Monday, June 29, 2015

Lose Yourself

This is Caizy! 

This is Jerry!!  Haha he figured out that we have the same size shoes and so he gave me some!
They are really hilarious. 

Dear Family, 
This week was so awesome!! It went by so crazy fast. Our investigators are doing awesome and we had lots of people at church yesterday!! Life is just good!!
For an update on all of our rockstar investigators...
Jerry! We taught Jerry again with Brother and Sister Ho. He came to church and he gave up coffee this whole week!! We also asked him what his real name is and it turns out its Wang Yu! Haha, he wrote our names for us in Chinese. He also gave me some shoes this week..haha pretty cool. He always calls me Sister Lock, and he is just awesome!
Robert was definitely the highlight of my week. He is progressing like crazy and has continued to read in the book of Mormon. He always has so many questions for us, and the spirit is so strong every time we teach him. He is the definition of a golden investigator. He came to church again yesterday and told us that its the highlight of his week!! We're going to be continuing teaching lesson 2 this week.. 
Caizy is our 3rd really progressing investigator! She is dating an American member.. She really opened up to us this week and shared a lot about everything that she's gone through. She has had a really hard life and went a long time when she didn't really have a connection with God. We are really focusing on things like prayer and the scriptures, and we are seeing a new light come about her as she is able to really understand her worth as a daughter of God. 
As for less active members... yesterday was the BEST DAY. 
Mary Ann came to church with her 3 little kids!! They had a blast in primary and Mary Ann (May) made a ton of new friends in the ward. She already has visiting and home teachers assigned to her now!! I LOVE her so much and was soooo happy to see them at church again. One of her 8 year old sons will probably be able to be baptized soon too! And, she brought her less active neighbor, Nellie with her too!!
Melonie and Chris also came to church!! Sister Pamesa and I were practically dancing around the chapel we were so happy. They have been less active for about a year now, but I really think that they are going to be coming back to full activity! They have really strong testimonies. I am so thankful to get to be working with them.
Yeah.. so life is awesome! Life is definitely crazy as an STL! (STL stands for Sister Training Leader)  This week we had 1 meeting with the leadership council and then got to teach a class. Next week we have exchanges and MLC (missionary leadership council). We travel all around the mission for our lessons in the 4th ward, and stay super busy in our 3rd ward area as well.  It made for a crazy busy and a little stressful week. This week we are going to start exchanges! I am excited to work in some other areas and meet our Sisters' investigators. 

I really am starting to come to understand what it feels like to lose yourself in the work. I just think all day every day about Robert and Jerry and May and all of these other amazing people we are working with. I haven't ever been this consistently happy. I totally know that the best way to be happy is to forget yourself and get lost in the service of others.

Matthew 16:25-26
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
 26 For what is man profitedif he shall gain the whole worldand lose his own soulor what shall man give in exchange for his soul?
I love you!! Have a great week!! 
Sister Lockwood

ps.  We do not have lightning bugs here... I think because it is too polluted.  We haven't had exchanges yet because we had to teach classes at interviews! It was way fun. My interview is still in a couple of weeks.

The Balut wasn't really good..but not gross either. It didn't make me sick!

Apparently theres a huge earth quake that is about to happen here. Don't worry though. We are having a drill for it in a few days. It should be an adventure!! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cloud 9!

With new companion, Sister Pamesa

The Miracle! 

This is called Balut! It is a fertilized duck egg, and yes I ate it..beak and feathers and all. :D  Disclaimer: It is not allowed to be eaten if bought off the street in our mission, but Rose was so awesome that she bought it from the farm for me. She's the coolest.  

This is Robert!! Don't people just look so good in Sunday's best?! 

This is Melonie Marquez.. She's like a former Miss Universe or i don't really know. Sister Pamesa was excited to see her and asked for a picture because she's really famous here. 

Dear Family, 
This week was THE BEST. I have had times in my mission where I have felt like my companion and I have been doing everything right.. When we've been obedient and working really hard, but the teaching pool is just not very good. I especially felt that way on the long hot days in Santa Monica. I have come to understand now that those days were a test! Heavenly Father was testing my obedience, my love and care for investigators, my diligence. He needed to know if He could trust me. In retrospect, I am so thankful for those days because I really do feel like I am reaping the rewards now! Our area has so many investigators, I feel like we barely even have time to teach them all!! It feels like every week, new people come from out of the woodwork who are so prepared for us!! It is awesome! I just feel like we are on fire right now. This was the best week yet, for sure.
We have so many great people who we are working with! I'll just tell you about them...
Robert!! Robert is 18 and came to the church last Sunday! He is half Korean half American and said that as he walked by the church he got this feeling that he should go in and talk to some people.. He shook off the feeling and kept walking. That's when he said that he felt like if he didn't go in, he would regret it. So he walked right into the mission office filled with missionaries!! Sister Narag and I talked with him and then we were able to teach him twice this week and he came to church yesterday!! He is really really searching for truth, and was really led to us. When he asked us what the attire for church was, we said, "Whatever is your Sunday best." When we saw him in a suit yesterday, I literally could have cried! He looked so good and so happy. We are sooo excited to keep teaching him. 
Jerry! Haha, Jerry is awesome. We taught him again with Brother and Sister Ho. They translated for us and things are just going really well! He came to church again yesterday and is on his way! (And the Ho's took us to a super nice Italian restaurant after the lesson.. definitely a win)
Carol! I don't know if I have told you about Carol..but she is dating a member in the 4th ward. She has been coming to church and we were able to meet with her this week! She is really just a cool person and I feel like we're really starting to have a connection with her. Yesterday we taught the gospel essentials class during Sunday school, and I felt prompted to share kind of a funny story about me in high school praying for someone to ask me out.. And in Relief Society she told me that she had like the same experience and we bonded over it. Everything happens for a reason! Keep her in your prayers!
May is doing great!! She wasn't able to come to church yesterday but she told us last week that she posted a picture of her and her family at church last week on Facebook. (She is less active but comes from a really active family in the province). She said that her family is so excited for her and that she really wants her kids to be baptized. Sweet!! 
Tita is still doing great!! We are hoping to have a baptism scheduled soon for her! Sometimes she forgets things we teach her because she's older..but she has great faith. She comes to church and is just the cutest little 63 year old woman (: 
Kaizy!! Haha..she is our newest investigator who came to church yesterday and told us she wants to be baptized!! She is a model who is dating a member from Utah. Pretty sweet! We are excited to get to know her better. 
Paul is also great!! He is the brother from London. We love seeing him at church with his family every Sunday. Pray that he can be baptized soon!!
Other people to keep in your prayers are Bernarditta, Rey, Margie and Tom, Rose and Edwin, Sam and Melonie and Chris!!
So that's how all my people are doing!! I am so so thankful that Heavenly Father let me stay in this area. I am just FULL of love for the people here. I can't wait to see what all lies ahead in the upcoming transfer!! It's going to be a blast. 
And now that you know how everyone in my area is doing.. I'm doing great too! Living in Makati is such an adventure. We work in squatter areas to the richest condo's around. We have lots of dinner appointments and life is good!!
This week we start exchanges with the sisters in our stewardship!! I am so excited to get to know them and love them! (: 
I hope all is great back in the States! I mourned when I heard the Cavs lost. least when they win next year I'll be there to watch (; 
Sister Lockwood

Monday, June 15, 2015

All you need is Love!

With Sis Narag at the Manila Temple 

This is Margie and in the Philippines it is culturally acceptable to touch a pregnant woman's belly! 

With Sis Bernadetta! 

This is the Ho couple that worked with us to teach Jerry!  On Saturday, the Ho's from the 4th ward took me and Sister Narag to seriously the nicest restaurant I have ever been to in my LIFE! Its called Buffet 101. It was this huge buffet that had the NICEST and BEST food! Oh my gosh... who would have thought on a mission to the Philippines, I would go THERE?!

This is May with her children 

She is also pregnant so of course.... 

The best zone EVER! 

Dear Family, 
Hello from MAKATI! I found out yesterday that I get to stay here another transfer!! I am so excited and so relieved! All week, I was just praying asking for another transfer to stay. I didn't think it would happen because Sister Narag is done with her training and she has been here a shorter time than me, but I am being blessed to stay!  I will be getting a new companion on Wednesday.
This week was another really great week to be a missionary. We saw so many miracles, and we have really been able to see the Lord working in the lives of those we are teaching. 
The first miracle was JERRY! He is our new investigator from China.  We taught him and he accepted the invitation to be baptized! Our first lesson went really well, but there still is a language barrier with his English. Luckily, though, we were able to teach with Brother and Sister Ho, and they worked as kind of our translators. The spirit was so strong as we listened to them learn together in Chinese. 
The next miracle was May!! A couple of months ago, Sister Narag and I went to teach the Berdin family, and we started up a conversation with their neighbor, May. After a few minutes, she said "I was Mormon before." Of course-we were all over that! She was baptized as a kid in the province and her family was actually sealed in the temple, but since she moved out she hasn't been back to church. She has 3 little kids and another on the way, and the Lord really led us to her. But, over the past 2 months, she hadn't worked up the courage to return to church. We continued to love her and visit her...and yesterday.. she came!! I seriously don't know that anything makes me more happy than seeing a family come to church for the first time. And, she brought Nellie with her! Nelly is the mom of Tom Berdin, who has been less active and hadn't been back to church yet. Seriously, Sister Narag and I were on fire. 
We also have been continuing to work with Bernarditta, and a member referral named Carol! Tita is doing well, and we are just loving life!
I'm so happy to hear Nathan's surgery went well! I was praying a lot for him, and felt really great peace in the temple last Tuesday. Nate and TJ are both keeping me updated on the NBA! Go Cavs!!
We haven't had any flooding yet! will come. The city floods super super bad. 
Even though I am SO excited to be staying in Makati.. I am a little nervous because I was just called to be a Sister Training Leader. Sister Training leaders are like the zone leaders, but just for sisters. So I will be going on exchanges with other sisters, and helping out with zone meetings and things like that. When President Ostler first texted last night.. I was freaking out. I barely slept just thinking about all that I am going to have to do, and how our area is going to need to change and how I really need to step it up... I was just overwhelmed and feeling pretty inadequate. Then, this morning in personal study, I started by reading in the white handbook all of the attributes leaders are SUPPOSED to have...but that I didn't necessarily feel that I had. As I continued to study though, I was lead to a talk in the last general conference called "Good without Guile." The talk reminded me of the leaders that I have had to set examples for me. My heart turned in particularly to many of my leaders when I was a youth. I remembered their humble example of kindness to me. All of the leaders that came to my mind, had one thing in common, and it was love. They weren't necessarily master gospel teachers, or leaders with any sort of amazing statistics. But, they had what really counted and what made a difference to me: love. 
Tears came to my eyes as I remembered Heidi Klein, my beehive adviser. Shortly after we moved to Ohio, the day of basketball tryouts, she came over to our house with a plate of cookies and cheerfully asked, "Are these for congratulations or condolences?" I remembered Bishop Bingham at my tennis matches, screaming at the top of his lungs, "Heck yeah, Kal ya!" Hahaha. I thought of Tanya Headrick, always only a text away no matter what hour of the night. Until today, even a thousand miles across the world, I still receive letters of support from Sister Herron and Sister Larson. These leaders were never after having a perfect ward or seemingly perfect lessons. They just loved me, and I have been changed because of them. I am so filled with gratitude for all of them plus so many more, who taught me what it means to be a real leader. 
My area may not be perfect, I still may not speak Tagalog fluently... But at least I know one thing I can do.. I can love! And I know that if I just try my best to love these sisters with all my heart.. and love our less actives and investigators.. Heavenly Father will make up the rest. 
I love you!! I am beyond thankful for you! I pray for you always! Keep our investigators in your prayers!!
Love, Sister Lockwood 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

To Wear His Name!

 This is our Japanese Book of Mormon for Jerry! (even though he's Chinese, he prefers Japanese) 

 The girl scout cookies finally arrived!  Do you get it? Yumm soo good (: I've shared them with my Kabahays and I'll be surprised if we don't eat them all by the end of the night. Thank you so much! I am the luckiest missionary (: 

The best zone activity ever! 

I got a package!!  (visiting the mission office) 

This is Rose

Dear Family, 
I am so thankful to be a missionary!! Some days, though, it is really hard. Like yesterday on our way to zone meeting, I heard some girls talking about Cleveland and basketball and I just missed Nathan and TJ so bad and always having ESPN on at home!! And sometimes in taxis I hear new Taylor Swift songs and I just feel like I might die. Sometimes.. I am riding in a taxi and all of a sudden a cockroach starts crawling up my leg... or we will be teaching a lesson when I see a ginormous rat run across the room. And other days, we leave the apartment at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and all of our appointments fall through, so we are left in the burning sun, while everyone seems to be taking a nap, to try and find someone to share the gospel with. Missionary work is not easy, and to those who don't understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, they might wonder how am I not completely miserable.
Yesterday at zone meeting, an Assistant to the President bore his testimony as he will be going home next week. What he said really hit me. He said, "I wish that on my mission, I could have realized that none of this was about me. None of the work was about me at all. But that I could have remembered that it is about Jesus Christ. And now that I am at the end of my mission, I just wish I had more time to wear His name." He talked about the days where he felt like he wasn't good enough at the language, when people who didn't keep commitments frustrated him. And how some days the mission that he had pictured for himself, didn't seem to be happening at all. 
I felt so much like him as he was bearing his testimony.. Some days I wonder why more people aren't baptized. I get frustrated that I'm not better at Tagalog.. I forget the reason that I am really here... to wear His name. I only get 18 months to wear the name of Jesus Christ on my chest. I only have this time to spend every hour of every day serving Him. In the year that I have served here, I have come to know Him in a different way than I ever could have before. I have felt His love for me. I have felt His open arms as I have repented and changed and come unto Him. I have experienced immeasurable joy as I have watched others accept Him and take upon themselves His name. 
Being a missionary isn't about a position you hold, how many baptisms you have, even if you hit the goals you have set for yourself. Its about wearing the name of Jesus Christ on your chest for 18 months, and loving Him with all your heart. I still have so far to go, but I just hope you know that every sacrifice that I've made, every Taylor Swift song I don't know, every Cavs/BYU game I've missed out on, every mosquito bite, every drop of sweat has been swallowed up in the joy and blessing of getting to wear His name. I am so thankful that I still have time left here, and I plan on spending the next 6 months enjoying every second of it. 
This week was seriously one of the best weeks on my mission! I know I say that all the time, but I experienced so much LOVE and JOY!!! Sunday at church, Sister Narag and I were one of the first 2 in the chapel. We began to greet people as they came in 1 by 1. The first was a man named Jerry!! He is from CHINA! He ran into the missionaries on Saturday and he had come to church an hour early because he was so anxious to learn about the gospel! He said that he had heard things about Mormons in China, but because of the laws there, he couldn't explore it further. Now, he has been here for 5 years, and finally talked to Elders this week, and is now investigating the church. I am seriously SO PUMPED for him! And I can't even explain how lucky I feel to get to teach him! After Jerry, the whole Berdin family arrived.. and then Shane and her grandma, Hershey, Rose and her family, and Reza. It seemed like the chapel was full of recent converts of sister Narag and I, or the missionaries that have gone before us. It was such a blessing to get to literally see the fruit of our labors right there in the chapel. I was overwhelmed with the spirit. And THEN.. another chinese woman walked into the chapel!! Her name is Anna! She introduced herself, and said that she had a friend of a friend that she heard was Mormon, and so on Saturday, she decided to text her and ask what time her church started!! And so there she was.. lead by the hand of God to our chapel on Sunday morning. 
I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ lives! He knows each of us. Heavenly Father is leading His children to Him from all over the world. I know that it was no coincidence that Anna and Jerry came to church on Sunday. They were prepared and guided by the hand of our Father in Heaven. 
I know that Heavenly Father can and does do the same for us as we let Him. He guides us where we need to be. Sometimes, we may feel like the path we are on is full of sadness and trials and wrong turns. But I know that as we keep our covenants... the path will always lead us back to Him. 
I am so thankful to wear the name of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful to be a missionary!! 
I love you!!
Love, Sister Lockwood

