Monday, September 29, 2014

Filipina Ako!

Eating fish head!

Jasper's baptism 

Tatay Rogelio's baptism 

On the beach of Palawan

Hello Family!
Filipina Ako means I am a Filipina! I have been starting to jokingly tell this to people when they ask me where I'm from and they always laugh. I really am becoming more and more like a Filipino though! Last night Nanay Montillia fed us dinner, which was dried fish, and I ate it all with my hands, just like the pro Filipino that I am. She was quite impressed, and Sister Parina told me that I'm her only American companion who knows how to eat fish! I also ate the fish head! Yes, like the eyes, mouth and teeth...the head. It actually wasn't that bad. Nay Montillia was way impressed and agrees that I am a Filipina (; 
This week was so amazing! Have I mentioned that I am the luckiest sister missionary in the whole world? If not, I totally am. This week I went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leader, Sister Cooper.  She's from Utah and we went to her area, which is in Puerto Princessa.  I'm assigned in Santa Monica, which in our 1 little branch we have 8 missionaries.. 4 sisters (my apartment) and 4 elders (which is our district). Our branch and the STL's branch are the only 2 branches on Palawan that have sisters in them. And their branch is city! Unlike Santa Monica, which is a lot of jungle and dirt roads and right on the beautiful ocean, their area is a lot like Manila with concrete everywhere.  Also, our apartment is like 100 times nicer than theirs! When I was there, her kabahays (roommates) told me that I live in the nicest apartment in the mission! Whaaaaat! Its so true though, their apartment has rats and frogs and is way smaller. It was kind of fun showering with the frogs though, lol. Basically, I just can't get over how LUCKY I am!! I got put in the only branch in the whole mission that is not city and is so beautiful AND the best apartment. I AM SO THANKFUL!!! Every night when I pray, I just thank Heavenly Father for giving me this amazing opportunity and letting me be in Santa Monica. I am so happy!! 
This week was also amazing because Tatay Rogelio and Jasper were baptized!! Tatay is like 80 years old, and his younger brother (probably 70) who has been a member of the church for a long time, baptized him. There is literally nothing cuter than an old Filipino man getting baptized by another old Filipino man. Ah, I love them so much!! We started reteaching him on Sunday night, and when we asked him to read a scripture and he started looking for it with his Book of Mormon upside down, with his cute glasses on, I laughed and was just so filled with love for him. I never knew it was possible to love an old Filipino man so much, but it totally is.  I was the pianist for 2 baptisms this week!  Both Tatay Rogelio's and Jasper's AND when I went on splits, for a baptism in their branch.. I'm doing pretty well but definitely wishing I would have practiced more in my younger days.
We did experience a little bit of opposition this week, we are teaching a girl named Cherry and her cousin Leo, and they live in the same apartment type of thing as the Bascongadas (the recent converts/nonmember family we work with a lot). Well on Sunday when we went to pick Cherry and Leo up for church, I guess the Baptist pastor who owns the apartments and lives in the front house, said that we weren't allowed to come back! When Nanay Bascongada told Sister Parina this, Sister Parina was like (in Tagalog) "Well we are called of God, and representatives of Jesus Christ to share His gospel, so we are going to keep coming back." Ah, she is so hilarious sometimes.  So I guess we're gonna keep going back! 
Life is so great here! We will watch General Conference at the Malvar chapel one week late. I'm not sure if we'll get to watch the Women's Meeting but I really hope we can!! This week we have zone conference on Wednesday which I am way pumped for. 
 Sister Garcia ordered pizza this week! Ah IT WAS THE GREATEST DAY EVERRRRRR! For her, it doesn't charge her card to make direct purchases, only at ATMs.. Anyway, I probably will do something like that and put it on my debit card for my birthday. Also, I want to send a Christmas package home! Are there things here you or anyone else in the family want? Let me know!! 
Oh, guess what I learned this week?  The Church has only been on Palawan for 18 years! THATS YOUNGER THAN ME! How nuts is that??! I have such a huge responsibility here to help strengthen my branch and ward. The church in the Philippines spreads so fast. The work really is hastening and I am SO lucky to be a part of it! 
This week I also started studying in the New Testament, and I am just so thankful for this opportunity that I have to really come to know Jesus Christ better. In his life, He taught so much about missionary work, and that is what He did His whole life. I really am trying to understand His will for me, and come to know Him in this precious time I have here in the Philippines.
I love you all so so so so so much!!! 
Be happy!!
Sister Lockwood

Here are some of Kayla's answers to my questions...
Yes, we order pizza on the phone.
I can exchange money at the pawn shop without having to buy anything.
We eat with members of the church about once a week, usually with Nanay Montilia and the branch president...last week with the Relief Society President too.
I have not seen any live snakes..I HAVE seen rats..gross. The dogs still chase me but I'm really not scared anymore.  I read your "open on first baptism" card and pictured you hugging me and smelling my hair and squealing with excitement with me. 
I got a card from Mom and 2 letters from Grandpa this week.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Love Palawan!

