Sunday, May 25, 2014


Hello sa indo gabus!!!!! Kumusta kayo??? It’s crazy how fast the time goes. I feel like I was just here at this computer shop [with horrible internet] emailing you all yesterday. OH HOW TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN. Speaking of time.....I'm HALF WAY DONE WITH MY MISISON!!! I have just 9 more months until I will be home and I will see all of your beautiful faces. I feel like I just got here yesterday and I know it will just go faster...yikes!!! So you can all start preparing food for my homecoming now....hahaha joke. [but I do expect lots of food when I get home]

Well it was a crazy busy week with a lot of things that went on, but I want to focus this email on one thing...the power of the Book of Mormon. This week I finished the Book of Mormon again which was just another testimony to me it really is the word of God. I focused a lot of my studies about the Book of Mormon so I really could really testify of it with POWER. I've always known it was true, I really never doubted it. But I wanted that strong, unwavering testimony I could share with those that we teach and they could know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true and really is the word of God. Little did I know that we would have an incredible experience answering all of my prayers pleading for this strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.

This experience actually happened with our youngest investigators, Janessa and John Christian [aka Michael Jackson]. Usually when we teach them they are super crazy and loud and obnoxious, [which I secretly love because it reminds me of my siblings] but usually it isn't a very conducive environment for the Spirit. Well the lesson we planned on teaching them was about the Book of Mormon and gaining a testimony of it's truth. I prayed right before we went there that they would feel the Spirit and that they would feel of the truth of the Book of Mormon too. Well we get there, and they are just sitting there waiting for us and so quiet!!!!!! #minimiracle [shout out to sister Knuth] Guys this really was a miracle though because they are usually so crazy. That was the start to the miracles of that lesson.

Well we start the lesson and read the introduction with them. Now the Book of Mormon in Tagalog is kind of hard for kids to understand since a lot of the translated words aren't commonly used now a days, so I was really praying so hard for them to feel something. We read the paragraph which says "We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost." We then just looked at them and they just simply said "we need to pray to God and ask Him." So we invited them to pray about it. Well the littlest one, John Christian [he just turned 10] said "Heavenly Father answers my prayers because sometimes I hear Him say things to me to keep me safe." OKAY HE'S THE BEST. He told us a story that last week he was going to go play with his friends and he said "Heavenly Father said I need to be careful and not go and play" AND THEN HE WENT HOME AND READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!!! WHAT 10 YEAR OLD DOES THAT??? He's so so prepared. Ah anyways, all the sudden John Christian said "let's pray right now." [guys the whole time they were so serious and never joked around.....#BIGmiracle]

We knelt down in prayer. John Christian offered the prayer and just said in the most simple terms "Heavenly Father, we want to know that the Book of Mormon is true. Please help us know." Then he went on with his prayer and listed all the things he's grateful for. He closed his prayer and just knelt and kept praying to himself. I looked at Janessa and she was doing the same thing. We all sat in silence and the Spirit was SO STRONG. I prayed and prayed so hard that they would recognize the answer from Heavenly Father, as I knew that the answer would be there. I just wanted them to recognize His answer. Sure enough, not more that 5 minutes passed and John Christian said "Sisters, I heard His voice again!! He told me the Book of Mormon is true because it is the word of God, and it is His help for me to be a good boy and He said that I need to keep reading it everyday." OKAY. Yes everyone in the room was bawling. The Spirit was so so so strong as he testified of the Book of Mormon. Those words were NOT his words. Those words were heaven sent and were the exact answer to his prayers. As tears flodded my eyes I testified to him that that was the Holy Ghost and that the Book of Mormon IS true. I was really kind of speechless because his testimony of the Book of Mormon was so REAL and POWERFUL.

Soon after, I looked over at Janessa as she was crying as well. I asked her what she felt. Her precious answer was "I know the Book of Mormon is true because Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, and if Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, it means that the church is true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God here on the earth today for us to learn about where we came from and how we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again." OKAY. Her answer was heaven sent too. I had never heard her say any of that before, and we had never even said any of that before. By that point we were ALL in tears and Janessa just said "I really know it is true." Their testimonies were POWERFUL and REAL and I got to see it happen right before my eyes.

