Sunday, September 29, 2013


Here are some pictures of Sister Reategui singing at the RS Broadcast:


GUYS. REAL LIFE IT'S MY PDAY AGAIN AND I AM HERE EMAILING YOU ALL! One month has passed since I became a missionary and honestly it has been the greatest and hardest month of my life!!! MISSIONS ARE INCREDIBLE. THIS GOSPEL IS INCREDIBLE!! This week has been a crazy and very stressful week but it has also been so so great. I am obsessed with all things Filipino. And all things missionary work.

Okay, so Saturday after I emailed, we went to the Temple which is always great. Then we had TRC! TRC is so awesome. We taught 2 lessons, one to the same guy as last week, and one to a couple, the guy served in the Philippines and he brought his girlfriend who doesn't speak Tagalog but is Filipino. TRC is fun because you get to practice getting to know people in Tagalog because we don't get much practice with that but it's pretty important! Saturday ended well with our weekly service project of setting up the chairs for the next day's devotionals.

Okay, this week's Sunday was kinda super crazy! So, we went to Relief Society and everything just like normal. Relief Society was so awesome. Jean A Stevens from the Primary General Presidency spoke to us about Christ and how we as missionaries get the unique opportunity to bring many souls unto Him. Something she said in her talk that really struck me was, "This gospel blesses lives not just when we believe it, but when we live it. Send the message that we believe it as you live it." It is SO TRUE! As a missionary, I really need to show everyone I meet all I believe in just by the way I act and live. After that, during lunch, Sister Roroa said she was sick and having a hard time breathing. So I sat with her and talked about what was wrong because she was having a hard time expressing herself and how she was feeling in English. Long story short, they ended up taking her to the ER and I got to go with her! And through talking with her, I realized that the reason she didn't want to tell the doctors anything was because she thought they would send her back to Kitibati. When we walked in to the hospital, she looked at me and just said "See you in the next life Sister." Hahahaha she cracks me up. And I am happy to report they found out what she needed and is feeling a lot better now. Crazy day but I was glad I could help out a little! Later on in the week, my family sent Sister Roroa a package, which was good for her to cheer her up! So family, you guys are awesome and she cried when she was reading the letters. When we went to pick up the package, she screamed "My first package ever!!! The church IS true!!!" Hahahahaha have I told you all that I love her? Because I love her!!!!! Not only because she calls me Princess of Arizona. Hahaha

Okay, the rest of the week was crazy as well! Monday the older districts left, which is always sad but exciting at the same time. We are officially the oldest "generation" here which is insane but so awesome. Tagalog is still hard but it is coming with a lot of hard work. I feel like I am at the point where I can't really speak Tagalog or English. Seriously every time I try to speak English, it comes out backwards or the way it would in Tagalog. Hahaha it's so great. On Monday, we had the best lesson ever with our most difficult investigator Fernando. He is the one that is like 53, divorced, and feels like he has no purpose in life because he's been through a lot of hard things. He literally told us he only invited us in because we looked nice. So, we were teaching him and I thought of this scripture to share. So I had him read out loud Moroni 7:41, which says "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the Atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise." And he almost started crying!!! I just looked at him and asked him how it made him feel and he said "that is a good verse. I have had similar questions and now they are answered." OKAY I WANTED TO JUMP UP AND SCREAM! Seriously. Yes he is fake but he is so real to us!!! Then, I bore my testimony that it is true, that there is so much hope through the Atonement and through Jesus Christ!!! I was just so excited. And so then he was just sitting there so I asked him if he understood and he said back "Yes, now I can understand everything you are saying. At first I didn't really understand or care but now your messages are really really good. I know now that Christ is hope and it is a good feeling." GUYS. I REALLY COULD HAVE SCREAMED IN THE MOMENT. I was so excited I almost cried!!! Ah. The Spirit is so amazing and through it lives can be changed!!! Even if it is a fake investigator. Hahaha. We had another lesson with him yesterday and it went so well. Have I ever mentioned how grateful I am for the Spirit? Seriously it is amazing to see as a missionary. I know none of these words are mine and it is so awesome to see the Spirit work through me and through my investigators. So, in our lesson yesterday we decided to sing him I Need Thee Every Hour in Tagalog and he loved it. I don't know why we never did that before because the Spirit was so strong and it was awesome. Then, My kasama shared her testimony about the song and how true it is. She shared about how through afflictions, He is always there for us. She is so great and brings the Spirit everytime she testifies! Then I thought of the scripture in Mosiah 24:13-14, and focused on verse 14 which says "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit people in their afflictions." OKAY I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THE SCRIPTURES!!! This verse is amazing and so applicable to Fernando. I asked him if he understood, and he said YES!! He explained that he now knows that he isn't just talking to the ceiling when he prays, he knows that God is there looking out for him. Best moment.