 At President Hiatt's house

On the way to Zone Meeting

Living in the jungle! 

Coke in a bag 

Loving my companion!

Hello Family!
Wow! Today has been nuts, no suprise there! We are at our 3rd internet shop attempting to connect to myldsmail and it FINALLY worked! Hallelujah! I really am learning patience haaha.  I love hearing about you and am so glad you are doing well! 
This week flew by, and it was another awesome week! It means so much to me that you are praying for my investigators (: Sadly, one thing that I am learning is that a lot of times we will meet people and teach them and they will seem so excited about it and accept baptismal dates! But then...they won't ever come to church ): Its really hard to teach 30+ lessons every week, and then only have about 2 investigators at church on Sundays. But, I am trying to remember that Jesus Christ taught people who didn't even listen to Him, or keep the commitments He gave them.  And, the investigators that are progressing really make all the work worth it! This week we have 2 baptisms! Jasper, is 9, and his family was recently reactivated. He is so smart!! I have totally loved teaching him.  The other is Tatay Rogelio who is probably 80 years old. He is the cutest old man! He is in a part member family.  His first language actually isn't Tagalog, so its been crazy trying to communicate with him, but I love it.  They both come to church every Sunday! As for our other investigators, Myra is still progressing.  We are teaching her how to read! That's been so much fun this week. There was actually a super interesting/funny thing that happened with her... After one of the lessons she was talking to Sister Parina in Tagalog I couldn't understand... But she pointed at me a couple times and said "kaibigan" which means friend.  Sister Parina looked at me and said, "She really likes you Sis".  And after some more she said, "She wants to be your best friend".  I was so touched! I have been praying and praying that I will be able to connect with my investigators despite the language barrier, and this really answered my prayers!  Haha, here's the funny part though.  She continued to say more in Tagalog and then gave me a pair of her earrings! She really has so little, and so I was so amazed that she would give me them! Then...Sister Parina looked at me and said "She wants a rememberance of you." And Joy, the member who was with us said "She wants your necklace." I looked down and saw the heart necklace Marmee gave me and was shocked! What was I supposed to do??! Don't worry, I didn't give it to her, but I told her I would bring her something next lesson.  Even though I'm pretty sure it's just because I'm American, it means so much to me that Myra loves me! As for my other investigators, keep praying for the Bascongada Family and pray that we can find people who are ready to PROGRESS and COME TO CHURCH! Hehe (:
Some other things that are funny... We get our laundry done on Tuesday, and since its rainy season it literally will take 5 days for all of it to dry sometimes. Cooking has been kind of a nightmare lol...If there's one thing I wish I would have prepared better for it is cooking! One day this week I was trying to make meatloaf from a can (gross, I know) and I ended up hardcore burning it, getting it stuck all over the pan and broken up into little peices, and then it smoking up our whole kitchen! AND I burned myself with the oil in the process! It was quite embarassing, especially since the other sisters are really good at cooking, but its okay! I'm learning and getting better every day (: I'm basicaly a pro at Ramen and scrambled eggs, and heating up beans in hot water hahaha. And of course peanut butter and jelly, and when I'm feeling adventurous chicken curry!
I got a card from Dad this week and it said "Fun is a Requirement!" I love that! It was so good for me to remember to have fun every day! To laugh with Sister Parina and look for fun things around me all the time.  I really am so happy and this crazy life that I'm living really is a blast.
We also had zone meeting this week.  We did a practice teaching in Tagalog, and we taught 2 Elders that are older in the mission. I was nervous, but afterwords they told me that they couldn't believe I'm only in my first transfer! They said that I am way better than they were, and really complimented me. This was SO GOOD to hear! Somedays I just feel like I'm awful, but when other missionaries tell me things like that it makes me so happy.
Some other random things... the stars at night here are BEAUTIFUL! In one part of our area it gets really dark at night, and I just stare up at the sky. I LOVE IT! Also, Palawan is a jungle. This week when we helped spread the word about immunizations again, I literally felt like I was treking through a jungle. It's awesome. There are frogs that sound like cows that are everywhere, fruit growing on every tree, an occasional dead snake in the road, and ants that crawl over everything all the time (meaning even our kitchen table...).
Oh I almost forgot!! We have a Japanese investigator!! Her name is Natsuko and I LOVE HER! She is the cutest and has 2 adorable kids. I get to teach her in English which is the greatest thing ever.  And there is an Elder that was able to come with us this week who speaks Japanese. We also watched the restoration in Japanese with her this week. Fun!
Anyways, I love you all so so much! Have a great week!
xoxo Mahal Kita!
Sister Lockwood

