Miyerkules, Mayo 22, 2013

Welcome to Santa Rosa California Mission!

Welcome to the Santa Rosa California Mission! And welcome to the greatest mission in the world and the most OBEDIENT MISSION! I got here last Tuesday, marami akong kasabay na missionaries galing sa MTC, 28 kami lahat. Sobrang bait nila at madami silang tanong about sa Philippines. So far ako pa lang ang the only Filipino na andito sa whole mission. We were welcomed by our mission presidents at sinalubong nila kami sa airport nung dumating kami, ang babait nilaaaa. Sobra! :) They brought us in the mission home and had us take a nap in what we called "the celestial room" kasi it was sooooo ganda! hahaha then we had lunch! They had us stayed in the hotel overnight.


Nung Wednesday, binigay na sa amin yung mga companions namin. My companion and trainer now is Sister Facer, from Utah! And she is sooooooo Bait! Pauwi na siya this coming JUNE 25TH so ako ang last compnaion niya. Magaling siya at marami akong natututunan sa kanya! :) So we had a lot of appointments during my first day in the field. I met George, one of our investigators, and taught him about the importance of the Book of Mormon. At first, I couldn’t believe that I was teaching a "real" investigator already! We had like a lot of role plays in the MTC, haha, but then I thought, this is real! George is very special; he doesn't usually go to church but he has a lot of questions about our beliefs. After that, we taught Mauricio, he has had a lot of baptismal dates before, (he had 4) pero laging hindi natutuloy kasi he can't quit smoking! Kind of hard for him. Now we set another baptismal date for June 1st. We know he's been struggling with the ‘Word of Wisdom’, but we have members here that are soooooooo willing to help. Ngayon ko narealize yung importance talaga ng MEMBERS.

By the way, we are serving here in the Redwoods Singles Ward! It's all new to me, well, because we don't have "singles wards” there in the Philippines. Hehe Pero, basically, lahat ng YSA ages 18-30 in the whole stake of Santa Rosa ay sa amin, so we have a really wide area! Narealize ko nakakapagod din kahit my vehicle kaming gamit. Sometimes, we have to go to the very end of the city, and then have to travel back to the other end of the city, nakakapagod! Haha, but then I'm still grateful, sabi nga ni Sister Facer, we are somehow being spoiled here, we have vehicles, good apartments, good members (yeah, we have dinner appointments every single day, we are well fed here, please make sure you also feed the missionaries, it's really a big thing.)

The weather here is fine, parang nasa Baguio lang ako. Mainit pero sakto lang. So the highlight of our week, nag-attend si George ng sacrament! yey! And he stayed for the whole 3 Hours! Isn't that sooo amazing? We are soooo happy! I love this work! I know that saving their souls will make our Heavenly Father so happy, and I'm grateful that I am part of this Hastening! Ang daming new missionaries coming in :) Sa MTC pa lang sobrang dami na. Anyway, I met our ward mission leader, Kellen, and he is soooo awesome! He always call us every single day and ask if what help could he give. So far very eager to help ang mga members ditto. The YSA's, most of them are RM's, and some will be going on mission! So, they really help our Recent Converts, Less Actives, and Investigators be fellowshipped. They have a lot of activities here every week. Every Wednesday is "Mid-week Forum" where they can watch church movies and have indoor games, and eat. Then every Thursday night is sports night! haha this is really a helpful tool to invite non-members so we could meet them. Mondays are for FHE! We also have an activity called "Linger longer" held once a month after church service.

I am really having so much Fun in this work! Last Wednesday, we went street contacting and it kind of scares me at first but Sister Facer told me to just be confident and follow the Spirit. We took turns. When I opened my mouth to the first person I talked with, the words just came out to my mouth. That was Matthew, we were about to cross the street and he was standing behind us so I talked to him. We introduced ourselves as the Servants of the Lord (Our mission President said we should introduce ourselves by saying "we are Servants of the Lord” rather than we are “Missionaries of the Lord"). I asked him "Do you want to know more about our Savior Jesus Christ?" and he said, "Yeah, maybe yes, cause I was losing faith these past few days...maybe i should try" :)) Made us so happy. We got his contact number and address.

I also met an atheist! haha It was so funny! They were like asking us a lot of questions about our church then at the end of our conversation he said that he was actually the President of the Atheist club-stuff. But he asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon, because they need some resources because they're doing some kind of like research about the different religions. Anyway, we just bore our testimonies :)


Being here in the mission is really tough. You have to deal with a lot of stresses :) But for me, the most remarkable thing to witness is when I see miracles happening in the lives of these people... And that we know, the Lord will open the windows of heaven in this mission, we have what we call the VISION 101 this July, (101 baptisms).

