Sunday, August 7, 2016


Well, this is my last email as a missionary.  I don't really know what to say or how to feel, honestly.  My flight home will be this Wednesday, and even though I am so excited to see my family and everyone, it's going to break my heart to have to leave the Philippines, and even more than that, to have to take off my name tag and finish my time as a full time missionary.

My mission has changed my life, and it has especially changed me and who I am.  My perspective in life has changed, and I have gained skills and knowledge and characteristics that I don't think I could have gained in any other way.  I have drawn so much closer to my Heavenly Father and to my Savior Jesus Christ, and I have learned so much about the power of the Atonement.  There have been times when I have known with every part of me that this gospel is the truth, and there have been times when I have been driven to my knees in prayer because of questions and doubts.  But through it all, I've learned that Heavenly Father never leaves His children, and if we reach out to Him and give Him our faith and our trust, He will guide us.

For those who are debating on serving a mission, I encourage you to take the step forward and dedicate that little bit of your time to the Lord.  It goes so fast, and the opportunity to serve the Lord with all your time and all your effort is so rare and so precious.  You will find that His hand will become more and more apparent in your life, and you will find your desire to become more like the Savior increased everyday.  It is definitely a process, and it is sometimes one of the most difficult things you will do.  But as you go throughout that process, bit by bit you'll see the changes happening within yourself that you never thought would have been possible.

I have met so many people here who have changed my life for the better: my companions, my leaders, the members, our investigators...all of them have impacted me in some way.  I will be leaving people here who have become like my family, and who have helped me to grow and become who I am.  I hope that I had some good impact on them, as well :)

I might be taking my name tag off for good in a couple of days, but that doesn't mean that my missionary work will stop.  Whether or not we have name tags, we are all missionaries and we can all be instruments for Heavenly Father to help to bring His children unto Him.  I am so grateful for the gospel that we have and for the opportunity that I have had to share it with the amazing people of the Philippines.  I have learned so much, and I will miss it here but I am so grateful for the opportunity that Heavenly Father has given me to do His work here.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel.  --Joseph Smith

Love you all!  See you soon :)
Sister Pectol

Sunday, July 31, 2016

1 More Baptism! Teaching the Youth and White Girl Struggles...

Hi all!!

This week has been so great!  Andro got baptized on Saturday!!!  I'm so happy!!!  He's 21 and told us he's planning on serving a mission.  He's really been a golden investigator and I have loved being able to teach him; his testimony is so strong and it's been great :)

On Sunday morning, one of the youth teachers called us and told us that she wanted us to do a roleplay with the youth and act like we were really teaching them a missionary lesson about the importance of covenants.  She gave us the setting, which was a mom with about 25 kids, only about 4 of whom have been baptized already (big family haha).  So we knocked on their classroom door, introduced ourselves, and asked if we could share a message with them, then followed up if they'd been reading the Book of Mormon and praying.  It was super fun and they had a lot of great questions, so it was very involved.  Both me and Sister Collins felt nervous at first, but then as the lesson got going it was just like the lessons we teach everyday, with us doing our best to answer their questions and strengthen their testimony.  It was a really neat experience :)

I also wanted to share something from one of our exchanges this past week.  I got to work with Sister Hann, an amazing sister from Australia.  She's only in her 2nd transfer in the field and is the only other person as white as me :) and she has red hair!!!  #yayforgingers!!  Our day was really good and we had some good lessons, but when we were travelling back to the apartment to do evaluations, I realized I'd locked the key in the condo (genius move) so we needed to meet up with our kabahays to get their key so we could get inside.  We agreed on a meeting place but we were a lot closer than they were, so we ended up waiting a while for them.  And let me tell you...two very white redheaded girls together in the Philippines gets a lot of attention.  It was super awkward.  There were one or two people who almost crashed on their bikes cause they weren't paying enough attention to the road haha.  I kept texting the other sisters to hurry up and save us from the people, and when they finally got there we used our best missionary walk and sped back to the condo.  But we survived ok, so it worked out :)

Mosiah 27:36-37  And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.
And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.

There are lives to brighten.  There are hearts to touch.  There are souls to save.  --President Thomas S. Monson

Love you all!  Have a great week!
Sister Pectol

Monday, July 25, 2016

It's So Close...

Hey all!

There haven't been that many things that have happened since Wednesday, but it's starting to sink in how close I am to having to leave.  I'm not sure yet how to feel about that.  It actually is not on my mind that often; I still sometimes feel like I have a long time left so I just think about the work.  Which is good, but I realized yesterday that I actually need to start thinking about packing so I can get everything ready...yikes haha.

