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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Best is Yet to Come

My friends, it is full fledged Christmas in the Philippines.  Everyone has Christmas trees up, the houses are decorated, Christmas music is blasting, everyone is wishing each other a Merry Christmas, and some of the houses even have Christmas lights up on the house.  I like this whole Christmas in October thing.  Christmas in the Philippines is a wonderful thing already, I'm stoked for December.  
Wednesday:  I finally got my birthday card from mom and it had my survival bracelet from Brayden in it!  I love it.  I wear it every day, because who knows what kind of wilderness survival needs I might have.  I even sleep with it, just in case.  It never comes off my wrist.  Best birthday present ever!  Last Wednesday was utter chaos.  We ran through the grocery store, we sprinted into our house and changed in 38 seconds flat and got out the door.  My hair was french braided, which apparently made me look even more like Elsa.  Everyone was calling me Elsa all day long.  Sister Bateman and I were walking that night, and I looked down to write something in my planner, and I glance up as I see TWENTY KIDS RUNNING TOWARDS ME SCREAMING.  They were charging me so fast.  I looked up and screamed in fear.  I am not exgaggerating.  This happened.  I screamed in fear. And then they all swarmed me singing Let it Go.  The madness.  
Thursday we were able to hear from President and Sister McCurdy.  I love that sweet couple so much.  It was so good to be able to see them.  We don't get to see them up here very often because it is so far away.  The  other zone had interviews that day, and while they were waiting, some of the sisters went on splits with us.  But we only had lessons planned for me and Sister Bateman.  So I went out with Sister Hamson and we just tracted all day to try and find some new people.  It was a really good day, and we were able to find some really good people along the way.  I love a new set of eyes in an area.  It changes everything.  Also!  I got a new nickname on top of Elsa.  My hair was down and curly, and someone yelled "Taylor Swift" as I walked by. If any of you know me, you know this made me so stoked.  And I've been getting it more and more.  Elsa and Taylor Swift?  I'll take it!
Friday: We were able to have our interviews with President McCurdy.  He is amazing.  I loved talking with him and getting to know him better. I know that we are supposed to be here together. I'm excited to see what we are going to do together in the next 9.5 months.  Sister Bateman and I went home, and the Andersons texted us and asked if they could work with us that day.  So we went out with them and the four of us tracted around a little bit and had a really good day.  They are the sweetest people in the whole  world.  It wasso much fun to teach lessons with them.  
Saturday:  Not a ton happened on Saturday.  It poured rain.  I was sitting on the back of a motor on a trike, and a bus passed us on the highway.  It was basically a bad missionary movie, because as the bus passed me, it happened to hit a puddle, and I got what felt like a bucket of water on me.  It sprayed directly on me and my face.  I was soaked.  How did that even happen?  That night we splurged and bought a pizza because it was Sister Wilcox's last night in the Philippines and we all had a pizza party together.  
Sunday:  We went on splits with the relief society, which puts our grand total of splits in one week, FOUR.  That's insane.  We said goodbye to sister Wilcox and then had to drag the mattress into our room so Sister Minguez wasn't alone.
Monday: The transfer calls.  It was painful.  They wrote up everyone who was transferring on the board, and then they write Sister B...and pause.  RUDE.  They finally write that Sister Bateman is transferring to Dumaguette, and that my new companion is Sister Villacorte.  I stared at the name, and then just yelled "TAGA ASA SIYA" which means, "where is she from"  They all just looked at me with grins and finally yelled FILIPINA!  THE FILIPINA REVOLUTION IS UPON US!  I finally get a Filipina companion.  I am so excited I can barely stand it.  And apparently this girls native language, is VISAYA.  And I'm living in a house with three filipinas.  AKA, my whole life is going to turn upside down, and i'm going to be a fluent little thing.  I can just feel it.  We went out to Guadalupe to see our family out there and had one last FHE.  It was so much fun.  
Yesterday, we did a service project for a member in our branch. We helped them build their house, and painted. I was in charge of painting their fence, dad, you would be proud.  IT was a quality job.  
Today is going to be hectic, we are just getting ready for Sister Bateman to leave, and SIster Villacorte to get here tomorrow morning.  
Curtis sent me an email a couple months ago with a quote from his mission president that said "the best is yet to come".  Sometimes I think on my mission that I'll never have a better companion than so and so, or I'll never have a better area, I'll never have a companion that will just get me like sister whoever, but I liked how Curtis said the best is yet to come.  I think it is.  The best is yet to come, I don't know what it is, but I'm mighty excited for it.  I love you all.  I'll talk to you next week and tell you all about my new super filipina life!  I'm so excited!  
Stay strong.  
Beaches and Mangos baby.
Sister Carlee Beyers