Monday, September 15, 2014

Strength Beyond My Own

Waiting at the dentist with Sister Garcia

Hello family! 
Today has been totally crazy! I am sending this email from an ipad in President and Sister Hiatt's home. (They are the member of the mission presidency that live here on Palawan.) There was a big brown out (power outage) and so none of the Internet shops had power! Luckily, we were with them because Sister Parina had to go to the dentist this morning, so they let us come to their house! So if there's ever a Monday you don't hear from me, don't panic because power outages happen here all the time. They also took us to MacDough for lunch so it's been a really good day (: 
This week flew! It was a fun week and we worked really hard. Mayra came to church! It's funny, every Sunday we just hope and pray and wait to see which of our investigators decide to come. Julieta went out of town, but I'm really hoping she comes next week. She is amazing! She told us that she has been reading and praying everyday, and when her neighbors told her to stay away from us that she stood up for the Book of Mormon and told him that she knows it is true!! One of my favorite parts about teaching her is that all of the kids from her little neighborhood on the water run and come in when they hear us singing the opening song! Each lesson we teach like 10 little children with her. They are the CUTEST! I started keeping candy with me to give to them when we teach (: Another family you can keep in your prayers is the Bascongada family. The mom and son are recent converts and so amazing. They always come to church and they have a little girl with servere CP (I think) who I love so much. Their dad, tatay Rogelio, is who we are teaching. He works all the time to support his family and is the kindest man. It's just hard for him to find time off of work to come to church.
Let's see... This week I learned so much during my personal study!! I read the talk by Elder Bednar from conference.."Bear up their Burdens that they may be Light." It helped me remember that Jesus Christ is strengthening me EVERYDAY. I really have had such a smooth transition here, and I know that it is the Atonement that is giving me strength. 1st Nephi 21:16 was also encouraging. All of my walls that I have in front of me, the Savior has in front of Him as well and he will help me tear them down. Going along with that I read "The 4th Missionary" by Lawrence Corbridge. It taught me to align my will and desires with the Lord's will and desires. By changing my will to His, I truely YOKE myself with Jesus Christ and become stronger and happier. This talk came as an answer to my prayers. Last P-Day TJ had told me that BYU beat Texas 41-7.. GO COUGARS! I was obviously thrilled, but the next day I found myself thinking about all that is happening in Provo and the games I'm missing out on... It was hard not to wish that my freshman year wasn't already behind me! So that night I prayed to Heavenly Father to help me to not miss BYU and to really be able to lose myself here. The next morning was when I came across that talk. I realized that I needed to change my desires to Gods desires. The only thing I have to give Heavenly Father that he doesn't already have is my heart and my will. So that is what I'm doing! Every day I pray that my desires can align with his desires. I've been trying to spend every minute of the day thinking about my companion, the people we're teaching, the scriptures, and LEARNING TAGALOG! Just by really immersing every minute I have in the work has already helped me be happier and not think about what I'm missing at home. By doing this, I am becoming more and more yoked with Jesus Christ and so much stronger.
Some funny things this week.... On our morning walk a man saw me and started walking towards me singing "That girl is on fire." hahaha! I died. Also, the fruit here is crazy and so yummy! I eat Mangos all the time and eat this fruit called Ram-Butan that is so delicious and crazy looking. This week we also helped with free immunizations, and every Friday I help teach an English class! 
Don't worry about my birthday!! Nanay Montillia asked me when my birthday was this week and is already planning to have a party with me (: When you do send a package though, you can send Munchies, bugspray, and those hair pills. (There is so much hair all over our apartment from how much hair the other sisters lose).
I love you so much!!! Xoxoxo
Sister Lockwood

Kayla is in Puerto Princesa

The Church in Puerto Princesa where Kayla attends.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Adventures in Santa Monica!

