SISTER NORMA BAUTISTA

QUEZON CITY NORTH MISSION
8/13 TO 3/15

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dear Lovely Family and Friends,

Pasencya po sobrang matagal hindi na magupdate kayo po. So much has happened since I last updated you all. Sorry It has taken me so long...I usually hand-write my stories to my family..it's a lot easier that way. However, I do remember telling you all that I would take you along on my adventure dito sa Philippines. I am sorry I have not gone through with what I had said. I guess it's still not to late, diba? I will update you all on what has happened this week. It was very amazing actually. We have District meeting every Tuesday. District meeting is where we have a workshop from our District Leader...The workshop is supposed to help us learn how or what we can do to be better missionaries. It is also a time to share what has happened during the week. It's where we have the chance to seek advice from other missionaries and also learn from one another. There is this one Elder I really like to point out. He has come up with a genius idea. He has tried it out for a week and finally shared it with us last week. It works wonders! Instead of knocking on doors or O.Y.Ming our district has decided to use His idea. He has made up this survey of questions. Instead of just randomly walking up to someone and sharing what we know to be true we have this new approach now. People seem to respond well to it. We now walk up to people and ask them if they will be willing to help us out by answering a few questions...we tell them it will take no more than 3 minutes. They seem to be excited...Sadly, I didn't bring it with me this morning, but I will tell you what the question are along with one of the many experience we had with the survey or questionere. I will share that with you next week s stay tuned! (: Anyway, My new companion and I have been doing a lot to build up our ward. We are seeing such great changes and we are working with the leaders and members and wow! Missionary work is amazing! It's amazing what love and desire does to the hearts of people! Thisngs start changing for the better. our ward is picking up and people are returing and I love watching this ward grow!  I told my Family about these 3 little children we are teaching! They are so ready to be baptized and start on the road to eternal life. It's so great to see how much they have grown . They are not the same little kids I knew  a month ago. I wish I can tell you everything, but I am running out! Just know that soon they will be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints. I love these three so much they are so special to me along with many others! Pero anyway, I have realized that one of the biggest reasons people leave the church for a time or become less active is because they get offended. You know that being offended is a choice. let us not get to this point. Before we decided we wont go back to church because of something someone said or did to offend us...let us rethink...think twice before finalizing your decision. Lets think of our future, our purpose dito sa mundo, the reason why we attend church. Are you going to let something someone said  or did stop you from progresssing to eternal life? Are you going to let them dictate your life? Or are you going to keep pressing forward? May we use our agency wisely.

Sister Bautista

March 10th

Dear Magandang Pamilya at mga Kaibigan,

Saya ang week namin as in, sad, talaga. I am out of Deet, the ones my parents sent me seguro mga 3 months ago...and the one day I didn't wear it I got 3 bites on my left leg, 2 on my right foot right on the arch, and 5 on my right arm...Then we had a CSP this last Saturday and I pulled something in my back by trying to attempt to pull out a papaya stem/trunk thing...lol same thing right? That's what I get for trying to go above an beyond haha I should of stuck to pulling out weeds. But that's not the sad part. The sad part was that othe daughter of the 2nd counselor passed away from lung cancer. She was in so much pain. And so we had a funeral service that Saturday. Plus, my Less Actives son, whom I adore so much! fell out of a really high mango tree....he was super smart and amazing. He was so fun to be around and one of the most behaved boys I have met. He is 13 and seriously so polite and just amazing....I was in tears when I heard what happened. He is out of the hospital now they did a CT and it doesn't look so good. I was crying so hard  along with his mom...which prob didn't help but he is now home and can not speak and only moves his eyes and its so hard. Please keep him in your prayers. I know I am supposed to tell you all the positive things and I am a positive person but I told you all I would take you along the ride. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for him! I love these people whom I get to serve. I wish I could tell you about every little moment I've had dito sa field, but all I can say is that for me, these are moments that can never be forgotten. These are moments to be treasured...They're captured by "snapshots taken with the heart, are never lost...they become an album of beautiful moments that live forever."  

It's crazy how every misyonero dito sa field has a unique story to what got them here...some have it a lot harder than others "pero" we all have one purpose. That being to build up the kingdom of God. I want to continue to accomplish everything that I have been sent here to do and learn. And Like Sister Sperry-mission president wife-said, "I want to remember what I've learned and how I have felt. Mostly, I want to remember the faces and names of the great young people we've come to know and to love...I just want to sprint to the finish line having given my very best efforts to the Lord..."

