Monday, December 12, 2011


We got your package this week!!!!
We told the zone leaders on Tuesday
before they went down to Cauayan the next day, that they should bring us back
any packages or mail. They texted me and Sister M Wednesday afternoon saying,
" guys owe us big. Sister Fort's got some lovin coming her way
from Texas." And we got really excited. We opened the package in our room
and pulled everything out with an OOO and AHH. Sis M loved her card and shirt
and stocking and everything! I put on my new dress and Sister M played Michael
Buble and we danced in our big downstairs. We emptied our stockings and wore
them on our feet as we read our beautiful cards (which are now on display in
our room) We've been snacking on sugar free turtles and nuts this whole week,
and we've also finished reading the book you sent. And we've been wearing our
Chuy's shirts! Oh its so good to have a little piece of home like that. And I
love my cardigans. I smelled them and they smelled like target. You probably
think that so weird, but I miss that smell SO MUCH. There is nothing like that
new clothes smell here. The capo works like magic! I was using one of the capos
here and it was so terrible and out of tune. Sister M and I are getting ready
to sing Silent Night at our upcoming Christmas Zone Conference on the 20th,
yayy! With my new capo. Thank you so so so so sos o sos os o sos so much momma.
I couldn't wait to open everything, as you can see... Thank you so much.
I'm going to send this now so I can
send more pictures.
Here are some pics of me and Sister
M planning. We went out one day this week and walked in the pouring rain. We
only have one umbrella between the two of us and its broken nyways, so we got
soaked. None of our investigators were home, and this is a little glimpse into
our planning that night. :)
something crazy that happened to us this week in Sister M's words:
"Sister Fort and i were
downtown in our area, we were trying to contact a referral we were given by
some other missionaries. As we were walking down the hustle and bustle of the
night street we turned down a road and as we were walking i started to look up
to the sky and then started to slow down my walk because my eyes caught
something in the night sky.......i didn't know what it was at first and turned
around to Sister Fort who was walking behind me and said "do you see
that!?" and she looked up and she stopped walking in shock. We turned to
people on the street and asked if they knew what it was but as we looked around
everyone’s heads were lifted up to the night sky in amazement and shock. Sister
Fort and i started running and we crossed the streets getting closer to where
they were coming from and we looked up and started watching what we saw in the
sky and realized we were watching UFO's. We probably saw close to 20 UFO's. I
am not joking, it was crazy, i felt like we were in a movie. I took some
videos, but they don't give justice to what we experienced. Most of the videos
are long but i took some short ones so i could send. Sorry you can't tell by
this video but you can on my other ones. IT was crazy!"
It was so creepy and weird and I
felt like I was on War of the Worlds or something. I will send pictures....
Anyways. We found the referral we
were given that night and taught them. The referral was actually two kids--a 9
and 10 year old. The mother is a member and the father is not. We asked the
father, Robert Zalun, to join in on our lesson and taught about prophets. He is
actually the only person in his family that isn't a member. He had so many
questions like--is there just one prophet on the earth at the same time and
where does the book of Mormon come from and why is it called the book of Mormon.
We shared our answers and the spirit was there. We expressed our desire to come
back and have him be in all of our lessons to his children, and he agreed. Me and
SisM are excited about this. They can be a forever family!
Sister M and I got to watch the 1st
Presidency Christmas devotional last night. It touched my heart so deeply. And
with our reading of Luke, I've been feeling a different Christmas spirit that I
hope to have in so many more of my Christmases to come. Christ is the Savior of
the World. He lives. He loves me and you and everyone. I am grateful to know
this and to share it with so many others.
LOVE YOU MOMMA, sos os os
sososososososo much. Love you my family and friends, See YOU soon !!!
Sister Fort

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Almost HOME !!!! :)

