Monday, April 25, 2016

Bagong area at kasama!

My new companion, Sister Aquino!
Hello again family and friends!!  

All is well here in Tayabas! I love this area. It is sooo pretty and reminds me a lot of Pakil. And my companion, Sister Aquino, is the sweetest. She goes home the end of May so we are going to keep her fire burning and finish STRONG! She's the best and I love her so much already. 
Beautiful Tayabas!
And no worries about my health, I am feeling back to 100% and like I was never sick! The hospital was an awesome experience. It made me realize how adjusted I am to life here haha I am finally starting to feel like a more seasoned and mature missionary. Not just a greenie anymore! But with that said, I still have soooo much to learn. Especially Tagalog ah I wish I could snap my fingers and be fluent already. But I am staying patient and it really has come a longggg way. I didn't really get to say a proper goodbye to Pakil because of the hospital stuff but I miss it! It will always have a special place in my heart. 

I just want to share some thoughts that I've been having about obedience this week. Something I've really learned on my mission is that the commandments and standards God has given us are for our happiness!! I think one of the reasons I am so happy on a mission is because I am striving to be exactly obedient and please my Heavenly Father. And He has seriously blessed me!! Even though I am far from perfect and I have had a lot of challenges and confusing and hard times, when I am being obedient and pushing forward with faith, I feel my Heavenly Father's love and see so many tender mercies. My companion shared with me some really cool insights this week and said that Satan is sooo real. He is always there trying to make us take a step away from our Heavenly Father and move closer to him. We have to constantly be on guard! We have to decide every day, every hour, to choose God! Choose obedience and happiness not disobedience and confusion. Shoutout to all the future missionaries- decide NOW to be an exactly obedient missionary! I love you all so so much and I love being a missionary!! 

Have a happy week!!

Sister Giles

With the Sister Training Leaders 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Goodbye Pakil and Hello Tayabas!

Hello friends and family!! So first I want to say THANK YOU for all of your love this past week as I've been sick. I was admitted to the hospital on Saturday until Tuesday so we are emailing today but all is well now! I feel so much better. The doctor thinks it was food poisoning so I was admitted for that and dehydration. No worries, it was clean and I was well taken care of (but still a cold bucket shower). We made friends with the doctors and nurses and of course, gave them all pass along cards and invited them to church :) My doctor was Filipino but spoke really good English and I was able to understand the nurses in Tagalog!

My energy is back and I'm ready to work! (Don't worry mom, I'll take it easy for a couple days). I'll be honest, my stomach hurt really bad in the hospital, but now I feel good. It was so good to eat normal food today because all I've been eating for over a week is bread, bananas and crackers. I lost a lot of weight so maybe that's a plus? haha Also shoutout to my companion, Sister Raneses, for being such a trooper the past couple days. She stayed at the hospital with me for four days. I love that crazy sister. Friends forever!!

Sadly, I have to say goodbye to Pakil tomorrow morning :( But I am excited for a new area and new experiences! My new area is Tayabas and my companion is Sister Aquino. Another Filipina- yay! I will really miss Pakil, it feels like my second home. But I know I'll be back someday!

I'll email again on Monday but I just want to share a quick testimony of the power of prayer. I have been praying a lot in the hospital and I know my family and friends have been praying too and I have definitely felt strength from those prayers. I KNOW Heavenly Father is there and he hears and answers prayers. I know that even when we feel alone and scared, we always have Him watching over us. I love you all so, so much! Keep praying and stay healthy and happy! 

Sister Giles 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mainit pero masaya!!

Hello friends and family! 

Things are good here in the 'ppines! First, shoutout to my cousin Tanner for being called to the San Pablo Philippines mission!! I am so so excited for him to join me here in the PSPM, best mission in the world :) 

Unfortunately, I was only able to watch Saturday morning session of General Conference because I got sick with some kind of stomach virus. But wow- Saturday morning was great!! I'll eventually get caught up and watch or read all the talks. And no worries, I feel better now. But I wish to never throw up in a dirty bathroom, in the summer, in the Philippines again haha.

I loved Elder Hallstrom's talk. He asked us if we really know that we are children of God in our hearts, minds and souls. "I am a child of God" is a phrase we sing and say so often but do we realize what an important phrase it is? We literally have a loving, all-powerful Father in Heaven who knows us and loves us so individually. That is the first principle we teach as missionaries and it is my absolute favorite to teach. Maybe partly because I have the Tagalog down really good and can teach it easily haha but mostly because it is such a beautiful, simple doctrine! Elder Hallstrom also quoted Elder Holland and said, "You can have what you want, or you can have something better." God has something better for us! He has a great plan for all of His children. For example, the first couple weeks of my mission what I wanted was to pack my things and get on the first plane home. But since I knew that wasn't God's plan for me, I stayed and now I see that it is SO much better than what I first wanted. I know with an absolute knowledge that God gives us trials and disappointments to bless us and help us grow. 
Little C, I love her. She is like my niece here.
I love you all so so much and wish everybody a happy week!! Thank you for your support and love. Oh and shoutout to R who is still doing awesome. He got a white shirt and tie from a member and attended conference in his new Sunday best :) 

Sister Giles
Fresh watermelon during a big Turumba festival in Pakil. Masarap!

Binyag ni R!!

Hello family and friends! 

Wow, what a great week! First- R got baptized! Yay!! I experienced just pure joy watching him come out of the water and hearing him bear his simple, pure testimony. This is why I'm here!! Moments like R's baptism make all the hard times, rejection, sweating, bug bites, EVERYTHING so worth it! I still remember when Sister Cornaby and I saw his teaching record from a few years ago in the area book and had a feeling we should go find him. We were asking around if anybody knew him and we asked a man and it was R himself hahaha! Then after lots of lessons, prayers, challenges and laughs- he made it!! Yesterday at church after he was confirmed, I just saw this new, bright light about him. One of the best days of my life. His girlfriend came to his baptism and agreed to let us teach her next week. Yay! I have a secret life plan for them that includes missions and temple marriage :) 

I am so excited to watch conference this weekend!! I read some good teasers from my family. How blessed are we to have a prophet and apostles who receive revelation from a loving Heavenly Father for us right now? I know we have a living prophet. I love testifying of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ almost every, single day. I know Joseph Smith restored the true church of Jesus Christ. I know we have a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, today who leads and guides the same church established by Jesus Christ. Everybody watch and re-watch and read and re-read the talks from General Conference!

I love you all so much and hope everybody is having a happy, happy April. It's a great month. A great month to share the gospel and baptize more people!! 

Love, Sister Giles 
This huge spider with tonnns of babies in our apartment. It was funny trying to catch it, Sister Raneses loves spiders and kept it as a pet!