Exchanges and Jehovah's Witnesses

4-18-16 (Monday)

I felt so bad about not writing very much for last week so hopefully that will be more motivation to write every day from now on.  

Well, nothing really happened today.  We were only able to teach one lesson because of our early curfew, but that's okay because it was an awesome lesson! We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and it was a really great experience because the questions they asked were something we could answer with the next principle of our lesson.  For example, as we talked about The Atonement and how there's missionary work in the Spirit World for those who didn't follow the doctrine of Christ, Lawrence was like "oh that's good because what about those with disabilities that can't read the Book of Mormon or listen to the missionaries because they're deaf and/or blind!" (we could have talked about how there's multiple ways other people could help them, but that was unnecessary.)  We were able to talk about the Resurrection and how our bodies are perfected.  The timing of their questions were just so perfect!  It was a cool experience for me to see how the gospel really does have all the answers to life's questions.

4-19-16 (Tuesday)

Well...This morning we had District Meeting which was a total party.  I absolutely love the Elders in my Zone!  It's fun to mess around with them like we've been best buds forever.  And...It's nice to be around more men than women sometimes, if you know what I mean.  Haha ;) Not all Sisters are like me and Abby. ;) Anyway..! we also opened exchanges tonight in Manat and I'm excited to spend the day with Sister Naua.  I'd say she's my best friend here in the mission other than Sister Miller.  They're both my best buds :) Yeah...Nothing really happened today because we had District Meeting then had to travel forever to get to the STL's [Sister Training Leader's] house.  But!  We did have an awesome lesson with Nanay Alejandra!  She's been an investigator for a couple months now because of Word of Wisdom problems, but she comes to church almost every week and really does love the way she feels while at church and learning about the gospel.  She's in her 70's though and has a really hard time remembering and understanding the gospel.  So Sister Standage and I decided to reteach all the lessons from the beginning.
Summer is more fun wherever it's
 not a million degrees. (;

So! Today we taught the importance of The Book of Mormon and that we can know the truthfulness of it through prayer.  It was just a great experience for me as I was bearing my testimony about the help and guidance that comes from knowing the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon; because as I was doing that, the Spirit testified to me that what I was testifying was true.  Sometimes the best way to strengthen our testimonies is to simply share it with others. :)

4-20-16 (Wednesday)

Today I was on exchanges with Sister Naua again and it was a total blast! Polynesians are THE BEST ;D  I can see why dad and Pita are best buds. ;) Anyway, today was pretty relaxing for me, which I'm sooo grateful for!  It was nice to not have to lead the area.  We also got to eat McDonald's which is the best thing ever!  Sometimes I just need something other than rice. ;)

4-21-16 (Thursday)

Today went by really fast!  I had to wake up extra early so we could get back to Aguilar before studies at 8:00.  The only thing that helped me wake up early was the fact we were getting McDonald's for breakfast. ;D  Other than that, today was a normal Thursday.  Thursday is weekly planning though...I still don't know how I feel about weekly planning...It's sooo looong!  Luckily it was Sister Standage's turn to lead so I didn't really have to do anything.  ;)  Life really is great!  I don't know why I'm so happy all the time because I'm always so dang tired!:) Somethings just never change...Except one thing!  I finally got the nerve to weigh myself and I've lost 20 pounds exactly.  So...That's pretty cool.  Haha! ;D

4-22-16 ( Friday)

Work today was pretty rough.  We got punted EVERYWHERE!  It was a good day though because it was only 35 C [95 F].  We did have a good lesson with Sister Alejandra today!  She's so cute.  We weren't supposed to visit her again till tomorrow but when we walked by her house she was sitting on her porch reading the Book of Mormon with Jervon (her grandson).  So! we asked her if we could read with her.  She was reading 3 Nephi 11 so it was some great stuff to talk about!  Verse 1 to 10 inspired me to talk about how we don't always understand
 I thought you'd like to see my battle scar. (;
the promptings of the Spirit, but it always feels good.  And if we look to God for help to understand, through exercising faith, we receive that help and understanding we need.  It was a good lesson to testify that if we pray before reading the scriptures we receive a more clear understanding.  It was great :) Also! today I got the biggest blister EVER!  It's probably the size of a nickel right in the middle of my heel.  Oh my mamma it hurts!  I think I'll survive though so don't worry too much ;).

