Sunday, January 26, 2014


HELLO TO EVERYONE! It is me again and seriously every week I can never believe it's P-day again. I've noticed the days and weeks and months are just flying by like crazy. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are super busy every second of the day and I LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT. Being a missionary is just super great.

Okay it has been another amazing week. I will never get over how great the opportunity is to see these people really changing their lives. The Spirit is so amazing and that is what I want to focus this email on: how I have seen the Spirit really working in these people's lives. First off let me start with our investigators Zenaida and Joel. This is the couple we found while tracting. The only ones to let us in that whole night. Let me just say they are GOLDEN. I seriously love them so so much!!! This week we had another family home evening there for Sister Zenaida's birthday on Monday. We felt so so blessed because we had so much support from the Branch!!! The Branch President came with his family and the first counselor, along with the Relief Society Presidency and other members. Such an amazing blessing to have all of them there! Our Branch President, President Gutlay, even volunteered to give the lesson, and he taught about the importance of the Book of Mormon. It was super powerful and the Spirit was strong. After the lesson, we asked Zenaida and Joel if they had any "closing remarks." Sister Zenaida said she had something she wanted to say. She started with telling the story of the first day we met her. Her face lit up as she said "They came to my door and all they said was 'Hello po we are excited to meet you!' and I looked at them and they were actually happy and excited to meet me so I let them in!" Hahaha as she was saying that the smiles on Sister Fausto and I's face were as big as could be. She went on to tell about how much she appreciates the kindness us and our church has shown to her and her husband. It was a happy moment for sure :) Successful family home evening. Later on that week we taught them again The Gospel of Jesus Christ, about faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. With a focus on baptism of course and we extended baptism to them! We were so nervous because we knew Sister Zenaida really felt it but we weren't sure about her husband. Sometimes he's a little bit hesitant. But we really felt the Spirit so strongly. As I was talking somehow all of these Tagalog words are coming out of my mouth and I don't even know how. The Spirit is amazing. And it was really working through both Joel and Zenaida as well. We extended baptism to them and it went really well. Zenaida just looked at Joel as if to get his approval because she knew her answer already. Then, all the sudden they both opened up a lot. Joel said that he knew that the Book of Mormon is true and all of the teachings inside are true as well. WOW. If you only knew him you would know how amazing it was to hear him say that. Then Zenaida told us about how a while ago she was searching for the truth. She attended a bunch of different churches and she didn't really feel right about any of them so she gave up. She said she had been longing for the truth ever since. Then, the best words came out of her mouth. She said "I think you Sisters are an answer to all my questions" OKAY SO GOLDEN. She gets it!!!!!!! She went on to say that the moment since she came to church she has felt the difference about our church. She said she really felt welcome and felt like she was important when she attended our church. AHH how grateful I am for our awesome Branch and the fellowship they have shown her and Joel. They even came to church yesterday. Don't worry everyone, I will attach a picture :) They even came in their Sunday best. AHHHHH THE MISSIONARY LIFE IS SO GOOD. The Spirit is powerful and it really changes people. How lucky I am to witness just this!!!

Sige I don't have much time but that was really the highlight for this week. Our little Branch here in San Vicente is progressing SO MUCH. The amazing leaders and members are really doing everything they can to hasten the work. Since I've been here the attendance has been increasing and increasing every week. This last week we had the attendance of 181 people in Sacrament meeting!!!! Like you don't know how HUGE that is for these people. In Sacrament meeting this week we also had a few of our investigators, our mga fishermen or mangingisda sa Tagalog. They are experiencing a change of heart as well!! One was a former investigator but never was progressing so we dropped him. Well this week as we were teaching some of his friends, he just came in and listened and even volunteered to read some scriptures and participated in the lesson we were teaching!!! He is around 26, a smoker and drinker and just lives a rough life and he really had a change of heart. Usually he runs away from us but this week he was the one finding us! Anyways, he came to church and after we taught him again. He told us he wants to be like the men in the nice white shirts and ties. YES. Talk about change of heart. THE SPIRIT IS AMAZING!!!

