Monday, March 25, 2013


March 25, 2013

Dear Family,

I feel like I have a lot to say this week, I hope I can remember all of it.  First the small things-- Um, I'm jealous because ya'll get to watch conference a week before I do. Sayang (too bad). And I'm sad because I realized early this morning that I will have to wait until next week to hear about Josh's first week in Mexico b/c of the international date line! Bummer-- but that's okay. More excitement next week. Random-- I bought a certain bread last week and something about the way it smelled took me back to Grandma Hamm's house every time I opened it.  Crazy right?  It was so fun.  Everytime I ate bread I was in Grandma Hamm's kitchen with all the grandkids eating their 5th roll half an hour after dinner with Grandma Hamm laughing and rolling her eyes, or we were preparing sandwiches for the hike.  It was fun to remember (don't worry, it wasn't trunkie just a happy memory).  BYU in NIT. Bleh.  Have to say I'm disappointed. :( Must be cause one of their biggest fans hasn't been at their games. haha Jk. Great inventions: fridges, freezers that defrost themselves, dishwashers, microwaves, toaster ovens, gas stoves, washing machines, flushing toilets, electric fans, air conditioning, using alcohol as hand sanitizer.  Some of these things I have, some of them I do not but they are all very wonderful! :)  Also wonderful is the public transportation here.  I have come to love it even though it isn't exactly reliable for time or price. haha. Tricycles and jeepney's are now my fave. 

So it is Holy Week and on Saturday every street near the Catholic church was full of people making these really pretty leaf sticks (okay, I really can't find a good word for them) for palm Sunday. Sunday the traffic was a little worse than usual but not bad.  Apparently this weekend will have parades.  We will see what happens. :)

Thanks for the notes from Brother B's lesson.  Really good thoughts there.  Reminded me of the song "Give me your eyes".   In the MTC someone spoke about having a worms and a birds eye view of the work.  It is true.  When you look at it as God does and as a big, eternal picture it is so thrilling and motivating. To know that there are people out there just waiting to "come into the fold of God" is so cool and makes you want to tell every person you see just in case they will listen.  Of course you also need the worms eye view, the up close and personal of the work. You can't just throw information at them and hope they get it. We have to make friends and relationships and introduce the gospel in such a way that people are willing to listen and can understand.  Good thing we have the Lord's help because this is not always easy. Keep up the good effort, I know the Lord will eventually guide you to someone who has been prepared.
I really liked his line, "attitude adjustments are available." haha.  It is so true.  Through scripture study and prayer I know that we can change.  Heavenly Father can literally change our hearts if we are willing to sacrifice our wills to His.  It is so beautiful and I have seen it so many times. 

So I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve.  I love almost every minute of it.  But I had a moment the other morning (as I was pondering one of our recent converts who is now inactive) where I thought, "I can't wait till I can just go back to worrying about my own salvation." haha.  I repented because really I am glad I get to serve God and help others.  It is truly a privilege. But the thought that followed was about mothers.  I want to say thank you to my mother and also applaud all the mothers out there. We have been told by prophets how important the role of a mother is and I thought at this moment about how much they have to worry about the spiritual, as well as temporal, needs of their children. It is such a burden (I'm sure) to try and teach the gospel in a way they will understand and motivate them to act and worry about helping them return to Heavenly Father.  Thank you for the sacrifice you make and work you do to help you children learn the gospel.  As in missionary work-- no effort is wasted! (Even when it may have seemed to go in one ear and out the other :) ) Thank you also to fathers who support their wives and teach their children and preside over their families righteously. 

That being said.  This week has been awesome.  We have really seen the hand of the Lord in the work.  We have had a good time finding some new people to teach.  Some people here know people who are "mormons" or they know a lot about mormons and then others have never heard it and after we tell them the full name of the church and the nickname "mormon", a couple of minutes later they will ask us if we are catholic or Jehovah Witness. haha  So grateful for this opportunity to share His gospel.  I love and miss you all.  Enjoy the Easter weekend and don't be afraid to share the message of this gospel if you feel prompted.

Sister Hamm

Monday, March 18, 2013


Hello Family,

It is always so fun to hear from you.  Quick question for dad, Did you ever listen to the group AirSupply?

This week has been good.  I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and His way of teaching us. He gives us just enough to help us learn and grow and then gives us more.  We are working on doing this with our investigators. :)
This week has been really good.  We actually went on splits on Thursday with the other sisters. I was working in our area (definitely a test of my memory haha, I passed the test with a 90% if I do say so myself. haha Had to ask directions from a member for one of our investigators that lives near the bishop. Opps).  It was fun to work with a different Sister and see her way of teaching and what not. We also have found some new investigators to teach so yea!

