Sooo that is that for the week! Hope you all have a great one! Love you!!
Sunday, November 30, 2014
November 30, 2014
Hello to all of you!!
While you are still flat on your backs from all the turkey and pie you've eaten, I'm still chugging along here in Morong! This week went well, but I am not going to lie- I wish that Thanksgiving was a world-wide holiday! As the only American here in Morong, I was not expecting to get a Thanksgiving dinner... which is good, because I didn't get one! I guess I will have to wait until next year! The closest thing that I got to a Thanksgiving dinner was some squash that I heated up in the microwave with a little bit of brown sugar on top. I tried to imagine that it was Thanksgiving yams... All I can say is that I am sure you ate MUCH better than I did!
Thanksgiving was a really neat experience for me, as I wrote a list of what I was grateful for. I re-read the talk by Elder Uchtdorf from April 2014 Conference entitle, "Grateful in Any Circumstance." He talks about how sometimes we get too caught up being grateful FOR things instead of being grateful for the circumstances we are in. If you don't remember this talk, I highly recommend that you go read it!
We taught Norma and Jose 3 times this week and they are doing AMAZING! Especially Tatay Jose. He is already in Alma in the Book of Mormon and you can just see the change in him and the new light that has come into his life. We visited them Saturday evening in which they committed to come to church, but when sacrament meeting started the next day, they were no where in sight. I was devastated. Their baptism was scheduled for Christmas Day, but because they did not come to church, they cannot be baptized in the month of December... Now we have to wait until January. I sat during the sacrament so confused as to what I was doing wrong as a missionary and why things don't seem to be working out lately. And then I remembered the talk by Elder Uchtdorf. I pulled out my planner and made a list of what I was grateful for, despite the circumstance I was in. It is amazing how much Heavenly Father continues to bless us as we trust in His plan.
After church, Sister Valdez and I headed straight to the mountain to find Nanay and Tatay. When Tatay saw us, you could see that he just wanted to cry. They invited us in and Tatay began to tell us that he was about to get into the shower this morning so he could go to church and went to grab his clothes. To his surprise, his clothes were sopping wait from the rain the night before. He grabbed his work uniform, hoping he could wear that instead to church, but it smelled bad. He was devastated and did not think that he could go to church in just a t-shirt and shorts. He went on to to tell us that he feels so unworthy to be happy and have the gospel in his life because he is so imperfect. We shared with him Ether 12:27- how we all have weaknesses, and that is why we need to rely on the Lord. We helped him understand that all of those feelings he was having were not from Heavenly Father and he began to realize that Satan is working really hard on him because he is about to be baptized. As much as I wished that Norma and Jose were able to go to church today, I think that because of their experience, they will never ever miss church again. The Lord works in mysterious ways:)
Sooo that is that for the week! Hope you all have a great one! Love you!!
November 23, 2014Happy Pday!!
Hope all is well with you and things are chugging along!
This week was a week! I honestly don't remember much of what we did this week other than work, work, work... But it was indeed good! We have really been fasting and praying to find new investigators and we were blessed enough to have found 7! I am so excited to start teaching them and helping them understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ. One of the people we found was a man named Randy. We had already taught his wife, Alma, twice before and then he decided to join. He told us that he never listens to missionaries from all of the other religions, but he had been looking forward to the day when we would come visit him. He and his wife live up in the mountains in quite humble circumstances and harvest rice as a living, and they are ready to make changes in their life to bring them closer to Jesus Christ. There is nothing more rewarding than helping others see the joy that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The other day we got an odd text from one of our investigators, informing us that they other night she was really mad at God and was praying to Him and swearing at Him and then she said that a light came into her room brighter than she can even explain, calling her by name.... Umm...We had absolutely no idea how to respond to this.. She says that she thinks it is a sign that she needs to change... Yup... I think she does need to change... Life as a missionary is never a bore! Haha
Yesterday Sister Wiradi, Sister Apsay, Sister Valdez, and I all taught young womens! It made me miss all our cute young women in the 3rd ward.. Send them my love! We talked about rescuing the young women that have fallen from the path of activity and committed them to come up with a plan of rescue! Hopefully our 3rd ward girls are doing some rescuing too!!
So I am officially the only American here in my kabahay! 2 of the sisters are Filipina, and the other is from Indonesia. So I am the only English speaker! It is good for me to practice my Tagalog! I am also the only one who does not eat rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! It sometimes makes me laugh how different we are, but when it comes down to it, we are all so much the same too.
Well hopefully this did not bore you too much! Hope all is well! Ingat kayo palagi!!
Happy Day to all of you!
Whelp.. Sister Sanders has officially died.... Nooooo! Another one bites the dust! It can be so sad killing people, BUT it can be so fun too- putting together surprises and parties for a final goodbye! We made her a surprise breakfast on Sunday- Ube French Toast, fresh bananas, and had cute mugs made with our pictures and named printed on them for our hot chocolate. Too fun!!! And after church we tricked Sister Sanders into going up to Antipolo to the couple missionaries home, Elder and Sister Johnson, for a surprise lunch! SO fun!! And Sister Johnson made us a turkey dinner- so it was ALMOST like Thanksgiving!! We also had a little surprise farewell dinner for her at the Susa's, and they put together a video for her, and made a bunch of really great food. All in all, I think I gained like 8 kilos on Sunday alone. BUT it was soo worth it!
This past week we were able to go to Aurora for zone conference which was oh so fun. Man, I have sooo many ways in which I need to improve, it's insane.... Lots of weaknesses and faults I need to overcome, but I am just grateful that I still have more time here in the mission field to grow and become better.
Sunday was great!! Jose and Norma came to church once again and they loved it! They even participated in class and they are soo ready to be baptized! The big day is December 13th! Wahoo!! We also had another investigator at church, Michelle Savio. She is 28 and has two little boys and has been sooo prepared for the Lord for the gospel. Last Friday we taught her about the Restoration and then told her that there is a way for her to know if all of these things we are teaching her are true.I pulled out a Book of Mormon and began to explain to her what it was. I then bore my testimony about it and how it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. As I did so, her eyes filled with tears and you could just see the Spirit working on her. I then told her that we wanted her to have this book, and that it would change her life. She then burst into tears, saying over and over again, "Thank you, thank you." I have never seen someone react with so much gratitude when giving them a Book of Mormon. Even though she really didn't not know exactly what this book was, she knew it was from God and she knew that she needed to read it.
I feel so blessed to be able to be teaching these wonderful people who are exercising so much faith in their Savior. I know that as I do my best to help them understand the Atonement and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Spirit is able to take over and make bigger changes than one could imagine in others' lives. I love serving the Lord. I know He lives. His plan for us is perfect; It just takes faith.
I love you all! Take care and keep living the Gospel!
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
November 9, 2014
Magandang Umaga sa lahat ng mga kaibigan, pamilya, and mga mahal sa buhay!!!
This week was a fun one and we started it off right by going hiking! Yay!!! We went to some pretty sweet waterfalls and I really wanted to jump in... but i just took pictures instead. And then we climbed up a giant mountain- "The Stairway to Heaven", and I think my little child almost died. Poor thing can't endure being out in the heat and she is really not a fan of exercise... I am such a mean Mommy and made her join me!
We had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders this week. I was able to go with Sister Lopez, my batch from the MTC. It was a BLAST!!! We worked so hard and Heavenly Father kept putting great people in our path to talk to, and we were even able to find a Part Member Family. Sister Lopez was able to give me some great advice with training Sister Valdez and confirmed with me that it is good to continue to give Sister Valdez opportunities to grow and learn, even though it is not always the most comfortable thing for her. Since then, I have been having Sister Valdez take the lead in all of our lessons, and she is just rocking it! It is so fun watching her progress! Ah, I am such a happy Mom!!!
Yesterday was Sunday and guess who came to church...? Jose and Norma and Lili Beth!!!!! Yay!!! And they all stayed for the full 3 hours! Jose and Norma were really fellowshipped and you could tell that they LOVED it! I asked Lili Beth how she liked it and she responded, "Natatakod ako dito," (I am scared here).. Uhhhhh Poor thing! She was really shy because some of the manuals and scriptures that people use are in English, and she doesn't speak a lick of English.. I sure hope she at least felt the Spirit!!!
We are still searching and looking and contacting and OYMing doing our best to find those that the Lord has prepared for us. He definitely is blessing us in ways that I can't express and I hope that He is accepting the work I am trying to perform. I am so far from perfect, but I just feel so blessed that he continues to love and trust me.
Salamat talaga para sa lahat ng mga bagay na ginagawa po ninyo sa akin, lalo lao ang mga panalangin. Nagpapasalamat ako na maging misyonero dito sa Pilipinas. Totoo ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling Araw. Mahal na mahal kita!!
Sunday, November 2, 2014
November 2, 2014Whelp... I've made it over the HUMP! WHAT?!?! Yup, half way... I am not quite sure how I feel about this.... This means only 9 more months... And it is going to go by SUPER DUPER fast.... Man. BUT at least I still have 9 more months to keep improving and devote all my time and attention to serving the Lord!!
Last Wednesday, Elder and Sister Johnson, one of the senior couples, came and worked with Sister Valdez and I. They are from Utah and don't speak any Tagalog, but their testimonies were really felt by each person that we taught. We went and taught a new family of investigators- Teresita, Rochelle, and Samuel. Elder Johnson bore a beautiful testimony about families and the Spirit just filled the room. I then asked if they wanted they same thing for their family, in which they all assured me that they did. I went on to tell them that they could have an eternal family if they followed the example of Jesus Christ and are baptized. We then extended them a baptismal date for December, and they accepted! Now we just need to get them to church!!
Instead of walking or tricycling from appointment to appointment with the Johnson's, they took us around in their big truck. As we were driving along the small skinny streets, Elder Johnson totally smashed right into a parked tricycle and crunched it pretty good. He waited for about 15 seconds to make sure no one was hurt and just kept driving. Not even 7 seconds later, he thumped a kid pretty dang hard with his side view mirror... hahahaha and just kept driving!!! I am telling you, things are pretty dang different here in the Philippines!!
On Friday we had the chance to go to the city and have a devotional given by the one and only... ELDER OAKS!! Oh, it was soo amazing! And before the devotional began, we got to go up one by one and shake his hand... We got to shake the hand of an apostle of the Lord.... Ah, Sooo neat!! I cannot recall much what we shared in his talk, but the feelings that I had as I watched him shake each of our hands just reminded me of the Savior and how he responds to all of us as individuals. It was just such a testimony builder to me that the Lord really does guide his church through modern prophets and apostles.
Church was good yesterday, despite the fact that none of our investigators came. Man! Sister Valdez and I are working harder than we ever have and are OYMing at every opportunity, teaching the best we can, finding new investigators, but we can't get anyone to church. Our Zone has been given the goal for each companionship to have baptisms every single week in December. WE cannot do this though, if our investigators aren't coming to church. Please keep them in your prayers!
Life here in Morong is still great and I am loving every minute of it, and I hope all is well back on the home front! Love you all!!
We Went Hiking!!!!!
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Some birthday pics
Saying goodbye to Denise before she leaves for her mission in Baguio
October 26, 2014
Hello to all yal!!
Hope life where ever you are is almost as great as mine! This week has been a good one and little by little we are helping this area progress! It is definitely not an easy task and one that we cannot do alone, so we are really having to rely on Heavenly Father to help us get along each and every day.
On Saturday our branch held a "One Day Mission" where we went and contacted a bunch of the less actives in our branch. We met at the chapel in the morning and us sister missionaries gave a workshop. We then assigned everyone into companionships and assigned them a list of families to go visit. It was a HUGE success! The next day at church, the chapel was full as a large number of those we visited came! We have decided that we are going to hold a "One Day Mission" every third Saturday of each month to really help our branch progress and reactivate our brothers and sisters who have lost their way.
We also had a miracle at church... Norma and Jose came!!! This was the first time we had investigators at church in 4 weeks and I think they enjoyed their experience. Tatay Jose has quite a problem when it comes to the Word of Wisdom and smokes two packs a day... yes, two packs. We challenged him to get down to one by the time we visited him next, and guess what?! He was down to only 2 sticks!!!! Ya, MIRACLE, right? We are definitely going to help them be baptized!!!
Heavenly Father blessed us with 5 new investigators this week! The first two were parents of a less active and the other three we were able to find yesterday- Teresita, Rochelle, and Mona Lisa. They were referrals from two members in our ward when they were out visiting less actives on Saturday. They gave them a pamphlet and they were super excited for us to visit them. Our recent convert, Sister Imelda, helped us find their house after church and we had a great lesson with them! Turns out they used to listen the the missionaries, and even still have the Book of Mormon that was given to them and still read it occasionally. We talked about baptism with them and then boldly invited them to be baptized. They were kind of shocked at first and the room was completely quiet for about 20 seconds... And then both Teresita and Rochelle accepted a baptismal date for December 6th!!! Now we just need to help them really begin their conversion process!
Our week was so great! And of course a week is not complete if you don't attend a wedding, right?! On Friday we went to a wedding reception for Jenny and Don Don, two members in our branch, complete with catered food and a chocolate fountain. YES.
I love being a missionary and I love all the challenges, adventures, and experiences that I am having. No better way to spend 18 months of my life!!! Love you all!! Have a wondrous week!!