So, on Tuesday, we got moved to West Campus! Kind of weird because it is apartments right by all the college housing here at BYU but it is a fun place to live! Well, Tuesday was kind of super crazy with the move and all. But once we got situated, we had a lesson with Genella. She is our 16 year old investigator that is just so ready for baptism!! This week she came to church and just loved it so much. Then, in our lesson, she asked if she can bring her friend because she is interested too. So golden! I wanted to ask her about baptism but didn't know how and was so mad at myself. Haha so right after, I memorized the baptismal commitment in Tagalog so we are so ready to go for the next lesson with her. I will keep you all posted!! 

The rest of the week was pretty much the same. But, on Thrusday WE GOT OUR FLIGHT PLANS!!!! Really it's gone by so fast. We leave on Monday the 7th, so it's coming up super super fast!!!! 9 DAYS YAY! Ah I am just so grateful for all of my experiences already and can't believe it's just beginning. I know that through His help, we can do all things!! I have really realized during this crazy adventure of mine that during hard times and trials, I learn and GROW the most! The Lord has been with me every step of the way and has brought me so much comfort. I love this gospel and can't wait to share it with the people of the Philippines in just 9 DAYS!!!!!! 

Oh, also we are on our way to Salt Lake in about an hour to sing at the Relief Society Broadcast tonight! So you can all watch me on TV because I'm sure you all miss me so much. I will be the one singing all the wrong notes and breathing at all the wrong times so it should be easy to spot me. Also, I am wearing a dark green shirt. So look out for me!! 

Ah I just love you all. Life is so great. Being a missionary is SO great!!! 

--Sister Reategui
We got our flight plans to the Philippines!

It's getting cold here in Provo!

Me and my companion

I saw Elder Niver in the MTC!

Saturday, September 21, 2013



Okay I know I say this every week but time goes by abnormally fast here. I feel like I was just emailing you all yesterday! So this may be slightly repetitive again because we literally do the same thing every day, so don't hate me. I am doing my best here! First off I would just like to say you are all awesome and you keep me going!! Seriously. I feel so blessed to have such awesome friends and family. I wish I could respond to all of your emails and letters as fast as I would like to but I don't have much time, but I will try! I just love you all. That is it.

Okay, so starting with after emailing on P-Day! We get to do a session in the Provo Temple every week, and then after that our glorious P-Day is over around 6 because we then go to class. Saturday nights we have TRC now, which is Teaching Resource Center, where we go and teach someone that has volunteered to come in just as themselves. It's a good way to learn how to make small talk and to really get to know them and know what they need to be taught. Oh, and it is also in 100% Tagalog, which is an adventure in itself. It was so great though and my kasama and I really felt the Spirit so strongly as we taught this man! He was actually our teacher's teacher when he went through the MTC, so it is funny how it has come a full circle for us to be teaching him. The Spirit was so strong in there and my kasama and I felt so blessed. We had been working extra hard with the language and just really focusing on what we needed to teach for the volunteer, and as we looked back we realized that what we individually taught connected so well. THIS GOSPEL IS AMAZING like I can't say it enough!! The gift of tongues is real. There is no way I could do this on my own. Seriously, I didn't even know what I was saying to that man in TRC but when I thought about it after, I realized that what I was saying exactly matched up to the things he was sharing with us, and the things my kasama was saying as well. Ah it's just so great and I am obsessed with missionary work. I am just so lucky to be serving a mission right now!

