Sunday, June 29, 2014

WEEK 44: Great things are happening.

Hello hello!!!!! How are you all doing? I hope everyone had a great week. It was another great and sweaty week here in the Philippines. I feel like every week so much happens, and then I get on to email you all and I never have enough time to talk about everything. Just know that we stay SUPER busy and I only have time to tell you like 5% of what happens....

Monday - Nagselfie ba sila? HAHAHA this may have been one of the funniest days of my life. Oh my goodness. So we teach a family that is part member, and they have a boy that is 9 years old and a girl who is 7. The 9 year old hasn't been baptized yet, so we are teaching him and preparing him for baptism. Well this day we taught them about prophets. We showed the individual pictures of all the prophets and then the girl all the sudden just screamed out "Nagselfie ba sila?" which translates to "did they just take a selfie?" Hahahahahahaah we were laughing so hard. Great times. We also taught Cindy this day! The is the sister of Vincent, our recent convert. Her baptism is on Saturday :)

Tuesday - FIESTAAAAAA! Today was fiesta day in Tabaco. Which means one thing.....FOOD. EVERYWHERE YOU GO. Hahaha I love the Filipino culture because they love feeding people...and I love eating. So yes, it was meant to be that I was called here. We had breakfast/taught some of our recent converts in the morning. Then we went to a lunch at the Branch and District President's home. Then we went out and taught. Our work was cut short, because we had a curfew. Apparently people get pretty crazy for fiesta. Haha but that was the day!

Wednesday - EXCHANGES. We had exchanges again today. I worked again in the other area. I love exchanges because I get to meet so many more people!! We taught 11 lessons during our exchanges which was AWESOME.

Thursday - Examples.  Guys seriously some days I feel like I'm just here to learn from the people I get to teach. They are all seriously SO AMAZING and such strong people. This morning was no different. After our studies, we went to the house of a member, Sister Rances. She is a single mother, and she is such a strong person. I think I've talked about her before and how much I admire her. She has to support her family all on her own. She works all day long just for them to eat that night. And then the next day she gets up and does it all over again. We shared with her this week about trusting in God....and by that I mean SHE shared with us. Hahaha I love learning from these strong people that go through so much every day. And what I love, is that they are just so happy. No matter what happens, they stay positive and really trust that everything will be okay. They are such great examples to me of pure faith.  That day we also had interviews with President, and then taught a few more lessons that night.

Friday - May tubig na? Today started off early...hahaha well there was an announcement the night before that all water in Tabaco City would be off for TWO DAYS. Um what??? Yes. So we had to find a pump to pump water for our showers. So that day we woke up at 5 am and went to the other sisters apartment, and found the closest pump, and pumped water and carried it there. Luckily the Zone Leaders also came and helped us, so us sisters just had to pump the water and they carried it there for us. It was a fun morning. Well we finally got enough water...and then we all showered and went home....and then the water turned on. HAHAHA good joke. At least we got a good exercise in that day!  That day we had weekly planning and we taught a lot of lessons.

Saturday - REALLY GOOD DAY. GUYS. Today was the baptism of Jaylyn!!!! Our investigator. She's 20 years old and basically like my best friend here. She has been through SO MUCH, I mean really like everything you could imagine. But she has changed so much and was baptized this week! It was a glorious day and I just feel so blessed to be a part of this work. That day we taught more and more lessons. Life is good as a missionary when you're CRAZY BUSY.

Sunday - WAHOO FOR SUNDAYS! As I've mentioned before...I LOVE SUNDAYS AS A MISSIONARY!!! It's just so exciting to stand at those doors welcoming everyone in. Especially when you see those people that you have worked SO HARD with and they finally come to church!!! We had one of our investigators that we have been working with so much....she came to church!!! WAHOO! And we had a couple others. For the returning members...we had over 20 at church!!!!! It was a happy day. That day, after church and our studies, we were able to somehow teach 8 lessons!!! Guys...usually on Sundays we get around 3 or 4 lessons....this day we got double!!! WAHOO! And we even got 3 new investigators!!!! YAYYYYY for happy and busy days.