Well everyone I could go on and on about the many stories I wish I could share but my time remaining is short. But I want you all to know that this gospel is SO true. The Spirit is SO powerful. It changes lives. It's changed mine and I now have the opportunity to help it change others. How amazing it is to be a missionary and see just how much it can change others. What a great blessing!!! This gospel is true. I wouldn't be here preachin' it every day if I didn't 200% believe it. I DO. It changes lives. No matter who you are I know that the hope this gospel brings us is TRUE hope that we can't find anywhere else. 

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Thank you for your love and support you show me!!!!!!! Hope all is well with you all wherever you are :)
Mahal kita,
--Sister Reategui

Sunday, January 19, 2014


HELLO ALL MY FAVORITES!! How are you all doing?? I hope you are doing well! It's been such an amazing week. We were able to witness so many miracles here in our little San Vicente Branch this week. I don't have as much time as I would like because the connection is really super horrible, but I will do my best :)

This week I really got to see how the Spirit works through people. Seriously so many miracles happened this week. Let's start with our new investigators! The ones I was talking about tracting into last week. Zenaida and her husband Joel. So this week we had a Family Home Evening at their house! It was only the second lesson and they were totally all for a family home evening, it was awesome. It was Joel's birthday so that is why we had it. We got there and they had prepared food for what seemed like the whole San Vicente Branch hahaha I LOVE THE FILIPINO CULTURE BECAUSE THEY LOVE FOOD AS MUCH AS I DO! We were blessed because we had some sisters from Relief Society come to fellowship them and it was really fun. We taught them The Plan of Salvation and let me tell you, the Spirit was SO STRONG. Somehow I was able to teach and teach and teach and words just kept coming out of my mouth and they actually understood what I was saying! Miracle yen. As I looked at them, they were just taking it all in. It was so incredible to see!!! They are so so receptive and I love teaching them. The Relief Society sisters that worked with us are both converts and they shared their conversion stories with them as well. It was so super spiritual, and I could really witness the Spirit working through them. At the end we were talking with them and they just said "it just makes sense." They are strong members of their Catholic church pero they are really recognizing the truth of what we are teaching them. We also taught them on Saturday about the Book of Mormon. Seriously I feel the Spirit every time we teach pero the Spirit is so so strong when we teach them. And everytime as I focus on them and how I can better help them, not what I'm going to say next, the words just come out of my mouth. It's the craziest thing. That's when I really KNOW that they have been prepared by Heavenly Father and they NEED to hear these things. Ah being a missionary is so so amazing. Do you want to hear the biggest miracle?? THEY CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!!! Yes. They really did. Really it could have been one of the happiest moments of my life. AH and they even stayed for all 3 hours, even though they own a store and had to be away from it the whole time. Ah the Lord really prepares people. How lucky I am to be an instrument in His hands to bring His gospel to these people that NEED it. Sister Fausto and I were talking one day after we taught them and I asked "what made us even go to their house?" It was like 8 or 8:30 by the time we got to their house, the last house on the street. Why did we even go there? They have one of those Catholic Jesus statues in their front yard and we usually avoid those to avoid any conflicts. We could have just gone home because it was late. We could have stopped after we were rejected 10 times by their neighbors. We couldn't even answer the question why we went to their house. But for some reason we did and because of that we met these great people that have really been prepared by the Lord. AH His work is so incredible and I know without a doubt He will always provide a way for His children to receive these truths in their lives.

Ah sige let me share another one of my favorite moments of this week. Now this may not even sound that cool to you all but it was really a big deal for me! So I have told you about the Espela family. We have been teaching Ailene for a few weeks now. Her father was the inactive that we found and he wanted us to teach his daughter. Well let me just start with telling about the first time we visited their family. They were a little hesitant to let us in but tried to be kind because the missionary that was there when he was baptized, came back to visit. So that is the only way we were able to get into the house, and it was a miracle that they kept letting us in. Tatay, Sonny, hadn't let missionaries or members in for at least 10 years because after he was baptized, he became really inactive. Pero we went and had a family home evening there. We asked him to offer the closing prayer that night and he refused. He was mad that we had asked him to say it and was too shy and walked away from us. Since then, we have been visiting them several times a week. Little by little we would invite him in and he would listen to the lessons we were teaching his daughter. Then he started coming to church. Slowly I have been able to witness the Spirit really working through him, and oh what a great blessing that has been! He has attended church now 4 times and is considered an active member again :) YES IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS EVER. Ah so this week we were teaching him and I asked him to say the closing prayer. I was hesitant because I remembered the horrible reaction he had the last time we asked him. With no problem, this time he said "Pweding pwede! which means like "I sure can!" Ah okay I know it probably doesn't seem like a lot but it really it was such a good moment. My eyes started to water as I really recognized the Spirit working through him. He has changed so much in the last 4 weeks since he started to come to church and in just a few weeks, his daughter will be getting baptized as well. How grateful I am to be just a small part of these people's lives!

