Monday, November 24, 2014

Views from Mt. Manghilao

Well I have zip time.

But I just wanted to share some super cool pictures that I took this morning (: We had a super awesome district activity bright and early this morning! Danao District hiked the highest peak in Cebu Island - Mt. Manghilao! It was so fun and the view at the top was out of this world! As in, we almost felt out of the world because we hiked up so high. As in, we were above the clouds. Haha but really the view was gorgeous and I just feel like a lucky duck to have been assigned to such a beautiful mission. Time's up! Until next week, amping mo! (: And eat extra turkey and pumpkin pie for me!


Sister Lauck <3

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Daghan ang akong pasalamat!

Maayong odto! Thanksgiving season is in full swing here! Actually jk, there is no thanksgiving holiday in the Philippines. But we did have a Thanksgiving fireside for all the missionaries here on Cebu Island last week aka big mission reunion aka lots of sisters screaming and hugging each other. It was great!

But yeah, I was asked to give a talk about one thing I was grateful for which was really, really hard for me. I think just in general I have been extremely blessed! But as a missionary you find that blessings and blessings just get heaped upon you. But I ended up choosing to talk about how grateful I am for the opportunity I've been given here on the mission to get closer to my Savior. I know sometimes I make it seem like missions are all sunshine and rainbows haha and alot of times it is! But any one who has served a mission knows that some of hardest trials you will face in life are the ones that you encounter on your mission. There are times where you are stretched and tried. And there are rare occasions where you drop to your lowest low and you are literally broken. But the beautiful thing about being broken is that you get to be healed and personally administered to by the Savior. The image of your Savior suffering for you in Gethsemane becomes clear and for just a few precious moments you stay there with Him. I have a firm and unmovable testimony that our Savior loves us. He will come to us in our times of joy as well in our times of deepest and darkest despair and He will stay with us through the night. I know that trials are the way that our Heavenly Father has selected that we get to know our Savior in a personal and intimate way. And as we come closer to our Savior, we slowly but surely become more like Him. I know our Savior understands every pain and He will carry us when we can't continue on by ourselves. He will heal us and make us whole. I love Him so much and I cherish these moments that I get to be so close to Him as I serve in His name for His church. I love you guys so much (: Seek out your Savior this week!

lots of love,
sister lauck <3

p.s. for pictures:
 me & sis.dala were together again! (while sis.tanner's in the background throwing snickers at people who had a birthday)

some of the american sisters crew! (me, sis.johnson, sis.wolfe, sis.niko, and sis.pinkham)

and the last is your shot of danao for the week!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"You Know You're A Missionary When..."

You know you're a missionary when you've lost all sense of current events and pop culture. After our Zone Training Meeting, one of the brand news sisters yelled to everyone, "Let's take a groupie!" Sis.Lange and I look at each and were like, "What the heck is a groupie?" Apparently it's a group selfie??? And then this sister pulls out her groupie stick! It's like a pole that can extend and you attach your camera to it so that tons of people can fit into the picture. My mind is blown.

In other news, the Philippines is still great! I don't think I've mentioned this, but Christmas celebration has been in full force here since September. I repeat, SEPTEMBER. As in everyone puts out their xmas tress and lights and xmas music is being blasted in the supermarkets. It definitely goes against my "no xmas music until after thanksgiving" rule, but as a missionary I'm secretly enjoying it (:

Do you know what else I enjoy? How kind and hospitable the Filipino people are! Wherever we go, there's always people yelling, "Hey Sisters!" or"Hey Elders!" (the people here don't know the difference). And it doesn't how matter how humble their circumstances they are, everyone's always so eager to feed us some snacks, almost always consisting of soda and some kind of cracker or cookie or chips. Granted at this point I never want to look at a bottle of coke or packaged junk food again, but I honestly do really, really appreciate how loving these people are! I really know I was meant to serve here and I'll take the excessive heat and bugs any day if it means I get to serve with such a Christ-like people!

