Philippines Bacolod Mission

2017.10.16 Hello Family!!!

Hello Family!!! 

So to start off, these past two weeks have been lots of fun! Not sure if you heard but it's the rainy season over here!!! I'm pretty sure Sister Aiono and I have yet to go one day in the past two weeks without coming home soaked!!!! Other then that Sister Aiono and I have had some great nights when we weren't able to sleep at like 3 am so we made hot chocolate and watch the lightening storms :) I am so grateful to be here in the Philippines, and even more grateful for my companion Sister Aiono. We have been having a blast these past two transfers! We love seeing people enter the waters of baptism. So that has been our goal. We have also been working hard to see whole families get baptized together. 

These past two weeks we have seen two amazing people and others enter in the waters of baptism. First, Stephan, I can't believe the progression and the commitment that this kid has to follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ.  No matter the trials in his life, including having a high fever on the day of his baptism, he still continued. 
As for Pablo, his desire came step by step. He had been taught for quite a while now. Maybe over a year now, but in  the past month we have seen his connection with Jesus Christ and his understanding of what Jesus Christ really did for him.
As for Yara, I met her while I was on exchanges about 4 or 5 months ago! Since then the missionaries have been trying to get her to accept their invitation to be baptized. She finally accepted and was baptized this past weekend. Her one request for her baptism is that I attend. She says I'm her idol and I could not stop smiling when I heard that. 

Also the week before we had CONFERENCE!! :) I loved to listen to conference! I just remember when I was younger, whenever I did happen to listen to conference it felt like it dragged on forever! But of course that's when i was like 10. Lets just say I've grown a lot since then. :)   Well other than that, I'm still learning new things everyday. 
I Love the mission and I just want to say.... 3 months na lang. :P

-Sis. Garrish

2017.09.25 Hey!

Dear Family and Friends,
Attached are some photos and conversion stories of my recent converts.
-Sis. Garrish

2017.09.11 Short update to my short two weeks!

Dear Family and Friends,
So a quick update. Last Last Sunday we had Stake Conference and I guess the most amazing thing about just transferring with in the Stake is that every Stake Conference you get to see EVERYONE! haha
It really was amazing last Stake Conference because I got to witness a ton of my Recent Converts all dressed up in white polos and tie getting sustainted to  receive the Melchizedek Priesthood! I had an overwhelming feeling as the Stake President said their names for them to stand up and they all looked at me and gave me a nice big smile. I can't explain the feeling. I even found out that one of my Recent Converts is now a seminary teacher! I'm just so amazed the way that the Lord has influenced their life! Anyways other then that I took so many pictures with every one after church was over it was so great. It was all-in -all a wonderful great Sunday. I hope you enjoy the pictures of that day :)
These past two Saturdays we have also had two baptisms. On the 3rd it was Jun Rey Blaco and on the 9th is was Rene Boy they are both so amazing! This upcoming weekend we have another baptism. His name is Ryan and he is seriously so wonderful!!! We met him about a month ago on my first Sunday at church in Bacolod 2nd ward. One of his best friends is Brother Rom Rom and he was a referral. He is just really great. He also has been working with us by coming to other appointments and lessons with us. :)
I love this area and I love my companion I hope to continue working hard to help the people here.
- Sis. Garrish

2017.08.28 Weeks of Self-Evaluation

Dear Family & Friends,
Wow is this transfer just going so fast! So just for a little update, I have been paired with one of my best-friends on the mission, Sister Aiono. We have been together for two weeks now and it feels like just yesterday we became companions! Well I did transfer outside of Santa Fe, I am now in Bacolod 2nd Ward which is just the next door neighbor of Santa Fe. Haha... So I am still in the same zone. I am even in the same house that I have been living in! So I guess you could say I'm not too far. But I love the people here in Bacolod 2nd ward. They are all so great. They all know me pretty well already because I have been in their stake since I arrived here on my mission. They still call me Sister Taylor Swift. Haha! 

Well, since I have been here, I have already seen some great things happen in the area. Apprently Bacolod 2nd ward hasn't had the greatest success with baptisms this year. Not quite sure why, it's just been known that the previous missionaries just had a difficult time there with baptisms. But since I have been here me and Sister Aiono have seen great success and great potential. And everyone is amazing and so willing to help! 
So let me tell you a little about my past week...

This past monday me and Sister Aiono decided after emailing to go to Gonzaga, My old area to visit Hazel and his family (Hazel, my RC, died suddenly on Aug 13th in the morning around 10AM from heart failure at the age of 33) We went and saw his body and we dropped off some food for his family. We were just really quick because we had somewhere to go at 4. Even though we were fast, Hazel's mother loved that I came to visit her. She says whenever I'm there she feels like Hazel is still there as well. Hazel tried so hard to change his previous lifestyle, everywhere he went  he brought along with him his Book of Mormon. So these past two weeks have been hard, but I can't tell you how much light it has brought into my life and how much of a greater understanding I have for the Plan of Salvation. It really made me think of my life and just put my whole life is perspective. 

Well, after our quick visit there, we headed straight to the church to teach three young men that showed up to church the day before with one of their member friends. They are so respectful and just love to learn! Since this past past week they have come to the church about 4 times already for us to teach them. Even though they are crazy busy with school and work they still found time! Also this week we were also able to meet with the Mendoza family which is the brother of Joseph Mendoza. Joseph is the tricycle driver that I met on my first week here on the mission field. He had gotten baptized a few months before I knew him. But ever since the first day he saw Sister Abad and I in the pouring rain and we had no umbrella and no way to get back home he has since then giving us free rides anywhere we need to go. Something great is that him and his wife will be soon be getting sealed in the temple in the beginning of November! :) Anyways it just so happens that Joseph's brother Weanie lives in my new area! He has yet to be taught by missionaries! So I am hoping that this is the time that he will accept the Gospel. But I've also made some great new friends with Wenies kids who are just the cutest! I am excited for us to get to know them more! 
Well other than that time has been flying so fast in the mission! It feels like just yesterday I had no idea how to speak this language pero teh kabolo na ko! kag daw medyo sagad na ko... haha joke. 

Well also this Saturday my companion and I were invited to a baptism in Magsungay because that was the Gift that one of the boys wanted for his baptismal gift and it was his birthday. So he wanted us to come to his baptism. So we got permission to attend his baptism. Then afterwards we went to the families house to eat some amazing chicken! :) ​

Here it just makes me think I need to literally give my all. Sometimes I find myself being self centered and it makes me feel sick. Sometimes it pops into my head how like one time my Mom bought me an I-pod and a guitar a different year but they weren't the exact one I wanted and I just remember my attitude and oh how much I wish I knew then what I know now. The sacrifice of what my parents or people in general do for me and how I didn't appreciate it as much as I wished. That's the part of me that I've always wanted to change. I want to give my all to the Lord and not let my weaknesses get in the way of doing that. So of course I will pray and ask for forgiveness from God and of course my Mommy and do what I can to do what's right. I know this to be true, that if I do this I will become not only a better person for myself but for my whole family and for my Father in Heaven . I'm tired of life being complicated when its not suppose to be... haha. There is that one saying by President Thomas S Monson... Image result for if you follow the commandments of god life is less complicated
But to be honest the longer I'm here and the more I learn about some peoples lives here and how hard it is... it makes me so grateful for what I have and for my life. Everyday I think about what I can do more for people and how I can stop thinking about myself... my mind always seems to go to the story that I read in Mark 10:17-23
God loves us and he knows us. He knows what what we want and need. So lets just trust Him and He will take control. 

I love you fam... thanks for all of your examples. <3
watch this video... :) 

Sister Garrish

Kids we taught
Me and my companion <3
The Ward missionaries
The Laural boys! : )
After the baptism of Kenji and Marc after lunch

All the Sisters in the Zone after meetings : )
Me and Sister Angelique who got baptized before I got there : )
Angelique's brother Kyle
Sister Aiono and Sister Salvie who wirks with us : )
Ryan and Joeman the amazing YM in the Ward preparing for their missions by working with the Missionaries
​Kenji and Marc after their baptism at Magsungay : )

​Mendoza Family : )