 4-23-16 (Saturday)

Today was such a happy day!  I truly believe my day was so good and happy because for personal study I just read the Book of Mormon.  There truly is power in the Book of Mormon.  I have a sure testimony of that!  Today a group of Jehovah Witnesses OYMd [Open Your Mouth-ed] Sister Standage and I.  It was fun just to listen to what they had to say and what they believe, but then I just had this overwhelming feeling of love for this guy.  It was so heart breaking to see how this man truly believes that Jesus Christ is God and believes in the wrong doctrine and church.  We didn't want to Bible bash so we just showed them we're friendly and walked away after getting to know them a little.  The Devil is so good at deceiving people.  It truly breaks my heart.  On the bright side though, Ceilo told us today while squealing how excited she is for her baptism interview tomorrow!  Oh my word her just coming out and saying that made me SOOO happy!  So!  If she comes to church tomorrow she can have her interview, and if she passes her interview she will be baptized on then 30th! :D

4-24-16 (Sunday)

So...Ceilo didn't come to church today so...Her baptism will be pushed back which is a total bummer, but I suppose I'll survive.  Although I was super bummed, I was able to strengthen my testimony that the Spirit truly is the Comforter.  I was able to stay happy and positive all day, which I'm super grateful for!  Heavenly Father is so mindful. :) 

This week was a great week even though I still can't speak Tagalog yet!  I cannot wait till I can talk to people like I wish I could.  I guess we all just have to take one step at a time. ;)

"It is sooo hot ALLL the time!"

April 17, 2016

So...This week was literally the most exhausting week of my entire life! Sister Standage and I work so hard together; which is GREAT! But...I came home every night wanting to die. And why is that?  Because it is so stinkin' HOT!  Lets just say I have a lot more sympathy for those going to Hell...It inspires me to become a better missionary so less people have to live in the fiery depths of Hell! Hahaha!  It is sooo hot ALLL the time! (;

4-13-16 (Wednesday)
Finding one of these was literally number one
 on my bucket list here. I about died! :D
I feel like nothing really happened today.  I mean it was a good day, but not super eventful.  Although today was great and all, it's so hard to not get upset or sad when people don't exercise their faith. It's so hard to see people continually reject the happiness that comes from living this gospel. But then I realize that I can't get upset because I don't always exercise my faith when I feel inadequate speaking Tagalog.  I still have a hard time saying very much in lessons because I feel like what I'm trying to teach them is something they need to actually understand.  So...Sister Standage does most of the teaching and I do most of the testifying. (;  On the bright side though, I'm really starting to understand most of the things people say.  I mean I don't understand enough yet, but instead of asking Sister Standage "so...what did they say?" after our lessons, I can ask more specific questions like..."so what did they say bout this?"  So yeah...that's my success for the day.  Haha!  I'm pathetic I know. (;

Mom.. I'm so sorry I didn't write every night this week. I just come home SOOOOO tired and end up running out of time to write in my journal and write you. Plus.. This week wasn't exactly my favorite. It's so hot here I can't sleep very well at night so I always wake up super tired and that leads to being grumpy. But usually after studies I cheered up quite a bit, so that's been a good testimony builder on the power and happiness that comes from reading The Book of Mormon. I'm sorry this week's letter is lame.. If it makes you feel any better my journal entries were pretty short and lame too because nothing really happened this week.

I love and miss you two SO MUCH. Thanks for all love and support you give me. And thanks dad for all the stuff to study!

Jestoni and Heidie Get Married!

April 11, 2016

**Last week I suggested that she write a little each night after she writes in her journal so she can have more time on her p-day to do what she needs/wants to do and we get a longer letter ;)**

[How long has your companion been on mission? What did she do at home?] She's been on her mission for 10 months. She went to BYU before her mission and that's all I really know.. Haha. But she does play the piano.. 

4-4-16 (Monday)
I think it's a great idea to write you like a journal for 2 reasons! 1! I love that that's how you and dad write me!  It's my favorite thing ever reading about your whole week!  And it's fun to read the commentary of your week from two points of view. haha ;) 2! I'll be able to spend less time typing my letter to you and actually be able to write my friends back :) 

Anyway! I had an awesome p-day!  I just felt so relaxed even though we spent most of the day in Mangatarem shopping.  We only had one lesson, but that's okay because it was with Jestoni and he's the best. ;)
Me, Heidie, Justoni, Sister Standage

After that lesson we had a dinner appointment with our Branch President, President Dariano.  I really enjoyed that because 1. Food was involved and 2. It's really good language study for me to listen to people's conversations without having to worry about answering.

4-5-15 (Tuesday)
Today we had Zone Training which is always fun.  I really like getting to talk with other people and make lots of friends.  I really like the Elders from New Zealand.  They always come and talk to me like we've been best buds forever, so it's really easy to have lots of fun with them.  Also...our Zone Leaders announced that President Deyro says we can't listen to music anymore...AHH! Of course he says that like three days after I got your super awesome flash drive of wonderful songs! I'm a little upset about it, but I'm trying to follow the example of Nephi and ask "how" to accomplish/obey things not "why." (1 Nephi 17: 8-9).  

Also! Today has been so dang stressful because President Desesto, the District President, told Sister Standage and I none of the Branch Presidents have current marriage licenses for Jestoni and Heidie's wedding on Friday! GAHH!  President assured us everything was all good to go for Friday, but nooo...So today Sister Standage and I had to do some calling around to other District Presidents in different zones and their licences are all expired too...After hours of worrying about it we finally talked to President Desesto and he said he'd deal with it.  I REALLY hope he can figure something out since he's the one that approved everything in the first place!

4-6-16 (Wednesday)
So. Nothing really happened today.  I'd say the most note worthy thing is that the power was out ALL day.  Luckily it came back on by the time we had to come home so we could use our fan.  Oh man...It is SOOO HOT HERE!  Summer has definitely arrived!  It's like 40 C... which I believe is 104 F on a GOOD day!  I think I might die...luckily summer time means it's mango season so that makes it all worth it!  Haha! ;D I really like mangoes though.  I don't know if they taste different from the ones in America or not, but they are super yummy and fresh here.  Funny story though..  The first time I ate one here, I took a nice big bite of the middle slice and to my surprise mangoes have GIANT seeds!  I honestly had no idea! :D I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to live that down. ;) Yeah.. Sorry, nothing really happened today but it was a happy hard working day and that's all that matters! :)

4-7-16 (Thursday)
So! President Desesto texted us this morning and told us the Lingayen Stake President can marry Jestoni and Heidie tonight in Lingayen... so he did!  Woo!  I'm so incredibly happy everything worked out so Jestoni can still be baptized tomorrow! :D  We weren't able to go to the wedding because it was outside our area which was a bummer!  But!  They're still having their "wedding" tomorrow here in Aguilar so they can have a wedding with all their family and friends.  Then after that Jestoni will be baptized then they'll have their reception!  Woo!  It's going to be an awesome day!  Anyway.  Today was good and we found some very potential investigators.  I'll keep you posted. ;)

4-9-16 (Saturday)
[How was conference?  What stood out to you the most?] We got to watch conference today which was awesome, of course!  I really liked Elder Steven E. Snow's talk on humility for two reasons!  First: The Christlike attribute I've been working on my whole mission this far is humility.  I'm really trying to show my trust in the Lord by opening my mouth even though I'm not good at Tagalog.  I need to have more trust and faith in His promise to me that my mouth will be filled.  And of course I need to be better at giving all the credit of my success to Heavenly Father.  Everything I'm good at is because it is a gift from Him.  Second: I was intrigued by his story about his son that had a brain accident too.  Heavenly Father truly is mindful of His children :)  I KNOW we are ALL children of God.  There's no doubt in my mind.  If you don't believe that, go straight to the source and ask if He is there and if we are really His sons and daughters.  I promise if you show the desire to know by acting on that particle of faith to pray and ask Heavenly Father, you will fill an overwhelming abundance of love testifying that the answer is yes.

4-10-16 (Sunday)
General Conference was awesome today!  I really enjoyed Elder Dallin H. Oaks talk about having opposition in all things.  It really made me ponder on a lot of things in life.  I actually didn't even really listen to his talk past the first few sentences because my mind was flooded with insights and questions.  Long story short...I have lots of things to study during personal study this week!

Introducing Sister Standage!

Sister Standage
April 3, 2016

This week has been super great! Even though it has been full of LOTS of changes, I'm really enjoying life. (: 

SO! I'm still in Aguilar 2A and my new companion is.. Wait for it.. American! Haha, I know, I was SOOO surprised when I found out. Her name is Sister Standage from Ceder Hills Utah. (: She's super awesome, and obviously AMAZING at Tagalog since she's my companion while I still can't speak it. She's incredibly different from my last companions though.. Sooooo different. Which isn't bad, but we all know I'm not very good with change. She's very strict and very obedient, which is GREAT, but sometimes it's hard for me to have fun with her because I'm more of a go with the flow kind of person. I feel bad, because she seems to get stressed over things she can't control and I don't know how to help her not let those things bother her. But! We get along great, and we're going to work so well together! The work here in little old Aguilar will really be blessed because of her. (:   
Sisters Arquiola, Miller, me, Standage

So! Friday is going to be the best day ever! At 3:00 my investigator Jestoni and his asawa, Heide, will be getting married! Then! At 6:00 Jestoni will be baptized! Then they will continue their wedding day with a reception at 7:00 after his baptism! WOO! Yeah baby! I'm so dang excited for them! Heide is already a member so this is such a great experience for their family! This will be the best civil marriage I have ever been to, because even though it's not in the temple.. They're making the steps to be sealed together as a family for time AND all eternity! It really is exciting stuff! (: 

Also! I did get to watch the General Women's Conference on Saturday! I was worried I would "miss out" on it, because I wouldn't be able to understand it. But let me tell you.. THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL! I understood ALL of it. All of it. Mostly because they actually showed us the English recording, but the gift of tongues is still real. Hahaha! ;D 

It was Sister Standage's 20th birthday on the 2nd. (:
[Looks like she received Dad's Easter package, too]
And this Saturday and Sunday I will get to watch the rest of conference too. I am SO excited to hear from our living Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I testify that He is truly called of God and is The Lord's special instrument here on Earth to help lead and guide ALL of us to Eternal Life. President Thomas S. Monson does not just receive guidance and council for members of The Church, he receives guidance and council for every single person here on the Earth today. I know that with every fiber of my being. The church is true Brothers and Sisters. If you don't believe me, try the gospel for yourself. If you have a problem with paying a full tithe, just try to live it and see what happens; just watch the blessings pour down from Heaven.