Tuesday, August 2, 2016



I just can't even explain what I am feeling... especially in English ;) But first off yeah, my last week was really good. There have been so many little tender mercies and miracles. I think sometimes we don't recognize them because they are so little and so often, but looking back we can really see the hand of the Lord in every day.

My last Sunday was good. They had me talk/testimony again HAHA. But I was happy to. I'll never get tired of bearing my testimony. I was doing really good and didn't cry and then as we were living this one nanay just started balling.. Poor thing ;) I'm gonna miss them but I know they are eternal friends and I have met them for a reason. 

Mom! I get to see you in just a few short days.. I haven't really been able to sleep well. I'm nervous but I'm okay. :) I'm really excited to see you. I just want to thank you for everything! I love you so much!! I never know what to do or how to thank you! TAKE CARE. THANK YOU MOM!! See you soon!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm so so so excited.. but don't worry, I'm still doing my best. Actually working is the only thing keeping me going. I LOVE teaching. And I LOVE missionary work. They had me talk yesterday during sacrament meeting... and then they sang God Be With You Til We Meet Again and Go Forth With Faith.. haha I was like really?? I realized though how much I'm going to miss teaching the restored gospel to the wonderful people of the Philippines. But I know it doesn't have to end… sharing the gospel and being on His errand never really does or should end.

It's been humbling to try to really understand people and why they do the things they do. I know I’m not perfect, I have lots of weaknesses myself and wish I could have done better at times, but I have no regrets here in the mission. I know the Atonement is real. And Jesus Christ will help us fill the gaps we can't on our own. It's been a REALLY challenging cycle. But I've learned so much. Like the story of the bush and the gardener.. I'm grateful that He loves us enough to cut us down. Because He knows who we can become. It was never really in my plan to go on a mission.. But He always knew. It was in His plan. He knew I would need these people. He knew. He knows everything. We can give everything to Him and He will carry it for us. I love Him and I love the gospel. I know someday… everything we don't understand will all make sense. But until then we have to exercise our faith and put our trust in Heavenly Father and in His son, Jesus Christ.


The rice terraces was a blast! They are so beautiful. The pictures do not do it justice. I've had a pretty crazy last 24 hours though. We traveled to Bambang last night which is a little over 2 hours. We slept with the sisters there and then we had to wake up at ONE AM for all of us to be ready by 2 am to leave for the rice terraces. So we could be there for the sunrise. We got up there about 5:30. And then we hiked up all the terraces. I AM TIRED. Good thing there was stairs... about a million of them haha but there were some parts that were pretty sketchy and no stairs. It's crazy cause there's all these random houses up in there, and people live there! They don't speak Tagalog. They have some other crazy dialect so that was kinda crazy. Hopefully you get the picture with the cute old ladies! They are all 90 plus. It was super fun though. Got a few souviners. And then we left and got back to Bambang about 1 pm and left again for Santiago. We got back here about 4. CRAZY! So much travel haha.

One of our older sister investigators is going to be baptized on July 30. She is soooo... amazing! I can't really explain it in english right now.. but she is the one that said she would die a catholic. HAHA. It's just amazing what the gospel and the Atonement can do for a person.

Threeeeeee Weeks….

Things are going good. It's been a busy week. We met the new mission president and his wife. They are super nice. It's super different, and exactly what the Philippines Cauayan Mission needs. We also had two exchanges which were really good as well. I love exchanges!! I love the sisters so much. Those are some of my favorite days because I'm so focused on the other sister and their goals and making sure I'm helping her and she's achieving her goals and then on the people we are teaching so we can meet their needs, I never have time to think about me. And then I realized... hello! I should be like that everyday!! So I've been trying to do that better. :)

I was pondering about two of our investigators this morning and realized something. Since one is blind.. we haven't really had a chance to focus on the book of mormon with her. And the other doesn't know how to read. I think that is what's lacking in their conversion. The power of the Book of Mormon. We've tried teaching the lessons over and over, praying, fasting, and nothing has seemed to help these two. HELLO SISTER ETHINGTON. It's the Book of Mormon!! So we are going to read to them, and commit their family to do so as well. I know this will help them feel the Holy Ghost and be able to gain a witness for themselves that the book is true. I love the Book of Mormon! I know that it's true and such a powerful tool. We all need it. No matter what our condition. I'm grateful for the sacrifices of those prophets for US. For us to learn more of Jesus Christ and His gospel.  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

So little time...

