Saturday, October 26, 2013

Shannon's Addresses!

All of the addresses you'll need to contact our sister missionary. Go to and just type in her information. (Remember to put Provo MTC in the "mission" box and to put 200 in the "unit" box. It's free and mail is always awesome. :)

PHOTOS! (Week 3)

Temple Time.

"I named him Halloween Hank and when I'm sad, I watch him dance. And then I dance with him."

The Wall of Wonder.
Sisters Udall, Coons, and Green! Together again.

Week Tatlong: Struggling with Perfectionism


So before I get into the details of this week, lemme give you more details about this miraculous invention called With it, you can send me mail at anytime for free. All you have to do is click on "Provo MTC" and then plug in my information, which can be found on my Facebook cover photo. Mailbox 200! Make sure that you send it to the MTC though, or else I won't get it until I'm in the Philippines. I had always made fun of missionaries that freak out about mail, but now I'm one of those missionaries! Ugh, I love mail! Send me some? Even a few sentences of encouragement make my day. No pressure, but I'd love you foreva.

On to the nitty gritty. Last Saturday night, we practiced lesson one in English about 20 times. It was annoying at first, but I started to really understand the principles of the lesson and how flexible it is - you can fix the lesson to apply to whomever you're teaching and whatever the Spirit tells you that you need to hear. It strengthened my understanding a lot and helped me since I was being down on myself during the second half of my pday. My thoughts weren't where they were supposed to be, and I was mad at myself for that. I just get so sad that I'm not as focused a missionary as I'd like to be. I have a hard time forgiving myself, even for things I know I've been forgiven for. Trying to stay positive though. I'm my first conversion. I can't expect myself to change old habits completely with a few weeks.

Sunday was much the same. Very emotional. I fasted most of the day and looked for answers, but I wasn't feeling better. Then, after a very weepy sacrament meeting, Branch President Howard grabbed my arm and asked me if I was okay, because I didn't seem like myself. We talked for a few minutes, and though his answer was simple and something that other people had advised me to do, it hit me hard enough to make my mind snap back into place. He told me that I held the bar for myself too high, higher than what the Lord has set the bar for me. He said I expected myself to be perfect, and that is just not possible. He told me to stop hating myself for not being perfect when no one expects me to be. After that, the day turned around. I smiled. I ate dinner. I went to choir and fed my soul with music, and I wasn't down on myself for the rest of the day. I loved choir. It was almost 600 missionary singers - almost twice the Tabernacle Choir. We sang "Consider the Lilies", and it was so gorgeous and powerful - a real testimony to our Savior's love.

My experience Saturday and Sunday really made me evaluate myself. I opened my talk folder and lo and behold, a talk that the lovely Ashley Hale gave me - the I had not yet read - sat open before me, and it was entitled "What it Means to Be Perfect", by Elder Cecil O. Samuelson. And he talks about perfectionism, and it struck me as I read it how much I related to it. I loved the line that said that Jesus asked us "to be meek, not masochistic". I was amazed with how the first talk in my folder so easily reassured me that I'm not the only one struggling with perfectionism. I highly recommend the talk. It made me feel a lot better. Even though I still struggle with forgiving myself, I remind myself daily that I am a working progress. So that's been doing good. I'm not alone. I heard a song by Kaitlin Lunt called "Changed". In it, there are the lyrics: "I see a difference. I'm not the same. I've been forgiven of my mistakes. And all my weakness, and all my sins, WHATEVER happens, I will follow Him." Love that.

