Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Another week, come and gone. Always too fast and always full of miracles!! I love mission life. We had a busy week with 2 exchanges, interviews with President Mangum, and workshop training with the Lipa Zone sisters. My companion is still the best missionary ever and Lipa is still a land full of miracles!! Really though, I am so happy. 
Pioneers in Lipa!! This couple were literally first members here in 1974. The Brother was the Patriarch for years. I love this ward!

Treats from the corner store with Sister Moore
We found some superrrrr great new investigators this week. On Thursday during personal study I had a really strong impression to go visit the L family, a family we found through tracting a couple weeks back. I was kind of confused because every time we try to teach them they are always gone, but we decided to follow the Spirit. So later that day we went and... nobody was home haha. But there was a sister on the balcony of the upstairs apartment complex who saw us and was so excited to talk to an American. She started asking us tons of questions and wanted to take a picture. My comp and I call that my "foreigner power" hahaha! Anyway she ended up telling us to convert her, invited us into her home and asked like 10 questions of the soul. It was amazing!! Sister Uba and I were like um what, is this really happening. She also has a family member in Manila who is a member and wants us to come back and teach her husband and daughters too. :)

We also found another family of 9 kids that is sooo receptive to the gospel!! I felt like I was walking on clouds when we walked up to teach them. Literally 9 kids ages 8 and above and the husband and wife have the most loving relationship. They come from very hard circumstances and have close to nothing materially but they all had the biggest smiles and are so excited to come to church next week. I don't think I stopped smiling all day after we taught them. God is performing so many miracles here and I love being His instrument. I feel blessed everyday to be surrounded by these Filipinos. 
Friendly Filipinos!

This couple lives in Pakil, my first area, and it was really fun to see them when they came to visit family in an area where I was doing an exchange. We were very close when I lived in Pakil.
I have never been more tired but also never been more happy! I thought BYU swim team was the hardest thing I have ever done but a mission in the Philippines takes the cake! There is nowhere else I'd rather be. I know our Savior lives. I feel the strengthening and cleansing power of the Atonement every single day as I strive to improve my weaknesses and be the most diligent missionary I can be. Have a great week and remember how much God loves you!

Sister Giles 
Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in Lipa!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Huwag Manghusga!

Hello po!! 

Another great, busy week! Heavenly Father is blessing this area so much with great investigators! We have 11 progressing investigators and we are nearly running to every appointment and getting them ready for binyag! (baptism) I still love this ward, area, and companion. Even more than last week :) 

On Friday we traveled to St. Tomas and worked with the sisters in that area. It was such a great day full of miracles. They are reopening so it has been a little tough but we found so many less-active members. I worked with Sister Hanipale from Tonga. Polynesians just make me so happy! We were walking and this pregnant sister stops us and says, "Jesus Christ? Mormons?" she seemed so shocked.  Turns out she was baptized 2 years ago in a different area in the Philippines but when she moved, she lost contact with the church. She has been praying to be lead to the church again. Right time, right place, doing the right thing! The Lord really does prepare our path as missionaries!! 

Sister Hanipale and I teaching together
On Saturday we set some time aside to find some less-active members in one of our areas and we were faced with so much rejection #missionlife but we still saw miracles. We were looking for a family and nobody seemed to know them (there are no real addresses you just ask around).  We were walking this street and got to this house and my companion and I both walked toward it and said "tao po!" (knock, knock) and it was the family we were looking for! It was honestly so cool. Let the Holy Spirit guide!

I just want to share with you all a little about one of our MIRACLE investigators Sister C. She is a single interior designer in her 30's, and is the most prepared person ever. She used to live with a member family and has a friend on a mission so she has been familiar with the church for a while. She got the missionaries number a while ago but wasn't interested until a couple weeks ago. She is so excited for her baptism on December 3, reading the Book of Mormon every night (she is in Alma), and is making friends and enjoying church. We have seen the gospel of Jesus Christ bring her so much peace and happiness. She struggles sometimes with feelings of loneliness but as she has learned to turn to her Savior, the Book of Mormon, and prayer, she has a new light about her!! She has taught me so much. One of the biggest lessons is we can never rush conversion. She has been reading and investigating on her own for a couple years but never felt ready. But NOW she is ready to make and KEEP baptismal covenants. Sometimes it's hard to trust the Lord's timing but I know He is in control and He is always performing miracles and preparing souls for the missionaries to teach. I love being an instrument in His hands!! 

Also I loved my personal study the other day in Mosiah 29. Verse 12 says, "Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just." Huwag Manghusga! Judge not! We don't know people's hearts. I have been trying to apply this more in my life and seeing people with clear, non-judgmental eyes. I promise it makes you happier. 

Well that's all for the week friends. Wish I had more time but you will all just have to hear lots and lots of missionary stories when I'm home in 5 months!! Have a great week xoxoxo mahal na mahal ko kayo!!

Sister Giles
My Wall

Monday, October 17, 2016

Miracles in the Midst of a Typhoon!

Helloooo everybody! 

What a great, miraculous week in the land of the Philippines. This country still amazes me every week, I just love it here so much. I am a Filipina now for sure. I am a rice eater, flood walker, clothes hand washer and Tagalog speaker!
Sister Beason cleaning our fish for lunch

Tilapia, my favorite!
"Typhoon Karen" hit Lipa the past couple days but everybody is safe and we were still able to work, no problems. The typhoon was really hard at night but we were able to work fine during the days. After district p-day today we had to walk through hugeee floods and crazy rain and we were all soaked. I wish I got a pic but it was all just too wet. Making fun memories! But please keep these people in your prayers because we have a super typhoon coming this week and a lot of these houses will have a hard time taking the wind and rain. I know a lot of the families who are so close to my heart are cold and without a lot of necessary supplies so please pray for the Filipinos. 

