This week we had a lot of bitter
and finally some sweet. However it's okay because you can't appreciate the sweet
without the bitter!
The thing that has been the hardest this week has
been the Dalo Family. I love this family so so much but they aren't sure if they
want to get baptized anymore. Ah no! In fact they were supposed to baptized on
August 23, they were interviewed, passed and everything, but then they told us
that they weren't ready. They needed more time so we picked a date with them and
they decided September 13. However now they are second guessing. I can feel that
Satan is really working hard on them. Please pray for them so they can push
through and be baptized!
As for some of the sweet:
taught one of our investigators (a chain smoker) about the word of wisdom. He
has been texting us every day to tell us that he is quitting and will prevail.
He really has a desire to be baptized!
-Got to witness a beautiful
blessing. A father of one our recent converts asked for a blessing. The problem
is that he has tuberculosis. for those of you that don't know, this is a
extremely contagious disease and it's air borne. We asked Elder Pettingil if
he'd be willing to give the blessing and he just smiled and said, "I've never
heard of anyone getting sick from giving a blessing." He then, because the
father couldn't move, had to stick his hands through this window to give the man
a blessing. It was beautiful and afterwards the man was so grateful and so happy
that we came. #PriesthoodPOWER
-one of our investigator families was
really struggling with coming to church. We had a powerful lesson about the Plan
of Salvation and they need to attend church to be baptized and return to our
Father in Heaven. Then early Sunday Morning we pull up to see them waiting out
side the church. That is one of the best sites ever!
-I have found my
love for family history. We did Tatay Caalim's family history and since it's
really hard for him to speak and nanay can't remember anything we were just
planning on doing a little bit. But then we come to find out that tatay had done
it years ago but hadn't yet sent it to the temple. We were able to find all
these old records and miraculously tatay was able to help us put it all
together. It was so fun! I can't wait to do my work when I get home.
As for things here in
the Philippines.. It's still hot and always rains, don't worry the bathroom is
still full of spiders and it's incredibly beautiful. Apparently it's Christmas
season... Everyone is putting up lights and Christmas trees and lot's of
This week in the scriptures: I just finished Alma and
I'm so inspired by the stripling warriors. Just when you think they will be
defeated they prevail and this is why, "They did obey and observe to perform
every command with exactness; yea and even according to their faith it was done
unto them and I did remember the words which they said unto me, that their
mothers had taught them." Alma 57:21
So a big shout out to my momma.
She's incredible and I know the reason I'm here fighting this fight is because
of what she has taught me. I hope when things get tough we can do as the
stripling warriors and keep fighting for our faith in Christ and remember what
we've been taught from our mothers!
Love you all! and I guess Merry
was a little bit more difficult than I'm used to here in Claveria, but that's
okay. Still a good week and lots of miracles!
Last monday we went to
Laoag to withdraw our money for the month. It was awesome we went down with the
Petinggil couple in their car! We went to the filipino mall and ate pizza hut!
then on the way back up we stopped at this really cool light house! the oldest
in the Philippines!
The rest of the week we worked hard, and were
actually pretty punted. I think Heavenly Father is just trying to keep me humble
because these last couple weeks we've been having tons of success. Well it
worked and I really had to pray and fast this week for help. One of the things
I've really been struggling with is Ilocano. Now I'm pretty comfortable saying
that I'm pretty fluent in tagalog, but we still have quite a few investigators
that only speak Ilocano... I feel like I'm starting over, but I'm still working
hard and not ready to give up this fight. by the time I leave this place I will
be tri-lingual ( is that right?) haha.
but after a couple
discouragements we started seeing the blessings.
One of the families
we have been working with said they know the church is true. their baptismal
interview will be this week, because they have been consistently attending
church for weeks now. They have the coolest story, but I'll save that for when
We had an incredible lesson with the Vega family. This
family is very influential in the community and would really help our little
branch. they are truly investigating and want to know. As I taught them I really
felt that they will be baptized!
Sunday was really great. So I spoke,
you know us missionaries always prepared. Our recent convert Tatay Cresendo and
his wife sang in church how great thou art. They sang acapela and tatay
harmonized. the whole audience was in tears. It was incredible. They were so
nervous, but I'm so glad they shared their talent! They also mad history being
the first musical number in sacrament meeting in Claveria.
I arrived to
church to find out that one of the speakers didn't know he was giving a talk...
well sister Abelhouzen to the rescue. As the leaders were stressing out I
volunteered to speak. the relief on the faces were priceless haha.
topic was centered in the scripture "By small and simple things are great things
brought to pass." Alma 37:6
Something I have really learned on my
mission is how important the small and simple things are. They may be 'small'
but they make a big difference.
