Thursday, January 30, 2014

What's Up!!!!!!!!

we got fresh coconut after one of our teaching appointments on sunday :)

Hello my beautiful family and friends! How are you? How has your week been? Gosh seriously I know I say this a lot but I am so sorry that I haven't been able to respond to most of the emails you've sent me! I'm a terrible person I know hahaha! This week has been AWESOME. Lol I've laughed so much! The exchanges with Sister Phillips on Wednesday were SO funny! We worked so hard! We went out at about noon and stayed out until almost 8PM that evening and only because we had to finish our studies. It was crazy cause since we both hate tricycles cause they're too small for us! So we walked EVERY WHERE lol. It was really nice tho because we got to see and talk to so many people. 

We met an  old man from Perth, Australia (he was visiting his future wife here ....) I happened to have a Restoration pamphlet in English so we talked to him for a while and he told us about his first wife etc etc hahahaha when we finally gave him the pamphlet he firmly rejected us but took the pamphlet hahahaha. It was so strange trying to explain the pamphlet in English, lol we both struggled and kept looking at each other like "what is happening right now?!" Ahhh my english is becoming so fresh, its really funny lol! In that same day we climbed through a cemetery to get to one of our appointments (they are part member family we just started teaching) I almost died laughing as we were jumping and climbing because she was freaking out LOL! Working hard and literally being out all day felt really good and was super rewarding! I learned so much! Gosh every time I have to be the temporary senior I learn a lot! Its such a huge blessing for me and such a huge humbling experience for me. My willingness to serve and my willingness to do hard things and especially the people that we teach every day are literally changing my life. Through this service and through them I am able to learn and grow so much it honestly brings me to tears. Never before in my life have I felt like this before and never before in my life has the welfare and others taken precedence over everything else. It truly is so rewarding when you serve others because you literally are in the service of God. 

There is a less active couple that we teach, and the wife shared this experience with my companion and I. So her husband and her literally live day to day. They live in a shack. Literally a shack. It is one room with a smaller room where they sleep. They have 3 kids and the only reason they weren't coming to church before was because her husband didn't have appropriate church clothes and he was really embarrassed. When we teach them in the evening the only source of light that they have is a few candles that are placed strategically to provide as much light as possible. Well a couple weeks ago the husband was sick and he couldn't work for a day and because of this the family literally had no food. The two younger ones were crying all day but the parents couldn't do anything for them because they didn't have 2 pesos to rub together. In the afternoon sometime while the kids were crying their eyes out for food because they had had none so far that day, the wife sat down on the ground (they don't have chairs) and said a prayer. She literally pleaded with the Lord that He would provide food some how for her family and literally about 20 mins later one of their neighbors came knocking with 2 huge plates of spaghetti and bread. This experience was so incredibly powerful to me. It made me see even more that our God truly IS a God of miracles and when you put your trust in Him, He will give you anything and everything you stand in need of. I am seeing small miracles happen in our branch as we speak! Since I have been here I have seen the attendance in sacrament meeting increase dramatically and steadily every week. We (my companion and I and sister reategui and her comp because we serve in the same branch) have more less active members coming to church and there have been able to commit and baptize a healthy amount of pepole. I am so grateful that I have been here to see this! When you strengthen your relationship with God you are not the only one that is blessed. Your example and faith affect the lives of those you love and those around you. Yesterday when we went to ourSunday appointments we had so many members present! Lol we were also able to get a couple new investigators! I love the people here so much! 

This Gospel is so powerful brothers and sisters. I know and feel the things that we teach so strongly in my heart I hope with everything in me that the people we teach can feel it too. In Ether 12:27 it 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." Wow I have really seen these words come alive for me on my mission. It is so beautiful what is promised here and first and foremost SO TRUE. I have been blessed to see my imperfections and short comings every day that I serve and because of it I have been given a way to correct them and through this Heavenly Father has helped me BECOME MORE. I know and testify that when you humble yourself, and when you put the Lord first He will show you things you never thought were possible. This work and this Gospel are so rewarding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am grateful to be apart of the missionary work that is happening all over the world!