Sunday's here in the MTC are always great. So we have our Relief Society meeting in the morning, which is always awesome. Stacey Edington taught us about love; about loving the people, about love and true devotion to Jesus Christ, about seeing our investigators as God sees them. It really hit me that we need to know Christ, not just know of Him. I will be sharing His gospel, and how can I really share it if I don't really truly KNOW Him, right? I don't even know if that makes sense but these are just thoughts in my head. Our teachers have really been focusing on this with us. I thought of one of my favorite scriptures, 2 Nephi 25:26, which says "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." It's so true, my life is dedicated to the name I wear proudly on my tag, Jesus Christ, and I have come to really know Him and love everything about this gospel! So after Relief Society, we had Sacrament Meeting as a branch, and thankfully I did not have to give my talk yet again, but our district sang "Come Thou Fount" as the musical number. I just love that song so it was a good experience. My kasama and I also taught the lesson for our district, which was on the Atonement. Guys, this is real life. I used to be so scared to teach anything or to speak in front of people, and now I do this on the daily SA TAGALOG. Real life, I am a new person now. Missions are awesome! Okay, on Sundays we also go on a walk to the Temple, since it is right across the street. That night we had a devotional and guess who sat front row again?! Yes yo sista Reategui. Hahaha but really we have figured out how the MTC works and we proudly sit at the very front at every Sunday night devotional now. They totally make eye contact with us the whole time, it is so great and I feel like they are just talking to me. There aren't thousands of other people there at the devotionals, right? Right. Well the devotional was given by Ron Tanner, who is the producer of 17 Miracles, and his new film Ephram Hanks. The love he has for those pioneers is so incredible and he was so inspiring! He showed parts from the movie he just made about Ephram Hanks, and it almost had me in tears. Such a powerful story! Apparently it isn't even out on DVD yet, but he gave a copy to the MTC so we get to watch it before all of you. Missionaries are blessed. HA. 

Anyways, the rest of the week was basically the same. Class and class and more class! It's so great. It's incredible to think about how much I have learned in the past 4 weeks. This week in personal study I have been focusing on studying chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel, Christlike Attributes. I have been really focusing on Hope, as that is something I want to really get across to our investigators. This gospel is such a great source of hope for everyone, no matter what. Hope that there is a plan for each of us, hope that the Atonement can make us better people each and every day, hope that we can live with our families forever, just SO MUCH HOPE! I am obsessed with this great message. And I am so lucky to be able to share this hope with the people of the Philippines! On Tuesday, we had a devotional in the Marriot Center, and sadly I was not able to sit in the front row since I am in the choir, but still a very good devotional! It was given by Gregory Schwitzer of the Seventy. It was all about how becoming a missionary is a process of devotion. I know I say this a lot, but the devotionals here are amazing! They are so centered on missionary work and each time I feel like the talk was written just for me. He really inspired me to be the best missionary I can be. Being the best missionary through my actions because this gospel is my joy! Okay I have a lot of favorite scriptures but this one is like at the top of my list. Alma 29:9, "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; AND THIS IS MY JOY." Ah basically I am obsessed with that. As I have been so focused on this gospel, I have realized so much about myself and how blessed I am. I am so blessed to be a part of something that can make me better each and every day! I am so blessed to have a Savior that died for me and for all of us, that we may be able to repent and really change to better ourselves. What a wonderful message of hope that I get to share! One thing he said at the end of his devotional was "change the hearts of the world one missionary at a time." I love that. As a missionary, I have realized that I need to change myself and truly convert myself each and every day to be able to teach the people of the Philippines about these things I am learning. As I really devote myself to my mission, and change my heart, I can change the hearts of so many others through Him who has given me all that I have. THIS GOSPEL IS AMAZING!

Okay, here in the MTC we teach at least one of our investigators everyday. My favorite lesson this week was probably our lesson with Genella on Thursday. She's 16 and SO ready for this gospel in her life. So, we met with her and we were just talking about having faith in prayer and having faith in keeping the commandments, and so I asked her if she would want to go on a tour of the church, just to see what it's like. She just looked at me and said "I want to go to church on Sunday!" Haha okay I had a freak out. Seriously I know she's fake but it is so real in the moment! It was such an exciting experience. So then I was like "great, lets take you on a tour first!!!" Hahaha so we took her into some building here on campus and pretended that it was a church building and a chapel and everything since we don't have that here in the MTC. She just kept saying how she felt happy and loved. Seriously the Spirit is amazing, somehow my kasama and I explained to her about the Sacrament and about all 3 meetings she will attend and she was just so happy. The Spirit was so strong and I am grateful that it was there, even through something so silly as just taking her on a fake tour. 

