Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Betta Appreciate!!

I FORGOT TO POST THIS ON NOVEMBER 20TH!

Hahaha life. KINABUHI DEBA? I love it. So elderfudge was sick half this week again...half my journal entries are about cooking and cleanting...sup martha stewart. hahah im funny. anyway, it was obvious that i had been inside too long because one night i was sitting there reading some general conference talk for single parents and i heard fireworks outside. oh my holy. it was fantastic. i ran out on the porch and the whole sky was just filled with giant fireworks and i was smiling so big and it made me so happy. i just marveled like a little boy. hahaha

so we finally got back out to work and one day we were waiting for a trike and a beggar came up to me and played a little hand made instrument. so we're not supposed to give them money andijust looked the other way and i felt SO awkward. hahaha he was standing so close to me and i felt like Vallie when youre trying to give her food she doesnt want and her eyes are all shifty and awkward ahaha that was me.

So tomorrows thanksgiving. Man i miss America sometimes. hahaha anyway, they obviously dont celebrate it here but our neighbors have pet turkeys that walk around sometimes....all im sayin is watch yo turkeys...ANYWAY speaking of thanksgiving, being here in the philippines has made me realize some things that i should never take for granted. America is a blessed land. So i made a list of things we should always be grateful for:

1. Washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, microwaves
2. Bacon, oreos, potato chips, ice cream, milk, eggs, BUTTER, ham, steak, real meat
3. Clean air.
4. Toilet paper
5. Grass/yards
6. Clean, cold, running water (our water got turned off this week, even though we paid the bill!)
7. Air conditioning.
8. Carpet, front door, a roof, a floor
9. hot showers. (the shower every morning takes my breath away its so cold)
10. Walmart
11. Mom's bread

the list goes on... but I'm so grateful for the trials i have now and how its increased my gratitude for small things like that. Be grateful for amurica!! Be grateful for family. I love our family so much. SO much. I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. "God be thanked for the matchless gift of his divine Son" (the Living Christ). Let us all remember the words of Amulek and live in thanksgiving daily.(alma 34:38). Always pray and pour out your heart in gratitude for the mercy and goodness of our God.

Serve others. Show your gratitude by giving and sharing your blessings with others. "God watches over us and loves us, but it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve our fellowmen."

I love you all so so much! Be good and clean and strong. The holiday season "officially" starts tomorrow! Happy Turkey Thanksgiving day yalllllzzz!

Love,
Elder Mahaffey
(Psalms 69:30)

Ps- we got a Christmas tree!! lookin so gwapoooo fine.
pps- the best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
ppps- transfers on friday!!! my new companion is a filipinoooo!!! WOOO

Melekaliki Maka

I feel like I'm at the part of a movie where everything is going so well and theres upbeat happy music playing and every day just runs together and there's no sense of time. this has been the best transfer and it's going by so fast!

Fun fact: Santa Claus here is Americano. the reason? because "no filipino could ever be that fat." mmk cool.

There are things that happen every day that I just laugh to myself and say "only in the philippines." Chickens walking into the room and disrupting the lesson, pickin up random goats, ...etc. The other day, a woman gave me some soap she made and said "Elder you have acne. use this soap." hahah so blunt.

The other day we got to do some service for the people in mindanao and load trucks with rice. It's so cool to see all the people coming together during the holiday season and donating so much. There were mountains of cans and clothes and rice.

Things are going so well in our area. One of the Less Actives we found in the middle of nowhere said that they "feel the difference" in their home after having the missionaries visit. I love that. I gotta tell you the power of kindness is something else. When you compliment people and make them feel good about themselves, their whole appearance changes and improves.

Happy and Merry Christmas season yall. please please remember the real meaning. God sent his Son to earth so that we could all return to him. Because of him, we can be truly happy. TUNGOD SA KAPASKOHAN read Alma 7:10-12. PAGLIPAY UG KWAN BA KWAN BITAW MERRY CHRISTMAS HOHOHO skype ya in 6 days!!!!


Love, eggnog and shrimp,
Elder Mahaffey





Friday, December 14, 2012

Lamanite Flintstones

Man it was a hard week. But I loved it. I read a conference talk that said there is something in each day to be appreciated. So since then, I've been pointing out the small, great moments. Like the insaane clouds and sunsets here, or sitting in the apartment after a long day and just hearing the distant dogs barking, or frank sinatra playing next door.

This week was really hard for me. There are a lot of moments I just want everything to pause so I can rest for 5 minutes. The Olayons (our investigators) faced a lot of adversity this week. They wont be baptized on the 22nd anymore. Thats hard. Theyre having a lot of doubts and confusions. It's sad. But we have had immense success with Less Actives. We contacted one family and they came to church and I wanted to give them a high five bc i was so happy.

I had a dream I forgot how to speak english. People were trying to talk to me and it was so frustrating because all that came out of my mouth was Bisaya... so thats cool.

people have begun caroling here...except its different. they stand outside the house and sing, but they beg for money. i dont like that.

Elder Manato is hilarious.

Yall this gospel is true. My testimony is strengthened every time i teach. I'm working real hard to bring people back into the fold. what a joy. I love you all. Merry Pasko Christmas season!! woooo! stay warm!...i know i will...


Love and hot cocoa,
Elda mahaffster

whoa. WHOA.

I feel like it's been a month in one week. First of all, we're all safe. The sun is shining outside. No storm. Thank you for your love, concern, prayers and fasting. It worked! Honestly I guess I was just a little oblivious to the seriousness of the storm comin in. The first thing I thought when I heard about it was "Pablo was my spanish name in highschool..." hahaha

Guys, miracles are happening here in Canduman. we got 2 new investigators and committed them to baptism yesterday. oh happy day. John and Jalel Olayon, it's this couple about 45 yrs old. John is missing half his head and is paralyzed on half his body but they are so prepared and so awesome and want to be baptized so I pretty much carried him to church on sunday. And I'll keep doing it until we get a wheel chair for him. OH im so happy. Theyre getting baptized on Dec 22! They're so innocent and recognize truth like little children (3 Nephi 11:37). Then this week we got like 15 new potential investigators, just talking to people on the street. like everyone. I feel like a new person. haha It feels like a new area. Elder Manato is so awesome. He's just relax and chill but so kakugi diligent. We've been working so hard, and the Lord is blessing us. I feel more confident now. Before, I was too careful trying not to offend people, but now I love looking people in the eye and just saying "I KNOW this church is true. This message can help you and your family." ingon ana. President Monson said "There's is aboslutely nothing else in the world that can bring so much comfort and happiness than gaining a testimony of the truth." BITAW! Amen. Even though I'm only 19 yrs old, I go into these homes and speak to 40 and 50 year olds and declare repentance and invite them to come unto Christ, come back to church...in a different language. That's such a testimony that God is with us.