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Call

This email is going to be a crazy one.  It has been one heck of a day.  Let me paint you this picture.  I'm sitting in an internethan with no shoes.  I'm wearing jeans that are covered in mud up to my  knees, my arms are covered in mud, and I'm sopping wet from head to toe.  Yes, this is how Sister Beyer is looking right now.  It's been quite the day.  I'm fighting against the clock as usual.  We came to email earlier, but the entire city had a brown out for hours. So we had no idea what to do.  We had a zone activity to go to this random zoo.  But it was pouring rain.  We had to hike up a mountain to get to said zoo, and the path ways were all flooded.  I was wearing vans, and was trying to keep them from getting muddy, but eventually, we had to cross a river.  There was no hope.  So we just tromped on through.  We went to this zoo, it was random and small and I fed a monkey, and then we had to hike down.  But our shoes were sliding all over the place.  So we all just took off our shoes and hiked down.  We came back with exactly 2.5 hours of pday left and decided to see if the power was back on.  Somehow, this internethan got power again.  So we ran in, but had to take off our shoes because we were so dirty.  We are quite the sight to behold.  I don't have a ton of time truthfully, so I'll go as fast as I can.  Like I said.  This was a crazy week.  I'll just go through a few of the highlights of the week.
Wednesday:  I bought a full piece jumpsuit.  It has ruffels and a collar and cats and polka dots on it.  I look gwapa in it, and I'll wear it home and all the fellas will melt over me.  Also, I rode a toy panda bear bumper car thing in the middle of the Gaisanos.  It was 5 pesos.  It was made for children. Everyone stared and I regret nothing at all.  
Thursday:  It was the one year mark since I got my mission call.  That's a crazy thing to wrap your mind around.  We had our zone training meeting that day, and were able to learn some great things.  Sister Wilcox has been on this kick lately of only eating with her hands, and she makes all of us join in on the madness.  So we have been eating almost all of our meals with our hands only.  We went and visited Edgardo's family that day.  They invited us over for lunch.  We went and ate, and then shared with them about Joseph Smith.  I love those people.  I hope that we can help them to find more peace. I just feel like I've always somehow known them.  
Friday:  It poured rain all day long.  I got home and was freezing.  I looked at my alarm clock to see the temperature certain that it was at least 60 degrees.  It was 85.  This is what my life has come to.  I was shivering, and I planned that night with a blanket on.  Watch out for when I get home.  I'm going to perish.  
Saturday:  We woke up and I decided to make conference breakfast.  I made Flaming Gorge scramble breakfast and french toast.  We went to conference and the fire alarm was going off!  Some little kids had ran in and pulled the fire alarm.  It was madness.  But we were able to get it shut off right before conference started.  Sadly, it was only missionaries for the first session, but  I just ate every word up.  I loved conference this year.  
Sunday:  Our housemate bonding of the day, was that we all had to have french braids.  Heaven help us all.  The Sunday session of conference was absolutely amazing!  In between conference, some of the members pulled us in and shared with us their lunch they had brought.  It was a really sweet lunch, really simple, but it was amazing.  I adore these sweet saints.  Sunday also happened to be my 8 months in the field.  CRAZY.  I love that conference weekend always falls on one of my month marks.  The Sunday afternoon session was absolutely amazing.  I felt like it was so relatable to my life.  To me personally!  It was amazing.  
Monday:  Literally, not a lot happened haha.  Worked and walked and taught.  :)
Tuesday:  I was able to go on splits with Sister Minguez.  I feel like I learned so much from her yesterday.  We had the opportunity to teach a woman who was alive during World War II.  She was really little here, but she remembers the Japanese invading, and having to hide in the mountains, and not being able to light a fire, because the Japanese had snipers and were looking for people in the mountains.  Both her parents died during the time of WWII.  And she remembers the Americans soldiers who helped her.  I told her my grandpa served over here during that time, and she thanked me for his service.  That was a crazy cool feeling.  We were able to teach her about the plan of salvation, which was also an amazing experience I'll never forget.  Yesterday night we went over to the Andersons, and there was Sister Anderson all cute wearing an apron, she ushered us in and kicked Elder Anderson out and we all ate dinner together and watched womens conference which was also amazing.  She made shepherds pie, which just so happens to be one of my absolute favorites.  And that was the week, it was absolutely crazy.  But I have some thougths I wanted to share.  
Like I said, I got my mission  call one year ago, and I also hit 8 month mark this week.  I was thinking about conference this time last year.  My oh my how things have changed. I remember listened to conference, and them announcing the amount of full time missionaries serving, and knowing that they had recently assigned my call, and that I was among one of those counted.  I remember just listening in awe, wondering where I would be listening from this year.  I remember getting the text from the bishop that my call would be there on Wednesday and running into the house screaming at the top of my lungs with mom.  I remember waking up way too early on Wednesday morning and calling the post office until they answered, and then screaming again because IT WAS THERE.  I remember the drive to the post office with mom, because we had to go get it ourselves, we simply couldn't wait for the mail man.  I remember just having it sit on the kitchen table until 7:30 when we finally opened it.  I remember how crazy nervous I was, how my thoughts were that I was totally going stateside.  HA.  And then I opened it up and the first thing I saw were passport papers!  Reading of a tiny island I had never heard of, that I couldn't even pronounce, and a language I had NO CLUE ABOUT.  And being filled with peace that it was right.  I somehow knew that it was exactly where I needed to be.  And flash forward to a year later.  I'm so grateful for that mission call.  I know that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.  I'm so grateful for that big white envelope.  I'm so grateful I"m on this island I didn't know existed.  The last year has been so crazy.  But I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father was so patient with me, especially the last eight months that I've been a missionary.  I'm surely not perfect, and I have made mistakes along the way.  But I'm so grateful he trusted me enough to send me here and let me figure it out.  I think back to a year ago, I had no idea how drastically my life would change.  But I love it so much.  I'm so grateful for this.  I was so filled with love as I listened to the prophets and apostles speak.  We are so lucky to have living prophets and apostles.  I found that at the end of conference, I was just longing for more!  When the heck did conference stop feeling long and boring?  I just ate it up.  And I looked at those men, and I was so grateful that they had prayed over my picture, and known to send me here.  I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.  I'm endlessly grateful for this mission.  I love you all.  I'll talk to you soon.
Sister Carlee Beyer

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Change.

