Monday, April 29, 2013


Sister Hamm and her new companion
April 29, 2013

Dear Family,

Thanks for all the love and emails.  Things here are going well.  I am extremely short on time to write this week and I blame Josh's email which was awesome but long. haha.  I hope the picture I send will make up for the short email.  I hope you can see the picture f me and my new companion.  :) 

So this week was great.  The Lord has really been blessing us.  I thought 9f a few more luxuries...  when the other sisters cook for us.  Not only is their cooking delicious but it also saves a lot of time. :)  I ate canned luncheon pork this week and loved it. haha.  Yes Kayla- I like spam. :)

My companion and I have been trying to be more bold this week.  It has been fun to set specific finding goals to help us be brave.  It is like a fun game... we set a goal the night before to share with (example) one modestly dressed female, a man with a watch and wearing a polo shirt.  Or we both have to share to one female and one male before a certain time.  It has been really cool to see the Lord use  our goals to lead us to people.  In fact, there was this one man we talked to because he fit a requirement.  He walked away from us mid sentence but mumbled to talk to the group behind him.  So we did.  Turns out the group behind him contained 2 less-active members, one of which we had a really great cnversation with and ended up telling us how much she wants to come back to church and gave a beautiful, teary-eyed closing prayer.  Such a wonderful blessing from Heavenly Father.

I know that blessings come as we stretch ourselves and do all that we can.  I hold to my previous statements the best things are usually preceded by something hard.  I love you all so much.  Stay safe and have a great week!

Sister Hamm

Monday, April 22, 2013

Binawi tapos ibigay

Dear Family,

Thank you for all of the emails.  It is always so wonderful to hear from all of you. It really is a strength to me and I thank you for all the good news and the little details.

Life here is good.  Missionary work is great.  It's amazing how such little things can bring such great joy.  There is this less active that we visited for the first time 2 weeks ago who was really reluctant to let us in and listen. So we went back for the 3rd visit on Thursday and oh my goodness!  She welcomed us in with a smile and was so happy. I was thinking, "what in the world? this is great."  Then as we sat down she went and grabbed her Book of Mormon.  She had read the first 2 chapters.  I don't know how long it has been since she has read the Book of Mormon or if she ever had but it was clear that she was totally changing because of the Spirit she had felt while reading.  It is so amazing and beautiful to see.  My heart was literally soaring the whole lesson. :)

Training is going well.  I swear Heavenly Father just knew I needed the extra hour of comp study to work on my teaching skills. haha.  We are having a great time learning from one another and helping each other improve. Since we are in the 12 week program we have a focus each week for comp. study-- lessons and teaching skills mostly.  It is a good direction but we also practice teaching and making lesson plans for our teachees.

Personal study is up to me.  I usually spend about 20 min in the Book of Mormon and then 30 minutes in PMG and then 10 minutes preparing for lessons we will teach. It is such a great time of day. Just wish it was longer. haha

My Tagalog is coming along. Sister R is helping me a lot.  I can usually say what I want to in a lesson but my grammar when asking questions still trips me up a lot.  I am excited to keep learning more and hope to be a lot more fluent.  It is weird going from a non-native speaking companion to a native speaker b/c stuff I thought I was saying fine she keeps laughing and telling me to pronounce different.  I'm glad I have a Filipina companoin again so I can improve better.

The food here is good.  I was thinking I do miss real chocolate sometimes-- like snickers etc cause it costs like half my food budget for the week. :P But Halo Halo is a great substitute.

What do you consider the best luxury you currently enjoy?
Alright I dont know how to answer this without sounding weird but... probably Merienda's.  Little afternoon snacks that are a big deal here so we get them pretty often.  Free food.  Yay!  That and tricycle rides... but we are having a hard time getting the drivers to not rip us off. :) 
Love you lots! Sorry no more time.

