Wednesday, 16 December 2015

My 21st Birthday!
December 15, 2015

There were 3 birthdays in our apartment this week.  We had little celebrations for each person on their birthday (their favorite food and a little mini cake).  We hid and shot confetti at one of the sisters!

Birthday Packages from my mom and my grandma! 

 We had a birthday lunch today with our district.  It was supposed to be at the park but it's raining so we went to the chapel instead.  We bought lechon manok, sister Lopez made pasta and elders brought a fruit salad thing and cake.  It was actually really fun.  Simple, but fun!

Saying goodbye to the Cano family was really hard.  Sister Kim and Jovelyn (her mom) both came to church sunday for the second sunday in a row and it is really looking like Kim will be baptized.

Saying goodbye to Sister Gementiza was also really hard.  Also, I found out that I am going to be a New Missionary Trainer for my last 12 weeks of my mission.  12 weeks of Training--kinda like 12 days of Christmas;)  I definitely feel the weight of this calling, but prayer will get me through for sure and I'm excited to see what kind of impact I can have.

This will probably be my last email until after Christmas so I hope you all enjoy the season and have a great time with your famiies!  Remember the reason why Christ was born almost 2000 years ago.  It wasn't so that we would have a day to eat yummy food and give gifts (although that sure is fun).  He was born so that He could atone for our sins and thus provide a way for us to return to Him.

Merry Christmas!  

Dec. 6, 2015

I had my mom send me a bunch of "future missionary" tags to give to the kids here.  These are two recently baptized kids.  Aren't they the cutest?!

I honestly can't believe it is already December.  This month is going to fly by.  This week is the last full week of the transfer and then next week is transfers, then Christmas, then New Years and then 2015 is gone.  The full year that I will have spent in the mission will be over.  I feel like it just started.

Already my last 100 days... 
Happy Thanksgiving!
November 29, 2015

I hope Thanksgiving was great for you all!  I had a few members wish me a Happy Thanksgiving (they have family in the states) but no turkey dinners.  I did, however, buy myself some mashed potatoes on Friday night.  Kinda like KFC.  Certainly not as good as Aunt Dana and Mom's mashed potatoes...but it was good enough for me.

Fairview Sisters at zone interviews

President kindly pointed out that my time is winding down and told me to set goals for my last 3 months (two transfers) and then asked me what my plans were after.  I had my first "I can't believe how fast this is all happening "meltdown" the next day with my companion.  Of course I'm excited to see you all, but this really is the best thing that has ever happened to me and its sad to think that it is all winding down.  I've learned so much and I don't want the learning to end."

Something I've learned from the Pinoy people.  Gratitude.  Even if there is no abundance or food or even living space.  They are always grateful for the things they do have.  Usually their family.  That's all you really need to be happy...enough to live on and family.  Take a few minutes to appreciate what you have this week and say thank you to those who have served/loved you.  Especially Heavenly Father.

Transfer Week & Insomnia
November 9, 2015

This week was transfer week and I got a new companion, Sister Gementiza. I love her so much.  She makes me laugh all the time.

The weirdest thing has been happening this week.  Insomnia.  I just lay in bed not able to fall asleep.  Even if it's been a full work day and 10:30 at night when I get in bed.  This is the first time that this has happened to me in my mission.  No matter how tired I am, I can't fall asleep right away.  I'm always to scared to check the time.  But it feels like forever.

My "mom" (trainer--Sister Mamasig) and my anak ("child"/trainee--Sister Rantayo).  It was such a great moment when I saw both of them and we were together again.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


October 2015

It's Fiesta Season....check out my photo bombers!

Compared to the world's standards, the quality of life in the Philippines is not the greatest.  However, for those living the gospel, the quality of their life is amazing.  They are some of the happiest people I know.  They always have something to be happy about.  I learn so much from these faithful members of the church."

Temple P-day.  I feel my Savior's love.  The temple and the church is the same everywhere.  The Spirit is the universal language.  Blessings on blessings.

I'm so blessed to see my anak ("child") so often.  She's just the best.
  She walked into the Celestial Room and almost cried to see me sitting there.  Blessing.

Cake eating contest turned into cake fight! 

Typhoon Lando has come and is on it's way out.  Some areas in our mission had church cancelled.  We still had church.  Maybe 25 or 30 people came.  It was cool.  Sacrament took about 7 minutes total.  The rain was the strongest while we were at church.  Afterwards, and for today, it's just been really windy.  No flooding in our area, which is good.

Celebrating National Family Week--

"A Very Happy Thought"
September 2015

This is Sister Doray and Baby Enoch.  She is probably one of my favorite women on this earth.  So humble and teachable.  Last Sunday was her 4th Sunday in a row coming to church!

We tried really hard to get a "normal" district photo.....

Saturday (September 26)  was Christine's Baptism! It was good.  There were a few complications with the font not being filled and not having baptismal clothes that fit when we got to the chapel but we had gotten there a little early and the problems got solved within an hour.  The service was really good (even though my companion and I were asked to sing on the spot) and Sister Christine was so happy after she was baptized that she could hardly bear her testimony.  We were a little sad because we didn't see her husband, Martin, there and she said he wanted to come but that's okay.....
...because the next day when we pulled up in the tricycle to church MARTIN WAS STANDING OUTSIDE THE CHURCH WAITING FOR CHRISTINE.  He came directly from work and attended her confirmation and the Gospel Essentials class with her.  He hasn't been to church since he was in middle school.  It was a miracle.  They're really cute actually!  He was more excited for her than she was!

We had a way fun activity with the ward to celebrate National Family Week.  Four of us missionaries were assigned to teach about The Family:  A Proclamation to the World, Family Prayer, Scripture Study and the Relief Society President talked about Family Home Evening.  Then the families played games and had lunch.  It was cute because the families came "color coded".  It made me appreciate so much more my family and the way that my parents raised me in the gospel.  It has truly blessed my family so much.  I know we can be together forever because of the priesthood.  It's just a very happy thought.

After Elder Scott passed away I read his last talk in the October 2014 Conference...about FAMILIES.  The last 3 (out of 3) of the Apostles who have recently passed away chose to speak to the world about families. I think that is pretty significant.

Taylor and other Sister Missionaries and The Mission President's Wife, Sister Bertin.

Monday, 21 September 2015

 September 10, 2015: 

CONGRATS Sister Foote!

12 months in the Philippines!

"In case you all lost track, this week was my 1 year mark.  When the heck did that happen?  The time just flew.  My kabahays all woke up in the middle of the night to decorate our stairs and make me a mango float (a yum desert here) and write me cute notes that I kept finding in my desk, closet, taped to the inside of my umbrella.  I really didn't expect anything.  I was just gonna buy myself some ice cream but it was way sweet.  I felt way loved.  Now they all make jokes about how I'm trunky--not true.  But I did misplace my name tag that morning.  I found it, but they thought it was funny." 

These are the kabahays (I think it means companions) responsible for surprising Taylor on her one year "birthday" of her mission!  

Saturday, 5 September 2015

My new home…Fairview 
August 2015

This week there was a "bagio" but it wasn't enough to keep us in the house!  We were out working and the rain & wind were way strong but we didn't really think much of it.  As we were heading home our kabahays texted us and told us to buy candles because the power was out (brownout)at our house.  So that night we went home and did our nightly planning by candle light.

Our "apartment" is actually a house.  It's pretty big actually.   Fairview is the most "city" area I've been assigned so far.  Every day we have to cross a skybridge over an 8 lane highway to get home from our area.

I went on exchanges this week with Sister McCarthy.  She is Samoan and from New Zealand.  It was a great day.  She has only been out on her mission a little longer than me.  It was a breath of fresh air to just go and learn from her and watch her work in her area.  This calling (Sister Training Leader) has been a HUGE blessing to me.  Its the best thing to be able to get to know the sisters and their stories and backgrounds and learn from them.  I learn more from them than they do from me. 

This week has been a great week again.  Full of teaching and walking in the rain.  The weather here is SUPER unpredictable.  But you do know one thing, you'll always be drenched..either in sweat or rain.  The work here is good.  We have a few investigators and contacts that show some potential.  

Transfer Day to Fairview
August 12, 2015

These are the elders in my new area.  Pretty funny, pretty typical elders!

Sister Wilson (my first Sister Training Leader) is going home!

Last Few Weeks in Malalos
August 2015

I got to take two more MTC exchangees out.  These two are actually both from California and went to BYU.  We were talking and they both had the same Book of Mormon teacher, which was a way cool connection because his class is part of the reason I'm here.

We went bowling again on P-day and another zone was there.  My new companion (Sister Malo Moa was there with her zone.  She is the one in the black and white striped shirt and glasses).  It was a good last P-day.


The baptism was amazing.  Domingo testified about the truthfulness of the gospel and how it gave him hope.  Before, he was told that he would never see his loves ones who had passed away again.  He left town to do some praying and soul searching.  While he was gone we started teaching his wife.  When he came back and heard the message of the gospel he realized we were an answer to his prayers.  I only heard this story when he shared it at the baptism.  It gave me chills.  The Spirit was way strong.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Rains Came Down….

but, thankfully, the floods didn't come up just yet

JULY 2015

"…we got caught in the rain with no umbrellas on our way home from church."
"It's been a great week in the mission field even though it's been raining for like 14 days straight.  We actually don't mind because there's a nice breeze and the sun stays behind the clouds .  We also don't have to use our fans…which means lower electricity bills!  W00!"

