Monday, October 28, 2013

B is for Baptism....and Balut!!!

Hello Po and Family!
My second baptism was this week!!! It was for Brother Jeffery whom we have been teaching since I got here. Both of his parents are converts and they are so strong in the church. Brother Jeffrey's wife was against us teaching him in the beginning but she has really opened up and even came to the baptism! It was so cool because Jeffrey's dad was able to baptize him and I could tell it really meant a lot to both of them.

We have a new investigator named Nanay Belinda. We got her name as a referral from her son who is the dad of a less active family who we teach about once a week. We are the fifth set of missionaries she's had so we were expecting to have to work really hard to teach her. We were praying really hard for her before we even started teaching her! Our first appointment was AMAZING!! She took the Book of Mormon and told us about how much she relies on God and prays and reads the Bible everyday. We saw her twice after that and each time she told us she could feel the spirit telling her it was all true. Yesterday we went to pick her up for church. Are you sitting down? 'Cause you're going to need to be to hear this next part! So we are at her house about to walk to church when she says this, "Sisters, I prayed last night, I know this church is true. I know it's time for me to be baptized!" This is a lady who has known about the church since her son converted over 25ish years ago! She has always rejected it and never been open to missionaries!! I was astonished to day the least!!! I know that our prayers and her prayers were answered! I am so thankful for the power of prayer and for a Heavenly Father who answers them!!

In other news... I SURVIVED BALUT!!! For those of you who don't know what balut is, it's a Philippine 'delicacy'. Really it's a fertilized duck or chicken egg with a partially developed embryo inside.  You boil it and when you open it, you see a little chick. I'm sure you can imagine what happens next. Yep, you stick that sucker in your mouth and enjoy! Well 'enjoy' may be a stretch, but it's all about the experience, isn't it? I took a video of it but it's too large to email. I will try and figure out how to send it for next week because it is a HOOT!! After the first bite it, it wasn't too bad. It just tasted like an egg you would get at a run down diner in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, if you can imagine that!

There are new adventures everyday here in the Philippines! I have learned so much about the gospel, about myself, and about how much Heavenly Father loves us all. I feel right at home here and everyday I feel the confirmation that this is what I am suppose to be doing right now. I know I'm meant to be a missionary and I'm meant to be here in the Philippines!

I love you all!! Stay gold!!

Sister Miller
The view from our apartment...way up high!

This little puppy reminded me of my sister's dog, Lily!

Monday, October 21, 2013

What a Wonderful Adventure It Is!!!

Kumusta po kayo to all!!
This week was chunky jam full of funny experiences, so let me lay it down for you!!
Well, the first and funniest happened when we were working with a member. (Side Note: YOU SHOULD ALL WORK WITH THE MISSIONARIES!!!!!) So, this particular day we are working with Nanay Daculin. She is the sweetest old lady ever! She is about 4 feet talk and probably the most talkative person I have ever met. I wish I had a picture with her but I will try and get one this week! Anyways, she is working with us and we go to visit the Joven family. (They are all the kids that were in my pictures before.) Every time we visit the Joven's, we always play a game after the lesson. We settled on playing this game where you blindfold one person and give them a cup. They count to 10 and then try to find someone and touch them with the cup. If you get touched you have to oink like a pig, The blindfolded person then has to guess who it is. If they guess correctly, the person who was tagged becomes the blindfolded person. So the whole point of the game is to not be found/tagged by the person who is it. So here comes the funny part. Nanay Daculin, the short, old lady that she is, is COMPLETELY into this game!! Like trampling over the little kids in order to stay away from the tagger!!! She is literally darting from one side of the room to the other!!! Once she started to climb up this post holding up the wall just to avoid getting tagged!!! I'm talking about a 60 or 70 year old woman here!!! My companion and I laughed about it for hours after the fact!!!
So funny experience number two...and for this one I have pictures! So, this was my week to do the dishes everyday. So like my normal routine I woke up and started to wash all the plates and such that were in the sink, but this particular morning dishes weren't the only thing in the sink. A little friend decided to take a midnight snack off of our dirty dishes. It was a lizard!! I calmly, well as calmly as I could, did some of the dishes, hoping the dang thing would climb out when I started moving things around. The little bugger wouldn't budge! I thought to myself, 'maybe it's dead.' I poked it with my finger, just a little bit. NOPE!!! NOT DEAD!!! I screamed and the other sisters came running! I guess he couldn't climb out of the sink because of residue on the side so I tried to catch him in a bowl with no success. So, then it dawned on me....there's only one option left. Someone is going to have to pick him up...with their hands. That someone turned out to be me.  It was a lot of ruckus and commotion but definitely something I'll tell my kids about!

Come here, you!
This is seconds after I got the little guy in my hands!!
I quickly ran outside and let him go.

Everyday there is something to laugh about! I am so thankful for my companion who has a good sense of humor. I can't imagine having a dull companion who never laughed.

Funny faces with Sister Leakehe! :-)
So in other news, today I met the Mayor of Olongapo! They held a special ceremony to thank all the people who went above and beyond to help with the flood clean up. All the missionaries who helped clean up the museum got to go up on stage and receive a certificate of appreciation. It was pretty cool to be on stage in front of about 2000 people but it quickly grew awkward when we didn't walk off for about 10 minuets after we got the certificate. I also met this female, Filipino race car driver. I'm not sure why she was there but it was cool none the less.
This week I've learned a lot. As I am rereading the Book of Mormon, I find myself immersed in it. I love the Book of Mormon and have such a strong testimony of the power it holds to answer your prayers, comfort you, and basically, give you anything you need! I know that the Book of Mormon is true and works hand in hand with the Bible to bring forth the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am so thankful for the influence the Book of Mormon and this gospel have had in my life and I am so happy everyday to be sharing it with the people of the Philippines!
I love you all!
-Sister Miller
Oh yeah, this is me and one of our investigators!! Great minds think alike :)
My mind is also thinking he needs to be baptized! 
Hopefully, our minds will be on the same page again soon!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Not In Kansas Anymore!

I've been waiting weeks to use that title!!

So, this has been yet another great week!!! Is there really any other kind of week on a mission? I mean, I'm out here serving and helping people everyday! This week I have come to really appreciate the common phrase, "lose yourself in the work!" When I was talking about it with my companion, I was feeling a little down. We were talking about how we have to change every aspect of our lives in order to become the best missionaries we can be. I REALLY didn't want that to happen to me! I didn't want to lose my sense of humor or my personality. When I was thinking about it later I thought, 'Ya know, that is what makes me who I am and Heavenly Father wouldn't want me to lose that!' I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows and appreciates the little things that make us who we are.
So one of the highlights this week was receiving my first package!!!! BIG TIME shout out to the best mom and best package packer in the whole wide world!! I will be eating mac and cheese like a true American this week!! 

I am in love with the Philippines. I love the people. I love the culture. I am starting to like the food! I love being a missionary. I know I say that a lot but it's so true. Never have I felt like I'm meant to be doing something so strongly in my life. I know this is part of God's plan for me.
I really want to share with you a talk from General Conference. I think it is so important for everyone to read it. Whether you are a member of the church or not I would implore you to give it a read!
I know that no matter where you are in life, spiritually or physically, there is a place for you in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This gospel has made such a difference in my life and I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to share it!
I love you all and appreciate all the emails, letters, and prayers for me.
-Sister Miller
P.S. Sorry I can't take a normal picture!! I know I'm goofy! 
Hello everyone---Maria here!
It is a great blessing to me that Marissa's mission president is on Facebook and often posts photos of the missionaries.  I love looking through his posts and finding a picture of Marissa...or two...or three! :-)
This past week, the group of missionaries who arrived with Marissa returned to the mission home for some follow-up training.  It was the first time that she was able to see the friends from her MTC district since they were assigned to different areas in the mission the day after their arrival.  They also had to have fingerprints taken at this time as it is a federal law that all international missionaries have their fingerprints on file.
Here are some pics that President Querido posted that day:

District reunion!

