Monday, November 20, 2017

Week Fourty-Nine!!! Happy 21st Birthday! 11-6-17

Hi, friends!

This week was really a good one, all three of our baptisms we had planned ended up going through, and so it was such a nice weekend for us. It has been raining almost non-stop for most of the week, especially this last weekend, so work has been going a little bit slower. But it's still going pretty well. We just found a few new people to teach and we are so, so, SO excited about them because they have so much potential and desire. This week is also transfer week, which means I will probably be leaving the area and leaving my anak to lead here. I'm super proud of Sister Capa and how much she has learned and grown over her time with me. I am so excited for all she will continue to accomplish. She finished her first 12 weeks of training in the field with 9 baptisms, I'm so, so proud of her. I am sad that I will probably be leaving Wednesday morning, I never would have thought that I would be this sad to leave Enrile. But honestly, I love this place with all of my heart, I am so grateful for everyone I met here and all those I have taught here and all the friends I have here now. I'm going to miss them a lot, for sure. But I am excited to go somewhere new, wherever the Lord needs me to go, and continue to labor in His vineyard. I love this work so much and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday this year than in helping our brothers and sisters here in the Philippines to learn the way for them to return to our Father in Heaven.

Week Fourty-Eight!!! 10-30-17

Hello family,

This week was a really good one. We were able to witness three of our investigators enter the gates of baptism and the other sisters in our ward had a baptism as well so it was a big deal for our ward. It's nice how supportive our ward is to our work here. We are also looking forward to three more baptisms this week as well. 

This week as well we are so grateful for the Ramos family, they are always so good to us. This last week Sister Heidi called us early in the morning and invited us over for dinner that night. Later that night they came and picked us up from our area to take us to dinner, but then they told us that they had come home late from work, so they didn't have time to cook for us. So instead they just took us to eat out which was a super fun time for us. We are so grateful for for the love that the ramos family has for us, we love them a LOT. 

One experience that I really like was something that happened last night when we had a lesson with some of our converts from Saturday and we all read the Book of Mormon together in First Nephi, Chapter One. One of the converts surprised us by asking a lot about Lehi. He was confused what happened to the record of Lehi, because the Book of Mormon starts with Nephi, even though Lehi is the first prophet. We had a great opportunity to talk about the lost pages of the Book of Mormon and what happened to them. We were so glad and impressed by how deeply this young convert was contemplating the Book of Mormon.

Today marks my 11 months in the field and I'm so sad by how fast the time has gone here. It's so weird to think about how little time I have left here, but it makes me really want to make sure I make my time here count. I love you guys, thank you for all the ways you guys support me, I sure miss all you guys.

Week Fourty-Seven!!! 10-23-17

Hello friends and family!

This week was really cool, on Thursday we all got to go to Cauayan and have our zone conference with our area seventy Elder Bowen and his wife Sister Bowen. Before the Zone Conference he wanted us to study about the Abrahamic Covenant, The House of Israel, The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, and the Baptismal Covenant. During Zone Conference he taught us about how having a greater understanding of these things, especially of covenants we have with the Lord, will greater help us to learn more about ourselves personally and our purpose here in life. It was really cool and it helps me understand more about covenants with the Lord. We had a broadcast here in July when I first got to the area and I remember one of the speakers was talking about the balance scale of the Lord and how incredibly off balance it is, especially when it comes to covenants with the Lord. It helps me realize that what the Lord asks of us is just so incredibly small in comparison to the blessing that He so fully desires to give to each and every one of us here on earth. It was a really great Zone Conference. We were also combined with the zones at the bottom of the mission so I got to see Sister Fookz's other trainee, Sister Tanedo. We always e-mail each other and send each other notes through the mission but we haven't met yet, so we finally got to see each other last week and she's just the freaking best little Filipina I've ever met. Me and her are very best friends now hahah.

