Monday, June 30, 2014

Maglingkod sa iba

Happy Almost July!
    I am not sure how I feel about June just flying by like that. But I guess you gotta let things happen and just make the most of every day. That's really what Sister Nott and I were able to do this week. Things have been a little stressful because we are getting new missionaries in our ward! There were 6 missionaries and now there will be 8! We are going to get Elders too which will be great because teaching men is often a problem and when your ward has Elders, they teach the men and they give us their women to teach. It's great teamwork. So the title for this email is maglingkod sa iba or serving others.
    So today is that last Monday of this transfer. It means two things, this week I will find out if I am transferring or staying here with Sister Nott for another 6 weeks. I really really hope to stay here. I am not ready to say goodbye to the area and the ward and especially Sister Nott!!! Things are starting to get really good for us and I hope we get another transfer to do some awesome missionary work. Also it means that today was our zone training and it was a great one! It was all about finding people to teach and we focused on finding through service. It fit perfectly for me and Sister Nott because we had the opportunity this week to do some service. We were walking along the road and saw a couple cutting down some trees and tying them up. We decided to help them! It was so much fun! We got to know them and they were so nice. They have 7 children and are very very poor. We were able to make a return appoitment with them and they were so open and shared so much with us. We really feel that it was because the way we introduced ourselves was as representatives of Jesus Christ who just wanted to serve them. We aren't gonna jump to the gun and say that they are some golden investigators, but I know that service is a super great way for not only missionaries to share the gospel but for members to as well!
     Also at church yesterday the Limbauans came again! The Bambas weren't able to but they told us why and besides that they are progressing really well. As you can guess neither of them were able to be baptized on the date we had set for them. But the Bambas have already reset theirs to July 12 and we are gonna need to work with the limbauans to set another one. Anyway some other investigators were able to come to church yesterday and they really seemed to enjoy it. I can't go too much into detail but it was a great weekend! I am sorry if this seems all over the place. Over all it was a great week! We saw progress in so many areas and had a way fun ward home evening that really helped encourage our investigators to come to church! I hope this new transfer I will be able to report more and more great things! I love doing this work and if we want to be happy, all we have to do is think about how blessed this gospel has made us. I hope everyone has a great week. Lyle you're the best for sending me world cup updates. Still no one here has even recognized the world cup to be a thing besides this little sign in a 7-11 in my area that almost made me cry haha. That's all. I love you guys! Take care!
Sister Sawada

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!
    I could literally translate that into Tagalog but I don't think it would be the actual way that people say it here because they all just say it in English! haha. But happy happy father's day to all of the fathers and especially to the best father in this world, Yorihiro Sawada :) I will send you your very own email daddy but thank you so much for all you have done for our family and for me personally. Nothing makes me happier and makes me feel more secure than knowing that the father of our family is a worthy priesthood holder who guides us and sets an example for us all to follow.
    This leads me into our week! As our focuses this week continued to consist of the Bamba family and the Limbauan family, it was reinforced to me just how important fathers are. Brother Limbauan has expressed that he knows that he is the key to his family. They all are under his direction. When he isn't progressing throughout our visits, the whole family will not progress. Also Brother is the one who decides whether or not the family will go to church. Since his testimony is not yet solid, their church attendance is random and holds them back from learning and feeling all of the things that they can learn and feel at church.
     So sorry if last week I seemed a little negative. But good news, this week was a great improvement! So as I think I mentioned last week, we had not been in contact with the Bambas all week. I was getting stressed. As in not wanting to eat, or really do anything. I mean not wanting to eat is enough of a sign because I always want to eat haha. We had sent them texts every day and tried visiting them multiple times but they were never home or just wouldn't answer the door. Anyway after many many prayers not just from Sister Nott and I, but from other missionaries here, ward members, and I am sure some of you at home, the Bambas finally texted us! Prayer works :) We were able to meet with them and we learned that something one of the ward members did had offended them. We were so sorry to hear this. Taking offense in this church is such a sad thing. But it is important for us to remember what President Uchtdorf said about how this gospel is perfect, but that the members and those striving to live it are not. It is so important that we don't mistake people's actions at church, for a doctrine of Christ's gospel. Also it is important for us to realize that people are being affected by the things that we do and say and to try our very best to emulate Christ in all that we do. Fortunately, we were able to clear up their concerns and things with the Bambas are back on track. They attended Stake Conference this weekend and we really think they enjoyed it. We are most likely moving their date of baptism but they still have the desire to be a part of this true church.
      The work continues to move along. Funny story: Sister Nott and I somehow ended up inside of a home after talking to a couple of teenagers. They let us in and then just left us in the living room. Slowly all of these people came out from back rooms and we find out that there are about 6 siblings all living together who are grown up and have their own families and they are all living together in the same home! We were able to get to know and share with 3 of them and hope to be able to go back and share with them all! As I say all of the time, Heavenly Father is watching out for all of His children. He can play a part in every single day of our lives if we let Him. Sorry there's not much new news but I hope everyone had a great week. I love you all!
- Sister Sawada

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bababa ba?

