Wednesday, November 20, 2013


"Us and Brother Diaz, a frequent helper in our class."

" Party Time for end of MTC (We got in trouble after. Whoops)."

"My favorite Sisters!"


"Sister Calder, me, and Sister Hopkins. They're part of our newest group. I love them so much!!!!"

"Chip party with the District."

"Adventures outside."

"Adventures outside."

Party, party, party. 

Week Anim: Baby, It's Cold Outside‏

*cue punchdance 80's track*
*cuts music*

Kumusta, everyone! So we're on week six now. Are these weeks passing by quickly for you? Because uh, the last three have blown by for me. I'll be home before I know it. That's really weird. So because this week blew by really fast, I don't have much to report. Nothing happened that was terribly exciting, sorry to disappoint. Next week's email will be INSANE since it'll be after my first week sa Pilippinas, and I'll no doubt have a list as long as my arm with information. I don't know when my prep-day is there though, so it might not be until Monday. So if I don't email at the usual time, I promise I'm not dead.

So last Saturday, we went to the temple. I saw Margaret again, which was super awesome, and then did a session. After the session, we stayed at the temple because they apparently have a cafeteria downstairs, and we ate incredible chicken parmesan and cake, which made us so incredibly happy since we've been eating MTC food for far too long. Hindi mabuti, ugh. So that was yummy.

On Sunday, I sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" in sacrament meeting, which was wonderful. It felt so good to perform, to sing, to make people happy with music. I got lots of compliments afterward, and Sister Shaw told me that she learned something new when I sang. Party bonus. I was so happy to do it.

This week, we taught our investigator the Word of Wisdom. Boboy was really hesitant, because he said it was really mahirap (hard) for him to give up smoking. But he committed to it, and guess what? HE COMMITTED TO BE BAPTIZED. Like, I knew it was only pretend, only practice, it wasn't a real commitment, he didn't really hand us his cigarettes (he gave us an eraser, ha), but it was still such a good feeling. His baptismal date was set for today. So "Boboy" is baptized now. We didn't get Nel to commit, but we feel really good about his progress too.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us on Tuesday. The choir sang "Redeemer of Israel" (we rocked it) and then one of the senior apostles stood up and took the stand. He spoke a lot about the Philippines, which was amazing. He told us this story about a group of missionaries that were trying to fly out of Tacloba, and even though they had tickets, they were being shuffled off the flights by people who were throwing down tons of money for rides out before the storm hit. Huddled together, the missionaries didn't know what to do. Then, an army man who was flying supplies out walked by them by chance, and happened to stop to ask them who they were. They told him they were missionaries and that they were just trying to get out, but they didn't have a way. The army man, a nonmember, looked at the missionaries, looked at his cargo plane, and then said, "Come on". The army man took three trips to fly our missionaries to Manila. It was such a huge testament of God's care for the missionaries. Elder Perry spoke a lot about strengthening your companionship too. It was great. 

We got to go off campus on Thursday! My back was hurting so I had a Chiropractor appointment. Dr. Matt McClean was very nice, adjusted me very well, and taught me some stretches that I can do to make my back feel better. I also got to try this electrode thingy on my back that made me feel like there were wires in my back being tugged. Twas weird. We went off campus a SECOND time that day because Sis Rich broke her retainer. The ortho's office was trying to be hip, so they had a beach them. "Fergalicious" came over the speakers, and I won't lie to you, even though Sister Richmond and I were trying so hard not to break composure, we started mouthing the words. Oopsie. The ortho office then sent us on our way with mango slushies. Score.

On our way back to class, a random guy (a plant) stopped us and talked about how he was a nonmember who was investigating the church. We set our slushies down, whipped out our scriptures, and taught a ten minute lesson. Even though it was just in english, it felt so good to bear our testimonies and explain to this guy why we love being missionaries. 

Yesterday was in-field orientation. I don't have much to say other than it was nine hours long and it was tough to not fidget. But it was pizza night, so that was fun. Brother Kovach taught us how to ride, what to say, and how to act whilst riding a Jeepney, so now we're prepared!

We are saying goodbye to our teachers tonight. Brother Roxas and Brother Kovach have taught us so much. Brother Roxas has one of the strongest spirits I've ever felt and Brother Kovach is always so fun. Brother Kovach showed us pictures of the real Boboy and told us about his conversion story. I'm so lucky to have examples like them!

