Monday, November 25, 2013

Hello Po!

Okay so I am not sure if the email I sent last week, was sent. I was in such a hurry I don't think it did. Sobrang pasensiya talaga! This one will send! I promise!

Okay well this week was great! Until I got sick on Friday ... and Saturday ... and Sunday ... and today lol. I don't really know what happened. I felt FINE on Friday morning, I exercised with the other sisters like usual and  then after I showered and was eating breakfast my stomach started to hurt. It felt like a usual stomach ache so I drank some water and continued my personal study. Well after about 5 minutes the pain got worse and I started to feel it through out my whole body, my head started throbbing and I just started aching every where. Well I finished my personal study and tried to ignore it. We had our companionship study and the feelings just kept getting worse. We had an investigator we were scheduled to teach that morning so I just took some medicine and we went and taught him. We had a few more people scheduled to teach but we came home early because we still had our weekly planning. By this time I had gotten a fever and I was nauseous and dizzy so I went to bed. My fever didn't break until late afternoon but then another started worse than the first that evening. Finally tho it broke around midnight. The next day I felt a bit better so we proceeded as usual. Our branch held a Branch Home Evening that night and well ... you guessed it I got another fever when we were there lol. So we went home I stayed in bed and took more medicine. By Sunday I was feeling better AGAIN, so we went about our day as usual. We have afternoon church and during about the second hour I got ANOTHER FEVER! Lol I was determined NOT to go back to bed so I just kept my mouth shut which probs wasn't that smart because by the end of church I was so visibly sick lol and my fever was raging. So we went home, I layed in bed with my fever and body aches and then the branch president came with like 6 priesthood holders to give me a blessing. It was great. I still feel a bit sick today but we have a lot to do so I just took a nap. Worry not tho! I will be fine! I promise! So that's my week. Talk to you again next week! Haha jokes :)

We have tons of progressing investigators this week! And we have one baptism on Saturday! My first! The other sisters have had like 5-6 every month so far and we have the one lol but I am super duper happy and grateful that 7 (thats our nickname for him :)) is my first baptism. He is seriously so inspiring to me! He is 14 years old and his older sister (who is 20) was baptized last September. Most of the time that we taught him he already knew most of the points and would be jumping ahead in lessons, because the first thing he does every day is read the scriptures. He memorized scriptures in the Book of Mormon and also in Doctrine and Covenants. He is amazing and his testimony is SO STRONG! He knows WITHOUT a doubt that this is the true church and he's only 14!

Other than that this week has been pretty uneventful. In D&C 50:24-25 it says "That which is of God is light and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you." I really really love that scripture. It has been imprinted on my mind this week. For several reasons. I've has seen it's truthfulness in some of the families that we teach and also in my family. Like I say every week words cannot express how truly grateful I am for this Gospel because it has provided me with a way to "chase darkness from among you" I interpret "you" to include me, and my family and friends. I know that this is a promise to us. I also know that when we do what is right we literally do chase more and more darkness from our lives and from our families. Hope is such an essential part in building our faith. It isn't an expectation, it is a confidence that we build over time. A confidence in the love that our Father in Heaven has for us and and an assurance through our testimonies that we will receive all that we need and ask for. 

I know this Gospel is true, I see its power and truthfulness every day that we teach and I KNOW that if we ask in faith, believing that we will receive, we WILL be blessed with whatever it is that we ask for. I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for everything!

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Fonua

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hello Family & Friends!!!!!

Okay first things first. We are all okay! Typhoon Yolanda came through our area but it wasn't nearly as bad as any of us expected it to be. We were obedient to the instructions that were given to us and prepared our 72 hour kits, we also made sure we had lots of buckets of extra water and that everything electronic that needed to be charged was charged. On Thursday the rain started to get really heavy and well on our way back to the apartment were literally drenched. We got back to the apartment safe and sound and as soon as the rain stopped we went out again. We only had time for a few appointments due to the curfew our mission president set for us. By the time we got back to the apartment we finished some of our study and my companion got started on our dinner. Which was fresh crab! One of the less active members that we teach, the husband goes crab fishing every night and if we ask they will bring us a few in the morning. Well this time we got 6! Lol and they were big! And they tasted so good! My companion really knows how to cook! Lol way better than me! But anyways about halfway through cooking dinner the power went out, it was alright tho because bought flashlights and we had emergency LED lights so we just turned those on and continued cooking lol. The 4 other sisters in our apartment complex shared dinner with us and also temporarily moved into to our tiny apartment because 1) we are on the second floor and 2) during big storms and typhoons, the chance of flooding is very high. They had to move all of their stuff off of the ground and prepare the apartment in case of flooding since the level of the Typhoon was #4. We worked it out tho and it was awesome! Lol we were able to watch a little bit of "17 Miracles" before bed, because my companion has a bunch of church movies on her flashdrive (including "The Other Side of Heaven" and "Johnny Linggo"). Anyways the power stayed off through the next day and around mid afternoon Friday the water stopped working. It was okay tho, we had our personal, companionship, and language study in the morning and then we had our weekly planning. After that there was literally nothing to do so we watched "The Other Side of Heaven" and once the little DVD player died we played games hahaha. It was nice getting to know the other sisters! Having no work for the day even if it was for a typhoon was a little challenging. Lol the day was long and very boring. Once everything died down there was still like 3 hours of sunlight left before dark and we tried getting permission to go out just so that we could visit our investigators and less active members and see how they were doing. A lot of the people that we teach live on the beach and so we were really worried while the storm was raging. We didn't end up getting permission until it was almost dark and by that time we had enough sense to know NOT to go out after dark. For lots of reasons but mainly because there was still a black out. We stayed in and played more games and then puttered out around 9:30PM lol even tho we did nothing that day we were all so tired! Its strange, we teach 5-7 lessons every day and I am never that tired! I was sick last week and we still went out and even then I wasn't that tired lol.

It just goes to show how real and powerful this work really is. Since we had so much down time this week it really gave me time to ponder. Ponder who we are teaching and WHAT we are teaching. I had a neat experience on Friday before lunch. Before I tell it tho I will give a little background story. So in my last email I explained how my area won the zone activity for our mission. It is actually pretty awesome because our area has the least amount of missionaries compared to the rest of our mission. We have 18 yet we are the highest baptizing area. During the closing remarks at our devotional, my mission president President Guanzon said some really powerful things. He commended us on our work and the honest effort that we put forth. He also blessed us, and invoked the keys that he holds as a mission president to promise an "outpouring of the Spirit" as we strengthen our areas, and also as each of us strengthens our companionship unity. I felt the Spirit so strong as he was gave us this blessing and I also felt God's love. Now on Friday I was determined to memorize the first vision in Tagalog. I had sort of been trying before but honestly the words and the dictation were just beyond me and my brain literally would not process anything past the first few lines, so just before lunch I said a prayer. I said that I wouldn't eat, and I wouldn't do anything until I had memorized the first vision, and I also invited the Spirit as well as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to help me overcome whatever mental block was keeping from getting it down. Well to my apparent surprise I was able to memorize everything perfectly in under 45 mins. Sister Reategui came in and helped me for a while (which I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR) and then when she went to eat lunch some how shortly after she left I knew it. I had tried for weeks before this, yet thru my faith in Jesus Christ and His power I was able to get it. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't an amzing even in any way but it really means something to me. It tells me that Heavenly Father is there, in all things. Big or small. And that He truly does desire to bless us with exactly what we need, when we need it. The only thing blocking each of us from the privilege is ourselves. I know with all of my heart that this Gospel is true, but more importantly that it is REAL. And that is DOES change lives. I know that in life, when we are struggling and when we feel like we are at our lowest point it is because we are being humbled. I know the importance of trials a little bit better now because I know that it is necessary for our own personal and daily conversion. I know Heavenly Father brings us low so that we are in a position to RECEIVE His council and to RECEIVE His guidance. I emphasize receive because He is ALWAYS willing to give, yet we are not always willing to receive. I am slowly learning how essential humility is in life, and what a special blessing the process of "being humbled" is. In Mosiah 4:11-12 it says "And agan I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known o fhis goodness adn have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remebrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-sufering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge fo the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true." Now these are very bold words which King Benjamin declares in his teaching, but I have realized that it is good to be bold. Some of these words can be offensive but we must ask ourselves why? To be in the "depths of humility" is to be in a truly powerful position, because it is then and only then, that we can receive His way. And that we can "grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you" the blessings that follow the sacrifices that we make and the humility that is required to make them is great, and is cannot be measured. I am learning through small and simple things how our Father in Heaven teaches, and I am guided through small and simple things to a better and happier perspective. There are lots of other words you could replace perspective with but that is the most accurate. Because at the end of the day that what it comes down to, our perspective. We could choose to complain and dwell on all the things that are wrong, OR we could choose to ACT and be grateful and humble for the things that WE HAVE. Because I guarantee that no matter how little we THINK we have, once we stop and truly look at what we do have we will realize how great and marvelous the blessings of God are. And how REAL and beautiful they can be. 

Like I have said many times before, I know that this Gospel of Jesus Christ IS TRUE. And that this church is REAL. I know that the blessings that come from choosing the right, and becoming obedient to the commandments of God are REAL. I know that faith and prayer are connected and that they are essential in enduring to the end. I leave my testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

I love you all so much! And I miss you so much! You are in my prayers ALWAYS! 

Sister Fonua

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Hello friends and family! How are you?? Mirami mirami pasensiya para sa wala na email last week! I had no time!

Whoo has a lot happened between then and now! First of all I will report on the days activities. My zone (Bulan Zone) won the zone activity!!! We had the most investigators attend sacrament meeting for the month of October! YES. Sobrang astig. It was so awesome! We went to Bulusan lake! Which is literally right next to a volcano! It was SO PRETTY! And you could see all of the steam and smoke coming out of the volcano as we had our devotional and activities. President Guanzon and his wife were there and so were the AP's. It was a really fun morning! Pero it took up most of the time we would usually have to wash our clothes and clean the apartment. So I got up at 4:30AM to get all of my washing done so my companion could clean hers at 6AM so we could be ready and on our way to the activity by 7:30AM lol. I'm not even tired tho so no worries there! I took lots of pictures pero I didn't bring my chord! Pasensiya AGAIN! I will send lots of pictures next week!
This week I also went on exchanges with 2 companionship's in Masbate! It's one of the islands in our mission and an area I hope to serve in one day! Oi it was intense! Lol we took a dingy little boat with NO life jackets (pero we didn't know this until after we paid for our tickets lol) and just like benches and where ever you could find a space to sit-kind of seating lol for 4 glorious hours. When we got there we got straight into planning with the first companionship and we were off. I met a sister there that I knew in Australia! It was awesome. And then the next day (Halloween!!!) I went on exchanges with a sister from California! She's awesome! And so funny! And her Tagalog is magaling! So there is still hope for me yet! It was funny because when we were finished with all of the lessons we had planned, as well as the back ups we went to the super market to go "trick-or-treating." AKA buying lots of chocolate and candy and using Halloween as a convenient excuse. When we were home stuffing our faces with chocolate my companion and her temporary companion returned with ...... drum roll .... BALUT! Lol yes. I had some. And yes I almost threw up. But NO I swallowed everything! And yes I do have pictures. When you see them, you will die. Lol please try not to laugh at me TOO MUCH. It was painful but I did it. And just as a side note, the egg that I chose had feathers, and like half a head. Also since we had elections last Monday whoever won the elections in Masbate was literally throwing like a RAGING party down the street our last night there. It was so funny they were playing EVERYTHING! And even tho we closed the windows and doors it was still as if the party was right outside. I will admit secretly to all of you, that I loved it! Lol they remind me of fob dances! There is no genre or preference if its music, they will play it, whether it be Psy, or Elvis, or Taylor Swift. They love it all here. I realize because of this I was always destined to come here. I am in a country with like minded people! Lol when it comes to music at least.

