Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday, February 29, 2016

Magandang Umaga Sa Inyong Lahat!

Another week, another weekly email. This week has been one for the books. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard, worked so hard, studied so hard, and been rewarded to much in all my life! This week was amazing!!.

This past weekend Taytay Stake had stake conference and we were privileged to be able to hear from Elder Shane Bowen,  a member of the Quorum of the 70, and member of our area presidency here in the Philippines. He gave such a great talks on both Saturday and Sunday and my spirit was definitely fed.

My "message" for this week however, comes from Sister Mendez and my companionship study. A couple of days ago, we decided to watch some Mormon messages on the USB that we have. For those of you who don't know, Mormon Messages are inspirational video clips based on doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Hence, the name "Mormon Messages." We came across one titles, "Feed My Sheep!" by Jeffery R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles (one of my favorite!). He referred to the New Testament story in John concerning the incident with Jesus Christ and Peter on the shore of the sea of Tiberias. Jesus asked Peter three times if he love him and all three responses of Peter were "Yes, Lord, I love you." The third time Jesus replied to Peter and said, "Feed my sheep." Now, this doesn't literally mean go out and find some sheep and start feeding them. Hahaha! Jesus Christ  was referring to us; me, you and our brothers and sister all around the world. As followers and believers in/of Jesus Christ, what are we doing to feed the Lord's sheep?

Whether they be sheep within our own families or our sheep friends, haha! Are we sharing our testimonies with others? Offering small acts of service every day? Having daily family scripture study and prayer? What are we doing to help Christ feed his sheep? Helping our brothers and sisters come close to Christ doesn't require you to travel half way around the world and serve a mission. All it requires is a willing heart and a desire to help others know and understand the truth. I can promise you that your next door neighbor is in need of your service, the person that you always see at the grocery store is longing to hear a heart-felt testimony, your family is eagerly awaiting for this weeks family home evening to be spiritually rejuvenated for the upcoming week. There are so  many way we can help our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ feed their sheep.

I challenge each of you this week to find at least two (the more the better) sheep and "FEED" them...whether big or small the feeding, I promise you that both you and the "sheep" will benefit from the outcomes/blessings. I love being an instrument for my  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in helping my brothers and sisters come to know the goodness of the gospel. I witness miracles in peoples lives everyday because of the gospel; especially in my own life.  I testify that Heavenly Father loves us all and wants us all to return to him. helping him feed his sheep we can make sure we all get home safely.

Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat. Maraming salamat sa inyong support at pagmamahal. Sana magkaroon kayo ng magandang linggo :)

Sister Leausa

p.s. Don't forget to follow my mamas blog ( for pics and whatever else she puts on there. Haha! Shout out to my mama!! You're the best, ma.

"My first star apple."

"It is a fruit that is sweet and milky inside."

"Birthday dinner with the Reyes family."

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hi  Everyone!

It's transfer week! and I am happy to report that I WON'T be transferring. Woohoo! I was hoping I would be staying here in TayTay, and I am ! I love my area so much. Staying here also means that I will be able to finish Sister Mendez's training, which is what she says she was hoping for. So, good new for the both of us. This upcoming transfer is going to be a long one, 8 weeks! Normally transfers are only 6 weeks but because the native Tagalog speakers, now, have to stay in the MTC for 19 days, instead of 12, the transfer is a little bit longer so that we can get all the transfers back on schedule and stuff like that. It is kind of hard to explain. Just know that this transfer is 8 weeks long and I will be staying in TayTay. :)

Alright, so my "spiritual thought" for the week :) so yesterday, Monday, Sis. Rafique, my kabahay (roommate) left to go home. She is from Pakistan! (cool, right?) I did not even know the gospel was in Pakistan. But, I guess it is. So that left her companion, Sister Arroyo, without a companion. Transfer day when everyone transfers, if they are moving, is not until tomorrow, Wednesday. This means that yesterday and today I will be in a "tri-some". Me, Sis. Mendez and Sis. Arroyo.

