Sunday, December 28, 2014

BAGONG TUIG!

Hey y'all!

Hoping everyone had the best Christmas ever! I sure did! It was simple and Christ-centered and perfect!

Christmas highlights include:

- skyping with my family (of course!)
-  the 6 of us missionaries singing and dancing for our ward party (needless to say, none of will be pursuing a performing arts major in college)
- caroling with the Elders to less actives
- sister clegg and I teaching a grandpa who tried to pay us for our message with tobacco and peso's (which we obviously did not accept lolz)

And then probably the most memorable experience was Christmas Eve night. The four us sisters in our apartment got together, turned off the lights, lit some candles, sang our favorite hymns about Christ, and then shared our testimonies of Him that we have gained on our missions. It really was magical and it was so neat to celebrate Christ's birth as His representative. The biggest blessing of my mission has been for me to know my Savior better. Missions do wonders for you (: Love everyone! And happy 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Sister Lauck


Monday, December 22, 2014

MAAYONG PASKO

Hey y'all! LOTS of happened since I've been able to send an email (sorry about the lack of emails.... I've been a little sick.... will explain later), so lemme give everyone the quick version!

So like 2 weeks ago, it was forecasted that "Typhoon Ruby" would hit Cebu and with the memories of Typhoon Yolanda still fresh in everyone's mind, everyone PANICKED, including our mission! Well actually know that I think of it, it's not really in Filipino's people nature to panic. The night the storm hit people were just casually having weddings and partying outside with their neighbors haha but we definitely took precautions as a mission! Missionaries were evacuated and we were held up in our apartments with our 72 hour kits ready! But thanks to the power of prayer and fasting, Typhoon Ruby ended up just being some strong winds and a little bit of rain for us here in Cebu!

And then while all of Typhoon Ruby was going on I got an ear infection that turned into an allergic reaction to antibiotics and having a 104 degree fever and throwing up for 7 days and not working for about 10 days. And then my ear drum burst. So I'm deaf in my right ear until it heals. I hope haha needless to say, I'm back to full strength and am so grateful for health when I have it (:

And then when I had my 104 degree fever I still decided to go to our big mission party. Because I couldn't miss out on that! But I hadn't eaten in 5 days so Sister Clegg wheeled me around in a wheel chair and then the elders were trying to wheel me around the chair because they thought it'd be fun. It wasn't haha but gotta love Elders!

And the coolest part about all of this is that Sister Liza got baptized yesterday!!!!!!!!! I can't even put into words how much joy I had watching someone who has become one of my best friends follow the example of Jesus Christ through baptism. The Spirit was so strong and it was such a special experience that I'll hold close to my heart. Days like yesterday make all of the months of getting punted and rejected totally all worth it (:

Last but not least, Christmas is almost upon us! And I can honestly say that even though as a missionary I have not been able to enjoy the things that I though made Christmas special (lights, decorating the christmas tree, presents, music,christmas movies,baking holiday goodies), I'm truly never experienced more joy and peace and happiness in my life than this Christmas. As I've truly centered my Christmas on my Savior and the light and joy that is in my life because of Him and His Gospel, I'm just been beaming everyday with so much happiness and love. And the best part is that as His representative, I get to share Christ with others and watch them come closer to Him. That's the beauty and miracle of Christ and His Gospel. Living the Gospel is what brings those blessings in our lives that no trial or challenge or person can take away. I hope everyone truly has a magical Christmas and joy that stems from knowing we have a Savior who makes returning back to our Heavenly Father possible. 

I love everyone so much!
Sister Lauck (:

P.S. Pictures: Everyone that participated in Lisa's baptism yesterday and a picture of all the missionaries in the Cebu East Philippines mission (:


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dugay in Danao

Hey y'all!

Transfer calls came yesterday and I'm staying in Danao! That will make 6 months here in my 2nd area, with six months in my first area as well. And my new companion will be my batch, Sis.Clegg! We went into the MTC together so we go way back and are total buds! So you can say I'm pretty pscyhed about that! It was a little unanticipated, but I feel so blessed that I get to soak up all of this goodness here in Danao (:

Speaking of soaking, Sis.Salima and I got soaked this week! It has been raining , in the words of my investigator, "cats & goats" (hehe I think she was confused, but in her defense there are a ton of cats and goats here). In my first area in Tagbi, the members told me that there are 2 seasons in the Philippines: the rainy and the hot. The hot season lasts they said from around march - july, and the rainy season from august - february. Well, they lied. Because from what I've experienced it's just january-december of hot & rainy season. Literally when it rains it feels like you're in a pressure cooker haha and then to make it worse, our area gets SUPER muddy when it rains. Which I guess would be fun to walk around in if you were doing a 5k mud dash. But when you're a sister missionary in a skirt and crocs sliding around in the mud while holding your scriptures and trying to give high 5's to all of the kids as you pass by, it can be a little tough! 

In other news, Sis. Liza is getting baptized this month, possibly on Christmas Day! I'm so excited that I'll get to be here for her baptism, because this will kinda be like my first real baptism here on the mission! I love her and it's been so fun getting to watch her develop her testimony from the very beginning. It's also fun teaching her because the Gospel totally clicks for her! Like we were teaching about The Fall of Adam & Eve and she said, "That just makes so much sense. I can't imagine that them eating the fruit would be a big mistake. It was a big blessing because it means we got to come here " And then we taught about the Word of Wisdom last week and when we told her coffee was something she'd have to give up she said, "Good! Because I know coffee isn't even good for me anyway. My body's important and I know that I can have better control of it if I'm not hooked on coffee". What can I say, she's the bomb!

I love everyone! Hope everyone is soaking up all of the magic of the Christmas season and the joy and light that the Savior's life brings to us all (:

XOXOXOX, Sister Lauck


P.S. Pics:

1. Sister Liza and I at church - it was her first time to wear a dress!
2. This is what most of my area looks like when it rains - yea me.
3. The six of us missionaries that serve in our ward here in Danao! And there is a reason why Sis.Salima & I have no shoes on haha they were so muddy and the members were trying to mop the floor, so we went barefoot for our coordination meeting haha



Monday, November 24, 2014

Views from Mt. Manghilao

Well I have zip time.

But I just wanted to share some super cool pictures that I took this morning (: We had a super awesome district activity bright and early this morning! Danao District hiked the highest peak in Cebu Island - Mt. Manghilao! It was so fun and the view at the top was out of this world! As in, we almost felt out of the world because we hiked up so high. As in, we were above the clouds. Haha but really the view was gorgeous and I just feel like a lucky duck to have been assigned to such a beautiful mission. Time's up! Until next week, amping mo! (: And eat extra turkey and pumpkin pie for me!

Love,

Sister Lauck <3




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Daghan ang akong pasalamat!

Maayong odto! Thanksgiving season is in full swing here! Actually jk, there is no thanksgiving holiday in the Philippines. But we did have a Thanksgiving fireside for all the missionaries here on Cebu Island last week aka big mission reunion aka lots of sisters screaming and hugging each other. It was great!

But yeah, I was asked to give a talk about one thing I was grateful for which was really, really hard for me. I think just in general I have been extremely blessed! But as a missionary you find that blessings and blessings just get heaped upon you. But I ended up choosing to talk about how grateful I am for the opportunity I've been given here on the mission to get closer to my Savior. I know sometimes I make it seem like missions are all sunshine and rainbows haha and alot of times it is! But any one who has served a mission knows that some of hardest trials you will face in life are the ones that you encounter on your mission. There are times where you are stretched and tried. And there are rare occasions where you drop to your lowest low and you are literally broken. But the beautiful thing about being broken is that you get to be healed and personally administered to by the Savior. The image of your Savior suffering for you in Gethsemane becomes clear and for just a few precious moments you stay there with Him. I have a firm and unmovable testimony that our Savior loves us. He will come to us in our times of joy as well in our times of deepest and darkest despair and He will stay with us through the night. I know that trials are the way that our Heavenly Father has selected that we get to know our Savior in a personal and intimate way. And as we come closer to our Savior, we slowly but surely become more like Him. I know our Savior understands every pain and He will carry us when we can't continue on by ourselves. He will heal us and make us whole. I love Him so much and I cherish these moments that I get to be so close to Him as I serve in His name for His church. I love you guys so much (: Seek out your Savior this week!

lots of love,
sister lauck <3


p.s. for pictures:
 me & sis.dala were together again! (while sis.tanner's in the background throwing snickers at people who had a birthday)

some of the american sisters crew! (me, sis.johnson, sis.wolfe, sis.niko, and sis.pinkham)

and the last is your shot of danao for the week!




Sunday, November 9, 2014

"You Know You're A Missionary When..."

You know you're a missionary when you've lost all sense of current events and pop culture. After our Zone Training Meeting, one of the brand news sisters yelled to everyone, "Let's take a groupie!" Sis.Lange and I look at each and were like, "What the heck is a groupie?" Apparently it's a group selfie??? And then this sister pulls out her groupie stick! It's like a pole that can extend and you attach your camera to it so that tons of people can fit into the picture. My mind is blown.

In other news, the Philippines is still great! I don't think I've mentioned this, but Christmas celebration has been in full force here since September. I repeat, SEPTEMBER. As in everyone puts out their xmas tress and lights and xmas music is being blasted in the supermarkets. It definitely goes against my "no xmas music until after thanksgiving" rule, but as a missionary I'm secretly enjoying it (:

Do you know what else I enjoy? How kind and hospitable the Filipino people are! Wherever we go, there's always people yelling, "Hey Sisters!" or"Hey Elders!" (the people here don't know the difference). And it doesn't how matter how humble their circumstances they are, everyone's always so eager to feed us some snacks, almost always consisting of soda and some kind of cracker or cookie or chips. Granted at this point I never want to look at a bottle of coke or packaged junk food again, but I honestly do really, really appreciate how loving these people are! I really know I was meant to serve here and I'll take the excessive heat and bugs any day if it means I get to serve with such a Christ-like people!

So I had splits this week which means I got to take a 2 hour bus ride to Bogo to work with my STL, Sis.Layos! I always love the bus ride to Bogo because I get to ride along the coast and just soak in all of the beauty and hills and jungles of the Philippines. Except usually the bus is jam packed and there's no air conditioning and the windows are down so dust is constantly flying in your face. But I scored on the trip back to Danao and Sis.Layos rode in an empty bus with air-con. It was pure heaven! But better than air conditioned buses was....

The special Area Philippines Broadcast!!!!! Last Sunday the entire Philippines got to hear from Elder & Sister Oaks, Elder Robbins, Elder Ardern, Bishop Causse . It was so neat because several times the speakers reiterated that what they had to say is exactly what the Lord would have the people of the Philippines hear. It's so great to be a representative of the living Church of Jesus Christ that is lead and guided by direct revelation from Him. It's so neat that I get to be an instrument in His hands and used so that people here in Danao get to hear exactly what the Lord would have them hear- His Gospel.  Revelation is such a huge blessing and really is the foundation of our Savior's Church. How neat that Pres.Monson gets to receive revelation from Savior about His Church and how especially neat it is that we, as a children of a loving Heavenly Father, get to receive personal revelation for ourselves. I love the sacred times that I get to receive personal revelation and I especially love getting to help my investigators receive personal revelation for themselves about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel. We're all just soooo lucky! And so loved! Nahigugma ko sa inyoha! Hope everyone has a superrrrrrr week! 

Sister Lauck <3


For the pictures this week:
1. Me enjoying the luxury of an empty bus headed back to Danao from Bogo
2. our zone "groupie"

3. My super yummy lunch I cooked - filipino style!





Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kalag 2x

Happy Fall everyone! Everyone in the states soak up the cool weather, the colored leaves, and the pumpkin because there is no pumpkin here, the leaves are green, and it is still as hot as Hades over here!!!!

So Halloween is not really that big of a holiday here, so Friday was pretty low key, but the big holiday here in the Philippines is All Saint's Day, or "kalag-kalag" in Bisayan (: (hence the subject line) Basically everyone goes to where their relatives are buried and visit them/talk to them/eat with them. How sweet, huh?

My week was a little crazy because Sis. Salima was in Manila for a week!
She hasn't been feeling well for quite some time now, so she got a check-up and talked with some doctors. She didn't have much luck, but we're praying and crossing our fingers for her!

So while Sis.Salima was in Manila, I had a temporary companion, Sis.Layos! She was my STL back in my first area, so we already knew each other beforehand. It was so great to work with her again! We just teared it up and had some really quality lessons power packed with the Spirit. It was so fun and really so rewarding as a missionary to see your investigators slowly getting the Gospel and Heavenly Father's plan for them. We actually had a lesson that was pretty intense with an investigator who had been taught for awhile. He knew what we had shared with him was true in his heart, yet he denied the invitation to be baptized and would not commit to go to church because his family was of a different faith. Sis.Layos pulled out the big guns and shared 3 Nephi 28:34-35 (look it up and read it and it puts everything in context haha). I didn't know whether to laugh or be really scared, but the investigator ended taking it up pretty well. Usually as missionaries we usually try to take the kind and friendly route, but at times it's necessary to be honest and blunt. And if we are living obediently and doing our best, then we can exercise that authority as official representatives of Jesus Christ. But the cherry on top was that one of my favorite investigators Liza accepted the invitation to be baptized in December!!!!! That's like a big deal for me and I'm so excited for her (: Seeing one of my investigator's lives improving because of the Gospel is the best feeling in the world and makes up for the months of tracting with no success haha

I have zip time, but I love everyone! I love this work! I love my Heavenly Father! 

Lots of love,
Sister Lauck (:

P.S. I included a picture of my desk, just incase you wanted to see where I study for 3 hours everyday haha and then there's a picture of my apartment. There's Sis.Salima from Samao, Sis.Reineta from Kiribis Islands, Sis.Enlacinto from Surigao, Philippines and me representing the US (:


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Koan!

Hey guys! I just got back from going to the temple in Cebu - needless to say, my life is great! The peace I felt inside was incomparable to anything else and I know that they are the house of the Lord (:

So about the email subject line - Everyone's Bisayan word of the week - koan! It's one of the most frequently spoken words here. And it literally means "whatchamacallit" haha which was so confusing for me at first because people say "koan" every other word and just expect you to know what they're talking about... when they're really just talking about nothing lolz this language.

Also, we got transfer calls last night and another transfer already flew by but no worries because I'm not going anywhere and neither is Sis.Salima! We're here to stay in Danao for another transfer together (: We're both excited! I haven't had a companion for more than 1 transfer except my trainer and Sis.Salima said from her experience that if companions stay together for 2 transfers they usually want to strangle each other their second transfer because they get tired of being with the same person for 24/7. But we're all good haha no strangling will be going on here!

So if anyone is worried if I've changed too much here on my mission, have no fear! I'm still as clumsy as ever haha we had a District Activity last p-day and we rode up to the top of this mountain where there was this huge field and we just played capture the flag! And me being me, I ending up getting this huge cut on my leg because I slid and fell haha but the activity was great and our district decided that we needed to start doing some morning work-outs because we're all a little out of shape....

We also got to watch General Conference last week (the broadcast is delayed a week out here)! It was so awesome of course and I really loved the reoccurring theme of supporting and sustaining our prophet and apostles to lead the church because they are chosen by God and receive revelation from Him. I love getting to teach the people here that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints is literally Christ's church that He still leads through the prophet and apostles. I just think it's so cool how Christ's church is run on revelation, from the revelation that President Monson receives on behalf of the church from the personal revelation that we encourage our investigators to have so that they can know for themselves if what we teach them is true. I know I sound like such a missionary haha but I just love to teach the simple truths of the Gospel to others! I really do have the best job!

And the cherry on top of all of this was that Sis.Lange came back to Danao on Monday! She was companion-less since her companion was going home. So Sis.Lange has been tagging along with Sis.Salima and I teaching lessons. And the best part is that Sis.Salima and Sis.Lange were companions in the MTC so the 3 of us have all been companions with each other. It's like one happy sandwich of sisters!!!!!

That's about all I have time for this week, but I want everyone to know:

1. I love you guys! ALOT! 
2. I'm really grateful for your support, prayers, and examples. I'm benefeting from them big time over here (:

Ayo ayo akong mga higala!

Love, 
Sister Lauck



Monday, October 6, 2014

9 na, 9 pa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kamusta man! 


Guess what happened this week? Sister Lauck hit her half-way mark in the mission! I don't even know where the time went.... seriously!