I don't even know where to start with this week.  It was a rollercoaster.  And truthfully, a week that I  will remember for the rest of my life.  I hope that I'll be able to make this all make sense chronilogically.  I've been trying to figure out how to convey my thoughts into this email in a way that will adequately express all I want to say.  This week was a week where I learned a lot about God's plan.  I learned a lot about being led, and being an instrument in His hands.  
Wednesday:  We took some time and just wondered through the city and tried to see what San Carlos has to offer. It's kind of fun to just walk throughout the city without any real purpose.  It's not often that we get to do that.  We went grocery shopping and "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey was BLASTING.  Welcome to Christmas in the Philippines.  That night we had the first set of sisters over for Splits.  It's kind of fun having sisters always coming in and out of the house.  
Thursday:  We went out to Guadalupe.  My favorite part of the area.  Churchilla had a birthday party for her little girl who turned three.  We ate lunch with them at the party and then taught Edgardo.  Man oh man was this man ready.  He was so ready for baptism.  We went to the Andersons that night for dinner.  They love to spoil us with American food and watch us just die over simple American dishes.  For example, chicken fajitas, with guacamole and brownies and ice cream.  And then for an added boost, they had carmel for us to dip apples and bananas into.  They are getting a lot of blessings for taking care of us missionaries.  I just know it.  
Friday:  It was my six month mark in the field.  Meaning, I stepped off the plane here six months ago.  I've been livin this crazy jungle island life for six whole months now!  Time flies by so fast, especially because there are no seasons here.  It's the same every day.  Really hot and really humid.  Occasionally it is really really rainy.  I get really confused when I realize that at home it's cooling off.  It just still feels like June here.  Time is a strange strange concept on a mission.  I needed to get something out of my suitcase, and stumbled upon my old journal.  My oh my how things have changed.  I flipped through it and I'm not even the same girl.  I just had to laugh as I was reading about the things I was so worried about, the things that were so hard for me.  Like eating rice all the time, or how hot it was, or feeling like it was so long.  I was so homesick haha.  But I'm so different now.  It's hard to see changes in yourself sometimes, but I was definitely able to recognize some as I flipped through my old journal.  Thank heavens that Heavenly Father was patient with me.  We went out to a part of our area called San Jose.  We don't have a lot going on out there, so we just tracted and taught as many lessons as we could to people that would let us in.  It's always a really cool experience to find a complete stranger and ask them if you can share with them the gospel.  Sister Bateman and I stopped by a tindahan and we found for ten whole pesos that you can buy a spaghetti sandwich.  Sweet filipino spaghetti in between two slices of bread.  Served cold.  Was it delicious?  yes.  Do I regret anything?  No.  
Saturday.  Saturday was such a special day.  We booked it out to Guadalupe to get everyone ready for Edgardo's baptism.  We walked up to Guadalupe as we always do and there was our boy.  We walked up to his house, and he was dressed up to the nines.  He was holding his Book of Mormon just tattered and worn from him reading it and all the pamphlets we gave him.  He had on a pair of slacks that he had saved up money to buy.  He worked extra hard and fished extra hours to save up money to buy some slacks from an ukay ukay for his baptism.  They were about three inches too short.  He had on a worn blue polo as well.  He was looking mighty sharp.  He saw us and just grinned.  I said last week I wanted to share the whole Edgardo story,  and my heavens how special it is.  Sister Bateman and her last companion found Edgardo.  They actually started teaching his mom.  Edgardo would listen from time to time, but he was always drunk.  This man was the town drunk.  He is a really simple man.  He would wake up at five and go fishing on the ocean.  He would come home, sell his fish and drink until he went to bed.  Every day for 20 years.  He is in his late forties.  His  family left him, and he lives with his mom.  He was known as "Edgardo, the Master Drunk".  Well his mom told the sisters that she didn't really want to listen anymore, that she just wanted to stay Catholic.  But he told the sisters he would still listen.  They were about to move on from him because he wasn't really progressing, and he was just kind of unclear, when he showed up to church.  So they decided to keep teaching him.  This is where I come in.  We taught this man two or three times a week for two months.  He had no concept of religion or spirituality.  This man had no idea that he had a soul.  The concept was unreal.  He had never fathomed that there is a God.  He couldn't fathom the idea of life after death.  We just kept teaching him for some reason.  We gave him a book of mormon and promised him that if he would just read it, he would start to understand.  We just told him to start from the begininning.  And we kept teaching him.  He came to church every week.  Usually in jeans and a overly large bright orange polo shirt buttoned straight to the top.  And his sunglasses.  He never took his sunglasses off at church.  We decided to teach him at a less active members house in Guadalupe.  This is where the Benemerito's come in.  We taught him every single time at their house.  We had our little band of Guadalupe Boys who just all came together and started to help each other.  Edgardo was kind of the moving force for them.  If he could start to change, then what were they doing?  We had Edgardo as our investigator, and all these less active boys, and they all just started making huge progress.  We started to walk up to Edgardo's house, and he would be reading the book of mormon.  He was always reading the book of mormon.  And slowly but surely he started drinking less.  He read all of first nephi, he barely understood a word, but he kept going.  He started to get so much light to his face.  One day we were walking to the Benemerito's house, and we asked him how he was doing with the book of mormon.  He told us that he was in 2 nephi, we asked him what he understood.  He told us "there were fish that dried up in the ocean and they died because of thirst"  we just stared at him and thought this drunk fisherman of ours was crazy.  Where in the world could he have gotten this?  Surely this is not in the book of mormon.  We sat down and sure enough, the isaiah chapters.  He quoted the verse perfectly.  The first verse this man understood was an isaiah chapter.  He started to change so rapidly.  We started helping him to stop drinking.  I took the pictures out of pamphlets and had him tape them up in his house so he wouldn't be tempted to drink.  He got down to one glass of tuba (a kind of alcohol) a day.  Well, Sister Bateman and I were planning last week, and we just really felt like we needed to move Edgardo's baptism up one week.  We had no idea why.  But we followed the spirit and went with it.  We went and visited him and asked him about it, and he said he hadn't drank for two whole days.  And that he wasn't planning on drinking again.  So we moved his baptism up.  Now, take this back to Saturday.  We see this man, the used to be town drunk, dressed up holding his book of mormon grinning from ear to ear.  This man never used to smile.  We taught him one last lesson.  We taught it on the priesthood as an overview, he already knew all the answers.  The man had read all the way to Mosiah.  We asked one of the boys in Guadalupe to baptize him.  His name is Ritchie, he is 19, a recent convert, but he was struggling coming to church.  Because of Edgardo, he is there almost every week.  We taught them how to baptize, and then we loaded up our little band of misfit boys onto a trike and went into the city for Edgardo's baptism.  The baptism was beautiful.  It went off without a hitch.  Ritchie baptized Edgardo, and he came out shining.  He bore a simple but sweet testimony.  And just like that, the town drunk was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Sister Bateman and I walked out of the baptism just in shock.  It all felt so led.  Raybie pulled us aside and thanked us for what he had done.  He told us that the whole town of Guadalupe is in shock.  Edgardo, the master drinker, doesn't drink anymore and is just always reading his  Basahon ni Mormon.  He told us he couldn't believe the change he had seen in Edgardo.  And he thanked us for letting him be apart of it.  I cannot tell you how amazing that felt.  
Sunday:  We went to church and there was Edgardo, early as ever.  Wearing his slacks, his oversized orange shirt and his sunglasses.  Grinning from ear to ear.  Relief Society ran really smoothly, and in fact, we didn't even have to do anything!  The branch is growing so much.  We sang Christmas Hyms in sacrament.  Sister Bateman and I ended up splitting up during sacrament, and I sat next to Edgardo.  He got up to be confirmed and recieve the Holy Ghost, and he took of his glasses without me telling him to.  Which is actually huge progress.  He was confirmed and recieved one of the sweetest most powerful blessings I have ever heard.  So many amazing blessings and promises in his blessing.  He came down and sat next to me and just looked at me so genuinely, and said so sincerely in english "thank. you." I got teary eyed right then.  Those two words meant so much to me. After sacrament, he stood up, shook my hand, grinned, and said that he would see me on Tuesday.
Monday:  We had District Meeting and found out that we were headed to Dumaguette this week for Zone Conference.  It is the opposite end of the Island.  It's a five hour bus drive.  But it should be really fun.  It'll be good to hear from President McCurdy.  AND I get to see Sister Littell.  
Tuesday:  I was able to finish reading Jesus the Christ yesterday morning.  It was beautiful.  It's quite the read, if any of you have time to plunk your way through it, I would really recomend it.  I cried my way through it a time or two, and it has made me look at my Savior so very different.  We went out to work and it was pouring rain.  We got on a trike to Guadalupe and the trike driver said that something had happened to Edgardo.  We didn't think too much of it.  Sister Bateman and I had some members working with us,so I went to one lesson with a member and she went to another.  We said we were going to meet back in an hour at the Benemerito's to teach Edgardo.  We taught a good lesson, and I got back to the Benemerito's to find everyone just sitting there, and no Edgardo to be seen.  They told me that he had passed away really suddenly Monday afternoon.  I just sat down then and there and cried.  We all just hugged each other and cried.  He had been kind of sick all weekend, but he thought it was just that he was nervous. On Monday it got really bad, they took him to the hospital and within a half an hour they pronounced him dead.  Less than 24 hours after being confirmed, this man had passed away.  We all sat and cried for a while.  And then, we took our little band of misfit boys to go say goodbye to our friend.  We took twenty minute walk, through the sugar cane field and the mud in the pouring rain.  We walked up to his house, and there we say him laying in his casket with his orange polo, buttoned all the way to the top.  Raybie is putting his tattered book of mormon in there with him.  We all just cried.  I had no idea that this man would have such an affect on my life.  This man was the most changed person I have ever seen on my mission.  He was the most converted man I had ever seen.  And he was clean, and he was ready to meet our Heavenly Father.  He wasn't scared when he went to the hospital, because he knew he was clean.  He knew it was true.  One week ago we were planning this mans baptism, and now we are planning his funeral.  Life hits you fast.  I don't know why we knew we needed to move up his baptism.  I don't know how any of this happened.  All I know is that I didn't do any of this.  I was merely an instrument in God's hands this last week.  Edgardo Alota has changed my life so much.  I have such a strong testimony that if you will just read the Book of Mormon, things will work out.  The biggest change I have ever seen came because this man just read the Book of Mormon.  I cannot tell you the tears I have shed the last two days.  But, I feel very small and very honored to be able to say that I was able to teach this man that he has a soul.  I was able to be a part of teaching this man of the plan of salvation.  And that I helped this man prepare to meet our Savior Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father.  I had no idea how much I would come to love Edgardo when I first met him. But that man has left quite the imprint on me.  I feel very blessed to have a knowledge of this gospel, and to know that this life surely isn't the end.  I cannot wait for the day I get to greet Edgardo again, and shake his hand, and talk to that man again.  The town drunk is up there waiting for me to get to Heaven, so am I going to make sure I live my life right in order to be able to see my recent convert again?  I keep replaying him saying to me after his confirmation "thank you.".  Two words have never meant so much.  And this is why we do this.  This is what makes it all worth it.  I will never forget Edgardo Pikdot Alota.  
Like I said, it was an absolutely crazy week.  It's been a hard week.  And I cried myself through this whole email.  In three hours we are getting on a bus to head to Dumaguette.  It's a five hour drive, so it'll be nice to think and sleep a little.  Tomorrow I'll get to hear from President McCurdy.  Which is exactly what I need.  I  love you all so much.  Read the Book of Mormon, and watch how you'll change.  I know that book is true.  I love that book with all of my heart.  I love you all so much.  Stay Strong.