4 Weeks Na Lang

We had exchanges this week. They went really good! I'm so grateful for this calling, at times I still feel inadequate but it's so rewarding to help others, even in just a little way. I hope and pray I will always be worthy and in tune with the Spirit to know the things I must do to help others.

The mom of some recent converts came to church yesterday! That was her first time. Another older investigator came to church!! She's the blind one. We went and picked her up at her house. She really enjoyed it but she is still really confused. I see Satan working on her but I know as she continues to exercise her faith she will be able to receive the answers and comfort she needs. I love her so much!! I'm gonna miss them... I'm just so grateful I met them and have gotten to know them. They have changed my life for the better and now I will never be the same. :)

Yesterday was my first emotional day. Cause the elders gave me your card and then that just started it all hahahaha I just realized that it's actually happening. I'm so scared. I'm really excited though of course to see you.. it's just a lot of mixed feelings! I'm sorry if I'm awkward when I get home, I hope and pray ya’ll will be patient with me!

I’m so grateful for you and the way you raised me. I'm so grateful for our family and how close we are. Cause so many families don't have that here. They struggle even just saying I love you. Thank you for teaching me how to love others and how to show it as well. Next fast sunday.. I will be there ;);)

5 Weeks

All of our weeks are just booked!! I just keep hoping and praying I will be able to do all the Lord would have me do in this area for these last few weeks. I just want to help everyone but I know I am just one person and can only do so much. For the things I can't do on my own.. I'm grateful for a loving Savior who always makes up for the things I lack.

I'm kind of feeling pressure and the discouragement of Satan but I'm still so good and so happy. Once I'm at working and teaching this beautiful gospel I forget all of the bad things and the things that make me nervous. I can't wait to just hug you!! It's been a long 17 months without my mama's hug!!

6 Weeks

This week was A LOT better! Still kinda crazy cause we had the specialized training with President and Sister Rahlf. They taught about the Atonement... which of course, learned so much again. And then they gave us their "10 souvenirs" for us. So like 10 things for us to remember when we go home. It was like their going away speech. It was super sad. And then they cut all the elders ties and a handkerchief of the sisters for a quilt they will be making. I'm sure going to miss them but I know we will see them again!

Well we found out this morning that my companion will be the one transferring. We were all kinda shocked... So yeah I'll "die" (that's what they call it in your last cycle in the mission) here in Santiago. I'm really happy. I'm happy to still see these cuties here in Santiago and happy I don't have to pack all me things only to repack again in a few weeks.

I've learned lots this week. I feel like the Lord has so much to teach me still! And maybe sometimes I just don't quite get it so He teaches me again ;) I re read the talk about President Uchtdorf - Heavenly Father loves us so much. And no matter how far from perfect we are or strayed from the path, He is always willing to take us back. And through Him and the Atonement of Jesus Christ they can mold us into something better than we could on our own. I'm so grateful for this mission of mine. I love it. I'm not ready to leave it.. so good thing I have 6 more weeks to be ready ;) But of course it will be so good and so sweet to finally be home.

 7 Weeks

Yeah there's only one more fast Sunday without me.. you guys just need to party while you can without me ;) haha. I only have one more planner and one more calendar to print off.. it's so weird mom! I just never thought this day would come. I can't really express what I'm feeling even though I'm sure you already kinda know! I'm pretty sure I'll transfer but we will know by next monday and then the following wednesday is transfer day. The ward is literally fasting for me not to transfer.. I'm like uhhhh pretty sure that's not exactly a righteous purpose ;) hahaha but they are so cute, Gosh I'm sure gonna miss them here. It's so hard.

We all can't get through life on our own. That's why Heavenly Father gave us a Savior. To help us and lift us and sometimes even carry us when we just can't do it anymore. I've felt His loving and lifting hands in my life and in my mission. I know He lives and this is His gospel. I'm so excited for the next 7 weeks to just share this with everyone!

8 Weeks

This week has been somethin else. I guess it's true what they say when everything's going good... just wait. Haha. It's had its good parts too! MLC was of course just a spiritual feast. They talked a lot about how we need to sustain the new president when he comes in. The moment he's here we need to change our loyalty to him and not to President Rahlf. Interviews were super good! Of course they just made me cry... I've learned so much from President and Sister Rahlf and didn't know how close I would get to them. Sister Rahlf had all the missionaries pick 3 words that describe us and then we wrote a sign and she took pictures of us.. the 3 words could be like adjectives or like a phrase. I chose "On His Errand" 

Yeah it's super hot haha. I think I'm kind of used to it? Used to being hot all the time. It will be interesting to feel the change. We went jogging this morning and it was a little cooler because it rained last night (shocker). But just 20 minutes and I'm a pool of sweat. It's just so humid. Also… I'm going to make that Alfredo you sent me on Wednesday for the sisters we have exchanges with. :) Sometimes people call me Mama Ethington.. haha but I'll take it.