Oh! Before I forget...i have to tell you about the survey questionnaire thing. Plus I have to tell you about Mondays (last Mon) FHE.  So I will tell you about our Kapit bahay experience dahil their outcome was amazing. So These Sister (my last companions before when we were a 3some) these Sisters, they knocked on this door ...called tracting..and they asked these people if they had a few minutes to take a survey. The people were a little hesitant but then gave in. One of the Sisters began by asking the first Question  : "is a close strong family important to you?" an they said yes and the sister wrote down the answer and 2nd "Should churches provide better programs for families and youth" they said sure 3rd "Do you have a belief in God" and they said "uhm sure" and 4th "Do you believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God" and they said "yes?" 5: "Have you ever asked yourself questions like 'Where did I come from?' Do you think that there are answers to these questions? " and the one lady started crying and asked the sisters if there is a plan? and if so how do they know ....so the sisters proceeded right to the last question 10 "Would you like to be happier than you are now?" and they said "yes with tears in there eyes" and The missionaries asked "what would make you happier" and they said "idk you tell  me" and the missionaries said WE would like to tell you how...do you have a few minutes for us to tell you a little bit about *they pull out the restoration pamphlet *about how we can be with our families together forever. (these are question 6:Do you believe the bible to be the word of God or just a history book? If knew there was another book of scripture written by prophets that testifies of Christ, would you read it? 7"Do you pray" 8"If so, do you feel that God hears and answers prayers" 9"How do you cope with crisis in your life) And the Family allowed them to share a quick message for a couple minutes. Anyway, the family they surveyed that day is now their former investigators. They are doing so well!!!! I love missionary work. our district is trying the survey out and it's super effective. Filipinos love taking part in surveys (: so  that's fun. I am out of time to tell you about the FHE last Monday bbut know that I think this is his time. This brother never wanted to take part in anything you couln'd force him, but he was so willing to last Monday! I love it that My companion  and I get to be part of something so great! Btw remember the # kids I told you about last email AJ, BELLY,and JB will soon be members of the church! I love them so much! Anyway Have a great week i have to go! Love you all!

Love,
Sister Bautista

Quote of the Day: "Satan's goal?role in Gods eternal plan creates 'opposition in all things' (2Nephi 2:11)and test our agency-whether we choose obedience or disobedience to the commandments of God is actually a choice between "liberty & eternal life" and "captivity and death"



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So this last sunday I had to give a talk in Tagalog...My talk was about 40% Tagalog and I definitely stressed about it and prayed to seek inspiration from my Heavenly Father. This is what I felt inspired to share to those of Plaridel Ward ...of course I translated back to English so you would all understand haha. I love you all. Muah!

SUNDAY

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to share some words about missionary work. 
Brothers and sisters, this is the time to prepare to meet God. This is the time for men to perform their labors.
Time is running out, and Jesus Christ is near.
"we must devote our time to the things that matter most" We must use our time wisely and set our priorities right. We are living on borrowed time, we must be wise how we use our seconds, minutes, and hours.
This is the time to prepare.
Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints needs to bring forth the work of salvation. We need to preach the gospel to all the world. Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ is a missionary. I know that Heavenl Father is preparing people to hear the gospel. Our Heavenly Father is hoping we are ready to teach the people...our brothers and sisters.
Our Brothers and sisters, outside, are children of God. They have lost hold of the iron rod. However, through missionary work. we can all bring them the truth. We can all bring back our brothers and sisters to the straight and narrow path. We are all instruments of God.
I believe that the Lord is telling us to not be afraid to open our mouths and teach. The Lord does not want us to worry, but to trust Him. We need to develop enough faith to preach the gospel even when we don't know what we are going to do or say.What we need to do is to prepare. I believe that one way to prepare is by treasuring up the words in our lives, in our hearts, and minds by studying and pondering on the scriptures. As we prepare our Heavenly Father will give us opportunities to share the truth to those who have been prepared to hear your testimony and truth.
"As we live the gospel more fully, we can eliminate fear by replacing it with charity- the pure love of Christ- towards our friends, family, and neighbors. this love will increase our natural tendency to share the gospel."
Here in the JST; Matthew 6:38 footnote says: " Wherefore, seek not the things of this world, but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness." ....This is Gods work. 
It is time to preach the gospel because we are all missionaries and because we want to follow Jesus Christ and teach the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, and help bring joy to those who follow him as well. We should not be afraid to share the gospel because we all have a glad message to share. We have a message of joy.
May we all put our faith into action to share fearlessly to our brothers and sisters who have lost hold of the iron rod.
 "Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. Therefore, o ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye SERVE him with ALL your HEART, MIGHT, MIND and STRENGTH, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. Therefore, if ye have desires to SERVE GOD ye are CALLED to the work (D&C 4:1-3)."
We are all missionaries and we must magnify our calling. Elder Echo hawk once said, "The work you are embarking on now has eternal consequences...there may be future leaders out there...if you fail to meet your sacred calling, that has eternal consequences as well." I can not tell you how grateful I am to be a missionary. To be called forth to preach in these latter days. To bring forth the gathering of Zion and to be worthy to labor in the Lords vineyard in these last hours. I'd like to leave you with one last quote by President John Taylor, "if you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty." May we all stand blameless before God on the last day. I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love,
Sister Bautista

