Lunes, Pebrero 29, 2016

Eye of Faith

A lot of miracles happened this week. So I'll start counting miracles, and name them one by one.

First, Stefanie passed the baptismal interview! She's an investigator who lives just across our apartment. The past years of her life has been really tough, and it has not been easy for her to open up to us because of different sisters teaching her every time. Few weeks ago, she opened up her problems, and her desires come closer to Heavenly Father. We promised that as we seriously repent -- refrain from evil, and do that which is good -- we will feel the power of Atonement in our lives. She has been seriously reading the book of mormon, and beginning to feel the redeeming power of atonement. That after her interview, she said "I feel light. I feel light.". She she felt light many times. I love Sister Stefanie so much, and someday she'll serve full-time mission too!

Sister Anna is doing great as well. She has been going to church for 2 months but cannot be baptized till next year. We taught her this week, and before we began the lesson, she shared what she has learned from studying the book of mormon. She read the book of Jacob, and she started crying when she told us that she felt she was the tree being cut by the Lord. She said that sometimes the Lord cuts the "evil" in us, so that the "good" will grow in us. I have never thought of the allegory that way. The book of mormon is really powerful. As we read this inspired book with a question in mind, the Holy Ghost can give us customized counsel, and specific answers to the questions of our soul.

The Quintos couple came to church again for the third time! I have never cried when an investigator accepted the invitation to be baptized. Only last saturday, when Nanay and Tatay Quintos said YES! I love Tatay and Nanay Quintos so much!

Our companionship is doing greaaaat. Sister Ethington had her first companion exchanges, and I can tell she enjoyed it! There is so much more of happiness to be had when we can rejoice in another sisters successes and not just in my own. I love my companion and the beautiful sisters of our zones!

As for me, I am doing great. I am still studying Faith in Jesus Christ, and I can't believe there is still sooooo muuuuuchhh to learn about faith! I have been studying the "eye of faith" I mentioned last week's LTP. What is eye of faith? Can we actually see the things that can come to pass? We can!

In  Ether 12, Moroni said: “And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore, they first believed in the Son of God. And there were many whose faith was so exceeding strong, EVEN BEFORE CHRIST CAME, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an EYE OF FAITH, and they were glad.”

I do not know why... but the first time I met the Quintos couple, I knew they are going to be baptized. Even though they kind of rejected us during our first, or second, and third visits, I still knew they are going to be baptized. We can truly see things happen, even before they happen... with an eye of faith!

I am excited for all the miracles that lie ahead! I love being a missionary!

One of our housemates, Sister Victoria, had her birthday cake baked by her trainer! Super sweet!

Lunes, Pebrero 22, 2016

Worries and Whatnot

This week, I worried and prayed and wasn't able to sleep because of zone conference, new leaders training and some other things. The good news is that almost none of the things I have worried about or been afraid of have ever happened. I suppose that is why Elder Packer said once “You can’t tell me worrying doesn’t help because the things I worry about never happen.”

Although we were out of our area for 2 days (plus some choir practice for the upcoming stake conference), we were still able to reach the standards of excellence. And to top that, we had 11 investigators who attend the sacrament meeting!

If I'll ever get transferred next cycle, I know that the missionary who would replace me could take care of these wonderful people in Santiago. But now, I don't want to get transferred. I have already learned to love the Quintos couple, the Rola Family, Stephanie, Lizel and friends, and oh Niko and Bryan, and many moreee.. They all have special place in my heart.

Sister Ethington and I are doing great. This Wednesday, we'll start conducting companionship exchanges. My companion and I are amazed how we could both recognize the spirit in telling us who we are going to be with on exchanges. It's hard to describe how to receive that kind of revelation, but I know that's the same way you receive revelation on transfers.

As for me, I have been studying Christlike attributes. I desire to become more like Him each and every day in the weeks left I have as a missionary. This week, I studied Faith in Jesus Christ.

So how do we measure one's faith? I do not know. But I feel my faith in Him has increased tremendously this week as I keep myself focused on Him and His work. It is the “eye of faith” spoken in Alma 5. It is the assurance and confidence I have in His perfect love for me and everyone around me. It is the one that moves me into some physical and mental action that I even ran some miles nonstop this morning, which I thought before was impossible. I am amazed what Faith in Jesus Christ can do. I can see in my mind's eye the miracles that lie ahead. I just need to keep looking to Him, doubting nothing ... fearing nothing..I know in His strength, I can do all things!

I love being a missionary!

We had 11 investigators coming to church. :) Such a wonderful gift for my birthday! Hehe

On my 20 something birthday, Bishop Acosta prepared dinner to celebrate! So so happy!

On our way back to Santiago from Cauayan after Sister Ethington's New Leaders Training.
President Rahlf and I taught together in the Companion Exchange Part since... well, I need some help.
Before the meeting began, President Rahlf led a Happy Birthday Song for me. One of the best days of my life!

Zone conference with some new missionaries :)

Lunes, Pebrero 15, 2016


This week has been truly amazing. Having Sister Ethington as a companion is a miracle. I deeply admire her example of kindness and "calmness" during her first days in this calling. After teaching 3 zone meetings in a row, and teaching zone conference tomorrow, our goal is to familiarize the area and get to know the beautiful people of Santiago!

We taught "Charity in Companionship" topic in zone meetings. Had some discussion of "Contention or Disobedience", Seeking First to Understand then to be Understood, and D&C 121:41-43. At the end of the lesson, we had some role practice where junior companions need to correct their senior companions, with love. The spirit was so powerful testifying to me how important Charity is! Because without it, I am nothing.

And speaking of Charity, it's the month of Love! Valentines day has become really special to me since I entered the mission field. Last year's valentines, Tatay George was baptized. And yesterday's valentines, Tatay Rola came... to church!

I do not know how to properly describe my feelings right now. I feel like I am going to cry. I do not know what I can say more but Tatay Rola came to church. Tatay Rola came to church. Tatay Rola came to church!

For more than 25 years of being taught by missionaries, he came to church yesterday... for the very first time. Tatay Rola is the only non-member in his family with 2 returned missionaries.

I do not know if this is true for me and this family, but I think I was called to this mission, at this time to teach some particular person or family I had a covenant with.  During my first week in this area, one of the daughters of Tatay Rola, told me that I look really familiar to her. I cannot forget that. Because I feel like I know her too. I know Tatay Rola, and Nanay Rola, and the rest of Rola family. I don't actually recognize them,  but I have the overwhelming feeling that I know them, even before I met them.

I also cannot forget how happy Nanay Rola was yesterday. I was so happy that I didn't notice the Quintos couple (investigators) came to sacrament meeting as well yesterday! My bad.

Later, I will print many copies of the picture of Rola Family taken in the church and I will put it everywhere I can see everyday. So I will always be inspired and motivated to give every drop of my passion in this work. For Tatay Rola, I will give my all.

I know this work is true, and I am grateful to be a little part of it.

I love being a missionary!

I love Rola Family :)

Kenzie and friends :)

Lunes, Pebrero 8, 2016

Tatay Rola

So I do not know what to write. We received the transfer list, and I was surprised I wasn't transferred, I wasn't released. Is that true? Is this for real? 

For the past week, I have been thinking, that since I have been in this calling for so long, I would now be released. And that, finally, I could rest from the crazy schedule, and the unnecessary expectations I demand from myself because of this calling to be "seen". I thought I would be now released because I shared a scriptural thought in the MLC, and that He has already granted my prayer to meet Bishop Acosta and his family. Or because I have not been thinking and worrying as much as I used to... thus, I have been complacent. Thus, He would now release me.

I want to admit that somehow, I covet the airconditioned apartment San Mateo has to offer, so I could now take my beauty rest forever. But my Eternal Father in Heaven wants me to learn that that "peace and serenity" comes from learning how to balance demands, instead of escaping it. He wants me to learn that demands of life will always be there, and it has no endings, because I am made of the stuff of eternity.

Had exchanges with Sister Delinila this week. We taught 11 lessons. Had exchanges with Sister Albarico this week. We had 10 lessons. We now focused in the nearby areas so we could me more wise in using our time. 

Tatay Candido Rola is the best. I know that no matter how I strive to be exactly obedient, I can never push the message into his heart. I do not know if it is proper to negotiate with Heavenly Father, but my prayer is that He will soften Tatay's heart in exchange of my all. For Tatay Rola, I will give my all. I know he is not aware how much I love him, but that doesn't matter. In this 2 cycles left, and I will give my all.

I love being a missionary!

Sister Mcbride's gift for my birthday :) She is the sweetest!

Exchanges with the sisters of Echague!

I played the piano during the baptismal service of one of the investigators of the other sister missionaries in the ward. Looking at this program with many "Acosta" makes me feel so at hooooooooome.

Lunes, Pebrero 1, 2016

Stars and Creations

This week went too fast. My companion and I opened a "baranggay" this week after being informed by our bishop that centro west is part of our area. We found a lot of good new investigators in this small baranggay filled with many people. It's just close to the chapel. So for now, we are just going to focus in this area instead of those far-far-away.. to be more effective and efficient.

I had exchanges with Sister Baker and Sister Balaoing this week. Sister Baker is smart, a scriptorian, and really sincere in asking for ways how she can improve. As for me, I'm still working on with my inspired questions and so we made it a goal to study that skill. She's awesome. She talks to everyone.

The same with Sister Balaoing, a very diligent trainer. She's so hyper in talking to everyone. Haha.

We had a zone activity this morning, and it is a wonderful time to ponder how much He loves me through His wonderful creations. Last Sunday, during Gospel Essential Class, we were talking about the creation and I was suddenly asked by the teacher how I can feel His love through His creations. I suddenly remembered how much I love walking every night in my bukid area in Alinguigan. When you are in a bukid, you see more stars at night. And everytime disappoinments and failures come, everytime baptisms fall through, everytime I had misunderstanding with someone else, I just look up to sky and see the stars testifying that He lives and that He loves me and everyone around me.

I know Heavenly Father loves me.
I love being His missionary!
After our community service :)

Zone activity awhile ago.