Sunday, March 30, 2014

WEEK 31: Possibly the best week of my existence.

Hello po sa inyong lahat!!! Sorry, again I don’t have much time and the internet connection isn’t really working so I’m gonna try and do this as fast as I can. haha.

Tuesday - Gray hair don't care. Yeah, I found a gray hair in my hair today. So yes I'm getting really old. Haha but don't worry everyone, I taped it in my journal so you can all see it when I get home. Lets hope that one is the only one for awhile......hahaha. Well today was a really good and busy day. We taught a lot of lessons. One lesson we taught to a man that was recently baptized. But his story is a little unique. Actually after his baptism in December he told the missionaries that he didn't want to be a member anymore. He wanted to continue drinking and smoking and stuff and so that's what he did. He said he didn't want the missionaries coming back to his house for awhile and he would tell us when. Well we pass this man every day and have been doing service at their house a lot because his wife is a member. We've gotten to know him pretty well and I would say that him and I are pretty good friends now haha. He always feeds us because he says "Sister Reategui is like a white Filipina because she eats fish with her hands" hahahaha it's awesome. A few weeks ago we felt prompted to ask if we could have a friendly family home evening there with them. She said it was okay and it went well, brother attended but didn't say much. So long story short we have been having family home evenings at their house every week for a few weeks now. Then this week he told us that he wants to start coming back to church!!!!!!!!!! He said he is working on his Word of Wisdom problems but he said he is really close to coming back. LET ME TELL YOU HOW HAPPY I WAS!!!! As he was testifying to us that he really wanted to come back and raise his family in the gospel, my smile was bigger than ever and tears were just about to come down my face...then he just all the sudden he said "Sister Reategui looks too happy" and just went up for a high five. Hahaha it was really the best feeling ever that I was able to be a part of him coming back to church. 

Wednesday - "With God on our side, who can be against us?" Guys we taught Sister Rances again this day and this was one thing she said to us. OKAY SHE IS AWESOME. She is the less active sister that served a mission for her church before she was a member. She is so great and I learn so much from her every time we go to her house. And she's come to church 3 times in a row!!!! She shared a verse in Hebrews 12 or something about how Christ is the author and finisher of our faith and that our lives should be centered around Him and around aligning our will with His. About really becoming Christlike and living His teachings. She is seriously my inspiration.

Thursday - Pinakakaligayahan. That means "the happiest" aka this day. So we taught lots of people but the lesson I want to talk about was the one we had with the Arabia family. So I told you all about Marvin, the super awesome soon to be mission president haha. So we taught about being Christlike. From there it went to what Christ expects of us. It was such a spiritual lesson and really I felt the love of Heavenly Father so strongly for their family. Well, towards the lesson Marvin told us how he has been praying if he should be baptized. He just all of the sudden told us "It's what I need to do." OKAY HE'S AWESOME. So we extended for April 9th and he accepted!!!!! He said he knows this is the true church and he knows that everything we have taught him is true. He thanked us for helping him come closer to Heavenly Father. He explained to us that he really knows it's true and Heavenly Father has blessed him with some really strong faith. He said when he has extra money he doesn't even think about it, he just saves it so he can get to church that week. He told us how he is constantly wanting to follow the will of God and we have really seen how that is so true in his life. He also told us that he asked his boss  (again) if he can come just a little bit later to work. GUESS WHAT. Other members have asked at the same store he works at if they could do that and the boss didn't let him. Well Marvin said that he just went up to him and asked if he could and the boss was a little surprised that he was asking again and he said why? what religion are you? and Marvin (he's like the best seriously) said straight up to him "I'm proud to be Mormon and we need to go to church because it's a commandment of God." OKAY HE'S SO GREAT!!!! And the boss said he could come in 30 minutes later than he usually does!!!!! So he doesn't have to leave early from sacrament meeting and he gets to stay for the whole hour and a half!!!! Even though it's only 30 minutes extra, he was so excited and just told us "it's what I need to do" He's seriously our inspiration. He has such strong faith!!!!! He will be baptized next week :) 

Friday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE BROTHER SETH!!! S/O to Seth: You're the best and I love you and I hope you had a good 17th birthday. NEXT YEAR I'LL BE THERE TO CELEBRATE WITH YOU!!!!!! Today was a busy and normal day. We had English class and taught lots of lessons.