Yesterday all the elders told be to buy siopao and so I did and I bit into it and they all started screaming "cat!! Cat!" and giving each other high fives...I gave the rest to a beggar on the street. He probably needed it meow than me. Also, a little kid ran past us and yelled "AMERICANO UGLY FACE" k. thanks. hahaha

The language is awesome. It's definitely getting better now that I speak it with EM all day everyday. but the hard part is, my english is getting worse. We talked to a Joe (old white guy living in the philippines) on the street and I couldnt think in English. Hahah its the first time that's happened. So now i'm stuck in this language limbo, gray area where i cant completely speak cebuano or english..haha jokes its all good.

I love life. Family, friends, strangers, let the gospel become a part of you, let it change you into something better. Let yourself be happy. Record your life in a journal. Write in it today like youre gonna have amnesia tomorrow...haha

Love aloha and merry christmas season,

Elder Mahaffey


Monday, December 3, 2012

Hallelujer!!

Yall i'm the happiest i've ever been on the mission. My companion is the absolute best in the world. Elder Manato!! My filipino brotha! honestly guys it was an answer to prayers. I love 'im!! HALLA! maybe i'm just racist towards americans... hahah Aight so he's from manila and we dont speak english but i love it. My head hurts so bad from speaking a different language all day but im learnin so much. He is so uplifting and always compliments me. Man! Sometimes Im so happy I wanna cry because I havent laughed so much in so long... haha also, he is so good with the people and they just open up to us now that we have a Filipino. so awesome. We're finding investigators and less actives left and right!

Lemme tell you, finding less actives here is like needles in a haystack. there are SO many. But using members is like using a giant magnet to find them. its so cool. And its amazing to see how the Lord places us in the right place at the right time. Last night we were eating dinner at a barbeque-han, (i had chicken intestines...YUM) and the owner comes up to us and says "ELDERS! I'm a member of your church!" she was less active but she told us where she lives and wants us to come visit them. HALLA

Basta, OMGOODNESS I SAW THE OCEAN. we did a community service project right on the beach picking up trash and there was a salty sea breeze AH reminded me of hawaii. Then people brought out fresh shrimp and mangoes and chicken and rice. holy canoli.

I love life. it's just a continuous adventure of progressing and becoming better. I heard this quote: "Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely." AINT DAT TRUE. Guys share your testimony always. Never underestimate the far reaching effects of your testimony. It's so great here. (although you know the hole in the ozone? it's comin from the philippines. nastay pollution!) but The people! so great. I love you all. be happy, take pictures and eat oreos.

With all the aloha in a Chocolate Haupia pie,

Elder Mahaffey







Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Banana Pancakes

Yall. I made banana, mango pancakes this week for breakfast and I had cold cow's milk from New Zealand. my goodness. too much. And then for dinner I cooked a vegetable, ham omelet. MM. better than the instant noodles and rice we've been having every day. My belt has gone down 3 hole sizes.. hahaha I'm really proud of myself for gettin creative now. I'm having withdrawals for Mom's bread. I miss it so much.

So this week, Elder Fudge got sick and it was my turn to take care of him. He mostly slept, but I cleaned the whole house and organized the shelves and updated the area book. I can't tell you how good it feels. (D&C 42:41) I feel like a new missionary! there's power in cleanliness, for real. And I'm happier too. So happy. So while Elder slept, I wrote and wrote and wrote so many letters. So be expecting one soon. haha pretty sure my hand has carpel tunnel (sp).

Man, I can't tell you how much I love these people. I feel a love I never thought was possible. I've never felt so close to the Savior and His life. People cuss at us and laugh but we just love em anyway. and the less-actives we're working with just open up and tell their problems and cry and their lives are so hard and I can tell they have so much pain but I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be the Lord's vessel and go into their homes and tell them that their burdens can be eased through Jesus Christ. The Lord visits his children in their afflictions!

I really experienced Ammon's praise, "In God's strength, I can do all things." I am constantly uplifted by his merciful hand above my own strength. I've seen the Gift of tongues in it's truest sense. I may have a hard time communicating in every day situations, but in a lesson, I know the Spirit communicates to them what God wants them to hear.

Yall its hapit na ang pasko almost christmas. get excited. I'm buying a christmas tree today. it's the saddest lookin tree but it's gonna be good. WOO! Youtube these christmas visayan songs: Kasadya ning taknaa, and maglipay ta. people go caroling already. i love it.

I love yallllllzzz! Live long and prosper

Love and aloha.
Elder Mahaffey
(alma 26:8)


ps excuse the nudity in the picture...



Friday, November 9, 2012

Merry Christmas!

(I forgot to post this on October 9)

How yall derin!

hahah ok so theyre already starting to celebrate Christmas here... people are setting up christmas trees and theyre playing music in the stores... fine by me!! hahaha Oh fam, I love you guys so much. I wish I could just show you little parts from everyday... this language i'm telling you... sometimes i get it and sometimes I dont at all. This is a conversation I had the other day (translated into english):

Pinoy: Elder, where are you from?
Me: HAHA NO WAY?
Pinoy: no...Elder, where are you from?
Me: HAHA FOR REAL?
Pinoy: No, what's your nationality?
Me: Oh! I'm from the Philippines.

hahaha so that happens a lot... but its all good! somethin to laugh about! Interesting foods I ate this week: straight up fish heads, chicken blood soup, eel, 21-day old balut. YUM. I can just hear yall gaggin right now. ahaha interesting interesting foods and smells and people...oh some of the people. Yesterday I had a man come up to me and say he was Michael Jackson reincarnationed or something and he saw Superman in the sky. Also saw a guy diggin in the trash wearing a bra...yup.

Man, this was a hard week. Sometimes I feel like I'm gonna collapse in the middle of the street. My whole body aches, and my head hurts from trying to speak and understand, but when we're sitting in a family's home testifying of the truthfulness of the gospel, it gives me new strength. I love prayer too. Sometimes I feel so down and alone but then Heavenly Father answers my prayers with tender mercies. This week we went up to a house and a guy came out and we taught him the first discussion and the spirit was there and he wants us to come back. He said "I think...I think your words are words of God." So cool.

In my scriptures this week I kept seeing the importance of the Atonement and agency. I just want to say to anyone reading, if I have ever offended you in anyway, I am so sorry. If there has every been a time that I have made you feel sad, I am truly sorry. I can't explain the profound effect that each person in my life has made. I love every one of you. and I'm sorry if I havent said that enough before!! And as far as agency, what an amazing gift we have! Men are free according to the flesh, and we have the opportunity to choose eternal life or captivity (2 Nephi 2:27-28), so let's all choose eternal life with each little decision we make and be happy forever! how bout it?? who's in? haha

We are so blessed, family. The heavens are open and we have prophets and apostles on the earth to guide us and teach us. There is a God and there is a Savior. I just wanna yell hallelujah. haha no matter how hard life gets, our heavenly father visits us in our afflictions. He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices with us when we're living righteously. Glory to God.

