Thursday, September 30, 2010

Magandang Hapon!

Kumusta Kayo? Happy day!

This week was wonderful. I love my companion, sister Almaquer. She is very cheerful and confident. Yesterday we did a lot of OYMing (opening your mouth) and finding new investigators. At one point in the day, there was a man who passed us by in a trycicle, and I felt that we needed to talk to him, but he drove away. Then passed by us again, and I felt bad about missing the opportunity and so I prayed in my heart that if Heavenly Father wanted us to talk to him, to please help him come back a 3rd time. He did, and we found out that he was ready to be taught and eagerly accepted the opportunity to learn about the restored gospel. I'm so happy. We are also teaching the Agustin family, a wonderful family with 6 children. Their father is a member, and he found us, and told us that he wants his whole family to be baptized. I am excited!

On Saturday we had a family week celebration for the Urdaneta stake! We put on a presentation about the plan of salvation. Afterwards, we held the baptism of Mark Arganda, which went wonderfully. Yesterday I spoke in sacrament meeting about the Savior's example of charity. Even though he was despised, ignored, and rejected, and people treated him with disrespect and ingratitude, he didn't let their actions cause him to become offended. He remained full of love and accomplished the atonement, providing hope and rescue, even for those who treated him so badly. He even forgave them on the cross.

I know that the Book of Mormon was written for our day. One wonderful thing as a missionary is when the spirit brings a scripture to your mind at the very moment that you need it, and you read it to an investigator, and it directly answers their question/concern. We would never succeed in teaching without the Book of Mormon. It's amazing how perfectly the gospel fits together. Heavenly Father loves us so much.

Have a wonderful week! Enjoy conference!
Love, your missionary,

P.S. I ate bamboo this week. I didn't know it was edible!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello from the Philippines!

Dearest family whom I love so much!
This week has been wonderful! This morning, we met with our zone to play badminton and basketball for exercise. I enjoy zone activities because there are 4 sisters: Sister Caras, Sister Almaquer, Sister Garma, and myself - and All of us have been each other's companions before, so we all know each other real well. My companion really wants to taste frog, so perhaps that will happen soon.

On Saturday, we had the baptism of Sister Mary Roces, 52 yrs old. She is such a sweetheart! She has been eagerly preparing for the past few weeks, and finally entered the waters of baptism. Afterwards, she was so happy that she cried, and could hardly speak. It was a sweet day. It's amazing to think about how important of a landmark that baptism is. It opens the gate to the Celestial kingdom and marks the beginning of our journey home. Seeing her joy made me almost want to get baptized all over again. hehee, is that allowed? ;-)

My testimony has been strengthened that when we do our part, Heavenly Father places the right people in our path. When we have opened our mouths, it's amazing to see how many times the people we talk to happen to have a connection to the church, or have been taught previously. The Lord is behind this work. I'm enjoying this area. One thing that is nice is that we live right next door to our zone leaders, so it is very convenient when we need supplies or have questions. I'm excited for General Conference! Enjoy it for me next weekend! I have to wait because it's a week-delayed here.

Love you very much! especially you! (happy September 26!)
Sister Boekweg

Monday, September 13, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hello! Guess what, the Christmas season starts really early here. They are already playing Christmas music 24/7. It's pretty funny. Well, I'm in my 4th area now - Urdaneta 1st ward! My new companion is Sister Almaquer - she is 25, a nurse, and her native language is ilongo. I like her a lot. She and Sister Caras were MTC companions. I still think it's funny how there was a mix-up for two weeks, but actually I'm grateful, because I learned so much in those 2 short weeks, and I feel that Heavenly Father's hand must have been in it. Honestly, it was hard to leave, but now I am adjusted here in the 1st ward, and Sister Almaquer and I get along wonderfully. She is a great missionary! And she might be coming to Utah after her mission, so I might get to see her again. Yay!

Last week we had dinner at the bishop's house, and there was a roasted pig's head, with the apple in its mouth and everything. Haha! That's the first time I've seen something like that other than in the movies. The members here are so nice. They love to feed missionaries. We often get sent home with a bag of pansit, or bananas, or some kind of yummy ulam. It rained super hard one of the days this week - It was so loud that we couldn't even teach a lesson, even with shouting. I thought it was going to turn into a typhoon, but it settled down after a while and we were all safe :)

I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us. He knows us much more than we know ourselves. I'm so grateful for everything we are blessed with everyday. The Book of Mormon is true! The church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth, and families can be together forever through Heavenly Father's plan of happiness. I miss the temple. I love sharing about the blessings of the temple with investigators. Temple blessings are one of the highest, most wonderful blessings we can receive in this life. We're so blessed. I love you all! Especially you :)

Love, Rebecca

Monday, September 6, 2010

Oops! I'm being transferred again!

What a shocker! This morning, I got a phone call from Elder Duncan (assistant to the president) and he informed me that there had been a big mistake with transfers. Apparently they accidently transferred me to the wrong area and with the wrong companion! I'm actually supposed to be in Urdaneta 1st ward (I'm in Urdaneta 2nd ward right now), as the follow-up trainer of Sister Albaquer, and Sister Garma is supposed to be the follow-up trainer of Sister Caras. So Sister Garma and I have to pack and switch places tonight. It came as a huge surprise. I've been here for almost 2 weeks, and so I don't know why they didn't catch it sooner, but President Jensen wants it fixed the way it was supposed to be. How funny. We shed a few tears this morning. I've loved working with Sister Caras, even though it was only for 2 weeks - we have so many of the same desires, and she and I get along so great. But I guess this is what is supposed to happen. It's kind of sad for me because we just found some golden investigators this week, and extended baptismal dates to 2 of them. It seems this week has been full of miracles. The member work here is wonderful, and Heavenly Father was just placing those who have been prepared for the gospel into our path every day.

Sister Jefferey Marata is one of our new investigators that will be baptized in October. She is amazing. Her eyes are really fuzzy, so she can't read, but still she always makes sure that she gets someone to read to her every Book of Mormon assignment that we give to her. She came to church with her children yesterday. She just soaks up the lessons and is so eager to be baptized.

Sister Mildred Tabajo is another miracle we met this week. She is 20 years old - her husband is working abroad, and she just recently returned home to live with her parents. She has had a really rough past - she was into pretty much every drug and bad thing, but recently felt a need to move back home, and a desire to change her life. And then we met her and felt she needed to be taught. She has already gained a testimony, and excitedly came to church yesterday and loved every minute of it. We'll extend an baptismal date to her on Wednesday. I'm sure going to miss her.

Well, I'll be moving out tonight. I'll let you know next week about my new area. It's been a good two weeks. crazy!

I love being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a privilege to be able to spend all day, every day, engaged in the most important work we could ever be doing - helping Heavenly Father's children to find the way back home. There are so many people who need help. Sometimes it's overwhelming because I want to help everyone, but time is so limited. I've gained a greater testimony of the great importance of every person doing all he/she can to help those within his/her personal influence or circle of friends. So much depends on our individual exertion. I love you all! (yes, especially you!) Time to go!

Love, Rebecca