Sunday, January 24, 2016

Missin' you much, Mahallies!

Pics: This week...i found a subway. And it tasted like america. it was perfection.
Pic #2 some of the COOLEST people in my ward! They are so willing to work with us to share how the gospel's changed their lives - they really help make miracles happen.

Okay, so this week, I taught a lesson about putting God first in our lives. I tried to explain my point through an object lesson, using rocks, sugar and a jar. our lives are like jars. the important things are the big rocks in our lives(like our loved ones, God, prayer the Gospel, etc) , and the sugar represents the little errands we have to run, the jobs we have to keep up with, the tv shows we're obsessed with etc things that keep us semi-distracted, but we still love them so we try to make room in our little jar for it all. 

The normal human tendency is to put the sugar first - get all the errands done and do all the little everyday things we want to do, and then, if we have enough time in our day, fit in the rocks when we're all done with the little things. But it never fits. there's always too much sugar in the way to get the rocks into our jar. but if we put the rocks in the jar first - put the things that SHOULD matter most in our lives FIRST - then the sugar seeps through and somehow, though the contents are all the same amount, everything falls into place. 

Or at least that's what I thought I was teaching her about. Halfway through the lesson, my trainer told me I was saying "buto"(bone) instead of "bato"(rock) sooo....i basically taught a lesson about cannibalism. hahahahaha 

Hahaha but I know that what i TRIED to teach is the truth. 

"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drops out of our lives. Our love for the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities." 

So often we claim there isn't enough time in our day to say a simple prayer - no time for God, no time for our families, no time for the things that matter. But i know if you make time for God, He'll make time for you, and I can PROMISE you that everything else will fit. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

7th week in the motherland


So this last week on the field has been pretty amazing for me. I honestly couldn't be happier with my new companion. Her name's Sister Livermore, and she's from Pocatello, Idaho! She has THE BEST sense of humor and is by far the hardest working missionary I've ever seen. She's been out on the field for 6 months, and her tagalog is awesome! (which is great because I got the looks of a filipino, and she's got the sound of one, so if you add us together, we make one whole filipino person!) hahaha no but really, I've never had more fun, because even though she speaks english, we practice speaking more tagalog than I ever did with my past trainer. She is extremely caring and considerate, agh. you guys. She's lovely, i wish you could all meet her (which, maybe, you actually can bc she's from the states ahhahaha). Since I'm still pretty new and only know a handful of people and she doesn't know this area at all, we're basically shotgunning (aka putting two new missionaries in a new area) but we've been working really diligently and building from the ground up. I've never went to bed more tired - but at the same time, i've never slept better because I know at the end of the day, I've put my all into the work.

It's been really spiritually uplifting teaching with her and learning from her. This week, I'd been focusing on the power of trusting God and prayer. I was scared out of my mind to get an american trainer, but He really does know best, because she's exactly what I need. Prayer really is a source of communication with God. Isn't it funny that our all powerful heavenly father asks us to pray and speak with Him? WHY would He waste the time to send us all sorts of commandments and scriptures about speaking with Him if He didn't care to listen? He's our FATHER. That's the point. He cares about us and what we need. But, he isn't just a repair man. If we're only praying as our last option...then it's out of completely selfish motives. Pray always, because how else are you going to get through this maze of life without instructions from He who can see the answer from above? 

haha it's super simple too. All you do is bow your head, close your eyes, and talk to God by saying "Dear Heavenly Father, express thanks for the blessings you've gotten, request for the blessings/counsel you need, and close by saying "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen" and then wait and listen. and if no answer comes right away, then just be aware that answers don't always come in the way we expect or at the most convenient time for us. It might not be the answer we want, but it will always be the answer we need. "The purpose of prayer isn't to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others the blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that we must ask for in order to obtain." 

In difficult situations, lots of times, we'll pray for others hearts to change. That they may be kinder or be more understanding towards us...but I've realized in this last week, that we also have to pray for change in ourselves. Because in reality, there's nothing we can do to force change upon others, but we always have the ability to change our own ways to understand what other's need or what we can do to make the situation better. 

Anyways, I love you guys a ton, and I really do pray for you every day. It isn't just a cool phrase all the kids on the streets are using nowadays - i mean it. hahaha you all mean so much to me, and I hope you're doing your best out there. 