Saturday - Around the whole town. Today we had so many appointments in each of our areas. It felt like we covered the whole Philippines hahah but we taught lots. We also got to attend a birthday/FHE with our investigators/less actives (half the less active family are our investigators). The birthday boy is in red in the picture (of course because if it's your birthday here you wear red its like a rule haha) and he's 5, his name is Lehi (named from the scriptures) and if you look closely in the picture you can see that Lehi has an awesome mullet. So that was the highlight of our day of course. 

SUNDAY - IT DOESN'T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS. THIS WAS A REALLY GOOD DAY!!!!! We had the best sacrament attendance I've ever seen here in the Philippines. They had to get a bunch of extra chairs because every bench was packed with people!!! The attendance was 193 officially, but that was counted after some of our investigators came super late so probably over 200!!! We had 6 investigators at church which was awesome, and listen to this....we had 24 less actives come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT COULD HAVE BEEN CHRISTMAS I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!!  We have been making a goal to really teach all of our less actives every week and we are definitely seeing the blessings of it. Families that haven't come to church in over a year came!!!!! Needless to say, it was a very happy day. AND, this week we were able to teach 35 lessons again YAY!

Well here are some side notes...
-we ate octopus again. see picture attached.
-someone this week told me they thought i was half filipina... #win
-around 90% of the last names here in tabaco start with the letter's awesome and incredibly hard to learn them hahaha.
-tabaco fun fact: it is called the city of love. aka no wonder i love it so much here.

Well you all should know that I am loving this work so much. I am working hard and seeing the blessings from it. Heavenly Father is good. Prayer is important. This gospel is true.


Mahal kita,
Sister Reategui    

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Hello hello to everyone!!! Sorry I don't have much time right now but I will do my best....there is a storm here right now so the internet connection is medyo really horrible haha so bear with me. It was a pretty average week and I was sick most of the week but I will do my best...

Tuesday - Trusting in the Lord. It seems like this is a common title in my journals as I have really learned the importance of trusting in the Lord as a missionary.  This day we were able to teach 9 lessons! On a random Tuesday. I have really learned that as I show the Lord and do all that I can, He provides for the rest. I don't really know what all the sudden hit me, but we have been having really good numbers lately because we have found the importance of TRUST. I realized that as I do all that I can, the Lord provides for the rest. But one thing that I realized is that I have 100% obligation to make this the best 18 months of my life. So that's exactly what I'll do :) As I am learning how to really put all my trust in the Lord and align His will with mine, I am seeing the blessings and the happiness it brings to me.

Wednesday - My SAKIT. This day was the start of my nasty sickness. But, we were still able to work. We taught lots of lessons and it was a good day, but just average.

Thursday - The power of the Priesthood. Today I woke up even sicker. I had a really bad fever and my whole body felt like it was going to break at any second. But I went to our District Meeting and afterwards I got a blessing from Elder Nielsen. Let me just say I am SO grateful for the Priesthood. It is so real. After I got the blessing we all went to eat and then we were thinking we needed to go home since I couldn't work with a really bad fever. Pero as we were done with lunch I realized I had no fever anymore!!! So we were able to work for the rest of the day. Nothing else too exciting, we were able to teach all of our lessons.

Friday - Teaching the village. Haha this day we taught like a HUGE village of people. It was super awesome and they were really interested in our message. Kind of crazy because there were SO many people and as we talk more, the people just keep crowding. They are always so amazed with our Tagalog so it's a good way to find those that the Lord has prepared for us. Hahaha words can't even explain how awesome it was, I wish someone could have gotten a picture. Probably like at least 20+ people crowded around us.

