Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hi Mama :)

I cannot begin to tell you how much of an inner boost being able to talk to you guys was. I miss you guys so much. A lot more than I thought I would. I don't mean that in a mean way, but, if I think about you guys and home all the time I get distracted and homesick. So I try really hard to stay focused. Being able to SKYPE with you guys was by far the BEST Christmas present I've ever received.  I loved it! I am so glad all of you are doing well and that the house has not burned down yet...haha!

Sister Bergonia is so in love with you guys. She had so much to say after we got off SKYPE. She really wants to come to America. Mom, she was so happy that you told her she could come whenever she wants. I am sure she will always remember that.  You are so right about us, we get along so well and love the fact that we are companions. We are hoping that neither of us get transferred in a couple of weeks. We really want one more transfer together. Please pray for us...haha!

Not much has happened since we talked on Christmas. I don't have much else to report. My heart is just so full of thanks to my Heavenly Father that everyone at home is well and healthy. I love you so much mama and hope you have a great week.

Sis. Leausa

MANIGONG BAGONG TAON!! 2016!! (Happy New Year)

P.S. It's SO crazy how fast my mission is flying by! As this next year comes around, of course starting with January, my months start counting when I come home. :/  soooo crazy!! ahhhh! I don't want to leave! How would you feel about moving to the PI? ;)

Missionary work is hard.....

Sister Bergonia loved the Christmas stocking.

Christmas 2015

Best Christmas present ever was to be able to SKYPE with Sister Leausa and Sister Bergonia.  It was so awesome to see how happy, healthy and spiritual they both are.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, December 23, 2015

Hello Mom,

My week was loooong but oh so good. Yesterday Sister Bergonia and I were able to take our recent converts, the Espiridion family on a temple trip with our ward. Here, a temple trip just means that we take them on a tour of the grounds. Of course they cannot go inside, so we did the temple grounds and since the MTC is right across the street, we took them there too. Arjan is 16 and has plans to serve a mission in two years so he really enjoyed the MTC part. Sister Alma, the mama, absolutely loved the temple. She told us that she felt so at peace and so take away from the world and that none of her problems mattered. There was such a strong spirit yesterday, and of course, during Christmas, the temple has lights so we stayed to see them and the little kids LOVED them.  There is definitely a special spirit at Christmas.

As missionaries, our job is to help people come closer to Christ, strengthen testimonies, and increase their faith. If only the Espiridion family knew how much of an example they are to me. I absolutely love them. They have such a hard life and yet nothing in the world is strong enough to break their faith. The Espiridion family is definitely our little miracle family. Sister Alma, the mama, will be baptized on January 2 with the oldest kid, Roswald 18, hopefully on January 16. :)

I cannot thank my Heavenly Father enough for the people he has placed in my life. For the examples of faith he's shown me in the people that I've been called to serve. As much as I wish I could be home for the holidays, there is no where I'd rather be than here in the Philippines with the Espiridion family.

I hope you are having such a good week and I am SO excited to SKYPE with you on Christmas.  I love you so much mama and I will SEE you in a couple of days.

Sis. Leausa

Silly girls......

Monday, December 21, 2015

Philippine Quezon City Mission Christmas Party 2015

Looks like Sister Leausa and Sister Swanson were reunited at the party!

Can you find Sister Leausa? :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ay naku! sobrang exciting yung lingo noon :) may tatlong kaming nabinyagan! gustong-gusto ko yung hbuhay ko bilang isang misyonera!

This last week was full of smiles. I absolutely love my area! On Saturday, three of the Espiridion siblings were baptized! Ayuuunnn!! It was such a spiritual experience. Friday afternoon we visited with the Espiridion family to "practice" their testimonies, because of course, after their baptism they were going to be asked to share their feelings and testimony about the gospel. So, Sis. Bergonia and I thought that we should probably give them a heads-up, seeing that they are just mga bata (kids). I don't think that I have ever heard a more sincere testimony than the one that Arjan gave on Friday afternoon. He was so extremely grateful to his Heavenly Father for blessing him with the gospel. Every word that came out of his mouth, you could, truly, feel that is came from his heart.

It is so amazing to see what the gospel is able to do with the hearts of those who are willing and ready for the message of the restored gospel. The best part about their baptism, was that their mom, Sister Alma, was there to witness it. She is our next priority investigator! The example the kids set for their mama is one that makes Sis. Bergonia and I extremely grateful to be sister missionaries. Nothing brings up greater joy than helping families receive the blessings of the gospel.

