Monday, July 25, 2016

Ang Kaloob na Espritu Santo!

Hello to my amazing family and friends!! 

Another great week. Some funny phrases I've heard the past couple days,"hey you wanna shoot? you play like LeBron?" (teenage boys playing basketball), "you are so beautiful. you shine bright like a diamond in the sky." (quoting Rhianna) "hey! maputi! (white) happy birthday!" (wasn't my birthday). I love their English phrases, I just love these people.
Happy to see my matching friend at church!
The stand outs for the week are our 3 super progressing investigators, Nanay L, Ch and C. We have had some really powerful lessons with Ch this week. He is at church and really praying and reading but he is hesitant to be baptized in August because he reallyyyy wants to know for sure that this is the right decision for him. I love how dedicated he is to his decisions. He knows that baptism means a life change! But we are working with him on how he can recognize his answer that this IS the right decision and that this IS the true church of Jesus Christ. 

I have been thinking a lot about the Holy Ghost and how it testifies to people of truth. I am soooo thankful everyday for the Spirit working through me and teaching these amazing people. Because there is no way I could do this on my own with my imperfections and far from perfect Tagalog haha. I know that the Spirit is the thing that will change people's hearts and lead them to repentance and baptism. I know that if our desires are sincere, the Holy Ghost will always testify to us of the truth of the gospel. I know Ch will receive that answer he needs. I know that we all can receive a witness that this church is true through sincere study and prayer. Not just once, but every day!! I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that I received after my baptism. I know the gift of the Holy Ghost is REAL! He can comfort us and guide us and testify to us of truth. We have a mission study plan about the Holy Ghost and I love one of the questions on there. It says, "How do I express my love and gratitude to Heavenly Father for the gift of the Holy Ghost?" Think about it!

I love you all soooo much! I love walking these beautiful streets everyday and sharing the beautiful restored gospel of Jesus Christ! Sure, there are hard times. But the good outweighs the bad x100000. :) Have a great week! Mahal ko kayo <3

Sister Giles 

I walk these streets a lot, sooo pretty!

Playing in the rain!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lagi Aalalahanin Siya!

Magandang Hapon sa inyong lahat! What a great week being a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ in the Philippines! This place really has my heart. 

Yesterday was a great Sunday for the Lucena Ward 2! We had so many of our investigators and less-actives come to many miracles here. When Sacrament Meeting first started I was feeling a little sad because only one of our investigators was there, but then when the opening hymn started they all just started rolling in and soon all the chairs were full! Seriously, all the chairs except for like 3. Woohooo! Heavenly Father has blessed us with the best people.

Nanay L, C and Ch are really progressing towards baptism in August and we have some others right behind them! Elder Haynie told us we need to have a vision of baptizing weekly here in the Philippines so that is our goal! We made a 4 month baptism chart and we are extending Baptismal Goal Dates and trying to find, find, find so the next missionaries in here will have baptisms lined up every week. Missionary work in the Philippines is just amazing! Sooo much potential. 

Then last night we were working and we were walking down the street after an appointment fell through and I thought to myself, "wow, I could really use a mango right now" and I'm not even kidding a mango fell from this big tree right in front of us hahaha! God is so aware. Never forget that. 
My Mango Blessing
Something on my mind lately has been the phrase "Always remember Him." That is one of our baptismal covenants and it has had so much more meaning for me lately! I read a really good talk by Elder Gong from conference and He teaches us that even when we forget Jesus Christ sometimes, He never forgets us. He quoted, "Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." I know that Jesus Christ died for each and every one of us. Individually. He loves us perfectly and He will never forget us! There is nothing that we can do that will lessen His love for us. I love my Savior and I am so thankful His Atonement every day of my life. Don't forget Him! Don't forget how the Atonement can change you and bring a new light into your life! I love you all so, so much. I know with all my heart that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I am excited for another week of hard work and miracles in this land that I love!! 

Sister Giles 
Celebrating two birthdays after our district meeting!

Tunay na Kaligayahan!!

Helloooo po! Another great week in the Philippines! It's starting to really feel like rainy season and I love it! The wind is always blowing and walking through dirty puddles of water and mud is the norm. Go croc flats!! Haha I really do love this weather. Sister Collins is still my bff. I love training her! Sometimes I feel like she's training me, she's great. 

