Monday, January 30, 2017

Mga Disipulo ni Jesucristo!

Hello po! 

Busy and great week!! I am trying to distract myself from the fact that I am going into my last transfer soon...yeah let's not talk about it. My dear companion Sister Uba only has 1 week left and she is finishing STRONG! I love Uba Cake and the great times we have had and the many things she has taught me the last couple months. 
Enjoying our last moments together :( I'll miss Uba Cake even though she makes me look like a giant all the time haha!
Brother W will be baptized this Saturday! Woohoo!!! 18 yrs old, great future missionary. He and his girlfriend are both planning on serving :) He has just been such an easy investigator. 

Please pray for the V family! They were planning on being baptized this weekend but some things came up so we need everybody's prayers to keep them focused on their goal to become an eternal family! They are such an amazing family and bring me so much joy. Sister G told me I am like one of her kids now (she likes to call me the "son" haha) and she always feeds us healthy foods :) (Mom you can thank her when you come pick me up).
It's been a coldddd week, I promise! But still 1000x better than Utah weather :)
(P.S. from Mom: the low was 75)

I loved something I read in Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley this week in chapter 8, "We Look to Christ." A reporter was asking him why we don't use the sign of the cross or have any symbols and the Prophet's response was, "..the lives of the people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, the symbol of our worship. No sign, no work of art, no representation of form is adequate to express the glory and the wonder of the living Christ. He told us what the symbol should be when he said, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.' As His followers, we cannot do a mean or shoddy or ungracious thing without tarnishing his image. Nor can we do a good and gracious and generous act without burnishing more brightly the symbol of him whose name we have taken upon ourselves." Our lives should be the symbol of this church!

I feel the weight of my calling and I am so thankful for it. I am thankful that much is expected of me as a missionary because it pushes me and stretches me everyday to be better. I love this name tag and the power associated with it.
I am also amazed every week of the strength of Lipa Ward 1. Our Bishopric is so inspiring! We had a great ward conference yesterday and they shared their new plan of helping the members become self reliant and developing their own "Bishop's Storehouse" for the poor and needy. Our 1st counselor has a lot of land he isn't using so they are going to plant banana trees and have chickens and just all sorts of things on this land to provide service opportunities and work for members in need. They are true disciples of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the poverty and lack of opportunity here but then I see great examples like our Bishopric reaching out and doing what the Savior would.

I love the Philippines. Have a great week everybody!! Live as a true disciple of Jesus Christ! 

Sister Giles 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Colorful Chicks!

Helloooo everybody!! 

Well it seems like every week just gets better than the last. Not a lot of time so I'll just tell you a little bit about some of our amazing friends and some miracles we are seeing!

H has been an investigator for yearsss but when I got here to Lipa we stopped teaching her because she wasn't ready.  Long story short, we have started teaching her again and wow- she has been through a huge change. She is so prepared and is already looking forward to the day her family can finally be sealed in the temple! We are also teaching some of her children. At the right time, we know her husband too will join the church.

R is our Alma the Younger investigator, haha! Such a mighty change of heart is happening to him. He has been through a lot and has past regrets and we are truly seeing the Atonement of Jesus Christ heal him and change him. Yesterday he attended all 3 hours of church then stayed for the 1 o'clock Ward Sacrament Meeting! He loves learning and feeling the Spirit. He finally shaved his beard and he promised he will cut his long hair soon :)
Little kids love playing with chickens here. There was a festival and some brought colored chicks!

V family is still progressing well but little 6 yr old A has been in the hospital for a couple days :( Please pray for them! But we were able to visit them and say a family prayer and when we got there Sister G was reading the Book of Mormon. They are still confident in their decision to be baptized because they recognize the blessings the Lord is giving them despite some challenges.
My companion is expired! She goes home in two weeks. I will love her forever!
And about 10000 more stories!!  I love being a missionary. I love Lipa!! This ward feels like my second family and these people we are teaching feel like my best friends! My companion told me I sleep talk some times and last night I was teaching a lesson about temples in Tagalog hahaha weird. I love teaching the gospel even in my dreams!! I love you all so so soooo much!! I know the true church of Jesus Christ has been restored. I know that God lives and He loves us. We are all brother and sisters so let's treat each other that way!! Continue to love and lift everybody around you and I know you will feel true joy and happiness. xoxoxox

Sister Giles 
The Mayor's daughter has billboards, what do you think dad?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Love-Inspired Correction

Magandang Hapon sa inyong lahat!! 

