Sunday, February 23, 2014

WEEK 26: The power of faith.

AH HELLO TO ALL MY FAVORITE PEOPLE!!!! How are you all? I am happy to report it has been such an amazing and hard but super rewarding week. Let me start by saying that I love my new area so much already. These people are amazing and seriously every family we teach and visit with feels like family. There is a special kind of love here in the Philippines and I am just so obsessed with all things in this culture!!
Through our hard work this week, we were able to see so many miracles. So before I got here the numbers were a little low because our areas are just super far away from each other and it's hard to teach a lot of lessons in a day. So we were pretty far from the standard of excellence which is 35 lessons per week. In my old area we were able to reach the standard and I knew the Lord would provide a way for us to eventually reach this in this area with a lot of hard work and diligence. Usually in this area they were getting like 15-20 lessons a day so we had a lot of work to do, but we were determined.  At first my companion didn't believe me that we could anywhere close to the standard, but I just told her "have faith, the Lord will provide a way." So we started the week with a goal of about 25 lessons this week. We just taught all day every day and tried our hardest to be exactly obedient. I can't even tell you how this was possible, but somehow, it became SO possible! Teaching opportunities just were literally handed to us left and right and it was such a miracle. On top of that, we talked with everyone in our path and really tried our very best. Well anyways, long story short, we were able to teach 31 lessons this week, more than ever has been taught in one week in this area.  We also had 14 referrals from members which is usually more than in a whole month, just this week!!! And we had 11 new investigators. And on top of that all, we more than doubled our progressing investigators to 14. All in just one week. So needless to say, I have literally seen the help of the Lord in His work. We really are entitled to His help when we fully rely on Him. Really, nothing is impossible with the Lord.
Okay I want to tell about another miracle this week. So we teach the Arabia family. Okay I know I say this about everyone but seriously, they may be one of my favorite families I have met so far. We teach Nanay, and her 2 sons, and some of her granddaughters. They are all investigators and progressing SO SO MUCH. I can't describe with words how excited they are each time we get to teach them. When we go, usually they are teaching us actually because they read and study the pamphlets like CRAZY. They are so super prepared by the Lord and I feel blessed to be entrusted to teach them at this time :) So let me start at the beginning of this story....this week we found an extra pair of random glasses in our apartment that we found out were from a member. He had had them for a long time and they didn't fit anyone he knew. Here glasses are pretty expensive, so when your eyes get bad when you're old, you really can't do anything about it. So Nanay Arabia told us this week that she couldn't read the Book of Mormon because her eyes are really bad. She was super sad about it but didn't have money to get glasses. We thought of these glasses, but knew that they didn't work like anyone in the whole Branch so they probably wouldn't do much for her eyes. We told her we had glasses but we told her not to expect them to work because they were tried on probably over like 50 people. She just said "I have faith that the Lord will provide for what I need" and that was that. Her faith is so strong and AH I just really love her. Anyways, well let me tell you just how wrong and of little faith I was!!!! THEY TOTALLY FIT AND WORKED FOR HER EYES!!!!!! She put them on and we handed her the Book of Mormon and she started crying as she read the introduction page. It was such a precious, precious moment. I will really never forget that moment and the gratitude she had for a simple pair of glasses that were old and so used. This meant the world to her. She just kept saying the rest of the night, "thank you Lord for making those glasses for me and only me" Ah so so precious.
Here is another short story. So this story starts years ago when a man was baptized. About 35 years ago to be exact. Well a few years after he was baptized, his brother got up in testimony meeting at church and shared something really super personal about his brother in front of the whole congregation. After that day this man never attended church again. Well, we met this man this week. We set an appointment with him for the next day. The whole time I just kept thinking "this man is never going to let us teach him." Well we get there the next day and he has chairs ready for us and has his Book of Mormon ready. OKAY SISTER REATEGUI OH YE OF REALLY LITTLE FAITH. Well long story short, we taught him about the power of the Atonement and it was a super spiritual lesson. And this is the best part....guess who came to church yesterday FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 30+ YEARS!!!!! Yes. He totes did. It may or may not have been the best day ever.
Well everyone, don't be like me. Have faith. Hahaha, no just kidding I do have faith but sometimes I underestimate the power of the Lord in our lives. He really works miracles and I have seen that this week. There is a scripture in Moroni 7 that I just love. Verse 33 reads: "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." GUYS IT'S ALL TRUE. THIS GOSPEL IS SO TRUE. AND IT CHANGES LIVES.
I love my opportunity to be a servant here in the Lord's vineyard in Tabaco. Missionaries really play an important role here in the branch so it's fun. Like last week I spoke in Sacrament meeting and then we gave the lesson in gospel essentials, then this week I spoke in Sacrament meeting again. Great times. I eat fish every day. Today I ate the biggest shrimp I've ever seen in my life. The seafood is growing on literally growing on me because some of it doesn't look cooked. HAHA jokelang it's cook and not half bad.
Well I really love you all and all of you are in my prayers!!! You all are awesome. Missionary work is awesome. This church is awesome.
MAHAL KITA from all the way here in the Pines,
--Sister Reategui

P.S. Here is a picture of my district...Elder Tatum Nielson is there in the back. Also, another picture from the dairy farm we went to last week.  I am with my companion, two roommates, and a sister in our ward.

Sunday, February 16, 2014



Sige really again I have like absolutely NO time this week. We were just milking cows and feeding the calves. Just a typical day in the Philippines. Hahaha well I have a lot to fill you all in on!!!!!!

So, my new area is Tabaco! I am serving in the Tabaco Branch. And this is the best part....guess who is my District Leader??? Elder Nielsen!!!! Like Tatum Nielsen. Yes. Two Arizonians here in the same District all the way out in the Philippines. What are the chances right? It's awesome. And my companion is American!!! Her name is Sister Simonson and she is from Idaho. She's been here almost for a year and is super magaling sa Tagalog. We are using our American companionship to the fullest for sure haha everyone is so surprised when we speak to them in Tagalog, so we get to use it to our advantage. We talk to anyone and everyone. Every time everyone is so surprised so it's a great finding idea haha. Everyone calls me the Filipina because I'm darker than her,so it's great. The members here are super awesome and I love them already. I'm telling you, it's impossible to be sad here like EVER kasi the people are so amazing. Anywhere in the Philippines. Whether you got here yesterday or 5 months ago, they treat you like family. I am learning so much from them everyday. Like this week I learned how to really eat the whole fish. Hahaha no but really in a serious way, they are changing my life. It sounds so typical because I'm a missionary, but they really are! The people here have genuine love that you really can't find anywhere else. I wish each of you had the opportunity to see and learn from these people but I hope these simple emails are enough for now. :)

Well, the life is good here. I am so so happy here in my new area. The love that I have felt from the members here is so overwhelming. Really there is something amazing about doing your best to forget yourself and go to work. The love you receive in return is indescribable. Missions are the best. One thing that has really struck me this week is becoming a Christlike missionary. In our district meeting, that is what Elder Nielsen gave it on, the Christlike attributes. It really inspired me to become a better missionary. He told us that in order to to really become Christlike, you must really understand Christ. So that has been my goal this week and for the rest of my mission. Really study and understand the life Christ lived and the kind of person He was. And that is when I can really strive my best to be a Christlike missionary. Because as missionaries, we are all on our own missions to better understand Christ so that we can better share His love with those we teach. In 3 Nephi 27:21 it says: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do." How are we supposed to really do the things He asks of us if we don't know them? Food for thought :)

Well, hope you all are well!! Just know that little me is thinking of you all, from all the way out here in the Philippines :)

Sister Reategui

PS here are some pictures, from a baptism in our branch and from milking and feeding the cows this morning.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

WEEK 24: All good things have to come to an end...

HELLO EVERYONE. Well like the title says, all good things have to come to an end. AKA I am getting emergency transferred. I found out about 30 minutes ago and I have to be gone on a bus tomorrow by 6 am. All of us American sisters in my area are getting pulled out because of a threat that a man made to us Americans here in our area. I don't think I can really give the details, but it was pretty intense and has resulted in 5 of the 8 sister missionaries in our district getting emergency transferred. This news made it all the way to the Church Headquarters and they want all of us American Sisters pulled out of our area. So needless to say, it's been quite a week, dealing with him in and out of jail, showing up at our apartment and church building and stuff so we are counting our blessings that we are safe. It's really a miracle talaga. I wish I could tell all that happened because it is a super intense story haha but just know that I am safe and being transferred to a safer area.

