Monday, June 2, 2014

Faith is Power

I have made a grave mistake and I have put off writing this email because
one, there is so much to write.  And two, I was reading other funny emails.
 So now I'm staring at the countdown on my computer that says it turns off
in 39 minutes.  So I must speed type like there is no tomorrow.  This week
was once again, INCREDIBLE.
Wednesday:  We wake up at 6:00 and go jogging through the city.  The looks
we get are priceless. Two americans with their hair on top of their head in
a gnarly top knot jogging through the Philippines at the crack of dawn.
 It's flawless.  We decided to go to the mercado.  Um, basically like a
giant flea market slash farmers market?  Even at six in the morning it was
hopping.  It was so much fun.  We walked through the mercado as they are
just throwing fresh fish everywhere.  Also, straight up butchering huge
pigs and chickens and are also throwing that meat everywhere.  I nearly got
hit in the lead with a pig leg.  They are selling fresh flowers and rice
and bread and just everything.  It was absolutely crazy.  We had such a
good p day last week.  We bought some rockin Filipino pants.  You will
actually die when you see them.  Think parachute pants meets floral print
meets spandex.  They are so comfortable, and they are fab.  You will all
judge me, but once I come home and you truly behold their glory you will be
so jealous.  We also got some t shirts made.  Sister Passey and I have a
theme for this transfer, well, we have two.   The first is "Faith is Power"
but we'll talk about that later.  The other one we found as we were reading
through the quote book that Ashley sent me.  We were laying on our beds
staying up way too late talking and being best friends when we read one
that says "Be a lamp or a lifeboat or a ladder"  and we both just really
fell in love with it.  It goes along with a scripture that we also really
liked.  So we made shirts that say that and we love them.  One day you'll
get a picture of that too.  As we were shopping last week, we ran into one
of our investigators named Janine in the grocery store.  She has been
trying to get an answer to her prayers about whether the church is true for
weeks.  She ran up to us in the store and says "SISTERS!  I had a dream
last night that Heavenly Father told me the Book of Mormon is true! I'm
ready to get baptized!"  So then we all hug and cry in the middle of the
store.  At the end of p-day Sister Passey and I got to roadtrip!  She had
to go back to Cebu to get fingerprinted so that she can leave Cebu and go
home.  So we hopped in a car with some other missionaries in her batch
headed home and drove for two hours to Cebu.  It was really cool to just be
a fly on the wall with all of these missionaries that are in their last
transfer.  It really helped me to see what I want to achieve and who I want
to become.  It's so cool to have a companion in this stage of the game, as
such a young missionary.  I had two different missionaries tell me this
week that they had no idea I was so young in the mission because of how I
act.  That's becasue I have an incredible companion who teaches me all
wisdom and missionary knowledge!  We ended up having a sleepover in our old
apartment.  There were five of us sisters that slept in our old apartment
in Lahug on three mattresses pushed together on the kitchen floor haha.  It
was really fun.  Plus we both got to see our old companions and see how our
old areas are doing.
Thursday:  We wake up early and they drop me off at the mission office
while they go do paper work.  I hung out with one of the Senior
missionaries for six hours!  I just filed paper work for them and such.  I
was really hoping that Sister Ormsby would come in during that time, but
she didn't.  So still no package for me, hopefully this week.  Also, I just
need to tell you in advance that I barely have time to write in my journal
this transfer, so if you somehow magically get a letter know that it is
very special.  I just don't have a lot of time for writing.  As we
roadtripped back to Carcar Sister Passey and I talked a lot.  She has some
really big goals and dreams for me in this mission.  She really believes in
me so much.  She's helping me to catch a vision for the things I want to
accomplish and become.  I really love her.  When we got back that night we
helped a member clean their grass.  We swept their grass with brooms.  It
felt oddly Beyer in that moment.  I felt as if I was just at home working
with Dad.  Seriously, who sweeps grass other than dad?  No one.