I love this gospel with all my heart and am so extremely grateful for the knowledge that I have about Heavenly Fathers plan for us. I testify that his plan is perfect; and through his plan and the atonement of Jesus Christ, we will all, one day, be able to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father and live with our families and loved ones forever.

I hope that you all have an amazing week!  MAHAL KO KAYONG LAHAT!

Sister Leausa

Sister Leausa and her tiny companion, Sister Bergonia

Espiridion Kids 

"Another Filipino dish down.....tortas!"

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My first week here in Taytay has been AMAZING! I absolutely LOVE my new area and my cute little companion. Her name is Sister Bergonia. She is from Isabella, Philippines. She is 4 feet 10 inches tall. LOL! We are seriously David and Goliath and I love it! In these past four days that I've been with her by Tagalog has improved so much (at least I think it has...haha!).

My new area (Taytay) is beautiful. I LOVE IT HERE. Half province and half city, nothing like the "city" in my last area (my last area was city like, New York City of the Philippines...metro Manilla..somewhat modernized).   The people here in Taytay are so willing to listen to our message and they're all really sweet and humble. I thought the people in my last area were really nice....yeah, the people, especially the members in my ward, here are extremely sweet. There is so much potential in this area and it make me so excited.

We have three baptisms coming up, next week Saturday! 3 siblings; Arjan 16, Bea 12, and little Irish who is 8. We are really working with their family and focusing hard on them; Espiridon Family. There are 9 people total in their family, so, of course, our goal is to get all of them bapitzed.  Sister Espiridion (mama) came to church for the first time yesterday and said she really enjoyed it. Hopefully she keeps coming :)

I know that I say this every week, but its okay :)  I absolutely love being a missionary. There is nothing in this world that has ever made me happier. Before my mission, I never used to be a morning person. NOW, I wake up every morning (at 6:30 of course hahah!) and I am excited to go to work. I wake up with a smile on my face and with a heart full of love and gratitude towards my Heavenly Father for blessing me with this amazing opportunity to serve Him. I love this gospel so much! It has seriously changed my life. I didn't ever really know who I was until NOW, a daughter of a King. This gospel is by far the most beautiful thing in the world.

Alam ko po na nabubuhay sina ating ama sa langit tsaka si Jesucristo. Meron po ng diyos yung perpektong plano para sa ating lahat. Sa pamamagitan ng plano ng diyos, lahat ang mga bagay ay posible! Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa pagbabayad-sala ni Jesuucristo, binago ng ebanghelyo yung buhay ko, talaga. Ang simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw ay totoo. Ito po and pinakatotoong simbahan ni Jesucristo dito sa mundo :) Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahag!! Sana magkaroon kayo ng magandang lingo :)

Sister Leausa

Sister Leausa and Sister Bergonia

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Grabe! Pasensya po sa inyong lahat. Hini nagsulat ako sa inyo :/ Sobrang busy ang aking mga lingong noon. Pero, masaya ako ngayon! :)

I'm sorry that I have not written in the last couple of weeks, it has been pretty busy here in the Philippines. So much has happened and I wish that I could type it all, but that would take FOREVER! haha!

Let's see, the highlight of my week is that I finished my 12 week program (new missionary training) Woohoo!!! I was not too fond of it. haha! So, I am transferring to a new area. :) Right now I am in Quezon City South Zone. Tomorrow morning I will be transferring to the TayTay Zone. From what I have heard, it is about an hour away from the zone that I am in now. I am SUPER excited! A new zone means, a new companion, new area, new members, and most exciting...NEW INVESTIGATORS!! New people to share the gospel with.

My mission is seriously flying by. I have NO clue where all my time is going. I feel like just last week I entered the MTC and this month will be my 5th month as a missionary. So crazy!!  I love this work so much and am so blessed to be a servant of the Lord; especially here in the Philippines where everyone is so sweet and humble.

A little update on the Ylagan Family :)  Sister Rea had her baby! about three weeks ago, little Francis. He is so cute. Their family continues to come to church every Sunday and we visit them three times a week. We're still waiting on their marriage license so that they can be baptized. They are so excited! They have been waiting forever! Their testimonies have grown so much since the first day I met them. Their family has a much stronger relationship and you can really tell that they notice the Lord's hand in their lives. They are by far my favorite family in this area.

