Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Look Mom and Dad....I'm a real Filipino!!!

Still no pictures from our missionary, but her letters are great! She is loving it in the Philippines!!

Bale, First off no pictures this week dahil i forgot my USB thing...bale, sorry po. 

Anyway, hello my family I hope you are all doing well.  I am doing really well and have a great announcement...I became a Filipino this week! Sister Merrill and I worked in the Bukid!!! which is the rice fields.  Yup! we helped a less active family get ready for harvest season. It was so fun pero so mahirap (difficult) dahil it was right after the rain storm the field was baha (flooded) and the water was up to our knees!!! But it was great the family was really grateful (: 

How are things at home?  I only have 10 minutes left to email...bale I am going to try to tell you as much as I can! I am loving it here. Truly, sometimes it hits me that I am actually here...in a third-world country. I wish you could see what I have seen. The homes I have been in, which are mostly made of bamboo or anything else they can find to use, with dirt floors, spiders and lizards all over the walls...it's pretty intense. 

In San Vincente West...(one of our areas) we have an ally that some investigators and less actives live down and Sister Merrill and I call it "Nocturn Ally" haha sarah will appreciate that one (: 

Oh, so I am making 2 requests right now that my first meal in 15 months will be In-n-Out and that Jack Jack and Lauren and the Brown Rices be at the airport because I just want to hug a CLEAN child!!!

Anyway, ang pamilya ko I have got to go. Mahal ko kayo so so so much!! Be safe and I will talk to you next week. I Love you Mom, Dad, Twins, Matt and Gpa!!!! <3 

Sister Carr

Monday, August 19, 2013

Girls road trip and Update from the Pines

Double the missionaries, double the blessings!!

This week we were able to take a mother-daughter road trip to Salt Lake City. We did some missionary shopping for  Sarah who will be leaving to go on her mission in October.  Katie got some shopping in too.
We spent some time visiting with friends, did some sightseeing and enjoyed eating out way too much!
Even though we have been to Salt Lake City many times before one of our favorite places to go is Temple Square. It was a beautiful overcast day, an abnormally cool day for August and we enjoyed the feeling of peace as we walked around the temple grounds.

Can you believe I took this picture of the Salt Lake Temple with my iphone and edited it with a photo App? The SLC Temple is so beautiful!

Sarah, Rachel & Katie at Temple Square

Every summer I try to take a road trip somewhere with just myself and my girls. It's nice to have that mother-daughter time and leave Dad and son home to do some male bonding as well.
With one daughter already on her mission, and another leaving in a few months this trip was a little bitter sweet for me. I know this will be the last time me and all three of my daughters will be together for at least two years.
Don't misunderstand me, I am extremely proud of my missionary daughters and for their decision to serve. I'm also extremely proud of my daughter who has chosen to continue on with college and pursue her interests.
My little girls have grown up and all I can do is take a deep breath and let them go. I can't complain, I'm a mother who has been so richly blessed with four wonderful children. In just 3-4 short years I'll be sending our son off on his mission, but until then I'm just going to enjoy every day!

Another week in the Pines

Sundays have become my favorite day of the week. That's when we receive our weekly email from our missionary in the Philippines. She's doing well and had some fun things to share with us this week. 

Ang Pamilya ko!!!
 Kumusta po kayo??? I am doing very well!! this week has gone by sooooo fast!!!  Sister Merrill and I have been working very hard.   We spend most of our days finding pero we have 10 investigators right now and we are teaching 4 less actives!!! ahhh it's crazy pero I am having so much fun!!

These last couple of days my umbrella has been put to the test.  It's been raining like crazy, including right now. When it comes to finding, the rain makes it so difficult!!! Filipinos are like cats, they run and hide when it comes to rain. haha Plus, we were told today that we have three big storms coming in this week. 

You would LOVE the rain here dad! It's like the sky opens up and it just pours. There is lightening every night...pretty much every night since I have been here. It's different here too, instead of coming down, the lightening goes across the sky.  It looks like a huge camera flash. Sobrang Maganda!!!

I love love love my bag btw mom.  Sister Merrill and I have the same one. If you can get one for Sarah get it!!!! I love mine. 

I am doing sooo much better when it comes to my illnesses. The swelling in my feet have gone down considerably and I'm feeling good!! I come home at the end of each night so tired. Probably because we walk everywhere.  I mean it, we are always walking.  It's better that way, we get to meet and talk to more people. 

Oh mom! funny story!! ALL the Filipinos think you are my younger sister! I carry the family photo with me and they always ask if they can see my family.  And they always ask, Saan yung nanay nyo? ( where's your mother?) and when I point to your picture they always say, Ay!! she looks so young!!! haha I thought you would like that (:

Bale, I guess I better end this email. I am going to send pictures!! I love you guys with all my heart!!