Love, Sister Carlee Beyer

Lame Title.

Sometimes you are in internethans and there is a brownout and all the computers just shut off and you have to start over.  These are fun times.  Mainly, I just feel really badly for the woman in charge of all the computers haha.  Oh Philippines, how I love you.  We had an eventful week full of adventures.  They go as follows!
Wednesday:  Sister Bateman somehow convinced me that we needed to buy a Christmas tree, because it is the "Ber" months, which means it's almost Christmas.  So we bought a little Christmas tree for 100 pesos, and it is on display on our kitchen table.  She goes home the first week of December, so I'll let her win and celebrate Christmas in December.  We took it home and Sister Minguez breaks out Christmas lights of all things.  I have no idea why she has them.  But they are shaped like snowflakes.  The light in our kitchen only works half the time, so we eat dinner by the light of our Christmas tree.  And then to make it even better, Sister Bateman found a peppermint air freshener, so it is full fledged Christmas at our house.  We came home after emailing to find Sister Wilcox had mopped the floor, and to make mopping more fun, she put soapy water all over our tile floor, and then would brace herself at the back door like a swimmer preparing to dive, and launch off while laying on a towell.  We may have made a slippery slide and mopped our whole house that way.  Sometimes, you just gotta make things a little more fun.  They also made macaroni salad, which is a Filipino favorite.  It has canned fruit, huge macaroni noodles, condensed milk, and cream in it.  It's obviously very healthy.  I'll make it for you back home and you'll all die over how good it is.  I also got a bunch of birthday cards in the mail last Wednesday.  Thank you all so much.  I got one from Grandpa and I opened it up in the store and immediately started crying.  In six words, that letter became my favorite letter I've received on my entire mission.  And, I tried chocolate carribou milk on Wednesday.  Surprisingly very, very, yum.  
Thursday:  I think I have mentioned the red ant situation, but it is completely out of control.  Red ants just flock to me.  My feet are always covered in red ant bites.  It is the strangest phenomenon.  I swear, they don't bite anyone else other than me.  But I'll take it, because my entire mission I've only gotten maybe five mosquito bites, and everyone else just gets eaten alive by mosquitos.  Mosquito bites itch way worse, and you can't get dengay fever from red ants.  The mosquitos here carry the deng.  So, I'll accept my fate of death by red ants.  We were teaching a woman for the very first time and we were teaching her about the Book of Mormon.  We asked her at the end if she would be willing to read it, she said absolutely.  We committed her to read it and pray to know like it says in Moroni 10:3-5, and then we asked her if she received her answer if she would be willing to be baptized.  Mind you this whole lesson is obviously happening in straight visaya, and this woman looks up at us so sincerley and seriously and says "yes.  100% yes."  In english!  Sister Bateman and I just broke into cheesy grins.  She is a really solid investigator.  The only downside is that she is really busy and it's hard to teach her.  But her faith is so strong already!  That night we taught a lesson to one of our investigators about Joseph Smith.  I had this realization of just how much I love teaching about Joseph Smith.  My last transfer in Carcar I kind of accidentally studied a lot about Joseph Smith, just by the books and conference talks I was reading.  I really love teaching about Joseph Smith.  Especially in Visaya.  It is just so beautiful to me.  Of course I had a testimony of him before my mission, but I really grew my testimony of him in Visaya.  And to me, it's just so much more beautiful.  Sometimes, it just feels so dang good to be a missionary.  We went and visited the Quiros that night and after we taught them, Sister Quiro said she had something for me.  She brings out this HUGE shell.  HUGE.  Her dad lives on a small island pretty close to here called Sipaway.  He is the man who I talked to a few weeks ago about diving, the one who said that I was a diver and that I understood?  Well we have obviously been bonded for life because he dove down and got me this shell, and then brought it back to Sister Quiro to give to me.  This thing is my prized possession.  I have got to figure out a way to get it home!  
Friday: I am a self proclaimed chef master in the Philippines.  I am the cook in the house, and I cook most of the meals.  I'm starting to get creative.  I made adobo last week!  I'm so dang proud of that.  I was making a kind of sweet and sour chicken last week, and I went to make a rue to thicken up the sauce, but our flour had bugs in it.  So I substituted pancake batter instead.  The sisters all thought I was crazy for making a rue with pancake batter, but let me just tell you they stopped teasing me about it once they tasted it.  I'm basically a professional chef over here, watch out for when I get home and have millions  of ingredients at my disposal!  In the mornings I'm always the last one to shower, so when I got out of the shower, I see them all standing in various forms of polka dot clothing.  They inform me that today, we wear polka dots, and it is part of our housemate bonding.  I don't do polka dots.  I don't really like polka dots.  I found the one article of clothing that i own that has polka dots on it and put it on.  Thank heavens that Sister Passey left me a shirt with polka dots on it.  Who knows what would have happened with the house mate bonding!
Saturday:  We went out to a part of Guadalupe we hadn't been to yet, but we had a referral out there.  We have to walk about ten minutes along the highway.  It was a good lesson.  And then on the way back, some men were going past with motor cycles and pulled over to give us a ride.  The two of us jumped on back, riding side saddle and went to our next area.  Dad, I fully expect you to take me to church on the back of your motorcycle.  I'm pro at riding side saddle in a skirt now.  We taught Edgardo that day and he is ready for baptism!  The last thing we were working on was his drinking!  But he stopped drinking and he is ready!  His baptism is this Saturday.  It's going to be so good.  This man has changed so incredibly much.  I'll tell you his whole story next week.  But this man has flipped his life totally around, and I'm so dang proud of him.  
Sunday:  We went to church, same old same old, and then came home and Sister Wilcox and Sister Minguez were both being really weird.  They told me to go into my room.  I walk into my room and they had covered something on my bed with a sheet.  I pull off the sheet and I had two packages from mom!  The Zone Leaders had just dropped it off.  They all just crowded around me while I opened them up. Treats on treats on treats!  Best birthday package ever!  I don't even care that the mailman took over a month to get them to me from the original date.  We each ate one treat (sometimes you have to ration just a little bit) and went back out to work.  When we came home that night, we decided to celebrate because it was the twenty first night of september (cue earth wind and fire) and we wanted to be able to remember it.  So I made mac and cheese.  I thought I had made a sufficient amount, but it was so delicious that we downed it in about three seconds flat.  So I promptly made another huge batch of mac and cheese.  Salamat mom.  
Monday:  We had an awesome district meeting that came from a workshop that President McCurdy gave that I'm going to have to share next week.  (the countdown clock and I are fighting right now)   I got a ton of really great letters from people.  All of you who are sending letters, I promise you that you're getting some serious blessings.  Heavenly Father gives very special blessings to people who write missionaries who live very far away.  And Sister Robidillo sent me a present!  It didn't come with her letter she sent me for some reason, but it is a little elephant figurine made out of tiny tiny shells.  I looove that woman.  I miss her so dang much.  We also had an FHE at Sister Po's house that was just lovely.  FHE's are so much fun here.  Filipinos are generally pretty shy, but get them playing games at the end of FHE and they are a hoot.  There is always dancing.  
Tuesday:  Not a ton happened, Sister Bateman has had a pretty bad cold that is kicking her butt, and all she wanted was a pizza.  So we went to this pizza place in Gaisanos (which is like Walmart) for dinner.  We no sooner finish dinner as we start walking back to work when the Elders text us and tell us that they forgot to tell us that a member invited us over for dinner, and they had been waiting for us for ten minutes!  So we book it over to the house, and ate dinner with the members and the elders.  We each ate an entire fish, literally the whole thing, head, eyes, scales and all (who am I?)  and a huge amount of rice and chicken. We were stuffed beyond all belief.  And that was the week.  It was crazy busy.  But it was really good. 
I wish I had a spiritual thought that I could quickly share, but I'm totally out of time.  I just want you to know that I'm happy.  I'm doing well here, I love being a missionary.  There are few things cooler than teaching people about the Book of Mormon and watching them change so much.  I know this is true, there's no way I could be doing it if it wasn't.  I love you all so much.  Stay Strong!