Hello! So to start off, let me say the computer i am using to email you is the worst! Every time i type the letter "I" by using the shift button, something pops up and i have to X it out. SO, obviously Heavenly Father is trying to teach me that i need to talk about I LESS. Haha, so that's why all of my i's are going to be lowercase.
Anyways, first let me tell you about some of the crazy awesome things about Palawan, then i want to tell you about the awesome people we are teaching!!!
Let's rains here everyday and so it is super muddy. Apparently, in Manila it floods a lot and they can't work, but luckily for us it doesn't flood it just gets way muddy.  It reminds me a lot of the trek we went on.  We walk through mud puddles, and sometimes when i walk my shoes get stuck in the mud and i pull out my foot with no shoe! Haha, its so fun though.  Every day at the end of the day my legs are so gross and muddy and i just laugh. Luckily i only fell in the mud once this week! And a really nice lady helped me clean off my legs. (: What else... there are animals everywhere!! Dogs, chickens, roosters, lizards, cows, pigs, cats, you name it.  The roosters wake me up every morning, and throughout my whole day i hear again and again "cockadoodledoo!!". Its great. Some adventures with the animals this week... while we were teaching, a lizard fell off of the ceiling onto my nanay! i jumped up and screamed, while she stayed completely calm and just brushed it off of her.  The members we were teaching got a good laugh out of that hahaha. There are always tons of lizards on the ceilings of people's home where we teach.  THE DOGS. Oh my heavens, that has probably been the biggest challenge because they chase me!! There was one imparticularly scary experience with the dogs... When my nanay and i were exploring our new area we went down by the water and found ourselves at a dead end, met by 2 big scary dogs.  The began barking and running towards us, and when we turned around we were met by like 5 more dogs all barking and running towards us!!! Ah, it was really awful. Luckily, Heavenly Father blessed us with a man who came out and scared all of the dogs away for us.  The next morning when we were walking a dog started running towards me and i got frightened and hid behind Sister Parina. She told me, "don't let them know you're afraid, Sis." That really hit me and i've thought about that a lot! Since that day, when i pass the dogs i walk tall and get out my umbrella and act like they don't scare me at all. A lot less dogs have been chasing us now!! i think that that advice applies to my whole mission. Even when things scare me, i need to stand tall and not let anyone know i'm afraid.  Like the scripture in 2 Kings says, "Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."  That is a scripture that helps me remember that i never need to be afraid or back down to anything that tries to scare me while i'm here! 
We also found some cockroaches in our apartment this week..but i can honestly say i think i have overcome my fear of them!!
There are so many adventures like that every day here...and im loving it! Everything that i imagined would be so hard i am turning into just one great big fun adventure (: 
Now for the good part, the people we are teaching!! My favorite sister that we are teaching is named Julieta.  We just found her last week and taught her a lesson, but this week we returned and she had been reading and praying and was so excited when we came back to her house! Her eyes lit up and she had questions for us and i was SO HAPPY! Teaching someone who you know is really listening and feeling the spirit is the best feeling. Pray she comes to church next week! Another amazing sister we are teaching is named Mayra.  She is muslim, and was forced into a marriage at the age of 14 to get money for her sick father.  Her husband was abusive and she ran away and ended up in Santa Monica.  She is 19 now and she is a fireball! She is really receptive to everything we are teaching her.. She is such a joy to teach because we get to be the ones to tell her that Jesus Christ lived and died for her and that she has a Father in Heaven who lives and knows her perfectly! Teaching those without a Christain background is really amazing.
President Ardern also came to speak to us this week! He is an amazing teacher and really inspired me to be the best teacher i know how to be.  President and Sister Ostler spake to us and it was really really good for me. Sister Ostler talked about how we are like a baby and He is like our parent.  Parents rejoice when their babies learn how to sit up! They clap and smile and wait for them to be able to roll over.  Then when they're ready, they start helping them learn how to crawl and then walk.  But when the baby takes a step and then falls the parents don't get angry.. they say "oh, get up and try again! you can do it!" Then when the baby finally takes one step, its the happiest moment!! As children of our Heavenly Father we are the same way.  We will continue to try to take a step but then fall, and fall again. But every time we fall He is reaching out to us to try again and take a step towards Him. I loved her talk so much and have really been trying to speak to myself the way Heavenly Father would speak to me.  So when i continue and continue to struggle with the language, i tell myself positive things and try to remember that Heavenly Father is always always smiling down on me and encouraging me to try again,.
i love you all so much! i hope that everything is well and that you never forget just how precious you are to our Heavenly Father!
Mahal Kita
Sister Lockwood
PS. Another funny story- apparently people don't really say mahal kita to other girls here... and this week a member missionary had been teaching with us, and as she was getting off the Jeepney full of people i yelled "mahal kita!' And everyone on the Jeepney turned and stared and my kasama just died laughing.  So im pretty sure everyone on the jeepney was way confused because thats only something you say romantically hahahaha
PSS One more fun story! i had a small melt down during language study this week because i was so overwhelmed and frustrated with my tagalog...but after language study i went into the kitchen to make myself lunch and the neighbors were playing Michael Jackson really loud where it was playing clearly in our kitchen.  i had a small jam sesh by myself and felt much better. Some may call that breaking the rules...i call it a tender mercy (;

