Monday, December 16, 2013

There are no ordinary people

So, this morning I woke up to a monster in my room.  It was a cockroach the size of ME just chilling on my wall when I opened my eyes.  I sat up so quickly that my entire puny little metal bunk bed almost tipped over.  I didn't scream though.  I just ushered it out the door and didn't invite it to come back...or to come unto Christ.

I haven't seen any snakes yet.  hopefully soon.  If not, I'll have to get a tattoo of one (woop - there it is).

I feel like I've been here for 100 years, but then I realize that I still don't even completely know my way around this place.  But this last week, I really focused on my attitude.  I studied the scriptures so hard and drowned myself in studying the characteristic of Christ.  Then, I tried to apply those to myself.

I'll be's freaking hard.  Especially when my natural reaction to many of the things I face each day would be to just roll my eyes, say a sarcastic remark, cry or even swear (wait. what?)

But this week, when we would get lost, or punted, or when we would not understand what someone was saying to us - basically whenever we were in a pickle -  I would just think, "oh this is hilarious.  This is way better than 'Keeping up with the Kardashians' - I wish my family could see this."

It takes a lot of motivation and courage to get out to work.  Like in Santiago, it used to be I was anxious to get the morning studies done so we could go out and find people and teach...But here in Solano, I find myself cherishing  every minute I get to study.  And when time is up I think, "I'm scared to go out and face the world - I wish I could just do language study for the next 100 hours."  But that lack of courage has helped me...I know it has...because I literally have to plead with Heavenly Father to take care of me.  I plead with him every morning before we head out to work to help me, to be my companion, and to send angels to walk with me.  He's pulled through for me.  He always does.

                                   I saw a miracle this week.

In our area we take a tricey out to our furthest point and then walk our way back as we stop by those we teach.  I've gotten used to getting punted 98% of the time.  And on this particular day I was seeing that kind of outcome as we got rejected about 13 times in a row.

As we were walking down the highway, Sister Nawere stopped at a gate.  I asked who we were seeing.  She struggled to answer me, but tried her best to explain that she had never really met the lady before, but knew that she had been baptized, but wasn't coming to church.  So, this Nanay came out and looked at us like we were strange.  She was hesitant to open the gate and asked why we were there.  I proceeded to introduce who we were and asked her name and other 'get to know you,' questions.  She let us in, but her attitude was hard.  Which just made me work even harder to get to know her.  The miracle....she knows English.  Super well.  Like at one point I just stopped speaking in Tagalog and spoke to her in English.

We talked forever, and as time went on, it was very apparent that her heart was softened.  She opened up to me about how she stopped going to church because she didn't feel completely accepted.  She told me about how after the missionary that converted her went home...nobody ever loved her so much.  She didn't feel welcomed.  She said church was uncomfortable because she felt alone.  It broke my heart. Because I was thinking about M. and N. and M. and T. and the other investigators I had in Santiago and how much I loved them...and how my final last words to Sister L. were "L - take care of them.  They are so important to me."

It made me think of this missionary that she talked about, and how sad he would feel if he knew that one of the people he taught and baptized and loved so dearly wasn't feeling the love that she needed.  Nanay E.  showed us pictures of this Elder and told me stories of how incredible and close he was to her family.  As I stared at the pictures, I could only imagine him saying the same thing to me, "Sister Frame - please take care of her.  She is so important to me." It then clicked.  All of it.  I could just picture the Savior saying it to me, about all the people I meet here in the Philippines.  "Mads  - please take care of them.  They mean so much to me."

My love for Nanay E. was overwhelming.  I just wanted to tell her, but couldn't even express it all in words.  So I did my best.

I told Nany E. a few things.  The first being that she was a pure answer to my prayers.  I told her about how I'm new to this area, and not completely comfortable, and how even as a missionary I'm looking for friends.  And how I was praying to meet her.  I had been praying ALL week to meet someone that I could talk with.  The second being that I loved her.  I just simply stated that.  And then I bore testimony that I know her Heavenly Father loved her.

We've been back each day.  She's very special to me.  Heavenly Father really had my back that day.

I really got to know Sister N. this week.  She's a sweet girl.  I tried to put myself in her shoes.  I put myself in the situation of not knowing Tagalog which took no effort at all, but also not knowing English.  I have it easy compared to her.  So my love and appreciation for her diligence and work and smile grew ten fold.  I'm grateful for her.  It doesn't change our ability to speak, but it makes the days easier, more peaceful, and more enjoyable.

The work is scary, frustrating, hard, and at times feels impossible.  But it has the most happy, spiritual, rewarding and peaceful moments that make it worth it.  I'm grateful to be a part of it.

Have the best week - Merry Christmas - I love you.

-Sister Frame

alma 34:41

Monday, December 2, 2013

Heaven Pictures

We don't have Thanksgiving here in the Philippines, but naturally, I've been reflecting on the things I'm most thankful for.

So, I figured, I'd send a list of a few:

I'm Thankful for the weather:  It was actually like 102 this week.  Seriously - so miserable.  Then on Thursday Heavenly Father wanted to do me a solid favor and He made it super cloudy and windy. and no rain!  It was the coolest.  Sister L and I were walking down the roads passing the fields.  We stopped and sat down on a hill for a little bit to soak in the perfect day and share what we are grateful for.

I'm  Thankful for Sister L:  She's my best friend.  She's afraid of dogs....which supplies a whole lifetime of laughter as we work.  There are a lot of dogs in the Philippines.

I'm Thankful for the colors in the Philippines:  It's beautiful.  This place is beautiful.

I'm Thankful for Nanay V:  She has beautiful eyes that light up the world.  I don't know if I'm ever gonna see her again.  I will hold on to the memory of hugging her goodbye yesterday after church.  I didn't have the heart to tell her I was getting transferred.  But, I can hang out with her in heaven one day.

I'm Thankful you can J-Walk in the Philippines:   Technically you can't.  But nothing happens if you do.

I'm Thankful for "heaven pictures:"  Loey taught me when I was in high school.

Heaven pictures are for when you don't have time to take a picture with a real camera.

Like when you are in the moment of walking down the road and a tricey with 17 school kids hanging off of it as it drives by.
Or when you are sitting at your desk studying, and you look out the window to see a 90-year old, 4 foot nanny walking by with a basket full of things that weigh 6 times more than her on the top of her head.
I've taken millions of heaven pics.  I CAN'T WAIT to see the slide show of them all when I get there.

I'm Thankful for the lesson we had with Tatay C on Saturday:  This really was a miracle.  T.C. is one of the smartest men I've met here.  The C family used to be active in the ward.  Each week.  Lots of kids.  Then.....? Every missionary fears T.C.  Nobody has the patience or confidence to teach him.

On Saturday, Sister L and I went over there.  He asked us who we came to teach.  Somehow, Heavenly Father gave us the courage to say, "Ikaw na lang T!"  (you!)
He seemed shocked, hesitant.  Then he agreed.  I turned to Sister L, so nervous.  I was praying really hard.

