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!

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