With SO much love and alohas,

Elder Sumna Mahaffey

"Why youve not been buptised?!"

maaaayong buntag!

alright so im doin completely better. a miracle! everyone at church was like 'elder! youre too skinny now. you need to get fat.' ok..haha a family in my ward told me you were fasting for me and i almost started crying haha i love you all SO much. Heavenly Father has answered your prayers, because im healed both physically and spiritually. i feel like myself again! haha oh man i felt the love of our savior so much this week. i read president eyrings talk from last conference called 'Mountains to Climb' and i was just overwhelmed. i feel bad for elder fudge because i couldnt stop crying that morning. hahaha President Eyring said 'sometimes during times of trial, the clock seems to slow, but it's because ''out of their love for us, Heavenly father and jesus christ want us fit to live with them in families forever." we're just bein polished. i was overcome with a sense of peace and comfort. that was one example of how this gospel has brought me so much happiness and peace. Our father in heaven knows us and is aware of us and helps us through his servants.

Another thing that has kept me goin is a sense of humor. No matter how i butcher the language or trip and fall over every rock or gag because i don't know what kind of meat i'm eating, I just laugh so much at each situation. i love what elder nelson said "a sense of humor is an escape valve for the pressures of life.'' HALLELUJER AMEN. hahaha i love laughing and having a good time, and then when we go into a lesson, im happy and i can more fully feel the spirit.

yesterday, i sat down on a curb to rest because i was so exhausted and just said a prayer asking for strength, all of a sudden, one by one, kids started coming up to me and talking to me and soon i was surrounded by like 20 kids and they all sat cross legged around me like i was telling a story. i felt like santa claus...haha i told them about our church and about jesus christ and how families can be together forever.

i rejoice to testify that this gospel is true. i'm forever grateful that it's been revealed unto me countless times every day. I love the Lord and i know He loves us too. I love filipinos and their happiness. i want every single one of them to experience the happiness that comes from being a member of this church. i wanna yell ''why you have not been buptised??' like nacho libre. i'm grateful for trials and mountains to climb and I know everything heavenly Father does is for our happiness.

be strong and be happy yall.

word g-mun,

with love and aloha,

elder mahappy na


Horror Halloween Week

ok yall i dont have much to say this week because the ENTIRE week i was so sick. more sick than ive ever been in my life. i didnt eat one thing all week and probably lost like 12 pounds. sister schmutz thought i had denghue fever. i dont know if it was but i had all the symptoms... haha it was absolutely miserable. i wanted to get out and work so bad but i couldnt even stand up. one night i didnt even sleep. i was up from the moment they shut off the lights to the moment the alarm clock went off. i just sat on the dirty bathroom floor yesterday just praying and crying so hard. saying out loud 'please, please, please help me. i dont know what else to do.' well this morning i woke up and i felt so much better. man, i honestly dont know if i could take it one more day. shoot it was hard. but elder fudge helped me a lot-- he did my laundry and shined my shoes and ironed my shirts. the power of service yall!! serve always. he doesnt know how much it helped.

anyway, i love you all. sorry i dont have anything to tell you except how sick i was..hahaha i still love being a missionary and im SO excited to get back to work. happy halloween, fam. eat lots of candy!!

peace and good health,
elder mahaffey (still goin strong!)

Operation: Puppy Snatch

Kamusta yall yo yo shamlaladingdong--

Shoot i dont know where to start. Let me explain the title. There is a house we visit with a smalll pup real cute. The owner, 6 year old girl, is the devil and throws the pup against the wall and chokes it and kicks it. I cant stand it. I accidentally yelled "STOP!!"..oops. I got permission to save its life. I'm gonna steal it. 

Anyway, this week was crazy. one day I was at the lowest ive ever been, feeling so sad a depressed and praying more than I ever have and then the rest of the week the Lord just blessed me so much. One of the strongest manifestations of answered prayers. I felt happy, we had the spirit with us and we're having success. It has been kind of a drought but things are pickin up. The language yall. Still difficult gihapon pero definitely naay improvement. My slip up this week, trying to ask a little kid if he had a fever and I said "oh dong, are you crucified?" hahah I just laugh so hard at myself. Sometimes I feel like Kolipoki. 

This week I gave a talk in church. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GAVE A SPEECH IN AN ASIAN LANGUAGE? haha It went really well. People were smiling SO big the whole time, probably cuz of my accent. Man, I can't tell you how important members are in missionary work. It's so cool to see people bear their testimony of this same gospel on the oppposite side of the world, and feel the same Spirit. I love that. I know I say it a lot but I love being a missionary! No matter how hard things get, Heavenly Father "never hides from his children." We may not get answers to prayers as soon as we want them, but they come. As I'm walking down the street, whole body aching feeling so sad, I gain even more appreciation for Jesus Christ and how he suffered every one of our pains and trials, so he would know "how to succor his children." He knows how it feels. Turn to Him and ask for strength. I promise He's there. I feel His pure love. 

I love yall. Stay strong and faithful. Believe in God. Believe in the Savior. kamo Have an awesome week,

Alohas,
Elder Mahaffey

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Keep your head up!

Hello!

Man, this is hard yall. Sometimes I feel like I'm not strong, and I feel weak but that's where the Lord fills in. In his strength, we can do all things. (alma 26:12?) Anyway, I'm doin good! There's Christmas music playing outside and it makes me feel happy. haha this week was tough because every single one of our investigators has fallen through. It's real sad, but we're having good success with the Less-Actives in our area. A woman came back to church for the first time in 20 years! What a miracle. Man I love these people. They're still really hard to understand, and people talk to me like I'm deaf, yellllin and repeatin themselves so slowly so I can get it. Hahaha i wish you could see it.

Anyway, we got to watch Conference this weekend and Ive never loved it so much. Every talk just pierced me with the spirit. I love our Prophet and Apostles! It was so encouraging and uplifting. And speaking of that, I got all the letters this week!! ahhh so so great. I cant explain how great it is for a missionary to get mail. Even though it literally takes a month exactly to get here....but still it was so great! Write to the missionaries! Thank you for your love and prayers. I feel them. This gospel is true. Let it fill and change your life and feel the love of Christ! every day! I love you all.

Peace,
Elder Mahaffey


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pagpasalamat ta!

LIFE IS SO GOOD, AINT IT?!

Hahaha I love reading all your emails and hearing about your experiences and I'm just overwhelmed with thanks to be alive. "Our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for God" (Elder Nelson). Always be grateful for everything. Be grateful for families, be grateful for hard times, be grateful for toilet paper and potato chips and oreos....hahaha Oh man I can't tell you how happy I feel right now. This week we got 6 new investigators and 7 less actives came back to church for the first time! Miracles are happening I tell ya! I wish I could tell you everything that happens.

We met these two women at a little Tindahan, Lorna and Beth Gubat mother and daughter, and we I2L'ed them (that's "invite to learn", unique to our mission) and they agreed and we taught them part of the first lesson. I can't tell ya how much I love these people. It's a new feeling loving complete strangers... it's awesome. They were some of the nicest people I ever met. Sometimes in the middle of a lesson I just think to myself, I'm in the Philippines, talking in this strange language and they're understanding me and I'm telling them that Christ's church is on the earth again...how awesome is that?