Friday:  We were doing our weekly planning when we get a text from Marivic
(an investigator) who was supposed to have her baptisimal interview that
night.  She asks us if it is okay if she doesn't get baptized, if she just
keeps coming to church.  We finished weekly planning and got over to her
house as soon as we possibly could.  She was just nervous about the
interview.  She had her interview that night and she is so ready for
baptism.  I really love her.  So her baptism is THIS FRIDAY!  I'll send
pictures next week.  It's been so cool to work so hard with her and see her
change and really come to know her Savior and have a testimony of this
church.  A theme we had on Friday was "we just keep going" in all stages of
life, through good times and bad, you just gotta keep going.  Don't second
guess it, don't doubt, just keep going.  We talked a lot about that as we
walked.
Saturday we were teaching a sassy less active man named Enimissio.  I adore
him.  We taught a really good lesson. The spirit was so strong.  And then
we asked him at the end if he had any questions.  And he said "Well, I do.
 But I already know the answer to it.  I want to ask why you're here.  But
I already know why.  God sent you to me because it's really time that I
come back" Being a missionary is so cool!  We went to another less active
members house and they ask if they can give us a snack real quick.  The
Filipinos love snacks, and I love them for their love of snacks.  Usually
snacks involve tang (prononced tong) and bisquits.  Pronounce that how it
sounds.  A bisquit can be a cookie or a cracker.  It can be very startling.
 However, sometimes snacks also include softdrinks and bread.  I'm such a
fan of softdrinks.  Coke has never tasted so good.  And do not get me
started on sprite.  So they offer us snacks.  We say yes.  They bring out a
meal.  Coke in MARTINI GLASSES.  We were dying as we sipped our fancy
softdrink.  And then they brought out bihon, which is a noodle dish.  And a
loaf of bread.  However the bread isn't sliced, so they just start ripping
it off in chunks and giving it to us to eat like Aladdin.  So I eat my huge
plate of bihon that was plenty sufficient for one person and then I'm
eating my chunk of bread when he fills up my plate with an incredible
amount of food again.  I don't speak this language.  So I jsut eat it.
 Well, that happened two more times.  I had FOUR PLATES OF BIHON.  And
three chunks of bread.  Sister Passey was crying from laughter.  I will say
though, it was a delicious snack.  That night there was a huge musical
production of who knows what but it was so loud.  And it was right by our
house.  I kid you not, it was as if we were sitting on the stage it was so
loud.  They sang a song complete with dancing and costumes and lights that
says over and over and over again "welcome to cebu"  the biggest part of
this is that the party started at 10:00.  And I kid you not it did not end
until 1:00 in the morning.  I have no words to adequately describe to you
how loud it was.
Sunday:  Sister Passey and had nothing to do that morning but had to be
awake.  So we had girltalk at 6:30 in the morning.  Welcome to a mission
haha.  We went to church and there was a little boy who came named Clark.
 He is 13 and we didn't ever even really teach him.  He just joined his
neighbors lesson one time.  What thirteen year old comes to church by
himself at 9:00 in the morning?  He really loved it too.  And he just held
onto the little pamphlet we gave him.  He lives really far away from the
church too.  It was such a cool experience.  As we were walking around that
afternoon we taught a woman who wanted to give us a snack as well.  This
snack was spaghetti with hotdogs in it and half a loaf of bread each.  I
kid you not I had five slices of bread.  And once more my plate was filled
three times.  I was just eating it fast to attempt to be a good little anak
(child) and then teach our lesson.  Well Sister Passey finally tells me
AFTER that I'm eating it too fast and they will continue to fill my plate.
 But she let this happen to me because she knew that if I was eating that
much she wouldn't have to!  Seriously what a punk.  Then as we were walking
we saw this huge snail.  We asked a man who was walking past what the word
for snail was in Visaya.  He informs us that it is "miracle"  I kid you not
the man tried to tell us that a snail is a miracle.  We laughed so hard we
literally sat on the side of the road.  This is the transfer of miracles,
and now we have a mascot.  We went home that night and made wanna be rice
crispies and all was well in the world.  Also the fiesta continued,
complete with bingo.