Monday's storm cloud took the form of our new investigator. Nel, played by Brother Roxas - or Broxas, if you will - is a quiet man with pamilya in the Philippines, and he has no mercy with us not knowing the language. Our first lesson with him was a train wreck. Worse than so. We'd walk in with a plan, only to have it completely derailed by one fatal word: "Bakit?" or "Why?" Ughhh, how I've come to loathe that word. We left the lesson laughing because like Elder Kelley says in the neighboring district: "If we don't laugh, we cry." Haha. On Tuesday, we taught Boboy, who is played by Brother Kovach. He's a bachelor fisherman. His lesson went a lot better. On Wednesday, I lost all sanity as I played patty-cake with a brick wall to distract myself from another failed lesson with Nel. Stop and picture that scene. A disheveled young sismish slapping a wall and mumbling to herself, "Bakitbakitbakitbakit." Yeah. It's not pretty. But, now at the end of the week, Nel's lessons have progressed and both of them committed to come to church on Sunday. Solid. Much like that wall.

A friend of Sister Richmond's and her companion's scriptures were vandalized in the classroom. Not as bad I was picturing, but all the same. Sister Cockrain's pages were cut on pages with dark scriptures, and the other Sister had key words highlighted with weird crop circle things in there around words like "hypocrite" and "evil". Scary stuff. It made me think of the mobs back in the old days. But we won't be scared away so easily. We have God protecting us.

The devotional on Tuesday was by Elder Lynn Robbins, and he talked about miracle missionary stories. I loved it. Our song in choir went amazingly. I miss music so much, it's such a blessing when I get to sing again.

The week definitely got better as it progressed. It went by really quickly, and I find myself singing "Woooooahhhhh WE'RE HALFWAY THERE! WoooAHHH! LIVIN' ON A PRAYER!" at least once a day now. Literally. A few more weeks of crappy food to go and then I'm off to my adventure! 

Things that helped me this week: a lot. I got two letters from Margaret (thank you SO much), and they really lifted my spirits. But one of the things that helped me is this poem.

Dare to be a Mormon.
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm.
Dare to make it known.

I'm making it known, guys. I'm going to be serving my brothers and sisters in the Philippines, and I am so happy knowing that I can help them. What a blessing in my life.

Sister Richmond and I decorated for Halloween, and her in a package her mom sent her, there was a little Halloween solar-powered dancing pumpkin man. SisRich gave him to me because she doesn't think he's cute. I do though. I named him Halloween Hank and when I'm sad, I watch him dance. And then I dance with him. I'll include a picture. 

Earworms this week:
"Livin' on a Prayer" - Bon Jovi
"Out there" - from the Hunchback of Notre Dame

I love and miss all of you so much. Be strong! Be brave! I hope all is well, and I pray for all of you every day.

Mahal Kita!
-Sister Green

(admin post)


Sorry for the lack of posts! I'm the worst friend on the planet, and for some reason, Shannon thought it a good idea to put me in charge of this blog. Sorry I've not posted any thing so far. I've got all the stuff she's sent and will be posting it all today and as soon as I get everything else, from here on out.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Photos From Week 2

Beautiful sister missionaries in front of a beautiful temple.

"Me and Sis Rich chugging REAL Diet cokes. Yum."

Shannon says, "I'll send more pictures soon. DON'T HAVE TIME UGHHHHH."

Week Dalawa: Afternoons and Ambrosia Spoons

Hello everyone!!

A big shout out to my poppa today! Happy birthday dad!

This week was long, but short. I feel like I've been here for months, but it's only been a week and a half. Insanity. I bet it's going super fast for you guys, but time is dragging here. I'm ready to go. TAKE US TO THE PHILIPPINES ALREADY!

The MTC is hard, but great. I already know more Tagalog in ten days than Spanish in three years. It's frustrating and hard, but 6 hours of class a day really is putting us on the fast track. I am exhausted most days though. We have 16 hour days, and with only 7.5 hrs of sleep (maybe) a night, it's tough to stay awake sometimes.

