Monday, March 3, 2014

Halo-halo ang Pakiramdam

So as for this week.  WOW! It was SOO incredible.  So Monday we had a zone activity where I played basketball and got blisters all over my feet! I'm a missionary (the ones with no bikes or cars that happen to walk a lot) and I gave myself blisters! Oh boy. Bad decision, but luckily that is what the Atonement is for... repentance and helping make up for bad decisions. So I winced through grocery shopping and then iced my feet at home and ran around on my heels only packing for exchanges. That night I headed to Dasma on exchanges with Sister C. (she was with me in an apartment last year) We had such a great time! She is so wonderful and we reminisced and shared our thoughts about the mission. It really lifted me and gave me a renewed excitement for the work.

Thursday I got to go to the temple with President and Sister Tye which of course was so wonderful!!!  Then they took us out to lunch at Shakeys!  SO I was so spoiled on Thursday.  Got back just in time for one appointment with J, our progressing investigator. We love going to that house because they are always excited to see us and always share their testimonies and are receptive to the things we teach.

Then Heavenly Father helped us find lots of new investigators this week and have some great lessons. Missions are awesome!  Which brings me to...

Spiritual thought... So I was reading this talk and it mention Alma 31:38 "yea, and He also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ."  So you have to read the whole sentence or else you may think they had no suffering or afflictions. BUT as we see, they still had sufferings to endure and afflictions to overcome, however all of these were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. So.. you may not agree with this statement and I certainly have no personal experience of this but I have heard from multiple people that after child birth the joy of having a new baby helps lessen the memory of the pain of labor.  Well as my mission comes to an end my sorrows have definitely been swallowed up in the joy of Christ.  Even though there were really hard days and not so great weeks, I have had so much joy on my mission and looking back I would not trade a moment of it. It has all helped me to become who I need to be and has helped bring others unto Christ. So no matter what you are going through, pray, turn to Christ and He will help you find the joy and looking back you will see your trials through rose colored glasses.

Love ya
Sister Hamm

Monday, February 24, 2014


Dear Family,

So I think I have started repeating titles now... oh well. :)  Bound to happen I guess.
So this week.... We were able to attend the baptism of two families into the Punta Branch.  It was so great to hear their testimonies and see their excitement about the gospel. We also had 2 investigators come to church for the first time. My companion and I were sooo excited.  I got asked to teach Relief Society 5 minutes before it started and was able to fill the time. (its a good thing we have so many great people in our branch who give good comments haha)  We got to teach a new family and we saw the promise fulfilled that we will not be confounded before men as the father (who the whole lesson seemed to be bordering on hostile) asked many questions but in the end all was answered and a Book of Mormon was left at the home. :)

SO we are a little short on time this week. I will just end with a Spiritual thought about faith. Before I came on my mission I thought I had faith... and I mean I did but it now coming on the mission I realize how important faith is and how we need it in every aspect of our lives.  And how there are many different levels of faith. Here on the mission- I will be honest-- sometimes my faith wavers... Are we really going to have an appointment today? Will this person really come to church? Am I really living worthy of the blessings I need? Is there someone today that has been prepared by God for us the missionaries?  But as we know from Ether God can do no miracles without faith. So when we doubt, our doubt can be proven right... the promises we doubted will not be fulfilled because we didn't have the faith.  But the other way is also true. If we have faith, we will then see the evidence. Always! This is what Elder Gene R. Cook had to say about this in his talk at BYU Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. "As you exercise your faith, my brothers and sisters, you may want to consider how much evidence you require before you are able to act in faith. Do you believe my words or only your works? Are you capable of believing inspired words, or do you have to go through the actual process yourself before you are able to believe? You will recieve spiritual evidences as you go forth believing, but it is whether you require it all in the beginning or not that makes the difference in your faith. Do you need a sign and then you will believe? No, you exercise your faith and signs will follow those that believe. That is the true principle. So we know from James 2:17. That faith without works is dead. I would say also that faith dies without work. We must act in faith first and only then will we see the evidence (Ether 12:6). I have a goal to use my faith in every footstep in order that this weakness of mine will become stronger. (Ether 12:27)  I know that as we all act without seeing we will see down the road the fruits of our faith.  Miracles will happen. Have a great week!

Sister Hamm

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Dear Family,

So this was a good week.  Happy belated Valentines Day! We got to take a trip to the dentist for my companion :( we are both being more careful now with eating the popcorn kernels. Haha  We received 2 great referrals from our members! yay!

