Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Finding Faith

Blog July 13-19
I cannot believe my first transfer here in Arizona is already done! I absolutely loved the Gilbert and Cooper Wards! I made so many new friendships that I will treasure forever. The elders and sisters in my zone were so fun to be around and I miss them.

Mesa Zone
Mesa Zone: District 3
I am now in Chandler with my new companion Sister Freeman! Welcome Sister Freeman to Arizona! Sister Freeman is a sweetheart and so much fun to be around! She has a happy spirit about her that brightens your day. We are both whitewashing the area (meaning we are both new to the area) and we have had a lot of success so far. As a missionary faith is something you need to develop and constantly strengthen because your agenda is the Lord's, not your own. He has an individual plan for us all. 
Sometimes understanding the Lord's plan for us is not easy, but when we pray and have faith in Him, miracles and wonderful opportunities will come our way. Friday we spent a lot of our day trying to contact people at a couple of apartment complexes. We were not having much luck finding people at home.  I prayed in my heart that we would have opportunities along the way to share the gospel. Heavenly Father placed three people in our path that were not in our plans. Friday evening we were at one of the apartment complexes on our way to visit a specific family and a man was walking towards us from the opposite direction. We said hello and asked how he was. He asked what us "two young ladies were doing out here so late". We introduced who we were and he told us we were doing good things. He knew of some Mormons himself. He then asked if we had a book for him. I think we were both somewhat surprised that he had asked that question, but we quickly took out the copy of the Book of Mormon that we had and and handed it to him. He asked for another copy for his wife. We had another copy in the car and told him we would quickly grab it. We speed walked and then ran! We were both so excited!  As we were running, we talked about what we wanted to share with him. We ended up sharing a short and simple message with him, leaving him with two copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets and a "He Lives" card. We did get his contract information and hope to teach him and and his wife! I was happy that Sister Freeman got to experience this in her first week!
From this experience I know that Heavenly Father is always mindful of our faith as we put forth our trust in His agenda. Sometimes life is challenging, frustrating and confusing. We might come to a point in our lives that we don't know which direction to go. I promise you that if you sincerely pray to Lord and have faith in the Him, He will answer your prayers. He will show you the way. 

I do not have a perfect understanding of Heavenly Father's plan for me, but having faith that He will guide me through this plan has brought me great joy and peace into my life. I also know that the Savior's atoning sacrifice was for all of us here on the earth. It is because of this sacrifice we can all have agency, the ability to choose. The principle of prayer has strengthened daily. I say these things  in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Sister Mikeila Aquino 

The Burwell kids

Allie Snow!Such a wonderful friend and missionary!
Welcome Sister Freeman!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"How do you protect your faith?"

July 6-July 12
The other sisters that live with us, Sister Stott and Sister McDaniel were asked to speak at church this past Sunday. One of the topics they were given was "How do you protect your faith?" I thought it was a very inspiring question. While she was brainstorming for her talk, Sister Stott asked me how I protect my faith. I had never really pondered about this question before and when I gave my response I knew it was the spirit helping me recognize how I have strengthened my faith. I said:

1) Prayer - Earlier in the week I remember praying that Sister Sinamban and I would have more opportunities to give service. Friday we went to visit a young boy to teach a lesson, but instead his mother answered the door. When sister Sinamaban and I were on exchanges the previous week she had offered to help this mother clean her apartment because it was going to be sprayed, but we never got a chance to go back. Friday she needed help reorganizing everything. A Ward member was with us and we were all more than happy to help clean! The spirit I felt as we cleaned was very calming and heart warming. I promise that as you pray to Heavenly Father to help you strengthen your faith He will provide a way.

2)Reading the scriptures -Friday evening we visited the Camarena family. They have two beautiful daughters whom we love so much! We had not planned on a specific spiritual thought to share with them, but the spirit guided us through the scriptures. We shared Matthew 5:14-16 and encouraged this family to be an example of Christ to their family and friends.  The mother then expressed she wanted to strengthen her scripture reading.  What a wonderful spirit the scriptures bring!

3)Priesthood blessings- The priesthood is a blessing I hold very sacred in my life because it is the way God performs miracles and answers prayers.  The priesthood is real, I know this to be true.  For just the few weeks I have been here in Arizona I have been comforted both physically and spiritually through the priesthood.  The feeling(s) are hard to describe, but I can assure you that it is a feeling all will want in their life. If you are curious about the priesthood or what feelings I have had, stop the mormon missionaries with the black nametags or ask your mormon friends!

4)Temple- The temple is the House of the Lord.  The temple is where I go to make covenants, or higher promises, with God.  My understanding for my purpose here in this earth is strengthened as I am in the temple. By going to the temple my relationship with God has grown.  And because my relationship with God has grown, my faith is strengthened.  I promise everyone, that as you strive to learn about the temple and desire to enter, you will have a greater and stronger relationship with your family, God and your Savior, Jesus Christ.

"Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.
Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved." It is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can protect our faith.  Heavenly Father has given us many wonderful sources to strengthen our faith and to return to live with Him again some day.  I hope to see Him again with my family!  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Mesa Temple

Camarena Family

All Dressed in White!

Blog June 29-July 5

Friday evening we went to the Juniper Apartments to contact some
people. It was getting closer to the end of the night and noone had
answered their door. We then decided to visit a less active young
woman and she answered the door! She was a little quiet, but she told
us that her cousin was waiting for us, the missionaries, to bring her
a Book of Mormon. Hailey (named changed for privacy reasons) came to
the door and welcomed us in. She was very excited to see us! We
apologized that we did not have a hard copy of the Book of Mormon with
us but we would bring one for her the next day. Since we had our
scriptures on our iPads we suggested to sit down and read the
introduction of the Book of Mormon together. She was thrilled with the
idea! She also expressed her desire for her two young children to be
baptized and that she wanted to change her life style. The spirit was
very much present and it was a tender mercy of the Lord to meet Hailey
and hopefully continue to help her family be strengthened in the
gospel and one day be sealed together in the temple. I am excited to
one day see Hailey and her children all dressed in white!

Sunday evening we had the wonderful opportunity to share the message of
the restored gospel and the first vision of Joseph Smith with good
friends of my family's over Skype. That was an incredible experience
for me, Sister Sinamban and my family. If any of you would like to
learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints send
me a message and we can skype! Me and my companion would be more than
happy to help answer any questions you have about our beliefs.

 I am grateful for a modern day prophet who directs all of us here on the earth to protect our faith in God and Jesus Christ.  I know Thomas S. Monson and his twelve apostles have the authority to lead Christ's church.  Leaders are never perfect, but it is because of their desires that God calls them.  I love the scriptures.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love biking!

Happy Fourth of July! We are grateful for the agency Heavenly Father has given us!

Skyping lesson with the Lats!

Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness!

 I apologize that I have not been updating the blog for the last few weeks!  I have had them all written up and ready to go, just have not made the time to post them.  I am very sorry!

June 22-June 28
One of my favorite children's church hymns is "The Family is of God".
The chorus says,
"God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be
This is how He shares His love
For the family is of God"

Wednesday night we had dinner at the Burke home. What a wonderful
family! They have six children, three boys and three girls, just like
my family! We shared with them the video, "You Never Know" and invited
the kids to think of ways that they can show their love more to their
parents. We also invited them to write each of their names on a slip
of paper, put the names in a jar and every week they would each pick a
name to serve throughout the week.

I love my family! I hold them close to my heart. My family are my best
friends! Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness is centered on the
family. In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" it states,
"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on
principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love,
compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine
design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and
righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life
and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible
for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities,
fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal
Our family relationships should be treated sacred. As we follow the
example of Jesus Christ we will be happy for eternity.

I invite each of you this week to choose a family member that you will
serve this week. As you do this I promise that your homes will be
filled with love and peace and the spirit of the Lord.

I love my Savior Jesus Christ and the peace I feel when I am happy
with my family. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all!
Sister Mikeila Aquino

The Burke Family!
 Eating at my first Filipino restaurant!

        We have been blessed with wonderful members! Thank you Sister Litster,
Sister Reeder, and Amelia for coming out with us!