Thursday, February 23, 2017

Feb 23

Hey Mahallies!

This is the last week of the transfer....and I'm psyched! 6 weeks nalang to give my best with the name of the Lord on my chest! May the blessings continue rolling in (:

My district and I got to go to Tagaytay on thursday, and the view was magical. I love them tons, and they're so supportive - i'm grateful to have learned from each of them. We found a gigantic pineapple house and spent the day singing the sponge bob theme song while viewing live snakes and taking selfies. It was a great pday. 

Throughout the week, we visited our investigators. Sister Gizelle, a mother of 4 of the cutest little rascals, attended church again this week and got to attend class. I feel like whenever we speak about the gospel, she glows with happiness! You can just see her eyes light up like "eureka!" because she's constantly learning by the Spirit about God's plan. She wants to be baptized and is completely ready to, but she and the government don't have a record of her husband's birth certificate. She told me how hard she'd been working to get a new one made - she and her husband have both been saying the most sincere prayers and have been doing all that they could to get married. We've been doing our best to help - but seeing first hand how determined she is to get baptized because she knows it's true inspires me! Watching her convert unto Christ and become more aware of His love for her is good enough motivation for EVERY missionary to share this gospel.

Today all the missionaries leaving in a month went to the mtc to get x-rays done. It was crazy to think that just a year and a half ago, I was waving goodbye to that place and heading out to the field. time moves so fast - we gotta make the most of it. 

I know that people are waiting for the truth - for this gospel - and I plan to give my very best these next six weeks. The work never stops!

I love you all, and I pray you continue to build your testimonies through reading and pondering the words of God.

- Sister Calica

Happy V

Hey Mahallies. We're reaching the end of this transfer, and next week, I'll get to know if I stay or if I go! I love golden city - I've officially hit my 6 months here, and it's been the best 6 months ever. I've been so blessed to be surrounded by people who are ready for the gospel, and a ward that is so supportive of the work! 

I just wanted to share a few of the tender mercies I experienced this week.

Last Saturday was Brother Bringas's birthday. We had gone to his house to wish him a great one...but he wasn't home. We ended up being punted appointment after appointment - even our most dependable investigators didn't have time for a lesson/weren't home! I couldn't figure out why - until we knocked into Brother Bringas selling lugaw. We ran to him singing happy birthday, and he started crying! He doesn't have very much family, and I'm almost sure no one greeted him except for although we were punted the entire day, it was a blessing for me to be used as a tender mercy in God's hands, to show a child of God that his Heavenly Father remembers him individually. 

Sister Elijah got to go to church for the 2nd time, and she's committed to come every week from now on! She's growing so much in her testimony, I'm so blessed to see how much she's been growing. Rom has been working with us a lot more as well - I can tell that his testimony is growing as well, because he's so willing to share it with those around him. He finally attended the sunday school class, and loved it!

I'm grateful for all of you, and hope that you continue to seek ways to be an instrument in spreading God's love for his children. Seek service, and pray for opportunities to help others! The best way to find happiness is to focus on helping others gain it first. 

Love you all! 

Sister Calica

Becoming who He'd have you be

My love for the scriptures have been burning immensely this last week. With the flexibility in the new schedule, I've been able to fit in 2 hours of personal study by starting earlier, rather than just one (don't worry, I've been fitting everything else in as well) and it's been a big blessing. One of the best scriptures I found this week was 1 Corinthians 10:13. God never gives us problems, addictions, or hardships too much for us to bear. It doesn't take years to overcome - repentance can happen as soon as we decide "i'll change - and mean it"

I'm grateful for you, my family. I'm grateful to hear that sabrina's doing well, and I hope that jill had an amazing birthday! love you always. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

10 weeks

So this week was amazing. I got to attend the Young Women's broadcast & the worldwide missionary broadcast. God is sending so much new revelation - I can feel the work hastening and I'm thrusting my sickle in to build the kingdom as much as I can! I'm so grateful to be apart of it! Such a blessing to be a missionary - I wish I could fully describe the happiness it brings. 

Our schedules have changed and become a lot more flexible. They kept emphasizing how we would be blessed for using our agency correctly - and I'm so grateful for the change, because I feel like it's preparation for how life's going to be after the mission. Obviously, no one's going to be keeping me on check and watching my every move...but I know that God is watching, and that He expects so much out of me. He's prepared me for this how could I possibly give Him less than my best effort?

I was so inspired about their insights - I'd love to share some with you:

1. If your investigator (or your child) is not keeping commitments you extend, before assuming something is wrong with THEM, reflect on yourself and your teachings. Why did is it not important to them? What did they not understand? Was the spirit present during the lesson, to bring the message to their hearts?

This really applied to one of our progressing investigators - Rom - who is 16. He'd been taking the lessons because of his tito. He's respectful and willing to listen, and even goes to church. But I feel like he still can't see the personal importance of the gospel in his life. He'd lied to us about stopping his smoking and drinking...and UGH it was the most awkward situation trying to get him to admit it (bc his tito had given us a heads up). I was so disappointed - not just because we'd have to push back his baptismal date...but because the importance of the wow obviously didn't impact his heart. He kept continuing to give into peer pressure.

