Monday, September 30, 2013

1st news from the Philippines

On arrival with President and Sister Peterson

Dear Brother and Sister Gaspar de Alba,
 We are delighted to have Sister Kristina Rebeca Gaspar de Alba with us in our mission. She has a great spirit and we are looking forward to knowing her better. She will be serving in Cabuyao 1a, Cabuyao for the next few months with Sister Morgan Zoe Waldrom.
There are several things you could do to help keep her happy and successful during her mission:
*Send weekly letters. News from home keeps spirits high and minimizes problems. Mail and packages should be sent to the Alaminos address: Philippines San Pablo Mission; Brgy. San Juan; Alaminos, Laguna 4001; Philippines. Please do not send packages toyour missionary with another missionary going to the Manila MTC. We are not able to get these packages. Please send them directly to the Mission address.
*Try not to mention family problems that might worry her.
*Please do not visit or telephone her without approval of the mission president.
If you have concerns about the health or welfare of your missionary, please contact the Mission Office at (63) 49-5671330 or you may email us anytime at The Mission Office is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 4:00 PM.
Thank you for preparing and sending us this fine missionary. We will love and take care of her.
President George E. Peterson
Sister Kathryn M. Peterson
Philippines San Pablo Mission

Outside my first house. It's a real city area, reminds me of Juarez.
me and my companion, Sis Waldrom! and our lovely house. that's our kitchen/living area.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 6 - Leaving the MTC

Well this week was insane! Just a day in the life, I guess. We were getting ready to leave and getting organized. Of course I made like 20 to-do lists and schedules so I could get everything done in time. Then my kasama broke her thumb on Wednesday night playing volleyball. So we were running around all day thursday and friday finding out is she would be able to leave with us on monday. Turns out she can't. She is being sent home to have surgery on her thumb. Then she has to wait at least 10 weeks to go out to the Philippines. It's been a rough couple of days for her and rough for all of us figuring out how to act and what to say. But she is great and has such a positive attitude. She's such an example to me! This week's blog entry is mostly going to be pictures because they are so much better than words! I can't believe I'm almost out of here! This week has been really emotionally crazy. We've been writing in each other's journals and saying goodbyes. But we are all so excited to get out there! Everyone is super nervous, thank goodness most of us fly out together. Thank you for your love and prayers! I'll be in Manila by Tuesday night and Tokyo by Monday night! Wish me luck!

Sister Gaspar de Alba

Goodbyes to our teachers. Of course Br. Mauzy is closing his eyes! He's pretty much the most awkward person I have ever encountered, but he is so funny!

me and some of the sisters from Kiribati. We've gotten pretty close! They are all converts and have been such a strength to me

Classic. P-day breakfast

me and sis S downing some microwavable rice prepping ourselves for the peenes. 

ran into Luke like a hundred times last week before he left! we took a classic awk elder pose pic. and elder burbidge is expertly creeping in the background.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week 5 MTC

We fly to Tokyo, Japan!!! I will be in the land of the Japoneses (I hope that's not a racial slur) for 12 hours! I also get to fly over the pacific for sunset...pretty exciting. I leave Monday morning at 8 am on a plane to LA, fly to Tokyo, then to Manila. I will be in Manila by Tuesday night. All the Sisters and Elders in my zone (except my favorite Elder.bummer.) and the other zone going to the Philippines are flying on the same plane. I'm so glad. I think there's like 20 of us. Everyone's way excited!
these two are the best. elder salisbury and sister burt. this was right after we got our flight plans! we were super stoked

Kasama selfie week 5

This week was so insane, it went by way too fast. Ww already started having people sign our transfer journals. Well...only me. Everyone made fun of me for having people sign two weeks early, but we'll see who's laughing when everyone's crazy stressed next week! A few of the Elders in my district wrote in my journal. Two of them thanked me for being a good friend and giving them advice. They said I was like a big sister to them. Super tender. 

Elder Burbidge, Elder Salisbury,my kasama and I had to ditch out on a lot of class time and language study time this week. They are the Zone Leaders, and we are the new Sister Training Leaders! We got called last sunday. We work together and kinda watch over our 65ish missionaries. Pretty crazy. We got 18 new sister last week! But it's a great calling. I get to know so many more people, and help the Sisters not feel so homesick! Our Zone Leaders are AWESOME. It's kinda rare they pick them from the same district. But since my district is pretty much the best, they okayed it. My fav Elder is Salisbury so it's been pretty fun scaring the newbies with how crazy we are. But we were just really out going and those Elders have a great sense of humor so the newbies are already warming up to us. It's awesome. Our ZLs before didn't do that. But we tried it, and they liked us. So i guess it worked! 

here are elder burbidge, elder salisbury, me and my kasama las sunday after we got called as zone leaders and sister training leaders! it's kind of a lot of work and meetings, and a lot of missionaries. but they are the best and we are having such a blast with them. setting traditions and getting to know the new kids! elder salisbury is my fav he's super cool. we are always the first to have scheduled friday night class meltdowns. 
I got over my cold by Monday so I was super super happy! Sister Seastrand is still sick. But she refused to take airborne and nap on Sunday. We have like 6 Sisters from Kiribati in our Zone. It's a group of islands by the Marshall Islands. Anyway, they don't shower every day. They got lice and kinda spread it around their room...sick. My comp was super funny. She's a germaphobe. But no one else got it! That was good news.That little scare was a peek into my very near future, though. I will apparently have companions from Pakistan, India, Australia and all over! I'm so so excited! But also kinda scared. I'll probs just become pretty amazonian by the time I get back. 
I. LOVE. THIS. GIRL. She is seriously my soul mate. It's crazy how similar we are. she is who i want to be when i'm 20. she is studying art history, and she works at a museum in DC. She lives in Maryland when she's not at BYU. Her dream job is to be a photo curator at the library of congress. best. job. ever. 
ran into my boy Luke! and you can't be in pics with an elder and sister here if one of us and our kasamas! I was so excited to see him! i spent the summer with him and dex. we had so much faun all together. he just got reassigned to salt lake for a few weeks until his visa goes through for France. 

 I ran into a few friends this week! Elder Gerken left. My sisters got to know him pretty well since we ran into each other all the time. We were all a little sad, but excited for him to be in Mexico City. I ran into Luke!!! Or Elder Bailey i guess. (Dex's cousin) I spent a lot of time with him this summer. He is super funny. I've sen him like four times already! I also ran into Kaelin Ruth from back home! So fun to see someone from my graduating class in the MTC. Love it. I only got to talk to him for a minute. But he leaves for Canada on Monday and I'm so happy for him. ran into my boy luke! and you cant be in pics with an elder and sister heres one of us and our kasamas! i was so excited to see him! i spent the summer with him and dex. we had so much fun all together. he just got re assigned to salt lake for a few weeks until his visa goes through for france

Thank you for all your love and prayers. Thanks for the letters, packages and dearelders! Thanks to pup and aunt jen for all the goods! and mom and dad of course. love you all,
seester gaspar de alba

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 4 photos

Me and my favorite girls at the temple last Sunday; all the girls in my district.
They have done so much for me.
(right to left: sister martinez, sister williams, sister burt, sister seastrand, sister beaumont-my kasama)

this is my family! and this is how we feel about being in that tiny room for 10 hours a day. this was taken at like 8 pm on wednesday. the melt downs are starting to happen earlier and earlier in the week. especially since we are learning hard core tagalog. That is Elder Salisbury- he is the best. We've been lucky to have such great Elders. 

I see Tyler every Tuesday. So last Tuesday, we saw each other outside and he went looking for Dex before Devotional. After devotional, I walked straight into Dex on his way out! So we found Tyler so they could say goodbye. Even though I didn't really know Tyler super well before the MTC, we saw each other so often and talked a lot while we have been here. This was the night before Dex was leaving for Nebraska. The three of us were so excited! We wished him luck and said goodbyes. I saw Tyler yesterday at lunch and he leaves Monday! I'm so happy for them both(:  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

MTC Week4

Kumusta pamilya!?
mahal po ako ito linggo. This week was great. It went by super super quick. After tomorrow, my district will be the oldest one in the zone! They are calling new Sister Training Leaders and ZL's tomorrow and chances are good they'll be from my district. We signed so many journals this week and i was a little sad. I've never cared so much about people i've known for such short a time. But you really learn to depend on your sister training leaders, and i got pretty close with ours. 

We get our flight plans this Friday and that is just insane. I will be in the Philippines in 16 days! I seriously cannot wait. I already know who I'm sitting next to because one of the girls in another zone's dad is in charge of that i guess. So I get to sit by Sister Seastrand on the plane and that is SUCH a comfort to me. I am so glad. I'm pretty sure we will be flying to LA, then to Hong Kong, then to Manila. Gab- I get to see where you hail from! Land of the Chinas. 

I learned a lot this week...just like every other week. I can teach most of the lessons in Tagalog, and can answer most questions! Broken Tagalog pero i'm working on it! I get better every day. I see Elder Gerkin like every three seconds now. I told him to keep an eye out for any Devlyn's while hes in Mexico City. Pretty sure he leaves Monday. My district has been sick all last week, and I was the second one to catch a cold...typical. No fever though! It's a huge bummer being sick in the MTC. You can't sleep all day. or at all, really. But i skipped gym yesterday to take a nap and i feel loads better. They don't really sell medicine here so i've been drinking airbornes hoping i'll get better soon! Thanks for all your love and prayers, I can feel them every day.

Ok so cool story of the week-
We do this thing called TRC every Saturday night from now on. LDS Philippino people volunteer to come in and we teach them a family home evening lesson. Our first lesson was a bit rocky because the girl spoke so dang fast! I caught like 70% of it, but it took forever long to process in my brain. So frustrating. But she said our tagalog was impressive for only being here 3 weeks. And she said my accent was really good, so i should work harder on learning vocab. I feel like my teachers think that too...Anyway, our second lesson was absolutely amazing. It was this sweet lola (grandma) from Cebu who had been living in Utah for a while. I started out the lesson with a prayer, then I started teaching about pananampalataya (that's the word for faith, can you believe that rediculousness?!) kay JesuCristo. And I kept trying to move on, but I couldn't talk about anything else. I really felt like that's all we should talk about. She started telling us a story about a sister who was from Argentina that had taught her in TRC a few months back. She said the sister had the hardest time understanding why she was speaking Tagalog, and was so frustrated in all the lessons. But in her last lesson, she bore testimony that her faith had been tried and she pushed through. She realized she didn't need to know why she was going there. All she needed to know was that she was called there as a representative of the Lord to teach the people of the Philippines. Of course I started crying. I've thought about that so many times. While she was telling me the story, I got such a distinct prompting from the Spirit to let her teach me. Every time we said anything, she had a scripture to share with us or a story about how to increase your faith in God's will. That next day, our Sunday devotional was by the previous Manila MTC presidents. I have never in my life felt so loved or noticed by my Heavenly Father. I know he loves us all individually. Those tender mercies need to be recognized because they happen all the time! 

sister gaspar de alba
(Sorry no pictures; administrator (dad) couldn't figure it out today. Check back soon!)