Tuesday, September 01, 2015

My Final Epistle

I probably won't have time to email next Tuesday, September 1st, as I will have my departing interview and dinner with President and Sister Stevens.

Dear Family and Friends,

The time has come to say goodbye to this wonderful people on this other side of the globe. I have grown to love them so much and I have learned a lot from them. They will always hold a special place in my heart and forever will be part of my life. I won't miss the mission just because I have served here in England but because of them. Remember, it's not about the geography. It is about our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is about inviting everyone to come unto the Saviour.

Time flies by so quick. There are lots of things that I have learned, things I could have done better and things that I really love doing in missionary work. This past months has been the best eighteen months for my life. I know that the things that I have experienced here will shape me to be the person I need to be, the person that God wants me to be.

This poem that I've found summarises my feelings right now:

They told me this would be..."The best years of my life";
But I guess they didn't make it all that clear
I came out looking for a bed of roses;
Not expecting all the thorns found here.
A mission is a strange experience;
It's a trial and a test.
A mission throws at you the worst,
Yet it teaches you the best.
 I've never been so happy;
 I've never been so depressed;
 I've never felt so forsaken;
 I've never been so blessed.
 I've never felt the Lord so distant;
 I've never felt Him so near.
         I've never been so discouraged;
         I've never felt so much hope;
 I've felt I could go on forever;
 I've hung on to the end of my rope.
 I've never had it so easy;
 I've never had it so tough.
 Things have never gone so smoothly;
 Things have never been so rough;
  I've never travelled through more valleys,
  I've never reached so many peaks;
  I've never met so many great people;
  I've never seen so many freaks;
  I've never had so many ups;
  I've never had so many downs;
  I've never worn so many smiles;
  I've never worn so many frowns;
  I've never been so lonely;
  I've never had so many friends;

  Man, I hope this is over soon;
  Gosh, I hope it never ends.

As I served full-time, I grew closer with my Maker and with the Saviour. I have had so many spiritual experiences that are too sacred to share, but this I know, He lives! Like the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him: That He lives!” (D&C 76:22)

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church upon the face of the earth that is “built upon the foundation of apostles, prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.  (Ephesians 2:20)

I know that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel. As I read it alongside with the Holy Bible, I develop a strong relationship with the Deity. Through it, I know who I really am, who I can become and how can I be with my family forever.

I also developed a testimony of the power of prayer. It is so real! You get what you ask for. And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you. (3 Nephi 18:20) I have never prayed so much in my life until I came here in the field. But through it, miracles happened, hard hearts have been softened, testimonies have been wrought, most importantly people have come to the waters of baptism!

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land [England London Mission], for which we will praise his name forever." (Alma 26:12)

This eighteen months will forever be remembered, these people will not be forgotten. Mission is hard, no doubt about it. It's a hard work BUT it is worth it!

Brothers and sisters, adieu.

Cheerio,
Sister Ordanza

I jinxed the weather last week!

Yeah, I think the subject line sums it all up! Lol, we had thunder
storms and really heavy rain the whole week. ☔️⚡️💦💧

Dear Family and Friends,

Oh well... Anyways! Our week was normal! We had a zone conference
which was so good and so spiritual. We focused so much our trainings
on member-missionary work and the doctrinal topic was the sacrament.
It was so sick! I love it so much! Sister Stevens, as most of you
know, worked in the General Primary Presidency, so she made us sang
Primary songs. It was great! It was funny though because she said she
can't sing but President Stevens prior to his calling as our mission
president was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! 👌🏽

A day after that, we were invited by the stake president to have a
dinner at his home. (Side note: We have lunch and dinner appointments
everyday to every members house, man, I am gaining so much weight it's
not even funny...) Anyways, the spirit was so strong in that house!!
We've been receiving referrals from the members.

I can see how the Lord protects His missionaries, how we have angels
on our side, because we were in an area around 20:30, we lost track of
the time as we were busy talking to people ( also, it was still light
as if it was in the afternoon) so we were there late and during that
time bus services weren't regular. We waited for ages in the bus stop
and the bus didn't come and we really needed to be in our flat by
21:00. We prayed and after a minute someone pulled over and motioned
us to get on and it was the member of the bishopric and his wife! We
got home safely and on the dot. Phew!