>companionship unity = picking lice out of each others hair. (this is the third time I've gotten lice)
>philippines fun fact: they eat avocados here with sugar and milk like a fruit. it tastes like ice cream. try it.
>last night a man escaped from prison and he was in our area. everything was caution taped off and somehow he still we still worked until 9:30. the Holy Ghost is more powerful than any prisoner...
>saw a man wearing a mighty ducks hat this week. #goducks
>just to give you all a visual of what i go through every day:
average # of cockroaches I kill in one day: 8
average # of cockroaches that I hit off of me in one day: 20+
average # of dead frogs I see on the road every day: 5+
average # of chickens I almost step on everyday: 20+
average # of times I am called Amerikana by a street kid in a day: 50+ (this is not an exaggeration)
average # of times people mistake me for a Filipina: twice (im really proud okay)

Well that was the week in a 10 minute wrap up. We were able to teach over 35 lessons this week, which kept us busy but happy. I love this work. Every day I really think to myself "wow I'm really here!" Because it's so real and so amazing. I am learning so much and really trying my best to become the disciple of Christ my Heavenly Father needs out here in the Philippines for these people. I am really learning the importance of "losing yourself in the service of God" and I have been blessed to see the effect it not only has on those I get to teach, but on me as well. I've grown so much and really realized the kind of person I want to be for the rest of my life.

I read somewhere this week a talk that I really loved, it talked about the power of the interaction of faith and character. It said "God uses your faith to mold your character. Your character will be the yardstick that God will use to determine how well you have used your mortal life." May we all increase our faith every day to make us better people!

I love you all and hope you all are well! You all are in my prayers always.

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Reategui

Sunday, June 22, 2014

WEEK 43: Jesus said love everyone.

Another week down and this whole mission thing is going TOO FAST. This week I will hit my mark of only 8 months left.....YIKES. Time flies when you're having fun right? Tama. Lets start this thing up again....

Tuesday - Families. This was a good day. This day was really focused on finding and teaching FAMILIES. Because the unique message I have as a missionary is so focused and centered on families and how much happiness they can bring us. I have seen so many blessings in this work as we pray every day to find families, and somehow by the end of the day we have found a new family to teach!!! This day was no different. I was really praying for a complete family to teach, because a lot of our investigators are just parts of families. Well, we ended up being able to teach a family!!! The wife was our investigator, and before her husband was really against us sharing with him and their kid, and now he has had a change of heart!!! He told us "I've seen how happy my wife is when she goes to church and I want that too." He also told us from the start that this is what he wanted for their FAMILY. OKAY YES--WE WANT THIS FOR YOUR FAMILY TOO!!!! Wahoo for families. 

Wednesday - Miracles happen once in a while...when you believe. This title may or may not have come from Princess Diaries...but that's beside the point. I've seen so many miracles in this work, today being another day of miracles. There is one in particular that I want to highlight....about one of our investigators! We used to call her our eternal investigator since shes been investigating the church for 14 years......YES 14 whole years. She has NEVER accepted a baptismal goal date...until THIS WEEK!!!!! WAHOOO. We have really been focusing on her for the past few weeks because we feel that she is so ready. Usually when we extend...and I mean we would extend twice a week for the past 2 months now...she would say "I'll tell you when sisters" and this day we extended and she just said "you two make me feel like I'm ready so okay yes" WHAT. It was a glorious moment. I was like a little too excited and didn't know what to say after that.....hahaha it was a really good day. We tracted this day too and found 3 new investigators yay!!! People are so receptive and nice here, I love it. 

Thursday - "Wow, it's really for me???" This was the response of one of our new investigators when we gave her a Book of Mormon. She was SO EXCITED her face just lit up and she just kept saying 'it's really for me???' hahaha YES ITS FOR YOU GO READ IT NOW!! She said she will read it every morning and every night!!!!! Hahaha I love seeing people get so excited about the Book of Mormon because it is EXCITING!!! These are real words from God for us!!! Who isn't excited about the Book of Mormon?? Everyone should be as excited as she was.

Friday - Learn to laugh. Well, we went to like all our appointments for the day and everyone was busy....WAHOO. It's okay. You can be sad or you can be what did we choose to do??? Be happy of course!!! We just went one let us in. It's okay though because while we were finding someone to teach, we saw one of our investigators filling up her water at the well so we got to help her!!! She was holding her baby at the same time as trying to fill up this huge thing of water, so we ran over there and helped her with the water. We carried this huge thing back to her house....then we went back and another one of our investigators (its in the village where we teach ALL of them) was there filling up her water so we got to help her too. It may sound stupid but the wells here are kind of tricky and it takes awhile and they really appreciated it. So that proves you can turn a bad situation into a good one by learning to be happy no matter what!

