Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Dear Momma and wonderful family and friends! What a week it has been. (The picture is of me and one of my fave elders. Elder Deriada. In Santiago)

We went to Santiago on Tuesday for the mission tours. Elder Keith Edwards of the seventy came to train/speak with us. His presentation/talk/discussion, whatever you classify it as, reminded me of some of the lesson's/lectures I'd experienced at BYU-I. It was SO refreshing to dig deep into the Doctrine and Covenants and learn about the nature of Heavenly Father. He talked a lot about purification and bringing all we have to the alter. The spirit was thick and warm. I cried when I remembered my actual coming on a it took so much faith for me to actually make the jump and put my trust in Him. I have been putting myself on the alter since I have been out. He compared our putting it in the alter to Abraham's sacrifice. What trust he had in God. And he explained that before the blessings, we need to suffer and be chastened. I sat silently through the whole presentation and listened and soaked things in.
After the meeting, as we ate pork barbecue and actual green leafy salad (something I haven't had in about 10 months) President Carlos tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I wanted to be interviewed by Elder Edwards. I kind of experienced a small heart attack, and then slowly nodded my head. I asked, "Bakit po, President?" And he just smiled as he walked away.
Elder Edwards began our interview by kneeling in prayer. I don’t remember his prayer cause I was too busy praying myself. We sat facing one another and he asked me to tell him about myself. I never know what to say when people ask me to tell them about I asked what he wanted to know. I told him about my family, where I'm from, and basics. And he asked me how my missions going. I told him good. He asked me how my Tagalog was going. I told him, it’s been coming slowly, and sometimes I still feel like a small child when I speak. He told me there was nothing wrong with sounding like a small child. In fact, that was a good thing. Then he asked me what one thing I've learned is. I told him patience and longgggggggg suffering--to be patient with myself, to be patient with difficult situations, etc. Then he asked if he could do something for me.
I told him about how sometimes I just want to go home. I know this is the work of my Father in Heaven; I know this is the most important work, but sometimes I just want to give up. I told him that sometimes I'm not working because I want to, but I'm working because I feel like I was commanded to. I want to do this work because I love it and because I love my Savior and Heavenly Father, not because I've been commanded. He paused and smiled a closed smile. He looked me in the eyes and said, "There's nothing wrong with wanting to go home. That just means home is a good place." And he told me about how the Savior even asked for his cup to be removed from Him. He also told me about how doing something because it is a commandment is good enough.
Of course by this time I was in tears, and he said, "Can I give you a blessing?" And the moment he said that I thought of all of the priesthood blessings I've asked for from Pop, from my brothers, from missionaries, from President, and here, my Heavenly Father was wanting to speak to me. I felt the literal love of my Father in Heaven. The blessing was beautiful and promised so many beautiful things momma. After he called me by name and everything, the first thing he said was, "Heavenly Father knows your every tear." And right when he said that, a tear fell down my cheek. It talked about how I have to be chastened and tried first, before I receive the wonderful blessings in store for me. There are so many things promised to me. It’s just hard to see them when I'm trekking through the mud. I expressed thanks to Elder Edwards, and he pointed me to the direction of the bathroom, to find a tissue :)
President saw me after, patted me on the back and said, "Wasn’t that a special experience?" And it was, and I am so grateful to have been one of the chosen missionaries to be interviewed by him.
So many other amazing things happened this week!
We found a man named Tirso who speaks kind of like the Spanish guy in The Princess Bride--slow and gently, kind of? He told us about how he was in prison for 7 years and read the bible the whole time. He said he's met founders of religions--of Iglesia ni Cristo, Espirtista, etc., but he still has not found answers to his questions. He's been listening to us for about 2 weeks now, and welcomes us warmly every time. He comes with questions like, aren't there two types of the holy priesthood? And what are the three kingdoms I've read about in the bible? and why would God plant the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden if he knew it would separate us from him? Every time we teach him, we are so excited, because he just wants to know everything. Its amazing to think that even after meeting these high ranked ecclesiastical leaders, he is listening to a 24 year old girl from Texas speak 2-year old Tagalog and he believes. Sister Roncal and I can see the lights turn on in his head after every answer we give him. I am reminded of the scripture in Mosiah 23:10-11. I am weak, but in my weakness, I am an instrument of my Father in Heaven. It’s almost like I can literally see the truth pass from me to the hearts of those I teach. And maybe years from now they will never remember my name or my face, but I am so happy that I played a small part of bringing them the full truth.
A mission is hard. People say it all the time. It’s true. But I am given so many more blessings than I deserve for the small service I am rendering. And those blessings, I've been promised, will reach through eternity.
I love my Heavenly Father. He is my literal Father and I've never felt it so often and so real than I have here in His service. I love you momma. I know there's a plan for me.
Love you!
Tell grandma I love her and can’t wait to hug her again. Tell everyone that I love them and can’t wait to see and hug them too. I love you all.
Sister Fort
PS we also had District Conference this week and Elder Misalucha of the seventy came and spoke. So, this week I shook two general authorities' hands. Lucky :) :) :)!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I LOVE MY MISSION!!!! So Happy to Serve :)

Our work has been really great this week. Sister Perla is golden. She is the woman who lives the absolute farthest of all of our investigators and has a son on a mission in Davao. When we showed up to our last appointment with her, we asked her how her word of wisdom was going. She's quit coffee and tea and has switched to hot chocolate. We taught her about the law of chastity, and she was open to follow everything. Before we closed we asked her if she had any questions or things she wanted to add. She pulled out her book of mormon and had a list of questions scribbled down on some lined paper, and started asking us about the chapters she read in 1Nephi, which we hadn't assigned to her. She told us that before she goes to sleep she hides on their stairway and reads by a flashlight--so her husband can't see and wont tell her to stop (he is always drunk). She asked us questions like, "Why was Jerusalem going to be destroyed?" and "Who is Laban?" It was so cute. As we explained, her face was so engaged and she reminded me of a small child. We asked her if she would come to church and instead of her past answers like, "we'll see..." or "I'll try" she said "I'm going." She showed up to church and stayed the whole three hours. Sister Roncal and I were talking about her the other day. She is the farthest of all of our investigators, but she is amazing. We used to work in other far areas where none of our investigators were progressing, and every time we'd be done with a lesson, we'd have such a hard time finding a tricycle on the way back and our time would just be wasted walking forever. But with Perla, even though she is so far, we have never had a problem finding a tricycle. There is always one that just comes by by chance. But I know that is the design of our Heavenly Father--he sends us tricycles, because its right that we are there.
Yesterday we taught a man named Danny. He's about 60 and after our message, talked about how Christ told people to let their light so shine. He said, "You are the light to us." I felt the spirit so strongly as he spoke and almost cried. I heard the spirit say something to me like, "See daughter? You're a light."
I really love this work. I am excited to wake up and just get out and teach people. The other day Sister Roncal and I got 7 lessons in one day. I think that may be the most I've ever gotten in a day. And every single one was beautiful. I slept really well that night.Heres a picture of nelson's daughter that wears a wig to look like me. Cute!
Also, The other day in companionship inventory, Sister Roncal compared me to the Book of Mormon, and said that I dont realize it, but I change people just by being around them. It was really sweet. I just love Sister Roncal and I'm so happy to serve with her. She is an inspiration to me as well :)

Anyways, times up. You prob wont have much to post on the blog. Sorry.
I love you so much momma. I love You ALL my sweet family. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to everyone who just had one, babies, parents, siblings, etc. HAPPY Father's Day Pop, I love YOU! Thank you all for being such a great support to me, I couldn't do this without you.
Sister Fort

Sunday, June 5, 2011


This past week we had Zone Meeting. Sister Roncal and I were invited to teach about OYMs and what we do in our OYMing, because right now we are leading our zone in OYMs. No one was paying attention to us. We asked a question and didn't get any response and one of the elders was like, "They're not listening." and I was like, "Yeah, I know." I was a little frustrated, because Sister Roncal and I had prepared the night before and talked about how nervous Sis. Roncal was. Elder Miller and Lien showed up late because they were in Cauayan. Elder Lein was having some kind of health problem. The moment I saw them, my day brightened. I love them so much.

On Thursday we went to Santiago, about an hour and a half away, to attend Mission Possible--an activity that the couple missionaries put on for us, about preparedness and health and budgeting. It was fun. Before the activity though, I had the most culturally exotic experiences I have ever had in my life. Elder Bates had been to Santiago before and knew of an Indian temple that fed people for free. So we all decided to go. A fat Indian man greeted us as the front and we asked him in Tagalog if we could eat. He told us that if we came in and did everything he told us to do, we could eat for free. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, at this point I was kind of this okay? But Elder Bates was's fine we've done this before a million times. Well, we went inside and they had us take our shoes off and wear yellow handkerchiefs on our heads. We went up some stairs to this room where we washed our feet, then he led us into this other room with a long blue carpet and a long red one side by side. At the end of the blue carpet there was a shrine/gazebo type thing surrounded with fake brightly colored flowers and behind an alter was a long-bearded Indian man, singing from a book. The escort got on his knees and bowed and prayed and all of us missionaries just stood there awkwardly like...uhhh, what do we doooo....and of course, being your daughter I was like, "if we dont pray, are they going to cut our heads off?" But then I remembered that I am a servant of the Lord. The man got up from his prayer and we asked him, "Anong gagawin namin?" He didn't answer and just walked away to grab a plastic bag from the other side of the room and from the bag, handed each of us a mango. Um, I secretly couldn't stop laughing, because we were SO STUPID for going in there and we looked really stupid too. All for free food. Anyway, the man told us we didn't need to do anything, that we could just go downstairs and eat. The room was tiled in marble and we sat on a long red carpet, criss-crossed and side by side. ( I sat by Elder Miller and we laughed so much about what had just happened. :) ) We ate off of metal trays--eggplant/curry/potato stuff that we put on these corn bread tortilla things, some kind of runny sour cream, and rice pudding. And of course our holy mangoes. It was delicious, actually. I will send pictures next time. Then we went to Mission Possible.

What else what else. There's so much. Uhhh, we had a one-day mission on Saturday. A lot of youth came and Sister Roncal and I went on splits to go teach less-active members in the ward. There were about 21 companioships and we reached a lot of less-active members.

Our investigator, Perla Cadabona, came to church AGAIN this week--dressed in a lovely floral dress. She lives so far and I beam with smiles whenever I see her walking up the cobblestone walkway of the church. She has a baptismal date now for July 2.

Anyway, Momma. I'm out of time. But I love you so much. Thank you for your beautiful letter. I love you all. I LOVE YOU GRANDMA! Thank you all for being such a great support to me and my mission. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PoPpA!! I Love you!

Your beebee,