Anyway, we did splits this week and I led the area and it was so awesome because I felt really effective and I got to know the people better. The language is getting better!

Man I love Cebu more and more everyday. Either riding in a Jeepney or a trike or sitting in a house over the water, I just think to myself, "This is so sweet.." haha I'm so grateful for the gift of prayer and the strength it's brought. The Lord is with us. Man, I can't tell you enough how true this is. Like mara said, it's not belief anymore, it's a knowledge. This Church is true. I love you all. I love life! Glory and thanks be to God.


Have a great week yallz


Love,
Elder Mahaffey


"Pretty sure that wasn't pork..."

Hellurr!! Good Afternoont!

Mara is right. SO much happens in one week it feels like a month. Imma just get right to it. First language slip-up and probably the worst...You guys are gonna love this one. Last week I got a hair cut and we were at someones house for dinner and they said "You look like youve gotten skinnier" and I was trying to say "Oh it's cuz I just got a haircut" BUT instead I said "Oh it's cuz I just got circumcised." I really said that. Everyone was laughing. The difference is one letter!! Shoooot. hahaha

It's always an adventure walking through the streets. People saying "Hey! I like your nose! Gimme your eyes! Take off your ears." Weird. And sometimes there will be goats just comin out of nowhere. Just a herd of goats on the main highway. whaaat. And the other night I was sitting outside talking to this girl about the book of mormon and all of a sudden, a rooster lands on my head. flaaappin its wings. Freaked me out. Also, I'm 90% sure I ate dog on accident yesterday.

Anyway, tomorrow is my one month in the Philippines! Can ya believe it?? The language has definitely improved but I'm still really clueless a lot of the time...haha but I love the people more and more everyday. They are so giving. One night we had dinner and we were SO stuffed and when we went home, our landlord invited us into eat. and of course, we can't reject food because it's rude, so we went in and on the table, there was a GIANT whole pig on the table with rice and fish and drinks and I felt like crying forcing that food down my throat. Just try to imagine my face with every bite..haha

I'm so happy to have this gospel in my life, like Mara said. One of the less actives we're teaching, Jessica, came to church last sunday. It was the greatest feeling in the world. She seemed so happy. I'm constantly reminded of the goodness and power of God. We must always always remember him and what he has given us. Always be grateful for what you have. There's so many blessings in gratitude. Especially happiness. I'm so grateful for the experiences I'm having. The happiness that comes from knowing that Jesus Christ lives is incredible. The true gospel is on the earth again. The windows of heaven are open! Even though I don't know the language that well yet, as I'm speaking about the gospel, It's amazing to feel the Holy Ghost testify through me. SO awesome.

I have to go handwash my laundry now. Have an awesome week yallllz.

Alohas,
Elder Mahaffey

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Better World

hello!

It is a gloomy, rainy day here in Cebu, but you know what? There's sunshine all up in this soul today. Hahaha I'm lovin life. We had a VERY busy week and it feels good to work hard. It's just non-stop. We know the area a lot better now so we are constantly walking. I got like bruises on my feet, but its all good! haha

Alright, so I decided that I would never want to be famous...because I've gotten a little taste of it here. I thought it would be cool with all these people following me, but if I hear "AMERIKANO!" one more time... I might bust a bubble. Haha i mean it's still really cool but it can get kinda old on a really hot tired day. Haha

I was just thinking to myself "what a life." I'm just a 19 year old kid living in the Philippines teaching about Christ. So awesome. 

Funny story: we were walking on this main road and I noticed that some guys car broke down and it was holding up traffic so I ran up to ask him if he needed help in Bisaya and I eagerly went up to his window and yelled "SIR! DO YOU NEED AN ANSWER?!....i mean HELP?!" hahah tubag and tabang are the words I mixed up. Anyway, we pushed his car out of the way and gave him a pass along card and later in the week, we saw him up in a Baranggay on the other side of town and he said "Thank you for your help." So cool.

Also, the other day we were eating at a Calenderia where they just have all these pots out and you choose what you want so I picked some random stew and I was eating it and thinking "Hmm..this is an interesting texture..." It was chicken liver and hearts. I pushed that aside.

Another day, our whole district was eating at a restaurant and one of the elders said "Hey elder mahaffey, your girlfriend's outside." So I looked out the window and there's this woman pressed up against the glass looking at me smiling SO big, no teeth, mouthing "I lovvve youuu. youre so cuuuute!!" hahah I was laughing so hard because I was really uncomfortable.

So last night we were teaching a less active named Jessica Tumimban and she asked if she could have a blessing of comfort and then asked if I would give it...I was so nervous but I just spoke and even though it might have been really choppy cebuano, it was such a cool experience and she said she's coming to church!

We got like 7 new investigators this week, our lessons have been awesome. It's so cool to share my testimony with people and invite them to come unto Christ and let them know that God is there and he loves them so much. It's awesome to see the literal change in their appearance. They look happier, they look brighter and fresh. I love that. 

I learn so much everyday. My testimony is strengthened every day. My appreciation for you all grows every day. I feel so grateful for the happiness and blessings that the Gospel has brought to my life. I love the scriptures and the constant reminder to be ever faithful. It's by faith that miracles are wrought. I love what Ether says in Chapter 12 about how belief in God means a hope for a better world. I'm so glad to be a part of offering people that hope for a better world. Faith, hope and charity is the fountain of righteousness. 

Be happy and become better every day. Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow God will work wonders among you.

So much love,
Elder Mahaffey

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Holy Balut!!

What up what up how yall derin! Good mornting!

HAHA I'm literally laughing right now thinking about this past week. SO much has happened. First of all, I'm doing SO so much better. I was terrified and in shock last week but then I just thought to myself, You're here for two years, make the most of it. If all I can do is smile and shake peoples hands, then that's what I'll do! hahaha but no the language is actually a lot better in comparison to last week. I'm understanding a lot more. 

Alright here we go. This week I was walking across this bamboo bridge to a house on stilts over the water and I BROKE the bridge..HAHAH I heard a crack and then one leg went all the way through and one leg stayed up. I can hear you laughing right now. So I was stuck there for a second, doing vertical spilts, but then I got up and it was all good. Except, my leg is bruuuised up purple and black hahaha oh I'm still laughin. 

Also, I had BALUT. For those who dont know what it is, it's a chicken egg with the half developed chick inside -- days from hatching. There are pictures. It was ok... definitely different. I'm just glad I didnt throw up. 

So we were riding in a trike (a motorcycle that has a little cart attached to it) and it is SO crunched and small and it's raining real hard outside, the driver hits a pot-hole and the trike tips over.... with us inside... hahah two heavy americans. 

