a journey to motherhood

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week 5: Return with honor everyday!

Hello everyone!
How's your week? I know, we felt it here too in Bayugan. We heard from the members about the affected areas of the earthquake. I hope and pray that everyone  stay safe as we continue to help and pray for them. As expected, more people are talking about the Second Coming being nigh at hand. Because truly, it really is! Exactly why us missionaries wants to return with honor. Now, we are not going home yet! We want to to do our very best daily to find people to teach the restored gospel. We want to return to our apartments knowing there are lives that may be changing because we went to their homes and taught by the spirit.
People who keep their commitments are the best ever! We feltso much happiness when Bro. Dave texted us about his reading assignments. He is amazing! His and his sister Kyle are progressing wonderfully each week. Cristy made it too and we are happy campers. S. Esguerra and I been thinking more about the recent converts for the last two week. For some reason, we can't find all of them in their homes. We've been patient and prayerful and alas! We were surprized and amazed on Saturday we taught 4 of them. All of them kept their commitments and attended the sacrament. Seeing them renew their covenants made the week.
We had exchanges, S. De Lara worked with us and I love her. I can feel the the spirit when she teach and her application of principles from the Preach my Gospel is very evident. They are fond of making missionary family history here and I thought that it's funny! Your trainer is your nanay, the STL your lola and this missionary is your cousin and so forth. It's funny.
Okay, I will be honest! This week we ate more noodles and crackers because market wasn't timely.  Nissin and instant oats are becoming my new bestfriends. However, (for Mama's sake)  we just went to the market and bought real food including veggies. Did I tell you already that S. Esguerra can make almost all vegetables delicious? You know me, Im not a big fan but she cooks amazingly! We will be good until the end of the month and hopefully won't turn back to noodles. 

Brother R. and his mom are growing cranberries and it's beautiful. He took seeds from his mission and now Im sending some seeds home. :) We will have FHE next monday with them and we'll have cranberry jam!
I hope everyone are happy. I miss everyone. Hugs and kisses to my princess, Haley. Enjoy the pics. Have a wonderful week!

Can you see who's with us! 


Sister Esguerra sleeping with the area books beside her!

Noodles and crackers!

Sister Javelona

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week 4: 18 Stones, 18 Months!

I thought I should talk more about these stones, Our mission president gave these to us before they sent us to our first areas. In Ether 6, the brother of Jared presented stones to the Lord. It gave light to their vessels and so great was the faith of the brother of Jared the Lord cannot withhold the things that he beheld. 
Now it's up to us how to let these stones light and shine in our mission. It will be according to our faith, hardwork and obedience. 1 stone spent already and here's to 17 more that will light and shine brightly in Butuan.
I know Haleys been counting days until I come home. She won't anymore because she'll have these precious stones as my family will receive one each month. :) 

Sister Javelona

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Week 4: Don't Forget To Look Up!

Hello Everyone and happy conference! I know different arts and qoutes from the conference are now roaming in the internet. I hope everyone's journal, pinterest or blog are filled with the powerful spiritual messages of the prophets. Let's continue on using the internet to invite others to come unto Christ! As for me, Elder Ochoa's "Don't forget to look up" is this week's  theme.
Can you believe it? It is already a month since my brother and I left for MTC. And it is getting better in every way. I talked about Kyle last week. She is progressing wonderfully and attended the conference but this time Dave his brother went too! So happy! They have such great potential, S. Esguerra and I are both excited visit them this week and talk about their conference experience.  Cristy wasn't able to come to church. She was sad and us too but we all decided to move forward. We will start counting Sundays again with smiled on our faces. Don't forget to look up! When life is tough and commitments are not kept, don't forget to look up! Pray, read the scriptures and go to church. The seemingly small things we do will take us a long way. It's true to us missionaries and to everyone. 
Favorite apostle of the week? It's given, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. It wasn't from the conference  but a talk he gave to MTC on 2001 entitled "The MIracle of a Mission"  Very powerful! Missionary work is the hardest and the most important work here on earth. Neck to neck to motherhood :) it is the most important work I can do in my life. If you are goin on a mission, or if you have a son, a daugther or a friend on a mission send this talk to them. They will love it and it will help them. One thing I didand May help me with beore I left was printing out my favorite talks. Proven enough, it came in handy. One tip for the mission bound. :)
They already found an apartment for S. Conception and S. Rosero. They left on Friday and I missed them. It is always great to work with other missionaries. You get to learn from each of them. 
The APs picked us up today at 3:30 am to travel to Butuan for a zone activity. We had small games, igado for lunch and bowling. Enjoy the pictures!
I hope everyone had a great week. I miss everyone. I miss seeing my baby Haley with her little apron on. I found a new recipe for bread here that we can make together. 
Thank you everyone for the prayers and love. I can feel it from here.  Know that I love you too. Have a great week!
Sister Javelona
Just in case you want to know, I "think" im losing weight. :D In a good way. Also I  found out we have jumping ropes here. This week's exercises will be fun!

