Sunday, August 31, 2014


Hello to all! I hope you all are well. We had another busy and successful week full of hard work and revelation.

This year I hit my one year mark which is CRAZY and I almost can't believe that I've been a missionary for so long but I LOVE IT. Not so much that it means I'm leaving soon, but I am grateful for each day I get to serve. 

This week we stayed very busy. I will just go through every day and talk about the highlights.....

Tuesday - Zone Conference!
We traveled to Legazpi and had our Multi-Zone Conference with President Guanzon. These are always so good and I always find answers to my prayers through the things they talk about with us. Here are some of the highlights of Zone Conference:
>>>Focus on families. The gospel is centered on families and it can bring them true happiness they can't find anywhere else. One thing President said that really stuck out to me was that "when you seek to find families, the Lord is there backing you up 100% because He wants each family to find the gospel more than you can even imagine. As missionaries you are offering them THE MOST precious thing of all - that their family can be eternal." I have seen this and the power of finding families in the work this week as we have prayed to find just one family. I'll get to that on the other days :)
>>> Another thing President said was that "To expect different results, we must change and improve our actions." Yes. I think that speaks for itself. I'll get to that later as well..
>>>He also encouraged us to focus on gaining the members trust to receive referrals of FAMILIES. This especially really hit me and ended up being my goal this week. But, I will also get to that later. Haha
>>> The focus of this Conference was actually about helping our investigators keep commitments. It really made me realize, even the little commitments we leave, are so important. The little things lead to the big things and those lead to even more. One thing President said about not being afraid to extend commitments was "We are fearless missionaries because we know our purpose." Which is SO true. It applies to us all. We learn of our purpose here on earth in Alma 34:32, which says "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." As we come to learn our purpose, it makes life more meaningful and it makes the trials in our lives easier.
>>At the closing of Conference, President got up to speak. He started with one simple question. He said, "What has become of each of you on your mission?" Okay that question hit me so hard. It really made me think long and hard about this past year and the many changes I've seen in my life because of my opportunity to lose myself in this work. I could say this a million times...I'm so grateful I served a mission. I am grateful I am a missionary. I am grateful my Heavenly Father has a plan for me and knew that the only way I would learn the things He wanted me to learn, was to be out here all the way in the Philippines among these amazing people.

Wednesday - ExChAnGeS....
WAHOO today I got to go on exchanges with Sister Simonson before she goes home next week!!! It was happy and fun to be companions again. Our lessons just flowed so well and it was a happy day. Well like I said, there were a lot of things I learned in Conference. I was super determined to put them all into the work to really help our area progress more. So I just looked at Sister Simonson in the middle of our Companionship Study and I said "Sister, we're gonna find a family today!" And she was just like okay! Haha and so we prayed so hard to find a family. And I felt like a good way to find a family would be what President had really stressed, through referrals! And just at that time, we were about to leave for our morning work, and one of our less active members texted us and said she wanted to work with us! WAHOO! It was awesome and an answer to prayers really. She worked with us that afternoon. As soon as we saw her I asked her if she knew of any families that would be interested in our message. Well guess what ended up happening? She lit up and was like "that's why I texted you sisters! Because I ran into a family this week that was taught by the missionaries back in 2009 and were wondering why they never went back to their house!" OKAY ANSWER TO PRAYERS. Goodness. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father that sees our desires and blesses us accordingly. Well we ended up getting like 5 other referrals from her because years ago, she worked with the missionaries. So she took us to all the old people they used to teach! So in all, we met like 6 new FAMILIES that day that are ALL willing to listen to our message!!!! IT WAS A GREAT DAY.

Thursday - happy but sad return
Today Sister Simonson and I were able to return to Tabaco for the funeral of Jun Berces, the man I mentioned in my email last week. It was happy to go back, but sad because of the reason. We were actually able to speak at his funeral service at the church. As we shared the experiences that we had with him, from the first time teaching him to the last time I was able to see him, the Spirit was strong. I felt the love that our Heavenly Father had for him on our first visit, to our last. The Spirit was strongly testifying of the Plan of Salvation. How grateful I am for this gospel, in knowing that we really do have safety in it. As long as we live according to the commandments, we don't have to wonder what will happen. I am grateful for the example Brother Jun was to me in fast reactivation and his fast remembrance of the importance of obedience and the gospel in his life. 

