Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 39 "Lets Get To Work!" --Elder Bednar

Week 39

We took a giant group picture with Elder Bednar this week and this is what he said after he stood up from the picture. OK you got it--whatever you say! haha :) 

Dear Family and Friends, 

Helloooo everyone!  Well this week was just one for the books. A really spiritually edifying week, I really wish I could just press rewind and relive this week at least one more time.  But I first just wanted to start out and say THANK YOU to all the great family and friends who sent me hump day postcards!--Ward friends, family, you guys know how to make a missionary's day!  I literally can't believe I hit 9 months this week. It WEIRDS me out. I wish time would just stop for a second so I can catch my breath. But I am so grateful for all the support from everyone. So humbled and grateful to know you. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU :) 

Well a little bit about my week. I will give you a quick update on all my friends. Claudine and Jecil--they are doing great!  Our lessons are the funniest things of my life as we try to figure out what each other is saying with all the different languages flying about. Bright side is that they are feeling the spirit and still coming to church so we haven't screwed up that much haha. They should be baptized coming up this month. Shoot some prayers their way!

Claudine's family :)

All of our investigators are in confession mode at the moment--we got a lot of people telling us about all of their past sins and how they want to change. Which is good that they want to change--the gospel is not easy to follow so that's great they want to change for the better.  Lupian, Michelle and Mike--they are all coming along great.  

Cool moment this week: So we were teaching the Villamor family this week. And I have been just praying to find out what is something we can do to help them want to have that desire to change and listen to us--but REALLY listen.  We were chatting with Sister Villamor and I just felt for the weirdest reason that I needed to stop talking and just listen to her. And for a second it was a little awkward haha, no one was saying anything but then Sister Villamor just opened up to us about all the fears that she has about religion, God--everything. So it was just a nice moment to know that the spirit is real and we really need to be instruments for people to feel that love/guidance from the spirit.  Taking the time for listening is so important. 

Also super cool this week--we found a member out of nowhere haha. We were walking in our area that is on tulay--sorry I don't know what it's called in english. Bridges? Sticks? Something like that. And we walked down to a house and starting chatting with Nanay Estonis and we asked if we could share a message and she said yes. She goes in and it takes her like 15 minutes to come back out and she had brought out her cute little Book of Mormon ready to read :) She told us she was baptized FOREVER ago--she's almost 90. SO SWEET. So she told us her conversion story. It was awesome.  

The rest of the weekend was spent in Manila! We flew out on Saturday Morning and just got back earlier today. We had a special conference with Elder Bednar on Saturday! IT WAS SO COOL. It was literally like seeing a movie star--all the missionaries were buzzing around and we all had this nervous energy before it started. He said some awesome things in our discussion. We got to ask questions and give insights on the conference talks we have been studying for the last 2 months. It was sooo cool :) No words can describe the spirit felt or the words said.

Boarding for Manila to see Elder Bednar
Selfie while waiting for Elder Bednar to arrive!
Everyone's all lined up for the huge group pic 
At the conference with all the American Sisters--we're up to six now!
Sister Barton, me, Sister Holzworth (my Aussie trainer)
BFF Sister Singer--love seeing her!
One of Jack's companions (Elder Bilog) who came to hear Elder Bednar

I spent the rest of the weekend in Pasay--we had a family home evening and there are just SOOO many people in Pasay. It is like New York times 100..Its crazy. But I had a fun weekend with that--pictures to come. We overtook the ward with 6 sister missionaries at church--SISTER POWER haha! 

But to finish off with a spiritual note of some cool moments with the conference on Saturday. One moment was when we were all standing for the big group picture with Elder Bednar. And we were all singing together as a mission before he came in. And this was the first time the entire Manila mission has been together in over 3 years. So we were all singing together--when Elder Bednar came in we sang 'We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet.' Just a spirit I will never forget.  Learned the importance of listening and just the peace, stability, and comfort that comes with being a member of this church! 

Love you all so much. I hope this week is a good one. 

Sister Zarbock 

The Sisters I stayed with all weekend in Pasay
SOOOOO many Sisters :)
FHE in Pasay

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Week 38

Dear Family and Friends, 

Heelllloooo and happy late love day to everyone :) hope it was a good one and all you guys felt some extra love--I woke my companion up on Valentine's with a big fat hug and then I made her run stairs with me in the morning, but twas a good day!  Anyway, this whole week was just so much finding. I think we knocked on every door in our area, kidding but it really felt like that. I felt like I gave the same lesson like a MILLION times this week.  But honestly I love just having the green light to go into every single house and chat with people and try to get them to accept our message--it is just the funnest thing, you never know what you are gonna get.  And just how Buddy would say it, "A teaching missionary is a happy missionary." LOVE the Philippines. 

