Chasing the Sun to the Philippines

These are my Provo people. I don't know all
their names.  Most of them were in a
different zone.
December 17, 2015

SO! The last couple of days have been absolutely crazy! I've loved every second of it, minus a couple hours during my dang 15 hour flight to Hong Kong.. Yikes that was a long time to do absolutely nothing.. But I'm proud to say I never did watch a movie or listen to any music. (: I feel like that'll make Brayden proud of me. (: 
Hong Kong baby!

Anyway.. So my adventure started at 2:30 AM on Thursday December 10th. We drove to the Salt Lake airport where we had to wait till 5:00 AM to check-in our bags and stuff. Then we flew to San Francisco! While on the flight to San Fran I talked to the two people sitting next to me, a woman from Iran and a man from Poland,and ended up bearing my testimony to them. I also told them God loves them and that service is a great way to find true happiness. They agreed. (; 
Then we had a five hour layover in San Francisco and I got to talk to mom and dad [on and off] for about three hours. That was just wonderful! I loved every second of that! Then I had a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong.. And let me tell you, as much fun as it was.. I never want to do it again. Haha. I decided that the flight was so long and miserable that I'll never have any desire to come home early. So! I bet the church does that on purpose. (; 

The three on the left were my Sister Training
Leaders for a while and they
just left the MTC on Wednesday.
Sister Aquino, Goodwin, Salunga, me, Murray
Although the flight to Hong Kong was so long.. I did make some new best buds. I sat in between a man and a woman from India. The were SUPER nice. Especially the woman. They didn't know each other so it was fun for all three of us to get to know each other. And of course.. I got to talk to them about why I was moving to the Philippines for 18 months. WOO! :D I talked about how I'll be spending my time serving the people of the Philippines and sharing with them the gospel I know to be true. Later on in the flight I was able to have more of a discussion about Jesus Christ and His gospel with the woman. We talked about what we both believe in and well.. She's Hindu.. And even though she doesn't believe in one God, she loved what I had to say about God being our loving Heavenly Father and families being central to His Plan of Happiness for us. Then she asked about our church buildings because there's one by her house in California. Then we got into the discussion that we have church buildings and temples and they're different buildings. She asked what we do in temples and I didn't really know how to answer that in a way that was okay. So I told her it was a place for members to go and be in a sacred and reverent place to feel God's love. Then I steered the conversation more to church and told her it was for everyone and I invited her to go to our church that's near her home in California. :D

Then we landed in Hong Kong and it was a total party! I never knew that Chinese people could speak so much English. I was really surprised when everyone was pretty much speaking all English in the airport. Then after wondering the airport for an hour we headed from Manila! :D Once we landed in Manila, the MTC President picked our big group up at the airport at 2:30 AM. We got all our luggage and switched our American money to Pesos. Pretty much.. I love the Philippines! It's so crazy yet peaceful. People here are even more nice than what I imagined. AHH! I just love it here! :D

Okay.. NOW! For breakfast we have rice. Then lunch is more rice.. And then Dinner is more rice. People weren't joking when they said they eat rice for every meal. BUT! I actually really like it! Americans DO NOT know how to cook rice, so that's why I didn't care for it back at home. (;

This was the family I "taught" when I went proselyting. (:
So! Yesterday we got to go proselyting for a couple hours with in-field missionaries! :D It was SOOOOOOO exciting! I got to ride a Jeepny AND a Tricycle in the same day!  AHHHH! Tricycles are my favorite by far. :D I ended up with Sister Piutau as my companion (who is going with me to Urdaneta) along with our in-field trainer Sister. We had an appointment to have a follow up lesson with a recent convert. I thought it was really fun, but it was pretty much just like going visiting teaching.. I was hoping to actually teach a lesson, but oh well. It was still a great experience. I'd say the biggest thing I learned though is that I don't know how to speak Tagalog whatsoever. HAHA! Oh man, it was rough. But I could feel the Spirit present so that's all that matters. (: We also went to the temple today and it was a lot of fun. The Manila temple is TINY! But it is very beautiful in its whiteness and simplicity. Life is oh so good. 
We are the only blondes in the whole MTC.
We were all in the same zone in Provo. (:
Sister Goodwin, Kjar, and me.

Also! My District ended up staying together which I am SO grateful for. But now we have three more Sisters and an Elder that reported to the Philippines MTC. So we kind of just joined their District and they're all super fun. Two of the Sisters are from Samoa and one said she knows who Elder Taylor Johansen is! You should ask him if he knows a Sister Soe. Or even a Sister Alesana. (: Then there's Sister Evens from Arizona who is just the cutest and most fun girl ever. I love her. And Elder Tavita is a Samoan from Australia.. He's crazy. Haha. He is such a goofball, but he truly has a love for the gospel which he always shows. (: 

I love it here, I really do! And the humidity and heat isn't killing me yet.. But we do have air conditioning everywhere here at the MTC. So.. I'll let you know how much I want to die because of the heat In January. (; 


Brayden gave me this skirt for me
on my birthday one year so I
wore it to celebrate his birthday. (:
P.S. Tell Morgan and Ty congrats for me too! I'm glad Trace [a friend arriving in the Alaska mission this week] is happier now too! Also! Yeah, don't send me anything here at the MTC. The mission home is the best option for sure. 

P.P.S. Also! I've talked to quite a few missionaries here both in the MTC and out in the field that know Elder Petersen! They all LOVE him! They said he seems to be having fun so let his parents know they love him and he seems happy. (: 

My teacher Brother Smith


My Branch President in Provo and his wife.
President and Sister Howard

My other Provo teachers. Sister Bates (polka dots)
 and Sister Mathis (Red shirt)

This is how we celebrated our departure for Manila! (;
Hong Kong
Sister Sulunga

I straight up felt like I was on my way to
Hogwarts walking around with my bags
on this cart thing. ;D

"Merry Christmas" :D


We went to the store in the real world today. ;D

Saying Goodbye to the Provo MTC!

Pretty much my favorite picture ever. ;D
December 5, 2015

First off, I LOVE the Christmas card! I even like how I look in all the pictures! You better send me one, I'll keep it forever! I LOVE the title of the card too! It really is perfect. It's definitely my favorite one over the 19 years of Christmas cards I've seen. (:Also, send me more pictures too. They don't make me homesick at all, so I would love more pictures from now on! (: 

[Have you seen Trace?]So! YES I've seen Elder Trace Barney everyday that he's been here. :D It's actually a total miracle how I saw him on Wednesday when he got here. I was sitting at the dinner table right in front of the doorway where everyone comes in to eat (there's a miracle right there because I usually sit on the other side of the table with my back to the door). And right at the perfect moment in time, Sister Murray stood up to go get something and so I kind of looked up and for some crazy reason I looked up/out the door and Trace was walking past the door (not through it) with his host heading to the book store to get his new study books and stuff. WE BOTH SAW EACH OTHER! That's such a miracle! I mean, there are hundreds of people that walk through those doors and the fact that no one was blocking my window from the open door at the PERFECT moment!

Here's another good one just for you. (;
I jumped up and ran to the door to say hi and we only had like 10 seconds, but we shook hands and said we loved each other and who knows what else. Let this by my testimony of how mindful The Lord is of our wants and needs. The next day we saw each other in the cafeteria and I walked around with him while he got his food and he seemed to be pretty happy. He said his companion has such a good heart. 

Anyway, so I have dinner from 5:30-6:15 and he has dinner from 5:45-6:30. So Trace always comes up to say hi to me when he comes in for dinner and I usually stand in the food line with him so we can have a few minutes to talk. I think Trace is pretty happy here. So that's good! He's got a picture of us on his camera so he better send that to you guys! 

​Happy Birthday Mom! 
[How is the language coming?] The language is coming along alright.. Sister Murray is A LOT better than I am, but it's really nice because while we're teaching our investigator I can ask her what they said. So she is kind of like my personal translator. And if I don't know a word in Tagalog I can ask her what it is and she usually knows. I'm getting the vocabulary down kind of good, it's the grammar that gets me. Sentences in English are quite different than Tagalog. There's like eight different ways to set up a sentence. And you have to learn how to make command/infinitive, past, present, and future verbs. So like the word "help" in English there's help, helped, helping, and will help. In Tagalog it's something like mgtonong (command/infinitive), ngtonong (past), ngtotonong (present), magtotonong (future). (You can ask Tyrel if that's right). Anyway, I have a hard time with the grammar and which type of verb to use. Luckily I don't get upset with myself even though I'm probably the slowest/least good with the language in my district. But I keep improving everyday. (: 

[Are you ready to leave the Provo MTC? What are your thoughts about leaving?] I'm really excited to leave the MTC, but I suppose it's a little worrisome because I really do like it here. I finally got used to my schedule so I'm a little worried I won't like my new one.. And I really hope my district stays our district and doesn't get split up. But I'm mostly excited! I'm going on a super fun adventure, it'll be great. :D

Brayden & Sadie
I'm hoping that I pack everything and everything fits and is within the weight limits. My carry-on can only be 15 pounds which is a little scary because that was the one with all my heavy stuff in it when I flew down to Salt Lake. Oh well, it'll be good. The MTC gives us a lot of time to pack so hopefully I use that time and not just take naps. (; 

[What is your P-Day schedule like?] P-Day's always start off with going to the temple. Today was the first day we did an initiatory instead of an endowment session. If people think the Rexburg temple is crazy.. Wait till they see Provo. It took sister Murray and I two and a half hours to do an initiatory! Yikes! Then we eat breakfast at the cafeteria in the temple since we miss our breakfast time in the MTC. The temple makes heavenly omelets.. Just so you know. Haha. Everyone here calls the temple cafeteria food celestial food. Haha. Apparently it's really good.(; 

And then after the temple Sister Murray and I come to the computer lab and print off our emails so we can spend our emailing time actually emailing instead of reading all the emails. It works out great. Then we go do laundry while we read some letters, then we go get whatever stuff we need at the bookstore, drop a letter in the mailbox, or anything random thing like that. Today sister Murray got a hair cut too, so just silly things like that. 

Chance photo bomb! :D
Then we get our sack lunches (because you can't go in the real cafeteria in P-Day clothes) and pick up our dried laundry clothes and head back to our residence rooms. We usually hang and fold our clothes, eat our lunch, then take a nap. After nap time we come email, then head off to dinner in our skirts and after dinner we have class till 9:15 and then go back to our rooms for the night. (: P-Day's are AWESOME! It's so nice to just relax a little bit, get things done, and of course email home my favorite friends and family! (: 

[What was the highlight of your week?] I'd say the highlight of my week was seeing Brayden, Sadie, Chance, Dani Johnson (Sadie's best friend/favorite roomate), and Super Trace. I actually got to sit down and visit with Brayden and Sadie for a little while on mom's birthday! Woo! Happy Birthday to you and me! (; 
For Grandma!
I also really enjoyed this week the amount of fun I have with my zone. I get along great with everyone! They all think I'm super funny which makes me feel good. Also! Elder Thomas in the district that came to the MTC the same day as mine is a combat medic for the Army. Man! He's got some crazy stories! He's only 21 and already has a Purple Heart.. AHHH! He got shot in the back while fighting ISIS. Luckily he was hit where his vest was, but he said it caused some difficulties. I bet his mom is thrilled he's on a mission now! Haha. He reminds me of Logan.. And not just because his last name is Thomas too. Haha. They're both super buff and pretty much just real men. (; 

Happy Birthday to Grandma Nuthead! I wore her pink rain coat this week in honor of her. I actually got a ton of compliments on it so.. Way to go granny! 

Maganda saging po kayo at mahal ko kayo! :D