Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!

 The Segovia Family

 The Estrelia Family

Skyping with my family on Christmas!

 Eating pork intestines

 Teresa was an investigator btw, who thought that we were rich foreigners who could give her money! So she told us that her husband was in prison and that he needed help. She even went as far as to write this note! But, awkwardly, it turns out her husband is a tricycle driver and didn't get the memo of his wife's lies and told us that he was teresa's husband! Hahahaha oh, mission life. 

Christmas morning with Sister Teo

Dear Family,
HELLO! It was SO wonderful getting to talk to you for Christmas! As a missionary, when we leave the skype we like over think everything and hope that we seemed excited enough and that we told everyone that we love them.. I LOVE the picture that you sent of Marmee! I am dying.. totally going to print that one out for my desk. 
Christmas week was so much fun!! When we were at our branch Christmas party on the 23rd, it hit me how much I LOVE Philippinos! They are a BLAST! And let me tell you, they know how to party.  There was food and dancing and games, and they love us missionaries so much.  At Christmas time, when I expected to be sad and missing my own family, I felt so at home with all of the wonderful people here. They truly have become my brothers and sisters.  This place will always be a home away from home. I will cherish the relationships that I have with each member, less active, and investigator. I am humbled every day by the faith and goodness of the people here. Despite the fact that they live with so little, they are always laughing and just so happy to be with each other. I don't know how I will ever be able to part from them!!! 
On Christmas Eve, we started making our rounds to all of the people we teach to take them Christmas gifts! We were given DVD's to give to them, and then we gave them some food and a Christmas card.  We caroled to everyone, and even though most people were laughing at us, it was so much fun.  Lots of people gave us food too! Haha, except on Christmas Eve, the little tindahan (cafe) we usually eat at for dinner didn't have very much food.  But one of the food items looked pretty good..But I couldn't really tell what it was. So I was like "Ano po ito?"-What is this. And the lady was like "Pork!" So I was like sweet! And got it with rice. Then I asked, "What kind of sauce is this? And she answered "dugo" or "blood"- haha, for some reason I was just thinking "haha that's weird, I wonder why they call it blood?" Yeah-turns out she was being serious! Because half way through my meal, I thought to myself "This is the weirdest pork I've ever eaten..." So I asked the lady "What kind of pork is this?" Then she goes "Intestine"..... Literally the moment she said that something changed inside my stomach. Hahahaha, the rest of the night we had to stop a few times for me to bend over and rest because of the stomach pains, but the next morning I woke up feeling just fine! hahahaha, oh the Philippines. 
But Christmas morning was a blast too! Sister Teo and I had gotten stockings for Sister Delaitubuna and Sister Falgui and so we suprised them and then had a big breakfast together (: And THEN we got to SKYPE!! It was SO GOOD to see everyone! I love that I still feel so close to you and that I could really feel your love even through the computer screen.
Then, we went to have lunch and we ran into a bunch of senior couples who paid for us! They told us that they take care of us missionaries because other people took care of their kids when they were missionaries (: I thought mom would like to know that. 
Mom, in response to your email...
We get 4,000 pesos on the 1st and on the 15th. We have to pay for fare and for electricity and for water, and for all our food and stuff like that. But-we really are going to start on the 1st to budget our money better! 
Dad, guess what! We had 2 complete families come to church and one sister reactivated!!! You could say that I am SO HAPPY to say the least!!
Hahah, we had our follow up training meeting yesterday and President Hiatt asked "Was today a good day?"  And we said, "Yes!" And he was like, "Why was it a good day?" And in unison, Sister Teo and I were like, "People came to church!" 
It really is SO sweet when people come to church (: I never knew one person could care so much about church attendance, but as missionaries we totally do! 
I loved getting to see you! You are my fave. I loved laughing with all of you and remembering how lucky I am to have each of you. 
I hope you have a great week and start this new year off strong! We are going to here! We have a goal of 100 OYMS! (OYM stands for Open Your Mouth...meaning new contacts with strangers) And we are gonna do it!! Both Sister Teo and I are really driven and kind of competitive, so that makes the work fun even when people don't always progress like we wish they did. I am still pretty sure that that competitive side of me comes from when I was little and you would say, "Lets race!" and you would never let me win. hehehe 
In the couple of hours following skype, though, I was feeling pretty crazy emotionally. I was thinking about all of you and what had changed, and what you would be doing the following Christmas morning. I was surprised to feel sadness as I missed you guys because I really am SO happy here! BUT- literally the second we walked into the home of someone we were teaching, as we began to work that day, all of those feelings disappeared and I was enveloped again for the love of the people here. Work really is the remedy for any form of homesickness! 
The sweetest experience that I had this week though, was with the Segovia family. The day after Christmas, their whole family was in town, and they really wanted us to come share with them. (The wife and son who we work with a lot are not active in church, but the Dad and daughter who were in town are very active.) We opened the lesson by singing "Families Can Be Together Forever." We all began singing the first verse together, but by the time it came time for the second verse, all of us had stopped singing because we were in tears. The spirit completely filled the room, and the quote "Missionaries leave their families for a time, so that others can be with their's for eternity" became so real. I was so thankful for that moment to share with this beautiful family. We set the goal for them to be sealed in the temple, and the following Sunday the whole family came to church. It was such a sweet experience that I will cherish forever. 
I love you all SO SO SO MUCH! I am so happy and just so in love with life! I don't know how I got so lucky to be here in this beautiful place with all of these beautiful people! Have a great week and be happy!!!
Sister Lockwood

Sunday, December 21, 2014

HE is the GIFT

At the Christmas party!

This is the community service project we did for Sister Segovia! We cut and burned all of the coconut tree leaves in her yard! SO FUN!!

