Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012

Hey Everyone,
Thus far in's a beautiful morning with rain and humidity. And the rain continues to fall...

This week has been really great...we started with a wonderful Christmas Eve, with so many eating appointments than I could ask for. I think in total we went to three houses that night for "dinner". And the families are so generous in telling you to continue to eat...even if you are full. And it is so hard when the food is so delicious ;P

Christmas Day was quiet when we woke up....which was really surprising...but it soon became cluttered with the sound of little kids blowing horns and screaming around in the courtyard of our compound. We went to visit several of our recent converts and was great to go out on Christmas and have the chance to share with others the joy that the Savior brought to us on that day. Christmas was also full of eating appointments...I was somewhat prepared for the continuous eating, but still suffered for eating too much. The rest of Christmas day we spent teaching less actives...a lot of them were receptive to our message of love and guidance of the birth of our Savior. Many people were out still celebrating the holiday season when we got home...Christmas is such a big thing in the will last until February :) We visited one of our investigators that was going to be baptized on December 29th and he was so excited to have us teach him more. When we entered into his family's hut, he went to the other room and grabbed a bag. After we sat down he gave my companion and I a gift. This had to be one of the most touching moments for me...This young boy is 11 years old. His family lives in very poor circumstances and I wouldn't be certain to say if they have what it takes to meet their daily needs. But here he was giving two missionaries, gifts that he has purchased with money he had saved. I will always remember this example of service from one who was not even a member...and the love that he showed to us. I only hope that I may be able to give back to him, that which he has given to me :)

On Wednesday we went to visit some recent converts...they live out in the middle of the jungle. And just our luck a tropical storm was coming through that day. So the day was really wet. Rain + Jungle = lots of mud! I never thought that I would have so much mud on me, when I was trying to stay out of it. Even after several days....there was still large puddles of water and mud everywhere. I got the chance to Skype the family for was great to talk with you and update you on the service in Sorsogon :) I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Thursday we went back out to the jungle to teach one family. The Larcie Family...both parents are less active and we are in the process of teaching two of their children. We invited the children, two boys, to be baptized and they accepted. But they were concerned because they said that their parents would not allow them to be baptized. When we returned, the mother stated why she did not want here children to be baptized in our church. It was very sad to listen of the circumstances that lead to her choice. It took only a offence from a member to turn this mother and father away from the gospel and then to reject her children's choice to follow their desire in following our Savior. One of the young boys told us that he desires to become a missionary someday...I hope that the seeds we are planting will someday allow for that dream to come forth. It is hard to remember sometimes that we must never give up on certain people, because they may be set...we must always remember that they deserve every ounce of blessing from God.

Friday we had interviews with our Mission President and District Meeting...lots of time to prepare and reflect in what we are doing as missionaries. We were given a challenge to become teachers like our Savior...striving to always teach with Christlike attributes and to meet the needs of those that we are teaching. My Mission President helped with my concern with the language...I must strive to do my very best! I am still really fresh in the mission and it will all come with time. I still think that the hardest part for me will be that I am not able to say what I want to say, to those around me...but with patience and diligence :) After our meeting we went out to contact some of our referrals we had received from our recent converts ( we had one convert give us 7 referrals, another 2 and another 1...still trying to contact all of them!)

Saturday morning we went out early to teach some recent converts and less actives. One family we were visiting has child that is sick with asthma. This child was laying on his stomach and you could see that he was struggling with every breathe that he was taking. We did not stay longer, because the mother was busy, but we left them with a prayer. My companion volunteered me (as she always does...for my practice :)) to say the prayer. It was so hard to say the prayer, because I sat there on the bamboo platform trying to think of how I could ask for Heavenly Father to give them a proper and sufficient blessing for health and all their needs. I started to cry because I just felt that it was so unfair that I was not able to give them what I knew they needed the most.I thought about it after we left their house and I know that Heavenly Father knew the intents of my heart and He will bless them with what He sees necessary. The most I can do is try my best.

As we have gone out this week, I have learned so much from my companion, the people, the language, the gospel and so much more. I have gained more names...Sister Mukha, Sister Pokerface, Sister Pace, and Sister Face. I have learned that the language is difficult, but when you have the words of God in your heart and you are seeking after the desires to bring others unto Him, you are able to say the right words, through His Spirit. I have learned that mud in the Philippines is not fact it can be rotten at times, but you must continue forward, because that is what the Lord would have you do. I have learned what love is, for it is in the face of the Philippino people daily. I have learned that there are great responsibilities as a missionary and we must stand up to our positions...but we can do all, for "through God all is possible"(Matthew 19:26).

