Philippines Bacolod Mission

2016.11.21 Bro. Junmar is baptized!!!

Maayong Hapon Brothers kag Sister!!!!
Brother Junmar is baptized!!! I can not be any happier!!!!! He is so special to Sister Abad and I! Junmar is the deaf and mute. Not only has he taught me patience with myself but he showed me how to show love to God's children through work and not just words. He really is such an amazing example of a doer to me. Although Junmar physically can not speak or hear he still is able to understand the Christlike attributes of service and keeping commitments. I am truly blessed to know Brother Junmar and we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints are blessed to have our Brother, Junmar, in the army of God standing with us.
What a beautiful week of miracles! This week as I am away from family and friends for Thanksgiving I can say how thankful I am for each one of my family members and friends. Although I truly wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here in Bacolod, I will still be celebrating Thanks giving not just on Thanksgiving Day but everyday. Why, because everyday we are all blessed with so much. This season I can not help but really think about and be grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. There is really so much the Atonement gives us... for me as I am here on my mission it gives me strength. If you dont know how the Atonement can give someone strength I encourage you to pray and search for the answers. :) I
Love you all!!!! I want to thank Grandma so much for sending me a package. It felt so great to get a package from home!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!
Shout out to Haley a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I am so excited for you to enter the Young Woman Program so many great opportunities!!! Take advantage!!!! 
A Happy late Birthday to DAD!!!! (Mike) LIZ!!!!! MONIQUE!!!! (Dad can you add anyone else I am missing sorry I missed your birthday!!! I was not thinking straight!)
Sis. Garrish

Dear Family and Friends,
Bunch of joy I have felt this past week. Heavenly Father loves us so much. He lives and He wants all of us to come in His presence with our family. He is our literal Father in Heaven, He wants to bless everyone as long as we are doing our part as His children. As a missionary the Lord expects me to serve Him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By heart, the Lord means emotions and sentiments. Might refers to spiritual faculties, including will power. Mind refers to entire thought process like intellect and reasoning abilities. Strength means physical attributes of every action. Every second is very important because I am using the Lord's sacred time. Every day is harvest day. Finding people who kept from the truth. 
To teach effectively, you need to obtain spiritual knowledge. The Lord has said in Doctrine and Covenants 11:21, "Seek not to declare my word, but first to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men." I really love personal and companionship study. It is the time of receiving revelations for the investigators. The time you will find answers to their questions of the soul. Getting good results from study depends on having a strong desire to learn, and by studying with real intent. The type of companionship study that we have with Sister Garrish is such a spiritual amazing experience. We were imagining ourselves as a seminary, or institute, or MTC teacher when sharing the things we have learned from our personal study. One hour per personal study and two hours per companionship study including training for my trainee, then another 1 hour for language study. Lots of studies and it is really worth it. 
Last Saturday, we had a baptism again. A wonderful day that we saved soul once again. The first missionaries have always seen Junmar as a deaf struggling “sikad/pedicab” driver and never tried talking with him because they knew not how to communicate with him. Until one day Sister Garrish and I received a big prompting and the confidence to talk with him. With lots of random hand gestures and ASL we finally got to teach him the first lesson about the restoration although it was a big struggle, it was also a big success. Later on we had the opportunity to take Junmar to the computer lab where had an ASL section to teach Junmar more clearly. Since day 1, he has had such a strong desire to learn more about the church and later get baptized. His story was so inpiring. Despite of his disability, he continued to follow Jesus Christ example through baptism. 
Guess what! President Cobing, the first counselor of Bacolod Central Stake, let me borrowed their violin last week which is owned by his daughter. I was like, 😮! Really??? Before transfer day, we will be having a musical presentation at the sacrament. We will going to sing ABIDE WITH ME TIS EVEN TIDE on hymn 165. Elder Pajarin on the piano while Sister Garrish and Elder Baldwin will sing together with the ward missionaries. December 5 is transfer day but I don't know yet if I am going to transfer or stay still here in Bacolod 1st ward. I love this area. However, I will go where the Lord wants me to serve.  
Anyways, I am back ankle is okay now. The mission nurse gave me a medicine. I can walk as fast as I can. No unhallowed hand can stop the work of the Lord. 
Sister Abad 💛

2016.11.14 I know Christ's face, Sis. Abad vs. Tuko and first aid training paid off

Dear family and friends,
I have so much I want to share with you all! But I would really like to start off by saying how many miracles I witness a day is truly amazing. I did not realize until this week when I started to list them all off... One day on our walk to the church at 7 AM we had already received 13 blessings and 2 miracles just so far that day!!!!! That's crazy amazing!!! I can not tell you how much God wants this work to continue. He will do all he can to strengthen his missionaries so that they can face hardship. I truly believe that! This week we had a special conference where we got a visit from one of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Quentin L. Cook which was such an undescribeable experience. I sat directly in front of him and got to hear him testify that he knows Jesus Christ's face. It really was such a strong spirit of peace and reassurance how Jesus really lives and is there. Later that day we had a mission tour; that's where all the missionaries in the area go to hear the word of the General Authority, we were able to hear President Wadell, Presiding Bishop and his wife and Elder Robinson from the Seventy and his wife. First they talked about the love God has for his missionaries (it's so true, I not only feel it but I see it). Then they talked to us about the Christ-like attributes (Faith, Hope, Charity and Love, Obedience, Diligence, Virtue, Knowledge, Humility and Patience) , and what Christ-like attributes we show as a missionaries and which ones we need to work on. I now know if we follow all of the Christlike attributes or work on each everyday we will have a changed heart and we will come home a changed person. But if we don't try and be like Christ, we will return home the same person as we left. Near the end of the talk they had the Sisters raise their hands if the wanted those Christlike attributes in their future spouse and of course all the sisters raised their hand but in return he looked at us and said that's what our future spouse wants as well. So as he is preparing for me, I need to prepare for him by working on those Christlike attributes. I really love being here on mission because it is preparing me and setting me up for success. Now it is up to me to take the opportunities it offers me as a missionary. The biggest thing for me is change, to have a change of heart and change of mind. Step by step I will get there because I have that desire to have happiness for eternity not just temporally.
I Love You all so much!!
I would like to attach Sister Abad's (My companion) email to her family because it has a close connection to my thoughts and feelings. Again I love you all and Hope to hear from all of you soon!!!
Oh and of course!!! Congratulations to the CURD FAMILY!!!!! I can't wait to meet that new pineapple of yours!!!!!!!!
Love You all have a great week!