This is the bascongada family with baby yen yen who has CSP

With Sister Joy who worked with us this week

The Lopez Family

Dear Family,
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM PALAWAN!! I hope all of you are happy and safe and enjoying the company of family and good food! I love you so much! 
Christmas time as a missionary is the greatest! Honestly, I was expecting to be so sad and depressed just missing my family like crazy, but I am just so at peace and so thankful to be where I am. It has been almost shocking to me to be in a place like this for Christmas.
There are no trees, no snow, no presents, no fancy gift wrapping, no stockings, no ANYTHING that resembles the Christmas's I am used to back home. When we walk down the street, you would think it was still the middle of August. 
BUT, despite the fact that outwardly, it doesn't feel much like Christmas, inside, I feel closer to the Savior in a way that I have never understood. I've always heard "remember the true meaning of Christmas." But until I've had the opportunity to go without all of the commercialization of the season, I've never really comprehended what the "true meaning" of this wonderful season is. 
This week we had our mission Christmas party! It was really fun. The Ostler's came dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and we did a service project for an orphanage in Manila.  We did our Nativity Play, and had a lot of fun being together.  At the end of the party, the Ostler's showed us a video they watch with their families every Christmas called "The 4th Wise Man." It tells the story of a 4th wise man who never made it to the birth of the Savior to add his gift to the gold and frankincense and myrrh. He didn't make it because he was met along the way with people who were in need of his help.  He kept being stopped and different beggars and leapers or disabled had need of the gifts that he had brought to give to the Savior.  At the end of this man's life, when he feels defeated that he had nothing left to give the Savior, Jesus Christ comes to him and says "You have already given me your gifts. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." 
THIS is the true meaning of Christmas.  It is coming to know He that was born for us.  It is spending our whole lives in the service of others because it is He that taught "As ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
I don't want you to be worried or sad for me this Christmas season.  I am having the opportunity to serve among "the least of these" and really walk and talk as the Savior would if He were here. Don't forget the real meaning of Christmas, or let yourself get worried about all of the expectations of a "perfect Christmas". The perfect Christmas comes from inside us! 
HE is Christmas. HE is the gift. And the only gift He wants from us, is the gift of ourselves. 
Sister Lockwood
PS. At our Christmas party- I had 4 packages on the stage! All the missionaries were walking by and like "these are all for one person?!" Its so ridiculous how spoiled I am!! Thank you all so much! Next time you feel like spoiling me, email me and I will give you the name of a Philippino missionary who probably will go their whole mission without receiving a package and you can send them one! Even just a letter would brighten their day sooo soo much.  We really have no idea how lucky we are.  I was seriously one of the only missionaries that got any packages and i got 4!!! how ridiculous is that. I am officially that american sister with the reputation of spoiled....
Also...haha funny of the week.. So i'm breaking out. which really is fine, but philippinos are so blunt they ALWAYS point it out to both me and Sister Teo. This week one investigator told us he could "cure our faces" LOLZ

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trust in the Lord

With my group on Palawan Island 

Companions and best friends 

Hello Family!
I know I say this every week, but it blows my mind how fast Monday comes again and again! Christmas will be here so soon and I'm so excited to talk to you! I'm really glad President told you about the no chatting thing.. I was nervous that you would be sad. But- I do know that miracles come from exact obedience!! And obedience always boils down to trust. If we trust that Heavenly Father loves us and really wants what's best for us, then we will keep His commandments, and we will trust that everything that we go through in this life is truly just to help us grow. Every experience we go through provides an opportunity for us to be better after than we were before.
It was another great week full of missionary work! This week we were really focused on finding. As a companionship, we pray a dozen times in a day. Every prayer this week, we asked Heavenly Father to guide us to families who are prepared to receive the gospel- and He did! After A LOT of rejection and walking and sweating and "tao po-ing" (what we do instead of knocking on doors or clapping, a couple of the days, it seemed like everyone we talked to had some sort of excuse or lie for us. There are so many excuses in the language of Tagalog that I LOATHE. Like "Casi may lakad kami ngyon" or "ah, casi pumupunta kami ngyon" or "bukas na lang sister."  That is one thing that I remember Mom saying about her mission... the people lying. I totally understand what she means now. BUT-after all of the lies and rejection, we found 3 new families this week!! It took a lot of searching, and a lot of rejection to get to them, and we still aren't sure if these are the families who have been prepared, but we are excited to keep teaching them and helping them progress. We are continuing to pray and really to SEARCH everywhere. I am continuing to learn what it means to trust in the Lord and to wait upon him.
AND- on our long days of sweating and rejection, Heavenly Father also sent us so many tender mercies. One of them was one day, the day where we literally walked and walked all day- a guy driving by on a motorcycle started chanting "Sis-ters! Sis-ters! Sis-ters!" Hahahaha, so hilarious! He wasn't even a member or anything. And then, later that night, we walked past a big group of boys and they all just broke out into applause. It was simple-but it was a tender mercy and a reminder to me that Heavenly Father is cheering me on! There are ALWAYS tender mercies if we look for them (:
This week, after hearing the sad news about Ben Parke, I immediately was sent to study again the Plan of Salvation. How amazingly blessed are we as members of the church with so many answers! As I read the basic doctrines that we teach almost every day on the Plan of Salvation, I found a whole new personal love for the truths of this restored gospel. We truly do have a GIFT to share.
While the gospel does provide us with so many answers, I was also reminded that not having answers is part of our life here on Earth. We know so much from the gospel, but God still withholds a lot from us so that we can learn to have faith in Him and really trust Him. In Proverbs, it reads that, "Happy is He who trusts in the Lord." We can be happy as we look up because then we know that we don't have to know all that is in front of us, but rather just trust in He that does know all of the answers.
It reminded me of how last week, as missionaries, we were completely in the dark with what was happening with the typhoon! We couldn't see where it was or where it was going or when it would hit. But, we knew that President Ostler, as our mission president knew. He could see the typhoon, and because we trusted him and knew that he loves us, we knew that as long as we stayed in communication with President Ostler, we would receive the information we needed to keep us safe.  
The gospel gives us so many answers, but the biggest answer is the direction that the gospel points us-which is upward. When we look up, we don't need to have all the answers and understand everything. We can simply trust in the Lord. 
I love you all so much! I am loving this Christmas season as a missionary! Despite the fact that there is no snow, no Christmas decorations, no family, and no Christmas food, I have the opportunity to experience Christmas as the Savior himself did, among the poor and humble. It will be a Christmas that I never ever will forget. 
Have a great week!! XOXOXO
Sister Lockwood
ps. We are having our Christmas party on Palawan tomorrow and President and Sister Ostler will be there and they might bring more, but I'm not for sure yet. 
Also- the quote of the week from Sister Teo "We are gonna try this 'budget' thing." Hahaha last pday we were like "we'll just go upstairs and just check it out" because upstairs there is a shopping store above the grocery part where we always shop. Hahaha when we got up to the place with all the clothes she goes "We should not have done this." And we both ended up spending way too much money and time. Hahahah but this week we really are going to try this budget thing! Hahaha I LOVE YOU!
pps. Sister Chua is almost reactivated! And we can't find her baptismal records so she might be being rebaptized soon! Yay!
And Sister Segovia is doing great and so is Sister Joy (: - all LA's
So you can keep them in your prayers!
AND HAVE THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! I will sing to you at 10:25 pm my time, so 9:25 am your time? 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Life in Paradise!

The skirts we bought last week!  Aren't they so cute?! Sister Teo and I are both former shopaholics
and really bad spenders...oops!

