Monday, May 25, 2015

You can do it!

I love her (: (: Seriously, seeing her I felt like Ammon when he saw Alma and his fellow missionaries after a long time and was overcome with joy. Ah, I was so lucky to be her companion! 

Dear Family, 

This week we had zone conference! It was sooo good to be with President and Sister Ostler, and to see all my missionary friends! Now I know that I am old because I know so many people at zone conference. Of course, I was so pumped to see Sister Teo! She updated me on the Segovia's and the Lopez's and Joy and said that they are all doing great (: Ah- seriously the joy was SO REAL! I am so grateful for all that I learned in Santa Monica with Sister Teo. We went through so much together, and learned and grew so much.  I learned from her what it really means to be obedient, and how to give EVERYTHING to this work. I haven't met a missionary who gives more heart to this work than she does. I am so thankful for her and was so happy to see her doing well!!

In our mission right now, we are starting a new vision! We are really focusing on conversion, and helping investigators and less active members become fully active in the gospel, and making it to the temple. In order to help us do that, we are going to be focusing more on helping investigators really focus on baptism, helping recent converts get callings and involved in visiting/home teaching, family history work. Then, we are going to really help the families who have been baptized make it to the temple. It is really exciting!! 

It is also going to be a challenge! Missionary work is not easy, and conversion is certainly not easy. In order for us to accomplish our goals, its going to take exact obedience and being fully dedicated to this. Sister Narag and I are really pumped about it!!

As far as our area goes.. This week was good and bad. It was rough because Shane moved to Baguio! We are not sure if she will be coming back... but we are praying that she will or that she will find member support there in Baguio. Keep her in your prayers!
One really really exciting thing was Brother Reyes got the Melchezidek Priesthood!! He was baptized with his family last summer, and this weekend was stake conference, and we were so thrilled to hear his name!! The joy of seeing their family so active in church is such a blessing. Rose is her name, and she is the one who spoke at Shane's baptism about how the day the Sister missionaries first talked to her on the street (: So awesome!

Well... this week was another great week! I learned a lot about hope. Even though it was great and exciting, there were some nights that I really felt filled with doubt. Satan knows when you embark on an important journey, or when you decide on a new goal, and it doesn't make him happy. I really felt the importance of what we are starting as a mission, and some things that I am working on personally, because I felt the adversary opposing it so strongly.  I am so thankful, though, for the scriptures. I love having a whole hour every morning just to see what messages Heavenly Father has for me. A couple of nights felt hopeless this week, but the next morning always brought new light as I opened my scriptures and the words of the prophets. One message that really touched me was in the talk "You Can Do it Now" by President Uchtdorf. In it he said, "Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble, but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward." In proverbs we read "hope deferred maketh the heart sick." But in Ether we are reminded that as we have hope, it maketh an anchor to our soul. 

We all have things in our life that we want to accomplish! We have things that we know we need to change. We all can picture in our minds the kind of person that we want to be. We can do it! I am so thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through Him and His strength, I know that we really can do ALL THINGS. NOTHING is impossible with His help. As we are believing, we can DO IT!

 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
 10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them. (Mosiah 4:9, 10 in the Book of Mormon)
I love you all so much! Thank you so much for your support and love and prayers! I am the luckiest missionary in the world! (: 
Sister Lockwood

Monday, May 18, 2015

Life is SO good!

With Lex.  She's awesome!! 

With Tita!  We love her! 

Working on the lice 

With Samuel who is from Ghana.

This is Yuri and that is a petty cab! We ride them sometimes when we are in a hurry or really tired :p

This is sister Halisema! She is from Tonga...and we both go home in December.. so we have a nice little Christmas tree to decorate our apartment.. hehe :D Not that we are trunky or anything...

