Monday, November 2, 2015


Week 42

Our zone conference last week was bomb! We didn't really have any games it was like all conferences and talks but it was really good!! I learned SO much. We talked about spiritual gifts and how we can pray for them and how real they are. I think we really underestimate the power of the spirit sometimes. But I've been praying for the gift of revelation and it's actually been really cool. I've received so much help and guidance for myself and for my companion and for the people in Cabatuan. We also talked about repentance. And about how sometimes people think of it as this huge bad experience but really if repentance is done right, it's a very beautiful and sacred experience. And how once we've gone from good to bad we still need to repent and go from good to great and great to excellent until eventually in the next life, we will be made perfect through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I learned more how to effectively teach and show investigators and members the importance of repentance in the conversion process. 

I'm doing really good. I'm sure sometimes you wonder if I really am doing good but I want you to know how happy I am! I'm so happy!! I know this is exactly where God needs me at this time. It's kind of crazy how perfect His plan is. I just think of all the things and people I would be missing out on if I didn't serve. And it's mind blowing. So thank you! For always encouraging me to go on a mission. Even when I didn't want to. And thank you for always showing me such a good example to follow. I hope one day I can be such an example to my kids!! You are my inspiration. I miss you so much it hurts sometimes but at the same time I am comforted cause I know you are being watched over. 

Week 41

The baptism went really good!! Definitely one of my favorites. The Spirit was so strong!! And a lot of her family came which was really cool to see. We are now going to church her 9 and 11 and 14 year old and then her sister also said we could teach her! So we are really excited.

I know you are also being watched over and protected. I absolutely love this work. I know I'm on the right path and I know our church is true. And our Savior is at the head. How truly blessed we are! Until next week... :) LOVE YOU!! 

Week 40

Here’s the deal with one of our investigators… Wednesday we taught him and it was the best lesson! (or so I thought) Cause he accepted to be baptized and boom bam. The spirit was so strong and yeah it was just good. BUT THEN we learn from his friend who's a member that he's kind of just testing us to see what we know? Also, in the past he has wanted to start his own church. My companion and I have been praying really hard for the gift of discernment and for us to have the spirit to know what to say. But he's a really nice person, and even if he has some weird intentions, everyone can change. And he said he was really inspired by conference, so hopefully he's being sincere. So we'll see what happens there.

I have decided to "ponderize" a scripture every week. But I am memorizing it in Tagalog cause I realized a don't have very many memorized in Tagalog. So it will help me with that and also to think about the scripture more in depth every week.

Santiago (James) 1:5- "Kung nagkukulang ng karunungan ang sinoman sa inyo, ay humingi sa Diyos, na nagbibigay ng sagana sa lahat at hindi nanunumbat; at ito'y ibibigay sa kanya."

Week 39

I have a new companion. She's Philippina! She is really sweet. She has such a desire to serve. It's so much harder training than I thought. Makes me really appreciate the patience my trainer had with me, haha. It's just a lot of responsibility! But it's definitely pushing me to be better and be a really good example for her. I'm really trying my best. She's really quiet. And I'm just a loud crazy beast but she loves it. But I know she will do great things and I'm excited to be her companion for the next 12 weeks. I'm really grateful, even though a lot of the times I feel super inadequate and don't quite know what to do-I've really felt the love and help of Heavenly Father within these past few days.

Conference was the best!! So. Dang. Good. I don't think I quite have a favorite but I learned a lot. One thing I liked... I don't remember who said it but he said "direction is more important than speed." cause I think sometimes we want our progression or blessings to come right away but that's just not how it works. But as long as we are on the right path and doing the right things and going the right direction, that's what's important. I also liked how much they talked about the Holy Ghost and how we really need to weed out those things in our life that our keeping ourselves from progressing or from being worthy for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. And also how we not only need to endure but endure WELL. :) 

Week 38

We started teaching that referral. He is GOLDEN. He came to church again. And we took president (our branch president with us) when we taught him last week and that was probably my favorite lesson so far on the mission. He explained some of his questions and experiences in life. He's 28 and feels bad cause he's not married like his other friends, he dated a mormon girl once but they never talked about religion. His mom died in 2013 and he's wondering if he will ever get to see her again. I don't remember everything I said but the spirit was so strong while we were teaching. You could tell he felt it. We will be teaching him tomorrow and I'm so excited. I absolutely love teaching about the gospel! Lessons like that make all the hard times worth it. I just remember feeling in that lesson. Oh yeah. This is why I'm here. :)

I love how you said if you didn't know it was true you wouldn't have let me come all this way. That's something I love sharing with people. If I didn't know how true this gospel is I would not be half way across the world sharing it every day for 18 months. But I too know that it's true. More than ever. '

