Sunday, April 27, 2014

WEEK 35: HIS grace.

Hello!! How are you all?!? Sorry, it's a little later this week because we just got back from our District activity at Tiwi Beach! Pictures are to come on that next week though because my camera was dead and another sister took pictures for us. 

Well first off, thank you all for being such awesome friends and always emailing me!!! I'm sorry if I don't get to email you all back today, the internet is horrible today again and I am left with very short time, but I will do my best :) This week has been another really really good one. Words cannot really express my love for this work and my gratitude for the calling I have as a missionary but here we go…

Tuesday – Michael Jackson is our inspiration.
Guys this is real life. We taught our little Michael Jackson loving investigator this day and it was awesome. We taught him and his siblings about faith, and since they are so little and CRAZY we had an analogy for him about Michael Jackson hahaha and he was so into the lesson, it was awesome. Teach according to their needs right? Haha he loved it and now every time we teach them, he applies what he learns to Michael Jackson and actually really understands what we teach, so it’s great :) That night we also taught the Arabia family. It was a really good lesson and we got down to the concern the mother had, since she hadn’t been to church in a while. As I can’t go into too many details, it was a really touching lesson. She cried to us as she told us she really wants to change and overcome some things in her life. It was so cool and touching to me to see her, as she learned of the commandments of God, to really have such a strong desire to change for the better. We left a reading assignment for her of Ether 12:27. :)

Wednesday – HIS grace is sufficient for ALL men.
So this morning, because we were planning to go back to the Arabia family in the afternoon, I studied Ether 12:27 and about weaknesses. In this scripture, the Lord says to us:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

For some reason, this time I read it the word grace really stood out to me. So I decided to study more about the word grace and what it really means. So, True to the Faith defines grace as the divine help and strength we receive through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, when it says in the verse “my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me” the Lord is saying to us that His DIVINE help and strength is ENOUGH for us. We need not to search other places to find help or peace or comfort when we can go straight to Him. Do we realize the power of His Atonement? Do we realize that His grace is here for us every day? Do we realize that He sacrificed His life for us? That His grace is sufficient for us if we humble ourselves and go to Him for help? I love the hymn “I Stand All Amazed” as it really expresses this well. (ps shout out to my grandpa, I will always think of you when I hear this song and listening to it in your car all through out my childhood.) Let me just write out the super amazing lyrics here while I’m at it……

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me He was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful, that He should care for me enough to die for me.
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me.

His grace is sufficient for all men. And oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me.

We shared this scripture with her and it ended up being a really good lesson. We got to the bottom of her concerns and I was grateful I was given the words to really be able to express myself. She told us that she really felt unworthy to go into the church at her current circumstances, and I was just praying that I would be able to express myself well to really help her understand that the church is wide open to her and anyone. I told her the church is kind of like a hospital, if none of us were sick we wouldn’t need one. If all of us were perfect already, we wouldn’t need a church. But we are all imperfect, and we all have weaknesses. Anyways, a lot more was said, but this lesson really touched me. I am glad I studied a lot about the scripture because I was able to really testify of the grace and power of the Atonement for each one of us. Okay…more about this story later :)

Thursday – Heavenly Gifts
Today we taught a lot of people, had a service project of washing one of our investigators clothes, by hand which is awesome and so much fun, and she really appreciated it. Well, our last lesson was a family home evening at the Arabia home haha again. It was really good, we watched the movie “Together Forever” about eternal families. We also shared a verse in Ether 12 again, but verses 8-9, which is about heavenly gifts. We related the verse to the heavenly gift of our eternal famlies, and the potential of each one of us here on earth to receive this eternal gift. Well one of the members that worked with us that night, Margie, shared something good about the verses and it really made me think.  She shared about the heavenly gifts all around us that we have now. For example, our knowledge, that is a heavenly gift since we can take it to heaven with us as well. It really made me think about the small miracles and gifts in my life that Heavenly Father gives me every day, and it really helped me realize those more. So I challenge you all to read those verses and discover your heavenly gifts in your lives as well. :)

