My first time having Jollibee!
It's like their McDonald's here.
Even though they actually have McDonald's. Haha.
January 24, 2016

So! This week really was uneventful.. Sister Luzviminda is our only progressing investigator. I absolutely LOVE her. Even though we can barely understand each other I'd say we're best friends. (; She came to church for the second time which is GREAT! Here in the Philippines, an investigator has to come to church for four consecutive weeks before they can be baptized. Which means if they come for three and miss the fourth, we have to start all over and wait another four weeks.. If that happens I'll probably go crazy. But! I truly believe her heart is being converted to Jesus Christ and His gospel; so I'm not too worried about her not coming to church. It also helps because her daughter Maricar is a member which makes Luzviminda have a great fellowshipper. (; 

This week is Relentless Week which means our work will be pushed to the limit. Everyday and night we will get surprise calls from the Zone and District Leaders checking our progress and how we're doing on our daily goals*. And then on Friday we have blitz where the whole District works in one area while doing exchanges and will do street contacting (OYMs which stands for Open your mouth). Lucky for Sister Latorre and I, our District Leader, Elder Smith, chose our area. So we'll hopefully get a whole bunch of new investigators this week. (: 

You should be more worried about me
 having to cross bridges like this than my health. ;D
[Do you have running water?] Yes, I have running water. Haha. I've been told that the bahay I live in is one of the best in the mission; and I believe it because it's actually really fancy and pretty big. It's got three rooms, a bathroom, a sink, and a living room. We have to do all our cooking outside like you would while camping, but we do have air conditioning in two of the rooms! Too bad the other sisters have BOTH of them. Stinkers.. But! I've actually been really surprised at the fact I'm usually not hot.. It's definitely not cold here, but I don't exactly get hot which I am SOOOO thankful for. 

[How often do you eat at home?] We eat at home every once'n a while, but honestly.. We usually just skip lunch and dinner if a member doesn't feed us. I'd say I eat about a meal and a half everyday. I'm not complaining though.. 1. I'm actually not ever really hungry. 2. I'm definitely losing weight. (; Which is good because I'm tired of everyone telling me I'm fat. And Tyrel lied.. It's definitely not a compliment. Haha. I even had a lady tell me I would be so much more beautiful if I was skinnier. OUCH. Whatever though, I guess it's just motivation to work harder so I can be more "beautiful." 

*[What are your daily goals?]  Depends on the day.. Like 5 lessons with members present, 3 other lessons taught, 2 less active, Member visits. Stuff like that.

[Did you go to the World Wide Missionary Broadcast?] No, I don't even know what that is. Sorry. 

[President Deyro must have recorded it and is saving it to play. It was last Wednesday. Elder Anderson and Elder Oats spoke.] Wait! Then yes! I did this morning! I just thought it was an old devotional we were watching as a zone for the start of our Relentless Week thing. HAHAHa, my bad. Yeah, I watched it. It was VERY helpful! You should watch it sometime too. 

[Did that fact get lost in translation? haha.  How is the language study?] I'm glad you said that.. YES! I NEVER know what's going on. I swear Filipinos don't know how to use their words. It actually drives me crazy but hopefully I'll get used to it. The language is rough.. I honestly hate the language barrier. I can't understand anyone so I can't ever discern their needs. I also have a problem with not paying attention to what's being said.. My brain just thinks "oh you can't understand anyway.. You might as well just think about some random thing that happened earlier" It's a real problem.. I've been told everyone has the same problem with not staying focused when they are learning a language, but its frustrating for me. I just can't wait till I finally have the mission life figured out. President Cook [our Stake President] was right.. I NEED to be patient with myself. 

Also! Tell Telisha I got her letter and about DIED when I got a letter in the Philippines! It made me SOOOOO HAPPY! [This letter was a regular 2-page letter she sent to the mission home.  It was $1.20 and took around 2-weeks. Not bad!] Also..