Anyway, everythings an experience here. I love it. I love the people, I love the food, I love the philippines! I love the Lord. I wouldn't be here if I didnt know this Gospel was true. Sitting in these people's bamboo and cement homes, I just wish I could tell them how important this message is and how it could change their lives. Oh man. Yeah it's still extremely hard here, but I'm here for a reason. Things get better. Cast your burdens on the Lord and He'll sustain you. I'm so grateful for these restored truths to the Earth. They bring so much happiness. 

How is everyone??

Stay strong and pray always yall.

Elder Malipayon (MaHappy)
Psalms 55:16-17

Eating Balut!!

This is the way we wash our clothes, wash our clothes, wash our clothes...

Cute kid




Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm Alrice! (Alright)

Hey errbody!!

Oh. man. I'm alive! hahah I'm like shaking right now because I have so much to say. I'm in the Philippines! hahaha ok lemme break it down. First off, we get to baggage claim in Cebu and I realize they lost one of my bags...the one with a LOT of important stuff in it. I still don't have it. They said they might know where it is and deliver it to the mission office asap..but no word. Hahaha I was like "OH WELL it's an experience right??" haha. So first day we met President and Sister Schmutz and I love them. Theyre so awesome. First night we all spent at the mission home but the next morning, we met our Trainers and they sent us off right away. My companion is Elder Fudge from Texas. He's been here for a year and we're assigned to OPEN an new area in Canduman, Lil-on. 

So from the moment I step out of the mission home and into the city, I go into shock. Cars beeping and weaving in and out and speeding -- all the Jeepneys have a sticker that says "How's my driving? call this number" and I'm like... for real...? Swerrrvin everywhere, I was so on edge. Then we get to our apartment and the shock continued. Small small apartment about the size of my room at home. The shower is a bucket of water. There is no toilet paper (seriously...you just use water). Then we just went out and worked and there's people screamin this language Ive never heard. Apparently it's Cebuano. Oh man. There' chickens and dogs everywhere and I wanna pet them but I feel like I'm gettin diseases just lookin at them..they look like the dogs from I Am Legend...  Anyway, our first day, we were lookin for the church and we got lost..of course..because its a new area and we have NO idea where anything is. Then it starts to rain...then pour...and my umbrellas in the other suitcase that was lost. we were drennnched. so we found the bishops house and the wife is like "AYY KALOOOOY dsak;sdffdjkfhkdsjhjdfh" and of course I cant understand a word but aparently she was giving us directions. Then we found the church. There was a baptism. I had to give a talk in Visayan. ohh...

So then we're walking on the streets again and everywhere I go there's people starin and little kids yellin AMERIKANO!! and grabbing my hands and people yelling at me. hahaha guys, everywhere I go, it looks like I just stepped into a National Geographic magazine. it's unreal. 

The first Sunday was terrifying as well. Everyone tries to talk to me and they talk SO fast and I'm like "Unsa? Unsa? What? what? what?" and everybody's laughin at me. It was very very humbling. But it's all good. Then we went up into this little village baranggay area and its just slums, little shacks and people are sleeping on the floor but everyones so happy and little kids come up to me and grab my hand and bless me (put my hand on their forehead - sign of respect) and it made my day. The food here is pretty good. I'm not really used to SO much rice and sometimes I don't eat at all.

Anyway, so I'm sufferin from culture shock, which is really surprising but it's ok. I came across a scripture in D&C 68:6 that said "Be of good cheer and have courage, for I the Lord am with you." So that is whats been keepin me going this week. Thats how great scripture study is. This is harder than I coudve ever imagined. please pray. I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. Mara, I'm prayin for you and your investigators! God be with you!

Have a great week everyone. Amping kamo

Elder Mahaffey
Cebu Temple
 
                                 
President and Sister Schmutz
"THEY ARE SO AWESOME"

Companion - Elder Fudge

 
HOME, SWEET HOME!!


 
National Geographic Scenes
 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

WE'RE OFF TO CEBU...

Tuesday evening of this week, we were thrilled to receive a call from our boy.  He was waiting at the SanFrancisco International Airport with 8 other missionaries.  Our conversation was so full of joy and excitement, and to be honest--a few tears. 

He sounded happy.  He sounded excited.  He sounded READY.  They were to fly through the night, arriving in Hong Kong the next morning and then in Cebu before noon on the 30th.  We should hear from him again on Wednesday.  His first meeting in the Philippines was reported to be a mission-wide conference with one of our Apostles, David A. Bednar-- WHAT A WELCOME!!

On Thursday afternoon, we received a big box of things Sumner sent home from the MTC.  Among the piles of letters from so many of you (thank you! thank you! thank you!) were these pictures taken during his last week at the training center in Provo, UT.  I wish I could post the video he sent of his district standing in a circle and singing in their new language,  "GOD BE WITH YOU 'TIL WE MEET AGAIN."  (Can't watch that one without a big box of tissue).

Thank you all for following and writing Sumner.  We feel your love and support, as he does.

Warm regards,  J
 
HOORAH FOR ISRAEL!! 

 
        
       HAWAIIAN DISTRICT...
                           
             PROVO UTAH TEMPLE 
 
SO NICE TO SEE HE STILL HAS HIS SENSE OF HUMOR
ONE OF THE FEW MOMENTS OF LEISURE IN THE MTC
 
 BROTHER YOUNG
LETTER WRITING DAY
BROTHER SAAGER
LANGUAGE TRAINING  TEACHER

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cuz I'm Leavin...on and Airbus....


AYOOO! Kamusta mo, ang akong nindot nga pamilya!
 
Well well well. I'm goin to the philippines tomorrow! HAHA! what?! I can't explain to you what I'm feeling. It's like wanting to laugh and then throw up and then twitch and cough and gag and smile and laugh and jump. (Imagine that). I am SO excited and stressed and I feel like I still have so much to do...It's like I'm moving to Asia for 2 years or something!! hahaha...ha..
 
Anyway, this week has been the best at the MTC. First of all, Tuesday night, we heard from an Apostle!!! Elder Niel Andersen. It was incredible. Everyone stood when he walked in and I was just overwhelmed to see one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ standing right there. I sang in the Choir and the camera zoomed right in on my face and I wanted to look right at it and mouth "HI ELDER ANDERSEN!!" hahaha oh man but he said just that morning President Monson said to tell us that he loved us and express his gratitude. His talk was just all advice for our missions and just hearing him speak, I KNOW he's called of God. It was amazing.
 
Then I was able to Host on wednesday for new missionaries and it was so weird seeing Elders just starting their MTC experience and I'm ending mine. Time is weird. It was so sad to see everybody saying goodbye for 2 years and crying but I know this is where we're supposed to be!
 
Then on Wednesday night, we had TRC. I love TRC. we taught this one returned missionary from Cebu about the importance of the book of mormon and I felt like I was really struggling with my Cebuano but then the Spirit was so strong and she started crying and she said that we just said EXACTLY what she needed to hear and she kept thanking us. It was an awesome experience.
 