Friday – Promptings: follow them.
Guys, real life being a missionary is awesome. So we had weekly planning this morning and as we planned we felt a really strong impression to go to one of our investigators later that day that we had already visited the day before. Kind of weird, but we both had such a strong feeling. She has been an investigator for 14 years!!!!!! and has been really progressing lately. We got a feeling that we needed to go and extend baptism to her. So we went, and we shared a verse with her and extended baptism and she accepted, but said she still feels like she hasn’t gotten her answer yet of ‘when’ so we shared a verse with her in D&C 58 I think about how we need to act for ourselves, and that God doesn’t need to command for everything we do and she started crying and FINALLY realized that she needs to act for herself!!! She was really thinking and pondering about it and said “misisonaries have asked me to be baptized so many times but this time it’s different” YES! That’s the power of following the Spirit.

Today was the baptism of Joey!!!!! AKA the most prepared boy 15 year old boy ever. His baptism was glorious, he has such good support from the members and leaders of the branch!!! I have really seen the importance of the members in this work through him. It has made the biggest difference for him!!! There is so much I wish I could share about his baptism. Well, the whole program of the baptism was by the youth. We had Joey pick the speakers, chorister, prayers, everything!!!! And the youth even did a surprise special musical number for him!!! AND this is the best part…the boy that baptized him used to be one of our less actives…but JOEY our investigator (now member) reactivated him!!! And now he is so active and even got to baptize Joey and they are the best of friends at church!!! And they both told us the other day that they both want to serve missions :) Hahaha in Joey’s testimony he thanked us missionaries like 6 times and kept saying “they never got sick of teaching me and because of them I have found this happiness of the gospel and I will be changed forever.” This is the happiness that missionary work brings. IT IS GLORIOUS and words can’t even explain it fully. After his baptism, the branch had a special ‘branch home evening’ for all the investigators we have. Let me just say I AM SO BLESSED to be serving in this branch where they really are so focused on missionary work!!! Our branch is awesome, and our branch President has really helped us in hastening the work. The activity was so awesome and so fun, and we had such a good turn out!!!!! Over 200 they said!!! This branch is awesome and I never want to leave.

Sunday – Another really good Sunday.
I’m running out of good titles for Sundays because all of them are good haha. We had 7 investigators attend sacrament, Joey was confirmed, and Marvin blessed the Sacrament!!!! Eventful day to say the least. It is so awesome being a missionary and I love Sundays so so much.

Well everyone I’ve used up almost all my time. Missionary work is the best and I am [still] obsessed with it.

OH, I hit my 8 month mark since I entered the MTC today!!!!! Its going too fast AH I really can’t take it.
Sister Reategui


Sunday, April 20, 2014


Hello po sa inyong lahat!!!!! I am excited to be able to write you all again. Well, again I don’t have much time but it was a REALLY good week so I will share some of the highlights :) This week was Holy Week here in the Philippines, which means just really crazy and all the people are out walking on the streets and they crucify people and stuff, so we had curfews on some days but I will fill you in on what happened when we got to work.

Tuesday – I’m a survivor. So this week we had another typhoon here, but only signal one so just a little rain and stuff so not so bad. And by a little rain I mean it rained consistently all day every day for the whole week. But what’s new? Hahaha it was a good day, at the end of the day we taught the Arabia family and I am proud to announce that Marvin’s brother now has a baptismal goal date for May 17 :)They are super awesome and I love their whole family so so so much. 

Wednesday – Inspired on the daily. Okay these people that I am so blessed to teach every day really inspire me so much. We teach one lady that really has such a difficult life, she is a single mother and works all day just to provide for her kids for that day. But she has shown me the real importance of trusting in God. She isn’t even a member yet but just wants to serve the Lord so badly that it brought her to tears. I was able to testify to her that her way of serving the Lord is to serve her children, and I shared Mosiah 2:17 with her which is one of my favorite scriptures, and I think it really touched her. At least it touched me, she just looked at us with tears in her eyes and said “you two aren’t allowed to get transferred ever, you have become a part of our lives.” Okay yes I was crying before but crying even harder then. Hahaha she is so sweet and I really have come to love these amazing people of the Philippines. 