Week 37          

We have two baptisms coming up this Saturday! So stoked! First time I actually had to fill out all the paper work and organize everything. One Sister though, I thought she was a member! Cause she goes to church every week and is so good. But come to find out she hasn't been baptized yet because her boyfriend lives in Cauayan. And she used to live there, but once they learned about the law of chastity she moved back to her mom's house until they have enough money to get married. They have a four year old. (not a whole lot of people get officially married here.. ps) And she was waiting to get baptized with her boyfriend in Cauayan but since she is staying here we get her! She's SO excited. :)

We visited a brother who goes to church every week and I always shake his hand but we never had a one and one conversation. President was telling us how he was preparing for a mission in the past but then stopped. So we decided to go share to him. And now he works with us like 2 or 3 times a week! And is starting to prepare again. He said the night before we came and shared to him he was struggling a lot and prayed for an answer. BOOM. He is such a great addition to our lessons! And is going to make such a good missionary. I'm so excited for him! I love of course being able to help investigators, but I love helping the members as well!!

Even though I am a missionary and have all these wonderful experiences, there's still times of struggle and temptation. But I'm so grateful for the Atonement. I know it is real. And not only does it cover our sins, but any weaknesses, trials, temptation, sorrow- we can draw strength from the Atonement. I've never felt so close to my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ as I do on the mission. Their love is incomprehensible. And the only thing I have to compare it to is the love I have for you! And the love I know you have for us. So thank you for your love!! This gospel is true! I absolutely love sharing it. :) 

Week 36
Work is going good here though in my new area. My new companion and I are getting along great!! She still loves me and is kind of freaking out cause she doesn't want to transfer ha. But if she does, I know she will do great! I know that it's been revelation for sure that we are companions. :)
We visited one of our investigators again and he had his hymn book out so he must have been looking at it throughout the week. So I asked him before we left if we could sing a hymn. I asked him his favorite. The Spirit of God. We just sang one verse but the spirit was INSANE. He is a real trooper. And is making crazy progress. I feel so blessed to have met him and look forward to visiting him often. 

I know as well the church is true. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and are just waiting to bless us. I'm also so grateful for the Atonement. I've learned so much about this wonderful event and love sharing and learning more about it. We are so blessed. I love this work!! Thank you for raising me in the gospel. :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Magandang Hapon!

Week 35

Our last zone meeting was really good! They talked about attitude and accountability. Just reminded me how we can control our attitude no matter what our surroundings are. And how our thoughts should also reflect what we want our attitude to be. Because sometimes I let my thoughts get the better of me and get down on myself or whatever. But I've tried to be more positive in my thoughts and in everything I do this week and it's been really good!! 

This week has been good. Full of the Spirit. I wish I could remember everything that happened but when it gets to be Monday it's all gone. So I apologize. But one person really sticks out to me this last week. One has become less active because he became paralyzed, and he has a really hard time speaking. Although his mind is still really sharp. He was the Branch president in the past and super active. We have visited him three times now and the spirit is SO strong every time. But he is really confused and doesn't understand why this has happened to him. Which I don't blame him.. I can't imagine. Last time he showed me pictures when he went to salt lake to see the temple. We both cried. It was kind of adorable. But the priesthood are now taking sacrament to his house on sundays and he loves it. And our last visit he told us to make sure we come back every week. It's soo hard to see people here sometimes and what they are going through. But I know Heavenly Father loves them so much. I feel it so strong. I've learned so much from him and look forward to our next visits with him!! He's making so much progress. :) 

Week 34

There's lots of investigators here. Not as much as our last area. Which is okay, so we can actually kind of focus on some people! But we are doing to best to find some new ones as well. One sister is going to be baptized this end of September and another in October. :) I feel confident those ones will go through! Yesterday we had a really good lesson with a long time investigator. And he had so many good questions!! Like really deep questions... And the Holy Ghost definitely drove and at the beginning of the lesson I was so super worried about what I was going to say cause he had all these insane questions. And I just said a quick prayer Heavenly Father please help us say what thou would say. And it was so good!! He wants to come to church! Miracles are real!