Well, honestly I am so so super sad to leave this area. When we got the transfer announcement on Saturday, I was so relieved and excited that they said I would be staying another 6 weeks here. Immediately we went to all the members and investigators and were so excited to tell them that I would be staying. Well JOKES ON ME because I'm now leaving. I may or may not have been crying for 10 minutes straight when I found out. There is so much progression in our area and to all the sudden's super rough. Pero I am a missionary and this is part of it. I know that there is a reason for this, for this crazy man that caused all of this, there's a reason for everything. I am just a little part of this great plan that our Heavenly Father has. But I will never forget these great people here in San Vicente. I am forever grateful that I was able to start my mission here and spend 4 and a half months here. I have seen so many miracles every single day, it's crazy. Being a missionary is really the BEST calling. This week we had exchanges. I was able to go with Sister Eracho, one of the Sister Training Leaders in our area. She is so so sobrang magaling. We went to her area and at first I was thinking it would be super easy and nothing because I don't know the people and I don't have to lead the area. I didn't really think anything of it. But when I got there and we were in our first lesson, I was seriously overcome by the Spirit, and especially LOVE. Love for these people that I had never even met before that day. Heavenly Father is really so amazing. And I was very humbled and felt stupid that I didn't think anything would be special about our exchanges. Being a missionary, I have really been blessed with a big heart. I don't know how I have this much room to love so many people, but somehow I do. At the beginning, when I couldn't speak at all, I would just pray and pray that my love for these people would be enough. That even though I couldn't speak to them and really fully express them, loving them would be enough. And I have literally seen my prayers being answered right before my eyes. Somehow my love for these people has been enough. And I didn't really realize that until I went on exchanges and really saw how He could help me really feel love for these people that I didn't even know. This gospel is so amazing and I am so blessed to be able to share it with these incredibly humble, loving people. 

Well it was a super busy week this week. We were finally able to exceed the standard of excellence here for 35 lessons per week. This came with a lot of hard work and dedication, and with the help of the amazing leaders we have here in San Vicente. We had a 1 Day Mission on Saturday with the young men. We had a great turn out of both young men and Relief Society sisters to work with us! So we went on splits. I was assigned a Relief Society Sister, the Young Men's President, and 1 YSA, and 2 young men to work with us for a few hours. Let me just tell you it was awesome!!! These boys are so diligent and knowledgeable. They wanted us to really give them the full missionary experience, so they led the lessons, taught the lessons, and even extended the commitments and everything! Sobrang magaling sila. It was a super cool experience that they were able to work with us and share their testimonies with those that we taught. We were able to teach 3 Less Active families, and we also found 2 new investigators and taught them right then! And we were so amazed to see all the less active families we taught come to church on Sunday!!!!! Ah it is so amazing when we see the fruits of our labors. Some of our fishermen even came to church yesterday too!!! This area is so progressing and it is sad to leave. It is especially sad to leave before the baptism of Zenaida and Joel. They are super progressing as well, but I know even with me gone they will be incredibly strong members. 

Well everyone, again I don't have much time but I just want you all to know that I really LOVE this gospel. I LOVE the opportunity I have to share the gospel everyday. It really is the greatest blessing ever. I can testify to you all that Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. He knows what we are going through and He knows our struggles. He knows we are weak without Him. And you know what the best part is?? He will always be there to help us through. Kasi we can't survive without Him. If we rely on our own knowledge or our own strength, we are literally nothing. I have learned that more than ever here. One of my favorite scriptures has become D&C 35:13, where Jesus Christ talks to us saying "Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of my Spirit." BY THE POWER OF HIS SPIRIT. Ibig sabihin He knows we are weak. And yet He still calls upon us. And as we are in His errand, He is there every step of the way to help us. As long as we are doing what we are supposed to, He will give us His power. He will carry us when we can't walk another step. He will fill our mouths with words when we can't speak the language. I have felt this more than ever here. He really is in the details of our lives.