Oh yes, big news, I got selected to sing in the General Relief Society Broadcast choir!!!!!!!! There are 364 of us singing and we even get to leave the MTC and go to Salt Lake!!!! I feel so out of my league singing with so many good singers but I am lucky to have been picked. Yesterday was our first practice, and the whole General Relief Society Board came to watch us!!! They are amazing and they just talk about how inspiring we are to them and how great our faith is. The songs we are singing were written for this specific meeting, so everyone at home better watch because yo Sister Reategui is going to be TV famous for singing and this will never happen again. Plus, I get to see the Prophet and the Apostles so THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!! That will be next Saturday so be watching. Dad, I expect you to even watch it online. I am secretly praying that they don't show me, but we will see! Still an awesome experience.

Well guys, that's all I have for you this week. The church is true. Missionary work is so so great. I am obsessed with it already and it is only week 4. There have been hard times but I have realized that is when I grow the most! I am so happy to be serving a mission. I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Hope you all have a great week!

--Sister Reategui

PS - here are some pictures, some districts in our zone at the temple with a member of our branch presidency, rain in Provo and Sister Roroa (not) loving it (HAHAHA) and some of our zone in our classroom

Saturday, September 14, 2013

WEEK 3: Week 3 in the MTC!!!

Okay seriously it feels like I was here emailing you all just yesterday. Time goes by so fast here it is crazy! But I love it. I have to warn you, basically everyday is the same thing over and over again so this may get a little boring. But I will do my best to keep it entertaining for you all! So, starting on Sunday.....Sunday was our first "real" Sunday in the MTC since our first last week was a fast Sunday. Every week, we go to a broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word, which is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing so that is always fun. Then we go to Relief Society, and since they totally favor the sisters here in the MTC, we get really good speakers from the Relief Society General Board. It was super awesome, our speaker was Melinda Barlow and she is actually a returned missionary so she had lots of stories that related to us well. Then we went to Sacrament Meeting. Here in the MTC, you are required to prepare a talk on the assigned topic for that week, and then 3 people in our zone get called. But the trick is that they don't call you until you have to go up there and speak. And it has to be in Tagalog. Hahaha so my praying paid off and I didn't get called last week, but I still have a few more weeks so we will see! That night we had a devotional from Richard I Heaton from the Seventy on prayer. Seriously I know I say this every week, but the devotionals here are so amazing! This week it seemed like the focus was on faith and on prayer, which is something we can always work on! Oh and also, big news.....our choir director told us that the MTC Sister Missionaries WILL be singing in the Relief Society Broadcast!! You all know that I am definitely not a singer, but it is a once in a lifetime experience so it will be fun! And you can all watch me on TV from home :)