Saturday - EXCHANGES! I had exchanges with one of the Sister Training Leaders in our area, Sister Fabia. It was super fun and I always love going on exchanges because I learn so much from the other sisters. She is a super good teacher and I really learned a lot from her. Exchanges were a little difficult because I lost my voice and could barely talk, haha but it was fun. I learned a lot.

Sunday - "I have not found so great faith" Matthew 7:10. This title is inspired by our amazing investigators, the Arabia family.  Never have I ever in my whole life seen faith so great as theirs. Especially one of the boys, Marvin. He's 22 I believe and SO PREPARED BY THE LORD. He has such a strong desire to do God's will. Let me just explain. So he just recently got a really good job at a clothing store. So now he works on Sundays at has to be there at 10. Well our church usually starts at 9:15 or so. So he would be late to work if he went to church. And, on top of that, he doesn't have money to get to church. Because his work is right by his house so he usually just walks. Anyway, on Sunday, guess who was there?? HE WAS!!! Sitting by himself. The rest of his family didn't have money to get to church but he had a few extra pesos for his lunch at work and told us "I had a feeling the right thing is to go to church even if I'm a little late to work." So after Sacrament meeting he went to work. Then we went to teach their family that night. We start the lesson and he's so excited to tell us about what happened at work. He started testifying that Heavenly Father provided for him because he put Him first and went to church. He told us that at work in a day his sales are usually about 3,000 pesos. Yesterday he had his best day with sales almost tripled at 8,000! That is the power of his faith. Even though it was hard for him to be late, he really put his faith in the Lord and sought the Lord's will, not his. He is such a good example to me!!! The rest of the day was good, we had a lot of our new investigators at church which was awesome!!! And we had our English class again. All in all, a REALLY good day :)

Well sorry I'm out of time right now because we have a lunch appointment, but I will be on later to finish up. SO all of you should email me and tell me how you're doing and we can chat in about an hour or so when I'm on again :) 

Here are some pictures, we eat with our hands here because it's mas masarap :) tapos a picture with our district, and a picture with a tatay in our branch that we teach that finally came to church!!!!

Missionary work is awesome, you all are awesome and thanks for everything. 

Mahal kita,
Sister Reategui

Sunday, March 16, 2014


HELLO PO SA INYONG LAHAT!!!!! Another great week this week. I am loving my mission more and more and more every day that I am here. Talaga, it's impossible to be sad like EVER here. It's awesome and I'm obsessed with it. So we have a new rule and we have less time than usual for email so I'm gonna try my best to share with you all what I want to haha. So to make it easier, I'm just going to list my journal entry topics for everyday and share the highlights of the day. We'll see how it works out.

Oh, shout out to #sisterknuth for this idea.

Tuesday - Less actives for the win. We taught a lot of less actives this day. It is super awesome to see their progress every week. Since I've been here, we've been able to reactivate 3 less actives so far and a whole family. It's really so amazing to see them gain the excitement for the gospel again. Something I have really learned this week more than ever is the power that the gospel can be. I have seen families here going through the hardest times, getting kicked out of their houses, not knowing what will happen next, but as they really rely on the Lord they are strengthened. They don't need a lot of money or a big house or even a lot of food on the table to have real faith in the Lord. They are really such great examples to me.