This experience was so so special to me for many reasons. I had been praying for a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon, and that was a direct answer to my prayers. Heavenly Father is REAL. He answers our prayers, old or young, rich or poor, HE ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS.

This experience reminded me of one of my favorite songs, "A Child's Prayer"...the lyrics go like this:

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer every child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away, but I feel it close around me every time I pray.
Our Heavenly Father is really here. He hears and answers our prayers. PRAYER IS REAL. The Book of Mormon is real and TRUE. I know it with all my heart. And because of the experience of two kids, I know it now more than ever. He loves us.

I challenge you all to read the Book of Mormon. It is the word of God and is here for us to learn more about Christ. It is 'Another Testament of Christ' and helps us come closer to Him. Take the invitation in the introduction and read, ponder, and pray. I know that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers.

I love you all so so much, and I LOVE THIS WORK. HOW GREAT IS MY CALLING!!!!!


With all my love [and sweat],
Sister Reategui

--I completed one of my life goals: to wear the "helping hands" vests...yes it was a good week. we even got to wear them two times this week for 2 different service projects. [see pictures attached]

--I taught my Filipina companion how to cook rice this week....#americanpower

--this week my companion said to our investigators "we are excited to share a message with you...."and before she could finish one little kid yelled "that's a joke!" HAHAHAHAHA. it was so funny but not as funny when I translate it out to English....

--the joke here is when people ask where my companion [sister Leonardo] is from, they always say "did you come from the Titanic?" Hahahahaha because of her last name. I laugh every time.

--i had krispy kreme for the first time in 9 months this week. #minimiracle #shoutouttoeldertodd

--updated my skydrive [I think]!336&authkey=!AOgC7NzYhhdTu9A&ithint=folder%2c.jpg


Sunday, May 18, 2014


HELLO SA LAHAT!!! It's been a REALLY great week. Words can't describe my happiness right now. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!

This week I really gained a love and appreciation for prayer. Such a simple thing, but so so so important for us all. Do we recognize through prayer we can actually talk with our Heavenly Father? It's so great!!!!!! This week I recognized how important prayer is for me, and really noticed it in those that I teach too.  

Soo let's get this party started....we will just start on Tuesday because Monday is usually just a night of work....

Tuesday - Secret Prayer.
Okay there are two meanings to this title, one serious and one kind of a joke hahaha but we will just get started. Today we tracted. Sister Leonardo's first time. Okay I must admit, as we were leaving our apartment I really was going to tell her not to expect anything because most of the time we tract, we don't get let in or they just say to come back. But then I felt something tell me "you need to have faith for her to have faith" so as we left I just said to her "let's have faith!" And as we got in the padyak on our way to our area, I offered a little secret prayer that we would be able to find those that the Lord has prepared. I asked for extra faith in order to find those that were ready. Well, we got the our area and walked down the street and came to the first house and yelled "tao po!" and the people in the house didn't respond. Well the house right by them had heard and thought we tao po'd at their house, and just invited us right in! We shared right there with them and their family and it was so amazing!!!! They were so prepared. The power of prayer is real. We taught there family and walked a little bit farther and taught another family!!! They also let us right in. It was so great. The joke part of this title was that at one of the lessons, we asked the sister to offer the opening prayer. She said she didn't want to say it out loud and would only pray in her head. We told her is it more powerful if she prays out loud but she insisted on praying in her head and all the sudden just put her head down and prayed, and prayed, and prayed. For like a solid 10 minutes she didn't move a single bone in her body. Hahaha it was quite the experience to say the least but at least we know that she has a strong testimony of prayer. :)

Wednesday - Did You Think to Pray?
Another day in the life, we taught lots of lessons and one in particular that was really special. We taught the Arabia family about family prayer, (did you think to pray was the opening song for the lesson btw) and yes. It was really awesome. More about this tomorrow though.... :)

Thursday - A Child's Prayer.
We taught little Michael Jackson aka John Christian and his sister Janessa again today, I just love them so much. I especially love the prayers that John Christian offers, they are just so sincere and so simple but SO SO precious and REAL. Seriously I learn so much on my mission, from people of all ages. They are excited for their baptisms on May 31st. This night we stopped by the Arabia family on our way home and we had family prayer with them. We invited their father even though he has never joined our lessons because he always hides upstairs. Before this day I had only seen him once or twice. WELL, WE INVITED HIM AND HE CAME DOWN AND JOINED OUR FAMILY PRAYER. It was so so super amazing. The power of prayer = real.

