Sunday, September 28, 2014

WEEK 57: The work IS working!

Hello to all! Another busy week to report on and I have to say, it's impossible to give you all a sufficient report on everything that happens through out the week. But I'll do my best to give a good report :)

Monday - We had two family home evenings this week with two of our investigator/part member families!!!! The first one was for a birthday, and the other was just for fun. We were actually able to teach the family of two of our recent converts. In all missionary history, this was the FIRST time missionaries were able to share with their WHOLE family!!!! Wahoo!!! Since the focus of the mission is really on families, and not to mention the GOSPEL is totally focused on families, we have been focusing all of our efforts on FAMILIES. So, this was a little tender mercy in our work this week. Usually the father is drunk, but little by little, as we have been holding family prayer with them every few nights when we go visit them before we go home, he hasn't been drunk as often! And, last Monday, he was totally there and participated in our family home evening! And, 3 of his sons also were there! So the whole family was complete for the family home evening! And oh man, the Spirit was so strong in there. I know that families are eternal and Heavenly Father is just there helping us spread His message of hope.

Tuesday - We had exchanges this day!!! I got to go with Sister Vi, who is one of my favorite sisters here in the mission. She is so humble and there is so much I learn from her every time we work together. And we live in the same house so we are pretty close. We went to their area and our work was just so happy. There will be pictures in the emails to come after this one haha. It was a good day and we taught a lot and I got to meet a lot of really incredible people in their area.

Wednesday - This day we only taught 3 lessons which is pretty low for us, but the lessons were so powerful and the Spirit was so present in each one of them. It's crazy as a missionary because if you're really in tune with the Spirit, you can literally feel the love that Heavenly Father has for His children that we get to teach. It was really cool to see that on this day, even though we didn't teach many lessons, we literally walked ALL over our area and were able to visit with lots of people and even received a few referrals of families!

Thursday - HAAY NAKU I hit my mark of 5 months left in the mission...craziness. I don't like how fast it's going haha. We had District Meeting and that is always good and uplifting. We were able to tract and teach a few lessons as well to new investigators so that was good. Then, we were given permission to actually go into the Branch 1 area to visit the family of our investigator who is getting baptized on Saturday!!! We went to ask her fathers permission if she could be baptized. He originally told Fritzie that he didn't want her to be baptized since they are very devoted Catholics...but after many MANY prayers, guess what he said.....HE SAID YES!! She can be baptized! You guys don't even know how awesome of a moment this was!!! We were totally expecting a no. They have a long  history with the missionaries and they were actually offended a while back. And he totes gave her permission to be baptized. WAHOO!!!! And I even think they will become investigators. We were able to share a little with them and it was a great night. Power of focusing on families = yes it's real. I love this work. 

Friday - We had planning, and then we worked! We went and taught lots and we even went to Marina, who is now very happy because she has her house again! See pictures attached. At night we had dinner with the members, they prepared mashed potatoes and brown gravy and Cordon Bleu! WAHOO for American food!!! It was delicious.

Saturday - We went to our far area and taught a few families! We were able to teach one of our super progressing families. The father was even there! We happened to show up when he was just getting home from Manila and was about to leave again in just a few hours! He only comes home around once a month so that was a tender mercy also. We taught them and I'm telling you, the father is so stinkin' prepared for this gospel. It's awesome to see! He is really a truth seeker. We taught prophets and told him we have a living prophet now in our time! He was so shocked and looked at me and said "Ay thank you thank you Sister I didn't even know we had a living prophet!" Hahaha it was the best. Then at night, we taught one of my favorite families, the Federico family. The mom and one of her daughters are a member, and they have people there in the house that aren't members yet but that are so receptive. The mother has 12 kids so there is so much potential in that home!!! Love it. We taught them and invited them to church (of course) and a few of them came!! Wahoo for families!!!

Sunday - Another good Sunday. I love Sundays. Best day of the week. I was a speaker and shared about real religion. I'll share some of my thought about that later. Haha but this day a really awesome couple worked with us. The Brother is the old Branch President, and the sister that worked with us is a returned missionary. They took us to a bunch of members that we hadn't met yet in our area so that was awesome. Our lessons were so powerful and I really felt the Spirit strongly. 

Well, I'll say it again, I love this work. The work is really working and I have seen so much progression in our area this week!

This week as I was preparing for my talk, I focused on religion. So I'll share some of my thoughts here :) Read it if you're cool.
Religion = the real definition is to tie back to God.
This is the question....where are we tied back to? Are we SECURELY tied back to God? How do we show that we are tied back to God? How do we show our religion? Do we just practice it once a week if we are at church? Or, is it a part of our lives every day?

I also shared in my talk Helaman 5:12, which says 
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

If we are tied back to God and Jesus Christ, that is our foundation "whereon if men build they cannot fall." I know this is so true!!!!

I also shared in my talk Doctrine and Covenants 132:22-24
For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.
But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.
This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

Read that scripture and ponder it and read it over and over again. Do we know Jesus Christ? The gate is straight and narrow is the path. Which means there is no confusion! There is safety in all things gospel related. I just love it!