Here is a lovely image of the lizard that I found in my cup yesterday when I went to pour water in it
to drink.  Yikes!  I wish I could just show you a video of Sister Teo and I's reaction!  Hahaha!

Here's a picture of a basketball hoop here.  I thought the boys would like that one!

Hello Family!
So I know that everyone has been super worried about this typhoon Ruby, but it is still sunny and beautiful here in Puerto Princessa! There's a legend here on Palawan that typhoons never hit here, and its always just paradise. I didn't believe them, and we prepared big time for this typhoon, but apparently they were right! It hasn't even rained here at all. I am SO LUCKY to be here! Not only am I living in a missionary bubble, but the bubble of this paradise as well (: But, thank you so much for all of the prayers and concerns! It means so much! There is such power in prayer, and I feel the strength from all of your prayers everyday. 
Other great news, the figurative typhoon that I was feeling last week is gone! My hair is falling out way less, I'm not feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and I am just so happy to be a missionary doing missionary things! Again, I feel peace from all of the prayers coming my way back home. Some days I wonder "how am I doing this?!" And the Spirit reminds me that its not me, but strength beyond my own, and I know that that comes in extra abundance because of your prayers. I am the luckiest to have you!!! 
This week was so much fun. Sister Teo and I are growing in unity as a companionship and just as really great friends. Its so fun to get to be companions with someone who's a good friend! She is such a hard worker, and so dedicated to this work! Other than the language, it really doesn't feel like I'm training her.  
Our huge focus this week was finding. Everyday all week we prayed and searched for people who were ready to receive us. Our prayers were answered!! But sadly, most of the people we found for some reason or another don't actually live in our area, or are leaving the area soon. One of these people that we found was a couple that we ran across who are basically nomads, and travel by boat to all the islands of the Philippines. Despite the fact that we may or may not ever see them again, they were SO prepared!! When we taught the restoration, both brother and sister were in tears and so excited to finally have found what they were looking for! They said that the churches they've found all have leaders and founders that claim to be the Savior, but are corrupt. When we told them that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints wasn't Joseph Smith's church, but is God's gospel that started with Adam, they were so happy! Lessons like that just give me a high and I just leave saying "This! Is why I'm a missionary!!!" (: 
Another tender mercy we are experiencing are prepared less active members! Sister Chua and Sister Segovia especially have been angels to me here over the past couple of weeks. They were both less actives that we visited for the first time a few weeks ago, and both of them are coming back to church!! We have such a special bond with them, and every time we see them they express their thanks and love to us. Sister Chua is even coming to work with us this week. And Sister Segovia told us that when the branch members asked who it was that finally got her to come back to church she said, "It was the 2 beautiful sister missionaries." What a sweet feeling it is! Here in the Philippines, returning a less active is just as amazing as baptizing someone for the first time. Keep the Chua's and Segovia's in your prayers!! Ah, I LOVE them! 
So, now our focus this week will be continuing to find! We fasted yesterday to find a prepared family that lives in our area. Now we just have to have the faith and diligence to find them! This morning in my personal study I read a lot about faith, and one thing that stood out to me was patience.  No matter how long Heavenly Father takes to answer our prayers, faith means to NEVER give up and to always hold on and know that He will eventually answer them. Joseph's Smith's answer in the scriptures in James 1:5, is preceded in James 1:1-4 with PATIENCE. After we let patience have her perfect work, then Heavenly Father will give us a witness of our faith. 
Another scripture I really loved this week was Hebrews 12:1 "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." 
I don't know how long Heavenly Father will take to answer our prayer to find a family, but I know that he WILL. 
I am still just loving life here! I love you all so much! Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers and love. The power and blessings that come from them are literally felt as I receive strength beyond my own. 
Also I got your christmas cards, and we have zone meeting this week and the DL told me I have lots of mail.
I'm pretty sure I'm like known in the mission for getting the most mail hahaha. I HAVE THE GREATEST FAMILY EVERRR
Sister Lockwood

Monday, December 1, 2014

Doubt Not, Fear Not

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Mexican restaurant next door

A very messy desk!

Dear Family,
Its hard to believe that another week has gone by and I arm emailing you again! This week was hard! But I am so grateful for every challenge because it really did point me to my Savior. On Wednesday at choir practice (which I am the chorister for) Sister Hiatt came up to me and said "Oh Sister Lockwood, you don't look so good. Are you doing okay? Are you stressed?" Haha, apparently how I felt on the inside was showing on the outside too. This week it just felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders! Training a foreigner is difficult. Sometimes, neither of us can understand what people are saying! Because she's new I have to teach most of the lessons, and it can be exhausting! It also turns out that I still have bad spending surprise there. So I was worried about money, and different expenses that came up in the apartment. We also are doing what's called "Becoming a Master Teacher" and the Sister Training Leaders surprised us and randomly showed up at our apartment to pass us off for ALL of the lessons.  We also had to plan for a fireside for the branch this week, and so many things just kept piling up! Friday afternoon I just felt like I had so many responsibilities and no way of accomplishing it all! I was stressed about our lack of progressing investigators, and I just felt overwhelmed. That afternoon, there was a bagyo, and Sister Teo and I listened to the talk "Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Elder Holland, and it just hit me..."you are not alone." The next morning in personal study I read the talk again by David Bednar "Bear up their Burdens with Ease". It was then that I realized, "Why am I trying to do this alone??" It was such a humbling experience for me to change my mentality and remember that my Savior is waiting for me to cast my burdens on Him. I was comforted and relieved to remember that Santa Monica is HIS area, not mine. These are HIS investigators and less actives, and as long as I am doing my best, He will take care of the rest. Friday and Saturday, I really felt the spirit comfort me and let me know that Jesus Christ is going to help me do this. He knows I can't speak this language perfectly, but He called me to be here and knows exactly what I'm going through. I was strengthened and was able to replace my fear with faith and confidence!
Then, on Sunday, we had 4 less active members come to church! I played the piano in sacrament meeting, so I had a clear view of every person that came in late (hehe) and my heart was so filled with joy! No matter what the ups and downs of the week, Sunday morning when someone comes to church it makes it all so worth it! All week we had really been focusing on our less active members, and it felt SO good to FINALLY have them at church!!!
Also, Sister Teo is amazing. She is such a strength to me and I am learning so much from her faith. She is obedient and hard working and wonderful! It was a goal of mine in the MTC to make every companion my best friend, and with her it has been so easy! I love knowing that Heavenly Father put us together. We have so much faith for this upcoming week and are excited to be lead by the spirit together to new investigators who are ready to progress. That is really going to be our focus this week! New investigators, and specifically families!! We have 2 college campuses in our areas, and so many people we talk to are students, but most of them have class on Sundays! So this week we are really praying hard for families. 
On Thanksgiving this week we ate at the Mexican restaurant next door! It was fun! Definitely not the serving sizes I'm used to on Thanksgiving (;, but it was really great! 
D&C 6:34-37 was my favorite scripture this week and came as a clear answer to prayer. It says "Fear not, little flock; do good. let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet, be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen."
I KNOW that the Savior is always near every one of us! We don't have do go through this life alone. I am so thankful for Him and this amazing opportunity I have to learn how to rely on him.  He really does make our burdens light!!
I love you SO SO MUCH!!!
Sister Lockwood

Monday, November 24, 2014

I love you!

