Sunday, January 26, 2014

Missionary Life 1/26/14

Kumusta lahat!
So this week was pretty normal, just your average missionary stuff went down. I'm liking this transfer a lot though already because of the new co-senior schedule. We go out and proselyte for two hours in the morning before lunch, and it's so much easier to find people at that time! For some reason, everyone in the Philippines takes naps right at our proselyting time in the afternoon, it gets really annoying some days when we make return appointments, and the people are home but just sleeping. Maybe I should bring that tradition back with me to the US haha I could go for a daily nap!
But yeah, nothing too exciting this week, but I am really learning how to open my mouth and talk to everyone more. It really is true that the Lord places people in your path who are ready for this gospel. We have some really interested investigators right now who know that this message is true, but they just won't come to church! I think that's the most frustrating thing, but I just have to be patient, and trust in the Lord's timing. I know that no effort is wasted, and even if I'm not the one here to baptize them, at least I helped in their conversion to the gospel.
Missionary life is the best, I love that everyday I just get to go out and talk to people and bare my testimony about Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. I can't imagine myself anywhere else now, and I absolutely love Baguio! It's the best feeling to be able to know my way around a foreign city haha just makes me realize how much trust the Lord puts in teenagers to help spread His gospel.
Well, I hope that you all had a great week and continue to focus your life on the things that matter most! I love you all and continue to pray for you everyday!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter

P.S- one random story, this former investigator texted us and asked if we could buy a gift for her baby...yeah, there's a reason she was a former investigator.
My new companion, Sister Aroa from Bulacan!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Start of Something New! 1/19/14

Kumusta Pamilya at mga kaibigan!
So this past week was transfer week, it was a bitter sweet moment. Happy because I was done with my training, but sad because Sister Lazan got transferred. She's an STL in the lowlands now, and I know that she'll be great there. I was really nervous to get my new companion, but once I met her, I knew that this would be a great transfer! So my new comp is Sister Aroa from Bulakon (idk if that's how you spell it haha). She's from the Philippines near Manilla, but she knows a lot of English, so we can still communicate. She has helped so much already with my Tagalog though, so I really think that I will be better at the language by the end of this transfer! Also, my other housemate is Filipina too, and she baresly speaks english haha so we will be speaking Tagalog in the apartment which is great!
So not much happened this week since it was transfer week, but we are off to a good start with some investigators that we want to extend IBD's too and hopefully they will be baptized during this cycle. We have a lot of new rules starting this transfer for the mission, so now my P-Day will start at 12, and we have earlier curfews so that we can update the area book each night. It's taking a little adjustment to the new schedule since I'm done training, we have a lot of finding time each morning, but this will give us more motivation to find people prepared for the word and baptize. Our mission president has really emphasized the fact that we are a baptizing mission, not just here for Bible study, so I have a job to do and only a limited amount of time. Even though Baguio is really hard for baptisms (it's the comfort of south america with the success of Europe ha) but I believe in us and I know that this is the Lord's will! This truly is the time to hasten the work, that has been reiterated over and over because it needs to be done! I'm so lucky to be serving a mission at this time, and I know that this is preparing me for the rest of my life and into eternity.
So since not much happened this week, I decided that I would share some funny things that have happened to me since I've been here.
1.It's so cold in Baguio that I sleep in 3 pairs of pants and 3 shirts, and 2 socks. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I'm actually in the Philippines haha.
2.There are a lot of creepy old men here that are married to Filipinas, Everytime I see and American here, we just make this weird eye contact and I think to myself, "I know why I'm here, but why are you here??" haha yeah weird.
3. People still can't get over my hair, especially when I wear it down. They all want to touch it and say that I'm like a barbie doll haha.
4.Even though I have my Texas necklace, no one here knows what Texas looks like, until one day this little girl came out to me and asked if I was from Texas! I was so shocked that she recognized my necklace! The only reason that she knows that Texas looks like though is because she watches Spongebob hahah.
4. I have lost all of my fashion sense and I'm a firm believer in grandma sweaters and thrift store clothes, Ukay Ukays are my jam now.
5.Last story, one day at the internet shop, this old creepy white guy was talking to all of us american missionaries asking where we were from. I told him I was from Dallas, and then he went off about how murderers are from Dallas becasue JFK was assassinated there. Yeah, any white person that I see here that's not a missionary is just a little strange.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this random email this week haha I'll be more spiritual and stuff next week once we've done some more. But I love my mission, I love this area, I love my new companion, and I'm excited to hasten the work of salvation! Oh and some final shoutouts! Thanks for the letters Sister Behrmann, Duke, Sydney Wallace, and Elder Dunn! Also, I got the packages Aunt Alice and Uncle Vyrl, thanks for the candy, the Filipino's in my apartment love it haha they've never had starbursts before! And thank you Sherman seminary! I will try to get a picture of a seminary class here and write back!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerte
So, last P-day we went to some tourist sites like the Botanical Gardens and Baguio Mansion, so cool!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Meet Virginia (and Melan) 1/12/14

Kumusta pamilya at kaibigan!
I feel like I've had a lot of best weeks ever in the mission, but this truly was the best one yet because Melan and Virginia Valdez were baptized! I told ya'll a little bit about them before, but I'll go into some more detail now. So we met them because they live across from a less active that we visit a lot. We would always see Melan outside his house and just say hi, but one day we talked to him for a bit longer, and asked if we could share with his family. From the beginning, they were golden, they already knew and believed so much about the gospel and the church. It wasn't hard for them to accept any of the commitments we gave them, and once they started attending church, they knew that this was the church for them. The only problem that came us was that they weren't married yet. But even this wasn't a problem, because the Lord always provides a way. Through the help of the ward and the Bishop, we were able to plan an entire wedding reception for them, and get them married in preperation for their baptism. The whole relief society was really excited for the baptism and marriage, and what was going to be a small reception, turned into a ward event haha. It was all just so perfect that they were able to get their paperwork and everything in time for their baptismal date. But of course, right before a baptism is when the devil works the hardest, so there was a minor set back in the actual marriage because the Bishop that was supposed to marry them didn't want to becasue they were both non-members. But another tender mercy of the Lord was proven when our Bishop got one of his judge friends to marry Melan and Virginia wednesday this week. So even though it was earlier than planned, they were still able to be married before their baptism! Then this saturday was their baptism day and it was so wonderful, the spirit was strong, and they were both so excited to be baptized! I think my favorite part was seeing Melan first pump before he went into the water and Virginia yelling "determination!" as she got in the water cause it was really cold since there's no heater here haha. They are such an amazing couple and I'm so glad that I got to be the ones to teach them. I can't wait to see their family be sealed in the temple a year from now. We encouraged them to start saving now so that hopefully I'm still in the Philippines when they can go to Manilla, pray that President Balledos will let me go!
This was really such a great week though, and with our baptism and their wedding, it made me really think about how much this gospel does bless families. I'm so grateful for temples and the covenants that we make there that enable us to have eternal families. This gospel really is all that's important in life, and I know that as we put Christ center to our lives, everything else will fall into place. I really miss going to the temple, Mom and Brigham, so go to the temple as often as you can and always be worthy of your temple recommends. I'm learning so much here on my mission, especially what's most important to me. I want to encourage all of you to read the scriptures, the Book of Mormon, Bible and Doctrine and Covenants and general conference talks. I wish that I could study for like 4 hours a day, one hour of personal study is just not enough! Also, now really is the time to hasten the Lord's work. We have the gospel in our lives, and we need to share the happiness that it brings to us with everyone. Now being a missionary, I am realizing how truly hard it is to find people on my own. It's possible, but there really is a better way. If you want to make a missionaries day, feed them, and then refer someone to them. I promise that you will automatically become their favorite person. This work is hard, but it can be easier if missionaries and members really do work together.
I love you all and I'm so grateful to be here in the Philippines. I think this week was a real turning point for me where I thought about my life here more than I thought about life before the mission. I really am losing myself in the work, and I love it so much. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't take this call to serve, I have been blessed in so many ways and I know that my biggest convert will be myself.
I love you all, and thanks for your prayers!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
Melan and Virginia at their wedding and baptism 

Melan and Virginia at their wedding and baptism

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!-1/5/14

Kumusta pamilya at kaibigam lahat!
Wow, this week went by super fast! I can already tell that time will fly after my 12 Weeks training! But I'm getting pretty excited for this next transfer, I need some change haha but life is great right now!
The beginning of the week was kind of slow because of New Years. Filipinos go hard on new years, even more than for Christmas haha. So we had a ton of dinner appointments at the beginning of the week, and then curfews at 7. On the 31st, there were already fireworks going off at about 10 PM, and Sister Lazan warned me that it would be worse at midnight. She was definitely right! At 12 exactly, it sounded like world war 3 was happening outside, I was slightly scared for my life, especially when I could smell smoke and a firecracker hit our roof and it sounded like explosions in our house haha. But all was well,and luckily I sleep like a rock, so I could go back to sleep. And it was way funny to see all the remnants of the fireworks the next day all throughout the city. Maybe next year I'll look out my window to see what's really happening out there.
But after new years, the rest of the week flew by becasue Sister Lazan went down to San Fernando for some leadership training for three days. I'm pretty positive that she will be an STL after she trains me, she's so good! But while she was gone, I was in a trisome with Sister Bircher and Sister Sidwell. I was pretty nervous because the three of us are Americans, and me and Sister Sidwell have only been here for 10 weeks, and Sister Bircher is just 12 weeks ahead of us. But those three days were so fun! I realized that I actually know a lot more Tagalog than I gave myself credit for, and the gift of tongues is real! Especially on the day when Sister Sidwell and I were companions cause Sister Bircher had a trainers training. Throughout the entire day, we spoke Tagalog in all of the lessons, and even understood what people were saying back to us! It was amazing and definitely gave me faith that I will be able to speak Tagalog before I end my mission. The Lord will not let me fail, and I'll learn the language in His time and when I need it. God is good, always!
So this week has been super great, and what made it even better was our two investigators passed their baptismal interview, so this saturday, we will have a wedding and a baptism! Their names are Melan and Virginia Valdez, and they are seriously one of the golden people that everyone told me about. Me and Sister Lazan found them within my first few weeks of being in the field, and it was a little hard to get them to attend church at first, but once they started coming, they knew it was the church for them. Sometimes I swear they teach us the lessons, they just totally accept and understand everything about the gospel, and they're so excited to be baptized and be sealed in the temple a year from now! I really hope that I can be there for their sealing, and I know that they will remain strong members.I know that I was supposed to be in Baguio mission for their family, I love them so much, and that's really what missionary work is all about. Loving the people and seeing how the gospel blesses their lives!
I love my mission so much, everyday gets better and better, even when I have some down moments, it's always happy at the end of the day becasue I'm on the Lord's errand. There is really so much to be thankful for everyday, and I know that this is where I'm supposed to be!
Dad, I got your Christmas package haha thanks so much! And thanks for the letter Grandma! I also want to say happy birthday to Elder White, JQ, and Sister Sawada, I hope that ya'll had a great birthday!
Thanks for your love and prayers everyone, it reminds me why I'm here!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
Me and the cutest little banana!
FHE with the Milanes family
Lunch at the Pablo's house

Sister Bircher, Sister Sidwell, and me wearing our clothes Mommy Bennet gave us