Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 25, 2013

Pamilya ko,
I have attached a picture of my companion and I. I am sorry that I don't have many is hard to take pictures all the time....but I take them when I can :) Our companionship is going well. This week was a challenge. We are still working to find more investigators and build up the branch. We are having a difficulty with the LAs, but hope to be of help to them, by increasing their faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I am seeing so much more that there really is no reliance on "our" timetable...only the Lord's can determine the placing of blessings and experiences, etc.
This week was a lot of traveling back and forth between places...I wish I could draw a map for you, so you could see what the area looks is beautiful...we can see the great Mayon (the famous volcano here) from our house. There were lots of appointments with many of them have stopped wearing their is sad to hear and some are preventable. But I have really seen how the adversary starts to plant sour seeds in the hearts of the children of men. And if we are not careful enough, we can nurture it. I am saddened by the stories of some of the LAs and the reasons they give, for not being faithful. The harder part is trying to show them their part in the plan of salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But we had a few appointments with potential investigators...we are hoping to help them feel the power of the gospel. and hopefully we can find more this week.

I will try to take more is a city, just like Sorsogon. I traveled by bus and jeepney and tricycle in order to get to my apartment. It was a long travel :P but we travel by tricycle everywhere. The area is not to far in some areas, but more far in other. The area here is more developed...there are not so many houses out here that are just bamboo siding. Come April there will be more American sisters...there are lots of American elders, but coming in April is a large batch of Americans. I will not be too outnumbered...but you should see the people here when they see an American...especially an American female. It is so weird to them...and so funny to me. Even funnier when I start to talk to them in Tagalog :P

I hope you all have a great week...marami salamat sa inyong pagmamahal and patnubay!

Mahal na mahal kita!

Sister Pace
Sis. Pace & Sis. Pal

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 18, 2013

So...the moment you have been waiting for... Sister Pace has been transferred to....


The area is four hours north of where I was in Sorsogon. So it was a fun trip from one place to another. But Iriga is definitely beautiful in all senses. Iriga use to be one set of sister missionaries, but now there are four of my companion and I have the new part (as you can probably take from the 'B'). My companion is Sister Pal from Tarlac, Philippines. She is 21 years old and has been out for a transfer longer than me...but she is in my batch to leave in May 2014. She is really great...sweet in every aspect and really quirky too ;) It has been a lot of fun working with her :) She has been in the area since she arrived in the November. She is a pro-tracter and a loving missionary to all the people. I am so grateful to have her as a companion and so blessed to have her as my senior companion :)

This last week was really because of transfers, but two...because it is a new area, it is to square one--less actives and tracting. Everyday we spend a good amount of time tracting to find new investigators. There are so many less actives in this area...well...most of the less actives in our branch are in our area (1B). But I am starting to figure that there is a reason to why the Lord has Sister Pal and I in this area...we may not know why right now, but we will come to know sooner or later. I never thought that I would go from an area where we could easily find investigators and work to bring more members to our Savior...but it is really tough here. Most people are deep Catholic and it becomes hard to share what we believe with them, because they don't want to hear it. But I am trying my hardest to remeber that I have a purpose here and I know that as I try my hardest to be a righteous disciple, the Lord will bless me and help me to bless and help the people here. Since being here, there is a lot to be learned. I am learning to rely on my Lord and to turn to Him and submit myself to His will...I am not perfect at it yet...I know that through the power of His Atonement, all is possible.
The members in this branch are really great and so full of love. Iriga is so beautiful...I think it is more beautiful than Sorsogon...I attached a picture of the scenery outside our front door. And I will take more pictures sa inyo.I really enjoy it because it is so quiet where we live. The scenery is so different from Sorsogon...the houses are all so beautiful and seems to be more established...I have not seen any "shacks" as houses in this area. The people are a lot easier to understand too...not so far south, so the Bicol is not as deep...but they still have their own dialect. But they all speak some Tagalog and I can understand them for the most part...the hard part now is that they all speak so fast! But it will all work out.
Thank you so much for your emails and I am happy to have had the chance to email you this week!!!
Love you all so much!!!! Mahal na mahal po kita!!!!
Ingat po palagi,
Sister Pace
converts from Sorsogon


Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 11, 2013

There was a lot going on this felt long, but it went by so fast. We had a family home evening with a less active family, Labasbas. They are really great and there is a spirit within their family that just makes your feel so happy and joyful in their presence. Many of our appointments throughout the week fell through, but we tried our best to continue forward in faith. We had a community service project (CSP) for one of our recent converts, Antonio. We went out to a house that has be "rented" to him, in order to be able to live. He had been rejected out of his family's house in another part of Sorsogon. So we went out to help harvest rice and clean up the area for him. It was great to see the branch member come together and help. We even had an investigator (who was baptized this saturday) come out and help us harvest and clean up the area. We had our typical visits to our less actives in one town...and things have just turned for the worst. It is so disheartening to hear the stories...because I am to the point that I don't know how to help them or know what to say. I hope that they start to remember their Lord, so that He can help them. We have a new investigator this week, who is 80 years old. She is a very sweet little old woman. I really enjoyed teaching her and sharing with her the joy of the gospel. I hope that we will be able to continue to share with her the blessings. One of the families we teach is largely less active, but we teach the wife of one of the brothers, who is a recent convert. I have not always felt comfortable teaching them, and so it was really surprising when I went in with a plan to share about faith. I felt so comfortable sharing with them...and I felt that I really learned a lot about faith and the principle of building our faith in God. I really felt the Spirit and I felt that both parties were benefactors of the lesson on faith. We had Zone training on Friday...there was a lot to be learned about teaching pure doctrine. I really learned a lot about what I want to do in order to become a better teacher of the gospel. It has been a struggle because in many cases, there are struggles in beliefs of how to teach, between companions. But maybe both parties learned something... We had another lesson for an investigator, but ended teaching his less active grandmother...she was complaining about the time for church. And that was her reason for attending another church. I didn't understand all that she said, and I don't know if I got my point across to her, or if I know what I said exactly. But I bore my testimony to her about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, being the only true church...the time may not be perfect, but the doctrine is perfect. I felt that it was one of those of moments were you confound the unbelievers...or I offended her. I haven't gotten down the language, so I don't know what she thinks about what I said. We closed the week with a lesson with our most recent convert, Marnil. I can't tell you how much joy I have in this convert. He reminds me so much of myself when we joined the church. You can see the light of the gospel in his eyes and the strength that the Lord has given to him. I have so much pride and joy in this convert...I am going to miss seeing him progress. As for transfers...I will not find out where I am going until tomorrow, during transfers. is the story...My companion and all the other sisters in our apartment were really certain that Sister Carrasca was going to be transferred...enough to the point that she started packing and taking pictures with members, etc. And I was okay with the fact that I was staying...I didn't do anything to prepare for transfers. And then when the announcement came Saturday morning...I saw the excitement and joy of transfers drain out of her. I wouldn't say that she is bitter or upset...just really disappointed. I am going to miss has a special place in my heart :) But I know that the Lord has a plan for me. The biggest thing with me being transferred is to prepare me, for April....because I will probably train in April...a native though, because I don't have the language down (unless I get it this next transfer). We will see what the Lord has in store for me. I will tell you next week where I have been placed.
Until then....Mahal na mahal po kita!!!
Ingat po palagi,
Sister Pace

community service project-harvesting rice

members of the branch

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 3, 2013

This week has been good. There was a lot of sun this week...I have a nice sunburn on my shoulders and neck from walking around. I feel like a farmer. (Like from Matthew 13) Planting seeds in the ground...The work has been hard, but we are hoping that some seeds begin to sprout. Many of the appointments we planned this week fell through, or people were always busy. But there is always a bright side to things, right?! We had many opportunities to talk with neighbors (mga kapitid na bahay) and share with them the gospel. Some have resulted in return appointments. We are continually trying to figure out how to help our investigators to come closer to their Savior...and sometimes it becomes really difficult when you are speaking Tagalog and they are speaking a different dialect. We have several investigators right now that are having difficulties in getting married, in order to qualify for baptism. Some of the stories are really sad and others are just impossible. In the end, some investigators are going to have to remain investigators for a long time, in order to qualify for baptism. There are baptisms about every week here...good...but the hard part is keeping those new members active in the wards or branches. We are seeing a lot of that as we re-evaluate the members, recent converts, less actives and investigators in our branch. We are hoping that we can continue to strength the branch, so that the missionaries can have help from the ward/branch. If there is one thing that I have learned thus far, it is this: Members are so highly important to the work of a missionary. For without the member the missionary work is of no point. We need the members in order to bring people into the fold of God. I hope that I will never forget my calling...because my calling will never really leave me.

Hope you all have a great week and I will tell you all about the week soon!

Ingat po at mahal na mahal kita!

Sister Pace