Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Years!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello my beautiful family and friends! Kumusta? Kumusta pasko mo? Mine was awesome! And eventful! Honestly this last week was so fulfilling! Well the first part of the week ... let me tell you! Okay so on Monday we had FHE with the Corres family, they are a family of investigators that we started teaching right at the beginning of my training. We have been through some ups and downs with them. They were really progressing when we first started teaching them but after a few weeks their progression just stopped. No matter what we did or how hard we tried they wouldn't come to church, or baptisms, or activities. They were pretty shy about attending any ward functions period. My companion and I suspected it was because they were intimidated by the members. Most of the members can understand, and speak English somewhat and no one in the Corres family can understand English at all. The only reason Nanay can read is because she completed first grade and Tatay can't read at all. Something really sad happened in their family a couple weeks ago and Nanay has been really sad Well we had our first FHE with them on Monday and it was SO AWESOME! The first and second councilor in our branch was there as well as some members from our ward and Sister Reategui and Sister Alabanza were there. I gave the lesson, I used the pepper and soap for the object part of it. Even tho I struggled through the whole thing because it was all in Tagalog lol, after I felt so good! Not only that but the FHE as a whole turned out really beautifully. Nanay for the first time in a long time was just HAPPY. She was laughing and making jokes, it was so awesome to watch. After that the week was busy! 

With Christmas and all the people we visited and taught. It was going great until I got sick! Again! Lol it started with food poisoning and then turned into Chikungunya. When I went to the dr's I was told that I either have that or dengue. There has been a huge outbreak in our province and the doctor was sure it was either dengue or chikungunya. Thankfully tho it was chikungunya. Still tho getting sick this time really sucked. I was in bed for almost the whole weekend and I had a fever every day. I've been drinking lots of water and trying to stay positive. It was difficult this time tho. I'm not sure why. I felt really bad about all the work we missed. I was able to talk to my mission president about it and he reassured me and comforted me so I feel fine now.
In other good news! We had 2 baptisms this week! They were so precious, Brother Jade (22) and Brother John-July (9). John-July (his sisters name is April-May LOL!!!) is my best friend here! Lol I love him! I love all the kids in my district! They were all comforting me yesterday when they found out I was sick. All I heard yesterday at church was "Seestr Ponowa! Seestr Ponowa! Maggaling ka? Kumain ka na!" Lol it means are you okay now? You eat already! Lol we had our Christmas party on Saturday and they cooked an entire pig like gourmet style with lots of delicious food that I COULDN'T EAT because I was sick and just the smell of all of that made me sick! Lol I was cursing my sickness watching everyone eat. It was funny tho because everyone's solution was for me to eat .... hahahahaha! Yeah if ONLY! 

Also I got cards and present from the kids we teach and one that we've baptised and they seriously melted my heart! In all of them they thanked me for teaching them and sharing the Gospel with them. From Agapito (my first baptism) in the card he made me he said "thank you for teaching me and helping me become a good member of this church." AHH! I seriously cried when I read that. He also shared a scripture with me that I want to share with you, its in Alma 19:6 its a part from the verse but its so beautiful to me, "the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness-yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul ..." This was the scripture that he put in his letter to me. About ho happy the Gospel has made him! That brought so much happiness to my soul I can't even explain to you how it effected me. 

Brothers and sisters this work is so fulfilling. I can't even put my emotions into words. Thats how much it means to me. I love this Gospel and all the it brings. Not because I'm learning so much anymore and not because I know its blessing the lives of those I love. No its because of the way it has changed those I teach. I love it because it has given me an opportunity to put of my natural man and literally see thru the eyes of Heavenly Father. I see His children the way He sees Him and thru this I am able to love them the way He does. Well try to of course. Just this tiny bit of wisdom has helped me so much and has changed my life more than anything else could. The knowledge that I have gained thru serving and loving others is enough to bring me to tears and just the though of one person going thru life and NOT experience true and everlasting forgiveness is enough to cause me to weep for my brothers and sisters and for those precious souls that NEED what we have and that NEED to feel accpeted and loved by Heavenly Father. I know that this is the only place where we can receive forgiveness and where we can gain true happiness. I feel it every day! I love this Gospel and I love my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. And I am eternally grateful for my membership in this church. 

I love you all so much! Never forget to lean on the Atonement when you feel like there is no where else to go. Because I know that that was why He died for us. So that He could succor us when we are at our lowest. 

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

Sister Fonua 

this is me and elizabeth and john july

and thats my companion and a member from our branch. we have to cross rice fields for some of our appointments :D

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas is next week!!!!!!!!!!!


