Thursday, May 28, 2015

So many miracles...

This week I am with Sister Parrish until I go outbound to Arizona!  This transfer the process is a little different.  During the summer time, Temple Square has a lot of Mandarin motor coaches, which means we need several Mandarin speaking sister missionaries.  This transfer, those of us going outbound will be going to missions where Mandarin speaking sisters are serving so that those sisters can serve on Temple Square.  So, I don't leave until next week!  Sister Parrish is from Australia and she is really fun to be around! 
Sister Parish and me

So many miracles happened this week!  The Spirit is so strong and soothing!

Saturday, one of our investigators entered the waters of baptism!  He is living here in Utah.  Sister Andre and I met him during my third transfer while we were on exchange.  Last transfer Adekunle changed his number and Sister Hampton and I had forgotten to save it!  We asked the Zone leaders to call the Bishop and find out his new number, but he never got back to them.  So, we decided to put him as a 'former investigator' and not focus on him as much.  Well, last Thursday, guest services told me that I was invited to a baptism for Adekunle!  I was soooooo happy!
Adekunle's baptism with Sister Andre
Tuesday I was on an exchange with Sister Kemple from Washington/Italy.  She has a very sweet spirit about her.  We took a tour of a family of three visiting from out of town.  The father was a less active member of the church and the wife and their son were not members, but were Christian.  The tour was awesome!  The spirit was present the whole way through.  While we were at the Christus, we played the words of Christ and Sister Kemple and I looked at one another and both said, "We need to take them through God's Plan."  As we went through, I felt prompted to invite them to read the Book of Mormon.  At the end, the spirit was overpowering and completely filled the room!  We asked the family what their thoughts and feelings were.  All of them were crying.  The son, who had been silent the whole tour replied, "I am grateful for my family" and choked up.  Sister Kemple and I both stood their silently, allowing the spirit to continue speaking with them.  It felt like five minutes had passed before the father started to share his feelings.  He turned to his wife to say something.  She too had been somewhat on the silent side, but this time she opened up.  The father shared how the reason they were down here was because of a recent death in their family and that they also wanted to come to Temple Square.   The next thing that came out of my mouth were not my own words; they were Heavenly Father's.  I told them that visiting family was not the only reason they came to Utah.  They also came to see them temple and that they needed to prepare to go to the temple so that their family could be sealed for eternity.  I promised them that as they do this they will be able to see their family members again one day.  Sister Kemple has such a beautiful testimony that naturally brought more power into that room.   I cannot remember if we invited them to read the Book of Mormon or not, but that does not matter.  I know that Heavenly Father's message was conveyed and that is all that matters.  I was so surprised by what I had said and how bold of a statement I had made, but it was Heavenly Father's and I am very grateful I was part of this experience for that family. 

On Wednesday Sister Parrish and I were in the Tabernacle and a group of four Chinese came walking in.  We said 'Nín hǎo' and they immediately replied "'Nín hǎo!" Then they motioned for us to walk down with them to the front and take pictures with them.  First we took a  picture with one of the ladies and then with her husband and then the other lady wanted a picture as well and then with her husband.  And then the husbands wanted a picture with us and then more with each couple and it continued like this for several minutes.  Then Sister Parrish got her ipad an asked another guest to take a picture of all of us.  Then they too wanted a picture on their phones...first one with a thumbs up and then one with a peace sign.  Oh my goodness! Sister Parrish and I were trying so hard not to laugh!  They were just so precious!  Once we were done they repeated 'thank you' several times.  Oh they were just the cutest!  I love Chinese people!  This is one reason why I love Temple Square so much; I get to meet so many of Heavenly Father's children everyday! 

I know the spirit of Jesus Christ is real.  Peace does exist in this world.  Hope is possible.  Faith does create miracles.  I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He will come again!  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.
Picture taking fun with a Chinese group
Love, Sister Mikeila Aquino

Saying good-bye to my amazing district leader, Sister Jin, from China
Look who I ran into...Uncle Jason!

Friday, May 22, 2015

When life throws you curve balls..."Counsel with the Lord..."

In life, we are constantly thrown curve balls from all directions.  Sometimes is it difficult to know where to go for help in overcoming these struggles.  We may have wonderful friends and family that are there to guide us, but we often forget the one individual who understands us perfectly... Heavenly Father.
Satan knows each and everyone of us very well and will do anything to keep us from being happy.  I have learned the greater importance of constantly relying on my Heavenly Father when I am struggling.  I have gone through a lot of emotional pain, but through prayer I have gained a greater trust in Heavenly Father.  In the Book of Mormon it says,  "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."
I bear testimony that Heavenly Father will guide you to eteranl happines as you fervently pray daily.  I love my Savior.  I know the Book of Mormon speaks truth of all things.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Chirst.  Amen.
Sister Mikeila Aqunio

My roommates and companions for a week, Sisters Fuentes & Polonco
Awwwwwe, my Mama Palmer came to visit!

Gave a tour with Sis. Jin to these two incredible women!

Mission Tour with my companions and Pres. Poulsen

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rainy Day Miracles

This past week it has been raining on and off.  Unlike Hawaii, the rain here is so cold and I don't like being in it.  Wednesday I was not thrilled at all and I just wished the rain would go away!  Then Thursday, I had a change of heart.

I was on an exchange with my Zone leader, Sister Andre, in the Assembly Hall.  A couple came in and we started talking with them about the building.  They were not members of the church, but they knew quite a bit of the church's history, specifically the trek made from Illinois to Utah.  We started talking about the great faith the early pioneers had in order to come to Utah.  We then started talking about the Book of Mormon and invited them to accept a copy for themselves.  They accepted the invitation and so we went over to the South Visitor Center to give them a copy.  While Sister Andre was finding a copy and talking with the wife, I continued to talk with the husband.  I asked about their road trip and how much longer they would be here, and so on.  He told me that they had not planned on coming to Temple Square, but because of the rain they decided to stop and find a campsite for the RV.  Wow!  I may not like the rain, but Heavenly Father knew exactly what He was doing; He always does!  Had it not rained Wednesday, this couple would probably not have stopped at Temple Square and would not have received a copy of the Book of Mormon.  They did not want to stay in contact, but because they have the Book of Mormon I know they are safe and will be happy!

I love how creative Heavenly Father is with the ways he teaches us!  I was humbled and now I know to not complain about the rain again.  Who knows what other miracles I may have missed?

I hope all the mother's had a wonderful Mother's Day!  You are all very special and know that you are very loved by Heavenly Father and those you serve.  I love my Mommy!  She has shaped me into the person I am today.  I hope I can be a compassionate, caring, strong and beautiful mother as she always will be.  Talking with my family was such a blessing and it was a memory I will always cherish!

Happy Mother's Day!
Sister Poulsen...the mother of our mission!

My invitation to each and every one of you this week is to take your discouraging moments in life and find the miracle in them.  As difficult as life can be there is always a miracle and blessing in our day because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I promise you that as you find the miracles in your trials you will be so much more happy!  Your relationship with Heavenly Father and the Savior will grow!

I strongly believe trials and hard aches are one of the ways Heavenly Father shows us his love.  The way we live our lives reflects the love of the Savior.  I know it is through the principle of prayer, reading the scriptures and having a relationship with my family that I am able to be happy!  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sister Aquino

Music and the Spoken Word

Welfare Square Youth Group Tour

Sisters n Stripes

Monday, May 4, 2015

"You cheat yourself when you don't believe in yourself"

This week I went on an exchange with my district leader, Sister Jin.  Sister Jin is from China and she is an incredible missionary!  In China the gospel of Jesus Christ is not allowed to be taught, so Sister Jin was not baptized until she was 15.  I am very grateful to her for her faithfulness to serve the Lord.   I know that part of her mission here on Temple Square is to help the sisters of the mission; one of them being me.

I have been having difficulty these past two transfers with feelings of inadequacy.  I have been easily self-conscious of what other people and sister missionaries thought of me.  Through Sister Jin's divine example and her strong testimony, I was able to overcome this challenge and learn to fully love myself.  Heavenly Father created each and every one of us differently so that we could be happy.  Unfortunately the world, ultimately Satan, sometimes persuades us otherwise.  Do not allow Satan to make you feel anything less than a precious son or daughter of God!  He envies your happiness because he will never have it for himself.

 Sister Hampton gave me a cute book full of quotes that she made herself for my birthday!  One of the those statements was made by a guest we met on Temple Square a couple of weeks ago.  She said, "You cheat yourself when you don't believe in yourself!" Heavenly Father spent precious and sacred time to create us individually; and I learned from Sister Jin that I was denying these gifts by not believing in myself.
If you are a member of the church and have your patriarchal blessing, I invite you to read your blessing and write out the promised blessings Heavenly Father has given you.  For those of you who do not have a patriarchal blessing I invite you to write down all of the strengths and talents you have been given and then hang it up in a place where you can always see it.  If you are like me and sometimes have difficulty making this list, say a prayer to God asking for His help.

I know that Heavenly Father is aware of each of our fears and insecurities.  Talk with Him, cry out to Him for strength and He will relieve your pain.  Everything is in the Lord's time, but I promise you that relief will come.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ did happen.  When we believe in ourselves, we believe in the atoning sacrifice of the Savior.  I know the family is a creation by God.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sister Aquino

A beautiful birthday morning!

A birthday hug from Kelsey!

Surprise visit from Aunty Lana

Sister Batis-my nurse from girl's camp

Zone Activity at the Moores

"Loyal to the Royal"-zone activity with Sister Lau
May babies!
Bob! Everyone's favorite on Temple Square