Sister Carlee Beyers

mountains to climb.

As Sister Minguez always says "missionaries never lie".  Usually it is said really rather sassy.  She is the sassiest missionary that I know.  I promised last week that I would devote more time to this, and that's partially true.  However, I still don't have the time I want haha.  I'm going to type like the wind!  Seriously, this is the weekly struggle.  But, as per usual, we had a good week.  
Wednesday: I experienced my first ukay-ukay.  It is like a giant DI gone wild, theres so many clothes, and heavens knows where they come from.  They are so incredibly cheap, and random American name brands, brand new.  For example, I found a Down East Basics shirt, with the tags still intact.  Ukay-ukays are usually just under a tent or soemthing.  There is no organization.  You just dig through piles of clothes.  It is an adventure, and you can find the very best treasures.  Sister Tandiman was getting ready and packed up because she transferred back to Cebu.  As she was packing I decided to give her a going away gift.  Sister Bateman went and turned on "There Can Be Miracles" really loud, and I came out, dressed in my America attire and gave her a full concert, Sister Bateman was my back up vocalist and dancer.  We substituted words for visaya.  Sister Tandiman filmed most of it, and I have a horrifying fear this video might go viral in this mission.  I'm only kind of embarrassed.  That night we all got lechon manok and had our last family dinner.  Of course, we ate it with our hands, because there is really no other way to eat it than with tons of rice and your hands.  
Thursday:  Sister Tandiman and Sister Minguez had to catch the 6:00 am ferry to Cebu, so they came in to say goodbye at 4:30.  It's hard.  I hate goodbyes.  Sister Tandiman doesn't have very many months left, she goes home in January, and that dang girl is from Indonesia.  I realized I just wasn't sure that I  would ever see this girl again.  I love her so much.  She is just the cutest thing ever.  We have a roadtrip planned.  We're going to Disneyland haha.  And I'm going to visit her in Indonesia, and then we are going to come back to the Philippines obviously.  I've met some incredible people here.  That day we were a trio with Sister Lupien while she waited for her companion to get here.  She is from Canada.  I thought people stared when there were two americans walking down the street.  No no, it is much worse with three.  We are all so tall and so white, we got quite the reaction.  We went out to Guadalupe after Sister Lupien picked up her companion.  Guadalupe is our furthest area.  We get in one of those trikes that cram 11 people in them and go out on the highway for fifteen minutes through just straight sugar cane fields for miles.  We teach in Guadalupe in little bamboo huts.  Usually we will teach at the Benemeterios house.  I told you about them last week.  Vangie and Raybie.  They are a wonderful family.  We teach usually about three lessons there.  They are so welcoming.  They have a little gazebo type thing that looks right over the ocean, and that is where we always teach.  They are such a good family.  I love them.  I told Vangie that my mom was going to pick me up and she got so excited and begged me to come back and let her meet my mom.  I promised her I would do my very best.  I told them that I wanted to help them get to the temple.  We have a little ways to go, the temple is pretty far from here, but it's worth it.  We're going to work on it slowly but surely.  If they go back to the temple, I get to go through with them!  As we walked up to the Benemeterios that day, they didn't have any wood for me to chop, so I grated coconut for them instead.  How did I do this you ask?  By sitting on a bench made out of two by fours with a serrated piece of rebarb that you grate the coconut with.  It was very tricky business.  That night we taught a less active girl named Rubilyn.  I adore this girl.  She is 15, and she is the only member in  her family.  She just glows.  She reads the book of mormon, and then will give us a ten minute review on the chapter she read.  She understands it better than most people I know.  That girl is going to be an incredible missionary.  
Friday:  Sister Wilcox our new roomate got here.  She was trained by Sister Passey as well.  She's really really fun.  She is one of the quirkiest girls I have ever met.  She is in her very last transfer right now, and she's our new STL.  It's been really fun to have her ehre.  I also hit my seven month mark on Friday.  It's flying my friends.  And Sister Wilcox brought me a letter from Sister Robidillo.  Do you remember that name?  She was my STL and roommate my very first transfer.  She was Sister Passeys companion.  She went home last week, I feel so old suddenly.  From my first house, two of them are home, and Sister Rugg goes home in December.  I was so sad to get her pouch, because I realized I'll probably never see her again either.  Sister Robidillo is the first missionary to go home who I'm close to that isn't from America.  It kind of hit me how hard it is going to be to say goodbye to some of these wonderful people 11 months from now.  We went out and worked in San Jose that day.  It is about a 10 minute drive on the highway.  We teach along the beach here, primarily in bamboo huts right along the ocean.  Few things do I love more than teaching and hearing the waves.  Usually we are teaching looking over the ocean.  It's so incredibly beautiful.  We went home and were driving back a little later than usual so it was dark and both Sister Bateman and I looked over at the mountains, and in the dark they absolutely look like the Oquirrih mountains in Utah. It was  so weird.  I had to do a double take.  That night we were able to teach the Quiros.  I've talked about them before too.  They are one of my favorite families we teach.  They are just a young couple, and they are just so loving and filled with light.  I've seen them really change the last little bit.  
Saturday:  There was a little bit of a baguio (typhoon) nothing major for us.  Just a lot of rain and a little bit of wind.  We went to Guadalupe again and some people offered us a snack.  They brought out a plate of spaghetti.  Yes, that is a snack.  It isn't a meal unless rice is involved.  Otherwise it is merely a snack.  We went and taught Sei-J, one of our less actives, he is 10.  We have to hop a fence to get to his house.  As in, a concrete wall and we jump through a hole in a chain link fence haha.  This dang kid is a character.  He'll see us coming and run and grab his book of mormon and read his assignment we gave him.  Punk.  At least he reads haha.  The other part of our area is in the city of San Carlos.  It is crazy, it reminds me a little bit of Kamputhaw sometimes.  Just really small houses all really close together, but there are  also a lot made out of bamboo. Kamputhaw was straight concrete.  It's crazy because you'll be walking in the city and all the sudden you are on the ocean, I forget I'm on an island sometimes haha.  We walk around and basically feel like celebrities.  Everyone knows that we are sisters.  So everyone always says "maayong hapon sisters" or soemthing of the sort.  OR they just yell Americana or 'Cana!  And they tell me I have white skin, a tall nose, and that I'm gwapa.  I think I'm going to have a complex when I go home and no one points out to me that I'm white.  Or that I'm gwapa.  We have been walking around a lot lately and we start to talk to these people and they will tell us they are members or "pioneers" here and that they were the first members here but haven't been to church in twenty two years.  This has happened THREE TIMES this week.  We are just finding these people left and right.  They are the reason that we have a church out here.  We're gonna get them back.  They're right, they are pioneers.  And we need them. 
Sunday: For breakfast we ate fried rice with hot dogs and green beans in it.  We got Relief Society up and running and then after church it was a nanay's birthday so she brought in bihon, bread and tang for all of us.  That's usually a pretty common birthday meal.  That night the Andersons called us and told us they had chicken salad sandwiches and to come over for dinner. I ACCEPT.  I love them.  Sister Anderson had made us a dozen chocolate chip cookies to take home.  There are few things better than Sister Anderson in my life.  We taught a few lessons and tried to catch a trike home, but alas, there wasn't a trike for a while.  So we sat on the side of the road and sent in our stats so they could be in on time.  We did it by flashlight haha.  I'm sure this won't be the first time this happens.  
Monday:  We got up at 5:30 and played frisbee again.  In District Meeting Elder Smiler looked at me and said "The Carcar Sisters" totally on accident.  We had a pretty good laugh over that.  I'll always claim myself as a member of carcar.  We taught Edgardo and he is progressing well towards baptism.  We taught Boy as well, he is doing well.  We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and he just looked at us and said "You need to go out and teach this to everyone!  Everyone needs to know this"  I'm glad he agrees.  
Tuesday:  Tuesdays are our busiest days, but truthfully there is never much to share about.  We just teach a lot of lessons and have a lovely time.  It's just really busy.  But we did stop by Sister Po's house last night.  That woman is a saint.  She is in her 60's.  She lets us teach at her house any time we need to.  We usually teach at her house four times a week.  She has a little tindahan that she sells vegetables at, and we buy all of our vegetables from her.  She will also usually give us mangos or bananas to eat.  And I pay her to do my laba for us.  I call her Lola, which means Grandma.  She's the sweetest.  And that's about it for this week.  Extremely quickly I want to share a study.  There is an efy song called "Mountains to Climb" and you can ask anyone in Cebu Mission and they wil swear that this is our mission song.  We all know it by heart, even the elders.  We were jamming it last week and I was just thinking about the words.  Let me share.  
Life can be a blessing life can be lovely don't wanna miss it.  So take a deep breath and see that you can smile and make it through anythihng.  You really gotta mean it don't pretend.  It all depends on how you see it.  There can be a storm outside but inside I'm full of sunshine.  I know that it won't be easy, but I wanna be strong so give me mountains to climb give me rivers to cross give me something thats gonna make me better than I was.  Give me mountains to climb cause I know that it's taken me higher than I've ever been before.  Life can be amazing life can take your breath away every day and though it can be an awkward climb you can love every minute if you lift your eyes.  I know that it won't be easy, but it's makin me strong so give me mountains to climb give me rivers to cross give me something thats gonna make me better than I was.  Give me mountains to climb cause I know that it's taken me higher than I've ever been before.
I swear this was written for our mission.  We climb mountains, we cross rivers literally on the  daily.  And I cannot tell you how true this song is.  It's simple.  It's cheesy.  But it's true.  There are some big mountains to climb, but they're making us stronger and better than we ever were.  It's all about how we see the mountains.  One thing I'm really learning is don't wait until you get to the top to check out the view.  It's one heck of a ride, but it's so worth it.  I love you all so much.  