Questions from dad:
With it being so hot and humid there, do people have refrigerators?
Some people have refrigerators.  I would say it's probably 50% of people. They just buy fresh foods at the palengke each day or they buy stuff that can last a couple days on the table.  They have plastic covers with little holes to put over left over food.  They leave it on the table and then just reheat it when they eat later.

How do they keep candy like chocolate from melting?
They don't... American chocolate melts but if it is in a slightly cooler spot it is only soft not melted and they just eat it melted.  But the Philippines chocolates are made differently so they don't melt as easy. haha. Yep.

Do they have birthday cake for birthdays?  
Yes many people will have cakes with their birthday celebrations but the MUST have item is Pancit. (noodles with vegetables) and Spaghetti. Those are birthday foods.

Are there any traditions with Birthdays that are different from ours?
Yes. The tradition here for birthdays is that either "mom" or the birthday person themselves prepare food (see above) and then everyone who is invited and lots of neighbors who aren't come over to eat. :)  That's about it.  Gift giving isn't even a big thing although family and friends do bring gifts occasionally.

Do they eat ice cream or shave ice?
There is ice cream but it is usually a different brand of drumstick or another Popsicle type.  The big thing to buy on the street is halo-halo AND ice scramble.  Ice scramble is like a shave ice but a little creamier.  But I have yet to taste it cause they say it's super iffy on whether or not you will get sick. And that's saying something cause the chicken intestines down the street are fine for the ward missionary but then they say stay away from the ice scramble.  They say the danger comes from the coloring not the ice. hmm.

As for the spiritual thought: Very simple this week....  This week I have heard a lot of music... lots of different music. In our apartment, at members houses, on the street, in investigators houses.  And I once again was impressed by what an impact music can have on us.  On our Spirit, on our behavior and feelings. I know that everything we listen to has an impact and we can draw closer or farther from the Spirit immediately just by the music we listen to. So if you are having a bad day or wrestling with a tough decision. Turn of the feel good music that you thought would fix your mood and try some hymns. (Note: Effect is not always immediate) Try some EFY music. Listen to the lyrics that hold truth and help you remember who you are and why you are here.  Remember that God loves you and He has a plan. Do His will and you will find the happiness you seek.  So just a reminder to get rid of the music that drives the Spirit away, keep the music that is appropriate and keep and use the music that brings the Spirit. 

Sister Hamm

Monday, February 10, 2014


February 10, 2014

Dear Family,

Well this week the big news is that Sister T returned to Tacloban. We were all sad to see her go but also glad that she got to back to her first mission. It is definitely what she wanted even though leaving is never easy. :)  SO Sister B became my companion again and we were a trio for 3 days. (Well it was more like a 4 some because we have a branch missionary that works with us EVERYDAY! 1 until 9.  It's crazy. She's so awesome and it's been so fun to have her with us!) SO we spent one of our days in her area and 1 and a half in ours. Then Sister B got a new companion... Sister M my former companion. I was so surprised. So now I get to share an apartment with one of my former comps.  It has been fun. :)

That is about all the news for this week because it has been slow going with the work... But we have one family that is so great. I already wrote that they came to church two weeks ago and they came again this week.  It is sooo fun to visit them because they always welcome us in and are so excited to listen. Plus they are reading the Book of Mormon and were able to tell us about Laman and Nephi and Lehi. It's always exciting when people get into this powerful book.

We also met a new less active that we have high hopes for.  He is busy with work but comes home every Sunday so it is possible for him to attend church... He just needs to want it bad enough. So we will be visiting him every Sunday so he will hopefully feel the Spirit and gain a desire to return to activity in God's church.

For this weeks spiritual thought: Plan of Salvation.  My mind is constantly blown at the perfectness of this plan that God has given us.  This life is a test but we spent the pre-existence preparing for it and now Heavenly Father has given us a cheat sheet... or maybe more of an equation sheet like you get in math or chemistry.  We have the gospel which gives us the perfect path back to Him.  We just have to properly use the equations and follow His plan and we will succeed.  We will pass. Jesus Christ paved the way. He made it possible and now all They ask in return is our obedience and faith.  This video helps me grasp this concept better than anything. Please watch it:
 And think about how living the gospel (Faith, Repentance, Baptism,Following the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) is the only way for us to show our gratitude for what He has given us.

Love you all!
Sister Hamm

Monday, February 3, 2014


Dear Family,

So this week as I focused on doing the work of the Lord I feel the biggest blessing/success this week was my own personal conversion.  There were just many experiences where I felt the Spirit strongly and had the Lord testify to me of the truthfulness of this gospel that we are out sharing.

