Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Sunday we walked up to the Christus and saw a girl looking up at the statue.  I felt we needed to talk with her so we approached her and unlike many people, she right away smiled and said "Hi!".  Her name was Julia and she was a member of the church.  She just seemed to be the bubbly and optimistic type; someone that bursts with sunlight and warms your heart.  We asked if she had seen God's Plan and if she would like to see it.  She quickly got up and we went.  Before we started the presentation we asked that she share what made her the happy individual that she was.  She said, I love knowing who am I and that Heavenly Father cares about me no matter how small I may be in this entire universe. I love being happy and having this wonderful message in my life that lets me remember that I'm here to help others and to bring them into Christ. This gospel is the best thing that's ever happened to me and I will never give it up. 
Although she did not say, I am sure like all of us, Julia, has experienced trials, but instead of allowing them to discourage her, she applied the Atonement into her life and used God's love to define who she is today. 

Julia's beautiful smile
Her remarks really stuck with me and I want to add my testimony to Julia's.  Happiness comes from being a witness that Christ performed the Atonement.  I am a witness.  I am grateful to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.  I am a work in progress.  I have many flaws and weaknesses, but I am who I am today because I trust in Heavenly Father and I love my Savior.  There are many different reasons as to why I decided to serve this mission, but the main one is because the gospel of Jesus Christ brings me happiness.  I am happy when I read the Book of Mormon.  I am happy partaking of the sacrament each week.  I am happy when I attend the temple to make covenants or promises with Heavenly Father.  I am happy when I pray constantly throughout the day to my Heavenly Father. I am happy when listening to President Thomas S. Monson, our living prophet.  I am happy when I use the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I am happy to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of-Latter Days Saints.
If you want be happy, find who you truly are.  If you are trying to find yourself apply the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As a missionary my purpose is to help others grow closer to their Savior and guiding them to take necessary steps that will make them happy eternally.  If you are feeling lost or discouraged, my companion and I would love to help you!  Please email me and we would love to share more about the gospel of Jesus Christ with you and teach you how to apply it in your life!

I say these things in the name of my beloved Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.
I love you all!  You are all beautiful sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father!
Sister Mikeila Aquino

So fun to run into Sister Christensen

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Loving the Lord more than earmuffs

The Spring season is slowly on its way and I love it!  Winter is beautiful and the Salt Lake Temple is a breath taking sight covered in white, but my body can only handle the temperature for so long. Honestly, I could live in the hot summer Arizona weather longer than a Utah winter.  However, I am still grateful for Heavenly Father's beautiful creation!

Since the beginning of winter I have been trying to find earmuffs at the store because my ears were very cold and my beanie didn't always keep them warm.  I finally found a pair a couple of weeks ago in our mission bin where the sisters can recycle the clothes they don't want and others can take them for free.  Then, Saturday evening I realized I had left them somewhere. I back-tracked to find them, but had no luck.  I began to have a sour attitude.I was frustrated...  frustrated that I had lost my cute and stylish earmuffs.  The next day was Sunday and while I partook of the sacrament I prayed to the Lord for peace.        

The Lord will always teach you the lesson you need to find joy.  Sunday I was on exchanges with Sister Bean, one of the sisters in my district.  We decided to talk with this man, who was a member of the church, and he offered for us to sit down and talk with him for a little bit.  We began talking about his family and his wife's conversion into the gospel.  Because it was such a spirit lead conversation I cannot even explain the feelings I had and all that was said.  Then he made a statement along these lines.  "Too many people focus on the worldly and materialist things... Too many people think that happiness comes from money, cars, etc.  He went on to say that none of those things matter.  Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring us happiness.  Pure joy simply comes from the following the example of Jesus Christ and keeping God's commandments." 
I was re-taught, if you will, a vital lesson that as mortals we often forget.  Even though I am serving a mission, striving to live a righteous life, I still get selfish and turn my heart away from the Lord.  My mind and desires were so focused on cute and stylish things that I had forgotten my purpose on  a mission and more importantly my purpose on this earth.

If today is one of those days or weeks or months, that you feel is "going south" my invitation to you is to turn your heart to the Lord.  Ask for forgiveness, read the scriptures and PRAY!  Don't wait like I did for someone to tell you to change.  It may be difficult because turning, changing is hard, but I promise you that you will find peace and eternal joy!

Although it can be difficult at times to admit my mistakes and faults I am grateful to be a sinner and to be the clumsy person that I am because I have been able to grow closer to my Savior Jesus Christ.  No other event, like the atonement, could fully heal a scar as it does and no other event could promise eternal joy as Joseph Smith's first vision.  Jesus Christ bled from every pore and was crucified for each of us individually.  Joseph Smith did see God the Father and Jesus Christ in 1820 and he was called as a prophet by God.  Heavenly Father loves His children.  With our families we can return to live with Him again some day.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Sister Mikeila Aquino

Cold snowy weather with a smile on my face!

I love my companion, Sister Evangelista!

Aloha to the Elder and Sister Moore, our mission secretaries!  I will miss them!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Power of Uplifting Music

       Yesterday, we took two ladies on a tour.  "Clara" was not a member of the church, and "Kristi" was a less active member. (names changed) They had been friends since they were children.  We began the tour in the Tabernacle explaining the purpose of it's dome shaped roof and how important it was that we listen to a living prophet to give us direction.  They were amazed by the organ, as everyone is, but didn't ask many questions about anything else.  We next went to the Assembly Hall where we discussed how much dedication it took to build the benches and pillars.  Although church services did not actually take place in the Assembly Hall, we explained what happens in our church services.  Kristi brought up that she remembered attending Primary class (Sunday school for the children) and that her favorite song was "I Am A Child Of God."  At first Sister Evangelista and I were planning to take them to the model of the temple, but the spirit prompted us in another direction, to the God's Plan exhibit.  At this point in the tour, we were having a difficult time figuring out their concerns or needs.  Our conversation and tour was kind of "all over the place." 
      We got to the "God's Plan" door to find a group already in one room and another group waiting to go in with other sisters.  So, we went downstairs so they could use the restroom.  I was so glad on the timing of everything because when we went back upstairs the first thing Kristi said was, "Now I have that song stuck in my head."  (Referring to 'I am A Child Of God.') I pulled up the lyrics on my ipad and gave it to her to show Clara.  Kristi started singing the first verse.  The spirit beamed in the room and I knew our tour was going to end the way the Lord would have it end. 
     This experience was a testimony to me of the power of hymns and uplifting music.  The world today offers too many unwholesome environments and sounds.  Sometimes our lives are clouded by the noise of yelling and cursing and harsh sounds.  Wholesome music and hymns always invite the spirit and give us the peaceful direction we need in our lives.When we have too much noise and distractions in our lives,  we should turn it down and tune into the music of the spirit.         
     I bear witness that Jesus Christ is coming and now is the time for us to turn our hearts to wholesome thoughts and to make righteous decisions.  These righteous decisions will lead us back to our Heavenly Father's presence.  I am grateful for our church hymns and the Primary songs because they keep my thoughts pure and help me feel my Savior's love.  I say these things in th name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.
Sister Mikeila Aquino

I love being a missionary on Temple Square

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"His ways are highter than our ways"

Another transfer is here!  This was the first transfer we did transfer calls and it was very exciting.  Our whole apartment got up so eager to get our call from the Assistants.  It was exciting!  My new companion is Sister Evangelista from the Philippines!!!  Woohoo!  My third Filipina companion.  I was so happy to get the call!  We will be serving in Humanitarian Center this transfer.  Sister Evangelista is very kind and has a sweet spirit about her.  Many miracles to come!
My new companion-Sister Evangelista from the Philippines

I would like to share two experiences I had this week that show a contrast of how the Lord teaches us about the work of the Spirit. This invitation is specifically for those who are members of the LDS faith
Sunday, Sister CariƱote and I took a family through  the God's Plan presentation.  Another sister had spoken with the mother and told me they were members of the Mormon church and that she was struggling with attending church.  Throughout the presentation I was pleading with the Lord that we would be able to say what they needed to hear.   While they were watching the second video I was in the third room looking up scriptures, keywords to give me some direction, trying to think of experiences, but nothing came to me.  Sister CariƱote bore her testimony, then I bore mine. Then we invited them to share with their children why the sacrament is important to them.  The mother started to cry.  I knew it was the Spirit that had spoken, not me.
Tuesday we met another member of our faith and he was sitting near the New Testament paintings in the North Visitor Center and seemed to be in a stupor of thought. We approached him and asked what he was thinking. He said he was contemplating about a decision that he needed to make for work. I prayed to the Lord asking what scripture, quote, testimony, anything we could share with him, but realized that we had nothing to offer. I share with him a title from an Ensign magazine, but even that didn't feel right. I know that Sister Carinote and I had the spirit. We were trying to discern needs and trying to speak the Lord's words, but I believe that the Lord was giving me this experience just to remind me that this is His work and NOT ours.
In both experiences the Lord was teaching me that this is His work and we cannot do it without the spirit.  Now matter how hard we try to help our non member friends come into the gospel we cannot force it upon them and we cannot force the spirit to give us the direction we are seeking for.  This also includes helping our less active friends.  We must be patient with Heavenly Father's timing for 'His ways are higher than our ways.'  We must have charity- which also includes respecting their agency.  I want to invite you to read this recent ensign article for this month that gives insight to parents who have children that are less active.  However, I feel all of us as members can learn from it. (When A Child Leaves the Church)

I love my Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that He desires us to follow Him.  That is why we were sent down to the earth with our families and the friends we have so that we may help one another to return to live with God again.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

I love you all!
Sister Mikeila Aquino
Love the Snow!

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