Sister Hamm

Monday, April 15, 2013


April 15, 2013

Dear Family and others,

I love you all so much! Thanks for the emails and letters.  I actually got a package this week.  It was very unexpected and I assumed it was an Easter package... but turns out it was my Valentines day package!  Tyler asked when I got it in his note :) the answer is April 9th. haha. Just a little late.  But still wonderful... and delicious.  It was weird to have a note written by Josh before he left for the MTC. :) Thanks for the love!  I enjoyed the little paper heart confetti and the candy hearts helped the missionaries stay awake during conference. :)

So this week was really busy but good.  I wrote in my journal last night about how Heavenly Father gives us what we need when we need it. (some people may already be arguing this statement in their heads) But honestly, if we are living righteously, I know we get what we need when we need it... however in some cases this rarely lines up with what we may want. :) I am just so grateful that Heavenly Father knows perfectly how to give perfect gifts to his children.  He has a perfectly calculated plan for each person on the earth and His plan is calculated so that if we follow it and use our agency wisely, we will progress into the perfect person He knows we can become.  Such a beautiful plan.  Along those same lines Mom mentioned how the temple helps us "feel like everything is going to be o.k."  I want to tell everyone that that is because it will be.  It may not be now or even in the near future but, if we follow the commandments and God's plan, everything in the end... at the final judgement will be okay. We can enter the kingdom of God and receive eternal happiness. You may wonder how that works when some family members (because of their choices) don't seem like they will be there with us, or like it is such a long time to wait. But in the eternal perspective we know that God literally wants more than anything else for us to be happy. So come whatever may, as long as we use our agency to be obedient, we are promised we will be happy in the end.  I honestly don't know how, but I KNOW with all my heart that if we obey Him we will be happy, happier than we can imagine now. :D

To answer some questions: I have not found a place yet that sells cinnamon raisin bread but only craved it once the other morning when I smelled something like it coming from the neighbors house.  Something interesting-- not sure I mentioned this before but all the houses here are so close together (like sharing a wall) and many times windows are left open all the time so you can hear and smell a lot of what goes on.  While cooking in the kitchen I am often..serenaded... by the teenage girl who lives behind us singing at the top of her lungs. Haha.  It's fun as long as the song is alright. Although she has yet to sing EFY or hymns. :)

As far as I know there was no reenactment of the crucifixion nearby us but some did take place in the Philippines.  The only thing was the processions that repeat hail Mary's and whatnot.

My new companion is actually from the same general area that my trainer was from which is currently the Cauayan mission (pronounced like Hawaiian with a C Cawaiian).  She has been speaking english only at her home and she said it has been difficult to switch to taking about the gospel in Tagalog but trust me she is great.  So yes her Tagalog and English are both incredibly good. She younger than me but only be 6 months, so not a 19 year old. :)  Crazy part is she was companions in the MTC with one of the ward missionaries that worked with us often on Palawan! Small world.

My favorite part of the day... well that depends on the day but lots of parts are great.  Showering, personal study and bedtime are probably the top 3 followed closely by the time we get to spend with my favorite investigators, LA's or RC's and the time when the sun sets and we are out walking to our next apt while kids are playing everywhere. :)

I will probably be a part of Cavite mission. I have been away too long because all the pronunciation help is coming from people or things here in the Philippines. Ca-veet-eh. Ca soft a like Kah.  not like any of the english words I can think of. sorry. Hope that helps.

They also sell kamote on a stick also dipped in brown sugar.  Kamote is kind of like a sweet potatoe.
Love you so much!

Sister Hamm

Monday, April 8, 2013


Sister Hamm and Sister M at the Manila Temple

April 8, 2013

Thanks for the wonderful letters and for forwarding Josh's letter and pics.  I have so much to tell you this week.

So confession time-- this is not false humility, I have never felt so inadequate in all my life than I have on my mission.  Not in a discouraged or poor self-esteem way but just in a humble- I have no skills without the Spirit kind of way.  This is (in my opinion) good because the Spirit is the true teacher not me and it just helps motivate me to always do my best since I know only giving it my all and my very best is enough.  

