Sunday, May 25, 2014

Meet my Anak! 5/25/14

Kumusta sa inyong lahat!
Wow this has been the craziest week yet! It all started normal in the beginning, just your average missionary work, did a nice little CSP painting at an elementary school, and getting ready for transfer day when on Wednesday, I get a call from President asking me to train a brand new missionary!! I was feeling a lot of emotions in that moment, at first super excited, and then really scared, and then stressed all at once. I feel like I'm still too young on the mission to be training, there's so much that I still need to learn and improve on, but I know that I will grow a lot during this experience. So I'm excited (but still nervous) for this new step in my mission, and my trainee or anak in Tagalog is the best! Her name is Sister Panganiban, yeah we struggle to say each other's names, and she's a Filipina from Quezon City Province! She's older than me, but i'm taller than her haha and she's the sweetest and most humble person, she's already teaching me so much and I know that these next two transfers will be a lot about me humbling myself and developing patience as I do my best to teach a new missionary what it's like to be in the field. Even though it can be a little stressful at times, it's so nice to be with someone who's so excited about every little thing. She really has the missionary spirit that I feel like all of us kind of lose the longer we are here and you start to fall into a routine. At the end of the day, we discuss what went good in our lessons, and it's so humbling for me to hear how excited she gets over just the little impressions of the spirit, and seeing someone come to church. Missionary work is really the most rewarding feeling when you can see these people living the gospel!I'm excited to see what the next few weeks will bring. I know that Sister Panganiban and I have the faith and power to see miracles here in our area if we do our best and remain obedient.
Happy birthday shout out to Lindy, hope you and the kids are doing well! And thanks Grandma for the letter, love you!
I hope everyone has a great week, and continue to share this great gospel!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter
We went to the beach last P-day!

We went to the beach last P-day!

We went to the beach last P-day!

We went to the beach last P-day!

We went to the beach last P-day!

Giant eagle in my area

My anak Sister Panganiban!

My mission family (my trainer Sister Lazan)
Sister Sidwell is training too, our missions have been the same ha

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hindi Natutulog ng Dios 5/19/14

Kumusta everyone!
Ok, I feel like a lot happened this week, so I'll just start with some random things that have been going on in my everyday life here in Agoo.
1. I'm pretty sure this was the hottest week of the summer yet! I feel like I say that every week, but this week got up into the 100's for a couple of days, and when you don't have A/C that's like insanely hot. So for all of you back home, just do me a favor and go hug your A/C unit, be grateful for that thing!
2. We got this really awesome investigator this past week, and she even came to church after only the second time we taught her! Usually getting people to church is like pulling teeth, so this was a big deal. When we taught her more this week, she said that normally she doesn't entertain any missionaries, and even the first time we just tried to talk to her, she didn't have any intentions of listening. But the more we saw her and just talked, she felt like she should listen to us. After that experience, I know that this is the work of the Lord, run by the spirit, nothing that I do on my own.\
3. We have this awesome recent convert family that are like the strongest people I've ever met. They have such strong testimonies, and they want everyone to be members! We're working with their son right now, but he has work on sundays, and his boss won't let him go to church (rude) so pray that he can find a way to work and still be baptized! We have a date for him at the end of June.
4. We had interviews with President Balledoes this week, and I've decided that I have the nicest and most inspirational mission president. I'm sure everyone feels that way, but really, he's the best man ever. He talked to me a lot about finding new investigators, and related it all to tennis :). So this next transfer, I'm going to try and do my best to find those people who the Lord is preparing for me, and hopefully, I can be a little bit more like President Balledos too, he really is the best.
5. Our branch got realigned, so that awesome investigator I was talking about, yeah she's not in our area anymore :( but it's ok, this change is a good thing, and hopefully the goal is to become wards by next year. We just need some strong Priesthood, that that's going to be our focus now, baptizing some worthy men with priesthood potential.
 6. Just cause you need some randoms, it's mango season, and I'm pretty sure we have about 10 kilos of mango's at our apartment right now, everyone just keeps giving them away! And yesterday at church, this man came and interrrupted my conversation to tell me that my hair was beautiful. That happens a lot, but then he proceeded to tell me that I should cut it off and give it to him so that he can wash it.....yeah only in the Philippines!

