Sunday, October 26, 2014

WEEK 61: #islandsister

HELLO TO ALL!!!! Woweeee what a week it has been!!!!!! This has been one of the craziest, most spiritual, busy weeks of my mission life so far.

Well, like I said last week, I got transferred! Well, I transferred to MASBATE!!!! When they announced that I was going to Masbate I may have screamed just a little, I was so excited. Masbate is one of the two islands in our mission! Basically my mission dream to be assigned here and now look where I am. Guys I testify dreams come true. Hahaha.

I have been also called to be a Sister Training Leader here which basically means I have the opportunity to learn a ton from the others sisters that we get to go on splits with. IT'S SO GREAT!

My companion is Sister Villeza, who is 23, and from Cagayan de Oro. She is a special education teacher. Remember way back when I got emergency transferred from Bulan to Tabaco? Well, she's the sister that was emergency transferred then to Bulan, and I was transferred to her area in Tabaco. So basically we have served the same mission. Sister Villeza is an outstanding missionary and I've learned so much from her quiet example to me. Also, she is SO obedient, which is so refreshing!!!!!

Well as always, I don't have much time...but I will do my best to update you all on this weeks happenings. 

Well, getting here in the first place wasn't the easiest task. To get to Masbate, we rode a jeepney for 1 hour to Pilar, then from Pilar Pier, we rode a Ro-Ro to Masbate. We left Legazpi at 2 right after transfer meeting, knowing that to take the Fast Craft at 3:30 because that was the last one that left that day. Well, on our way, it started POURING RAIN (all of our luggage was on TOP of the jeepney. Yes, it was soaked. I hand washed MY WHOLE WARDROBE this morning for around 4 hours. (But that's another story)The rain made us go a little slower than we would have. We got there at 3:37.....7 minutes late. The next one left at 1 am the next day. So we had to get permission from President, and he said we could just wait there until the next one came the next day. At 6 am the next day, we arrived in Masbate. :)

SIDE NOTE - they speak a completely different language here called Masbatanian. HAHAHA so much for all the Tagalog and Bikol I learned. It's great.

Like I said, it's been one of the most spiritual weeks of my mission so far. We have been blessed to see so many miracles in the Lord's work this week. I know He is such a great part of this work and knows every detail of it. He has children just waiting for the gospel in their lives. 

This week we made a goal to tract every day. We kind of laughed when we made this goal because our area is SO SMALL. Like only 3 different "barangays" which there are just a few little villages in each barangay. Hahaha so basically we've seen and talked with everyone in our area already just in my first week. But, we made this goal anyways because we knew it was important to show the Lord that we had faith that there were others ready. Every single day as we tracted we were let in IMMEDIATELY to these humble homes and it was the neatest thing. They all gathered their whole families and neighbors and let us share with them. The Spirit was strong as we shared simple messages with them about our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 

One miracle from our tracting was that we found so many FAMILIES. One family in particular was a really cool story. When we were going home we saw a little dark street that led to what looked like straight jungle so we thought there were no houses there. But we decided to give it a try. About a half mile in, we saw a few houses. We tracted one and they let us right it.  They said that they had never seen missionaries before and were so excited. The Nanay, who was 88, walked over and said she had a book she wanted us to see. She said she has had it for over 20 years. Well the book she brought back to us was THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!! She said "I've had this book for years and I've just been waiting for missionaries to come and teach me about it!" AWESOME. The Lord places us in places that we need to be. 

Saturday was by far the best day of our week. Well, a few days before that, we saw a huge endless bridge that led to a village of houses over this huge lake that looked endless too. I asked Sister Villeza if they had ever gone there and she said no, so we scheduled some time to go there on Saturday so lots of people would be home. Well we went back and turns out the people are SO RECEPTIVE!!! We walked a good half mile on this broken bridge that was around 10 feet above ground and built with all kind of pieces of wood you could find and was around 2 feet wide. I thought I was going to break it just taking one step on it haha. But the first house we went to, they let us right in. Then then referred us to their neighbors and had us meet them and share with them. That went on ALL afternoon until we had taught the whole right side of the village and we ended up teaching 13 lessons that day!!!!! It was incredible!!!!! People were literally asking us to come into their homes and share with them! It was awesome. People are so prepared here I love it. We have return appointments for this week :) We named that place 'paradise'. Haha

I know that we are blessed for our obedience. I have seen it this week more than ever in my life. I know that what it says in Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21 is true...
"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

Well, there's so much more I wish I could share. But just know that I am safe and thinking of you all all the time. I love you all and I am grateful for your love and support to me. 

