Monday, February 23, 2015

WEEK 78: bittersweet. emphasis on the 'bitter'

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." -- Alma 26:12

I am just feeling so humbled and full of gratitude right now. What a fast journey this has been. 

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is in the details of our lives. I am grateful for these short 18 months that He's given me to serve Him with all I've got. It's been the most humbling time of my life. I've learned more than I could have ever imagined. I've seen others strengthened and they have been the ones that have strengthened me. 

I know that the gospel is real. I've seen it working in the lives of my brothers and sisters of the Philippines and have grown to love them. This is my second family and it is so incredibly hard to leave. 

I love this gospel with all my heart. I love my Heavenly Father and I love the plan that He has for each one of us. I am grateful that I have gotten to know Him better and better understand who He really is. I love His Son, Jesus Christ and am grateful that He died for us. I am weak but He has strengthened me and made me capable of serving Him. I am just eternally grateful for my mission. It has changed my life and as President Guanzon had us all promise, I will carry it with me for the rest of my life. 

I love you all. See you all so very soon!!!!

Nagmamahal from this girl that is literally out of tears to shed,
Sister Reategui

ps - everyone's invited to our house on friday night. not sure what time but just text my great mother and she'll give you the deets.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

WEEK 77: Love is [still] in the air.

Well another week down and it's getting awfully close to that time when this whole mission thing is over. YIKES.

Well in other news, MALIGAYANG ARAW NG MGA PUSO!!!! Happy [late] Valentines Day!! I love you all. Heavenly Father loves you all. And Jesus Christ loves you all. Isn't the gospel great?

I LOVED THIS WEEK. I am just overwhelmed with love. AH. Can I just spend this email writing all the things that I love?

>>I love being a missionary. I love this time that the Lord has given me to give my all and serve Him. I have learned more than I ever imagined I could in 18 short months. 
>>I love my Heavenly Father. I love my opportunity that I've had to draw closer to Him than ever before. I am grateful for this unique chance that I've had to learn of Him and learn how to trust in Him in all I do.
>>I love Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be sharing His peace and His hope to those that desperately need it. 
>>I love the gospel. It's what everyone is looking for but they don't even realize it. But when they do, it is the coolest thing to see. When they really realize that Jesus Christ gave His life for them, something special happens. A mighty change happens in their lives. I am grateful to have been an instrument in accomplishing this.
>>I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES. Oh man have I learned so much from these great, humble people. I love them with everything in me. It makes me cry just thinking that I will have to leave this place soon. I am eternally grateful for everything they have taught me. I know I didn't serve to teach, but I was the one really taught. They have changed me and will always be a part of me.
>>I love this work. Missionary work is the greatest thing I've ever been a part of. 
>>I love my companion. Even though we are super different, we get a long really well. I guess that's what happens when you're together for 3 transfers. Hahaha
>>I love all the missionaries I've met. I've learned so much from them.
>>I LOVE MASBATE. Even though it's been my hardest area, it's been what I've needed.
>>I love the Lord's timing. I am so impatient but He's always looking out for me. And when I look back, His timing really is the best.
>>I love exchanges. 
>>I LOVE SISTER ERICKSON. She's the best ever. I learned so much from her this week on exchanges and we had a great time. [see pics attached]
>>I love being positive. Even when everything isn't going as planned, we can still be happy!
>>I love prayer. I know it's real. We can really talk to our Heavenly Father. He listens and hears our prayers. He answers them, in His own time and in His own way. 
>> I love having District Meeting. We got to teach the workshop this week....about PRAYER! Wahoo!!!
>>Guys. I actually love planning. It relieves my stress!
>>I love when members work with us. Especially recent converts. They bring a special spirit into the teaching that we need. Our recent convert Melfa always works with us and is usually the one to teach like the whole lesson. I love it. It is so cool to see her share the things she's learned and the experiences she's had at church.
>>I LOVE TRACTING. I used to hate it, but recently I've just been praying and praying that I would love it and guess what? I love it now! The Lord really turns our weaknesses into strengths when we do our best to rely fully on Him.
>>I LOVED VALENTINES DAY THIS YEAR. BEST EVER. We totally got to share the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with everyone. So great. We made Valentines for all of our families that we teach. THE BEST DAY EVA.
>>I love people that are grateful. We made some Valentines for a family we teach and they cried when we gave it to them. So presh. I love it.
>>I love meeting people that have a passion for sharing their beliefs with us. We met a lot of religious people this week that wanted to be the ones to share with us...haha. I used to hate that but I started looking at it in a different way and really admire those people. They rock because they aren't afraid to stand up for what they believe in.
>>I love seeing the joy of the gospel being rekindled in others.
>>I love the Book of Mormon. It's just so true and so helpful. I have found so many answers and so much comfort through reading and searching constantly the words. I know that is it is the word of God and can bring us closer to Christ than any other book.
>>I LOVE SERVICE. We got to garden on the top of a mountain on Valentine's Day morning! So great.
>>I LOVE BUKO. AKA coconut. I will really miss it like a lot.
>>I love trials. My mission has been the hardest, but best 18 months of my life. I am so grateful for all the hard things that have happened because I've grown so much.
>>I love nice investigators. One family gave us like 100 pounds of fruit fresh from their farm. The best.
>>On that note, I love bananas. 
>>I love rice. I don't even mind eating it for every meal every day.
>>I love that we have the truth. I love sharing it every day. 
>>I just love love. I love Christ and that His love was perfect.
>>I love being able to testify to people of Christ's unfailing love. He really is perfect.