Monday, June 1, 2015


  I got my hair cut too this week. Talk about a scary experience! I sat down in the chair and the guy gets out a razor! Like the kind you use to shave a guys head! I was like,  "Uhh...what is that for?" And he just cut a straight line (well...not straight but whatever) across the bottom of my hair! Then when he put my hair back in front of my shoulders so I could see, it was totally 2 different lengths! I was horrified... luckily he fixed it and now my hair is just passed my shoulders!...And that is a  75 cent hair cut.

Marmee's box finally arrived...months late...and she sent a Dr. Pepper!

Dear Family, 
Happy JUNE! Can you believe how fast the time goes? Next month will be a whole YEAR since I left home!! I realized this week that missions are actually super short! It makes me want to spend every second of the rest of the time I have here giving my all to the people here. 
Its now rainy season!! Rainy season is the best because its not so hot! Now, there will just be floods! Last rainy season, I was over on Palawan, so there weren't really floods, just lots of mud. Now, rainy season in Manila is going to be a different story.. Mud may seem gross...but floody streets in Manila are actually way grosser. Just to give you a picture...swimming cockroaches.. the smell of sewer... Yeah its gonna be awesome! But, on the bright side it won't be hot! So life is still good!! 
Yesterday we had lots of people come to church so I am sooo happy!! Bernarditta is doing well and progressing... Tita is seriously a rockstar! She came to the ward activity, and meets us to go to church every Sunday (: Her family is the issue right now.. they don't want her to be baptized so keep her in your prayers! Yuri also was not able to come to church again, but we are not giving up! 
One spiritual experience that I had this week was in our lesson with Bernarditta. She is one of our investigators in the 4th ward, and her husband is currently here from Oregon. She has been taking the lessons for a while now, but shared this week about a change that has occurred. She said that in the beginning, she would read the Book of Mormon with her husband just to make him happy, that she wouldn't really listen or internalize it. But she shared that as time has passed, she has found herself reading it on her own. She comes to church even when her husband is gone, and is recognizing the light and spirit that is coming as she does these things. 
Many of our investigators start out and really don't know what we're talking about! Many Filipino's listen politely, and continue to let us into their homes for various social reasons, whether it be because we are foreigners, or because they don't want to hurt our feelings. But, those who have been prepared by Heavenly Father, those who begin to really read the Book of Mormon, and make their way to church, a change happens! They transform from polite listeners to hungry searchers. The Holy Ghost works in them and they come to know that our message is true. 
I love watching this change take place in the hearts of the people. The gospel of Jesus Christ is real! This is His true church, and those who study it with real intent WILL come to know of its truth because it is true! 

This week was one of those weeks that I was just so grateful to be a missionary! My life has been blessed SO much from the gospel, and I cannot even begin to repay my Father in Heaven for all of the blessings that I have received. I have found that every time I give my efforts or my time to my Heavenly Father, He just ends up blessing me even more!  But, I am here because I love Him. I may not ever be able to pay Him back, but I can give all that I am to Him and His work for the short time that I am here. 

I love you all! I am so thankful for your support and for your love and prayers! 

Love, Sister Lockwood

ps.  Next week I will not be emailing until Tuesday because we get to go to the temple!  Yay!