Dearest Momma, Family, and Friends,
I am exhausted right now. We woke up
at 5:00am to go fishing this morning with our district. But like we guessed our
meeting time wasn't 6:00am at all, but turned out to be like 8am. We fished
with bamboo rods and didn't catch one thing, but it was so nice to see a river
and wade calf-deep in the water. Wearing pants is kinda weird. I will try to
attach pictures from Sis M's memory card. For some reason my memory card is
broken? You can't see my pictures on my camera or on the computer.
We found another investigator named
Gina. She is so wonderful, I just love love love her. She catches on so quick
to everything we teach her, and doesn't judge or contrast our religion with her
current one. She doesn't look at us like we're American, she looks at us like
we're missionaries. We found her tracting one night, looking for a referral
given to us. We taught her about prophets and told her that we have a living
prophet today. She kind of put her hand on her chest and said, "huh. Thats
the first time I've ever heard of that." We commited her to pray to know
if that is true, and she said she would. We will go back to teach the
restoration this week.
Sis M has been really sick this
week. It has been sooooooooooooooooo hot lately, and one night we had a black
out the entire night, which meant our fans didn't work of course. We think
thats whats caused her sickness. We are constantly sweating.
Even though she's been sick though,
she's pushed herself to work. One day we went out in the morning and got 5
lessons, so she could come back and rest for a good chunk of the day. Then she
forced herself out again that night.
We write down every day what we find
joy in and share them with each other every night in planning. Things like:
lizards doing funny things, seeing a kid sitting on a big stack of hoses,
riding in a tricycle with 12 school kids packed all around us, electric fans,
teaching people like Gina, etc.
I've been learning so many
weaknesses of mine since I've been with Sister M. Sighhhh. She calls this time
of my mission: Marriage and Family Prep 101, crash course. I hope we will still
be together for Christmas, dahhhhhhh. President keeps saying no promises. I
just want her to be my last compy. I’ve
learned so much on my mission about my responsibilities in a relationship, and
what I might need to change. Changes are
ongoing efforts, and I’m improving on realizations all the time. It really helps when you are so in tune with
the spirit and He directs you in all you need to accomplish. I pray that I will always remember this.
I love you all and I look forward to seeing you all on
JANUARY 30th, 2012. How
exciting!! Can’t wait to hug everyone
again and squeeze those little babies. I
get to be there for Nichelle and Jared’s fourth!!!! Yaayyyy!
Sister Fort :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanks for the HOLIDAYS ;) MISSING YOU :)

I found a huge nest of ants in my desk. We were coloring and
ants kept coming from somewhere. So I pulled my drawer out and found them
swarming. We did a deep clean, and I found a hole in the wood in the back of
one of the drawers that they were hiding in.
One morning this week, as we were exercising, a member, Sister De Guzman, came
by with three huge bags of fruit! Bananas, mandarin oranges, and mangoes. Cause
a few days ago we told her we loved fruit but didn't know where to find it. I
asked her how much for all of it, and she said nothing. We were almost in tears
we were so grateful.
My english is SO BAD. I don’t have an accent, but the other day as we were
looking for a place to sit in stake conference, I told SisM, "Hey look!
There's a white people." And she said, "Yeah they're sitters." (They’re
sitting) Ohhh goodness. But we understand each other, so it’s okay. English major…whaaaaat ;/ I pray that all of my previous abilities will
come back to me quickly.
So this weekend, we had Stake Conference, which explains why President and SIster
Carlos were in town. You will never believe what they did for me. So about 3
LTPs ago, I wrote President and told him about how I miss frozen yogurt and
cornbread and your hugs. Well, Sister Carlos, the minute she saw me, told me
she had a surprise for me. Then she brought us out to the car later and pulled
out a container filled with CORNBREAD and she bought me one of those little
bear containers filled with honey. Isn't that so sweet. The next day President
saw us and asked, "What'd you two eat for dinner last night?" we
smiled and answered, "Cornbread." Then he went on to say how he
didn't know Sister Carlos knew to make cornbread....A little bird told her or
something. I love Brother and Sister
Carlos very much.
The messages we heard at this stake conference were so amazing, that at times
it almost felt like I was home. (it was also all in English) Elder Teh, the
area President of the
Philippines came to speak. He spoke on martial they need to be our husbands need to love
their wives and wives here need to stay home with their children--as they so
often go abroad to make a living and leave their families behind. We took good
notes. They also focused a lot on tithing and temple attendance.