District P-day

I love, love my new companion Sister Uba, we are having so much fun and working hard!  Honestly, exact obedience and hard work just showers miracles. Our mission set a goal last year for baptisms in the year of 2016 and we are a little behind that goal so we are doing all we can to get our progressing investigators ready for baptism. PSPM is the best mission and I know we can all do it!! 
Lunch after District Meeting
We had a miracle with Tatay Leonardo, a great investigator. His wife (well girlfriend) has been really closed off to the gospel but this past week she has started to come to church and she has agreed to be taught! They are also making plans for marriage so Tay can be baptized :) Also after a lot of prayers, a recent convert's husband has been also coming to church and finally agreed to be taught!! As we pray to be led to families God is truly answering our prayers!! 
Mahal na mahal ko kayo!! 

Sister Giles 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Kaligayahan sa pamamagitan ni Jesucristo! (Happiness through Jesus Christ!)

Magandang Hapon sa inyong lahat! Kumusta kayo?? (Good afternoon everyone, how are you?)

It has been a great week in Lipa. I loveee my new kasama (companion), Sister Uba. She is such a great missionary and I have already learned so much from her. She is 4'11 so I am feeling a little bigger and taller than normal hahaha! She is the cutest. 
My super cute and super small companion. She is a great missionary!
So obvious highlight of the week was General Conference! (They watched recordings a week later) I loved every second. We had some investigators come and they really enjoyed it also yeeheee! Sister A, a girlfriend of a member, is progressing sooo well. She has the sweetest, most receptive Spirit. She is 20 and she and her boyfriend are participating in some YSA activities too :) Please pray for Brother J. He has a great desire to be baptized and he continues to find answers to his questions through the Book of Mormon and church but he has a smoking addiction that is pushing back his baptismal goal date. He really has the desire to quit but he could use some extra prayers :) Also Sister M, a mom in her 40's, is just a rockstar. She participates in church and always reads the Book of Mormon and writes down her questions and thoughts. We were teaching word of wisdom to her (she loves coffee so it was a little hard to accept) but the Spirit just totally worked on her and she was like "I understand now. It's because God loves me!" So simple and so true! God gives us commandments because He LOVES US!! We show our love for Him by following them. 
Teaching Sister A in the beautiful home of one of our members
One of my favorite talks was by President Nelson about finding joy. We truly can find joy in any circumstance through Jesus Christ!! Our purpose in this life is to be happy and prepare to meet our Heavenly Father. I know that even in the hardest of times, we can be happy because that is what God's plan is. I will always remember my first couple weeks here in the hard! I don't think I would have described myself as a very happy go-lucky Sister Giles back then. But I was determined to find joy here on my mission so every morning, while taking a cold bucket shower with lizards and cockroaches around me, I would sing "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today!" Eventually, there really was sunshine in my soul. Even if sometimes I would sing through tears or be thinking very negative thoughts in my head while singing, the Savior picked me up, healed me and helped me find JOY!! Now I would describe myself as the happiest person ever and I even love those cold bucket showers! 

I hope you all have a great week and find lots of joy through living the perfect gospel of Jesus Christ. Mahal ko kayo!!

Sister Giles 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Salamat, O Diyos, sa Aming Propeta!

Hello, hello! 

Still here in Lipa seeing many miracles and having lots of fun! I'm companions with Sister Munoz and Sister Beatson until my new kasama comes on Thursday. Her name is Sister Uba and I'm so excited! She's a new STL and super sweet. Sister Labisa and I saw so many miracles this week and we were so happy because it was her last week as a full time missionary :(

Sister Labisa's farewell dinner

We spent some time tracting in our neighborhood and found 3 great new families!! Prayers answered! It was amazing to see how many miracles were just around the corner of our house. I think sometimes we are all too focused on things happening outside our own neighborhood! I encourage all of you to think of a way to share the gospel or serve the people closest to you! You never know, there could be somebody around the corner waiting for your love and invitation to come and see what the LDS church is all about! 
Fresh chocolate milk!! Missing the little things like always having cows milk  in the fridge, they only have fake stuff at the stores.
We had a great turnout at church. I wish I had time to go through all of our superstar investigators but please continue to pray for them!! We have 8 people that should enter the waters of baptism in November. I LOVE LIPA!! 
Church selfie with an amazingggg investigator Sister M, right next to me, and also a recent convert Nanay J!
We watched General Women's Conference and wow, it was so spiritually fulfilling!! I love being a covenant daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. President Uchtdorf's talk on faith was just what I needed to hear. I love that he said faith doesn't mean pushing our will on God's will. True faith EMPOWERS us to act on God's will! I think the phrase "Thy Will Be Done" is a great life motto. If we can just humble ourselves and exercise true faith, God will bless us more than we realize. He will refine us into the people we are capable of becoming. We also need faith if we don't understand some church doctrine or a commandment. We should always remember we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows so much better than we do. The key to happiness and peace is to surrender pride and our will and submit to the will of God. I know this to be true. I know God loves us and I am so thankful for a living prophet and apostles to lead and guide us. They are called of God and this is the true church!! Have a great week!! MAHAL KO KAYO!
Women's Conference! Some missionaries and these cute investigators B and L. They love coming to church and they read the Book Of Mormon but I'm hesitant to baptize them because their parents aren't interested in the church. I think I'll let them nourish for a couple more months maybe years so they don't go inactive. Super sweet girls who have have been taught by a lot of sisters.