Okay one more story. Another thing I learned this week was the power of listening. Listening to both the Spirit and the brothers and sisters I am entrusted to visit with here in the Philippines. We went and taught Nanay Illuminada this week just like we do every week. She was a less active, but since I've been here she's attended church now for 10 weeks in a row and has become very active! So we went there to teach her and I didn't really think anything of it. Just another lesson. She has a lot of trials in her life and usually it's the same story every week: her trials are hard but the Lord is always there for her. This week was different. As we got there and were talking with her, she was telling her stories like usual. I kind of zoned out because half the time I can't understand what she's saying because she's speaking Bicol, the different dialect here. And then all the sudden she started crying and I heard the saddest words come out of her mouth. She said "I am praying and praying but I feel like Heavenly Father is too far away to answer my prayers." AH. These were some of the saddest words I had ever heard anyone say, let alone coming from this strong grandmother I had come to love so much. She then went on to tell us that she had lost her faith. She told us about her daughter with mental problems and the hardship it is on her. We learned that her daughters mental problems have turned super violent this week and one day she even punched Nanay Illuminada in the face and pushed her to the ground. She threw stones at their house and destroyed all their windows and doors in the whole house. Nanay is over 60 years old, has no job, and is trying to support this family that is falling apart. Her husband died years ago and it is just her. Ah as she told us her stories we were all just crying and crying. We were just wondering and praying how we could help this poor lady. So we shared with her D&C 24:8, which says "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days." As we testified to her, I felt the truthfulness of this verse. And as we testified to her she was just crying and crying to us. How I wish I could just take all of her problems and trials away. But I have faith in His plan. In something bigger and better than anything we could think of. Because He really does know us better than we think He does.

Those are just a few of the amazing miracles we were able to witness this week. Ah how wish I could really express how truly grateful I am for this opportunity to serve a mission. How amazing it is to share this gospel. And how truly amazing it is to witness the Spirit working through these great, humble people. Thinking back to a year ago, I never would have imagined myself here all the way in the Philippines. Let alone on a mission. But it has been the greatest blessing EVER. How truly grateful I am to be entrusted to be a representative of Jesus Christ. This is His church. And it is SO true. And all of our brothers and sisters desperately need this gospel, even if they don't know it yet. Don't ever be afraid to share what you believe in. You never know the impact it could have on some one's life.

I LOVE YOU ALL AND I HOPE YOU ARE ALL WELL!!!!!!!!!!! Stay safe and stay righteous.
Mahal kita,
Sister Reategui
ps- Here are some pictures from this week! It was Sister Fausto's birthday so we had a little party of course. :) Enjoy! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014


HELLO TO ALL MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!!! It has been quite a week that I am excited to share with you. So I had mentioned that I got sick last week. Well this week it came back and I was pretty bad. I kept throwing up and couldn't eat any food. We tried to work but I was throwing up so we couldn't. I ended up having to go to the hospital to really find out what was wrong because I had a really bad fever for 10 days straight. Ask me if I was deathly afraid of going to the hospital here haha because YES I was. Pero it was okay and I am alive to tell you about it so I am counting my blessings :) There they didn't really tell me anything and couldn't figure out what was wrong with me so I guess they thought the good solution would be to just give me every medicine they could think of for every symptom I have or could possibly have haha so that's what they did and I went home with 8 different kinds of medicines. I specifically asked for non-drowsy so I could work well this week and when we got home I look at all of them that I had just taken and they said DROWSY on the back haha awesome. Well when we got home from the hospital it was only 4 pm and so I decided that I would eat some food and if I could keep it down for once, we would go out and work. So I ate and gave it 30 minutes and I kept it down so we went out to work! I was kind of depressed because we hadn't been able to work much the day before because I was sick so I needed to go out and work. I was just praying really hard that I would feel okay enough to work and teach because we had a lot of appointments. And obviously this work is important to The Lord because we were able to work all the way until 9:30 when we came home. And even though I was so tired because I took like 8 different drowsy medicines...somehow I didn't fall asleep! The whole day really was a miracle and I am counting my blessings :)

Sige so because I was sick we missed out on some work. I was so sad and just praying that for the next few days we could teach like crazy and I could have the strength to continue to get feeling better. My prayers were answered! We saw so many miracles this week it's crazy. So from Thursday to Saturday we were able to find 6 new investigators. That is a miracle in itself. We found all the investigators while we were TRACTING. Yes real missionary life. I had never tracted until last week. It makes me feel like a real missionary haha. So, since Thursday was the first full day of real work without me being sick we were super busy. We taught 9 lessons and it was only 7:30 pm. We still had a solid 2 hours to work but no more set appointments so we went out and tracted! We went and "tao po'd" every door on this one street. "TAO PO" is what we yell when we are outside of someone's house. We don't knock here haha it's like yelling "people!" and then they come outside. So we had tried every single house on this street and were approaching the last one. Guys real life it was like on movies when they try every house and the last one lets them in. It really happened in real life to me. Hahaha the last house let us in!!!! It may have felt like my birthday or something. She let us in and was so nice! She got us some Filipino oreos and even turned off her TV and just sat there and listened to us. We got to know her and then started teaching her. She was super receptive so we taught her the whole first lesson! After we asked her if she had any questions and she asked "Can you teach me about my life before this next?" Hahaha and we were just smiling so big and said "That is EXACTLY what we are planning to teach you next!" She was so nice and after her husband came and we got talking to them and planned a family home evening for tonight in their home! So it's super exciting. The next day we had 5 new investigators! One of them was a referral from a sister that works with us a lot, and the others were found while we were tracting as well. The people are so receptive here so tracting is super fun. We taught them all the first lesson and set return appointments! So yes despite me being super sick, it was a really REALLY good week. 

Sige what else should I include? I will update you all on Jerome. Let me start off by saying this little boy is CRAZY. We ran into him this week when we were walking home. Let me expand on what I mean by "ran into him." We were walking home in the pouring rain and all the sudden I see this person running towards me screaming my name in a scary voice and then tackling me to the ground. Ask me if I was screaming for my life....hahaha I literally thought someone was trying to kidnap me. Hahaha when I realized it was JEROME we were laughing so hard. He just looked at me and said "gotcha" hahahahaha so funny. So we started talking with him and found out he was busy begging for money all day for medicine for his brother. He hadn't even eaten all day because he had saved all his money all day for his brother. He had made 8 pesos the whole day. It takes 50 pesos to make a whole American dollar so basically he had made around 16 cents. SO SAD. So we found out what kind of medicine his brother needed and bought it for him. He told us not to worry, that he was going back to his home because when he had the medicine he was allowed to go back to his house. Well we watched him go home and he still went back to the fish port. We went and talked to him and found out that even though he's been saying he is with his dad, he is still sleeping on the beach. Since that night we haven't seen him. So keep him in your prayers! He is a fighter so we have faith that he will be okay :) 

Here is a funny story for the week...So we taught our recent convert Jorel this week. He is 9. In his village this week some Jehovah's Witness missionaries have been visiting them and having like preaching nights where they speak to anyone willing to listen. He said he didn't go there because he didn't want to be burned. Hahaha but he was standing outside listening. He said they kept telling him that they had revelations from God and he said, "When I heard they have revelations from God I asked them if they knew Thomas S. Monson, because he is the real person that gets real revelations from God. They said they didn't know who he was." Hahahahaahahahahaha we were laughing so hard!!!!! Oh how I love that boy :)

Well everyone it has been a week. A crazy one but a busy and good one. But one thing I know is true: the power of prayer is real. One thing I have learned here that as we are not so focused on ourselves, but those around us, that is when we really see miracles. That is when we can see real blessings from our Heavenly Father. The gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is true and contains real power that we NEED. We need this gospel in our lives. We can't survive this life alone. We need our Heavenly Father. We need faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because it makes all the hard things in life okay. There is a purpose to everything. Always remember that.