In other news, it rained ALOT this week. The rainy season here in the Philippines has kicked in with full force! I personally enjoy the rain because it means I'm wet because of water and not wet because of sweat. (I know, gross. It grosses me out too) And also because we are guaranteed lessons! We are always let into every house we ayo at when it rains because these kind hearted Filipino people take pity on these soaked sisters! The people here in the Philippines kind of have a fear of rain - even if there's not a cloud in the sky, everyone here always carries an umbrella with them. And they have a pretty strong belief that if you get a little wet from the rain you're destined to come down with some crazy sickness. There's been quite a few times in my mission that I've been caught in the rain without an umbrella and I just got totally soaked and when I arrive at a member or investigator's house they completely freak out and wipe me down a towel and are offering me their clothes so I can change haha these people here literally are the sweetest! I sure do love em (:


Sis. Salima and I had a pretty cool experience this week! We were out tracting when this girl stopped and asked us, "Are you guys Latter-Day Saints?" Sis.Salima & I were like, "Yup, that's us!" Turns out this girl Joann was an inactive member of the church who had recently moved here to Danao. Though she hadn't been to church in a while, she had a desire to return back to church and had been praying for a sign or opportunity to do so. And then she ran into us! It was so cool to be used as an instrument of the Lord to achieve His purposes! And it was such a testament to me that Heavenly Father is so mindful of us! Time and time again throughout my mission I've had my own personal experiences that reaffirm to me:


1. Heavenly Father has a PERFECT plan for us, with an ultimate goal to become like Him and return to our home in heaven.
2. He knows just what we need to experience to help us achieve His plan.
3. He will help lead and guide us and give us every means necessary that we need to return to Him


That's basically the why and what of the Gospel. How great is that! As children of God, we have so much to be thankful for, so much to live for here on earth, and so much to look forward to (: I love getting to share this message with everyone here in Danao! Missions are not always sunshine and rainbows, but knowing that there's people prepared here to receive a message like this makes all the little bumps worth it! I love my Heavenly Father! It's such a neat experience to get to know Him and strengthen my relationship with Him as I serve in the Philippines. I love life! And I love everyone so so so so so so so so much! I can feel the prayers, the love, the support for y'all and it definitely is helping this sister missionary! 


Hangtud sunod!
Sister Lauck (O:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Picture Time!!!!

Hey everyone!

Sorry it's been so long since I've been able to write! Email time flies and I have way too much fun writing all of my favorite family and friends and before you know it time is up haha but............

Basically I'm still here in Danao!

My new companion is Sis.Salima, 23, and from Samoa! She's way fun and she's definitely helped me add a little Samoan to my language repertoire (: And even though my favorite Americana Sis.Lange transferred, Sis.Salima & I still get alot of stares coming our way haha somethings never change.

I'm still happy, healthy, and loving my calling!

 Pictures are worth a 1000 words, right? Enjoy these pictures in absence of an email haha but I'll fill you guys all in next week (: 

I love each and everyone of you guys! Everyone enjoy fall and especially General Conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amping!
Sister Lauck (:







Tuesday, September 9, 2014

DAGHAN SALAMAT!!!!!!!!!

Okay, wow, I feel loved! Thank you thank you thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously though, it was the best feeling ever to get on email today and have like 50 emails waiting for me. Especially when you're a missionary, it's just the simple thought from friends and family that counts. Basically, I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It never ceases to amaze me how blessed I am (: I scored in life! I'm definitely replying to everyone, but if I don't get to it today, I will on Monday!

So yeah, my birthday was great! The night before the ward had a little party for me, and then on my actually birthday, it was Sunday, so I fasted and taught lessons and just did normal missionary things. And then I got home and made a huge plate of ramen for myself and then me and the other 3 sisters in my apartment sang and ran around and threw candy that I got my from package at each other. Yeahhhhh, you definitely have to make your own fun when you're a missionary haha

In other news:

-Sis.Lange and I found out there's microwavable macaroni n cheese at 7-11. It's a big deal for us!

-People always ask if Sis.Lange and I are literal blood sisters. Because we're both American. And we look so alike? Not really. But also, parents here always tell me I look just like their daughters. Apparently I look like everyone's sister over here.

- Some ward members asked to help out with this free vaccine clinic here in danao! They had Sis.Lange and I stand out on the street giving directions to the location of the clinic. Except no one would listen to our directions because they were just yelling "Americanas! Americanas!". That happens alot. 

- Sis.Lange and I were tracting and we started going on this path heading out to a fieldy area, but then the kids started yelling "Don't go over there, there's a dog that will bite!" Here's the things about kids in the philippines. About 70% of them are really nice and super sweet and just want to get a high-5 from you. But then there's 30% that always yell lies or really mean things at us and make fun of us. So Sis.Lange and I didn't really give much thought to what the kids said, and went on our merry way. But then....... there was a dog.... and he started barking and started running towards us and then Sis.Lange and I pulled the "maybe if we stand completely still he won't bite us." Thankfully doing that, paired with feeding him our crackers and snacks, did the trick! Turns out those little kids were part of the 70%.

That's all of the fun things that happened this week! But the cherry on top was getting to introduce an investigator of ours to the Book of Mormon this week. She had like 30 deep, what is the meaning of life type questions. And it was so cool to teach her that the Book of Mormon, coupled with prayer and pondering, could answer all of her questions. I know that book is true! I know Heavenly Father lives and loves us and has a plan of perfection and happiness that He needs us to follow. And reading the Book of Mormon is definitely something we need to experience in order to gain all of that happiness! Love everyone from the bottom of my heart!

Sister Lauck (:




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Oh My Gulay!

This week was a FUN week! 

