Monday, August 15, 2016

Happy 10 Months of Service

Nakakamiss naman mahallies!

bakit malayo kayo? Grabe naman. Pero malapit na akong uuwii! 8 months nalang!

Haha I just reached my 10 months yesterday everyone...not that i'm counting or anything! *wink* hahaha JOKE LANG i've decided i'm just never gonna leave the phils because i love it here way too much. 

This week's been really amazing. My housemates are just about the coolest people ever (since we're all batch) and we've just been having the time of our lives out here in Golden City. As for cool things that went down this week, I've basically been swimming in a sea of mud for the last week because it's rain (flood) season. We got to serve a little old lady by cleaning her house and cracking open coconuts (i'll send pics about that next week aha), and we've been fighting off spiders the size of my face (and by we, i mean my companion...because she's matapang and I just can't handle). Our area's still pretty new, but we've found some families i KNOW are ready for the gospel. Their desire to learn and to follow God's commandments never ceases to amaze me.

There is something different, something amazing, that happens when you allow God to change you. When you allow His gospel, His teachings, into your heart and not only learn to live the principles...but learn to love them as well. As we build our desire to become more obedient, we build our desire to be more like Christ. If you are unhappy now, following the commandments He has set before us, how much more unhappy will you be in the life to come? Those are the laws of Heaven! If we're struggling to endure through them, gritting our teeth, and forcing ourselves to give up what we want for what God wants...we're not living the way He would have us live. We were meant to grow, not just change our habits for a little while. This means we are meant to love with a Christ-like love, not just ignore those we find hard to appreciate. Our relationships carry over with us. We are meant to treat others with kindness, not because of the praise, but because we feel that they have divine importance. We are to live as daughters and sons of the Most High, because that is exactly who we are. Let us not degrade ourselves and fill our minds with ungodly contents - which includes bad thoughts.

Do a little more to be little more like our Savior this week. Love Him enough to see others as He does, and understand the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. Strive to be more obedient, and to love to follow Him...because this change of heart will change your lives. I'm grateful for this gospel, grateful for my Heavenly Father and His willingness to give up His Son for all of us. Grateful for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and for His atonement. I'm grateful for the spirit that never ceases to enrich my life. 

I love you all, and I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They love you. The spirit will guide you - follow Him, and allow Him to guide you closer to Them.

May we always choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong and may we be ever willing to do His will instead of our own. 

My love and prayers are with you always,

Monday, August 8, 2016

Serving the Lord in the City of Gold

Being sent on the Lord's errand is so rewarding. This last week, I'd been blessed to see the change brought to pass by the spirit in the lives of four special people: Rolando Ibardaloza, Harrold Torres, Robert James Ibardaloza, and Princess Ibardaloza. 

If only you all knew the obstacles, prayers, and fasting it took to bring about this miracle. Brother Rolando changed completely, giving up all his vices, that he might be closer to God and one step closer to being forever with his family. 

After 8 months, i'm finally saying goodbye to my beloved San Pedro home. I've been called to a new home - Golden City! I'm more than excited to serve the people there, and am so grateful for the opportunity to be His representative. Here's a voice recording for you all to update you on my week. and a song to bring the spirit, haha. hopefully you all feel uplifted by it. I love you and i'm grateful for you! 

Golden City is Golden

I'm livin' in the City of Gold, Mahallies, and I love it here.

It was super bittersweet saying goodbye to San Pedro and all those I've grown to love (especially my companion, Sister Beltran) buuuut I am so happy to be in my new area! I know, without a doubt, that it has been prepared. 

My new companion, Sister Basilio, is so willing to serve everyone she meets, is humble, full of gratitude, patient, and is so full of joy! It was so easy to feel comfortable with her, and we agreed that after only 4 days, it felt like we'd known each other for years! My new kabahays are tons of fun as well (Sister Table and Sister Verances). We bought a bunch of Filipino knick-knacks and they've been teaching me how to be a REAL filipino! Parents, if you're reading this, you'd be proud to know...I officially am a master of jack stone and chinese garter (haha not really, i still suck, but I'll work on my skills, and we'll play when I get home ahaha). 

As for the area and the members, people here are SO kind! And the scenery is beautiful. It's half city, half province. The members just want to stuff the missionaries with food constantly (which we greatly appreciate) and it's only been 5 days...but I feel at home already.

In the last few days, I learned something very key to happiness: we should never suppress a generous thought. Whether it be a thought to serve,to say something kind, to listen to someone in need of listening, or to express our love for others...these small acts of kindness go such a long way. It says so much about our character, our love for our fellow man, and ultimately, our love for God.

People call themselves Christians, but how often do they actually think of Christ? How often do their actions reflect His, and their words uplift, the way His would? We cannot be Christians by the title alone, but it is necessary that our Christianity be conveyed by thought, word, and deed. 

Do you love God? Do you love everyone?
if the answer isn't the same, the first one isn't true. 

Because if we really loved our Heavenly Father, we would love each and every member of His family, and seek to see their worth the way He sees them. We are each, individually, of infinite worth in the sight of our Heavenly Father. 

I'm grateful for the examples of love and patience I've seen in my own life. My family members and companions are great examples of this. I'm grateful for every opportunity I've had to practice and develop charity. I know that as we strive to develop Christ-like attributes, such as charity, love, and a willing heart to serve, we can gain the joy and peace that comes from following in His ways. So...if you find yourself a little short on patience today, or have the prompting to do something kind for someone...don't hesitate to do the right thing. We are designed to grow, to develop, and to become someone better than we are. Heavenly Father cares a lot more about who we can become than who we if you've struggled with the ability to love those around you, pray for help and push forward! Don't ever tell yourself you can't, because that's the adversary's biggest lie. Go forth and serve 😇 

Mahal na mahal ko po kayo, at alam ko ang Ating Ama sa Langit ay iingatan po kayo.