We just talked with him.  Not as missionaries.  But as fellow siblings.  As children of God.  And we listened to him.  The spirit was stronger than I've ever felt it.  really.

On Sunday - he came to church.  for the first time in 13 years!!  It was incredible.  It being the first Sunday of the month, he stood up and testified of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was the coolest moment to be able to witness.

I will never forget the feelings I had in that lesson and in that testimony meeting for the rest of my life.  This work is so cool.

I'm Thankful for classic Filipino kids:  Sister L and I were lost in our own world of enthusiasm after the lesson (mentioned above).  After a few minutes of talking with each other I turned to notice 16 little kids, barefoot and giggly following closely behind us.  Trying to be sneaky.  When they noticed they were caught they started laughing even harder.  So...I started running...and they started chasing.  This white girl running down the dirt roads of the Phlippines being chased by a gang of 4-10 year old.  (don't worry.  i turned to take a heaven pic).  It was so fun.  It's these moments I love.  The moments that make everything worth it.

I'm Thankful for Costa Vida and washing machines:  enough said.

I'm Thankful for my family:  obviously.  you're all astir talaga.

I'm Thankful for the memories of Delta Phi 47th and the incredible friends/roommates I've been blessed with.  You have taught me more than you know.  I'm grateful.

I'm Thankful for this Gospel.  It's all we need to be truly happy.

"A grateful person is rich in contentment.   An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment."  Elder Bednar

Sister Frame
Favorite Scripture this week:  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I love Sister L., my sassy companion.  She's my sister.  We only have two more weeks together.  Right when I get comfortable with my life in the mission, I'm stripped of all security.   But that's good, right?  to put full reliance and trust in the Lord.

Mom and Dad, you'll be so grateful that I taught my anak this week the lessons I learned from you:

DAD:  One day L. and I walked the entire planet and got punted 100% of the day...meaning our discouragement and frustration level was at an all time high.  We had been out walking since early afternoon and had an hour until curfew.  We felt like the most pointless failures and had absolutely no where to go...because we had been everywhere!  I contemplated going home and calling it a day.  I mean...we had worked our hardest. 

It was at this point where L. and I were standing on the curb giving each other the look of, "well, now where do we go?" that I remembered the story Dad told me right before I left on my mission.  The story when he was in Hawaii and walked so far to give food to that homeless man.  That came to mind.  I thought, "Mads, how far will you go?  How far are you willing to walk?"  so...I pointed and said, "this way," and we just kept walking.  I knew that L. was literally gonna collapse in frustration at this point, but as we started walking down the road, I began telling her the story.  I knew she was touched because by the end of the story we were two sister missionaries in tears walking down the road at 8:15 pm.

Now, this day doesn't end in any miraculous way - but we did stop by Cn and Cl's one last time just to see if they happened to be home.  I have never been so thrilled to see little Cn's head pop up out of the window when we called, "Tao po."  My jaw dropped, and I looked at L. and exclaimed, "ah!  We walked far enough."  Being with Cn and Cl are the perfect way to end the day.  They are my best friends.

MOM:  During companionship study L and I got on the topic of rejection and how discouraging it truly is.  I remembered what you taught me the summer in St. Louis.  I was hating knocking doors.  You told me, "Just have 2 minutes of courage."  Sometimes it doesn't even take a whole 2 minutes.  Sometimes all it takes is 2 seconds.  It's the 2 seconds of courage that it takes to first open my mouth to introduce ourselves.  It's the 2 seconds of courage that it takes in the morning to roll out of bed and kneel for my prayer and start the day.  But those little moments of courage are what help us as missionaries.  Without them, we would get no where.  So thanks Mom.  for that motto.  it's carried L. and I through the week.

I still look up at the clouds and sometimes wonder where Neverland is...I feel like it's close to the Philippines.  If I find it I'm moving in with Peter Pan.  But, really I'm just obsessed with the silhouettes of the palm trees and the clouds and the moon as we're walking the streets at night.  That's my favorite image.

I still have to eat rice everyday.  I heard a rumor that there is going to be a Taco Bell in the new SM they are building in Cauayan.  It that's true, you won't hear from me on P-days any more cause I will travel all the way to Cauayan every week for it.  That's your heads up.

I love you - thanks for the prayers and support.  I miss you all more than you know.  But, Heavenly Father has my back over here.

Favs:  Alma 5: 12,14; Doctrine and Covenants 103:36

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 8, 2013

I'm grateful to have the opportunity to in - I feel very very blessed that I am a missionary in an internet cafe with the ability to write home, and I'm not a missionary in the Tacloban mission where I'm either considered "missing" or haven't been heard from.  Sister L. and I were at an investigators house when they were watching the news of the typhoon.  It's unreal.  Remember that movie that we all went to see last winter about the Tsunami.. I can't remember the name, but it made all of us cry.  This news was just a replay of that.  I was sitting there on the floor with my eyes glued to the TV completely numb.  Watching these people and everything being destroyed, it makes me sick to my stomach.  As for me and the fellow missionaries in the Cauayan Mission, we are safe and sound.  Thankfully.  Please keep praying for those people in Leyte.

This week I really focused on the Spirit.  I feel like so many people expect that a mission is 18 months or two years of feeling the Spirit constantly and being on some floating cloud of glorious spiritual upliftment.  It's not.  Don't get me wrong - there are miracles and so many experiences that I have been privileged to be a part of that can't be expressed with words, but there are many hours of...not that.  Many hours of discouragement and frustration and pure pleading to Heavenly Father for help.  But this week - I tried to recognize the holiness of every day.  Life is busy.  Always.  Especially life outside of a mission.  Every day, each of us are faced with responsibilities and distractions, but how often do we take the time to sit back and look for the holiness in the simple things?

As I really tried to focus on it, I felt the Spirit so much stronger, and I'm able to recognize the hand of my Savior so much clearer in my everyday life.  Just walking down the street, even though it's hot, dirty, smelly, I see the beauty of my surroundings, the nature, the people in their holiness.

I'm very grateful to be a part of this Gospel.  It's real.  I know that with the entirety of my heart.

love and miss you all!

-Sister Frame

Jacob 5:23-24

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hymn 172

Happy Halloween everyone!...we don't have Halloween here.  I've just been listening to Christmas music the last two months.  It's getting old.  Thankfully, the weather is actually cooling down.  It's now in the mid-70's.  I don't have to sleep with an electric fan 3 feet away from my bed anymore.  

Sister L. and I worked especially hard this week, and we saw miracles.

On Tuesday, we were walking around town, laughing, telling jokes as always - trying to talk to everyone we see, and we got to one of our investigator's barangays.  We fully expected to get always, but...