Next time I email, I'll be in the Philippines. CRAZY. Send me your prayers, and maybe dearelder me some encouragement. I hear the first week is pretty crazy. But it'll be all good. I'm excited to finally get out there. 

It snowed today, hence the title. It stopped after an hour, but they were big beautiful flakes. They danced as they fell! It was like God gave us a gift to treasure before we leave.

Mahal Kita!

-Sister Green

"My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark" - Fallout Boy (ALL DAY)
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"
"I Can't Say No" - Oklahoma
"Wandering Child" - Phantom
"I Will Wait" - Mumford & Sons

Friday, November 15, 2013

Week 5! Pictures!

"Sister Murdock, Sister Davis, and me saying goodbye to Sister Davis' beautiful hair."

 "Sis Rich and I with Sister Howard, our branch prez's wife. She's the cutest thing I've ever seen. So hilarious too."

"Me and my darling Sister Moulten."

Week Lima: "And Upon These I Write the Things of My Soul"‏

Holy dramatic title, Batman. Kumusta, everyone! I hope all of ya'll are doing well (yes, I just used ya'll, ignore it). Life here at the MTC has gotten to the point when time is rather fluid. I don't remember much from this week - barely enough to write a large email about it. We're on week five now, and next Monday (the 18th) is when we fly out to the Philippines. I know most of you have probably heard of the horrible hurricane making it's way through there right now. I've heard, though haven't confirmed, that it is the biggest hurricane ever to hit the earth. And although I heard that many of you were wigging on my behalf, chillax. I'm still safe in Provo. But please pray for the people in the Philippines. I heard that already a lot of people have been killed. It's a very heavy weight on all of us since we have friends now in the Pilippinas, so definitely send good vibes their way. 

Because I don't remember this week enough to tell you all about it, I'm going to tell you all what I'm thankful for. My mom requested a list, so I decided I'd give you an update through that. Here's the list, in not any particular order.

1) The Atonement of Jesus Christ. I never cease to be amazed and humbled by Christ's incredible sacrifice that enables all of us to be forgive of our mistakes. Everyday as I trust in the power of the Atonement, I feel happier and lighter with the knowledge that I don't have to feel guilty about my sins anymore. I've repented, and I've been forgiven. Even though I already had known that, now I'm starting to forgive myself. The Atonement is a constant reminder that Christ always knows what I'm going through, and even when I feel alone, I know that Christ is right there with me.

2) My family. I am so grateful that I have the blessing of an eternal family! It's one of the biggest comforts in my life, and one of my favorite aspects of the gospel. I know that my family will always be there for me, and I firmly believe that my family is where they're supposed to be. It's actually a huge blessing that half of my family is in Japan, and now so close to me when I'll be in the Philippines. It'll help me feel not so far away. My brothers are the funniest people I know (tis only an illusion), and I'm so thankful that I have strong relationships with them. I share so many memories with my sister, so many special private moments of trust that have built up our relationship, and I'm thankful to have had someone to help me make it through my roughest times and inspire me to be the person I want to be. I'm thankful for my brother in law, Justin, who always makes me laugh, even when he's hating on Harry Potter. He takes good care of my sister, and I'm eternally grateful to him for that. I'm thankful for my parents, for the faith they've shown me over the years, for the strength they've always had. They are my best examples and counselors, and they have taught me resilience, humor, and trust in the Lord. My family makes every day a hilarious one. Memories of my brothers screaming themselves hoarse playing video games, us siblings crowding together in the top bunk sharing nightmares or being guinea pigs, my sister and my late night talks, my mom and my alone time before I left, my dad's and my many talks about the future (he's always right), the times I've cried because I'm laughing so hard when my mom makes fun of Eric, Justin's and my jokes about Kelsey, going to the movies with Eric - those all make me happy every day, and especially on the days I miss them the most. God really hooked me up when he gave me them.

3) My friends. I have some incredible ones. Even though I'm borderline insane a lot of the time, my good friends have laughed, cried, danced, and snuggled with me. They make me feel like a million dollars, and I miss them all so much. If I listed every time I treasured a late night McDonald's run, a movie night, a Thai Basil night, a serious conversation about life night, a cracking up on the bathroom floor night, a writing discussion night, a cook food and cackle night, a wrap ourselves up in blankets and watch phantom night, a drive around just for the heck of it night...the list would never end. Doesn't matter if you're highschool or college friends - you've all decorated my life! I love you!

