Monday, May 27, 2013


May 27, 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

So this past week I realized some of the hardships of only being able to write once a week.  If you forget to say something you have to wait a whole week.  I keep writing things in my planner to say and keep forgetting to say them. Grr. haha.  SO first, Thank you to the Relief Society for the wonderful birthday card. :)  I especially liked the signature with "your mom" in it haha.  Thanks for thinking of me and reminding me I am a member of the Brambleton Ward. :)

Second - officially Cavite mission na ako. (now I am).   We get 31 new missionaries next transfer. :)

So this week we got a new Sister in the house. :)  Sister B from Utah.  It has been really fun having a new american sister in the house.  I reminded me how hard it was at first and how far my language really has come.  It happens so gradually sometimes I forget that it is coming along.  I have a good time explaining things.  It helps me learn it better and every time I say something I turn to the Filipinas and make sure I'm right so it has been good for all of us! :)

This week as we went to one of our older investigators she had her grandchildren there.  One of them was a 16 year old boy and as we taught it was so cool to see the Spirit working within him.  He was so open to new information and we really thought about what we told him. He talked about how much he wanted his whole family to go to church together because right now he goes alone.  It made me think of how Joseph Smith was only 14 when he went searching for the truth. I totally can understand why Christ tells us to become as little children (not that 16 is little or that all of them aren't set in their ways, her other grandchild who is 9 is also very good at listening to us) because they are more willing to listen, change and become what God wants them to be.  As adults we sometimes become so set in our ways but we still have so much to learn.  We also have that pride of not wanting others to know more than us which is hindered as a child because, well, most people (older) know more than them. Children understand that there is always more to learn. My companion and I talked about this this week.  How we like our way of doing things but that maybe there was a better way. haha I decided there is pretty much always a better way to do things. Anyway, it was cool to see him, as his grandma shied away from making a commitment, turn and explain to her how it was just another necessary step.  He was so ready to search.  It was really beautiful. 

I know that the Spirit is preparing the hearts of people for this gospel. Elder Neil L. Anderson told us in conference" surely as the Lord has inspired more missionaries to serve, He is also awakening the minds and opening the hearts of more good and honest people to receive His missionaries." You never know where you will find them.  Referrals are so important and it doesn't have to be this person ready to be baptized. It could be someone who asks a question in a store or a neighbor on the street and you chose to answer with the gospel.  Tell them why you want to share the gospel and then ask them if the missionaries could share more.  All the missionaries need is a phone number although an address is better. :)

Thanks for your prayers!  I can definitely feel them! I miss you all and thanks for all the mail. I hope you are all doing well!
Sister Hamm

Monday, May 20, 2013

Jaclyn's Birthday!

This is me on my birthday.  My awesome kabahay's (housemates) bought cassava
cake for me! ...  its really yummy and we had fun.

May 20, 2013

Dear Family (and friends)

Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes and love!  :) Since I know you're all wondering... Heavenly Father gave me a wonderful birthday. :)  It was a really happy, stress free day.  We had people show up to church that we weren't expecting to show up! :)  So exciting.  I got to enjoy the air con at church and it was ward council mtg so we got cookies! :)  And then when we got home that night my wonderful housemates had bought cassava cake.  I love cassava cake and they knew it.  We have been looking for a place to buy it because it is kind of hard to find, but they found it and it was delicious.  It is nothing like cake in the states. It is a gelatin type consistency but super good. :)  So my birthday was wonderful. 

At a service project we did this morning with the youth.
The thing I am holding is a walis ting ting.
It is the broom that everyone here uses for outdoor.
Today we raked up leaves with it.
(Trees here are always green but they still lose their leaves)
Am I tired?  So when we come home at night I'm usually pretty thirsty, and even if not, the cold water that I put in the fridge before we leave for the day is so nice that I usually drink a lot.  Plus I have had a cold so I have been drinking a lot to get over it. So other than waking up once in the night around 2am to use the bathroom, I sleep like a rock. :) We are all pretty tired every night but it is a good feeling to come home after working all day.  Most days we aren't too tired but you always have those couple of days when for no reason you are extra sleepy all day and that is hard because it is actually kind of easy to fall asleep during lessons sometimes!  Nako! But that is an unusual problem thankfully. :)

This week was really great.  We had some new ward missionaries work with us and we had a lot of fun. We also had some great lessons.  It is such a blessing to be able to feel God's love for His children.  You sit there and it's just like you know how much Heavenly Father wants to help them... and you know He will but the person has to make the choice to open the door to Him first.  So we are trying to help some people open the door. :)

Plan of Salvation (Plano ng Kaligtasan) sa Tagalog.  and my messy desk.
Because pride is hard to come by and my desk is "messy"