A great and busy week! 2 exchanges, lots of walking and finding and teaching and so many miracles!! You remember one of the sisters who kind of dropped us last week? We have been praying so hard for her and haven't given up. Then yesterday she came to church! We were able to teach her last night, resolve her concerns and sweet sister C is back on track for baptism! We are so thankful for the Spirit and the way we are able to be instrument in God's hands to share His love and get people on the right path back to Him!
Love my fellow missionaries!
Also the V family is still the best golden family ever. We were teaching them about temples this week and it's like they all had a light in their eyes and there was such a sweet spirit in the room as we testified of the reality of eternal families!! I am so thankful for my eternal family and the priesthood authority that has been restore to the earth. The V family has a great desire to be an eternal family :) 

With the V family's puppy!
2 verses I liked this week: Doctrine and Covenants 136:31-32. I love how the Lord chastises us because He loves us! I am so thankful for love-inspired correction and the way it can help us reach our potentials. And I know that if we have sincere prayers and talk with the Lord, our eyes will be opened and our hearts will receive the correction Heavenly Father is trying to give us so we can progress. Learn to love correction!! 
Sister Uba studying hard for her English test everyday! And one of my "tests" for her!

So last Monday morning Sister Uba and I went to our friendly corner tindihan (little store) and bought some laundry soap and I asked the lady, "Magkano po yung sabaw?" Which means how much is the soup. I meant to say "sabon" which means soap. Haha anyway everybody thought it was the funniest thing and now every time we see her she yells "sabaw!!" and starts laughing hahaha I'm kind of the white girl comedy show for a lot of these Filipinos. They really are the best. And obviously I still need to perfect my Tagalog...haha. Love you all!!! Have a great week!! 

Sister Giles 
Mmmm, Tilapia, my favorite food now!

Sister Moore is quite an artist!

Sister Batiou! New sister in Lipa zone from Kirabati. I love spending time with all these different cultures!

The Sabbath is a Delight

Helloooo everybody! 

What a great week. Baptism of Sister A, MLC, fast Sunday and so many miracles! Sister A was glowingggg in white and it was such a beautiful day!! She has the strongest testimony. We know her bright light will bring her family and friends into the church also. 

Along with the ups, we also had some downs this week. 2 of our really progressing investigators planning on being baptized told us they were no longer interested in being taught because of opposition from family and friends..hard to hear. And I was hit with some sickness but no worries, all is well and nothing can stop the work! We know God has a plan for those 2 great sisters. 

I'm also thankful for the downs because it makes the ups so much higher and brighter! Like the V family reading the Book of Mormon, attending church and preparing to be baptized as a complete family! And Brother R working sooo hard to overcome smoking and drinking so he can feel closer to his Savior! And a powerful testimony from a returning less active member yesterday who chose not to be offended by the judgments of fellow members and is applying the Atonement into her life! And the G family who have gone through sooo many trials but are trusting in the Lord and seeing small blessings. Sister G is now a single mom of 10 small children, they lost their house and just lots of other things. But we have seen the ward pick them up and wrap them in loving arms! 

I just want to share with all of you how much I love the Sabbath Day. I just felt so spiritually refreshed! Taking the Sacrament every week brings so much hope and light into my week. I am also so thankful for the power of fasting and the extra spiritual power it can bring into our lives. Yesterday there was a confirmation, baby blessing, lost of investigators being fellowshipped and feeling the Spirit, and powerful testimonies! I love Isaiah 58:13 and that phrase there, "Sabbath a delight"! I pray all of us can set aside our worries and personal desires on Sunday, align our will with God's will and feel the JOY that comes from worshiping Him! 

This Gospel is so beautiful. I love being a missionary more and more every day. I love this land of miracles and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love the Sabbath Day!! Mahal na mahal ko kayo!!!

Sister Giles

Monday, January 2, 2017

Bagong Taon!! Happy 2017!

Wow, best Christmas ever!! I still have a smile on my face from talking to my fam yesterday. When did Jack become a teenager? And why can Edie talk and walk? I am so thankful for my dear, crazy family! Mahal na mahal ko kayo!! I am so excited to have my parents here in 3 short months! 

Well, not much to say this week. The typhoon was pretty crazy earlier. We had no power at our house and scary winds, I saw a couple trees fall over. We are at the mall because there is a generator here so we get to email but please pray for the people. Whenever storms like this happen i just think of all the humble people in Pakil. It is the way of life here so they are used to it, but please pray for them! 

I am not transferred! Yay!! Another 6 weeks here in Lipa with Sister Uba. Prayers answered. We have a baptism coming up for Sister A this next week!! We also have a great new investigator, Sister C. She is the best. She is a super mom of 3 kids and her husband works on an island close by. She is always keeping commitments, asking great questions...we love teaching her! We were teaching her about the Book of Mormon and how it can truly answer any of the questions of our souls and give us comfort and direction. She opened up to us about her struggles as a mom and her desire to do her best and we read Mosiah 4: 14-15 and shared with her that if she and her family will put Jesus Christ and His teachings at the center of their life, they will be happy and everything will work out. The Spirit was so strong as we connected the power of the Book of Mormon into her life! I know the Book of Mormon is true. If you have questions or need comfort- open the Book!! 

Have I mentioned how much I love these Filipinos? They are so faithful and spiritually receptive. They love their Savior and they are so humble and giving. I continue to learn so much from my dear Filipino friends!! I wish you all the best this year 2017!!! Mahal ko kayo!!

Sister Giles 


Happy New Year everybody!! 

It was a LOUD weekend here in the Philippines. Very loud haha and lots of food!! Also lots of miracles. Sister A passed her baptismal interview and will be baptized this weekend! :) Woohoo! She has such a sweet, strong testimony. She told us she is not being baptized because her boyfriend is a member but because she has felt the Spirit testify to her that this is all true!! She is always reading and praying and we are so thankful for her seeking soul and sincere heart!

Celebrating the New Year!

We have occasional days without electricity since the typhoon a couple weeks ago
I have been studying a lot in Mosiah this week, specifically King Benjamin's address. I love these first chapters in Mosiah! The word "masaya" in Tagalog means happy so my companion and I call the book of Mosiah the "most happy book" haha they kinda sound a like. I really love Mosiah 5:13, "For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?" This verse has really been on my mind lately along with the word "paglilingkod" or "service!" I know with all my heart the way we come to know the Master is through serving Him. I am so thankful to have this time to serve my Savior with everything I have. I have truly come to know Him through serving Him. And every sacrifice or trial I face here in the Philippines, my love for Him grows stronger. 

I was amazed by the service we saw in so many faithful members of the church here in Lipa this week. True disciples! We went to the neighborhood of our favorite Nanay (the one with orange hair who chastised the relief society a couple weeks ago) because we have some investigators there. In the heat of the sun we saw our 85 year old friend sweeping her whole road! When we walked up to help her she quoted the scriptures and said, "When you are in the service of your fellow men you are only in the service of your God!" She is so awesome. So we helped her finish cleaning up the road and then she introduced us to all her neighbors who she has given Book of Mormons to! We now have lots more investigators, all because of one member! What a great example of true conversion. 
Our favorite Nanay sweeping the street!
I encourage all of you to serve!! Come to know your Master and feel of His love :) I LOVE all of you so, so much!! Have a great new year! :)

Sister Giles 
Elder Limb, one of my original batch to come to the Philippines. He has been serving as my cousin's companion in Lopez. Fun to bump into him!

Lipa Zone