Mainly because Sis.Lange and I had all these things happen to us that were just.... funny haha except the gunshots that kept going off by our house, those weren't funny. But yeah all kind of interesting things are bound to happen when there's two Americans that spend their week tracting around our area. Like one thing for example - We were tracting and started talking to this 19 year-old girl whose hobby is to do nails. I could tell this girl was really into doing nails, so I was asking her alot of questions about cuticle care, ya know, building relationship and trust. And somehow she gets the idea to give me a manicure. I was so down for it! It seemed like a win-win to me. Except she pulls out this tool out of her manicure kit that look more like a mini knife. And then she proceeds to use this mini knife to clean under my nails, but just ends up gauging my nail beds. And then my nail beds start bleeding. But I didn't want to tell this kind girl that it was hurting like no other and  I didn't want to possibly weaken her confidence in her manicure abilities (because she had already told me that she had flunked beauty school). So I just sat there and silently cried. Haha okay no, I didn't actually cry, but I was on the verge of it. And then after she was finished with that, she puts this orange goo that was supposed to be an anti-septic, but just ended up staining my nails orange. Great, huh? But we ended up having a really good lesson with her and we're coming back to teach her next week! So that's how I sacrificed my nails to try and get an investigator (: So worth it!

In other news, Sis.Lange and I realized that we were both in the same Physical Science class at BYU! Crazy, huh???? Oh, and the people here are legit starting to believe that I'm Filipino!!!! I'm pretty excited about that! I know I totally look the part, but my Bisayan obviously has an American accent, so I think the people here a little deaf, but I'll take it haha I guess that magical powers of the Balut egg I ate a couple of month are finally starting to kick in.....

Oh, and one more slightly sad story. Sis.Lange and I were in a lesson with our investigators when their neighbors busts in the door, comes to Sis.Lange and I and just starts bawling and telling us how her husband is cheating on her, their family has absolutely no money, not even for rice (which means they're doing pretty bad, because most Filipinos will at least have money for rice), her son just got sent to prison, and she attempted to commit suicide last week, but her 7 year old stopped her and pulled the knife out of her hand before she could go through with it. Yeah. Sis. Lange and I were just stunned. And this lady had come to us for advice because she said that she saw Sis.Lange and I last week and said that our faces were shining and she felt light and happy and she knew that there was something different about us. So we did the best we could to give spiritual advice and teach about God's love and plan for her, so it hopefully it helped! Getting to serve in the Philippines has been a huge wake-up call for me to realize how truly blessed I have been. I have THE BEST family in the world, a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, super amazing friends, the opportunity to go to college, to have always food on the table, to have a car, to have money to do fun things and do hobbies, and even random amenities like air conditioning, carpet, and hot water (which I really really really miss  while I've been living here in the Philippines!). And the list goes on. Basically I've been given so much! Which is why I'm so happy to serve as a missionary and have the opportunity to help out people in the best way I know how - being happy and sharing the Gospel! (: Which is why I just love being a missionary! Life is great over here (: I vowed this week to never complain about anything ever again, when I get home haha hopefully it will happen! Love everyone oodles and oodles! Hope everyone's having a great time with summer winding and school starting back up again!

Gugma, kalinaw, Philippines!
Sister Lauck

P.S. I realized that I've been big time slacking on sending those scenic, "What does the Philippines look like" pictures, so hence, y'all get 2 today haha enjoy!



Monday, August 11, 2014

Danao!

Okay, clearly I've been slacking on the whole emailing thing! Needless to say it's been a couple of crazy weeks, but I'll do my best to try to get everyone up to date (:

So, I transferred! Finally! After spending 1/3 of my mission in Tag Bilaran, it was finally time for me to say bye. It was way harder than I initially thought it would be to say goodbye to my first area. I truly grew to love that place and of course the people! But most of all, I think I love Tag Bi because all of the experiences and trials and growth that took place there. So after packing my (heavy) bags [I may or may not have picked up a ton of souvenirs there haha] and saying goodbye to all my favorite investigators and members, I went to the ferry, caught a boat and went back to the main island of Cebu to go to my new area.... Danao!

But before I headed over to Danao, I had to stop at the mission office for transfers. That was a highlight for me because I finally got to see some of my favorite missionaries that I hadn't seen in FOREVER, including my trainer, Sis.T! We had a pretty sweet reunion (:

Then I headed out to Danao! Not going to lie, I know I've been in the Philippines for a while now, but I had totally culture shock when I arrived in Danao. I guess the best way to put it is that Bohol is like the tropical beauty, touristy vacation spot with happy little Boholians. And Danao definitely looks like it's been hit hard with poverty and pollution and drugs. It's known as the ghetto zone in our mission haha but it has it's hidden beauties and treasures too, and it's right along the ocean, so there's no complaining about that! And I love that Danao seems a little down in the dumps because as a missionary I have the perfect antidote for it - The Gospel of Jesus Christ (: I can't help but be happy to be a missionary, especially in this area, because I personally know the blessings of peace and guidance and hope readily available for those who will accept the Gospel in their lives. And even though I've only been here for about 10 days, it's already been great! My new companion, Sis.Lange, is awesome! She's from Temecula, CA and has been out on the mission for about a year. She's 20 and she went to BYU and we were both freshman up there at the same time, so that's pretty cool! We work great together and I love her! It's great because she's very calm and collected and I tend to be a little more energetic and enthusiastic, so we balance each other pretty well (: We had a baptism my 2nd day here and had some powerful lessons tracting and even had a drunk guy read 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 to us. Sister Lange and I got a pretty good kick out of that one! 

Haha but life is great I'm ready to work hard in Danao and spread some happiness and change some lives! I'm so grateful that I was assigned in the Philippines and that I get to serve as a full time representative of Jesus Christ! I have the best job in the world!!!!!!!!!!! (: Hope everyone is enjoying the end of their summer and loving life!!!!

Lots of love,
Sister Lauck (:


Our last picture of the 4 of us sisters together - Sis.Dala, me, and Sis.Johnson, and Sis.Hatch.

My trainer Sis.T & I!

One last picture with one of my favorite members, the Bete's!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Laba, Sandugo, Life

Hey guys :) 

I have about 5 minutes to whip this baby out so here it goes!

So yesterday and Saturday we had our district conference! It was so neat because Elder Ardern of the 70 came to preside and because we had 1000 members in attendance at the conference!!!!! Because there were so many more in attendance than expected and the chapel, overflow, and auxilary rooms were stuffed, we even had members sitting and standing in the hallway so that they could hear from a living member of the quourm of the 70. These members are so faithful and I feel so blessed that I get to serve with them :)

Oh, and something else that was really cool! Our neighbors decided to set off this AWESOME firework display! It really could give Disneyland some competition haha and the beauty of it all is that we don't understand why haha maybe because the big "Sandugo" Festival is going on over here in Tag Bi??? I've learned to stop questioning why Filipino's do the things they do and to just go with it lol Regardless, us 4 sisters were running around outside and soaking up those fireworks as a belated 4th of july celebration!

Also, I had a PERFECT day this week! Do you know why? Because none of our appointments fell through, people didn't slam their doors on us when we went tracting and I got to teach my first complete family! You can say I was on cloud 9!!!! Something I've learned in my first area is to have a positive attitude and a spirit of gratitude! It really is such a gift when we can recognize the small and simple things in life and allow them to bring us so much joy :)

All in all, life is great! I love all of these experiences here in the Philippines and especially as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amping mo!!!!!!! :)

Lots of love,
Sister Lauck <3

For the pics: 
Bea & Nico & Jella & me! They really are some phenominal investigators! I think my only investigators that have been consistently doing their commitments. They are some faithful kiddos and I love em to death!
Jesabelle (my fav investigator) and I doing her laundry! She had to get it all done before we could teach her and as my great grandmother said, "Many hands make light work :)"

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 4th - Pinoy Style

Malipayon lunes sa inyoha!!!

So this week was sweeeet! Because - 

1. I hit my 6 month mark in the mission! I will be home in a year! Time flies sooooo fast, I promise!

2. It was 4th of July! And with transfers 2 weeks ago, instead of me being the only American in my apartment, two other Americans have joined me! We really had high hopes and ambitions to celebrate our country's independence day even if we were thousands of miles away haha but by the time the day actually came, we totally forgot about it, so all we could manage was patriotic clothes and singing the national anthem as we waved the Filipino flag around because it was the only flag we had to wave. Haha we tried our best! But besides that we spent our 4th of July with no power, showering with a bucket, and eating sardines and balut. It was sure one for the books! haha

3. Sis. Meme, my favorite person on this whole entire island, got a calling! Let me tell the Sis.Meme story super fast! So when I first got here back in February, Sis.Meme was inactive. Sis.Tuipulotu and I would visit her all the time, but it was that kind of situation where she didn't want us to be there, and we felt awkward being there, and every time we'd visit we'd commit her to go to church, but knowing full well that she'd never go. So one Sunday, 10 minutes before church started, Sis. T and I realized Sis.Meme was going to be a no-show, and I told Sis. T that we had to do something about this. So what do we do? We hiked our butts over to her house and we tried to get her to go to church. She was just not having it despite our best persuasion powers haha and looking back I realize how desperate Sis.T and I probably looked, 2 frenzy sisters trying to convince her to go to church haha but Sis.Meme put her foot down and was not having it. And I don't know why, but I just started crying. Like legit crying, as in tears and tears. I guess in that moment, the Spirit just flooded over me with the love of the Savior for Sis.Meme. And I was so sad for her because I realized that she was making decisions in her life that were only distancing herself away from Christ and His path to eternal happiness. It's one of those sacred experiences I hold dear to my heart in the mission. And I think Sis.Meme was so freaked out that I was crying, that to get me to stop she said, "Sis. Luck, I'll go to church" And the rest is history. She hasn't missed a week of church since. And it's more than the fact that she's going to church. The miracle is that she's completely changed her life around. She diligently reads the Book of Mormon every day, she does her visiting teaching, she works with the missionaries all the time, she gives referrals, she's grown and developed an actual testimony, she attends every baptism and branch activity and in fact, has become the most active member in our branch. She has really come unto Christ and as a result, her countenance has completely changed, and the quality of her life has become so much more than what it was before. And so yesterday, to be in the congregation and to raise my right hand to sustain her as the Tag Bilaran Branch 1 Relief Society Secretary was just..... beyond words. There is no sweeter feeling than watching the Atonement work in the lives of others and to watch how the Gospel transforms people. I just love this work with all of my heart. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on this earth that can bring us happiness here on this Earth and for eternity. I'm pretty sure I have the best job EVER right now (: I wouldn't trade this experience for any other. I love life! And I love all of you (: Thanks for helping me, supporting me, and making me one happy sister missionary!!!!!!! Naglaum ko nga naa moy og nindot kaayong semana!!!! (Tr: I hope you all have a fabulous week!)

Lots of love,
Sister Lauck (:

Okay the pics:

1. the first one is of us Americans (Sis. Hatch, me and Sister Johnson) trying our best to embody America in one picture hahaha I know, we're lame
2. Get this, there's like a 1000 of these little stores in my area and they're all named. And I just happened to find one that has my stinkin name!!!! How cool is that!!!! The exact spelling and all!  It kinda reminds me of my former life when I had a first name and I wasn't just Sister Lauck (:


Monday, June 30, 2014

Transfer!!!!!!!!!!!

Kamusta! Transfers week has arrived!!! 

But before transfers happened, I shipped my companion Sis. Paragas back home! She's totally finish with her mission! It was so cute - Sis. Dala, Sis. Enlacinto, and I did a little send off at the port for her. Definitely melancholy. The 3 of us kind of half wanted to jump on the ship with her back home haha but someone's gotta keep Tag Bilaran running and we do love our work, so I'm happy and excited for the remaining year I have as Sister Lauck (:  


I was companionship-less for half the week because Sis. Paragas headed home, which meant I got to work with my two little munchkins, Sis.Dala and Sis.Enlacinto in their area. The stares we got from people were priceless! We literally looked like a mother shepherding her two little children around everywhere haha


And then the transfer call came! So I'm staying here in Tag Bi for my 4th transfer! Kinda long, but I've come to LOVE this area (: I say "I've come to love" this area, because at first I was not a fan. The people in our area tend not to be the most receptive, so I've spent a fair amount of my mission tracting and getting punted and rejected and having basically no progressing investigators and 1 baptism haha don't you love when that happens! BUT, I really have come to love this area, because my experiences and trials here have helped me learn and grow SO much. It's amazing how getting put through the fire refines and purifies you so much. I honestly set out on a mission because thought that I would be the one helping and serving other people. Yet the longer I've been serving, I've come to find out that the person most benefiting from my service is myself. From my first area I've been able to learn some really valuable life lessons and to especially have my testimony strengthened of this Gospel and my Savior and my Heavenly Father. Aren't missions the best???!?!?!!!!! I really am so glad I have a Heavenly Father who is loving enough to give me handcrafted trials to help me grow and become more like Him!


It's funny though because you know you're in an area too long when you're in the city with a fair amount of people, but everyday you run into all these people you know - like branch members, or that one drunk guy you tracted on the street, or the boyfriend of the older sister of your investigator. Yeah, I basically feel like the Queen of TagBi haha oh, and my new companion.......... drum roll.......... Sister Hatch! My first American companion (: She's 20, from Sandy,UT, a piano performance major at UVU , going home in October, and the trainee of my last companion Sister Paragas! It's a small mission world! She is super great! We laugh, we cry, we try to speak Bisayan, we try to avoid creepy men hitting on us. It's a beautiful thing (: I love this work, I love this Gospel, I love my Heavenly Father, I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I love ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!! Know that I'm praying for everyone!!!!! (:


Lots of love,

Sister Lauck 

the fab 4 before sis.paragas left to go home!

sis.paragas and I posting up by the pier (:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sister Lauck & Sister T

Typically the blogs that are on this site are all in Sister Lauck's own words, but since she has been technologically challenge due to less than stellar internet service in the Philippines, we thought that as proud parents we would share an email that we received yesterday from Sister Lauck's 1st Companion in the Philippines, Sister Tuipolotu, affectionately known as Sister T! Sister T is from Tonga and had only been out on her mission for about 5 months prior to Sister Lauck. Their area is one of the toughest in the mission and together they faced many challenges including both trying to figure out the Cebuano language together. Those of you who know Lindsay well will not be surprised at the email that her former companion sent to us yesterday, so here it goes.........
Sister T and Sister Lauck
Hello Lauck Family!

First of all I am sister T...
I just want to send you all this email so that you would all know that your daughter Sister Lauck is the greatest companion I ever had in my mission so far! I really love her spirits toward our work.  She is a very hard working missionary and everything that you would ever expected from a representative of Jesus Christ.. She has it all!!!!
I know that who ever will be the one to be her new companion, she will be the luckiest.  Sister Lauck's mum thank you so much for raising her up so that I could be her companion to learn so many things from her.  She will hate me for saying this but I will say it... SHE IS THE BEST!!!! 
This are things that I have learn from her-
- She rely on the Spirit NO matter what happen!!!
- If we are out tracting and looking for people, and I don't even know where to go, she will turn around and say, "Sister T we need to pray".
- She loves talking to people, even if they will laugh at her and even it will make me laugh she will just continue she don't even care..
- She will always focus everything in our investigators.
- She never look at her self, she will always turn to the Lord for his help before she asked.
- She is such a happy person, she taught me how to smile hahaha every time, all day everyday, sometimes our days is ruft but she will always says everything will be fine....
- She is so funny, no matter whats our day will be like, she will always but something that will make me light up.
and last... she is a HARD working missionary...
She has taught me all things and some funny things too but that is between the 2 of us haha, I love her and miss being her companion...
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING that you always encourage her with, maybe she was about to kill me but because she will never forget what you told her .. that's why hahaha 
But seriously she is the best companion ever....
with love 
Sister T   

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!! I guess the Bisayan translation would be: Malipayon nga adlaw sa tatay! But that just doesn't sound right haha

So there's no way I could let this day pass without recognizing 2 people:

1. My Dad! I don't just have a "Missionary Mom", I have a Missionary Dad too (: Get this: my dad is soooooo busy, but despite everything he has on his plate, EVERY DAY he writes me a 3 page letter. Every single day. Which makes me a pretty spoiled missionary (check out the picture - the letters aren't super clear, but you can see it's a pretty thick stack haha) If that's not an act of dedication and love, then I don't know what is. But more awesome than his letters that he writes me each week is his example that I've tried to follow here on my mission , especially during the rough patches. Everyone who knows my dad knows that he's been given a huge trial physically. But despite his challenge, I have never once heard him complain. Despite everything that has been thrown his way, he chooses to focus on the positive, and  place his faith in Heavenly Father and His plan for him. My dad's love for his family and his testimony and love for the Gospel are incredibly strong and he has dedicated his whole life to each. What an example he is to me and to so many other people!He is the best and I love him so much!


2. My Father in Heaven. At this point in my mission, the biggest blessing that I feel like I've been given is a strengthening of my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I have really come to know in a very personal way that I am a literal child of God and that His sole purpose is to help me be happy and return to Him. That's why he's blessed me with the Gospel, a family, temples, friends, this world, and even His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Through sincere and intent personal prayer everyday, I've really come to know Him better and to feel His love for me. I know that He hears and answers each prayer. I know that He is infinitely aware of me and that sometimes His love comes in the form of my trials that He hand crafts for me because He wants me to grow and develop and eventually become just as He is. I know that there is a Heavenly Father and that He lives and loves each of us personally and individually as any father would love his child. We can feel His love through many avenues and blessings, but especially as we pray to Him in faith.

I'm doing great and I absolutely love my mission and my life right now! I am given so many blessings and experiences each day that are like no other. Thanks everyone for always supporting me. I am blessed beyond belief! I hope everyone has a super duper week and that y'all are enjoying your summer (:

Lots of love,
Sister Lauck (:


Oh and in other news:

- We had a zone activity last week and we got to go to the big tourist stop in Bohol: Chocolate Hills (check out the picture). It's basically a cluster of hundreds of hills. They kinda got semi destroyed by the big earthquake last year, but it was still such a beautiful sight! I seriously am in love with my mission and with Bohol. It's gorgeous! Especially the jungle part. Literally like Hawaii!

- Sister Paragas and I were in a lesson last week. Because there was a shortage of chairs I volunteered to sit on the floor. BIG MISTAKE. Because as I'm teaching about Joseph Smith, out of no where this HUGEEEEEEEE rat (literally like the size of a small puppy) scampers across the floor and into my lap!!! AHHHHHH, I almost died haha I definitely freaked out for like 3 seconds. Things like this happen to me everyday and I always think to myself in my head, "This is not what I signed up for." lol but such is life in the Philippines!
Letters From Dad

Chocolate Hills

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Lone Americana

Kamusta man??

More on my new companion, Sister Paragas! So she is from Pangacina (the northern part of the Philippines), turning 23 TODAY, and is almost finished with her mission! She goes home in 3 short weeks. Needless to say, she is so awesome and I love her so much! We have the greatest time together and I'm so lucky to have her! So obviously I live with Sis. Paragas, my companion, but we also share our apartment with two other sisters, Sis. Dala and Sis. Enlacinto. I'm not going to lie - when we're not working our butts off being missionaries, we have a lot of fun in our apartment! It's so funny because if the four of us go anywhere, everything thinks that I'm the mom walking with my three children, just because I'm a solid foot taller than the three of them haha 

So something that has been a little different, but really just a HUGE blessing and so much fun, is the fact that I'm the only non-Filipino in my apartment and in my district. Hence, I'm really immersed in the language and culture, but I absolutely LOVE IT!!!!!! I've also come to find out that the mission is the best foreign exchange program ever! I learn so much from all of the Filipino missionaries, especially the sisters I live with in my apartment, and I even get to teach them a thing or two (:

It kind of goes like this: 
-They help me with my Bisayan, and I teach them English slang words. 

-They taught me how to pick lice out of my hair, and I taught them that the fly swatter was not intended to be used as a back scratcher (which is what they originally thought it was haha). 

-They've taught me to learn all sorts of fun and yummy native foods like canned hash (my nickname for it is "Mystery Meat"), fish head, and chicken feet. And I've successfully got them hooked on imported American food, peanut butter and oreos!

-They teach me the right way to wash my clothes (we have to wash them by hand here, and I didn't know how to do that my first 2 transfers here.Which brings up the question - Exactly how well were my clothes washed for the last 3 months?) and how to go to the bathroom without toilet paper! And it's a work in progress, but I'm slowly helping them understand what it means to sing on pitch haha 

Really it's a beautiful thing! And probably my favorite thing about living with Pinays is that they are so happy, so loving, and giving. There really is such a special spirit here in the Philippines! The people here are so jolly and always celebrating, even if from an outsider's perspective there might seem little to be happy about. They are positive and strong in spirit, and it really is such a blessing for me to be assigned here in the Philippines. I absolute love my mission! And especially for the opportunity I have to be surrounded by so many Christ-like people! I love my calling and I love my work! Hope everyone is doing FANTASTIC!!!!! 

From a super super super happy Sister Lauck (:

P.S. Here's a pic of my companion Sister Paragas and I! Next week I'll send a picture of the 4 of us sisters in the apartment so you can get a good head of the height difference haha

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

I have like zip time, but I wanted to shoot out a quicky for everyone (:

Okay so.... what's been going on with me.... So I have a new companion! Yup, I'm officially done with my 12 week training! Sis. T moved to a new area, so I stayed put here in TagBi. And my new companion is..... drumroll..... Sis. Paragas!!!!!! My first native companion! She is lights out awesome, the full package! We've only been together for 5 days but she already is my favorite person in the world haha more on her and my new Pinoy-style life next week!

Also, last week we had the best zone activity ever! We went to the beach and played volleyball! Does life get better than that? I think not haha of course we weren't allowed to get in the water and swim, but chilling on the sand was the next best thing (:

Also, there was a hopping party over here in TagBi last week! Every May 1st-3rd, there's a HUGE celebration in Tag Bilaran to celebrate and honor their saint aka lot's of street dancing and eating and drinking. Which of course as missionaries, we weren't allowed to participate in haha though we did have a drunk man dedicate a song to us while he was karoaking as we walked by - that was pretty sentimental lol jk actually we did participate in the eating! ISome very sweet members in our branch invited Sis.T and I over for lunch. I had the kiss of death experience where I mistakenly filled my plate with what I thought was beef teryaki, only to find out the hard way that it was indeed not beef teryaki, but cow liver and tounge haha don't know why I thought home cooked Filipino food was like Panda Express lol but I promise that is a mistake I will NOT make again haha

Anyway, Happy late Mother's Day to all of the amazing women in my life! Whether it be friends and family, I'm so grateful for all of your support and love! And of course I'm grateful for my own mom (: Anyone who knows my mom knows she is the most giving, loving, caring, sweetest woman in the world. I know my Heavenly Father loves me because He blessed me with her as my mother. Love you so much Mom (: And I love everyone else too! Hope you enjoy all of life's many blessings each day!

Lots of love,
Sister Lauck (: