Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Wedding, a Baptism, and a Funeral 4/27/14

Hello po sa inyong lahat!
Wow, this was an eventful week here in Agoo! First, I want to apologive for my boring emails, I wrote down a lot of stuff that happened this week so that I could tell ya'll some more interesting things about my life here as a missioary in the Philippines. So first, I'll start with some random or funny things that happened in the week, and then get to the spiritual stuff, because that's what's most important. Anyways, this is how my week went.
1.I got dangerously close to being bit by a dog. I think my heart stopped for about 10 seconds, but no worries, the demon beast just got my skirt, no skin!
2.I look like Mariah Carey daw (they said)
3.It started POURING out of no where the other day, and we made an appointment with someone, so we walked clear across our area in the rain with our umbrellas while it was thundering and lightening. I was pretty afraid that we might get struck by lightening, and no trykes were out, so we just had to walk. Once we got to the person's house we were planning to teach, they had no electricity -_- so we just made a return appointment, but he appreciated our dedication. Anything for a lesson right?
4.The Relief Society President's daughter got married this week, and they wanted the missionaries to help set up, and invited us to eat at the reception. So this was my second wedding on the mission. The reception was fun, and I got to try goat, not really a fan, but yay for trying new things!
5.So the best part of this week, the Gaerlan Family got baptized!! They are really such an amazing couple and they have firm testimonies that this is the true church. As you know, when there's a baptism, there are trials, and it wasn't any different for their family. A few days before the baptism, Sister Gaerlan's brother died. We went over to give them some comfort, and they were both excited and wanting to push on with the baptism even if all the funeral services were at their house. In the Philippines, funerals are a little different. They last for about 7-9 days and the casket is in your house, open with glass over the top so you can see the body. On Sunday night, we held a service for them where we had someone talk about the plan of salvation, and then sang a lot of church hymns. So there's a lot going on for their family, but they are so happy to be members of this true church!
So that was the highlights of this week. On a more spiritual note, I've been thinking a lot about the Savior and His love for us this week. It's been a little hard for me to adjust to a totally new area since I was in my last one for 6 months. I knew everything there, and to come to a new place where I don't know the people at all, and even some people speak Ilokacano, it took a little bit of adjusting again. But each time that I feel like this on my mission, I turn to the Lord through prayer, I listen to conference talks (my favorite is Uchkdorf, especially his talk "You Matter to Him") and feel the power of the Atonement in my life again, reminding me that I do matter, and He knows my struggles. That's something that I continue to learn on my mission, the true power of the Atonement and what it means to have a Savior. He suffered it all, so that we wouldn't have to suffer alone. I'm thanful for the true gospel in my life, I'm thankful for my family, and I'm thankful to be a missionary of Christ's church. I know that this is where I'm supposed to be, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
I love you all, thanks for the emails and prayers, and shout outs to Mom and Brent, I got your letters, thanks so much!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter
This little kid was wearing a Dallas jersey, I had to take a pic!

The Branch President's dog was just too cute

Me and Sister Hatch!

One of the streets in our area

National Day of Service! 

The Gaerlan's baptism

Agoo Zone

Scriptures of the week: Moses 1:39, Mosiah 2:25, 3 Nephi 9:14&22

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hot, Hot, Hot! 4/21/14

Kumusta everyone!
This email might be short cause I don't have much time and my brain is running a mile a minute, but it was a good week. This was probably the hottest I've ever been on my mission, and just when I think it can't get any hotter, it does! We spent many days this week walking in the heat of the sun, so I have some pretty nice tan lines at this point, I'll try to send some pictures next week. But despite the heat, the work moves on here! Since I've gotten here, we have been preparing a family to be baptized this upcoming Saturday. They're really awesome and the Book of Mormon has changed their lives. It's amazing to see their strong testimony, and the wife always says that she knows this is the true church. I'm really glad that I got the chance to meet them now, even if I wasn't the missionary to teach them, helping them to maintain their testimony is just as important to me.
So since I'm new here, I'm still trying to just figure everything out, but I already really like this branch. Lots of members are wanting to work with us, and I'm hoping that we can get some referrals from people this week in preparation for May. Next month, the mission is trying to get 100 baptisms, so it would be really great if I could add to the count. So far, we have no investigators...but that's all going to change this week, I have hope still! I know that God will place someone in our path who is truly ready, I just need to be worthy to find them.
Sorry, I don't have much to say this week, but I'll try to be better next week! Shout outs to Manmie Cherie, happy birthday! I sent you a card, so hopefully you should be getting it soon, I love you! I hope everyone has a great week, keep praying for those opportunities to share the gospel because this church is true!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter
They eat a lot of unripened mangos, they are the best!

pics of some nice seafood that people gave us

All  my clothes that I washed BY HAND, still feeling pretty proud about that :)

All my clothes that I washed BY HAND, still feeling pretty proud about that:)
We keep getting fresh food from the members here!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Agoo 3A! 4/14/14