Friday - We just need a little more....prayer.
Today all our lessons were about....(drumroll).....prayer. Hahaha I don't know how it worked out that way but it was what we planned and what everyone needed. It was a good day.

Saturday - An answer to MANY prayers.
TODAY WAS SUCH A GOOD DAY. Three things were awesome about today. One: WE HAD ANOTHER BAPTISM!!!! It was the child of one of the families that have been reactivated. Since he is 8, he doesn't count really technically as our baptism but he will always be special to me since we have been able to teach him a lot and help him prepare for his baptism. Two: this week one of our investigator's children passed away. One of her other children is a member, so we were able to have a service kind of thing at their house. The amount of members that showed up was SO AMAZING. Answer to my prayers for sure. I just prayed and prayed that it would be a good experience for them because I knew they needed to feel comfort and love. It was really such a nice service and they were very grateful. Three: After the service, we all walked to the Arabia home and had a family home evening there. We had around 20+ members there!!!!!!! IT WAS SO INCREDIBLE TO SEE THE MEMBERS AND THEIR FELLOWSHIP. As people were walking in, Sister Arabia was just crying because she was so happy. Words can't describe my happiness that night. That's not even the best part....BROTHER ARABIA JOINED THE FAMILY HOME EVENING. THE WHOLE ENTIRE THING, HE WAS THERE. It was so so so glorious. I can't tell you all how happy I was the whole time. That was an answer to our prayers, the families prayers, everyone. It was so meaningful because us missionaries and the whole Arabia family have been trying to get him to join us but he never wanted to. AND HE FINALLY DID!!!! It was so great. I have no other words.

Sunday - MORE answers to prayers.
TODAY WAS THE BAPTISM OF JOEL!!! This is an answer to prayers. He had such a crazy week of work that we didn't think this baptism would even happen. He said he could get called into work at any time. Well, things worked out and it ended up being that his baptism was at 7 am on Sunday!!! It was great, he has such a strong testimony already and I feel so blessed to have been able to witness his conversion. (ps this was our 4th baptism in a row....yay!!! so humbling to be a part of this work.)

Well everyone, the power of prayer is real. Sometimes it is easy to just get in the habit of praying and being done, but like it says in the Bible Dictionary, "prayer is work." It requires some work on our part. Heavenly Father has blessings just waiting for us, but something that I've realized that it is solely dependent on our ASKING. He wants us to receive those blessings. Are we depriving ourselves because we don't have enough faith to ask for the things we need? He knows what we need, He just wants us to ASK. I know prayer is real and is a sacred way to speak WITH our Heavenly Father, not at Him. He knows what we need, even when we can only see what we want. He can see the big picture and will always direct us for our GOOD. [read Alma 37:36-37 NOW]

--we were able to teach 30 lessons this week, which is really good for still being in training!!! yayayayyy we are so blessed.
--Marvin (our recent convert) spoke in sacrament yesterday!!!!! wooohoooo for awesomely progressing new members!!!
--the daily struggle of the Philippines:while we are teaching I have to be careful not to rest my arms on my scriptures or else they will get stuck to the sweat permamently on my arms from the humidity and tear....(I speak from experience so trust me)
--we got kicked out of a padyak because the man driving us said "I can't go any more" aka fat joke to us
--shout out to my family for sending me a life time supply of instant mashed potatoes, you guys rock my Filipino world!
--this week John Christian sang to me the song "I Won't Give Up" to me but changed the words to.. "I won't give up on us Sister Reategui because you are my crush" hahaha k.

Needless to say, life is really good here in the Philippines. We work and work and work...and sweat and sweat and sweat every day. I love you all, thanks for being the best ever. You all strengthen me every day.

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Reategui

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Skyping with Sister Reategui

We were able to skype with Sister Reategui for Mother's Day! She looked great, smiling and happy as always. We asked her to speak Tagalog to us, and she (kind of) willingly obliged. She sounded amazing. She speaks fast and sounds very fluent. It was quite impressive, and we loved hearing her speak. I am just in awe of the ability a missionary has to learn a rather difficult language in such a short time. They really do receive help from above!