Earlier this week we had a little experience. Our fire alarm started going off at 330 in the morning and it was yelling carbon monoxide! I was tripping. And Sister Sapinoso was like it's fine... lets just go back to sleep. But it kept going off and saying that and I was like Sister... we are going to die. So I called the Zone leaders... because Elder Brandon is American and I just really wanted to speak english haha. And after 3 calls they answered. Poor guys... And he was like "go outside right now sisters!" And then they called sister rahlf, and president rahlf called us. And told me how to disarm it and it was probably a false reading because everything is so open in the philippines they don't really have a problem with carbon monoxide. But I couldn't disarm it... So President Rahlf and Sister Rahlf came to our apartment at 530 in the morning to disarm our alarm... So I mean there's that. HA. It was pretty intense! But hey we are alive!! So don't worry!! And President and Sister Rahlf are the best!! 

Week 33

I was transferred to Cauayan! It was the weirdest thing.. Because when I transferred to Penablanca before I had a feeling that I would be transferred to Cauayan but "not yet." And then this last transfer I had a feeling once again I was going to the Cauayan Zone and BOOM it happened, haha revelation is real. But I'm super stoked!! And I'm spoiled out of my mind here and I don't even know how to handle it... haha even just from a few days here, I know this is exactly where the Lord needs me right now. Or where I need to be to learn and to grow. And to meet these wonderful people. I know what you said is true, the Lord is so aware of us and has a plan for each of us. 

Week 32

I was reading in Ether about the brother of Jared and just fell in love with the scriptures about him. His faith was so strong and he relied on the Lord. And then he couldn't be kept from the veil. How faithful he had to have been for that to happen! But he was also chastened by the Lord. Because for 4 years he forgot to "call upon Him." Just helped me realize we are all not perfect!! And all forget things sometimes, but it's okay. The Lord is always there to get us back on the right track. :) Even the best of the best people in the Book of Mormon need chastising.  When I found out as I was transferring.. I was so sad! Because I truly love the people here, but I know my work here is done. And that the Lord needs me somewhere else for some reason. And so I'm so happy to go and harvest in another area. :) 

Week 31

This week has been good. We were able to have some fellowshippers for the first time in like a month! And those investigators came to church yesterday!! Their testimonies were so strong so I really think they felt the spirit and that's why they came to church!! But they are really searching and have tons of questions so I'm excited to continue teaching them!! 

A scripture that I really liked this week is D&C 123:17. "Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance...”   Just how sometimes this world we live in is so crazy!! And the world keeps changing its standards. But how truly blessed we are to have the knowledge of the gospel. And we know that God's standards will never change. There's so many broken families here, and sometimes it's so hard to see and to imagine. Cause we have been blessed with such a great one. But I know as we do all we can in our power, we can have confidence in this crazy world we live in. :) And there is SO much to be enjoyed

Another thing I liked this week.. one of the members we visited shared us his story.. which is amazing. But he was baptized in like 1980 something but just become active like 3 years ago. And he stopped his schooling at grade 3. So basically he couldn't really read or write well. But for the past 3 years he's read his scriptures every night. And wrote his thoughts and now he's a freaking boss! He's so smart and so good at reading and writing. It was so cool to see the blessings that have come and are coming in his life because of the gospel! 

Week 30

I'm in 3rd Nephi right now where Jesus is teaching the people. SO powerful. I love reading the Book of Mormon!! You can't read it and not feel the truthfulness of it. There's such a difference when an investigator reads the BOM and when they don't. Night and day. :) I know it's true!! And it can help us with anything! 

This week has been good!! Challenging. We are now teaching a Jehovah's Witness. (Which there is a lot of here by the way...) She's really nice and willing to listen to us. And is really good at the bible. I've been really studying basic doctrines in the bible so we've been able to share those with her and the spirit is so strong in our lessons!! I really hope she continues to be taught!!

I've never been so aware of all my weaknesses and insecurities as I am now... haha it's kind of ridiculous. BUT I'm learning so much!! And I'm absolutely loving it!! I know this is the Lord's work. And we ALL chose to come here at this time to hasten it. It's an exciting time!! Sometimes scary. But as we put our trust in the truths we know.. I know we can find comfort and peace. :) And we need not fear what lies ahead!!

Week 29

We had our district meeting and I was talking to one of the Elders who just transferred into our zone this cycle and he asked me when I go home. (because that's just what all the missionaries ask haha) And I told him July next year. And he would not believe me for the longest time!! He's like no way!! Your Tagalog is too good, blah blah blah. So that made my day last week!! Gosh, I just love those dang philippinos who compliment me!! 

Also something that I really enjoyed this week, I finished Mark and I was reading in one of the manuals about Mark 15:34 when Jesus asks Heavenly Father why He has forsaken Him - how Heavenly Father had to withdraw His spirit in order for Jesus Christ to complete the Atonement. So it just made me think, that sometimes we may feel like Heavenly Father has forsaken us. But sometimes, I think He just has something bigger in store for us. And everything is really to test our faith. I know as we put our trust in Him, we have no need to fear. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are ALWAYS here for us. :) 

Week 28

So Pena Blanca apartment. Is alright! Haha. It's right next to a highway so it's pretty loud but not too bad. And we are right next to a Jesus Is Lord church, kind of funny. It's kind of like tucked away, so it gets really hot and stuffy but it's getting better as it's getting cooler. And I love my CR (comfort room, bathroom) It has a shower head and a flushing toilet!! Never get both I hear so I count myself as blessed! 

I read in a quote I had from my scriptures how the Savior is the perfect example of love. And how the biggest sign of love is giving. We can give without love but we can't love without giving. Heavenly Father GAVE His only Beggotten for us and the Savior GAVE His life for us. And Jesus Christ's whole life was dedicated to giving and to helping others.  
Also, kind of like you have been saying to me this whole time, but I just realized it more in depthly, with planting seeds. The whole reason we even know our investigator now is because missionaries found her almost two years ago. They planted the seed for us to harvest. Just kind of helped me realize or remember, that those we are not able to get in touch with right now or change right now, we have truly planted a seed. And Heavenly Father will send missionaries later on, or someone later on to harvest that. :)

Week 27

Pena Blanca is good!! I really do love it here. Our baptism went through on Saturday! It was beautiful. I cried. I thank you for my emotional problems ;) Haha just kidding. But it was soo good!! 
So this week I fell in love... with a fruit!! Atis. SO GOOD. Basically like a really sugary apple, but it has like a million seeds so it's kind of hard to eat, but DELICIOUS. And of course the mangos are to die for!! Now there's tons of pineapple too!  Whooo. So much fruit. So little time! Also its rainy season now so there's tons of more insects in our apartment! Mmmmm. My favorite. Ha but it's really not too bad. It just rains almost every day! Only 4 missionaries transferred from our zone this last transfer!! Including the two going home. So pretty much the same zone again! Which is fine because I love them all!! But there's a new sister in our district! Yay I'm not the newest Americana anymore!! Haha best thing of my life.

Week 26

It has cooled down a little bit! Especially at night, two nights this week I had to use a sheet and actually turned off the fan in the middle of the night, say what!? So that's been nice.  

One experience I just want to share really quick, on Tuesday we went to teach our investigator who was expecting to get baptized. He lives with his aunt, who is a member. And she's always so nice when we see her, but usually really busy! But I had the prompting to just ask about her and how she was REALLY doing. She literally told us her life story in a brief... 3 hours!!! HA. YOW. But her story is amazing!! She has lost both of her parents and a brother. Her husband has left her for someone else. They have three kids. And she takes care of one child (who got baptized, cause he's lost his parents.. , the Aunt's brother) and she was just overwhelmed! She works three jobs and her youngest is almost a year. She told us about how she prayed earlier that day for someone that she could talk to. And then when she saw us walking up the dirt road she said, "thank you Heavenly Father" So our day definitely didn't turn out how we wanted. We didn't have any lessons. But we knew she needed that. Being here, has helped me realize how small my problems really are. And the things that really do matter. 

I'm so thankful I've been blessed with such a wonderful family!! So many do not have that blessing in their life. I'm so thankful for this wonderful gospel we have. I know it is true! I know it. I know that Heavenly Father is just waiting to bless us. Sometimes we just have to ask.

Week 25

So yesterday was kind of crazy! There was a typhoon, about a level 2. We were encouraged to stay indoors all day but it let up about 1 and we were able to go out and work! Thank goodness! I don't know what I would have done all day in our apartment! And they even cancelled church! First time I've seen that happen.. sacrament meeting and all. It rained SO hard! Haha and was super windy but we were totally safe! The roads after were drenched and full of mud and the poor corn fields... all the corn is destroyed. BUT everyone just got out and started cleaning up like no big deal haha, resilient these people are I tell you! And today everything is dry and it's hot once again haha welcome to the Philippines!
This week has been pretty good though! We had FHE on Monday with a ward family which was actually a blast! Philippinos are HILARIOUS and FHE. When they play games, they freak out. So today my day was definitely made because we went to McDonald's for lunch and guess what was everywhere..... MINIONS!! Haha I guess that movie came out right?? Well definitely got a happy meal and definitely got a little minion toy so I was pretty happy about that haha. 