Home away from home!

Who loves durian?! Sadly i don't!

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 3: Don't Be The Quite Companion and Orange Maja!

Dear Family, 
Hows everyone been doing?! I hope the preparation for the coming General Conference is going well. Us sisters weren't able to attend the RS gen meeting because of travel circumstances . I was a bit disappointed because I was excited for that. So i guess we have to wait for the liahona issue. We will have the broadcast here in the ward for the Sat and Sun session. We dont have to travel far so that's good. It is wonderful to receive and hear again new counsels and revelation from the prophets. 
This week another 2 sisters are staying with us so there are 6 of us now. They are opening an area in Butuan but they havent found an apartment yet. Sister Esguerra is the most senior so the two of them had to work with us. It is fun! Also, Sister Concepcion and I arrived here together and its good to be with someone new too. 
I amade a language study plan which incldes  learning 30 words  and 10sentences daily and reading the BOM in Cebuano out loud. I will also practice writing in my mission language so my next letters might be in Cebuano too. Bear with me! I have to do it! :) I like that Sister Esguerra is pushing me just right for me to learn. I am not allowed to speak in other language inside the apartment! I am far from being fluent but with diligence and help of the Spirit it will come. Diligence in the Christlike attribute that I am focusing on this week. The Lord expects me to work diligently  and I know that if I do so I will be an effective and happy missionary. I already have small portions in the lessons we taught this week and not testifying alone. There is joy in teaching the truth!  am struggling in finding new investigators and I am grateful that Sister Esguerra is very helpful and compassionate with me. I feel conscious and awkward still to approach houses and individuals and start up a conversation with my crooked Bisaya. I will try harder and overcome the shyness too.After all, I don't want to be the quite companion! We have two progressing investigators this week, Cristy and Kyle We were so happy they attended the sacrament.:) 
I survived the first week here in the field! There are 3 of us greenies in the apartment so celebrated! For some reason orange and is the favorite color of the sisters here so S. Esguerra made us orange maja blanca. :) 
I didn't forget... Happy Birthday Papa! I love you so much! I hope you already read the letters I sent by now. I miss you tons. Travel safe with Scarllette on Tuesday. I love you both so much.
Lastly, I would like to leave a beautiful verse to ponder and pray about, Ether 12:6. I leave you the agency to open your own scriptures or look it up in lds.org. Come on! Do it! :) Have a great week!
With my trainer S. Esguerra
The Greenies!
Sister Javelona
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Friday, October 11, 2013