I love you guys more than you'll ever know. I miss you a lot, but it's a blessing I can love and miss you so much but never be homesick. That truly is a blessing. (:

I had to eat balut again.. Brother Villenueva is a dirty sneaky man. (; Haha. Once we sat down to eat dinner he left and bought me balut.. Haha, it was super funny!
[Did it taste better this time?] Yes is did actually.. But this time I could feel the feathers.. That was nasty. ;D

Sister Ortega
[Is she part of your tri-panionship?]
Yes, she was. But now she's not. She got a new companion. But she's still me kabahay. (;
(She lives with me)
[Who's the new 4th Sister in your house?]
Sister Alfonoso. She's a short-term missionary. So she'll only serve a mission for this transfer.
[What's a short-term missionary?]  There's just a need for missionaries in the Philippines so a lot of people here serve a mission for a transfer or two to help them prepare for a full-time mission. They live in the mission boundaries but not the area boundaries. 
It's pretty cool I'd say. It's a better learning experience than the MTC. HAHA.

"I Had My First Baptism!"

January 17, 2015

So this week, Saturday the 16th, I had my first baptism! It was literally one of the best experiences of my entire life. I felt a sense of happiness I have never felt before. When I saw him walk out of the dressing room in his white jumpsuit I about died! I wanted to run up and give him the biggest hug anyone has ever given! Luckily I controlled myself and just freaked him out by how big, and probably creepy, my smile was. ;D 

Susan (Justin's mom) and Justin! (:
Justin is a tall guy, especially for a Filipino, so he didn't get fully immersed until the third try. The poor guy was so confused what he was doing wrong. But luckily it all worked out! (; Then! I about had a freak out when sacrament meeting started and Justin wasn't at church. I honestly felt my heart break a little.. All I could think was "JUSTIN YOU NEED TO GET HERE NOW SO YOU CAN BE CONFIRMED AND RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST!" So sacrament meeting started and literally RIGHT before we were going to sing the sacrament hymn Justin walked in. AHHHHHHH! :D Once again I almost died from happiness! I helped someone come unto Christ. (: And I never want to stop doing that! And I won't. 
The Sister Training Leaders.
Sister Bomediano, Latorre, Naua

Anyway, about halfway through the first sacrament talk Sister Luzviminda walked into the chapel for the first time! My investigator finally came to church! It's taken her EIGHT years! Once again.. I felt that special sense of happiness and couldn't stop smiling. Luckily after sacrament meeting was over I could actually run up and hug her! I didn't give her a big bear hug like I wanted to because I'd literally break her, but I gave her a nice squeeze. (; I just don't think giving a fragile 70-year old Filipino lady a bear hug would be a good idea.  

Me, Sister Hunt, Sister Latorre, Sister Junio
Earlier this week I had my first day of exchanges and I LOVED it! My Sister Training Leaders are AWESOME! I was with Sister Naua who is from New Zealand so we had a party. Something about those Samoans! (; Being around a lot of them on my mission makes me pretty jealous of Elder Johansen (serving in Samoa) sometimes. 

This week I also had to say goodbye to the two Sisters that lived with Sister Latorre and I. Sister Junio was a short-term missionary and got sent home because Sister Ortega was able to return to the mission after being gone on medical release. Then.. Sister Hunt had to go home this morning because she tore her ACL and meniscus when we went hiking last P-Day. So.. That sucks. I already killed off two Sisters. But! Now I'm in a tripanionship with Sister Latorre and Sister Ortega! I think it'll be really helpful to have two Filipino companions help me with Tagalog. I have a problem with zoning out when everyone around me is a having a conversation in Tagalog; so I think it'll help me pay more attention when my companions are speaking Tagalog since I'll want to know what's going on. I'll keep you posted on that. Haha. (; 

Para sa inyo. ;D [For you ;D]
ALSO! I finally saw a rat.. No joke it was the size of my foot. And you know what's crazy!? I wasn't even that freaked out! I'm more freaked out by the freakishly large spiders that run faster than I do.. But maybe that's just because the rat was already dead. So I courageously took a picture of it for mom. ;D 

Balut.. I would send the video
but it won't let me. 
And.. Tyrel lied to my face.. Balut doesn't help you speak Tagalog! (; Pretty much balut is disgusting in every way. [Balut is a developing duck embryo (fertilized duck egg) that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It originated and is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines.] Apparently taste buds cannot only tell you if something is sweet, spicy, salty, or sour.. It can also tell you if something is balut. Siiiick. But! I'd have to say the worst part was being able to tell when I bit the head because I could feel the brain.. I can't believe I got talked into doing that. And I can't believe balut is even a thing.. Who even came up with the idea? There's some messed up stuff in the world. If there's one thing I've learned this week it's to trust no one.. If someone tells you balut is good, they're lying! (;   

Elder Budge and Elder Morris

This was from the hike last week

Thank you SO much for the package! I LOVE IT!
The slippers.. MMMMM. (; And! If you ever send another package
send me more of the anti-humidity hair stuff! It's magical. 


Love you Dad! 

Sister Hunt, Ortega, Latorre

People I gave pamphlets to and scheduled a return appointment with.
 But this was on exchanges in a different area. 

Everything Here Is Honestly So Foreign!

January 10, 2016

[How long has Sister Latorre been out on her mission?] Sister Latorre has been out for a year this Saturday. Although she did ask President Deyro if she could extend so we'll see what happens with that. Also! I just looked at my blog and LOVE IT! Oh my word, how cute is that!? You better have gotten lots of compliments on it! 

[What do you think of Aguilar? Are you living in Aguilar or farther out?] Umm.. I'm not exactly sure where I live. Haha. I'd say is on the edge of Aguilar. We have to ride a tricycle for about two miles or so to get to where our investigators are. I do like Aguilar! I LOVE the kids here and they all love me. Haha. They ALL run up in large groups and give me high fives and pet my arms. Haha. It's so fun! I even have a handshake with one of the girls and I don't even know her name. ;D 

[Do you feel safe?] I feel perfectly safe, I really do. I'd say the scariest thing is the groups of dogs at night. They look like thy're a gang all planning to rob a bank. Haha. But! Something new from last week is we have to be in our apartment at 7:00 instead of 8:30. Instead of depending on a priesthood leader to be with us we just have to go home early and do half our studies at night. Which SUCKS! Nothing is worse than getting home from a LONG HOT TIRING day and having to sit down and role play in a language I can't speak. I hate being a trainee! But oh well, it's only for three months. D: But! Today is my two month mark! I can't believe that.. Crazy stuff! 
For Pday today we went hiking and it was SOOOO fun!
Sisters Hunt, Junio, Brother Von, Latorre

[Have you had to wash your clothes in a bucket yet?] And yes, I have to wash all my clothes in a bucket and I hate it. Haha. I don't think I even really clean them. I think I just make them smell better. (; 

First! I'm sorry last week's letter was so lame. I honestly had so much happen that week I couldn't figure out what to write.  It was a stressful situation (; But! I'll get you all caught up on my life and what it's like to live in the Philippines this week! (:

So! Everything here is honestly so foreign! I mean even just walking into the bathrooms is a foreign adventure! Let me start off with telling you the rumors are true...Filipinos do not use toilet paper.  Ahh! Luckily I brought some from home with me. ;D Also! the toilets are so close to the ground...I've never felt so tall in my life.  Anyway... I think I'll stop talking about the bathrooms here.  Haha!

Well, so far after being in the mission field for a week I have... eaten squid, intestines, fruit the size of my big head that I've never even heard of before, and parts of chicken I didn't even know existed.  And you all know how picky of an eater I am, so this may be a complete surprise to you, but I actually love ALL the crazy stuff I eat here!  I know... It was a big shocker to me too.  I'm not used to loving food this much. ;D Haha.