Happy June sa inyong lahat!
     Thank you so much Lyle for all of those pictures! They are sooo fun! You're the best and know exactly the kind of things I want to see from the family. Thank you! If anyone else has more pictures of Jake's graduation I would love to see them! Congrats brother! You're done with high school! Holy cow that's so crazy. So my title to this email is bababa ba? Which really is something in Tagalog! It means "are you going down?" or it could be "are we going down?" This is the question I am asking myself as this Wednesday I will hit my 9 month mark. Halfway na! Words can't express how crazy that is to me. I still feel brand new and according to other missionaries, that may never change haha. All I can say is I am grateful for every day that God has given me here, and I hope that I can do my best to do with each day what He would have me do.
      As I wrote to President Balledos just before opening my email, I admitted to him that this week has been a pretty tough one for Sister Nott and I. I think I have mentioned this before, but in every day there is always something positive to take from it. Even if it was full of struggles, I have still learned something every day here and that is great. But some weeks you just have to work a little harder to find the positive. This was one of those weeks. The winds were strong and the rains were stronger. People were hesitant to let us into their homes because they were nice and cozy inside and we were soaking and would wet their homes. Sister Nott and I truly came to understand the meaning of getting "punted". I think I even got some bruising on my bum from getting punted from so many appointments. Wait no that was just from falling down the slick hills here in Baguio haha. But hey! It was still a great week! Here were some of the great things:
    1. President Balledos officially gave permission for the Bamba family to be baptized! Bishop Canite here in Burnham 1st ward told them that they couldn't because Brother Bamba has a former asawa. But he was confused and we were able to clear it up with President. So although they didn't come to church this week (we have no idea why but we will find out sana (hopefully) this week!) we are still on track for their baptism.
     2. We went to visit the Limbauan family this week on Friday. Their church attendance has been so inconsistent because brother will just randomly decide for the family that they won't go to church that day. But when we came on Friday, they were getting their laundry together to be able to have it finished by Saturday so that they could come to church on Sunday!  Sadly the rain was pouring sooo hard on Saturday so not only did their laundry not get done but also Sister Limbauan got really sick from working out in the rain all day. So they also didn't come to church. But we hadn't seen that sort of commitment from them yet so things are still progressing!
      3. To be completely honest I can't really think of anything else to share. This week was a really rough one. I hate sounding negative so I won't say much more. But I will share in closing the story of a member in our ward. Her name is Mommy Bennett :) We call her mommy because we go over and share with her and she feeds us a delicious dinner every Sunday night! She loves speaking english with us because her late husband is an American from Idaho. She is over 80 years old but looks, I am not kidding, like she is in her 50s. We asked her one night what her secret was and she told us, "positive thinking". She said, "I HATE thinking negative! If someone is going to speak negative things, I will either ask them to leave, or leave myself." 
    Mommy Bennett has been my inspiration for this week. Also, I know that positive thinking won't just keep us looking young. It is a huge part of this Gospel. Through His example, Jesus Christ has taught us to be compassionate, selfless, and loving. How do we expect to be these things unless we keep a positive attitude? At times I know it can be tough, but in the end, the blessings will come. I am grateful for these opportunities to be humble and be able to turn to my Savior who through Him, all things will be made right. I love you guys so much. If any of you are having hard times, good! In the Philippines they say kung walang pagsubok, patay ka na. If you have no problems, you're not living! Take this chance to turn to our Savior Jesus Christ who stands with open arms, ready to take our burdens away from us, after ALL we can do.
     I know He lives, I know He loves us. Have a great week and please pray for me :) Love you!
- Sister Sawada

Monday, June 2, 2014


    Another great week has come and gone! So this was the first full week that I had with Sister Nott and it was just such a blast. Tag-ulan is what they call the rainy season here. There was a rumor going around that rainy season comes later to Baguio but aparently that's a lie because rainy season is here. It's pretty much sigurado (for sure) that our skirts will be wet from top to bottom at some point in the day every day! We hear "basang basa" all the time now which means super wet haha. Because unlike the people who live there who just stand under waiting sheds until the rain stops, missionary work must go on so us two foreigners are the only ones walking through the pouring rain trying to get to someone who will let us in their home haha. It is pretty fun though to stop in a waiting shed that has some people waiting for the rain to lighten up and start talking to them and see if they would be interested in learning more from us. But for the most part rain is really tough to work in! 
     But since no unhallowed hand can stop this work from progressing, of course some great things happened this week. We got to extend baptismal invitations to two families this week! The Bambas and the Limbauans! We extended to both of them for June 28 and they both accepted! Even better is they were both at church yesterday which means that they are really taking it seriously! We had a very open lesson with the Limbauan family earlier in this week. When we visited them on Tuesday night, brother wasn't there and the kids told us that he was out drinking. My heart dropped. The feeling in their home was like back to how it was when I first got to this area. Sister Limbauan was especially quiet and we just did our best to share a message that would strengthen her.
     So we went back to them a couple of days later and brother was there and we could tell he was feeling a little guilty. Well to make a long story short, we helped the Limbauans to see how much this gospel can bless their lives. How especially taking the step of baptism can bless their family. But it all starts with their faith. Brother Limbauan often shares about how he believes that what we are sharing is true, but we have noticed that he ends up doing nothing about it. A couple Sundays ago we had a great lesson in gospel principles about how most people say that faith is our belief in God and Jesus Christ. Which is totally true. But that's not all. Faith is our belief that leads us to action. As we all know, faith without works is dead. Luckily we were reminded of this lesson as we were teaching their family and we were able to share how taking action is just as important as believing. I think the spirit was able to testify that what we shared was true because they were at church yesterday and we really noticed a change in Brother's countenance.
      Life is such a bumpy road. But we can have confidence that as we walk forward in faith, we will be blessed and watched over. I hope this message was able to make sense! I really feel my english declining in correctness each day haha. Who knows if it's just because I'm getting lazy but I have the excuse of being surrounded by other languages :) I hope everyone had a great week! Things in Burnham are going great and I can't wait to update you all next week. I love you! Take care!
- Sister Sawada