I hope that you all enjoy the update of the week and I can't wait to share with you the experiences to come this week.
Happy New Year's to you all!!

Ingat po,

Sister Pace


The pictures are of our two converts. The older gentleman is Antonio...the most stalwart person I have ever met.  He is the only member in his family. The other is Arjay, who is 11 years old, and his sister. He is such an example to me :)
 living quarters with two other sister missionaries

this is where laundry is done

this is the bathroom


Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 19, 2012

Sorry about the pictures...I will see what I can do to fix that problem. The picture is of two girls that are daughters of a mother we teach. They just found it so amusing that there was a white american in their yard.
I am glad to hear that you received the pictures from the mission president. The other missionaries in the picture are all Philippino and I am the only American coming in at the time...for some time, until February.
The living conditions are living conditions. It is very simple here. We are not in the best, but it all works. Consists of two bedrooms 1/3 the size of ours at home with a bunkbed and a closet. Then there is a living room/hallway/kitchen. And then a porch where we do our laundry. Oh...and a bathroom with a toilet that does not flush and not working shower. It has been an experience. But not too bad. I am trying to send some pictures to you in this email. The one with all the kids....that is the front where we hang all our laundry to dry and where we put all our shoes. The kids were caroling to us for Christmas. It has been going well on the adjusting to the climate...the humidity is something that I feel that you have to deal with whether you are use to it or that is a daily issue ;) However I was eaten alive for the first week by was really bad...there were bug bites all up and down my legs and arms. But I got some lotion and anti itch cream for it and they are starting to disappear. The area of Sorsogon is part forest, part city and everything else in between. It has been really interesting to be in a city one moment and them be traveling through a jungle the next moment. But the priceless part is it never gets old, seeing the shock on a Philippino's face when they see a american female and she speaks Tagalog.
This week was a struggle on some terms. I hadn't written in my journal for a couple of days, because of how busy we were...but we had so much going on. My companion taught me how to wash my laundry by hand...and that has been a really fun experience :) I actually really don't mind it! It was definitely interesting going out on our P-day and being out the whole day just to get groceries and everything else. On Tuesday we had a Community Service Project as a district and we went out and built a house for a family. It was a really great experience. I will try to send some pictures of that later :) At the beginning of the week we had planned for four individuals to be prepared for baptism on the 29th. They are four youth--Arjay (11), Jospeh (16), Jasmine (15) and Bernadette (12). They were all doing well in the lessons and we felt that they were going to be great. So Wednesday we went out and taught as many as we could but ran into problems and found back up lessons and the day ended up good and bad...over all sucessful for we taught a less active. Thursday was our Christmas Party with the Mission President, so we traveled for two hours by vehicle to go to another city to participate. It was a really great experience and I really enjoyed the things I learned. I met all the other missionaries that are in the South Naga Mission. There is one other American Sister...Sister Christensen. She is from Utah and has been our for four months. All the missionaries were really friendly and kind, especially since I couldn't understand most of them. I also received my was really like Christmas :) ( When we left the mission home the first day, I went in one vehicle and my scriptures went in another ). Friday was another day filled with teaching and learning...however the evening, at the Branch Christmas Party, we lost three of our potential baptisms. We were practicing in the chapel for a baptism that was going to take place the next day, and I was singing for it. Three of the youth came to the party because we invited them, but they got offended because we did not go out to see them immediately. It was very sad to see three of them just walk off and say that they no longer wanted to be baptized and said that they liked the previous missionaries more. I felt bad, but I know that my job is not to establish a friendship with these people, but to help them to see their need for the gospel in their lives. We are sad to lose their baptismal date, but it helped us to see that they are not ready to be baptized. Saturday we had our one and only baptismal interview for was so amazing to be there during part of his conversion, because I could see how happy he was about the decision he was making. When we had taught him earlier that morning we taught him about the word of wisdom...and he had read the pamphlet and we were going to review it. When we asked what he thought, he started to cry, because his family drinks coffee, because it is a cheap and easy drink here. We told him that he would not be able to drink it any longer. But as we told him that God would help him along the way and bless him, I could see his faith growing. He was so willing to do his best to prepare for whatever was required of him. Sunday I gave a talk in church, in Tagalog, even though most speak Bicol. That has been the struggle...and it might be for a while. It is tough to be trying to learn Tagalog and speak Tagalog, when everyone around me speaks Bicol. I have felt like I have not been able to do anything right and that I am not good enough for it. I felt so many times anguish in my heart as I was not able to express the way I felt in Tagalog. And I had Arjay sitting next to me, speaking to me and asking me a question and I couldn't answer him...I just started to cry, because I wanted so badly to talk to him and I was unable to. And that is my struggle....I want to so badly share with others the wonderful news, of the restored gospel, with others....but I am unable to. But I have learned that I truly must take it one day at a time and have faith in myself and in others. For I may not be able to do all now, but through God all is possible (Matthew 19:26).
Thank you so much for everything...I wish you all could be out here to meet the people here...they are so wonderful! Julia...I love your is so beautiful! And tell Sadie that she did a good job on killing the gingerbread man :)If you get the chance, can you email this out to the rest of the family? I hope that you all have a wonderful time celebrating and hopefully I will get to talk to you soon!
Mahal Kita at ingat po!
Sister Pace
Sister Carrasca and Sister Pace