Sister Reategui

pictures from when I transferred....
1-  Marina!!! my bff.
2 - Fritzie!!! It was so sad leaving her.
3 - Gotta love them Nanay's

 My Kasama!

The district:

Last day at the Llaneras:

Last FHE with the Buenavente family:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

WEEK 60: Tender Mercies

Hello to you all! Well, it's been one of the best weeks I've had here in Ligao....haha and then I found out I was transferring! So this will be short since we are pretty busy. But, I will update you all on my last few days here :) 

#1 - Well, this week was a testimony builder for me for sure.  The Lord was good to us. We saw SO MANY tender mercies in HIS work this week. Let's go through them real quick:
Tuesday, we received a referral from the members. We contacted it the next day when we went to that area. She was SO RECEPTIVE. To the point where she asked us how she can become a member of our church because of the way she said she feels when she goes to church. We taught baptism and she accepted for November 22nd! :)

#2 - After we taught her, we asked if she had any people that we could also share with to help them come feel the happiness she feels at church. She then gave us another referral! So we contacted that one, and it ended up being a family of TEN that are so so so incredibly receptive!!!!! It was the coolest thing. When we contacted the referral, all of them were home so we were able to teach them right then and there!!!! Some of them even came to church yesterday. It was SO GREAT! We have a return appointment with them later. 

#3 - I ate a peanut butter sandwich for the first time IN MY LIFE this week. Who would have thought I had to come all the way here to the Philippines to eat peanut butter? It was actually good!!

#4 - This week we ate dinner at the same families house like every other day. S/O to the Llanera's. THEY ARE AWESOME and will be blessed! It made our days go so much better because we didn't have to go all the way home to eat!

#5 - We had another super successful service with the evacuees! If you have heard, the Mayon hasn't erupted yet, so they are still there. This time we took a different approach on it and taught them by room. There are about 50-60 people in each room and they are stuck in there like all day. They aren't allowed to leave because the government doesn't want them to go back to the danger zone where their houses are. The teaching was awesome and even though there were so many of them, the Spirit was so strong. They were super receptive and anxious to learn more. I am sad I will miss it next time!

Well I could go on and on, but those were the highlights for the week. Being a missionary is awesome. I love it more and more every day! I know it's true when Nephi said:
But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.

The Lord's tender mercies are really all over us. He loves us and shows His love in many different ways. I know that prayer is real. We have a way to communicate with our Heavenly Father! Isn't that awesome?!?!

Well, I will go to transfer point tomorrow and I'll find out where I go and who will be my companion! So, I'll update you all more next week :)

Hope you all are well. I challenge you all to always look for the tender mercies in our lives. They are there every day, sometimes we just don't recognize them.

Sister Reategui

our service with the evacuees!

 carabao selfie......yeah fail.

our investigator....he hasn't cut his hair since 2008!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Hello to another week! How are you all? I hope everyone is well. It's been an uplifting week full of good feelings. I am grateful to be a part of this work and I know that this is God's work. I feel of His help daily.

First off, CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING. I just feel so blessed to have a living prophet and apostles. It wasn't until I got here that I realized that I had always just taken that for granted. Being a missionary, I have seen the excitement that come into people's eyes when they hear, for the first time, that we have a living prophet. This week we spent almost every lesson talking about prophets. Let me just share some expressions I've gotten when telling them we have a LIVING prophet TODAY:
>"Wait, he is alive??? The 'living prophet' is ALIVE!!!!!" From a lady that has been a member for a good year. Haha then she hit her daughter and said "ANAK!" Or "Child!" There is a living prophet!!!!!! AWESOME!!!!" Hahahahaha 
>"We have a living prophet? Ah sister, THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! I FINALLY KNOW THE TRUTH!!!" - from our investigator of 2 weeks.
>Our less active that is around 80 years old: "There is a living prophet?" Me: "YES! Why do you think we have a living prophet?" Him: "Because God loves us? Me: "YES!!!!!" 
>"There is a living prophet?? I thought the last prophet was Moses!" From a lady that we just started teaching.
>"There is a prophet that is alive?? Wow, God DOES love us!!!" Said by our new investigator who was so excited to hear about our living prophet!!!!!!

Needless to say, we are blessed to have a prophet. What do you do to show your appreciation? I have an idea for Conference! Watch it and watch it and watch it again. Then watch it one more time for me.