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

Sister Reategui

fritzie and her family!


 our investigators at church!


with marina!!!!! She's the one that's paralyzed. LOVE HER. She's in her new house that they finally fixed for her!!

 the's livelier than ever!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

WEEK 56: The Mayon is angry.

Hello hello hello!!!!!! It's been another week and I am yet again emailing you all. How are you all doing? I hope everyone is just great.

Well I'm not sure if you've all heard or not, but I have gotten a few emails asking about the Mayon so I'll share what I know. Haha well, the Mayon is a volcano in our mission. It is actually one of the Seven Wonders of the World since it is so huge and they say the cone thing on it is perfect. Everyone here in the Philippines seem to freak out about it and how beautiful it is. Hahaha so I've grown to love it as well. 

Well, this week we got a text that (since it is active) the Mayon was going to erupt soon. Haha and they said there was a possible earthquake too. So, like the good missionaries we are, we immediately prepared everything we needed. We went out and worked that night and were talking with the members and they didn't seem to mind that the volcano would erupt. Haha we thought they were crazy. I remember going to sleep that night in nice comfy clothes, expecting the earthquake to come in our sleep and we would have to run outside to the nearest large area. Maybe we all were just unfamiliar with how volcanoes work because we woke up and I just looked at Sister Lesa and we both said "we're still alive!!!" Hahaha. We really thought the volcano would erupt right away....but it still hasn't even erupted yet. It is only spewing little bits of lava every once in a while right now but it is on level 3 or something they say. And they say it could stay like this for like up to 90 days. Hahaha so we will just wait and wait I guess...

Well other than that...this week was a little slow because Sister Lesa was sick again. We were able to work a few days and it was good. I've had a lot of time though for personal study and language and then personal study again...haha. But it's been good and I've definitely used the endless hours I have at our apartment to my advantage, even though I would rather be working...

Here are some things from my personal study that I loved:
>>Doctrine, once understood, changes lives. Do we let it change our lives??
>>"The gospel isn't just a weekly event every Sunday attending church and partaking of the Sacrament, but it should be a part of our everyday lives." - our district leader
>>Romans 1:16. I'm obsessed with this verse. We must internalize the gospel in our lives and NOT BE ASHAMED!
>>"Perfect love casteth out all fear" Moroni 8:16
>>"Prayer is spiritual work preceded by mental and spiritual preparation."
>>"The Lord is easy to please and hard to satisfy" - Elder Ardern
>>1 Nephi 17:50...let us all have faith as Nephi did!

I love you all and I am grateful for all that you do for me. Stay strong and know that I love you all!!!!!

Sister Reategui


district picture with the newbies!

 always prepared with masks

sorry po no carabao picture this week..

us with one of our less actives, sister Gema!

our investigators gave us some bubble gum so we had a bubble blowing competition at their house!

You know you're in the Philippines when the volcano could erupt any second, which could trigger an earthquake, which could lead to a tsunami since there is also a typhoon signal 1 hitting. Hahaha pray for me people....

in this picture I'm pointing to the Mayon but you can't see it because of the clouds...hahaha

this veggie picture is a shout out to my mom...LOOK i wasn't lying i really do eat vegetables!!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

WEEK 55: Life is better when you are happy.

Hello to all!! It's been another good and extremely busy week. This week we definitely saw the Lord's hand in HIS work. I just feel so blessed to be a missionary. My goodness.

Well this was a busy week and I don't know where to start haha.


That is something I have really learned here on my mission. I've learned that no matter what happens, we should be happy.  

"We can choose to have a positive attitude. We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. In other words, we can choose to be happy and positive, regardless of what comes our way." - President Thomas S. Monson

Here in the mission I have really learned that this life is meant to be happy. Even though we have trials and challenges in our lives, those are just tests for us. It's a test of our faith and our patience. So I have learned, no matter what happens, we need to be happy. Our Heavenly Father's plan for us is called THE Plan of Happiness! So does He want us to be happy now and for eternities? Syempre! Of course! His plan for us is centered on our happiness!

I have also learned the true meaning of happiness. What REAL happiness really is. If I think about before I left for my mission and now, there have been SO many changes in myself. Sorry, I probably annoy you all with talking about the changes in me in like all of my emails...hahaha but it's a part of being a missionary so just go with it. Before my mission, I thought happiness was going on a date with a cute guy or buying a new pair of jeans that fit well. But here in my mission I've learned what REAL happiness is.

Real happiness is this gospel we are so blessed to have restored here on the earth. And, real happiness is seeing that gospel working in other people's lives. 

Real happiness is feeling the love of our Heavenly Father. Real happiness is finding 6 new families that really have been prepared of the Lord and being able to teach them. Real happiness is being able to testify to them, with all my heart, that I know there is a God, that He is our Loving Heavenly Father and He wants us to be happy. Real happiness is seeing a family come through the church doors that haven't been seen at that those doors for years. Real happiness is finding answers to our prayers through our scripture reading. Real happiness is being let into a home that we walked to for one hour just to see if they would let us in. Real happiness is knowing that we are imperfect and knowing that God loves us anyways. And real happiness is learning from others every day.