Friday - FINDING
Today we had Weekly Planning, and then went out to teach. We first went to teach our super golden investigator, who was also a referral from the members. So her story goes like this: we met her last week, we taught her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. She told us she was familiar with the Book of Mormon. I asked her if she has read it before (so excited even if she's read one verse) and she was just like "oh sister I'm actually in Mosiah." HAHAHA OKAY yeah golden for sure. We extended baptism to her because she straight up told us at the very beginning she wanted to be a member haha. She will be baptized on October 4th, her 18th birthday :)
We also went tracting and found a bunch of families super interested. We taught to a family that was Iglasia ni Cristo, which is like the biggest church here in the Philippines and is like unheard of for them to let missionaries from our church teach them. That was awesome and we have a return appointment :) We taught lots more and found a few more people that were interested!

Sabado - finding part 2
We went to our super far area today and tried to find the families that the sisters before us taught! We ended up finding 3 of them which was awesome because we didn't know any addresses or ANYTHING. Because side note there are no addresses here. Example, in the area book for one family it just said "by the school, across the river, walk until you see the blue door, it's 3 houses over." Haha but this is our area that is half jungle so that was fun. But we found three of them and one was SO receptive. When we got there they were eating lunch and they were just like "sisters! lets eat!" and let us right in and we all ate a huge feast haha. I love the people here. 
Ah I forgot to mention, I also made it a goal this week to ask everyone we came in contact with for referrals. But I would just ask if they knew any FAMILIES that were interested in our message. Well turns out we ended up with 13 referrals this week!!!! Usually we have a struggle getting our mission goal of 5 per week. MIRACLE. We were able to contact a bunch of the referrals this night.

Sunday - Families Can Be Together Forever.
Today was an awesome day. We had church and we got to work a lot. We went back for our return appointment to the special family from the day with our exchanges...turns out they are incredibly receptive. They loved how we talked about families so much and the importance of Jesus Christ being the center of the home. Another testament to me that FAMILIES ARE ETERNAL! The gospel is just so great.

This was a busy week and I'm almost out of time but I want you all to know I'm learning so much and changing in so many ways I never thought I would. 

I know that this gospel is true, and so real. I see the gospel working through the lives of those we teach and I feel so blessed to witness their conversion. In Alma 36:7. it says "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass." YES. It's true. The small and simple things turn into the big things in the long run. Read your scriptures and pray and do those things you need to do to strengthen your testimonies of Christ. I know He lives and I feel His love in all that I do as a missionary.

I love you all so very much and am grateful for your support to me! 

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Reategui

sister simonson and i on exchanges!!

 the longest hotdog ive ever eaten....celebration of our one year!

my home-elderz. we were in the same district in the mtc!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

WEEK 52: Jun Berces

HELLO HELLO HELLO!!! Kumusta kayo??? It's been an interesting week.

First off, I would just like to dedicate this email to a man that became very special to me in my last area. This man's name is Jun Berces, in his 40's or 50's. This man, when we found him, had been inactive for over 20 years. His brother was active, but he had been offended and didn't want to come to church. The first time I visited with him, he just looked so sad. They asked us to start teaching him so he could come back to church. I remember the first time we taught him, he barely said two words. We taught the power of the Atonement and in that moment as we taught him, I really felt love that our Savior has for HIM. I had really never felt that before so strongly. I felt the Savior just wanting him, Brother Berces, to come back to the fold and I really saw his potential as a son of God. At the end of our lesson, we invited him to church. As we have worked with many less actives here, I have seen how long it takes some to come back to church. So, I knew we of course would invite him, but wasn't sure what he would do. But to my surprise, he came to church that Sunday. And the next. And the next. And before I knew it, he was incredibly active. As we passed by his house almost every day, we would stop by and sometimes catch him reading his scriptures or praying. This was a man that before, we had never even met him because he was always hiding in his room. He didn't open his scriptures for years. Weeks passed and he kept coming to church, often times if we had a sister, he would work with us and even give us referrals when he found families interested in the gospel. We would go share with him, and he would share with us all the people he had shared the gospel with and would share his strong testimony with us. He was an example to me of the power of the gospel in a person that really LIVES it. A few weeks passed with him being active and he received the calling of the building manager. Now, some people might not take this as a serious calling, but this man took his calling how he should, as it came right from our Heavenly Father. He was at that church more than the Branch President was. He was there every week cleaning, even if it was just him. Weeks passed by when just recently, a few weeks before a left, he was called as Executive Secretary for the Branch. As he was sustained in sacrament meeting, I shed tears as I had really witnessed his growth and change right before my 20 year old eyes. I transferred, remembering all the things I had learned from him and from his example to me. 