Well... Monday through Friday are basically the same everyday. Lots of class! But my teachers are amazing. We have 2 new investigators we started teaching this week, Fernando and Genella, which are played by our teachers. At first I thought it would be so stupid pretending to teach our teachers, but it has actually been some of my favorite experiences here in the MTC so far. They act as people from their missions that they taught, and they are super good at it! Teaching them is hard because they don't really give us a break anymore since we have been here for 2, almost 3 weeks now, but it helps us learn more that way. My teachers are probably just sitting there thinking "we went over this in class today Sister Reategui, why are you speaking like a 5 year old?" Haha, but it's hard! The other day in our lesson, our investigator Fernando was telling us about how he got divorced and was basically crying because he said it was all his fault and she took his kid, and we didn't really know what was going on and we accidentally asked "bakit?" which is why?? Hahahaha and he just looked at us and was so mad. Like I just wanted to laugh because I knew he was fake and secretly our teacher but whatevs. (that was for you platos people) We talked to our teacher about it after and just laughed and laughed. He always tells us its better to make tons of mistakes here rather than with a real investigator so that's comforting I guess. Hahaha this Tagalog thing is hard it literally takes me like 5 minutes just to form a simple sentence in Tagalog on the spot which gets really frustrating. Sometimes I think of really awesome things to say, or ways to answer our investigators questions so well, but I have to kind of dumb it down since I don't know much Tagalog. It's definitely frustrating, but our teachers are good at working with us and helping us realize that the language will come after some time and A LOT of hard work. And prayer. We have really been focusing on prayer with our investigators, because it is really important for them to really know for themselves that there is a God and He is there to hear us at ALL TIMES. Our teachers say all the time, "Nothing in missionary work gets done unless your investigator will pray." It is so true! They really need the conversion for themselves. It may sound kind of stupid that I can say all these things and my investigators are fake, but seriously they feel so real. It's the weirdest thing! We are starting to realize that no matter how many times I testify of the truthfulness of this gospel, it really is all about their own personal conversions. Cute Sister Roroa, the one from Kiribati, had to teach me the other day and she put it the best way. I had to act like a stubborn investigator and her job was to get me to pray. She said, "When you want to get to know a friend, you talk to them right? Well when you want to build your relationship with God, then you need to pray to Him." Okay seriously she is so wise. I am obsessed with her! She always makes fun of herself because she says she has broken English, but she is so amazing. She reminds me that this gospel is so simple and that's what we need to share with our investigators! On Tuesday, we had a devotional from James B Martino, one of the Seventy, and he talked about working in the Lord's way. So cool story......we were actually late to this devotional because I had to go back to our classroom to get my journal, and when we showed up there were only 2 seats left in the whole place! The rest would have to go to overflow in a different buidling. Anyways, the ushers are showing us to our seats and all the sudden we are getting closer and closer to the front......and then they seat us in the very front row! Like this row is just for the speakers' family and friends. Maybe 2 of his family members didn't show up or something but guess who got front row? Yours truly and my kasama. It was AWESOME and the speaker was making eye contact with us the whole time! I was so scared that he would ask us to come up and bear our testimonies or something in front of the whole MTC because he was looking down at us the whole time. But it was so so cool! Maybe we should be late more often. Hahaha, no but it was another good and inspiring devotional! He talked about feeling what the investigator is feeling and really working on applying each lesson to them and how it can help them in their lives. 

Week 3 is known as "the wall" week and I have definitely felt that. The language is getting harder and harder! I know that it will come when it comes, but it has been kind of discouraging. My kasama and I were pretty frustrated this week with it but our teacher, Sister Osborn taught us a really good lesson. She explained to us that if God were to come and say He could move a mountain, we would all believe Him, right? If God commanded me to move the mountain and was right by my side the whole time, eventually, I could do it, right? With His help of course. Well, she explained that He has commanded me to learn this language and teach the people of the Philippines in Tagalog, so what is the difference between moving the mountain? It's the same faith, right? That as long as He is by my side, I can do all things through Him! He will help me learn this crazy language and He will help me through this crazy adventure as long as I am working my hardest in faith. She also shared Ether 12:27, which says "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then I will make weak things become strong unto them." Okay that has become my favorite scripture EVER. Tagalog is definitely my weakness and it is comforting that as long as I stay humble and diligent, He will help me make this weakness a strength! HIS GRACE is sufficient for ALL men! It's so great and such a good reminder when things seem hopeless. Which is basically me trying to learn Tagalog on my own. Hahaha one day I was really discouraged and Sister Roroa just looked at me and said, "Sister, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!" Hahaha I just love her. 

Well that's basically all that I have for you all this week. Here is a Tagalog word of the day....pinakamakapangyarihan, which means omnipotent! Haha Tagalog can be kind of a mouth full sometimes! Oh also, read the story of Enos. It is so amazing! We went over it in class and I have read it several times since then. We need to make our souls hunger for this great gospel we have been blessed with! His short chapter is relatable to so many things! AH GUYS I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. I love missionary work!!! And it really is missionary WORK. Haha I have learned that this week more than ever and I'm not even in the real world yet. But I love it! I hope you are all doing well. Thanks for all the emails and letters, you all make me feel so loved! Have a good week everyone!

Mahal kita,
--Sister Reategui

 All the Sisters in our District
Lots of class time!
My companion and roommates

My District


Saturday, September 7, 2013

WEEK 2: Kumusta!!! Week 2 in the MTC!!

Hello everyone!!! Another week has passed! Where does the time go? Here there is a saying that goes "a day feels like a week but the weeks feel like days" and I have never heard anything more true. So on Saturday after I emailed you all last week, we went to the Provo Temple which was awesome. Then we prepared for our lesson with our investigator Teresa. We taught her about the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon, which was kind of tricky because we didn't know many of the words that lesson required to know hahaha so basically we just have her read scriptures and tell us how she felt. It's hard because we want to share with her all of our knowledge about everything and we just don't have the Tagalog words to say back so all we could really say was "Mahal Diyos Kayo" a hundred times, which means God Loves YOU!!! and still she just sits there and is probably thinking we are crazy. But it was nice because since we didn't take notes in, we left room for the Spirit to guide us on what to (try to) say. So basically we just testified to her in our simple Tagalog testimonies. It was amazing to see that even though we had no idea what we were saying, she could feel the Spirit. I just love teaching her. The Spirit is so strong. I can't imagine how strong it will be in the Philippines when they are actually real investigators!!

Sunday was like the best day ever. It was our first Sunday and it was also fast Sunday. First we had a Missionary Conference in the morning. They had like 7 speakers and it was a powerful meeting! Seriously every meeting I walk out of here makes me want to be the best missionary ever. The MTC is really the best place ever. Every devotional and meeting is geared towards missionaries and is so applicable to my life everyday. I wish I could just tear out all my notes and send them to you all instead of writing this letter because it is THAT amazing here. I am obsessed with it. On Sunday we also had testimony meeting as a zone. In pure Tagalog. A big group is leaving to the Philippines this weekend and it was so inspiring to hear their testimonies. And it was an awesome feeling to actually understand a lot of what was said in the meeting! It is amazing to hear them all speak in pure Tagalog! Gives me some hope haha because right now it feels like a lost cause. Joke-lang. Kind of. It just gets really frustrating sometimes but then I have to remind myself that I have come a long ways and its only been a little over a week! That night we had Sunday Night Devotional and guess who spoke? The old Philippines MTC mission president!! So awesome. Basically he talked all about the Filipinos and it was the best thing ever. Afterwards, Sister Fonua and I went up and met them! We told them we are serving in the Philippines and they were so excited for us. Then, since we aren't allowed back in our rooms until 9:30 everyday, we all got to go to either a church movie or a talk or whatever they have for us. Our district chose to go to Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. Basically that talk opened up my whole world. I wish you could all hear it, but unfortunately I think it is a special devotional just for missionaries. Seriously amazing though, and we all were speechless afterwards. 

Basically Monday-Friday are the same so I apologize that it may get a little boring. Haha we are in class basically all day everyday so there really isn't anything new. But on Monday, we taught Teresa another lesson. This time we testified of the Book of Mormon and of the power of prayer. Somehow we got the words out to commit her to pray every day to know it is true so that is a miracle in itself! The Spirit was definitely working with her on that one. As I was testifying, the Spirit was so strong and she started crying! I'm pretty sure that was the best feeling ever. I have really learned these past few weeks that the more we rely on the Lord in everything we do, the more He really does blessed us. I have seen His hand in my life more than I ever have before, and as I really give it everything I've got, I know He makes up for the rest. It really is amazing. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK. Even if my investigator is fake. Haha. Tuesday, we had a devotional in the Marriot Center. I even got to be part of the choir so that was awesome! The choir director is so funny so it is a good break from being in class all day. The choir director told us to keep coming to choir for the next few weeks because he has a surprise for us to practice for, so everyone is speculating we will sing in Conference or at a world wide broadcast or something. So basically I will be TV famous, no big deal. Joke-lang, just kidding but that would be awesome. He only said it to us Sisters so everyone is freaking out. That Devotional was super good though, Elder Evans from the Seventy spoke to us. It is awesome because they always share stories relating to missionary work and they are so inspiring I love it! They have really been focusing on our generation and how great we all are so its a confidence boost for sure. Haha his whole talk was on revelation from the past year since the age change and it was amazing to see how far we have come! After this fall, we will have 85,000 missionaries in the field! It is so exciting to be a part of something so great. Oh, and on Tuesday our investigator Teresa became our Teacher! Hahaha apparently that is the secret of the MTC. Your first investigator becomes your teacher. Her real name is Sister Osborn, and she is the best. She served in the Philippines San Pablo mission I believe so she has a lot of knowledge of basically everything. You can just tell she was an amazing missionary and she has taught me so much already. Not only has she taught me a ton of Tagalog, she also teaches us how to be better missionaries. It's awesome. Oh, last night we were allowed to teach a full lesson in English which basically felt like Christmas or something hahaha it was nice to not have to worry about the language and actually be able to express myself fully. It was just a practice though to each other but it was still fun. Want to hear a funny story? Okay good I knew you all wanted to. In one of our lessons I wanted to get Teresa to read the Book of Mormon so I asked her in Tagalog, and it is Aklat ni Mormon, but I accidentally said anak ni Mormon, and anak isn't book, its child. Hahaha so I asked her to read the child of Mormon. She just stared at me and pointed to the Book of Mormon and once I realized what I said, I just laughed and said "oppo," which means "yes." Hahaha

