Sunday, August 7, 2016

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED



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 :)
XOXO
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!
XOXO
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!
:)

XOXO
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 :)
XOXO
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 :)
XOXO
Sister Pectol

Sunday, July 3, 2016

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


Our last STL picture  with sister revillo :((

Heeellllllooooo!!

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!
XOXO
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 :)
XOXO
Sister Pectol

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day! Lung Cancer and Delayed Revelation




Hi all!!  First of all, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the dads out there!  Whether biological dad, stepdad, grandpa, uncle, or any other father figures, I hope that you have a wonderful day and that you can feel how important your role is as a father and how much impact you have on those around you :)

This week has been good, but another busy week with 3 days of exchanges.  I got a virus or something on Tuesday, so by the time we got to the sisters' apartment on Wednesday for exchanges it had moved into my lungs and I'd basically been up all night coughing.  I gained an even stronger testimony of angels helping us in this work, because as we were hiking around and climbing up slick dirt slopes and getting smoked out by jeepneys and singing hymns and all that fun stuff, I somehow was able to continue.  I felt like I about coughed up a lung after every single lesson and I couldn't really breath as we were walking, but I'm positive that there were angels who were pushing me on so that even if I was seriously lacking in oxygen, I could keep walking.  Which just goes to show how important this work is, I guess :)

I also had a powerful lesson this week on how I receive personal revelation from Heavenly Father.  In a recent general conference, one of the speakers encouraged us to take the time to ask in our prayers what we lack yet and what we can do to improve.  I've done it multiple times, and each time Heavenly Father has used someone else to answer my prayer and tell me what to improve.  This time, it was while re-reading the talks of the last general conference that I received my answer.  I haven't been able to read all the talks yet, but I got a good start, and one of the messages that kept repeating itself over and over again was service, and how important it is for us to give service to our brothers and sisters.  I especially like the example of one sister who joined in a service project for people in need across the world.  On her way home, she felt the Spirit's confirmation that what she had done was a good thing, but that now it was time for her to walk across the street and help her neighbor.  I think that sometimes we think of service as huge projects that impact large groups of people, but the most important service is actually the kinds that most people won't notice and that probably won't be recognized.  Things like not complaining, trying to understand others' weaknesses, telling someone how much you love them--they're so simple, but they make such a huge difference.  

I loved this quote by President Henry B. Eyring:  The first thing you must commit to do is to go and serve, knowing that you do not go alone.  When you go to comfort and serve anyone for the Savior, He prepares the way before you.  As we do what we can to help those closest to us, not only will they be helped, but we will receive help as well to magnify our limited efforts.  And the best part is, as we serve others, the Savior feels it as though we were serving him 💕

Alma 26:37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.  
I've shared this scripture before, but I wanted to share it again this week because it really impacted me.  I was having kind of a rough morning and in one of our lessons I was having a hard time focusing and feeling the Spirit.  Sister Gican pulled out her Book of Mormon and then asked our investigator to read this verse, and as she did so it really impacted both her and me.  I felt like Heavenly Father was telling me that He knew I was having a rough day and that He understood how I felt, and that He was just right there with me.  It was just a short spiritual thought for that investigator, but I think for me my day started to get better after that.  I really do know that wherever we are in the world and whatever our situation is, Heavenly Father knows us and what we are going through and He will help us.

I love you all!!  Have a good week!
XOXO
Sister Pectol

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Miracle of Planting Seeds



It's only been a couple of days since my last email so not much has happened, but there was one really cool experience that I had while on exchanges that I would like to share.  We had the opportunity to work with the sisters assigned in Sumulong 2, my very first area.  The sisters are magaling and it was a really good exchanges, but there was one specific part that really touched me.  As I was planning with one of the sisters who is assigned in the part of the area that I was assigned in, she said that we would be visiting a recent convert who's name I recognized.  When we got to this old tatay's house, I recognized him as one of the investigators that we had tried to teach when I was still new.  At that time, he didn't want to be taught.  He was old and sick so he couldn't really run, but I remember so distinctly that whenever he would see us he would hobble as fast as he could to try to hide from us or pretend he was busy.  He's healthier now, so as he led us back to his house I asked him if he remembered me, but he didn't until his wife reminded him that he used to hide from us.  He looked so embarrassed, it was cute haha.  
He showed us the pictures of him at his baptism, and as he told us about how he had quit smoking and drinking and is now going to church every week, and about all the changes and blessings that he's seen in his life since he's been baptized, I was so touched by the things that he said and so glad that we got to visit him.  I remember that when we were trying to teach him, I honestly never thought that he would be baptized and that it was kind of a waste of time--if we did manage to catch him, he wouldn't even listen to us.  But I'm grateful that Heavenly Father let me visit him again, because it was such a lesson to me of the power of planting seeds.  I never saw any progress with that tatay, but maybe because of the seeds we helped plant in his heart other missionaries were able to help him gain his conversion.  I am grateful that even though I wasn't there to baptize him, I was still somehow a part of it.

Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  I know that sometimes our trials and challenges can feel like we are in the "furnace of affliction" (shout out to Maddie), but whatever our trials are--physical, spiritual, emotional, whatever--Heavenly Father truly has the power to deliver us, if we trust in him.

Too much of anything can put a life out of balance.  So let's just stay balanced peeps :)

Love you all!!  Have a great week!
XOXO
Sister Pectol

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Whitewash! Suicide Socks and Extra Companions

Well my first week in Cainta has been pretty good, we're basically whitewashing here which means we're both new and don't really know the area yet, but we're getting there :) thank goodness Sister Gican got emergency transferred here a week before I came, so she has a little background in the area.  It's a bit of a harder area, but since Sister Gican goes home this transfer and I'm next transfer, we both are hoping to really help the area improve while we're still here.  (It's weird to be old in the mission--sometimes I feel like I just got here from the MTC.) 

So at the beginning of this week, I experienced a slightly terrifying but hilarious moment in our apartment.  We are in a condo on the 10th floor, and since the bunkbed is scooched up against the window and I'm on the top bed, I have a pretty good view of the other condo buildings.  The window is kind of big though and doesn't have a screen, so there's a pretty decent space that something could fit through.  When I was unpacking, I grabbed my very favorite fuzzy zebra socks and even though I meant to just toss them gently on the bed, they got excited or something and decided to take it farther.  So what basically happened is my very favoritest socks suicided out the 10th story window 😩 it was tragic.  But the thing is, the space is big enough that if I toss or turn too much in my sleep, I might fit through it as well...  So since then, that window has been closed and secured very tightly cause I would rather not accidentally roll off the 10th floor haha.

I've also had some experiences this week that have really confirmed to me that missionaries don't walk alone.  There are some parts of our area that have loiterers that sometimes get kind of sketchy, and being a white girl in the Philippines, I get a lot of not very nice attention sometimes.  One of my first nights here, I felt really heavy and kind of depressed because of all the things that were being said.  They weren't necessarily negative about me, but it was rude and discouraging.  When I started to feel those negative emotions coming on, I suddenly felt a sense of peace and Iknew that it wasn't just the two of us walking down that busy street.  There were others surrounding us, and as we continued to walk to our next lesson I was able to hold my head a little bit higher because I could feel that Heavenly Father didn't leave us alone to deal with that, but that He was sending us His angels to help us be strong ❤

Ether 12:33 And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.  I am so grateful for the Savior's Atonement and for all that that means for us.  I have come to really know Him here in the mission, and I know that He is always with us when we let Him in.

Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult.  You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.  Just for a little more humor XD

Love you all!!  Have a great week!!
XOXO
Sister Pectol

Monday, May 30, 2016

Spiders! O.O Transfers, and Crazy Companionship Interventions



Hello everyone!

Well it is transfer week once again, and I found out from President yesterday that I will be going to Cainta, another STL area!!  I'm really sad that I'll be leaving Sister Udarbe again, and I will admit that there are a couple of things in the office that I will miss, but I'm looking forward to be able to actually work and focus in my area and to be able to focus on investigators :)

Crazy story....my mom emailed me last week about one of my missionary friends in the states who had a giant slug hitch a ride on their car.  She told me I needed to find something to beat that, and this week I did!  Sister Udarbe and I were in the middle of rearranging and deep cleaning our room, when suddenly I noticed this HUGE spider in the window!  Needless to say, both of us screamed and literally hurdle jumped across the room.  Thankfully, Sister Vaoesea, one of our kabahays, is for some weird reason not terrified of terrible monsters like that one, and chased it out for us.  If you would like a size comparison, she is about my size.  It basically traumatized us.  I might have actually prayed that night to be protected from crazy monster spiders...😬  So there you go, Mom (and Elder T)--I beat the slug!! :P most terrifying experience of my life....