Monday:  I crossed my first river!  The river was up really high and was
over the bridge, so I walked up to my shins in a river, and there were
carribou hanging out in the river.  IT was really fun.  My mission is such
an adventure.  Also we were teaching a woman who happened to live in Japan
for a year or two.  So I started using my Japanese skills and we were
talking in Japanese IN THE PHILIPPINES.  What is my life?  We taught Linda
Rachu again, and she comitted to be baptized. And in celebration she fed us
a delicious meal.  Seriously, I don't even know what happened but as a
missionary I just love food.  I was just going to town on this huge chunk
of fish spitting out bones just happy as can be.  Who am I?
Tuesday:  Yesterday was a really special day.  We had the opportunity to
get on a bus and travel an hour and a half to go see a woman in our ward
who is dying.  She has lupus and is only 25.  She is so sick and she really
doesn't have much time left.  As we planned for her Sister Passey and I had
a really special spiritual experience and decided to share D&C 38 with her.
 As we were on the bus to go there we were just winding through these
beautiful mountains.  And then we are along the coast.  We drove along the
coast through the mountains for about 45 minutes.  We walked in to see
Jessica and she immediately just said "I've been waiting for you"  she has
been waiting for two weeks for missionaries to be able to come.  We had
such a tender lesson with her.  She cried and bore her testimony that she
knows everything happens for a reason, and how excited she is to soon be in
the embrace of heavenly father.  She knows that the plan of salvation is
real, and she knows that this gospel is so true.  We all just sat in her
home and cried and bore testimony.  Being a missionary is incredible.  I
really felt that I was able to be the Lord's hands yesterday.  We got home
and the fiesta somehow still continued.  Sister Passey and I know have it
memorized, in 14 months we will give you all a lovely rendition of "welcome
to cebu".  Man, the time is going by so so fast.  It's crazy how fast it's
going.  I'm really going to miss Sister Passey.  But I know that we really
are going to be friends after this.  I've met some incredible people.  Life
is really good.  I love you all so much.  I know that faith really is a
real power.  I know that the only way that Sister Passey and I are able to
see so many miracles and so many incredible things is because we have the
faith to believe they can happen.  I've learned a lot about faith.  It's so
real.  Faith is power my friends.  Stay strong.
Love,
Sister Beyer

The Transfer of Miracles

Goodness. This week.  I tell you what, this week was just incredible.  On
Wednesday after we emailed Sister Passey and I naturally went to Macdos,
because that is the only thing lacking in CarCar.  But it's good, maybe now
I will lose some of the millions of pounds I gained in Kamputhaw.  Oh
Macdos and your tempting cheeseburgers how could I ever say no to you.
After that we had to go to the hospital because Sister Passey had to get an
x ray to make sure she doesn't have TB in order to be allowed back into
America.  It was an adventure.  Filipino hospitals are a little different
than America.  But somehow it still had the exact same hospital smell
haha.  After that we went back to the mission office to write a note to the
AP's and we noticed that they had a huge package of candy.  We looked who
it was sent to and it was to a missionary who had already gone home.
Naturally we surveyed the goods and discovered purple hi chews.  I have no
remorse in saying that we each took a package of purple hi chews for
ourselves because they deserve it and the AP's get enough treats.  I regret
nothing.  Oh also while we were emailing last week, I look as the door of
the internethan opens up and one of my teachers from the MTC just walks
in.  Excuse me what?  Brother Pasikala just happened to be on vacation in
the Philippines for a humanitarian trip and walked into the internethan I
was in.  It is the weirdest thing ever to run into someone you know on the
other side of the world.   Then we got back on the bus for the two hour
trip back to CarCar.  Sister Passey is a trooper and had to stand for about
an hour of it because there were no seats.  I sat by a stranger and tried
so so hard to speak Visaya.  I did pretty well. The woman I was talking to
was pretty nice and even gave me language tips while I was attempting to
teach her about the Book of Mormon haha.  She gave us her number and said
we could come back that weekend though!  However, she lives in the other
sisters area.  We haven't recieved news on her yet, but it was still really
cool.