This morning I logged on my email and found out that this great man had suffered from a heart attack and passed away. He passed away last Monday, just after he worked the whole day to earn money just so he could have enough to get to Manila to go through the temple because he was so excited. This man will forever be a part of me and my mission, and I am grateful for the time I had to get to know him. I am grateful for the example he set for me in showing the real power of the gospel in a person's life. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for him, and how grateful I am that he was able to come back to church before he passed. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for all things that happen.

Here is a picture that we took the day before I left. If you could really see the difference in him from the first time we met with him until this picture...oh man. He was a great man.
A man once asked Jesus Christ, he said:
"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?"
Jesus replied,
" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Matthew 22:36-40

This week through my studies I focused on LOVE. Love for my Heavenly Father and all He does for me. Love for my Savior, because He first loved me enough to die for me. Love for those that I have the opportunity to teach here and to learn from. Love for my companion and an increasing love for this work. 

I also studied again about obedience. I studied the importance of being obedient....not just because we feel like we have to...but because we have sincere love for our Heavenly Father and all He does for us each day. Seriously, every day I'm overwhelmed with His love. If we don't feel His love everyday I really think we are doing something wrong. It's just there, no matter what. It's there whether we are sad, whether we are happy, it's there. He knows we are perfect yet He loves us PERFECTLY. He knows we are incomplete but yet HE LOVES US COMPLETELY. Let us all take just a few minutes every day to recognize His love for each of us. 

I know that no matter what we may be facing in life, our Heavenly Father is there for us. He knows all and He has a plan for us. I know that His plan is greater than anything we can imagine. 

I am grateful for just that. That my Heavenly Father knows what's better for me ALWAYS. As I hit my one year mark this week...I've been really thinking about my life and how I got where I am. A few years ago, I would have never imagined myself here. I would have probably imagined myself married by now and in school. But I am grateful to my Heavenly Father, that even as stubborn as I am, He led me here. I know I am here for a reason and I am learning that reason more and more each day.

This week my companion and I both got really there wasn't much work, but of course there was still a lot learned. Words can't describe the great feeling it is to be a missionary. I LOVE IT.

I am grateful to you all in my life and your support.

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Reategui

some pictures...
 me in another rice field....

this cute girl is a future missionary! she helped us teach a lesson yesterday :)

#outfitoftheday = blue!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

WEEK 51: BE HAPPY...even when it is pouring rain.

HELLO PO!!!! How are you all? It's been another week full of work and happiness. I could say it 100 more times...but I LOVE THIS WORK. And I just love these people I have the opportunity to serve.

This week, as I will hit my one year mark soon, I was really reflecting on the changes I've seen in myself since I've been out. I've learned a lot since being out on my mission and I've grown in ways I never thought I would. I am so grateful for the opportunities I've been given, the struggles I've been given, and the hard things I've gone through on my mission, because those are the times I've grown the most. So I wanted to share a few things I've learned so hopes that it could help you all out too in some little way.

One thing I have learned on my mission, is that whatever happens, we need to be happy. We are not here to endure this life in sadness...but Heavenly Father's plan is centered on our happiness! He wants us to be happy! He loves us so much that He has given us commandments here on earth, so we have a guide to know what we need to do to return back to Him. He knows that happiness only comes if we are obedient to His commandments. 

