Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I’m feeling really grateful. I was trying to get my thoughts together
to bear my last testimony at zone conference last week and the
overwhelming impression that came to me that I can only be grateful.
I studied Timothy this morning. I want to be a lot more like Timothy.
He’s so trust worthy and diligent and like Paul says, he doesn’t seek
his own. I also like the older fatherly Paul who’s really wise.
Ah, so many wonderful things happened this week. We’ve been incredibly
busy and we had exchanges with 3 sets of sisters. I love new
missionaries. And old missionaries. They are changing so much in their
We taught the Conde family this week- they’d been discouraged in
sharing the gospel and we felt we needed to go there. We read about
Abinadi and how Alma was the only one who even listened.. The look on
Sis. Conde’s face- “Wait, and he’s the Alma…!” I love the moments when
we get the plan a little better.
And Sis. Bateman and I had a moment where we were teaching this old
nanay that God loved her and we sort of expected the same responses,
and then it was half in Tagalog and we got confused. We didn’t know
what to do, so we prayed! And as Sis. Aguido prayed she broke down
into tears. As she looked up, she said, ‘sisters, He listens.” I will
never ever ever get tired of hearing people pray for the first time
We found Sis. Ate. I think she’s the one. She’s a kindergarten
teacher. Oh, I love her. She needs to come to church.
I gave a talk on Sunday about the filipino favorite- Lehi’s dream. I
used to laugh because it’s the first story, and usually the only one
they make it to (1 Nephi 8 lang gud!) But it’s become one of my
favorites, because it’s really true. The Agirs were beaming. I love
them. Hold to the rod- and it will bring true joy.
We keep finding more members of the Sabihon family. God has something
great in store for them.
My companion got shampoo in her eye, and it was this beautiful
companionship moment where we had to hold her eye open under the water
for 20 minutes. She is one of my favorite people in this world.
Like Paul reminds Timothy, we can continue in the things that we’ve
learned and been assured of, but essentially we must know of who we
have learned them (2 Tim 3:14). I certainly didn’t learn anything of
I know it’s from wonderful companions. I have had the privelege to
serve with 10 of my sisters. I know with all of my heart and head and
dughan that God knows exactly what he is doing when he assigns
missionary companionships. And people truly can be instruments.
I’ve learned from wonderful leaders- not everyone gets to have 2
mission presidents, and I count myself lucky. Both President Schmutz
and President McCurdy have left indelible examples of faith and
But of course, I’ve mostly been tutored really gently and sometimes
not so gently by the Spirit of God in the medium of prayer and
2 Tim 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and
oflove, and of a sound mind.
I read this the other day in a Liahona when I felt stressed.
This is from Alma Taylor, one of the first missionaries in Japan who
baptized no one and taught few lessons.
“It is the unique testimony of all the missionaires of our church that
their missionary days are the happiest of their lives… They hold such
testimony as a priceless pearl.”
I do expect that many more happy times are going to come and so I
won’t exclude that. But I just add my testimony that this is a
priceless pearl. I am incredibly happy.
This week, I’d love your prayers for the 8 investigators that we’ve
goaled to have at sacrament. It’s going to take all our effort, but I
know we can do it! And for the success of our branch activity- Siaton
is really really coming together.
I love you! Kitakitz… Pyr!
Friday, November 14, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Mga pinangga ko,
How are you all? Thank you for all of your updates- I love the smallest details of your lives.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that- the details of our lives. I don’t know how to write this without saying something cliché about threads in a blanket or drops in a bucket or something but I have felt so profoundly lately that every little action is important. We all have these worlds going on in our head and then we say words and they come out in little ways and we meet other people and our worlds exist in the same space. Preach My Gospel and Elder Packer teach that in order to succeed, a missionary needs to understand how an investigator feels to be converted and how a missionary needs to feel to teach with power. So I’m trying to not be so caught up in my little thread but in seeing more. It’s kind of hard. But really interesting.
We had another crazy week- we had a mission tour and conference on Thursday and Friday with Elder Shane M. Bowen of the Seventy. It was so amazing. He gave us some really great things to improve, and taught us that we’re not as good as we think, and then he told us who we really are! We’re scattered Israel, we’re the heirs of Father Abraham, we’re covenant keepers. Here’s something he said that stuck with me: “When we know who we are, we act accordingly.” That’s so true- and so we must have the correct understanding of ourselves.
On Thursday night, we had some extra time in Cebu City and our zone leaders had challenged us to talk to 23 people during the conference, so we went out. Sis. Joson is so great at talking to everyone, and she taught me how to talk to people in the big city. We had so many incredible people that we met. A jeep driver who was passed by by missionaries before, a Baptist woman dissatisfied with her life, a woman asking questions because her husband recently died. Heavenly Father was so happy with our little sacrifice, and choice to follow- how much happier would he be if I did everything I was supposed?
Yesterday, we also had such a cool chance! Our mission is made up of 3 islands, but until this past year, only Cebu and Negros had missionaries, but now Siquijor is a full proselyting area with a new growing group. Some crazy turns of events had us heading to Siquijor rather than having the Siquijor sisters come to Siaton. So I went to the Isla del Fuego! It’s famous for witchcraft, but we just saw lots of the Holy Spirit working. Sis. Pulgado and I worked together and saw so many people prepared. We “ayo”ed at a door and a grandma yells through the window, “why are you at my house?” “we’re missionaries! We have a message for your family!” She opened the door a crack and says “In your religion, are you going to die? Because if you’re going to die, just like everyone else, I’m just going to stay in my religion because I’ll just die anyway and I don’t want to die.” Grumpy, but we can work with that. We told her about the resurrection and the door inched opened, and we smiled and it opened a little more. Nanay Separina actually has lots of problems with her children and husband, and she ended up considering being baptized by the end. I was in awe at the change of heart.
And they're happening in Siaton too! We're so excited for this next week. I know we're going to find a family who is really ready to accept this gospel. Please pray for them. We don't know them yet, but Heavenly Father is preparing them.
More events: The primary presentation in Siaton, Finding someone ready to ask questions at the very last house, lots and lots of travel, more joy in his service, more purpose in prayer.
This week's another full one- so I'm going to do my best to use every minute! The Book of Mormon really ahs the answer to everything.
I love you all!
Saturday, August 23, 2014
We started off the week with a lesson at our returning less active’s home. She just had her 3rd week at church after a year of inactivity- and she’s already preparing to go to the temple. We’d been working so hard to get Brother to join (he was the branch 2nd counselor before) and he wasn’t there, but I prayed for it anyway. And as I said Amen, he walked in. He sat down, we taught the Atonement and he committed to get Sunday off that week. Then on Sunday, Bro Agir walked into church and said- “I have Sundays off forever.” I think my face came close to breaking with a smile.
Rosita was baptized. We were really hoping all week that her family would come and she reminded them probably 10 times a day but no one showed up :( But her branch family was there! All of the youth came to support her plus probably half the branch adults. We also had a really cool miracle where our lost investigator showed up to the baptism- she's actually just busy and so we pray for Sis. JhayJhay, because after the baptism, her best friend, our Recent Convert, Sis. Venz asked, "So when's your baptism?" And she says- "I know, I know. I'm next"
It was a perfect baptism. The water here in Siaton is interesting some days, so she was baptized in mildly spring green water, and then the font was really slippery, so she slid on the way up from her immersion- 1 and a half times immersed and completely clean. She surrendered herself to God!
And then Nanay Marciana. I don't quite even understand the whole story with her- something about her son really wanting to be taught and then going through persecution and turning to alcohol and it's a sad story. But Marciana is 80 years old and probably 4 foot 10 and she's adorable. We taught her and committed her to come to church in a 15 min lesson, more of just checking up on the family. But she came! When we followed up, she said, Well, of course I came, because God told me it's the true church. We completely thought she wasn't getting anything, but she understands everything we teach her. She explained the apostasy to me better than I've ever said it. So we committed her to be baptized. She thought about it for a second and then said "That's probably God's will isn't it? What day is that again?" Please pray for her understanding to continue, and for the rest of her family!
We saw other miracles- we found an amazingly elect Sis. Juvy, and the family of Sis. Venz (the recent convert) is progressing finally. They're still not sure, but we can change that! I love them so much, they just need the courage to get to church. We taught them and asked if they'd managed to pray if it was true. Sis. Sol- venz's mom shyly adds her experience that she prayed and felt so overwhelmed with joy and then saw two people dressed in white i her minds eye. Just come to church and then the temple!! We'll get them there.