Heavenly Father never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes I get so caught up in all the thing I have to do as a missionary that I forget to notice all the miracles Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are performing around me. I have never felt so close to my Savior and I love it! I know my Heavenly Father loves me. Like the story of the 99 sheep in Luke. Before my mission I was that one sheep that went astray, I lost my way. My Heavenly Father sent my Shepard after me...and he found me. I am forever indebted to my HF for investing his time in me. For sending me my Savior, for "finding his lost sheep." I love this gospel so much and I know without it, I wouldn't be where I am today.  I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know Thomas S. Monsen has been called of God to lead us in these latter days.  I am so extremely grateful for the plan of salvation. There is nothing in this world that make me happier than sharing the blessings of the gospel.

Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat! Sana maganda and lingo nyo :)

Sister Leausa

"My favorite part about the Philippines....the kids. Ate means big sister, so whenever they see me they say, "Hi ate!" Ugh! I just LOVE them." 

"I finished my 12 week training program. Woohoo!"

Ylagan Family

"Bishop Ugay and his family. Such a sweet family. They feed us dinner every pday!"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I cannot believe that Sister Leausa has been gone for four months today. She left for the MTC on July 22, 2015. I asked her about it today when we exchanged emails and she said "The time is flying by! I feel like I just entered the MTC last week.  haha!

She also mentioned that transfers were coming up tomorrow. If they are to be transferred, they will get a call tomorrow night so she does not know yet if she will stay or move to a new area. When I asked her if she wanted to transfer this is what she told me, "No, I want to stay in my area for one more transfer. I love my investigators!!"

She says that the work is hard but very rewarding. She loves what she is doing and knows that all of her hard work and dedication will pay off in the end.

Until next week....

"Sister Devi and I were walking to an appointment, and saw this guy getting mangoes out of the tree, so of course I wanted to try and.....I GOT 2!!!!"

"One of our investigators gave birth, Sister Rea Ylagan. We have all been waiting for this baby forever!  He is so cute!! Francis DeLan Ylagan"

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Another busy week for Sister Leausa and Sister Devi. Sister Leausa did not have enough time to write a weekly email but she was able to send these wonderful pictures.

"I made my first PI dish, sinigang! It's my favorite."

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Grabe! Malapit tayo sa December!

I can't believe its already November! :) I've seriously been slacking on my "weekly emails." MY BAD. So much has happened  in the last two weeks. So much that I can't remember it all. My days are all mashed together here. What I do know, though, is that the work is definitely hastening. And that's all that matters. I hope this email gets to all of you in the best of health and happiest of spirits.

So, the other night Sis. Devi and I were on our way home from our last appointment and we were talking about how stinky, sweaty and sticky we were (life in the PI). The next morning during personal study, I was thinking about always being stinky, sticky and sweaty and I related it to missionary life.

The 3 S's of Missionary Life:

Stinky: In one of our district meetings, our DL mentioned this quote, "our attitudes are the aroma of our hearts." Having a positive attitude changes EVERYTHING. Having a positive attitude about praying and reading the scriptures will create a love for them. As missionaries, we have to be positive and have an eternal perspective about everything. Our investigators might not progress the way WE want them to, but I am sure they are progressing in the way THE LORD wants them to. And, really, in the end, that is all that matters.  Everything happens in His time. We might not always smell so sweet (LOL) but our attitudes and the "aromas" of our hearts need to be.

Sticky: We want our investigators to "stick" to the gospel. We want them  to keep their commitments so that their relationship with Heavenly Father will strengthen; so that their desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized will increase.

Sweaty: If we are not sweating, we are not working hard enough! If we aren't sweating that means we are not getting to enough appointments; we are not giving our best to share the gospel with everyone we can in that day. And, those who are not hearing the gospel are not receiving the blessings that come from it, the blessings we know that they need. Everyone needs the gospel. If we are not getting to everyone that we need to, people are getting "left behind."

"Ohana means Family. Family means NOBODY gets left behind."

Being a missionary is by far my favorite thing in the world. Being stinky, sweaty and sticky before I came on my mission used to bug me like crazy. But, when looking at it as a has a totally different meaning.

Navubuhay sina Jesucristo at Diyos! Mahal ko po ang ebanghelyo nila. Alam ko po ang simbahan ni Jesucrito mg mga banal sa mga huling araw ay totoo. Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat at nagpapasalamat ako para sa inyong support at pagmamahal. :)

I love this work so much and am so blessed to be a servent of the Lord. I hope and pray that you will have an amazing week.

Sis. Leausa

So glad she received her package from home.

Sister Kathleen Leausa and Elder Esaia Soifua
Second cousins serving together in Quezon City. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hi Mama,

This week has been a loooong, rough one. I don't think my body has ever been this tired. Whew!