Thursday – Another day, another rainstorm. Yes this is the Philippines motto hahaha. This was a good day, we taught Marvin about Priesthood and the Branch President came with us, in preparation for his baptism!!

Friday – More Holiness Give Me. Today was Good Friday AKA REALLY GREAT FRIDAY because it was the day of Marvin’s baptism!!!! Ah it was such a happy day. We sang “More Holiness Give Me” and not because it was holy week, hahaha we didn’t really realize that until we had picked the song, but because the song is like PERFECT for him. Every single line. His baptism went really well and his testimony was inspiring as always. I could write 5 more pages about it but I am short on time so just know it was really great :)

Saturday – “Love the Lord as He loves us.” Okay this is another thing Marvin said haha. We taught him and it was awesome, he’s a member missionary already,he brought his friend and wanted us to teach him too!!!!! Hahaha he’s the best. Well we taught lots of people this day and it was a good day.

Sunday – Missionary work = true happiness. Anyone who’s a missionary or has been a missionary knows just how amazing Sundays are as a missionary. It’s like you just sit down and see the fruits of your hard work all week, it’s so great!!!! In Sacrament meeting Marvin was confirmed so that was great, and he got the Priesthood later on too!!! YAY. And we had 8!!!! investigators attend sacrament meeting which was AWESOME, it’s double the standard of excellence!!! How lucky I am to be in an area that is progressing so much. AND we had over 20 less actives attend!!! YAY for progressing and super awesome people we teach!!! They are the best, seriously. People in our zone and district keep asking how our area is progressing so much because it used to be a really challenging area, but now it’s one of the most progressing in the zone, and I just tell them the people are amazing because it’s really not us!!! God is good and knows His children. So..funny side note, the boy that I told you all about that’s like a mini Michael Jackson, in the middle of sacrament meeting when he saw where I was sitting, came over to my row, pointed at me and did the Michael Jackson dramatic spin…..hahahaha the whole Branch was watching and it was so funny. Later that day we taught them and he gave me a note that says “sister Reategui do you know that I love you and I will be sad when you leave? mahal na mahal na mahal kita sister reategui.” Hahaha yes. This is what I live for.

Well everyone my time is up again but just know that I really really REALLY love being a missionary and I am seeing lives change every day. Life is good here in the Philippines and I hope life is good wherever you all are too.

Sister Reategui

Sunday, April 13, 2014

WEEK 33: HE placed me here.

HELLO PO SA INYONG LAHAT!!!! Kumusta po kayo? Sana okay lang. This was another super great week and I am excited to share it with you all :)