The first thing that came to my head when I found this out was "bleh". I don't wanna be in a 3-some. That is too many missionaries in one tiny little house and I am already HUGE enough!! Obviously I was not very fond of the idea. Hahah! But yesterday, during our lessons, I was extremely happy to have Sis. Arroyo in our lessons. Having Sis. Arroyo with us added another testimony/testifier of the gospel of Jesus Christ which made our lesson a lot "stronger." Last night while I was writing in my journal about this whole experience, it made me think about the people we surround ourselves with. I don't know how, but it did. Teachings of the Holy Ghost. :)

The more people there are around us who are negative and a bad influence on us, the greater the chance of us becoming like "them" and following their examples; the greater the chance of sinning; the greater chance of the Holy Ghost NOT being around. BUT, the more we surround ourselves with people who have the same standards and goals as we do, the more likely we are to succeed....right?  When we surround ourselves with those who invite/welcome the spirit, the more likely we are to stay on the right path.

You can fill a room with missionaries, but that does not necessarily mean that the holy ghost is gong to be there. Of course, it should be, but it all depends on us, right? In order to invite in the Spirit, we have to act the way the Savior would act, we have to do the thing the Savior would do, we have to say and speak the way the Savior would speak and say things. In Alma 34:32, we are taught that our promise in this life is to prepare to meet God; to become more like Jesus Christ. How can we become like Jesus Christ if the people who surround us are more like Satan? It is pretty hard. I know that choosing and making good friends is essential to our spiritual progression, here, in this life. I also know that just as important as making/choosing good friends is .....BEING a "good" friend is just as important,   Be a good friend. Help those around you come to know who Christ is. Help them understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Strengthen someones FAITH.

We are taught as missionaries that we have to make "friends" before we make converts; which is totally true. We cannot just jump right into getting our investigators into the waters of baptism. We have to build trust, strengthen faith, set a good example, and be a friend. :) I have made so many incredible friends while I have been here in the Philippines and I am so extremely grateful that my Heavenly Father has helped me find my "group."

I challenge each of you this week to re-evaluate your "group" of friends....if they aren't helping you come close to the Savior...maybe you need some new friends. :)  We become who we surround ourselves with.

I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week!

Mahal Kita!

Sis. Leausa

"This is where we live."

"This is Sister Lei. We started teaching her a couple of weeks ago. On Friday we went back for another lesson and she had on this shirt. Even all the way over here in the Philippines..... we rep the U."

"This was taken at the Valentines Day activity for the Young Single Adults in our ward. As much as I wanted to join, we couldn't because they were all looking for their future companions. Hahaha!"

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2015

Hi Everyone!

Its almost time for another transfer! Ahhh!! so crazy. I kid you not, time has never gone by so fast in all my life. I hate it. I just want to be a missionary forever; I love this work. The week was another great one, siempre ;). Sis. Mendez and I are almost done with her first 6 weeks of training, our area is doing so, so well right now, and each week we grow stronger and wiser as a companionship. I love it so much.

My message for this week comes from our sacrament service  yesterday. I loved it so much. I don't know how many of you have ever heard or seen the little cartoon thing about the husband, the wife, their donkey, and the critics...but if you haven't seen/read it or have heard about it, look it up. It should be easy to find. The moral of the cartoon is that no matter what you do in life, people are going to judge you. People are always going to find something wrong with the way you do things. Welcome to missionary life.

As missionaries, sometimes, all people want to do is find something wrong with the message we have. They'll try and start a bible bash with us. They  will tell us that what we are preaching is wrong...tons of stuff. The brother in sacrament meeting yesterday, Bro. Ocampo, related the cartoon to 3 Ne. 27:27 - "What manner of men ought ye to be? " Bro. Ocampo connected the cartoon and the scripture verse by explaining that no matter what people have to say about us, no matter what people may think of us, we always need to strive to be like one person, Jesus Christ. That then led me to think about the atonement. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we are able to change; we are able to gain a new outlook on life, on ourselves, and of God.  Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become like him.

No matter what we do in life, people are going to judge and criticize us. People always think that there is a "better" way to do things their way but I am convinced, and I know, that the "best" way is Jesus Christ's way in order to become like him. We have to forget about the world and their opinions. We have to forget about what they think is right and do what we know to is right.

I challenge each of you this week to forget about the world and their opinions.....and live for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ :) the only opinions that will ever matter are theirs.

I love you all so much and I hope that you have a great week. Muuuaahhh!

Mahal kita!

Sis. Leausa

"Sister Mendez thought it would be funny to start a water fight while we were doing our laundry."

"Happy Valentines Day" 

"This is as close as I am getting to IG for the next year. Hahaha!"