Thursday we woke up and jogged through the jungle as per usual. Seriously,
it is  my favorite thing ever.  I'd rather wake up early and go jogging and
adventure than sleep an extra half an hour.  Let's be real, I'm a
missionary. I'm going to be exhausted no matter what, I might as well
adventure.  Plus it's beautiful and wonderful and I feel more awake after a
good jog and a cold shower.  I couldn't walk for the first week we did it,
it took me 87 years to kneel for a prayer, but I am now getting thighs of
steel!  Take THAT Macdos.  On some real levels though, I have never sweat
so incredibly much as I do at 6:00 in the morning jogging through the
jungle.  What is this madness.  After that we had a Zone Training Meeting.
It's given to the missionary leadership by President Schmutz and then they
teach it to us.  It was so incredible.  It was all about Faith.  And how
Faith is Power.  It was truthfully an exact answer to some prayers that
I've been having lately.  Think about it though.  Faith is a literal,
physical power.  If we had the faith to do so, we could move mountains.
That isnt just a metaphorical thing, granted we each have metaphorical
mountains we need to move.  But God is a God of miracles, and if we had the
faith to do so, we could also have the power to do so.  I wish I could just
teach you all everything they taught us.  But alas, I cannot.  15 months
from now, eh?  I really adore the sisters I  serve with here in Carcar.
They are some of the best people I've ever met.  There is of course Sister
Passey, and then our STL Sister Forbush and a sister named Sister Littel.
They are all from Utah.  They are just incredible.  We were talking about
how on a mission you really band together.  Because once we go home, no one
will really understand what we did here or what we saw.  I can send you
picture after picture and write you the most detailed beautiful description
of it, but unless you were here, you'll never fully understand the people
we've met, the miracles we have seen and all that we've learned.  This
mission is really one that changes you forever.  And I know that these
sisters and I will be friends for a really long time.
Friday we really learned about how God has a divine timing for everything.
We got out the door and then ran to an appointment and they punted us.  So
we went to our next appointment and finished there early.  We walked down a
path, just a little ahead of schedule when we run into this adorable nanay
(nanay is a respectful term for mother, or just any elderly woman) who
starts speaking to us in perfect english.  Naturally I am in heaven.  Then
she tells us that she just moved here from Lahug.  AKA right where Sister
Passey and I were serving AND she is a less active woman.  How did we meet
this woman?  Seriously, I didn't believe in coincidences before, but I
surely don't now.  Her name is Jesusa, she's letting us come back to teach
her this week.  She's really special. Also I forgot to mention we went
jogging as per usual on Friday morning and we ran down to a river in the
jungle, there were tiny baby frogs the size of a pencil eraser, so we spent
the morning catching tiny tiny baby frogs.  They were adorable and I died.
That night as we were sleeping there was a parade.  At three o clock in the
morning.  I am not lying.  I am not exaggerating.  It was three in the
morning, and there was a parade complete with a drum line and brass
instruments.  I was so tired I just looked to see what time it was,
groggily stared out our window to see how long the procession was, and then
fell immediately back asleep. Missions really teach you how to sleep haha.
Saturday I decided to do a special fast for my language.  I really want to
be able to learn this language and teach people in a way that they will
take me seriously.  Sister Passey is wonderful and joined me.  We didn't
want to be recklas, so we decided to not go joggin that morning.  It was a
sad morning indeed.  But I realized something really cool on Saturday.  My
feet haven't hurt once since being in the Philippines.  For those of you
who don't know why this is a big deal, I have really really bad feet.  And
have gone to doctors on multiple occassions and been given all sorts of
insoles and who knows what else.  If I work a double at Texas Roadhouse I
go home in tears and wake up in the middle of the night with my feet just
throbbing, even though I have special overly expensive shoes that are
supposed to make it better.  Well, here I am, walking through the jungle
and up mountains all day every single day in tiny rubber flats, and my feet
don't hurt.  Tender mercies and miracles for sure.  So as we are sitting
down to teach some of our investigators they look over at me and say
"CARLEE NICOLE BEYER" I about fell off my stool I was so shocked.  Who even
knows how, but they searched me on Facebook and then called me by my full
name.  I felt like I was in so much trouble.  I don't get called that
anymore.  Freaking facebook.  As we were walking to get ready to go home,
we passed a little road where we had gone down last week and met a woman.