Sister Collins took out her braids!
Our investigators are doing so great! Nanay L just has my heart. She feels like my grandma here. We were teaching her the Word of Wisdom this week and when we were explaining that coffee is against the WOW. She was like, oh sisters don't worry, I used to love coffee but I know it's not allowed so I stopped when you started teaching me. She is so strong! She was like "I used to drink it 3 times a day and I really miss it but I know it's a commandment so I'll follow, even if it's hard." Don't you just love her faith?? She and Brother Ben are still working on the marriage paperwork, it's very time consuming and expensive..pray for them :) 

Thinking of my avocado loving Dad!
We found so many new investigators this week! One day we were talking to a lady on the side of the road and she got so excited. She told us she wanted us to teach her whole family and friends so she drove us on her trike to this beautifullll area and introduced us to like 16 of the nicest people I have ever met. We taught them all, it was so powerful! They all already had the biggest love for Jesus Christ. Life in the Philippines...the best.

I was reading in Jesus The Christ a lot this week and wow, it is so amazing! Everybody go read it. I was reading in chap 17 about the difference between pleasure and happiness. Everybody in the world is searching for happiness but sometimes it might seem like our happiness isn't true or lasting. But there is a way to have lasting happiness! Through the gospel of Jesus Christ!! I love what it says, "..mere pleasure is at best but fleeting; happiness is abiding" and "happiness leaves no bad after taste, it is followed by no depressing reaction; it calls for no repentance, brings no regret, entails no remorse." I encourage all of you to stop looking for pleasure..look for happiness. Look to our Savior and follow His example. Turn OUT and love and serve. Have faith, repent, and follow the commandments! I love you all so much! Thank you so much for all the support and prayers. Have a great week and search for tunay na kaligayahan! 

Sister Giles 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

Hello and Happy 4th of July! I hope everybody has a fun day full of watermelon and hot dogs and fireworks! We had a fun p-day today and hiked to a really pretty waterfall. Then we ate at McDonald's and got Dairy Queen in the big SM mall! So we celebrated well.

This week was amazing! On Wednesday we had a district meeting and Sister Collins and I gave a workshop on finding people to teach. President and Sister Mangum attended (pressure! haha) but it was a really powerful meeting. And then we got to drive with them (in their air conditioned car) to San Pablo because the next day we had a meeting with the new missionaries and trainers. It was soo nice to spend time with them! The BEST mission president and mission mom ever. The meeting was great and Sister Collins and I are feeling even more motivated to work our HARDEST and become the missionaries God wants us to be. Shoutout to Sis Collins the best kasama (companion) ever! 

Funny moment this week. After nightly planning, I was doing some updating stuff and I look over at Sis Collins and she has a pair of scissors and is cutting off her hair hahaha. I was like uhh what! She's crazy. In the best way. 

Also another funny moment. This nanay in our ward (she loves the missionaries so much) grabbed my hand when we saw her and she started reading my palm. She told me I will live a long life and I will be rich but if I spend too much money I'll become really poor. And that I need to be ready to sacrifice everything I have to the Lord. Then she told me I will have 2 kids and I said what only 2! and she said well if you want to have another then you will have 3 kids but you shouldn't do that. hahaha She is the cutest old lady. 

We had a class for the members on Sunday night called "Preach My Gospel Class." We taught the members a little bit about how they can be missionaries and how they can help us with the work, it was awesome! Shoutout to Lucena Ward 2! The best, talaga. The work is on fire with the help of the members. 
Celebrating my birthday with the Bishop's family

Cool experience at church yesterday. We have an investigator, Sister C, who is just the sweetest woman in the whole world. She is in her 40's but she had a stroke so it is really hard for her to walk and she comes from humble circumstances. But her desire to learn about the gospel is HUGE and she has the sweetest spirit. She told us she really wanted to come to church but she was a little worried because she didn't have a skirt or any money but we told her just to do her best and taught her about the importance of church.  Then yesterday, halfway through sacrament meeting, she walked in with cotton shorts, a t-shirt, flip-flops and a huge smile on her face!! I literally jumped out of my chair when I saw her haha. She loved church and has a Baptismal Goal Date for July 30 so please pray for sweet sister C! She walked a really long way to church and she told us nothing will stop her from being there every Sunday. SO many miracles all the time. Being a missionary is the BEST!! I love you all so so much! Have a great week and remember how much God loves you! And don't let ANYTHING stop you from being at church every week and partaking of the Sacrament. There is nothing more important. :) 

Sister Giles