Monday, July 28, 2014

To the Sherman First Ward! 07/28/2014

Kumusta sa inyong lahat!
So for starters, here are a few highlights from my week:
1. Our investigators the Abuan family finally came to church this week! We were at the chapel, and get a text that they're on their way, this is huge because legitimately no one ever texts us back. We had to keep ourselves from running to the front lobby because we were so excited, and just as we got there, in walks the Abuan family! I can't even express my excitment, and even though their 4 year old son was a little crazy, I could tell that they felt the spirit and really enjoyed it, and the branch members just welcomed them with open hands, they fit right in perfectly. This was the best Sunday yet!
2. Well, I can't go long without embarrassing myself. Yesterday, we were walking to an appointment, and I slipped and fell down this muddy hill. Got mud on the outside and inside of my skirt and yeah, I got to wash off, but was just wet for the rest of our proselyting. Don't worry though, only hurt my pride.
3. I finished the New Testament for the first time ever! I know the Bible is true so far as it is translated correctly, and I love seeing how much the Bible and Book of Mormon testify and support one another. They go together, and the Book of Mormon brings clarity to the Bible and the purposes of Christ's ministry!
4. I can't express enough just how much I love the people I've met on my mission. The members, our investigators, and even other missionaries. I know that I had to be called to the Baguio mission for these people to be a part of my life, and I'm so grateful for them. They have helped me to be a better person, and have showed me how to really live this gospel.
5. The area is great, I love Agoo, and I'm so happy here!
Now, on to other business, Sister Rodriguez emailed me asking for a letter to the congregation as part of Chris's farewell. I don't have a lot of time, but I just wanted to include it in my weekly email, so here it goes!
When I decided to go on a mission, I truly didn't expect how much it would change my life. From the moment I entered the MTC until now, I have felt the presence of the spirit more in my life every day, and have truly gained a testimony for myself of the importance and blessings of this gospel. I have always had a testimony of the church, but when you're serving a mission as a representative of the Lord, and introducing the gospel and the Book of Mormon to people who have never even heard of the church before, you get a special first hand witness of how much God loves His children that He would restore His true church back on the earth. I realize now more than ever how important my family is to me, and how our covenants through priesthood power will enable us to be together for eternity. This is the greatest gift that the gospel gives us in our lives, eternal salvation as a family. With each day of my mission, and as I immerse myself in the scriptures and the doctrine of Christ, I learn how I can be better, how I can really live the gospel and prepare my friends and family to receive these saving ordinances and eternal life. My mission has blessed my life in so many ways, that I probably won't fully comprehend until I go home. But with each transfer and each day even, I strengthen my testimony that God lives, Chirst is His son and our Savior, and He has never and will not ever forsake us. There is one true way to happiness in our lives, and it is through obedience to the Lord's commandments. I love my mission, I'm so grateful for every good and hard experience I have had, because as true disciples of Christ, salvation isn't easy, and sometimes living the gospel doesn't seem easy, but when we have an eternal perspective, the reward is far greater than we can even imagine. I love the Sherman First Ward, I gained my testimony because of my life among the great saints there, and every single teacher and friend that I have had in that congregation has impacted my life in such a way to lead me to the point that I'm at now. I love you all, and pray that you may live the gospel and take advantage of the blessings that we have, and want to share that eternal happiness with others. I have a testimony, that this is God's kingdom restored on the Earth today, in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, amen.
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter

Also, shout outs to Grandma, Brent, and President Rogers for the letters, and a super late happy birthday to Mary Claire, I'm the worst but I did remember and I hope you had a great 20th birthday chica!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Restoration is Key! 07/20/2014

Kumusta everyone!
Well we just had a super fun zone activity where we basically wrestled/played rugby with an oiled up coconut, only in the Philippines! But it was way fun, and sadly my camera died, so I can't send any pictures, but next week I'll be more prepared!
Well, I don't have much time now, and not too many things happened this week, but there was Typhoon here. Actually, it was just super strong winds, but we had to stay inside all wednesday so it kind of threw things off for the week. But something I did learn this week was how important the Resoration really is for our conversion. We've been working with some super amazing families right now, and they are so close to accepting the gospel, they just don't fully understand the Restoration yet and how this makes our church different from others. So we've been reteaching this so many times this week, and as I study it and bear my testimony about prophets, the apostasy, and Joseph Smith, it only confirmed my testimony of these things. The Restoration was a turning point in the history of the world. Because a 14 year old farm boy wanted to know the truth, Christ's true church has been restored. This has always been a part of God's plan, and God never changes. He called prophets before to declare His gospel, and He still does today. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, I love him and sustain him as the Lord's mouthpiece on the Earth.
Well sorry this was a lame email, but I'll be better next week. The church is true!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I love Agoo 3! 07/13/2014

