Lunes, Mayo 2, 2016

Last but not the Least

This week has been a roller coaster ride. One of these days has been one of the most challenging moments to me as a missionary. I hope and pray that before my mission ends, my companion and I would be able to achieve our goal. I know that as we prayerfully do this, and work hand-in-hand with the branch, things will work out. I think challenges really happen BEFORE and AFTER a very spiritual experience -- like having an amazing zone conference, and investigators receiving answers to their prayers. I have been studying pre-emptive and counter-attacks in the scriptures and in the words of latter-day prophets. I have learned that I can gradually train my eyes as well as my mind and spirit to recognize those "attacks", even the smallest one.

It is such a wonderful gift having Sister Martinez in my last days as a missionary. She is just perfect. How can I deserve a companion like her? Her desire to give everything for this work shows in her countenance. She's one of the most beautiful persons that I know. She is the best. 

Work has been amazing. We have regular branch coordination meeting now. And this week, my companion and I will be working with the RS. Jesus said " The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven".. we can be that yeast to help the whole mass raise by our influence. 

Brother Marlon received the answer to his prayers and knows this is true. This work is really amazing. The God of Israel leads! It has been glorious 18 months. And what a privilege it is to work, not just with the third member of Godhead, but with the very Son of God Himself. I hope and pray for the strength, to have both of my feet firmly planted in the field, both hands tightly grasped on the plough, never looking back, until the work is finished.

Can you feel the fire burning?

I love being a missionary!

Sabado, Abril 23, 2016

That's How I'll Be

I think Sister Martinez and I are getting very dangerous to the adversary, we felt his opposition to us this week. We got sick and our investigators are experiencing some challenges as well. But! But! I just want to let him know that I am so sorry -- I am not sorry. I want him to know, to really know, that no unhallowed hand can stop this work from progressing. And my fire will continue to burn brighter and brighter and brighter until the perfect day!! Hahaha. I love being a missionary!

Sister Omna, wife of an LA, whom Sister Mcbride and I taught the first lesson in Tuguegarao, is now progressing towards baptism this coming May 7th. In fact, she was the one who taught us the plan of salvation, with all the sticky notes and scripture references as she studied her assignment. I know with all my heart and soul that she will be a good instrument in building the kingdom here on earth. I can't believe I would be able to see her again, here in Roxas, my last area. I know it wasn't an accident that Sister Martinez brought me to their house during my first day here. And it wasn't an accident President Rahlf transferred me here! The God of Israel truly leads this mission!

Tomorrow will be a very very special day to me, to President and Sister Rahlf. Our very last zone conference! I can't believe how much time has gone past and I just want to let the Lord know, to really know, that I am so so so grateful He has allowed me to play a little part in this great and marvelous work, in this wonderful Cauayan Zion. Much more for giving President and Sister Rahlf to me, as my mission parents. I do not want to be emotional right now, because I am not yet leaving.. but yes, I just want them to know, to really know, that I love them so much.

Power Reading the book of mormon has been great!! I have been using my "colored and encircled" book of mormon in teaching the investigators how this book helps us know Christ. I am grateful for this Power Read, I was able to finish reading the book of mormon in the field by centering it on Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Master.

I know that as I continue to make Him the center of my life, no unhallowed hand can ever stop me to return to Him. No, not even the devil's mightiest winds, scariest shafts in the whirlwind, heaviest hail and storm.. Nothing, as in nothing can stop me and those around me to return to Him, valiantly.

I will be firm as the mountain, stretched to the sky, strong as a fortress, sure as the night. I will be straight as an arrow, deep as the sea. That’s how He lived So that’s how I’ll be.

That's a song by the way. Ooooh I love being a missionary!!

Free ride!!! :)

Lunes, Abril 18, 2016

9:30!!! 70 contacts!!! 9:30!!! 70 contacts!!!

This has been a wonderful week for me and my companion. Sister Martinez and I are on fire. The Spirit is burning within us all day everyday, that we couldn't feel the heat of the sun here in Roxas. I love being assigned in this beautiful part of the country and be companions with someone who is sooo selfless and pure. (Members work with us everyday, now! And it will get better and better in few more weeks.)

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life, never to be forgotten. My companion and I gave sacrament talks. I woke up at 6:30 am and straightway went to the study room to make the talk . . . and I prayed and labored over every word, stopping frequently to remind the Lord and myself that I wanted this to be His message as nearly as I could make it, to help hasten the work in this branch. I felt it did. One of our investigators told us "Sisters, could I request our branch president to make the two of you always the sacrament speakers? You are a good tandem". It is another way of saying "Your companionship's divine!"