4) Mail. I love me some mail. This week I got mail from my mom, Tiffany, Natalie, Summer, Eric, and Kelsey, and then emails from grandma, Jasmine, and dad. Holy crud, I love mail. It brightens my day when I'm having a bad one, and I love being able to go back and read your letters of encouragement or laugh at your random notices of happenings in the world.

5) My body. Even though my body has a lot of issues, I'm thankful for it. I'm thankful that I can walk, that I can run, that I can breathe. I went to the temple last Saturday (as I do every week) and my back hurt so much. I was almost in tears because sitting in a chair like how I was was so painful. But I just kept reminding myself how lucky I am to have the body I have, to be able to go to the Philippines, how lucky I am to be healthy. This week, I looked at the bottoms of my feet. Bad idea. Without me really feeling it, all of my toes had gotten blisters, and all of them had torn open. My feet look like they got put through a cheese grater. But then I remembered how lucky I am to walk, to spread the gospel on foot. I remembered the early saints who crossed thousands of miles on foot because they knew the church was true and because that's what God had commanded. I'm thankful that I'm strong enough to exercise - five days a week I go to the gym for an hour. If I'm biking, I do 6-8 miles. On the stair stepper, I do three. It has been such a blessing. Even though my body hurts and I'm achy and my back feels like I might be broken in half, I am strong enough to continue. 

6) My group. I have made friends with not just my district, but the one that came in on the same day we did. Together, we have formed a close ultimate district of missionaries that love each other like family. And what do families do a lot? Fight. We get in arguments all the time! Having all different backgrounds and all different opinions, it's sometimes hard to get along. The elders will make an offensive joke or something, or the conversation will turn to politics. And you just have to button your lip and deal, and remember that we all have our agency. And we get over our problems quickly, like a family, and most of the time, we get along splendidly. We have a lot of laughs. Last night, Sister McCoard dropped her flashlight and if made a loud crash. Sister Richmond, who wears earplugs to sleep, had forgotten them and started shouting "WHAT WAS THAT?" When we told her about the flashlight and told her to be quiet (it was lights out), Sis Rich just kept screaming, "HUH? WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT WAS THAT NOISE? WHY ARE YOU ALL LAUGHING?" Haha. And Sister Moulten (who I love dearly and is a super nerd like me) and I have deep convos during gym when we're having a tough day. And Sister Stettler, whose door I decorated for her bday, massages my back when it hurts. Sis Rich and I hide diet coke in bushes to get cold!

7) Music. I miss music so much! I get to sing in sacrament on Sunday (sister Stettler accompanying), and practicing made me realize how much music means to me and how much it affects my mood. I miss walking around the neighborhood jamming to my tunes! 
Earworms this week were:
-"Kansas City" - Oklahoma
-"I Believe in Santa Claus" - from The Year Without A Santa Claus (ugh)
-"Magic Dance" - David Bowie (but mostly only the first line when David Bowie sings "power" like there's a beautiful jaguar in his throat)
-that one popular song by Maci Gray. I have a really good Maci Gray imitation voice, so I sang like her all day yesterday.

8) The cold. When it's chilly outside (or "arctic" as Sis Rich always says, in true Cali fashion), I always remember how hot I'm going to be for the next 17 months.

9) The Priesthood. The elders in our district gave us four sisters blessings last Sunday after I taught my lesson. It made me feel loads better.

10) The Book of Mormon. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Before my mission, reading my scriptures seemed like a chore. Now, I love personal study time, and I find so much comfort in the Book of Mormon. I cannot tell you how many times we asked Brother Roxas a question and he whips out the perfect answer in the form of a verse from the B.O.M! This book brings me joy and comfort, and Iove it, and I know it's the word of God. I know Joseph Smith translated it through the power of the Lord, because if you read it, you will receive confirmation that no man could have written it on his own. I love this book. If you're looking for something, searching for an answer or for truth, that book is the thing you're looking for.

11) My talents. Let me tell you something - I. MISS. WRITING. I miss it so much. I miss my characters, my stories, heck, I even miss editing my book. I was telling Sister Moulten about all this in a moment of frustration because I felt distracted by the fact that I couldn't write. And bless her heart, she told me exactly what I needed to hear. She told me that because I'm sacrificing a year and a half of my life to the Lord, he will heap blessings onto me. My writing will be better when I come home. I'll work harder. See clearer. Because of my mission, my talents will increase. It was wonderful to hear and to feel that confirmation. Although I miss writing, it'll be there when I get home, and the Lord will bless me for my sacrifice.

