Monday, February 25, 2013

Big Changes

Hello Family,

So I have two big changes this week.  The next time I write you I will not be on Palawan. I don't know yet where I am going (hopefully I will find out Tuesday) but I know I will be transferred because my companion will be training a greenie here (we found out Thursday morn, just so you can keep track of the time table here :) ).  Just like I was trained here! :)  Fun stuff.  I am so sad to be leaving (not just because it's beautiful and everyone says it's way cleaner than anywhere else) mostly because of the people I am leaving behind.  I love them all so much!  I care about them so much and I look forward to every visit to see how their faith has progressed and what has happened in their spiritual lives since the last time we visited. :(  But it's okay because I know I will love the people in my next area too.  I am also really sad because I have to leave Sister Hunt.  She has been honestly my dream companion and I have learned so much from her and progressed a lot in the one (short) transfer we had together.  We have honestly been having a blast working hard!  So yes Wednesday I will get on a plane and fly to somewhere new.  As I thought of that this week, the fact that I was leaving on a plane I thought about how glad I am that I'm flying to another area and not flying home.  Sounds crazy I'm sure.  But for me it was a really nice thought because at the beginning of my time in the field I was worried I may never stop wanting to go home with just a little piece of my heart.  But now that piece is gone.  Don't worry I still miss you honestly but it's more like I want you to come serve with me instead of me coming home. haha.
The next news (depending on a couple of factors) may be much bigger news.  As I figured mom might find, there are new missions opening in the Philippines.  Well Saturday morning we received a text from the Assistants that the Manila mission will be split. Into the Manila Mission and the... Cavite Mission.  The Cavite mission will have all of the areas previously categorized as Province (more like Palawan) and the Manila Mission will have all the areas previously categorized as "city".  Woah! It was crazy.  The four of us were at the house and we were all just like minds blown. So what does this mean for us?  Well we don't actually know yet. haha.  But it means that I may have 2 missions on my mission and that I may have all province... or I may have 1 mission and Palawan will be my last province.  It is such a weird thought.  And as I tried to decide how I felt and which I would want (leaving Manila mission for province or staying in Manila mission but not getting to be province) I decided it really doesn't matter.  The Lord has His hand in everything. And while I'm not a huge fan of change, I know I will be assigned wherever He wants me and as I have learned here on Palawan-- It really doesn't matter where you are as much as who you meet.  You can love people anywhere.  So here goes a new adventure! :D  Someone at church yesterday said she had 2 different missions when she served and actually had 3 mission presidents! haha!  Life is crazy and yet so easy as a missionary.  People, directed by the Lord, tell you where to go and you go and fall in love with the people (Sisterly and brotherly love of course haha) and work your hardest to help people as much as you can as fast as you can and then you go somewhere else the Lord needs you.  My life is so wonderful! (don't get me wrong there are still very hard moments, but you know the hard moments get pushed to the shadows of with all the good.)
Whew.  So that's it for super exciting.  We have had lots of great visits with people this week and my heart honestly breaks that I wont be returning to them but it's okay because I know the Lord and the companionship here will take good care of them. :) (Over-dramatic?....maybe...or maybe not... haha) My language is improving still.  I feel more comfortable teaching and really felt the Lord's help in my teaching this week but it is still a struggle.  I spoke again in church on Sunday. blah.  My time is running short and not much new to share.  The Lord is hastening His work, truly!  I am so excited to be apart of this work!  I love Heavenly Father and His perfect, beautiful plan for us.  Sometimes it seems hard to follow but we just have to look at all He has promised us and it makes suffering a little lighter a little easier.  I'm grateful beyond words for the gospel in my life and the comfort that it brings.  Please, study this gospel, it makes everything better and makes everything make sense.  I love and miss you all!\
Sister Hamm
 PS - Thanks for the encouraging emails.  Give my love to Nathan and Tyler and Jacob!!  Condolences to those who didn't get into BYU Provo but there are reasons for everything I promise!  Oh and you know RUS's they totally exist. (not really)  I saw a rat the other day.  It was literally the size of a cat! crazy. Love you! I'm safe and happy. BYE