Anyway, I'm out of time :)


_Sister Agura

Lunes, Mayo 13, 2013

Update from Sister Agura May 11, 2013:

I just want to share how my Sunday went. So we had our branch sacrament meeting, and it's so timing cause it was fast and testimony meeting, so of course, all of us are expected to fast (except for those who are sick, ang dami nagkakasakit sa zone namin lately, but don't worry, di pa naman ako tinatablan) :) During the sacrament, I was one of those who got up at the stand and bore my testimony. What was very fascinating was to hear the different testimonies of the missionaries; to hear some of their conversion stories just brought tears to my eyes... (I have been just so emotional lately, but I think it has just been the spirit… :)

Anyways, we also attended a ‘mission conference’ right after our sacrament meeting. We had 6 speakers; the MTC Presidency with their wives. What stood out to me was the message of the concluding speaker (President Nally). He talked about the atonement; the whole room was so reverent and each of us could really feel the spirit. Then he had us sing one verse of the song "COME THOU FOUNT" and I nearly cried when we sang the lyrics, "Here to rescue, me from danger, interposed HIs precious blood." I had a clear and better understanding of the love Jesus has for me and how He rescued us.

After that, we had our first district meeting presided by President Marion. I love his sense of humor! haha! He always cracks jokes, yet he is also strict! When he gets serious, we all become quiet and tamed. I am loving my zone here; all of us came from different countries which make us international!

I love Sunday meetings here in the MTC! At 7pm, we had our Sunday Devotional and our speaker was Bro. CHAD LEWIS (a football player that served in Taiwan, Taichung mission). All of us thought he gave a great talk. I was like writing down every word he said. Let me share a few of the words I wrote down:

He said that, "your mission will change your life and the lives of other people and their generations." He said that, "your mission starts here and it never ends!" Also, he added that we need to make a commitment right now that we will be a missionary forever and that when we return home, we need not to go back to our old way of life, we need to choose the right friends, right movies, right music, and surround ourselves with greatness! He also admonished us Elders/Sisters to "LOCK OUR HEARTS" And teased us that the little ‘sparks’ the Elders and Sisters feel here at the MTC are the ‘sparks of Gospel!’ haha Funny J

During our TRC (where we teach an investigator), we taught Michelle Gioglio. Our lesson to her was about the Restoration; it went great! My companion and I asked her to pray about the things we taught her.

We just had our first invitation for baptism (Richard), and yeah...he said yes! He said he would get baptized if God confirms to him that this church and the prophet Joseph Smith is true! Anyways, we had class with our teacher Rellaford. We had a looot of practices on how to begin teaching and had a thorough discussion on PMG (Preach My Gospel) pages 176-177.

Sister Shamanga and I joined the choir! haha! It was funny, it just happened so fast! We were excused from our class and just entered in the building where the devotional would be held. We practiced for 1 hour. I know I'm not a good singer, haha, but I just miss singing in the choir and it makes me feel that I am actually in my home-ward in Rosales and it gives me joy and somehow relieves my loneliness, haha, just kidding. I miss home, but I also feel that this place is my home too. The people here are sooooo friendly and very close to my heart.

We had our Tuesday night devotional speaker, Elder Eduardo Gavarett of the Seventy, and before he spoke, the choir sang "Come Follow Me.” He really loved it. This time I was with the alto group, because Sister Shamanga is alto so I wanted to be with her. This day is awesome!

I really have a lot of things to say but I have limited time! We always have something to do every minute :)) I will be leaving the MTC on Tuesday. I will be in Santa Rosa, California on the same day. I can't believe I'm gonna be in the real battle next week! :)


-Sister Agura

Lunes, Mayo 6, 2013

Welcome to the MTC!

First day was soooo AWESOME! They gave me my nametag, and it has 2 stickers; a green and an orange one! The green sticker means i have a language evaluation, and the orange means that I'm new! So everyone was just greeting us "Sisters, welcome to the MTC!" hahaha! It was really fun, and we felt very welcome! Ang dami kong kwentoooo! So we had like MTC orientations FOR 2 DAYS, met the MTC Presidency and we had the chance to meet a member of the Seventy on the first day, he name was Elder Packer, and he gave a great talk!  We have our own districts now. I'm in District C, Branch 14, and our Dist. Leader is Elder Posadas. We also have "Sister Training Leaders" too, haha They are sooooo awesome!

Apat pala kaming Filipino dito; Elder Fernando, Elder Posadas (from PAsay), and Sister Respecia (from Cebu). Siya ang companion ko ngayon and supeeer bait niya! We really get along! This morning, we went to the Provo Temple, it was so spiritual :) Anyway, there are so many things going on here in the MTC everyday! We also met our teachers already. Tomorrow, we're going to have practice teachings on how to teach our first investigator! Pretty excited yet nervous :)

I'll be in the field by May 14, so we only have 2 weeks to stay here, and I'm lovin' it! I love my district, they are soooo friendly, funny, and we're helping out each other to improve our weaknesses. Ohhh, I'm running out of time, so until next week!

Sister Agura