Hello everyone!
So this week went by so fast, and it made me realize that I probably only have 5 more precious weeks here in Agoo! I really love this area so much, and all the people that I've met here. This branch has really become like a family to me, and I'm so grateful that I could stay here for 3 transfers so far, but it just makes it that much harder to think about leaving, so I have to enjoy each day as much as I can! Missions really go by so fast. Just this week, I hit my 10 month mark, where did the time go?! I feel like just the other day, the age change happened and then I was filling in my mission papers. I know that I've changed and grown a lot since being here, especially during this time that I've been training. The mission matures you, sometimes a little too much when people tell me they think I'm 25...haha but it's ok, still young at heart!
Well this week, we had everyone unload their problems on us, but that's just the life of a missionary. Sometimes it amazes me how much people trust just these two young girls that knock on their door and come into their lives. But they recognize us as servants of the Lord, and with that calling comes a special authority and spirit that people feel that we can help them with their problems. I know that by myself, I am just a 19 yeah old girl in a foreign country, but since I have called and set apart, I have the Lord's promise that He will strengthen me and give me the ability to help strengthen others with their problems. I realized this week that it really is true, no matter what problem we have in our lives, a principle of the gospel can solve it.
Well to be honest, there's a ton of little kids in this internet shop singing John Legend and playing video games, so my mind is kind of all over the place at the moment, but just know that this was a good week and I continue to learn so much everyday! We are extending a lot of baptismal dates, but like I said about people have some problems, not sure if everything will work out, but I know that God always has a way to fulfill His purposes, so I'm not losing hope yet! With faith and diligence, I really think that we can have another baptism by the end of this transfer as well.
I love you all, thanks for the emails, and for those who don't email or write me, you should! Shout outs to Grandma and Kyrsten, happy birthday, I love ya'll!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
My favorite branch members that realize the importance of member missionary work, they're the best! Oh yeah and we got elders in our branch too, one is from Cebu and the other is from Tonga, but he's white!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bagong Transfer! 07/6/2014

Kumusta sa inyong lahat!
Well this is the start of a new transfer here in Agoo, and I'm staying here in Agoo 3rd Branch with Sister Panganiban, so I'll be finishing her training! But since this was the last week of the transfers, not too much new has happened. It was a pretty normal week, but I'm excited to see what this new transfer will bring. At the moment, we have a few very potential investigators, we just really need to come to church and be more serious about their Book of Mormon reading. Actually these past couple of weeks, I think my testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown so much. I've never really had a problem with knowing that the BoM was true, but when I think about it from an investigators prospective who has never seen or heard of this book, it could be hard to accept in the first visit. But I truly know that the BoM is the role and most important tool in conversion. All we have to do is read, and we will know that it is a book of scripture coming from God to bless our lives and teach us about God's plan for us. Actually this past week, we've been teaching about the Plan of Salvation alot, as in almost every lesson is some part of the plan of salvation. And as we teach it, I have seen a literal difference in the countenance of our investigators. They realize that they have a purpose and a plan for their lives, they have more joy and hope, and it is all because of God's perfect and eternal plan. I know this gospel is true, and we find our plan for us in the scriptures, more specifically, in the Book of Mormon. Because the Book of Mormon is true, this is Christ's true church, Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration, and we can be united with our families for eternity!
I love you all, thanks for your prayers and support, and I hope you read my last email and are preparing and inviting people to listen to the missionaries and obtain eternal life!
Shout outs to Mom, Sara, and Elder Dunn for the letters! And Mom for the packages again, I can't say it enough, you're the best! Also, Happy Fourth of July and birthday to Karina! It was a little sad not to see any fireworks or hear the national anthem haha but I still wore red, white, and blue none the less. I love America! But the Philippines is right up there too :)!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
My district this past transfer!

My district this past transfer

Threesome for a day!

Me and Sister Sidwell still celebrated the Fourth of July! #GoUSA