I've really had the opportunity this week to realize how grateful that I am for my mission.  One of the sisters in our route is only in her 2nd transfer in the field and is really struggling with wanting to go home.  There's been exchanges and multiple visits and interviews with mission leaders, but it doesn't seem to help.  It's so hard to see that.  We're still praying that she'll decide to stay.
But as we've tried to help this sister, it's reminded me of when I was new and experienced the same feelings of homesickness and wanting to call it quits.  I remember that one day it got so bad that my companion and I went home early and I just sat in the room and cried.  I remember that I knelt down and told Heavenly Father that I didn't feel like I could do it anymore.  But, I had promised Him my 18 months when I put in the application form.  At that moment I told Him that I would give Him my 18 months, but I needed His help.  That was a mission changing moment for me. 
 Missionary work is not easy; there are many ups and downs and challenges and triumphs and all of that crazy stuff.  But throughout it all, Heavenly Father is there giving us the strength and the guidance that we 
need in order to fulfill our purpose.  And I've learned that He really can use us imperfect people in order to move His work forward ❤

Mosiah 9:17 Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites; for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers.  

And just in case you need a pep talk:
Do it!  Move it!  Make it happen!  No one ever sat their way to success!

Sister Pectol

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It's Going Too Fast

This past week has been really good...I met my new companion last Wednesday, Sister Collins from Samoa :) she is an absolute doll and I am loving it so far.  The only thing she does that's not good is she keeps reminding me how little time I have left.  I looked at the calendar earlier and realized that I have exactly 3 weeks before I will be boarding the plane to go home.  I think it's time for me to admit something: I've basically lied to myself for the past 2 months and told myself that I actually have a lot longer to be a missionary.  I've been living in denial, peeps.  But when I saw the calendar today and saw how little time I have left, I had a slight panic attack.  Don't get me wrong; I'm excited to see my family and friends and watch movies and listen to my favorite music and do all that, but I can't even express how much my mission has impacted me and how un-ready I feel to have it end.  

I keep trying to think of things to write but my mind is blank...I don't know yet what to think about haha.  I guess the only thing that I have to say is if you are debating about going on a mission, stop debating and DO IT.  It is so hard but it is literally a miracle that can happen over a 2-year or 18-month period and it is absolutely life changing.

I literally can't think of anything, so here's my spiritual thought and quote for this week :)
D&C 6:8 Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me so it shall be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.

A person could not give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.  --Marion G. Romney

Love you all!  Have a great week!!  Go out and do some missionary work :)
Sister Pectol
p.s. Sorry no pics again...I'll make up for it next week :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

1 Month na Lang... Spiritual Scoldings and Surprise Interviews

Hey all!

This week has been good, but also kind of sad..I said goodbye to Sister Gican Sunday night when the office elders came and picked her up.  She will do great things at home, but she will definitely be missed here in PQCM.  

We had our Mission Leadership Council last Friday, and it was the first MLC with the Kosters.  There are going to be a lot of things that will be different here in PQCM, but we could really feel that they were inspired :)  It was a really good opportunity for me to receive some personal revelation and guidance from Heavenly Father.  I think I've been complaining a lot about our area; not so much out loud but complaining in your heart is still complaining.  But while we were at MLC I basically received a scolding from the Holy Ghost as well as a lot of guidance on what I can do to improve.  I'm in a thrisome with my kabahays until my new companion gets here, so yesterday we worked in our area and while there I really tried to apply some of the things I'd been told: things like staying focused, being more effective with my time, etc.  We had a really good day, and I could feel that Heavenly Father was pleased with my efforts to improve.  Maybe that's one of the best things about being here:  I think I've really learned how to receive guidance on how to improve myself and act on it.  It's a long, slow, sometimes painful process to change into someone better than you were before, but it is so worth it when you can look back and see how far you've come :)

Yesterday when we were walking home, we were stopped by a student and one of his friends who asked if they could interview me.  It surprised me, but we agreed (it was for his English class).  He simply asked what the Filipino values were that I've adapted here.  Simple question, but because I wasn't expected it my brain basically quit working and I just looked at them for a second and said "Ummmm..."  (I'm really intelligent sometimes with my responses).  Finally I came up with a couple of things that I've adapted and then as he wrote down my answers and name we introduced ourselves as missionaries and gave them pamphlets to take home to their families.  It was just an unexpected opportunity to share the gospel, and we don't know if they're in our area but we gave them our number and invited them to church so hopefully they'll come :)  It was also a good opportunity for me to reflect on the things that I have adapted since I've been here, and I am very grateful for the opportunity that I've had to serve in the Philippines.  It's been hard; my mission has challenged and stretched me in so many ways, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity I've had to grow here.

Regardless of your calling, you are always a leader, and you area always a follower.  --Stephen W. Owen.  Leadership callings are difficult and are sometimes very high pressure, but as we follow the example of Jesus Christ I've learned that He will be the One that transforms our weak and imperfect attempts into successes :)

Doctrine and Covenants 1:8  And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious.

