Tuesday, November 25, 2014

9 down 9 to go!!

9 months down, 9 to go! Can't believe I have hit that half-way mark. The last nine months have been full of so much spiritual awesomeness, some interesting things, and just plain weird things. But, overall,  these last nine months have been the greatest, most memorable times that I have ever experienced. From my first moments in the MTC, to the first night in the Philippines when I ate ballut and woke up with a giant spider crawling near my head, to realizing that the language they taught in the MTC was not the same language that they speak here!!  OK, it is, but it totally sounds different and so much faster! To helping my first investigator enter the waters of baptism, and helping so many more in since. Oh and that one time, when someone came up to us while we were sitting with some members outside their house and told us that he just killed someone...yeah, that was pretty weird...(no worries, he didn't actually kill anybody)... Gotta love the Philippines. Anyway, I have so many memories already.   I know I am right where I need to be. I'm so grateful to be apart of this great work and I love serving the the people of the Philippines.

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I thought I would list a few things to express my gratitude.

I am THANKFUL for:

1. My companion. She is great and super helpful. She really teaches me how to be a better missionary.
Birthday balloon boxing, that's all. 

2. My housemates-for the little things of service they do everyday, they're amazing!
They woke me up at midnight to surprise me with a cake and in turn its traditional to do a service for someone on your birthday, so I made them pancakes for breakfast. 

3. All the members here and back home that continue to help in the work, whether it is working with us missionaries, or simply praying for us. Every little thing helps!

4. The little miracles we are blessed with everyday. Some days it is a simple thing, like the being able to teach someone that always turns us away, and others bigger, but everyday, the Lord's hand is there to bless us.

5.  Thank you for the birthday wishes...I felt the love for sure!

And lastly, but definitely not least..

6. I am thankful for my family-for all the love and support they give me. It might seem like a small thing, but it is a big deal for me, especially after seeing so many that don't have even get a note of support.  I LOVE YOU ALL!

Thank YOU!

Remember to give thanks to those around you, especial our Heavenly Father who blesses us everyday!

Here's to the next 9 months!!    
Mahal ko kayo!
Sister K

Saturday, November 15, 2014

"Make Holy the Places We Stand"

The other day, we were able to hear from President and Sister Rahlf at stake conference, and the line that stuck out to me most was, "make holy the places we stand." Often we hear that we need to stand in holy places by surrounding ourselves by things that will lift us up and bring the spirit into our lives, but it is hard when we are required to go into the world where we are surrounded by temptations and other evils, that is why we need to make holy the places we stand. As a missionary, we are to avoid all those worldly temptations and focus on the work. And for everyone, there are undetected temptations. It is easy to fall in to that trap as well, but when we realize how much a difference it makes and how much stronger the spirit is with us, it makes it even more desirable to work hard to resist those things that distract or bring us down.

An easy temptation that all of us may struggle with at one point or another is the temptation to belittle ourselves and not see the worth that we have. It is easy to say, "I don't make that much of a difference," or "I'm not good enough," or probably the most common, "I can't." These phrases are dangerous and without realizing, we set ourselves up for our own failure. This area is a lot more difficult than my first area. Not very many people are progressing in our area of the branch. Last cycle there was much success for the other sisters, and then I compared it to the little success that we were having. I thought to myself, maybe I'm not doing something right, or maybe I can't really help these people because I don't speak as well as I would like to. But that is completely false. I know I am here for a certain purpose, and I know with the Lord's help, we can be unstoppable and can do the impossible.
It has helped me a ton in just the last couple of days to have a new companion, fresh from the MTC. I can see how she looks at everything with fresh eyes, ready to help everyone who comes our way. I have finally understood that concept of loosing myself in the work. I have no time to think about myself, when I am making sure the people in this area have what they need to progress, and helping my new companion adjust easily to missionary life. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I can see what a difference it is making already. 
Sister Garcia from Urdeneta, Philippines-pillow in hand, now let's get to work!

Just yesterday, we were able to teach this older lady that was a referral from another investigator. There was also her daughter and her daughter's two young kids. As we started talking about the importance of families, we began to mention the blessings of the temple. The daughter's eyes widened as I said that we can be married for time and all eternity and we can have our families sealed to us as well. Immediately, the daughter said, "I don't know why, but as soon as you said that, I felt cold." (in Tagalog of course) And all I could think was that this is the real reason I am here. I am here to help families to have a better life, not just a temporary happiness, but a life with eternal happiness. It is possible. I know that. I have seen the difference the gospel has already made in some other these peoples lives and families.
Although challenges and temptations come into our lives, the first thing we have to do in order to see past that challenges and resist that temptation, is sanctify ourselves--make holy the person inside of ourselves, and the places we stand become the holy places.

until next week...