2017.07.31 Building Zion

Dear Family and Friends,
What a WEEK!!!!! :) Well I want to start off we have started to help the Magbanua Family build their new house!!! It was a lot of work and we are not even close to being done. But we help as much as we can. You can see that we didn't even get one wall done... haha, oh by the way the house will be made out of all bamboo :) Its so fun to learn how to work with bamboo! :)
This weeek we also had a baptism of Brother Dan Dan! He is really amazing. He has been going to church for over two months and pretty much set his own baptismal date!!! He is now starting to prepare to share the gospel. One year from now is his goal is to be fully prepared to serve a mission. :) Also Sister Angeline and Sister MA. Fe received their certificate of their baptism and confirmation :) I love seeing people's desire to be baptized and to share their joy. This church is true and it really brings joy. It's true, if we just follow the commandments of God our lives are just a lot less complicated! I am so grate to be here on a mission to grow my understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Something I came to realize just on a mission is that Jesus literally dies for all my sins. Not just the little ones but the big ones. I also learned how important it is to forgive ourselves and others. Seeing people get baptized is my favorite thing. Every time I see them come out of the water I get the chills and a overwhelming feeling comes over me. They are new, their sins are gone.  This is how repentance works... it's not complicated it's super simple. The church has even helped us to know how to repent by 6 simple steps. ​

Repentance is the second principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is extremely important and is how we show faith in Jesus Christ. Follow these six steps to learn how to repent and receive forgiveness.
The first step of repentance is to recognize that you have committed a sin against Heavenly Father's commandments. You must feel true godly sorrow for what you have done and for disobeying Heavenly FatherThis includes feeling sorrow for any pain you may have caused other people
Godly sorrow is different than worldly sorrow. When you truly feel godly sorrow, you work toward repentance. Worldly sorrow is simply regret that does not make you want to repent.
There is a simple test to know if you have repented of your sins. If you confess them and forsake them, then you have repented.
Some sins only need to be confessed to Heavenly Father. This can be done through prayerPray to Heavenly Father and be honest with Him.
More serious sins may require you to confess to your local LDS bishop. This requirement is not set up to frighten you. If you have committed a serious sin, one that can result in excommunication, you will need help repenting.
If you have sinned, you must ask for forgiveness. This could include a number of people. You must ask Heavenly Father, anyone you have offended in any way, as well as yourself for forgiveness.
Obviously, asking forgiveness from Heavenly Father must be done through prayer. Asking others for forgiveness may ultimately be much harder. You must also forgive others for hurting you. This is tough, but doing so will foster humility in you.
In the end, you must forgive yourself and know that God loves you, even though you have have sinned.
Making restitution is part of the forgiveness process. If you did wrong or made something wrong, you must try to set it right.
Make restitution by fixing any problems caused by your sin. Problems caused by sin include physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual damage. If you cannot rectify the problem, sincerely ask forgiveness of those wronged and try to find another way to show your change of heart.
Some of the most serious sins such as sexual sin or murder, cannot be made right. It is impossible to restore what is lost. However, we must do the very best we can, despite the obstacles.
Make a promise to God that you will never repeat the sin. Make a promise to yourself that you will never repeat the sin.
If you feel comfortable doing so, make a promise to others that you will never repeat the sin. However, only do so if it is appropriate. This could include friends or family members or your bishop. Support from appropriate others could help to strengthen you and help you keep your resolve.
Recommit yourself to obeying God's commandments. Continue to repent if you sin again.
Scripture tells us that if we repent of our sins, Heavenly Father will forgive us.
What is more, He promises us He will not remember them.
Through Christ's Atonement we are able to repent and be cleansed from our sins. We can not only be clean again, we can feel clean. Fulfilling the repentance process cleanses us of our sins.
Each of us can be forgiven and receive peace. We all can feel the glorious feeling of peace that comes with sincere repentance.
The Lord will forgive you when you truly repent with a sincere heart. Allow his forgiveness to come upon you. When you feel at peace with yourself, you can know you are forgiven.
Do not hold onto your sin and the sorrow you have felt. Let it go by truly forgiving yourself, just as the Lord has forgiven you.

Repentance is for everyone.

- Sister Garrish

2017.07.02 Photos

No letter, just photos.