"I just love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ a lot."
Let me tell you who this simple phrase came from. This came from Marina. She is one of my favorite people I have met so far on my mission. She is about 25 years old and paralyzed. She has been through her fair share of trials. Her mother died a few years ago and her father died just this year, shortly after they were all baptized. After the typhoon she was left with no house and moved into her sisters small house, where she is alone all day. Her sister can barely afford for her own little family, let alone sister Marina and her two siblings that usually live with her as well. They live off of a little bit of rice every day. As she was crying to us, telling us of the many trials in her life, she suddenly lit up, and through her tears she smiled and just said "I just love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ a lot." I don't think I've ever heard anything more precious come out of anyone s mouth. Through my tears, I thanked her for her example to me. In that moment, I realized just how blessed we really are. We have a loving Heavenly Father that knows us better than we know ourselves. He loves us though we aren't perfect. And He is just waiting for us to call upon Him for His divine help through our trials. 

This is real happiness. The gospel is real happiness. And how grateful I am to have that opportunity to share that happiness with others every single day.

I love you all and I LOVE my mission. This is where I've really learned to BE HAPPY, and TRUST IN THE LORD.

"Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." Proverbs 16:20

I know that He is the way to our happiness. We have a loving Heavenly Father who is there for us no matter what. 

Thank you all for everything! LOVE EACH ONE OF YOU!

Sister Reategui

PS- shout out to all the Young Women who wrote me are all the best!!!!! seriously made me so happy. 


sister Lesa got a package! aka...CANDY 4 DAYZ.

 hundreth carabao selfie...nothing new

one of my favorite families! we were all matching in basically I'm part of their family now. Hehehe


back to the jungle...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WEEK 54: Let us be faithful to Him.

Hello hello hello to all!!! How are you all doing??

This week was another good week. Unfortunately Sister Lesa was sick again, so we were only able to work two days this week. It was also her 22nd birthday, which was fun. She ordered a letchon which is like one of those huge pigs that they roast on coals for a whole day and then it's really yummy pork. So that was a good time.

Well onto the important stuff...although we weren't able to work as much as we would have liked, the time we did work ended up being really awesome. We have continued getting the help of the Branch and we also able to get referrals from them so that was awesome. Because of the referrals, we were able to teach a lot of new people that are extremely receptive as well. So I will say again, members are SO important in this work. We couldn't do it without them.

This week I started reading the Book of Mormon again. Let me tell you I LOVE this book and know it's true with everything in me. I challenge you all to pray and to really read it because I know there are answers just waiting for us every day.

I have read the scriptures many times in my life but as I started reading this time, I was really wanting to have a better understanding and really STUDY every word written.

One of my favorite chapters I read this week was Nephi chapter 7. I love the questions that Nephi asks his brothers as they were rebelling against the commands of the Lord. Nephi says to them,
"How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord? How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen an angel of the Lord? Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban,and also that we should obtain the record? Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.
I love the last part in red. I love that Nephi asks many times "How is it that ye have forgotten..." It really made me think of my life and if there were any times I have forgotten the great blessings the Lord has given me in my life. I also love the wording of "let us be faithful to him." Nephi doesn't say "we must" and he doesn't demand us. But, he reminds us. He reminds us in a way, like with his brothers, to help us realize all the Lord really does for us each day. He reminds us in a way that we will want to gain that desire to exercise faith in our Lord. Because we love Him. And because we are grateful for all that He has given us.

I am grateful for the Lord's hands in HIS work that I am blessed to be a part of. I am grateful for the amazing miracles I have seen in this work. I am grateful for the challenges and hard times I have seen on my mission, because those, as well, have been reminders for me of just how blessed I really am.

I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows us by name. His love for us is perfect and incomprehensible. He loves us. He is watching over us. And we are never alone. He loved us so much that He gave His only Begotten son, Jesus Christ, for us. DO we realize that sacrifice? Just for US. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He Atoned and felt what we feel each and every day. He knows us and knows how to help us become stronger. He lives. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives, I know that my Redeemer lives!

I know this gospel is true and I have a burning testimony of it's truthfulness. It is real. I love this work, where I have been able to first be converted to this gospel. 

My cute little sister Ava (S/O sista) sent me this quote today, it says:
"True conversion occurs as you continue to act upon the doctrines you know are true and keep the commandments, day after day, month after month."
It is so true. I am grateful that my 7 year old sister recognizes this at such a young age. Being blessed with the gospel, we must act upon it. Conversion is continuous. We must read and continually strive to follow the commandments our loving Heavenly Father has given to us, because the commandments are our guide here on earth to return back to Him. I know that to be true now more than ever.

So, I say to you all, as Nephi said to his siblings, 

There is safety in this gospel. As we build our firm foundation, we will be strong through whatever happens.

I love you all and am so grateful for the love and support.

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Reategui


another daily pic with the caraboa

Sister Lesa's birthday...they made us all give a little speech for her haha
party party

the letchon!

members from Tabaco came and visited us here in Ligao! salamat talaga to the Brizuela Family!!! Mahal ko kayo!! :)

district picture :)