Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week 45

Week 45
ONE YEAR! (: Nothing really happened this week until earlier today and yesterday. Last monday I had a fever of 102 when we got home from e-mailing. The worst part is it stayed until Thursday. There was some weird virus (they think) that was in the air. Anyway the symptoms were really odd. Last week was tough because we were confined to the house all day every day. But we still managed to get out Saturday and Sunday. Thank goodness the fever went away and I was able to start eating on Saturday because we were about to cancel our plans for exchanges with the Sisters on the island. But we didn't have to! Yay. So now we are here on Marinduque. It is so beautiful and so clean! The senior couple missionaries took us to the beach earlier and to lunch. 

I have done lots of thinking and some studying last week. I thought a lot about President Mangum's challenge for us to rise to our calling. I really dislike being inside as long as I wear this name tag. I was pretty frustrated last week. It was super hot and the fever was killer. I felt my attitude slipping back and my mood changed. I was not very happy with my circumstances. I kept thinking "I would feel better if i could just get over this fever, or go outside, or eat real food." I caught myself lots of times saying those sorts of things. And i thought- what is the difference in that mentality and the mentality I have worked a year to develop? And why did it come back so quickly and easily? Hitting a year has helped me re-asses where my goals are and what things I want to continually improve on. One thing is definitely going to be preparing for adversity. I was sad at the way I handled the challenge heavenly Father gave to me last week. Reading in the Book of Mormon about Nephi has given me a greater desire to focus on faith. Especially when trials and temptations come. I know it will prepare me for going home and facing trials unlike the ones I have been used to for a while. I read a scripture last week about the people of Nephi right after Lehi died. Nephi is talking about how successful their people were and how blessed they were for their obedience. He says, "And we lived after the manner of happiness." So for the next 6 months, I want to learn and study to prepare to live after the manner of happiness. So that I can be ready for anything that will come my way! 

Have a good week all! 
Sister Gaspar de Alba

  on our way to marinduque.  
   living it up on exchanges with the sisters in marinduque! (the smallest island in the mission with missionaries on it)  
  1st time I have been on the beach my whole mission! 
  one year!  

Week 44

Week 44
This week was wonderful! Keep seeing growth in our area. Despite lots of trials, this area is really picking up. Of course thanks to the wonderful members in our ward. They just needed a little push and a lot of love. We went on exchanges with the sisters from the zone a few hours north. I got to go with Sister Pajo! (my trainee) This week we also had the Mission Leadership Council meeting. We have some very enthusiastic leaders was interesting. But really enlightening. A sister in our ward was also baptized yesterday! I loved teaching her, her conversion to the Book of Mormon will be a strength to lots of girls her age. I also got to speak in sacrament meeting which was a real privilege. 

Okay this week I have learned a lot about receiving strength from The Atonement. I have never been so dead tired in my life. We have the biggest area to cover, and Sisters calling us at night for help with things. We also have an area that needs SO much help. And sometimes I feel really discouraged like there is no way we can accomplish it all, and there is no way we can keep going with the schedule we have every day. But last week taught me WE CAN. Through the enabling power of The Atonement of our Savior, we receive strength beyond our own. I really believe that. So here's an assignment for all those reading: Read the experience of Nephi in 1 Ne. 7 when he gets tied up by His brothers. Apply it to your life and send me what you learned! (President gave us advice to commit our family and friends to be a bigger part of our mission and this is my idea for it). I know Christ is Our Savior. 

Last experience: We have been teaching an investigator who has had the hardest time understanding The Restoration. We had tried anything and everything we could think of. One day we prayed with literally all our hearts as we went to teach her again. We both looked at each other after the prayer and said at the same time: Doctrine of Christ. I am so grateful for the Spirit of Revelation available to all of us baptized and confirmed members of the Church. We got paper out and started drawing maps and charts and pictures. While we were teaching, she started crying as we were going over the Godhead. She cried and said to us;" Never in my life have i truly understood who God, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost are. Thank you so much, Sisters." My heart was so full of gratitude. 

That's all for this week! I am feeling a little sick so I'm sorry for the lame replies and short emails. Thanks always for prayers and thoughts! 
Sister Gaspar de Alba

  i got to go on exchanges with the wonderful sister i trained. (she is literally like a little sister to me) i love her! it was such a cool thing to work with sister pajo and see how she has grown and changed because of her dedication to this work.  
  my hair is getting to light! this is what the Philippines sun does to you. 
  we woke up round 4:30 am to exercise before our big leadership meeting in san pablo on friday. this is what it looked like behind our house 
                           so fun to see some friends at MLC! Sister Burt is still amazing and so inspiring 

          the baptism of Sister Roxanne happened yesterday! She is so great, we are excited to help her prepare for a mission. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Week 42 (Sorry I posted week 43 before this post)

This week was my first week as a traveling missionary! Part of our assignment is going around to the sisters in our area and working with them for 1 day. It's called an exchange. There are about 12 sisters in the mission right now that do this. It's part of the Missionary Leadership Council. We plan with them, study with them, and teach with them. It's to help carry out the assignments and goals of the mission president more effectively. As we work with the sisters, we evaluate with them and talk about how to help their area progress and help them progress personally. It's kind of intimidating! But really a wonderful experience. Lots of sisters just need a boost and to feel Heavenly Father's love and appreciation for their work. This week we went to a place about an hour and a half away to 4 sisters. I worked with 2 of them and we had a really great 3 days with them. 