Sorry for this extremely long email, but I just want you all to know too that I'm learning and growing so much each day. I'm so grateful for the wonderful people that I get to serve, I'm truly learning more from them than they are from me. I'm so grateful for the changes the gospel can make in people's lives, and I know that this is the Lord's true church. Sometimes, I feel like we can be a little like the children of Israel, and complain and murmer when any little thing goes wrong. But, always remember that there is so much more to be grateful for than we realize, and God really does bless us more than we sometimes deserve.
I love you all, and thanks for the letters Sara, Sister Behrmann, Lexie, and Penn-White!!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
Me and Sister Hatch, she will probably be transferred this week 

The cutest baby ever!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day! 5/11/14

Kumusta pamilya at mga kaibigan!
I hope all of you mother's had a great Mother's Day! Mom I loved getting to talk to you, even if it was just for 30 minutes, and I want to let you know how much I love you! I'm so immensely grateful for all that you have done for me and taught me throughout my life. I know that I wouldn't be the person that I am if it wasn't for you and your example to me. I tell all of my companions and house mates about you, and they all agree that you are the most amazing and strongest woman ever. If I can be half the person that you are, I would satisfied with life. There really aren't even words enough for me to tell you how much a truly appreciate all that you have done for me. Each day on my mission I realize the sacrifices that you have made in your life so that I can be living this gospel and have the testimony to share it with others. So maraming maraming salamat talaga mom, you're the best mom ever!!
I had some really good experiences this week as well. I decided that I was going to do everything in my power to love these people more and really get to know them. Wow, I should have done that week one, because I can now say that I love the people that I teach here in my new area! They all have such amazing backgrounds, and I respect these converts so much. To hear about where they were before they were a member and see how they are now is truly amazing to me. Just goes to show that you can't give up on anyone, and for those of us like myself who grew up in the gospel should never take it for granted. It's the best feeling though to see a recent convert bare their testimony about the power of the Book of Mormon, when they only just started reading it a few months ago, and to have a less active remind you of the true power of prayer, how despite all the millions of people in the world, God really listens to each of our simple prayers.
I want you all to know that I love missionary work, it really is the best decision that I made in my life to go out and serve the Lord. It's turning me into a better person and true disciple of Christ.
Shout outs to Sister Behrmann, Elder Dunn, Elder Kendall, and Bishop Sybrowsky for the letters! And Happy Birthday Day Hermana Minnick, Elder Packard, and Sister Aroa, hope ya'll had the best days ever! And again Mom, I got 5 packages from you this week, you get Mom of the year award :)
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter

Update from my last area in Baguio:
Sister Vinoya, a less active, is totally returned, got endowed in the temple, and is now the 2nd counselor in the young womens! Probably the best news I got all week :)
Chilling in the rice fields 

Just your native caribou bathing in the irrigation, even they know it's hot outside (also can we just take a moment to notice how HUGE my hair is here...the struggle)

Cute little Filipino kids

Dinner appointment with the ward missionaries. After this picture our branch mission leader told me my skin was like Coffeemate haha

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Agoo Kay Ganda 5/4/14

Kumusta family and friends!
There was a lot going on this week for the city of Agoo. From May 1-4 they have a huge fiesta where there's parades and famous people come and perform and stuff. I hear it's really fun, sadly, we couldn't watch any of it, and even more sadly, literally everyone went to join in on the fun, ibig sabihin (meaning) none of our usual people we visit were home. As a missionary, I really hate holidays haha, but it's ok, there's something about walking for hours under the blazing sun that really changes your attitude about things. If there's one thing that I've learned on my mission, it's endurance. Everyday is a new day with new challenges and new triumphs too. In the course of a few hours, you can be on top of the world, floating from a great lesson with an investigator, then go and teach a less active who has so many trials and challenges, I promise myself that I'll never complain again, and then spend the rest of the day walking miles, trying to talk to people and getting rejected or just baking in the oven of the Filipino sun. You do a lot of deep thinking. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and just feel the heat wash over you, and you think that you don't even have the energy to move. But then you do, and you go out all day and all week and you fulfill your purpose as a missionary, crying repentance unto people, absorbing their problems, and putting yourself into their shoes. And then when you come home at night, no matter how tired you might be, not matter how little lessons you might have taught that day, you realize that it was still a good day. You realize that your own challenges are pretty petty compared to others, and that there are still way more blessing that we have received than we actually deserve. So every time I start to get down, or want to complain, I am hit in the face the the reality of the goodness of this gospel and the power of my calling.
  Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.
This is my drive and my reason to be here, our problems are never eternal and in the big scheme of things, God's plan and ways are always for our good. I realize that everyday. I'm so grateful for this gospel in my life. I'm grateful for the people who I serve here, and most importantly, I'm grateful for my family, I love ya'll more and more everyday. I want you all to know that I do have a strong testimony of this church and especially of the reality of Christ, His atonement and gospel. It is all that matters in life and what will give us the eternal happiness that we're all searching for!
I love you all so much, thanks for your prayers and love! And happy birthday shout outs to Soraya and Sister Behrmann, love ya'll!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter

Conference Talk of the Week: "I Will Not Fail Thee, Nor Forsake Thee" - President Monson
FHE Balderas Family