SISTER NORMA BAUTISTA

QUEZON CITY NORTH MISSION
8/13 TO 3/15

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