Sister Princess, my temporary companion from Palawan 

20 candles in 1 piece of cake! 

My "Anak," Sister Teo 

Nanay Montila on her "motor" that she rides everywhere 

Sister Teo, my greenie, from Singapore

Dear Family,
HELLO! So GUESS WHAT! I turned 20 this week and had a baby! She is from Singapore! Her name is Sister Teo (funny huh). Nope, she does not speak Tagalog either so life is a pretty big adventure right now! She actually went to BYU last year and we met in the Cannon Center!! (Perks of being the cashier.) (That also happened in the MTC too...Some Elder from across the gym yelled "Hey! You worked at the Cannon Center!" hahahaha) But how fun/cool is that?! Such a small world. She is so cute and kind and we are already really great friends. She's really hard working and enthusiastic too which is making my life as a trainer so easy. Life is awesome!!  On funny thing- now I am the one protecting Sister Teo against the dogs! Haha, I am so thankful for Sister Parina who taught me how to be a Filipina! You can look her up on Facebook Kimberly Teo... we're friends actually! She read my blog before she came out. How crazy is that?! She has a blog is her blog! Now you'll have 2 to read!!
Guess what! I DID get the birthday box!! My anak brought it with her!!! How awesome is that?! So you had no reason to be sad!! YOU ARE THE BEST! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR THE SCRIPTURES!!! They weigh so much less and it is the best. Also the wrapping and everything was the cutest and the chocolate was exactly what I needed. It was such a great day! I woke up and there was a sign in the kitchen for me from Sister Delaitubuna, and then that day Nanay Montilla and Jennic both gave me cards and a little gift which was SO sweet. Princess also left me a card taped to the top of the bunk bed when I went to bed. And my anak bought me a piece of cake and so we celebrated! I blew out 20 candles, and she blew out 1 for surviving her first day in the field (: And we also made pancakes for breakfast and then ate macoroni and cheese for dinner. And I had also saved the DP for my birthday from your last package, so it was a really really great birthday!!! It was probably one of the best birthdays because I wasn't expecting anything and I wasn't thinking about myself at all. Most birthdays I like kind of expect to celebrate and expect to have gifts and things so this day was so extra special because every act of kindness and gift meant SO much.
This week we had some really great lessons, as always. Nobody came to church ): So on Sunday I was feeling down and discouraged again. Its like all week all of these people tell me they're gonna come to church and I always believe them! I get so excited and I just pour my whole heart into them and pray for them and then when Sunday comes, I sit in the chapel and wait and wait, and every time the door opens I get excited...then wala. Its hard! But-the great thing is is that the work never stops! So as soon as I go out and work Sunday afternoon, and another person tells me they'll go to church next Sunday, I forget all about the past Sunday and get excited for the next (: 
We are really really focusing on less active members. We have so many and our branch is really working together to bring these people back. You can pray for Nancy, Sister Chua, the Costodio Family and OE and IO too.  They are the less actives we're really focusing on.
We also found a GOLDEN investigator this week! We extended a baptismal date, and she's SO ready. She's been to church twice, everything is perfect. But then, there's a rule here that if you're below 18 you have to go to church for 6 months before you can get baptized. So, in 6 months she will be somebody else's golden investigator that get to baptize her (; lolol, its okay though! Her name is Jing Jing and I love her (: 
Yeah so that's life right now!! I love it! My favorite scripture this week is Ether 12:27 (in the Book of Mormon). Some days this week I felt really inadequate. I just finished my training, sometimes I still can't understand people, or say what I want to say, and now I'm training someone who is still learning to say really simple things. It can be hard! I think Satan knows that I am nervous sometimes so he can get to me in that way. BUT I KNOW that Heavenly Father knows I can do this! He knows me and He called me to train! He believes in me and He trusts me! He knows I can do this and that is all I need to know. He gave me the weaknesses I have so that I will be humble and rely on Him. But with Him, I really can do anything that He needs me to do.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING MY BIRTHDAY THE BEST FROM ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE WORLD!!! I cried at 9 AM my time when i knew you were singing to me....
Pray for Sister Teo and have a happy Thanksgiving!! Don't worry, its still August in my brain so I am not even sad that I am not with everyone!! 
xoxoxoxo have a great week!!!
Sister Lockwood

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm gonna be a Nanay!

The Sisters on Palawan Island

Dear Family,
This week has been SO GREAT! Seriously, probably the best week on my
mission thus far. I have been working with Princess, who is a branch
missionary but she has been my full time companion. She actually just
decided on Monday that she is going to start her papers, and then on
Tuesday we called her to be my companion! She is so sweet and it has been
awesome working with her because she lives here and so knows the area
and people really well and obviously..Tagalog. It was also the
greatest week because our investigator, Aiza, and 2 less active members came to
church!! The joy that filled me up on Sunday morning was something I
can't even explain. After working so hard to be obedient and always
committing people to come to church, to finally see them progress was
so rewarding.
But, the biggest news of the week, I'm gonna be a Nanay!! (That means train a brand new missionary.)  President Ostler called me on Wednesday night to train a new missionary! So this Wednesday, I will officially have an Anak! (Anak literally means child but means I will have my own “Greenie” from the MTC.) I am SO excited!! When my
trainer, Sister Parina left me, it was so stressful and I felt so overwhelmed, but I can now see clearly that Heavenly Father was having me lead the area for these 2 weeks to prepare me to train! Heavenly
Father always knows what He is doing even we can't understand. One of the highlights of this week was our lesson with Sonia. She is a Less Active that we talked about in Branch Council that I didn’t know
lived in my area. We visited her last night, and it was such a sweet experience.  We connected really quickly and she told us all about her children and her life.  Then she opened up to us about what she has
been struggling with and how badly she just wants for her family to be sealed in the temple. She was speaking so quickly in Tagalog, I couldn't understand everything she was saying, but as she began to
cry, to my surprise, I began to cry with her. I was filled with an indescribable connection and love and care for her. Being a missionary is so rewarding in lessons like that. The Holy Ghost is so powerful
and I feel so lucky to be blessed with love for the people in my area. She committed to come back to church, so keep Sonia in your prayers! The internet is really horrible today so this is going to be short.
Just know that I LOVE being a missionary!! I am ridiculously happy and everyday I feel like there are not enough hours in the day to teach everyone and visit all of the amazing people here!!
I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who is always near us and is always playing an active part in our lives. It is so true that what seems to be detours and disappointments are truly just His path
for us back to Him.  He has a perfect plan for each of us! Also keep my anak in your prayers!! I will pick her up from the airport on Wednesday (: Woo!
I LOVE YOU!! Thank you for ALL of the birthday emails! I'm sorry in advance for those that I don't get to reply to.