We left the MTC early in the morning of Wednesday then flew to Butuan City. The were 24 of us. 12 sisters and 12 elders. Sister Distrito became my travel and in between transfer companion automatically. We met our president and his wife at the airport. We were expecting that we will be transferred immediately but we were housed in a small hotel near the mission office for two nights. We had  more practice teachings and workshops before our transfer day on Friday.
          My companion and trainer is Sister Esguerra from Nueva Viscaya. Don't know yet how similar or contrasting our personalities are but the adjustments are going well. I feel that we are most productive during companion study and planning. I can already see that I will be trained well. She's very good at finding and talking to everyone!
          As expected, new missionaries will always be the speaker on their first Sundays in the ward. I was more shy and quiet because of being new but I am working at it. When I talked in the sacrament I immediately understood what I need to do to be successful in here. I have to work and open my mouth! Being able to talk and  share to the congregation made me feel better and less shy. Meeting the members in the ward was highlight of the day. We also had a special service in a far Baranggay. We held the sacrament in a little shack. Seeing the members try to help so others can partake the sacrament was amazing.
        So let me tell you about Bayugan City. It's an hour drive from Butuan where are mission home and office are. Now don't be fooled... because it doesn't look like a "Ciudad" to me at all. It's way less urbanized than i thought it would be. (Infact even Butuan is not) It's all rice fields and cornfields here. The store where we can buy stuff is what they call warehouse. There is no single mall here. Warehouse is pretty much like BreadMaster back home. We can see a beautiful view of rice fields and mountains on the way to our area. Wait, in fact there is a beautiful view of them just outside our study room's window. Our apartment is super nice and it's probably one of the best apartments. Also I don't want to forget to mention that we have a washing machine with dryer. I know! Very Cool! I know my mother will be happy about that. There are four of us sisters in the apartments. The more the merrier right?
        I don't feel the days are running fast yet. I feel like I've been here for a years already.  Battling the homesickness started after i left the MTC  but thing are getting better. Working makes it better. Language is not coming very fast too but it is going well. The more I recognize  my weaknesses the more I understood the principle of humility and makes me exercised my faith even more. Missionary work can be very hard especially the transitions when you have your comfort zones. But it is very rewarding. I know that if we continue to emulate the Savior and turn outward instead of turning inward for our selfish desires, we will be happier.
       I miss everyone so much! I miss my mother terribly and when i feel like it's very hard already, I remember their mothers in Alma 56:47-48. Thank you everyone for your prayers and love. I can always feel them everyday.
       I know I wrote more than I intended to do but I hope it would  bring happiness to my family and friends. This will go in a letter because internet here is very poor. I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Hacienda namon sa gawas.

                                      Hacienda nam
   Our apartment

Sister Javelona
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Week 2: MTC IS THE BEST!!!

Hello Family!
        Kamusta kamo tanan? I hope sadya kamo! We didn't have a P-Day last week because of our departure and transfers so I will be writing a lot longer today. This will go in a letter because internet here is very slow, we will find better cafe and hopefully I could send pictures too.
        I want to update everyone that Jenny and James (TRC Investigators) attended the sacrament. Too bad we will be leaving the MTC already that week. Sister Adventura and I loved teaching them. I love S. Patricio and B. Roda, Our teachers. So if you are going to the MTC and they are your teachers BIG YAY! for you! They  are the Best!
        Leaving the MTC was bittersweet. The experiences had were very meaningful. I love my district so much. President and S. Beck are very loving. Elder and S. Eves are always ready to help with smiles. Sister and E. French are the most enthusiastic couple. I will miss E. Jackson and his funny morning jingles, I always see one or two of these couples walking holding hands while I  jog.
          We gained new friends here but the closest to us all are the 2 Enos sisters. Sister Duanthipphavong is from Laos and S. Sowangwong from Thailand. We had them as visitors in our room several times. They thought us "Come though Fount Every Blessings"in thai and sang it for them before we left.
           I will miss the MTC. There will always be a special place in my heart for this place and for the people here. I will miss practice teaching, the garden, the morning exercise. I will miss sitting with the Mosiah and Enos Sisters every meal and the elders too. I had the best MTC companion! Sister Adventura and i could be companions forever!
            Leaving the MTC first and waving goodbye to Elder Javelona made me cry. He is ready! You dont know what 12 days in the MTC can do to a missionary. Truly, the spirit of the Lord  dwells here. Being here with my brother made it more special.
            Overall, It was beyond amazing. I can catch myself looking back and wishing we could stay longer. I will be honest, I didn't want to leave! Bur I also know that E. Javelona and I and the other missionaries I love can't fulfill  our purpose here. It will be in the field  where the harvest will happen.
              Thank you MTC-Philippines. Next to the temple, this place is most sacred and I will always treasure every moment.

Sister Javelona

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