12) Flight Plans. WE GOT THEM THIS WEEK. Our flight from Salt Lake to L.A. is at 9:50am on the 18th, then we fly to the Tokyo Narita airport at 12:00, arriving at 4:55pm. Then we fly to Manila, Philippines at 6:30pm, arriving at 10:30pm. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. :) :) :) 

13) Sleep. Enough said. This week I woke up and rolled out of bed and started to pray as usual. When I finished, I looked around only to see everyone still sleeping. I checked my watch. It was 1am. The same thing happened at 4am. I had to laugh at my body's whack idea of a schedule.

14) My mission. Even with five weeks, I can already tell how much this decision will bless my life and that of my family's. Smartest decision I ever made. Even when it's tough, even when I don't think I can do it anymore, I still know this is what I was supposed to do, who I'm supposed to be right now. I had a really hard day yesterday. Like, lay on the floor overwhelmed, hard. But I knew that everything was going to be fine. The Lord has not, and will not abandon me. D&C 61: 36-37  And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you; And inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours.

I know this gospel is true. Alam ko po na totoo ang ebanhelyo. Mahal kayo ng Diyos. I know God loves us and I know he watches out for ALL of his children. And this knowledge gives me all the comfort in the world. I am thankful for my Father in Heaven, for his guiding hand in my life, for his foundation that I've based my life on. I am happy to serve him in the Philippines and bring some of children back to Him. This is my joy. This is my strength. 

I love all of you so very much.

Sister Green

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 4: The Photos

A tiny pumpkin and an adorable missionary.



Fanny pack twinz.

"Our floor Halloween party."

Flower Child

"Doing Sister McCoard's Hair."

"They crashed into our room like this singing "If I Were a Rich Man" I cried from laughing."

"Sister Coleman and me."

"Sister Richmond and I representing our schools."

Week Apat: Unwind, don't Unravel‏

Hello everyone, and welcome to week four of Shannon's weekly mission update. Oh my gosh. Week four already. I'll be home before I even start! Interesting week. Blew by so incredibly fast, creepily fast, unbelievably fast. Only two more weeks left, and then we're off to the Philippines! We should be getting our flight plans this week - AHHHHHH!!!! We'll probably either be going through L.A. and Hong Kong, OR Seattle and Japan (mom, dad, eric, you should visit me in the airport, what, coughcough, who said that?) After Sunday, we'll be the oldest district here. That's insane. We're just babies!

Just a quick monstrous thanks to all who have sent me dearelders! Ugh, such an awesome present everyday! And thanks to those who email me also! Even if I don't have time to reply, know that it means so much to me! Mail is my fave part of my day! Once I'm in the Philippines (after Nov18), it will probably take 3 weeks or more for me to get any real mail you send me, if it gets to me at all, and then another month for my mail to make it back to you (unless you happen to live in Japan).  So dearelder and email is really the only sure-fire way of reaching me. Not that you shoulder send me mail anyway, cos, you know, you love me?

Ah, this week. I can't even remember what happened this week! The days all blur together and before you know it, it's Thursday and you sit with wide eyes wondering how you got there. Sunday seems like yesterday on Thursday, yet somehow it feels an eternity away from today. Odd. 

On Saturday nights, we do TRC, which is when we teach Tagalog speaking volunteers (members) to lift their spirits and to practice. Last week, we taught a woman named Sister Konishi, an older Filipino lady who also served in the Phili's. She was so incredibly nice. I went in there like I was walking down Death Row, expecting to be executed by fire, but she was the best. She helped us, supported us, interacted with us, and corrected us when we needed it. She complimented us on our spirit and our dedication to learning the language. It wasn't scary at all - in fact it was majorly laid back. I loved it, and during that lesson, it was the first time that I KNEW I was going to adore the Filipino people. I'm going to love them with all my heart, and I'm going to love teaching them more than anything. I already know how much I'm going to dedicate myself to helping them, to teaching them, to inviting them unto Christ. What an amazing experience. We have TRC tonight, so hopefully I get to see Sister Konishi, because I wrote her a thank you card. 