I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you again next week :)

Sister fonua

Thursday, January 23, 2014

AH SIGE! (Oh Whatever!)

this is the family we baptised. Sister Salve and her son :) her second son is getting baptized on Feb 8 2014 and we just started teaching her husband! :)

the second picture is of us @ sister salves house after the baptism. we had fhe there in celebration of her youngest sons birthday, which was the day they were baptized :D 

Lol the subject line for all of my emails is SO lame. Its whatever tho. I don't have time to think of something better! Lol OKAY so this week SERIOUSLY WAS eventful! SO much happened! Lol the week literally just FLEW by. Its crazy to think that by the end of this transfer I will already have been on my mission for 6 months. And in addition to this this transfer so far as I am entering my 4th week has been so incredibly fruitful its shocking. I can testify to you right now with all the energy of my heart that when you have companionship unity Heavenly Father will literally pour out His blessings upon you.

 I am so sorry that this email is so short! Lol we had 2 baptisms this past saturday. Sorry I forgot to tell you! I seriously have not time this week! NEXT week tho! I promise!

I love you all so much! And the joy and happiness you feel when serving is unlike ANY other feeling you have experience. It is fulfilling in a way that nothing else can be. I love my Father in Heaven and I am grateful more and more every day for the sacred opportunity serving a mission has given me. 

Love you! 
Sister Fonua

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hello po!

Well this week has been eventful! Seriously! Hahaha okay well seriously every week is eventful pero I can't help but say whats true! Every single week here I learn something new and every day is different. I go to sleep and wake up expecting to experience something new and most times I am not disappointed. Because of this every week there is so much that I want to tell you all pero there isn't even close being enough time. I often walk away feeling like I should have said this or shared that ... I hope you like the tiny bit that I am able to share! Lol it is so difficult to sift through everything and finally decide one or two things. Hence why I am never satisfied with what I am able to share every week, PERO ayoslang iyan! Lol at least I can still talk to you all!

Anyways lets see so this week I will start with ... The exchanges that I had with Sister Phillips!  Lol okay so seriously I never got nervous or anxious about any of it! And that day we were scheduled to teach an investigator of ours that we had only taught once so .... yeah despite all of that I still wasn't nervous or scared. And honestly I have no idea why! Hahaha with everything else I always felt like a scared little kitten ready to run and hide in a corner if something went wrong pero on that day I felt none of that! Seriously! It was weird! But sobrang rewarding! WOW! I learned a little bit about being a senior and LET ME TELL YOU! It aint easy! (Lol I still do hope to be a junior for as long as possible!) Lol being and FEELING responsible for everything was new. I am used to following my little senior around, and just letting her kind of take the lead. I just have to make sure that I'm always prepared. And that's really it hahaha. Pero on Tuesday when I had those exchanges the questions that I usually ask her, Sister Phillips was asking ME. I was in charge of when we had study and when we went out and for how long we stayed out. I lead the planning and well EVERY THING. Lol I should have been scared but I just wasn't. When we went to our morning appointments, they were all less active members and it was literally just us two lol. So this really put both of us in a position to rely on the Spirit to help us understand and also to give us the things that we needed to invite the spirit into our lessons. To our utter astonishment this is exactly what happened! Honestly at the end of the day when we were able to reflect and evaluate we realized that we felt the spirit STRONGLY in every single appointment that we had. Now please don't for a second think that my temporary companion and I were speaking fluently all day, because we WEREN'T. Lol we really weren't. I still made a lot of mistakes and so did she,through all of this tho we knew with out a doubt that the Spirit was THERE and it was strong and because of this it testified of every thing that we taught, especially when we bore our testimonies. 
In D&C 25:2-4 it says, "A revelation I give unto youconcerning my will;and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion. Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called. Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come." Now these versus are revelation given to Emma Smith. I love this chapter because the words are for all of us. As are ALL the words in the scriptures but these especially FOR US. Verse two and four are my favorite. And I am sharing this scripture because I literally felt the wisdom of this on my exchanges. Especially in verse 4, when it says "murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen." Seriously on my mission this is SO true!!!!!! There is a lot that goes on here in my area, and especially at home with my family that I just DO NOT understand. Sometimes it can be very frustrating and very discouraging because always, I want to help but most time I just can't. Whether it be because of my geographic location OR because its bawal for whatever reason these things happen. I have been challenged quite a bit but you know what I have come to REALLY understand? Its that in life we grow and progress the most when we are being challenged. It goes back to the principle of humility, with out this Christ like attribute we will never be able to receive from Heavenly Father the things and blessings that we so desperately deserve in this life. Just like humility in order for us to grow in grace and wisdom we have to understand how to trust Him. And how to just let go of all the worry and fear that we experience on a daily basis. 

