Sunday, October 27, 2013


Hello everyone!!! I have survived yet another week. Life is so so great here in the Philippines!! I am obsessed with it. Ah, the people here are amazing. Missionary work is amazing. I just really really love it all and feel so lucky to be here!! Here are some highlights of the week:

So this week, one of our recent converts, Brother Rudy, had a referral for us! He came up to me and said “Sister, I told my friend he needs to hear about the only true church on the earth, and I told him I have a beautiful American to teach it to him.” Hahaha okay he’s my favorite Filipino old man ever. So on Monday, we went to teach his friend Antonio. We show up and Brother Rudy is already there, and he had given him all of the pamphlets and a Book of Mormon. Hahaha love that man. So, we taught him the restoration, and tied it in with the Doctrine of Christ, and invited him to be baptized! AND he accepted!!! Yay. So exciting. In the middle of the lesson, Rudy all the sudden says, “Antonio, you need to get baptized because this is the only true church, and this beautiful American came all the way across the seas, leaving her family for 18 months to teach you.” Hahahaha. And then he tapped me on the shoulder and just said “Sister, why would you come all the way here so far away from your family? That must be a big sacrifice.” Ah I didn’t even know what to say to him! So I just said, “I came to serve the Lord!” But later thinking about it, it made me realize something. It made me realize that although it is so far away from everything I have ever known, and sometimes it is hard being in such a different country, it is so great. Because I have this great responsibility and calling to be a representative of Christ. To do what He would do and say what He would say. To teach with His Spirit and to love His children like I know He would. So that is what I’m here to do! And even though I’m so far from my home and everything is so different, it is so worth it!!!

So this week I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!! Jorel and Jovelyn were baptized. Let me just say that it may have been the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. Ah. It is amazing to see these people I have grown to love so much, make covenants with the Lord. I am so grateful to be a little part of these amazing people’s lives. I can’t say it enough! After Jorel and Jovelyn’s baptism, they bore their testimonies along with the 5 others that were baptized the same day. Cute little Jorel, he is 9, got up there and just poured his heart out. He said “When I stepped into the font, I heard a voice. It said to me, ‘Do you want to change?’ And I said yes. Then I was baptized. When I came out of the water, I heard the voice again, and it said ‘Your sins are gone.’ I am grateful for Sister Alabanza and Sister Reategui teaching me about the only true church because I can be a good boy.” OKAY I WAS BALLING. This boy gets it. He is so golden. Ah I just really love him so much! We will be walking on the streets, and boys will call at me of course because everyone loves the American hahaha and Jorel will turn around and sush them and get so mad at them. Haha I’ve got myself a little Filipino body guard. Oh, and everytime we go to teach them, he has a little drawing ready to give me. He’s like my new BFF. He’s the best.

So, of course Sunday was also a highlight of the week. I don’t think I will ever get over how much I absolutely love Sunday’s here. I love being able to stand at the church doors and welcome in everyone! And to see our investigators and less actives come to church is the greatest feeling in the world!!! This week we had 17 less active members and investigators at church! Ah. It all pays off seeing them come to church. Such an amazing feeling. Sunday was also the ward primary program, so of course that was so much fun to see! They all have parts in English, so it’s quite impressive to hear! Our Branch is so great and I love the members here!!

So something that was funny this week: I was walking along the streets like normal and all the sudden I saw a man in his 60’s just staring at me haha so I smiled. Then, out of no where, he points to me and starts singing in his best English, “When I see you smile, the whole world stops and stares for awhile…” Hahahahaa Sister Alabanza and I just laughed. So so funny. I love these people here!!!They make me feel like a million bucks.

Well, life is so so good here. Sweaty and rainy, but so good! I feel lucky to be a little part of these amazing people’s lives. They are changing my life day by day! And it is amazing. I hope you all are doing well! Always remember that little me in the Philippines is thinking of you all!
Mahal kita,
Sister Reategui 

Sunday, October 20, 2013



I am happy to report that I have survived another week in this great country. AH I AM OBSESSED WITH IT HERE! I can’t say it enough. The people here are amazing and I have so so so much respect for them already. Ah I don’t even know where to begin!