Love, Sister Carlee Beyers


Greetings lovelies.  The weeks just fly.  I swear, the days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days.  
Wednesday:  we always go out and try to eat something good on Wednesdays.  This week we went to a restaraunt that was ok ra man.  It wasn't the best.  But they had cheesecake.  So because we are fancy and we deserved it, we ate blueberry cheesecake.  We got in a little petticab, (the bicycles, with side carts that people peddle around) and as we are going through the city we both see it.  Glaring at us through a window of a store.  Just shining so bright.  The most amazing t shirt to ever touch the planet.  It was the american flag in t shirt form.  We both saw it and just started at each other in amazement.  And then Sister Bateman yells at the bike driver "stop the trike!"  he just starts laughing and immediately slams on the brakes, we get out and run into the store and both purchase these ridiculous shirts.  We came home and ran straight into our room and put on our america pants and shirts and then went running out into the kitchen where Sister Tandiman and Sister Minguez were.  That little Indonesian and that Filipina had no idea how to even handle all of our patriotism.  I think they both almost fell off their chairs from how hard they laughed.  
Thursday:  Sister Bateman made me get up at the crack of dawn and go jogging.  It was great once we were out and about. There is a random park that is kind of close to our house, which is strange because parks don't exist in the Philippines.  So we ran to the park and went jogging.  It's gorgeous.  We had apartment checks that day by Elder and Sister Anderson.  Sister Anderson made us real honest to goodness bread.  From scratch.  It had seeds in it and everything.  Now, I'm not a huge whole grain fan back home, but this 9 grain bread I was eating tasted like heaven.  Sometimes, I'm certain I will die from the amount of rice I eat, it felt mildly healthy and amazing.  We went out and worked that day, and of course, I forgot my rain jacket.  It wasn't a big deal, because it was a sunny day.  And besides it hadn't rained in days.  Well, as my wonderful luck would have it, rainclouds approached fast.  All of the sudden we hear a thunderclap, it was like a freaking movie, the rain just started pouring in buckets.  Sister Bateman grabbed my arm and we started sprinting.  Mind you, we were walking in the middle of nowhere in between two of our areas.  We were walking along the ocean, and there was nothing there except a tiny little bamboo hut a little ways away.  So we sprint to this dang hut and wait the rain out for a minute.  It was only about five minutes, but it was cool to just sit in this bamboo hut on the beach in a giant rainstorm.  New rule:  Always have the rain jacket.  And then that night Elder and Sister Anderson took me out to dinner for my birthday.  We of course went to Burgers and Beer.  Sister Bateman and I shared a taco salad (!!!!) and a chili cheese dog.  Firstly, mexican food doesn't exist here, salad is non existant, and so is cheese.  So it was an amazing little treat.  
Friday:  I was able to do weekly planning completely by myself!  The area is officially mine.  :)  For lunch we had one of my favorites, canned corned pork and scrambled eggs over rice haha.  We worked with Veloria that day, I love that adorable nanay.  We got on a trike and these little kids had this bag that they were playing with.  Mind you, these trikes just cram people in.  They fit 11 people in this trike/motorcycle.  So you're real close.  I keep looking trying to figure out what these kids are playing with.  It's the spiders!  Remember that youtube video of fighting spiders?  yeah, these kids have a bag of them.  And then they take them out and start playing with them and letting them fight and run on their hands and their arms and I just about lost it.  It was horrifying.  We were walking around and we started talking to someone and they looked at me and just said "you look german"  well, that would be correct.  But I don't know what about me looks German haha.  As we kept walking, we were going through this really tiny alleyway in between bamboo huts, and there was a chicken in front of us.  I kicked a rock, and the chicken freaked out, flew directly over my head and charged into Sister Bateman. Sister Bateman screamed bloody murder as this chicken is just charging her.  And then there is Veloria and I sitting on the ground trying to breathe because we are laughing so hard.  Sister Bateman hit me with her umbrella a couple times, which made me and Veloria laugh even harder.  I deserved it.  But I really didn't mean to!  We taught one of our investigators Edgardo at a members house.  They are so great.  They live right on the ocean, it's completely gorgeous.  Sometimes we teach three or four lessons at their house if there aren't women around becuase we have to have a woman present at all times.  They're really great.  Their names are Raybie, Vangie, and Churchilla.  We teach in this little bamboo gazebo type thing right on the beach.  It started pouring rain as we were teaching, it was really so cool.  So we finish up the lesson and go to head home when we see that all of the paths are flooded and are now rivers.  Veloria, that little 65 year old stud just goes tromping through the river, I follow suit, but Sister Bateman was worried about her shoes and her feet or something, I'm not sure.  The point is, I turned around and made her jump on my back and I gave her a piggy back ride through the river, it was a long walk hahaha.  Veloria was once again laughing hysterically at the two Americans in the river, and I got companion of the year award.  I really love Sister Bateman.  
Saturday:  We got punted like crazy all day long!  It was unreal.  But these are the days where you really see the tiny miracles, and you see how slowly but surely, you are being led to where you're supposed to be.  Everything happens for a reason.  Those days are hard days, but you learn a lot in them.  That night we taught one of our less active members.  I love them so much.  We teach them every week.  And they decided to dress me up in traditional filipina clothing.  I looked way too fabulous for my own good.  There are some really amazing people here.  I love them.  
