Monday, May 30, 2016

Mga Biyaya (Blessings)


Every single day I've been out here as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has added to my testimony and knowledge of the amount of love Heavenly Father has for His children. This area seemed to be struggling when I first got here, but as my companion and I continue to work, I've seen how Heavenly Father has used us as his hands, to reach out, serve, and bless the people around us. I'm humbled to be called to serve the people here, and to feel the reality of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

This last week, I've been striving to say more sincere prayers and to stop thinking of myself. I know that Heavenly Father gives us more blessings than he does trials. If we complain about life, then we're only thinking about ourselves. We're only thinking about our inadequacies, our needs, our insufficencies...but as we come to fill our mind with thoughts of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the blessings we've gained, we begin to think with less "I"s and more gratitude. We begin to see Their power, Their presence in our lives, and begin to focus on what They know we can be, rather than what we think we are. 

I've been so blessed this week. My support money (all of this is volunteer, we don't get paid for anything we do. All the money comes from tithing and from our family support) was running low, and I didn't think that my companion and I could get to our area to share our message, because it was too far to travel to with the little funds we had. But we went out with the determination to share this joyous message and with the faith that Heavenly Father would provide...and He did. Somehow, we ended up with a free ride to and from our area, and the experience was such a strong testimony builder for me. I know that Heavenly Father provides and protects His servants. Nothing can get in the way of His work, and building His Kingdom. We are just vessels, and this is His work. 

I'm so grateful for this gospel, and I know with all my heart that it is THE TRUTH. Allow it to change your life, and as soon as it does, share it with everyone you love.

I love you all, and my prayers are always sent your way! 
Ingat lagi,

Inline image 1

Monday, May 23, 2016

Let the Holy Spirit guide

So each week, I really do pray in hopes that I might have something meaningful to share with you. This week, I had the strong impression to talk about following the promptings of the spirit. 

It's been a week of ups and downs for me, personally. I'm on my sixth month in the Phils, 7th including MTC training, and I feel like the time is moving so fast. TOO FAST.  I've been reflecting on the amount I expected myself to grow by this phase in my mission, and was disappointed at the fact that I hadn't become as fluent as I hoped or as skilled in teaching as I'd like. It's a little difficult to sit in lessons and not be able to express myself the way I'd like, because all I want to do is help these people with the gospel and yet I feel so limited. Then the thought would pop into my mind "if only I were english speaking. I COULD DO SO MUCH MORE TO HELP! AND I'D BE SO MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE!" 

As I struggled to fight off the cloud of discouragement, I found comfort in the thought that I was called, by Heavenly Father, to serve here, in the Philippines Cavite Mission. He qualifies those He calls. And He knew that this is where He could use me to the best of my ability. And if Heavenly Father knew I could do it...then the question isn't "Can I learn this language?". The question is "Do I trust Heavenly Father enough to know that He knows what's best for me?...and if He knows I can, then I CAN."  

We are always going to have obstacles. But faith isn't just waiting patiently for something to's about what you do while you wait. Even on the days when there seems to be more inadequacies than we can count, find comfort in the fact that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is perfect, and by following His example, we can find the comfort and fulfillment we've been seeking. If you get a prompting, don't hesitate! We always give ourselves reasons why we CAN'T do what Heavenly Father has asked...but if you think about it, what do you really have to lose? If you follow His prompting and nothing happens...perhaps it was just a test to see if you'd follow His command. Bit by bit, you gain His confidence and trust. But if something DOES happen, how much more joy you will gain for follow the stilll, small voice of the Holy Spirit. 

I know that Heavenly Father has prepared people for each of us to impact, to help, and to love! So say a sincere prayer, and ask Him what you can do for those around you, because there's always more that we can do! Heavenly Father lives and loves us. Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer. The Spirit will speak to you loud and clear, if you're willing to listen. Let the Holy Spirit guide you to do something a little better today (: This is my prayer for you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Inline image 1

1: With the ROCO FAMILY! (the family who had their house burn down). They've found a new place to live and are happy and healthy! (:
2: Celebrating Sister Beltran's (my 5th companion) 24th birthday! 
3: ITS POURING BLESSINGS OUT HERE IN THE PHILS. I couldn't be happier for the rain!  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Love from the Phils


This week, I got a NEW SENIOR COMPANION! Her name is Sister Beltran. She's from Davao and her birthday's tomorrow! She'll be turning 24, and she doesn't know it yet, but we're totally having a pancit party ahahaha. I am so grateful for her. We've been walking in circles for the last 6 days, because our area is HUGE and she hasn't complained once! We've been getting along super well, and even though it's been less than a week, I've learned so much from her about obedience, kindness, and diligence! 