It is crazy different here.I keep saying that I will be invincible when I come home. I kill like 100 ants every like 5 minutes and spiders and mosquitoes and everything you can think of. So, the main transportation are tricycles, which are bikes attached to a little seat carriage thing that fits like 2 normal people aka like usually 6 Filipinos. Everyone here is in love with Americans. They all want to touch my light skin and pointy nose. Haha. Like as soon as I turn a corner to walk down a new street somehow within like 5 seconds the whole street knows there is an American out and they all just stare and scream any English phrases they know. Sometimes it’s “happy birthday sister beautiful!” or “happy new year!” or my favorite, “thou art so beautiful!” Hahaha these people know how to boost my confidence when I’m my sweatiest and smelliest I’ve ever been. Haha okay now onto the highlights of the week:

Ah okay let’s start with Monday. After we emailed, we visited a recent convert, Rudy. I know I say this about everyone but he really is one of my favorites. Hahaha he is 70 I believe. I met him at church the week before, and he found out I didn’t speak good Tagalog yet so he went home and translated a prayer in English so he could pray the next week in English for me so I would understand. Hahha even though the English prayer didn’t really make sense, it was so cute. Sweetest man in the world. This week he saved me a spot by him in gospel principles class. Hahaha he’s the best.
On Tuesday, we had community service project, which was at a school and we just cleaned it up a little. The members here are so nice and treat us missionaries so well, everywhere we go there is food and some kind of fruit drink. Ah I love everyone here. Okay, also on Tuesday we taught our new investigator Jake for the first time! He’s 11 and crazy and so much fun. It’s hard to get him to calm down for our lessons haha but when he does he is pretty serious about it. It’s so amazing to see how the Spirit works through people. We see so much potential in him and I can’t wait to keep teaching him. He also came to church this week for the second week in a row yay! Oh yeah and on Tuesday there was an earthquake here! We felt it a little but not too bad. We met with an older lady later on in the week, and she was talking about the earthquake. She said a whole Catholic church collapsed and she just said “well obviously because it isn’t the true church” with the most serious face. Filipinos have the funniest sense of humor hahaha they keep me laughing allllll the time. Tuesday we also taught the Concina family. Another one of my favorites (hehe okay everyone is my favorite but still) Jovelyn and Jorel Concina are getting baptized THIS SATURDAY!!!!! It may or may not be the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. They are the cutest ever and are so excited to be baptized! They are the first in their family, we are working with the others. There is so much potential in this family and I love teaching them! Last week, I taught them the Law of Tithing and they just stared at me when I was done and all started laughing! Hahaha apparently they were surprised with my Tagalog and they decided to laugh at me. At first I thought they were making fun of me so I laughed too haha because I thought I said something wrong, but my companion said that a lot of Filipinos react in that way. They are literally always happy and laughing here I love it. And, my ability to speak has grown so much being so immerged into this amazing country. THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS SO REAL! God is so mindful of us. I could never do any of this without Him!

Wednesday morning we taught Melanie, a less active. We taught one of my favorite scriptures, Mosiah 24:13-16. It is about how God is mindful of us and He visits us in our afflictions. She was balling as I (tried to) read it to her and as I testified to her I was balling and balling. God really does visit us in our afflictions. I have learned that here more than ever. It was so hard at first being in a crazy country that is so different than anything I’m used to, but I found SO MUCH comfort in the fact that He knows me and He knows what I’m going through, and HE WILL HELP ME THROUGH IT! Because without Him I am literally nothing. Sister Melanie was crying and I was crying and I doubt she could understand anything I was saying but the Spirit was strong. These people have so many trials in their lives. I have seen people get kicked out of their houses and forced to live on the streets with no money and no food for their children and it is so sad. I wish I could just give them everything I own but I can’t. But I can share the gospel with them. I can try my best to testify to them that God is so aware of them and knows them by name. He knows what we are going through is so hard but He has a plan for us. This verse hit home for Sister Melanie and for me as well. I am so grateful for that experience and I am so grateful to know that this gospel can bring so much hope to all! On Wednesday we also taught one of our other new investigators, Miraflor. We taught about the Book of Mormon and it’s importance in our lives. I love these people so much. They are all going through such hard trials in their lives but their faith is so strong. I love being able to share the hope this gospels brings to people! It is an amazing thing.