Love you all!  Have a fantastic week :)
Sister Pectol

Sunday, July 3, 2016

I Love my Area! And Farewell to President and Sister Revillo :(

Our last STL picture  with sister revillo :((


I just wanted to start off this email by telling you all about a miracle I had this week...I found out I love my area!!  It sounds weird because as a missionary we should (and we do) love all our areas and I've already been here for awhile now, but I was struggling to love this one.  It's so polluted and there's barely any progress in our work and I don't like working in the squatters areas and it's so hot and sometimes I just get excited to go home and relax in the air con instead of having to go out and walk and sweat like a pig all day (well, there's my mini rant haha).  So I've honestly just kind of had the attitude of "enduring to the end" and working hard until I finish, but my heart wasn't really in it.  Which is unfortunate, because it's hard to be diligent and "finish strong" and do all that stuff when you're heart's not in it.  But we have one less active that I've really grown to love.  His name is Mar and he is 18 and we're trying to help him gain a desire to go on a mission.  His family doesn't usually have money to pay the fare to go to church, but the last couple of Sundays he's been able to come.  After on of our lessons this week with him, I realized that I love this area because I'm really growing to love the people here.   We've seen a lot of progress with him, and even though he wasn't able to make it yesterday we're really hoping that as we work with the ward we'll be able to help him to be stronger in the church.  We didn't have any baptisms last month and we might not have any this month, but I think in little ways Heavenly Father is showing me that even though we're not achieving all of our goals, there's somehow small progress that is still happening, and I'm sure that as we continue to help the people here feel our love and feel Heavenly Father's love we'll really be able to help them ❤

Last Wednesday, President and Sister Revillo scheduled an activity for all the pauwi missionaries leaving in July.  Since every STL companionship has one companion going home, we also scheduled our final STL meeting with Sister Revillo.  Towards the end, she basically gave what was a mini farewell speech that had all of us teary eyed.  It's hard to see them go.  But I was able to have my "final interview" with President Revillo and talk about my plans after the mission and get some advice from him, so that was wonderful.  I got a last picture with him (but I can't upload it cause I forgot my card reader 😛), and if both of us hadn't been wearing name badges I would have given him a big hug.  I'll miss them talaga.  We meet our new mission president and family, the Koster family, on Wednesday.  They're from California, and I'm not quite sure how much Tagalog they understand.  I don't know if there will be a language barrier 😝  (It's actually really hard if I try to text someone in English haha).

 Funny story of this week:  We had a meeting with our Ward Mission Leader Saturday night, but we had just finished another set of exchanges so we were rushing to get back to our area on time.  As we were walking out of the sisters' neighborhood, Sister Gican slipped and skinned her knee.  She got some first aid treatment once we got to the WML's house, but I kept teasing her that we would have to chop her leg off.  It was the WML's mom who applied the first aid to Sister Gican, and then when she was done his dad walked in carrying this huge butcher knife and with a completely straight face said that it was time for her leg to go.  She yelled and almost ran out of the house while the rest of us just laughed at her XD best moment ever haha.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:125  And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.

Lost time is never found again.  --Benjamin Franklin

Love you all!!  Have a great week and don't lose time!
Sister Pectol

P.S.  HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!  🎉🎆[?][?][?]🎆🎉

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Farewell Conference, and Still Smiling kahit Mahirap :)

This week has been exhausting, but good.  We had our very last zone conference with President and Sister Revillo on Wednesday, which was super fun but also really sad.  It's going to be hard to see them go; they've been my mission parent the whole time out in the field and I have learned so much from both of them.  Our new mission president and family will be arriving this week and next week we'll meet them, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens.  We sang "God be with You til We Meet Again" to close the conference, and there might have been a couple of tears shed.  I'm really going to miss them.  We have one last STL meeting with Sister Revillo tomorrow, so I'm excited for that.

I think that one of the things I'm learning from this area and my companion is to just stay positive.  Our area is really kawawa (pitiful/suffering) right now, and neither me nor Sister Gican really have any idea what we need to do.  It's hard to not feel lazy when you're so close to going home and you're area isn't progressing (it feels like we can't do anything), but we're both really trying to push and finish strong.  We aren't seeing any success yet from our efforts to help this area, but we're just really trying to focus on being positive.  And somehow it happens.  Even when we're dead tired from exchanges and we're sick of the pollution and we get punted from our investigators we were hoping would be baptized this month, we still end up smiling and expressing our thanks to Heavenly Father at the end of each day.  So it's working out, kahit pa-paano.

I believe in Christ, so come what may.  Hymn #134  I was reading through this hymn yesterday at church, and I just felt so grateful for my Savior and for all that He has done for me.  Missionary work is not easy, and sometimes it's downright discouraging.  But every day, we receive the help that we need in order to do the things that He would have us do :)

2 Nephi 4:30  Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

Sorry short email...we report on the exchanges we do so my time's a bit limited :)

LOVE YOU ALL!!  Have a great week :)
Sister Pectol