I especially loved how much they stressed scripture study. I know that there is power in the scriptures. They scriptures are the guide to our crazy hectic lives. The Book of Mormon is true. Read it, ponder it, and pray to feel of it's truth. I know that Heavenly Father will answer you.

Well, in other news, this week I have been blessed to witness the mercy of the Lord. He is real. Honestly these past few weeks have been a tad bit challenging for me for different reasons. I felt like there was something missing in the work and found myself blaming everything...but myself. I started blaming my circumstances, my surroundings, everything, but hadn't looked inward for the solution. I quickly realized something my dad had said to me long ago was exactly what I needed to apply. He basically said, in short, "Sister Reategui, don't let other things keep you from being the best missionary you can possibly be." S/O to my Papi for his wise words.  So, I quickly realized that I need to change my attitude. I can testify to you all that Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. He knows us and just wants to help us. We must rely on Him.

Since I've been out here, one of my favorite scriptures has become Ether 12:27, which says:
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

HIS grace is sufficient for all. I have felt that as He has helped me make my weaknesses strong. We must come unto Him, as He teaches, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." 

Well in other other news, we had a really great District Meeting/Interviews with President. In District Meeting, we focused on asking questions more when we teach. The Spirit was so strong in our District Meeting and was a testimony to me that we needed to really apply the things we learned. So, we did! In our lessons, we have been really trying to focus on the Spirit and ask questions that are from our Father in Heaven. I've really seen the power of this, as it helps those we teach really understand the things we share with them and apply it in their lives themselves. "People won't remember the things you say, but they will remember the way they felt." Tama talaga. NOt only in our teaching, but I have also seen the power of asking questions to myself as I study the scriptures. This is what Christ did as He taught, and He set the perfect example for all in all that He did. Well, we had the COOLEST lesson on Saturday when we fully relied on the Lord and only asked questions and testified!!!! We got there to the house of our investigator and planned to teach prophets. She hadn't really been progressing much, but had been slowly gaining a desire to read and come to church so we were still working with her. BUT, we got there and followed up on her reading and she was in 2nd Nephi chapter....31! Which is the amazing Doctrine of Christ. So we asked her about it and how she felt as she was reading it. She shared with us how much she loved it and we just kept asking questions about it. I don't even remember the exact questions we asked her because they really came from the Spirit, not my words at all. Then, all the sudden our investigator looked at us with tears in her eyes and said "Sisters, I really want to follow the example of being baptized. I think that will make me feel better about my life." OKAY PERFECT. So we extended baptism to her and she totally accepted! It was a really cool experience to say the least.

My interviews with President were really super great too. I know that our Mission President is inspired in all he does. As I told him of the things I was feeling, he said "Sister Reategui, I want you to continue to focus on being cleansed, purified, and changed by your mission. You will be used as a tool to help others time and time again. You are doing an outstanding job and I thank you for your service. I always feel safe no matter where I feel you need to be put here in the mission." AH. Exactly what I needed to hear. President Guanzon is great.

Ah, I wish I could share so much more with you all, but time is short. But here are some thoughts I loved from Conference:
--He suffered for us collectively, but also very, very individually.
--ALWAYS strengthen your conviction in Christ.
--Obedience brings us POWER
--What things does Christ's enabling power help me accomplish?
--Agency: God given gift to help us find our potential
--We must pray, then LISTEN
--Followers of Christ must be followers of His gospel
--Do the right things for the right reasons
--He who serves for something, is good for something. But he who serves for nothing, is good for nothing.
--Observe, then serve.

I hope you all know that you are each loved so much by our Heavenly Father. Do you feel that? Do you recognize Him in your lives? I pray that you all do. 

I love you all and hope all is well with each one of you.

Sister Reategui

with my favorite tatay here, tatay Pablo. He is one spunky old man.
wahoo!!! one year in the field! the sisters totally surprised me with cake and carbonera pasta, my favorite!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

WEEK 58....Service!!!!

Hello to you all!!! Well, I'm here again emailing and another week has passed. Time is just flying by!

Well, this week was mostly spent gaining trust with the members. We didn't have as many lessons as we usually do, but we worked hard every day and did a lot of service, so it was still time well spent :)

So I don't have much time today, but I just wanted to talk about a few of the big things that happened this week.