The next few days we taught the Naris kids, Alfredo’s grandchildren who will all be baptized by him in November. Ah I love them so much already and their excitement about the gospel inspires me. And they understand English so that is totally a plus. Haha exciting things are in store for San Vicente and I love it and I LOVE my opportunity to be a part of it!

Sunday was my first real church experience here since my first week was Conference. Okay, seriously probably my favorite thing so far is seeing these amazing people come together to attend church. Our branch is a good size. Lots of less actives, so Sister Alabanza and I have been getting to know them pretty well. We had about 20 less active and investigators at church this week. TALK ABOUT BLESSINGS!! Ah. So amazing. Like I think there was a smile plastered on my face for the whole day because of that. The members here are so faithful and have such strong testimonies. Words can’t even begin to describe how happy it made me seeing all of them attend church. We had visited two different less active men from the ward this past week and shared a message with them. They both hadn’t attended church in over 3 years. To see them both walk up to the church in their nicest white shirt and tie almost brought tears to my face! Ah. I have become such a cry baby here but it’s okay. I bore my testimony in church since I am a new missionary in the ward and I just cried the whole time and they probably think I’m crazy and they don’t even know what I’m saying because my Tagalog is so broken and slow hahaha but I just love everyone here so much!

The work here is amazing. I can’t say it enough. There is so much work to be done and I love every second of it. These people have far more to teach me than I could ever teach them. They make my job as a missionary so SO easy because I just want to love every single one of them. There is a little 8 year old boy cousins to an investigator we are teaching, his name is Jansen. Every time I am anywhere close to his house all the sudden he comes out of no where and says “Sister Ratgee you so bootiful” Hahahaha like I just never want to leave here ever!!!! It’s amazing. It’s so humbling but the only thing I would want to be doing right now. I am obsessed with it here. I hope you are all doing amazing and know that I am praying for each one of you! I have the best family and friends in the world. I love you all!!!!!

Mahal kita,
Sister Reategui

PS- here are some pictures, one is with the Naris family, one with another family we teach and the crazy one is with the Concina family.Ignore the sweat dripping down my face in every picture. Hahaha

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sister Reategui made it to Legazpi!

We received a letter from the mission president this week. Sister Reategui made it to the Philippines! We are still anxiously waiting to hear from her, which should happen soon. Here is the letter we received from her mission president.
Dear Brother and Sister Reategui,
We were happy to welcome Sister Reategui here in the Philippines Legazpi Mission. Your daughter is excited about her mission and enthusiastic about entering the Lord’s service in this area. She has had an orientation meeting and is now serving in her first assignment with a prayerfully selected trainer. 
Your daughter is assigned in the Bulan Zone, to labor in the S San Vicente B area. Her companion is Sister Alabanza. We hope you will write Sister Reategui each week. Include encouraging news of family events and achievements, spiritual experiences, and other matters which will bring joy and deeper commitment.
This is a wonderful mission, and your daughter is in for one of the greatest experiences of her life. With your support and encouragement, she will mature and progress beyond your expectations. She will develop a great love for her fellow missionaries as well as for the people we serve and bless.
We appreciate the opportunity to work with Sister Reategui. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you. We love your missionary and want this mission to be a great experience for your entire family.
Picking up your missionary from the mission field at the end of the mission is discouraged due to problems it has caused in the past. If you are considering picking up Sister Reategui from the field, at the end of her mission, please send me an email at least 6 Months prior to her release date to discuss your options.

Jovencio A. Guanzon
Mission President
Philippines Legazpi Mission

WEEK 7: Hello everyone!!!! I AM IN THE PHILIPPINES!!!

WOW, where do I even begin? IT IS SO INCREDIBLE HERE. So humbling. I thought I was here to teach these people, but they are the ones teaching me! Ah. I am so obsessed with it here.

So, I will start with last Monday! We left early in the morning and flew to Seattle, then Tokyo, then Manila! There we stayed in the nicest hotel I have ever seen. We had a few hours to sleep and the early the next morning we were on our way to Legazpi! There, we were greeted by our mission president and assistants. We went to the Legazpi Stake Center where we had workshops and met our trainers and found out what area we would be serving in. My trainer is Sister Alabanza, she is 28 years old from the Philippines! And she is fluent in English and Tagalog so that's awesome. She translates everything for me which must be a pain to do all the time haha so she's great and I have already learned a ton from her! Every time I speak English in our apartment, I have to pay 1 piso so obviously now I am poor and I don't know any Tagalog but that's okay. Filipinos have a funny sense of humor and they keep me laughing all the time. Whenever I kill one of the many bugs in our apartment, my companion always says "Sister, you will see that bug in the Spirit World." Hahaha and everyone here says "See you in the next life." Hahaha I just laugh and laugh. Anyways, we are in the Bulan Zone, in the San Vicente Branch, which is one of the farthest from Legazpi. It took about 3 and a half hours to get there. Crazy, but my companion from the MTC, Sister Fonua is serving in our branch too! Her apartment is right above mine. Such a tender mercy to see her so often! So, I got settled into our apartment and we started planning right away. As we were making companionship goals, the first thing she said was "You need to learn how to cook rice." Hahahaha I love her.

So, Thursday was my first real day in Bulan!!! Ah, it is crazy here. We teach so many people all day. The people are incredible and they make my job as a missionary so easy because I just want to love them all. So, our area is right on the coast but it is very diverse. Some parts look like we are in the middle of the jungle and other parts are right on the beach. It is an adventure here for sure! The people here are so humble and so loving. And, they are obsessed with Americans so I feel like a celebrity everywhere I go. I will turn a corner, and they are all yelling to their friends saying "Look! An American!!" Hahaha and they follow me around calling me beautiful and trying to spit out little English phrases they know like "vhut is yewr name?" or "vhere are yew going?" One time someone called me Miss America and then they had the whole street chanting "Miss America! Miss America" Hahahahaha. They also love my pointy nose. One girl we teach always touches it and then the other day she put a clothes pin on her nose and told me she wants her nose to be like mine hahaha I laughed so hard. Have I told you all how much I love the people here? BECAUSE I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!! Not just because they call me beautiful when I am sweaty and smelly. It's so great. 

So, on Friday we had District Meeting and after we went to the only fast food restaurant here called Jollibe. It's kind of like a McDonalds but they serve rice with everything. Hahaha love that rice. Today we taught one of my favorite people here so far, Alfredo. He is a recent convert so we meet with him every week. Also, we are preparing him to baptize his 5 grandchildren next month, as they are taking the lessons right now and are committed to baptism! Ah, they are all the greatest. I'll attach a picture with some of the kids in that family. We teach them a few times a week. AKA my companion teaches and I try to bare testimony at the end. Lucky for me, most people understand a little English so I just use Taglish. Tender mercy for sure. Ah this place is just so great. 