Wednesday - We are the walking Bibles for the Lord. This is something that one of our less actives told us this day when we were teaching her. She is one of my favorites to teach EVER. In her 20's she was a missionary for a different church. She is just so super amazing and her testimony is like none other. Last week when we taught her, I felt inspired to invite her to share a message with us the next week for some reason. I really didn't know why, but I felt like it was needed so I did. Okay let me just tell you all how grateful I am for following that prompting. She shared with us about faith in Alma 32:21. She shared the most powerful testimony of faith and how it is really the rock of our everything. She shared experiences of how she is a single mother and has to support her kids on her own. She told how she doesn't even know what they will eat for dinner that night or for lunch or anything as she has no money and no food for them but she knows with out a doubt that the Lord will provide. She just kept saying "He always provides for us." Her faith is like none other. As she was talking I felt the Spirit so so strong and was just crying the whole time. She is such a powerful example to me of the kind of faith we all need. She is confident in her beliefs and everything that she does. She then went on to thank me for the opportunity she had to share with us. She said she wanted to express her gratitude to me that even though I am far away from everything I know and everything I love, she said my happiness and love for the people here is such an act of faith. Really every word she said hit me like a brick wall. She thanked me for my service and for really serving the Lord with everything in me. She just went on about how grateful she is for people like me that give everything they can into the work of the Lord. ASK ME IF I CRIED THE WHOLE TIME!!!!! Ah she is so amazing. I am so grateful for her and the words she shared with me. It was exactly what I needed to hear at that exact moment and I know it was inspired of the Lord. 

Thursday - SAVE SISTER MAGAYON!! Hahahaahaha okay this was a really funny day. It was mostly just an average day of teach a lot and then teach some more haha. But, when we were walking from one appointment to another, we happened to walk passed this padyak station where 20+ boys were waiting in a line with their padyaks, which is the transportation here in Tabaco. It's like a bike that's attached to a little cart where we sit to get around. Just google it or something haha. But anyways, we walk passed this place and I look in front of me and this little boy is riding his bicycle right at me. Hahaha so I all the sudden I stop walking and move over and he moves over, then I move over again and he's still coming right at me. So while this is happening all the padyak drivers are watching and screaming. Then all the sudden in unison, they scream "SAVE SISTER MAGAYON!!!!" Hahahaha magayon means beautiful in Bicol. It was so so so funny. Then I hurried and just moved away and he didn't hit me. Then all the sudden all the guys let out a big breath like they just watched the scariest movie of their life or something. It was great.

Friday - An FHE kind of day. Today was.....hard. Hahaha in the morning we had a 3 hour Zone Conference. Then from there we went straight to a family home 'afternoon' hahaha with a family that we teach. Tapos we went to our English class that we were supposed to have.....but for some reason the time President scheduled, everyone was in school and we didn't know that until we waited there for a little as we were doing our studies and no one showed up....then finally like an hour and a half after it was supposed to start 3 people showed up. So it was kind of disappointing, but okay because while we were waiting we were also able to do our studies that we needed to get done for that day. Then by the time we were done with that, we went to our other FHE scheduled with the Arabia family. That was awesome as well. That was our day, lots of FHE.

SATURDAY - 10 LESSONS SAY WHAAAAA?? Yeah guys this was a REALLY good day so it deserved to be in all caps. We were able to teach 10 lessons AND attend a baptism today!!!!!! It was awesome and really a miracle. We worked from 10-9 that day and had about a 10 minute lunch break plus our language study too. We don't really know how it worked out but I can testify to you all that the Lord really has such a big part of this work. I really just prayed that all of the 10 appointments that we had planned for would somehow work out. I prayed and just told Heavenly Father that I put all my trust in Him and I will do whatever needs to be done for this to happen. And He showed to us so many miracles in this day. I was prompted to go to a certain family before we went to our last appointment. My companion looked at me like I was crazy, as I think she was satisfied with getting the 9 out of 10 appointments we had planned. I knew that this was a prompting from the Lord and wasn't going to deny it. So I became bold and just told our padyak driver to take us to that appointment. Hahaha so we went there, and the family had been waiting for us because they had their cousins over who wanted to listen to the lessons and be baptized!!!!! So, that is the power of really putting your trust in the Lord and following what He asks of you. 