 (everything is neatly piled) so you can see that not much has changed. :)
Something mom said about studying the scriptures made me think of a conversation I had with Sister Rivero this week.  She said her mom used to tell them stories about signs of the second coming and about how the moon will turn to blood and the stars will fall from the sky.  Well, I don't know exactly how it will work but she talked about how dark it will be.  And immediately my mind went to scripture scouts and how at Christ's death, in America, everything went dark and they couldn't have light. ( I think Boo said the flashlight batteries died and the matches wouldnt light) But yea, they said even fire couldn't give light. And Sister R said that her mom said, " yes so you have to study the scriptures now cause someday you may not have them."  I thought about it.  What if there was a time when we had no light and we weren't able to read to scriptures.  And it was at a time when the scriptures were all being fulfilled and we would want the comfort and guidance the words bring.  Then I thought about how here on the mission like Josh said-- sometimes you think in scriptural language or scriptures come to mind a lot.  It just made me think about how important it is to really study the scriptures so we can have them written in our hearts and have them in our mind for when we need them - for when we can't reach for them but our hearts yearn for them. Made me appreciate scripture study time more and realize how important it is.  So that when we are out living hectic lives and suddenly we need a boost we can rely on the knowledge we built and gained through scripture study that morning even though we are miles away from our scriptures. (obviously for after the mission since my scriptures are pretty literally attached to my hip. haha)

I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week.  Don't skip daily scripture study.  Enjoy every moment (or at least most moments! haha)
Sister Hamm

Monday, May 6, 2013


May 6, 2013

Hello Family,
So as promised I am giving this letter a little more time this week.  Hopefully I have lots of good information to share. :) 

So dad asked how do the Philippines sound? Haha.  That is an awesome question, because it is kind of different.  Every morning, (I have now finally learned to sleep through it) around 5:30 the bicycles selling food start riding up and down the street honking a little rubber horn that they have.  I think the ones selling that early are mostly selling bread (pan de sal), it's pretty fresh and yummy but we prefer to buy it (the 2 times we have) at 7am. :) haha. Then as I am waking up at 6:15 I can hear the neighbors already out sweeping outside her house with a (walis tingting) stiff bristle broom. Most people here are very particular about their yards and are constantly out sweeping the gutters and streets and what not. :)  Then usually around 7 or during personal study a man with a deep voice starts calling out "Isda"! but it sounds more like Eeeeees Duh.  He is selling fish.  He usually rides a bike with a cart attached and the different fish are in different bowls and plates.  He has a pompom like object which he waves over the fish to keep the flies away as people choose which one to buy.  Sometimes we here cocks crowing and we hear a lot of dogs barking (but that's normally when we are out proselyting. haha)  We also here a lot of honking.  Kind of like New York or something.  People are just constantly honking for some reason or another. They also have traffic directors that  blow whistles or yell out where the Jeepney is headed so that people walking by can know whether they want to get on it or not.  The horns and whistles are what I hear right now (along with typing and cute little kids talking about computer games). So yep.  That's a little of what the Philippines sound like.  

What do they smell like?  Well that depends on where you are.  Right now out side our house smells really bad because there are 4 adorable kittens living under the car (non-functional) in our front area.  They are cute but the poop smells awful, plus they have killed 5 little mice now that are also under the car. Haha.  I'm just glad I can't see the rat that they must have tried to kill cause I found it's tail this morning while trying to clean up the poop. haha.  Ay Nako!  Sometimes you walk by a bread shop and that smells sooo good.  Then you walk past the fish which I actually don't mind that smell now. Sometimes you walk by wet laundry and that smells so good too. (Mabango is the word for a good smell)

I haven't seen any lightening bugs where I'm at but I know they exist on Palawan. :) Worst pest.... honestly I would say mosquitos (lamok).  I really despise those creatures and they are very hard to avoid.  Also there are earth worms living in the walls of our bathroom and they love to come out and lounge around on the floor and walls and in the toilet of our bathroom.  So they are kind of annoying, just cause they are gross and pretty much always there.  Something I have learned about ants.  If they are converging on something somewhat small, you just let `em alone.  If you try to kill `em they scatter and it just gets frustrating.  If you just let them do there work, they come, clean up whatever they found and then go back to wherever they came from. (we have had ants clean up dead earthworms and a dead cockroach for us.  It's awesome!)

My companion has been a member since she was 8.  Her mom served a mission but her dad didn't because he was a converted later. She is also the oldest and she has 4 younger siblings too!  But she got a sister. :)  She doesn't know how to cook that much but we are loving canned foods -haha- and the other sisters in the house are helping us learn better too.  I really like Tinola (I have no idea if that is the right spelling).  It has a vegetable in it sayote.. it seems to me like honey dew melon in color and texture (after cooked).  Not really much flavor on its own but yummy in Tinola.

We had some great lessons this week and we have really seen the hand of the Lord in the work. One of our investigators said to us... I want to wait and be baptized until I am old so that I can be really clean.  Haha.  It was a funny moment but a really good lesson.  She went on to explain her desire to know all the commandments of God so that she could try to follow all His commandments.  She also expressed how she doesn't want to sin again after baptism and we were able to share with her the beauty of the Sacrament and the perfect plan that God has set up for His imperfect children if they will simply meet requirements (that all can meet) and then try our best.  It was beautiful and the Spirit was so strong.  I was so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ so that we can return to their presence.

Another fun moment was that our Relief Society president invited a family to attend church.  We waited at the door for our investigators as she waited for the family she invited.  It was fun to have someone to share in the joys and disappointments of missionary work.  My companion kept assuring her that they were probably just running late.  And sure enough, they showed up and it was a wonderful experience.  So glad that she got to feel the joys of missionary work.  I know that this is His work.  I know Heavenly Father always looks out for us.  It's amazing how even if the day is hard if you just keep pushing forward Heavenly Father often blesses us with an apointment that literally makes everything worth it! He is so merciful!  Have a great week and enjoy His blessings!

Sister Hamm