To start out, we found an awesome little family. Mark and Michelle and they have 3 kids, all of their names start with M so I just get so turned around. But we just started to chat with their friends who said they weren't interested, so they referred us to Mark's dad who didn't want to listen to us, and then Mark's dad told us to teach Mark. So low and behold we started to teach Mark and his family. And get this--we taught their WHOLE family AND they are married. So thank you for the all the rejections people. But Mark is super awesome, has a ton of questions about the apostasy and all of that, so we will be following up on them this week--wish us luck :) 

The MIRACLE of CLAUDINE :) So this was actually a cool thing that happened. So we have been teaching Claudine and she is Visaya so her first language isn't Tagalog--she totally doesn't understand what is going on when we teach and so we dug through our apartment to try to find a Visayas Book of Mormon and WE FOUND TWO :) one for her husband and her. And we gave it to her and she was just SO happy. They are doing so good--their whole family came to church yesterday so we were SO happy for them. 

We found the Lupian family. We were feeling super dedicated one day so we started going up to the houses that are literally on the mountain and we found the Lupian family who are former investigators and taught them a few times this week. It was super cool and they have an awesome view! 

Sara is kind of bleeehhh at the moment. She is reading but not coming to church--she might be a long term investigator.  We just keep on visiting and praying for her. Mary Jane and Jezzin are doing awesome, lots of questions and so we hope we can get them to church next week. 

To finish up with a spiritual thought.....There were a lot of times this week where people just sit and compare us with every religion under the sun. Typical because in the Philippines there are like 223,423,849 churches. So I was thinking this week about all of the different religions, and I just am feeling SO lucky. Being a member of this church, I have never felt something was missing, everything is just beautiful, simple...I have never had to compare or go wondering to somewhere else because I know that "simplicity of the doctrine of Christ" (1 Nephi 31) is being right where I am :) 

Love you all and hope you have an awesome week! 

Sister Zarbock 
My friend Ronald I pass coming up to the house every night!
Conception Falls today :)
Just take a look at this gorgeous place where I get to serve!
Hiking into the falls--NO, we didn't swim!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 37 "Cause this is THRIIILLLLLER"

Week 37

Yes, this song for sure came on while we were riding a trike the other day and I freaked out and started doing my little zombie dance in my head---haha I was in Thriller with Odyssey (I am not some weirdo who just has zombie dances ;)) 

Dear Family and Frenz, 

Hello everyone so happy to be emailing you this week :) Life has been in Fast Forward motion since transfers on Wednesday, I literally can't believe its Monday again.  But this has been a week to remember...maybe one of the funnest, memorable weeks of my mission thus far.  But first...

I got a new companion as I said last week and her name is Sister Gabriel.  She is 24, she was an elementary teacher before the mission, she's from Tarlac--her native language is Ilocano and she is just the best--I love her so much already. Can't wait for this next transfer with her. 

Sister Gabriel--my new companion!!!  

The Fab 4 (Coron Sisters) in our new house!

Filipinos put baby powder on everyday so I
was helping Sister Garbiel

So our first day of the transfer was spent moving houses...again haha.  So if anyone needs help moving after my mission I am SUUUPER good at it now. But our new house is BEAUTIFUL.  I will send pictures next week. 

To first start out the week was a movie night with the Camacho's before Sister Tango left and it was such a great night.  We watched the Restoration and afterward we had a testimony meeting with their family. It was just super cool to listen to the testimonies of the Camacho family--they really have the strongest beliefs that our church is true--loved being apart of that. 

So I have been talking about Sara and she is doing good--she was sick this week so she couldn't come to church but earlier in the week we brought coconut and had scripture study.  And it is so cool to see the Book of Mormon work its way into her heart. The Book of Mormon really is the word of God. 

The coolest thing this week was our missionary fireside on Saturday. Elder Schmutz and his wife were our special guests for the fireside and it was such a fun night.  We taught about the Plan of Salvation and created this HUGE plan of salvation. We had games, halo-halo, and we just a great time with all of the members and investigators. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER :) 

Our whole day on Saturday--preparing for the missionary fireside :)
Plan of Salvation big as life haha

Missionary fireside!

Sister Claudine is still going strong, she should be getting baptized soon--love her family so much.  

Well to finish off, I just am so grateful for this little section of the world I get to be apart of. This little branch has my heart...I know I say that every week but I really just love these people SO much. They have the biggest hearts, the strongest testimonies--and while we were getting ready for the fireside we were saying a quick prayer before it started and I just had one moment of just pure gratitude that I get to be a missionary here. 

