Monday, July 30, 2012

2nd week!

Dear family,

Well, the mosquitoes are being more well-behaved this week. I think it’s because I remembered to wear insect repellant. I actually haven’t had any huge problems with bugs in my house. It’s a blessing.

I think the Laoag area is pretty rural. However, Laoag is a pretty decent size. I think there might be a mall there. The town I am serving in seems like it might be about the size of Mount Pleasant. We have to go shopping for food in an adjacent city, but we bought produce last week here in Paoay. My mission President wanted to keep the new sisters semi close to Laoag. I don’t know if I’ll be assigned further out later.

My trainer, Sister Asuro, is really great. She is very patient and kind. She likes to run, so we exercise together every morning. She also likes to eat healthy, so we get lots of vegetables, and we usually just share food, rather than each shopping for our own food. I’m learning a lot from her about humility and prayer, and loving others. She is a good example to me.

It has been raining quite a bit. Almost every day. In fact, right now it is raining super hard, and it has been all morning, and our house is flooded downstairs. Luckily we don’t have anything on the floor that can’t get wet, and our bedroom is upstairs. So we’re just chilling up here in our room right now. I guess we’ll try to deal with the water downstairs after the rain stops.

We wake up at 5 a.m. on P-days to do our laundry. We wash it by hand. It’s been taking about 2 hours each P-day to do our laundry. I like getting it done in the morning so I can have more time the rest of the day.

We have a big bucket in the bathroom with a scooper for showering. It’s actually not a bad way to shower. I thought it would take longer than a normal shower, but it doesn’t. And the cold water feels really nice because it’s hot.

Well, missionary work is definitely work. It’s good though. It’s a great experience to be able to bear my testimony every single day. I’ve really been learning a lot about how important it is to always have the spirit with me. The more of the spirit I have when I am teaching, the more I know what people need and how to help them. On Wednesday we visited Brother and Sister Degollado. Brother Degollado is not yet a member. As we talked with him, I felt the Spirit testify through me that he needs to be baptized.

It’s incredible to see miracles happen. Whenever the spirit is present while we are teaching and those we are teaching feel it, I count it as a miracle. We planned to visit a less active family at 5 pm today, but they weren’t home, so we decided to find. We found an old lady named Gartrudis at her house, and she invited us in. She is 82 years old and reminds me so much of Grandma Gunn because she seemed so tickled that we would come to visit her, and she was very receptive to what we taught. We taught her about prayer, and the proper way to pray, and she said she would start praying that way. We gave her a Book of Mormon, and she said she would read it. She was just tickled pink that we would give her the Book of Mormon as a gift. She said we can return to teach her.

I know the gospel is true!

Love, Sister Lisa Boekweg

Lisa and Sister Asuro

Lisa and her "birthday cake" house :)

Lisa's flooded basement ;)

Sister Asuro

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dito na ako sa Pilipinas!

Hey everybody!

Well, I'm here in the Philippines! My area is called Paoay. It's very pretty with lots of trees. It's a town that seems to be somewhere around the size of Mount Pleasant. I live in a really cute little house that looks kind of like a birthday cake. It's painted lots of different colors. I'll try to send you a picture of it soon. :)

My trainer is Sister Asuro. She is Filipino, but she speaks English very well. She is super sweet, and kind, and patient, and very grateful and positive all the time. After we pray together she always gives me a hug and says "Thank you, Sister Boekweg."

My mission president, President Barrientos, is really nice too. He likes to make a lot of jokes. He is also very kind; he gave me and Sister Asuro food on Friday, so we wouldn't have to worry until P-day.

The mosquitos here love me! I feel so blessed to be in a place where even the insects are happy to see me! Hehe! Seriously though, the people here are so nice. Whenever we go to teach someone, they are so happy to talk to us. We are working with a lot of less actives right now, trying to get them to read the Book of Mormon daily, pray daily, and go to church. Even after just being here 5 days, it has really struck me how important reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and attending church are. Once people stop doing those, they really quickly drift away from the gospel.

I think the Tagalog is coming okay. I've been able to help teach, and Sister Asuro says the people are understanding me. It really helps to teach with a native Filipino because she can correct me if I say something wrong.

I love you all! Keep up your scripture reading, prayer, and church attendance!

Love, your favorite missionary, Sister Lisa Boekweg

Me and the other new missionaries in front of the Manila Temple when we arrived because we stayed in Manila for 1 day before flying to Laoag, so we got to go to the temple!

Me with my mission president and his wife

Me with the other new missionaries and President and Sister Barrientos

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Only one week left!

Well, this week has been rather eventful.