As we were walking through the Alley, we saw this Nanay who popped her head out and smiled (with no teeth - which made it even sweeter).  She asked us what we were teaching.  We started talking to her about how we are missionaries.  She mentioned that she saw us a few weeks before when we were walking through the rain -the day before the typhoon - and she thought to herself, "They must have something important to do if they are out in this weather."  Then, the next day, she had a heart attack!  She said at the hospital she realized that she's not ready to die, and that there's more she needs to do in her life.

So when she saw us, she felt the strong prompting to talk to us...and here we all were.  Right away we started getting to know her and teaching her about the Gospel.  And once again - I saw firsthand the truthfulness of the promise that Heavenly Father has promised us - 

that He does prepare people and He does send them our way.

Also...there are many beggars here.  Unfortunately.  This last week Sister L. and I went to McDo's for breakfast for our six week anniversary - ok, in celebration of us finishing our first six weeks together. It was about 7:00 am, and as we sat down, I noticed this barefoot boy sitting on the curb right outside.  He waited there with a whistle in his hand for cars or triceys to come, and he would direct them into a parking spot or help them back out, in hopes that he would get a peso for a tip.

I watched this for a while, no longer hungry, and I know he was staring at me in return, too.  But he wasn't staring at me like every other beggar that wants money, he was just looking at me like I was another human being.  Like I was his sister or something.  There was so much depth.  Sister L. and I ordered some more pancakes and hash browns and took them out to this boy.  As I sat down next to him, I asked how old he was.  15.  I then asked where his parents were.  Not around.  I just pictured Davis in his position, and my heart literally ached.  If this was my little brother sitting on the curb directing cars from sun up to sun down for money, I would pray that somebody, anybody would do something nice for him.

His name is C.  He's the politest person I've ever met.  And all day long I could not stop thinking about him.  Each night I pray that he finds a safe place to sleep.  Every time L. and I see him around town now, we buy him some food.  This week our goal is to invite him to church.  There's no harm in an invitation.

That's a taste of some of the people I came in contact with this week.  The Philippines is incredible, right?  These people - so humble, and I have much to learn from them.

I'm grateful to be a missionary.  It's so hard.  But, it's an experience that is priceless.  It's rewarding, and the most humbling thing I've ever been apart of.

Thanks for the updates and love.  Mahal kits.  Syempre.

Favorite Scripture:  Alma 7:11-13

-Sister Frame

Monday, October 21, 2013

this is what Charity looks like

I want to tell you about two little girls that I love with my whole heart.  Really.

Cn. (8) and Cl. (10).

I met them back in July.  when we were teaching their dad.  His name is Cr.  I wrote in my journal that night, "He is so sweet.  I can just see it.  The light in his eyes.  He is special."So, we taught Cr. a little bit...when we could.  He works in the rice fields, so he's not always home.  He's in his 50's, and his eyesight is bad, so he didn't really read the things we asked him to.

One day, we were there when his two daughters came home from school.  They walked in the gate and passed right by us, walking straight into the house without even giving us a second look.  Cr. called for them to come out and say hello to us, but they refused.  So shy...and that was our first meeting.

Later that week, Sister P. and I were walking to church and saw Cr. and his two little girls there in the parking lot.  We ran over to them and welcomed them to church.  We were SO excited to see them!  We took the girls to primary and showed Cr. to the Priesthood meeting.  Unfortunately, that was the last time we got Cr. to church.  We continue to teach him every once in a while.  He told us how much his girls loved primary.

So that brings us to the first week with my companion, Sister L.  6 Sundays ago.  We were sitting with the congregation, and toward the end of Sacrament Meeting, I noticed two little girls sitting a few rows up.  I remember thinking, ""where are those girls' parents?....wait, that? couldn't be!

It was!
It was Cr.'s little girls!  They went to Primary, Sunday School, and sat reverently all through sacrament meeting by themselves - knowing absolutely NO ONE and being too shy to talk to anyone.  As the meeting got over, I quickly ran up to them and expressed my excitement to see them.  I asked where their dad was, and they so quietly responded "bahay naming" (our house).  I then asked if Sister L. and I could come to their house later and see them again.  They said yes.

That night we went back to the household, not for Cr.  This time for the adorable little girls that just weeks before were too shy to acknowledge our presence as missionaries.

The first lesson was painfully quiet.  They were almost too shy to even make eye contact with us.  But, we know they wanted us there because as we were leaving Cn. asked when we were going to come back.

We go back every other day.  To those precious little girls.  Cl. is Laren and Cn. is me.  I see us in them.  I noticed it first when Cn. burped so loud during a lesson.  She just laid it out there, and you could see in her eyes that even she was a little surprised at the power the burp had.  Such a big noise came out of such a precious little girl.  Classic.

But each time we go there, I see it more.  We taught them to pray a little while ago.  Cl. opened the lesson with the prayer (quietly), and at the end we asked Cn. to say the closing prayer.  Cn.  didn't say "No," but she looked to Cl. with these helpless eyes.  And without any exchange of communication, Cl. knelt down next to Cn. and helped her.  With quiet words, she would start a sentence and let Cn. repeat after her.  Together they gave the most beautiful prayer that I have heard in the Philippines.

I was so touched.  Cn. looked to Cl. for the help and without any hesitation, Cl. helped her little sister.  Cl. is a little fashionista. Cn. is a little more loud and quirky.  Cl. genuinely cares for Cn. Cn. looks up to Cl. in every way.  They protect each other.  They are perfect sisters.

Each time we go over there they tell us how they pray together morning and night, before they eat and before they leave for school.  They continue to come to church each Sunday, too.  Without fail, they are there early waiting in the front of the church for us to arrive.  They even came and sat through General Conference with us like champions.

In the past, Cr. told us that his wife was in Hong Kong working as an OFW (overseas' Filipino worker).  This week we asked Cn. and Cl. about their mom.  We started with the question, "When is she coming home?"  Cl. said, "When I'm in grade 6,"  (Now she's in grade 5).  Then we asked her when her mom left.  Cl. said, "When I was in kindergarten.  Cn. was just a baby."

This is where I broke.  These girls!  I can't explain it.  They are just so full of light.  Cn. always gives the closing prayers in our lessons, and the last few weeks Cl. has made the habit of sneaking quietly away.  She usually makes it back in time before Cn. finishes, but there have been a few times where we say, "Amen," and Cl. is just gone.  ha.  At first we were confused, but she always comes back with something.  Like the first time it was a beaded bracelet she made for us.  The next time it was chocolates she saved from school.  Once it was Chinese stationary from her mom.  Last night it was a band aid.  When she gave it to me I said, "oh!  a bandaid.  Salamat!"  Cn. then laughingly asked why she gave me a bandaid.  I was confused myself.  But she pointed to the scab on my was so genuine.  

We give them a hug goodbye each time we leave.  And they always remind us to return the "day after tomorrow."  Sister L. and I will leave and be walking down the street...3-5 minutes later we will hear, "Bye Sisters!" We'll look back and see that they will have quiety followed us from a far distance, and right before we head out of sight, they yell goodbye.