Another part of our assignment is to work with the Zone Leaders in planning the training every transfer. We do the training meetings with them and teach workshops and practice teach. Last month since I didn't go to the meeting, I had no idea how to prepare! Scary. Because ususally what happens is the leaders meet with President then we meet with the other missionaries and teach what President and his assistans taught us. But it was good, my companion helped me a lot. i learned a lot about being humble in teaching. It's really frustrating feeling like the people are just talking and not really listening to the comments which really hinders the Spirit. But as I tried to listen and ask the missionaries for their imput and ideas I thought of that scripture in Doctrine& Covenants that talks about "all were edified and rejoiced together." or something like that. 

This week I have been studying charity and love in Preach My Gospel. It talks a lot about charity "possessing" someone. So i thought about that a lot. How can we let charity posses us? We know from The Book of Mormon that charity is the love of Christ. So i thought a lot about the love we feel for others (especially the sisters i serve) needing to come from Christ. Because coming from me, it won't be nearly enough to change them and to help their areas. But coming from Christ, nothing will be impossible for them do. I also have been studying a lot about pride in my Book of Mormon reading. My new favorite talk is "Beware of Pride" by President Benson. I think feelings of inadequacy are a form of pride. It's a lack of trust in Heavenly Father's purposes and lack of Faith in our Savior and his enabling power. WHOA. When I realized that it kinda hit me pretty hard. So right now I am working on humbling myself. I really know that as we work to develop these attributes of Christ, we will become perfect in Him. 

I loved this week! (: It was so happy and full of adventures. Even though I have never been so emotionally and mentally exhausted, It's been a really wonderful week serving others. Listening to the concerns and problems of the sisters is super draining! But I am glad they trust me and I have been so grateful for the help of the Holy Ghost in working with them overcome the challenges they are going through. 

Love to all! And special congratulations to aunt moni who got married last week! 


  me and my companion! Sister Reed from Washington. This is on a long bridge on our way to an investigators house. Tayabas is so beautiful!  
  we sang in english and chinese for companionship study! This sister I went on exchanges with is from Indonesia, but she worked in Hong Kong for 11 years and speaks Chinese. I seriously love living in asia! 
  I got to go on exchanges with my batchmate! SO fun. We learned a lot from each other.  
Sister Gaspar de Alb Sister Napitupulu. We had a really great day together a

Week 43

Week 43? (not sure)
This was a really great week even though it was super exhausting! That's the life on the mission though.

 We had zone interviews last week with President Mangum which was really good. He asked about our families, our hobbies, then asked us what we wanted to talk about. I was a little thrown off, but it was so good! We talked about how to be a good leader. And how I can work on it. SO. I had some really amazing insights after our interview. First: We have 2 ears and one mouth. Listening should be twice as frequent as speaking. Second: I can't receive personal revelation for anyone but me. The best thing I can do to help these Sisters is direct them to their father in heaven, who knows them much better than me. Third: I need to quit being a fixer! It's not helpful for people, and not healthy emotionally. This is something that I know will bless all of my relationships. I need to find a balance between helping and supporting loved ones in trials, and trying to fix it for them. Heavenly Father has helped me see that this is definitely a weakness of mine.

This week while on exchanges, I learned a lot about trust. About how we gain trust in others, how they gain trust in us, and how important that is. A sister I went on exchanges with me had a lot going on and felt like I was the only sister that she could open up to about how the area was doing. Anyway, she thanked me for listening and appreciated so much the day we had together, It was so cool to be that for a sister here. 

We have an investigator who has been going through some rough times since the storm. They lost their farms and all of their fruits they grow for a living. Her husband has been MIA for like 3 weeks and she has no money for her kids to even eat. The 16 year old sells bread every morning and they use that money for food. Which is not even close to enough for her 5 kids. We had full confidence and faith as we read her the promise in 3 Nephi 13 about seeking first the kingdom of God. She lives about a 45 minute walk up the hill from the church. And SHE CAME! (: With her kids. I wanted to cry. What faith she has. The relief society lesson was about finding hope through trials. What a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. I am so grateful that he is aware of the needs of all of us. Especially the people here that I have grown to love. 

More crazyness to follow next week with meetings and exchanges! Have a good week all! Thanks for your prayers and love,
Sister Gaspar de Alba
  Our p-day earlier with the zone. We went to a place called "Kamay ni Jesus" It was 210 steps walking through different statues of the life of Christ. This is the zone on the climb!
  Exchangs in Barra. These Sisters work so hard! Their area is so different than anyone that I have been to on the mission so far. There was a huge group of people that live in a combine thing? They look like gypsies. Anyway they are wonderful and it was great to spend time with them
 picture! (the elders' idea) 6 months to continue in this great work here in the philippines.