Monday, February 18, 2013


Dear Family,

First, Thanks so much for the Valentine's Day card.  You timed it perfect! :) I received it 2 days before Valentines. :)   So a person in my zone is the nephew of G.C. from Morgan Hill. Her name is super familiar but I couldn't remember much about her. You know her right?  Maybe just a quick memory about her, like Josh said, its fun to have connections even if they are super remote. haha.
So this week we had so much happen!  It has been really great to see the hand of the Lord in the work. We spent some time Sunday morning looking for a Less active member that a different less active member referred us to but we didn't have a name or physical description, just that there was a boy and girl who were siblings. So we just went around to the 3 red gates (where many different boarders live) that matched the description the member gave us haha and asked about siblings that were mormon.  Well, nobody knew of mormons living in the compound and we eventually headed off to church.  After Sacrament mtg a man walks up and introduces himself to us and we find out he is the one we were looking for.  It was so weird and great cause now we know! :)
Oh another cool story.  As we were walking we found an old woman (~75 and 4'10)  who was selling brooms.  We told her we couldn't buy a broom but of course gave her a pamphlet and talked with her.  We showed her the name of the church on the back of the pamphlet and told her where the church bldg was and that it started at 1pm.  Well, she is actually from an area half an hour away.  She seemed a little confused about which direction to walk to get home so we pointed it out and said goodbye.  Well the next morning we get a text from the sisters that one of our investigators came to their branch... We were confused and then they explained further.  It was Nanay! (name for mom but what we call women out of respect sort of like maam) She had looked for the name of the church and some how showed up to attend 9am (!) church in her own area (the sisters area).  What a miracle!  Funny part: During the second hour she asked the recent convert sitting next to her "Tapos na ba?" Is it over now? hahaha.  She stayed for all three hours. Hope she attends again. :)
Just lots of cool stuff like that this week.  Plus all the kids that went to the primary activity last week begged to come to church this week. So someone went and brought them all. Sadly, the parents are yet to be as excited and didn't yet attend. But we have faith they will. :)
Oh dad-- So my Australian companion taught me the other day that they call cantaloupe Rock Melon.  It made me think of you since its your favorite fruit and it's a cool name.  So yea.  I think I might start calling it that, although cantaloupe is a pretty sweet name too. :) 
Congratulations to Juge and Hadley. :)  That is great.  I will definitely keep Shalisa in my prayers and actually felt like I should pray for her earlier this week but didn't know why!
So grateful for all your prayers and love.  I love you all so much!  Have a great week!
Sister Hamm

Friday, February 15, 2013

Kilitin ng Kilikili

Dear Family,
So I have been praying hard for all of you this week and sounds like my prayers were answered.  So fun to see the picture of all the Larson sisters. :)  And Camilla is getting so big!!  She looks so old.  Happy Birthday to Grandpa and AJ. Congrats to Jake for getting into BYU-I.  Chumbawamba?.?  haha.  Yea, it very well could be a word in Tagalog but it would be spelled with a K, C isnt used very often.  :)
So my mind is going blank on what to say this week.  It has been great.  Sister Hunt and I are constantly busy and have a hard time planning out our week because the people we teach are so spread out and have different conflicts.  Our entire mission is focusing on faith this month and it has been a really great experience so far.  Studying faith makes me realize just how much mine needs to increase. And working on increasing our faith this week we have already seen a difference.
We have also been able to see miracles.  One, which may seem small was that an investigator read from the start to ch 4 of Nephi this week.  It was truly a miracle.  We had been to her 5 times before that and she had never read like we asked.  Anyway it was such an exciting moment.  Truly, makes it all worth it!
Oh fun story.  So Friday our branch president called and needed our help getting a bunch of kids who are part of a less active family to the church for a primary activity on Saturday. Of course we can do that.  But as it got closer we realized it was a little more stressful than we first thought.  So Saturday morning we were rushing to get over there and I was praying it would work out well.  Cause Sister and I have to go in the same trike but I was worried we would have to send the older kids in a separate trike (which can be hard to find sat mornings), or that they wouldn't be ready or change there minds about going.  Anyway.  So we took a trike over and as we pulled up all these little kids came walking up ready to go.  So cute!  And the nice trike driver said he could wait so the kids piled in while we went to talk with their mom.  Over all there were 9 kids.  Three 11 year old boys, 4 girls around 9 years old and then a little boy and girl who were 3 and 4.  As we approached the trike they were all piled in and I had to smile and laugh with the trike driver who actually had his son with him that morning and was riding in front of him on the bike.  We found there was room so Sister and I climbed in and we took off with 3 adults and 10 children in one trike.  I wish I had gotten a picture. It was like the highlight of my life. haha.  We got to the church at 9:01 and of course there were no leaders there yet.  We ended up playing 2 different games in the gym with all these little kids and then sang I am a child of God around the piano (with just the girls of course haha) before the leader showed up.  It was so perfect.  Heavenly Father totally helped it to go smoothly and it was so much fun!
I love you all so much and hope you are all doing well.  So grateful for this gospel and the joy and blessings it brings me and my family and all of God's children. Ingat kayo! (Take care all of you)
Sister Hamm