"Some things never change - ice cream and a cell phone."

"This is Brother Andy. He is my Filipino Grandpa. I don't have much of a memory of  my Granddad Solari but Tatay Andy sure does remind me of him. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hi Mom,

Yesterday was Chinese New Year here in the PI and they celebrate that sooo, its a lot easier to find people to teach when everyone is home for the holiday, right? So we went out and taught on the holiday and today is our P day. And..I am late in emailing you because we had zone activity earlier.

I got a little homesick this week, now that I think about it. :( I was actually thinking about Austin. He is growing up too fast. I miss him sooooo much and I cannot wait until I get to hug him! He will definitely be the FIRST person that I hug when I get home.

Sis. Mendez and I are still doing well. It is so crazy to think that this transfer is almost over. This transfer ends on February 24; so crazy. We still love each other and we have so much fun together. I was writing in my journal the other night about how I remember that before my mission, I though that my companions were going to be the hardest part about this whole thing....I was so WRONG. My companions have been my favorite part. And I have loved every single one of them.

I took some time to really think about how each one of my companions has changed me and the reasons why I think Heavenly Father has put them in my life and I can't even begin to tell you how much of an influence each one of my sisters has had on me. I know that if it weren't for them and their different personalities and characteristics, the thing my Heavenly Father knew I needed, I wouldn't be half the missionary that I am today. I am only as strong as my companion. Sis. Mendez is such a blessing and she reminds me how important it is to be obedient. Exact obedience brings MIRACLES! I am so grateful for her and all my sisters.

Mahal na mahal kita, nanay!


Sister Leausa

Sister Swanson & Sister Leausa

Espiridion Family

Espiridion Girls (3 of 5)

Provo MTC

Lucas Kids

"This is what we do when me eat at McDo!"

Sister Leausa & Sister Mendez

Taytay Zone
 Sister Leausa & Elder Soifua (second cousins) front and center.

"Beautiful Taytay"

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I feel like it has been FOREVER since I last wrote a weekly email. I am failing! Ha! This week was another good week. I feel bad because I always say that my weeks are good. I have never really had a bad week, her in the field, which I guess is a huge blessing.

Sister Mendez and I are still well; healthy physically, spiritually and mentally...and she's still the cutest thing ever. Sister Mendez and I get along really well and I pretty sure there was not a day this week that went by and we did not laugh. :)

The work here in Taytay is still progressing and I LOVE IT!! Our area has so much potential and there are so many people who are willing and rad to hear our message. Sometimes, we have "too many" people to teach. (Is that even possible?) We talk to so many people throughout the day, set up so many appointments, and our weeks fill up pretty quickly, which is a huge blessing. We are always  reminded at mission meetings how much of a blessing it is to be assigned to the Philippines. There are SO many people here that are just waiting for the gospel. I am convinced that the Philippines, Quezon City Mission in the best mission in the world!  I will just leave it at that. Haha!

I wanted to share a couple of thoughts from mine and Sis. Mendez's New Testament reading a couple of nights, we were reading in Matthew, Chapter 11, versus it!!  One principle of the gospel that we touch a lot on, as missionaries, is faith...and how with faith, all things are possible. Jesus Christ teaches us in these versus that his "yolk" is light ....that his "yolk" is bearable. Sometimes we tend to think that the things we are challenged with in this world are too much to carry; we just can't do them.

Sometimes we take things upon ourselves that were never meant to be carried just by us.. Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us, each of us has a personalized plan from him. But, one thing we all have in common is the atonement of Jesus Christ. When we place our faith in him, we start to realize that our "yolk" becomes lighter. We start to realize that things become easier and more bearable, when we start to have faith in the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us. We begin to realize that our "yolks" were never meant to be carried on our own;and because of atonement of the savior, Jesus Christ, we do not have to carry them alone. We cross referenced the scripture in Matthew 11 to the BOM: 1Ne 7:12.

Faith has become one of my favorite principles of the gospel and my testimony about faith continues to grow each and every day. Everything in life starts with faith; taking the first step. I challenge all of you this week to "take the first step" in something you've been hesitant about. Have faith that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will help you with...whatever it is.

I testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. I know that if we have faith, especially faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, anything is possible. I love you all SO much and I hope that you have an amazing week! Hugs and kisses all the way from the Philippines.


Sis. Leausa