Children of the Pines


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Stay On Higher Ground

sige so Sister Padillo and I are just laughing really hard bc She's the real MVP at checheboreche!  bc sis Padillo informed me that she was the basketball MVP player in highschool if you can believe it. Im pretty amazed. Bilib na bilib ako :D

Pero totoo iyan!

Well family another week of life has past. Another week of my mission. Its weird Ill be writing the date one day and then the next minute Im writing the date for the next day. Mabalis talaga! Let's see first Happy Vlentines to you all! Happy Birthday Great Nana din!

Lets see this week Sister Padillo and I worked to help Raffy and Alvin prepare for baptism. THeyll both be baptized on February 27 at it is amazing to see how they have changed and both desire to overcome their trials and come unto Christ. It trully is the "greatest joy to see a person change. It makes all of the heartache seem nothing" (words of our mission song I love). This week we almost got killed by a few dogs. They are every where here (dogs or aso) and they bark 24/7 but usually arent agressive pero this week we ran into a few pero all is good just shook us up a bit.

Funny story in the midst of saving souls, we saved the life of a goat. :) The people tie the animals (cows, goats, or dogs) up or leash them up with rope that is held in place by a stake in the ground. So this goat had fallen off a small ledge (4 ft) from where its rope was tied to its stake in the ground. SO the goat was literally hanging itself off this ledge and we saw it struggling for its life :( it was so sad so I quickly lifted it and pushed it bck up to the higher ground. Then it kept coming back closer to the ledge so Sis Padillo went and tighted its rope to not let it get to the ledge again.

And you might have already guessed but I realated this too the gospel. How we all have slipped away from our stakes (our firm foundation on Christ). We need to keep our ropes near Christ. The world would have us think we need them long so we can be "free" and have more freedom to roam pero I know as we stay close to the Savior we are safe spiritually and physically from the dangers that we and the world can't see. Stay on the higher ground close to your stake! :)  singing, studying, living, applying His teachings, praying, serving, loving, forgetting yourself and helping others come unto him :)! When our lives are centered on Christ they are filled with Joy! (Alma 33:23)

This week the language is coming the forms and the words make more sense the people are more clear. I can teach what I feel better. Its been a huge blessing. I know that by faith great miracles come and the gift of tongue is a miracle. I know too that the Lord blesses us with knowledge line upon line and its so important to be patient Ive learned the truth of tht these past 5 months :) (dad i sotle this from your message :)

I love you all! The Savior lives and let us proclaim that in every as[ect of our lives! Sty close to Him and always strive to come closer! President Eyring stated  that The invitation to Come unto Christ is the greatest invitation we could ever accpet and then the greatest we can ever extend!

Love you all!
Sister Owen :)

                              having some fun doing our hair :)

they're palnting the ride or replanting it (crazy cool process such hard workers talaga)

                                           happy Valentines from Sister Padillo, our YSA fellowshipper Giana, and I

                                                                                                   my new fave fruit Lanzones 


exchanges : sister dudley is from Australia and says i can come stay at her house when i come visist :P

malunggay grows everywhere here and is so yummy, for bfast here

Friday, June 10, 2016

Remember Valentines

I couldnt forget to tell you about the funeral yesterday. 

On tuesday we had dinner with the Burgos, their lola gma is Vitorian Ilaga.  She is the funny old ilocono lady and i love her to death!   Sadly the next day dear Nanay passed away.  Yesterday we went to their house to pay our respects. 

We sang our hymn medley. (How Great Thou Art and Nearer My God to Thee)  And the spirit was so strong  I share this because I feel that Nanay Vitorian is friends with great Nana now (in heaven) who I have been thinking of a lot about  because its almost valentines day.(Nana’s birthday is on valentines day) I miss her but know where she is and that we’ll see her again. I

 hope your valentines day is full of Love.  true blissful Christlike love! :) THank you for your incredible love to me and all you do I LOVE YOU  MOM AND DAD!!!!!!!!

What Hope Can Do !

Family and Friends how happy I am to email you today! Frist I hope you all took the challenge last week and have been more anxiously engaged in missionary work where ever you may be. If not I Hope youll trust the Lord and try better this week. "Dont think about how inexperienced you are, but think of what with the Lords help you can become" (the work you can do in helping your brothers and sisters find the gospel. :)

 I love you all and  am so grateful for your many prayers on my behalf Ill let you know that I truly feel of your love and support even as far as i am! I can not express that enough to you all because you truly are all so amazing and I thank my Heavenly Father for you all and this life he gave us all in order to "succeed gloriously" :)

So first a few events of the past week. Last week I forgot to mention the 2 earthquakes we had haha. dont freak out they were samll but cool. The first during the confernce in Laoag and the sencond during our studies that one actually moved our house it was pretty cool experience. Btw all the crazy storms you hear about arent anywhere near us here in Ilocos norte kasi its way down in the south philippines where sister padillo is from, but her family is ok too. 