I kept wondering if maybe it was because of me - because perhaps I wasn't able to bring the spirit as powerfully as I should've been. At the broadcast, we learned about the importance of practicing the gospel in our lives - especially daily repentance. Not just repenting about the big things - but even things we don't really consider sins...but just bring us away from God. Not only sins of commission, but sins of omission. I know that I'm not perfect and there are still things I need to improve and fix.

Because another key point they expressed was that we don't have to worry about if we're doing enough, if we ARE giving are best. like it says in alma 26:27 - success is "given" if we have to double guess about if we're doing are all...then we're probably not. and the real question should be, "what lack I yet"?

I learned about the importance of baptizing CONVERTS. people ready for the gospel, and who love the gospel. I realized that if they just do it for no good reason, then they have a better chance of falling away. I actually felt really prompted to ask mom to speak with ateh express the difference in your life with getting baptized for your future family and then after reading the bom and REALLY becoming converted. I know each of us should still continue to develop our testimonies everyday. Have personal and family prayer, both morning and night. Read your scriptures. Go to church and understand the importance.

I know that at times it's hard to know if we have a testimony. We may doubt it. but i love this quote i read this week

"a testimony is the holy ghost bearing witness to our soul of the truthfulness of the gospel and restored church. when we fail to pray and study the scriptures, the influence of the spirit is weakened - lowering our resistance to tempation. when we sin and become unclean, we lose the spirit all together and w/o it can wonder if we had a testimony at all

Thursday, January 19, 2017

12 weeks

So I woke up on Tuesday, and was wondering why in the world my lips were feeling so numb. I looked in the mirror and BAM! Mosquito kisses = free botox everyone. I was a real life bratz doll for a day. 

But despite having bratz lips and losing my wallet this week, I could feel the miracles continually flowing in. 

The first of those miracles being Sister Aquino. We were able to be a trio with my "kapatid" here on the mission for three days, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to teach with her, because I learned so much about being positive and loving my calling. She comes from a pretty rough background, and yet is one of the most spiritually in-tune missionaries I know. She NEVER blames God for obstacles that would hinder almost anyone else I know. From her I learned that as we continue to trust in God, and serve Him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, we will be made enough. 

We'd been teaching the nephew of Brother Latigay for a few weeks now. Rom is one of our progressing investigators and, although he's only 16 years old, he has such a mature attitude and has been going to the church regularly for almost a month now. I am truly amazed whenever I encounter teens searching for the truth. It just further testifies to me that God has prepared the most valiant servants for these latter days and that God's plan is for EVERYONE, no matter the age. Some people, although they're searching with true hearts, just don't have the truth because they don't know where to find it. I testify that this is the true church of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and that we have all the rights and authority to prove that claim. Just like we did with Rom, I invite you to pray and ask if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's church, and if the message we share is true. Rom shared that when he did pray, he felt like he felt God speak to him and advise him to "continue to take the lessons with the sisters". I'm so grateful for the Holy Spirit, because I know that the spirit is who testified to Rom that he is on the right path. We just heard that he might be going back to his province, but I'm really praying he doesn't, because I want to see how much God can make out of Rom!
I'm grateful for all of you, and have a testimony that if you are looking for the truth, you can find it here.

I love you all! 
Sister Calica

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Happy first week of the year Mahallies.

So this week was ridiculous. The plumbing in the Philippines doesn't take too well to our bathroom got messed up. we had to endure and shower at a member's house - the Madriaga Family (they're our landlord) - until our they got permission to open up the second floor for us to use, and we were SO grateful! Literally 5 minutes after the Madriagas left, Sister Table and I heard screaming from the upstairs bathroom - the bathroom knob had broken off AND WATER WAS SPRAYING EVERYWHERE flooding the whole bathroom. We all jumped in, hopelessly trying to shove the knob back to where it was and simultaneously using the bathroom buckets to shovel the mini-sea into the shower, to keep it from flooding the whole second floor. The Madriagas came back to find us soaking and desperate for help. It took 2 hours to fix, but thankfully, Brother Madriaga was able to fix the problem. We were so relieved....then yesterday, our shower faucet broke off so, y'know, all the water pipes have been messed up and I've just been taking tabo showers out of this little bucket. IT'S BEEN A CRAZY WEEK, MAHALLIES!

Missionary work this week was brilliant. Sister St. Gelais and I finally got to teach brother Maximo, the husband of a recent convert, Sister Jen Gonzales. We'd been wanting to share the gospel with him for forever, but he'd always get so shy whenever we'd come by, he'd run off! During our last lesson, however, he told us that he really wanted to go to church and be baptized! He loves his family tons, and watches them go to church every sunday, and I think he's ready to take the steps he needs to to make his family his forever. We're going to continue our lessons with him, and I am sure the day will come when he will be ready and willing to accept the truth of this gospel, or God's plan for us, for himself, and for his loved ones. 

We've also started teaching a friend of Brother Padlan's (recent convert), Antonio Gile, who became interested in the church because he saw the strength it had given brother Padlan, both physically and emotionally. Brother Padlan's foot is swollen, black, and partially numbed due to diabetes, but he never fails to walk to church every single sunday. His sacrifice amazes me. Brother Padlan bore his testimony to Brother Gile about the blessings and strength he's gained for his obedience to God's commandments and obeying the sacredness of the sabbath day. Brother Gile can barely walk because of his arthritis, but was SO COMMITED to come to church, he came the sunday after we taught him is first lesson! (He's scheduled to be baptized on the 18th of February). I know the gospel of Jesus Christ can help us overcome any obstacle. 

Sister Gizelle, one of our investigators, has also informed us that she's finally taken action to get her husband's birth certificate, so that they can be married and she can be baptized! I'm so excited for her, and am praying that everything falls into place. God is so good. The Lord always provides a way, if we're trying to do what's right. 

I love the people here, and I am so blessed to be able to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ, or his plan for our happiness, has motivated them to better themselves. 

I would like to leave my testimony with you. I know that this is the true word of God. I know it's easy to say, but what has strengthened my testimony is actually living it and seeing first hand the blessings it brings. Back at home, I didn't have a good study habit when it came to scripture reading, and now I find that the hours of study we have just aren't enough, because there's still so much more I want to learn, and still so much the spirit has to teach me! I think that when we stop looking at prayer and scripture reading and church going as a bore, and begin to see them for what they really are - blessings to enlighten our minds and bring us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ - we will learn to love it. I've grown such a deep love for the prophets of old, who sacrificed time, safety, and (for some) their lives to bring me their testimonies of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know these things are true. I know that Heavenly Father , out of love for each of us, sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us of our sins. I know that the Savior lives, and I know that the spirit will guide us and help us to understand the testimonies of the prophets about Jesus Christ, if we pray and ask for his guidance.

I'm grateful for all of you and invite you to read and pray, and ask for yourself if you really are a child of God, if He really does love you, and if the testimonies in the Book of Mormon are true. 

I leave you my witness that they are.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sister Calica

Sunday, January 8, 2017

100 Days

Happy New Years, Mahallies. I hope that your Christmas and New Years were filled with loads of joy and a new sense of gratitude. Today, the countdown begins: 100 days until we're together again, everyone! I can't really imagine how it feels to come home and see all my family and friends. Sister Swanson left last tuesday, and I was in tears (which makes no sense, because of course, we're gonna hang out in America)! I guess I just came to a realization that nothing will ever be the same - being a missionary is such a blessing, and for most, is a once in a life time shot in their youth. I feel so blessed to have been able to experience and learn from all those I've come to know out here. 

On tuesday, after Sister Swanson left, I met a really amazing mother of 3, named Jennielyn. She's a friend of sister Gizelle, one of our progressing investigators. We were about to start a lesson with Gizelle about the Book of Mormon, when in steps Sister Jennielyn, to pick up her kids. We invited her to listen, and at the end of the lesson, Sister Gizelle tells us how she'd been intending to refer Jennielyn to us for a long time now! Jennielyn said she knew it wasn't a coincidence that she stepped in just in time to meet us. She said that she usually doesn't go out to pick up her kids, because she knows they'll come back, but something was pushing her to go to Gizelle's house...and I know that "something" was the spirit! I am so grateful to continue our lessons with her, and watch her grow in the gospel.

This week, we had so much help from the members, which we'd been praying for. They fed us tons of food, and at nearly every house we stopped at, they had friends they wanted us to share the message with. I know God blesses us with tender mercies everyday. 

Then on thursday, Brother Bringas, we'd asked a less active member if he knew how the spirit felt. He told us that he feels it everytime we come around, that he feels happy, yet calm and strong. He's been coming to church consistently these last couple weeks, and even attended Jhun's baptism! 

Jhun got baptized on Saturday, and the spirit he brought when sharing his testimony was so strong. He said that when we found him, he felt like he'd finally found the missing piece he didn't realize he was searching for. This gospel helps us understand our purpose for being here. It helps us truly grasp that we really are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. 

I know that Heavenly Father is real. He has a perfect, glorified body. I know that Jesus Christ is a separate being. He is the son of God, and is our Brother. He also has a glorified body of flesh and bones. During his time on earth, he gave his life for our sins and pains, and overcame death. HE LIVES and loves us! I know that the spirit has no body, but we can feel it in our hearts. I know that it can change who we are, and help us become who God wants us to be. I know that this time on Earth is the time to prepare to meet God. This Earth is our training ground to become more like our Savior, and we can do that by setting goals to be better and overcome our weaknesses. My invitation for each of you is to set 4 goals: mental, physical, social, spiritual. Write why you want to do each of these, and how you're going to do them! I know that we all have weaknesses, and might slip up, but heaven sings and cheers us on every step of the way, so keep trying to be better than the person you were yesterday! and if you'd like to join my mission in this challenge, I'd also love to invite each of you to read 5 pages of the book of Mormon daily, and underline every single time you see anything that references the Savior. I've started doing this and have come to see that the Book of Mormon really does testify purely of our Lord.

I love you all so much, and pray for you always!

See you in 100. 

- Sister Calica