I know its not easy. Trust me. I know haha. Pero at the same time I am seeing just HOW rewarding it is when you do. Even just the tiniest bit. That's why it is SO important to SHARE the Gospel In WHAT EVER capacity or form you can. We MUST do this.This one principle alone motivates me more and more ever day. It helps me open my mouth and just speak. To anybody, anywhere. And it is simply because I want other people to feel the joy and peace that I have felt from this Gospel. I also want other peoples lives to be blessed from knowing and truly FEELING the truth. I know and understand how important this is, more than ever before in my life and it has caused me to work more passionately every day because its not for me. It is for the people. In my area and just in general. We all came to earth with the expectation that we would return to Heavenly Father. I know this. And because of it I want to make sure that ALL of God's children have a chance to hear this Gospel. I know that I personally am not going to minister to every living soul in my area so that this can happen, pero I do know that I can continually strive every day to be a more effective tool in HIS hands so that I can help his children, all those precious precious souls bring to pass MUCH righteousness. 

This work and this Gospel incite feelings and desires that I feel to the very core of my soul and because of it I cannot and will never be able to deny what I KNOW to be true. No matter what happens, I will never deny or forsake my God. Simply because through my experiences so far I have come to know of His goodness and His mercy and what is MOST important to me at the end of every day is that I continue to grow closer to Him and that I continue to come closer to the person that He sees that I am. NOT the person I think I am or I think I should become but who He wants me to be and who He requires me to be. I fall short for sure almost every time but what I have learned is that my mere honest effort has taken me farther than I EVER thought I could go. And I know its because through my efforts He is able to lift me up and literally give me everything I stand in need of. These blessings are spiritual and temporal and they reach into the eternities. 

I hope you all had a good week! I love you! And I am so so grateful for the sacred opportunity I have been given to serve a mission. I love you all! And pray for your safety and health!

Love you! See you again next week!
Sister Fonua :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Magadang Hapon Po!!!