So that leads me to something else that I have really learned on my mission....the importance of obedience. I know that Heavenly Father knows us and loves us. And there is no commandment that He has given just for Him. "All things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." (2 Nephi 2:24) He knows all and He knows that we need guidance here on earth. His commandments are that guidance and love from Him to us. Goodness, sometimes I just can't get over His love for each one of us!

This week we had a few experiences that really made me appreciate this work in the small ways. This whole week I have really been trying to find those we need to teach. My companion was sick a few days and while she was resting, I made lists and lists of names and descriptions of each person in each area that has a record in our area book. Let me tell you...IT TOOK HOURS. And days. But as a missionary you just feel such a strong responsibility for these people in my area. At least I did. I felt the love of God and just how important each one of those people are to Him. So, finally when we had the huge lists, we started working with the members to get some help. Yesterday was the most successful day....because we went on splits. It ended up being one of the best splits I've ever done!! We went to an area and were able to find about 10 different families that we could teach!!!! (Sister Lesa even found 10 too!!) But, a few of them we were able to teach right there on the spot. One of the families we found were so receptive!!!! Missionaries hadn't visited them in years, but before they came to church and had a baptismal goal date and were so progressing!!! It was such an amazing experience really and it was good to get to know the area and meet so many people. We ended up being able to teach over 30 lessons to new families that we met through out the week. YAY for finding new families!!!! 

Highlights of the week:
--service, service, and more service! the best service we did this week was to wash the clothing of a family of 6. we washed their clothes in the river by their house.....hahaha good times. we also cleaned an entire in all the rocks and branches and trees that got destroyed from the storm....we were there for about 5 hours. haha. and we got to build a garden! but that day i unfortunately didn't have my camera...sorry po.
--we went to our far area on Saturday. we went on a tricycle and it was about 30 minutes away in the middle of no where. (see jungle pictures I sent) Well we went there and found this less active family that had been baptized a year ago and then didn't come to church after that. We taught them and they were super nice. They just live so far from the church...or it's hard for them. Well, after our lesson we were walking out and seriously I said to sister Lesa "good thing it's not raining, we only brought one umbrella!" Hahaha and then like 5 minutes started POURING. As in super strong.....and you want to hear the best part??? there were no tricycles to go back home!!!! Hahahaah so we walked...and walked....and walked in the pouring rain for about 40 minutes so we could get to our coordination meeting. We went soaking wet but it's okay....we were able to coordinate hahaha. But, it ended up being a good experience for us because we just laughed it off. So moral of the story...BE HAPPY EVEN IN THE POURING RAIN. ps....once we made it to the highway, a super nice family stopped and picked us up, even though they were going the complete other direction! and they were the only family out on the road because the storm was so bad. Haha yay for nice people!

Well, it's been another week full of crazy things that I could never sufficiently say in one email. Just know that I love each one of you and I know you are all loved by our Heavenly Father. He is there for us no matter what and is waiting to hear from each one of us through prayer. I know prayer is real and He is really listening. AND, HE WANTS US TO BE HAPPY! No matter what. 

Here's a scripture that I came across that I loved....

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28

I love being a missionary in the service of my God. I know that when we put God first, miracles happen. 

I am grateful to be called according to HIS purpose, even though I would have never expected myself here a few years ago. I know that this is where I need to be, and I am grateful that my Heavenly Father knew that even when I didn't yet. 

Sorry this email is like all over the place....hahaha just know I love you all!!!

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Reategui

picture...3 members worked with us! the other sister was taking the picture...:) good times. 

carabao.....a filipino's best friend.


on Sunday with one of my favorite less active families that finally came to church!

 this was at kawa kawa earlier! this is our district and then a few other sisters from the other :)

tracting in a jungle take #1

Sunday, August 10, 2014


First I would like to give a shout out to Sister Leonardo for the quote she sent me that says:

"Unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives."
-President Thomas S. Monson

Yes. I know this is true. I have seen this come to life as I have had the opportunity of a lifetime helping those I have grown to love in such a short period of time here in Ligao.

Let me just say I love this work and I love my opportunity to be a missionary here in the Philippines.

It has been another week full of service, as you can probably see from the pictures I sent. I have really learned the importance of service in this work. I have learned that I am not here only to teach the gospel, but to really live the gospel of Jesus Christ. How grateful I am for the example Christ set for us all.

This week I was asked to talk in Sacrament since I am new. My topic was a verse in the New Testament, James 1:22. It says:
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

I had never really thought of this verse much before I was given this topic. But I know that there was a reason I was given this topic and I learned a lot through my studies for it. In my talk, I talked about first, before becoming doers of the word, we must know of the word. So I talked about the importance of scripture study and attending church. I know that scripture study is so important for us. We are blessed to have scriptures in our lives, as they are the guidance sent from our Heavenly Father for each one of us. So, I challenge  you all to read your scriptures EVERY DAY. Even if it's just one verse everyday. But I also challenge you to actually READ it and LIVE it. The gospel is here for us to live it, not just to read it. Let's take advantage of the blessings Heavenly Father has given us!

In my studies, I also came across a talk that my mom sent me I think (S/O to mamma) during my training that I had forgotten I loved SO much. It's about the love of Christ and it's just so great. I encourage you all to read the whole thing...but for now I will include one of my favorite parts from it here....

"True love requires action. We can speak of love all day long—we can write notes or poems that proclaim it, sing songs that praise it, and preach sermons that encourage it—but until we manifest that love in action, our words are nothing but “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Christ did not just speak about love; He showed it each day of His life. He did not remove Himself from the crowd. Being amidst the people, Jesus reached out to the one. He rescued the lost. He didn’t just teach a class about reaching out in love and then delegate the actual work to others. He not only taught but also showed us how to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”
Christ knows how to minister to others perfectly. When the Savior stretches out His hands, those He touches are uplifted and become greater, stronger, and better people as a result. If we are His hands, should we not do the same?"

This is the true love of Christ. I love the last line, the question that says "If we are His hands, should we not do the same?" Christ was the perfect example. He was the only perfect person to walk the earth, yet He served among the poor and the weak. Who could ask for a better example? 

As a missionary, I strive each and every day to become more like Him. To teach as He would teach, to serve as He would serve, and love as I know He would love. I know that I am no where close to perfect, but I have noticed the difference it has made in my life, not only as a missionary but as a real person too. I am so grateful for my mission and for the opportunity I have had to come closer to my Savior, and really feel His love for those I'm blessed to teach.

This week, as I said, we did a lot of service, but we were able to also start teaching a little more too. We were able to find some new investigators and a few of them even came to church! It is fun to see this area progressing little by little :)

Mahal ko kayo, don't you ever forget it!
Sister Reategui

These pictures are from our service this week with our recent convert who is handicapped. we were able to help clean up after her house was destroyed from the storm a few weeks ago. Her name is Marina :)
And... more service/buko drinking with the #fantastic4.


Sunday, August 3, 2014



There's not much to report on this week because we mostly did service like every day all day. We've demolished houses, we've built houses, we've washed clothes, we've cut down trees, you name it...we've done it. But you know what they say..."If ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."[Mosiah 2:17] It's all true. I have really felt the love of God for these great people that I get to serve. Even though I don't know most of them yet, it is just so great being a missionary because you really feel the love that God has for each one of them, no matter who it is.

Amid the cleaning up this week, we were able to have a baptism which was great. Her name is Sheira and she is 11, her mother is a member and she basically was born ready to be a member. She's awesome and already super into personal progress and isn't even a young women yet haha. I love her so much.

Well I really don't have much else to report on...every muscle in my body is sore and we are just so dead at the end of the day...but it is all worth it to see those that we serve so happy and grateful. I love being a missionary.

I'm sorry this email is so lame but I'll keep sending the pictures so it makes up for it...haha.

LOVE YOU ALL AND STAY AWESOME. Read your scriptures.

Sister Reategui
Pictures from my transfer. The members threw a party for me.:)

I will miss the amazing members of the Tabaco Branch.
saying goodbye....
>>our recent convert marvin and his sister
>>sister venus
>>the amazing youth in tabaco :( our new area! After our service.

Doing service after the Typhoon:

Baptism of Sheira: