Monday, September 15, 2014

Totoong Kaligayahan 09/15/2014

Kumusta sa inyong lahat!
This was an absolutely great week! I have been so happy this week and so many amazing things happened that I can't wait to tell ya'll about. I have really felt this week the true happiness of missionary work, and I just really love the Philippines, even though I do still sometimes miss things in America, I am so thankful that I got sent to the Pines. Here are a few reasons why I loved this week:
1. We had FHE with an older woman in the branch who hasn't been visited by missionaries for a while. She's an active member, but is just a little forgotten. We planned a simple FHE for her, and told her to prepare rice and we'd bring the ulam (what you eat with rice). We show up, and she has prepared the most humble and delicious meal for us of rice and fried fish. It was just the three of us, but it was the most heart warming experience. The people here just love to serve the missionaries, and I'm so blessed to be among them.
2. Brother Joey Fortin has the biggest desire to change his life! He is married to a member who has been kind of less active, and just recently, he has a huge change of heart and went from wanting nothing to do with the missionaries to wanting us to visit on a daily basis. He said he used to never like talking about spiritual stuff, and never really thought about God, but since we've been teaching him, he realized how important the gospel of Jesus Christ is and that God has a plan for him and his family. All he wants is for his family to be more united and blessed from the gospel. He has a baptismal date for October 11, and he is reading the BoM daily and progressing like none other. I love the Fortin family!
3. My companion is the best and hilarious, we just laugh and laugh all day and teach amazing spirit filled lessons, it's been so great! Oh, and there was one day this week I forgot my umbrella, and she let me use hers all day and got all wet, and even fell, but she didn't even care cause she just wanted to serve me. I love Sister Bircher!
4. Sister Rose Espinosa is proof that God prepares people before this life to accept the gospel. She met the missionaries two days after she has told her Iglesia ni Cristo sister that if she joined any church it would be the mormons, and she knew nothing about our church before then. This week, we taught her the plan of Salvation, and it was the most amazing experience to watch her realize that she knew and accepted this plan before she even came to this earth. That's why what we are teaching her, and what we say sounds so familiar to her. Then, also this week, she told us that she prayed about Joseph Smith, and as she read the BoM the next day, she knew by the spirit that it was true! She then told us that the next step she should take is to ask someone with authority to baptize her! Yeah, I never thought someone would tell me that on my mission, but Sister Rose is making all of my mission dreams come true. I love Sister Rose!
5. I hit my year mark in the mission, and I'm really realizing now that at some point, this will all come to an end. It's really sad to think that I will leave these wonderful people and everything will just be great memories, but I know that my mission has and is continuing to change me for the better and I know what's important in my life because of the experiences I've had here. The one thing I've learned the most, just from this week alone, is that I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father. He loves me so much that He sent me to the Philippines where I would meet people who would love me like my own family, and show me that even though we may come from different countries and lifestyle, the gospel can bring us together and the love of God and the love of Christ is universal.
Sorry this was long, but I'm just so full of love this week for a lack of better words. I hope you all can love each other and remember to serve your neighbor always. Thanks Grandma and Sami for the letters, and happy birthday Brooklyn!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
My first kabahay! Now Sister Lazan goes home next transfer and Sister Bircher in December

This describes our tricompanionship ha

My AP and first zone leader leaves this transfer, so this would be my last time to see him at our conference

Some of my batch mates on our year mark

Rice fields

Sketchy bridges

Dragon Fruit

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