 She is having a great time on her mission, and is growing and learning so much. She expressed her love for the Filipino people, those she serves with, and the gospel. She loves her mission, and we couldn't be more proud of her. 

WEEK 37: Wait...they don't have a Chipotle here?

HELLO PO SA INYONG LAHAT!!! Kumusta kayo? I hope you are all doing well!!!

This week there isn't too much to report on because we were in Legazpi until Thursday so this might be a little bit shorter.

But, like I said, I went to Legazpi this week! I went there on Tuesday, Sister Simonson was transferred and I was assigned a temporary companion for a few days, then my new companion got here fresh from the MTC! Her name is Sister Leonardo, and we are already best friends. She is 21 and from Cebu, so we are both learning Tagalog together since they speak a different language in Cebu. The first thing she said to me when they announced that we were companions was "I read your blog and from the first time I knew you would be my companion!" Hahaah so basically yeah, we are really close and we have a lot of fun. She is also the first Filipina that I have ever met that plays soccer and likes to jog so basically we are meant to be together. Oh and also, the first thing she asked me when we got here to Tabaco was "Wait there's not a Chipotle here?" Hahaha because Cebu has pretty much everything American there and she was pretty shocked that it's way different here. Well anyways, she loves to work hard and teach lots so we are going to rock this 3 months we have together!

Well, despite all the craziness this week, we had a baptism!!!! We had the baptism of Watzelei, the brother of Joey. He is 10 and probably one of the cutest little Filipino boys I've ever seen. Hahaha his baptism was fun, a lot of the primary was involved and he was so happy the whole day. Pero I also have exciting news, his brother who was baptized just a few weeks ago is actually going to the temple this week to do baptisms for the dead for their mother and father since they passed away years ago. So it has been a good few weeks for their family :)

What else do I have to say.....we weren't able to work very much this week because of the traveling and everything but we did have 8 investigators at church again this week!!!! They are super great and we have a lot of really progressing people that we teach. Also, this week we have another baptism planned so the work is really progressing here!!!

This week has been a crazy one, but you all should know that I have a strong testimony of this work. This is the Lord's work and I know that He is such a big part of it. I can feel His help every single day that I am out here. I know that He qualifies the called. In D&C 4, it says "if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work." I know without a doubt He is here helping me. As we show our desire to follow His commandments, He blesses us time and time again. And He makes the seemingly impossible, possible. He has called me to His work based on my simple desire, and it is only through Him that I am able to serve this mission. Trust in Him, He will NEVER let you down.

I love you all and I thank you all for the love and support you show to me!!!

And shout out to all those mothers out there, ESPECIALLY MY BEAUTIFUL MOTHER, I love you with all my heart and I wouldn't be here where I am (all the way out in the Philippines...) if it wasn't for you. Words can't begin to describe how thankful I am for you and all that you do for me every day, even when I'm all the way out here. Just wait, next Mother's Day I will be there celebrating with you!!!!!! MAHAL KO KAYO!!!!

Sister Reategui

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Hello po sa inyong lahat!!! It's me again and it's been another crazy fast week. This week we got transfer announcements and we found out that my companion will be transferred and I will be TRAINING!!!! Crazy and exciting all at the same time.

This might be kind of short but I will do my best....

Monday - Michael Jackson in Tabaco City. Real life. You know how I told you all about our little investigator that loves Michael Jackson....hahaha well today was his birthday, so of course being the missionaries that we are we threw him a birthday party. It's actually a sad story, his dad is dead and his mom was supposed to come for his birthday but she never it's a good thing we were there. Anyways, we get there and he was so excited because he had gotten a Michael Jackson CD and he performed not one...not two....but three songs as in singing and dancing performance and everything and let me just tell you he will be the next Michael Jackson hahaha it was awesome. (see picture attached) and he also told me to tell all my friends to look him up on youtube (guys remember he just turned 10,  I hope you are all laughing like I was....) well he has a youtube video called "Michael Jackson can Tabaco City" Hahahaha so enjoy. That was our P-day.

Tuesday - It's all part of His plan. Today we taught lots of people, 10 lessons to be exact!!! Crazy and busy but our last appointment was with the Arabia Family. Words cannot express how much I love this family!!! So they actually shared some verses about faith so that's what the lesson ended up being. They have SUCH strong faith, at the beginning of teaching them we thought neither of the boys would have been able to attend church because of their jobs but miracles have happened and now they are both able to come almost every week!!! And their mom, she has come to church now 2 weeks in a row!!!! Ah, miracles have happened to this family and it has been such a blessing to be a little part of it. They told about how grateful they are for us, as missionaries, acting on our faith and coming on missions to teach people like them. They just always say "Heavenly Father has a plan for us and thank you for helping us learn of His plan." They are just so grateful!!! And I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to witness their conversion. I testified to them that He really does have a plan, especially because I was supposed to still be in Bulan and not transferred a while ago, but because of the emergency transfer I ended up there being able to teach them. I have learned so much from them and I know it is in His plan for sure.

Wednesday - Finding: Less Actives addition. Usually we go finding and tracting for new we went looking for less actives!!! Here in the Philippines, about 4/5 of the members are less active. It is a HUGE ratio and that is why as missionaries, we normally are told to focus half our time on investigators and half on less actives. We have a list of members, and the other day when we had curfew I went through the list highlighting all the ones that I didn't know yet who were probably inactive, and the list was so sad!! Seriously like more than half were ones that I didn't know yet. So I just prayed to Heavenly Father that we would be able to somehow find these people!!! So this day we went out with some members to find them!!! And we were blessed and were able to find a lot!!! And they were so grateful because they all missed church and the missionaries so much. So, it was a good day :)

Thursday - A strong testimony of missionary work. Today we taught a lot again....and one lesson really struck out to me. We teach this 80 year old man every week and he just has the coolest life stories. He was actually one of the first members here in the whole Bicol region!!!! And he has the STRONGEST testimony of missionary work, so yes I just love him. He was inactive actually for around 10 years, and then missionaries came and visited him, and the next day he attended church! Since then he hasn't missed a day, even though he has arthritis and has no money to get to church. He has to ride his bike for 45 minutes just to get to church every week. He is an inspiration to me and it always makes my day to teach him because he just thanks us so many times for serving a mission. He says every time in his prayers, "bless these servants and their families and friends at home that they won't be too sad they are gone." So know that you all are prayed for quite often :)

Friday - Some really strong people. Seriously these people amaze me every single day, they are so incredible. A family we teach has started coming to church for a few weeks now, and their neighbors are of a different faith so they've been getting a lot of persecution for coming to our church. They were just handling it...and this week they cut their power!!! Because they come to church. Like what? Who does that.....anyways we didn't even know about this because they didn't complain or anything until one day we asked them how their reading was and they said they don't have much time to read, because once they are home from work it is already dark and they can't see because they have no power, and that's when they told us!!! And they could have chosen to be sad, but all they said was "Sisters it's okay, we will just start saving for a flashlight." OKAY yes these people are amazing. 

Saturday - TRANSFER ANNOUNCEMENT. Aka the most awaited day. We found out that Sister Simonson is transferring and I'm training a new missionary from the MTC! It was a good day, a member worked with us and introduced us to her whole neighborhood, we got 10 referrals and 8 new investigators!!!! It was an awesome day :)

Sunday - Welcome Welcome Sabbath Morning. Now we rest from every care! It was a good day, I always love Sundays as a missionary! The Arabia family came to church, and sister Arabia even bore her testimony in Sacrament meeting! We had 8 investigators at church, that's double the standard of excellence for the mission! And we were able to end the week with over 40 lessons YAY!!!!! Who would have thought a few months ago that that would be possible in this area. Kaya, there is nothing impossible with our Heavenly Father. He qualifies the called :)

Well, that's the was a good one. We worked hard and then worked harder and really saw the blessings of it. 
I read a really good quote that I loved this week....."Loving Him is a powerful foundation of helping others." Let our love for our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ be our inspiration to serve others! I challenge you all this week to do a little more service for others, because that is the way for you to show your love to our Heavenly Father. One of my favorite scriptures is Mosiah 2: 17 and it says "when ye are in the service of your fellow being, ye are only in the service of your God." Serve God by serving our brothers and sisters here on earth!!! We are His hands here on earth, as we submit ourselves to His will, we are entitled to HIS help.

I love you all so much and keep those emails coming!!!!!!! 

Sister Reategui