Today has been so busy! Seriously! We have a Christmas conference for our mission on Wed and each zone has to put together a presentation aka a presentation that is well ... more funny than anything else because we only have 2 hrs on P-day to prepare lol. So yes I will update you all on how that went next week. I foreshadow a lot of laughing, AT ME. We have to travel to Sorsogon bukas mga 5PM kase we live 3 1/2 hrs away from Legazpi/the mission home and the conference starts at like 8AM Wed. So I'm happy about that lol I cherish any AND EVERY opportunity we have to travel. Also we had 4 baptisms on Saturday! It was so great. One of our investigators was definitely tried in his faith before the baptism, but because he stayed hopeful, and diligent Heavenly Father blessed him. It was a growing experience for him for sure, and I am so grateful that I was there to witness it. We also got a new investigator this week who asks some seriously DEEP questions lol. I actually love it, its a challenge teaching him and one I happily welcome. We also have another baptism this coming Saturday and on the week after. I also went on splits twice this week! Once with the other sisters in my branch (sister alabanza and sister reategui! I don't remember if I told you but sister reategui and I are in the same area!!! THE SAME BRANCH ALSO! Lol for those of you that don't remember she was my companion in the mtc) and with the sisters sa Matnog. Yung area sa zone natin. Sobrang astig yung mga sisters doon. We invited one of their investigators for baptism and was able to get a referral from a less active member who we committed to work with them later this last week.  Other good news is MY TRAINING IS ALMOST FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next week will be my last week and then DONEZO!!!

I really can't believe it. The time has gone by SO FAST. And looking back on my time with my trainer and just my first 3 months in this country makes me really emotional. I can honestly admit that I have learned and have changed SO much. This change didn't come because one day I woke up and I said I am going to be this, or that. No it happened because I allowed Heavenly Father to change me. I gave up all my imperfections in the knowledge I can't do this work alone and I can't continue to progress and BE HAPPY alone. Relying on my own intelligence and talent just wasn't enough. I needed to DO MORE. Simply He needed me to BE MORE. And in order for me to accomplish that I HAVE to trust Him. And I have to believe at the end of every day that the reason for my trials is to refine me. I know that through this refinement process I can become BETTER. And seriously when you take away all the material possessions, what more could we really want? Coming to the Philippines was definitely a culture shock for me. The people here have so little, yet they stay happy and cheerful. It has really helped me to see how unimportant the material things of this world are, and how unnecessary they are when it comes to attaining TRUE happiness. We teach people in one room huts, with dirt floors, we teach a family that live in one room, we teach family that live in shacks and yet the one thing that I see constantly is that they are HAPPY. They smile and greet us warmly when we walk by, or invite us in happily. They have what every American would class as nothing pero they are HAPPY. Thru all of the trials that I have been through in these last 10 weeks the one thing I can honestly say is that I have learned the importance of trust and I have seen the blessings that come from putting the Lord first. In the Book Of Mormon the stories of the stripling warriors is one of my favorites. The obedience and faith that they put in their mothers words saved their lives and the power of God was manifest unto them. Sa Alma 57:21 "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them" And verses 26 hanggang 27 sinabi ito "And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of thier exceedin faith in that which they had been taught to believe-that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power. Now this was the faith of those whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually." These verses are SO powerful. Kase sobrang tunay siya. And so powerful para sa atin at yung buhay natin. They directly apply to our lives and give us a super maganda halimbawa of how faith and obedience bless our lives.

There is a story that I never forget and that I have had the privelege to share while on my mission and especially these last few weeks. When John and I were little my mom used to ask us the same question EVER MORNING. It was just one question pero she never failed to remember to ask us. When we woke up or after breakfast she would ask my brother and I who we loved most in the world, siempre we replied HER, our dad and then all the family members we could think of and then God. Our answers would vary every day. Some times just her our dad and Heavenly Father. Each morning our answer was the same and each morning her answer to US was the same, and that was that we were wrong. And as a 4-5 year old the concept that I was wrong was difficult to grasp let alone the one person that was in my top 2 people I love the most was even harder to grasp lol. When she corrected us, she would remind us that we should love Heavenly Father FIRST and then HER and whoever else. Now one would think that trying to reiterate a concept that was clearly BEYOND a toddlers understanding would be pointless. We forget however that just because we can't understand certain things now, doesn't mean that we won't understand it in the future. Because my mother was diligent with one simple reminder every morning she has literally changed my life. Because the simple reminder was something that I have used in ever aspect of my life. She didn't know that this would happen, she had hope I am sure but the future wasn't revealed to her in a mysterious crystal ball. She had faith and she continued in that faith even tho she didn't KNOW FOR SURE. We must always remember brothers and sisters that through small and simple things Heavenly Father is able to perform GREAT MIRACLES even if we can't see those miracles RIGHT NOW. The beauty of this Gospel is literally unfolded to me every single day and I am so grateful every single day for the opportunity that I was given to learn these things at this time in my life. I love this Gospel and EVERYTHING it teaches me and I am grateful every single day to be brought to a place where I can receive His wisdom and receive His way.