Some other weird things I live with now is sleeping with geckos.  Yeah... They're everywhere...But they're actually really cute and harmless so it surprisingly doesn't ever bother me that I live with a bunch of lizards.  Haha! Also there are chickens and roosters EVERYWHERE!  They literally just run around the streets like stray dogs.  It's actually really funny until the roosters become my alarm clock!  They're lucky I have to wake up at sunrise anyway...If I didn't, I feel like we would be eating a lot more chicken. (;

Another thing I've learned is Filipinos LOVE Americans!  And they show their love and amazement by staring.  They don't smile or wave, they honk their horns at me as they drive by and star with amazement or they just stand on the side of the road and stare wide-eyed and bushy tailed... until I wave and say "hello po"!  Then they smile and freakout that I said hi.  I've never felt so beautiful in my life! I wish the boys in America were as attracted to big white blonde Americans as the Filipino boys are! ;D

Also...In case you were all wondering, I have indeed seen the biggest spider most of you will ever see in your entire life.  No joke.  I about had a heart attack when a spider the size AND thickness of my hand started running it's creepy fat legs towards me!  After my panic attack ended I asked Sister Latorre if that was a huge spider for her too and she said no...WHAT!?  NO!? THEY GET BIGGER!? Oh my word, I about died.  And to make it all better, this was all an an investigator's house!  Luckily I didn't see it until after my lesson...But Sister Luzviminda being the awesome woman she is saved my life by simply shooing the giant spider away like you would a dog...A Dog!  The fact she treated a spider like a dog kills me.  Literally.  I about died.  But! Luckily I got over it and the whole situation is now hilarious to me. :D

Now, the best part of the week is Brother Justin passed his baptismal interview! I'm going to have my first baptism on January 16th! AHH! I'm so so so excited for Justin!  He turns 19 on January 30th so I'm also excited for his birthday!  I'll throw him an hour-long party like Arraya did for me! (: (Elder Arraya was serving in our area in Idaho when we first moved here).

Also...I got your Christmas package!  Thank you so much mom and dad!  I about went crazy when I saw the bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's (bbq sauce)! AHH! And the instant mashed potatoes!  AND the mac'n cheese!  You literally had all my favorite things in that package!  Including toilet paper! ;D  Sister Hunt also appreciates all the Gobbstoppers I gave her.  Haha!  I don't know how I'm going to comeback home skinnier when you send me packages like that ;D  And thank you for the purple shirt!  I didn't want to admit to you that I'm glad you made me keep the black one even though it was so expensive ($17??)..It's actually one of my most favorites and comfiest.  So thank you for the purple one.  I don't have any other purple shirts either so that'll be fun to match with my skirts.

All in all, I love you family! Thanks for always telling me you don't want me home. ;D I don't want to come home either so that works out perfectly!  As hard as it is being in such a foreign place and not being able to communicate and make friends here, I know things will get better with faith, patience, obedience, and diligent work.  i promise you that God is ALWAYS listening to our prayers.  If you ever feel down on yourself just simply say a prayer to help you lighten your mood and He will.  "Ask and ye shall receive."  Success is in asking.  I also promise you that.  How else would I have six baptismal dates?  Success truly is in asking!

Hello Urdaneta!

January 3, 2016

SO! I honestly don't have much time because I have to write my Mission President first and that takes a million minutes. 

My first area is Aguilar 2B. My companion is Sister Latorre [pronounced Luh-tour-ay] who is a Filipino which is SO nice because she can help me with my Tagalog a lot better than a foreigner could. She is honestly so fun! I'm SO glad she's my trainer. We are both the first sisters to ever serve in the area.. Yikes. It's not the best feeling knowing my trainer doesn't always know where we're going either.. Haha! 

Sister Latorre
And.. What's even more wonderful and exciting about the area is we have to have a priesthood holder with us after 6:00 (when it gets dark) because it's not a safe area. (; I guess there's a lot of drug and other sketchy stuff that goes on here. BUT! We live in a SUPER nice house with two other sisters. Sister Junio is from the Philippines also and Sister Hunt is a Samoan from Australia. They all speak English really well which I AM SO THANKFUL FOR! If they didn't speak English I would be so dang lonely. 

I saw my first monkey..
Can you believe people here have monkeys as pets!? :D
So! One thing I have definitely noticed about the Philippines is they love Americans. ALL day they'll stare at me and honk their horns as they drive by. ALL DAY. At first it made me feel really good, but now I just feel like I need some privacy. Haha. 