Anyways, here's a couple pictures so you don't forget my face xoxo gossipgirl 

So you can put names to the faces: My last picture with my old trainer (Sister Pacquiao), My last meal with my old housemates (Sister Pac, Sister Fa'aoa, Sister Silbasa), Elder Wu(my canadian batchmate), Elder Lim, Elder Utai(who has an amazing voice - look him up on youtube ya'll), Elder Aguinaldo, My new Kabahays (Sister Silbasa, Sister Livermore, Sister Leon), and a picture with my new trainer(Sister Livermore)! 

Hope to hear from you soon! 

love ya peeps,

Sister Calica

Sunday, January 10, 2016


It's week 6 in the PI and my nanay, Sister Pacquiao, ("mother"/trainer) is heading back to her home in Cebu in a couple days, meaning i'm getting a new companion! Sister Pacquiao has taught me so much - how to catcall for jeepneys and tricycles, how to wash my clothes in buckets lol, how to not die when crossing the road...and she's protected me from so many cockroaches and mean people, i can't express my gratitude for her. More than anything, she's taught me silent lessons of patience, understanding, love, and most of all HAPPINESS. she really allowed me to grow at my own pace, and encouraged me to do everything with confidence (even if it meant butchering the lesson in tagalog or making soupy rice bc our rice cooker was broken...she ate it too, just to show me that it was fine. THAT IS LOVE.) UGH I AM SO SAD (I really contemplated unpacking everything she owned and just crawling in her suitcase... emotional attachment is real, guys) but at the same time, i know she has a beautiful life waiting ahead of her. 

We had a really great last week together, and got to end our companionship with a baptism! Haira aka "Yen Yen" is 18, and so bubbly. She was really open to the gospel and all it had to offer. I admire how much she wanted to learn - she'd literally come prepared with questions for us, because she had such a strong desire to grow closer to God! Her desire and willingness to better her life reminded me a lot about a story i'd read in In the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:8-11, where all the people listening to the prophet literally clapped their hands in joy because they were so excited to be baptized and to change their lives!
 It was amazing to see how much she grew within the few weeks we'd known her. Watching her go under the water and coming up completely completely clean, washed of sin, brought the spirit more than you could ever imagine. I wish you all could've been there to witness it with me. She came out of the water beaming this super bright smile, and she was so happy! I was so happy for her! What is beautiful about baptisms is that it is a promise we make with God, to take upon us His name. and that it is a chance to be clean again. And obviously, we all make mistakes and it's not like we could get dunked in the water every week. but that is the point of the sacrament. The bread and water we partake every sunday is meant to represent his body and blood. The sacrifice He made so that we could have the opportunity to be forgiven from the sins we'd committed, promising to better ourselves and avoid making the same mistakes in the next week to come. It is up to us to decide to follow God. He won't force us to take His name and carve it into our hearts - that's our own decision. And how great is it that He lets us use our agency to decide for ourselves? It's the one thing we have that's REALLY ours - our choices. 😇

In other news, I just got a call about my new companion. From what i've heard, she's from Idaho and is very kind but her tagalog is kind of rusty (LOL WHICH MEANS IM DEAD bc y'know i'm basically an oreo, and if she can't speak tagalog either...well... we're gonna be working a lot harder during language study and trusting that God will help people understand our broken tagalog hahaha). But i'm not worried. I've been praying a lot about it, and if she's the person i'm meant to be paired up with, then i know everything will fall into place. I'm just happy i get to stay in the same area, because I'm finally becoming more familiar with everyone's faces and names, and they're all so loving and always greet me with the biggest smiles! haha and i can tell they're getting way comfortable with me too. One of the members (Sister Sumo...who is so much like my mom it makes me love her even more) felt close enough to me to tell me i'm gaining the chubbs (which is cool, because it's toats true ahahaa) and it made me laugh really hard because in a lot of aspects, i can see bits of my family in them. 

Speaking of my family, it's my sister (ateh Mary Jane)'s birthday today! SO (since half of the people on this email list are family) be sure to greet her ahaha. I would love to be home to celebrate with them, but at the same time, i really feel so fulfilled out here. It really is an honor to serve these people, and i only hope to grow to understand their needs so I can serve them better. And if there's any way I can serve you guys, please let me know! I hope you are all doing your best, that your families are healthy, and that you're happy.