We just FTE'd her, which just kind of means talked to her and tried to see
if we could come back to teach her.  As we passed the road we looked down
it and just kind of said, oh, we should go and try to talk to Rose again
just to see.  As we were getting out to the main road, all the sudden Rose
shows up on her hoblehoble.  She had CHASED US DOWN to ask us when we were
coming back.  Naturally we were beyond thrilled.  We promised her we would
come back on Sunday.  We didn't really think she was that interested in us
the first time.  But she chased us down!  That night we broke the fast and
both drank a liter and a half of water and way too many treats as well as a
huge dinner feast and then we laid on the floor and just talked about life
and it was fabulous.  One thing I love about Sister Passey and I is that we
are such good friends.  We are up late and we are up early and we just work
so hard.  We push each other and we just go.  It's a really great feeling.
We really have a great friendship.
Now comes Sunday.  Sunday was such an incredible day.  We started it off by
going to Church and Marivic (one of our investigators.  She is set for
baptism next week!  :)  )  wasn't there.  We were both devastated.  We both
just prayed so hard that she would be able to come.  Not five minutes into
sacrament meeting, in walks Marivic looking as beautiful as ever with her
two little kids in hand.  She loved church.  I don't know that I've ever
experienced happiness quite like that.  Being a missionary is really cool.
Sunday was crazy because we had so many appointments we were just running
all day long.  We got on a choppy (a motorcycle with a side cab) and headed
out to Rose's house.  It's really far from the rest of our area.  We got
out to her house and were "knocking on her door" (okay, you don't knock
here.  I'll explain another time) and she just wasn't there.  We were
really bummed because we went out there and there wasn't really anyone else
out there for us to go to at that moment.  Well a woman who lives by there
went and "ayo'd" at her door and then told us that she was probably up the
mountain in her other house.  WHAT!  Miracles!  So we hiked up the mountain
and found her waiting for us up at her house.  She greeted up will the
biggest smile I've ever seen, sweet potatos, seaweed, and coke.  I was in
heaven.  We talked to her and taught her a beautiful lesson.  The spirit
was so strong.  She told us that she chased us down because from the moment
she saw us she knew something was different about us, and she couldn't get
our faces out of her mind.  She knew that she had to listen to us and talk
to us.  She knew she had to know what we had that was different.  WHAT.
She said that she wants to join this church, and she knows that we are
messengers sent from God to save her and to help her.  Seriously, how did
any of this even happen?  It was incredible.  I left just feeling on cloud
nine.  Then we went to teach a nanay named Linda Rachu.  Her son is a
member, and her daughter is less active but the rest of her family aren't
members.  We had such a great lesson with her.  We've taught her once
before, and she just said that she felt really good.  Well when we walked
in to her house, this sixty something year old nanay ran and hugged us and
nearly cried.  She said that she couldn't stop thinking about us.  She told
us that from the moment after we left her first lesson she knew, and I
quote, "That you are the ones who are going to teach me the truth.  And
that this is the plan of God".  She said that she just kept dreaming of our
faces and knew that she had to talk to us and learn what we wanted to teach
her.  She basically begged us to come to church, because she thought you
couldn't go if you weren't a member.  She told us that she barely knows us,
but she loves us like we are her children.  She was so sad when she heard
that Sister Passey was going home, and she thought I was going home too.