Okay as if we didn't have enough fun for one week. A less active member that my companion and her temporary comp. taught that day told her to buy her tickets @ the pier before or at 3AM because if we go any later they will be sold out. SO like the obedient and diligent missionaries we are, my companion and 2 other sisters got up @ 2:45AM and went to the pier before 3AM. Well to our apparent dismay NOTHING WAS OPEN. Lol and a 15 year old kid (who was working the grave-yard shift at his aunts shop, because he doesn't have parents ... :( he is a really hard worker and we had a good long chat with him) told us that the ticket booth doesn't actually open until around 4:30-5AM. Lol so we waited. And at 5 still nothing was open lol. So we decided to split up. My companion and I went home to prepare our things to leave and the other two sisters would stay to buy our tickets. They are so kind! And such strong examples to me of what Christ like behavior truly looks like! I love them! They didn't end up coming back until around 6AM and even tho they had been awake since 245 they still made us breakfast and hot chocolate. I literally almost cried I was so touched, and so grateful and so blown away by their generosity. Honestly these exchanges we have every week are such a blessing! I am so grateful!!!!!!!!
 Anyways we ended up taking a different route home. We took a fast track boat, that had air conditioning and they were playing movies ..... ;) lol but that took us from Masbate to Pillar. We then took a Jeepny (which are like jeep-buses? They all look like they came out of the Philippines version of West Coast Customs with a philippines version of that rapper that hosts the show. Lol they crack me up so much!) from Pillar to a province near Sorsagon where we then took a bus from that province back to Bulan. The whole trip was about 6 hours lol and it left me feeling very grateful for many things. One of them being seat belts. Because so far in the Philippines I have not used a seat belt, but when we are in the buses or jeepny's sliding here and there lol I look back on all the days I chose not to wear a seat belt because I thought it was inconvenient and now in a country where they would be perfect ... there are none. Lol the driving here is straight crazy! If there is a space, and you an fit thru you better believe that someone will try it. Lol also they just pile people on here. Whether its a jeepny or tricycle! There is no capacity limit. There is no such thing as no room, simply because here people MAKE ROOM lol whether you're sitting on someones lap or you are sitting on top of the vehicle, there is ALWAYS room. LOL! AHHH so funny I laugh to myself every time!

Every day here gets better and better! And every time I choose to humble myself, literally Heavenly Father blesses me! I've only been here 5 weeks but this mission is really changing me! I can see it and I can feel it! In my heart! Words cannot even describe the happiness that I feel in my heart! And it is all because of service! Its like that scripture in D&C "when ye are in the service of your fellow man, ye are ONLY in the service of your God." Never before in my life have I seen the truthfulness of these words. And never before in my life have I really felt the weight and clarity of these words. It is so true! When you serve others you are serving God! It doesn't matter in what capacity! As long as your heart and your mind are single to Him, He will pour his blessings out upon you. And that is not something that I can deny! IN D&C 58:27 its says "Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of THEIR OWN free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;" This has really been written on my heart this week. I have been so unsure of myself here. For lots of reasons. I don't understand the language, I can hardly speak the language! Lol I am still integrating myself into the culture. I can't teach as effectively because of the language barrier. Lots of reasons but I really decided this week that none of the matter. All of those things, are negative and therefore do not belong with God. YES, I don't know as much as I want. And YES I can't speak the language! And YES I feel scared and helpless when we teach because I don't feel like the missionary I should be. But none of that matters! I CAN do this. I can DO anything, all I need is trust in God. Thru him I can do anything. And through the trails I have been through lately I really truly have begun to learn HOW to trust in Him. And I have also learned how sweet the blessings are when I actually do. Brothers and sisters I love this Gospel SO MUCH! And my gratitude that I am here, and that I also have the privilege to SERVE a mission is an emotion that I can't describe. Its many many things! But it starts first with love, and gratitude. This opportunity and privilege I have been given to serve is unlike anything I would have ever imagined it to be! And it is beyond anything I can describe! One thing I KNOW, missions are not meant to be easy! But neither is life! We don't do it for the glory, the compliments or the recognition. No. We only do it because our service ANYWHERE in the world as a missionary, is an outward and physical expression of our love for Heavenly Father. And a clear way to show Him that we love Him and that we are willing to DO or BE anything that He requires us to be. Missionary work is something we are all capable of and something we are all called to do! Members of this church have the light of Christ but they also have the Gift of the Holy Ghost! We have talents and intelligence! We weren't given these things to receive recognition or fame from others! We were given these traits and talents to serve and enrich the lives of others! I bear testimony of this simple truth. And I also bear testimony of the power and authority that each of us has, as members and disciples of Christ we have a responsibility to serve and help others. It doesn't matter who you are, or how you do it, Heavenly Father is calling his children to work and all those who have a DESIRE. This Gospel is amazing! And it truly does change lives! In 3 Nephi 13:21-22 it says "For where your treasures is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." You are a shining example of truth and light and happiness! When you obey the commandments and follow HIS word. I testify of this with all of my heart! We each have something special inside of us! And that something special is truly evident when we share it with others!
I love you all!!!!!!!! And I miss you all so much!!!!!!!!! But I am so happy here I forget some times lol I hope you are all doing well! Please forgive me for not responding to your emails! I haven't had much time lately but I will try to be better!

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Fonua :))