We got our flight plans on Friday! When I was at the mailroom, I used to hear missionaries get really excited about their flight plans coming, and if they didn't come, a piece of their heart basically died, and I never fully understood that until last week when we were waiting for our flight plans, and every day that the flight plans didn't come we sort of went crazy. So I was really happy when they came. I'm leaving from the MTC on Monday, July 16 at 4:30pm. I'm really happy I don't have to wake up super early to leave. I still get to have class on my last morning here. I'm leaving with all the elders from my district, and with a few missionaries from the other district in our zone that arrived the same day we did. Sister Christensen and Sister Aree are not leaving until Tuesday, July 17, so it's kind of sad that we won't be flying out together. But I guess we'll have to say goodbye either way, so it's all good.

Today my district was chosen to help clean the Provo Temple. It was really cool. We helped clean the chandeliers in the sealing rooms. They were disassembled, and then we cleaned the little pieces and then put them back together. It was fun. They gave us really comfy white clothes to wear while we worked.

Last night, I was nestled snugly warm in my bed, when all of a sudden, I was awakened by a loud piercing noise. At first I thought it was someone's alarm clock, but when I was sufficiently pulled out of dreamland, I realized that it was a fire alarm. It was about 12:45am. So we all got out of bed, and went outside to one of the parking lots. We stayed there in our jammies for about 20 minutes while the policemen went to check things out. When they determined that there was no fire, they let us go back to bed. I still don't know why the fire alarm went off, but it was an adventure.

On Sunday, we had our last temple walk as a district. Next week we will have our departure fireside during our temple walk. It was nice, and we got some cute pictures. Sister Aree and I both wore white shirts with black skirts on accident, so everyone in our district matched except for sister Christensen (she was wearing bright purple), so we got some cool artsy pictures (or at least we were trying to make them artsy--I don't know if we succeeded). Sister Richardson was in Provo, so she came to see us during out temple walk. It was great to see her, and we got some pictures with her as well.

As you all know, last Wednesday was the 4th of July. We had a program in the evening with a speaker and some musical numbers. After that was over, they gave us ice cream and made us watch the fireworks. Seriously, they told us "Please don't go back to your residence halls until the fireworks are over." So we got to watch the fireworks. It was fun, but we were kind of tired.

So, apparently lava lavas are the thing in New Zealand. That's where Elder Sloan is from, and he gave one to each of the elders in our district. (If you don't know what a lava lava is, it's kind of like a wrap around skirt that is meant to be worn for relaxation--and apparently their the cool thing for elders to wear during their free time). Last P-day, I saw two of our elders in the bookstore wearing them, and it made me smile. In the words of Sister Christensen, "we can't wait to get out of our skirts into pants, and they can't wait to get out of their pants into skirts." :)

Well, I love you all! Life is great! Missionary work is awesome!

Love, Sister Lisa Boekweg

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Kumusta, Pamilya ko!

 It's P-day again! The temple is now closed, so we didn't get to go this morning, but Sister Christensen and I went on a run around the perimeter of the MTC this morning, and it was awesome! We don't ever get to exercise in the morning because we are always in class or at the temple, so it super nice this morning.

Last Tuesday, Elder L. Tom Perry was our devotional speaker (not President Uchtdorf, like I thought). There were 10 Apostles there (all except Pres. Packer and Elder Hales), and we had pretty good seats. It was so awesome! Especially since Sister Aree had never been in the same room as an Apostle before, so it was really cool for her.

Last Tuesday we also got a new district in our zone. There is only one sister in that district, and she is going to Laoag! Her name is Sister Tauti. Since she is a solo sister, they assigned me as her companion (probably because we're both going to Laoag). Basically, we just have to be together whenever she is not with her district. I'm also still in the threesome with Sister Christensen and Sister Aree, so I kind of have three companions. It's maganda.

I'm so glad I'm on a mission! I am learning so much. It's amazing how much I've learned. I understand a lot of things differently than I did before I was a missionary. I'm really excited to go to the Philippines! I was really nervous, but I'm feeling more and more prepared, so I think it will be great! Tagalog is coming along really well. I'm amazed at how much I'm able to communicate in Tagalog already. I still have a long way to go, of course, but it's coming really well.

Yesterday, there was a spider in my classroom. It was crawling along the wall by Elder Paige's desk, trying to look innocent, but we all knew it had malicious intentions. Elder Paige tried to kill it, but it fell to the ground, and it could not be found (haha...I rhymed!). It was a little disconcerting. Fortunately it was later found and squashed. :)

Quote of the week: "I'm going to wake up at 6:35, go swimming, hug some girls...." --Brother Ward

I love you all! Thanks for being the bestest family ever!

Love, Sister Lisa Boekweg