Can I just tell you how much I love the Bueno family, the Brazilian
family that I included in the photos I've sent the previous week?! I
just love them so much. They have us over every Sunday and they feed
us every time the traditional Brazilian food! 👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽
They also referred us to their friends, another Brazilian family. This
coming Sunday, we are going to cook for them from appetiser, main meal
to dessert! 😄
Oh, I forgot to tell you that we've been cooking the whole week for
members. Sister Chou is a great cook! I'm getting better on making the
graham cake. Be proud. 👊🏽👏🏽😆

I love you all!

~Sister Ordanza

P.S
Huge shout out to Sister Mussman's Mum, Carol, who reads my blog!!!
(Sister Mussman told me last week 😀) Her first area was in Canterbury
which was my second area. She is now with Sister Mekonnen, my last
born! Wohooo!

Some of the PDay photos we took last week

Just a random day in the car park

We found this today.
Lol, this is so true! (That's how they speak in King's Lynn)

One of my favourite young women in King's Lynn visited last week!

Because we love matching outfits....

Our family tree. Lol (So glad to see Sister Mekonnen in our zone conference!)

 We love baking and cooking!!!

Sisters serving in Ipswich and Colchester zones!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

SUMMER WEATHER FINALLY!

I just found out that Colchester is the most sunny place here in the
whole of England! Lol
Anyways. We've had a really great week! We've been so busy!!!
I'm sorry if this is a quick email. We have to run to catch our bus to
get to our appointment! 😀

Til next week!
-Sister Ordanza




Colchester District!

 One of the exchanges we've had with the sisters this transfer.

Elli and Ovi (our Lithuanian twin friends' birthday) with the Elders.
They're getting baptised on the 22nd of this month!!!

Because we're so Asians...

"Sister, which window is good to knock?" 

A PDay in Deadham. The houses, churches and buildings
are built around 1600's!!!

Just another Saturday in Colchester...

Wǒ yīzhí dōu hěn bǎo

Dear Family and Friends,

I love the past week! We have seen a lot of tender mercies from the
Lord in our area. Aside from having a hay fever for almost a month and
a half now, I am doing great! I am loving this area. Colchester is
very beautiful, the oldest town in Great Britain. Don't worry, they
have modern buildings here. ;)

Since our area covers the University of Essex, we meet with a lot of
uni students everyday. We planned several questions to ask them
regarding their studies and tie it in a gospel conversation. The
funniest part of this week was when we stopped this Chinese guy and we
forgot what question we should ask. Our minds were totally blank. Lol.
Sister Chou asked him, "Hey, have you met Sister Ordanza before?"
Hahaha. It was so funny, poor guy he was so clueless. To avoid
embarrassment I told him, "Yeah, have we met before? You really look
familiar." Lol #MormonPickUpLines
Anyways, we had a really good conversation with him and he came to
church yesterday. 😀

My favourite part of the week was yesterday. I love Sundays! One of
the friends we were expecting to come didn't show up, we even had a
lift arranged for him. :(
Anyways, as we entered the chapel a lady just came in. We welcomed her
and asked if she's visiting as her face was not familiar to us. She
told us that she is a member of a certain denomination but for the
past few years she felt that there is something wrong in the church
where she belong. She spent the whole week last week researching about
our church and in her own words ; " The more I research about your
church, the more I have a desire to join your church." As we were
talking to her, a couple came in and the Elders welcomed them. They
said that they have been researching lds.org and they are so eager to
visit our church and to learn more of our beliefs. The Elders are
going to teach them both! On the other hand, our newly found friend is
such a great miracle! After the fast and testimony meeting, her eyes
were so teary. We've had a really spiritual Sabbath! The members
welcomed her warmly and we are going to see her again this week! I am
so looking forward to meet her again!

I hope you guys are having a fantastic time! Cherish the weather
wherever you are as someone is freezing out here. ;)

Oh by the way, the subject line means "I'm full all the time."
#GainingWeightAllDayEveryDay


Til next PDay,
Sister Ordanza





Perks of living in England, wearing winter coats in the middle of summer. Lol

The England London Mission road

4 Ipswich zone training meeting

My MTC groupmates: Elder Hesen (California), Elder Moreno (Spain)
and Elder Horvath (Hungary). Lucky to serve together in the same zone!