Monday - HE placed me here. So today was a really really good day. Today was P-day, but that ended a little early because President Guanzon came here to interview us. Okay I love our Mission President so much, and I really know he is inspired of God in all that he does. So in my interview with him he asked me something that I know was an inspired question and really made me think for the rest of the day. He asked me what are the differences in myself as a person since I started my mission. I had never really thought of it, usually I just think of the usual things like I eat fish now with my hands....hahaha but on a much more serious note, the question was so overwhelming and I really realized that this short 18 months of my life will really go on to affect every decision I make for the rest of my life. How grateful I am for this blessing I have to serve a mission. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father that knows me better than I will ever know myself, and that He has a plan for me. I am grateful for His constant guidance in my life and His help in doing His work here in the Philippines. It has changed me forever as a person and has made me realize the important things in this life. Well, back to my story President went on to talk with me on how great Heavenly Father is. I shared with him some experiences from my mission so far and he just said to me "thank you Sister Reategui for completely losing yourself in the service of others." I may or may not have cried my eyes out just then. I realized that that is what it's really ALL about. This life is our test and a trial of our faith to really see how much we love our God, because if we love Him, we have to love His children here on earth. President also said "He placed YOU here." He talked about all the specific people that I get to meet and interact with every day. He said He placed me here in this time for these specific people. He really encouraged me to make the best of every single moment and that is just what I'll do :) I am grateful to him and the messages I received from him that I needed to hear from my Heavenly Father in that exact time. God is good.
Tuesday - Saving lives one prompting at a time. So this morning was a little weird. We had planned all week to visit a referral this day so that's where we left to. Well we got into the padyak and for some reason I said an area of a certain super old lady that we teach. We got there and I was so confused why we were there and not the other area that we were going to visit. Well we got out and we just decided that since we were there, we would go teach this old lady first and then go to our referral. Well turns out, the lady, who is like 90 years old, had fallen that morning and no one was in her house to help her. She had totally blacked out and her head was bleeding and everything. All her kids had left her alone!!! We were trying to help her up and really I thought she was going to die in my hands, it was so scary. We called the Relief Society President to get her help as well and they ended up going to the hospital. Well long story short, I really think she would have died that day if no one was there to help her. So I am grateful for the random prompting to go to her, because we probably wouldn't have visited her until the next day. We taught lots more lessons that afternoon, and also received many referrals! Last week our referrals were very few, so this week as a companionship we made a goal to get more referrals this week to reach the standard of excellence. And we totally did!!! If there is a will, there is a way :)
Wednesday - Ice Candy Heroes. Today was Hero day here in the Philippines! I don't really know what that means but it's some sort of holiday here, and on this day we did a service project at the Arabia's and made ICE CANDY!!! Aka the best service project I've ever done haha. Ice candy here is like popsicles made with real fruit and lots of sugar, so basically really masarap. So we made those and it was lots of fun. Taught more lessons that night and it was just a really good Heroes day :)
Thursday - ExChAnGeS. I had exchanges this day with our other Sister Training Leader, Sister Pareja. She lives in our apartment and we are really close so it was a lot of fun. I learned a lot from her and we worked hard. 
Friday - It's more fun in the Philippines. Okay so my favorite lesson this day was with our little investigators that are 9 and 13. They are CRAZY and so much fun. They are relatives of a family in the branch so we teach them in their home. Well we get there and the little boy who is 9 is waiting for us with his guitar....and he tells us he's going to play while we sing the opening song. Hahaha I can't describe how funny he is seriously. Then we finish singing I am a Child of God and he says "okay I have another song for us to sing....puts on a white glove...and sings in his loudest, highest voice, "Billy Jean is not my lover...." HAHAHAHAAHAH I really could have exploded I laughed SO hard. So yes, it's more fun in the Philippines. 
Saturday - This is the greatest blessing in my life. Okay I was touched yet again by these amazing people that I am so blessed to serve. This day we taught one of our investigators who is so so so awesome and SO prepared. So we have been teaching him for about 4 weeks. The Sunday after we invited him to come to church, he came!!! Let me just say he is 15 years old and his parents both died a few years ago. So, he's been coming to church consistently since then with his little brother. Well, we have really seen the impact this gospel has been on his life in this short amount of time.Before, he was so shy and I don't know if he had many friends. Now, we literally have to chase him down to be able to teach him because he's ALWAYS at the church hanging out with youth!!! Shout out to them for being awesome fellowshippers. He has found so much comfort and love in the church and it has done wonders for him as an investigator. This goes to show really how important members are in this work!!! So all of you at home:fellowship!!! You don't know the great help you can be to the missionaries. Anyways back to my story, we taught Joey and after the lesson he prayed, IN ENGLISH because he's awesome (and he attends our English class so obviously he's magaling sa English) and this is one of the simple, but precious lines he said...."Heavenly Father, this church is the greatest blessing of my life." OKAY YES I SHED A TEAR DURING HIS PRAYER AND HAD TO PRETEND I DIDN'T WHEN WE ALL OPENED OUR EYES. These precious words were so simple but so powerful to me and really struck me. How often to we take this gospel in our lives for granted?? He said this simple statement as if his life depended on it, the most sincere thing I had ever heard. This is really what it's all about. He will be baptized next week!!! :)
Sunday - Gratitude is a way of life. Conference weekend is always one of the best weekends, especially as a missionary. I never really appreciated it until I got on my mission, but I SO appreciate it now. I especially loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude. Gratitude is really a way of life, it's a way of forgetting ourselves and being thankful for everything we are SO blessed to have!!! I love when he said something like "How much of life do we waste, not being grateful for what we have now, wishing for something better?" It really made me think. If we choose to be grateful for what we have, we literally choose happiness over sadness. Even in the hardest trials in our lives, we have things to be grateful for!!! Like he said, gratitude is an expression of our hope and testimonies. It is an expression of our trust in the Lord, that what He gives us is more than sufficient to what we NEED. I also loved how a lot of the talks were about keeping an eternal perspective. Too many things in this life are temporal, I challenge you all to recognize the blessings in your lives and focus on the eternal perspective. Focus on those eternal blessings from God, especially our families. Through our relationship with our Heavenly Father, we can better understand our purpose here on earth, and better prepare ourselves for the life to come, with an ETERNAL perspective. 