Kumusta family and friends!
Wow so I am currently sitting here in a computer shop in my first new area! To give you a clue, sweat is dripping down my face as I type this, so yes, I finally got called to the lowlands! It's a little too bad I had to leave the summer capital of the Philippines in the peak of summer haha but despite the heat, I love it here so much already! My new area is in a small branch in Agoo. My companion is Sister Hatch from Alberta, Canada, so this is both of our first times to be with foreigners as companions. She's just six weeks behind me, but it super magaling (expert) we're going to have fun for sure! I miss the people in my last area, but I'm really excited to be here and I already love the branch members and even all the people that I've met here so far. I feel like I finally started my real mission in the Philippines haha this is how I expected it, hot, sweaty, and with the nicest people! And, I've already had some really memorable moments here in just my first few days. 1.When you're two white girls walking around in a little town in the Philippines with giant yellow umbrellas (this is a new rule because of the heat), sometimes people tell you that they've always wanted to marry an American haha yep not going back to that potential investigator again! Also, I'm getting to ride in tricycles for the first time and they're so fun, but really hard to get in and out of. Also, I've never had to carry around a handkerchief to wipe the sweat off of my face before, and I'm realizing the beauty of using baby powder, that's a life saver! Lot's of historical moments here on the mission!
But on a more spiritual note, I hope that ya'll got to watch general conference last week. We're a week behind here in the Pines, but I was so excited to finally get to watch it, and all the talks were amazing. You can bet I noticed the constant use of Helaman 5:12 during the Saturday session (favorite scripture for the win!). Some of my favorites though were President Uchtdorf's about gratitude, and Elder Bednar's about spiritual traction and the need of burdens or "loads". I'm so grateful for this counsel and I know that it's exactly what I needed to hear. Something that I'm learning more than ever on my mission is how to be truly grateful, especially in times of down. I've had a lot of really humbling experiences, and I continue to be humbled everyday. I know that this is something that I need to work on, and I'm grateful to be here learning how to develop Christlike attributes and be uplifted from the amazing testimonies of those that we teach. I hope that you all will read and apply these conference talks to your lives. I know that modern revelation is true and necessary for us to progress, and I'm so grateful to be a part of a church with a true and living prophet. We really are so blessed by the power of the priesthood and our living prophet and apostles.
This has been a really great week, and I'm excited to get working hard here in my new area in preperation for our goal of 100 baptisms in May! Shout outs to Sara, Shanoah, and Sami for the letters, and Mom and Dad for the packages!! I love you all and have a great week!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter
FHE Velasco family in Baguio

Our investigators Korrin and Daudin in Baguio

Just wanted to show how I'm a beast at jumping pictures

My new batch mates and MTC district friends on transfer day, S. Tapusoa and S. Sawada

My new companion S. Hatch

The sisters in Agoo 3A branch (me and S. Sidwell are still housemates!)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I love Baguio! 4/6/14

Kumusta sa inyong lahat!
Well this was another great and normal week of missionary work! I feel bad because by the time I actually sit down to email, I feel like I forget everything that's happened during the week, but I'll try to give you the highlights.
So this past week went by super fast I feel like, and now transfer day is Thursday. I have a pretty good feeling I'll be transferred since I've been here for six months, and I know that I will miss this area so much. I had to hold back tears all Sunday as I looked at the members who have literally become like family to me. I've learned and grown so much here and even though I've had some hard times, I realize why people love their first area the most. But nothing is set in stone, so I'll find out tomorrow if I'm really leaving or not. If I do get transferred, I'll probably go to the lowlands in the heat of the summer. I'll miss the nice cool and un-humid weather in Baguio for sure!
As for missionary work, this week was a lot of finding. Sadly, we dropped like all of our investigators this week because they really weren't progressing. It's true though that we only have a short amount of time here to serve, so we really need to focus on those who are prepared and willing to make the necessary commitments to accept this gospel into their lives. Sometimes as a missionary, I feel like I'm a parent of these investigators. Even though they are normally a lot older than me, everything I'm teaching them is brand new. I watch their excitement as they learn about a new commandment or principle of the gospel, and I feel disappointed when they choose not to follow or let it bless their lives. I imagine how frustrated my parents must feel every time they tell me to do something because they know it's best for me, and I don't do it. Sorry Mom and Dad, I should have listened to you more! But then, how much more does our Heavenly Father feel when we don't follow His commandments or accept His gospel.He has this amazing plan set forth for us, and we have to do is listen to His promptings and be obedient. I know it's easier said than done, but I think what I'm learning the most on my mission is that the better way to live life is just by simply following the commandments. You'll avoid a lot of heartache, and when trials do come, as they always do, you'll be better prepared to handle the situation, and you won't lose hope. Those are the blessings of Christ's gospel! Every question in life can be answered through the scriptures and prayer, I can testify that this is true!
I love this gospel and all the blessings that I receive and see others receive from it! I hope you all enjoyed conference, I can't wait to watch it this weekend, we are so blessed to hear the words of our living prophet. I also was able to watch Woman's Conference this past week, and I loved the words of President Eyring that the path of life is marked with covenants. I am so grateful for the covenants that I have made with the Lord, and I pray that I may continue to help people make and keep their baptismal covenants, and stay on the path to the temple as well. But the best part of the conference was when Sister Burton talked about a young girl in the Philippines, and guess who that young girl was...MY COMPANION!!! I'm not sure if you remember me telling ya'll about how Sister Burton and Sister McKonkie came to Baguio, but they when to church in my ward, and during relief society, we just shared personal experience about how the gospel has strengthened us. So that was my companions story that Sister Burton shared in the woman's meeting. I have a really amazing companion as you can tell, she's the only active member in her family, and went to church all by herself since she was a little girl. The people here amaze me every single day!
Well, I'm out of time, but some final birthday shout outs to Robin, Jaycee, and Marilyn, hope ya'll had a great day! And thanks for the letters Sara, Brooklyn, Mary Claire, and Elder Judd and the postcard Shanoah, I'll be writing ya'll back soon! And Tami Minnick for the package, you're the best!
Ok, I love and pray for you all, hope you have a great week!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
Me eating a real life hamburger that some members made, omg the best!

The missionaries in Burnham 1

S. Sidwell made us Mac & Cheese! It's the little things! (also check out my amazing companion in the back haha)

My batch mates Baguio and La Trinidad Zone

Burnham 1 Missionaries 

Burnham 1 Missionaries 

My amazing companion S. Aroa and me 

One of my favorite members, Mommy Bennett, she cooks for us every Sunday and it's the best food ever! (she is the reason I am getting fat ha)