Sister Devi and I visited Mama Lourdes yesterday and found out that she has fluid in her lungs and heart. This news totally broke my heart. I can only imagine the pain she is in. I remember the first night that we found out about how serious her health problems were I prayed so long and hard for her before I went to sleep. I cried soooo hard and prayed that she would get better and then in the middle of my prayer, I felt selfish. How could I ask my Heavenly Father  to keep her here when I know how much she is suffering?

Whenever I see Mama Lourdes, my day instantly becomes better and I was thinking to myself, how am I ever going to get through my rough days here if Heavenly Father takes her away from me? So now when I visit her I take every opportunity that I can to build a relationship with her and share the gospel with her. I know that she might not have time to accept the gospel here on earth, so I know I have to do all I can to prepare her for the missionaries on the other side.

Mom, I love this woman so much and I have no idea where this love has come from. All I know is that I love her and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to get to know her. She truly is a blessing.

I absolutely love being a missionary and all of the experiences that I am having. I know for a fact that if I wouldn't have come on my mission that I would have been another lost soul. My Heavenly Father's love for me amazes me. I am so extremely grateful for all the blessings He blesses me with.

I love and miss you guys so much. I can't wait to hear from you next week. 

Sister Leausa

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ang Pamilya Ko At Mga Kaibigan Ko :)

I feel like I repeat myself in all my weekly emails. I am always telling you guys that the work is great and that I love being a missionary. I am sorry to tell you but this email isn't going to be any different. LOL! The work is amazing and I absolutely love being a missionary.

This week was more of a calm week. Nothing really big happened. Oh! Other than a HUGE typhoon that hit us. Don't worry, I am safe and alive. It didn't really hit us too hard, here in Quezon City, but in the northern parts of the Philippines, it was bad. The damage and casualties are all over the news here. Us missionaries here in Quezon City still went out and worked during the typhoon. As missionaries we get special protection, even if the typhoon did hit us hard, I am sure we'd just swim to our investigators.  Haha! The work NEVER stops.

I did not take too many pictures this week, sorry. But at Sisters Conference they "taught" us how to give ourselves facials and how to do our makeup. You all know I don't wear make up, so Sister Devi and I just put the toilet paper that was supposed to be used for our face on our heads. Hahaha!

There is no greater joy than being a missionary. I love this gospel so much. One of my favorite parts about being a missionary is the change that I am seeing in myself. I am starting to recognize the woman my heavenly father wants me to become.

I hope that you all have a great week.

Sister Leausa

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ahhh! Magandang Umaga Sa Inyo LAHAT !! :)

Last week was a little crazy and I didn't have much time to write. But this week, I HAD to make sure I updated everyone with what is going on here in the PI. Let me just say, I absolutely LOVE being a missionary!

This week was so great! Saturday, Bro. Mario Danieles was baptized, the first member of the Ylagan clan to be baptized. If you all remember, The Ylagan family is one of our progressing families and is waiting on their marriage license so that they can be baptized. Bro. Mario is Bro. Romero's cousin and they all live together in one house (long story short). Saturday was so special and the spirit was SOOO strong at the baptism. There seriously is nothing better than seeing the happiness that comes from he gospel.

This week was also transfer week. Aaannnd.....I'm not going anywhere. haha! I have a feeling that I will be in the area that I am in for a long time and then maybe after a couple of transfers here, in the Quezon City South Zone, I will go to Mindoro (the island in our mission). That's what I am hoping for, but we shall see. Only Heavenly Father knows. There's so much I want to write about but if I did, this email would be like.....forever long.

My heart is just so full of gratitude towards my Heavenly Father. I am so blessed to have been a part of Bro. Mario's special day. I am blessed to be one of the missionaries that Heavenly Father chose to be at his baptism. One of my roommates after the baptism said "congratulations sisters!" and I looked at her and said, "for what? we didn't do anything other than what we've been called to do." At that moment, I realized that this work has nothing to do with me and Sis. Devi. We really didn't do anything other than that which we were called to do. Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost did it all. (They seriously are so LEGIT!) Heavenly Father prepared Bro. Mario for Sis. Devi and I, and the Holy Ghost testified to him that the things we teach are true. My companionship really consists of me, Sis. Devi and the spirit.  Without the spirit, Bro. Mario would have never entered the waters of baptism.

Ugh! I really do wish I could just write all my feelings. Just know that Heavenly Father's hand is so relevant in his work and so extremely necessary. Without it, his work is pretty much impossible.  I love the gospel so much and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary.

I love you ALL so much and I hope this email gets to each of you in the best of health and happiest of spirits.  MAHAL KO KAY LAHAT!

Sis. Leausa

Brother Mario's Baptism Day

My District