Sunday - Everything's better in the Philippines. Talaga this is the most true thing ever. Today we started our real English class. Let me just tell you that anything these people say in English is so funny. The whole class just laughs and I love it so much. The people here are amazing and make is so easy to love them all!!!!! Also, this week we made our goal of getting 35 lessons this week!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were one of 11 companionships in the WHOLE mission to get 35 lessons!!!! At the beginning of the week when the District President asked my companion and I to teach the English class, we were worried it would take a lot of time. But we were blessed to see that if we put the trust in the Lord, He won't let us down. And He definitely didn't this week :)

Okay here are some sidenotes:
-this week I ate octopus. The next day I ate squid. The next day I ate crabs. The next day I ate some huge fried fish. And I'm still alive.
-from all the fish I ate I learned a new random word: matinik. it means to have a fish bone stuck in ones throat. Only in Tagalog...
-a family we teach calls me Sister Hathaway because they say I look like her. #friendship
-it rained everyday this week. And by rain I mean it poured every day. I love it.
-people are calling me the Filipina in our companionship because they say I look and speak and act like a Filipina now. Basically the best compliment EVER.

Ah, missionary work is awesome. It's awesome to be totally focused 100% of the time on OTHERS. In Luke 9 verse 24, Christ says "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will love his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Here the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in the service of others, there really is little or no purpose to our lives. He set the perfect example for us, as He treated ALL with kindness and charity. If we really love Him and understand the life He lived, we should do the same. 

I am forever grateful for this amazing experience and blessing of serving a mission!!! And I am grateful to you all for your support and love to me. Thank you for everything!!!!! Always remember I am praying for you all. 

Mahal ko kayo,
--Sister Reategui
PS here are some pictures, one from the English class, one of me pumping water for one of the sisters we teach, and one with my favorite little (crazy) filipina bata.


Sunday, March 9, 2014


Guys this is really weird. I've already been out for over 6 months. Less than a year left in this beautiful country.....
Well it's been another busy, busy week. We are really working hard and seeing the blessings of it for sure!!! This week we made a goal early on to set our goals high and really work as hard as we can. If there's a will, there's a way right? The Lord is great. I know He is really in the details of our lives.
We saw so many miracles this week. Somehow we were able to teach ALL of our less actives that we have in our area. Even some that haven't gotten taught in 5+ months. And guess what??? We had the highest less active attendance this week than ever before in this area. Talk about miracles, right? Ah it is so so great to see these great people becoming active again.
Something important I learned this week was the importance of love in this work. I read a quote that said something like "there are only two kinds of people here in the world, those you love, and those you don't yet understand." Okay this is so true, especially as a missionary. And especially here in the Philippines. The people here have really showed me what a mission is all about, love. They have shown me that even though they have close to nothing, it doesn't matter. They give everything they have and really genuinely love you....even if you can't speak their language perfectly and you don't look like them. It's all about LOVE. Loving the Lord and serving Him. Loving those around us and serving them as well. Because if we really love our Heavenly Father, then there is no way we can't love His children. And we are all His children. There are so many people in the world but every single one is worthy and deserving of our love. So basically don't waste you're time hating someone if you could just love them!
Another thing I have really learned here is that God works in mysterious ways. We don't always know His reasoning for the things that happen. But He works in His own ways and He knows what's best for us. ALWAYS. Because He can see the big picture. All we need to do is trust in Him. Because we are merely here to work through HIM. In Moses 1:39, it says "For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." This is His work and His glory, for us all to return back to Him. So this should really become our work and our glory as well. Trusting in Him that He knows better than us. Trusting in him that His plan is better than ours. Because He really does know what is best for us.
Well, I'm sorry but nothing this week really stuck out enough to write about it. We worked hard and the Lord has been good to us. We had a high record of attendance yesterday at church of 189 in our Branch. The work really is progressing here and I feel so blessed to be a little part of it.
Being a missionary is awesome. Especially here in the Philippines.
Mahal na mahal kita,
--Sister Reategui
Here's some is with some investigators that we teach in the straight jungle, one is with some members and one is with other members eating fresh coconut!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


