Monday, April 25, 2016

Mahal Kita (:

Hey Mahallies! So I'm basically writing you from the sun right now. it's 104F over here, and I'm pretty much dying. I'm a nice charcoal color for all of you who are wasting your money on tanning beds in the US, feel free to make your way to the Phils! TANS ARE FREE HERE. 

I'm running a little low on time today, so here's a little spiritual thought to help you through your week (: 

"Faith is not by chance, but by choice"

Out here on the mission, I've realized that this statement is completely true. We have to choose to grow closer to God. Or we can choose to try to figure out this life on our own, and distance ourselves from Him. The adversary will give us every reason to stray, but we have to realize that God knows ALL the answers. The only way we'll ever REALLY be happy is if we align our will with His. We can't wait until we NEED to be close with Him, or procrastinate until we feel like we're nearing the end. We have to start NOW. Sometimes the little guilty pleasures are the hardest things to give up...but little do we realize that in the end, the little things WERE the big things. Taking the time to read scriptures or pray or spend time building relationships with loved ones...those little things make all the difference! We have to follow our Savior's example in all things. Have the faith to ask what you can change to better yourself, and follow through on the answer! "If we are willing to act, we will be blessed with the change. We fail only if we fail to take another faithful step forward. We will not, we cannot, fail if we are faithfully yolked to the Savior - He who has never failed will NEVER fail us!" So just know that every step we take towards Heavenly Father and towards our Savior is worth something. Obstacles and mess-ups are bound to happen, and are just opportunities to better ourselves. Don't be discouraged by them, because fear is the absence of faith! Remember to ask yourself, what can YOU do to show God you love Him a little more today? And I assure you, as soon as you strive to serve Him more, He will pay you back 100000 times over. I love you guys, and I know that you're worth SO much in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's eyes. The Spirit will testify to you of that. Ask in prayer how much they care about you, and I promise, you can know for yourself just how loved you are.

Stay close to Their love and Pray always! 

Lovin' you from the Phils,

Sister Calica

Monday, April 18, 2016

Always Think of Christ


I'm really hoping that you guys are doing well because I miss you tons! This week, we gained a couple new housemates...and I have a picture of one of them attached. Haha guys, I'm not even kidding, Sister McBride (the newest missionary at our house) and I were LITERALLY screaming at the sight of this monster. This spider was bigger than my face! AND IT COULD BOLT LIKE LIGHTNING. Haha, and then, that same night, when I finally summed up the courage to get over the spider, I was in the backyard/kitchen, washing my clothes (because here in the Phils, we believe in buckets and good, sturdy, scrubbin' arms). I felt like I was being I looked over (without my glasses) and could've sworn I saw a gray cat staring at me. I stood up shocked as it rushed forward toward me, and realized it was a HUGE DISGUSTING RAT IN OUR HOUSE and literally had to step out of the way for it to get past me and wiggle it's gigantic, fat, filthy body under our ventilator. I honestly don't know how it even fit under there. I'm pretty sure it'll be stuck there forever, because unless it goes on a hardcore diet and does a couple sit ups...oh my gosh anyways, you guys get it, it was traumatizing. 

Other than that, life over here has been made of ups and downs for the last couple weeks. I'm convinced it's because I feel like we're literally walking on the sun out here. Don't be surprised if I come back to you guys in a jar, because I'm MELTING INTO A PUDDLE OF SWEAT AND TEARS. But they're happy tears, I promise ahaha. They really are. I'm more grateful to be out here than you know!

Anyways, like I said, this week has been a little more challenging than others. It's easy to be discouraged, and easy to give up...but what builds and proves our character is how we choose to act during times of hardship. The way we react is our choice. Being offended by others is a choice. But allowing ourselves to be offended and STAY OFFENDED rather than growing from the experience...that's a mistake. Refusing to acknowledge our weaknesses is a sign of pride...and this week, I've realized that humility and patience are Christ-like attributes everyone can benefit from developing. 

We weren't put on this earth to be remembered - we were put here to prepare for eternity. We weren't put here to compete, or to be the "greatest" because "greatest" implies that we are comparing ourselves to others...and in reality, the only person we should be trying to emulate is Jesus Christ. 

So this week, I posted up a large sticky note on my desk with the words "ALWAYS THINK OF CHRIST" to remind me to be kinder. And it was amazing the difference it made. Every single time I wanted to say something unkind, or felt irritated, or had my mind clouded with angry thoughts...I looked at these words, and would see His name, and it would simmer me down. I found peace by just LOOKING at His name. Because it made me think, He wouldn't think these thoughts about this person. He loves them as much as He loves me...and if I think about it, I'm sure Christ could've gotten frustrated at me for my imperfections and shortcomings...but he hasn't. He's continued to forgive me and allow me to learn from my mistakes. I've only felt His love and patience overflow in my life. And the least I can do was share that same love with others. Think of Christ before you act. Give Him your struggles, and realize that He rewards you for your patience and for your willingness to become more like Him. And as you change your bad habits of reacting to fast or being impatient, you will see the impact it has on your character. The change we are seeking will not happen all at once, but we can commit to giving our all at the beginning of every day. "Seek Heavenly guidance one day at a time...Each one of us can be true for just one day." - President Monson

My invitation for all of you today is to ask yourselves, "What can I do to show God I love Him a little more today?" and "What can I do to be more Christ-like?" 