Well I could go on and on for ever and ever. I have loved this time as a missionary. I could say it over and over again. I would do it all over again if I could. I love my Savior and I love His gospel. I love sharing it and have loved serving the Lord with all I've got. I am sad time has gone so fast, but it does feel good to go home knowing that I gave my all and loved every second of it.

I know that this gospel is true. I know that this is the key to pure and real happiness. Life is just so great.

Well just next week I will be on my way back to see you all. LOVE YOU ALL AND HAVE THE BEST WEEK EVER. KITA KITS!!!

SIster Reategui

-cool tatay making lumpia wrappers
-put two americans together and what do you get? Alfredo. best ever.
-S/O to the cool Elder Nielsen (aka Tatum) for giving us these cool shirts.

Melfa the great working with us.
I told Melfa "make it artsy" and this is what we got. hahahaha

the great sister erickson.
the life

this little boy whispered to me in the middle of our lesson "do you know who my valentine is? you." he's got game. hahahaha


Sunday, February 8, 2015


GUYS. Life is just so good. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Ah. Time is going so fast.

Love is in the air!!!! Got my first Valentine of the year from one of our recent converts. He made one for me and for Sister Villeza. He's the one that I talked about last week that bore his testimony. S/O to him for keeping Valentines Day alive for us missionaries. Hahaha.

Guys but really I'm so excited for Valentines Day. Who doesn't love spreading love to others?? It will be such a good tactic to use this week while we are tracting. WE ARE LOVED BY JESUS CHRIST AND HEAVENLY FATHER! I KNOW IT'S TRUE!

Whelp another week has passed and I've learned more than I could ever fit in one email to you all...but here it goes! 

YAY 4 LEARNING. [I am so the daughter of a teacher. mom you've rubbed off on me!!!]

MONDAY - The Power of Testimony. Taught a really cool family. They were baptized just a few months ago and they are so strong. So much has happened to them since they were baptized. They've lost their father, and because of that they also lost some of the support coming from that side of the family. But this mother is working so hard to just support her children and to give them a good life. I have learned so much from this family and the way they rely on the Lord with everything they've got. 

TUESDAY - Praying for Pigs. Hahaha. Today we had exchanges! I got to work with the great Sister Sabado. She is just so genuine in everything she does so I learned a lot from her. We had a really funny lesson with one of our recent converts, Tatay Lindo. One of his big pigs that he's raising died. So he asked us to pray for his other pigs that they don't get sick too. [S/O to Sister Knuth totes felt like you out there in Idaho] Well of course we prayed for them. Went back yesterday and the others are still alive. Tatay said to us "Those Sisters have real power! The pigs are still living!" Haha. Guys I know that there is power in prayer.

WEDNESDAY - The importance of talking with everyone. Today (like every day) we made a goal of talking and inviting 20 other people to learn more about our message. Which was kinda crazy because we also had appointments set for the whole entire day. Well guess what. We were literally given chances to talk to more people and ended up inviting 31!!! other people to let us share with them. REALLY GOOD DAY. You guys don't even understand because our area is super small and we literally have tracted and know everyone there, but the Lord really prepared more people for us to talk with!!!! It was so cool. We were also able to teach lots and feel the Spirit. And that's what counts!

THURSDAY - The power of the Spirit. Guys I could go on and on about this one. But we had a really cool but simple experience this week. We went and taught some less actives in our area. In planning, I felt the prompting to share the verses in 3 Nephi 13:31-34 which says "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." So we trusted in the Spirit and just went with it. Simple verse, right? We have all probably heard that one before. But we went to the house and shared the verse. The brother, who hasn't come to church in quite a long time, totally started crying. He just looked up at us and said, "Sisters, it's like this verse went into my body and pierced my heart!" Hahaha. I am grateful to the Spirit because it was totally the key in that lesson to simply remind this brother what's important in life.

FRIDAY - Faith is important. Today I learned how important having faith in Christ is. He is the Light and the Life of the world. We must have faith in Him! In many of our lessons this day we found ourselves testifying of the importance of faith. It is the foundation in everything we do. When we read the scriptures, pray, go to church...all require faith! Even just waking up in the morning and getting out of bed, in a way we are exercising our faith. And if we have our faith centered on Jesus Christ, everything else in our lives will just fall into place. The gospel is true and it is real. Read a good quote this day "With faith in Him, our lives become focused on doing things of eternal value." With our faith in the right place now, we will end up in the place that our loving Father has prepared for us.

SATURDAY - "Sanctify yourselves." Joshua 3:5. Today we had interviews with President Guanzon. That man is really a man of God. You can just feel the love he has for the Savior by just sitting with him for a few minutes. I am grateful for him and the things he shared with me. He really knows just what to say to make you think about your whole mission and everything you've done and accomplished. He helped me see how far I've come and how much I've changed. I am forever grateful for this time I've had to really come closer to the Savior and my Heavenly Father. It's been the best 17 and a half months (soon to be 18) of my life.

SUNDAY - Member missionary work is important. Great day. We went on splits with the members! They are so supportive of missionary work here. We had 4 sisters work with us! It was great. I went with a teacher that gave us over 10 referrals of her friends and family and people that she works with. It was awesome because we got to explore one of our areas that is a little farther away so we don't usually get to work there very often. I saw just how powerful the testimony of members can be in this work. 

Well guys that's a 10 minute summary of our week. I hope you all know that I love this work. I love my Savior and am learning so much every day by serving Him. You should all do the same!!!!

Nagmamahal from this Sister that's [still] soaking up every last second in the sweat,

Sister Reategui

slumber party hehehehe JOKE LANG [please notice the baby throwin' up the peace sign. she was totally super sick but still stayed true to her inner filipina.]

totes master at the 'trompo'. these kids taught me. ill be bringing some of those home. hahaha

jeramos family. LOVE THEM.

the elder's awesome investigator. he's blind and totally came to church all on his own this week. no one knows how he made it there. MIRACLE. so cool. we took a picture. he told me i'm filipina. basically best friends.

our awesome investigators that came to church. LOVE THEM.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Letter From Mission President

LDS Chapel 152 Rizal Street
Poblacion, Daraga
Albay 4501

5 February 2015

 Dear Brother and Sister Reategui,

One of our fine missionaries, Sister Alexis Cecilia Reategui will complete her mission on 25 Feb 2015 and will be returning home. Enclosed in this letter is a copy of her final itinerary and you will be informed in the unlikely event of a change in this itinerary.

We are returning to you a young person that has really grown in so many ways on her mission. We will always remember her willingness in serving the Lord with all her heart, might, mind and strength. We just want you to know that she has done a wonderful job.

On behalf of the Philippines Legazpi Mission, please accept our heartfelt appreciation for her service and dedication. She has exemplified humility, diligence and perseverance in her work. We are blessed with the excellent way in which the Lord, her family and members at home have been represented by this faithful servant. We know you will be pleased with what she has become.

We are grateful for the association we have enjoyed with Sister Reategui and are grateful to you for your part in helping to prepare and encourage her to fulfill her mission. We also thank all who assisted in the preparation of this fine missionary. We will miss Sister Reategui.

Sincerely Yours,

President Jovencio A. Guanzon
Philippine Legazpi Mission

Sunday, February 1, 2015


HELLO TO ALL! It's been another great week.


Time is going so fast. Is it going fast for you all?? It sure is for me!!!

This week was a tough one. It was probably one of the most challenging weeks of my mission to be honest. But I have learned a lot.

#1 - I learned that the Lord is looking out for each of us. I wish I could explain in detail everything that has happened but I have really seen His hand in this work this week. He is so great to each of us.

#2 - The Lord wants us to be happy. Bad things don't happen because He wants us to be sad and hate our lives. He wants to see how we react, and He rewards us accordingly. We had a lot of things happen this week that could have really disappointed us, but it was so cool to see that as we kept a good attitude, GOOD THINGS STARTED TO HAPPEN! His plan is just so great.

#3 - Positivity affects everything. This week we were coming from an appointment where the father totally just bagged on us and the church and everything he could think of for a good 20 minutes. He is a recent convert we have been working with but he just feels so lost in his life. He had drank a little bit but the things he said were still pretty hurtful. I'm pretty sure my companion was doing all she could to not totally break down in tears. We also had a member working with us, (it was her first time....) and she is just 17 years old. Yeah talk about awkward. We kept trying to stop him, but since he was under the influence it just wasn't working. So we decided to let him just get it all out. He is having a really hard time with everything going on in his life and we just wanted to help him out. He has no work, his wife had been sick for almost a week, and he just went off and took it out on us. I was glad that he didn't take it out on his kids, and that it was us instead. Well long story short, we walked out of that house feeling just so bad. We didn't know how we could help the family and the stuff he said really hurt. So I told my companion, "We have to be positive! ALL IS WELL." Hahaha she just laughed at me. Then we were walking down the street and she was seriously about to cry I think. Haha but I told her "just smile!" Haha so we did. Then this awesome man approached us and out of the blue just said "Wow, it must be such a happy feeling to be a missionary! Look how happy you two are!  Like there are no problems in the world! I want to feel that way too. Can you guys teach me AND MY FAMILY?" YES. YES WE CAN!!!!!! Hahaha it was such a cool experience. Guys, be happy. You never know who's watching!!!!!

#4 - I also learned the power of testifying simply. We really worked a lot on tracting and OYM'ing this week. As a companionship, we had a goal of becoming professional OYM'ers haha so we really talked with everyone we saw no matter where we were. We were able to simply testify to them and it was awesome. We got a return appointment with probably more than half of them!

#5 - I learned the importance of having real desire. We taught this 22 year old lady for the first time this week, and one of the first things she said to us was "I always wondered what it was like to go into your church. When I was in high school (her high school is by the church here) I prayed that I could know what your religion is like. Finally, you guys came to my house and I think that is God telling me now is my time to become part of your church." OKAY. I can't even put into words how awesome that felt to hear from her. Her desire was so real and pure. It was cool because her house is kind of far away and we had to hike a mountain to get there. SO WORTH IT. We have a return appointment with her and her family, and she committed HERSELF to come to church this week! After all that has happened this week, we definitely felt blessed with that experience. I love being a missionary!

#6 - No one's too strong to cry. We are working with a man that was baptized about a year ago. He has been struggling coming to church because he is trying to decide whether or not to go into the army. He has been struggling with a lot of other things. But this week, he surprised us all and came to church AND bore his testimony yesterday. It was so cool. If you all only knew this man, oh my goodness he's come a long way. To see him up there bawl his eyes out because he received an answer that he shouldn't go into the army (although they offered him a really sweet salary for what he would be doing) so that he can be active in the church again. Such a cool experience. And BTW, he totes gave me and Sister Villeza a shout out in his testimony. The Spirit is so cool. We shared with him this week 3rd Nephi 13:31-34 and were unaware of what his situation was. The Spirit definitely helped out with that one. Anyways long story short, the gospel is awesome. It changes lives and makes strong people weep like babies. Good way to spend my last Fast Sunday here in the Pines.

#7 - The importance of loving others and SHOWING IT. I love these great people. I feel blessed to be in a place where the people are easy to love and they love you before they even know you. I have learned so much about sacrifice, dedication, and conversion out here from these great people. This week one of my goals was to tell everyone that we teach that we love them and they are loved by God. It is such a cool feeling to look people in the eyes and just tell them "You and your family are loved by God." It is such a cool feeling to share that special kind of hope. 

Well guys I could go on and on but my time is short. I love being a missionary. Time is going fast and it's crazy.

I love you all!! Let's be overflowing with love for others always!!!

Nagmamahal from this Sister who's gonna soak up every last second here in the Philippines,
Sister Reategui


S/O to the Elders. We were first to our meeting. We saw the members gardening. Of course we join them. Elders get there late and before helping...make fun of us and take pictures. HAHAHA #emergencyservice

birthday of sister villeza!

we are sistas. we stand togetha