At 9:05pm last night, my companion and I just got 61 contacts. We decided we will never go back to our apartment until we reach 70, so we went to the plaza where there were more people to contact. At 9:24pm, we were able to contact 9 more people to complete the 70. At 9:25PM, there were NO more tricy passing by to give us a ride to go back to our apartment. We prayed in  the middle of the streets, asking for a tricy. Then a tricy passed by. We called him. But he told us he had to go home already with his family. We said "okay" and tried to find another. But in a few seconds, the tricy we called, came back and decided to give us a ride going home. We found out that he has already given a ride to former sister missionaries before so he knows our apartment and so he drove a little faster than usual. And at 9:30! Exactly 9:30, we got home!!!

I shouted and shouted "9:30!!! 70 contacts!!! 9:30!!!! 70 contacts!!!" I felt like a runner who reached the finish line. I looked at my companion and found her crying, sobbing out of control. I asked her why she was crying. She said "I am just sooo happy".. I laughed so hard and we gave each other a hug. Then she said, "We didn't contact 70.", still crying. She continued by saying "We contacted 71. Because we contacted the family of the tricy driver who brought us here." And I started crying.

It is a day never to be forgotten. I know that God knows each of us and hears and answers our prayers. But it usually through other people our prayers get answered. I love the people of Roxas. 

Ooooooh I just love being a missionary!

My companion is a civil engineer :)

After praying . . .

Lunes, Abril 11, 2016

The God of Israel leads . . .

I can't believe how much time has gone past. The past two days were special for me because it was my last general conference as a full-time missionary. I love President Monson's talk about choices. I know that someday I will dwell with God and become like Him as I strive to always choose wisely -- not just choosing what is right, but what is always best -- the things that matter most. I am so grateful the Lord has assigned me in this beautiful vineyard of Roxas. As my companion and I work with Him to lift this area, we are also being lifted up. I am learning so much here about the true meaning of life. I love being a missionary.

Yesterday became more special to me and my companion because of the investigators who came to church. Tatay Artemio, one of the new investigators we had this week came to church. Sister Martinez contacted him in one of our punted hours, and we already love him with all our heart and soul.

Sister Valerie and Brother Marlon came to church too! They are the children from the two inactive families we contacted in our first week together. During our first days, Sister Martinez felt impressed to visit Riverside (one of the baranggays in this area where she had not been to). We trusted the prompting, and there we found a big compound full of inactive families. We found so many part-member investigators there and Valerie and Marlon are just one of our favorites. Our last lesson with them was so powerful and inspiring. They said they read their assignment in the book of mormon and know it is true. They said they want to become full-time missionaries someday, and told us that when they are alone, they practice how to "talk like a missionary". And yesterday, they walked from church to their house despite how far it was, under the prickling heat of the sun. Sister Valerie and Brother Marlon are going to be great missionaries someday. We love them, with all our heart and soul.

Our companionship is doing great. Sister Martinez is such a wonderful gift to me at my last cycle as a missionary. She got one of the purest heart on earth. Our companionship is living our Mission's Vision every minute of the day. We feel the spirit and power as we strive to be more consecrated. We connect the people we teach to heaven. Every after teaching appointment, we evaluate our lesson: what went well and what to improve -- and our lesson get better and better every after each lesson. We teach at least 50 lessons a week. And in our daily planning, we pray fervently and specifically to each of the person we taught during the day, and those we will be teaching the next day. Our companionship's divine. And we know the God of Israel leads this mission!

My time as a  missionary is running out so fast. And I hope and pray fervently that I am doing the best that I can to magnify this calling as His representative, so at the very last day, I would be able to look Him in the eyes, and tell Him, that even though I wasn't a perfect missionary, I loved Him and all the people around me in this wonderful Cauayan Mission with all my heart and soul.

I love being a missionary!

She reminds me of Elaine. Very cute and bubbly. 

Lunes, Abril 4, 2016


Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tounges, and people ... that Sister Acosta is feeling wonderful! I love my new area, I love my new companion. I love everything and everyone in Roxas! I love being a missionary!

Sure, I felt overwhelmed during my first days, to think that I am only given 6 weeks to do ALL the things He asks me to do. But I know, with all my heart and soul, that in His strength I can do ALL things. Jesus Christ himself, was able to cover all men throughout the eternity, in just 3 short years of ministry. 3 years, and He was able to change eternity. I know He's just always with me and my companion as we invite more people to come unto Him.