These girls have taught me a lot.  More than I could ever teach them.  I've seen the pure love of Christ in them.  They are perfect examples of Charity.  I'm trying to be more like them.

OK, super long - if anyone is still reading this, I love you.  I miss you all.  

This Gospel of Jesus Christ is real.
And this mission is so humbling.
I'm enjoying the journey
and meeting people that I will NEVER forget.
We are all blessed.  Don't every forget it.
mahal na mahal na mahal na mahal do kayo!

- Sister Frame

Thursday, October 17, 2013

the one where she describes the typhoon, not the earthquake

and A Trip to the Zoo

This week...there was a Typhoon (Mom, how did you know?  are you stalking me?  are you here?  if you are...stop hiding.  come hang with Sister L. and I).  The day before it hit was super windy and stormy...naturally.  All day we were receiving texts from the mission home for preparation and updates.  The town people were on the move to higher ground.  Sis. L was shocked I still suggested we work.  But it was so funny to work - like the wind made it fun to trudge through the streets.  Whenever anyone did anything, L. and I would look at each other and say, "ooooh.  The Typhoon, that's why."

not funny?  maybe ya had to be there.

We're still hearing typhoon excuses....two days later.

The funniest part is...the typhoon completely missed us.  I woke up Saturday morning, and the first thing I said to L. was, "uh...hello!  did we get skipped!?"  all the hype - for nothing?  But really it was a blessing.  Because a lot of the people (all of the people) here in Santiago can't afford a typhoon.  really. Typhoons ruin lives.  People don't come back from those.  So, we are truly blessed.  I don't know how the rest of the mission did, but my area is alive and well.

Also good:  the typhoon did not affect our ability to watch conference.

Conference was the best.  My favorite part of the week.

As for investigators - we have lots.  We're working on their progression...some right now are struggling in keeping commitments.  They are SO CLOSE to having so many blessings.  L. and I are prayerfully studying and working on the lessons to teach so that they can understand the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes complications come in with the whole "marriage" situation here.  There is no such thing as a normal divorce here in the Philippines.  One of our biggest set backs is people getting or being married. It's expensive.

But, Heavenly Father is in charge.  We'll figure it out.

I love you all, thanks for everything.  The Gospel is so real.  Count your blessings.  Write them down.  Read them when you're having a hard day.  Then thank Heavenly Father for them.

Fav Scriptures:
2 Nephi 2:8 and 26:33
Mosiah 2:36 and 4:9-10
Revelation 3:20-21

Our district went to the "zoo" last week.  How can I say this?  It was basically just all the animals I see wandering the streets everyday...behind a cage.

-Sister Frame

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lasting Legacy of the Tower of Babel

Christmas came early this year!  thanks for the package, Brett, and letters, Grandma Ray and Grandma Frame, and mom.  It was a great Sunday delivery from the ZL's.

You all talked about how great General Conference was...but the reality of the Philippines is that we are 15 hours ahead of I don't get to watch conference until next Sunday.  I realized that you would all be watching conference...I got a little homesick...Oh, how I wish I could enjoy conference weekend like I used to - with all our friends gathered in the apartment for breakfast; or all driving to D.S.'s house for the weekend.  

I'm thrilled to watch it this upcoming Saturday - and I will pay close attention to the talks you claimed as your favorites.

     As for me:

I was able to watch the Relief Society General Broadcast Saturday afternnon.

I'll admit...

I think it was my first time watching one of those.

But I LOVED it.  Especially because it was in English.  It was the first time since I left the MTC that I was able to be spiritually uplifted through something I could actually fully understand.  We had about 50 Relief Society women show up at 1:00 pm.  They came from all over the area (some traveling hours to be there), dressed in their Sunday best to come watch.  

I was impressed.

However, it totally stressed me out because it WAS in English (with no Tagalog subtitles or anything)

and I was thinking,

How do these people understand?  They aren't getting this...

But then as I thought about it, I was touched.

Their diligence,
and willingness to come and listen and feel of the Spirit and see the Prophet regardless.  

It was an example to me.


Sister L. and I were waiting in the chapel last Tuesday for an appointment with a member.  I became discouraged as we talked to him.

Many of the members are quick to assume that because I don't know fluent Tagalog, I just basically don't know anything.

Like they just think that I don't know where we're teaching, or the peoples' needs, or even the names of our investigators.  

They honestly look at me like I'm deaf and blind.  And I was just so genuinely sad.  Because I felt so stupid.

As we left and walked to N.'s,  I was expressing to Sister L. how hard it is that the members think I am completely incompetent as a missionary here...and ok - yes - I cried.  sorta.  I got teary.  But we got to N.'s.  As we walked up, Sh. (her 2 year old daughter) came out and gave me a hug.  and I literally just broke.  But, I just picked up Sh. and cried.  N. came out and asked why I was crying - hold up - I feel ok crying in front of Nilda because she is like a sister to me.  I talked to her about it and quickly got over it
and we taught our lesson
and went on with our lives.

But, the other day, N. gave me 2 letters.  One from her.  One from M.  I read them as I walked home.  They were the sweetest letters I have ever read.  They were written in pure English.  and you know what - it was awful English.  I couldn't even understand some sentences.  But the love that I felt from them, made those letters perfect.
Brett also wrote me a letter this week and he mentioned the Relief Society motto, "Charity never Faileth." and he said

Charity is speaking Tagalog even if you don't know it perfectly or how to pronounce it correctly, but speaking it with love.

I honestly would not have completely understood the meaning of what he told me if I hadn't seen it through the example of M. and N.  They are very special people to me.

And...moving on:

There are many things each day that happen that I wish were on film.  funny, sad, hilarious moments that I just can't fully explain.  If they made a reality TV show of Sister L. and me we would seriously become more famous than the missionaries on "the district."  or we would be emergency transferred for being so hilarious.

We make the long walks and the hottest days fun to endure.  Sister L. is so with it.  She can totally keep up with American humor.  We spend the majority of our days just laughing and telling jokes.  Most of our investigators tell us they can hear us coming because we laugh so hard...or we have all the kids chasing us down the road.

I don't know what it is but every single barangay we teach in has a gang or 6-10 year olds that love to follow us.  They ask us the same questions every single day:  What's your name?  Where do you live?  What do you eat?  (answer:  mga bata!  "little children!")  Are you married?  Where is your mom?

It's fun.  This is fun.

I'm gonna write a book when I get home, Indigestion sa Pilipinas, Tae Kayo...Po*.   It will be a short story series.

I am grateful for each of your examples.  I'm on a mission because of them.  And I promise you that this Gospel of Jesus Christ is real.  I know it with my whole heart.  It's the best feeling really.  Life is good when you know things are true. 

- Sister Frame
Favorite scriptures of the week:  Mark 5:36 and 16:15-20, 3 Nephi 27:27, Doctrine and Covenants section 6

*Bonus story below.  You've been warned:

Last night I had the WORST dinner appointment of my life.  It was at one of our investigators houses, and it is going to take all of the energy of my heart to get me to go back there.