sleeping quarters


Friday, December 21, 2012


Here are a few pictures that we received from Sister Pace's mission office on the day of her arrival.

Sister Bliesner and President Bliesner 

This is the rest of the batch that arrived in the Philippines at the same time as Sister Pace did

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

Kumusta po kayo!
The Philippines is great! It has been a large adjustment for me with
the humidity. But I have loved it so much thus far. I arrived in Naga
after a delayed flight and then we had our introductions and then a
three hour drive to one of the farthest areas. I am assigned to
Sorsogon. My companion is Sister Carrasca...She is absolutely
wonderful. She is a native Philippino and just absolutely loving and
kind. There is so much I want to share with you, so let's hope that I
can get it all out.
The flight into Hong Kong was a long one...LA to Hong Kong, one of the
longest flights ever....and not something I am looking forward to. I
tried to sleep, but with the long flight it was on and off. It was
different to not know what day it was or where you were. I got a
couple of chances to look out the window and see the lights of Korea.
But all together it was good. After the flight to Hong Kong, we then
got onto a flight to Manila. After the flight to Manila, this is where
we broke off to our respective missions. It was only sister Placido
and I. The stay in Manila with her, ended up being more of an
adventure than I wanted, but that is a whole other story.
Once we got to Manila, our flight was changed and confused and we
finally made it to the airport to only wait for another 1 hour and a
half for our flight. And then we arrived in Naga. The sights are so
beautiful here. It was a interesting to see the different sights here
in the Philippines. My mission president and his wife are so great and
I am really excited to be serving out here. They however will only be
in the mission until June. They also told me that I am the only
foreign (American) sister, but that will be changing with all the new
sisters coming in a few months.
After traveling some more to my designated area, we took the rest of
the night to prepare for the next day. The first day out was fun. We
had our district meeting...and I got introduced to the other
missionaries in the area. They are all really nice and understanding
to my lack of Tagalog. The language has been something else....I
learned Tagalog, but they speak Bicol here. It is a really beautiful
language, but I am first required to learn Tagalog. I have had my
share of days that are not so well in the language and others where I
do okay. It is all just going to take some patience and practice. I
have been told that I have one of the best areas. My first proselyting
day, we had a baptism of Antonio Perete. It was wonderful. we also
have four others that are going to be baptized this week. I love the
people is so touching to see these people in the gospel.
They are so dedicated when they have very little to give. Antinio for
example lives very far from the church building, yet he wakes up
extremely early in the morning to walk over to the church building
early. And the same with an 11 year old boy who lives far away...he
walked to the church building to make it there by 7am. And church
doesn't even start until 9am. I am very sad that I am not able to
completely understand everything that the people are saying to me, but
I love their patience and willingness to help me. We also had the
primary children perform this was great to hear them sing
the primary songs and to show their dedication to their Heavenly

Friday, December 14, 2012

Arrival in Philippines!

Dear Brother and Sister Miller,

We would like to inform you the Sister Pace has arrived safely here in the Philippines Naga Mission and is now in her assigned area. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call or email us.

Elder Manalo

Philippines Naga Mission

Mission and Travel Secretary

It is official...Sister Pace has arrived at her mission field as of December 13 @ 11:55 pm.  We were able to talk with her on Monday night while she was waiting at the SLC airport for her flight.  I am grateful for the blessings we have received as she has prepared for her mission.  We are anxious to hear from her! 
Here is her mailing address:
Sister Pace
Philippines Naga Mission
39 Panganiban Dr
Naga City
4400 Camarines Sur

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 4, 2012

Flight plans are in and I have got a ticket to the Philippines for Monday, December 10th.
Leaving: Salt Lake City Airport    8:25pm
Arriving: Los Angeles     9:28pm
Leaving: Los Angeles     12:05am
Arriving: Hong Kong     7:40am
Leaving: Hong Kong     9:05am
Arriving: Manila     11:15am
It is crazy to think that I am already leaving the MTC, because I feel like I just arrived. But I know that it is time...and it is going to be so great! I am the only one from my district that is flying out that night, but i will be traveling with another District and I am deemed to be the travel leader of myself (haha...hopefully I can keep myself in line ;P) From the time that I land in Manila, I will then be taken to an Airport Hotel and stay the night until I travel the next morning. So I should arrive in Naga by December 13...and Mom and Dad...they (The Mission President and His Wife) will email you to let you know if I made it safely to Naga.
From the last couple of days, there has been so much that has been going on, but there is also so much to learn! It has been amazing to see the mercies of the Lord in my life daily and to see Him help me as I strive to learn the language and acquire skills to be His missionary. I know that I am not the best at the language yet, but I had this wonderful insight as I was reciting the first vision of Joseph Smith...there are going to many struggles in striving to understand and speak the language, but this is only in place so that we may be reliant and dependent on the Lord....for these are His children and we are dealing with their salvation. And to know that truth was only what was being sought after when the young boy, Jospeh Smith, went to pray...but to see the result of his concerns bring about the most historical occurence in the world.
Anyways...this week is full of classes and teaching...along with packing and preparing everything to go by Sunday. My companions and I all leave at different times and so we are each trying to help one another get everything done for our travels on Monday. The fun part of all of this is inviting new missionaries in and helping them get settled with the rest of us. It has been amazing seeing how many sisters and elders have been coming in every week...they say that by January they are really suppose to getting a marjority of the 18 year old elders and the 19 year old sisters. Even more exciting is that within 12 weeks of my mission I will be working with other missionaries to train these new sisters and elders when they arrive in the field.
I know that what I learn now will be of use to me, for the rest of my life. That truly is a gift that I could not put a price on. If there is anything I could ask more of you, would be a challenge...I challenge you to seek to bring yourself closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ, through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism (covenants and commitments made to God), receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end....I want you to study it out. For this is your salvation...maybe that sounds a little rash and uncertain with the circumstances that I am in compared to you....but I know that if you seek, and knock...He will answer. Here are some talks I would like you to consider reading...Learning to love learning ( David A. Bednar), Born of God ( Ezra Taft Benson) and The Inconvenient  Messiah (Jeffrey R. Holland). They are all really great and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Love you all and I am excited to write you again from the Philippines!!!
Mahal Kita palagi,
Sister Pace

November 26, 2012

I am sorry if it is a lot of information as from the small amount I give you in the emails. I just felt like I needed to share it with you and I hope that you enjoyed it. And the greatest part is that you can feel the Spirit as strong as I do here, in your attendance to church, partaking of the sacrament and attending the temple, literally is a promised blessing that our Heavenly Father wants to give to each of us. However the conditions vary for each person and their reliance, diligence, faithfulness, obedience, etc., to the Lord. But I know that you will receive a witness that this is true :) I am doing well personally. The last couple of weeks was rough and I was really trying to figure somethings out, because I just didn't feel like I had what it could take to do this. But as I have decided to rely on the Lord and take my weaknesses to Him and ask Him for strength and guidance, I have found my prayers to be answered...sometimes slowly and sometimes immediately. But I have started to find the way in which the Lord wants me to turn to Him and rely on Him in all that I do. It is not simply when I feel like I should go on my knees and pray to Him, but it is at all times. I am slowly learning how to rely on my Heavenly Father...because as you know I have a hard time turning to others and relying completely on them for everything (granted I did that with you...but talking about now when  I have the ability and agency to chose soley for myself). And through this reliance, I have learned much about myself and about my Savior. I have a feeling that the glasses was a lesson for my to learn and it has opened a braoder perspective to what the Lord would have me to do. I know that it probably sounds clique, that I relate everything to the Gospel....but without Heavenly Father and the gospel, none of this would exist....there is a reason and a ryhmn to everything. And I feel that the glasses was just the beginning of helping me to see things spiritually and not only physically. However....the glasses make life so much more exciting because I can actually see things. This week has been really great. The same schedule for everything, but more to learn and more to prepare before we leave. I have been placed in the position as the senior have learned a lot about myself and about the type of leader I need to be....and I was praying and asking Heavenly Father to help me to know how I could be a better leader for my companions and it was interesting to see how He answered it through a devotional talk the next night. It has been great striving to overcome my natural man and becoming better everyday. Thanksgiving at the MTC was absolutely wonderful. There was just so much wonderful things that were going on and learning about gratitude and others. Jeffrey R. Holland spoke to us (along with his wife) was amazing. He talked about the things we shoudl be grateful for and the life that we have been given in this last dispensation. And then our service project was putting together school supplies and medical supplies for a village in Mali, Africa. It was a wonderful expereince and I enjoyed it so much.