President and Sister Querido
They are so wonderful to the missionaries...and their parents!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pictures, Pictures, and more Pictures...Thirty-three of Them! :-)

Hello Po!

So the pictures took up all my letter writing time but a promise is a promise! (You're welcome, Mom!)  I just want to  tell you all at home how I am feeing here. I know that Heavenly Father is here for me every step of the way and that I can always rely on him for strength! I know that's true for all of you as well! I love you all and love hearing from keep writing!
 Love, Sister Miller

P.S.  If you have some quick and easy recipes with just a few ingredients, I would love it if you would shoot me an email. I've never really had to cook my own food before and am feeling challenged!  Thanks in advance for your help!
You can email me at this address:

 Sept. 8, 2013  Not ALL of these bags are mine but I have to admit, I think I may have over packed just a little bit! I stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning trying to get everything to fit and it did! Whoot Whoot!!
This is my Branch President's wife, Sister Anderson. I seriously love this woman! :)

On our way....Peace out MTC!!!
See ya on the other side of the world!!!

Sept. 10, 2013 Whaddup Hong Kong?!?
Did you notice we skipped a day here?  Yep, we lost Sept. 9th in the air!

My traditional Hong Kong breakfast. 
The rest of my district opted for McDonald's but when in Hong Kong.....right?

Look at all those bricks of Ramen noodles!!!

We're in the PHILIPPINES.....and it's soooooo hot!!!

American-style pizza....YUM!
Not at all what I expected for my first real meal in the Philippines!

The busses here are called jeepneys and
have two benches along each side instead of seats down the middle.

This is a trike, basically a motor cycle with a side car that passengers ride in. 
(Mom, doesn't this street look exactly like Belize?!?)

Sept. 12, 2013  This is my fist picture in my first area!  This is the boondocks as they call it here.  It's basically the mountains covered with lush greenery.  The first week I was DYING walking here because you really have to climb and the further up you go, the less of a trail there is.  After the typhoon, there was no trail at all!  It's a really long walk to get to any of the houses. I love walking here now because I've gotten used to it and it is so pretty.

Sept. 15, 2013  This is my first companion, Sister Leakehe, and she is from Utah.  
She is also a Ute fan, but I'll forgive her for that!             

Sept. 16, 2013  This is me being a real Filipino...carrying the groceries on my head!
I got some strange looks but I didn't care!


Sept. 21, 2013 These are some kiddos from a less-active family that we like to visit.

They are always so excited to share what they have read in the Book of Mormon.

Sept. 23, 2013 This is my desk area.  Trust me, it's not always this organized!

My note wall...It has grown exponentially since I took this picture!

Welcome to the laundry room!

And this, my fine-feathered friends, is the infamous bum sprayer! 
Just push that black button, apply where needed, and you're good to go!

Sept. 24, 2013 The Zone...ready to go out and do some service after Typhoon Usagi!
Some nice action shots of my heavy lifting.  Heave.....

There used to be a wall here..... it's here!

All of the streets were like this...covered in mud and trash!

People just threw all of their things in the street for trash pickup
...which didn't come for over a week!

Sept. 25, 2013  Yep, I converted Sister Leakehe to my 'stocks n socks style!
Sept. 27, 2013  These pics are from Service Project #2.  We cleaned up a museum that had at least two feet of mud throughout when we got there.  It took us all day, but we got the place spotless!

I may have accidentally broken this guy's bad!!!

Sept. 27, 2013  A nice little surprise I found in my boot today. 
He looks smaller squished...He was HUGE!!!
Sept. 28, 2013  The kids gave us these bracelets for Christmas!!  I love it :-)
Sept. 29, 2013 This is Sister Z at her baptism!