Sister Madison May Healey
Philippines Tacloban Mission
511 Maharlika Highway
Fatima Village
Tacloban City, LEYTE 6500

Sunday, October 25, 2015

First baptism! Maddie loves the Philippines and the people there.

Kamusta Tanan!

This week our investigator Kim got Baptized! It was such an amazing feeling! Especially as he was confirmed on Sunday and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The spirit was so strong. We are so happy for him! And because we only have a meeting house here (no font), he was baptized in the ocean! His family was so happy. It is crazy the difference he's made even in one day! He actually wore a white polo shirt and neck tie which was cool! (I didn't even know he had one...) He participated in MCM with us, he went and participated in the choir, he's going to activities, and I think he feels like he's really part of the branch. It's so great to see the ward fellowship him like that and to see him get so involved :) I know that baptism is such an important and essential step in our eternal salvation. It makes me so happy to see Kim showing his faith and acting, by being baptized. Faith without works is dead, right? :)

We've been super busy trying to teach everyone here in Naval, but it's so big! haha The other day we actually taught a lesson in English because the Sister preferred it over Cebuano. She even wanted an English Book of Mormon. It was so strange teaching in English! I could say so much! haha basta, the spirit was so strong. We got to eat fresh coconut this week, help harvest peanuts, and Sister Newton finally got to hold a baby goat!

We also started a Preach My Gospel class for the branch on Saturdays and it was so fun. We teach lessons and teach them how to teach as well. There are a lot of prospective missionaries here in Naval Branch, and it is so fun to see their excitement about the gospel. They are nervous and scared of rejection, but aren't we all? Even as missionaries, it is still nerve wracking and scary sharing the Gospel. But it is so worth it. The church wouldn't even exist without missionary work and it is a commandment of God. We just have to take that leap of faith. Open your mouth because we have the knowledge of the restored truth. And think of how the Gospel has blessed your lives and your families. Shouldn't everyone have the opportunity to receive those blessings themselves? And if you get turned down, it's ok. :) Everyone has their agency. I get turned down daily, haha, but that doesn't mean we give up or stop working.

I know that this is where I am supposed to be right now in my life, serving God. I love the Philippines and the people here. Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang ebangheylo ni JesuKristo. Manunubos ug Maluluwas Si JesuKristo. Nahigugma ang Dios sa ata. Nasayud ko nga nagpahiuli ang Dios sa ebanghelyo ni JesuKristo pinaagi ni Joseph Smith. Nakakita Si Joseph Smith sa atong Langitnong Amahan ug ni JesuKristo. Propeta siya. Gihapon, Nasayud ko nga naa ta'y buhing propeta karon, Si Thomas S. Monson. And if you read the Book of Mormon and pray to know for yourself if it is true or not, God will answer you, because I have read, and prayed. I still read and pray every day and I know that it is true.

Nahigugma ko sa inyo.

Until next week,

Sister Healey  :)

Kim's baptism

Kim's baptism

Eating fresh coconut

"I saw a spider bigger than my hand!"

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Time is flying by! First scheduled baptism! Chased by a petty cab driver

Kamusta mga gwapo ug mga gwapa!  

This week flew by! I can't believe it is already P-day again! I heard there is a typhoon hitting the northern Philippines right now, but don't worry, I'm safe. :) It's been pretty windy and rainy, but nothing bad.

This week I had exchanges in Biliran, Biliran! My companion for the day was Sister Clerigo. She is a Filipina from Mindanao and her first language is Cebuano, but Biliran is a Waray area. Haha She has spoken waray her entire mission. She was really funny and nice and helpful with the language. She told me my accent was kind of funny, how I pronounce things. haha oh well. There's nothing I can do but practice. I hope one day I can speak like a native. Be totally Bistak.

Kim had His baptismal interview 2 days ago so he is getting baptized this Saturday! We are so happy and excited for him. He is so awesome. We've been trying to contact less active families and have also gotten some new investigators. I have such a strong love for these people and the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of less active members here. I think a lot of it starts because they don't do the basics. They don't pray or read their scriptures daily. That is SO important. Then eventually they stop going to church. As we teach them, I just want to do whatever I can to help them feel the spirit and come to know the truth for themselves. Heavenly Father really has prepared people to receive the restored gospel. It is our job and responsibility to share what we know is true. Missionary work isn't just people with nametags out knocking on doors. It is the members. It's everyone inviting and helping others come unto Christ. It's testifying. I challenge all of you. Please. Share the gospel with a friend, a co-worker, a family member, an acquaintance even. And if they turn you down, cool. It's fine. We all have agency, don't get discouraged. Try again. Invite someone to church, to take the missionary discussions, give out a Book of Mormon. Do something. Because it is through the members, not just the missionaries, that we bring people unto Christ. Kaya Ninyo. :) I know you all can do it. The spirit will testify of the truth. Gihapon. Pray and read kada adlaw (every day). And GO TO CHURCH. I know it can be boring and long. But that doesn't matter. Think about why we actually go and go with a good attitude. With a question in mind, and I know the spirit will answer it.