Another interesting thing in the philippines is there superstitious beliefs. They have a ton. Like you dont want to wash your face when your tired  or youll go blind and you cant wash your feet if they are tired bc youll get those veins that pop out also they believe in werewolves and witches oh my ha. Serisouly though there were 2 werewolves here in San Lorenzo and everyones mother saw them so... :) tapos (then) there was a witch in town too so everyone that saw us procelyting at night was really concerned and would let us come in (and teach them booyah) so we were safe :) haha 

Lets see also ive been doing lots of singing on my mission strangely enough haha. Ive been blessed with two comps who love to sing. Sister Padillo is amazing and we sing hymns as we walk its so fun and beautiful especially at night if we are in a far area its comforting :). We usaually start our lessons with a hymn too and its so ppowerful. Sister andelin our stl in our house too she is a piano and musical genius and actually was called by pres Anrada and wrote our mission song which is incredible ill send you the lyrics next week or soon. But us four sisters in our apartment created a medley with How Great thou Art and Nearer My God To Thee and we sang it at ZTM with Pres Andrada and then at a funeral yesterady. Its so beautiful and I really have felt the power of music here. We are now preparing for a muscial fireside for our stake its of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through music. I am pretty excited. 

Did I tell you yet how much I love sister padillo and how she is the greatest ever. We have become best friends this transfer and are having a hard time thinking shell prob be leaving :( but for now we are grateful to work so hard together. It makes all the difference when you are both so motivated and workig hard to lose yourself in the Lords work. everything seems to slide into place and together our desires are for the people and the work grows anmiracles happen!!!!!!! :) 

How grateful i am to be here in the Philippines. The sacrifice is the blessing its the joy of the mission life. It's refreshing to wake up everyday and know i get to bring people back to their father. Families, brothers and sisters moms and dads. This week we saw a miracle of Hope. On thurs we had ZTM and President was there. As we started to set goals for the coming month President gave some great advice. We were all sitting in silence when our zone leader elder tanner from oklahoma asked 'so how do you feel about the 4 baptized converts for each companionship?" Of course I want to say yes lets do it but here in the philippines our investigators have to come church for 4 consecutive Sundays to be baptized so we already all knew who our prospective bapts were for feb bc we have those goal dates alreay. For sister and I we only had 1 potential baptism who had come to church thus far for Feb 13. Well president shared an amazing story about a man in Elder Hollands ward back when who payed his tithing above that which he earned. When Elder Holland asked the brother why, he humbly responded that he was paying his tithing according to what he Desired to earn by the end of the year. SO... this inspired us all. We thought we dont know whose out there only the lord lets set the goal of our righteous desires and lets work hard and do this with the Lord. Seriosuly if we hope for these rightouse deisres and work for them seeking first for the kingdom of God, All things work out for our good. 

So  can i tell you how many potential baptisms we now have... We have 6 baptisms for the month of February. Brother Alvin, Daniel, Renz, Raffy, Estrella, and Donna. It is nothing short of a miracle from thurs morning thinking well hopefully next month we'll do better, to totally changing our attitudes and hoping for a brighter tomorrow by working so hard today and the Lord helped us find these people and they are coming to church and we are preparing them for baptism and many more for march and Hopefully more for February too. :) This is the Lords work lets not lean on our own understanding but lets look to him and put our hope in Him acting by faith now in things we cant see in order to accomplish the Great and Marvelous work He has for us to do. :)

I have to say it all starts on our knees. All of our success in this life will come more easily if we will humble ourselves before our Savior and pray to him with all the energy of our hearts each day to forgive us and keep us unspotted from the world. The atonement isnt necessarily to wash us clean everyday I realized but it is to keep us clean everyday. Dont get bogged down by little mistakes along the way be humble submissive and find strength and great Joy as promised in the infinite and eternal sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Chirst! 

I hope the JOY of the Everlasting Gopspel of Jesus Christ fills all your lives with HOPE and happiness in the coming week! I hope youll do all you can to share wuch Joy with all those around you. Pray for the spirit take the p[romise so literally that He may infact be your constant companion each day :). Live with the Saviors name always upon your lips so that you might always be ready to testify of Him.