Monday, February 4, 2013


Hello Family,
Activity at the beach on Palawan

A little bit of advice for anyone learning a language for their missions-- Memorize phrases in the MTC.  I think I should have done that a lot more.  I was concerned about so many other aspects of the language and of course you need balance but really memorizing phrases helps so much later for grammar and teaching.  Also memorizing words but of course I did a lot of that and I'm sure they will too. So yea- Phrases help a lot. :)

Let's see.  So I was reading in the scriptures and got to Mosiah 4:10 and read, "And now if ye believe all these things, see that you do them."  And immediately the thought popped into my head, "If you know, then do." haha.  So yep.  That's for you dad.  Being backed up by the scriptures.  Act according to your knowledge.  :)

Funny story-- So we were teaching an investigator at the home of a member.  They had served us a merienda (small snack) and we were chatting after we finished our lesson.  I was sitting in the chair in their living room with my legs together (of course since I'm in a skirt).  Well all the sudden I felt a little tickle on my thighs. Then it stopped and I was like okay.  Then it happened again.  Definitely something crawling up my thighs!  So I stuck my hand in my lap right above the "thing" so that it couldn't progress and said "um...".  They all asked me what it was and I said I didn't know.  I said I thought it was one of the little lizards that are everywhere.  Now it was crawling against my hand.  So I stood up and kind of shook my skirt to hopefully get it to fall out quickly without me freaking out.  And out drops a....  cockroach!  How it got all the way up there without me feeling it I don't know but we all had a good, hearty laugh.  I was glad I hadn't made too much of a scene about it. (like I had earlier that morning when I got chased by a dog while running and ended up screaming in fear. haha.) So yea.  Good times.  Brother kept saying, Only in the Philippines.  Not sure that is true but it is a good memory.

This picture is a fun one!  We were about to teach on the
beach when they brought in their catch!
So tropical and fun.  Yes, that is a blowfish.

Do I eat a lot of fresh fruits?  Somewhat.  I still love apples. And the bananas that are different here.  There are two kinds I love.  One similar to home and one that are big and best if you fry them, kind of sweet and sticky.  Mmmm.    

Are there different fruits here that you don't have there?
A new fruit I tried is guabayan (?) maybe... I can't quite remember. But the inside kind of looks like a white pineapple but as you pull off a piece with a fork the texture is VERY different.  As you eat it, it is a mix of really slimy chewing gum and cotton. (words of a native filipina, not me but I have to agree)  It is kind of acidic like pineapple and as I ate I thought it kind of reminds me of violets the candy! A little bit.  Anyway, pretty good.  It might be a favorite if it weren't for the texture. haha

A motorcycle made by an investigator out of a single crab!

So how long does it take me to get to church?  Church is about a 5 minute tricycle ride in good traffic. But probably a good 2 mile walk.

Is the Church an LDS building?  We have a building that is LDS chapel but other areas of our Zone don't. 

How many wards/branches meet there?  2 branches

Have most the people you meet heard of the church? No. It's about 40/60. 60 have heard of us.  But 40 haven't.  I didnt know about the superbowl and they seem to watch a lot of basketball. :)  yay.

Love you all so much!
Sister Hamm

As I learn new words I often hear Josh's voice from our Christmas conversation, "I swear you are making this up!" :)  I definitely feel that way a lot and it makes me laugh hearing him say that.  So yea.  That's were the tittle came from.  How am I supposed to say that word or remember it while teaching a lesson? haha The picture is a fun one: We were about to teach on the beach when they brought in their catch.  So tropical and fun.  Yes that is a blowfish.