pilipinas landscape

pilipinas landscape

Monday, December 29, 2014

WEEK 25: Planting seeds

Hey everyone!
I am excited to email you all today because I have a lot to tell you all! 
 This week was a great week full of Christmas miracles. Never before in my mission did we go through so many Restoration pamphlets in one week! I thank you all so much for your prayers in our finding efforts as I have felt them! 
 In Christmas Zone conference our mission president talked about the parable of the sowers and told us that we need to put out more "seeds" in our missionary efforts by talking to more people. I loved this idea as my area right now is totally farm land and rice fields. So we prayed and did all we could to talk to more people and ask more referrals and we got a lot of great success! We taught 10 new investigators this week! One of those 10 is amazing and is so prepared to receive the gospel.
One of my first days here in PadaPada we met this lady through an OYM(open your mouth). She was quick to agree to let us teach but was busy at the moment so we returned a week later. Her name is Tesi and she is in her mid 50s or so. She is so nice and from the moment I met her I could just see this light inside of her. It is hard to explain but I could just see good in her, even though I didn't know her. So in our first visit we taught her about the restoration and challenged her to be baptized, and she said yes! Not only that, but when we asked her to read the Book of Mormon she said of course she would (like it was obvious that is what she had to do!) It was so amazing to feel the strong spirit as she said in her prayer that she was grateful for the two servants of Lord that visited her. It was amazing to see how ready people are. We just have to keep planting those seeds, some will land on the wayside (which is always a bit heart breaking) but some will take root in fertile soil and grow to great activity in the church. The thing I learned this week is we will never will know the outcome until we open our mouths! 
We had another cool experience were I learned the importance of listening closely to the spirit. We were just walking home a few nights ago and we saw this little family sitting outside their little hut. I waved and smiled at them and we continued on our way. After a few steps I felt for some reason (Thanks to divine help) felt that we needed to return and talk to them. As I walked towards their house I didn't even have the chance to say a word before the father opened up their gate and said "come on in, share your message" I was shocked! I definitely was not complaining! It was a great lesson for me of listening to the spirit and I hope that this family continues to progress. The ironic thing is that the last name of the family is Espiritu or "spirit" in English! hahaha:)
I know that we all have the opportunity to plant seeds in the lives of others and in ourselves. In the way we act, the things we say and do. We are all sowers. What we give is what we get! "For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again" (Alma 41:15) I know that every moment counts and that we can do great things! I invite each of you this week to plant a seed! Share the gospel with those you love and those that need your love!
I love you all and pray for you! I am loving it here! I was born to serve in the Philippines! I have no doubt! You all have a great week and remember to go plant some seeds!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 24- first transfer

Hey Everybody!

It is so good to hear how all of you are spending the Christmas season! I love to hear all of your stories and know that God is proud of all of you that are sharing his gift to the world! Keep it up! :)
So here is the latest: I transferred!  I am now in Padapada, which is out in the country! Rice fields, cows, goats, carabao and not a lot of people. It is SO different than my last area which was a city. There is not much in my area other than our chapel and little bamboo and tin huts scattered across the countryside. The work here is also a lot slower here than in my last area. I guess you really don't know how well you have it until you experience the opposite. I am definitely going to miss my last area, especially my converts. It was pretty hard to leave but I know that I am needed here.  My companion is a Filipino and his name is Elder de Leon and I have two other Filipino roommates. They all are not that great at English so I am lucky that I will have a chance to improve my Tagalog.
This week was the first week ever in my mission we had no investigators at church. It was hard. There are so many challenges that I will have to overcome in this area: One, we have virtually no progressing investigators. Second, in this area there are two other languages Ilocano and Napampangan although most people speak Tagalog.  And last, trying to get the members more involved with the work. It is going to be hard, but on the bright side I am on the Lord's side and there is no fear when we do our best on the Lord's errand!
Another lesson I learned is about having courage to do what is right, even when others around you are not. Sometimes it is quite lonely to stand up for the right, people laugh at you, exclude you and reprehend you. But God knows our efforts and if proud of us as we are a light to others. We will feel the peace of discipleship as we follow Jesus Christ.
As for my area, If you all could pray for us that we may find those that are the pure in heart and are ready to receive the gospel and that the members will become excited to share the gospel with others. I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of peace and joy. For Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.
Mahal kita,


Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 24 Maligayang Pasko!

Hoy Lahat!

Maligayang Pasko from the Philippines! I hope that you are all having a great Christmas and are loving the season! Our work has been really busy and the Lord definitely has been preparing souls for us during this time. We had another baptism and it as always was a wonderful experience. I am so grateful for the harvest time that I have been able to be a part of. This work is definitely the work of Salvation and is so amazing to see all of the little miracles unfold if we are actively looking for them and acknowledging them. I am certain that there are Angels on the other side helping to prepare the hearts of these people.
So you might wonder what is like here in Ang Pilipinas for "Pasko"  or Christmas. It is really cool to see all the preparations and decorations, lights and Nativity scenes. A lot of the celebration here is centered on Jesus Christ, which is really a refreshing change from how it is back in the states. One fun tradition is Mangaraling ( I bet that is a fun one to say) or caroling. People here love to sing and it is a tradition to carol for money going door to door, it is really cool, some of them are really good! It's in away similar to Trick or Treating, hahaha. 
One thing that I admire so much of the Filipino people is their willingness to give and to share. They are a very giving people and will share all they have with anyone that is in need. Their smiles and their friendly faces have made this Christmas time very special for me! I still haven't gotten to tired of hearing people ask "What is your height?" the familiar question that I hear  at least ten times a day. It is so worth it, all of the trials and hard times, the people and seeing them come unto Christ makes all of the challenges SO worth it! I love the people, I better understand how God feels about his children here!

LOVE you all!
Don't forget to share God's gift to the world- His Son!

Ingat lagi,


Picture-Catherine's baptism

Monday, December 8, 2014

WEEK 23- A new perspective

Hoy Lahat!

How are ya'll? My week was good but quite busy! First because we moved apartments! I am so grateful for our new apartment. Our old apartment was really, really old and was gross and hard to walk through let alone cook in.  I said in one of my past letters I am learning how to cook pagkain ng pinoy (Filipino food)
I decided that it is about time that I stop eating out of a can, haha. One of the sisters in Cabiao ward heard that I am trying to learn to cook pinoy food and gave me a small cook book so I guess this week I will try out my cooking skillz.
 Our new apartment is so nice compared to our last one. It has tiled floor but still has a few problems that hopefully we will fix.
The move was quite a miracle because when our landlady heard we found a new apartment, she told us we had 4 days to move! It was crazy fast. When we were signing papers with our new landlady she was very hesitant and it was really stressful. Thank goodness we learned that one member in the ward was one of her best friends. She was able to soften her heart and we were able to move in on times with relatively no problems! It was amazing, I definitely saw the hand of the Lord this week as I trusted in him that it would all work the way it was supposed to.
Christmas is here, but for me it does not feel like Christmas! hahaha. Probably because there is no snow! Hahaha. It is funny to see the difference in culture when it comes to Christmas. The most memorable thing I have seen so far that is pretty different, is that people do Christmas carol here, but they do it for money instead of like a service. Often at night I see a lot of little kids running around with with ice cream, Tupperwares, and sticks as percussion singing jingle bells haha, its kind of cute.
One thing is for sure, I love the people here!! I feel more at home now dito sa pilipinas and love the culture. I know that this is where I am supposed to be and know that my mission will not only bless my life and those I serve, but bless my family as well. It is hard to explain the love I feel for these people but I think that the best way to describe it is as the Love of Jesus Christ.
As I said in my last letter, last week was kind of hard and I was pretty discouraged about things, This week I gained a new perspective. I realized that I wasn't being as obedient as I could have been, my personal and companionship studying was slipping especially my studying of the words of ancient and modern scriptures. I realized that these things are protection from the devil and that as I am obedient I will be happy. In the Scriptures it says: Wickedness never was happiness" Sometimes I have to remind myself the opposite is true also, Obedience ALWAYS is happiness! I know that as I am obedient and apply the atonement when I make a mistake I will be happy. I know that the way we show God we love him is by following his commandments and enduring hard times with a grateful heart.
I love you all and pray for you! Please let me know of any special needs you would like me to pray about,

Mahal Kita,


Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 22 The enabling power

Hey everybody!
This week was great! I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! It
was great to hear from all of you that did my thanksgiving challenge.
I know that God wants to bless us more when we are thankful for his
People usually don't celebrate thanksgiving here. The day of
thanksgiving I woke a little homesick and felt a little sad that I was
missing all the fun at home. But then I decided to quit feeling sorry
for myself and do something to change how I felt. I realized that
there are some things that I can't control and there are some things
that I can, so I called up a member that is a friend of mine and asked
if he wanted to have a fiesta and explained thanksgiving to him. He
agreed and so Thursday night we had our own Thanksgiving with some of
the members. We bought chicken and I made mashed potatoes and of course
it wouldn't be a meal without rice! hahaha. It was a lot of fun. We
also had cheese ice cream which is a Filipino thing.  It was a great
Anyway with the work. Which is the most enjoyable part of being a
missionary, We baptized my first family this week! It was such a
wonderful experience! I cannot describe fully the joy that I felt that
day. It is indescribable. I have been thinking a lot about my role as a
missionary and have come to the conclusion that any sacrifice to be a
full-time servant of Jesus Christ is worth it. It is all worth it!
Sometimes it is so hard and discouraging for me, sometimes I don't
feel like I even should be here as a missionary, that I am not  good
enough. That I am not worthy to wear the badge. But I then I remember
that it isn't even me at all!! I am just His voice and just like with
Moses the great prophet if I am humble enough to trust in him he can
make me mighty in speaking and will lift me up to the tasks I am here
to do. I don't tell you all this so you will feel sorry for me or
worry about me, I am fine, really. I just wanted to share this with
all of you because I have seen the atonement more in my life as I have
had a few struggles. It has made me closer to him, and through him I
can change and become a better person and shake off my pride. I know
we all can change and overcome our challenges through the enabling
power of our Savior Jesus Christ.Through him we can do anything we are
asked to do by him. He is the gift of Christmas! I am so grateful that
I have the opportunity share that gift with the people here in the
Philippines this Christmas! I am so grateful for all of you, the emails
and the support and the great prayers. I pray for you! I love you all,
Have a great week!