When I told her I was here for a long time, she jumped out of her chair and
hugged me and made me promise that I would continue to come back and teach
her, and read the book of mormon with her and help her get baptized.  Um,
yes.  Yes I will.  We went to a dinner appointment that night and I ate a
lot of liver of a certain unknown creature.  I would not recommend it.  But
I can now say I'm officially a missionary.  I'm learning how to eat food
and just not even think about it.  When in doubt eat rice.  Lots and lots
of rice.  After dinner they went and climed a coconut tree and got a
coconut for us, cut it open right there and had us drink it.  It was so
perfect and fun and I loved it so much.  Seriously, the most delicious
perfect thing ever.  We went home and laid on the kitchen floor as there
wasa huge rainstorm outside and just talked about how amazing it is to be
missionaries.  These people are amazing.  We are seeing miracles.  We are
so tired, but it is so worth it.  Neither of us have ever been so happy in
our entire lives.  This is what it's all about.
Monday we were able to hunt down the Lana family.  Their story is really
cool because as I was getting ready to leave Kamputhaw, I met this random
girl who came up to me and started talking to me because i was a
missionary.   Come to find out she is sisxteen and less active but wants to
go back to church.  Her name is Michelle.  Well we went back the night
before I left and I told her I was headed to Carcar.  She tells me that she
is from Carcar, and to please go and teach her family and help them
reactivate.  WHAT.  Seriously, try to tell me coincidences exist and I will
dispute it to the death.  God's hand is in everything.  Well, we went on a
hunt for these people.  They are in our area!  We taught them and it was so
special.  It's going to take some work, but we're willing to do it.  God
didn't deliver us these people just to fail.  There were eleven children in
the lesson.  Eleven.  The children here are so beautiful.  They all just
flock wherever we go and listen so intently.  Sister Passey and I always
open the lesson by singing I am a Child of God.  The kids need to know Who
they are and where they come from.  They memorize it pretty dang fast too.
It's really incredible.
Yesterday we mixed up our jogging and decided to jog through the city.  We
ended up in the City Plaza.  Why do we love jogging so much?  We always get
the best looks from people.  Also Sister Passey and I have an experiment
going to figure out if there are more dogs, or cats, or children in the
Philippines.  Truly it's up in the air.  There are millions of all of the
above.  We passed a house yesterday that had FOURTEEN DOGS.  Send help.
I'll update you next week.  Also I love that we get to ride through the
bukid on a motorcycle wearing skirts.  Life is real good.  As we were
teaching a lesson last night to a woman we had just met, she looked at me
and told me how hard her life was.  And truly, it is.  She said that she
felt lost and didn't know what to do.  And then she looked at me, and I'll
never forget her eyes as she looked at me and said "Why is life so hard?
What can I do?  Will you help me?"  And in that moment I felt so inadequate
as a missionary.  I felt so inadequtae as a kid from Utah who can't even
speak this language and I don't even have real life experience?  How could
I ever help this woman.  I realized that this isn't a game.  This is real
life.  These are real, beautiful, wonderful people.  These are people with
real lives and real souls.  And I'm the one who gets to help them.  This is
serious, this is their salvation.  I felt really small and inadequate.  I
knelt my head to say a prayer and ask for help on what I should say and how
I could even say it.  I looked down and say my nametag on my chest and I
saw my name next to the name of Jesus Christ.  It was really an incredible
experience.  This mission is incredible.  And I'm really happy.  Sunday was
easily one of the best days of my entire life.  This is the transfer of
miracles. We see so many miracles every single day, and let's be real, the
fact that we even got to serve together is a miracle.  I am so blessed to
be able to serve with Sister Passey because I know that so many of these
miracles are a direct result of her sacrifice and dilligence for the last
sixteen months.  I want my mission to always feel like this.  I want to
make sure I always work this hard, so I can see miracles like this my whole
mission.  Man, life is good.  I'm sorry I can't send pictures this week.
I'm out of time.  I literally have a countdown clock until the computer
shuts off.  I'll try really hard to send LOTS next week.  I love you all so
much. Love, Carlee