One recent convert was struggling with stresses in her life and was reading through the Book of Mormon. She just happened to be in a spot that answered one of the questions she was asking perfectly.  She bore testimony of how God had given her an answer through her reading which was not what she had expected.  Then as we began to share, we were guided by the Spirit to share the story about the Brother of Jared.  She then related it to herself and was amazed how perfectly it fit her life.  I know that Heavenly Father inspires the hearts and minds of people today as He did in the past and that we can be guided by Him if we live worthy and seek His help. :)

I also was just overwhelmed with gratitude that I have the gospel in my life.  I thank my Heavenly Father and my earthly parents for raising me in this church where I was taught from birth true principles and how to return to my Father in heaven.  It breaks my heart to see those who don't have this gospel and choose not to embrace it. As I strive to help them understand and feel the Spirit, I am just so grateful that I already have the truth. I already know who I am and where I am going. :) It is such  a wonderful feeling with a perfect brightness of hope and a peace beyond understanding.

As for questions: 
So when it is burr over there, do people have fire places?
No. There are no fireplaces. But there are plenty of fires outside for cooking.  Mostly all the sheets/ curtains just get placed up in front of windows that are normally uncovered (no glass, so you cant close the window only cover it to keep the wind out.) and the electric fans don't get turned off. Some people start to heat water on the stove for their showers but mostly just endure the cold bucket. haha

Where do you shop for groceries?
Groceries are bought from.... a grocery store! :) Haha.  Yep, just a grocery store... but that is mostly for canned goods and our "fresh" (bought in a box off the shelf) milk.  We buy most of our meat, vegetables and fruits from the palangke cause its cheaper and fresher. I am in love with fried Tilapia and ocra. :)

 You haven’t said much about laundry – you still doing it by hand?
Laundry is still done by hand.  We buy the laundry soap in packets and we buy in bulk so I am keep wondering if I have bought my last laundry detergent... I could count it but I won't.. haha  We will just see. I am looking for a laundry place so I can take my jeans and sheets cause those are the hardest but I haven't seen one nearby yet so I will have to give in pretty soon and just do it by hand. haha

What is your favorite scripture right now?
Wow... that is a hard one...  I get like a new one everyday... but I will go with Matthew 28:18-20.  I especially love that ALL POWER is given unto Christ... but it is conditional upon our obedience which is why we must go forth "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." He is always there to help us as we share His gospel and strive to bring all men unto Him.

Do you leave a message after you eat at someone’s home?
The answer to this one is...sometimes. *sheepish smile*  But thanks for the reminder because we should definitely do that more often. :)

Well I would just like to bear testimony for spiritual thought this week.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's church.  It has all of the doctrines and ordinances needed for our eternal happiness and is the key to our happiness here on Earth. The Holy Ghost is a precious gift that He has given us and we can always have His guidance as we strive to live worthy of it. Have a great week and don't forget to SMILE!

Sister Hamm

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


So my subject has double meaning-- take it as you will. :)

So I hope you didn't worry too much with no email yesterday. I spent the day at the mission home learning about applying for a job and getting fingerprinted.

Well this week I could just see Satan with his feet up on a chair poppin' bon bons and laughing while people misused their agency, I mean it seriously felt like he didn't even need to try... BUT it's okay cause this week is gonna be that part in Hercules when he comes back from fighting the monster with lots of heads and Hades freaks out! Yea. Something like that. :)

Plus even with the hardships we got to teach this great new family and the Spirit was totally there AND they came to church for the first time on Sunday! Best thing ever! And we had other little miracles whispering God's love to us.

I think my spiritual experience from this week (beside the lesson with the new family) was just realizing that as much as I was sad for these people choosing not to follow God, He hurt more than I.  And it made me realize how much He loves me and all of us. And how much I have hurt Him with some of my choices and it gave me a renewed desire to choose the right in order to cause my Heavenly Father joy instead of sorrow and pain.
The questions will have to wait for next week even though I am excited to answer them. 

Love you so much!
Sister Hamm

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ang Mga Himala

Dear Family,

So I think this title may be a repeat but that is because the mga himala never stop.  Heavenly father is so wonderful but before I get into that I will start with something else.  One thing I learned this week..... is that I am in big trouble when I get back to the states and I am praying for a warm March.  This week has been (as I mentioned last week) winter for the Pinas. Which means---what 65-70 degrees?  But it feels so cold! It seriously felt like it could have snowed last night as we were walking in the dark to our last appointment.  My toes have been cold every morning this week and my jacket has gotten more use than it has had in the past 14 months combined. haha But it's all just funny because I have been SOO hot for SOO long that it's weird to not sweat. :)

So Tuesday night I get a text that on Thursday I would be getting my going home TB chest x-ray on Thursday.  What?  That was a surprise.... and lets just say mixed emotions.  I think I'll just stay here for the rest of my life. :) Joke lang. It was fun being around medical stuff again so that was exciting.  Definitely picked the right profession. :) yay.

Questions:What was your high and your low yesterday? Low- None of our investigators came to church. High- We gave our investigator a baptismal date and she was dissapointed that it had been delayed.  It was sad but also good to see how excited and ready she is for baptism. :) I love her so much so I am glad she is preparing to partake of this important ordinance. 

Tell me about an experience you had this week when you felt the spirit strongly? One time this week we were teaching a less active who is struggling with doubts and family objections to the church.  And as we sat there working with him my heart just hurt for him and for his struggle. We bore testimony that this is the only true church of God on the earth today and it was a powerful experience.  It was wonderful to just feel the Spirit testify of the truth of our words.  It was wonderful to bear testimony and not have a single doubt in this gospel and in God's church.  This man is gonna make it back... it just is gonna take time and effort on his part. 

What do you eat for a bedtime snack? I think my favorite is popcorn.  We pop the kernels on the stove with a little oil and then salt it. It's heaven in a bowl!
We had lots of great experiences this week.  Just little things that make the all the difference.  And then big ones too. One that I will be forever grateful for is one family that opened up to us about their concern. Tatay's catholic boss was probably going to fire him if he joined the church or even came to church. So we decided to do a fast with him and his wife and me and Sister V. We set the fast for Friday to Saturday lunch. (we had just finished the lesson on fasting when they brought up their concern.) Well when we returned on Saturday afternoon, nanay was just finishing her fast. She said, "Good news-tatay got a job!! :) We were sooo excited. Turns out he got the job before they even fasted but tatay told her with tears in his eyes, "this is God's plan for us. And he gave us the blessing before we even fasted." Nanay told us she studied about fasting all week so she could be ready and they did the fast still in gratitude for the blessing. So grateful for the blessings of God and the miracles he works for his children when they are ready to obey.  I know that He will work miracles for each of us if we just have faith first and show Him we are willing to obey.

Sister Hamm

Monday, January 13, 2014


Dear Family,

So this week has been great! We had a great first lesson with this new investigator and we were able to find some other new people to teach too.  I am so grateful for second chances and the Spirit to guide us.  Also the weather finally decided to change into "winter" or at least the cooler season here.  Last year I seem to think it came more in December and I was complaining a little bit about it last week, but I got to get out my jacket one night this week! and I heated up water for my shower on Sunday.  So life is GREAT! and less hot.
Shout out for referrals this week.  Most of the people we taught this week were referrals at some point from members and it really does make all the difference.  So hopefully you can prayerfully find someone to invite to listen to the missionaries so we can all do our part in this great work! 

Just wanted to share my testimony real quick of the Sacrament and just express how grateful I am for the Spirit.  It is such a wonderful gift Heavenly Father has given us.  It can help us to taste a piece of the joy that we can have for eternity if we live to qualify for the celestial kingdom.  I sat in sacrament meeting this week watching the deacons pass the sacrament just completely overwhelmed by the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us. I mean seriously I couldn't stop smiling and I felt like my heart was gonna burst with all the happiness!  I know Heavenly Father loves us beyond what we can understand and I know He has a plan for all of us!

As for questions:
What would you say has been most surprising about a mission?
Ummm... a lot of things have been surprising.  I think the most surprising thing at the beginning was how inadequate I felt.  Also surprising is how sometimes you do just have to do your best and realize that is being successful.  I read in the Joseph Feilding Smith manual this week that he served his entire mission in England and never had a single baptism but planted lots of seeds.  It surprises me that that can be God's plan for some of His missionaries but it's true that everything we do benefits someone...even if that someone is ourselves! haha.  And lastly everyone will tell you you will be surprised at how deeply you can love the people you serve but you really can't understand until you experience it.  I have been surprised at the love I feel for the people we teach and even more surprised at the sorrow I feel when they don't choose the right.  It is the best feeling and worst and I wouldn't trade my mission for ANYTHING.

What, if anything, would you have done differently in terms of preparation?
I would've done a lot different...  Mostly I wish I had done more practice teaching.  That would have been a huge help to me. It helps to better understand how to teach and prepare for questions.  I should have attended mission prep class.  I think that is mostly the only things I would have done different as far as preparation. 

When you have been most successful on your mission, is there anything that the success can be attributed to?
Well of course the success is always attributed to God. :P haha.  But um.... I think sometimes no matter what you do right, things aren't gonna look successful. And sometimes you have success when nothing seems different.  But I know that companionship unity does REALLY help in the success.  Also I think I would say how effective personal and companionship study are. There are days when I feel the Spirit more strongly or get much more testimony and knowledge out of my studies than other days and I know it makes a difference in my attitude and faith for the whole day. And of course being obedient.

So for spiritual thought: Satan's power is real. I read in Corinthians this week about how we should not be ignorant of him and his power because he does have power. Plus on top of his power we are fighting the natural man who is also an enemy to God.  It is so easy for Satan to place negative thoughts in our minds.  He can easily play on our weakness and lead us to lower self-esteem, doubt the gospel and God's power, doubt ourselves.  He can make us feel not good enough. BUT we can't listen.  That is simply a tool that he uses.  We must turn to the one who made us, turn to the one who KNOWS we are good enough to overcome Satan.  He loves us the way we are.  We of course need to continue to improve and change but it doesn't have to feel bad. We don't need to be negative.  Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we all have hope.  SO hope and change and tell Satan to go away because you are a child of God. You have unlimited potential and the power to access that potential if we can just press forward with a perfect brightness of hope. So whatever your worries, don't let Satan get you down!  Look up and move forward.

Sister Hamm

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year's!

Me and my comp in our lava lava!  She gave
me it her first night here. 
Dear Family,

Well this week was great!  Although realizing that I haven't written you since New Years makes this week seem like a month long!! But it didn't feel that way going along so its all good. :)  So let's see.

New Years Eve I got your package! :) THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! It was so wonderful.  Full of perfect love and traditions and gifts. You totally spoil me! But don't worry I'm sharing. :) 

So the West's (missionary couple) had us over on New Years Eve and we actually stayed up to watch the fireworks. (Yes, I disobeyed mission rules... don't worry... the consequences story is coming.)  It was fun.. I ate way too much chocolate licorice (and too much other food too)! Shared the licorice, fruit snacks were a huge hit too. :)  Then on the 1st we got up on time but turns out my companion had a horrible headache so she rested for a bit.  We hardly ate breakfast because here the New Year is celebrated with a big meal and then all day on the first people feed you the left overs and new food that they cook on the 1st. So I was feeling... not hungry.. but not sick as we went to the first house... and then the 2nd... Okay lets skip to long story shorter. We finally went to the last appointment of the night with the Elders.  It was to our branch presidency members house. And on the walk over I told them there was no way I could eat.. because I now had stomach cramps and could feel a fever coming on... Well at the house I felt so bad not eating and the family tried so hard to get me to.. finally I settled for some coke but couldn't take 2 sips without intense stomach pain so that was it. Well later that night I ended up getting a priesthood blessing and throwing up.  The next morning I had a fever but according to the blessing I was able to go out and work and was fine the rest of the day. So it all works out.. but disobedience always has consequences.

The rest of the week was also great! Like talking with my favorite less active in the underneath the stars out on their porch all about the gospel and how she wants to be able to say that this is the only true church but she isn't there yet. And having our branch missionary totally feel the Spirit and us not  be confounded while answering question after question of a new investigator. Topped of by Sunday where an 11 year old unbaptized girl (family is less active) woke up and got herself and her 10 yr old neighbor ready for church and they want to come again next week.  And their were 4 people who were found worthy to receive the priesthood.  One of which is the son of the my favorite less active sister.  So much awesome in one week!

And Spiritual thought: 1 Corinthians 6:Last 2 verses 16 and 17 maybe... "What? Know ye not... that ye are bought with a price and ye are not your own."  I always love this scripture and this morning in personal study it hit me with the Spirit again. We were bought with a price.  Someone saw us and said I want that and when they saw the price tag it wasn't "uh.. that's expensive... maybe I'll just get a different, cheaper one...."  No, Jesus Christ  saw the price-- Suffering and Death and said She is worth it.  Heavenly Father saw the price-- His most beloved, only begotten Son and said She is worth it.  And then They bought us. And now we are not our own.. but not as slaves.  They bought us AND gave us freedom.  We all have free agency and we can choose to do WHATEVER we want. No restrictions. But we are not our own... We are owned by Someone who loved us enough to pay the ultimate price.  And He asks us to follow His commandments because He gave us a spirit and a body and He loves us the way we are in our perfect state. So just like a puppy let loose in the yard can wander into barb wire or holes (much to the sorrow and dismay of the loving owner), we can wander and fall but Heavenly Father gives us rules and asks us to follow them so that we won't ruin the beauty (inside and out) that He paid for. So let us be obedient- to thank the Two that loved us enough that no price was too high and who will ALWAYS welcome us back and fix us up if we fall short.

Love you,
Sister Hamm
My new outfit!  Thanks!