Yesterday, we (Sister Anderson and I- she's such a sweet new sister ) also got to learn how ready the Lord is to bless us. We had been looking for a contact and we didn’t find her- it was getting to the point that we’d decided to hurry along to the next set appointment, so we were waiting for a tricycle. One sister was walking towards us in the distance and I knew we had to talk to her. We began, and all of the transportation came by, but I knew we needed to be there with Sis. Sita. She immediately told us to come into her house and teach her the restored gospel. Okay! When we got there, the spirit wasn’t really present- her husband was drinking outside and this dog would not stop barking for 10 minutes. But we continued and we began with a prayer. I began praying and something told me- “Peace Be still”
That gave me the courage or faith or whatever it is that we pull up from inside of us to ask that the dog would not disturb. In that very second, the dog stopped barking and was silent for the next 15 minutes as we related this sacred message. I came up from my bowed head with eyes wet. After we left, with a committed and ready investigator, Sis. Anderson said- "I was scared to look back in case he started barking, but I wanted to see the angel holding his mouth." Neither of us did turn, but like Lot, I trust in God, and go forward expecting his miracles.
So, I am fantastic. Life is wonderful. We're crossing the ocean again tomorrow.
God is real. He loves his children. Ask and you shall recieve. He's waiting for us!
I love you all!
Friday, August 15, 2014
I know the Lord gives us experiences to teach us. I was really excited yesterday because we had splits which always yield lots of miracles because Heavenly Father is really willing to show missionaries the blessings that come when we work hard. So Sister Smith and I set out to the bukid and we taught a great first lesson and then the rest of the day just went weird- people losing interest in the middle of a lesson, no one really in their houses or out and about, a woman who wouldn't pray no matter what because she was shy and embarrassed.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Time flies. This week had some crazy hectic moments, but it was so sublime.
This email is going to be a little bitter sweet because it's my last from San Carlos. Transfers snuck up on me and I'm leaving San Carlos, going to Siaton! Right next to Bayawan, so I'm excited to be going back to my birthplace. It's bukid and in the middle of nowhere, as usual- I have missed my caribou friends and the lush rice field views, so expect new scenic pictures. I really can't wait. I've always felt such a special spirit about Siaton- I've imagined myself serving there many times, and now I'll be there. I'll be there with Sis. Joson and I am excited.
Also, I'm going to be a grandma! Sis. Harris is training, so I have an apo (grandchild)
But leaving gets harder and harder. President Dellomes told us that none of us missionaries were allowed to transfer in the sweetest PEC meeting that I've ever been in.
About President- He's an incredible man. An elect of God who searched for truth in every church he could find, until he met some sister missionaries 3 years ago, brought them home, and introduced them to his wife, who said, "Oh, yeah, by the way, I'm Mormon." She came back, he was baptized, they were sealed the next year, and now he's boldly leading San Carlos Branch 2. I'm always grateful for the priesthood examples I see on my mission. This past month, I've really felt like our branch and leaders needed to learn sacrifice. And it wasn't really something I could teach, so I just prayed for it, and tried to be a really good example of sacrificing myself. Then on Sunday, we had a fireside and watched the Restoration film. Half way through the movie, President who's sitting right behind us and our less active YSAs, leans forwards and says, "Their sacrifices were so great!" I just had to smile and thank Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. San Carlos is doing so well.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Plus, we can't forget the Baptism!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Updates: Bro. Buen is not yet baptized. Very sad. Too busy to mourn over it too much, and hopefully, this week. He's still really sick, we figured out that likos likos is called shingles in America, so we have some idea. He's always compared himself to Job, and I know this is just the last bit before he finally gets the remission of sins that he's been looking for. But it's really hard to watch. He can't stay awake long enough to read/understand, and teaching him is a struggle. But he'll be restored to his God!
Bro. Jun: is no longer smoke free :( We're working on it. Progress happens daily. I've seen that so clearly in him. He's progressing and then goes back and it hurts to watch him hurt, and I get a little bit of what Heavenly Father must feel watching me when I mess up yet again. But this week, I've gotten out of a little bit of a rut- a watching from the side, loving missionary work, loving the people, but not engaging 110%, that only lasts 2 days kind of rut. And then the scriptures and the spirit and prayer just kicked me out of there and it was all wonderful.
This week was starting to sound really sad as I wrote it, but it was so happy! That's one of those weird paradoxes of my mission- trials just make me happier to be in the service of the Lord. Praying for other people is such a sublime experience. We found great new investigators, the promptings of the Spirit continue in everything, new people came to church.
Love you all,