This week we fasted for discernment
about our investigators. Who we should stop going to etc. We've received
inspiration that we need to focus on finding new investigators. This work is so
hard, but we will persevere as long as we are willing, we will be guided to
those who will have an open heart and know the truth when it enters in.
Christmas is around the corner and we have already decorated here :) It is one of my favorite times of year. Thanksgiving too! All of the holidays that you are with family and close friends. I miss you all very much, but it won't be long now that I can hold a baby again and hug and kiss everyone that I so love.
I have sent videos of me as grapes for Halloween and getting locked out of our apartment. I love you all!
Sister Fort

Sunday, October 16, 2011

GENERAL CONFERENCE a Missionary Spiritual Vacation :)

Dearest Momma!!!!!!!
And OMG! I am so oooo jealous you and poppa are going to a concert!!! Please take pictures and send them to me! I would totally have loved to go with you two.
They don’t celebrate Halloween here. There's maybe one store I saw with Halloween decorations, but they don’t go out and do trick-or-treating or anything. There are actually more Christmas decorations out now. And we're singing Christmas hymns in our meetings and lessons. It’s pretty crazy how early they get Christmas going here. But if you think about it...there's no Halloween or Thanksgiving, so why not?
General Conference was a missionary spiritual vacation. Sister Martinez and I have been talking about it, for the past two weeks, how excited we are for general conference. And now its come and gone. Nooooooo.
We watched GC at the chapel down the street on hard, wooden benches. I learned so much. And was touched in the most intimate ways. President Uchtdorf's talk basically blew my brain cells, and my mind was so opened to an eternal perspective (4 months left in my mission is nothing). I loved how he said that we are nothing compared to God, but to God, we are everything. We are why he's created these majestic and beautiful things. We are why there is a plan and a Savior. I just wish I could have the words of his talk burned into my brain and heart and spirit, for the times here in the mission that I feel like what I'm doing is useless. It's hard sometimes when you don’t see baptisms or people coming to church, to feel that you are doing something good as a missionary. You can be as obedient and as prepared as ever, but have no tangible or visible fruits from your labor. President tells me my calling is to bless lives. When I step back and think of how simple my calling is and how all I need to do is my best, I am comforted. But the challenge is stepping back every now and then.
I LOVED Elaine S. Dalton's talk. I cried about 3 times during it, and actually wanted to bawl, but withheld myself from doing so. Her talk was about how fathers should raise their daughters. By just loving their mother. Sigh. This is sooooo true. I hope that every father out there listened to that and will try to do that.
We had two investigators come to the first session of conference on Sunday. Kristian Laylay was one of them. It was amazing, Momma, to watch conference with his needs in mind. His questions and concerns were answered perfectly. After the session, he was beaming, and he said it was so good and inspiring. This was his first time to come to church. Can you imagine your first time coming to church and hearing prophets and apostles speak. We taught him after and he said he felt like all the things they said were true. We are really working on the Laylay family--helping iron out their concerns and answer their questions. They are such good, good people. And so Catholic. They ask me about your conversion a lot, and what blessings we've received from the gospel. I’m so glad that I get to share your story with so many, and it has such an effect on their understanding and thoughts about the gospel being true. At least it helps them want to find out for themselves.
As we were watching general conference, Sister Martinez turned to me and said, "There’s no way this church isn't true." It's so true. This general conference, I've felt my mind expanded and my mortal eyes peeled to catch just a small glimpse of who God is and what His plan is for us. I wish it could be general conference every day.
President told us we could ride on the ferris wheel here in Atulayan a few weeks ago. I've attached the pictures. I also took a picture of the feet of a cute lizard on our curtains.
We ate fresh crabs and prawns last Saturday at a member's in San Gabriel. But for lunch, Sis. M. and I eat a lot of tuna and bread. We still exercise every day. What else what else....
I LOVE seeing my family! Send me pictures!
Okay well. I love you so much. And know that I think of you often and love you so muchhchchchchchchcch sosoosoosososossoso much. We’ll get to talk in about 2 months! Yayyyy!
I have nothing else to say really. Tell people I love them and kiss them all for me. Especially all the babiessss, I can't wait to see them and squeeze them and play with them! I love you all and miss you very much!
Sister Fort

Sunday, October 9, 2011

GOOD TIMES, GOOD PEOPLE to share with :)