Dear Family,
Okay, have I told you that I am the luckiest missionary in the world?! I seriously am. This week was such a blast and I feel so blessed! 
Last transfers, the Elders left the 4th ward just to Sister Narag and me. And so this week, we inherited all of their old investigators/referrals! So the 4th ward is made up of anyone who has a foreign visa and lives in Manila. Its area covers the entire mission, and so we get people from all over! Just this week we taught people from Ghana, Switzerland, England, and Sweden!! They all have amazing stories, and I just feel like the most spoiled missionary for getting to work with them.
Samuel is from Ghana. He left Ghana last November and went to Singapore looking for work. He was only there for about 2 weeks, but while he was there, he met the sister missionaries! They invited him to church...and he went!! He said that he felt something different, and so a week later when he came to Manila, he showed up at church! In December he was baptized. He is a rockstar! He is now in Alma in the Book of Mormon and knows so much already! We love Samuel.
Lex is from Switzerland! She is actually a referral from Sister Jensen! She lives in their condo complex, and we have been teaching her English lessons along with a little bit of the lessons. She came to church again yesterday with her boyfriend!! She has a new baby, and has really been seeking direction in her life. We are having a ton of fun with her and she is making great progress. I think she's going to come to the ward activity on Saturday too!
Paul is from England! He is married to a Filapina and they come to church every Sunday (: We are praying that he will be able to be baptized soon! 
The last, Noah, is from Sweden! He is actually going to be heading to the United States soon, but comes to church with his friends from school. 
AND..on top of being so lucky to be in the 4th ward.. the work in the 3rd ward is so great too! Our 2 favorite investigators are Yuri and Tita. Yuri is a petty cab driver and I just know that he is going to come to church next Sunday. He is super smart and I am so glad we have finally started teaching him! For the longest time, we would walk by and he would call out, "Mormons! Teach me!" But...we thought he was drunk maybe. Turns out he wasn't drunk and he was taught by the missionaries back in his province!
And TITA! Awe, she is so cute. She is like 60+, and we are like her best friends. Last week, she came to church with us, so this week we told her that she had to come by herself. We weren't sure if she would do it...but when we turned down a street on the way to church, there she was in her Sunday best!! When we asked "Where are you going Tita?!" She replied "To the house of the Lord!" 
I am the luckiest (:
Other random fun things about the week...  we taught Rochelle... the only daughter of Sister Corrales that is not a member in sign language! She is deaf, but I remembered the song we learned in primary, and we looked some stuff up on It was so amazing. The spirit was so strong.. Heavenly Father really does know and speak the language of each one of His children.
Life is SO good here in Manila!! I love being a missionary!!
Love, Sister Lockwood

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Day!

This is Angelo and Andrew Berdin! We visited them while they were taking a bath (: so cute deba?

This is the view from Bernardittas house (:

Dear Family, 
Hello from mainit Manila! Mainit is hot in Tagalog.. It was so good to see your faces and hear your voices this morning!! Ah, I love you! 
This week was really great! We picked up Tita for church and she had a great time! The Berdin family moved into a new house in our ward! They are being so blessed since their baptism. 
We have some really exciting lessons scheduled this week! 
Not too much is new. Life is more fun in the Philippines! Its weird.. I feel like I've gotten to the point in my mission where being a missionary and living in the Philippines is just totally normal. I don't feel homesick much at all, I like the food, and I am used to the showers and living with a companion. The heat is still heat... But really the only thing that makes me want December to come fast is music. :D Here in Manila there is always music EVERYWHERE and I just want to sing and dance to it so bad!!! 
Love you!!
Sister Lockwood
Also... fun fact!
The YSA devotional that happened last night... that was in the chapel that I go to church in every day! Buendia chapel in Manila. Sweet huh?

Kayla's email is so short because we just talked to her via Skype about 4 hours prior to her email time.  She is so happy!  She got to Skype us from a home of Americans who are living over there and she said it is just like being in a home in the United States.  THEY HAVE DR PEPPER!  This family knows of a store that sells imported goods and they happened to have Dr. Pepper which Kayla had not been able to find over there for the past 10 months.  
She also shared that she has lots of opportunities to teach in her mission.  They teach more than 20 lessons a week.  Her favorite food over there is octopus and she we got to hear her talk a little in Tagalog.  She's afraid she does not remember much Spanish but hopefully, that will come back later when she is not so focused on Tagalog.  She is grateful to have a shower with a shower head even though now the water is very warm.  They cannot control the water temperature and when it is cooler outside, the water comes out cold and when it is hot outside, the water comes out very warm.  She said one day last week the heat index was 124 degrees!  For example, right now the weather channel says it is 87 degrees there but feels like 100.  When she says it's hot, she means it hot! Her apartment does not have air conditioning.  
She said that she feels like the luckiest missionary because she has had gotten to serve on Palawan Island and now in 2 different areas in Manila which has given her such a varied experience.  We are so grateful that she is safe, healthy, and happy!  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Walking on Sunshine!

Berlin Family Baptism!

with the freezer door open!

Cookies at Sister Jensen's house!