Well everyone, my time is almost up. Missionary work is so great, I wish I had all day to tell you all the stories I wish I could, but this should do for now until I come home next year and we can all just tell stories all day long. I love you all so much and you all are in my prayers.

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Reategui

Sunday, April 6, 2014


HELLO PO ULIT. IT’S ME AGAIN, YOUR FAVORITE MISSIONARY SYEMPRE :) I just want to say that life is really really good. I LOVE being a missionary and I never want to leave here. I’m sorry I don’t have much time (again) but I will do my best to inform you of my week….

Monday - We are the missionaries aka surprise birthday party throwers…Okay so today was P-day so our work started at 6. Well we went to the village we teach that I mentioned before because it was one of the girls birthdays, actually the daughter of Sister Rances, (who is the awesome sister I always talk about).  So we came and brought a cake and had a family home evening there. Haha long story short it was awesome and made me realize(again) the importance of appreciating what we have. These people really have nothing, and it was so fun to see the happiness on their faces with a simple cake and little present for her. They hadn’t done anything the whole day for her birthday so it was a pretty exciting thing for them. I’ll attach a picture :)

Tuesday – April Fools doesn’t exist in the Philippines. Yes this is true, really sad news. But it was a really weird day so we blamed it on the fact that it was April Fools haha. We were out from about 10 am until 9:30 pm that day and seriously only were able to teach 6 people. It was just an off day, everyone was out and busy and it was seriously just a weird day. We had a lady chase us down (literally she ran after us) to tell us her husband lives in America. So being missionaries, we immediately tried to relate our message to her and we told her it is centered around families. Well then she went on to tell us that she doesn’t want to be with her family forever because her brother is a cross dresser and last week she caught him wearing their mom’s clothes. She went on to tell us the problems with her other family members and everyone in the family tree. It was an interesting OYM to say the least haha. We did have a really good lesson with our investigator Marvin though. He is seriously the most prepared person I have ever met. We ran into a little challenge while reviewing the BIQ with him so he won’t be getting baptized this week,but soon :) It ended up being a really cool experience though. He testified to us of the difference he has really seen in his life since we have been teaching him and how he wants this so badly for his family. Ask me if I bawled the whole time he testified to us of these things….okay yes I did. He’s so great and he has so much potential. I won’t go into too many details about the little set back that happened but I know that everything happens for a reason, and his testimony, as well as mine, has really been strengthened through it. I will continue to explain on the other days haha but another cool thing about the day was that I caught a firefly in my hand haha so like April Fools in the Philippines wasn’t that bad after all. 

Wednesday – Sometimes it’s hard being a missionary. Guys missionary work is really hard. This day I can’t really go into too many details, but we ran into a problem with one of our other investigators dealing with abuse. As missionaries we can’t counsel, so this is where the really hard part comes in. I wanted to tell her so badly exactly how I felt and what she should do (which is obviously to leave him) but I couldn’t. So in a way we counseled her through the scriptures we strategically used about trusting in the Lord. As we shared these with her she was just crying and crying to us. It was so sad to see and so sad that I couldn’t do much about it. But I could, with all my heart, assure her that this isn’t how the Lord wants us to live, He wants us to be happy. And as we put our trust and pray to Him, He will give answers to us on what we need to do. So that’s what we did, and we keep her in our prayers every day.