Basically the rest of the days have been pretty average, class, class, study, eat, study, GYM, class, eat, and more class. Haha but it is so so great. It's weird to get used to such a strict schedule and always having my kasama (companion) with me but I am so grateful I get along with her so well. We keep each other sane when we get super frustrated with the language. Everyone here stresses not to worry about the language and that it will come eventually, and even though it feels like it never will sometimes, I know it really is true. Guys THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! I am obsessed with all things missionary and especially Filipino. Thank you all for being so amazing! I'm sorry I don't have much time to respond to your emails but I will try. You can also dear elder me from the computer and they print it off and give it to us that day so don't forget that :) Mail is golden here. You all keep me going!!!! This church is so true. It is a message of hope that everyone needs to hear. Hope that there is a God, knowing that our God loved us so much that He sent His son to die for us, that we might have a way to become perfected and return with Him! Isn't that the best thing ever? Ah I just love it here. And I love you all!!! Keep me updated with the real world. 

Mahal kita,

-Sister Reategui
PS- here are some pictures of our district. And yes, especially for my Plato's people, a picture of me wearing my crocs. :)


Monday, September 2, 2013

WEEK 1: Week 1 in the MTC!!

Kumusta po kayo??! How are you? Things are great here in the MTC. Today is my PDAY!!! I absolutely love everything about the MTC. It is very very crazy and hectic and at the end of the day my brain hurts but it is a great feeling.
So on Wednesday I was dropped off by one of my best friends Michelle (salamat--thank you!!!) and started this crazy adventure of mine. I walked in and got to put my name tag on....which IS the best feeling ever. Makes everything so official. Then I was given all my Tagalog books, which really weighed like 20 pounds I could barely carry it. Haha I was told to take all my books and Preach My Gospel and something to write with and on and go to class. From the moment I walked into class my teacher has been speaking Tagalog...which is an adventure in itself. He forces us to use our Tagalog ALL the time which is really the best way to learn it. The first day we learned a few words and phrases. I also met my kasamako (companion) Sister Fonua. She is 22, from San Fransisco, and Tongan. She is so great and I am so grateful we get along so well! I have 2 other roommates, Sister Sorenson and Sister Roroa. Sister Sorenson is from Wyoming and Sister Roroa is from Kiribati. English is her second language and Tagalog will be her THIRD language! She is amazing. She was just baptized 3 years ago and is so excited to be a missionary. She is so cute and even sleeps with her name tag on because she just doesn't want to take it off! I am so blessed to have such a good companion and roommates! So my first day we had lots of class and then some orientations with the Mission Presidency. I am learning so much here I just love it! They really stress our purpose as missionaries so we never get distracted. AH okay our first night we had what is called "Wednesday Night Experience" which is when about 30 of us are in a room and there is an investigator in the middle, and we all take turns trying to answer his question and teach him about the gospel. It was really interesting to see a little glimpse of what the real life mission will be like. SCARY. But awesome at the same time. They ask the randomest questions and it is hard to always be prepared for anything. Wednesday was stressful but so awesome to be fully emerged in the language. There is a saying here called SYL - Speak Your Language. So constantly we are always trying to use the little Tagalog we do know. I have developed a little accent and can actually kind of sound semi-natural when speaking it...which is a step up from Spanish. Haha. Oh, I forgot to mention that your first day everyone that is new has an orange dot on their nametag. Aka the way everyone knows that you are lost. Because I felt lost like 90% of the time but that's okay. People are nice here to you on your first day because they understand how you feel. Everyone just says "hi Sister welcome to the MTC" and hearing it like 5049023845 times in just a few hours is overwhelming but fun.
Day 2: My first full day!!! So we wake up at 6:30. Then breakfast. Then class from 8-11. Still FULL Tagalog. We learned how to pray and testify!! It's coming along quickly. I am so grateful for the gift of tongues. ITS REAL! All of it is real. Then we had personal study time, and doctrine study. LOTS OF STUDYING! But its so great. Our district gets along well! They are all just barely graduated from high school so it's interesting. They keep us going and always cracking jokes which is refreshing after so much class time. They remind me of Seth kind of, they are fun and always quoting Nacho Libre so we get along well. We are all going to Legaspi which is rare so it will be nice to see each other in the PINES!!! In our district, we have a tripanionship, another companionship, and then us 4 roommates. I love them all! Okay get know that weird tongue click I used to do when I was little? Well apparantly that is a way to get everyone's attention in the Philippines. So basically all along I was just preparing myself to for the Filipinos to listen to me. Thursday we had more orientations and more meetings at night time. We met our Branch Presidency and their wives. They are all so nice and so sweet. It is awesome to hear about their experiences in the Philippines and just makes me even more excited to go! I was called as Senior Companion as well.
Friday!!! So Friday morning started out great....I saw SISTER GRACIE PLATT!!! Seriously made my day. She is awesome and was just so happy. I can't believe she leaves so soon! I sadly didn't have my camera with me but she got a picture so I will get that emailed to me. So we had class, class, and more class. Haha but really class is great. Still full Tagalog but it is amazing how much we have learned in just a few days. I can understand people when they speak Tagalog pretty fast which is a good feeling. We had first gym time today, and played volleyball. Cute Sister Roroa had never played volleyball or let alone put on tennis shoes so it was an adventure! I taught her how to play and she loved it and wouldn't stop talking about it. Later, I was trying to help her rip off a tag of something and I just looked at her and said "Sorry, I am too weak!" because I couldn't get it off. She looked at me with such a concerned look and said, "Sister, you are strong in the Lord's eyes, and that is what matters!" Haha she is the sweetest. I'm still not used to saying "Sister" and "Elder" I literally catch myself like every ten minutes. But I am so happy here. I really am so mom don't worry about me!!!! So Friday night we also taught our FIRST LESSON IN TAGALOG!!!!! Yes you just read that right. A whole lesson in pure Tagalog. It was hard. Really hard. We learned a lot from it, haha like to not rely on notes and focus on the Spirit. It was a learning experience FOR SURE. I just remember telling our investigator Teresa "MAHAL DIYOS KAYO!!!" GOD LOVES YOU!!!! She just kept looking at me like "Sister yes I know, but what else do you have to say?" Hahaha so funny.  MY companion and I just laughed it off. There was a special Spirit in there though that is indescribable. We didn't want to take notes in and somehow we understood what she was saying. We made the mistake of asking her if she had any questions......yeah bad idea when you don't know Tagalog. Hahaha it was amazing though because we could understand what she was asking us. And it wasn't anything we learned. The Lord is always looking out for us!!! As we lean on Him, He will help us. ALWAYS! It was discouraging to know what she was asking but had no way of responding. So we asked if we could come back tomorrow at the same time and SHE SAID YES!!! So we will be teaching her tonight. We have been preparing like crazy to know what to say to her. Lots of praying and lots of scripture reading.
I really do love it here. Tagalog is such a weird but fun language. "Po" is something you add on to show respect so everything has that or a "ko" at the end and lots of "ng" hahaha the first day it sounded so weird but now it sounds so cool to me. I love everything Tagalog and Filipino. I love my kasama and my roommates. I love everyone here seriously everyone is so nice! I love this gospel. It is a way of hope that everyone needs to hear. It is so true and I am so happy to be learning Tagalog so I can better myself to teach the people of the Philippines.

My first companion, Sister Fonua

My District

MAHAL KITA!!!!! I love you. All of you!!!
--Sister Reategui