We have a baptismal date set for Justin which is really exciting! He's a 19-year old boy that is literally the shyest person I have ever met in my entire life. And it does't help that we don't speak the same language. But! I could have my first baptism on January 16th! :D 

I love you all and I hope you had a super fun New Years, because I did! We had to be in our houses at 6:00 because there are too many fireworks going off (which are SO DANG LOUD AT 2 AM), so I got to go to bed early! WOOOOO! :D 
This is my branch president and his family. The Dariano's. 

I love you so much dad! I literally laugh out loud multiple times when I read your journals! That makes me happy that Kwan cares about me. (: AND! The stars here.. They literally twinkle! No joke, the stars here twinkle in the sky. EVERY single one! It is SOOOOOO gorgeous!

Elder Sabiano and Elder Mcbride from Tooele (I went to high school with him)
He was the one that picked me up at the bus stop when I
arrived in Urdaneta! :D

Sister Latorre (front), Mayra Fe, Lanea (pink)
 Mayra is my best bud here. She's a member that has been showing
us the area, doing member recent lessons with us, and helping us meet the members.  (:

We are delighted with the arrival of your missionary...

**The following are letters we received from President Deyro**

December 30, 2015

Dear Brother and Sister Fivas,

We are pleased to inform you that your daughter, Sister Fivas, arrived safely in Urdaneta earlier today. They left Manila late due to the heavy traffic and the inability of the group to secure bus tickets coming to Urdaneta and so their departure from Cubao was delayed for about 3 hours.
President Ernesto and Cristina Deyro

The group arrived at approximately 4pm and were picked up by my Elders at the pick-up point promptly and brought to the Mission Home. After dinner and a short rest, we held a small meeting for the missionaries, together with my wife and 5 children for them to get to know my family and I better.

They have now been ferried to the various apartments where they will spend a night before they meet their trainers and will be assigned an area tomorrow at our transfer meeting.

Attached is a picture of your daughter with my wife and I at the Mission Home. Rest assured that your daughter is in good hands. I will email you again when your daughter has been assigned an area and a trainer.


Ernesto A. Deyro Jr.
President, Philippines Urdaneta Mission

January 1, 2016

Dear Brother and Sister Fivas,

We are delighted with the arrival of your missionary, Sister Fivas, here in the Urdaneta Mission on December 30, 2015.  She is excited about her mission and enthusiastic about entering the Lord’s service in this area.  She has had an orientation session and is now serving in her first assignment with a trainer.

Your missionary is assigned in Aguilar 2B Area, Aguilar Zone, and her companion is Sister Latorre.  The enclosed map will enable you to locate this area and follow each future transfer.  We have also enclosed a photo taken at the Mission Home.
Sister Latorre and Sister Fivas

We urge you to write your missionary regularly each week.  Include encouraging news of family events and achievements, spiritual experiences and other matters which will bring joy and deeper commitment.  Omit mention of family problems or other matters which can only bring worry or concern.

May I point out that Missionaries serve with an eye single to the Glory of God. This means that their focus is entirely on the work of the ministry and they do this with great intensity.  Please do not mention how much time they have remaining to serve nor special things you may have planned to do with them when they return home as it will only distract their attention from their service to the Lord

Urdaneta Mission Zones
This is a wonderful country and your missionary is in for one of the greatest experiences of her life.  With your support and encouragement she will mature and progress beyond your expectations.  She will develop a great love for the Filipino people.  The people here have great love and respect for the missionaries as they strive to teach a better way of life.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with your missionary.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you or her.  We love your missionary and want this mission to be a great experience for your entire family. 


Ernesto A. Deyro Jr.
President, Philippines Urdaneta Mission

Christmas in the Philippines Missionary Training Center

Class 620
Sister Fivas and Sister Murray

Kelsey called home from these computers
on Christmas Eve at 4:00 pm MST.
It was 7:00 am Christmas Day in the Philippines.
Class 621

Sister Fivas and Sister Murray