Sister Lockwood

Monday, November 10, 2014

The End of your Comfort Zone

On the beach with Sister Parina

We ate octopus! 

Doing my own laundry

Hello Family!!
They always say that your growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.  This is so true and I am so lucky to be here in the Philippines and be stretched out of my comfort zone again and again!! 
This week, I lost my trainer!! Sister Parina and Sister Lacsamana are currently in the mission home.  Their teeth pains continued, and so President Ostler had them go back to the mainland so they could see a real dentist. (The doctors/dentists here on Palawan are pretty much all really sketchy..)  It turns out their wisdom teeth were what were causing all of the problems! (so Sister Parina didn't even need that tooth pulled, I don't think...). So they got their wisdom teeth pulled and have been recovering at the mission home! Sister Delaitubuna is my temporary companion, and we work with branch missionaries everyday to cover both of our areas. So, I went from having a trainer leading the lessons and the area, to me leading the area and pretty much teaching the entire lesson and just using the branch missionary as someone who shares experiences and testimony. Wow! Transfers are on the 19th, and I don't know if they will come back before then or if we will just work with branch missionaries until then.  But, I have grown and learned SO MUCH. I definitely left my comfort zone, but Heavenly Father has strengthened me more than I can express. My language skills are improving even more quickly as I teach, and I am really connecting with my investigators more than before; specifically Elena, and her friend Rina that we started teaching this week. They are like my new best friends here. I love them SO MUCH. And they are both progressing and have so many questions. Keep them in your prayers!!
This week, we also had zone meeting, and the big focus was OYM, or Opening Your Mouth.  President Ostler wants each of us as individuals to talk to 10 new people every day, have a connection with them, and then invite them to church or to learn more. We had so many miracles just this week that came as a result of our new goal to OYM. Despite the fact that I fell very short of 70, I felt happy at the end of every day as I really tried to open my mouth to everyone. We would try to talk to every trike driver, every person sitting next to us on a Jeepney, and take time between appointments to talk to people on the street. We invited everyone to church on Sunday and gave away many pamphlets. When Sunday came, I wasn't really expecting any of these OYM's to come to church. I wasn't even really thinking about them at all. But after branch council, we came out to find Vicente waiting outside the chapel, holding a pamphlet that we gave him in a trike!! I didn't even recognize him, but as he talked to the elders, he pointed at me and said that I had invited him to church. I felt so excited and happy that 1 of the many people that we talked to throughout the week really did listen and was touched by the spirit to come to church. 
Another really great experience we had with OYMing was after district meeting, Sister Parina and I went to work talking to everyone. We didn't seem to have much success, but at the very end of the day the last family we OYMed told us they were MEMBERS! They had moved into our area and nobody knew it. They are less active, but we now have found a new family that Heavenly Father was ready for us to meet and bring back to church. 
So, I would encourage you to do the same thing!! Dad is already a pro at this, but just be friendly and meet new people everywhere you go.  You don't even have to formally share the gospel, but just by being happy and excited to meet new people you can make a huge difference in someone's day (: I love it when someone is on a Jeepney looking sad, and then just by smiling and saying "hello po! ano pangalan nyo?" their faces light up (: 
Other investigators you can keep in your prayers this week are Mayra, Aiza, Elena and Rina, the Costodio Family, the Lopez family, Ethan, Haydie, Himaya, and the Bascongada Family. Ah- I am so lucky to teach all of these amazing people!! I am really feeling myself getting lost in this work as I am coming to love them all so much. Yesterday after our lessons I didn't want to go home, I just wanted to keep talking and connecting with these people!
I know that Heavenly Father has specific experiences planned for me on the mission that will help me stretch and grow.  Even though losing Sister Parina and working with the members has been a challenge, I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who trusts me enough to give me this experience.  My language, teaching, listening, and connecting skills are just multiplying from this.  God pushes and pulls us out of our comfort zone because He loves us.  Every experience in this life is given to us because He loves us and wants us to grow. 
I am so thankful for a Father in Heaven who loves me enough to push me out of my comfort zone.
I love you all SO MUCH!
It makes me so happy that you are having FHE and doing morning prayers! In conference they really stressed how important those little things are and I know that protection and power comes from those things.
Sister Lacsamana also took a picture of me washing clothes. She and Sister Delaitubuna are my angels. They helped me wash my clothes one night before bed when they should have been eating! it was so cute they kept laughing at me and saying "shes so cute" hahaha.
Sister Lockwood
ps. i learned how to wash my clothes by hand this week because the lady that usually comes and washes them wasn't able to! Its actually not too bad (:
pss. Oh yeah, our zone split this week! So we are now the Santa Monica Zone, and as of right now Sister Delaitubuna and I are the only Sisters in the whole zone. 
psss. If we leave our tennis shoes out at night, when we put them on in the morning we find frogs sleeping in them (: hehehe gross.