Sunday, December 22, 2013

 Merry Christmas, My Beloved friends & family..  I hope you are all in the Spirit of Christmas.
 So....
 What are you asking for Christmas?
 Or, Better yet, what are you giving this Christmas?
 Being here in the Philippines, is such a wonderful journey. It truly is an adventure of a lifetime. I have grown to truly love the culture and the people.
 Lately, Especially during Christmas time, I've been wondering what to give the people of the Philippines this Christmas... Now, Let me ask you this: If you had the ability to give ANY gift, what would you give?
  In Luke 2:7 it says, "and she brought forth her first born son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Now, let me ask you this: what was Jesus wrapped in? was He wrapped fancy wrapping paper with fancy bows and ribbon? was He placed underneath a Christmas tree? No.
 He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in the INN.
 Well, in John 19:38-39 it says "and after this Joseph Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, But secretly for fear of the jews, be sought pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus and pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. and there came also Nicodemus, which at first came to Jesus by night , and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes. about an hundred pound weight." Here, Jesus is wrapped in  white clothes, and is placed in an empty tomb.
  That's when it finally clicked! one of the most treasured gifts I have received  from our Heavenly Father is the gift of Jesus Christ, our Savior; that thought Him  we are able to atone our sins and receive everlasting salvation.
 What a wonderful time of the year to reflect on our savior, Jesus Christ. many times we are focused on the savior birth, which we should, but the atonement is about much of his life then just his death.
 I remember President Henry B. Eyring saying that the greatest gift we can offer is to point those we love and serve towards Christ, the only source of eternal life.
  That was it!
  I have such a strong testimony about missionary work. Missionary work is incredable. it's beyond anything i have ever experienced before. I get the opportunity to spread peace. I get to invite others to come onto Christ, and be transformed; to taste of His doctrine, to learn, to ask if its true, to embrace and walk in the true faith of their Father. I get to share the blessings and happiness that comes from the Gospel. I have not experienced greater joy than that comes from one accepting the gospel. to watch people's lives change for the better is so great! To be able to give them a sense of hope is refreshing to the soul. Serving one another is truly something special. As we allow ourselves to serve, we will develop love for one another. we will begin to see others, and love others like our Heavenly Father does.

 As a missionary, the greatest gift I can give to people of the philippines, is the gift of a gospel! some of the greatest gifts are those you can't wrap.

  In john 6:35 it says " and Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." thus means, if we want eternal life, we need to study the gospel and the words of Christ. we need to become more Christlike. we need to focus on the principles taught by our savior came to earth and set for us a perfect example to follow, and we need to strive to became more Christlike. we need to remember His teachings.
  In john 6-51,65 it says "verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
  I am that bread
  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
  I am the living bread which came down from heaven, if  any man eat of this bread he shall live forever and the bread that i will give for the life of the world.
  and He said, Therefore said unto you, that no man can come unto me, Exactly it were given unto him of my father."

  Basically, without the saviors life, teaching, and atonement... there would be no Christmas. without the atonement, his birth would have meant nothing. we need to always strive to be like Jesus. how close we are like Jesus Christ, the most significant we will become, and the more impact we will have on others. the way we live and sacrifice for others makes our birth more meaningful. I invite you ll, this very Christmas to wrap yourselves in the principles taught by our savior, Jesus Christ and make your hearts a stable where Heavenly Father can dwell. I promise you all, that as you do this and not only will you gain a brighter testimony of the love of the savior has for each one of us, but you will understand the meaning of your birth and your purpose. May you all have a Merry Christmas and remember the true meaning of Christmas. i testify that Jesus is the Christ. He is the savior of the world, and Redeemer. We shall partake of one of the most priceless, and lasting gift.... the Atonement. I eave this things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thanksgiving

Dear Pamilya at mga Kaibigan,

Maganda Umaga! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and ate lots of good stuff. Guess what I had for Thanksgiving? Wait, were you thinking RICE?! "Ay Naku" (goodness) how did you know?! Well, apparently Thanksgiving is an American holiday. We don't celebrate it here. Anyway, it was great. That Thursday, after Bishop's Dinner, my Kasama and I celebrated with our mga Kabahay. They put hearts along the stairs and attacked our wall with pick hearts all which had quotes. Then we celebrated with ice cream and "Nips" for toppings, choco syrup, and orange soda. That's how we do it in the Philippines.

Wow. I can not believe how fast time has gone by, speedy fast that's for sure! 3 months have gone by, and I am down for another 15 months! A lot has happened and sometimes I don't write because I have so much to say, and don't know where to start. So I'll tell you about last week. Last week I went to the spa which I didn't do so well . I was afraid I the spa thing was going to go all wrong. I was afraid I was going to end up with open wounds and catch some horrible disease "pero"it all went well. After squealing and biting onto my t-shirt and holding onto one of my kabahay I allowed the fish to eat my dead skin. Anyway this last Tuesday we went to a buffet and it was 150 pesos each and you must eat ALL the food off your plate before going back for more. If you don't eat ALL of it you must pay twice . So that was fun. Anyway, since it's thanksgiving I think I should tell you one of the things that I am grateful for. I LOVE MY FAMILY and they mean the world to me! I love my supportive fiends who show me so much support and love ! I am grateful for the gospel and the privilege I have to serve as a missionary. I have never experienced greater joy that the joy that comes from those who accept the gospel. I am seeing lives change for the better and all because of the gospel! I am having an adventure of a lifetime, making memorable memories ,and developing lasting friendships that will last a lifetime! I love being a missionary. I have grown so much and have seen a lot! I have learned to appreciate life and not take ANYTHING for granted. I have learned and still learning the true value of charity. I am learning to nor only HAVE charity , but BE charity! I am enjoying every minute and every moment. I have learned that being a missionary also definitely has it challenges, pero they only make me that much stronger! I would not trade these short 3 months for anything! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Anyone who's capable and worthy should serve an honorable mission. I have come to realize that my family will receive blessing regardless if I'm a good or bad missionary. However, after my mission I will receive the blessings according to what I plant and harvest. I am doing my best for my Family and I! I'm not only making my family proud, but my Heavenly Father. I am dedicated to him and serving him faithfully and with loyalty and obedience. This is an adventure of a lifetime! I love the people and the culture!

Cherish everything you have!

Have a great week and find ways to serve one another.

Love,
Sister Bautista

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Typhoon, safe in the Lords care!

My legs are seriously being taken over by mosquito bites! My legs and top of my feet are super itchy!!! Last night during our coordination meeting, Elder Asetre was telling me how I'm staring to look like a dalmatian haha because I have spots (red) everywhere... I have over 26+ .The member's are so worried about my bites and all try to help me haha Elder Barcon thinks I have some sort of skin disease. But really they are only mosquito bites. I love how caring our ward members are. Anyway, want to hear something gross? The bottoms of my feet are all peeling and gross...it looks like I have athletes foot or fungus, but i don't know ! Maybe it's from walking in the rain in my crocs, and it irritates my feet. It's so gross, just thought i'd share . 

Anyway, this week was crazy. Many were panicked, and there were a lot of people who were injured because of this natural disaster  super typhoon, Typhoon Yolanda it was the worst in the Philippines. I appreciate all your love and concern from all of you. I appreciate all the prayers and all the emails and you are all so great. I feel so loved! Thank you all! I am grateful for each one of you. However, no one needs to worry. All our missionaries are okay. OUR area was not affected at all. It was actually in a different part of the Philippines , not sure where exactly. Anyway, I received this from one of my emails: "The world is running out of time, why do you think the age was lowered? The Lord needs missionaries, and not just young men and woman called to serve. He needs young disciples  who are strong, loyal, obedient,  and filled with his light... Remember many are called, but few are chosen.Do what it takes to be chosen." I know I have been preserved and reserved for these latter days. Especially, at this time there are many who need comfort, and peace. I came into this mission with a strong testimony. I came into this mission knowing my purpose, and why i wanted to serve. I am here because in the pre-existence I made a promise to my brothers and sisters. I promised them I would keep hold of the iron rod. I have a great responsibility in HIS great plan of salvation. I am here to influence the world to do good. I am here to build relationships. I am here to strengthen testimonies. I am to hold up my light that it may shine unto the world. 

We may not all know why things happen, and why it happens to certain people. We have to trust our Heavenly Father and know that he sees the bigger picture, and he knows what's best for us. I ask you all to keep the families of the people who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda, in your prayers. 


Love,
Sister Bautista

 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Week 3 in the field

Dear "Pamily at mga Kaibigan,"

Magandang Umaga Po! (good Afternoon) It's 3:00PM on a Monday and I just got back from the Avilon Zoo! It was an activity planned by our zone leaders. So that was so fun! I have such a great zone. there's never a dull moment. I'm always laughing, and having such a great time. Guess what was at the Zoo?? A Huge fish about 4ft or bigger and guess what they eat??? ...CHICKEN HEADS?! what in the What , right?! Crazy! I have never heard of such a thing. I also saw some of the most exotic birds and the most amazing scenery! Pictures soon to come (prob. in a month). I also almost had a white tiger jump up against the fence where i was standing. i guess it didn't like me because i was trying to take a picture of it. It also growled at me, and i seriously almost tumbled over, it was that powerful, and I was so scarred! 

Anyway, my legs have been itching all week! I have counted... 14 mosquito bites on my left leg and foot; and 9 more mosquito bites on the right and lower ankle. Many have been commenting on my legs. You should see their facial expressions! But what do you expect when there's red blotches everywhere haha I use the mosquito repellent lotion provided to all missionaries. Maybe it washes off or something because of the rain?  "Hindi ko Alam" (i dont know) 

By thw way, I came to realize a lot this week. I can't conversate! I can share the gospel in Tagalog, of course not all perfectly, but pretty good. I can do basic small talk, but when you start whipping out Tagalog at a super fast speed I get "major nose-bleed" (Filipino phrase meaning difficult). And apparently I have a cute accent?!I thought I sounded like a native, and I thought I spoke pretty well?! Have I been lied too? This one members comment kind of threw me off this week and I started struggling with the language . It's okay "...Lifes battles don't always go to the stronger and faster man; But sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can." (Walter D. Wingle) I got this! It doesn't happen over night, that's for sure. So this last week on Wednesday our district had a service project. The Elders got to scrub moss off with a toothbrush (cleaning out someones driveway) while us sisters got to help make some delicious food! We got to help make "bihon at palitaw" it was so fun! After, that we, sisters, helped the Elders scrub moss. I swear something always goes wrong when I try to help. As i was scrubbing the moss off, with a toothbrush, I somehow broke a huge chunck of concrete. the elders are so funny. They said " well, on the bright side..that's a huge chunk of moss you don't have to scrub off" so thats good right?

other things that went wrong this week:

-almost broke Sister xxxxxxxxx (Recent Convert) door. As I was pushing it forward you should of heard her and her 13 children and my kasama all speaking at once trying to stop me haha Luckily, it did not break...phew!
-I got in the wrong tricycle. My kasama was looking at me like 'what are you doing' and the driver was looking at me funny. I was so embarrassed , and there were many people around us...

Anyway, thats all i have time for! By the way, i just got mail run this last Friday so I recieved a few letters! Thank you for the surprise (: You all are so great and so supportive I love it! I will respond to all of them so expect it in like a moth because we get mailrun next 2-3 weeks and so by the time they send it out ....yeah. 

Anyway, youth is great! one of them came over this last Sunday so I could curl her hair hahah...so I may have a beauty salon here (; haha "joke-lang) but everyone wants me to fix there hair. I tell them they can come during my lunch time haha cause i don't have much time ....always preparing and studying....

It was so grea we had this Recent convert 19 yrs old nd she has been praying for he missinaries to come and we just happened to show up at her door. I'm sorry I am out of time, but I can see that as I strive to be exactly obedient mI see many miracles happen every day. the mission is so great! I am loving every bit of it. I Love being a Missionary! I love it oh so much! 

Love you all and thank you for all the support and love I receive from you all! Thank you!!!

Love,
Sister Bautista