 Elder Sunglao from Taytay, Rizal

Asian party on the way back to Colchester from zone training meeting

The Bueno family from Brazil! Love them!!! ❤️

Monday, July 06, 2015

Just another quick email

We had a great week again. I can't believe how time flies by so fast.
I've been here in Enfield for a month now. (And it's been a month
since I had the chicken pox. Lol)
We had five people at church yesterday and we had a lot of success on
extending baptismal dates. We also had a baptism last Saturday which I
don't have it in my iPad at the moment as we took photos on our
cameras. Lol

Yeah, anyway, we finally got to meet President and Sister Stevens!
Ohmydays. I am starting to love them. They are both wonderful and so
spiritual.

My accounting freak friends, my new mission president is a partner of
the biggest accounting firm in the world! And as all of you know,
Sister Stevens was the former General Primary 1st Counselor until she
was released last April 2015 General Conference.

We had a really busy week and a hectic one ahead. I am exhausted but I
am enjoying it so much. It's so good to be tired helping others to
come unto Christ.

Til next week,
Sister Ordanza




Our Filipino and Australian reactions to the British summer heat.
We hit 34 degrees last week, yeah, that's in Celsius. (It's a
different heat here than there in the U.S./Canada)


Our zone!


At Wembley chapel



Monday, June 22, 2015

READ THIS EMAIL FROM SISTER ORDANZA. NOT A SPAM.

know a lot of you ignore long weekly emails that's why most of the time I keep mine short. This one, I won't.

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so sorry if I haven't been able to email you for the past weeks, I am not ignoring you or anything like that. And Ma, don't worry, I didn't forget yours and Pa's 25th wedding anniversary!

I was in "isolation" for almost two weeks. Yeah, I got a very contagious disease, CHICKEN POX. A very common thing for children and when you get it in your adulthood, it is so unpleasant. I had it from head to toe. Yeah, my face is ruined. Pre-mission = ugly. Almost at the end of the mission = THE UGLIEST.
I don't know who I got it from, we meet and get in contact with a lot of people everyday.

Those two weeks was the loneliest day of my life. If you know me well, you know how I can't just sit in a bench or somewhere else without talking to someone or making new friends wherever I go. But this time, I have nobody to talk to. Whenever I see myself in the mirror, I just cry thinking who is that awful monster in front of me. For reals.

My dear friends, it was during those times when I had the overwhelming feeling from the spirit that the Atonement is real. That Jesus Christ is real. It was during those times that I thought of that Man in Gethsemane and when He was on the cross in Calvary, because He walked on that path alone, you and I are never meant to walk on this journey alone.

I still do my personal study and I was studying faith that day. I came across an article about the pioneer saints and early missionaries of the church. Their examples gave me strength to carry on, to press forward during those difficult times of my life. They died on the mission field, they got cholera and other worse diseases but they never complain. It wasn't easy for them, it wasn't easy for the Saviour, nor it will be easy for me as well. My experience wasn't nor will it ever be the same compared to theirs, but I know I learned a lot.

We didn't have the chance to attend church on the 7th (as I'm still contagious) and we were expecting few of our friends to attend church that day especially because of Elder Holland's broadcast. Our friend who is getting ready to be baptised in two weeks confirmed that he is coming. Because me and my companion were severely ill for almost a week, we haven't arranged a lift for him. We tried arranging on Saturday night but everyone we asked told us that they are planning to walk to church that day as the weather will be good. (Side note: People back home, please appreciate the sunshine there. People here get so excited whenever they see even just tiny little rays of the sun. I have never I appreciated the sun and heat back home until I came here in the country of rain, damp and cold. Love it!) Anyways, we were just sad that he won't be able to make it during that great day. Imagine our surprise when the Elders called us after the broadcast telling us that our friend came! We immediately called him and he told us that he walked all over from his house to the chapel, vice versa, (it's almost 8 miles). We asked why did he do it and his answer just brought happiness to our dying bodies. He said, "Sisters, you told me that an Apostle of the Lord is coming to speak, I really wanted to see him and hear whatever he will say. What he spoke of today is exactly what I just needed!" We just stared to each other with tears rolling down our eyes. I know that Heavenly Father will help His people to draw closer to Him by sending His servants, the prophets and apostles.(We are just sad that we won't witness his baptism.)