She fed us blood pudding and frog scewers.  Oh come on people!  The thing is - I've eaten worse...but last night I was just not in the mood.  Blood pudding tastes like...blood.  but from a pig.  It should never be consumed by anyone, or any living creature.  And to the Elders who claim to "like it," you need to see a doctor.  Frog is really chewy.  I kept trying to convince myself it was some kind of candy.  That mind game only held me over until we left the appointment.  Then it all came out.  So, Nathan and Davis, the next time you complain about what mom makes for dinner...go catch a frog and see how that tastes.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Butterflies, and other blessings

ok.  so... Hi.  

You people sound like you're doing great.  and of course- i miss you... and your english. 

So i'm still here on a mission. and thank you everybody for reminding me that I have been out for 5 months... but lets not get ahead of ourselves here... that's next week. 

But this week was cool.  I've learned and taught a few things.

For starters: Butterflies are blessings. I swear it. 
I can't remember if I ever shared this- but the day that I left the MTC and we were at the Salt Lake Airport I hit a wall of anxiety.  Of course.  It was scary as crap! The whole 'getting off the bus and getting ready to load on a plane to the Philippines'- I was scared to death! So I remember walking over to the big window at our gate in the airport and just staring out the window watching the people load the luggage.  I was just doing my best to hold back tears and not take off running... ya know?  So I was standing there with every attempt to not let Elder Morty or Thacker see me on the verge of tears... or vomiting, and praying my heart and soul out to just take a breather, when suddenly a little white butterfly came and started flying right in front of my face on the other side of the window.  It was such a tender mercy. I know it was sent from Grandpa John to remind me that things would be ok. And they were!  So now whenever I see a butterfly... it's a blessing.  I see it and think.... "remember mads- things will be ok." This last week I saw so many butterflies! Everyday, they just followed me everywhere.  It was astig.  A butterfly even flew into my room yesterday when I was getting ready to go to church.  

Another thing learned: I miss my family.  And I'm so so so so so so grateful for my family! I've always known that I had the coolest cousins and aunts and uncles in the world.  I've always been so proud to be a Frame/Ray.  And I am so lucky that I have Garrett, Kae, Loey, James, Nathan and Davey to call my siblings.  Because here in the Philippines this last week was national "Family Week".  It's cool really.  But I mean- what better way to pour salt in an open wound by celebrating family... when mine is across the world? But we celebrated with a stake activity that went from 5:30 am to 8:00 pm.  I mean these Filipino's throw a big celebration when they have any reason to. Lot's of music, eating, dancing, activities, etc.  A huge celebration. It was well done.  and we only went to a few hours of it. But we got our investigators to come... well the kids of our investigators... so we basically just ended up babysitting. 

But ya know- it paid off, because all of them and their parents came to church yesterday.  It was incredible. The work is going well!

... All thanks to my companion.  Who is still the coolest little girl in the world.   Except, us being close has it's natural consequences.  I'm back to my old ways of fake punching people, and offering lots of knuckle sandwiches.  The other day we were walking to an appointment and I mentioned to Sister L, "We should think of something else to teach J.  What we have planned doesn't feel very relevant today" and Sis L agreed. Then with absolutely no hesitation she said, "We could teach her how to make a knuckle sandwich...." I also overheard her the other day say to an elder "Cool story bro. Tell it again." I'm creating a monster. hahah.  But I'm secretly so proud of it.

Ok so I know this is super lame.  But I don't have a ton else to share.  We're in a good place though. The people we're teaching are showing lots of progress and potential.  One of our less actives was actually (finally) considered 'rescued' and blessed the sacrament yesterday for the first time ever! It was so cool! N gave the closing prayer in sacrament too! 
It's little things like this that make the work so fun and so rewarding.  

The language is still rocking my world. But one day...I hope and pray.

Thanks for everything! I love love love you all! I miss you dearly.  And pray for you. Always. Obviously. K... Latuur.

-Sister Mads Frame

Favorite scriptures this week:
-Jacob (the whole book) read it people. it's so good.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


T's Baptism!!!

These weeks are going by slower... does it feel like that in America too? But regardless- time is still moving and so is the work. 

Sister L is a hard worker. I'm so grateful for that. We push each other. Tagalog is still rocking my world.  It's hard not to get discouraged. But at this point i'm just hoping that one day... i'll know it.

The baptisms went well! T and Mk are now official members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Mas kilala sa tawag na mormons.  They loved that they can call themselves that now.  Mk is actually getting the priesthood on Sunday.  Radical right? I'm so proud of him.  

This week was slow and kind of uneventful. But I want to share a quick story that really humbled me and made me so grateful for my life.

So Sister V (I told a story about her a few months back about her and her smoking habit).  Anyways- one of her sons is in the hospital with stage 5 chronic Kidney Disease.  He's expected to die.  And he's been in the hospital for the last two weeks now.  We stop by their house everyday when we are passing by, and just say hi and we ask to teach her on the days that she's home.  Sometimes she's willing to listen- sometimes she's not. But without fail... we go there every day.  

Yesterday, like always, we were passing by and stopped to see if anyone was home.  I felt like at this point, we had just become burdensome and annoying.  But Tay (her husband) came and we asked him about their son... got the updates and just had small talk.  He then told us that Sis V was asleep.  So sister L- being the champion that she is, said, "Tay- we're here to teach you." (we really weren't..and we had nothing prepared. but if you follow the spirit... you can do anything.) So he let us come in. 

They are a very poor family.  living in a very humble home... and this time we went in and sat down, and Tay repeatedly apologized for having no electricity.  Which means no electric fan... or light.  He explained that the hospital bills are so expensive they cannot pay their bills.  so Sister V (who was supposedly "sleeping") came out and lit a candle for us and set it down so we could read from our scriptures.  We sat with Sis V, Tay and one of their sons and engaged in open conversation.  Sister L looked to me at one point like... 'Ok- what do we teach?' so I quickly fumbled through my scriptures and stopped at Ether 12:6.  Tay read it for us.  Which lead to a great opportunity to testify of faith and trust in Heavenly Father.  He really opened up to us.  It's been years since he's been to church.  

As we were ending the lesson he looked at us and with tears in his eyes said, "Don't give up on us just yet.  We will come back to church together one day." 

Sister L then replied, "We would never give up. We will always be there waiting for you."

It was such a spiritual experience.  It opened my heart.  It was just such a pure example of reality and trust.  Trust Heavenly Father.  He knows us best.  He knows us.  Really.  He'll help us too.

It opened my mind to life.  Like... life gets busy and in the way.  But like it talks about in the scriptures, this life is our time to prepare to meet God.

We get so distracted with things that aren't important.  At the end of the day, we go to bed with everything on our mind and panicked for how we can accomplish it. And most of the time its of all the things that aren't truly important... but why? We should end each day with gratitude.  With thanks to Heavenly Father and with a humble heart of realization that if we are keeping the commandments, we will be ok.  It's a promise.