I love you all a ton! Hope to hear from you soon 😘

Sending my prayers your way,

Sister Calica 

Here are some pictures of me with my nanay (Sister Pacquiao), With Yen Yen and her Family, My little neighbor (aka "spiderman") I always play with letting me take a ride on his sweet bike LOL, and some pictures of the area i'm serving in (we were walking on the side of a highway bc it's normal in the PI and also we're hardcore LOL)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year ya filthy animals
(if you don't get the movie reference...don't be offended. i'm sure you're actually decently clean)

Starting out the new year in a different part of the world was a crazy experience. I felt so extremely blessed this year, and was SHOWERED in love from a ton of people, and I couldn't be more grateful for all the good that's been happening to me and the people around me. I wish you all could've been here, haha Philippines during new years is the LOUDEST place to be. People drive up and down the street honking their horns and fireworks go off EVERYWHERE - the kids set them on the streets, people blow them up in the sky - i'm not gonna lie, i was pretty scared because it was like standing in the middle of a war zone! hahaha but it was a ton of fun. My companions and I stayed up and danced in the rain while singing "have you done any good in the world today" at the top of our lungs, and screamed happy new year to the world when it reached 12. It was a million times better than i ever thought new years could be away from home. 

Because one of my goals this year is to be more optimistic/ be more aware of all the blessings/ opportunities to grow i've had, i've decided to start a blessings book from one of the journals my friends from back home gave me. It's only been a couple days since i've began, but it really makes me reflect on my day and i go to sleep a lot happier because i'm more focused on the tender mercies i'd encountered. I'd really encourage all of you to start one! it doesn't have to be long - a sentence, or a paragraph, or a page a day- it's up to you! i just think it's so much easier to realize exactly HOW AMAZING life is. 

My trainer is leaving in a couple days, and i'm really sad about it. She's allowed me to grow at my own pace, and though it kills me to watch her leave, i'm so happy for her to head back to Cebu! I'm sure her family misses her a ton, and i know she's so ready to go home ahaha. I'm excited to tell you all about my new companion *crossing my fingers that shes not too crazy*

But lucky for Sister Pacquiao and I, we're going to end our companionship with a baptism! The investigator getting baptized has such a beautiful soul! haha she doesn't know very much english, but I teach her in as much tagalog as i can, and just mime the rest and she kinda sorta seems to understand...i guess? haha my companion fills in the gaps LOL. but it's okay, she's still so lovable and everytime we see her, she screams GROUP HUG!!! and we get all wrapped up in each other's arms - it's great. haha i'm so excited to send home pics about it next week - so keep your eyes open! 

In closing, i just wanted to start the year out right by sharing a couple verses I read during my personal study the other day. They really hit me hard, and i thought maybe you'd like to hear about it. I was reading in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah chapter 14, verses 4 and 5 (for those of you without a Book of Mormon, go to and get one because they're toats free and i'm probably going to reference some verses from here or the bible LOL sooooo it'd probably just be easier for you to read along) 

It's speaking about Christ, 

the message behind these verses really made me reflect on all the pain i've felt or the guilt that still dwells from the mistakes i've made thoughout my life, and how, just like it says in verse 4, "He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows". How amazing is it that someone loves you enough to make sure you never have to suffer alone? i know that some of you, my friends, have started out this new year with burdens still upon your shoulders. but just like verse 5 says "with his stripes we are healed"... He felt the pain so we wouldn't have to alone. He's made up for all of our mistakes so that there would be a way for us to be forgiven of our wrongs. All Christ asks is that you take your pains to him - he may not completely remove them from you, because you still need it to grow, but He will make you strong enough to carry the weight  you've been given. Heavenly Father gave His son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our wrongs. He gave the world His son to show us what REAL love is, so that we could try our best to reflect the love we've felt from him to others.I know that Heavenly father and Jesus Christ knows you and loves. I know this is all so true, and if you pray about it, you can know of the truth of their love too! I say all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

SOOOOOO just to (hopefully) add a little joy to your day,
here are some pics of me and my companion/my #couplegoals/ special people out here on the mission/my new years/etc etc

i hope you all had a wonderful New Years! please send pics and updates on your life. your stories are always super important to me. i love you all, and wish you the best <3 

Your missionary