Dearest momma, my sweet family, and dear friends :)
Its fiesta time here, and besides the big ferris wheel in Atulayan, the townspeople here have strung streamers made of old cellphone adds all over the streets. One night, OCT 1st at 4:00am, a woman on a loud speaker said repeated prayers in ybbanag and her voice sounded like the lady at the Disneyland haunted mansion ride. Yeeee it was creepy.
This week has been a fun one. We had our last district meeting of the short, weird, 3 week cycle and Elder Goobie was going home, so he gave me a huge box of mashed potato mix his mom sent him, and Sister Martinez a huge box of knorrs sidekicks pasta mixes.
On Wednesday, Sister Sajol left to go home. We did laundry in the back as she packed her things and she said goodbye to us in a rush. We hugged her all sweaty. Sister Martinez and I cleaned the entire apartment when they left (I’ve attached lots of picures). We found this old cabinet in some locked hidden room, dusted it off, and shuffled it into our room to put our clothes in. We mopped and rearranged our kitchen and cloroxed just bout everything. We tried to make waffles for dinner, but the waffle maker kept making the batter stick to it. Then we tried pancakes…same thing. We ate cereal instead.
Transfer day was supposed to be Thursday, but it was rescheduled due to storms and things. So Sister Dhikao came home with two other companions. Sister Adino and Sister Lumauag! When Sister Adino saw me she freaked out and hugged me about 20 times. She told me how much she missed me, that I got skinny, and she left me a note with stationary on my desk before she left in the morning. We ate dinner by candlelight at the Luis family home.
So our apartment got dirty again. Sis. M and I wanted it to be clean for our new housemate, so we did some touch up cleaning again :)
Our new apartment mate is Sister Galang! She is Filipina and has the sweetest, softest voice ever and wears turquoise skirts with polka dot shirts. I hear Sis Dhikao and her giggling at night in their room and the feel of our apartment is so peaceful and sweet.
Our sink was clogged for three days in a row. We tried plunging it with a plunger, pouring hot water down it, and using drain cleaner. Nothing worked so we called the super. He came and plugged it with his hand and started beating on it like he was doing cpr. Sis M and I gave each other crazy looks like…he thinks that’s going to work? He did it a few more times and then it started to drain! We laughed in amazement. Then we showed him something that was wrong with our doorknob upstairs (whenever we shut the door, we’d be trapped inside and opened the door by grabbing the lock with scissors and manually pushing it back into the door).
Jeanann Laylay is one of our investigators! Before one of our lessons this week, she told me that she messaged you on facebook and I was happy cause I knew you’d worry. Actually, the last typhoon that hit here last cycle was so much worse here than the two that went through this week—when we walked through flood waters to get to our investigators. We are so safe and I don’t feel in danger at all.
We had three investigators come to church on Sunday yayy! Cecilio was one of them. He’s about my age and lives with the patriarch and the patriarchs family here. He has been our investigator since May, but he’s struggling with cigarettes. We made him a calendar, where he sticks smiley faces on days where he’s decreased his intake. He actually got a few smilies now, and we are so so happy he came to church! It just means he has a desire to change. He wanted to leave after sacrament because he was shy about his t-shirt and jeans, but Sister M and I tracked him down, practically pulled him into the priesthood room, and he stayed all three hours. We went to his house later in the afternoon and shared about repentance. He listens so intently and is so sincere in his desire to change, I feel it.
We are still doing all we can to prepare our lessons well. We are now trying to be more specific and bold with our commitments to investigators. And our companionship studies are amazzzzinnnng. We quote prophets and scriptures and learn so much from one another.
I don’t know what else to say….I love you all and miss you all and thank you all for all that you do for me. Keep me in your prayers, you are all in mine. I love you Grandma!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


With the crafts I made
2. With Sister Aquino (member who feeds us every sunday)
3. Today. Today is Sister Sajols birthday. Sister Adino and I woke up at 4 and made a note scavenger hunt around our house and a card for her from all of us.

Also, every day, I hear a pig being slaughtered at 4:30am. The pigs scream so loudly. It is the most disturbing/revolting sound in the world.