I love you all!!!!! Thank you for the love and support you show me. I am constantly overwhelmed with your love.

Mahal kita,
Sister Reategui

attached is a picture of me and Sister Fausto, me with the Nares family, and another one with all my medicines after I went to the hospital. Haha

Also, here is a link to my Skydrive where I usually upload my pics every week! :) 


Sunday, January 5, 2014


Hello everyone!! I have survived the New Year here in the Philippines! This was a crazy week. We had transfers on New Year's Eve. Since our transfer point is in Sorsogon, Sister Alabanza and I traveled there where I met my new companion, Sister Fausto! She's Filipina, 26 years old and will be 27 in a few weeks. She is from Zomboanga City and has been out for about 11 months now. Her and I get along really really well already! She is a convert of only 3 years and she is a really good missionary. I have already learned so much from her it's crazy. I feel lucky to be her companion! And here's the best part...she is a college professor and teaches food technology. AKA she's a professional cook. So, yes really it's a blessing to be her companion.

So let's see...this week was tough because of the holiday. We had curfews on a few of the days. And I have been sick the whole week. I got a sickness that is going around the villages here. My American body can't handle these Filipino sicknesses here because it has kind of taken over. Pero it was good because since it was a holiday, most people were home with their families all week. So even though lots of people were busy, we were able to visit lots of our members and investigators and do a lot of service. This week again we did service for Nanay Liza and washed her clothes. Again, it turned into service for the whole village as we washed their clothes and as I, again, pumped the water for the village. Hahaha but it was awesome as always. 

So this week we got a few new investigators. One of them is named Ailene. She is 14 years old and is the daughter of an inactive in the ward. He was baptized like 10 years ago and stopped coming to church shortly after. Well, the sister that was one of the missionaries here when he was baptized came back to visit a few weeks ago. She invited us to a family home evening then so of course we went and met the family. There, he introduced us to his daughter who is 14 now. She was just 4 when he was baptized so she wasn't baptized then. So we were able to go back and visit them. We were kind of hesitant at first because they haven't let any missionaries or members in their home for years. But guess what? THEY LET US IN!!! It was a tender mercy of the Lord for sure. Somehow his heart was able to be softened and they let us in! So we started teaching his daughter, Ailene. We taught her 3 times this week and extended baptism to her and she accepted!!! She came to church for the first time this week and was just smiling the whole time :) It really strengthened my testimony that the Lord will prepare a way for people to receive the gospel no matter what. If we didn't first go to the family home evening with the sister that knew them, we would have never gotten into that home! The Lord is preparing His children for the gospel all around us :)

Well sorry this is a lame email for this week. Mostly this week we spent a lot of time tracting and OYM'd to find new investigators. Pero we did have a good turn out for church yesterday! We had lots of less actives come. Some people that I hadn't seen come in all my time here which is almost 3 months! The Lord works in mysterious ways. I have seen His miracles here in the mission more than ever. I love being a missionary because I get to see these people change. And not because we are telling them to, but because they really want to. They want the life they can have with the gospel in their life.  Missionary work is hard. It is real work. Pero it is the Lord's work. So I know He is with me every step of the way. He promises to support us through our trials. That He won't take them away and deprive us of the growth, but He will be there, carrying us every step. Because He knows what is best for us. And His plan is far greater than anything I could ever imagine.

I love you all!!! I am so grateful for your love and support that you continue to show me!!! I hope you all had a safe New Years! I'm sorry I'm not able to send a better email or to respond to all your emails, the internet is really bad here and I don't have much time. But just know that I love you all!!!!!!

Mahal kita,
Sister Reategui
PS this picture is super awesome for many reasons. one: it is of us tracting in the POURING rain. like my life story here in the Pines. two: one of our less actives that is obsessed with me is poking his head in the middle of us hahaha made my day when I saw that. ENJOY :)