For example: Every morning we must be
out of the apartment at or before 8am. One morning in my first area, my
companion and I were running late. Everyone was late to shower and nobody had
eaten. Earlier that week my companion and I had set a goal to be out the door
before 8am every morning. It was 7:55 and we hadn't eaten yet. Though hungry we
decided to pray and leave so we could achieve our goal. Right after we left a
man on a tricee passed and we flagged him down to take us to our first
appointment. "perfect timing." we thought. we started talking to him and turns
out he was pretty interested. we went back to visit him later that week. That
man's name is Maurito Rigunay and in April he was baptized a and confirmed a
member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Can you imagine
if we would have decided to eat or if we were just one minute late?
promise you that as we are exactly obedient to the commandments of the Lord,
even the small and simple, the Lord will provide and we will see miracles.
This is true not only for us missionaries but for all of us in our
We missionaries have a term we use a lot. CPR
This three things
are commandments of the Lord and are basically the commitments we leave to
everyone. Though simple, it makes a big difference. I have seen that as people
follow these small and simple commandments their spirituality becomes more
sensitive, their desire to do good increases, and the distance between them and
our savior is shortened.
I hope all of you will do the small and
simple things in your lives!
This has been a normal week full of hard work, brown outs, lots of rain,
and miracles, always miracles.
A few experiences that we had:
1. my companion is fearless. She killed a rat by hitting it over and over
with her shoe... while I was on top of my desk.
2. I ate chicken intestines... again. I've gotten pretty used to the food
here; fish heads, chicken fat, balut, that's all fine, but I still can't get
over the intestines... so weird.
3. yesterday at church we had a powerful Sunday school lesson. It was
gospel principles and there were probably around 20 investigators in attendance.
We were watching Finding Faith in Christ. It was amazing until, all of a sudden,
a brown out. Everyone was sweating and the teacher was scrambling trying to find
ways to fill the time. I was praying so hard that the power would come on and I
didn't understand why it wasn't. Finally I just said, "Thy will be done." At
that moment one lady stood up and bore a powerful testimony of Christ and how he
has helped her in her life. The spirit was so strong and I realized that our
investigators needed to hear that.
4. Yesterday was also fast and Testimony meeting... the power was out so
that means no power. which also means no microphone... nobody could hear
anything President was saying as he started his opening announcements.
Incredibly, just as they were about the bless a baby the power came back on.
Coincidence? I think not (: Fast and Testimony meeting was incredible. Member
after member stood and bore powerful testimony that Jesus is the Christ and this
is his church. It was so incredible that it went over 30 minutes because they
couldn't stop the heaps of people that wanted to share.
5. Have you ever tried sitting on the back of a tricycle in the pouring
rain and then arriving to your meeting like you just stepped out of the shower?
Welcome to the Philippines(: you just haven't experienced pouring rain until
you've experienced a baguio in the Philippines.
The area is doing pretty amazing here, everyone around can see how much it
has started to progress and the incredible investigators that have been coming
out of the wood works! Members have gotten really excited about the work and
many people are preparing for baptism. There are a lot of factors that go into
this: Hard work, obedience, quality teaching, but I do have to say that there is
one thing I have noticed to be causing this work to hasten: Family History. I
have been working very close to the senior couple, the Pettingills, here on the
mission. They're my secret weapon (; haha. Friends and Family across the world I
would like to share a secret. If you want to see the work hasten and the
baptisms increase, make family history a priority. People here in the
Philippines didn't focus on their ancestors temple work, but once we started our
work started to explode. The reason? These people in the spirit world have
waited hundreds and hundreds of years and once they realize they have a chance,
they will do everything to see that their name is found. These people started to
see that the missionaries in Claveria are looking for their names, and just as
Malachi prophesied, "The hearts of the children will turn to their fathers."
Their hearts are definitely turning. People are stopping us on the street,
begging us to teach them, Members are referring their friends, people are all of
a sudden interested in what the "Mormons" have to say. When we ask why, they say
"I don't know we just want to know more about your church." Or "we just
felt we should." That feeling isn't just coming out of nowhere it is
coming from those on the other side. When prophets and apostles have told us
that we have help from the other side, they were not kidding. This work is
real and the people that have passed need our help just as much as those
that are sill on the earth. Please, if you haven't yet, do your family history
work. And for my friends on missions, get your recent converts, members, and
even investigators involved in family history. These people will bless your life
in more ways than you can imagine.
I am grateful everyday that I am a missionary for The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints! I love this gospel and I know it is true!
So this week was fast... and not to much happened. I got stranded in Laoag
waiting for my new companion. She was stuck in Manila, because of the typhoon.
don't worry we didn't experience much here except a lot of rain... what's
One good thing is that I got to work in my old area and see my old people
it was great! Loved it until president told me I couldn't work anymore, because
apparently I had a disease and was going to kill people. okay Ma, before you
start freaking out. I'm totally fine. I just woke up one day with a rash all
over my body. I asked some of the members and they told me I was allergic to
air... okay? yeah I'm just going to text Sister Barrientos. I text her and she
told me to go to the hospital and get it checked out. turns out I had a viral
infection... don't worry I'm not allergic to air. haha but I wasn't able to go
out because if a pregnant lady gets what I had it could be harmful... so I just
had to sit inside... sound fun? no, it wasn't. All I wanted to do was
Finally on Friday I was all better and I picked up my new companion! Her
name is Sister. Simangan she is from Isabella and speaks ilocano! Yay! She's
awesome! I just feel bad because when we got to the area we did weekly planning.
Then I was so excited to work that on Saturday she must have thought that I
worked her to death. She'll get used to it(;
But on Sunday our work payed off we had investigators come to church that
are preparing for baptism in August! I'm really excited for all that's coming
Thank you all for all your love and support! Have a great week!
P.S. A lot of you have been asking about foods... I guess it all just seems
normal to me now... hahah still eating fish heads on a regular basis.
Picture: Me and Sister Simangan... it's flooding here like always
This week was a great week and the last of this transfer... My dearest
Sister Buduan is getting transferred. and here is for the big shocker... I'm
training haha kawawa ang trainee ko. diyok lang. pero yes I'm very excited. I
love new missionaries, because they're just so excited to get out there and do
the work of the Lord. It'll be an awesome experience!
I had exchanges this week with Sister Teely! It was awesome! I learned a
lot! She's from Fiji and is a boss!
Remember that less active family of over 30 that I told you about? well
yesterday, nanay came to church. It is a miracle. She told me when I first met
her that she would never come back to church, pero sapagkat masdan yesterday
morning there she was!!! I was so excited! I know this is just the beginning and
many more are going to return!
We also had baptisms this week yay! Brothers Sherwin Tuberra and Cresendo
Agcaoili are officially members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Sherwin Tuberra was met by the missionaries a week before I got here and
was extremely prepared to hear this gospel. He was at a point in his life where
he was on the search for happiness, but he didn't want any of that temporary
stuff. He wanted long lasting. That's when he saw the missionaries laughing and
walking down the street. "I want that." He said to himself. Then he stopped them
and asked for a pamphlet. When we met him for the first time he sent us away
because he was embarrassed he was drunk. We came back and he informed us that
he has spent his whole life drinking and obtaining temporary happiness, but he
wants real happiness, he wanted to change. He has not had a drink since. He saw
something different in us. The first time he came to church, he felt at home and
found what he has always been looking for. He was confirmed yesterday and has
already been called as a ward missionary. People used to refer to him as the
drunk on the block, he is now Sherwin yung mabait. or 'the kind
Tatay Agcaoilie has been an investigator forever. let me give you a little
time span. Elder Asuncion was one of the missionaries to teach him, after his
mission he moved back to claveria, got married, is now the district president,
and has 4 kids the oldest being 14 years old. Long time... the reason being
tatay is just a little stubborn he wants to know everything, which I absolutely
love because now I know he will remain a faithful member of the church for a
long time. He has changed his life as well and is a good example to everyone
around him. Everyone loves tatay he's incredible and KNOWS this church is
This gospel changes people! I'm happy to report that both will be receiving
the Aaronic Priesthood next week and both cried during their testimonies! The
church is true!
pictures: this morning we went hiking to the falls! and the baptism!
So this is going to be short one because I didn't have time to think about
what I wanted to write about... We woke up at 3am this morning to come to Laoag
so we could withdraw our money. I was planning on thinking it about it on the
bus, but those of you that know me know that I can sleep anywhere... so I was
This past week was the fourth of July!!! how is it in the good ole US of A.
don't worry I celebrated. I wore red and we sang the national anthem and
america the beautiful for companionship study. My poor companion had no idea how
to sing it.
So on the mission I have this rep... I'm the fearless white girl. I have to
confess that is so false. I have fears... I get nervous every time I go talk to
someone, but the Nike phrase just goes through my head. JUST DO IT. so I do. I
will just walk up to someone, help them wash their clothes, run up to catch
someone on the street, crack jokes in the jeepney (usually not that funny, but
they laugh because I'm trying to speak Ilacano), or help them gather their
vegetables.Then, it usually turns out pretty awesome, we've found a lot of
really great people. Don't get me wrong I have been horribly rejected as well,
but you've just gotta shake it off and go to the next one. "I just think about
Jesus Christ, He wouldn't even care, he would just do it; because he
loves them." David Archuleta said that. Pretty cool, and soo true.
Other than that we had an awesome Zone Training, some baptismal interviews,
and I realized just how tall I am.
We have two baptisms coming up this week so It should be great!
Love you all so much! Stay strong and remember, they too are children of
God, Love them! JUST DO IT!
Well family another week has come and gone... I feel as if each week goes
by faster and faster.
This week we have done a lot of traveling. Not a
fan, but it's alright you gotta do what you gotta do. We traveled to Laoag (4
hours) for zone conference and back the next day and then one day later to
Pasuquin (3 hours) for district conference and came back the same day. Now don't
get me wrong, I love road trips.But this is more like riding hours in a bus like
the one in Harry Potter. They move so fast and turn so fast and slam on th
ebreaks to stop. It's absolutely crazy. I steel feel a little sick. The hard
thing is you don't really know how long it will take because you don't know how
many times the bus will stop. There is no such thing as bus stops here. You just
stand on the side of the road and flag one down then when you want to get off
you just stand up. The picture is at the mission
conference with the sisters in my apartment. My outfit is from ukay ukay and
probably cost 4 dollars!
So a couple more things about Claveria. I
have fallen in love with Ukay Ukay... don't worry that's not a filipino haha its
a store. It's actually the filipino version of the D.I. There are so many cute
things for like 10 pesos (25 cents) yeah it's good. Also there are bugs
everywhere. Yesterday we made spaghetti, but didn't realize the noodles had
ants. when we poured it in the boiling water they all started popping up. The
sad thing is, we were too tired to cook something else. So we just tried to get
them all out but ended up eating it anyway... is that bad? I mean they were
boiled... extra protein?
This week we were finding all these
little white balls and we didn't know what they were. Turns out they are lizard
eggs. I thought it was awesome, but the other sisters thought it was gross.
Maybe they'll eat some of the bugs?
I have to tell you about
Zone Conference because it was amazing. Elder Ardern from the 70 came to speak
to us. I learned so much. His wisdom and his intelligence inspires me. He had no
notes, but his thoughts were so organized and so profound. Something I really
like that he talked about is that for missionary work to reach it's potential,
there can't be a single missionary that settles for average or "good". He quoted
someone when he said "Good or Average is the enemy of Excellence." We must not
settle for average. We should always strive to become better. Even if we thing
we are good enough, because "good enough" is never good enough. There will not
be one should in the celestial kingdom that settled for good enough. WE must
follow all of the commandments and put our focus on the weakest parts of
ourselves to make it strong like Moroni did with his army. "The most important
commandment is the one that gives you the most difficulty." President Lee. I
hope none of us will settle for average & we will all strive to be better.
Miracle moment: Yesterday while I was traveling back from
pasuquin, I sat nest to a man. Then, like you're supposed to, I struck up a
conversation with him. He then stopped me and said, "I appreciate what you do,
but I'm Catholic." Politely, I responded with, "That's okay we both believe in
Jesus Christ and that's most important." Then I proceeded to ask about his family
and work. He eventually opened up and told me his whole life story. When I saw
he trusted me I pulled out one of my pamphlets and said "I can see that family
is very important to you, I'd like to give you something that I know will bless
you and your family." He accepted and told me how he has a desire to move closer
to our Savior. I took out my Book of Mormon and shared with him 2 Nephi 22:2,
one of my favorite verses. "Behold God is my salvation; I will trust and not be
afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he has also become my
salvation." After he read he said "Thank you that was beautiful." I handed him
my Book of Mormon and said "As you read this book, you will move close to our
Savior Jesus Christ. These are His words." As he held the book he explained that
he was feeling something and he feels that what I am saying is true. I just
smiled and said "It is true." After a few moments he looked at me with tears in
his eyes and said, "thank you so much, this is the greatest gift anyone has ever
given me." When can you come visit me and my family?" Unfortunately he doesn't
live in my area so I explained that I would give his name to the missionaries
there. He was so excited.
Don't give up on people if at first they
reject the gospel. They will come around.