I found out Sunday that I am TRAINING starting Thursday !!  I can't even explain how I feel.  Nervous a little, excited too.  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve God and continually strive to be worthy of the Spirit and increase my skills.

Some cows in a field that we walk through
Other news that may interest you.  Activities on P-day are limited because time is so tight.  Last week we had a Zone activity to a "beautiful spot" but we actually took a wrong turn and Sister M. and I had to come back early (before we reached the place) for an FHE.  But it was all good.  I really wasn't disappointed at all plus I got to wear jeans....  It was a really hot day but it didn't matter.  Wearing jeans felt sooo good after so long not wearing them. haha.

This is "up top" where we do our laundry
So right now is summer here.  It is hotter than.... well I don't know what... but it is hot. I have now given in to using an umbrella to hide from the sun like everyone else here. :)  It isn't as cool as the shade of a tree but it takes the bite of the sun away. It is also summer vacation here.  The let out last week and will return to school in the middle of June... which is also when it will start to be less hot again. :)  It isn't as humid as Virginia here but it has some days that get close.

Another fun fact-- I now know what it feels like to be bit by fire ants. Luckily I only got a couple of bites but it is an interesting sensation.

People here have cars but only some people. Many others just use public transportation.  I have honestly reached the point where it is weird to picture a life without tricycles. haha.  They are really quite wonderful.  The most popular cars are hondas and toyotos. haha.  And vans kind of like our old green one but new and white.

Well, I am really short on time today. Sorry.  Heavenly Father is over all.  He has a plan and if we can just manage enough faith and self-control to follow it He has promised that we can be happy forever in His kingdom.  I know that the gospel is the only sure way to be happy in this life and have peace now and in the life after this.  I love you all.

Sister Hamm
First time since the MTC that I have worn jeans!  It was like
 85 or 90 degrees out but it felt so good to wear jeans!
I'm holding a banana cue.  Fried banana on a stick! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

maanghang :)

April 1, 2013

Dear Family,

Whew.  Feels like I am constantly rushing.  Rushing with emails, with preparing for the day, getting to appointments, planning, updating the area book, writing in my journal.  It's like we are constantly running, but it's good to be busy.  Luckily, my companion likes to sit and eat so we get to breath during lunch. :)  This has been a great week!  One-- Dad asked in the letter last week-- the Manila temple is actually right outside the Manila mission boundaries (haha) BUT we still get a temple day once a transfer! Yay!  (Sadly this might change when we become Cavite mission on July 1st, we will see.)  So this Thursday we got to attend a temple session (sadly this means we lost an entire day of proselyting, but of course it was worth it)  It was absolutely wonderful.  The temple is such a great place to feel the love of Heavenly Father and peace His gospel brings.  Such a wonderful reminder of why we do everything we do in this life.  It was also fun because we got to see lots of the other missionaries including my previous zone leader and an Elder from the MTC which was great cause like Josh said-- they are kind of a second family for 2 months. SO yea.  Best Thursday ever.
This week has also been good because we have lots of investigators that we are really excited about.  The disappointing thing was that even though it was Easter Sunday hardly anyone came to church. :(  There were fireworks Sunday night and the Catholic church was packed.  Ah. Oh well.  At least people were remembering and worshiping Christ.  The neighborhoods were relatively dead on Friday and Saturday.  Lots of stores and tindahans (little shops) were closed for the holy weekend and everyone was inside watching passion of the Christ and then Jumangi in Tagalog. It was weird to see so few people out.

You will be happy to know there is a wonderful family here who has been feeding us like twice a week or more.  They are very sweet and her food is delicious.  Although I did have liver one time and let's just say... no where near my favorite.

Well I was really excited to send pictures this week and then the computer and my card malfunctioned... so bummer.  Next week hopefully. Sorry, really short on time this week and there were no questions to answer.  Love you all lots and miss you.
Sister Hamm