Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Can Do This-November 10, 2013

So I'm going to be very real in this email. Missions are no joke. When people say they are hard, they really mean it. I never expected that it would be this hard. I have never felt more alone and homesick in my life, and no one truly warned me of that. I have cried multiple times, and been on the verge of tears just about every day. It's hard to adjust to a new place, new people, different struggles, and on top of all of that, to not know the language. I have been very down and thought that there was no way that I could do this for 18 months. Okay, I know that this is all very depressing and you're probably all waiting for me to come home haha, but I will not be coming home until March 2015! Although I have felt so down and alone and sad for days sometimes, I have also never felt more close to my Savior and Heavenly Father. When in times of despair, I get on my knees and ask for the strength to carry on, because I cannot do this on my own. I need His help and His spirit to carry me because I am weak. After pouring my heart out in prayer, I felt the holy ghost so strongly. He knows that I am struggling, but He has also called me here to the Philippines for a reason. There is someone waiting for me to teach them and to bring the gospel into their lives, whether it's an investigator or a less active, they need my help. I have been set apart as a servant of the Lord, and as such, I need to do my best to bring others unto Him and His true gospel. I really do know that this church is true, because missions are way too hard for it not to be. But no matter how much I struggle with the language or may feel homesick, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know, and they are here to help me. Like in D&C 84:88, I have angels round about me to bare me up. I can do this!
So family and friends, don't worry about me. I am safe and happy. The storm didn't affect my area in anyway, and I am doing the Lord's work, so he will guide and protect me always. I want you all to know that I am so thankful to be a member of this church. Even when people tell us to go away or slam doors in our faces, I can be happy because I know Heavenly Father is blessing me for my efforts.
Our area is kind of crazy because it is so big and there are so many less actives. This ward is a little strange, they keep offending people, so half the members don't come to church and don't want to come back because of the members. It's really frustrating and sad when we know that they believe in the church and we have amazing lessons, but they still don't come to church just because they were offended. DON"T BE OFFENDED! Don't let other people's actions keep you from eternal salvation. Also, the ward counsel keeps asking us why we don't have members present at lesson. Well it's a little hard to have members with us when no one texts us back to work with us. Basically, the ward is not wanting to cooperate with the missionaries, so it makes our job even harder. But I have hope and faith that we are the right missionaries for this ward to move the work along and bring people back. In fact, one less active family came back to church yesterday! We had tried to visit them  earlier in the week, and they were rude and didn't want us to teach. But then on sunday, they came to church! We taught them later that day and they said that they love us coming over and they will keep coming to church! Wow the spirit is real and Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways haha but I hope that this is the start to many more people coming back.
I know that God is watching out for me here because he has blessed me with the best trainer and there are several members here who love us so much already. There is always something to be grateful for in my days, even the hard ones. I am so happy to be here in Baguio, where the bold and the beautiful get to be assigned, or that's what the ward missionaries tell me haha. Days are long but and the work is hard but so rewarding when we can testify and know by the spirit that our efforts are not being done in vein. I am so happy to be a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. If I can bring one person back to church, I will be so happy!
Oh and don't worry about the typhoon, I was not affected and I'm safe. Pray though for those who did get hit by it. We are fasting for them in church next week. I love you all, and your prayers mean so much to me. The first 6 weeks will be the hardest, but each day gets better and better. There is no place that I would rather be than right here in Baguio!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter
Eating some delicious halo halo 

Seeing Sister Sawada and Sister Tapusoa at new missionary training, it was a happy day!

We have maraming mountains to climb, but can overcome all through christ!

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