Transfers came by. Yes, since I have been in King's Lynn for almost six months, I am getting transferred. To our surprise, Sister Mekonnen is moving as well! President Jordan told us that it is better for her to move than to stay here because of her feet. Remember my emails before, her feet got worse. So she needs to be in a car area and in our mission, there is only one area that has car for sister missionaries. That's in Thetford. They cover two wards which are both American wards as they have the Base there. Anyways, Sister Mekonnen will be serving there with Sister Quinn!!! She will still be in the same district as King's Lynn.

Members in King's Lynn was so sad that both of us were leaving. We definitely did our very best in that area in terms of member missionary work and everything, we left a lot of teaching pool for the sisters who are coming. We are proud to say that "we left our area stronger than we found it" as stated in Preach My Gospel.

I couldn't travel using public transport - train, buses or tubes - , so Sister Mekonnen left 6am in the morning for her to move to her new area and by the instructions of President Jordan, I was on my own at the flat waiting for my ride. The Baxter's (one of the couple missionaries in the mission office) were so great! They weren't scared of me. They came with my new companion and picked me about 13:30. It took them four hours to get to King's Lynn from London and it took us five hours to go back and be dropped off at my new flat.

As for me, I moved to Enfield, part of London, the ghetto part. I am back in the big city and it will probably be my last area. My new companion is just so sweet and so gorgeous. She is from Australia and is a Samoan! She was surprised that I can pronounced her last name properly and I told her that I am used to Polynesians last names back home. I feel sorry for her to see me on this state though and she's stuck with me. What's exciting in our area is that we are serving in an African ward!!! Wohoooooo! I love them so much. We have four families in the ward from the Philippines. In fact, we had a dinner appointment with them last night. I am just looking forward to fully recover soon and to have a blast!

I didn't get to shake Elder Holland's hands last Friday but I am still glad that I was allowed to attend the conference with him. He is such a powerful man.

I know that if we work our hardest and give all that we have, Heavenly Father will make up the rest and miracles happen. This principle applies to all of us my friends, whether you are in university, at work, at home or anywhere.

The joy that this work that has been brought to my life is so enormous that I feel I won't get if I didn't choose to serve a full-time mission. Missionary work is the best work everyone could ever have!

I love you all.

-Sister Ordanza

P.S
1. Thetford last district meeting for the transfer
2. Our whole mission in front of the Royal Albert Hall after the conference with Elder Holland. Can you spot me?!
3. Our baptism this Saturday. Rockin' those chicken pox scars. Ewww.


Ola!

I know it's a lame subject line, but...

Dear Family and Friends,

We have had a really great week! Remember the miracle that I shared last week? So, he "investigated" the church three years ago and he went to a country where unfortunately, the church isn't there YET. Few weeks ago, he came back to England, that was the time that he referred himself at the website. Anyways, he asked us which MTC we went and we told him that we went to Preston MTC. He told us that one of the missionaries who taught him is a teacher there. I found out that's one of my teachers! K. That's just the background story. Lol I'm so lame in telling stories. Hahaha. Anyways, I reviewed my journal entries back in the MTC days. And what did I found out??? Ohmydays!!! That guy was one of my "investigators" in the MTC played by my MTC teacher!!! She did a really good job in pretending to be like him in our TRC!! Oh my. Anyways...

The other miracle happened yesterday. We went to visit one of our potential investigators in one of our areas that we cover, the Eastern European community that I was talking about in my previous emails. Anyways, it turned out that the potential already moved out, but the couple who are living there are way nice, plus they're Brits! Wohoooo!! The girl lived with her cousin who is a Mormon and has been taught by missionaries in Birmingham Mission before. They are so golden! They invited us over for a dinner and teaching appointment again this week! I love how the Lord works in preparing His children to learn of the restored gospel.

I just want to share this with all of you:
 “Every person is different and has a different contribution to make. No one is destined to fail.”
-Henry B. Eyring

The Lord loves and is mindful of you. It doesn't matter what or how you think you are, you have that divine potential to become the son or daughter of our Father in Heaven that He is expects you to become. He knows your weaknesses and is fully aware of all your struggles.

