a journey to motherhood

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week 43: Twenty Seven! I can't even!

Hello Family and Friends!
I love you all so much!!! Thank you for the lovely greetings and sweet messages. I knew everyone are excited because my birthday falls on a P-day. Thank you Mama for smothering me with your mother sweetness.  I'm glad you and Papa both agreed to raise a me as your daughter haha I love you and misses you so much.
My birthday started with the other 3 sisters in the apartment who woke me up with the birthday song and a little candle. Simple but sweet. My daughter, S. Cestona gave me the cutest card ever. Today was and is still busy! The zone went to the sports complex for exercise then we had workshops. See it was very educational huh! What to do in case of fire, earthquake, flood etc, and first aids. Your sister missionary will be safe :) We had games and it was super fun. They prepared a cake for me and for the new missionaries who are graduating from their training. After sending email, we will have an early dinner with President Mendoza. He have been planning for this birthday treat for two weeks already haha He is a tatay to us. We will then have a family home evening with the Navarra family. I am grateful I am sharing my birthday happiness with this family who I really love. I will tell you all about it next week and send you some photos. Overall, I feel loved and I want nothing but just to give the love back!
Now about this week! Sister Cestona is on her week11. And during this week, she was tasked to lead all the planning and teaching. It was successful! Transfers will be on thursday again and I want to stay with her for another cycle and for Mankilam. We'll see the will of the Lord. We found the Navarra family. They are now reading the Book of Mormon and praying! I love it when people are keeping their commitments because I know it will make them know the truth and the start of growing a faith. We had an activity and their daughter Jessa came. Sister Honeylou came too! Seriously, I was almost losing hope that she would come but she did. Sister Cestona and I have seen the fruits of effective follow up.. The YSA activity was the best! President Natividad, our branch president is way cooler that I thought he was. The whole activity became "bibbo" because of his outgoing attitude towards the young people. He gave a powerful welcome message and we just felt his love for our Jessa and Honeylou and others. It was nifty because during the games, he can then also transform into someone they can just be comfortable to laugh at and with.
This is long I know! But I want to write more. My testimony about revelations and Lord's timing grew even stronger this week. It feels good to know I have a Father in Heaven who knows me more than myself. I also know He knows the people we teach here. He knows their desires and what they need. He reveals to us what we need to do so they can and will embrace the gospel. If proven faithful and obedient, He will bless us with revelations that could make us the best man/woman that we are supposed to be. The music box is a blessing. I've downloaded my favorite talks and would listen to them when doing the laundry and exercise. And it helped me much this week. Elder Wirthlin said, "We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today but our Father in Heaven sees us in terms of forever." I know it's true and his timing works for his children's best.
I'm not scared of aging anymore. I am very excited actually!
I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Sister Javelona

Branch Missionaries Activities with Jessa and Honeylou

Face mask, a present from the sweet Sister Concepcion  The whole gang joined in!

With Nanay Angelita and her bestfriend Lilia and her daughter. I told you about them last week! 

Birthday morning :) 

Happy Birthday to me! 

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Week 42: Superlative Obedience = Superlative Blessings

Hello family and friends!
I'm at our apartment's terrace at 5:30am while writing this letter. I love silent time and ponder just what to tell you about your sister missionary. Mission is getting harder and harder but I am loving it. There were days this week when it seemed blurry and stuff are hitting itself against Tagum's wall. I made those challenges ooportunities to even get closer to my Father in Heaven, ponder about the Atonement and my purpose and be converted. I can't be successful here without the grace of the Savior. The lack of baptism is a reason to be devastated and even when I don't tell you in my letters I know you feel that I am. Almost questioning what I am supposed to do here in Tagum. BUT please know that Sister Cestona and myself are becoming who we are supposed to be as we get through this. I found comfort from one of the message in our zone meeting. Our brothers and sisters here might not be responsive today but love them anyway. We might teach them tomorrow.
This week's finding and teaching efforts were great. We also had more members who taught investigators with us. Lotte, Janine and Tata are the best!  Brother Mendoza was extremely enthusiastic in friendshipping the P. family. We found them through a referral and found out Bro. P. was baptized when he was 15 years old and stopped going to church when he got married. He is now 50 years old. There are no accidents in finding them. The Lord wants them back in the fold. Can you believe it? S. Cestona is almost done with her training. She is growing inside me. She literally and figuratively pushes me forward when I can't make it to another house anymore. She is the greatest.
We had our zone training meeting. It was very cool because our zone leaders  made an acronym for us. What they call a revelation received from taking a bath.

Something they added afterwards was "Pay" which makes it Tagumpay. It was a good name the zone can live by. President and Sister Torres conducted a specialized training the next day. Tons of great things I learned but I want to share with you about superlative blessings. (ex: good, better, best) We want the best, we want the superlative. In the church, the superlative blessing is eternal life. If we want superlative blessings, superlative obedience is required which is exact and strict. They also attended our sunday service and President Torres taught more. It was a very neat spiritual timeout and recharge.
I received your advance birthday package! I loved all of it! The card was very funny! They were very helpful items. It was perfect because I was also replenishing my 72hr kit. Sister Ces took a video when I opened it, I'll send it when I can.  I received some early presents, chocolates from S. Con, disney mug from s. G and a mini PMG from Elder Ballon. So much love.
The branch missionaries organized a family home evening for single adults, we invited our wonderful friends who are learning the gospel. We are excited to see Honeylou, Rj, Roselyn and many others. Fingers crossed! It will help them so much to progress. I will tell you about it next week.
I love you! Talk to you again soon!

Sister Javelona 

Jogged at the sports complex with Lotte and Janine

with the L family. Sister L is the super mom, i will tell you why in my next letters

Just in case you forgot about this little guy. Enos is helping us with planning. 

Thank you!

 Ice cream after the zone training meeting

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Week 41: July, Service and My Sister's Keeper

Dear family!
First half of the year is over. How's everyone dealing with that? Ha! It blows my mind. 
We had exchanges this week. I worked with S. Tabligan in my my previous area in Mankilam. Exchages are still the best. It makes me want to love and serve more my own companion when its over. One of the investigators we taught is Angelita. She brought us to her bestfriend's house. They are old and been best of friends for decades already. It was such a thoughtful service of her to invite her friend learn about the gospel. I love seeing them every Sunday at church. Sister Darasin and Sister Tabligan are taking good care of them. It's all about friendship and service this week. My personal study and other stuff I do point out to these eternal principles. Now I don't watch movies nor do I influence the sisters in the apartment to do so. We are consecrated but I shared with them about My Sister's Keeper and the principle of love and service it conveys. I was glad to share with them one of the Javelona's favorites. Joseph Smith said about service, " We do not present ourselves before you as anything but your humble servants, willing to spend and be spent in your service." That's what missionaries do!
This is short but my next email won't be, I promise!
Your sister in zion,
Sister Javelona

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Week 39 & 40: Did you sleep in the Restoration?

Dear family and friends,
The Plan of Salvation is true. Lola Veronica knows it! We are so blessed that we have this knowledge and testimonies. You are always in my prayers. We've all seen how Lola endured well. I love each and every one of you. I am glad how Lola united the family. 
The past two weeks was full of twist and turns. New faces in the investigator pool are our source of joys. We are facing challenges with as Sister H. continues to learn the gospel She's been progressing a lot in the last cycle and it stopped but we are not panicking. The adversary is working because the work is true! We taught the G family with our district president and his wife. It was a very spiritual lesson about family prayer. The more knees to kneel before our father in heaven makes prayer very powerful. Sister Cestona is starting the cycle great! Yes! We were not transferred and we'll be finishing the training together. Another 6 weeks of learning and great companionship. Her finding and teaching skills continues to improve. "Just as vital as what she does though is who she is" Sister Cestona loves the work and she knows her purpose. She tells me she loves me often. haha  We are enjoying the companionship. If I can, I will take her home with me!  New missionaries joined the zone as well. Elder L., a previous AP became our zone leader so everyone is excited. He has only 3 months left in the mission and his drive to make every day count is very contaminating. 
We had our branch conference. All the messages were focused on hastening the work of salvation and to remind us not to sleep. :) I know that if we will continue to immerse ourselves in this work. (missionary work, gospel teaching, rescuing, temple and family history work etc.) we will be blessed. I know it! Your stories and emails are full of blessings. I know even Lola Veronica did not sleep in the Restoration. :) 
As for your missionary, I continue to be in my best self. My personal studies are great and prayers are more guided by the Spirit. I will be talking more about it in my next email. I always strive to love the people even before I knew their names. Choices are placed upon your sister missionary and your inspiration continues to guide me. President Torres shared, "The biggest room in this life is the ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT" I am working at them.
I hope you will have a great week! Now don't worry too much of what I eat because I am well and I eat right. I love you tons :) 

Your sister in zion,
Sister Javelona

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Week 37 & 38: Sunday's best and cornflakes!

Hello everyone!!!
Let the school commence! How was the first week of school? Tagum is now busier. The past two weeks been busy and fun.

Sister Honeylou our progressing investigator attended church with her blouse and skirt. She was very pretty. Mind you, she is not the type that would wear one but she did. That's what the gospel would do to you right? You would do cool things for the Lord. Such as being modest and wear your sunday's best! And here's the most exciting thing, she worked with us twice! Found 6 new investigators with her. It was very humbling that Heavenly Father allowed me and Sister Cestona to be an intrument for her daughter to come back to her. She shares her testimony about the Book of Mormon and her preparation for her baptism. Our goal is on the 21st :) She just went back to school so we will made some adjustments but we have faith it will go well. We also had Roselyn, her sister Jenalyn, Gino and Rj in the sacrament yesterday. They are youth and children of our investigators.
President Torres called for a special devotional yesterday. That's what I love about my mission president. When he receives a revelation, he acts upon it right away. Even if Tagum is 6hr drive from Butuan. He conducted a workshop about testimony. Our testimonies will be tested so stay firm and immovable.

We had exchanges with the STL. I was with Sister Darasin and worked in my previous area. Happiness! Knowing me and Sister Darasin we were reminiscing our 1cycle together. I love this Sister, never failed to uplift my spirit and make me learn. She told me I improved a lot in using the scriptures. Yay!
We went to an unfinished city hall last Pday. I hope you enjoy the photos :) Now don't worries because those flakes are over. We've been eating rice and veggies. :) 

I think I can never say how happy I am with all the news and emails I am receiving. Thank you so much! You are the best support system ever. I made a new goal of reading the Old Testament, go me. haha Never forget to set new goals.  I miss everyone especially Papa. What's the plan for father's day? I love you!
Your sister in zion,
Sister Javelona

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Week 36: Drop by Drop :)

Hello Family!
I've been sick this week with common cold. No worries because I endured it well. Got a priesthood blessing from Elder Trias, one of our zone leaders! Very grateful for the priesthood. Even though I was sick, this weeks been fantastic. Ready??

We had FHE with G family. It used to be we have only their three girls but this time the whole family joined! We have our district president, branch president and branch mission leader with us. We had solid support. It was very spiritual and fun. We went home with smile on our faces and we are sure they were happy too. We had another  lesson with them on Wednesday and the parents joined again. Sister G and one of their daughter Pinky attended the sacrament yesterday. The whole family wasn't their but its a great start. With the leaders and members, we can help the whole family get closer to the gospel. Sister Honeylou is also one of the people we are focusing on. She is 19 and shes been through a lot. We taught her about fasting and she did it. She did it for her her school application and I wasnt even surprised when she told us that it worked. It was admitted to the school and is now furnishing her requirements. What I felt is gratitude. I can feel the heaven helping us as we work with her develop her faith.
Other important activity was the missionary fireside we held with the branch auxiliaries. One of the main goal is to exhort the leaders and the members to use the Preach My Gospel manual in their home as counseled by Elder Nelson. We also had a service project in a local school. Fun!
Family, we can do this "drop by drop". I was inspired the song May saved in the music box you sent me. Drop by drop we can make our faith stronger and our testimonies firmer. The little things that we do such as praying, reading the scriptures and family home evening are the drops we could add to our personal progress. Remember that I and the Lord loves you! 
Your sister in zion, 
Sister Javelona
1. Mankilam Auxiliaries
2. Family home evening with the G. family
3. Wacky with the members!
4. With the leaders
5. Sister May! We love her! She is Brother Tommy's sister
6. CSP
7. See, you were repainting the house and I was repainting a chair! 


 See, you were repainting the house and I was repainting a chair! 

Family home evening with the G. family

 Mankilam Auxiliaries

 Sister May! We love her! She is Brother Tommy's sister

Wacky with the members!

With the leaders

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