So I had splits this week which means I got to take a 2 hour bus ride to Bogo to work with my STL, Sis.Layos! I always love the bus ride to Bogo because I get to ride along the coast and just soak in all of the beauty and hills and jungles of the Philippines. Except usually the bus is jam packed and there's no air conditioning and the windows are down so dust is constantly flying in your face. But I scored on the trip back to Danao and Sis.Layos rode in an empty bus with air-con. It was pure heaven! But better than air conditioned buses was....

The special Area Philippines Broadcast!!!!! Last Sunday the entire Philippines got to hear from Elder & Sister Oaks, Elder Robbins, Elder Ardern, Bishop Causse . It was so neat because several times the speakers reiterated that what they had to say is exactly what the Lord would have the people of the Philippines hear. It's so great to be a representative of the living Church of Jesus Christ that is lead and guided by direct revelation from Him. It's so neat that I get to be an instrument in His hands and used so that people here in Danao get to hear exactly what the Lord would have them hear- His Gospel.  Revelation is such a huge blessing and really is the foundation of our Savior's Church. How neat that Pres.Monson gets to receive revelation from Savior about His Church and how especially neat it is that we, as a children of a loving Heavenly Father, get to receive personal revelation for ourselves. I love the sacred times that I get to receive personal revelation and I especially love getting to help my investigators receive personal revelation for themselves about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel. We're all just soooo lucky! And so loved! Nahigugma ko sa inyoha! Hope everyone has a superrrrrrr week! 

Sister Lauck <3

For the pictures this week:
1. Me enjoying the luxury of an empty bus headed back to Danao from Bogo
2. our zone "groupie"

3. My super yummy lunch I cooked - filipino style!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kalag 2x

Happy Fall everyone! Everyone in the states soak up the cool weather, the colored leaves, and the pumpkin because there is no pumpkin here, the leaves are green, and it is still as hot as Hades over here!!!!

So Halloween is not really that big of a holiday here, so Friday was pretty low key, but the big holiday here in the Philippines is All Saint's Day, or "kalag-kalag" in Bisayan (: (hence the subject line) Basically everyone goes to where their relatives are buried and visit them/talk to them/eat with them. How sweet, huh?

My week was a little crazy because Sis. Salima was in Manila for a week!
She hasn't been feeling well for quite some time now, so she got a check-up and talked with some doctors. She didn't have much luck, but we're praying and crossing our fingers for her!

So while Sis.Salima was in Manila, I had a temporary companion, Sis.Layos! She was my STL back in my first area, so we already knew each other beforehand. It was so great to work with her again! We just teared it up and had some really quality lessons power packed with the Spirit. It was so fun and really so rewarding as a missionary to see your investigators slowly getting the Gospel and Heavenly Father's plan for them. We actually had a lesson that was pretty intense with an investigator who had been taught for awhile. He knew what we had shared with him was true in his heart, yet he denied the invitation to be baptized and would not commit to go to church because his family was of a different faith. Sis.Layos pulled out the big guns and shared 3 Nephi 28:34-35 (look it up and read it and it puts everything in context haha). I didn't know whether to laugh or be really scared, but the investigator ended taking it up pretty well. Usually as missionaries we usually try to take the kind and friendly route, but at times it's necessary to be honest and blunt. And if we are living obediently and doing our best, then we can exercise that authority as official representatives of Jesus Christ. But the cherry on top was that one of my favorite investigators Liza accepted the invitation to be baptized in December!!!!! That's like a big deal for me and I'm so excited for her (: Seeing one of my investigator's lives improving because of the Gospel is the best feeling in the world and makes up for the months of tracting with no success haha

I have zip time, but I love everyone! I love this work! I love my Heavenly Father! 

Lots of love,
Sister Lauck (:

P.S. I included a picture of my desk, just incase you wanted to see where I study for 3 hours everyday haha and then there's a picture of my apartment. There's Sis.Salima from Samao, Sis.Reineta from Kiribis Islands, Sis.Enlacinto from Surigao, Philippines and me representing the US (: