom of mine, and how she always tells me not to worry about the things that you can't change.  And that the one thign we are in charge of is our attitude.
Which brought me back to a memory I have of oh so long ago with Sister Passey.  She shared an experience with me, and truthfully, I don't remember why, maybe it was so I could remember it now.  It is in Jacob 5, the allagory of the Olive Tree.  It's in the part where the master of the vineyard and the servant go to the furthest part of the vineyard (aka San Carlos) and it all just felt mighty relatable.  In verse 20 he talks about staying and nourishing the farthest part of the vineyard for another season.  Aka, "stay another transfer".  And then in verses 21-22, the servant says unto the Master of the vineyard, "why!  why did you bring me to the poorest part of the vineyard" and then the Lord said unto him, counsel me not.  I new that iwt was the poorest part of the ground, wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit"  I don't need to know why I'm here, as long as I know that the Lords ways are higher than mine.
Sometimes it's so incredibly easy to say "I'll go where you want me to go"  Everyone loves transfers, the new change, the new start, the adventures.  But sometimes you've gotta say, "i'll stay where you want me to stay".  My dear friend Lauren has written me some wonderful emails on my mission about some personal experiences she has had, where she has just felt the words "Be Still and let me be your God".  And so that's exactly what I'm trying to do.  Because, as my dear mom taught me, everything happens for a reason.  
So now we flash forward to this last week.  When I do a study to send home, I think about it all week long.  I ponder how I'm going to portray it, what i want to say.  And so it was a really tender mercy to get to study this out all week, and really think about it.  I think you all know that my worst fear is typhoons, it has been since my mission call.  I was scared out of my mind.  But as I felt peace, and felt the words over and over again to be still and know that He is my God, it was okay.  It was an amazing week.  We were so blessed.  And I'm so grateful for the things that my Heavenly Father taught me this week.  I'm so blessed here in San Carlos.  And I'm so grateful that I Heavenly Father doesn't always listen to what I think I want.  
I love you so much.
Sister Carlee Beyer

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Gift

Well, another week has come and gone.  And we are now officially into December.  Are you sick of me talking about the time yet?  Or are all of you just as confused as I am?  It was a wonderful week, full of adventures and plot twists, but we survived to tell another tale.  
Last Wednesday we had a crazy day.  We had a zone activity, and the zone leaders informed us in district meeting that we would be having a budol fight.  Which is really fun.  You just get a bunch of banana leafs, and then you pour rice on them and whatever food you can.  And then you all sit around the banana leafs and eat with your hands.  So we're all stoked.  And then they inform us (not ask, inform) that us sisters will be making the food for all twenty of us!  So last Wednesday we got up early and were all cooking food for the twenty of us.  It was almost just like Thanksgiving at home.  We had some Amy Grant music playing and we all just laughed and helped each other cook.  I'm totally pro at Filipina food now.  It was a really fun activity.  And after we ate so much food and were stuffed, we played games for a few hours. 
Thursday was Thanksgiving!  They don't have Thanksgiving her at all.  And I live with a bunch of Filipinas, but I surely did not let that stop me.  I was determined that we would sit down, and we would have thanksgiving, and it would be delicious and we would be thankful dangit!  It was a little bit of a sad looking thanksgiving haha.  I bought a lechon manok, I made mashed potatoes, and Sister Anderson donated some real McCormick gravy to the cause, and then I made some  candied squash.  And of course rice for my Filipinas.  We had Sister Ramos and Salazar staying with us, which was fun because Sister Ramos and I lived together in Carcar, and she lived in AMerica for three years, so she had had Thanksgiving before.  We sat down to eat our lunch, and they asked me to explain what Thanksgiving actually was.  They didn't quite get it, but they enjoyed it.  Then we just went out to work, and that was that.  We came home that night, and I ate cold  leftovers, it was surely a different Thanksgiving, but it was good.  
Friday:  The Andersons came over, because they had to go to Cebu and wouldn't be back until after transfer day.  They came over to tell me goodbye.  They hugged me, kissed me on the cheek and told me how much they have loved working with me, and that they would miss me.  Everyone was certain I would transfer.  Including me.  It was a week filled with goodbyes.  And many, many tears.  When I said goodbye to the Andersons we all just cried.  
Saturday:  We got up at 5:30 to play games with the branch missionaries, then we went home had personal study, and then got together with the branch to build my main girl Charlyn a house!  It was a really great service project.  The branch was amazing.  The men all got together and built her family a house, and then us girls got together and laba'd all their clothes.  It was such a good service project.  It started to rain as we were doing laba, and I had a crowd of about twenty people just staring at the American who was doing laba and speaking visaya, and all of us missionaries just started singing our favorite efy songs and hymns.  One thing led to another, and then I started trying my hand at rapping in visaya hahaha.  It was way too much fun.  So many people were recording us.  I have a rockin rap introducing us as missionaries hahaha.  And then, later that day we all went to the church for Charlyns baptism!  We got it all set up, and she was able to be baptized on Saturday...except...the main water pipe was broken!  There wasn't water to fill up the font.  So sadly, we had to postpone it.  
Sunday:  I woke up and it was freezing.  (It was like 85 degrees) but I refused to have a cold water bucket shower.  So I decided I deserved a hot bucket shower.  It took me a half an hour, but I heated up pots of water on the stove and filled up my 5 gallon bucket with hot water.  It was dreamy beyond all description.  We went to church, and there was no water again!  So we had no choice but to move the baptism to the ocean!  We planned it for after church, but while we were at church, we had three investigators show up from Guadalupe.  All men.  My little band of misfit boys in Guadalupe is just growing, and it is all from Edgardo.  They are all IBD's right now.  :)  I had given a few of my skirts to the branch missionaries here, as a going away gift, and they all wore them to church on Sunday and loved them.  And then, as I was sitting in Sacrament, Sister Anderson came in and pulled me out of the sacrament hall!  They had to come back to San Carlos for something, and she told me she had a going away gift for me.  She took me in to show me that Elder Anderson had fixed the baptismal font, and that it was full!  We had the baptism, and it was wonderful.  Charlyn gave a beautiful testimony, and everyone cried.  
Monday: I developed a horrible cold.  I mean horrible.  So I decided that once again, I deserved a hot water bucket shower again.  I made pancakes for everyone and we went to district meeting.  Everyone was sure I would transfer.  The elders wrote on the board that I was transferring to another island!  Siguijor, the dream area of the mission.  And everyone cheered!  I was so excited.  And then they laughed and erased it and told me it was not so, that i was to stay here for another transfer.  Oh.  So I'm going on four transfers here.  Which will be six months, one third of my mission!  It's crazy, I surely didn't see that coming.  But I get to spend Christmas with my Andersons who I love so much.  That night, Sister Rugg was able to call me from the mission home to tell me goodbye.  (Trainers get to call their anaks) we had a good talk, shed a few tears, and said that we would se each other in August.  We wer fed three dinners in a row on Monday because everyone thought I would be transferring! haha.  But the branch missionaries squealed with absolute joy over me staying.  And Charlyn cried when she found out.  So I'll Christmas here, and we'll just keep going!  
I am absolutely out of time.  I have a study I really want to share, I'll have to do it next week.  But earlier, President McCurdy asked us to go and watch the video posted there.  It is under three minutes, and it brought me to tears.  Its amazing, and it's what it's really all about.  I gotta go.  I love you huh!
Sister Carlee Beyer

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Love you huh!"

I apologize in advance for the shortness of this email.  Sometimes a girl's just gotta talk to her mom, and sometimes as a result, you only have a few minutes to type out a quick email to everyone!  
So this week was a blur.  This was one of the fastest weeks we've had.  Probably also because our p-day was on Thursday, so it mixed everything up quite a bit! 
Thursday:  We ran errands like madness.  We were just doing a bunch of things we've been putting off, and things I've been meaning to do for months now haha.  The end of transfers will do that to you because you never really know what is going to happen.  Also I am officially a real Filipina, because we bought all our food for the week at the mercado!  I haggled over the price of green beans and mangos.  I'm officially a Filipina.  
Friday:  We were able to go on splits with the STL's.  It was really good.  I worked with Sister Nonato, who I absolutely adore.  We've gotten really close this last transfer.  She actually reminds me a lot of a Filipina version of my best friend Sarah.  She taught me some Filipina tribal dances that we do together, and we're always singing together.  We had some really good lessons.  We had interviews with the STL's, which I always love.  And then I made us all my specialty, you guessed it, tuna curry.  It's delicious I promise!
Saturday:  We went out to Guadalupe as usual.  We taught our wonderful investigator Juanito, who is a complete stud.  Except, while we were teaching him, I was sitting on his bench and it snapped in half!  Yes my friends, I broke a bench.  They all laughed for days and told me that I was a big american, and that I should go on a diet.  For real though, I gotta lay off the rice!  We had one of our recent converts work with us and help us out.  His name is Benitez, he is 27 and he's so sweet.  He has a little bit of a learning disability, and he's the sweetest man ever.  We had to cross a river to get to Juanitos house, and  Benitez placed rocks in the river so we could walk across, and then he got in the river and held our hands to help us across.  He's the best. 
Sunday:  We had five investigators at church!  Which is one of the most of my entire mission!  Plus, my dear Charlyn and new friend Carl came to church.  They looked great.  And  my boy Carl is just as gwapo as can be.  There was a talk in church that was so good.  It was about grattitude and love.  The Filipino culture is so shy, and often, it's really awkward for them to say I love you.  Even to their family or anything like that.  They are some of the most loving people I know, they ove the heck out of me, but they just are too shy to say it.  Well, over  the pulpit this amazing returned missionary, Annalee, taught about how we have to say it to others.  She read a cute story that had the whole audience crying, and then she said over the pulpit "I love you mom and dad" and then covered her bright red face.  The whole congregation alomst died of shock and embarassment as well.  But the coolest thing happened, the whole sacrament hall  got really loud, really noisy, because everyone was looking at each other and saying "I love you".  It was so cool to sit back and watch as everyone so shyly and with bright red faces, smiling from ear to ear said I love you.  I think it's one of those things I"ll remembe rfor the rest of my life.  
Monday:   We had a birthday in our district, we bought cake with buttercream frosting.  I took a bite, and found out that it was literally just whipped margerine, and then I gagged a little bit because I had so much margerine in my mouth!  We had a service project, and ended up cleaning up garbage on a beach, and then a little girl had a bike, so I borrowed it and was cruising up and down the beach on a bike.  IT was basically dreams.  And then I found out that Sister Villacorte didn't know how to ride a bike!  So I ran behind her and held her bike up as she pedadled as fast as she could down the beach, she never quite got it, there was a lot of screaming in fear, and falling in the sand, but it was so much fun.
Tuesday:  Such an amazing day.  I'm almost out of time, so I"ll talk about my favorite part.  Sister Anderson told us that she wanted to help Charlyn out, and if she could use anything.  So I made a list of some things that she could use and I gave it to Sister Anderson.  She picked us up yesterday to visit Charlyn, and as I got out she started unloading all of the stuff.  She went above and beyond.  As she handed it to me I just started crying, and I thanked her for doing what I wanted to do, but what I'm not alowed to do.  Charlyn means so much to me, and I was just so overwhelmed with how generous Sister Anderson was.  We walked for about fifteen minutes to the Pacaldos and Charlyn came over.  We talked for a little while, and then we told her we had a surprise for her.  We told her to close her eyes, and then we brought it all out.  She opened her eyes, and immediately just started sobbing.  She's only 18 years old, and she doesn't have much.  She just sobbed and said Thank you, over and over again in English.  She opened up everything and just cried.  It was amazing, we threw her a little baby shower.  We taught her, and I was able to translate for Sister ANderson.  My favorite part was at the end when Sister Anderson was bearing her testimony, she would say a sentance or two and then pause and I would translate it.  It was such a powerful lesson.  We left and it was pouring, and so the three of us ran through the rain soaking wet for ten minutes to Sister Andersons truck.  It was one of my most cherished nights of my mission. 
So.  Quickly, I want to explain "love you huh!".  So in the MTC, SIster Ormsby always added huh to the end of things.  Especially as she was leaving or saying goodbye.  Sister Anderson and I picked up on it really quick in the MTC.  Once I got here, I didn't know how to say much.  But I would always say "amping huh" (which means, take care) and then love you huh!  (Huh is just an emphasizer, it just adds extra umph to it, extra meaning).  It was all I really knew how to say, and I meant it!  I love these people.  I didn't really realize how big of a deal it was to always say I love you.  I didn't realize that wasn't the norm here.  But it was just about all I could say to these people.  And it stuck.  I still say it all the time.  THe cool part about being in an area for three transfers, is that you just get to know people so well.  And everyone has noticed that it's my catchphrase, so the last couple of weeks, people have started saying it back to me.  It's been so fun to watch, as these shy little filipinos will always say it back to me.  Or even just text us out of the blue to say "love you huh!".  I read a talk by President Monson called "Love, the essence  of the gospel".  It's really what it's all about.  We just need to love everyone.  And love everything.  Don't let a day go without telling someone you love them.  Or without loving something.  I'm so grateful for all of you, and I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving. 
Love you huh!
Sister Carlee Beyer

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Come What May.

My family, I love you.  I'm half way done, I'm on the downhill slope, and that's a crazy feeling.  
Wednesday:  We celebrated the 9 month mark of Sister Beyer so right.  I got to wear jeans and vans.  I was feelin a little like Carlee, which is always a good feeling.  After email, we bought rambutans (my favorite fruit) by the kilo and all piled into the truck.  We cruised through the mountains and sugar cane fields bumpin some fabulous Christmas mucis and then we got to the monkey sanctuary. We had to get out of the car, and walk through the jungle and call the monkeys.  We had to do this crazy monkey call thing.  AND THEN THEY STARTED RUNNING FROM THE TREES.  I will not lie, it was scary.  I may have screamed in terror.  I may have had to run from a few monkeys hahaha.  We had some peanuts for them.  I liked the little ones, they were cute and would climb up you like a tree and take your peanuts and run.  But the big ones were SCARY.  One of them chased me for my peanuts hahaha.  It was really fun.  We laughed and had some good times hanging out with the monkeys.  At one point, I was trying to coax a small one to come closer to me, I was holding the whole bag of peanuts, when this huge monkey came running out of nowhere and climbed UP MY BODY AND STOLE MY PEANUTS.  I screamed in pure and utter terror.  Let's just say, it was a day I'll probably never forget.  Brayden, I'm not going to bring you home a monkey, because truthfully, I'm way to scared of the monkeys hahaha.  We went home and for traditions sake, I burned a shirt.  It was stained and I couldn't use it anymore haha.  The Filipinas all thought Americans were weird for having that tradition.  
Thursday:  We taught Charlyn her very last lesson.  We moved her baptism to Tuesday afternoon, which was the earliest we could have it to race against the clock before she had her baby.  She's so ready.  :)  She's changed so much and I love her endlessly.  Also, I made the executive decision that the most beautiful sunsets come from the Philippines.
Friday:  We were able to go out a little early to help out a less active man we found named Larry.  His son is four months old and has a really bad cleft palet, so we are going to try to help him get in with a member who is from the states who comes and does cleft surgeries for free.  The Andersons are helping us out.  Sometimes, its so cool to get to help people, especially in ways I never thought I would be able to.  Also, I spent a good solid hour on Friday sewing my clothes.  Do you people realize how big of a deal this is?  I do not sew.  Send help.  I now sew.  
Saturday:  We got a text that Charlyn had the baby!  So we'll have to move her baptism back, but that's okay.  This must have been the plan for her all along.  :)  We went and visited them and they are doing great.  Charlyn told me that she has named the baby "Carl Blake" after me.  She told me that I've changed her life, and as a result, his.  Sometimes, its amazing to be a missionary. 
Sunday:  We had some really solid people come to church for the first time.  And, everyone is now officially wishing each other Merry Christmas and Happy New Year hahaha.  
Monday:  We had District Meeting.  Elder Lawrence is my District Leader.  He's from New Zealand.  He gives amazing workshops.  I've been so lucky with amazing District Leaders.  I've learned so dang much.  We went out to work and we got punted all day long.  I mean, we just walked miles, and it was hot as heck.  At one point, we were walking down a long dusty road, and we just started laughing.  I guess that's just part of missionary work, everyone has a story like that.  But tender mercies came, and the Elders texted us and invited us to an FHE that night in their area!
Tuesday:  We went out to Guadalupe, and we saw some incredible tender mercies.  Everyone out there knows who Edgardo is, and we met some new people, who asked us if we were the ones who helped Edgardo.  And then they listened to us.  That man is doin some work in Guadalupe.  I miss him.  We went home, and had one potato and one can of tuna to our name, we weren't sure what we were going to make, and then the heavens opened and we remembered that we had mac and cheese from Mama Beyer!  We made a feast of mac and cheese, and my little filipina's loved it.  
Yesterday:  Instead of pday, we had zone conference.  It was so great to see President and Sister McCurdy.  Everyone was laughing at me, because I'm the only Sister in two whole zones who isn't Filipina.  We took millions of pictures and had a good old time.  Then we were able to go and visit Charlyn and my dear sweet Carl, in the hospital again.  And that was the week.  It was a good week all in all.  
I studied this week the talk "Come What May and Love It" from Elder Wirthlin.  It is such a good read.  It just talked about how we are all going to have trials, we are all going to go through some really hard things, but that there are those people who face these trials with a good attitude and who choose to learn and grow from their trials.  It made me think of the lesson that Sister Passey taught me oh so long ago in my first transfer of the mission when she just looked at me and said "Sister Beyer, are you going to make this a fear building, or a faith building experience?"  and oh how I've thought back to that time and time again.  It says that "The Lord in his wisdom does not shield anyone from grief or sadness"  We need these trials in order to become converted.  If you look up conversion in the bible dictionary it says "complete conversion comes after much trials and testing.  We must expect these trials and be grateful for them.  They refine us.  They make us strong, we need these trials to push us to grow and change into what He sees in us and to become what He needs us to be.  It talked about the principle of compensation and how every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and grattitude.  And lastly, he said "The simple secret is this:  Put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest up to him".  Oh how I know how true that is.  I thought to some of the missionaries who I look up to most on my mission, and when they talk about the trials they've had on their missions.  Hard trials!  Challenging as heck.  And they do it with a smile on their face, because they know how it shaped them and changed them.  I wanna live like that too.  Come what may and love it!
I love you all.  Stay strong huh?  
Sister Carlee Beyer

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Livin on a Prayer

The.  Madness.  My beloved's.  Today is my official nine month mark as a missionary.  Which means that I'm halfway.  I've been trying to wrap my mind around it all week long.  It feels impossible that I'm actually here, that I'm actually a missionary.  Growing up, missionaries were always those superheros.  They were those "big kids" who had it all figured out and were so smart and they just went out and saved the world.  Even though I've been on a mission for a good amount of time now, I still wake up sometimes completely in awe that I'm on a mission.  That I'm a real life missionary.  And I'm serving here in the Philippines.  It's a completely bitter sweet feeling to hit 9 months.  It's a very accomplishing feeling, but it's also scary.  It's crazy to think that I'm half way done.  Have I done what I needed to do?  What I was supposed to do?  Could I have done it better?  If I could go back, I would do it all so differently.  I would start over from day one and do it all so differently.  But I think we all would.  That's the beauty of hindsight haha.  But, even though we can't go back, we can change and be better now.  So that's what I plan to do with the next half of my mission.  :)
So last wednesday was Pintaflores.  It was madness.  After we emailed, the whole city was shut down to watch the parade.  The roads were all closed and everyone in the city came out to watch the parade.  We needed to walk to the other side of the city to meet up with the Andersons.  It was the craziest thing in the world to walk down the street, with hundreds of Filipinos on both side and just hear them say to each other in hushed tones "Americana"  or "Taas Ilong" which means, tall nose.  Sister Villacorte just laughed and laughed.  I am the only American in all of San Carlos other than the Andersons haha.  And I stand out like no other!  The parade was really cool.  It was all native dancers.  They were dressed up to the nines and had some awesome native dances.  It was really fun to just relax and watch.  After the parade we went down to the farmers market/fair thingy.  It was oddly like home, but with a Filipina twist.  We bought lunch at the fair.  We had a mango shake, and a piece of fried chicken I bought from a man off the street for ten pesos, and a scoop of rice.  They served it to me on a banana leaf and I had to eat it with my hands.  And it was completely delicious.  Somehow, rice just tastes better when you eat it with your hands.  We wandered around the fair, and found some really awesome things to buy.  And we took some pictures in a photo booth, it was really fun.  And it was nice to just see normal life, and be a part of it.  
Thursday:  Not a lot happened.  A big thing to do here in the Philippines is to match.  If you can match in any way shape or form, you do it.  It's adorable haha.  So Sister Villacorte went through my clothes to see what she had that was similar to hers, and then we went to our Zone Training Meeting in matching clothes.  Zone Training Meeting was really great.  We learned about the doctrine of foreordination.  Also, I don't think I've ever talked about how here in the Philippines, everyone just calls us "Sis".  It's the cutest thing in the world, if a member is close with us, or an investigator, they will just lovingly call us "sis".  It isn't casual or disrespectful, it is just so loving and probably one of my favorite things.  It also makes me think of Tina, which I of course love.  
Friday:  Everyone here always wants to guess where I'm from.  Everyone always asks where I'm from and I tell them America.  Then they ask me if I'm a "pure American".  It's kind of hard to explain that there isn't a real thing, because everyone came to America as immigrants at one point or another haha.  But the new thing here is that everyone has been guessing of the bat that I'm from Germany because apparently I don't look American.  I look very German.  I think it's just because I have brown hair and brown eyes.  If i was blonde haired and blue eyed they would think that.  But I always laugh, and tell them my Grandpa was born in Germany and that they are exactly right.  That night we had dinner with the Andersons to celebrate Sister Villacorte and Sister Minguez's birthday.  It was great to have some good home cooked American food and to catch up with the Andersons.  I kind of feel like they are just my adopted parents here.  If I have a question, I ask them.  If I am unsure about something, I ask them.  It's the best.  And, they give the best hugs ever.
Saturday:  I was cooking lunch, because somehow I have become the chef in the house!  And I realized how badly I long for a turkey sandwich and a dr pepper.  Alas, one day haha.  Sister Villacorte was looking through my pictures, and saw that there was snow, but it was sunny.  We had a really long conversation where I tried to explain to her that even though there was sun, it wasn't hot, it was cold.  She couldn't fathom the fact of sun not being hot.  And I don't blame her for that!  We always learn so much from each other haha.  
Sunday:  It was my one year mark since I was able to go through the temple for the first time.  The time just flies.  We had a brown out all day on Sunday, and our bathroom is in the back corner of the house with no windows, so it was pitch black.  So I decided to light some candles so I could see!  I had a lovely candle lit shower and the crack of dawn.  All the sisters made fun of me, they just showered in the dark!  We had a really cool investigator come to church named Renante.  He met me and Sister Bateman.  He called out to us and asked us if we were missionaries.  He told us that he was a Bible Baptist Missionary before, and I thought he was going to try to bible bash with us, but he was actually really nice.  Then when we were teaching one of his neighbors, he saw us walk by and joined in the lesson and then he came to church.  He is full of questions.  He threw all the hard questions at me, but he is willing to learn and he liked church a lot.  
Monday:  I woke up from a dream, that was in straight Visaya! We had some sisters staying at our house, so we had six of us that needed to shower in one shower before 8 in the morning.  Well, one of the sisters started to take a little too long, and we were going to run out of time.  So we took matters into our own hands and set up a little shower out back on our patio.  It was totally covered and blocked off, but I ended up having to shower outside. So that was exciting. It was kind of like a Japanese onsen all over again! We had a really good district meeting, and then we had a CSP where we just cleared a huge lot of land for a member in our ward.  
Tuesday:  Not a ton happened.  We taught Charlyn and she is doing well.  Oh!  We were driving down the highway, and I was sitting in the back of a trike when heavens only knows how, I look up to see the phone fall out of my bag and bounce down the highway. I just yelled "BROTHER! Turn around!"  I was so scared to see our poor little phone after it had bounced down the highway.  I ran out into the road to grab it, and our little nokia brick, you know, from like 1999 didn't have a single scratch.  That thing is indestructable!  
So now my friends, I would like to quote my dear long lost friend Bon Jovi...
"Whoa, we're half way there, whoa, livin on a prayer, take my hand and we'll make it I swear it.  Whoa, living on a prayer".
We are indeed halfway there.  Which is utter madness.  And as I've been thinking about it, and humming that song a little bit, I've realized how much I truly have been living on a prayer.  
I studied a great talk by Richard G Scott called "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer".  Some thoughts that I really loved from it go as follows.  He is God.  And he has not only asked us, or invited  us, but commanded us to pray.  To Him.  Us, mere mortals, simple imperfect humans, can pray to Him and any time and He will listen. And He will answer.  And what's more, He asks us to call him Father.  Do we really realize how tender that truly is?  
There was a quote that says "Don't worry about your clumsily expressed feelings.  Just talk to your compassionate understanding father.  You are His precious child whom he loves perfectly and wants to help. As you pray, recognize that He is near and He is listening".  That's one thing I learned so much on my mission.  I can clumsily pray in visaya, especially at first, I just pieced words together, but I was able to feel peace and comfort as I imperfectly pieced sentences together.  
There was another quote that talked about how we need to be grateful that sometimes God lets us struggle for a long time before the answer comes.  Because our character will grow, and our faith will increase.  There is a realtionship between those two.  The greater our faith, the stronger our character.  The stronger our character, and increased character enhances our ability to exercise even greater faith.
I love D&C 45:3-5.  It's such a sweet reminder about our prayers.  Never lose sight of our advocate and reedemer as you walk after Him.  One imperfect step after another.  
I remembe rthinking that I was burdening God with my prayers.  Surely there wer people who needed Him more than I needed him.  And then I got on my mission.  I remember that first night in the MTC hitting me like a ton of bricks.  I was ALONE.  Where was my family?  Where were my friends?   I was alone with a bunch of strangers with no one to talk to, and I would be alone for a very long time.  I just cried and cried that first night.  And then I realized I did have someone I could talk to.  I realized that the only person I could talk to was my Heavenly Father.  My goodness, how I have learned to pray on my mission.  He's all I've got on my mission right now.  I've had many times where I've had to hit my knees, hard.  I've had some tear soaked prayers.  I've recieved some completely miraculous answers.  I've felt comforted.  I've felt peace.  I've felt forgiveness.  I've felt His love.  The only way I can do this, is through prayer.  I'm halfway there, and I am indeed, living on a prayer.  
I read a quote this week that I really liked, "Don't count the miles, count the 'I love you's' ".  I love you so much.  And I'm so grateful for the support and love you show me.  I miss you more than I can ever express.  But I love it here so much.  I'll talk to you soon.
Sister Carlee Beyer

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Dear Friends, we are now in November.  October is gone.  This is primarily concerning because in my head, I legitimately still think it is June.  Time is the most confusing concept in the entire world.  And it doesn't help that the weather is the exact same every single day.  I cannot wrap my mind  around the fact that it is November.  Missions are madness, it feels like eternities, yet at the same time, the days just blur into one.  Nobody gets it haha.  
This week was complete madness.  And as I looked through my last couple of weeklies, I realize that I've been slacking on good quality weekly emails.  So I solemnly swear to send a quality weekly right now.  
So in good old San Carlos, it is almost Pintaflores.  Which is a huge festival.  HUGE.  It means painted flowers.  They've been getting ready for it for weeks.  It's actually been this last week, and today is the last day of it.  After we finish emailing we are going with the Andersons to watch the big street parade they are doing for it.  The city has gone all out for this. It's been kind of cool to see.  Today, since it's pday we are going to explore and see what treasures we can find.  Last week we went over to the place where they are having a huge farmers market/state fair.  It was so much fun.  We're going to go again today because it will actually all be set up.  
Last Wednesday we were able to teach our investigator/IBD Charlyn. She is so great.  She actually  found us.  She walked up to Sister Bateman and I one day and asked us if we would teach her.  She reminds me so much of Janine, my recent convert from Carcar.  Charlyn is  18, she is  due any day now with a baby.  And if it's  a girl, she said she wants to name her Carlee haha.  (She  saw my name on my scriptures)  She is  so elect.  She learns so much and she loves the gospel.  She came to general conference and  loved it.  Her baptism is set for November 22nd.  She's so great.  We teach her three times a week, and we teach her at a members house.  The Pacaldos.  They are the ones who are constantly uploading millions of pictures of me to facebook (apparently haha).  Charlyn is really great.  She has such amazing faith.  She has a lot of trials, but she's strong.  That girl is tough as nails, and when she talks about this gospel, she just cries.  I love her so much.  
Thursday:  Sister Villacorte kicked my butt in language study again.  I love that dang companion of mine. I realized that I didn't say much about her last week.  She is 22, she is from a place called Kidapawan.  It's in Mindanao, which is south of here, and they speak Visaya there.  She is the youngest of nine kids, and she is the only  member of her family.  When she got transfer calls, she had no idea who I was.  But when she got here, this  is what she had gathered from talking to people, 1.  I was trained by Sister Passey.  2.  I'm really funny.  3. I  want a Filipina companion endlessly.  4. I cook.  So, apparently, that is what I'm known for in the mission hahaha. The last couple of weeks I've gotten endless emails congratulating me for getting a Filipina companion.  I love it.  I feel like Heavenly Father is  so incredibly aware of me this transfer.  I feel like he took all of my weaknesses, my anxieties, my fears, my insecurities, and then he just gave me the perfect companion for all of them. Sister Villacorte just came in and loved the heck out of me.  There is  this adorable Filipina culture habit (I'm  losing English, I have no idea how to explain that) where when you're walking down the road, you hold hands or link arms.  I realize that in American culture, that sounds strange, but it is so common here, and I love it.  When you cross the street you hold hands.  She is always putting her head on my  shoulder or holding onto my arm.  This girl just came in  and loved the heckout of me, and it has been  so good.  She serves the heck out of me too.  I can't keep  up with her.  She wakes up early to wash my shoes.  She's amazing.  Heavenly Father is so good to me.  Thursday we went out to Guadalupe.  We have found some amazing new people to teach.  The Benemeritos gave us a new referral, and we had Detche work with us that day.  Detche is a  branch missionary, and she should be getting her mission call  any week now.  She's so great.  
Friday: Not a lot happened.  It was Halloween, but they don't celebrate Halloween ehre on the 31st.  I missed the  Beyer Family Parties and SOUP.  And I remembered when Brayden didn't know how to say "spooky" and could only say "pookski" and then that made me happy all  day long haha.  
Saturday:  It's November!  It was Kalagkalag, which means All Souls Day, it's their version of Halloween.  There's lots of feasts, and they all go to the cemetaries and put out food and such.  It was madness.  We ate lunch at the Pacaldos, and then we started our fast.  It reminded me so much of my first fast sunday here, because my first fast sunday was easter.  Hot as heck, and punted all day long because of the holiday.  We walked miles!  And by 2:00 we had gone through all of our plans for the day, we had even made double plans just in case.  All of them were exhausted.  So we tracted until 8:00 haha.  THE LIFE.
Sunday was Sister Villacortes birthday.  We broke our fast and the Pacaldos invited us over to eat left overs for lunch. We had a really awesome area broadcast that night that we got to watch.  Elder Oaks spoke at it, it was amazing and so relatable.  
Monday: Not a lot happened.  Other than a fabulous story of a man brought out a  stool for me to sit on.  There was a lizard on it, I went to sweep the lizard off of the stool and it apparently did not like that.  It jumped off the stool andbooked it...directly up my skirt.  That dang lizard ran up my leg and I started screaming and jumping around trying to get the lizard OUT OF MY  SKIRT.  This my friends, this is the life of Sister Beyer.  
Tuesday: Not a lot happend, we got punted a ton this whole week because of the holiday and pintaflores.  But last night as Sister Villacorte and I were talking, she was asking me what foods we eat in America.  We had a hilarious conversation where I tried to explain  for 15 minutes what a casserole was.  We're learning so much from each other haha.  
I've been slacking off for many moons on a good study.  So here it goes. 
President and Sister McCurdy have been talking a lot lately about happiness.  So Idecided to study it out a little bit.  At our last conference Sister McCurdy gave a really good  workshop on happiness, and it made me think of my sweet family.  Firstly it made me think of my main man, Grandpa Gib.  I was reminicing on family dinners every Sunday.  Having him come over, and from the time I can remember, me running over and giving him a big hug.  Him hugging me back extra tight and greeting me with a "hi hun" and then me asking him how he was doing.  And his response has always been the exact same, every week.  "Good!  I'm always good".  Now that's a smart man.  He's never said anything contrary.  This 83 year old man has plenty he could  complain about I'm sure, but he chooses to be happy.  Which made me think of my sweet mom who has taught me my whole life the importance of  our attitude and our choices.  I can still hear her catch phrase, "It's the choices we make Carlee" and one of the biggest choices we make isour attitude.  I  wonder where she might have learned that from?  
Sister McCurdy talked about how we are on the path of happiness, the pursiut of happiness, Because we just keep moving forward and pursuing after it.  I've  recently been reading the book of mormon, and studying Nephi.  Man, I  love Nephi, he is such a study.  I came across the well known verse "men are that they might have joy" (2 nephi 2:25)  That they MIGHT have joy.  That might is in there because it is up to us!  And then in 2 Nephi 5:27,  "and it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness"  Now thiswasn't easy, they had to choose to live after it.  We are all aware of this story, but really think about it.  They left their home  and everything they had to journey through the wilderness for years.  They had many hardships.  They built a ship and crossed the great waters and were many times tossed along the waves of the sea.  Nephi's life is  multiple times threatened by his brothers, and in the chapter just before this, nephi's father dies and Nephi has to take his  family and flee from his brothers.  