One day we had a HUGE service project at an elementary school with all the evacuees. These people had to evacuate their houses about a month ago because the Mayon is active. They are in the "danger zone" and live 6 kilometers away from the Mayon, so they ALL evacuated here. And I'm talking VILLAGES of whole families there staying in an elementary school. So, we were asked by our District President to go share some spiritual upliftment and play some games with them. Okay, this was the funnest project ever. They were SO grateful for us there and it felt so awesome. We played games with them and watched a movie about Christ. I even met the COOLEST little mute boy. He was the best and I felt so bad because all the little kids were making fun of him because he looks like he is just waving his hands around all the time. But, I started talking to him and found out that he can understand the things I say, and he responds by using little simple jesters since he doesn't know sign language. Hahaha so we became BFFS and I got him to go up to all the Elders there and tell them that they were smelly. We were laughing so hard. I'll send some pictures too. It was the best.

Another highlight of the week was the baptism of Fritzie! Which was also on her birthday. So it was a good day to say the least. Sister Lesa and I and the Llanera family, who were the reason she started coming to church, all sang at her baptism. By sang I mean we tried to sing as we all cried. The Spirit was so strong and I could just feel that Heavenly Father was so so happy for her and the decision she made. It was also awesome because she invited lots of her friends that aren't members and the room was super full!!! She is such a good example to me of being a missionary no matter what. Earlier, we also played basketball at the church, and she brought her whole family who aren't members! Oh man, I just love that girl.

Some other service we did:
-we helped our less active make 200 bags of popcorn!
-we washed clothes for a family of 5 by surprise there haha
-we cleaned the house of our investigators
-we swept a whole dirt yard for like an hour

Well, this week as every other, I have gained a stronger testimony of service. I know what the Lord says to us is true in Doctrine and Covenants 42:29, "If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments." He doesn't make service a commandment because He wants us to have a hard life and be forced to give everything to others, but He does it for us to simply show our love for Him.

One thing I've learned on my mission is that by losing myself in this great work, that's when I've really found myself. By doing my best to be completely focused on the people I get to serve, I have felt like the one who has really benefited. I have learned more than I ever imagined and have grown more in ways I never expected. As I have and will continue to love this work and these people, I feel like I have been the one that has felt the most love. Ah, being a missionary is just so great.

I came across the COOLEST scripture this morning that is one of my new favorites. It's found in 1 Corinthians 2:9. It says:
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."  
AH. I could just reread that and reread that. Our Heavenly Father is just so great. I know that He has a plan for us. And with our human bodies, we can't BEGIN to understand what great things He has in store for us. He has prepared so much for us. So in my scriptures by this verse I wrote the question, "what am I doing to be worthy of His plan for me?" May we all ask ourselves that question and really ponder it. Heavenly Father is just the best.

I know prayer is real. It works and our Heavenly Father is ever so mindful of us. I know He is just waiting for us to rely upon Him and trust Him in all that we do. This life may not always be easy, but He is with us every step of the way. He will never lead us.

I know that the scriptures are true. READ THEM! They bring me so much comfort in my life and I have found answers in them countless times.

This week we were also able to finally watch the Women's Broadcast. Guys it was so great so WATCH IT RIGHT NOW. I will write some of the things I liked from it here...
>Heavenly Father not only knows what is best for us, but He is anxiously waiting for us to choose what is best for us.
>God is always raining down blessings, but our sins, doubts, and fears sometimes act as umbrellas. Are we stopping blessings from reaching us?
>commandments = eternal truths. the world changes, but they don't change
>the why of obedience: love of God and fellow men, if we don't obey and serve this way, we miss out on the HEART of discipleship
>WE are HIS. And we forever will be. This brings us purpose in this life.
>Where much is required, much MORE is given.
>If you want to give your light to others, you have to glow yourself.

Well there's so much more I wish I could share, but my time is running short. 

I love you all and I am SO grateful for you all in my life.

Kapayapaan at mga biyaya (peace and blessings),
Sister Reategui

baptism of Fritzie! and after party for her birthday!!!

this week we had zone training.....
zone training with the batchmates!

 Ligao zone!

 sister sorenson aka the tallest sister ever!

buko!!! fresh coconut!!! we contacted a referral and then the man just said "you sisters want some coconut?" haha then climbed a coconut tree and then got some for us! i love the pines hahaha.

sister sorenson spent the night at our house! remember her from the MTC? hehe love her. we made smores!!!

service with the evacuees!!!
we asked them "Who loves Jesus Christ?" They all got so excited and raised their hands hahaha.
they love pictures. hahaha

my mute friend!!!

 our investigators at church!!! they even wore dresses!!! hahaha if you knew them, it's a big deal.

earlier at basketball with Fritzie and her siblings!!