I love Presdient Monson last address in GC for us to let our lights shine  (3N12:16)as we are examples of the believers (1Tim 4:12). May you fin miracles iun this coming week as you hope for a bright future and follow His words. I love you all. Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa inyo lahat!!!!!!! :)

Hanggang sa darating lingo!
Sister Owen :)

Hope that was a good make up for the small letter last week ;) haha pasensya ang dami! (sorry its a lot)

"Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people... Stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ." - President Gordon B. Hinkley 

Warmth of the Spirit...or the Sun

Not a lot of time and a whole lot of feelings. To make it short there was a historical worldwide missionary conference this week that was basically a training for the armies of God from Elder Bednar, elder Oaks, and others of the 70. I Learned so and sister padillo and I are really using these teaching to be the greatest missionaries God called us to be. I Love how through the atonement we are blessed with the spirit and by the psirirt we can know the truth of all things and recieve the gifts we need to accomplish Gods will for us. His plan is the greatest, its unto Salvation and its full od Happiness! Never forget whose you really are and where you are trully heading. And may each day each choice be determined by that eterenal goal! Love you all may the power Atonement of Jesus Christ change your life each day into something more beautiful than you can ever imagine!

Sister Owen

Kalimuten mo and sarili at magwork!!!!! :)

riding the korong korong with president and the YM leader brother Gerald to go to our investigators Chirstian (16) and Kristine (14) to give their gma who has overy cancer it was an incredible experience. Then we got to teach them. 

thanks mom love the cap
they get water from the wells hear :)

saw sister vea for th last time before she leaves next tranfer :'( at the conference

proselyting finding teaching in the Forrest glades i wander :)

the hanging bridge of bamboo in Payas one of the "towns" in our area

“Anxiously Engaged”

Hello po pamilya! Isang Lingo tapos ulit. sobrang mabilis talaga! Namimiss ko kayo talaga!

I hope you are all having a beautiful week! I had an inspiring week! First I met one of our  recent converts who is an LA now too. His name is Ivan he is 15, hes struggling but we made a goal with Him to finish the Book of Mormon this year 2016 to help him each day. I felt like I was teaching lil Nicky and I have been praying and fasting for dear Ivan that he'll come back and come to church and he is a part member family so there is more opportunities there to teach his mother and brother din. He was hanging out with the YM and came to church this week and went to play Volleyball with the youth so lots of miracles with brother Ivan. 

On tues we had exchanges and its nice because Sister Andelin our STL (from Washington state) is in our house with sister aquino (who is in my batch from manilla mtc) so we didn't have to travel. I learned so much from sister Andelin about how it really all starts with BRT (build relationship trust). When they truly feel your interest in their life they are more likely to be interested in us and our message. Its part of loving them and seeing them the way our Savior would. The importance of the spirit in the work was also something I recognized that you are trying to help them feel that spirit to have the truth pressed upon their hearts and minds in order to have a desire to feel the Joy of the gospel through faith, repentance, binyag, receiving the holy ghost and enduring to the end! 

Thursday we got invited to a birthday of a very wealthy family nanay Uleps cousin and there were about 300+ people and I got to pray the crazy thing was I was the ONLY white person which is normal but I just havent been in such a tight space like it was being the only one haha. lots of stares but it was a great time and we had some Dugo or fried pork blood :) masarap! It wasn't bad actually! 

On Friday we met with President Andrada after weekly planning! It was so Inspiring! He helped me realize the constant effort of finding in order to always have a large pool of investigators and then you can find those who are truly prepared to be baptized. Its like a constant work. He also emphasized on how we need to be personally converted everyday in order to bring these people closer and closer to Christ as we bring ourselves din. 

I have a challenge for you all! Pray everyday for oppurtunities to sahre the gospel then take the oppurtunities when they come (follow the spirit) and then give the missioanries a referral, then email me about your experience (well you don't have toi email me but :) I know that we are commanded to take the gospel to all the world that we need to help in these later days. there are so many wasy to share the Gospel. Family History is one awesome way! Our new goal for all our members is to do Family history and prepare to tale a name on their next temple trip :)! It's powerful work and I know its part of the gathering of Israel! Oh we had the Area Presidency Conference and I loved what Brother Shayne Bowen (mom and dad I think that's the guy you were talking about) said about obeying (loving God), covenanting(making eternal promises), and establishing\(building his kingdom). We have to be anxiously engaged in this great cause! We have to wake up everyday seeking the kingdom of God and then go about doing just that amidst the school and work and play. "If you haven't chosen the Kingdom of God it mattereth not what you've chosen in the end" Luck 22:31-32  Jacob 2:17-19  3N 13: 32-34  other scripts to read: Alma 28: 14,  2 Cor 8 (Christs example)  2 N 2:8 

This week I hope you'll seek the JOY of missionary work and even fellowship with the missioarnies :))))) Hel 16: 3 YES! 