Dear Family, 
Hello from a very happy sister missionary! This week was one of the best of my mission! We had so many miracles happen, and I was filled with the Spirit. The highlight of the week, was of course, the baptism of Margie and Angel. All week they were SO excited for their baptism. Even though they were an hour late, and I think I might have died from the stress in that hour, it was such a spiritual experience for all in attendance. Tom baptized both Angel and Margie, and all were in tears. Margie then shared her testimony and talked a lot about prayer and the members of the church. In her words "The second time I came to church, I knew that Mormons were true." Hehe she is the cutest (: And then their whole family sang "Families Can Be Together Forever". It was so beautiful! They're eyes are set on the temple!! Their goal is next May, and I know that they can do it! They have changed so much just in the 12 weeks that I have been teaching them. They have made hard changes with the Word of Wisdom and things like piercings and the sabbath day. Bigger than these changes though, is the change that is so visible in their faces. They GLOW! They are so happy and so clean! I LOVE their family so much!! What I was most touched by, though, was the testimony of Brother Berdin in sacrament meeting yesterday. He expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to baptize his wife and daughter. He has been pretty quiet in a lot of the lessons, but he shared such a beautiful testimony of the gospel. He is the father of their home, and bringing the gospel back to them has been the greatest decision he has made for them. I feel like he really has become a man, and the kind of father that he needs to be. 
One of my greatest desires before I came on my mission was to see people really change, and that desire has been fulfilled with the Berdin family. I am so grateful.
Another great experience we had was with the grandmother of Shane, our convert who was baptized a few weeks ago. When we were re-teaching Shane lesson 1, Virige, the grandmother, expressed to us that she did not have a testimony of Joseph Smith. We had been focusing so much on Shane, that we had not fully recognized the needs of Virgie. The next day, we returned and shared a powerful lesson on the Book of Mormon, and where our testimonies come from. The spirit was present, and she committed to start from 1 Nephi 1 and read until she finished. She said this would be the first time for her to finish the Book of Mormon. The next day, Virgie's smile was as big as it has ever been! She was SO excited to tell us that she read through chapter 3! She said, "So this is the story of Nephi!!" Oh, the joy that comes when you see the light of the gospel enter their lives is just priceless.
The last miracle that I wanted to share started a couple of weeks ago in weekly planning. We, as a district, were really focusing on member referrals. And for us being in the 4th ward, we really have to rely on member referrals. So Sister Narag and I decided that every prayer we say-whether personal study, before lunch, or before leaving the apartment- we would pray for member referrals. And this week, they came!!! They came from everywhere! It seemed like every day a new member surprised us by introducing us to their friends. Ah, we have been so so blessed. One of my favorite referrals was from a youth in the fourth ward who we had visited. She came up to us yesterday and said, "Sisters, I took your advice! I shared the gospel with my friend and he is coming to church with me next Sunday!" I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers. 
If I recall correctly, I think that last week I wasn't feeling so happy and hopeful when I emailed home. Sometimes the mission is really hard and some days I let it get to me. But if there is one thing that I think I have really come to realize this week is how much my Savior loves me, and how involved He ALWAYS is in my life.  This week was a great high, but not every week has been like that. Some weeks I feel discouraged and alone. Sometimes we experience rejection and things don't turn out the way we want. But, in the weeks that are like that, Heavenly Father is still there, and is just as involved as He was this week. He knows the blessings that are in store, and He knows how everything will always work out. He understands the lessons that I need to learn from the hard times I go through. Sometimes, I think in the storms of life, when I feel alone and sad, I forget how involved Heavenly Father is, and I forget about the blessings that will come. The scriptures promise that He will never leave us comfortless, but He will come unto us. He will always bring peace. The peace and the blessings may not always come immediately, but they always come. Now, I need to remember this when the storms do come, to hope for sunshine and remember that it is always around the corner! So when there are lice, or its 100 degrees outside and nobody wants to let us teach, I can take hope that there are brighter and cooler days ahead (; 
I love you so much! I know that the gospel changes people. I know that God lives. I know that He loves us perfectly and wants our happiness even more than we do. I know that as we trust Him, and have hope and gratitude even in the storms of life, we will find peace. 
Sister Lockwood

John 14:18 "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

(Answers to my Mom's questions) My new apartment is WAY close to my proselyting area.. I LOVE it. It is really tiny though, and pretty hot. But, so are all the apartments in Manila. Its now clean though and we are settled in! There are no cockroaches or bed bugs. And I don't think I have lice anymore! Yay! They have Kwell shampoo which is really good and kills them all. no worries! Yes, my roommates are Polynesian, from Tonga! They are affectionate and never sarcastic or mean but always laughing and fun (: Its good! Transfers are this week though, so we will probably be getting one new kabahay (roommate).
I am so happy that Sister Bowen texted you!!! She is so sweet, I love being in the 4th ward sooo much! Hahaha, yesterday was so funny...
Sister Northrup comes in and was like, "Who is Margaret Tate?" And I said my gradmother! She said that she added her on facebook. Then, I talked with the Bowens and got a picture with them, and THEN Sister Jensen came and gave me a big mom hug and asked if we could come over for dinner and cookies after church (: 
I was overwhelmed with grattitude in love. In just one day, Heavenly Father sent so much love to me from my family, from all the way around the world! I felt so close to you and so loved (: 
I really think I am the luckiest missionary in the world!
To continue...
President Ostler also came into church and said that Sister Teo sends her love! He came back from Palawan this week... It was seriously so much love in one day (: