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