Saturday we watched conference again! On our way, we went to pick up Jake, a new investigator. We taught his mom, Sister Rudy, on Friday. Their family is one of my favorites as well. They also have two girls, who are always playing on the street so we see them a lot. They always run to us and are so excited to see us. I took a picture with them on Friday, and every day since then they keep asking for the picture and to take more pictures hahaha because everyone wants a picture with the white girl! Works in my favor because I love pictures, especially with these incredible people. So, we went to pick up Jake and it was the cutest thing. He was dressed in his nicest collared shirt with his nicest jean shorts and nicest shoes. These people have absolutely nothing, live with no electricity and no running water and some tree branches above their head but they continue to amaze me every single day. It was amazing to see that he has so little but did his best to show his respect to The Lord by dressing in his nicest clothes. THESE PEOPLE ARE INCREDIBLE AND I AM NEVER GOING TO WANT TO LEAVE!!! Just kidding mom, I miss you all too much.But we are coming back. Okay, so after Conference we taught our investigator Cristy. We taught the Doctrine of Christ and then I got to invite her to follow His example and be baptized AND SHE SAID YES!!!! Okay I was like crying so hard I could barely even get out the baptismal invitation I worked so hard to memorize haha. The Spirit was so strong and even though that was only the second time I had ever met Cristy, I love her so much already! She will be baptized on December 7th, we gave her some time because she isn't married but has children with her boyfriend, which is a common problem here in the Pines so hopefully she can work that out. It is so amazing to be a missionary because I feel so much love already for these incredible people and I know it is just a portion of the love God has for each of us!

Sunday, we watched Conference again. Okay, one of my absolute favorite things in the entire world has to be hearing these amazing people sing the English Hymns. Hahaha they sing in English during church, and they love singing here so they just belt it so shamelessly no matter if the key is off or they can't pronounce the word. Alfredo and his grandchildren were there so we taught them afterwards. I wish you could all see my planner every day. So much different from the MTC hahah every open space is full with investigators, less actives, and recent converts we are teaching all day. It is so amazing!!!

Well, I absolutely love it here. The people are so humble and they have already taught me so much. I have learned more than I ever thought and it hasn't even been a full week here! I laugh at the things I used to think were hard at home or in the MTC. It is totally a different world here! I have like 30+ bug bites all over me and I'm sweaty ALL the time and I have no idea what anyone is ever saying and I take bucket showers and wash my clothes by hand but every single hard thing is so so so SO WORTH IT for these incredible people here. Ah missionary work is the greatest ever. I am obsessed with it here and the people are amazing. Ah, I love you all so so much and hope you are all doing well. Enjoy running water and hot showers and air conditioning. Hahaha MAHAL KITA!!!!
-Sister Reategui
                                              Sister Reategui and her companion Sister Alabanza

Sunday, October 6, 2013



Ah where do I even begin for this week? Oh yes, we shall begin at THE RELIEF SOCIETY BROADCAST I GOT TO SING IN!!! Did you all see me on TV? Such a glorious day and experience. So, you have to understand that this was a very big deal. Especially since we only had 8 days to practice. So every day last week we had a 2 hour practice in the morning. It was so cool to see all the support of the Relief Society members and even General Authorities coming to our practices! It was an experience I will for sure never forget. Especially since Thomas S Monson spoke at the broadcast!!! He totally waved to us in the choir. It was a magical moment. He is just so precious and his talk was amazing and so meaningful since I could actually see him speaking!!! Words can't describe what an awesome experience it was. Unforgettable!

So the next Sunday was fast Sunday, so we had Mission Conference first which was cool to hear from the MTC presidency. They are great and very knowledgeable! Sister Nally's talk was probably my favorite, it was about authority as a missionary. She said authority is given, and power is earned. Power is earned by the ability to discern the Spirit, which really made me think about how I as a missionary can always have missionary power, not just the authority I received when I was set apart. Anyways, after that we had Sacrament and it was Testimony meeting! It's probably my favorite kind of Sundays here in the MTC. It is so amazing to see all the progress we have made as a zone! It was cool, because our first week here in the MTC was a testimony meeting, and now one of my lasts was testimony meeting too! Usually Philippines missionaries only get one here in the MTC so it was a unique experience. I remember thinking my first week I would never be able to bear my testimony in Tagalog, but this week I did and it was an amazing experience. It was cool to see all the love everyone in our zone has for the Filipinos we will be on our way to teach in just 2 days because WE LEAVE ON MONDAY!!!!!!! Where does the time go? I really don't know. BUT IT"S AWESOME.

Okay, so the rest of the week was just great. On Monday, we taught Genella! You know how we wanted to ask her to be baptized last week but I didn't know how to sa Tagalog? Well I memorized the baptismal invitation and totally was all over that invitation. We taught her about the importance of following Jesus Christs example in all ways of her life and I have good news: she accepted! So that was definitely a highlight of the week! But probably one of my favorite lessons we taught was with Fernando this week. He has been our hardest investigator but recently he has really realized the importance of the messages we have to share with him. So my kasama and I went into the lesson with a lot of scriptures prepared, but not really knowing what was going to happen. We just genuinely wanted him to feel the importance of trusting God and putting faith in Him. So I started off the lesson with 1 Nephi 7:12, which says "Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to His will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in Him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to Him." He then said he knew it was true, but still didn't understand why bad things happen to him. So, naturally I turn to the scriptures because I figure it is better than the words I try to mutter out sa Tagalog. So we reviewed the scripture we went over with him last time about how burdens can be taken from him and that he should be of good comfort. Guys, I had never practiced ANY of these words sa Tagalog and somehow they were coming out of my mouth and I was understanding what was going on! Okay, the gift of tongues is so real. It was amazing to see that He knew how hard I was working at this language, and it finally paid off and I could literally see the results in Fernando. So, I felt like I should ask him questions, so I asked if he believed if God could strengthen him and he said he wanted to believe it but he wasn't sure. So, then I asked him if he would pray right now with us to know that this message is true and that he could be strengthened by God. GUYS HE PRAYED FOR US AND STARTED CRYING! Real life our manly teacher/investigator was crying. It was such an amazing moment. I felt the Spirit so strongly and I am so grateful for that experience, even if he is totally a fake investigator. He is so real to me! Then, when we finished the lesson, we went back to class, and our teacher asked us to meet with him really quick. He made me realize how powerful the gift of tongues is. Seriously we have the best teachers ever, Brother Pearce made me realize what being a missionary is all about. He said to us, "You become a great missionary when you worry about the people more about the language." And he said we did just that! Looking back I realized that we did. We love Fernando so much and more importantly than wanting to spit out the perfect Tagalog sentences, we wanted him to feel of our love and of God's love. Okay seriously best compliment ever and IT IS SO TRUE! Especially when we don't know the language at all and we are leaving so soon. I can't wait to get to the Philippines so soon so I can just love the people so much! I already feel so much love for them and so much for our fake investigators it's the weirdest thing. So something that I realized was that I am learning this language BECAUSE I love the people. And that helps me when I am frustrated about the language because that is a really good reason to learn it haha. So I will love the people first, and then learn Tagalog because I love them. He also told us to always be mindful to teach how Christ would, because He has entrusted us to teach His people in His way. I am so so incredibly grateful for all the experiences I have had here at the MTC and I really can't wait to get in the real field!

Okay Tuesday we had a devotional from David S. Baxter of the Seventy and it was probably one of my favorite by far here at the MTC. He talked about Romans 1:16 which has become one of my favorite scriptures, and it says "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." He talked about really being the best missionary you can be. He explained as we serve with all we have and honor Him, He will honor us. He talked about living in a way that shows our beliefs. That people should see a light in our eyes because of the fire in our souls. There really is no where else we can find this comfort and hope the gospel can bring. How great is it to be a missionary right now? SO SO GREAT. Be not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because it is so much to rejoice in! We should reflect Him in everything we do. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK. Have I told you all how excited I am to go to the Philippines in like 2 days? Yes? Okay good.

Guys, God is so mindful of us. He is mindful of everything we are going through. As long as we are willing, God will prepare a way. We just need to trust Him and trust that he knows us better than we think. He will guide the future as He has the past. Like it says in Alma 26:37, GOD IS MINDFUL OF EVERY PEOPLE! He has prepared people for me in the Philippines and I can't wait to meet them so very soon! I hope you are all doing wonderful. I love you all and I am so grateful for the wonderful examples you all are to me. Guess what? The next email you will get from me will be in the PHILIPPINES!!!! Stay tuned. MAHAL KITA!!!