Sunday:  I love my five year journal.  I write in it every morning.  Sunday morning I had some time to think, so I read through my "everything will be okay" book and just looked through my family scrapbook.  Sometimes  Sundays can be bitter sweet.  But man, I am so blessed.  I have the best family in the world.  And the best friends.  I have the best support system rooting me on.  We went to church and lo and behold Teabing came to church!  We have been trying to get this woman to church for weeks now!  She was all gwapa'd up and she just glowed in church.  I love her.  We were waiting for relief society to start, and in walks Ivy, we haven't been able to teach her yet.  She came in and said that she couldn't stay for church, but she would come back at 3:00 and we could teach her then.  This woman, there is something so special about her.  Edgardo also was at church on Sunday and so were so many less active members!  Church can be the biggest pay day sometimes.  It just makes it all so worth it.  We have a man who is in the branch presidency here.  He is in his 70s, and always wears a rockin white suitcoat even though it's hot as heck.  He has fabulous english, he informed Sister Bateman that he reads the dictionary every day, he is on the letter d currently.  This man makes sacrament way too much fun.  For instance, let me give you some samples of his comments.  "thank youf or leading the music at the level of absolute perfection"  and "our concluding speaker, i present to you without the least bit of delay..."  he says everything like he is announcing  a football game.  Sometimes you have to try really hard to not laugh.  We went back to the church at 3:00 to teach Ivy, and ended up waiting until 4:15 and she never showed.  We don't have a way to contact her.  It's a really hard situation.  I was really sad, I don't know how I'm supposed to help this woman, or what I'm supposed to do.  But I just feel so strongly about her.  Also, it has officially come back, all the little kids here have started calling me Elsa again.  And when I walk they just sing part of Frozen.  Sister Bateman is completely astounded by it every time it happens.  It's just like some giant Philippines wide joke.  
Monday:  We got up at 5:30 again and played ultimate frisbee with the branch.  I'm learning to like frisbee haha.  Everyone is so excited because it's September.  Which means its the "ber" months.  Which apparently means that we start celebrating Christmas.  Everyone is singing Christmas songs.  It's fabulous hahaha.  I was able to finish the New Testament on Monday.  I loved it.  I love the New Testament.  I love reading about Our Savior.  I love learning of Him.  I may have cried my way through it a time or two.  
Tuesday:  Not a ton happened yesterday.  We taught a lot of lessons.  We taught Edgardo, we taught Boy and he's doing great too.  He loves the Book of Mormon.  He told us how proud he is of us for spreading the good word.  He always just asks us to keep coming back and teaching him.  He is so smart, sometimes he's too smart for his own good.  But I adore that man.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned how incredibly blunt Filipinos are.  If they see that you have acne, they ask you about it.  If you are white, they tell you.  If you are tall, they tell you.  Skinny, white, tall, overweight, just anything at all, they'll tell you about it.  And it's not rude, it's just stating a fact.  Well, they also do that with visaya haha.  Sister Bateman is about to go home, so she has really good language, so they'll tell her that she has really good language, and then they'll look at me and tell me "yours isn't that good yet"  hahaha it's so innocent!  You can't even be offended by it!  I love this dang culture.  Last night a magical thing happened, it cooled off enough that I put a sheet over half of my body.  Before my mission, I had to have a blanket.  There was  no other option.  It was impossible to sleep without a blanket.  Well, that habit has left.  My alarm clock has a thermometer on it, and I have the blanket situation down to a science.  If it drops lower than 87 degrees in our room, the blanket goes on because it gets chilly.  Last night it got down to 86, and I  thought I might have to put on a sweater or something.  Send help for when I go home!  I'm going to perish.  
Well, that's about it for this week.  Transfer calls are on Monday, I have no idea what is going to happen.  I've never been with a companion for more than one transfer, so out of habit, it just feels like Sister Bateman will transfer.  But it's awkward because she's been here two transfers, and only has two transfers left.  So if she stays, her last transfer will randomly be in a new area and then she'll go home.  So we don't know what's going to happen.  This transfer freaking flew.  I swear it was just transfer calls in Carcar.  Anyways, it'll be exciting to see what happens next week.  I have one study I want to share, hopefully quickly because I"m almost out of time.  
So I read Ether chapter six.  And I fell in love with it. It felt so relatable.    In ether 6:3 it says "the lord caused stones to shine in the darkness.  To give light unto men and women and children that they might not cross the great waters in darkness"  What are these stones in our lives?  The light!  The gospel of Jesus Christ.  In ether 6:5 I love that it says that there was  a furious wind that blew them towards the promised land.  A FURIOUS wind.  There is a really cool footnote that takes you to Ether 2:24-25.  I started to think about this and what the furious winds were in my life.  Fear, doubt, insecurity, anxiety.  And you're right, they are furious winds, it isn't a calm walk in the park.  It isn't a glassy day on the lake.  We all have FURIOUS winds that are upon us.  There are mountainous waves that will crash on us, but remember, they are all leading us directly to the promised land.  We are promised that we ill bring us up again from the depths of the sea.  And he prepares us, for he knows that we surely cannot do it without him preparing us.  He prepares us against the waves, the winds that have come and the waves which still shallcome.  But he asks us, what will ye that I shoudl prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?  We are never alone, no matter how deep the sea is.  In ether 6:6 is says that they were many times burried in the depths of the sea.  Many times!  This was dang hard.  In verse seven it says that they were buried in the deep, but no water could hurt them, because their vessels were tight, and they did cry unto the lord and he di bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.  Our vessels have to be tight?  What are our vessels?  It's the Savior.  If we cry unto him he'll bring us to the top of the waters again and again and again.  I love verse eight.  It says "the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land" The wind will never cease.  Life will be full of trials.  But it's always pushing us towards that promised land.  In verse ten it says that "they did have light continually, whether it is about the water or under the water"  They chose to see the good in their trials.  They made it a faith building experience.  And in verse twelve I believe, it says that they made it to the promised land and they wept with joy and grattitude.  Their trials were dang hard!  And they were long.  But they were grateful and so faithful.  We are expected to cross some dark waters in order to get to the promised land.  But we are given the light of the gospel.  We are given the assurance that if our vessels are tight, the water will not hurt us.  The velssels are jesus christ.  There will be furious winds, but they are pushing us to the promised land.  It won't be easy, the waves will be big.  But we have been prepared.  And we will continue to be prepared.  The wind will never cease, but if you can  cling to the gospel, and remain grateful and faithful in all circumstances, you will have light above and below the water.  And you will be led.  I love you all.  I miss you buckets.  Stay Strong.  