Until next week, happy Valentines Day :) 

Sister Zarbock 

Sister Claudine with her baby
Visiting friends of Elder Schmutz
Elder Schmutz and his wife--our special guests
at the missionary fireside :)
Branch pianist (aka me)
Everyone messing with me while I try to practice
I went to put my shoe on and there was a frog in it :(

Mt. Tapyas--round 2

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 36 "Play a little rock're in the mood for a dance"

Week 36

"And when you get the chance....forgot the words....You are the DANCING QUEEN!!! Some really awesome Fiiipino guy was playing this song outside of his house and dancing with his little grand kiddos. Man, I love Filipinos so much haha..they are literally SO awesome. 

Dear Family and Friends, 

Well hello everyone :) Its so good to chat with you. It has been a nice busy, full week. Which was SOOOO needed in my life.  We have been going this way and that with Zone Conference in Manila. And its been so fun. I have seen a lot of my old pals in Manila and gave my anak an extra long hug before she heads off to Temple Square on Feb 14, saw Sister Dolor before she goes home this transfer, saw my best mission bud Singer--LIFE IS GOOD :) Love my little mission family that just keeps growing and growing. But anyway a little on to the week!

Sister Guiuo before she heads off to
Temple Square--her visa finally came!
Sister Dolor before she heads home!
The fam--together again!
First off, its transfers this week!!!!  And I will be staying in paradise and Sister Tango will be transferred! :) Can't wait to meet my new comp later this week! Pictures to come!  

So Zone Conference was super awesome. There has been a fancy schedule change with the missionaries that everyone is buzzin about -- only missionaries would freak out about a schedule change haha :) So we have been adjusting to that this week, its been pretty fun! But I really loved Pres. Ostler's message. He used one of my favorite hymns in his message, "I Stand All Amazed." He talked about how amazing the Atonement is, and how we need to take those moments to be amazed at the the things around us.  It was a nice, humbling message--I guess be humbled to the dust seems to be my mission theme haha. 

After we went to the Zone Conference we gotta go to the temple. It was a dream! I love the temple OH so much!

Manila temple after Zone Conference :)
With Sister Tango at the Manila temple
My roomies--the Coron Sisters at the temple
After all the fun in Manila we came back to Coron and we had an awesome rest of the week of teaching and I have a couple of really awesome finds to tell you about.  We were eating at a restaurant on our way home from the airport and we met some awesome people from Malaysia. And we starting chatting with this sister..she is like 25 and she tells us that her mom has been a member. She came to church this week, she will be staying here for like 2 months. You literally never know who you are going to meet here. 

Sara...talked about her last week. She is going strong and is currently beating me in the Book of Mormon...embarrassing. She mentions it every time we visit. So I am just cruising so I can try to beat her. She came to church this week with her 3 little kids. They are so cute, she isn't married so hopefully we can extend a marriage date this week--they do these mass weddings here? Haha its kind of funny. Everyone who wants to get married they just hold a giant ceremony. So hopefully we can get her on board for that. 

Mary Jane. I starting chatting with Mary Jane last week and we have been getting to be pretty good friends--missionary work on the island is kind of different I found. You really have to get into the heart of the investigator, you really need to be their friend or they get nervous/are scared of you, but slowly but surely you have to sneak up on them with how awesome our message is. And so we tried that with Mary Jane.  I have high hopes for her. 

Claudine. MY HOME GIRL :) She has been solid coming to church for a month or so...I LOVE Claudine.  she really is so awesome. Her husband has been sick but we really want them to get baptized together. So just slowly but surely. We had an awesome message with all her cute little kids watching the Restoration Video this week...good times. 

BEST MOMENT DURING ENGLISH CLASS. Haha so every week we have English Class and I am the teacher. And I am trying to give a pronunciation exercise thing and I couldn't even do it....all the Filipinos told me I have a Filipino accent now--hahaha it made me laugh. Sister Adduru had to do pronunciation because I couldn't do it. I can't even teach my own language anymore...sooo sad. But hey at least I brought treats and the word of the day was marshmallow #success 

Finish on a spiritual moment. Just on how much I love the people here. Life is good. I got the stare down from President Adduru to bare my testimony because there was an awkward silence during testimony meeting yesterday...I should know better than to make eye contact with him...but I was just looking out at this cute branch at all the amazing, pioneer members here in Coron.  The people here are great. 

Okay I love you, Hope this week is a good one! 

Sister Zarbock

The beach on Coron