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