Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy First Day of School...

Hey Family! 

So, this is gonna be a short one, the power went out at the internet cafe earlier, so this is much later and I am short on time because we have an FHE at President Catalan's at 6pm (it is 5:40 here). 

Gee, what has happened this week anyway? Time flies, I know I keep saying that, but I'm starting to not really be able to tell the weeks apart anymore. haha. 

On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. It was like Christmas because we got to get 2 zones of missionaries together to learn and laugh, and I received the packages that Uncle Matt mailed. (Thank you so much Mom, Grandma, Matt, and whoever Albert Ward is...) Also, I got the hand package from Grandma and all of you who went to Lagoon. Salamat gid! That was so fun, you are all so kind and creative! 

Saturday, the Branch did and FHE activity, which was so much fun! The Oton B Sisters taught about why it is important to not "chismis" (gossip), and we taught about fellowshipping and why it is so important for investigators, recent converts, and less-active members to have a friend to lean on as they are on the start of a new and different life. 

Okay, for real, the power just went out and came back again. I'm gonna have to cut it short. Sorry. So the things I want to share about Zone Conference are a quote: "If it's not ETERNAL, forget it." Apply this to how you use your time and whatever issues come up in your relationships with others. Also, Steven Covey's 90/10 principle. Look that one up on youtube, deal? 

Hoping to have Kian's baptism on Friday. This week is my "week 11" in my training, which means that I lead all teaching and planning for the week, which I am nervous about, but I will just try to love it. Grandma shared with me Mosiah 23:28 this week, which was a tender mercy for sure. 

I love you all, and I wish you all a wonderful first day of school!!!! Be Happy and Trust in God! I love you all so much. I really can't say that enough. I LOVE YOU! 

Love, Cassie

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Baptism!

Hey Family!
How are all of you? How is your scripture study? Prayers? Church? Are you coming closer to Christ every day? :) I am doing pretty great! On Thursday, I had my first baptism! Mylene! We had it on a Thursday because with her darn work schedule, that was the best option. It was wonderful. She bore the sweetest testimony afterward. The Spirit was palpable. She had the biggest, most beautiful smile on her face! It has taken her a lot of faith to get to this point, and it was such a sweet experience. The next day we taught her about temples, and she is well on her way to be able to partake of those blessings as well. Yay!!!!
On Friday, we did a CSP (community service project) at the D's. (btw, Joy went to church again yesterday. YESSSS!!!! And Gloria received a calling as a branch missionary. Now she's official! haha) We did laundry--or Gloria taught me the right way how to do laundry. And we did some cleaning and Sister Mendez cooked breakfast--rice and fried bangus fish. I'm not a big fan of fish (or the smell of the fish market), but it actually was pretty tasty! Seriously, it is amazing how hospitable and kind this family is. They really don't have very much, but they take good care of us. I am glad we were able to help them, even in just a tiny way, to repay them for their generosity and kindness.
I think I mentioned last time, but we are teaching Kian, and 11-year-old. We have his baptismal date set for August 30, his birthday, and we need to finish teaching him all the lessons, so we are going there nearly every day. He is so excited to be baptized, and his mom, Mae, is so supportive.
Zone Conference is on Wednesday!! Yay! I am pretty excited for that. It will be great!
Random stuff about life in the Philippines:
I have a renewed appreciation for washers and dryers. Truly, there is nothing quite like doing hand laundry in a hard-pouring rainstorm to make one appreciate those luxuries...I have promised myself to love laundry in the states. No complaining when it takes about 5 seconds and no effort. haha. (That was last week, no worries, today the weather is lovely.)
How about people's jobs. So, usually it is very traditional, the husband works and the wife stays home with the kids. There are professionals who go to Iloilo city to work (doctors, nurses, secretaries, security guards, etc.). And a lot of men have jobs as sikad drivers, tricycle drivers, or jeepney drivers. Or a lot of families own a "tinda," or like a little neighborhood convenience store.
Basically every nice house has a concrete wall or a gate around it with spikes or barbed wire on top. I asked Sister Mendez why, because it really doesn't seem like a very crime-ridden place, she just said it is to keep thieves out. Interesting.
Well, that's all for now folks. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep smiling! I love you all and I am so grateful for you. Thank you for the letters and love and prayers! Do yourself a favor and go sing your favorite hymn. :) Halong!
Love, Sister Cassie Winward

Monday, August 12, 2013


Dear fabulous family,
How are you all? I am doing great! I am learning a ton every day about how to be a better missionary and handle all the details that go into the work. We did not end up having a baptism on Saturday because Mylene's work schedule is a problem, but we hope everything will work out for this weekend instead. We went over the Baptismal Interview Questions with her again, since it has been a little while since the District Leader interviewed her, and she knows it all. She has such a strong testimony and she is so ready! Yesterday, our deaf investigator, Joy D., came to church for the first time! YAY!! We are so excited! She always reads her scriptures and prays, and she knows it is all true, and now she is coming to church too!! In the Philippines, it is a requirement that baptismal candidates go to church for 4 consecutive Sundays before they can qualify for baptism. So, hopefully she will continue every week!! She is 22 years old, the daughter of my favorite member missionary, Gloria D. (formerly less active--but now she has returned, and is an awesome example of missionary work to the other members. She comes with us for at least one whole day every week), aaaand Joy is so nice. All I knew at first was the ASL alphabet, but Joy teaches us signs and we teach her the gospel. Ryan D., 15 years old, is a future missionary and he also has come with us to teach a few times. It is so fun to teach the D. family, and it is amazing to see the progress they have each made.
We have two investigators, Rose and Mae, who are really progressing, they each just have to get married so they can keep the Law of Chastity. Mae's son, Kian, though hopefully will be baptized really soon. He is 11, and he has the cutest smile. He is a really happy kid and he is really excited to be baptized, and his best friend in the world, Jewellyn, is also really progressing and will be baptized soon after Kian. Yesterday, we reextended Baptismal Goal Dates to them, and as long as they go to church every Sunday, they will be baptized in the next month or so. They each had huge smiles on their faces, they are so excited. They are the cutest, I just love them.
So, this morning in my study, I read Alma 43:21, and cross referenced that to D&C 27:15-18, about the armor of God. We need to make sure we read our scriptures and pray every day so we can be protected from temptation and be worthy to return to the presence of God. So, I have an idea. Every time you all email or write, will you tell me one thing you learned recently from studying the scriptures? I would really appreciate that. I know that any progress we make comes amat-amat (little by little). It is through our small daily efforts to follow the commandments of God that we will one day receive grand blessings in His kingdom. Just like in Alma 37: 6-7, by small means are great things brought to pass. That is how it is in missionary work too, every lesson we teach, every commitment they keep, helps them become a little closer to our Savior.
I love you all sooo much, keep pressing forward, and cherish every day. Be happy! Halong!
Love, Sister Winward

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Monday, August 5, 2013


Dear Family,
How are all of you? I love you all!!! I hope you are doing great and striving to follow the Holy Ghost always. I have had a really great week. Sister Butler, one of my house mates, went home last week, so we had Ilona Lim, a 25-year-old prospective sister missionary from the branch, stay over for a few nights and work in Oton B with Sister McClellan. That was so fun, and I was able to hold a whole conversation with her in Hiligaynon. Whoa! That was awesome. Actually, the language is really coming along this week. I still struggle to speak confidently and correctly, but especially the last few days I have been able to understand most all of what is being said. It is making sense! Hallelujah!!!!
Transfer meeting was on Friday, and Sister Peralta is the new STL and my housemate. She is a baby-faced, 27 year old Filipina. We all miss Sister Butler, but Sister Peralta is an awesome missionary. And, I am now not the youngest sister in the mission. haha. That was fun while it lasted. Our district got super-switched up, new district leader, more than half of the Elders were transferred, so we will get to meet many new faces in district meeting on Tuesday!
So! We still need new investigators, but we found a few that have a LOT of potential. We went to teach a second lesson to a referral, but she was at work, so we taught her 20-year-old daughter, Erlyn, instead. Wow! She was so interested. She has been to a lot of churches, and her mom is really Catholic, but she really connected with Joseph Smith's desire to know which church was right. At the end of the lesson, she asked, "Can I go to your church?" Yes!!!!!! That was amazing! And then she was waiting for us at Gaisano (across the street from the Oton chapel) yesterday before church. Also, we have been instructed by the mission president to try to find rich people to teach, because they will help a lot in establishing the church here in the Philippines, so we were tracting for magranon (rich) people (basically, if they own a car, they are rich), and we found George. He is very Catholic, but he is also very friendly and willing to listen. We will teach him the first lesson this week. Exciting!!!
I love you all and I really hope that you all have a great week. Seek joy by becoming involved in the work of God. Feast on the words of Christ! CTR!
Love, Sister Cassie Winward