Of course I write this with more purpose for myself, cause I need to practice what I'm preaching. I struggled with that especially this week. But I'm grateful for this mission.  
It's teaching me so much.

I miss you all, of course.  And I love you all, of course. Thanks for the letters and the prayers.  The church is true.  Don't forget that.  It's real.

-Sister Frame

Favorite Scripture of the week:
Ether 12:6

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In our service, He comes near

On Wednesday, I just about wanted to die...I don't think I had ever been that nervous in my life.  Seriously.  It took everything in my power and Sister P's power to actually get me on the bus to Cauayan for transfer meeting.  (I wanted to be the first one to try the whole 'not showing up to transfers just to see what would happen' approach.  But my Zone Leaders strongly discouraged it...squares.  I eventually got there, and again it took everything in my power to not just walk out the doors.  Overreacting?  TOTALLY.
But, you know what?  I actually stayed.  Had I known what was in store for me....I would not have hesitated or questioned the calling of being a trainer for one second.  I would have been the first to show up to the transfer meeting - because my companion is INCREDIBLE -

Her name is Sister L.  She's 20 years old and an even smaller Filipino than Sister P.  But cute!  I could fit two of her in my pocket.  These last few days have been fun and a huge learning experience.  I can promise you that Sister L. is 100% training me.  No doubt about it.  A few times I've gotten so internally discouraged and frustrated because I feel so bad.  I'm relying on her and I need her so much more than she needs me.  Sometimes she still has to translate for me...or make sure I understand.  I'm the trainer - I should be the one helping her understand.  ya know?  But, I know the worst thing I could do is get discouraged by it.  I just have to keep working to keep up with her.  It's a humbling experience, but rewarding, too.

She's such a champion though.  I look up to her in every way.  The way this little girl talks to people is incredible.  I took her to N's house on our first day of work, and within 10 minutes of being there, N was sharing with Sister L all her stories.  I could just see how comfortable N was with her - remember how shy N used to be?  Instantly I thought, "Dang, this girl is good."  All of our investigators can just instantly feel her love for them.  It's such an answer to prayer.  


She worked with the missionaries a ton before she came out on her mission, so in lessons and street contacts, she's got it down.  She has taught me so much Tagalog.  She's patient with me and laughs like Kristin Chenoweth. Sister L is sassy, too, which has made our companionship super entertaining so far.

Last night before I went to bed, I was thinking, "How is it possible that I lucked out with the best nany (Sister P) and the best anak (Sister L) in the world?  We've already found 3 new investigators - all thanks to Sister L.  I'm thrilled to do this missionary work with her.

I failed to inform you of T and Mk last week.  T is getting baptized on Friday and Mk on Saturday.  T's baptism had been pushed back because he had school conflicts.  And he was too paranoid to get baptized on Friday the 13th - so we settled on the 20th.

As for Mk. - our district leaders weren't comfortable with him getting baptized so soon because only a week and a half earlier he had quite smoking.  Mk was devastated when we told him, but his faith is so strong.  He told us he was willing to do anything to be baptized.

That statement is worth a million dollars to a missionary.

So, yesterday he had his baptismal interview.  He passed!  (of course), and our district leader pulled me aside to tell me how impressed he was of Mk's testimony.  and all I could say was, "Well - duh."  I've been trying to tell you!  He's so ready.  He and N. are so anxious to get to the temple.

These individuals - they're incredible.

IN OTHER NEWS:  I ate diggy-dog last night.  I say "diggy-dog" to soften the blow.  but yes.  I ate dog.  I kept it down, too.  and woke up feeling incredible.  and barking.

...joke.  I didn't wake up barking.  not funny?  I know.  crude.  my humor is taking a left turn.  and fast.  I asked Sister L. at the dinner appointment what it was, and she just looked at me and said, "uh...meat."  I knew it right then.  Later she broke the news.  whatever.  I think I've eaten worse.  It's better not to ask questions.

I have done a lot of personal studying this week.  My heart is full with gratitude for this Gospel.  

I know that in our service to Jesus Christ, He comes close to us.
I feel it.
I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the source of abundant peace in this life.
I know that. 
We are so blessed and have so many reasons to be happy.

- Sister Frame

Monday, September 9, 2013

She Taught Me How

Sister Perlas and I, Our last church day together
It's transfer week...

That means a few things.

1.  On Wednesday, I will have been in the field for 12 weeks.  I will have officially finished my training on Wednesday.
2.  Sister Perlas will be getting transferred...I don't want to think about it.
3.  The AP called me last week and informed me of the "Good News!"  I will be training  a new missionary fresh from the MTC for the next two cycles.


I will have just finished my training for a total of about 30 seconds before I have to pick up a greenie and take her for a 12 week ride around Santiago.  Help.

I'm scared to death.  Because I don't know a lot.  I don't know how to pay the water bill, or tell the tricey driver how to get back to our house when it's late and we're all the way over in Maligni.  I don't know how to talk to people in Tagalog.  I don't know how to train a missionary.

I feel awful, but this new missionary is going to be training me more than I'll be training her.  Ever since I got word that I would be a trainer, I have been praying for whoever she is...that she'll be patient with me.  That she will accept my weaknesses and be willing to help me as I try to help her.  That she is safe and excited to get here.  I have been praying for the courage and the strength to love her unconditionally.  I have been praying to be happy and to take this opportunity as one that will help me become a better missionary...and person altogether.

I have 5 1/2 days to think this one through...and these are the enlightening thoughts I have concluded:
-What better way to really toughen up and learn a few things than to be stranded in the middle of the Philippines, not knowing . . . anything:  I mean...this will definitely force me to truly grow.
- now that I'm in charge, I guess I'm going to finally have to learn this language (fingers crossed that my trainee is Filipina).
-and ultimately - I've really talked this one through with Heavenly Father and told him I'm handing it all over to Him.  I think we've got a deal going:  If I do my best, if I'm obedient and patient, He will take care of me.  I mean...I'll take this opportunity and run with it.

I read the book Our Search for Happiness, by Elder M. Russell Ballard, and it talks about the Gospel (obviously).  It's an incredible book.

Wanna know a deep secret?  My whole life, while blowing out my birthday candles, when I see a shooting star, when it's 11:11, or when there's an eyelash on my face, I've made the wish that I would 'be happy.'  So naturally this book looked appealing when I read the cover.  I thought, "Sure.  I'm looking for happiness.  I'll give it a go."  Well, I'm an idiot - because you see - I am happy.  I am happy.  And I now finally understand that - so lame, I know.  It took coming on a mission in the Philippines to recognize it.  But, better late than never, right?  Do you want to be happy?  cause I know how you can be.

That's so cool.


I was reading Elder Henry B. Eyring's last conference talk, "Come Unto Me."  He said a few things that were exactly what I needed.  Especially now.  We all need it actually.  It's applicable to everyone:

"You will have the comfort of His love and feel the answer to His drawing closer as you reach out your arms in giving service to others.  As you bind up the wounds of those in need and offer the cleansing of His Atonement to those who sorrow in sin, the Lord's power will sustain you.  His arms are outstretched with yours to succor and bless the children of our Heavenly Father."

awesome, right?

On a pity note:  I think I ate frog this week.  I mean...why buy food when you can wait for it to rain and capture the hundreds of little tail-less amphibians for free?  Cause then all one has to do is grill it up, and put some soy sauce and rice in the cooker, and there you have it folks.  The classic filipino gourmet palaka.

I love you all.
Thanks for all the prayers and the support.
I am so blessed to have the family and friends I do.
I'm also so blessed to be here. 
All is well.
-Sister Frame

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


                                                         Merry Christmas!

I say Merry Christmas because it's now September.

Celebration of Christmas started yesterday - we sang Christmas music in church. which made me sad a little bit. let's just drag out the fact that I won't spend Christmas with my family.....for 4 months why don't we?

I'll be fine - 

I heard that Christmas gets pretty wild around here.  Lots of homemade fireworks.  You know I love that kind of stuff.  Maybe it will make up for the lack of the 4th of July.

This week was S L O W, as in work.  Sister P still gets sick a lot, so we didn't work as much as I would have liked.  So....I spent my days just studying my brains out until I thought it was going to explode.  I studied my language book, and when I got bored with that, studied the Tagalog Book of Mormon, until my jaw hurt and my throat was sore from speaking...butchering... so many words.  To unwind, I would read Jesus the Christ, and my brain could only handle so much of that, so then I would work on conjugating verbs:

I now have hundreds of flash cards with conjugation tables taped up to my wall.  I lay in bed as I fall asleep and conjugate.  It's like counting sheep.  And then in the morning, I plant myself in my chair and practice practice practice for a few hours before personal study (I started waking up early).

It's easy to wake up at 5:30...because the heat that I sleep in is about as painful as lying on asphalt pavement in the summer time.  I would much rather be walking around in the heat than roasting like a marshmallow.  (Yes, I'm comparing myself to a marshmallow...cause there is no denying i've gotten so "fluffy").  Occasionally I find myself yelling "mom!!! it's so so so hot!"  I don't think you can actually hear me, mom...but...i actually have no explanation for it.

September 6th!!! T's baptism!!  He is one of my favorites.  He's a college professor.  Went to Bible school and is INCREDIBLE at English.  We've been teaching him for the last 6 weeks.  I LOVED teaching him because we did it...all in English.  Those lessons were always my favorite and such a tender mercy for me - that P and I had the privilege to teach him about this Gospel. 

September 14th!!!  Mk is getting baptized!! (yes, N's husband).  Literally - I cannot express how they have changed my life.  My best friends.  So hilarious and we could just hang out for hours.  We are having Family Home Evening with them tonight...It is incredible to see where this family is now compared to 11 weeks ago (see "My Heart is Getting Full" post).  The Gospel is incredible.

M. has also enrolled in a mission prep class...and is gonna work with us all week.  She told us she wants to serve a mission.  She's a champion.

It's cool to see these people learn and grow and love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  
It makes the hard days worth it.  
It makes me want to strive to be better and be more like them.
These people are teaching me.
They are helping me grow in the Gospel.
It's amazing.
It's hard.
But it's awesome.

I can't explain to you how much your support, encouragement and love mean to me.  I have the best family and friends.  All the thanks in the world!  

The Gospel is true.  Cherish it with your whole heart.  

We have so many reasons to be happy.

Fav Scrips this week:  D&C 18:44, Mosiah 2:22-24
- Sis M Frame

Monday, August 26, 2013

Seeing what He sees

Story of the week - 

The experience I'll attempt to write about was a very enlightening, spiritual and overwhelming moment for me.  To some it would seem like just another ordinary opportunity that comes along with the territory of a "mission experience," but for me - 
It was the moment I had been praying for.
It was the moment I recognized and understood the love of Jesus Christ.
It was perfect.

It started Thursday morning at 7:30 when Sister P and the other Sisters left the house and headed down the block to help with the "feeding program" at the elementary school.  We had been asked by the bishop the night before, and we gladly jumped at the chance to be a part of a different kind of service that morning.

As we waited for the bishop at the school, I took the opprotunity to absorb my surroundings.  Lots and lots of kids, all dressed in their school uniform, running around and independently fulfilling their personal responsibilities before heading to class.  You could feel the hype of curiosity as the kids walked past us and exclaimed "Americanas!" (Sister K and I).  The only thing I could really do was smile and say "hello!" or high five them as they passed by.  It started to rain a bit, so we headed to the big pavilion that was centered in the middle of the campus.  There was a practice going on for some kind of upcoming program, and students were scattered around.  Right away this bunch of 9 individuals caught my attention.  They were a lively crowd and close enough to where I could clearly see them, but far enough away that I couldn't hear them.

    What first caught my attention was this little boy,  about 8 years old, wearing raggy jeans and a tattered t-shirt, not a uniform.  He was talking with 2 others.  I could tell that he was talking about someone being fat and swinging on a rope.  Not through his words, like i said - I could not hear them, but through his actions.  I pointed him out to Sister P and said, "Look how animated and imaginative this little boy is."  We both watched for a moment longer before recognizing that the two other students he was communicating with joined in on this "pictionary-like" discussion.  They spoke through actions too - these kids were deaf.

As i continued to watch, I picked up on a few things...1. this little boy was hilarious.  kind of a little punk.  you could tell that he was the only boy, the youngest, so he had successfully established the role of being the "little brother" figure of this small class.  He was very good at teasing the girls and being goofy enough to make them laugh.  2.  At one point he started to dance for all the girls.  He was one of the most incredible little dancers I have ever seen.  Impersonating Michael Jackson or Elvis, he had mastered dougie, gangham style, and the stanky leg like an expert.  He even threw in some salsa dance moves for some added flavor.  It was amazing.

I was obviously in awe, and after a few minutes of intensely watching him, this little boy caught me staring at him.  I know this got him excited because he quickly alerted the others and described me through motioning stripes on his shirt and by rubbing his arms (my white skin).  Then, he pointed at me - so that really gave it away.

But after telling the others, he ran over, stood about 10 feet in front of me, and just stared.  All I could do was stare back and smile in awe (I was just as starstruck as he was).   Finally, I motioned for him to "come here," and I reached my hand out to shake his.  The smile he got on his face, with his broken teeth and all, was perfect.  He shook my hand and I 'blessed him' - (putting his hand to my forehead.  It's a sign of respect that children give to their elders here in the Philippines.  I often do it to the kids cause they get the biggest kick out of it).