Love, Sister Carlee Beyer

September 6th

Sometimes, I feel awkward and have no idea how to adequately start an email.  This is my delima every week.  Today is no exception haha.  I feel reduntant by stating over and over again that the weeks are flying, but my friends, they truly are.  
So the week.  
Last Wednesday, Sister Bateman and I went to the mercado.  It is just like a giant flea market, but it's huge.  And all indoors.  It's like some giant maze or labyrinth.  They have the very best treasures.  Millions of knock off rayban sunglasses, nikes, vans, shoes, basketball jerseys.  And they look legit!  It's way too fun to go and wander and haggle with all the people about how much you're going to pay.  
Thursday we had our Zone training meating.  IT was on the Atonement.  Both the redeeming power of the atonement and the enabling power of the atonement.  It was really eye opening to me.  It made me realize how much more I should be using the atonement in my life.  My heavens, I'm learning a lot of my mission.  The Andersons were there, they baked us brownies.  Whatever would we do without them?  We all went out to lunch, and sister Anderson and I shared deep fried squid.  We bonded rather deeply over it.  We went out and worked that day and taught Edgardo, he is one of our IBD's.  He is doing really well, and should be baptized this month.  We walked up the Raybie and Vangie's house (the members who we always teach millions of lessons at their house) and Raybie is chopping wood, so I decide I would help him.  I took the ax and started chopping wood.  I am not good at chopping wood hahaha.  But they laughed as I tried really hard to help.  1.  Axes are heavy.  2.  Aiming is really hard.  3.  It's harder than you might think in a skirt.  4. chopping takes a very long time haha.  But they laughed, and now everytime they see me they crack jokes about how I have big muscles and how I'm pro and chopping wood.  
Friday:  I'm trying to figure out how to eat something different rather than the four or five meals I know how to cook.  So I'm getting a little creative.  I took a mom recipe and put a Filipina twist on it.  It was actually so dang good.  I discovered that I have a little bit of mom talent in me, because I don't need a recipe. I can just look in the fridge and decide what would taste good.  Sometiems it works like a charm.  Other times, things are a little less delicious.  But I would like to say I'm pretty dang proud of that.  As we were out walking on Friday it poured rain.  I mean POURED. We had our umbrellas and my rain jacket and we were still drenched.  My face was soaked, and my skirt was soaked right where my rain jacket stopped.  It was oddly cold too.  We went and taught one of our recent converts and she took one look at us and just laughed.  I was just grateful to get out of the rain.  
Saturday:  We went to a wedding Saturday morning!  The Elders had a baptism, but the couple needed to get married first.  So we all met at the chapel, the bride had on a simple cream dress, and the groom had on slacks and a white polo.  They looked so great.  They did the wedding, and gave each other the most shy tiny peck I've ever seen (Filipinos are so dang shy) and then they went and changed and the groom got baptized.  It was that simple, and it was wonderful.  And then after the baptism, the bride changed again and went to work.  It was actually kind of beautiful.  It was simple, but they were so happy.  I was able to give the talk at the baptism.  IN VISAYA.  Sometimes, I am still amazed that I can kind of speak another language haha.  
Sunday:  Sister Bateman and I set up Relief Society and got it running.  It's so crazy serving in a branch, the church is so so new here, so it's a lot of work as missionaries.  But we love it.  It's real rewarding.  Sister Anderson came to church that day and showed me a picture she put of us of Facebook.  Remember how I told you that President McCurdy always calls me Sister Beyers?  (He still does it every time) well President Schmutz commented on the picture and called me Sister Beyers too!  It's official, it's my new identity.  I kind of love it.  I don't have the heart to correct it, and in fact, I sign all my weekly emails to President McCurdy, Sister Beyers.  We went out and worked that day, it was a really good fast sunday.  That night the four of us sisters all sat down and were just hanging out.  I love these dang sisters.  They put on "There Can Be Miracles" from the Prince of Egypt and I gave them a stunning concert. I had no shame.  I belted it at the top of my lungs just like the the concert vocalist that I obviously am.  They were crying with laughter.  Missions are so simple, but random things like that make the best memories.  Oh!  And for another fun bug update, in a lesson on Sunday night, a cockroach flew into my hair and I had to calmly get it out so as to not embarrass the people we were teaching.  SEND HELP. 
Monday:  I got up and decided to make French Toast in honor of transfer calls.  It was interesting, but it will do haha.  We had an amazing workshop by Elder Smiler.  He has actually been my District Leader for three transfers now, he was in Carcar and then we both transferred here.  He is such a good missionary, and his workshops every week are to die for.  This week he talked about the last two days of Jesus Christ's life.  It truthfully brought me to tears.  It was amazing. And it really changed the way I think about some things.  Transfer calls came and Sister Bateman and I are staying here together for another transfer!  We're going to have way too much fun this transfer.  She is going to be my first ever companion that I'm with for two transfers.  That night we had an FHE at one of my favorite members house.  Their whole family was over for their daughters first birthday.  THey are such a cute family.  It's the Quiro's.  They are the one who have the little boy who kissed me on the mouth when I first met him haha.  His name is Jhanrhyl.  His little sisters name, you ask?  Jhanrhylla.  This family is so great.  We were having FHE and Sister Quiro's brother was talking to me about his work.  He is a diver, he dives down and gets octopus and huge shells and such. But he does it without an oxygen tank. So he talks to me about this for about twenty minutes.  I tell him I'm scuba certified, and we are just bonding and such.  And then someone tells him that I'm probably bored and to stop talking to me about his job.  He got so offended and just said "She's a diver.  She UNDERSTANDS".  I nearly cried from joy.  Obviously, we are now bonded for life.  
Tuesday:  Not a whole ton happened.  We just worked hard and taught tons of lessons.  The usual.  No news is good news sometimes haha.  
I have completely ran out of time. I have a good study for next week.  I will use my time more wisely starting next week haha.  I'm sorry.  But I want you all to know that I love you.  I love the support I have.  I've really learned a lot the past couple of months.  I was thinking this week, and I realized that on the 6th, was when Sister Horn whom I had never met called me and asked me to go on splits.  And thus started this crazy adventure I am now on.  I went on splits the 6th, the 7th I went out all day again.  The 8th I accidentally told Ashley I was going on a mission without realizing I even knew I was going on a mission!  That night I also told Sister Horn that I  was really going to do it.  The 9th I told my mom.  The 10th I met with the bishop, and the 11th my papers were done.  My oh my how things change in a year.  Little did I know what was in store for me.  I'll tell you one thing, I never thought I would end up here.  But I'm so grateful that I did.  I love you all so much.  

Love, Sister Carlee Beyer