Sige well although it's been a crazy rough week, we did end up having two baptisms on Saturday! I will attach a picture :)


Talk to you all next week in my new and SAFE area :)

Mahal kita,
Sister Reategui

{PS} I am trying to update my skydrive right now so you can check there for more pictures! :) heres the link


Sunday, February 2, 2014


HELLO PO SA INYO LAHAT!!! It's been another good and busy week like always here in San Vicente. So I am limited on time today but don't worry, I have a good excuse. Today our zone got to have a zone activity with President AGAIN! Yes. Our zone totally won again. So basically it is true: WE ARE THE BEST ZONE!! This time the key indicator was lessons to investigators with a member present and our zone had the most in the whole mission!! So we went to some hot springs in Irosin and swam!!! Hahahaa JOKELANG we are missionaries so thats bawal aka forbidden but we played some unity games and President spoke to us. So we were there all morning, and we just got back and our P-day ends in like 40 minutes. So I will make this fast!

So this week was a super busy and good week. We taught a lot of lessons and saw so many miracles. One miracle being Jerome. I'm sure you are all wondering about how he's doing. If you're should be and you will be enlightened now haha :) So we were able to teach him this week. He is now living with his father. Well that is what he tells us, pero we think he is still living on the beach. So he came to church this week on his own. Talk about a strong little boy. He knows the church is true with everything in him. This is why we love him SO much. Oh and I can't forget to mention that he gave me my first Valentine of the season yesterday. It said "happe balentimes day sestir i lub you" I almost cried when I got it hahaha he's the best. So we were able to teach him really quick after church. We taught him about baptism super basic and just with pictures. Then we asked him if he wanted to be baptized. His eyes just watered up and just said "opo sister" and just started crying. HE WAS SO HAPPY I REALLY COULDN'T TAKE IT. Such a precious moment. This boy has really shown me the realness of the gospel. You don't have to know everything or be able to comprehend everything to have a strong testimony. He has more faith than some people I know that have been members their whole lives. He is such an inspiration to me!!! He was so excited that he can finally be baptized since he's living with his dad now. But now will be the hard part...we have to find his dad and make sure it's okay with him that Jerome is baptized. But we have faith that The Lord will provide a way :)

Sige we also taught Zenaida and Joel this week. We taught them Word of Wisdom and really I'm not lying it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever been a part of. As I talked the words were just coming out of my mouth. Every time we teach them I look back after and wonder how in the world I was able to say half the things I could. The gift of tongues is REAL. These people need to hear the truthfulness of the gospel and how blessed I am to be an instrument in His Hands. We tied in the Word of Wisdom in with the Plan of Salvation and testified that it is part of the plan of Heavenly Father. We reextended baptism to them for Feb 22nd and they accepted!!!! And they came to church again this week so yay!!! They are so super progressing and every time we teach them they bear their testimonies of how grateful they are for us missionaries and the fellowship from the members. It has really testified to me of the power members are in this work. How grateful I am to be in a Branch where they are really doing everything they can to hasten the work. 

Well everyone, I wish I had all the time and a good internet connection to fill you in on everything pero this will have to do for this week. Missionary work is so great. Being a missionary is THE BEST CALLING EVER. I really do love it. This gospel is real. I witness it change lives every day. Miracles happen when we put The Lord first. That is all :)

Mahal na mahal ko kayo,
--Sister Reategui

PS- SHOUT OUT TO MY KIND SUNRISE MOUNTAIN WARD FOR THE NICE NOTES!!!!!! I got the notes on a day that I really needed it and I have read them every day since. Thank you for your support to me and continue to support the missionaries there!! Thank you for the good examples you all are to me. Always remember I love and pray for each one of you :) LOVE YOU AND YOU WILL NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH EACH WORD OF THOSE NOTES MEANS TO ME :)

Oh, and sorry everyone but the connection is super bad this week. I promise pictures next week! If you miss seeing me just look at my Skydrive :)