9 Weeks Na Lang

This week has been really good!! It's been raining like crazy but we still just try to take advantage of every moment and also help those in need. But it's like no big deal to these people.. ya got kids just rollin around in the gutters and showering in the rain and puddles with no clothes on.. hahaha whaattt. Hopefully they don't get sick! One of our investigators was baptized and it was the best!! I think I say that about every baptism ;) But like a month or so ago, he quit his job cause it was just super hard on him and so he's been trying to find a job for the past month. And he just barely got one last week! Which we know was a blessing from the Lord because sometimes it's really hard to find a job here! But the only catch was his orientation was in Cauayan and the day of his baptism! Until 6pm. His baptism was supposed to be at 5:00 but asked if we could have it at 6:30 instead. Of course we said yes! And then about 5 o clock rolls around and the heavens decided to pour buckets on the Philippines. They texted and asked if it was still on because of the rain and we said yes! So we went to the church and set up everything not really knowing if everything would turn out. But we just said a prayer that if it was the will of Heavenly Father for him to be baptized that everything would work out and sure enough, it did! He was only a little late. His testimony after was so pure and humble. I've learned a lot from him. It's not important about how much we know or how skilled we are as a human, what matters is our desire to follow our Savior Jesus Christ. And as long as every day we strive to be like Him and to be better than we were yesterday, that's what counts!

I'm doing really good! Lots of miracles, lots of challenges, lots of smiles and laughter and some tears as well. But I wouldn't change it for anything! It's the best.

Monday, May 23, 2016


10.5 weeks na lang

I've actually been studying about Lehi's dream lately and how important it is to "hold to the rod." The world is changing.. and the things we once did aren't always good enough... as Pres. Uchtdorf said "As we increase in faith, we must increase in faithfulness." I'm so grateful for this mission. I've learned so much. I took so many things granted before. We all have weaknesses and things we need to work on and be better at but as long as we try our BEST, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will help us with the rest.

11.5 weeks na lang

This week was good. We have a new housemate! We also taught zone meetings this week. Our topic was about dress and appearance cause the mission realized we've just gotten a little bit lazy or casual in some of the rules. So it was a good refresher for me as well as I was studying and preparing to teach the other missionaries. But it all went really good! I don't really get nervous to teach in English anymore... which is a plus. There's lots of new missionaries in our zones cause almost every companionship had a transfer! There's lots of new missionaries... as I'm getting older and older in the mission.. all my homies are goin home. It's kinda sad... but it's just life! And then last saturday was national service day or somethin like that so we helped clean an elemantary school. Tons went and it was really cool to help out.

We are now teaching this blind lady. I love her so much! Every lesson we teach to her is so powerful and she is always willing to change and align her life to the Savior's. She never gets down or depressed about her being blind. It's been like 4 or 5 years I think. Well, we committed her to be baptized and she said she'll think about it which is definitely better than no! But we visited her last night and agreed to let us take her to church on sunday. So we'll go to her house and walk with her to the church. I'm so excited!! She's definitely one of the people I've felt like I've met before I came here. Not to mention.. her husband drives a pepsi truck so every time we go there they give us pepsi!! hahaha.

12.5 weeks na lang

Well can't believe our last skype is over! I remember the last skype like it was yesterday. But yeah definitely so good to see you!! ALL of you!! I'm seriously so happy. I love this work and I love these gospel and I love all of you guys! So it was really good to see you all. :)

13.5 weeks na lang

This week was amazing!! Busy! But amazing. We had 2 exchanges, which were really good. We have our last one this friday and then one of the pairs of sisters want us to work in their area with them so we'll do that too. And we have another MLC on wednesday. Feel like we just had one... I don't even know where the time is going. And then we had the interview for one of our investigators last Friday. A member of the mission presidency came and interviewed him and blessed him and after he said. "Sisters, you cannot delay his baptism." So we had him baptized the next day! It was super hectic trying to get everything together but it was truly a miracle. We literally met him on April 6. He was soooo prepared, Mom. I just can't even explain into words... He is truly an example of coming forth with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

14.5 weeks na lang

Yeah so this week was amazing! Super busy but really good. Zone conference went great. President's Rahlf's son just got home from his mission in Germany and bore his testimony.. I'm super glad I got assigned to the Phil cause German sounds nuts. But it was cool to hear his testimony. I learned a lot from the workshop we taught too - just more things I want to apply in my teaching when we are committing those to read the BOM. The BOM is literally the center of everything and if it's true then so many other things just fall into place. I've learned so much about the BOM and learned to love it so much. I know it's true and I know it can truly bless our lives. Our baptism also went great! She was actually supposed to go to Manilla and was going to have to wait til next sunday to get confirmed but somehow her trip got cancelled (coinsidence... I think NOT) And so she was also able to be confirmed yesterday during church. :) We are still teaching her family. I think her brother will be next to be baptized. Her mom has yet to come to church and now her sister has school on sundays... BUT THE TIME WILL come and we all feel really confident about it. :)

15.5 weeks na lang

I can't imagine not knowing all these people! I'm so lucky.. no not lucky, but blessed to be able to know them. I think of my patriarchal blessing often about how I need to get out in the world and stand out of my needs and get apart of peoples' lives and help them. :) I'm excited for what the future holds. We had zone meeting this week. We had santiago north and south combine so we only had to teach 2 zone meetings. Both zone meetings were so different and my companion and I were truly led by the spirit. (took me a good 2 minutes to figure out how to spell truly... haha english is hard) I've learned lots of skills about teaching.. I feel like I am better at teaching in Tagalog than in English but I'm working on the English thing, and this calling is really helping me. I never thought I would love teaching as much as I do... :) But something I've also learned as missionaries we are not just called to teach, but called to serve. Something that I also love is being able to serve and love those I teach, it's my favorite. :)

16.5 weeks pa la

I'm so grateful for this wonderful opportunity I have to serve. I know I'm never going to get a chance like this again. I will do my best until the very last day. :) And when I get home I will do the very best I can to continue to serve the Lord in the ways He will ask of me as returned missionary. Something I love that Sister Rahlf said at MLC. "We are not called to a place, we are called in the Lord's place." Because Jesus Christ is literally not on the earth today, we have missionaries to go in Jesus's place for a time. I love putting on my nametag every morning and seeing my name and His name. What a privilege and honor it is to bear it everyday. I know He lives. And He loves us and He loves the people of the Philippines. No matter how lost or how far we have strayed, we can always come unto Him and He will heal us. I love Him and our Heavenly Father. I love being a missionary.

Week 64

I received my "torch letter" this past week!!! It's for the missionaries that are close (ish) to going home. So that was weird!! There's some stuff we have to fill out and then they are going to set up our flight plans. In with the stuff I had to fill out is the talk by Pres. Uchtdorf about keeping our torches lit and finishing the race. So really good motivation. I want to keep my torch lit til the end and always do my best!

So last week we received this referral from some of the elders in another area but it's suuuuper far. But we got her number and contacted her and made an appointment. So we were able to go there and she is amazing!! So her boyfriend is a member (which I met one time in Cauayan when we had a one day mission haha) in Echague and she's been going to church with him for a couple months now. Her dad passed away in 2013 as well and when she heard about baptisms for the dead and temple work it really touched her. And now of course she wants her whole family to hear the gospel and be baptized! So her and 2 of her siblings came to church yesterday! And they loved it. And we taught them with their mom and they committed to be baptized on May 7 :) oh my gosh! I love them so much! The Lord has so many people prepared here!! The mom is kind of a stickler cause she's a devoted Catholic but I know she will be baptized! I just am so grateful for our family and that we have been sealed and now I get to share these simple truths to people who have no idea.

Week 63

Holy Week was interesting. Lots of singing and worshipping. On Friday, everything was closed and no people! But we still found people to teach. :)

But it's been a good week. Time is going by too fast. But I'm loving every minute of it. Thank you for everything you do mom. I can never ever thank you enough!! Hope you have a really good week!! I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know He lives and loves us. And guides this church. How blessed we are to hear from His living prophet and apostles so soon!! YAY!!

Week 62

President and Sister Rahlf taught our zone meeting last week. And it was all about the Savior. Because here in the Phil it's Holy Week. And so people remember the death of Jesus Christ. So we just learned more of the things that we could share to other people and the good news that HE IS RISEN. Oh my gosh I love being a missionary and sharing about the Savior and His gospel. There's a cool video... Pres. Rahlf showed us. About Easter... #hallelujah. Whoever makes those videos sure does their job well. Gave me goosebumps!!

Week 61

We had stake conference yesterday. And we sang with our ward in the choir. They made us wear these colorful scarves with a button up shirt... I felt like a flight attendant. Hahaha but the song went beautifully!

I know I'm never going to get an opportunity like this to share the gospel. Although they are really receptive here in the Phil you still get those people who don't wanna listen or see you. We were walking down one of the streets and saw one of our investigators literally run and hide from us. LIKE WHAT. I don't understand haha. But that's life. It's hard but I'm so thankful the Lord does have people prepared to listen and to receive the gospel.

Friday, March 11, 2016

22 NA LANG! (22 Weeks Left)

Week 60

The baptism on Saturday was really good! It was actually a miracle. The girl who was baptized was in San Mateo for the week and she was like "oh yeah I'm coming home Friday night so I'll make it for my baptism." And then she texts Saturday morning and said she didn't have any money to get to Santiago so we would have to reschedule. So we told her to try to borrow some money and then we would pay her when she got her. (it was only like 50 pesos... which is like a dollar) and no one would give her any money!! And then we went to a member with a car and asked if they could go get her but they were busy. And then we were going to ride a bus to get her and then bring her back here hahahaha and then we were going to send money through this system so she could go pick it up. BUT we were so stressed and then we prayed and literally right after we went to the church and were done with a prayer, our phone went off with a text and it was her and she was on the way!! It was a stressful few hours but the baptism went wonderful and so did her confirmation yesterday and in a year she wants to serve a mission!!! :):) The Lord is really hastening His work! It's an exciting time and I'm so grateful to be serving in the Philippines.  

I finally read the talk about becoming a consecrated missionary. It changed my life!! It just talked about the difference between being a good missionary or even a great missionary and then being a consecrated missionary. He talked about 5 things we have to "put on the altar of sacrifice" Disobedience, pride, romantic passions, fear, and negativism & sarcasm. So as I was studying, specific things came into my mind that I need to change or be better at to become a consecrated missionary. Nothing major but there's always something we can improve on. And then I like how he said God doesn't expect perfection, but progression and with progression will bring consecration. I'm so grateful for a loving and forgiving Heavenly Father who is so patient with all of us. 

Week 59

Yeah it was a busy week! I was super nervous for our first splits because I'd only been the area for 2 weeks and was supposed to lead, right? Yes. Ha. So I prayed really hard and kept asking for help and guidance and it was actually such a good day!! And I'm so grateful my first splits was with Sister Porter!! We were in the same zone in Cauayan for 3 cycles. But it was such a fun day and we got so much accomplished and found 6 new investigators! Like such a blessing. And then my other splits was with one of our housemates. It was really good too!! I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father are helping me with this calling cause I know I couldn't do it alone.

So basically I realized I don't know anything that's happening in America, some of the ward members here were talking about a world war 3 or something how China is gonna combine with Russia. And then about the presidential election. That's in November?? I just kinda forget all these things are going on in my home country and I have no idea. I'm just in this little bubble over here. But I'll stay here for now. :) It's nice to just really focus on the gospel and helping people. It's my favorite! But yeah there are so many people prepared here it's crazy! We have a baptism on Saturday and then just set another date for the 26th.

Week 58

So yeah it's been quite the week... but it's been really really good. I'm learning so much. The new trainers meeting was really good. I was the only new sister but there were some new district leaders and zone leaders there and some missionaries I haven't seen in awhile so it was fun to see them again.

The Book of Mormon challenge is going good. I'm on track. Just finished 2 NE 25 this morning. I'm learning lots and there has only been one page so far where Christ isn't mentioned. We are going to have a big zone conference about the Book of Mormon in April I think so that's why all the missionaries are doing it. :) it's kind of cool. We introduced the new standard of excellence for the mission at zone conference last week. Some of them have stayed the same.. the 70 contacts and 35 lessons are the same cause we are trying to focus on quality instead of quantity and then it changed from 6 new investigators a week to 8 and we now have a goal of at least 4 investigators at church each week. So yeah this week was kind of limited on our work schedule with all the meetings we had but we were still able to reach the 35 and 70 and had 11 investigators come to church! I was like what is this craziness!! Miracles are just so real, and when we involve the Lord in our planning and goals anything is possible!! 