September 11th So Sorry I'm in a Hurrrrrrry ;)

Momma!!! My sweet Family and Friends :)
This week has been a good, good week. On Tuesday Sister Martinez and I went to the chapel to practice the song we would sing for our zone conference on Thursday. (We sang "Because I have Been Given Much" with an added verse written by Kenneth Cope about missionary work. We sang with the elders. Zone Conference was wonderful. We talked about what five things make a Preach My Gospel missionary: 1. They understand that they serve and represent Jesus Christ. 2. They are worthy. 3. They treasure up the words of eternal life. 4. They understand that the Holy Ghost is the ultimate teacher. and 5. They understand that teaching is much more than talking and telling. It was such a spirtual conference, full of spiritual promptings and musical numbers and love from President and Sister Carlos. I love them so much. They are such good people. Brother Pete made us scalloped potatoes and baked ziti for lunch. President and Sister Carlos sat down and ate with Sister Martinez and I at our table. President asked us how it was in our apartment with four girls. Then know...I'm losing a lot of my sister missionaries (they're going home) so I'm going to have to do a lot of switching around of apartments and areas. He then told us that we will be moved TOGETHER to a different area to reopen! Cool huh?? I've never heard of a companionship being transferred together. But president just really feels we are good together.
And you know what? We are. We work so well with one another. We are so in sync. We have detailed companionship study every day, and we plan out lessons to a T. Sometimes we get out late because of all of the preparations, but our lessons are so wonderful. I read in D&C section 50 about how you can tell if the Spirit is with you--if both parties are edified. I've had moments this week in my teaching, where I've said things that I never thought of before, that just came out. We are doing all we can. I can honestly say that. To help our Savior and Heavenly Father in their work, and I know people are feeling it.
Lately in my personal study, aside from the Book of Mormon, I've been studying the teachings of the prophet Brigham Young. Oh my goodness. It has been so eye-opening for me. I more clearly see the nature of our Heavenly Father--that he is not some huge being everywhere, but he is a man with a body and dwells in a kingdom somewhere out there, and communicates to us through His Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost can actually enter into us, because it does not have a body, to communicate with us what our Heavenly Father would want us to hear. I've heard of these things before, but there’s something about the power and language of Brigham Young that has brought them so clearly into my understanding.
I love this: "We are under obligation to trust in our God; and this is the ground-work of all we can do ourselves." FAITH. Everything we do is based on faith.
We have an investigator named Cecilio who is having a tough time quitting his cigarettes. And we feel that because of that, his desire to come to church and commit to baptism has dwindled. He's lost hope. We made him a calendar that he can stick smiles on every day that he feels like he's worked hard or tried to reduce his intake. He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. He shared a beautiful, simple experience he had with the Book of Mormon at his school that testified to him it was true. He read from it in a spare moment he had, and the Spirit helped him to feel peace and warmth as he read.

We are teaching the Laylay family. They said that one day they talked about a lesson we had shared to them, after we had left. Our lesson was on Saviors Earthly Ministry and Apostasy. When they talked about the lesson they said, "Why else would they be here (talking about us), so far from their families, working in storms and the heat, walking all day to far places, if what they were sharing wasn't true." They know the church is true. They know Joseph Smith was a prophet. They know everything we share with them is right and good. They are currently praying to know if they should be baptized. We are trying to help them realize they're received an answer. Satan is working hard on them too. Yesterday, they had said they would come to church, but they couldn't because the Jehovah’s Witness missionaries came to their home right at 8:30 and stayed late. (Church starts at 9) Can you believe it? Sighhh. Our opposition is so obvious and strong.
But we are doing all we can.

I got your packages!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! The pictures from Kiliana made me cry. Gabriella is SO BEAUTIFUL. She's gorgeous. And Joshy is so tall! You all look wonderful and so skinny! And my brothers are so handsome.

People tell me I am fluent, and I feel fluent. My words just come and they come fast. I thank Heavenly Father for this beautiful gift every day. Now that I can speak, I can actually teach and say what I want to say.
This week I thought I got a bot fly on my ankle. I took a picture. YUK !!! It was just a bad infection from an insect :(
I love you so much momma. I miss you. I really do. Thank you for your emails. They brighten my week. I miss all of you so very much.
Love, love, love, I LOVE you all. Thank you for everything.
Sister Fort