I have decided when I return home I am really gonna miss the atmosphere here.  I think it has a lot to do with the weather always being warm but around dusk people are always outside, kids are playing, it reminds me of summer nights when I was younger.  Plus main streets are lined with people selling food.  Meats, fruits, vegetables, snacks, desserts, drinks, shoes.  It is like a farmers market every night haha and sometimes you are walking through hords of people and tricycles. I absolutely love it! :)
Easter I think will be very big here especially since there are many Catholics here.  They celebrate every day of holy week, so we will see.

I have been reading in Alma about the greatest missionaries ever.  I really enjoyed Alma 20:2-8.  Haha.  So first off, I love Lamoni's testimony... He has seen all that Ammon has done with the Lord, his faith is unshaken in the power of the Lord and yet he wants to help however he can and he knows that we must act in order for the Lord to strengthen our actions.  Second, I laughed out loud at his aha moment at the end of verse 4. It's like, "wait a second... how did you know that?" And then I wondered in verse 8 about what Alma was thinking when they ran into King Lamoni's father.  Alma had already been warned by the Lord that the king wanted to take Alma's life.  I wonder what went through Alma's head as they began to converse with him. But of course Alma's faith is unshaken.  He takes every teaching opportunity and is so bold in verse 17. Anyway just a thought maybe my Brothers can enjoy.

I had an experience on a jeepney this week that had me singing, "you made me wanna be brave."  Even as a missionary, I sat there praying for courage to share with this woman.  I thought of how we tell members that it doesn't have to be this big thing, they can just share a simple message.  I finally got up the courage and she was open to having us come share with her.  I thought about how silly it is for me to be shy when we have THE MOST beautiful and important message in the entire world. I have recommitted to having no fear in sharing.  As a missionary this should be a duh thing but it is something I need to continually remind myself of.  Thanks for all your prayers and love and mail. It is always appreciated!  Love you lots!

Sister Hamm

Monday, March 11, 2013

Huwag reklamo :) Maging masaya

March 11, 2013

Dear Family,

So much news this week.  It is good to hear from you and about how your lives are going.  It's always hard to know what kind of things you wanna hear but then I realize it's probably about the same as the emails I receive. I just enjoy whatever information you choose to share. :) This week I can answer some questions.

Eating-- well, pretty much the same stuff as before.  I haven't found cinnamon raisin bread yet but I am surviving with delicious wheat bread. :)  I cut PB from my diet.... yea.  haha.  We have more diner apt here which is really nice.  We have been fed some really delicious stuff like Sinigong (I don't know how to spell, I most often simply speak and listen haha), BBQ, sandwiches, and more.  We eat out normally once a week (p-day) at... wait for it.... McDonalds.  I have fallen in love (sadly) with the cheesburger. It is great and cheap. So yea.  I know like McDonalds.  Not good for my katawan (body).  

I came straight from the airport to a chapel in Manila where the mission office is located.  So my stuff from the mission home was waiting there with my companion. We may be part of bigger conferences now but I don't know cause we haven't had one yet. Yes I attend Bayan 1st ward and I don't know about the green roof but that is probably it. :) haha.  Google earth sure is great.  I don't think I will drive a car on my mission. I think only the AP's drive cars here.

We live in a house with two stories.  Downstairs is open area with kitchen and dining and living room all connected and then the bathroom.  Upstairs is 2 bedrooms and a balcony where we sometimes plan or stretch after exercising.  Sounds great and it totally is but before you decide I am totally spoiled, still no hot water and the water here feels colder since it is less hot.  haha.  But it is actually all good, I enjoy it a lot. I got 4 weeks off of laundry because my last companion didn't mind going to a laundry shop to get it done. Yay!  And there was one nearby. But here we are back to it.  It wasn't as bad as I was expecting and enjoyed the breeze and the view (I'll send pics next week) while doing laundry with my companion.  I didn't burn my hands this time but our hands (Sister M and I) started peeling the next day and lasted a couple of days! haha.  We were like people are going to think we are diseased when we shake their hands.  But no one, as far as we could tell, noticed. haha It didn't hurt and they are all good now so woohoo. :)

Language here is pretty much the same as Palawan but there are subtle differences and it makes it harder to understand people.  haha.  I can't make puns in Tagalog yet... I'll work on mastering it still. haha. Congrats to mom for using her Tagalog. :)  I'm proud. haha. Thanks for the package in advance. :)

I was thinking just the other day about how funny it is that the mission always finds new ways to challenge me. haha.  I guess that is what life does as well and for the beautiful purpose of making us better and helping us reach our divine potential.  First it is one thing and then when I learn how to deal with that I get a new thing to learn how to deal with.  I must have a lot of things Heavenly Father wants me to change or learn. :)

So this week has been a little challenging in that we haven't had as many people to teach. We can totally feel the Spirit helping us as we teach but it is hard when you don't have people to teach.... We are working hard to find more people to help progress towards baptism but it has been somewhat slow going.  We are excited to see what this week holds.

This last week we had a cool experience with the Spirit.  We were told by the Spirit to stop at this house even though we were on our way to another apt and we had no idea why but as we "Tao Po" -ed the person inside let out a yelp of recognition (not usual for people because Sister missionaries still aren't widely recognized in this area.). He came out saying, "They aren't here." What?  Well, turns out his grandparents are both members but have been less active.  When we went back another day it turns out they were really active in Manila for years but now Tatay has a heart condition that makes it hard to travel.  Turns out their records aren't in the ward and no one knew they lived there... no one, except Heavenly Father.  Heavenly Father knows where all his children are and each ONE is important to Him.  It was such a great experience and I thank Heavenly Father for the opportunity to be His missionary as a tool in His hand.  And the great part is, I don't have to be a missionary to be a tool in His hand.  We are all tools in His hands through visiting teaching, home teaching, following promptings to serve others and go places even when we have no idea why and may not see the results of our actions.  I hope to improve my skill of following the will of God through the Spirit everyday.

I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for each of us and has plans for us.  I don't know the reasons for all the bad in the lives of good people, but I do know that Heavenly Father is control of everything and He has a plan, a PERFECT plan for every individual on the earth and if we will just follow Him with faith we will receive a perfect, fullness of joy in the life to come and peace in this life. :)

Thanks for all of your support and the examples that you are to me. I love you all and miss you lots!

Sister Hamm

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mahal ko kayo

Dear Family,

Thanks for all the exciting news. Tell Shalisa Congrats for me and that I will totally babysit when I get back. :) haha.  I can't believe Jacob Snyder got called to the Philippines. Sadly, we won't be able to talk to each other afterwards very well since his main language will be Cebuano. :)
So.... drumroll.........  I am currently in.......... The Dasmarines zone (that probably means very little to you, but you do have a map). This means that if I am not transferred by July 1st I will become a part of the Cavite Mission, but of course July is a long ways away and who knows what will happen.  I have been assigned to the Bayan 1st Ward!  So I am back to a bishop instead of a branch pres. :)  My new companion is Sister M. She is from Samoa and has only been in the mission field for 2 transfers more than me.  The Lord is definitely helping us as we are both still working on our Tagalog skills.  haha. This is her second area as well.  I will be her first companion that she doesn't "kill off".  All of her previous companions went home (as scheduled :) yea, no jokes or worries there) with her as their last companion.  (wow that should not have been that hard to explain in English but it was. You get the info though.)  So she is excited to have someone not close to going home. :)
So lets see new area.  The first day and night were a little harder than I was expecting.  More on that later.  So this area is way different than my last one.  As we walked the streets it was funny to find my mind reeling at the fact that here people have..... paved roads with sloped curbs and sidewalks, cars!, metal screen doors.  It was funny all the little things my mind noticed. They live in neighborhoods here and people have real addresses.  There are less trees but the area is actually quite pretty still and clean as well.  It is characterized as province since there are areas with fields and cows and we aren't in the heart of Manila but it is a small city-like area.  Kind of like Blackfoot with a downtown area and neighborhood areas.  Hard to explain.
It is actually cooler here and less humid.  Crazy right.  But it is noticeably so and at night there is a breeze that rolls in and it is gorgeous.  Reminded me of California nights, not quite that cold though.  I got to wear my light jacket on Sunday!!  I will admit it was probably 70 something degrees (rainy and breezy too) but the jacket felt good and it was fun just to be able to wear it again. haha
So like I said.  The adjustment was a little harder than I thought.  The first day we went out and taught a couple people which is always fun.  Then we went and visited the Bishop. He is great and was very kind but as we sat there and taught in his (modest but more well-off than almost any on Palawan) home I was suddenly homesick for my friends/family on Palawan. I missed them so much and there humble homes and spirits.  Anyway, it was also after getting up early that morning and then having 4 or 5 hours of travel by plane, bus and tricycle with a blood sugar that just would not stay up. So I flopped into bed and every day since has been so great!  I will be doing my laundry by hand later and after 4 weeks off, I am dreading it actually. haha.  It's not that bad a little at a time but when it is a weeks worth of clothing it gets quite tiring. It'll be all good though. :)  I am already good friends with this awesome ward missionary, Brother P., who only has one hand b/c of a work accident and is in his 60's.  He is really nice and always willing to come to appointments and share his testimony. Plus he complimented me on my Tagalog so brownie points there. haha
Sorry my email this week is lacking on the spiritual side.  I am short on time now so it will have to wait till next week.  But just know that the miracles never cease and God's grace is amazing!  So grateful for Christ's atonement and the ability to change and become better everyday.  I love you all and pray for you.  Make it a great week!
Sister Hamm