Of course, we had some really good spiritual experiences this week as well :)  there's a companionship in our route that has struggled this whole transfer (it's a different companionship than the one I talked about before).  We had an emergency visit to them already earlier this transfer, and exchanges with them last week.  We thought the problem with their companionship was solved, but when they called late Saturday night we found out that it just got worse.  We woke up early Sunday morning to go to their apartment, and we literally spent all of Sunday morning trying to talk it through with them.  We took turns talking with each of them one on one and trying to understand what was happening.  Basically, neither of them wanted to adjust to the personality of the other and they were both struggling but not trying to understand each other and not being open.  After talking with both of them and getting both sides of the story, we told them that they needed to talk to each other and tell each other the exact same things they told us.  They locked themselves in the bedroom and we sat outside and waited.  We both prayed so hard that morning that they would be ok.  After a while, they opened the door and called us in.  They had both cried and there had been some yelling, but when they talked to us again they were both smiling and we could actually feel the Spirit in the room.  It is amazing to me that when two people can be humble and open and allow the Lord to touch their hearts, no matter what their differences are, they can make their companionship work.

People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.--Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Ether 2:25  And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come...  I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has given us all the tools that we need to survive life's storms :) we have the scriptures, church, and the words of living prophets to guide us, and I am so glad that He is always there for us when we reach out to Him :)

Love you all!!
XOXO
Sister Pectol


This is called a boodle fight.  it's supposed to have banana leaves, but we just used garbage bags XD you just dump the rice and ulam on the table and everyone goes for it.  it's only here in the Philippines that I learned rice is a finger food. 




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Final 12 Weeks!! Mindoro, Evaluations, and All that Good Stuff :)




final 12 weeks!  picture pose then the real feelings.....




Hello everyone!

This week has been a really intense week.  I have learned a lot about humility, from myself and also from others.

I've really been struggling lately with a lot of feelings of inadequacy, both in missionary work and in personal things and especially in my calling as an STL.  It's hard when all of your weaknesses seem to just magnify themselves in front of you and seem impossible to overcome.  We had service as a zone on Saturday, and is was so fun to participate in the national service day to clean up campaign posters and all that, but I was having a hard time.  After the service, we ended up calling our district leader over so that he could give both me and Sister Udarbe a priesthood blessing.  And let me tell you, the power of the priesthood is real.  We didn't tell him anything that we were struggling with or that we wanted guidance on; we just said that we would like a blessing of comfort.  And in each of our blessings, he addressed the things that we were specifically struggling with and needed counsel on.  We took notes for each other, and this morning I reviewed the notes my companion had written down and just felt so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give to worthy men the power of the priesthood in order to help those around them.  It also reminded me to be more humble and remember that it's not my strength or lack of that is important; what's important is that I just remember where my real strength is and rely on my Savior and on my Heavenly Father.



One of the other things that had a big impact on me taught me a powerful lesson about humility.  One of the companionships in our route has really been struggling; one of the companions is really disobedient and prideful and drags her companion down.  We had the opportunity to do exchanges with them on Thursday, and it was so heartbreaking to see how much pride is ruining things for them.  One of the sisters is new in the area and is trying so hard to learn the area and the investigators and the members, but her companion just gets annoyed when she asks questions.  We've seen a lot of pride issues in that companion, and so when we did exchanges we each took some time to talk with each of the sisters one on one.  And I can really testify that nobody can change you but yourself, and not even Heavenly Father will force you to change yourself.  One of the sisters does not see herself as making mistakes or having weaknesses, and when her companion tried to explain what was going on she just got angry.  It was so sad.  There hasn't been much that's changed in that companionship--the prideful one is still so prideful, and the other one is just exemplifying the Christlike attribute of humility as she tries to keep things going smooth.  We're praying (literally) that something will change and that the Spirit will be able to work in their companionship.

So I guess the biggest takeaway that I got this week is just to remember that nobody is perfect (especially myself) but that if we are humble and we let ourselves be changed, we really can change for the better.

Mosiah 3:19  For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.--Charles A. Beard

Love you all!!  Have a good week and remember that humility can help solve any problem :)
XOXO
Sister Pectol



My little Utah buddy...


Monday, May 16, 2016

The Power of the Priesthood, and a Lesson in Humility


This week has been a really intense week.  I have learned a lot about humility, from myself and also from others.

I've really been struggling lately with a lot of feelings of inadequacy, both in missionary work and in personal things and especially in my calling as an STL.  It's hard when all of your weaknesses seem to just magnify themselves in front of you and seem impossible to overcome.  We had service as a zone on Saturday, and is was so fun to participate in the national service day to clean up campaign posters and all that, but I was having a hard time.  After the service, we ended up calling our district leader over so that he could give both me and Sister Udarbe a priesthood blessing.  And let me tell you, the power of the priesthood is real.  We didn't tell him anything that we were struggling with or that we wanted guidance on; we just said that we would like a blessing of comfort.  And in each of our blessings, he addressed the things that we were specifically struggling with and needed counsel on.  We took notes for each other, and this morning I reviewed the notes my companion had written down and just felt so grateful that Heavenly Father loves us enough to give to worthy men the power of the priesthood in order to help those around them.  It also reminded me to be more humble and remember that it's not my strength or lack of that is important; what's important is that I just remember where my real strength is and rely on my Savior and on my Heavenly Father.

One of the other things that had a big impact on me taught me a powerful lesson about humility.  One of the companionships in our route has really been struggling; one of the companions is really disobedient and prideful and drags her companion down.  We had the opportunity to do exchanges with them on Thursday, and it was so heartbreaking to see how much pride is ruining things for them.  One of the sisters is new in the area and is trying so hard to learn the area and the investigators and the members, but her companion just gets annoyed when she asks questions.  We've seen a lot of pride issues in that companion, and so when we did exchanges we each took some time to talk with each of the sisters one on one.  And I can really testify that nobody can change you but yourself, and not even Heavenly Father will force you to change yourself.  One of the sisters does not see herself as making mistakes or having weaknesses, and when her companion tried to explain what was going on she just got angry.  It was so sad.  There hasn't been much that's changed in that companionship--the prideful one is still so prideful, and the other one is just exemplifying the Christlike attribute of humility as she tries to keep things going smooth.  We're praying (literally) that something will change and that the Spirit will be able to work in their companionship.

So I guess the biggest takeaway that I got this week is just to remember that nobody is perfect (especially myself) but that if we are humble and we let ourselves be changed, we really can change for the better.

Mosiah 3:19  For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.--Charles A. Beard

Love you all!!  Have a good week and remember that humility can help solve any problem :)
XOXO
Sister Pectol




Zone interviews





Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!! MLC and Power Puff Girls



So, best news of my life....I GOT TO SKYPE ON SATURDAY!!!  It was so good to see everyone!  I am a little sad to admit though that we've been so busy here that I literally didn't have time to be excited until that morning...  But then I got to skype with the coolest people in the world (AKA my family 😉) so it totally made my week.  So happy Mother's Day to all the moms, grandmas, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends, etc who are fantastic moms!!!  (But my mom is the very best...just sayin')

We had our interviews with President Revillo this past week, which was amazing.  This calling has really been stressing me out--I have so many weaknesses and it's rough when you make mistakes and everybody mentions it.  In my interview with President I asked him why I'm here as a Sister Training Leader in Quirino when there's all these responsibilities that the entire mission needs us to complete, and there are several missionaries I know that could do a much better job.  He's so sweet; he let me rant my feelings for a minute then agreed with me.  He said that there are missionaries that could do better than me, and there are missionaries that could even do better than him.  But then he told me something that might have changed my life:  The Lord doesn't call us for our skills or for what we've done.  He calls us because of our potential...He will shape our backs to bear our responsibilities.  Not exact wording, but the best I can do :)  It was so reassuring for me.  I don't know why I was called to this position or why Heavenly Father has put so much trust in me.  It's hard and stressful and I am literally getting wrinkles (no joke--I'm starting to look old :P ).  But I'm trying so hard to do my best and give my all, and I keep feeling little reassurances that that's enough for Heavenly Father.  So I guess I'll just keep pushing at it until Heavenly Father thinks that I've stretched enough :)

Friday we had our Mission Leadership Council, and Sister Udarbe and I decided to be twinners and wear what we call our "Ramos dresses".  Our favorite recent convert family in Taytay, the Ramos family, made them for us.  We both thought it was a great idea, until we got there and Sister Revillo announced that we would be performing a duet for everyone (thank goodness we didn't) and our zone leader told us we looked like the Power Puff Girls.  Well, I thought we looked adorable, anyways.  (I give up trying to look cute here--it fails everytime 😩 lol)

We should look to and have our focus firmly fixed upon the Savior at all times and in all places.--David A. Bednar.

Omni 1:26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved. 

Love you all!!  Have a great week!!
XOXO
Sister Pectol

P.S.  I hit my 15 month mark this week 😱😱😱  It's going by way too fast!!!!