I read Moses this week. And it made me really miss the temple! But just reconfirmed to me how perfect Heavenly Father's plan is. And how everything happened for a reason. A lot of people we are teaching don't really understand the purpose of Adam and Eve so I've loved learning more about them and studying about the Fall so I can be able to explain things. But I know it's okay for us not to understand everything, or reasons for everything. But as long as we trust Heavenly Father and His plan, that's all we need. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Week 24

In our district meeting this last week our district leader was telling us how cool it is that we are teaching the exact same gospel that Alma and everyone in the Book of Mormon was teaching. And I was like dang... yeah! It's the exact same gospel! Just pretty amazing that the gospel will never change even though a lot of things around us are. But it's so important to love everyone too!

I'm starting to really love Pena Blanca too! I know it's really important to love the area where you are at. :) Earlier this week we taught some people by the church. And it was crazy - many people came to listen to us! I was so scared! And then at least 40 kids who were amazed with an American haha. It was quite interesting. But it all worked out! Eventually people started to leave and then we have two new investigators out of it so I'll take it ;) 

It's been a pretty good week! I have my days, ha but I really truly love missionary work. I feel so blessed to be here! I love teaching about the gospel, and I'm learning so many things that I didn't really know or understand before. And even though I'm stressed sometimes, the good times definitely overtrump the bad ones!

Week 23

So this week... there's been a lot of cool experiences! But one of our investigators definitely stands out. Her name is Fraida. She does our laundry. :) She's been an investigator since the beginning of last year, so over a year no? And never been to church. Guess what?!?! She came to church yesterday!! Ahhh! We were so happy!! She's totally progressing!! And she now has a baptismal date, there's another girl, Rizalyn who has been a long time investigator too and yesterday the spirit was so strong in our lesson and she wants to be baptized now too! So I've definitely seen the Lord's hand in the people this week. For some reason, we are the missionaries that can help them, and I'm so thankful! 

There's so many struggles and temptations in this life no? But how truly blessed we are that we have this gospel! It's our way and our shield. I'm SO grateful to be out here and learning the things I'm learning. And I'm so grateful to have our wonderful eternal family!

Week 22

I just read that talk by Elder Ballard the other day. SO. GOOD. Right?? Definitely motivated me to raise my bar! As a missionary and as a member! And for when I return home. :) Something I liked this week that I studied was in Mosiah. When Abinadi is killed. (HA, no I don't like when he was killed) But how his only convert when he is talking with King Noah is Alma. One convert. But then look at what Alma was able to accomplish! By the end of chapter 18, four hundred and something souls! So it just comforts me that even though sometimes I'm not finding the success I want, as long as I convert one person, it's not in vain. :) Because they will be able to bless their children and their children's children and so on. :) 

Something else I liked that Pres. Rahlf told us about our contacting. Cause our goal is 70 a week. And not very many missionaries are meeting the goal. And he said "It's not because you can't do it, it's because you aren't doing it." And I was just like dang! How true! Those things that I say "I can't do" sometimes are just because I'm not doing, so definitely can improve there. :)

So I've pretty much gotten used to the bugs by now... BUT. This spider the other day.... was not a bug. It was an ANIMAL. So big! So I was changing in our room one night and I saw it. I freaked out! Haha I couldn't speak. So I jumped on the bed and opened the door slowly and "pssst" Sister Valdez and I made her kill it. It was quite an experience.

Week 21

So I have been transferred toooo....... Pena Blanca. Which is..... Tuguegarao South Stake still!!!! So weird!!. It's super pretty, but super hot! It's about 30 or 40 minutes from my last area, but it's a lot more rural. There's a lot more open space. Which is fun! But stressful! There's so much land to cover. Let's see what can I say about Pena Blanca... haha. Well first off, Sister Elivera stayed with Sister Jones! I knew it! So she's an Sister Training Leader now. :) I'm so proud of her! She's so stressed haha. And my new companion is Sister Valdez. She's probably the smallest 20 year old human I know. She's 4'8 I think. But funny story! Her nanay (mom/trainer) in the mission is Sister Jones!! Ha so splits will be fun with them! Both of our nanays! I'm thankful to be here in Tugue still... But almost everyone from Pena Blanca has their own dialect. Which is Itawis. Most of them know how to speak Tagalog but when they talk to each other it's in itawis, it sounds like Chinese! It's so crazy! There's so many languages here!! I know how to say a few phrases now but that's it! Still struggling with Tagalog, obviously... but not as bad as before.

Despite all the challenges here, I know Heavenly Father has a reason for me being here! Just excited to find out what those reasons are. :) I just finished reading Matthew. I love the last few chapters. Even though it's sometimes painful to read the account of the death of Jesus Christ. But chapter 26 really hit me when the disciples fell asleep three times. And Jesus said, "Could you just not watch with me one hour?" I just got to thinking of this mission. Just 18 months, one hour. I need to put everything I have into this work! This is the only time I have to serve like this so I'm trying to do all I can to help this people come unto Jesus Christ! It's hard, but Jesus has done so much for us! This is the least I can do. Every time I learn more about Him, I am amazed, truly amazed for His sacrifice, and His love for us! How blessed we are to have the knowledge of this gospel. :)

Week 20

This last week we had FHE at the Ballubal family's house. The family that we skyped at. It was a blast! Ruth and Angel and a couple other investigators came. And then Tatay and Sister Ballubal made a bunch of food for everyone and we played games. Tonight we have one at the Sepino's. :) The family with Sister Elma that got her breast removed and then Jeff, my first baptism that first week I was here. Ah I'm going to miss them! But it will be fun! 

I was getting a little discouraged, we had what like 8 with a baptismal date and then only 1 ended up getting baptized. And then the three kids CJ, Mak and Anjo, them and their dad said they didn't want to be taught anymore. And just a bunch of things. So I was like why!?!? Am I not doing enough?!? And Sister Jones just explained it to me like if we are the quarter back in football. We can through a perfect pass, but the receiver still has to catch it. It's been a very hard lesson to learn, and I'm still learning to trust Heavenly Father's will for me and these people. But I know I just need to do my best and it will all be okay. :) 

Week 19

Yeah we have a baptism this week - Sister Margarathe. One of the really really shy girls. She's 12. She's really really cute! And we practiced the baptismal interview questions with her and she's so good! Her testimony was so strong. At first we weren't sure if she was ready, but we have been fasting and praying for her and the others. And she's ready. :) And then Sister Ruth and Angel.. AHHH. Ha they aren't going to be baptized. :( At least this week! They know it's true, so I'm hoping they will eventually. They just don't want to disobey their parents. Which I get. But it's just hard. Sister Elivera and I have been frustrated cause we feel like we have been doing all we can for them and everything right. But when it comes down to it, they still have their agency. And I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for them. I'm just trying to trust Him more and more. But I know we just need to worry about the things we can control. :) But it's been crazy how Satan works too! When we were teaching them there was SO many distractions and things going on that normally don't happen. Dang that Satan!

But let's see... it was 46.8 degrees here the other day. Celcius. I'll just let you figure that one out.... and let it sink in for a second..... WHAT THE. No?? So hot!! But it's okay. It’s been a kind of tough week all around. I was reading in Mosiah 24 I think where it talks about the sons of Mosiah praying for the burdens to be light. And the Lord strengthened them to be able to bear their burdens. He didn't take them away, but He strengthened them to be able to bear them. And they did it cheerfully!! So just reminds me to lean on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and they will help me in the things I am going through. And strengthen me to get through them and I need to do it cheerfully and with patience. :) 

Week 18

The Sister’s Conference was so good!! It was kind of cheesy, they had a bunch of little workshops about no gossip, budgeting, eating healthy, and being beautiful on the inside. But it was really good!! I love President and Sister Rahlf! And the senior couples too! They are too cute! It was about being "unstoppable." Pres. and Sis. Rahlf gave really uplifting and motivating talks!! Just reminded me that we chose whether we are happy or not, whether we get offended or not, how we want to look at every situation. And we should try our best to have a good attitude and look at hardships as opportunities. :) 

So Ruth and Angel, the 17 and 18 year old girls are completely set for May 30!! Yay!! We walked them home the other day and I was talking to Angel and she said she wants to serve a mission!! My heart melted!! I'm like kay... mission accomplished. HAHA. But words cannot even describe!! But anyways we had them think of a question before we started the lesson and then we read 2 Ne 31 with them and told them they would find their answer in this chapter. Whatever question they had for Heavenly Father. Sister Elivera and I thought of one too. And syemps!! (of course) It was answered!! All of ours!! The spirit was so strong!! So I've been doing that every personal study now.. hahah I ask a question and then BOOM, answered. But I'm so so happy for them!! And the Book of Mormon rocks my whole world. My testimony has grown so much about it. But I KNOW it's true!! And it has answers to every question we have!! 

Skyping on Mother's Day

Week 17

Such a good day today!! I'm so thankful for you, Mom. I don't know where I would be without you and our amazing family!! We all tease you because you are the cutest and because we love you. ;) Stay just the way you are!! You're the best mom in the whole world. :) I'm so thankful Heavenly Father has given us mothers!! Just reminds me of the 2,000 stripling warriors. They were so righteous because their MOTHERS taught them. :) Thank you for raising me and teaching me the right ways!! I'll be forever grateful for you and your example!! I can't wait to see you and hang out with you all the time again, but for now the weekly email thing will do ;)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Getting to Work!

Week 16

Seeing a lot of these broken families, just makes me appreciate ours so much!! And the knowledge we have of the gospel.. just makes it that much more amazing! It's getting better for sure, still is very hard and I still feel so new! Ha but I know the Lord has a plan for me here, and will provide a way for me. :)

Something else I learned this week… We need to first seek to understand before we seek to be understood. I've been really trying extra hard this week to listen to our investigators and be able to discern their needs. It's helped a lot! But we need to understand where people come from and their side of things before we can tell them things. :) And definitely applies with the language! I need to understand them and their problems before I can express how to help them. :)

We had 8 investigators come to church yesterday!! So that was good. Ruth and Angel are progressing so much and are going to tell their family this week! And we have a new investigator. Gladys. Kind of a cool experience with her-it was our first real lesson with her. And she's so prepared!! We were talking about families (she has a daughter and a husband.) and I had the feeling I should share my testimony about families and about how Dad passed away. But I haven't really shared the story about Dad, just with Sister Elma. And especially with it being our first lesson with her. But I kept feeling like I needed to, so I did. And the spirit was so strong! And then after Sister Elivera told me how grateful she was I shared that. And how she had the feeling I needed to share it during the lesson and was praying the whole time that I would. So it was just neat!! I'm so grateful for eternal families!!

Week 15

My teaching is going good! Sometimes it's still pretty rough for me, but I can definitely feel the difference when I teach by the spirit and when I try to teach based on my own knowledge or what I want to say…It doesn't work!!

And hmm... a lizard pooped on me during a lesson... so yeah that happened. Ha they are the iguana things that are everywhere and it was on the sealing and then... yep. Haha so gross! But we had CSP on Saturday. Community Service Project. Which was fun!! Just hot!! Some people from the word help clean up around this business. After Bishop took us out to lunch which was so nice!! Everyone is so nice!!

But some spiritual things I wanted to share with you :) I've been reading this Book of Mormon study guide with my Book of Mormon reading and it has so many good things in there!! But one of the quotes in there was "When trials aren't a consequence of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more." So I loved that! And it's so true!! If we want to become like Heavenly Father we have A LOT of growing to do, and it's going to be hard and uncomfortable at times. But how worth it!! And if we go through something, God will always provide away for us to accomplish what He wants us to accomplish or to get through something :)

Week 14

There was a quote I love from a talk I read by Elder Holland, "We cannot sign on for a battle of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight- a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless." Sometimes I'm like yeah, kay, I'm doing all the things I'm supposed to so it should be easy right?? And I should be blessed right?? Hahaha but it's not supposed to be easy and that's what makes it so worth it in the end. :) 

So those three kids we have been teaching-the 15 year old, Makmak we thought at the beginning he was so ready but it turns out Anjo, the one who didn't really listen at first is sooo ready!!! He's so ... astig, like cool. He told us yesterday a bunch of things he'd learned from 2 weeks ago at church, we were surprised he remembered! But we taught them with their less active dad these past two times and you can tell it's really hitting him but he has some problems so I'm just hoping and praying everything works out with them!! Ruth and Angel-the two girls we found contacting are so astig too! They came to church yesterday but couldn't stay for sacrament but hopefully next week. They have so many GOOD questions, and it's cool teaching someone close to my same age! They are committed for May 30 but we'll see ;) I've learned that the goal date.. Usually isn't the real date HA. But there's a lady in that house we have been teaching too. We taught her once like three weeks ago maybe--no interest. But now she's totally interested!! Her husband and one of her sons have passed away and she loves the plan of Salvation. Ahh. I just love teaching them!! :)

It's been a fairly good week. I was struggling at the beginning but I just realized AGAIN that it's not about me. :) Sometimes I have to say that when I look in the mirror, "it's not about me, it's not about me, it's not about me" hahaha. But for real, I'm just happy to be able to be sharing my beliefs and what has helped me to these amazing and beautiful people. I can't to meet those ones that for some reason I only can help. :) This is the Lord's work. I feel privileged and blessed to be a part of it!

Week 13

YES we got to watch conference!! So stinking good!! I never have looked forward to it so much! We watched it at the stake center which is our church, it was for the whole stake. (Which is pretty much like our ward maybe) and yeah. I took so many notes! There's something I learned from every single person. At home I found myself only listening to like 12's or the first presidency's talks but every one of them said something profound to me! All the missionaries going home soon loved the Saturday session hahaha they are all ready to get married and have a family now. I really liked Elder Pearson's of the seventy. About how "hanging in there" isn't a principle of the gospel and our daily discipleship determines our eternal destiny. I just have a renewed motivation to live my life, every single day, striving to serve God. And to love His children. :) And especially when I get home! I need to live everyday with the gospel as my priority and endure to the end! And that strength to endure comes from Christ. And how we can be joyful in hard times as well! Life is so much better when we are happy and that happiness comes from families and from living righteously! And then of course the Atonement.

So after I got home from Cauayan I just was so inspired and motivated to be better. And that Thursday I just decided to be the absolute best I can be with Tagalog, with everything, and it was SUCH a good day. We found these 2 girls who are 16 and 17 and they have so many amazing questions! We taught them right there! They just invited us in. And they were so amazed with my Tagalog! Haha. I got a lot of help that day! And I know as I continue studying my hardest, the Lord will make up for what I can't.

Words cannot express how much I love and am grateful for you! Your faith and testimony strengthens mine. And I want you to know that I too know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet today. I sustain him. And I know that they are here to help us and direct us in these days. I'm so thankful for the words of the prophets and the leaders of the church. They are the words of God. :)

Week 12

So the typhoon! I was so scared! Haha. They were telling us it was supposed to be this huge thing so they let us grocery shop early and make sure we had a 72 hour kit. But it got less and less every day and by yesterday it was just a tropical storm. :) It rained pretty hard and there was a lot of wind but nothing too shabby! Very lucky and blessed! But it's good that we were prepared too. :) President and Sister Rahlf are very good at making sure we are okay and prepared. They care so much about us!

My cute investigators are all good!! We had 9 come to church on Sunday! Most of them are kids... but that's okay! We finally taught CJ, Anjo, and Mak again. They are committed to baptism and they came to church and Anjo and Mak went to mutual :) I can feel the spirit so strong in our lessons with them! Their dad who is inactive came to church too and he hasn't been in over 10 years! A miracle!!

.. As a family... we need to keep the commandments and go to church so we can return to our Father in Heaven as a family. Warms my heart to know this truth :)

Week 11

The language is coming along better. I've started to be more open in just trying to converse which helps a TON. Sometimes I feel so awkward! Cause I wasn’t so badly to be able to talk and converse with them and sometimes I just can't. But it's all good. :) It is getting better, and that's all I can ask for.

I made my first contact all by myself when I was with the STL's haha. This kid (19) sat on the back with me and I started to speak to him in Tagalog and he freaked out! It was so funny!

But I can really testify that the way we feel God's love is by helping others. And every single person still has the light of Christ. It's like a storm, even though there may be many, many dark clouds, the sun is still there. And we just have to find it and light it up :) But I went with the STL's in their area and taught with them and I could feel their spirit so much, it was really good to see a different style of teaching.

Week 10

All is well!! It's really hard still and I still don't know what people are saying more than half the time-but I've changed my attitude!! And I love it here :) It's really hard but I know it will get better! And I eventually will be able to communicate.. I can't wait for that day! Ha, but this is the only time I have to fully give to the Lord. And I decided to just suck it up and forget about ME because that's what I was doing was worrying about me and thinking of me. But this is His work :) And I've been set apart to do this so I'm going to do it the best I can!

Oh my gosh though! Bugs. There's bugs everywhere, all the time. If you focus really hard you can see a bug anywhere... on my desk... on the ground... on me... on my shoe... So I've just kinda trained my eyes to not focus and then it doesn't freak me out! HA. But for real. I haven't really seen anything too gnarly yet besides those bugs in the MTC, thank goodness!

Kuya Tristan got baptized on Saturday! He's 11. His parents were sealed but haven't been to church in a long time. But they are separated right now. And they both came to the baptism! And you could just see how happy they were for their son! It was amazing! And then the dad came to church yesterday! YAY. Just makes me so happy!

Week 9

The Philippines MTC was so fun! All the Philippinos were so nice to us!! And try to talk to us Americans all the time. The meetings were the best because most of them are tone deaf but they sing with all their might and it's the cutest thing in the whole world! We went to Immigration on Monday... which was just a treat. We got to wait in that hot nasty building for 3 and a half hours! It was crazy! Everyone freaks out when they see me! It's soooo funny! They just stare and then when I say Kumusta po or Hello po they get so happy! It's so fun!
I am so humbled... These people’s houses. We are just extremely blessed. But I've felt so strongly, Heavenly Father's love for them. It's amazing. There's one or two wealthier homes I've been in that have some kind of floor but for the most part it’s just the dirt. A little room tucked behind a rundown building or a hut thing. It's really sad. But they are still so nice and so willing!

I really do love it, but it is really hard! So much harder than I ever expected. But God is helping me and I know He loves these people, as do I!!