HELLO PO SA INDO GABUS!!!!! (yes thats totes Bicol here in Tabaco so basically I'm trilingual)
Kumusta po kayong lahat? It's been another great week here in the Pines of course! It was such an interesting week. So, my companion was sick with the measles from Thursday-Saturday and so we had no work, which was rough. It obviously took a big effect on the amount of people that we were able to visit. So, not much to report on this week. BUT we did have a really good day yesterday so I will just talk about that :)
So yesterday was Sunday. After having basically no work the whole week, we went to church kind of disappointed with the week we had. Well at least that's how I felt. I felt pretty disappointed with the week. Well we get to church and we were just barely on time. As we are walking up to the church doors, a sister was waving at us so excited and just said "they are there!!! they are here!!!" And we immediately ran in to see the Arabia family all sitting in the congregation in their Sunday's best. GUYS ASK ME IF MY EYES WATERED OUT OF PURE JOY. Yes. The sight of them sitting in church was something I will never forget, and a feeling I will never forget as well. PURE JOY is really the only way to explain it. All 8 of them were there!!!!! Let me just tell you how amazing they are. A few weeks ago they were sad because they had no money to get to church. That's why they hadn't come before. Pero, Nanay really had such a strong desire to go to church. She told them in their little store they would start freezing water as ice to sell and all of that money would go to their church fund. She told us she would pray and pray everyday that they would have enough money to get to church. OKAY SHE IS AMAZING! So they did this. Then that week they had a high record of sales in one day: 181 pesos. To put this into perspective, each American dollar is about 47 pesos. So this was about 4 dollars. That was their high record. Nanay was almost crying to us as she told us how blessed by the Lord she has been. She then said all of that money the whole day would go into the church fund so they always had money to attend church. Okay this is a family that doesn't have much, they really could have used that money for extra food for them or something but they didn't. They really are such a good example to me of faith and trust in the Lord. Ah I just really love them so much!!!!! So long story short, they had enough money to get all 8 of them to church. And oh, words can't explain the happiness radiating off of them in that church building. IT WAS A GLORIOUS SIGHT REALLY. Words can't describe it. I thought it didn't get much better than that. Then we go to gospel essentials class they are the ones answering all the questions!!! Because they seriously study the Book of Mormon and all the pamphlets we leave with them. BUT WAIT: IT GETS EVEN BETTER!!!!! Nanay bore her testimony in Relief Society. Yes. Her first time at church and she bore her testimony. AH and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. She bore the strongest testimony about the miracles from the Lord she has seen recently. She talked about how grateful she is for us teaching her and her family, and the glasses that we gave her last week, the clothes that were left by another sister that happened to fit her so she had clothes to wear to church, she talked about the blessing of the money for church, everything. I was balling like a baby, the Spirit was SO STRONG. I am so grateful for her strong faith. She is even strengthening my testimony! Anyways, so that night we went to their house to teach them. So we get there and we tell them the lesson is about baptism. All Nanay says, like it was instinctive, was "when?" Hahaha yes she is golden. We went on with the lesson and extended baptism to them. They now happily have a baptism date for April 5th :) Needless to say, it was a really REALLY good day.
Well everyone, missionary work is awesome. I really feel so blessed to be here in this exact area serving these exact people. I know it's inspired of the Lord. Everyday I am doing my best to really give my all, and I am seeing the blessings and miracles of it. It is amazing to see the blessings when you really forget yourself and go to work. One of my new favorite scriptures that I read this week is found in Alma 5, verse 16. It says "I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?" Take a second and imagine the Lord saying those words to you, as He is judging us on our works. Let us keep our works here on earth worthy of hearing those words when our life here is over!
Well, I love you all. Thanks for being awesome. I pray for you all daily and hope you are well, wherever you are in the world.
Mahal kita,
--Sister Reategui
PS- Here are some pictures, from a family home evening we had with the Arabia family, and when they came to church :)