the computer is so lame and wont let me send pictures!! boo!!

To answer some of your questions...
There are lots of mosquitos but I put on bug spray everyday so they aren't too bad.  There is a piano at church.  The other American in my apartment is from Utah.  i will get mail from the zone leaders once a transfer (every 6 weeks).

i prayed really hard that this one picture would send because i have to prove to you i'm over my fear of roaches!  (i didn't actually eat it.)  Tell J that i got another letter today from her kids this week and i am sending them letters today!

i didn't really eat it but I'm no longer afraid of them!

These pictures are from the mission blog.  This is Kayla at a Zone Conference. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello from Palawan!

 Visiting an American cemetery in Manila

 Reducing down to 1 suitcase weighing less than 44 pounds!

Fun with MTC roommates (last day together)

I'm writing you from an internet cafe on the Island of Palawan right now! Let me start out by saying I am the luckiest missionary in the whole word!! There are only 10 sisters who get to come to this island, and I was lucky enough to start my mission here!! There are 2 zones on Palawan, and the other zone sisters are not allowed. I am in Puerto Princessa Zone in Santa Monica ward.  IT IS BEAUTIFUL! It is literally jungle, and we are right next to the ocean.  My nanay and I walk every morning to the edge of the water and I love it so much.  Seriously I am in heaven here!! And to top it off, my trainer is an angel!! She is the cutest little Filipino, her name is Sister Parina but I call her nanay which means mom because she is my trainer (: Sometimes she calls me her anak because I'm called her child.  She is probably half of my size but she really does protect me.  Like earlier this week a dog started chasing us and I just closed my eyes and grabbed onto her and she shewed it away with her umbrella.  I really don't know how I got so lucky with the most amazing area AND the most amazing companion to start off my mission. I AM SO HAPPY! Our apartment is also way nice too. We have a water filter that we get all of our water from, a SHOWER, which I hear is way rare, and a water heater which I guess is even rarer.  We live with 2 other sisters, one of which is American so she keeps toilet paper in the apartment, thank heavens! We have a stove and a rice cooker and I'm learning how to make all sorts of new things! Life really is wonderful here!
Let me back track a little though since you haven't heard about the end of the MTC and how I got here! I was really sad to leave the MTC and all of the great friends I had made there. It was hard to leave my teachers and go back to not knowing anyone all over again.. But the morning we were leaving the MTC and everyone was sad, President and Sister Ostler came and picked us up from the MTC! I remember seeing them up on the steps and just feeling so comforted that they were right there to pick us up.  They are wonderful.  They really are just like my Mom and Dad here.  Apparently the old mission President's huge focus was obedience, and now this new mission president's is LOVE.  That could not be more perfect!! I really again feel so lucky to be starting my mission right when they are starting theirs!  I was the very first person to be interviewed when we got to the Ostler's home. The interview went well and I felt great love from him! About an hour later, he called 5 of us into his office and told us that we would be the ones to go to Palawan.  And...wait for it...LEAVE OVER HALF OF OUR STUFF BEHIND!! Yes, I left 66 POUNDS IN THE MISSION HOME! To fly to Palawan you are only allowed 1 44 pound bag.  But, believe it or not, I didn't freak out and actually didn't have too hard of a time cutting my luggage in half.  I just felt excitement and peace that whole day.  Me, one other sister and 3 elders all from my batch at the MTC flew to the island of Palawan!!! Woo!
My first day I was so exhausted but my nanay pushed me to work all day and meet many members and investigators.  I wrote in my journal that night something like "I dont think I've ever been this tired in my whole life". I felt pretty overwhelmed and nervous, but the next day I felt so much better.  The days are already going by fast and I'm learning to work hard every hour that I have!
I feel like we have TONS of investigators, but according to my nanay our area was just split and so our numbers are low right now.  We meet new people every day and it seems like they are all interested so I think we will quickly be increasing the amount who we teach!!
My first Sunday yesterday went really well! I bore my testimony in Tagalog and lots of people were surprised to hear that this was my first that's awesome! I think they might just be being nice though, I'm not sure.
I'm already starting to love the people who we are teaching, especially the ones who we teach almost everyday.  They are so kind to me and patient with my struggling Tagalog! 
Last night we went to a funeral. It was totally nuts! It felt like I was in a scene from Nacho Libre! There was a HUGE cross with Jesus hanging over the casket and there were candles everywhere. It was outside and literally in someones back yard.
Also, the food. I have been so brave and have eaten so many new things! I clear my plate every meal, even at member's homes.  One of our recent converts who was feeding us fish and algae said "wow she'll eat anything" CRAZY RIGHT? I also tried fish head this week.  We eat with our hands, and we pretty much eat fish every day.  I make myself Ramen, scrambled eggs and PB and J in our apartment though :p
A lady comes and does our laundry once a week (: YAY! 
I'm sorry this email is so scrambled but just know that I am so happy!! I really am growing so much personally and in the gospel.  One thing my mission president told me that I am trying to live is that the people here are like a mirror, if you are friendly and kind and love them, they will love you right back.  However, if I act scared or shy, they will do the same.  So, I smile at everyone and wave and attempt to let them know that I love them! I'm really hoping that I can quickly gain friendships and love with everyone here (:
If there is one thing I've learned this week, it probably goes back to fear and faith. With Heavenly Father, I really don't need to be scared of anything!! As I put my faith in Jesus Christ and give him everything that I have, I will be an instrument in His hands and ultimately be so happy.
Your office looks way cute mom!! And so happy you all had such a great experience at the temple! 
Your Sister Lockwood (: 