Week 57

I'm now a sister training leader! So I think I've told you some stories about sister training leaders (stl's) that I've had in the past. Everyone was telling me that it was going to happen but I didn't want it to.. haha cause I've just seen how stressful it is. I didn't hear anything from President Rahlf on Monday so I thought it was just a normal transfer but he called me Tuesday night to be a sister training leader. So basically we are zone leaders for the sisters. We keep track of their key indicators and progress and things. And then every cycle we do splits with each of the sisters in our assigned area to help them and stuff. LIKE WHAT. I feel so underqualified. It's been kind of a stressful week.

We were also given a challenge by president rahlf (for all the missionaries) to read the BOM in 60 days and then circle any time Jesus Christ is mentioned and then total at the bottom how many times and highlight his teachings and whenever he talks. They gave us brand spanking new BOM's to read and mark. So it's like 5 or 6 chapters a day. I'm doing good so far. HA WE STARTED YESTERDAY. But I'm committed and I'm already surprised by how many times He is mentioned. It's really cool. The BOM is really all about Him. So I'm excited.

Something pretty funny.. A Brother from Cabatuan gave me an "SR" or simple remembrance.. when you leave areas some of the members or missionaries give you SR's. And it was a little box.. and he's like don't open it till you get to your next area. So I opened it as we were planning that night and it was a HUGE GRASSHOPER!! Like what the! It jumped out of the box and we started freaking out.... but we caught it ... and now it's dead hahahaha I guess you had to be there.

Week 56

Well this week was good!! We had a special district meeting on Tuesday. We got to watch this district meeting broadcast that they held in salt lake. It was super good! For all the missionaries around the world. I learned so much. Elder Bednar's discussion was probably my favorite. He talked about the Spirit's role in missionary work. I think we really underestimate the Holy Ghost and His power. But I'm grateful for the things I'm learning. He really is the teacher in every lesson if we let Him, but our role as missionaries is also important. We must be obedient and worthy vessels for the Spirit to teach and testify UNTO the hearts of those we are teaching. And then those we are teaching must open their hearts to feel the Spirit. Us missionaries are just guides and to help these investigators recognize for themselves these things. 

And I will never forget yesterday. I have in a long time and when we got to church yesterday morning so many visitors and investigators were all just sitting waiting for us!! I thought I was going to die of happiness. One was just in his farm clothes cause he came from his work there. It was testimony meeting so of course I had to share my testimony and I knew it was my last Sunday. Gosh dangit it was such a good day! I love them so much and I know it's going to be really hard to leave them... but I know they are on the path and they are going to get baptized. I'm grateful I got to meet them and help them in their journey. 

Week 55

This week has been good. I'm actually going to miss this threesome I think!! I didn't think I'd like it this much! We had interviews with President on Thursday which went good. He said I'll probably transferring. I'm the only one left from my first cycle here in Cauayan everyone else has transferred or gone home! Except for the AP he's been here one cycle longer than me ha. Yesterday we had a "special district conference" they called a new district presidency and guess who's the new second counselor!! Pres. Quitola!! Aww shucks. So proud of him. He's gonna do great.

I ate chicken feet this last week.. it's actually kind of delicious. And I may or may not eat barbecued chicken intestines at least once a week... it's good man. Ha I'm going to miss the food here! We have like a million FHE's this week... everyone is convinced I'm transferring so they all want us to go their houses for FHE hahahaha now they love me that I'm leaving, just kidding! One of the family is going to cook frog adobo.... yikes!! I promised I would try it.

Week 54

We had splits with the Sister training leaders on Wednesday and then we've been doing lots of splits here in Cabatuan as well cause they are three of us so we can get some more work done. It's been good. But kind of tiring!! And yeah our investigators got baptized on Saturday! It was such a good day!! They are so happy and want to prepare for the temple!! I just am so excited for them. Lots of people came! Our district leader, the zone leaders, and one of the senior couples. We were surprised because we weren't expecting them at all. And it only started 45 minutes late. Haha that's progress. Everyone was there and ready except President Quitola and he was presiding and had the keys to the closet where their white clothes were. PHILIPPINO TIME. Hopefully I don't adopt that ;) Sometimes they are just not aware or they don't really care about time. ;)

Hit my one year mark this last week.. we bought a cake and kind of celebrated a little haha. The cake here by the way.. is kinda gross. I miss your cookin!! The children of President Rahlf came and visited them this week and they talked to us in our district meeting last week. It was kind of awkward but it was good! They gave us some advice and just their testimonies.

Week 53

Our investigators are very good. :) We fasted for them the other day and we know they are ready! They had their interview on Saturday and of course they passed haha. Their baptism is Saturday so of course next week I will send you pictures!! I'm so excited for them, I love them so much.

I know there's going to be a lot of changes I make in my life, my attitude, my language, the things that I watch when I get home. But I'm not perfect! And still have lots of weaknesses. But I’m grateful for a loving Father in Heaven and Savior who love us and are so willing to help us despite these things. 

I've been focusing my studies this week on faith and hope. They are so closely related and I've learned a lot. Learned that we need to continue to strengthen our faith every day and always hope for the promised blessings of the Lord. Hope is an abiding trust that God will fulfill his promises to us. I love that!! I think I need to be more trusting and more hopeful sometimes. 

Week 52

I'm learning and growing a lot from being in a threesome companionship. I'm learning how to be more patient and loving and trust in Heavenly Father to give me strength when sometimes I feel like I have none left. Even though it was a surprise I know we needed to be companions. :) Gosh Heavenly Father's plan is just perfect.

Well this week has been good because two of our investigators have finally stopped their coffee!! I almost cried with excitement. So now they can finally be baptized. :) I love them so much!! I’m so grateful for this opportunity... like I just can't even express sometimes how grateful I am. I love them. They are our brothers and sisters!! And they need the joy that comes from the gospel, everyone does. :) 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Maligayang Pasko

Week 51

We went to the San Mateo's apartment for New Year's. And partied with their Air Conditioning. It was the best sleep of my mission! Haha. But it was fun. New Year's is crazy here!! People do fireworks wherever and whenever they want. There was like 2 people killed by stray bullets so that's why were on lockdown at 6 pm so good thing! 

Lots of the SA's are preparing for their mission! So it's exciting. One of the brother's told me I was his inspiration for why he wants to serve a mission! And he just thanked me for my example and testimony. Gosh dangit, way to make a sister cry. I love these people so much.  Also…I'll be staying until August. :) It's really only 1 week later than I would have been coming home anyway. I really want to see you guys as soon as I can, but for some reason I think the Lord has something more for me to do or to learn. So that's my decision on that front. :) 

 Week 50

First of all, I just want to tell you how much I loved that we got to skype. It was so good to see your face and talk with you! I'm sorry the connection wasn't the best.. but at least it worked out! Sorry I was kind of all over the place. I feel like all I did was smile and cry hahaha. But it was exactly what I needed to see my cute family at Christmas. :)  I'm sorry. I was having a hard time with my English. It's just hard when I'm used to expressing myself in Tagalog now.

I'm not transferring! We found out this morning. I am so happy! I love Cabatuan. So the next transfer day will be in February. Man I will be here for a long time!! I'll probably only have one more area. I know the Lord has something more for me to do here in Cabatuan before I transfer so I hope and I pray I will able to accomplish it. Christmas was good, we ended up just visiting members. I think I gained 10 pounds on Christmas!! We ate so many times at so many different places hahaha but that's okay, it was really fun. ALL of the branch missionaries wanted to work with us yesterday so we had splits! It was so fun. And then we all had a dinner at the old Branch President's. We are so lucky in this branch! 

Week 49

It's been super rainy and kind of chilly this past week. In the mornings I've been boiling water to shower with cause the water is just too cold. Ha it works out quite nicely. I wouldn't use my electric fan at night except we need it to keep the mosquitos away. I'm like secretly hoping for it to be hot again and then I know as soon as it is I'll be like noooooo! haha. 

We had a couple accept the invitation to be baptized!! They have such a testimony!! Their countenances are so different now from the first time I met them. You can literally see in their faces. I'm so grateful for the gospel and the wonderful opportunity I have to share it. I know it has the power to change people. This is what we all need. When we were teaching that lesson I just felt an overwhelming feeling of love for them. And the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has for them. I absolutely love being a missionary. I love teaching and helping people. I'm not the best missionary, and I know there's lots of things I lack but I'm doing my best and I'm so grateful for a patient Father in Heaven. 

Week 48

They are really trying to get Cauayan District to be stake right now. They have 6 stakes in our mission here, and you need 8 to have a temple. So just two more!! The first missionaries who came here were in the 1960's I think... and look how much it's grown since then!! It's crazy. I know Jesus Christ is really hastening His work. Because these really are the last days. I love teaching this time of year! I mean I love it all the time, but so many of our lessons and contacts are about Christmas and the Savior. There's definitely a special spirit in our work and I absolutely love it.
I know this is the church that Jesus Christ himself established and He still leads and directs it today through President Monson. How blessed we are to know this simple truths. Thanks for being my rock and my example mom! Your faith strengthens mine.