I love this work and I know that the church is true. I hope you all will have a great and fantastic week ahead! Oppss, by the way, next week is transfers, so our PDay will be in Tuesday.

Love,
Sister Ordanza

My beloved Norwich zone! Can you watch this? This is a video made by our mission

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Late Email

Sorry, we just got back from the stake barbecue activity...(grab the opportunity while the sun lasts).☀☀☀🍔🍔🍔

Dear Family and Friends,

First of all, I want to congratulate my friends back home who got their mission calls! Sister Duking in the Washington Tacoma, Sister Phoebe Biolena in the Phils. Cauayan and Sister Princess Biolena in the Phils. Cebu missions. So proud of y'all!!! ðŸ‘

Our week has been so great. I know how to pray now in Latvian, Lithuanian, and Portuguese. Hahaha. Be proud of me. Lol

We've had exchanges this week and I stayed here in King's Lynn with Sister Ferrell. YES, THE ONE AND ONLY SISTER FERRELL!!! Yeah, my second companion in Kettering. I miss her so much! We've had a blast that day. I love it. ðŸ˜€

Guess who came to church yesterday? Yes, our investigators/friends (we don't really use the word "investigators" in our mission, we use "friends" rather") ...also my favourite family that we've been teaching since I came in this area attended church again yesterday, they're the one who are quiet less-active members. They've been coming to church regularly now and the twin boys are getting the Aaronic priesthood next week!!! Ahhhh. And our friend from Angola who's getting ready to be baptised next month invited his friend to church and to learn more of the gospel! I just love these moments. I will definitely miss the people here, so bad!

One particular miracle that I want to share with you happened the other day. We received a Mormon.org referral. To be quite honest, most of the time, throughout my time here in the field, all the referral that I encountered through that source are all pranks. But we visited and contacted him anyways. I should have more faith though because he turned out to be one of those "golden" people that I've ever met. (I already repented in case you're wondering :D) he came to us at the barbecue today and will come to church this Sunday!!!

Para as mga Pinoy kong kaibigan lamang:
(Yes Nico, kinapi paste ko yung chismis ko sayo haha. Pasensya tamad mag-type eh) Yung area ko ngayon ay sa King's Lynn, Norfolk. I google niyo yung Sandringham House/Estate. Malapit lang yun sa amin. Isa yan sa mga bahay ng mga dugong bughaw. Nung Sabado, nasa area na yan kami. Naglalakad kami and ang super init so nag decide kami ng companion ko na mag bili ng maiinom sa isang local shop, medyo maliit lang yung shop, kasi nasa village eh. Guess kung sinong naabutan naming namimili aside sa dalawang matanda na customer din? Si Kate Middleton! Homaygas. Nakakaloka! Sobrang simple nya teh. Naka jeans lang ang lola mo and naka pony tail. And sobrang ganda ng ante mo. Well...may bodyguards nga lang.

Til next week,
Sister Ordanza


Norwich and Ipswich (combined Cambridge and Colchester)
zone conference


Because we love selfies...


Us with Brother John, we love him so much!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The past week!!

The other one was supposed to be for the previous week. I apologise!

Dear Family and Friends,

Oh my goodness! We've had a great week full of miracles! Seriously.
I don't even know where to start. Lol
Yesterday, we've had a stake conference and I felt the spirit so strong.

We tried working on our potential investigators section in our area
book. We found a name that says they are from Portugal. We called them
and set an appointment with them.

We didn't have much time finding while we were on our way there, but
we found two amazing people from Kenya and Nigeria. They are coming to
church this Sunday. We were 10 minutes late on our appointment...but
we found a family of seven!!! Oh dear. They are so amazing. Because of
that, me and my companion are learning how to pray in Portuguese and
some missionary discussions in Portuguese.

I testify that every people will hear the gospel in their own tongue
and Heavenly Father prepares people in our path as we rely solely on
Him.

This is a great work to be engaged in!

Next week,
Sister Ordanza




One of my favourite young woman in the ward. #PolkaPower


Our zone PDay. I changed my outfit already son don't judge me. :p