 My trainer ("Nanay" meaning "Mom") Sister Parina

 Every morning we walk to the water's edge

Nanay Montilio, she is the "mother of all missionaries"

With children in Manila while on "splits" (with another companion for the day) 

With Sister Oyler with whom I spent a day in Manila


With my Mission President and his wife: President and Sister Ostler


P.O. BOX 1997
Makati Central Post Office
0714 Makati, Metro Manila

30 August, 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Lockwood,

We are thrilled to inform you that your daughter, Sister Kayla Lockwood, has arrived safely in the Philippines Manila Mission!  She arrived Wednesday, and we enjoyed having her at the mission home and getting to know her. After the new missionary orientation, she was assigned to work with her trainer, Sister Parina, in the Santa Monica District of the Puerto Princesa Zone.  We made this assignment prayerfully, with a desire that your daughter have the best training experience possible.
As you may know, missionary work can be challenging for any missionary, particularly for those learning a new language.  Your continued encouragement through weekly emails or letters will mean so much to her.  Please avoid references to problems at home unless absolutely necessary and always show genuine interest in her daily activities, accomplishments, and successes.
If any question should arise about the health or welfare of your missionary, please do not hesitate to email the mission office.  We would be glad to help you.  As a word of caution, do not send money to anyone who might request funds in behalf of your missionary without talking to the Mission President directly.
The Philippines Manila Mission is a wonderful place to serve.  We try to help parents and families to be aware of the “happenings” in the mission by posting regularly on our mission blog.  It contains pictures of recent events, the president’s weekly message to the missionaries, as well as information about missions, the Manila mission, and the Philippines.  It even has a page where our 14 year old son, Caleb, shares what is interesting to him, in case your missionary has siblings who might feel more connected with their sister by learning more through Caleb’s eyes.  You can access the blog at:  If you type your email address in the box at the bottom of the blog, it will automatically email you each time we post something so you don’t have to keep checking.
Please know that Sister Ostler and I love her already.  We are humbled to serve with such wonderful missionaries. We will do everything possible to help your daughter achieve her full potential as one of the Lord’s servants.  Thank you for sharing your precious daughter with us.  May you and your family be blessed for your sacrifice. 
President and Sister Creg D. Ostler

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