I feel like I've met more people in my ward in the last 6 days than in the last 6 weeks, but I'm so grateful for all those I've met, especially the members, because of the love and support they've shown us. 

This week I learned about the beauty of allowing Heavenly Father to mold us. We all have dreams and goals. We all have people we look up to, people we aspire to be like. But one of the lessons I've learned as I've been out here is that as we are happiest when we align our will with our Savior's. As we serve our Lord, He will use every little bit of us. All of our flaws and imperfections. His grace is sufficient enough to accomplish His work with imperfect mortals. But in order to become what He would have us be, we have to do what He would have us do. 

Some spiritual insight I gained from I talk I read this week is about how we can always do more to grow closer to Heavenly Father.
We can always ask "Father, is there more?" More that I must do to become more like Thee? More that I have neglected to let go off? More that is in the way of my spiritual growth or keeping me from Thee? 

I know that as we strive to break down the wall between us and Our Heavenly Father, Our Savior, and The Spirit we'll feel their presence and the blessings so much more in our lives! I've felt the power of prayer, and my testimony of Heavenly Father's love has grown. 

For all the future missionaries out there, come as you are, because the Lord qualifies those He calls...but be prepared to leave who you were behind. 

I love you guys, and I hope you continue to push forward in faith!

Kitakits & Ingat Lagi!

- Sister Calica

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Hello my loves! Today we're celebrating some of the GREATEST heroes we know - our MOTHERS! Happy Mother's Day sa inyo, lahat! A special thank you to all the grandmothers, mothers, mothers-to-be, & all the other pivotal woman in my life for all the sacrifices you've made and the love you've shared! 

So just to give you a little taste of how it feels like to serve in the Phils...this week I had my FIRST "BUDO FIGHT" here on the mission field! It's basically this big feast where you lay out gigantic banana leaves, dump tons of rice and meat on top of it, and "kamay" aka everyone eats with their hands (minorly unsanitary...but that's why you USE TONS OF HAND SANITIZER BEFOREHAND and gather all your rice in one pile and fend off the savages to make sure no one lays their filthy paws on your food ahahaha). The elders in charge of the feast didn't even have cups so were were all drinking our juice out of bowls and tupperware and I felt like a savage from the stone ages ahaha. It was tons of fun though! You should all try it sometime. 

I also got to Skype family this week which was just an emotional rollercoaster (on my end only because my family is just like ROCK SOLID when it comes to showing emotions AHHAHA just kidding i'm just made of water works is why). Not going to lie, I looked like a blubbering fool trying to get the connection to work, but once it did...AH it was the happiest time of my life! I loved seeing their beautiful faces. I am so grateful for the impact the gospel has made in my family. I'm grateful to have been raised to never doubt Heavenly Father, and His power to deliver me from the adversary. 

Family is SO important. The relationships we create with them last even after the grave - I KNOW family can be together forever. It's so important to make time for our family because no amount of money can ever compensate for lack of love in the home. 

Motherhood/parenthood is divine. Procreation is sacred and shouldn't be taken lightly. It's one of the closest earthly experiences we have to Godhood because of the ability to create life. 

So one of my friends from church told me this cool experience about her mother having a vision of her son preparing to come down to earth during labor: Her mom was pregnant with her oldest (boy) and while she was going through labor she saw him, grown up and dressed in a suit and tie. She also noticed that there was another boy standing next to him - red haired and dressed in casual clothes. The midwife was convinced she had a long time to go before it was time for her baby to be delivered, but just as soon as the mother heard her son say "i'm ready" she exclaimed, "he's coming!" and before her son was about to come through, the red haired man standing next to her child told him to not forget about him and to remember to teach him. Her son was born, but she was still baffled about the experience. This mother pondered who this red-haired boy could've possibly been, but didnt think she would ever see the man that was standing next to her son... but 2 weeks later, when one of her friends gave birth to a baby boy, she held the baby boy and looked at him and notices stubs of red-orange hair. and instantly, when the little boy looked at her, she knew that that was the man that standing next to her son telling him to remember him & to teach him.

Experiences like this are CRAZY - but to me, seems so possible, because motherhood is so divine. If you're spiritually in tune enough, i'm sure the veil keeping us from remembering our lives before this grows thin. 

Talking with my parents from a far off land made me realize that's how OUR Heavenly parents must feel about us. I know they wouldn't have sent us out unprepared. They did  their very best - they raised us and prepared us in Heaven for our lives here on Earth. And they are watching us and hoping we make the best choices for ourselves..,but that's all they can do. Hope we do the best with what they've given us. It's really up to us to make sure we do our best to make it back to them with honor. We may not completely remember their teachings, or the intensity of their love, but we do get reassurance of their teachings and care whenever we feel the spirit, because we're doing something right. They are proud of us. They gift us EVERYDAY with another breath of air and new opportunities to grow. 

I know we have a Heavenly Mother and Father who loves us, and are cheering for us every step of the way! Our Heavenly Brother, Jesus Christ, was sent as an example for us to follow, and was sacrificed because our Heavenly Parents love us SO MUCH they did everything in their power to create a way for us to come back to them. The Holy Spirit will comfort us and guide us, so long as we ask! So turn to them. Allow yourself to be a reflection of their love for others! I love you guys and I wish you the best always. I'd love to invite you all to take the time to list out all the reasons why you love your parents and express that to them! They rarely get the appreciation and recognition they deserve, so please take the time to express your thanks today! 

Happy Mothers day, again! 

Sister Calica

Monday, May 2, 2016

MAY i say, i LOVE you Mahallies

Happy May, Mahallies! 

I am BEYOND excited because May means Mothers Day, and Mothers day means I GET TO CALL HOME (and so should everyone else to say thank you to their mothers for carrying extra weight, suffering with crazy cravings and swelling for 9 months). Go take your mom on a date, and tell her you love her! 

This week I've gained a greater appreciation for my parents - especially because of the way they raised me. Their teachings, which were heavily influenced by the gospel of Jesus Christ, molded me, and had an everlasting effect on the way I think...which is VITAL here on the mission, and in life, because you can either move forward and grow from the situations you're put in, or you can choose to play the victim and throw a sad little pity party for yourself. We all must understand that it's our CHOICE. our CHOICE to show love to those who are unkind to us, our CHOICE to choose to follow Christ's example, our CHOICE to choose happiness, our CHOICE to pick ourselves up and keep moving forward.

That's not to say it's always going to be rainbows and butterflies. There have been days out here when walking out into what felt like an oven of dusty roads and slammed doors didn't seem like the first thing I'd want to do...but we all have the power to make the best of our situation. On days like those, I use the advice I got from a really great missionary - say a prayer for motivation. Ask for the power and the strength to move forward and tell Heavenly Father you're going to give it you're all, you just need Him to keep you going. And those are the days I've seen the BEST miracles. 

That happened this week - my companion, Sister Leon, and I were walking home after having a day just full of dropped appointments. It looked like it was going to start raining really hard, the lightning was already starting, so we decided we should just start walking back home. And just as we started on our way, a crazy lightning bolt struck so bright, we were shocked because we thought someone from the passing tricycles had just taken a photo of us! And right as that lightning struck...a boy appeared out of no where and asked us if we were the Mormon missionaries! Haha we told him "YEAH! WE ARE" and he went on to explain how he'd been looking for the missionaries for the last couple years, and haven't been able to find any! And then he went on to tell us how he'd been taught before, and really wanted to be baptized...and that there are 26 of them at their house, all ready and waiting for the gospel of Jesus Christ! 

I know that Heavenly Father provided us with the miracle we needed to push forward. I was asked earlier this week why I'm a missionary...and to be honest, it's because I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know it without a doubt. I know that, even with the crazy heat and rejections and distance from home, it is SO worth it to be out here. There's nothing greater than to be able to witness Heavenly Father's miracles so closely. The feeling of watching people's lives change, and being allowed to play a part as a vessel of God during the's more happiness than I could ever express. I've watched people's entire countenance change as they grow closer to Heavenly Father. Because, in reality, we can search around with our eyes closed and try to figure it out all we want...but His eyes are eternal. He can see everything. He can see us for our eternal potential and He knows what can make us happiest. All we have to do is ask for guidance, and be willing to follow. It's so simple, but we make it so much harder than it really has to be! 

I know it's true. And I know that along the way, we're going to make mistakes. And others will too. But be kind, with your thoughts and deeds. Because we're all trying our best to get to where we want to be. So if you think of who you are & who you want to be...and it's not the same...if there's a gap...then fix it. Ask God for the strength to better yourself & push forward in faith! 

I know that you'll be able to leave people and places better than you found them if you commit to become a more Christ-like person today. Pick an attribute you feel you need to improve, and take it to God. Ether 12:27.

I love you guys, and I'm so grateful for the impact each of you have made in my life. Thank you for your support and your love!

See you in 11,

Sister Calica are some pictures for you to enjoy! Check out my new boyfriend, he's pretty sweet AHAHA. (joke lang guys...kinda ahahaha)