I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry for the lack of reply on the emails. I have had no time lately pero I love you!!!
Sister Fonua

Monday, December 2, 2013


Hello po! Maganda hapon po! I'm not sick! Lol progressing! Talaga!

This week has been a really good week! I had my first baptism on Saturday! And it was so beautiful! Like I said last week 7 is only 14. His older sister is a recent convert and I have been teaching him every week since I came to this area. I honestly feel so lucky to have been here at this time to teach him and witness his baptism. It is only a small step in the grand scheme of things but one of the most important. When it was time to bear his testimony he cried the whole time! He also thanked my companion and I 3 different times and he just kept saying "salamat po, salamat po para sa lahat" which means "thank you. thank you for everything" He is seriously so inspiring! The Sunday before his baptism he brought 2 investigators to church, and we taught them the first lesson. When we saw him again on Saturday just before his baptism we were planning to teach the two girls he brought with them to church, WELL were we surprised when he told us that he had already taught them the lesson that we had planned to teach them. Even tho he is 14 yrs old he knows without a single doubt that this is the TRUE Gospel! And that the lessons that we learn in life are meant for our benefit not our suffering. He shares the Gospel ANY chance he gets, and he is already starting to prepare for a mission. He sacrifices anything he has to to go to church or live the commandments. Once we teach it to him he lives it. With out question. During his baptism I felt the Spirit SO STRONG, there were many things that were impressed upon my mind. However first and foremost was how powerful and TRUE this work is. My companion and I work hard, we spend hours planning and prayerfully seek the guidance of the Spirit on what to teach and how to teach it. Out of all the people we teach only 1 has gotten baptized but thats not how success or happiness is measured AT ALL. I am really learning that it is about how much you give of yourself and how sincerely you love the people. 

this is Seven and his sister at his baptism on Saturday
(Sister on left must be missionary companion)
In the MTC at one of our many devotionals the speaker told us this, and I have never forgotten "Pay attention while you are on your mission, because this is the most real your life will ever be." When I head that I thought it was true, and I like the way it sounded but nothing could prepare me to truly experience THOSE WORDS. Seriously I can't even begin to express how life changing being a missionary really is. And how when you lose yourself in this work, and truly devote all of your time and energy to serving others how much you learn, about yourself and just .... life. I feel for the first time in my life so much clarity and so much direction and this is the first time in my life where I have been focused more on others than myself. In Mosiah 2:17 its says "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." This scripture is simple and small but to me, it is SO powerful! I can honestly say now that I LOVE every single person we teach and that the more I serve them THE MORE I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

us with 7 at his baptism

In D&C 18:15-17 "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation." The weight of these words has become REAL to me. And in turn has helped me to be a more effective tool in the Lords hands. I labor diligently every single day, in language study, personal study, companionship study, and especially when we teach because I am happy. Its not JUST "happy" its something so far beyond that. How can I explain how fulfilling it is to see the happiness I share with others when we teach them. Or how happy they are when they receive an answer to their prayers. This happiness I feel doesn't come from anything I do for myself, it comes because I am giving of myself and with holding nothing. 

We have been teaching enduring to the end a lot this week and one thing that has really been impressed upon my mind is how essential the little things are. Like prayer, Book of Mormon reading, and church attendance and repentance. I have seen peoples lives literally change before me because they diligently do these things every day. As members of this church it is our duty to diligently seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost in all that we do so that we can be given the things we need at the exact time we need it. This simple principle isn't easy but the blessings that are given to us cannot be measured. They cover every aspect of our lives, and we literally are in God's care when we do them. 

I bear testimony to you, anyone who is reading this that this Gospel is true. That the power of faith is not something that we can comprehend and it is a gift and privilege we are given to "experiment on the words of Christ" so that we can know for ourselves if what every prophet has testified of since the beginning of time. I testify to you that this Gospel is true and that the power of God is REAL. I know with all of my heart that the "worth of souls is GREAT in the sight of God" and I hope and pray every day to be worthy of the Spirit so that I am guided and directed in all I say and do. I testify of the reality of the Atonement and how beautiful forgiveness is. For ourselves and for others. I know that God loves His children. I literally see the evidence of this in every person we teach. You are precious to Him and He gave His only begotten son to YOU so that you could live with Him again. I testify of the JOY that Heavenly Father feels when we DO WHAT IS RIGHT. He rejoices with us because He knows that we are that much closer to living in His presence once again. I love this Gospel and and grateful every day of my life that I have the truth. I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Christmas is almost here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it is as hot as ever here in the Philippines hahahaha. 

You are always in my prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sister Fonua


an investigator family we've been teaching, the whole family came to church!

this is me and whole bunch of kids in masbate when we had splits with the sisters there :)
THIS is the picture I took when we were on splits