Saturday - "Wait...the living ALIVE??" Hahaha this was a funny day. We taught one of our investigators who is just 11 years old. We taught her about living prophets before but maybe she just forgot or something....we taught her again and I said he lives in America! And she just froze and she said "wait.....the living alive right now??? THERE IS A LIVING PROPHET????" Hahahaahahaha we all just busted out laughing. We were like yes!!! He's alive!!!! She was like speechless and was just breathing so hard and like about to cry. Hahaha when she caught her breath she just said wow God is really real!!!!!! There is a living prophet!!!! Hahaha she jumped up and said "Mom, there is a living prophet!!" And her mom was just like "I know, the sisters taught you that the first time they were here..." Hahahaha we all laughed SO hard. WAHOO FOR A LIVING PROPHET!!!

Sunday - Grateful. Sometimes on Sundays during Sacrament meeting I just look around and am just SO GRATEFUL. I just look around and realize that this is all so real. I'm serving here in the Philippines in the exact spot where the Lord wants me in this exact moment. These people are real. And I feel so blessed to teach them and be a little part of their lives!!!!

Well that's a fast overview of the week. As a missionary, I get to meet and teach all different kinds of people. This week especially I really realized all the different people I've had the opportunity to teach. We teach people of all religions, all different beliefs, all different classes of people, some that have mental problems, some that are addicted to drugs, some that are homosexual, all different kinds of people. Why? Because everyone is a child of God. Jesus said LOVE EVERYONE! I'm not going to lie, before my mission, I used to be a little too judgemental. And I'm not a perfect person now, but I have really grown to love each and every person I've met. I've grown to appreciate people for their differences. I really think I've been blessed with a HUGE heart. I always think how in the world I have room for all these people in my heart....and somehow, even if I've just met someone 2 minutes before, it's impossible NOT to feel Heavenly Father's love for them when you just TRY. 

"Pure Christlike love flowing from righteousness can change the world" - Elder Holland (shout out to my mom for sending me that quote...#igotitfrommymomma)

IT'S TRUE. May we all do a little better to be a little better and love others a little more. It's what Christ has asked of us, and it's what He would do if He were here!!!!

I love you all and I LOVE THIS WORK. This is His work and I am grateful to be a little part of it.

Sister Reategui
Here are pictures from my birthday last week:

Side note....John Christian printed off a picture of me...the one in his hands.... (he somehow found my facebook....)  and it is currently hanging in their house with the other family pictures. LOVE IT. I FEEL SO LOVED. hahaha heres proof.....

Sunday, June 15, 2014


HELLO PO SA INYONG LAHAT!!!!!! Kumusta kayo? I hope you are all doing well wherever you are in the world. It's been a great week here in the Philippines. Unfortunately we didn't have much work because Sister Leonardo was sick, but we still made the best of it. Let me explain some of the highlights....

We had a really good lesson with one of our struggling investigators. She has had a problem getting over some of her addictions. Well, we shared the story of Enos. (I recommend you all to read Enos because it's one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon) We read it and we were testifying of the power of prayer and repentance. Well, all the sudden she said, "Sisters this chapter sounds like it is just for me. I needed to hear all of that" and went on to tell us this super amazing experience she had that week. Where she was really struggling with her addiction, to the point where she spent all the money she had for a specific trip because of it. The money wasn't even actually hers, she was given it so she could go on a specific trip for their family. She said she felt so bad to the point where she said the only thing she could think to do was pray. She said she prayed and prayed for forgiveness. She prayed for a way to gain the money back again. Well guys THE POWER OF PRAYER IS REAL. She cried as she told us that He really did answer her exact prayers. There is a lot more to the story but for times sake, just know that it was a really big deal for this certain investigator. Prayer is real. God hears and answers our prayers. I've seen it personally in my life and I've been so blessed to see it in the lives of those I teach. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.