Sis. Garrish

<Sis. Abad's letter to her family>

Dear Family and Friends,
This is always a question on my mind before I begin my inspirational weekly letter for all of you. "How will I begin my message?" Okay here we go! Well I had a wonderful, full of blessings, and tons of miracle this past weekend. Actually every day is a miracle day for me. Day by day, I get to know more my Father in Heaven, how precious we are as His children here on this beautiful planet, and how He loves us unconditionally. We are so blessed that we are part of Heavenly Family. All of us have a divine potential to become like Him. Last Tuesday, us missionaries assigned in Bacolod 1st Ward were invited for Nang's Family Home Evening slash celebration of Sister Nang's birthday. Brother and Sister Nang have a wonderful 7 children. Both of them served also here in Philippine Bacolod Mission. My companion and I, Sister Garrish, had an opportunity to share our talents. She did the beat box while I was singing "Give Said a Little Stream" from Primary Song. That was so funny and all of them were amazed of Sister Garrish's beat boxing. She is so talented! Alright! So last Wednesday we had a baptism. We moved the baptismal day because Saturday has already had a full-packed schedule because of the General Authorities' visit. Anyways, finally we baptized a long time investigator that I met last July. We were not able to baptize her because she had a live-in partner for only 2 years. But their relationship was on and off. They argued most of the time. We did not force Sister Nelda to leave her live-in partner but we invited her to pray fervently to Heavenly Father of what is the right thing to do and read the Book of Mormon with real intent. The good thing with Sister Nelda, she's attending church sacrament and other meetings for several times. Then on the last week of October, she just told us that she already made a toughest decision of her life. She broke up to her live-in partner because she wants to get baptize and begin a new life. I do testify that by teaching repentance, we can baptize converts. We are not just baptizing people to reach the goals. But we are after their conversion. Missionaries are the one's who convince but the spirit is the one who converts people. Let us skip Thursday and move to what happened last Friday. It was a weekly planning day. My favorite part of weekly planning is the companionship inventory. This is about discussing the strength of your relationship with your companion and discussing any challenges that may be keeping your companionship from working in unity or from being exactly obedient. Sister Garrish and I are so united all the time. Every day we express how much we love each other. So cheesy but that's true. Because of that, we see a lot of miracles. One thing that happened to me last Friday was terrible! Because of the TUKO [gecko]! I got a big cut on the back of my ankle. So here's exactly what happened. I opened the kitchen door then suddenly the tuko was there and it was very close on my face! I had an eye to eye contact for a second with that "beautiful" tuko. As expected, I screamed bloody murder and ran. Poor thing the screen door at the kitchen closed right away while my left foot was there. My blood was gushing out on the floor. It was really painful but for some reason I could not cry, even though I felt like I was dying. But thank goodness Sister Garrish is still lifeguard certified and took real good care of me, even if she was laughing at me because I was trying really hard to cry. Sister Garrish is the most amazing and the most wonderful person I have ever met. She really is my superwoman, she came and saved the day! Part of missionary life. The mission nurse advised me to warm some water and put some liquid soap in it and soak 10 minutes or so. Then I need to do it three times a day. Moving forward. Last Sunday it was a special Stake Conference with Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the twelve Apostle. His testimony was really stocked on my inner cells of my brain. He said, "I know Jesus Christ. I know His face. I know what He looks like." We are really blessed that the power coming from Heaven is here on earth. Holding by the worthy Priesthood brethren. We are really blessed that we have a living Prophet and Apostles who continue to receive revelations. When I saw Elder Cook, the smile on my face reached my ears. I love our leaders. I love being a missionary. There's a lot of things I want to share with you but this time I think this would benefit with all of you. I encourage you more to know more our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by reading the scripture daily. Most especially the Book of Mormon. My testimony, knowledge, wisdom, and happiness is increasing. I do testify that every pages of the Book of Mormon, you are unfolding miracles in to your life and the next life to come. Continue to share your testimony to everyone. Widen the vision of the plan of our God. Have an eternal perspective all the time. Think always about the future. The temple is now open, I encourage you to visit the House of the Lord. Continue your covenant that you have made.
I love you so much!
Sister Abad

Sister Neldas baptism :)
Sister Abads battle wound from the Tuko [gecko] and mostly the door :)
I love my Companion!
Bishop Pioquinto is so amzing!!!
Thank you for your support every week!
FHE with the Nang Family!!!! The best Nachos I have ever tasted!!

My dream of being a sikad driver came to life today! Thank you SIster Ronelyn You are the best!!!!!! <3