Oh man, let me tell you. Laughing is the best. I know exactly what Sister Mahaffey means...it's so refreshing to have a good laugh every day. I've grown to love my district so much. We have the best time and then we can sit down and have the most spiritual meeting. Last night was our last night all together because Elder Murdock and Sister Bogenschutz are going to Tacloban Mission and we all just shared our testimonies and I was so happy. We were all sent at the same time for a reason and I couldn't have asked for a better district to start off the mission.
 
I am so exhausted. It's great. I've never appreciated sleep so much. I don't know how I lived before the mission.... I love just layin down after a long day and takin a big breath and I'm out. This week I learned so much. Lemme break it down right quick: brother young said "If you remembered Christ every minute of the day, think of how different you would live your life. Strive for that!" We should always ALWAYS be like Christ. In everything thing we do and think and say. Of course we all make mistakes, but that's why we have the Atonement. God has thought of everything, you know? I love what Preach My Gospel says, "All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement." And it all starts with faith. Faith is SUCH a principle of power. Christ said "If you have faith in me, ye shall have power to do anything that's expedient in me" (Moroni 7:33) We gain faith through diligent scripture study and prayer and obedience. Isnt' that great? Happy day, All is well!
 
Anyway, I gotta go pack for the Philippines HAHAHABROUHGHHH (that's me laughing and throwing up at the same time). Here go my address for the phillies:
 
Elder Sumner Mahaffey
Philippines Cebu Mission
Temple Complex CJCLDS
Gorordo St. Lahug, Cebu City
6000 Cebu, Philippines
 
HOLLA AT ME!
 
I love you all. I'm praying for all of you and I send a million hugs and lovinz your way. CAN YA FEEL IT?!
 
Ang Dios Magauban Kaninyo,
Anciano Mahaffey

Monday, August 20, 2012

IT'S SOOOOO TRUE!!!

Maayong Buntag Pamilya!!
...I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS! ohhhh man you should have seen us when we got them out of the mailbox. it was like Christmas morn. We were all cheerin and jumpin up and down. Alright so, I leave on Tuesday August 28 and I leave SLC at 8:26pm and fly to San Francisco then to HONG KONG to Manila, then we get to CEBUUUU on August 30 at 11:30 am Philippines time. holy moly. this is surreal. also, I'm the travel leader...what ever that means. hahaha but we're all so excited. we keep jokin like "Hey! wanna go to hong kong next week?? ..let's go!!" ahahah crazy. So I'll call you guys a couple times when I'm in SLC and then again when I'm in San Fran (we're allowed to talk as long as we want!). So Cami dearelder me your number too! Oh and mom, I think Im just gonna buy a call card here cuz it's cheap, so if you sent the phone, I'll just send it back. AHHH can't wait to hear yo voicezzz!!
This week also flew by unrealistically fast. I love it. I love studying the scriptures. You know how in Despicable Me, the little girl gets the stuffed animal and yells "ITS SO FLUFFY IM GONNA DIIIIE!"? well The other day when I was reading the book of mormon and I just thought to myself "...it's so true, i'm gonna DIIIIIEEE!!!!" hahaha I make myself laugh a lot...
Anyway, people keep saying to me "Oh i'm so proud of you for sacrificing two years to do this" but I honestly don't look at this as a sacrifice. It's a blessing to be a missionary. I love wearing this nametag. I love wearing Jesus Christ's name on my heart every day. I can't even begin to tell you how this experience has already changed my life. I love the surety of the gospel. It makes-a me a-happay! "Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. Stand higher, lift others. Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ" (President Hinckley). Tinuod man sya! So true! If you wanna be happy, serve someone else. SIMPLE.
This week Sister Boegenshutz was talking about why she's serving a mission and she said "Everyone deserves this happiness." She's awesome. I wish I could just hug her cuz she's so awesome but thats BAWAL (forbidden). She's the only sister in our district and I like to compare it to Peter Pan... she's like Wendy and we're all the Lost Boys...hahaha
This week, Sister Mara sent me a package with letters from Dad to Cami on her mission and from Cami to Mara on her mission and from Mara to me on mine. What amazing words that all still applied to all of us. It gave me so much strength and courage. Also in the package, there were 3 missionary nametags: Cami's, Dad's Mission President Counselor one, and Dad's from 1978. SO cool. I put my tag right next to them and took a picture. What a priceless gift. I feel so close to all of you! thanks so much mara. I just sent you a letter.
Anyway, I love yallz. Thank you for your prayers and letters and lovinz. I love this. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true yall. No doubt. Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper!
 
Pray, love and live always.
Much alohas and gugma,
Elder Ma-happy (Filipinos cant pronounce F's)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quote of the Week


"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted.  It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility.  All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God..and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father in Heaven."

~ Elder Orson F. Whitney


Ayaw Kabalaka

HAHAHA what an adventure this is. I've never felt so many emotions. wow oh wow. I feel like a new person every week. First of all, one of our investigators, Egypt, who has really been struggling, committed to baptism this week. When he told us that he wanted to be baptized, me and Elder Chamberlain just looked at each other and all I said was "oh man!" in English ...haha it's so satisfying to see people make a decision that you know will improve their lives and make them happy.
Mom, the uke is a Poly magnet...I love it. I was playing in my room and then a kid from new zealand just poked his head in and saw it and yelled "YEAH BRO I thought i heard that!!" and then he went and got like 20 other poly's and we played and sang and they were harmonizing. I was smiling so big.  There were elders from Fiji and Tonga and Samoa and Australia. Bliss.
Fun fact: Cebuano is the 4th most spoken language in the Church right now. HOLLA ATCHO BOY
Oh we finally got roommates this week. First day, they accidentally set their alarms 2 hours ahead. They locked themselves out on accident and when I came to the door I just growled at them and said "it. is. 4:30." hahaha Theyre goin to Washington, Mara! They are spanish-speaking though. It's so funny cuz they're always asking me for help on how to say this or that in Spanish. And Brother Young always asks me how to say things in spanish because he's tryin to learn it.-- Shout out to Sra Kiser!!
Cebuano's comin along really well. The teacher's always make subtle jokes to each other and I'm beginning to understand them.  I'm getting SO excited to go. The teachers always talk about their missions and I just wanna get out there!! (Except apparently they aint got bacon over there....BETTA WATCH YO PIGS). Anyway, every day it just gets more real. The other day, I was feeling so down and I was having the hardest day, and I just prayed to Heavenly Father for comfort and peace and I did not want to go teach but when we went into the TRC, me and Elder Chamberlain walked into a room and it was a Filipina woman with her baby.  It was the coolest thing. She was just so happy and full of love and excited that we were learning her language and we spoke with her for half an hour in Cebuano. It was a direct answer to my prayer. I was so happy.
Anyway, the point is, Heavenly Father hears us! Jesus Christ hears us!   I loved this quote from Ezra Taft Benson: "The Lord will not permit us to fail if we do our part." What a promise, right? It's true. If you have faith in Christ and then do everything you can "You shall be lifted up and delivered out of your trials" (Alma 38:5). We can do anything, anything, anything with Christ. Even go to a foreign country and speak a weird Asian language...for real! Have courage and become a better person everyday. "We bless others as we serve in the shadow of Jesus...who went about doing good." Do good! Be good! Live good!
Also, write in a journal all the time (Elder Chamberlain calls it a "Journey-al"...hahaha). Writing down thoughts greatly enhances our ability to feel and understand the Holy Spirit. Document your life and experiences. Life is good. Life is so good yall. Ayaw Kabalaka!! (Hakuna Matata)
Have an awesome week. Try new food and take cool pictures.
Love you all,
Elder Mahafi (that's how the poly's say it)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Act Ye Well the Part