Monday, November 3, 2014

He is always near me

Sister Parina, Sister Lockwood, Sister Delaitubuna, and Sister Lacsamana

Dear Family,
Wow! So, this week was totally nuts. I keep thinking that one day I'm gonna email you and say "this week was pretty normal, not much to say." But every week proves to be crazier and crazier!! Hahaha, but I think this week might win the prize. Ready..?
So on Thursday, we were home because Sister Parina's neck was bothering her. (Her tooth is much better, but it kept us from working on Wednesday ): ) I was feeling quite annoyed that we were staying home again because we have been in our apartment so much! Sister Delaitubuna and I even texted the District Leader to ask if we could do exchanges since both of our companions were sick. But, to our surprise the District Leader said no.  We were both pretty confused because he usually says yes. I was kinda mad to be honest.. But, little did I know, it would be a good thing that we were home. Sister Lacsamana and Sister Delaitubuna were also home because Sister Lacsamana had been complaining of chest pains and hadn't been feeling well. President and Sister Hiatt were in Manila, so they said to wait until they could get back and check her out. So I was cleaning my desk in our study room when all of a sudden Sister Delaitubuna yelled "Sister Lockwood! I need your help!" I walked into the kitchen to find Sister Lacsamana laid back in the chair, unresponsive!! Sister Delaitubuna was like "she just collapsed when she tried to stand up!" Of course, the daughter of my mother that I am, I started freaking out. "Is she breathing?! Is her heart beating?!" Earlier that morning Sister Lacsamana had told us about a heart condition that she had and that her dad had had to do CPR on her multiple times. WHATTT?!!! Yeah, luckily she was breathing and her heart was beating, but we couldn't get her to respond to us, and her face went super super pale. I started making phone calls to everyone I knew and nobody was answering!! (turns out it was MLC, the leadership meeting of every leader in the mission..) So I finally got ahold of our district leader.  It was then that Sister Lacsamana began gasping for air like she couldn't breath. It was then that I really started freaking out and was like "I THINK I NEED TO CALL AN AMBULANCE!"  So, calmly, the elder was like "Okay Sister, Dial 117." So, here we go. For the first time in my life I dialed the ambulance!! Of course, it was not like America, and I spent a good 10 minutes screaming where our apartment was and that we were on the island of Palawan.. because they don't have real addresses here. Before the ambulance arrived (or I waved it down rather), Sister Hiatt called and told me that I should go with her in the ambulance. So, I got to ride in the ambulance! By that point, Sister Lacsamana was responding and doing okay, but still complaining of chest pain. Sadly, when we arrived at the "hospital" they did absolutely NOTHING for her! They did some tests and then sent us home. She is getting transferred back to Manila at transfers to be able to go to doctors there. 
So, long story short, I rode in an ambulance this week. 
A few hours later, I was feeling like I made the absolute wrong decision, but Sister Ostler called and said I did the right thing. And guess what? The ambulance only cost the equivalent of 12 dollars! So I don't feel bad at all! 
I really hope you're not freaked out, everyone is fine now and we all went back to work this weekend! Its quite the story...huh? Hahaha, oh my.
But other than that madness, I learned a lot this week! Elder Oaks came here to the Philippines with Elder Robbins and we got to watch them in a broadcast.  We also were invited to Branch Council on Sunday, and between both of those, I realized how much WORK there is to do here! Over 3/4ths of our branch is Less Active, and those numbers are the same across all of the Philippines. There are over 700,000 members here but SO MANY are less active! We as missionaries have so much to do, not only to reactivate people but to make sure that those we baptize are really ready to become strong members. 
My favorite part of the broadcast, though, was Elder Robbins talk. He said that "we see the world from what we carry in our hearts." He gave the example of Laman and Lemuel and their brother Nephi. Despite the fact that they virtually had the same set of circumstances, their attitudes and experiences were completely different because of what they carried in their hearts. He said that "we see things as we are". This was so perfect for me as a missionary to hear! Life in the Philippines can be crazy sometimes, but I will see things as I am, from what I carry inside of my heart. Attitude is everything! There are so many blessings that come to me as I strive to be grateful and always carry in my heart the hope and faith that comes from the gospel. It's not always easy, but I was so thankful for that reminder from Elder Robbins. 
Life is so good! Don't be freaked out about the story of the ambulance, I know that it was definitely a tender mercy that we were all home and ready to take care of her. I'm so thankful our district leader was in tune with the spirit, and that everyone was okay. I KNOW that Heavenly Father is involved in the details of our lives. He really is always near us. And if we listen, he will ALWAYS tell us what we should do to keep us safe. 
I love you SO SO MUCH!!!
Sister Lockwood

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


 Aligator Farm on Pday

That's mud, Mom, not blood!

 Doing laundry

I love Palawan!

Sister Delaitubuna, from Fiji!  I love her!

