Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Maligayang Bati!!

Helloooo everybody!

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! I'm so sorry the internet is barely working here so this might be short but I love you all so much and all is well here in Lucena :) We had a fun district pday today and went to a really pretty beach. I never want to leave this place! 

Sister Collins bought me a Polaroid camera for my birthday, she is so sweet!

I love the beaches here (Croc tan line!)

Highlight of the week was our mission tour with Elder Haynie from the 70. He is amazing! I learned soo much and really had my mission vision made bigger and brighter! Lots of miracles in our work this week. Church was amazing-we had lots of investigators and 2 less active families come! We have lots of baptisms scheduled for August...woohoo! Heavenly Father is blessing me and my companion with some great investigators. 

Fun to see Sister Guancia

Sister Raneses! I miss her, she is truly one of my best friends.
One stand out lesson this week was with C, one of our 21 yr old investigators. He is really strong in the Catholic church, super smart and his mom is a convert of a couple years. His dad and little brother died a couple years ago but his sweet mom has done all their temple work so if we can get C  to accept the gospel, they will be the sweetest completed, eternal family. Before our 3rd lesson with him, he seemed a little hesitant and said he had a lot of questions and concerns after reading about the Restoration more and attending church. He said he wanted us to teach him first then he would lay it all down haha.  So I was a little nervous to be honest and just praying so hard for the Spirit. We taught the Plan of Salvation to him, focusing on agency, and at the end of the lesson we could tell the Spirit had really touched him and he told me we had answered all of his questions. We just love him so much and he is definitely seeking for truth and peace so please pray for C to continue to let the Holy Ghost into his heart and testify to him that the church is true and this is God's plan for him!

I love being an instrument in God's hands. I LOVE being a missionary! I feel so thankful to my Heavenly Father for these past 20 years full of blessings and the chance I have to help people come closer to their Savior here in this beautiful land that I love!! Everybody have a great week!!

Sister Giles
Still miss swimming, but never want to leave here!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Another Amazing Week

Helloooo everybody! 

Another amazing week. I think each week just gets better and better? First, I bet you all remember R, our recent convert from Pakil. Well, I got some great news that he is doing amazing and preparing to serve a mission!! Yay! He will be amazing. 

Teaching a primary lesson on Missionary Work
So this area is so so great and we have some amazing progressing investigators. Sister L, is the sweetest 59 year old who reminds me so much of my Grandma Nichols. Her husband is a member and she has such a strong desire to be baptized. She and her husband actually aren't married though sooo we have been planning a wedding and getting her ready for baptism! Haha it has been so fun. They can totally get married but Brother B is just being a little lazy so I have been pretty straight up with them because we have their wedding and her baptism scheduled in August. I feel like she is my real grandma! During one lesson, I was giving them a hard time about not being married and she turns to her husband and says in the funniest voice, "Fine. Will you marry me?" Haha please pray for them!! I love these people so much. We have so many other great investigators and the work is just rolling forward with the help of these great members! 
Future Elders!

The funniest group of kids ever!

Having fun with the mga bata! A sister gave us tons of this little grape things from a tree and we ate them fresh. Masarap!
So this week we have a mission tour with Elder Haynie from the 70, I am sooo excited! In preparation he is having us read some things and I want to share what I learned about prayer in the bible dictionary. SO GOOD, everybody go read it. It says there, "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them." I love that. God wants to bless us so badly but He has asked that we pray to Him and ask in faith. I have been trying to improve my personal prayers and align my will with God's will and I have really noticed a difference! I feel like I am closer to my Heavenly Father and my companion and I continue to see so many miracles. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! It is going to be a great week! And I am going to enjoy my last week being 19...20 here I come! 

Sister Giles 
Americans at Zone Training-fun to talk in English

Zone Training
A laundry shop!! Huge blessing!!
They even gave us free hot chocolate!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Walang Hanggang Pamilya! (Forever Families)

Hello everybody!! 

Happy Father's Day! Shoutout to the best dad in the whole wide world!!! Everybody who knows my dad knows he is the best. I read a great article in the June Liahona this week by Pres Uchtdorf and he said, "Fathers mentor their precious children and show by their good example the way an honest life is lived. Fathers do not leave their children alone but rush to their aid, helping them to their feet whenever they stumble." I thought that describes John Giles perfectly. I love you dad!! And this Father's Day I'm also thankful for the knowledge I have that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and knows me perfectly. 
Lipstick and powder on our faces after playing a game

It was an amazing week!! The work here in Lucena is on fire! We were a little down when we first reopened because we had no investigators and nobody to visit but with the help of our amazing ward and hard work this week, we have so many AMAZING investigators and less actives. I wish I had time to tell you about all of them. 
The daughters of the C family
We found a great family this week, the C's, who have already become like my second family. In a lesson with them this week the Sister was explaining to us that she doesn't think religion helps their family because they have been to every church and nothing has helped them. I just testified of how the church is true and the gospel blesses families and she said, "you have a different spirit and your church is the one church we haven't visited, maybe this is God's plan for us." Ahh yay! As I was testifying to her that families can become eternal through God's plan, I just felt the biggest love for my eternal family. I am thankful to have them cheering me on in Arizona and praying for me and these sweet Filipinos. The homesickness I used to feel at the beginning of my mission has just turned to home thankfulness! 
Riding these fun things on the railroad tracks! I'm coming back here to do this!
I LOVE this gospel. And I LOVE that I have this special time to share the beautiful message that families CAN be FOREVER! I hope you all have a great week!! Love you all so much!

Sister Giles 
Sister Collins bought a new Polaroid camera, fun!

Monday, June 6, 2016

I Love Lucena

Hello everybody!!

I hope everybody is enjoying summer and is happy and healthy. I love my new area and companion! I am in Lucena and my new companion is Sister Collins!! She is fresh out of the MTC and has such a big excitement for missionary work, I love it. She is from Salt Lake City and is half African American, half Samoan. We laugh all the time and are already bff's. She has been having a great attitude even though life in the Philippines can be hard at first (I think we all remember my first couple emails haha). I am so excited to train her! She has already taught me so much. 

With Sister Bisbee, the senior couple we love so much.
I love the Lucena ward 2 so much! We are the first sister missionaries to be here in like 20 years so they are sooo excited. Yesterday at church it was like we were superstars walking into the chapel.  Everybody was just staring at us and started hugging us and telling us how much they loved us already and wanted to work with us. How amazing is that?! And during testimony meeting the spirit was so strong. These are some great members of the church. A lot of them talked about trials they are going through right now and how even though life is hard, they know they can overcome anything because they have faith in Jesus Christ. Amen to that. I know with all my heart that we can find joy even in the hardest times because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ! It can strengthen us every single day. I am so inspired by Lucena ward 2 and I know I will love my time here. 
A super, super sweet nanay in the ward who loves to pull our heads down so she can kiss us on the forehead.
I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week!! Sister Collins and I will have a great week finding some special souls and building up this area. And also hopefully finding a new apartment (this one's pretty bad with some termite and rat friends haha). The church is true and missionary work is the BEST! Also shoutout to my bff Shaye Smith on getting engaged. SO happy for you and Connor! I hope my cardboard cutout makes it to the wedding haha, maybe just my head on a stick or something. Love you!!

Sister Giles 
Poor Sister Collins getting used to the heat here. She uses a spray bottle and fan to cool down.