I promise, if you ask with the faith to act on the answer, you will find so much more beauty in change!

I love you all and know that you're capable of growth. It's one of the GREATEST things about this gospel - we're made to progress. We go from bad to good, good to better, better to best, and best to perfect (through Christ). There is no limit to our progression, so there's always more we can do! Seek to be better than the person you were yesterday, and more like our Savior & Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

You're in my prayers, as always. Take care always!

All the love,

Sister Calica

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April General Conference "Life is to be learned Backwards, but lived forward"

Miss na miss ko kayo, Mahallies! 

This week was general conference, and let me just say, the spirit really did guide the speakers to say what needed to be heard. So for those of you that don't know, every year in April and October, our church has a general conference, where we hear the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints speak, along with a ton of other apostles and leaders. 

One talk that I really loved was "I am a child of God"

Instead of sharing my insight with you about it immediately, I wanted to invite you to please give it a listen, because the message it conveys resonated with me deeply, and i know, if you listen with a true desire to grow spiritually and find guidance, it will do the same for you. Listen, and write down the way you feel about his message (not just what he says, but what you think about and how it applies to your life), and email it to me, because I'd greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from all of you!  

I have a stong testimony about the truth of this gospel, and even more about the reality of Jesus Christ and his love for each and every one of us. Remember who you are. You are a child of God. Do everything in your power to be who God envisioned you to be. Strive to improve. "Life is to be learned backwards, but lived forward." Don't let the mistakes you've made in the past discourage you from being better, because people are NOT defined by only their biggest mistake. We are loved, flaws and all, by an ever-loving and ever-forgiving Father in Heaven. I know that this is true, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you & know that God is with you, and the angels are round about you always.

- Sister Calica

Monday, April 4, 2016


It's official, Mahallies. I've reached my 6 month mark! ONE YEAR LEFT!
It feels almost impossible that the time has flown by this fast. I'm grateful for all the experiences I've had up to this point...and I know this is only the beginning. 

So having an english speaking companion is ALWAYS a little different, but I'm grateful for the opportunity we've been given to grow and progress together. My companion and I have been working REALLY hard to try to get a better grasp of tagalog aha, and even though our first lesson was a little bit of a mess, the ones to follow got increasingly better. Working with her really reminded me of the Mission Training Center, and made me realized just how much progress I've actually made out here. Looking back, I'd struggle trying to fit in a couple tagalog words into my sentence during conversations with my teachers, and now, I can have full on conversations with people in tagalog and sometimes can't think of the english version of words because i'm just so used to saying it in tagalog! it's like...automatic google translate in my brain ahaha. NOT TO SAY that i'm fluent, because i'm not anywhere close to that...but I just know that I couldn't have gotten as far as I have without God's help. This is His work, and He ALWAYS provides a way for us to succeed, so long as we heed His promptings. order to progress, we must know where to start.

So where is the starting line? The answer is...
where you are right now. 

One of the most important parts of progression is preparation. We need to DECIDE and mentally prepare ourselves for change. I'd been reading in Alma 43 for my personal study this week and just wanted to share a few insights I learned from it (: (please read because it'll add more depth to this email ) 

This chapter is just about how the Lamanites (bad guys) and the Nephites (good guys) are going off to war. The lamanites are under prepared, going to war with only cloth to cover themselves and their swords to fight...but the nephites go with full armor and a game plan, relying on God for strength and fighting for their families, their liberty, their religion, and their land. I love this chapter, because it just shows us that if you're on the devil's're disposable. When you follow the adversary, he doesn't care what happens to you at the end. he doesn't prepare you and doesn't defend you. But when you depend on God, He strengthens you and delivers you from the adversary's hand. So...which side are you on?

What really stuck out to me were Alma:43:43-50  
From these verses I've learned that there are going to be days when temptations and trials are going to be even stronger than normal, and we're going to want to give up...but we CANNOT SHRINK. In those moments of weakness, we must remember who we are. We are children of God. We are capable of divinity, capable of miracles, so long as we depend on God's arm, and not on the arm of man. We must remember why we're fighting to defend ourselves against the adversaries' grasp in the first place! Push forward with all of our heart, mind, might, and strength. 

During one of the lessons I had this week, one of our investigators mentioned how she only prays on sundays, or when things are hard in her life. But the thing wouldn't expect the walls of a castle to be built in a day, so why would you expect it out of your faith? It takes TIME to create a defense against temptation. It takes TIME to build faith. and it takes TIME to build your relationship and trust in God. So, whether you're facing trials and temptations right now, or if things are just smooth sailing, NOW is the time to prepare.  

So start now, because you said 'tomorrow' yesterday. 

I know that God lives. I know that He loves us, and no problem is too small for him to care about. He can strengthen you through it all, so turn to Him in all you do.

I love you all and I hope you're doing your best to strengthen your faith and testimonies daily! You're in my prayers always. 

All the love! See you all in a year!

- Sister Calica

PICS: 1.Me and my new companion, Sister Leon, on our first girl date 2.A couple of the kids in my new area that wanted to take a picture hahaha. 3. Celebrating my 6 month mark with a twix shake at the cutest little cafe in the Phils!