This next week we have 4 baptisms coming up, and we couldn't be more excited for these young brothers and sisters. One in particular is probably going to be my favorite baptism so far in my mission, let me tell you a little bit about this brother. We tried to contact a group of young men standing on the road about 6 weeks ago while we were asking for directions. At first we hesitated to even contact them because they were all teenagers, some were even smoking and none looked like they would be even a little bit interested to speak with us, but we have to talk with EVERYONE so we started our contact. one of these boys just completely walked away when we started to ask an inspired question about the Restoration and the rest followed him so we just moved on. About a week later, as we are teaching a lesson outside around the same area, this same young man walks up and just sits in on the lesson and immediately starts to ask some really great questions. We were only teaching an overview of lesson one, the Restoration of the Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith, but he was asking things about how the Lord told the prophets of old that they were prophets, and if they held the power of God, how did God give it to them. The way that this boy looked and the way he was speaking, we could feel his sincere, genuine desire to understand the way the Lord works. We were happy that he had the change of heart to listen to our message after all. And since that day he has been the most progressive investigator I have ever seen in my mission. Every single lesson we have with him this 17 year old boy impresses me so much with how deeply he has been pondering the doctrine by the questions he asks. He has a desire for his own salvation as well as his family's. We are so excited this week for this brothers baptism. 

Something else cool was that me and my anak had to teach Gospel Principles class yesterday in church, hahah. Our topic was about Service so we got to teach a lesson about that and me and sister capa decided to base it around a quote from the last conference's Saturday session (I dont remember who the speaker was, please let me know) but they said, "Love without SERVICE, is like Faith without WORKS." Me and Sister Capa both really love that quote.

I love you guys lots and lots and I miss you all, it's crazy that I only have about 7 months left here. Time goes by so incredibly fast, and I already know I will be so, so sad when my time here is up, so I really try to do as much as I can here for the Lord every single day.

Week Fourty-Six!!! 10-16-17

Hi, friends.

My week was really good but not much has happened because we had a big storm come through so for most of last week it just rained and rained all day every day (which means I got to wear my rain boots and long socks a lot so I'm not complaining). But that also means that our work wasn't super great for this past week because when it rains like that it's hard for us to just go out tracting and most people just want to stay home and sleep if the weather is like that. Me and anak are not both sick now because of us walking around in the rain so much despite our efforts of umbrellas and rain boots, but don't worry, it's nothing serious, just a cough and sore throats, which is okay. I just feel bad for Sister Capa because she is losing her voice too AND she had to give the talk yesterday in Sacrament Meeting (it's okay though she still did really great). But yeah, it was just a hard week of work because of the weather, but we are very blessed that we had 7 investigators come with us to church yesterday and they all told us about how much they enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd hour classes (especially our girl investigators they always really really love going to young women's and sister ramos is the teacher so I know they always have a great experience). We are so excited for this whole compound of youth and YSA that we are teaching pretty close to our home because they are all progressing and pretty soon their baptisms are coming up so we are very, very excited for all of them. We are really grateful that, despite the weather and despite being a little bit sick this week, that the Lord has still continued to help us in our work and keep the work progressing.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Week Fourty-Five!!! 10-9-17

Hello family!!!

This week we had the opportunity to go to the General Conference broadcast at our stake center in Arellano (about an hours travel from our home if there is traffic). We recognized that getting anyone, even members, to make the trip from Enrile all the way to the Arellano stake center is not an easy thing to do. So we knew it would take a lot of planning with the investigators as well as ward members that we could get to help us with rides. So we've planned all week long, talked about Conference, and how special it is with our investigators all week long. We plan not only for them but plan along with them all week long. Then finally Sunday rolls around, we go starting to pick up the investigators at 7 A.M
. At first, we are devastated, because it appears like no one is ready. Out of our main focus of 5 investigators, only one was ready to go. Two of the other ones said they weren't going, because they wanted to go to a birthday party instead. Later that day, one of the other ones said that she had to do her washing instead, and the last one had not even come home yet from his overnight job. We had planned for 10 of these investigators to FOR SURE come with us. And then at 7:15 A.M. there was only 3 going with us. Me and Sister Capa felt so stressed and we didn't know what to do. So we decided to say a quick prayer. Instantly after we prayed, we don't even know how it started happening, but a couple more investigators just started appearing at our meet-up place, then a couple more, then they started calling and talking to the other ones who said they were busy, or the one that wasn't even home yet from his job. Then before we knew it at 8 A.M., everyone we had planned for was ready to go to church with us. We ended up with more investigators at Conference than we had even planned for. We planned for 10, and ended up with 13 there. It was honestly a miracle from the Lord. Everyone that we took with us were older teenagers or YSA aged young men and women. One concern that me and Sister Capa had before the conference was how well they would pay attention during Conference, but the whole entire time they all sat and listened attentively. We are so, so grateful for them and also to the Lord this week. The picture I sent earlier was the picture of most of us out in front of the chapel.