It was my birthday on Friday! My companion is awesome. Even though she was sick, she still decorated and even surprised me with a cupcake in the morning with candles. We had a few family home evenings with families to celebrate. It was a very happy day full of many Filipino birthday things...such as spaghetti, spaghetti, and more spaghetti. Hahaha that is what they have here to celebrate birthdays. I cooked spaghetti for 20 was awesome. That was basically our day. People singing me happy birthday and eating spaghetti...and now I'm 20 years old.

Well lets see what else...I learned how to cook more Filipino foods this week since my companion was sick and I had to cook...hahaha. I also had a lot of time to do personal study....we finally got the General Conference Liahona...I recommend to you all to read "Let Your Faith Show" by Elder Russel M's great and I've read it 5 times now. I love the quote that says "We might each ask ourselves, where is our faith? There is only one in whom your faith is always safe, and that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. And you need to let your faith show!" LET'S ALL STRIVE TO SHOW OUR FAITH IN CHRIST A LITTLE BETTER!

Well there's so much that happens in a week as a missionary....never enough time to write it to you all.

I hope you are all well and know that you are always in my prayers!!!

Mahal ko kayo, 
Sister Reategui


Sunday, June 8, 2014


HELLO PO SA INYONG LAHAT!!! It's been a great week full of amazing experiences and happiness. This work just brings me so much happiness! I love it.

We will just start with Tuesday since Mondays are our P-days and we only teach a few lessons those days..

Tuesday - Faith.
Seriously I think I am here to learn from these amazing people. They are so incredible and inspire me every day with their strong faith. One family we teach is really struggling right now, but they are just so happy and full of faith. The father of the family only has work every other week, so the weeks where he has no work they literally have no money. Even when he has work, he makes about 75-100 pesos a day, which is a little less than two dollars. And they have a family of 4 kids to feed as well. Can you imagine that? So one day we were there and they said they had just enough money to buy one kilo of rice for the whole week for their family. FOR THE WHOLE WEEK. Thats like enough for two or three meals for just Sister Leonardo and I. And they have to feed a family of 6 for a whole week. They just said to us "we have faith because there is nothing impossible to God." And they said that before they eat, they just pray that they will all be full, and they said they always are. If that isn't faith, I don't know what is!
Wednesday - Ask and ye shall receive.
So this day was the start to our great week. So in the morning we seriously went to all of our appointments and back ups and no one was home. School started this week here so everyone seems to be busy and out of the normal schedule. We were pretty frustrated because we seriously went to so many houses. Then a thought came to me that we should go to a specific active family and ask if they have anyone that would be interested in our message. Well turns out they had a referral for us!!! It was awesome. We were so excited and I know that it was meant to be that we were there in that time asking them. We of course contacted the referral right away, and she happened to be a former investigator!!! One of the first things she said to us was that "the only thing I'm missing in my life is being baptized into your church" OKAY CAN YOU SAY PREPARED?? We extended baptism and she accepted!!!!! But more to that story later....
Thursday - More work.
Today we had more work. But I love it and I love my companion because we work hard and have so much fun together. We get along really well and have the same sense of humor, so we are always laughing and having so much fun. It makes the work so fun and we have noticed that the people we teach recognize our happiness too, so it just makes for happy people everywhere!
We returned to the referral from the day before...we got there and she had more people for us to teach!!! We extended baptism to them too and they accepted as well!!!!! YAY it's such a happy week.
Today was a really happy day!!! Sister Leonardo turned 22! Not much of a celebration that day since we are celebrating together this week since our birthdays are so close. We had Zone Training that morning and then went to a super yummy Japanese restaurant here to celebrate and then went to work! For some reason I had the feeling we should go visit a certain former investigator in a certain area even though we were kind of far from that area. But we went and it turned out that he (the former investigator) had all his family there and he wanted us to teach them all too!!!! OKAY they are some of the most prepared people seriously, we taught about the Restoration and extended baptism and they all accepted!!! There were 5 of them!!!! YAY for following the Spirit! I am so grateful just to be a mouthpiece for the Spirit. I have really seen miracles in the work this week because of the Spirit leading us to WHO we need to teach. 
Saturday - HAPPY ARE WE!
Guys I really love this work. I am so happy like very single day. Today was the baptism of Vincint!!! Our investigator. It was such a happy day. He is 14 years old. He is just the first in his family because we are also teaching his mother and siblings!!!! But more on that story later.....
One of our lessons today was to a lady that has really searched a lot of churches. She said to us "I love when you sisters come, because you are so happy even though you are so far away from your families you are so happy all the time and it makes us so happy too!!!" OKAY best compliment. She went on to tell us about all the other missionaries from different churches that would visit them and she said they always made her feel like a horrible person hahaha so she said she likes us and wants us to keep visiting her! It was a good day full with many lessons :)
Sunday - Always a happy day.
Today was a really good day. We went to the family of Vincint and his moms sister was there.....she told us she took their Book of Mormon and has been reading it and wants to be baptized! So we taught her, (this was the first lesson to her) and we extended baptism to her and the siblings of Vincint and they all accepted too! It was a good day :)

Well it was a really really good week. My time is short right now but I will be on again later to email a little more. We have an activity today and it's far so that's why we are on early. I want you all to know that I LOVE this work and am so so incredibly happy here.

We have seen so many miracles this week. In total, this week we received and contacted 13 referrals and got 11 new investigators! We were able to teach 32 lessons and really realized the worth of EVERY soul here in Tabaco. There are so many people that are just SO ready for the gospel in their lives. Don't be afraid to share it!!!

I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support to me. 

Mahal ko kayo, 
Sister Reategui

--I cut 12 inches off my hair this week......hahaha you only serve once right?
--a padyak driver told me this this week [these are his exact translated words] "sister I dont want you to get mad or anything but you are the nicest and happiest sister missionary I've ever seen so like don't hate me but all the padyak drivers talk about you" hahaha #k

Sunday, June 1, 2014


HELLO TO YOU ALL. I am here writing my email to you now!!! So like I said, this week we had a crazy week. On Wednesday we were in Legazpi for the new trainers and trainees training. Then Thursday we had zone conference most of the day with President, and then on Friday we went to Legazpi to get fingerprints done for my visa. It was a crazy week but we were still able to get some good work in and we had a baptism too!!!!

So Saturday was the baptism of John Christian and Janissa. Lets back up to the day before when we went to their house planning for the baptism....John Christian asked if he could perform a Michael Jackson song at his baptism..hahaha we laughed so hard. We told him just to save that for us after the baptism at our family home evening. Well in short, the baptism was really good. My favorite part of baptisms as a missionary is hearing their testimony after. Well before the baptism, John Christian came up to me and said "Sister Reategui I won't cry in my testimony because I'm not gay" HAHAHA well he stood up there to bear his testimony and in his first 4 words..."I am so happy..." he just started bawling. Okay there was not a dry eye in the whole room. He bore the strongest and most POWERFUL testimony of the Book of Mormon I have ever heard. He said with the most surety I've ever heard "I asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true and I know it is true because He told me it is His words." OKAY I was bawling so hard as his strong testimony has really strengthened mine too. Who would have expected this little crazy boy that is 10 years old to be so spiritually strong? He is such a great example to me. As he closed his testimony, he said without a doubt in his mind "I know God lives because I can feel His love for me every day." The simplicity and pure POWER was something I will never ever forget. His sister also bore her testimony and it was strong and POWERFUL too. I could really write like 5 more pages just about my special experiences with them but I will save that for my journal. Oh how grateful I am for my opportunity to see them grow so much in the gospel and to see how their testimonies have really truly strengthened mine.

The rest of the week was good, we were able to set a lot of baptismal goal dates with our other investigators. It's been a challenge because all of our investigators are so great and have gotten we are constantly working on finding more and helping the progression of those we have.

Well, sorry this email is so short but the work was limited this week. But just know that I am having the time of my life out here in the Philippines. I have learned so much and have grown so much as a person and as the Lord's missionary. A few years ago I would have never seen myself here on a mission, but luckily the Lord had a greater plan for me. One day I decided to go on a mission and now I am here, really changed forever. There is no where I would rather be right now in my life and I know I am here because this is where the Lord needs me right now. And I need to be here too :)

I hope all is well wherever in the world you all are,
mahal ko kayo!!!!
Sister Reategui

for an explanation of some of the pictures....
--at our conference Elder Nielsen was the one giving the shots!!! woohoo Peoria reunion!
--I got to see all my friends from the MTC YAY
--some pictures from the baptism too....