Alooooooha!
Can you believe I've already been on my mission for a month?? I can't tell you how weird time is. It feels like I JUST got here and now we getting our travel itineraries within the next two weeks and leave in 26 days!! Wahhh I get so excited when our teacher Brother Saager talks about the culture of the philippines-- how everyone just sits outside and talks and they fit like 7 people on one motorcycle and how they just follow Americans because they think they're movie stars. hahah
Speaking of culture, (apparently) if youre talking to a filipino and they dont understand or didnt hear what you said, they open their mouth... so i was in the TRC and I guess i said something they didnt understand and she just opened her mouth and I was SO confused. I was wondering "WHAT is she doing..." I thought she wanted me to pop a mint into her mouth or something. Also, we were teaching about the Great Apostasy and Elder Chamberlain accidentally messed up the verb conjugations and said "The apostles murdered everyone" instead of "The people killed all of the apostles." hahahah I couldnt stop laughing. Oh also, Elder Chamberlain's brother just got home from the philippines last week and he speaks cebuano so he comes and volunteers at the TRC and I'm so jealous just watching them reunite and talk.
Guys... everybody in the district is scaring each other now. At first I was so proud...but then when I was trying to fall asleep one night and someone JUMPED out of my closet I just thought to myself "...what have I done..." hahahaha we're getting creative too. Cami you would be proud.
This week was really difficult for some reason. I struggled a lot. I had a really hard time focusing and staying on task (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?) haha anyway i got so down on myself sometimes because of the language but then our teacher Brother Young just talked to all of us and said "Don't get stressed. This is a happy work! You elders know more cebuano right now than I did when I was 6 months into my mission. Lighten up! The Lord is with you!" it was exactly what we needed to hear. He is seriously the perfect teacher. it's so comforting to have the Lord's support.
And also, I was getting kinda depressed because I REALLY miss music. One night I wrote in my journal how much I need music and the very next day I got a package from mom....Brand. new. ukulele. OH MY HECK you are the best! thank you thank you thank you. Salamat kaayo! It literally was an answer to my prayers. and my whole district loves it too. They all want to ask their parents to send ukuleles now haha seriously thank you thank you. I'm learning hymns on it!!
This week, I was prompted to ask the district to share their testimonies of the reality of the Savior and it was amazing. I can't even explain in words what it was like. It's so nice to have those promptings as a district leader. I love all of them so much. They're amazing missionaries each one of them.
The scripture that really stood out to me this week was D&C 67:2 (I love doctrine and covenants-- there's so much directly for missionaries) - "Mine eyes are upon you and the heavens and the earth are in my hands." The Lord is mindful of EVERY person. Every single person. No matter how much we struggle or hurt, He is there with us, watching us and we need to be at ease and have courage because everything is in His hands. That's good enough for me! Anything is possible with the Savior. He wants us to be the best we can be. I heard a quote this week that really applied: "What ever thou art, act ye well thy part" meaning, whatever you are, be the best. Do your best and have faith that everything is gonna be alright. There's so much strength and comfort and HAPPINESS in this Gospel.  I want everybody to know this joy.
Enjoy and give thanks everyday for everything. Give thanks for the rain and heat even when you don't want it. "You might as well be grateful cuz ya can't change it!" hahaha Be the best you can be and be happy happety hap haps. Work hard and you'll get blessings! I promise that.
Thank you so much for the letters and notes! KEEP EM COMIN! hahah you are the best. i'm overwhelmed with gratitude for all the amazing people in my life!
Daghang gugma ug kalipay,
Elder Mahaffey

Friday, July 27, 2012

FIRST PHOTOS HOME

I LOVE WEARING THIS NAME TAG !!
It is a constant reminder to me of whose
work this is.  It's humbling.

This is my district (without Sister Boegenshutz), Elders Chamberlain, Cornwall, Mingus, Bount,  Stack, Hulet, Peck, Chrisney, Murdock, and Mahaffey.  Elder Peck - I LOVE Elder Peck!  He is one of my best friends.  He kinda reminds me of Logan.  Elder Mingus is another fave.  He has my humor...but I love this entire district.  They are all so unique and great. I am overwhelmed to be their district leader, but I know God will give me strength to perform this work...  "as for my strength, I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things."  (Alma 26:12) 


  Myself with Companion Elder Chamberlain.  He is hilarious.  Everyone loves his dry humor.  He's very dramatic and makes up Shakesperian monologues.  He knows EVERY movie quote!

 "We are as the armies of Helaman...  We have been called in our youth...  And we will be the Lord's missionaries........... to bring the world  His Truth."
Meeting up with Elder Nick Bonner from Chesterfield Missouri.  It is so great to see him and sit down and chat with such a dear friend.

 This is our weekly schedule...quite a change from the Hawaiian schedule I kept, but I am loving it here!!!  I love being a missionary!!!  I wish I could write everything I've learned, but it's impossible.  I'M SO HAPPY!  I feel like Ammon - "Behold...I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."  And,  "Who can glory too much in the Lord?" 
These are my Cebuano Scriptures!  Seriously, you would laugh if you heard me speaking this language.  It doesn't even sound like a real language.  It amazes me that we can say things that sound like jibberish, and people understand what we are saying.  HA!  It's crazy, but I LOVE IT!!!

This took me nearly 4 hours of my p-day to write these 13 letters!  Major hand cramp.  I am so grateful for the letters I receive.  You have no idea how much they uplift me and encourage me.  Thank you SOOOO much.  I LOVE YOU!  Elder Mahaffey

Monday, July 23, 2012

Look Up!


Maayong Buntag!!
 
what a week. Let me just say that the MTC is like NO other place on earth. Thousands of people learning different languages. It is so cool. There's people speaking Hmong and Laos and Navajo.... the word for "book of Mormon" in Navajo is like Nchkmwo Mnitk Ai*J. cliiickin tongues. And time here is so weird. It literally feels like time is slowed down because we fit so much in one day. But then I look back and I realize I've already been here for a month... This week is my halfway point in the MTC!!
 
Also, people treat us like celebrities in Provo. When we're coming back from playing sand volleyball, everybody honks their horns and girls like screeeam out the window and people cheer "ELLLDERRS!!!!" hahaha it's real nice. Elder Chamberlain is hilarious. This morning at breakfast he asked the Elders sitting next to us where they were headed and they were like "Nicaragua!" and Elder Chamberlain goes "oh my gosh! You're going to Africa?! no way!" and I almost spit up my water hahaha
 
Ok my language slip ups this week: We were walking into an appointment to meet our new investigator TinTin (seriously) and we were introducing ourselves and shaking his hand and in Cebuano I said "Oh! so nice to meet me!" hahaha and THEN I accidentally told him I'm 30 years old. and then in another appointment, we were kneeling down to pray and I was gonna ask him if he would pray but I accidentally said "Can you read to me?" hahah kneeling down asking him to read to me...and in another appointment I was talking about the Atonement and I said "He suffered for our living rooms." I love this language though. Sometimes i feel like a caveman because the sentence structure is like "ME WANT EAT"
 
Anyway, this week I was called to be District Leader! I feel overwhelmed and inadequate but I'm so excited to serve these Elders because I love em so much! Miracles happen here for real. The things I've learned and how much I've grown and how we're learning this language. I understand more of Cebuano in one month than I do 6 years of Spanish in school. The Lord is absolutely helping because there's no way I could do this on my own. No matter how hard or stressful it gets, there is SO much comfort in knowing that we're not alone. "Bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give you success" (Alma 26:27). I love that. Our teacher Brother Young is so awesome. He was teaching us about the infinite and eternal Atonement of Christ and how there are two parts: the redeeming power and the enabling power, and if we put our trust in him, he enables us. I've gained such a testimony of that this week.
 
My God has truly been my support and he hath filled me with his love! (2 Nephi 4:20-21) I am absolutely so happy. There's so much happiness in being where you're supposed to be and doing without a doubt the right thing. "My heart is brim with joy...and my joy is full" (Alma 26:11) hahah look at me throwin out all this scripture references!! Seriously I love studying. The scriptures have never been so alive to me! it makes it so much more meaningful when you put your whole heart into it.
 
It's hard but the mission is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Let me share one of my favorite experiences from this week. So we went into an appointment with TinTin (brother Young) and we were teaching him how the Gospel blesses families (keep in mind this is all in Cebuano) and then we asked him about his family and he told us his dad has cancer and he could die anyday and it scares him (Brother Young's real dad has been very sick and he's kind of going through the same thing). Then we told him that because of Jesus Christ, families can be together forever and he can see his father again. He started crying. The spirit was so strong. We were speaking a different language and he felt what we were saying was true. Every day my testimony is strengthened and confirmed. Have we not reason to rejoice?? Ahhh! Blessed be the name of our God am I right?!
 
Even though we're just being trained here, I'm learning so much about people and how we never know what they're going through. Always always be kind and love everybody. Everyone: serve someone this week. Live with the character of Christ. Pray always and when you're feeling down, look up! The Lord is mindful of every single person.
 
Smile deeply, serve selflessly and love fully. (Mara said that to me)
 
I love yallz so much!! Literally i can't thank you enough for the Dear Elders and letters you send me, they make me laugh and cry and they make me so happy.
 
Fresh courage take and maayo tanang!
 
Love
Elder Sumna Mahaffey

Monday, July 16, 2012

Come What May and Love It


Kamusta Pamilya!
 
Oh man. I love being a missionary. It's the hardest thing I've ever done but I love it. I'm so lucky to be able to spend 2 years serving the Lord and studying the scriptures and inviting people to come unto Christ. I can't think of a better way to spend my time.
 
Ok so things that happened this week: the other day we were "tracting" and one person opened their door and in Cebuano I said "Hello! We're millionaires from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!" hahahah instead of missionaries... oh man I couldn't stop laughing. Anyway, I love the Elders in our district. We are all so close. and there's one sister named Sister Boegenshutz. she is so awesome. I have a soft spot for Sisters. haha I miss you mara!!
 
OH the other day we did TRC which is Training Resource Center where we legit go in and talk to strangers in Cebuano. I was so nervous, but the first one was awesome and when we got done, the guy was like "dang you've only been here for 3 weeks?? Your Visayan is so good! BUT THEN we went into the next appointment and the guy was speaking so fast and I was having a really hard time understanding him and then 5 minutes later we realized he was speaking Ilongo (another filipino dialect).....hahaha not even cebuano...nastay! but it was so awesome we could still communicate and get our point across. I say all my prayers in cebuano now! and I've had a couple dreams with words here and there. it's so cool. i love speaking a different language. At meals, I talk to other elders in Spanish and my district is like "of COURSE Elder Mahaffey's over there just speaking in spanish"
 
I wish you could see some of the words that the Filipinos have taken from english. They spell everything phonetically and so "juice" is "dyus" and "sacrament meeting" is "sakramint miting" and 'Excuse us' is "'skus mi" hahah it looks like a kindergartner trying to spell.
 
Fun fact: (Dad you'll like this) The Ewoks in the Stars Wars movies speak Cebuano and Tagalog. haha!!
 
Elder Chamberlain is doin awesome. We are so funny. Everybody says we're the best companionship in the district. watching us is like watching a tv show. Everything he says sounds like it was scripted ahahaha
 
There are SO many awesome people in the world. Sometimes we watch those "I'm a Mormon" videos and theyre so great. You guys should really go watch them. People are so cool. AH man I love seeing all the different stories and talents and abilities. Speaking of which, last night the fireside was Jenny Oaks Baker (mom you probably know her, she's Elder Oaks daughter) and she's one of the most well known violinists in the world and it was incredible. It's amazing what humans can do! I love how music brings the spirit so much.
 
This week in scripture study, one scripture that really stood out to me was Alma 29:9 -- something like "I glory in that which God hath commanded me...he has made me an instrument in his hands...and this is my joy." this IS my joy! I love that we are an extension to the arm of the Lord and his prophets and apostles. and in Alma 34 (the whole chapter is amazing, everybody go read it) it tells us to pray always and now is the time to prepare to meet God. Pray for the welfare of others!! Oh man I love alma and amulek. They're the best missionaries.
 
Also this week, while teaching the lesson of the restoration and Joseph Smith, my testimony was strengthened so much. In class they asked us to share our thoughts and testimonies of Joseph Smith and the restoration and when I spoke, I was overwhelmed and overcome with the spirit. I just started crying and testifying and it didn't even feel like me talking. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and he restored the gospel on the earth. Praise to the man.
 
I am SO grateful to be here. I've grown immensely and learned so much, it's unreal. I love how the Lord can lift us to our potential and strengthen us through the Holy Spirit. I'm so grateful for an amazing family who supports me. I really have been born of goodly parents. I'm honored to serve a mission. This is my joy! We are as the Army of Helaman! I love ya guys so much!
 
Thank you to everyone who sends me DearElders throughout the week. It is so uplifting!
 
Alright everyone, be happy, go on adventures, take pictures and eat good foods. Much love and aloha from,
 
Elder Mahaffey