Monday, August 26, 2013


Me and Sister R with our ice cream from 2 transfers :)

August 26, 2013

Wow! It sure is hard to catch you up on 2 weeks especially since these two weeks were so action packed. SO first things first.  I left my beautiful ward family and apartment in Bayan 1st ward and transferred to.... drum roll.... Cavite 1st ward! So that keeps me at all 1st. haha :)  This area is more like my area on Palawan than in Bayan but yes, the whole mission (now cavite, since all of the city parts are in manila mission) is a lot the same with slight differences as to wealth and housing and shopping. My new companion is Sister M originally from Bicol, Philippines.  My new apartment while still quite nice is a downgrade. haha.  The fridge, which is brand new and doesn't have to be defrosted every week (first time on my mission for that) is AWESOME! Words can't express.  However our bathroom has no sink, or mirror, or shower. haha.  Also the toilet is one of those that has no back, no flush, just the pedestal in the ground, but no big deal since we weren't even using the flush in my last apartment. Our floor upstairs is wood painted a pretty mahogany color but if you kneel down to pray on a hot morning your legs will look like you got scrapped up in a car wreck. The paint definitely came off the floor easier than it came off my legs. hahaha. The houses in our neighborhood are way nice! Remind me of the states. :)

So my new area if you look at the map is a peninsula (I think, if I remember my geography terms right.) So we have... OCEAN! I'll get a picture of the view to you next week.  Its nice.  Sometimes you can really smell it and I feel like I'm in Monterey or something but trust me it never gets that cold! :)

So the day I arrived in the area we met that night with the bishop to split the area.  Cavite 1st now has one set of Elders and one set of Sisters. So we split it in the way everyone agreed was most fair.  And I agree it is the best way but it meant that we were left with 2/13 progressing investigators and 4/15 recent converts. haha. So it is back to planting season for us.  It was so sad to watch Sister M give up all of these people she loved and had taught.  It was hard on her but she is adjusting and we are excited to find many new investigators. One of the Elders in our ward is fresh from the Provo, MTC. I got to be there for his first Jeepney ride and it was so fun! haha.

Sister M in the flood
Now for the Bagio.  Im glad you weren't worried.  I prayed that you wouldn't be because there was really no reason to be. :)  SO monday we woke up early (5:30) to go to the palangke (wet market) But it was raining so we didnt.  But that was disappointing because since transfer day we had been living on the equivalent of Ramen noodles, crackers and eggs.  So we were excited to go grocery shopping.  During personal study we got a text that said we needed to wait to go out because of the Bagio that was now signal 3.  So we waited. Long story shorter.... we got permission to go out for food. SO we (4 sisters-- we all live in the same apt cavite 2nd is there ward. and the 2 elders in cavite 1st.) went to McDonalds and then walked through ankle deep water on the sidewalk (all the streets were flooded) to a very small grocery store where we ran around and bought food while the lights went on and off because they were on a generator that obviously was struggling. SO the power was out-- no email. :( So P-day was cancelled.  Later as we were trying to figure out what to eat (the grocery store had no vegetables, fruits or meats so we were still at canned goods, crakcers and ramen) I spotted a malugay tree outside our apartment. You have to understand I have been waiting/ trying my whole mission to try malungay.  IT is what they call a sustantia food.  It has lots of nutrients is what they say and I have wanted to eat it.  It grows wild everywhere but people use it so you can't just take it cause somebody probably "owns" the tree.  But this was totally ours.  You de-leave the branches and then boil the leaves.  I will send pics next week.  Lets just say I was THRILLED to de-branch the malungay by candle light and felt like a total Filipina. :)  We made omlet/sabou/malugay dish. :) That night I started Jesus the Christ by candlelight while thunder and lightning ragged.  I loved it.  
Me with Malungay

So I am out of time but I promise to continue next week.
Love you so much.  Know that I am safe and happy.  This is the Lord's work and I am so grateful to be a part of it! Love you so much!

Sister Hamm

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Flooding in Manila

August 19, 2013

So there was no email from Jaclyn this week.  We weren't really worried.  Then we learned from a neighbor that the Philippines are experiencing severe flooding this past week.  The Cavite Province has been declared a calamity area.  We're not really sure where she is because she was going to be transferred this week, but the mission blog tells us that all the missionaries are safe in their apartments with running water and electricity and they will stay inside until it is safe to go out. 
Sounds like Sister Hamm will have a LOT to report next week - hopefully with some pictures and good news about the wonderful filipino people she has grown to love!

Links to news stories:


August 12, 2013

Dear Family
Thanks so much for the emails, love and pictures.  Sounds like you are having fun on vacation. Thanks so much mom for the stories. :) It was so happy reading about the cousins.  I know you are giving them all my love. :)   Quick note that was cool... This week we took a little shortcut... not like Elder Hamm's shortcuts. :)  This was just a little path by this little creek.  But as we walked by it and crossed the bridge over the creek I was totally reminded of Groveland Rapids. I paused for just a sec to take it in and then wondered when you would be going there since I knew it would be soon. It made me feel close to y'all. Then turns out (of course, different b/c of the time difference.) I was at the creek Thurs and you were at the rapids Thurs. haha.  It's the little things in life.
So big news for this week is I am transferring.  Well at least 99% sure of that.  As we greeted everyone at the door to church I just kept thinking of how much I have learned from them (ward members), how much I admire each of them and how I will miss them. :)  But at the same time it is time for a change and the best part is-- Heavenly Father is in control-- just like always. So, Next week I will email you from somewhere different with lots of great newness.  Good things just keep coming!
So I got an article from mom this week in the mail about missions and how good they are for the missionary that serves. Well-- It's true that my purpose here is to further Heavenly Father's redemptive work and help His children come unto Him.... but Heavenly Father is sooo good at hitting two or three birds with one stone. :)  I have learned so much on my mission about myself and others and the gospel.  I'm so grateful for this opportunity to learn and to grow.  I know that as we all focus on the eternal perspective life can look SO different than we normally see it. It is so easy to focus on the little things of here and now and to get distracted from our eternal destiny and purpose here on earth. But if we take a moment to see the bigger picture every moment becomes an opportunity to do something good, to choose to be better, to look outside of ourselves.  I know that we all will one day return to Heavenly Father to be judged and I want to live for that moment so I can honestly say I did my best.  Of course that day will only be happy through the atonement of Jesus Christ but after the bad is taken away through Him I want there to be some good left instead of a blank spot where my life should've been.  :P
Sister Hamm

Monday, August 5, 2013

Balis ang buhay


Thanks for all the love and emails and letters.  I thoroughly enjoy them all. This week has been great, mostly normal, mixed with hard moments. Like when my favorite skirt got caught this morning and tore, but it just gave me the satisfaction of fixing it. :) haha. and also mixed with lots of good. Lets see-- we got a couple of new investigators that we are really excited about. They are a couple. The husbands family are almost all members and he has finally decided the church is true. They have an adorable little 1 1/2 month old baby.... so hard not to hold him!  Then we also got to visit a less active family.  They usually hide from us, but this time the father is home from working abroad and let us in.  It was a good visit although difficult because they had been offended.  We hope we did some good and that they felt the Spirit.  Heavenly Father was kind and a torrential downpour started right after we got under a waiting area for a jeepney. However, in the trike that we rode the water leaked in so I was soaked to the skin by the time we got out. Haha.  It was totally worth it because at that appointment we taught the word of wisdom (if you don't know what that is feel free to look it up on or cause it's great!).  It was great-- no problems with cigarettes or alcohol and then of course we said coffee... and the first word out of her mouth was "Bakit?" (Why).  But then the miracle happened.  After a very short (re)explanation about the fact that the revelation came from God she accepted it immediately and asked for the rest.  She was obviously prepared by Heavenly Father.  By the end of the lesson she said she was so grateful that she had learned this now so that she could receive the blessings of living it.  If we could all look at all of the commandments that way! All of Heavenly Father's commandments come with promises and I know they will be fulfilled and we will be blessed if we follow them. Plus we had an investigator come to church and she brought another investigator with her. :) Can't explain how exciting it is to see a person you care about walk up to church knowing they are qualifying themselves for more blessings than they have previously received.  Same with Less actives. My heart just leaps for joy because I know what a big step this is for them and I know all the joy they have been missing out on.  I thank Heavenly Father for the opportunity to witness people changing their lives.

What do most people eat for breakfast?
Well for those of you who don't know-- people here get weak if they don't eat rice in a day... and usually they have rice 3x a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which is why meals here are usually what they call "ulam" which is any dish you can eat with rice. So sometimes they will have spaghetti or pancit or soup and that is not ulam but pretty much everything else is. So telling from the smells floating up to us as we do laundry; most people have dried fish, hot dogs, or eggs with rice for breakfast.  Sometimes they will have pan de sal (bread!) with the hot dogs or a spread. Sometimes pancit, which is like ramen noodles but without the brooth and come in lots of different flavors. mmm.
What is the thing that they do that seems most different from how we do it in the church here?
Well, not much. Something is that FHE is very regimented.  It isn't like just you get together and have a lesson and game and then dessert.  One, it is usually accompanied by dinner. "Dessert" isn't like a big thing here. haha. Plus there is a program in which there is always opening remarks and closing remarks. All games must have a "punishment" for the loser and is the "punishment" is usually preforming a talent in front of everyone.  It's lots of fun! The only thing I still struggle with sometimes is the opening and closing remarks. haha. oh, and of course dinner happens after the FHE is over, not before it starts.
Do they eat popcorn there? 
YES.  I love popcorn.  It is one of my new favorite snacks.  During weekly planning we eat a bag of carmel kettle corn (the kind you buy at wal-mart or safeway, not the kind at a fair).  I also make popcorn on the stove at least once a week. Usually just salt but sometimes kettle and I tried cinnamon once. It was okay. :)
 Do they have shave ice?
Shave ice is probably a no but they have lots of shaved ice.  They use it for halo-halo.  Another popular thing is bananas in a cup with some sugary juice with shaved ice or canned corn in the juice still in a cup with the shaved ice. That is called Maiz con yelo.  But for you spanish speakers it isn't maiz (maze) it's more like My-eez.
Is the music you hear people playing US, or Philippine and is it in English or Tagalog?
A little bit of everything.  Well, it is a lot of US music. (I'm guessing Avril Lavegne has a new song... something with "down" in it over and over haha) There is lots of the new stuff but also a lot of 80's which is a sinful pleasure for Sister R and I. :D Then there are also Filipino songs in English and Tagalog. I actually have a couple of favorite Tagalog songs because they play all the time so even though I've never played them I know a lot of it. So yep, really mixed although most frequently new American music.

No big spiritual thought this week.  Just keep moving this work along.  Never forget that those around us, everywhere are missing out on blessings we are enjoying so don't be afraid to share.  Also the fact that Heavenly Father's whole goal and thus ours as well is to bring as many of His children as He can back to Him to live in everlasting happiness and this is only possible through ordinances available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  So be brave and share what you have, or ask to learn more if you aren't yet a member, I promise you won't regret it

SO that is it for this week.  Hopefully, this email makes up for none last week.
Sister Hamm