Hello Family!!
It wouldn't be another week in the Philippines without another load of crazy adventures!!
Let's see.. the madness began last Monday night. There was a brown out ALL NIGHT and so none of us could sleep, so we all went and laid down and tried to sleep on the tile floor in our living room. It really wasn't that big of a deal, but definitely not something I'm used to! It really made me grateful for electric fans. They are a life saver!! THEN on Tuesday morning, there were MAGGOTS in our kitchen!! Apparently we had left food in the trash can too long... I don't know, but I was freakin out, as you might imagine. I just looked at Sister Parina in horror and was like "what are those?!!" Hahaha, its one of those moments of my life that I am gonna wanna rewatch in heaven, lol.  I also saw a live snake this week on the road that we live on... I don't even wanna know how many times there are snakes around me in the grass we walk through.  I just try not to think about it.  And, the last sweet adventure was I bought an octopus! It was only the equivilant of like 2 american dollars and it was actually pretty good! Sister Parina cooked it for me and we took some fun pictures with it (: Its really chewy.. and the tentacles were kinda weird but it was good!
This week, Sister Parina's tooth was really aching again, so we went to ANOTHER dentist. (I'm pretty sure all the dentists here are frauds...) and this dentist told Sister Parina that she either needed a root canal or just to get the tooth pulled. To my horror, Sister Parina told them to pull it!! So I sat in the room while they just ripped her molar right out of her mouth! Ah, I was just in shock. I told Sister Hiatt that if that were me and I pulled my tooth out that my mother would be horrified. It just made me realize how lucky I am to have had good medical care all my life.
That was one thing that really hit me hard this week...Some things like the no air-conditioning, and the poor living conditions, I just get used to after awhile.  But the poor medical care is heart breaking. I can't even tell you some of the things I see everyday that are just completely normal to people here that break my heart. Like most people can't afford diapers, and so their babies just pee right on them or on the floor! And when people get really sick, they just die rather than get the treatment they need because its too expensive. I just can't even comprehend how immensely blessed I am. Why did I get so lucky?? How was I born in the United States with the family I have?? Ah, its overwhelming some days.
BUT...despite all of the craziness that is living in the Philippines, my testimony grows stronger every day.  
Yesterday we had interviews with President Ostler, and he just really expressed to me how happy Heavenly Father is with me, and how much I am worth to Him.  I went into the interview expecting to talk about how I need to be more obedient, or more diligent in my studies or with the work, but President Ostler just told me that he is so proud of me and grateful for me. He told me that He felt that God just wanted me to know how much He loves me and how amazing I am in His eyes. At the beginning of my interview I prayed for us and I prayed that he could help me know how to be a better missionary.. then after I was done he said, "I want you to stay JUST the way you are." He said that I could not learn another word of Tagalog the rest of my mission and that I would be a great missionary to him. Really, he is SO kind to me. I left yesterday feeling so great about myself. After the interview, I was really pondering my worth as a daughter of God and what that means. I remembered at a devotional at BYU, Sister Dalton counseled all of us women that we should always remember who we are. She said that the knowledge that we are daughters of God should affect our every thought, belief, and action. I am coming to understand more and more what she meant. I am gaining confidence in myself here on a mission, and am recognizing where that confidence is coming from. Over and over in my studying in the Book of Mormon, it talks about how because they relied on the Lord, then they were made strong. By being humble, and recognizing where my strength comes from as a daughter of God, I am then made strong. As I come to better understand how important I am personally to Heavenly Father, it makes me want to help my investigators feel that confidence in themselves! Because I have been so blessed to know just how much I am worth in the site of God, I can bring that light and knowledge to the rest of His children. The perspective of knowing that I have great divine nature from my Father, brings me so much peace and happiness. I love this gospel SO MUCH!! I really hope that I can help others have that perspective as well.
One lesson that was really memorable this week was with our investigator, Elaina.  She is a new investigator, and when we went to her house she seemed so grumpy. She was kind of rude, and we didn't feel that she wanted us there. Sister Parina said, "Maybe we'll come back another day since you are busy today." But, she insisted we come in.  We started the lesson, both of us a little bit annoyed at her attitude and facial expressions.  But, when we began the lesson and asked if she had any questions about what she read, she just opened up to us and poured out what has been happening in her life.  She caught her husband cheating on her, and her children all live far away from her now.  Instantly, our hearts were changed from ill feelings towards this women, to love.  She asked question after question about the gospel, and we knew that she really was just searching for peace and love from God.  Every person we meet has their own set of problems and trials. It was such a good reminder for me to love people first, and really desire to get to know them and help them before ever giving up on them.
This week, because Sister Parina and Sister Lacsamana have been sick with teeth problems, I got to go on exchanges with Sister Delaitubuna, our other kabahay from Fiji! She is amazing. It was a really neat experience for me, because she instantly connected and really LOVED my investigators and less actives who she had never met before. It was such a good reminder for me to always put love at the center of everything I do. Sometimes I get so nervous about what I am going to say, or try so hard to speak correctly, that I forget to really just love. Even with the investigators who we have been returning back to for weeks and weeks and they still haven't made it to church, I know that they are children of God. They have that same potential I do, and I can help them realize that! Love is the most important part of EVERYTHING in this life! We are here because Heavenly Father loves us and He wants us to love each other.
If there is one thing I really have learned this week, its that love is all that matters. God has put me here to love the people in the Santa Monica Branch, and He's put me with Sister Parina to really love her.
I'm so thankful for this gospel and the perspective that it gives me to know how much I am loved, and how much we ALL are loved.
And, if you want to pray for my investigators, you can pray for Elaina, the Bascongada Family, Ethan, Himaya, Natsuko, and Rose this week.
Sorry, this email was so scattered and all over the place!!
Sister Lockwood
ps.  Did you already pack up that box you're sending on Wednesday? I told the Hiatt's that I would ask you to send Orajel because all the missionaries here have teeth problems and they said they'd reimburse me. And do you think you could get the ones that come in the q-tip looking things for individual servings kinda?? If you can't find it its no big deal!
Life is so good! I am SO happy and life is GREAT! 

One last thing...I received this email from her last night as well.  So sorry to everyone who has already sent her birthday and Christmas packages!  I will find out what that means for those packages already in route...

TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS:  The post office has asked that letters and packages for our mission be addressed as follows:

Philippines Manila Mission
c/o "Missionary name"
PO Box 1997
Makati City
1200 Metro Manila (note the change of zip code)

There has been a change in personnel at the post office so it is very important to put the mission name first. Christmas is coming and we expect lots of packages. Hopefully putting the mission name first will help ensure that we actually receive the packages.

Sister Paine
Manila Mission Office

Monday, October 27, 2014

Check back tomorrow!

For all of you faithful followers of Kayla's blog, please check back again tomorrow.  This week her pday (day for emailing and such) was moved to Tuesday.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Learning to Surf!

Hello from Palawan!
Life is still so wonderful here! I am learning and growing SO MUCH and always having a ton of fun.
Of course, it wouldn't be another week here in Santa Monica without new adventures and crazy stories to tell you. Some of this week's were.... I ate squid! Sister Parina made some for me and it's actually super delicious! Weird, I know. Another really hilarious thing that happened.. we were teaching Rose, one of our investigators who is really starting to progress...yay! And she lives in a bamboo house that has 2 levels.. and the bottom is just a dirt floor, and over top is her room. And so we were teaching her on the bottom level, and in the middle of the lesson PEE started FALLING FROM THE CEILING literally RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! Rose's husband had to use the restroom apparently! And the pee landed on Rose's flip flop! Hahahaha... the most hilarious part of it though is that nobody seemed to be phased by it except me. Hahaha...Sister Parina just kept talking about pananampalataya and Rose listened and didn't say anything. lolol,. so great. And the last adventure...I guess you could call it. I got in the shower Saturday night and found a friend.. cockroach. I really have been overcoming my fear of them! But there's something about being in the shower with a cockroach that is just so scary. So naturally I screamed and ran out yelling "Nanayyy!!!" Sister Parina came and helped me kill it (; There are many reasons we wear shower shoes here! Haha.. I love life.
This week, we taught our Japanese investigator Natsuko and the lesson was SO AMAZING. She is my FAVORITE to teach because first I get to teach in English...and second because she has so so many questions. We are helping her come to understand the life of Jesus Christ and His atonement. We pointed her to in Japanese and she is so excited to get her questions answers there! (She had ran into some not so reliable online sources..) I felt the spirit so strongly as I bore my testimony to her. I hope and pray that she will really be able to get the answer she needs from Heavenly Father! This week we are going to her house to do service which should be really great. We also happen to have a Sister in our branch who can speak japanese which is such a miracle and tender mercy., so she comes with us to help translate... Tagalog, English, Japanese. Those lessons are really a hoot.
This week I was really focused on diligence and obedience. I tried to really work hard everyday and have faith that Heavenly Father would continue to bless us with people ready to receive the gospel, and also that He would help my investigators come to church. However, on Sunday, nobody came to church! I was so sad and disappointed. I came home from church just feeling defeated and wondering why nobody came even though we taught so many amazing lessons and even though we worked really hard. After lunch, I went and laid down on my bed and just started to cry. I just wanted to take a nap rather than start my studies. Just as I did though, I was reminded of all of the scriptures President Ostler gave to us at zone conference to read when we were feeling ready to give up, and also a note that Mom had given to me to read when I felt discouraged. I pulled myself out of bed and prayed and sat at my desk to study those things. What a blessing! All of the scriptures President Ostler had given in D&C...D&C 58:2-4 101:16 and 123:17 had the same theme- Be still and trust in God. All flesh is in HIS hands. Do all you can, and then don't worry about the rest. I felt such comfort and was reminded that all of my investigators who weren't able to come to church are really in God's hands and I had done all I can. In the note from Mom, it said "She who wins the race is the one who picks herself up one more time than she falls." Just because nobody came to church doesn't mean that I failed! It means that I can just pick myself up and try again for next Sunday.
I also read in Hebrews 6:10-20. Heavenly Father recognizes all of my work and my labor. Blessings will come, but I have to be diligent and patient in waiting for those blessings. Now is the time that I REALLY can show Heavenly Father my faith and hope. Am I going to be discouraged? No, I am going to try harder and have faith in Him! I know that as I do all I can, He will take care of the rest.
Sister Parina told me that this would not be the last Sunday that nobody comes to church, that my whole mission would have days like that one. It is those days that I am reminded how much Heavenly Father is helping me grow. Despite the fact that sometimes those I teach will choose not to let the gospel really change them, this gospel and this mission is really really changing me, and for that I am so thankful.
The cover of the card mom had left for me said "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf." That's what I'm doing! I can't stop the roaches, the mosquitoes, the heat, or even the investigators who don't keep they're commitments, but I can learn to surf. I am learning SO MUCH. I am so thankful to be here.
I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Sister Lockwood

ps. This week I used my debit card to buy pizza! This week you'll have to look
and tell me how much it really charged! I wanted to practice before my
birthday (;
Also, for the Christmas if you could include hydrocortizone anti itch
cream... J had put some in my first aid kit and I use it a lot.  I have 59 mosquito bites just on my legs.  I'm learning to practice self mastery and not scratch them.
boo, my pictures won't upload!  The computers here are so sketch.  Lame!! I will hopefully be able to send pictures next week.
Today, all the internet turned off for 10 minutes in this internet shop and we had to move computers. 

I have taken the liberty of including some photos off of the mission  blog.  They don't include Kayla but give you a glimpse of the culture...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baliw Talaga

Service project with Sister Garcia

Drinking fresh coconut 

study room in the apartment 

 Living room 


My favorite drink!  Unavailable in the Philippines.  Received via packages from Marmee and Mom! 

Palawan Island

Hello family!!
It was another great week in Santa Monica! It was funny...before we came to the internet shop I was thinking that it was just a normal week and I didn't really know what to email about, but then I read in my journal and remembered lots of totally abnormal things happened! Its funny how I just get used to how crazy life is here. Hahaha, some of the awesome adventures this week were... I got to hold a baby alligator! Last pday we went to Bakers Hill and they had one there for us to hold, hehe (: Also, one morning this week I was exercising in our study room and I heard this cat super loud. I looked out the window (which is open and has no screen...yeah not good) and couldn't see anything. Then when I was standing up at the window I heard it from INSIDE our room! I looked and couldn't find it, until it meowed again and I found it INSIDE my carry on bag!! It had probably slept there the whole night... Don't worry, Sister Parina got it out and we shut the window. Hahaha, oh my. Another crazy part of this week was the rain! It rained SO MUCH. On Thursday when we went out to work, it was raining so hard my umbrella didn't do anything, and my dress was entirely soaked before we even got to our first appointment. Its okay, though, I'm still new and so I still just laugh and laugh and it doesn't really bother me. What was a little yucky though was our bathrooms flooded. All the gunk from the drains came up and it was pretty gross. It smelled really nasty, but luckily it was gone the next morning and we cleaned it all up. Life is crazy!!
As far as our lessons go this week..This week was a little slower as Sister Parina has experienced some health aches and pains, but I still feel that I am growing and learning so much. One thing that we as a zone and as a companionship have been working on is finding new investigators. So this week, I was really trying to do my very best to talk to EVERYONE and pray that we could find people who were prepared for us. All week, though, it seemed like nobody wanted to listen! One day we had set apart 2 hours just for finding, and it POURED during those 2 hours and we weren't able to find anyone. It was then proving to be more difficult to find new investigators as we could not work all of our hours each day because of Sister Parina's aches and pains. Yesteryday, after conference we only had a few hours to work. I wanted so badly for us to reach our goal to find new investigators this week but it did not look like it was going to happen. Then, however, a miracle happened!! Heavenly Father provided 5 women who were SO ready to let us in and hear the gospel. One group even stopped us and invited us in! It truly was such a blessing. I know that Heavenly Father knew the desires of our hearts to find new investigators. Even when I thought it would be impossible to reach our goal, He provided a way. I am so thankful for goals and for learning lessons on the blessings of faith, hard work, and diligence. We also had some great lessons with our recent converts and also with Sister Rose, our newest progressing investigator! She even invited us to stay one day for her son's 1st birthday party which was interesting and lots of fun.
General Conference was so awesome! Seriously for missionaries Conference is like Christmas. I learned so much and was so reenergized to keep working hard and working to be better! My favorite talks were Elder Holland, of course, Elder Christofferson, and Elder Bednar! I actually would love it if you could attach Elder Bednar's talk to my blog. I really am here in the Philippines to share the happiness that the gospel has brought to my life! (
Sister Garcia got transferred out this week and we got a new kabahay! Her name is sister Delaitabuna from Fiji and I LOVE HER! Oh man, she is the sweetest and we have so much fun. I'm definitely so thankful that Heavenly Father sent me her as a friend here (: Also, Sister Garcia left me some of her clothes.  Score!
I've included the pictures of the apartment you requested! This is our study room, our kitchen and our living area...our room is big and has bunk beds..not really much to see there. All 4 of us girls sleep in one room together.  We have 2 bathrooms but only 1 has a water heater so we all shower there.
I love you so much! I'm going to try to attach pictures, so say a prayer they don't get erased! ALSO I almost forgot.. another MIRACLE.. last week after I left email all my pictures were erased off of my camera. But I was patient and tried really hard to not make my companion feel bad, and guess what?! Later that day I looked at my camera again and all of the pictures were BACK! Seriously, I don't know how it happened. But maybe Heavenly Father wanted to test me and see how I would treat my companion for being the one who lost my pictures. Apparently I did okay because he gave them all back! 
Sister Lockwood
ps. baliw talaga means really crazy