I love you all so much! Make each day count dont count the days! 

Hanggang sa muli (darating lingo)
Sister Owen 

                                                                    walking to church through the bucked

                                                                       our YSA fellowshipped Giana

                            teaching our RC si Andrea shes like our little sister LOVE HER and her baby sister

dennis the mennis is leaving on his mission hes our almost full-time fellowshipper we'll miss him 

there are the cutest puppies everywhere but we cant touch animals :/ pero our fellowshipper Eunice did for us :) (she reminds me of Bella)

Volleyball with the YSA this morning :) 

New Area New People Choose to Be Happy

So where do i start its been quite the week! New area New people new languages new places! Awh man its been fun and hard too! But what else is new haha! Alright so my new area here is amazing more jungle and forest than back in Vigan. There are goods and bads to it but as members of the Church we've got to learn to always look for the opportunities in our opposition! That's the enduring well part of our journey :) I think the most important thing in life is to look for the good and then act on it! "its like that" or in tagalog "ganyan" haha Sister Bulatao says that all the time when shes trying to speak english to me its hilarious! She is a mother in our ward (Yes I am in a ward now:) She feeds us lunch every Saturday! The ward is so so sweet and were so welcoming and loving on Sunday! Then they had me speak haha!  We don't have a bishop so that's a little unusual but their calling one yata!

San Lorenzo really is so great :)! I Love it here! The people are so sweet and my companion is the greatest! Sister Padillo reminds me of aunt cari a lot she eats so slow and barely anything haha shes so tiny and adorable and so hilarious! I love her! I cant believe how blessed ive been! I know my father in heaven is so aware and leading me every step of the way here! 

Sister Padillo has helped me so much this week with the language its amazing how much you learn when your comp is Pinoy! Its like language study 24/7 ,  its the best :)! She knows English well though and also ilocano and visayas her native language in Cebu! We have had a great week and are the pinakamagkasundo haha! Its been hard with tagalog but really it was me stressing myself out about it and not remembering to forget myself and 
go to work, di ba? That changes everything its amazing! Sister padillo was so sweet and has helped me so much! 

I really love this new area and dad your going to freak out when you see our house, its a mansion! I am so blessed some times i forget im in the philippines its a beautiful area here! 

This week i tried some coagulated blood cubes and intestines, BBQ!  you knowe the usual road side bbq foods oh and they have chicken heads everywhere we will see if i get brave enough haha! 

Love you all have the best week yet! :)))

Ill leave you with these great quotes from Pres Trask at the Manila MTC:

"We don't have to be perfect today. We don't have to be better than someone else. All we have to do is to be the very best we can." --- Joseph  B. Wirthlin

Choose to be Happy.
"So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, what ever they may be, can bring peace and contentment. ...We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude."  --- President Thomas S. Monson. 

1. our huge house crazy
2. at a members house the kids were going crazy for pictures haha
3. in the bathroom haha good experiences in the CR

Palm na po Vigan !

There is sunshine in my soul today! Although change is hard it's good. It gives us an opportunity. An opportunity to grow to learn to progress! It's our attitude that determines where the change takes us din! Well, you might have guessed already but yes we have transfers this week! I just got my email! My new companion is Sister Padillo and I am going to San Lorenzo area! Its nearer to Laoag! I am so exctied for the new experiences Ill have there, at the same time its so hard to say goodbye to Sister Vea and it was so hard to say goodbye to all the members yesterday especially Mark Darwin and the whole Loang pamilya! Hey if you go on FB Regina befriended me I think! I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! Man i can see how its going to be so hard to leave! Bc it is haha! It was a beautiful week though great weather for my last week and great work din! We have found so many LAs and we are bringing them back to the fold! I'm so excited to use all that I've learned in my new area and to apply all the things I've come to know and to keep learning more Tagalog! Sister Padillo is from Cebu so she's magaling at Tagalog :) So that will be such a blessing to have her help! 

I love you all! I m going to send pictures now! Muah Muah twu two! 

Sister Owen :)))

                                                                                    nanay maria

relief society

at the area conference

Max's wel be eating here on return :) get excited haha fancy last meal

eating with Nanay Alicia Urbano :)