Recently, I have been studying our Savior's admonition in the Sermon on the Mount to be "perfect".  I have learned that the term "perfect" was translated from the Greek word teleios which means "complete". Being complete does NOT mean becoming "free from error or mistake". Being complete means, going from grace to grace towards the end, to be fully developed, to consummate, or to finish.

Even though I was never a missionary who made no mistake, I can strive to become better each and every day so I could COMPLETE this errand from the Lord, valiantly. I know we can do this! I love being a missionary!

1st Sunday in Roxas :)

This is Nanay Acosta. She is already 98 years old, never had the chance to marry, and has been blind for a few years. Her house is located in the farthest barangay away from the church. But guess what, she never misses coming to church every Sunday! She is just inspiring. She speaks good english (she is a retired teacher and reminds me a lot of Lola Mary). Everytime we visit her, she asks us to read her a chapter in the book of mormon -- but it has to be in english. She wants us to always talk with her in english because she doesn't want to forget speaking in english. I love her soooo much!! She must be my lola -- something like a nth degree relative? :D

Lunes, Marso 28, 2016


I can't believe how much time has gone past. In my first cycle as a missionary, one of my housemates, Sister Davis, randomly told me "I hope I could see you how you end your mission."

I cannot forget that. That experience is still vivid in my memory. Now that I'm heading to my last cycle as a missionary. How do I end it? I do not know. I just hope and pray that He would give me more holiness, just as what Hymn 131 says. My favorite line in that hymn is "More used would I be". I hope and pray that I would be more used, even if I would now be released in the calling as an STL. I hope and pray to be more like our Savior, who endured well,  never shrank, and pressed sublimely towards the completion of His mission.

Santiago 2nd ward will be forever in my heart. In the short three months I spent in this wonderful area, I was able to see a lot of miracles. First, I met Bishop Acosta and his family. Second, Sister Ethington became my companion. Third, Nanay and Tatay Quintos got baptized.

I can never forget how Nanay and Tatay got fully immersed in the waters of baptism last Saturday. I can never forget Tatay and Nanay's countenance shine as they were sitting in the sacrament hall yesterday, wearing their Sundays best. Tatay was so handsome with his white polo and a tie. Quintos family is just one of the most beautiful people in the world. I love them, with all my heart, and soul.

I love being a missionary!

I am going to miss praying with Tatay Rola.

The very first time I baked a cake! (Does it look like a cake?)
This will be for my anak, Sister Maroket :)

Quintos Couple :)

Quintos' confirmation Sunday :)

Lunes, Marso 21, 2016

Try Again

So Nanay and Tatay Quintos both passed the baptismal interviews. Aside from having Sister Maroket as my "anak" in the mission field, having the Quintos couple get baptized next Saturday would be one of Heavenly Father's biggest gifts and miracles I have in the field. Rhodalyn, their youngest daughter even returned yesterday and volunteered to work with us missionaries. I hope and pray she would serve full-time mission too, and get sealed in the temple with her parents, soon. Just picturing out it in my mind gives me the purest joy.

I think the lesson I learned this week is to always get up each and every time I fall. My LTP last week was all about, well, my failures. I really liked our specialized training with President and Sister Rahlf this week. President Rahlf shared about Thomas Edison, and how he was able to invent the light bulbs after a thousand of failures.

Sometimes, we people stop trying again after we experienced a failure. This is best illustrated by Elder Bowen's object lesson of "baby flies". We are sometimes like the baby flies who will just jump just beneath the lid, over and over again, not reaching any higher than that. Some of us never reach our divinest potentials because we won't ever try again... once we experience a failure. We get hurt and embarrassed, and will never dare to try again.

I am grateful for the knowledge about the gospel, which teaches us to get up each time we fall. President Rahlf said: "The Lord loves it when we start over and try again. The whole plan of salvation is based on trying again after we fail."

While traveling through the Banaue roads this morning, I was thinking why did the Lord had me serve in my first area for 9 months, and an STL for another 9 months? And do you know what answer I received? 

Because He wanted me to learn something, and I couldn't get it ... only until after 9 months.

It was the funniest answer ever. I laughed and said a silent prayer: "Thank you, Heavenly Father for being really patient with me." And I almost cried when I said "Sorry, for the times I had failed Thee." ... 

"But yes, thank you for giving me your Son.. I can start over and try again."

I am just so grateful for these wonderful experiences I have as a missionary. I love EVERYTHING -- the ups and downs, and of course everything in between.

I love being a missionary!

Exchanges with the sweetest Sister Wiri!