The other eight roared in laughter from across the pavillion.  Only one little girl had the courage to follow him.  He signed for her to come shake our hands.  She ran and gave us a hug instead.  We took a picture and they ran off and continued to reek 'silent' havoc amongst the seven others through their sign language.  It was incredible to watch these kids converse with one another.  They used their entire bodies and faces to speak.  Their spirits were illuminated through their conversation. 

it was beautiful

After a while, the little girl that had approached us earlier returned.  She opened her hand, and on her palm she had written the words "mahal ko kayo"  (I love you).

Honestly, one of the most tender moments I've ever been a part of.  As the kids continued to play and converse with each other, I went from thinking, "wow, this is cool!" to the point of where I had tears streaming down my face with so much to think about - 

I spend EVERY day in frustration of my inability to speak with these Filippino people.  Learning this language is exhausting and so annoying most of the time.  As I sat and watched these kids, I thought about them.  How it must feel.  To not have the privilege or ability to talk to very many people around them.  To live in a silent world.  Yet, this little girl was still willing and made the effort to express that she loved us.  I don't speak Tagalog just yet...and I definitely don't know sign language.  But this little girl can't even  hear words.  Music started playing and it broke my heart just knowing that this little boy couldn't hear the music.  But the way he danced - oh!  it was like he had music on replay in his whole soul.  

It was their example that truly changed me.  their enthusiasm, their love and their smiles.  they were happy.

Now - I don't know if this story made sense, and it's nearly impossible to express the impression it made on my heart.  Words cannot explain the clarity, feelings and emotions I felt.  But I was able to see through these two children the light of Christ and the love of God.

I'm seeing the world a little bit differently each day that I'm here.  I'm growing in a knowledge that I didn't ever think existed. Alam ko - so naive and sheltered.

But I am blessed.  We all are.

-Sister Frame
When I get home will someone go to Disneyland with me?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sisters, like mine

Hard couple of weeks, but I'm proud to admit, this week was back on track.  
ALMA 31: 31-38 saved the day.  Scriptures seem to do that.  But, honestly, I've spent overtime on my knees just talking to Heavenly Father.  Just telling Him what was on my mind -

He definitely heard me.

Tuesday was quarterly interviews with the president.  President Rahlf is a champ.  Really.  I love that man.  We just talked and had the most open conversation about the mission, and I left with a clearer perspective of this all.  So, I checked my attitude at the door and went to work.

I studied my brains out this week on Christlike attributes.  Kind of discouraging because...holy cow...I have a lot of work to do.  But each day as I studied, prayed, read, and applied different attributes, my mind was clear.  An attribute that I recognized I am seriously lacking is - charity.  so...I am now working on developing my charity.  Because without it, i will have no success as a missionary...or a human.  I will continue to pray, study, seek, ponder, and develop charity until I can look at any person and see them as Christ would see them.  I want to have the pure love of Christ for everyone.  

We were teaching charity to M. and N. this week.  As I was talking, I was literally teaching myself the lesson. I was starting to understand it, now I just need to develop it.

and with of my favorite scriptures this week is Moroni 7:45-48.

N. and M. are baptized!!!!!! Holy cow...I saw miracles this week.  Sister P. and I were talking one night as we were going to bed, just reflecting back to when we first met N. - how she was so shy and was too nervous to ask any questions...and now she and M. are seriously our best friends.  I think I am so obsessed with them because their relationship as sisters is Laren and I to a "T."  Loey and I are the American version of them.  It's scary.  So many personality traits, mannerisms and the way they interact with each other- it's all practically identical...and makes me miss my sister.  

But just to think - they are members of the church now!

It is incredible just to see the progress and the testimonies that these two individuals have developed in the last month.  They're happy.

On to miracles - N.'s husband, Mk.  He is usually working when we're over there, but we had met him a few times while teaching N.  He never had a lot to say when we did see him, but I think he is just shy.  Anyway - N. told us last weekend that Mk. couldn't come to their baptism because he had to work.  

And because he had no pants or shoes.

                                    Well -

that was simple.  It only took a few texts to the elders and a "Please and Thank You" to solve the clothes issue.  By the end of the night we had more church clothes than we knew what to do with.  Mk. had endless options of pants and shoes, neckties and shirts to choose from.  And they were all his!

Now M (19) is the CUTEST girl in the world and we have had a blast introducing her to the most handsome RM's in the stake and making sure one of them picks her up for institute each week.  We have gotten her very involved with all the single adults.  On Friday-Saturday there was an overnight YSA conference with 15 stakes at Water World Resort about 30 minutes away.  We arranged for May to go, and we were SO excited, but it conflicted with her baptism.  

So - we simply pushed the time back - 

She could have the best of both worlds:  The activity and getting baptized later than night.  Moving the time back opened the door for the 1st miracle.  On Saturday night, Mk. showed up to the baptism, all dressed up in perfectly fitting church clothes to his wife's baptism.  He was able to get work off the second half of the afternoon.  It was awesome.

The baptism, of course, had a rough start.  Naturally, Satan had to make his debut and make things complicated -  Like Sister P. and I sitting on the curb in a downpour for 30 minutes waiting for someone to come open the church gates, complications filling the font, no baptisimal clothes, and last minute sprints to the bishop's house to find some - but by the end of the night - they were baptized and the spirit was undeniably strong.  Awesome.

The next day, during Sacrament Meeting, they were getting confirmed.  M. had gotten a really bad fever and they were late making it to church.  They arrived and Mk. came with such an enthusiasm to be there.  He told Sister P. and I that he had a dream the night before that "he was in a white building that was so beautiful, he couldn't describe it," and that he felt so peaceful.  He asked us to come over after church to teach him.  Then N. (in English) said, "Let's get him baptized!" I love when they do that...speak English.  

That night, M. was still VERY sick.  The home teaching coordinators just happened to be stopping by to welcome and visit N. and M.  They also gave M. a blessing and Mk. was able to witness it.  You could just see it in his face....he was so touched.  

Heavenly Father is in this work, and it is amazing to witness.  I'm grateful to be a part of it.

With the language...I've seriously let down a wall and started speaking more.  Mostly just like the things I hear my companion say.  I hit my head on the bunk bed one night and said the first thing that came to my mind.  It was in Tagalog...I don't even know what it means, but I hear my companion say it a lot.  And when I'm with other missionaries and they are teasing me, I've gotten really good at all the sarcastic expressions and comebacks.  I still can't teach in Tagalog worth crap.  But I'm keeping up with the street smarts.

I don't know why every bug and insect in the entire country of the Philippines thought it necessary to drop by our house for a visit.  They were never invited and it was so gross.  I woke up Sister P. two times to kill a cockroach the size of my face.  They are annoying...especially the millipede in the shower.

Thank you for ALL your emails, updates, love, support.  I'm serious - I felt all of your prayers this week.  And I thanked Heavenly Father for it.  There are obviously bad days...and weeks...or two weeks.  But I'm seeing the strength that comes from it all.  I'm enjoying the work.  I'm enjoying these experiences...mostly.  

                                I'm over here falling more in love with the Gospel!

- Sister Frame