Lessons were a roller coaster this week. We taught Boboy about the Plan of Salvation, and then after, Brother Kovach (who plays Boboy) came to us and told us how AMAZING WE DID. Yayyy! He went of for five minutes how impressed he was, how he felt the Spirit, and how well we used our resources and answered his questions! He just kept saying "Ulit! Ulit! Mabuti naman!" or "Repeat! Repeat! So good!" We were walking on sunshine the rest of the day. We taught Nel (Brother Roxas) the next day, and man, we had a good lesson with him too. We taught about the Restoration and Joseph Smith, and he said he related to Joseph, and then he gave a killer prayer and oh, so good. Sister Richmond and I are encouraged when we feel like we're progressing in understanding and speaking the language.

But alas. We rejoiced too soon. 

In our next lesson with Nel, only two days later, we walked in confident, but Brother Roxas apparently thought we were doing to good, getting too cocky and arrogant, because WHAM. We didn't even get to our lesson plan, because Nel apparently didn't remember ANYTHING about Joseph Smith. He's like "Who is that again? I don't remember. When did you teach about him? Is he important?" And we both sat there, jaws dropped, not knowing what to do, both of us internally screaming, "ARE YOU FLIPPIN KIDDING ME? WE HAD A BRILLIANT LESSON. YOU REMEMBER JOSEPH, YOU SAID YOU FELT LIKE HIM. BROXAS DON'T DO THIS." So we awkwardly tried to remind him about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, and we awkwardly left, getting him to half-commit to read the Book of Mormon (again) and asked him to read the pamphlets to brush up on the Restoration. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Great teaching experience, but man, it was frustrating. 

Brother Roxas redeemed himself though, by a fun class. Broxas is really strict. Great teacher, but strict. He loves going by the letter, which I find very refreshing. But during our class period, he LAUGHED. We had asked him about a word and what it means, and so he started to write the definition, but then he stopped, and just decided to tell us, so he just scribbled on the board and turned around. And our district, being the sass monsters that we are, all immediately started saying "Oh thanks, that clears that up" and "Of course! Na means scribble!" And he did not just smile, but he burst into a laugh. You have to understand, we've never seen him laugh. He had to turn around because he was embarrassed he was laughing so hard. And that only made us laugh harder. And the rest of the class was just us joyfully repeating Tagalog words. Man, Brother Roxas is cool. I don't think he understands how much we love him, even when he's strict. 

The Tuesday devotional was by Elder Carlos A Godoy of the 70, and he talked about his conversion story, which was amazing. He mentioned that after he found out that Christ's church was back on the earth, he ran home to his parents and just started shouting, "HE'S BACK, MOM! THE CHURCH IS BACK!" and even though his parents dismissed it, he just kept shouting, "Christ's church is back!" Wow, that struck me so hard. I need to be THAT passionate. I need to be that excited about teaching the gospel. I need to be that devoted, that enthusiastic, that wonderfully joyful to share with everyone I meet that the true church is on the earth, that our Savior has given us the fullness of truth. It's wonderful to me, I should show it more.

Halloween was awesome. I'll attach some pictures. I missed my family hard core during the day, since Halloween is our jam, but it was fun all the same. I dressed in Halloween colors, we ate donuts after class, we got Brother Kovach to wear vampire teeth with us and take pictures. At nighttime, the sisters on our floor threw a Halloween party. Even though it only lasted ten minutes, it was fun to throw a costume together and dance crazy style to their "strobe lights", which was just them turning the lights on and off. It was so much fun. In the three minutes I had to prepare, I threw together a hippie costume, which everybody complimented me on. Some of the newer sisters said I was definitely best dressed. Yay for Halloween. It made me so happy to celebrate my favorite holiday one last time in the states. 

I got to talk to Sister Moulten for like an hour about Harry Potter. I love having someone to relate to here and talk about things that we both love so very much. 

I got a new fannypack bag, and I love it more than air. Oh my gosh, yay for my back not hurting in the Philippines. Sister Coons has the same one. I'll attach a photo. 

Today was sort of funny. The email was down this morning. Completely. Missionaries were screaming and moaning and flailing their arms. It was the Apocalypse. They had to call in the IT guys on a Saturday because the missionaries were flippin out. So that was fun. Going to the temple today! We go every Saturday, what a blessing!

Quoted Zoolander this week with the Elders during class. Ahhhhahahh.

"Come Thou Fount"
"On My Own" - Les Mis
"Look Down" - Les Mis (I actually sang that in the gym with Sister Coons. Yessss.)
"You're the One that I Want" - Grease

I hope you're all doing amazingly. I love and miss you guys, and I hope everything is going splendidly for all of you. I send you all hugs every day.

Mahal Kita!

Sister Green