Sunday, February 26, 2017

It's almost March!

Hello po family and friends!! 

It was a busy week full of miracles like always!! Brother V gave a talk about the power of prayer and did a great job. It is so fun watching them progress and grow stronger as a family. Brother J also passed the sacrament!! I am so thankful for my 7 months here in Lipa because I have been able to see the Gospel truly convert and change the lives of so many recent converts. 

My dear friend Sister C who has broken my heart so many times is now SO committed to be baptized on March 25! She has a new job thanks to the members and is seeing so many blessings from her obedience. Every single day my testimony is strengthened that OBEDIENCE=MIRACLES!! I see it over and over in these peoples lives and the most in my own. I still don't know how I was so blessed to be sent to the Philippines and learn so many lessons from these humble people. 

Sweet Sisters in Santo Tomas on exchanges
We had exchanges on Tuesday and found 2 new families!!! Prayers answered! One of our investigators, Sister C, dropped us a while ago because her husband was working away from home and didn't want her listening to missionaries. We didn't give up on her though and occasionally would go by but she was never home. But on Tuesday the Spirit told me to try one last time and she and her husband were both home!! Brother K has been transferred to the office here in Lipa and we taught such a powerful lesson on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They both are searching for a church that will bless their family and they both accepted baptismal goal dates!!! I KNOW the Lord leads His missionaries to prepared families if we have the faith to find them. I love my companion Sister Soriano and all the amazing sisters I get to work with here in Lipa Zone.

My companion, Sister Soriano
Elder Bednar visited the Philippines and we got to watch a broadcast where he answered questions with his wife. It was so great. Every single one of my questions and concerns was answered by the Spirit and one of God's chosen apostles. I know with everything I have that this church is fully restored and the heavens are again opened!! He talked a lot about "pleasing the Lord." Sometimes we ask ourselves if we are doing enough or if the Lord is happy with us. I know I've asked that many times haha and Elder Bednar taught that if we are improving every day and if we are holding fast to the iron rod (reading our scriptures :)) then He is happy!! Of course God is happy about our worldly success like straight A's or a good job but that's not what "pleases Him." Our obedience and determination to follow His will is what truly brings Him joy!! Our eternal salvation is what He is worried about! 

I love you all sooooooo much!! I have never had a more thankful heart for all of my many blessings. Especially my dear, dear family. Thank you for everything. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior and I LOVE doing this sacred work. Have a great week!

Sister Giles 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Binyagggg! :)

Hello po!

One of the best weekends of my life! The V family was baptized :))) It was a great service. Sister G came out of the water and said, "Malamig po!" (It's cold) haha then asked if she could bear her testimony in sign language because she is nervous to talk in front of people. The Relief Society sisters love her haha she is honestly so funny. Brother G is a commander in the Philippines Coast Guard and our Bishop is in the Air Force so they are already best friends and A (16 yr old)  is planning on attending the EFY kind of thing here in the Philippines! They are such a great addition to Lipa Ward 1. 

Huge miracle!! Sister Claire has been really on and off about her decision to be baptized the past couple months so we have been praying for her and kind of giving her a break but she came to church yesterday, had such a spiritual confirmation that she needed to be baptized and then started crying and asked if she could be baptized that same day! Haha she is the sweetest and we are so happy she has made a firm decision now. We are shooting for end of March. The power of prayer and fasting is so real. 
My last Mission Leadership Council with President and Sister Mangum (yes, I cried)

I gave a talk in church yesterday about reactivation and I shared how much I look up to my mom for being such a great visiting teacher. She is always willing to serve and reach out. I said she never gives up on the sisters she is assigned to. The ward was so motivated to be better visiting and home teachers and Sister Claire thanked me for following the example of my mom and never giving up on her :) So thank you, Dawn Giles. 

Another investigator, Brother Vernond is being married today then baptized soon!!! Woohoo for living the Law of Chastity! I know they will receive sooo many blessings and someday become a beautiful eternal family.

I love being a missionary! I know with my whole heart, mind and soul that we are children of God. He loves us so so much. We can show our love to Him through OBEDIENCE to His commandments. I know that when we serve others, we truly find ourselves. I know my Savior lives and His Atonement is real. I love you all!! Ingat po!

Sister Giles 
Spent the night with the sweet Sisters in Santo Tomas for exchanges

Our sweet island girl from Kiribati who is used to going barefoot and eating raw fish

Monday, February 13, 2017

Magiging Masaya!

Hello po!! 

Another great week! I have a new companion who I love sooo much! Sister Soriano from the very bottom of the Philippines. She was in Lipa zone a couple months ago and we actually got to go on exchanges. She is so loud and fun!! Also a great teacher and leader. It will be a great last cycle :) 

The V family was not baptized last weekend but no worries, all is set for this Saturday!! Pray for them :) Sister V said she has been praying to know for sure if this Saturday was right and she asked Heavenly Father to send her a butterfly to comfort her with their decision (haha it's a Philippines thing) Yesterday during Relief Society class, the Primary kids came in and gave their moms Valentine Day cards and little Angel V's card had a ton of hearts and one little butterfly :) Sister V started crying and said that she knows Heavenly Father answers prayers and this is the right step for her family. We are so excited for them!

I loved our RS class yesterday in church about optimism!! "I come..with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I'm suggesting that we accentuate the positive...we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort." -President Hinckley. Let's all be more optimistic about life!! We have the Gospel and Jesus Christ and the answers to our questions of the soul through the beautiful gift of the Book of Mormon!! Be happy and share light with others :) Love you all soooo much!!!

Sister Giles 

This is how she ended her letter to me (along with a picture of a snake) "I still love every single day here. Never worry about me because I am happier than I have ever been!!!" FYI, she will be home on March 29th at 5:30 p.m.!

Monday, February 6, 2017


It was a week with many mixed emotions! I said goodbye to my dear kasama, Sister Uba yesterday :( We have been companions for 5 months so it was not an easy goodbye but I know it was more of a "see you soon." 

But our BFF Brother W was baptized!!! Woohoo! It was a great service. Even though he had to be baptized 3 times because our Bishop made a mistake in the words and then he was confirmed 2 times because the words weren't right again. Brother W was smiling the whole time. He wants to serve a mission in a year! :) His girlfriend also wants to serve. Then hopefully, we will be seeing a temple marriage...:) I kind of have this problem of planning the whole lives of my recent converts haha I encourage them to go on dates and get married every time I see them. I'm hoping to see pictures of all of them in white again at the temple in a year! THAT is true missionary joy :) And the V family passed their interview and will be baptized this week!! Woohoooo! Completed family! 

One scripture I liked this week in Romans 8:28,"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." I know this scripture is true. I know that although trials are a big part of our purpose here on earth, if we truly LOVE God and OBEY Him, all things will work out! All is well!! All tears will eventually be replaced with tears of joy! I pray we can all follow the example of my dear Filipinos brothers and sisters and take trials on with a smile and a humble heart. I find comfort in knowing that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is trying to help us all grow and learn. Love Him and all will work out! :) 

Sister Giles