Week 47

Well we had a zone meeting last week which was super good. I learned a ton!! It was kind of all about Christmas. They have some fun things they are doing in the mission for Christmas I am excited!! We have this fun Christmas pass along cards that we are giving out to all our contacts. And then they have some videos on a cd that we can show to people. And they are encouraging us to do Christmas service projects with our district. So next week I think we are going to go caroling to like a hospital or something. I'm excited!! I feel the Christmas spirit here but I love teaching and learning more about Christ! It's my favorite

I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be! I can't even explain the love I have for these people. They are our brothers and sisters. I know Heavenly Father loves them so much. How blessed I am to be a part of this work, even if it's just for a short time. Although I'm not doing much, I know by small means the Lord accomplishes his work. 

Well last thing, yesterday was a beautiful Sunday!! One of our new investigators came to church!! And he cried in gospel principles class when our teacher was teaching about temple sealings. My goodness. He is so prepared! He wants to listen to us. But his job is... like... I don't really know exactly but he like keeps track of gambling in his barangay... so he's going to have to quit... it is going to be a huge step of faith. But I know he can do it. And then oh my goodness! The child of one of our long time investigators and his wife came to church!! We just recently started teaching them. Let me tell you what. Heavenly Father knows what he's doing! We are being led everyday. They are big on families and most of them believe they'll live after this life. But they won't know each other... like all their relationships are lost. So I love teaching them the Plan of Salvation and about families!

 Week 46

One day this week we just scheduled two hours for contacting so we could get some contacting in and explore some of the places we haven't been before. I had no idea where we were going but we somehow got led to this small little street and then this nanay or older lady saw us and she's like "well it's about time you came and visit me!" and she invited us in and everything. Turns out she's a member! Hasn't been to church for like 10 years. She loves the missionaries! I just am so grateful for that day we took to adventure out in that part of the area. It had been years before missionaries had visited her. I know that the Spirit led us to her and I'm so grateful that we are guided in this mission or I would have no idea what I'm doing! Haha. 

Week 45

This week was a good one. In our district meeting we learned about commitments and how we need to be more bold. I now have a desire to be more bold. Cause sometimes I am shy or a little scared to give commitments when I know they don't wanna do it. So this week I have been working on being bold in extending commitments and I can see a really big difference!! Yesterday we taught the word of wisdom to an older couple. And I was super scared cause when she heard the coffee isn't allowed she freaked out! But the lesson was SO good. I was praying so hard for Heavenly Father to help us what to say and guide that lesson cause I know it's a thing they really struggle with. And they want to live the word of wisdom!! I love them so much. The only thing holding them back is they don't go to church! But they read the BOM now and always have so many questions. I know the time will come they will go to church and then their baptism will come so fast!
I can definitely feel a difference when I just go through the motions and when I actually do my best. It's hard to do your best everyday!! Sometimes the natural man kicks in and I just want to take a nap haha. But I know those kinds of thoughts are from Satan so I do my best to tune them out. I really am doing my best though. I really love this area in Cabatuan!!

Week 44

Yes our favorite kiddo came to church again this week! We actually went to go pick him up and his mom said he already left! So the past when that has happened he has gone early to baptist. But when we arrived at the church he was there!! We were so happy! And he seems to be making some friends there. Such a good little kid. Really hope it continues! I seriously am learning so much it's crazy! Sometimes I am kind of afraid to come home, I really love the mission and we are kind of in this spiritual bubble. I know it will be harder when I get home and sometimes that scares me. BUT. I am so grateful for the things I am learning. A lot of my goals and desires are changing and I feel better able and prepared to fight temptations and better prepared to teach my children someday! 

Week 43

I am actually really excited for Christmas in the field. All the missionaries actually really enjoy it. And of course the true meaning is about Christ.

They had the primary program in our branch as well yesterday. There's only about 8 primary kids. But it was cute!! Cute to see their little testimonies. One kid was baptized in March. But since I've been here he hasn't come to church again. He's been going to the baptist church cause his friends go there. But we've tried for weeks now to pick him up and have him go to church with us. But it just never worked out. Until yesterday! We walked to pick him up at 7:45 so we would get there before his little friends. And then he participated in the primary program! He's 11. He's so stinking cute. But he thanked us after and we are going to do the same thing next week! 

Just a busy week sharing good work of God to the people of the Philippines. I never thought I would love teaching as much as I do. I love these people so stinking much. And I love sharing the gospel to them. I know this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And He is at the head of this church. And He leads the Cauayan Mission. I feel it everyday.