Thursday – “I love this day.” The title is inspired by Marvin (yet again) as he said this so preciously in his prayer when we left their house this day. Hahaha I could have cried it was really so precious. But I’ll start from the beginning….so we went having a lesson plan of course but first I felt inspired to ask him if he had any scriptures that he wanted to share haha so I did, and ended up he had read Alma 9 and wanted to share it with us. OKAY HE IS SO AMAZING SERIOUSLY. Words can’t explain it at all. He specifically shared verse 27 that says “he cometh to redeem those who will be baptized unto repentance, through faith on his name.” Such a simple scripture talaga but he had such a STRONG testimony of this already. He just kept saying that he wanted to do this for his family,and he has noticed the change and happiness that the gospel has brought into his life. He testified about the Book of Mormon really containing everything we need and answers to all of our questions. He had a pretty personal concern and he said he opened up his scriptures and found this chapter and he said it answered his questions and concerns completely. He then said the most precious thing, he said “I love this book” hahaha seriously I could go on and on about how magaling and great he is seriously.  His testimony strengthens mine every time we teach him.

Friday – “Perfect love casteth out all fear.” Moroni 8:16. Pretty average day in the life. We had Zone Training and our Zone Leaders shared this scripture and it really stuck out to me. In this work, love is the key. If people really know you love them, they feel the importance of the gospel in the lives and the rest just flows after that. Love is the most important part of missionary work or even our everyday lives. “Don’t let a problem to be solved get in the way of someone to be loved.” I think President Monson said that. I love it. AND I LOVE MISISONARY WORK!!!

Saturday – There is no greater feeling than being a missionary. Yes basically this title should be the title for all my journal entries. So this day we taught the Arabia family once again. So of course because of the awesome experience we had last time of him sharing what he read, I asked him again if he had anything to share. He said he did and shared from Mosiah 23. He first shared verse 14 which says “And also trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.”  We were wondering where he was going to go with it haha and then he said that he wanted to share this verse with us because when he read it he thought of us. He went on to thank us for teaching him and helping him come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He thanked us (a few days before I had shared a pretty personal story with him that I was prompted to share during our lesson) and he said that from my example of living the commandments of God, he has seen how it has and will continue to bless his life too. He talked about how he has seen the examples of us and the happiness it has brought us and he wants that for him and his family too. He went on and on (yes I was totally crying the whole time) as he just testified to us of the power of the gospel and thanked us with his whole heart for helping him come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This is when I realized that this is really what it’s all about. I am so so so happy to be a missionary. 

Sunday –Happy day in Tabaco Branch. GUYS GUESS WHAT. We had an attendance of 230 in Sacrament meeting today!!!! In just our companionship alone, we had 7 investigators at sacrament meeting and 24 less actives again!!!! With our companionship we got the branch over 200!!! It was a glorious day. Also, the man that I talked about last week that had some personal issues after his baptism and stopped coming to church, CAME!!!! It was a glorious, glorious Sunday. Nothing beats Sundays as a missionary.

--Joel and Zenaida from my last area (the couple that we tracted the day after I went to the hospital 2 transfers ago) were baptized last month!!!!!
--The man that we were able to reactivate in my time here in Tabaco (the one that hadn’t come to church in 30+ years) received a calling this week!!!
--A padyak driver sang “Call me Maybe” to us on our ride home one day. S/O to Taylor Krill.
--Our District President (like stake president) worked with us 2 times this week. Talk about awesome member present…
--While reciting the first vision to our investigator, her baby started peeing on my feet. I guess he was really touched by the spirit and couldn’t hold it in…..
Well I love you all. Stay safe and always remember you are all in my prayers!!!
Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Reategui