Sereene writes the most serene emails

Receiving weekly emails from my daughter (or Sister Baysa) would be my favorite part of her being in the mission field. I come out a better human being when I immerse myself into reading the words she both emails and writes. She makes things clear to me and does not talk non-sense especially when it comes to things that are pertaining to our character and divine calling. She studies and goes the extra mile to know things and she makes sure these are shared. She’s a dedicated missionary and a true human being, I know this by heart. I saw the dedication she has put into her preparation to be a servant of God and I witness how she’s learning. Hence, I know that it’s just appropriate to share some of her emails with you.

Her emails are my miracles. And I have no doubt these are just portions of what she witnesses and experiences right now.

25th October 2018

“The counsel of goal planning is very effective. Planning helps me use my time wisely and be focused on people. I really wonder how we can achieve 3 baptisms this transfer. But really being anxiously engaged in a good cause is the right attitude to this.  Not being complacent. Not rushing nor doubting. Do your part, even if you feel you don’t do enough, it’s always enough for the Lord. His Atonement accepts it. His grace is sufficient to all of those who come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Last week we had an exchange with our district leader, Sister Felix from Nigeria. It was very productive. She’s very knowledgeable about the scriptures, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. She said that when she was young her mother made her live with a pastor’s family and this pastor discovered that she’s good with scripture mastery kaya sinabak siya sa scripture competitions. Naging convert siya and last conference she saw the man who baptized him. We both talked about the ways that will be easier for us to remember the scriptures. Her way is that’s she’ll retell it as a story to herself. I told her that memorization is my weakness but I realized mastering is way different than memorizing. We were laughing when I told her that I learn things the hard way. But a piece-of-advice she gave me is not to be a Book of Mormon missionary but a scripture mastery. Hinighlight ko pa. Hehe. Sabi niya na I should know what the Bible contains becayse tjis is the interest of the people and it will be easier to explain the Book of Mormon as a complement to it. I love her.

Because of what I learned from her, I decided to make a project. In every principle in the PMG, I’m going to put one verse from the Bible and the BOM and put them on my wall and memorize them per week and be prepared for sign-seeking questions and from people who are really willing to learn.

Then we had a video call with Phil First. You can add him on Facebook. His baptism date will be on November 3rd. We’re going to witness him through FB video call. We’re super close. He was sharing with us about the variety show in the church where he and the missionaries are going to perform at. They’ll be playing the songs he made. It’s funny because he always express how boring the hymns are. Hahaha! He really loves his missionaries! He’s close with his ward memners and attends all the meetings of the church. His getting his divorce done and after that, he’s going to start dating Cheryl (who will also give a talk sa baptism niya) and eventually magmumove siya sa Kansas. I love Phil. We really communicate a lot. God gave him to us prepared and golden. He told us that he loved coffee and alcohol but the moment he learned that it is a commandment from God not to partake of them, he stopped it. Immediately. He said that they were planning on visiting me on Temple Square before I go home next year. I’m super excited for that! Then he played 3 songs for us sa videocall. Oh my, if you could only see how brighter his countenance was compared to the first time I talked to him. He was different. He is happy.

Then kinabukasan, I had an exchange with Sister Alvarado from Honduras. This is my favorite district and zone! Sobrang close namin sa isa’t isa. We treated each other as a family! Masaya ako kasi naitiming na nagtetrain ako. Tsaka alam ng buong zone ko po na love na love ko si Sister Higginbotham. Lalo na kapag nakikita ko siya anywhere niyayakap ko siya. Then ginagawa nila eh nilalayo nila siya sa akin. Haha! Nakakatawa.

And one thing po, yung missionaries ng investigator naming si Jibert Villaganas, si Elder Ortiz yung isa po doon- pinsan nila Kuya Jared Lleva.

Then we had zone conference nung Tuesday. We were reminded of the music we listened to. Finally brining up ito. Kasi andaming sisters na nagpapatugtog ng worldly. Thank you so much sa pagsend sa akin nung Oceans my, pero request ko po, pwede po pasend ng oceans na yung hindi siya concert version po my? Medyo loud po kasi yung concert version siya. Yung lyric video music po ng Oceans and Touch The Sky my request ko po. Thank you so much, Mommy!

We were told about Pres. Nelson’s talk nung nagvisit siya sa Seattle, Washington. Shinare sa amin yung 5 lessons life has taught Pres. Nelson:

1. Hold to the raft.
2. The Book of Mormon is the word of God.
3. The honors of men fade.
4. The Lord uses the unlikely.
5. Care for others.Syempre di ko na po ieellaborate. Hehe!Then we listened to the story of Dick and Rick’s story. Disable yung anak then sumali sa thriatlon sila nung tatay niya. Natouch po ako sa sinabi na “I could not run without my dad,” pero sagot ng dad ay “I would not run without my son.” The father was the body, bit the son was the heart. I learned that you can do anything with an “I can attitude.”

Pres. Fisher was telling us “give up your normal life for a better cause. You left your old self already. When you go home, you’re better.” Then he proceeded to talk about freedom from fear. He said that if you want to live with the prophets and God, endure. Just like Joseph Smith, and most especially just like Jesus Christ. Not everything will be a success, but they will all be known to God.

Then Pres. Fisher told us that when he was called as a mission president by Elder Neil Andersen, the time he had an interview with him, Elder Andersen said, “We’re considering you to be the mission president of the Temple Square Mission- the greatest mission in the world.” Ahhh, we cried while he was explaining. 😦

And he left us with a question which I would always ponder, “When was the last time you knelt down and bowed in mighty prayer?”

I was able to apply this agad. Yesterday morning, I just felt all of my weaknesses crumbled into my heart while Sister Higginbotham and I were doing roleplay for the plan of salbation. I literally put down my pen and said, “I can’t do this anymore.” (Nahiya naman siguro si Sis H sa akin diba haha) then I cried soooooooo much. I felt how inadequate I am to think of creatibe ways to explain the lessons, how not fluent I am with the language and how imperfect I am as a trainer. How bad I am at memorizing scriprures that I appear to be dumb. All of these feeling I felt all at once. It was a big burden on me. I cried so hard. And Sister H was really surprised. It was the first time that she saw me cry so hard except kapag nafifeel namin yung Spirit. Naks. But she was there to comfort me. (Malamang diba, wala siyang choice. Haha) she said I don’t have any idea how excited she was to be my trainee because ever since she got here sabi niya whenever she hears my name everyone would say how amazing I was. She told me that if not because of me she wouldn’t stay in the mission because she said she really don’t want to be here. She was mad selfishly thinking when she knew that Temple Square was her assignment. But now, it was gone. Because of me. She said I showed her how amazing this mission is. She told me how she felt inadequate and she had suicidal thoughts. She told me that even if I am not perfect in the language, what the people see is the light of Christ within me. Oh, my heart. How grateful I am to serve with this amazing missionary who happens to be my missionary daughter.

But I want to say that on October 24, 2018, I finished the Book of Mormon. My heart is filled with peace and hope. I am grateful for everything I got from this special book. It is indeed the most correct book and most powerful book on earth. It is my beacon. I received strength through this book. I gained stronger testimony- ever ever before. Joseph Smith, at age 14, saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He translated this book through the power and authority of God. I know that Jesus Christ appeared to His children after He rose again. He lives. And as the Book of Mormon continues to tell of the stories of wars and contentions among individuals and nations, we continue to endure to the end- because there is no other way but through Jesus Christ that we can be saved.

I love you so much, Mommy and Lance! I pray for you every single day. Sister Higginbotham and I pray for you. “

Here’s a photo of Sister Higginbotham’s gift to me yesterday- a journal with her note.