Wednesday, December 31, 2014

malipayong bag-ong tuig. (happy new year)




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

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

mga milagro gani.


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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

maayong pasko.





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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Be Still.

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

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Gift









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