Ay BADAW! It has been raining EVERY single day for like the past 2 weeks! Lol it definitely sucks on P-Day kase if the sun isn't out then my clothes take like 2-3 days to dry all the way .... most times more. Lol by the time they dry sometimes I have to wash everything again. It's whatever tho!
Okay so I got a full body rash once I finally got over that whole chikungunya thing. They finally went away a couple of days ago. And in addition to this I got ........ LICE! Yeah I knew it was only a matter of time. I seriously hug so many people, especially after lessons with a lot of our older investigators. Also all the little kids are always jumping on me, or hugging me hahaha I'm surprised its taken this long. So many of them are from really humble circumstances tho, and when I say humble I mean they are really poor. So ..... yeah its okay I have the shampoo and I will comb all the little suckers out tomorrow. Lol I also cleaning all my clothes and bedsheets so its okay. I'm going to put my sheets in a plastic bag once they're dry and let them sit in the sun. Since we literally don't have dryers anywhere thats the next best thing hahaha. I consider these experiences as blessings. Seriously where else would I get to do all this stuff?
Also my companion and I finally reached the standard of excellence for lessons taught in one week! So at the beginning of the last transfer the standard of excellence was raised significantly. Our goal each week is to reach 35 lessons (15 member present lessons and 15 recent convert or less active member lessons and 5 other lessons taught)  to investigators and recent converts or less active members. My companion and I were close many times last transfer pero we weren't able to get there, but we did this past week! And it feels so good! Finally haha! I was pondering that this last night and during the day today and it truly is a miracle! We also got 5 new investigators and a few of them are really special! I am excited to see their progression! One of them his name is Joric, we taught him on Saturday night the first lesson and invited him to Church. He was a result of OYM and we were originally going to teach his mom but she kind of offloaded us onto her son hahaha it was really sweet tho. When we gave her the pamphlet and gave her a little background she immediately pointed to her son (Joric he's 19 yrs old) and repeatedly told us that he was a really good boy. SO we set a return appointment. After the first lesson and our invitation to him to come to church we coordinated with one of the young men in our ward to pick him up for church. Yesterday we dropped by his house to remind him about church and he was still sleeping hahaha and there was like 30 mins left until church started. Well he said he would go and about 20 mins after church started he came! He stayed for all 3 hours and even participated in Gospel Principles! It was so awesome. Later that day we texted him and asked him how he felt about attending church. He told us that he felt really happy the whole time and that he didn't feel bored at all. We were so happy to hear this! And in the next text he sent us he told us that he wanted to know more about the Mormons and he asked us to teach him the next day! Today! Lol we rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon so I am excited and a little scared lol. If you are wondering why I am scared I will tell you! So another sister in our district was made STL this transfer pero she's training right now .... the whole situation is a bit strange to be honest because we have 2 STL's in our zone but they aren't companions. So whenever they have to go on exchanges we will go on splits. They will be companions and I will be companions WITH THE TRAINEE. Her name is Sister Phillips and she's from Washington. Lol tomorrow is MLC and Sister Papica and Sister Eracho are going to Legazpi while Sister Phillips and I stay here in Bulan and work in both of our areas for the day. Lol I should be more nervous about these exchanges because I literally JUST finished my training, and she is STILL training and we’re both Americans hahaha. SO yeah say a little prayer for us! Lol we will need it. But like I said I have no idea why but I am just not that nervous about tomorrow. I’m actually a little excited because I know that I am going to learn A LOT and that thought over rides any fear that I have about failing. Because I still can’t understand very well and because I am a transfer ahead I am the temporary senior companion …. It’s okay tho! Pananadmpalataya! Oh and also we have another baptism this week! She is from a less active family pero since we've been teaching her, her family has been slowly coming back to church. They are really happy that she is getting baptized :)
I am grateful for the growing experiences that Heavenly Father continues to give me. Talaga. Heavenly Father is slowly helping me become better and slowly helping me trust Him. These things aren't given freely, they require work and sacrifice. Often times when we are praying for specific blessings we have to suffer and we have to experience pain and sorrow, whether it be physical or emotional these sacrifices are required. I have seen this for myself and for the investigators that we teach. What I know tho, with every fiber in my being is that the blessings that we are given, once our sacrifice and suffering is over are sweeter and more beautiful than anything we asked for and its ALWAYS more than we imagined. In 3 Nephi 13:33-34 it says "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof." I know that these things are true. Often times when we are being tried we have to it one day at a time. Our prayers become simple, and our want's and desires become minimal. That's okay. In Alma 32 it talks about humility. And that often times we have to be compelled to be humbled. This process is natural and essential for our eternal and spiritual growth. Jesus Christ is central to everything that we teach because from Him we can draw strength and through our faith in Him we can become MORE. More than we ever thought possible and more than we ever knew we could be. In our times of need lean on Heavenly Father. It is the greatest gift from God when He teaches us how to lean on Him. And to remember him when we are experience great sorrow and pain. I know this Gospel is true and the happiness and joy that it brings is unlike anything that I have ever felt in my life. I love my area and every single person that we teach!

I love my family and I am grateful for the opportunity I have to communicate with you every week! I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Be safe and stay healthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are always in my prayers! 

I love you always!

Sister Fonua :)