I enjoyed conference so much this past weekend, I enjoyed all of the talks, but I think the talks on Saturday were my favorite, especially the talk given by Elder Holland. I loved it a lot. His talk made me feel so grateful for how perfect the Lord is and how perfect His love for me is. Especially through the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The theme that spoke to me the most throughout the conference was about how much God loves us, and God has a plan for us, and this time on Earth is part of that plan. He has things He wants and has planned for each of us individually to accomplish here on Earth and we have to strive our best to do those things, especially service. Despite any of our circumstances, we have a part in the beautiful plan of the Lord here on the Earth. I am so grateful to come to know the plan of the Lord through our prophets and apostles here today. I am so grateful for the love of the Lord, I'm grateful for this Gospel, and I know that it is so true. I love you guys, and I miss you guys so, so much!!!

Week Fourty-Four!!! 10-2-17

Hello, friends!!!

I'm doing super, super well. We had our interviews with President and Sister Hiatt last week, and they both were super impressed with how well me and Sister Capa are doing. So we are super proud of ourselves. She opened up our planners to suggest what we could improve on, but then told us that we already have perfect planners, and she can tell that we aren't just planning, but following through with our plans, too, because she can clearly see our success. This last week, we planned to gain 4 new baptismal dates, 8 people at Church, and then 16 new investigators for the week. And we achieved all of our goals! We are excited to continue to grow in our goals this week, and this week we are hoping to aim even higher. The best news is now Sister Escalante is here in Tuguegarao, and in our district, and it's her very last cycle before she goes home. So I am so happy I get to see her and be around her before she goes home. Even better news, though, is that Sister Fukofuka just got called to be the new STL here in Tuguegarao, so my best friend is back! We were so excited that me and her planned a zone activity this morning, so that we could hang out hahaha! I missed her a whole lot, and I'm so glad shes back here in Tugue with me now. Her other anak in Bambang, my kapatid, is training now as well, so our family in the mission is getting big now.  So we are SO happy.

Week Fourty-Three!!! 9-25-17

Hello, family!!! 

We have our transfer week this week, but I can't be transferred, because I am still training Sister Capa. So I have at least 6 more weeks here in Enrile. This week was so, so good! We found the best little family to teach ever, and we are SO excited for each of them. This last week, we had our zone conference, so we all crammed ourselves into one van and commuted the 2 hours to get there. Picture this. One van. 18 missionaries. Let's just say it was intense, hahaha. But as always, it was really fun. We learned a lot at the zone conference, too. Sister Hiatt gave a great talk about Family History, and it really motivated me to continue to work on our Family History. Especially our family here in the Philippines so let me know, Mom, if you find out any new information so I can keep updating our FamilySearch page. One Saturday, we had another baptism, which was really exciting for us, especially for Sister Capa, because she was here when we found this investigator. We love Brother Carl so, so much. His mom works abroad, but she's glad we have been teaching Carl and even his dad (they aren't super close, and he used to be really against Carl joining the church). But now he is spiritually growing close to me and Sister Capa, and he talks to us and is very, very nice. So Carl really hopes that we will be able to teach him as well soon. On Saturday before the baptism, we had our ward's family week celebration, and it was actually super funny. Other wards were all serious about their family week, but our ward just did games and dancing and food, and it was super fun. I'll send you guys pictures of me and my anak. Everyone loved our outfits, haha. And then this morning, we went and visited Callao Caves. They're SUPER cool caves that are in one of the other sisters' area across Tuguegarao. We went with a bunch of our youth, recent converts and investigators, and it was so, so fun!! But now I am super, super tired. I love you guys!!!