A GOOD FEELING - July 2015

"Baptism of Sister Aissa.  She's adorable.  Sister Aissa is only 12 but has a way strong testimony and comes to all three hours of church by herself EVERY Sunday!  Her baptism went really well.  There was a great turnout from the ward and the Young Women sang for her.  It's such a good feeling to be a part of something like this for someone."

"This little boy is the cutest.  His birthday was Monday and he was SO EXCITED when we got there and that he had chocolate cake for his birthday.  Kids are pretty similar everywhere."

"My favorite part of Zone Conference is always the testimony meeting.  It's really amazing how fast and strong the spirit always comes when you get all those missionaries bearing short and simple testimony of the church, the Savior, the plan of Salvation…it's really hard not to get emotional.  We also had a lot of missionaries who this was their last conference who bore testimony, that's even harder not to get emotional (Sister Wilson's last Zone Conference).

Fourth of July

"This week has been a super good one!  On the fourth of July I wore red, white, and blue and got an apple pie and ice cream from McDonalds.  It was super festive."

"Today we had a temple P-day.  I love the temple.  The spirit is really just the same everywhere.  So is the gospel.  It's pretty darn cool."

"Today has been so fun.  Best p-day so far.  We went bowling as a district of all foreigners.  Way fun and kinda like a normal kid for about an hour.  Then we went and ate at this place called Zurk's here in the "super mall".  Really good burgers.  It tasted like AMERICA."
More American food.  Enjoying some Mac-n-cheese I got in a package my momma sent!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Happy Father's Day
June 21, 2015
I hope that all the fathers who read this have had a great Father's Day!  Especially my dad, Grandpa Foote and Grandpa Freestone and all my uncles.  You guys are all pretty cool.  I've gained a huge appreciation for fathers in general on my mission (strong father figures are few and far between here).

Last night, for Father's Day, one of the families in our ward invited us over for dinner.  If this had happened 9 months ago I would have starved.  Why?  It was all seafood.  Prawns, crab, tilapia, mussels, seaweed.  Everything. But you guys I ate it and actually kinda liked it.  Well the tilapia and mussels and seaweed with mango salsa stuff.  I still don't like crab or prawn but that's ok.  If you know me, then you know that this is a straight up mission miracle. #PicturesOrItDidn'tHappen

"My tongue has changed and this is the evidence.  Dad, this was on Father's Day.  I thought of you.  If nothing else makes you proud, I hope this does :)  Hahaha"

I love the mission.  It's going fast.  But I still love it.  Transfer week is next week so we will see what happens.  I think I'm staying in Camarin though…I hope I am.
What's Your Miracle Today?
May & June 2015

My new companion is Sister Papaliitele.  She's a Samoan Australian.  She was my Sister Training Leader back in Malalos and my exchanges with her changed my mission.  So it's kinda surreal that we are companions.  We've spent the last 5 days talking about what we wanted to accomplish.  We wanted 40 lessons this week.  We were gonna end Sunday with 39 and she was like, "Sister Foote, I can't come this close and not get it done.  Let's finish this."  I said I couldn't either.  So we racked our brains, said some prayers and were able to teach a less active in our area that we haven't been able to teach in a long time. MIRACLE

Words can't even describe the miracles I've seen this week.  We were able to help a less active paint her house yellow.  I was happy as a clam. MIRACLE

Sister Papaliitele and I ask each other every night "What was your miracle?" and then we share what our miracle for the day was.  Some nights have more obvious answers then others, but every night has an answer.  I challenge you all to look for the miracles or tender mercies of the Lord in your daily lives.  I promise you that there is one.  Don't get me wrong, some days are really hard.  But there's always something to be happy about.  That's what's gotten me this far in my mission.

On a more fun note, people here love eating with their hands and think it's the greatest when foreigners do it.  It saves doing the dishes!  So we ate  at a members house last night and Sister Papaliitele and I ate with our hands.  It really is an art…there's a technique.  They were impressed that we both knew how.  I love it.  They love it.  We all win.

In the Sun we Melted, Melted, Melted
May 2015

I just checked the weather for my area this week--maybe a bad idea.  Highs of 103 almost everyday and lows of 80.  It just confirms that i am, indeed, serving in the hottest country in the world.  You just accept it and move on. It's a normal thing to have sweat in your eyes and dripping from your forehead to your scriptures in the middle of a lesson.  But I seriously love it.  Its sounds crazy…but its not.  Im just glad that I only have one summer in the mission.  It's the way to go!

Life is pretty good here.  Sister Foote called to serve as a Sister Trainer Leader.  

I have officially been thrown into the deep end of missionary leadership and I'll admit, I'm barely keeping my head above water right now.  But, this week was an amazing week nonetheless.  I love the gospel and I love the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.