Sister Carr
I had to laugh when I read that the Filipino people think I'm AJ's younger sister and that I look so young. Haha......I love the Filipino people even more now!!

We also received a picture along with a letter from AJ's mission president. He wrote that they were happy to have Sister Carr there in the Philippines and that she was happy, healthy and safe. 
Music to this mom's ears!

President and Sister Monahan with Sister Carr

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Temples and Tempests

Temples, Typhoons and swollen feet !! 

Last week we were able to take Sarah to the Newport Beach Temple for the first time. It was a precious day filled with many special memories.  One of the most emotional moments in a parents life is when they see their children in the temple, and as you can imagine there were some tears of joy shed on this special day.
Just a few months earlier we were there with our daughter AJ as she prepared to leave for her mission in the Philippines. 
This time we were there for our daughter Sarah as she prepares to leave for her mission in Mexico. She will enter the MTC in Utah in October. 

We enjoyed a few hours with Sarah in the temple and then was joined by Sarah's best friend Jocelyn, who is leaving next week to serve a mission in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was great to see both girls together in the temple.

Sarah is getting more and more excited for her mission. It has been a relaxed process getting her prepared. We've had much more time with her than we did with AJ.  From the day AJ got her call to the time she left we only had 6 weeks, with Sarah we will have had 3 1/2 months. 

We are leaving for Utah this week to visit some friends and do some shopping for Sarah's mission. It'll be a mother- daughter weekend and I'm looking forward to spending some time with Sarah and her twin sister Katie. 
Newport Beach Temple August 8, 2013

Best friends at the temple. Sister Carr will be serving her mission in Mexico and Sister Smith will be serving her mission in Georgia.

Sarah's mission call

Update on Sister Carr in the Pines

We wait each week with anticipation to receive our weekly email from our missionary in the Philippines. This week was filled with more anticipation than usual as we anxiously waited to hear if our daughter made it safely through her first typhoon. 
It's typhoon season in the Philippines and Typhoon Utor swept through bringing torrential rain and winds in excess of 120mph.  The storm was scheduled to make land fall this past Sunday night, Monday in the Philippines.   We weren't sure if Sister Carr would be able to send us an email due to the many power outages there, but after waiting all day Sunday we finally received an email from our baby girl around midnight Sunday night (Monday afternoon in the Pines).

Hey Mom and Dad!!
Yes, I am safe and fine here! We did get hit pretty good with the storm...it's actually going on right now, so we have been inside all morning and were finally given permission to leave the house to shop and email. 

This past week has been an alright one.  I woke up Wednesday morning at 3 am with 102 degree fever, body aches and a massive headache.  It sucked. Then 2 days ago I found out that I am allergic to the body soap I bought, so  now I have this rash all over my body.  And to top it all off my feet are taking a beating.  They are SOOOO swollen!!! Like they are huge and hurt from walking so much and on unleveled rocky ground. But don't worry about me, I am happy, loving it here in the Philippines! My companion is awesome! we have so much fun together! I am eating well! I miss American food but I do really love the foods here!! We found a place that sells Magnum Bars so I was pretty happy and think I can survive (: 

Let's see what else...OH Yea!! My bag has been found!! I was so relieved! Everything is inside!!!

I am so excited for Sarah!! That's awesome! I wish I could have been there!!! All of you look so great in the photo! Thanks for sending that to me!!! She is going to be an amazing missionary!!

The language is coming along really well. Sister Merrill and I speak in Tagalog as much as we can and that is a huge help. Pero still I have a lot to learn. But I love the language and oh the dialect here is Ilicano so I am learning and using both!!!

Mom and Dad I love you guys and the rest of the family so much.  Please be careful all day/ everyday and pray that Heavenly Father will keep you safe!! Mom be safe when you drive to Utah! Please Please Please!! Have a great last couple of nights both of you at the fair and working concerts! It will be that time again before you know it! Be safe driving to and from LA tomorrow but have fun!!! Be safe driving always. That's my biggest worry!!

Please give everyone a huge hug and kiss from me. Tell Gpa I say hello and that I love him.  

Thank you mom and dad for all your love and support. I miss you guys like no other. I hope you know that I send my love to you guys and the family daily and multiple times during the day. My family is the world to me and it's very hard being away. I took a lot of my time with you guys for granted.  Now that is all want, more time with you guys. So please be safe so that I can have that. You are the best parents and I have the best family. I love you I love you I love you. 

Mahal Kita!

Sister Carr 

P.S. I will try to send pictures next week, I just don't have enough time! Sorry!
Love you. Be safe. 
What a relief!! Our daughter was safe, she had made it through her first typhoon. We were relieved until we found out that the Philippines get about 20 typhoons a year. This was the first for our daughter, but it most certainly won't be the last this season. 
 I was able to find out that days before the storm was scheduled to hit, the Philippine mission presidents (there are 21 missions in the Philippines each one with its own mission president) were tracking the storm and were taking precautionary measures to keep all missionaries safe. 
Our daughters mission president, President Monahan, gave all missionaries instructions to stay inside their apartments until the storm safely passed. They were at no time supposed to go outside for any reason until it was safe.  Luckily our daughter's area wasn't in the direct path of the storm, but had there been a threat of serious danger all the missionaries would've been evacuated. 
 I will probably continue to worry about our daughter, knowing that she will most likely go through more storms. The one good thing is that after the storm passes there are many opportunities for AJ and her fellow missionaries to roll up their sleeves and go to work providing service to those in need. 

I hated reading that she was sick with such a high fever and that her feet were swollen and hurting. I found it funny that she says as long as she has her Magnum Bars (her favorite ice cream bars) that she will survive. 
Hahaha!! That sounds like our daughter!!

While we'll continue to worry about the challenges that our daughter will face, we're grateful to know that she is being watched over and cared for by her church leaders and by her Heavenly Father.


Monday, August 5, 2013

First letter from Sister Carr in the Philippines!

My first week and I'm loving It Here!! 

Hello Ina and Ama!!!
 Yes I am doing really really well. My adapting to the Philippines is going actually a lot better than expected.  I LOVE IT HERE!!!!!

Yep, this was the first email we received from Sister Carr. You can imagine our sadness, after waiting all week to hear from our daughter and find out how she is doing in the Philippines and all we got was a 2 sentence email. 
I was praying that we would get more, and finally after about 15 minutes of staring at my emails another letter popped up!!

Hello Ina at Ama!
Yes I am doing SO well!! I LOVE IT HERE!!!! really I do.  Ya it is hard cause my kasama and I are opening a new area. I am still in Urdaneta City and will be here till October! But I love it!!  The people are awesome, the language is hard but I know more than what I thought.  

My kasama is Sister Merrill! She is awesome I LOVE her!! She is from Utah and has been out 10 months.  We get a long great and everyday is a new adventure cause neither of us know the area.  Pero we live with the Sister Training Leaders and they know the area so that;s nice. Also, in my ward, the Urdaneta 2nd ward we have 4 companionships of sisters!! Yup 8 Sisters in 1 ward!!! Its awesome!!! 

Something funny I get stared at ALL THE TIME!!!! and everyday I have someone ask me what is wrong with my skin.  The Filipinos think my freckles are a rash. hahaha 

Oh and mom the sister I took a pic with in the airport is the mom of one of the elders in my first district! Sister Finnman, her son is in Naga.

I am truly loving it, the heat is DEATH, but I am adjusting well.  I am just battling home sickness. All I want is for you guys to be safe.  I NEED MY WHOLE FAMILY TO BE SAFE AND WELL!!! So please please be safe.  And I am doing the same here. So please pray that Heavenly Father will keep you safe.  

So, as far as packages go Sis M told me to tell you mom to use "strappy" tape.  It's the clear tape that has string on the inside of it.  She says to use it because sometimes people open the boxes and take things and then just tape back up with the clear tape that they have cause most people use clear tape.  So don't use clear tape. Also on the box write "GIFT" so than I won't have to pay a tax. Also write on the box what it contains ex. snacks, personal items, just basic words that describe what is in it just don't put technology, medications.  

Also I should let you know that my carry on bag got miss placed.  I had it in front of the office on Friday morning at the mission home and when the elders were putting bags in cars they forgot that one and I completely forgot until I got home.  Inside was all my Doterra oil stuff, some of my language study materials, my first aid kit, my peanut M&M's ): and a couple other things.  So please pray that it is returned to me. 

So, so far this all I can think of to have you send me:

-toilet paper
-think thin bars...the almond chocolate kind if possible
-deodorant..super cheap kind
-zip lock bags
-coconut oil

Yup I think that is it.  I Love you both so much mom and dad. And it's so hard cause my heart is with you guys when it needs to be here. I just need you to be safe cause I don't know what I would do if something happened to you guys while I was away.  So please please please be safe.  I love my family more than words can possibly explain. Give everyone a hug and kiss for me.

I love you I love you I love you.

Sister Carr

Ps I will try to send picture next week!!!!!
Sister Carr and with other new arrivals

Off the bus....and the adventure begins!

The new sister missionaries

What a beautiful group of young ladies

Ready to leave to their first areas

Sister Carr and her kasama Sister Merrill

Our hearts are full as we see pictures of our daughter in her new home (at least her home for the next 16 months). We are grateful for her safe arrival to the Philippines, we are grateful that while she has admitted to being a little homesick she is adjusting well to her new surroundings. We are grateful that she likes her new kasama(companion), we are extremely grateful that she is so far happy and healthy.