The Tagalog is good though. Brother Roxas refuses to teach us any negative words, but we know the world evil, so if we have a bad day, we can say "I'm having an evil day". Sigi is a word that changes meaning with the tone you say it in. It can mean "okay", "okay...", "go on", "fine", etc. So when in doubt, say Sigi! Our "investigator" was Julio, and we've been teaching him for the past 10 days in Tagalog. Yikes. We got to use notes, but it was so frustrating trying to convey my thoughts when I don't speak the language. It was a real teaching experience for Sis Richmond and I. We learned that we need to teach through the Holy Ghost, and not stress about saying it all right. We're still working on that. Julio ended up being our second teacher, Brother Kovach. He is so great. Energetic and enthusiastic, and even though I thought it'd be awkward since he's seen us at our worst, he already loves us so much. He knows where we need help. And ugh, do we. This week, I just kept singing to myself, "If language were liquid, it would be rushing in. Instead here we are in a silence more eloquent than any word could ever be." And then when I get frustrated, I continue the song: "I won't use words again, they don't mean what I meant, they don't say what I said." Because Tagalog is backwards. They don't have words for a lot of things, and the sentence structure is bonkers. If you directly translated the sentence, "Tumawag po ba ang Ama sa langit ng mga propeta para sa atin," it would be "Called (with respect) (question) the Heavenly Father the prophets for us?" The order is always whack. It gets crazier. But it's fun to be learning. It feels a lot like college here.

Tagalog fun fact! They don't point with their hands. They point with their lips. I kid you not. To point at something, you pucker your lips at it. And to convey that you don't understand something, you just open your mouth wide. We thought we were being pranked but these are real things! Apparently Bro Kovach didn't know the first one, so he always thought for the first 6 months of his mission that people were trying to kiss him!

Physically, this has been an interesting week. Two nights ago, and a little last night, I thought I was running a high fever. I couldn't sleep and my cheeks were red and my head was sweating. So I downed some pills. The next morning was disgusting, as you could imagine. But I'm feeling a little better now. A lot of people are getting sick here.

Janelle Udall is here! She moved from West campus and we've gotten to hang out a lot. I love her oodles.

Sister Coleman says I remind her of Lucille Ball, so she calls me Sister Lucy sometimes. It makes me feel awesome. 

Thank you to those who send packages: Mom with necessities, Debbie with candy, Dad with a new camera. It meant so much to me! ALSO! Look up You can write me every day with that! Mailbox 200. PLEASE? I LIKE MAIL! 

This week was hard. I wasn't doubting any decisions, but I just wasn't feeling like my testimony was strong enough a lot of the time, like I had too many questions, like I was over thinking too many things. It was hard, and I felt really terrible and torn. But then, Elder Dallin H. Oaks came on Tuesday and he talked to us! It was amazing. He said, "If you are discouraged or doubting, I say unto you BE OF GOOD CHEER." The entire talk was amazing, and his wife added, "It is your turn, it is your time, it will be your triumph." I LOVED IT. Such a message to me, especially when I was feeling so inadequate.

I love being a missionary. I love it, I love it, I love it. It's hard, but it'll be so worth it in the end. When I have nagging doubt in my head, the scriptures make me feel better. Here are some that helped me this week. If you don't have a Book of Mormon, has a resource tab. 

-All of 2 Nephi chapter 4. Majorly. Nephi was feeling what I was. Amazing chapter.
-2 Nephi 1:15
-Doctrine and Covenants 63:36-39

God loves us. He is always with us. And he has not abandoned me, and he never will. Alam ko po na buhay ang Tagapagligtas. <3 Alam ko po na totoo ang simbahan ni Jesucristo.

This is the true church, and this mission is the best thing I've ever done with my life. By far.

Send me dear elders! Seriously! I can write letters more often than I can email. 

Mahal Kita! 

Palagi (Always),

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week One Photos!

God Bless the USO 

Blow drying the plastic shoes. 


The Tagalog learning process.

*Steve Irwin voice* Now we see the sister missionary in her natural habitat. Beautiful. 

What a cutie.

Week One!

Hello all! 

So, I'm here at the MTC in Provo, Utah, living it up as a full time missionary, and I am SO happy. I didn't even know it was possible to feel so much at peace with where and who I am, it's fantastic. It's wonderful. It's maganda (beautiful)! I've been here for almost three full days now, but it feels like weeks. We wake up at 6:30 every morning and we keep moving all day until 10:30 at night. Our scheduled are tight, our eyelids droop, our mouths don't really keep up with the language we're supposed to be learning, but we are where we need to be, doing what we were called to do! It's absolutely the best thing ever. I came here expecting me to hate the MTC, and while it can be discouraging and exhausting, I was struck with how easily I slipped into missionary life.

On to the details! My travel to Provo was relatively painless - I flew to Phoenix and then hung out in the USO for an hour or so. But first I had to find it! The USO was moved from terminal 2 to terminal 4, which was were I was going anyway, and it's all fancy and new! I was so happy to get the free snacks and everyone there was just lovely to help a weary traveler in a skirt. I eventually made it to Utah, where I was picked up by Jeanne Stapley, the magical and charming mother to Jill Stapley, my dear friends who decided to put me up for a night. I had so much fun at the Stapley's! It was good to see how they were doing. I also got to see the Crockett's when we went for icecream, and that was so much fun to see them. Lots of laughing was involved.

The next day I entered the MTC. It was a whirlwind of activity, I nearly threw up because I was so nervous, and I was dragged up to several lines that I quickly went through to get my packets, books, language studies, and my glorious little black name tag that I love so very much. It looks pretty dang good on me if I do say so myself. My companion's name is Sister Richmond. She's a nice girl from California and although she and I are very different in personality, we're working hard to be better at working together. It's a great humbling experience for me. Our two roommates are Sister McCoard and Sister Coleman - both outstanding examples who are so incredible, kind, and wonderful missionaries who work so hard to do what we need to. Our room is, needless to say, the best. We're having a little trouble calling each other in our district elders and sisters though. We're not supposed to say 'guys', but old habits die hard. Reeealllly hard. Also, my skirt belt ripped the first flippin day. Goodie. Momma, can you email me Ann's address so I can send it to her to get it mended (again)? Because I can't wear it with a broken belt! Boo. And Dad, did you look at that camera? Because yikes, mine doesn't do the trick. Most of my pictures are from Sister Richmond's camera.

Tagalog is a very difficult language to learn, but we're doing great! It's easy to get frustrated, but already we can pray and bear our testimonies in Tagalog (with notes, of course). We taught an investigator yesterday in all didn't go super well, haha. But we're learning and Julio understood what we were trying to say. We're teaching him again on Monday, without notes, yikes. But we can do it! We only have six weeks to be fluent in a language after all. And the Lord is helping us so much! We're doing our best and he is blessing our efforts. We stay in our little classroom learning for about 3-6 hours every day. Brother Roxas, our teacher, speaks ONLY Tagalog to us, so we have to learn fast to understand him. But it's so much fun making so much progress in so little time. It's difficult because we keep trying to say some words in Spanish, so we end up with a Spanglish-Tagish language that only we can understand. Before you tell us how silly we are, keep in mind that in Tagalog, the days of the week and the time and certain words are the same as Spanish, so it's hard not to create our own hybrid. We'll fall out of the habit quickly (hopefully).

The food is great! They keep us fed around here, but I'm trying to stay healthy. Sister Howard, a member or our wonderful Branch Presidency and the cutest little old lady you will ever meet, told us about the Philippines a little, about her rat stories (rat in the toliet, long story), about her parasite ("I called him Juan"), and about the spiders in the shower (YES. WE MIGHT GET SHOWERS). But they also all told us about how beautiful it is there, how wonderful the people are, how the sisters get pampered with apartments (woo), and how great the food is. We spent 30 minutes just talking about the fresh mango, pineapple, and bananas that you can get every day of the week. By the end of the night, we were all so ready to just get over there! It doesn't sound as scary as some people made it out to be. But we'll stay here for a little longer to get some more language skills down.

That same evening two nights ago, I was made Senior Companion! Aw yess! Before you get too impressed and start murmuring my name in respect and appreciation...don't, haha. I'm only SC for a few weeks, and then me and Sister Richmond will switch. It's a learning experience. Sister Coulman is the other SC, but we have no idea what we're supposed to do since we haven't gotten any information yet. So we'll see how that goes. OH! I was sitting in class and next door someone screamed "THE ONCOMING STORM!" and I snorted my diet coke. A great Whovian reference. Sister Janae Coons is in my zone and she tells me that she was going to try and be cool until I turned out to be in her district. We just know each other too well to not be ourselves. In fact, she has major problems calling me Sister Green. She slips all the time and I feel like I'm a secret agent and she's blowing me cover. Her companion quoted Mean Girls to me, and Sister Moulton talked with me about Buffy the Vampire Slayer during gym. So I guess missionaries are just people. Go figure! ;) 

All in all, I'm having a brilliant time. I'm so happy, so at peace, so exhausted, so about to collapse. But all in good ways. This is God's true church. I know it now more than ever, because every person here is working their hardest to bring it to the world. And we'll succeed. Sorry I can't write more. I want to, but we only get an hour on the computer. If you want me to hand write you (I'd love to), email me your address! I'll start that next week because I can send letters whenever I want! And I'll attach more pictures in another email since I can only do four in this one. 

Alam ko po na totoo po ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga Luling Araw. Alam ko po na mahalago po ang Aklat ni Mormon para sa inyo at para sa pamilya ninyo. Alam ko po na tinutulungan po ng Dyos any Kanyang mga anak dito sa mundo at ipinanumbalik na po ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo. Sa pangalan ni Jesucristo, amen.

MAHAL KITA!!!!! (I LOVE YOU!) I miss you all so much. 

-Sister Green"

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Plot Twist!

Sister Green's Adventure to the Philippines......see what I did there? I rhymed. That alone should be incentive for you to read this blog. If that wasn't enough, then how about this? I'm Shannon Green, soon to be Sister Green as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Philippines Legaspi mission. This blog is going to be my link to all of you who weren't on facebook when I asked for email addresses to put in the chain. Great news! You get to here my experiences all the same. If you did give me your email, ooooh, lucky you. You get twice the news and twice the Shannon writing! Yeah I know. That was terribly written. But I'd appreciate no judgement on that.

I'm really excited to leave in four days, and I get set apart on General Conference Sunday. I'm so incredibly anxious, jumpy, and stressed, but in a GOOD way. In a way that constantly reminds me how big a step I'm taking and how many people I can bring closer to Christ. It'll be such a humbling experience (which I could definitely use), and I'm so stoked to be able to share the gospel. I didn't used to be so strong in it, and I'm so happy now that I've accepted it as the truth. I love the gospel with all my heart.

Tomorrow, it will be a year to the day that President Monson announced that girls could go on their missions at the age of nineteen. I wasn't that affected by the announcement at the time, because I had lived my entire life convinced that I was the LAST person on earth to serve a mission. I had no desire, and I hated the immense pressure that was suddenly shoved onto me by sources that I mostly made up in my own head. And now, a year later, I've changed. Five months after the announcement, I prayed and received confirmation that serving a mission is what I'm supposed to do. It was a surprise, and a major sacrifice to decide to leave everything going on in my life and just go. But I made the choice, and I don't regret it for a second. This is where I'm supposed to be. This is what I'm supposed to be doing. I love this church and I would give up my life for it, so a mission is what needs to happen. My Heavenly Father helped change my heart and now the girl who used to swear up and down that a mission was never going to happen is now about to go across the world to share the gospel to God's children in the Philippines.

Talk about plot twist.

SPOILER: Since this is a missionary blog, there is going to be a lot of testimony-bearing on here. If you don't like that sort of thing, which I would definitely understand, then perhaps this isn't the best blog for you to be following, because *hint* I won't be talking about anything else besides my mission. Consult yourself on whether or not you're all in with reading by blog before continuing, because it's about to get real.