Ok. Rant over. XD

This week a petty cab driver chased Sister Newton and I down the side walk a few blocks wanting to give us a ride. haha he was so persistent. But he finally left.

I cleaned and ate some raw fish the other night! And some fried clam! That was really good. Sister Newton and I got some t-shirts printed because they are way cheap here. Our companionship t-shirt says "Naval: Asa kita karon" (where are we now) then on the back, "Wala ko kahibalo."(I do not know) because our area is so huge, a lot of the time we get lost. hahaha but we always find our way back home, even if we have to ask for directions. It just creates more opportunities to testify and share the gospel!

But anyways, I'm doing great! Loving life. Loving the gospel! I know that this is the Lord's work! I love you all! Until next week!

Sister Healey

Biliran zone conference

After FHE and another game of Concentration. As you can notice, my face is clean :)

We got to clean fish and clams for dinner.

 Sister Newton and I with our investigator Kim.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I ate balut! General Conference was awesome! Too many roosters! A letter from the Mission President

Kamusta kada usa!

Guess what?! I ate balut! hahah There is a reason why they only serve it at night time. It wasn't too bad, just kinda cruchy... hahah it mostly just tastes like boiled egg. This week I have also eaten squid, stingray, crab, fried fish, and as usual, lots of rice.

It was so awesome watching General Conference this weekend! It is a week later here and we just watch recordings. Because of the time difference we can't watch it live, but it was so awesome hearing from the General Authorities and our Prophet! And it was in English so I could understand it! haha (They had Cebuano in another room.) I know that we are so blessed to have a living prophet on the earth today. I wish I had more time to talk about some of my favorite talks, but I don't. SO if you missed a session go look it up on LDS.org! My favorite one was Saturday morning session! And I know before my mission I often missed that one, but it was awesome so go watch it! Or read some of the talks. You'll thank me later. :)

 Some one liners from Conference:
•             “The journey of discipleship is not an easy one” – Larry R Lawrence
•             “Are we making our discipleship too complicated?” – President Dieter F Uchtdorf
•             “The more we walk in this path of discipleship, the more we desire to learn the word of God.” _ President Dieter F Uchtdorf
•             “Exaltation is our goal; discipleship is our journey.” – President Dieter F Uchtdorf
•             “Our core, the center of our lives, must be Jesus Christ and His gospel.” – Richard J Maynes
•             “Our lives must be centered with exactness in Christ if we are to find true joy” – Richard J Maynes
•             “As missionaries, we must be righteous, follow rules, and be prepared for difficult situations.” – M Russell Ballard (and we are all missionaries so this applies to you all gihapon)
•             “Our Savior is able to comfort, heal, and strengthen all men and women everywhere, but I believe He does so only for those who seek Him and ask for His help.” – Dallin H Oaks
•             “It is essential that we read and study and ponder the scriptures.” – Thomas S Monson (Prophet)
•             “We do not strive for conversion to the Church but to Christ and His gospel.” D Todd Christofferson

We have 2 new investigators this week! The Labador Family! They are an old couple, but have so much faith! I'm so excited to share the gospel with them, we have taught two lessons and have a return appointment!

I've been doing well! My companion and I get along great! It's humid as ever! It's so funny walking down the street. Because we are two American's we get lots of stares and catcalls and people trying out there English. Things like "Good Evening", "Hey Best Friend", "I love you!", "Where you going?" and things like that. It's so funny because of their accents and then we respond in the language and they are always so shocked, and say "Oh Bisaya!" and just the looks on their faces are priceless.

I am a giant here. But that's not new. haha I have to duck and slouch a lot to fit in little houses and tindahans. So sorry mom, but my slouch has gotten worse. haha

There are roosters and chickens EVERYWHERE. haha because everyone here gambles on Cock-fights. And we woke up at 5:30 this morning to go jogging and all of the roosters on the island were cock-a-doodle-doo-ing. And I swear it sounded like something out of a horror movie. Chickens could take over the world. But like we will be walking down the road and people just have roosters tied to a tree or bush or gate. They are more common than dogs. And there are a lot of those too. haha

Anyways that's just a tiny bit of my life right now. Wish I had more time, but I've been good about writing in my journal so I'll have lot's of stories when I get back!

Watch Conference!


Sister Healey

Note:  Balut is a partially developed duck egg that has been cooked for 18 minutes.  You poke a hole in one end and suck out the broth then crack open the egg and eat the yolk and partially developed embryo.  It's considered a delicacy in the Philippines. (Gross!!)

This is us trying to get a group picture but the Filipinos are so funny, they all smoosh together and fight to see who can get in frame for the picture, so we all just get closer and closer to the camera... 

and this is how it turns out. haha

The charcoal is from FHE after a game of "concentration" haha its kind of like signs but its fast and you can't mess up on passing your sign otherwise you get a mark on your face. It  was fun and of course they picked on us.

Rice fields

Sister Healey and Sister Newton with Zeniada Abrigo.

We received a really nice letter from Maddie's Mission President. President and Sister Maurer take great care of the missionaries and have a great love for each of them.

Brother and Sister Healey,
I just wanted to send you a quick note regarding your daughter. Sister Maurer and I spent an evening with Sister Healey and her companion on Saturday night. We visited their apartment and actually ended up taking them to church for General Conference.

She is doing great. She seems to cope well with the Philippines and the adjustment required. She certainly is excited to be a missionary and I can see that she will indeed develop into one of the finest missionaries. Thanks for sharing her with us and the people of Tacloban. Her attitude and desire is simply great. She doesn’t seem to have any home sickness, which is always disappointing from a parents point of view, so is generally happy to be here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Eating lots of rice and fish! Caught in a rainstorm.

Kamusta kada usa!

It's been kind of a rough week, but so many amazing things have happened as well! We got punted a lot and almost all of our appointments fell through because the people wouldn't be home or would just tell us not to come back. It happens, and people have their agency. But I'm not discouraged! We have been able to do quite a few on the spot lessons! It's so awesome when we would start to share our message then families would invite us into their homes. The spirit was so strong as we testified and taught. And a lot of the time we almost didn't even talk to those people, but it turned out so well and they were interested. It just goes to show you how the Lord really does prepare people and we don't know who does or doesn't want to know. And sometimes I think even the people themselves don't know until it happens. That's why it is so important that we open our mouths and follow the spirit. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us and that we need to do our part, live righteously and worthily so that we can listen to the promptings of the spirit.
I had my first rainfall here in the Philippines! And we were caught without umbrellas! Haha so we were soaked within seconds. And there was a funeral this week. It was a part-member family and was really sad because a lot of the family seemed so lost in despair. I am so grateful that we have the Plan of Salvation and I know that we will be able to see our family again someday.

We have one progressing investigator with a baptismal date! Kim Piamonte!  All of his family are members and we are so excited for him! Other than Kim, we have mostly been out teaching less-actives and proselyting. Filipinos are so awesome. I love the culture here. They say yes by raising their eyebrows, they don't nod their head. It makes me smile every time. And they point with their lips.

Everyone calls us "Mam" and I thought they were saying "Mom" haha. I was so confused for my whole first week until I asked Sister Newton about it. She just laughed. So many things here are new and different, and even though she is American, she just forgets about it because it's what she is used to now. She said she will probably have  a culture shock when she goes home. I feel like I have been in Naval for forever. Our area is so huge, I don't know if we will ever be able to go to all of it. This week there was A fiesta where the Catholics worship their Saints, so there were a lot of street vendors and family gatherings going on. And a lot of Karaoke. haha they call it Videoke? If that's how you even spell it. And whether they are good singers or not, (most often not, haha) they just blast it. It's so fun.

I've been eating a LOT of rice and fish. haha. And so far the only thing that I just don't like is Jackfruit. haha that stuff is gross. It's like a vegetable and a fruit. There are so many different kinds of fruits here! It's awesome!

SO much has happened and I have experienced so many amazing things. I'm excited for the rest of my mission and for all the amazing people I will meet and experiences I will have.

Love you all and hope you're doing well!

Sister Healey

It's so beautiful here!

The view from our apartment. Just a small glimpse of Naval. We are on the edge.

Sister Healey and Sister Newton