Poor Laman and Lemuel, I hate to make the same comparrison that has been made countless times, but look at the striking difference here.  They went through the same trials, crossed the same plains andwaters andlook at the differences.  All because they chose to live after the manner of happiness.  Trials of course willcome, we won't becompletely happy 100% of the time.  But we go through hard things to better learn true happiness.  Remember the admonition of the Lord to "be of good cheer".  I love in 2 Nephi 5:11, it says "and the lord was with us"  The Lord is with us!  So be of good cheer!  Happiness is  in our hands, not in our circumstacnes,so choose to be happy. I thought of one of my very favorite talks, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come" and my favorite quote that has often got me through some very hard days on  my mission.  "Don't you give  up.  Don't you quit.  You keep walking.  You keep trying.  There is help and happiness ahead, a lot ofit.  You keep your chin up.  It will all be all right in the end.  Trust in God and believe in good things to come."
So let's choose to be happy.  I've learned a lot from these people, and I assure you that happiness is not in things.  It doesn't come from things.  Choose to be happy, and believe in good things to come. I love y ou all so much.  
Love, Sister Carlee Beyer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

the filipina revolution

Guys!  October is almost over!  The madness continues.  My computer has been really sketchy today, and so slow, so this is going to be really short.  I'm sorry.  I'll type as fast as I can.  But, I want you all to know that I love you.  Hopefully you can feel what I'm trying to convey even in a short amount of words.  :)  
Wednesday: Transfer madness.  The wednesday before transfers are way too stressful.  Packing and cleaning, and grocery shopping for your new companion and saying goodbyes and being sad and nervous and excited and scared all at once!  But it was a good day.  It was chaos, but it was really good.  
Thursday:  Oh man.  The day of all days.  I had been so nervous for Sister Villacorte to get here.  I prayed so hard over this transfer call. I didn't pray  for anything specific.  I didn't ask for anything like training, or a filipina.  I just prayed so hard  for weeks that I would be with the right sister, in the right area.  I was so nervous to see Sister Villacorte.  I was nervous that maybe she wouldn't like me, or what if we didn't get along, or what if I couldn't talk to her.  But I showed up at the pier and there I see her.  My little Filipina.  And just like that, I wasn't nervous anymore.  She is amazing.  She is so sweet and wonderful and understanding.  My Heavenly Father is so aware of me.  
Friday:  I got a package from mom!  The tape was wonderful, and I died over the pictures.  Nothing like some good lovin from home.  The STL's got home on Friday, and I love them.  I live in a full filipina house.  It's me, Sister Villacorte, Sister Minguez, and Sister Nonato.  They got home, and then somehow I became the chef for lunch. Yes my friends, I made Filipina food for lunch.  Me, the only non Filipina!  I'm speaking a lot more visaya these days, but Heavenly  Father blessed me, and the three of these sisters speak really well English too, so I can communicate either way.  But I tell you what, my visaya is growing in leaps and bounds.  And not just gospel visaya, the conversational visaya is going through the roof.  
Saturday: The relief society solicited me to dance with them in front of the entire district (a stake that isn't yet a stake).  We danced to "New York New York" you know that good old timey jazzy tune.  They did a lovely tribute to America and put me front and center.  Bless them.  As we were driving out to our area, we passed the park and they were playing "You can do magic" so loud. And I realized in America it was witches night out, and my heart droppedfor all of you working it hahaha.  We are seeing so many miracles with Sister Villacorte here!  It's amazing.  
Sunday:  It was my seven months in the field.  Vangie Benemerito came to church for the first time in years and I cried!  She's kind of like my mom here.  Sister Anderson came to church with us, and we had a grand old time during Relief Soceity.  Charlynmae, our investigator who I'll talk about next week came to church also.  And, it was the primary program.  AKA cutest thing in the whole world.  
Monday: The first district meeting.  Elder and Sister Anderson took one look at me and started laughing when I walkedin and told me to be careful what I prayed for.  I am the ONLY AMERICAN IN OUR WHOLE ZONE.  Out of 30 missionaries, maybe more, I am the only white kid.  I wanted a Filipina, and I have plenty to choose from.  The sisters all call me the filipina nga puti. Or, the white filipina.  Bless them.  
Tuesday:  Sister Villacorte and I had the best language study ever.  She had been writing things down since she got here, and then she went over them with me.  Just little things I say wrong, and ways I can improve.  It was the best language study I've had since Sister Passey.  Sometimes, I really struggle with language study and what to do.  Like I said, my Heavenly Father is so aware of me.  Last night they made me eat bulad.  When in rome, do as the romans, no?  The American pants are put away, this transfer, I'm the white filipina.  Look up bulad.  IT's a dried fish, whole.  And then they fry it.  You have to eat all of it except the spine.  Head, tail, scales and all.  And yes, the bones.  You just leave the spine.  If any of you know me before my mission, you know that I didn't touch fish.  My dad would filet fish so meticulously, no bones, no scales, no head or eyes, and I would touch it.  Well, I now eat bulad.  Haha, Heavenly Father is blessing me so much.  I want you to know I'm happy.  I love you all.  And I miss you like crazy.  Happy Halloween!  Stay strong. 
Love, Sister Carlee Beyer