Monday, November 26, 2012



Happy belated Thanksgiving.  I hope Josh had a good time at Grandma Hamm's.  I hope he helped her in the kitchen.  :)  Also I have to wish a Happy Birthday to Heather, Kayla and Madison! :)  Sorry for others that I have missed.  :/  Please forgive me.  As always it was so great to read your emails.  Also this week since we had mission tour and District conference I received my first  written letters! :)  That was extremely exciting as well.  I received dad's short letter that was sent pouchmail postmarked on Oct 25.  There is no telling when it got to Manila but I got it Nov 20.  Along with 2 dearelder letters from Bammer and one from mom.  So fun to get some news.  I saved them and read each one on a different morning during breakfast.  More telling about the travel time of mail though is Madison's snail mail letter (Stamp cost $1.05) that I received at district conference on Sunday.  Thank you Madison.  It was postmarked November 7th in the states and I think it arrived in Manila sometime around the 20th(the 23rd at the latest).  So less than 15 days.  So we have a Christmas party on the 19th.  If you mail a letter today I might get it at that time.  Thank you so much Madison.  I loved your letter.  I was laughing SO hard. (If you want to save some money I will not be offended if you use dearelder. :) )  Also I received another dear elder from Bammer and one from Eliza.  So fun to hear from all of you!!

So as I said we had mission tour.  Elder Neilson (from the 70) and Sister Neilson came.  They are over the Philippines mission and have been living in Manila for awhile now.  Before that they were in New Zealand.  It was really good to hear from them. (Nice  to have some english speakers around.) :)  It was a nice spiritual boost.  Sister Neilson also spoke about getting along with companions and related it to her children bringing spouses into the family. haha.  I'll recap that one for you after I get home before I bring someone home. :)  Our mission, as was reemphasized, is focusing on reactivating less actives.  I really love this part of missionary work.  It is fun to go visit with them and try to figure out how we can best help them and watch as their desire to come back grows.  One of our less actives this week told us she wants to come back to church but is shy.  It was really exciting to hear that. Especially since she is the daughter of the person we went to contact and she just happen to walk in as we were about to begin teaching! Heavenly Father's hand is in all.

Little shout out for visiting and home teaching.  Please do it!  It has always seemed a little unimportant to me to be honest, but I'm seeing just how much it can help and you never know who you are assigned to that might need you!  We are hoping more people here will faithfully go home and visiting teaching.
Um--lets see.  Some more random. Most of the roads we walk along are paved but very gravely and there aren't usually sidewalks.  Many of the houses here have electricity but there are many that don't as well. I watched as one of our investigators made a new lamp for their house this week.  They simply use a glass bottle and put lighter fluid in it (bought from a small store on the street)  Then there is a thick fabric rolled up and shoved in the top.  I'm gonna miss sitting outside by the light of these lamps when I eventually leave this area.  Its a fun atmosphere.

I haven't really eaten anything adventurous yet.  But guess what?!?  I think I was born to be a Filipina.  I'm better at eating meat here.  Let me tell you why.  The meat here is often fatty or has bones in it etc.  Crazy right? :) haha.  But so it is totally normal to first pick apart the meat using your fork and spoon. Plus, once in your mouth, you just chew and if you find something undesirable its normal to isolate it and put it onto your spoon and lay it on a spot on your plate. At least this is how all the sisters I live with do it and I've seen a couple others.  So maybe this is the same as the states and I just haven't been brave enough (or hungry enough) who knows, maybe you think I'm crazy.  But hopefully the story at least gives you a laugh and know that I am eating! :)

Other thing.  I found the secret to getting rid of yellow arm pit stains.  I thought I had tried everything in the states.  Vinegar, not drying my whites in the dryer, bleach etc.  But here all I had to do was hand wash/ scrub the stains with liquid tide (that I had leftover from the states) hung them to dry outside in the sun and wala! (I think it maybe spelled Vala but in tagalog wala is none so this way it is punny. :P)  Anyway. That's that.

So, the job for that family did work out.  It was actually for the mother and she worked it for 2 days before her husband found a job for him!  :)  So she is back at home with the kids and he is at work.  Miracle of miracles-- he works everyday but Sunday! :)  So wonderful.

The Lord's hand is over all and we just need to trust in His plan for us and strive to know what it is He would have us do.  I was reading in Moses this morning (I think ch 7) about all that Enoch saw and about the Lord weeping for the world.  It was a beautiful chapter and made me grateful for the book of Moses and for the knowledge we have of this world and the plan of salvation.  I love you all!  Enjoy your week, I know I will!  :)

Sister Hamm

P.S.  Learned the word in the title while subject.  I knew the root but I had no idea how to conjugate it.  So there it is. :)

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