Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mission Accomplished

Dear Family, 

Well, this is it. All that was running through my mind when we left Chonna and Hernie's house at 8:00pm last night was..."It's Over." And the tears started. I can't even believe it. I had a good little interview with President earlier, and right now I am waiting for our Departure Meeting to start in the mission office. Some of the missionaries' parents are here to pick them up. It's weird. haha. 

On Thursday, Kitkit was baptized...WOOOOOO!!! And she was confirmed yesterday. (I'll have to tell you the story of the traveling baptismal pants.) The highlight for me, other than BAPTISM was the talk that Sister Robelyn gave. She was so prepared and it was amazing. 

Elna is now officially called as the Gospel Principles class teacher, and Robelyn was sustained and set apart as the Assistant Family History consultant. Progress!!!!! Those callings are seriously PERFECT for them. I am so excited for them to continue to grow in the gospel. 

Friday, we had a way sick Halloween party with the Branch. Sister Ribelin and Sister Haun headed up the preparations, everyone pitched in, and it was a huge success. Lots of investigators and Less actives attended, too! 

This Saturday (on Grandma Allred's birthday), the Salde's will be baptized...Rosemarie, Francis, and Geraldine. We've been going crazy getting them ready...but that's just what needs to happen when THEY ARE SO PREPARED!!! Talk about golden... 

It has not been easy to say goodbye. I've been holding it mostly together. Filipinos are the SWEETEST people...they've given me some sweet little gifts that mean so much because of the love behind it. And so many hugs. I love them so much. I will miss this soooooo much. It still doesn't seem real. Sister Domingo's not taking it easy either. I woke up early to finish packing...and when she woke up she was crying. She keeps telling me not to go. :( 

Hmmm...Last words... Pressure. :) My time as a sister missionary in the Philippines Iloilo Mission has been AMAZING. I know without a doubt that this work is the Lord's work. It doesn't always go as expected, but it goes exactly as He wants it. I feel like I had a testimony before, but now it has been anchored and I have a direction. My mission has set me on the Lord's course. I have met and served and been served by so many beautiful people in the last 18 months. I cannot even begin to express the happiness my mission has brought to me. True happiness...because my life is centered in Christ. Happiness that comes because of obedience to the commandments and unconditional love for the Lord and His children. The lessons I have learned here will carry me throughout all eternity. It is not easy. But nothing easy was ever worth it. "Salvation is not a cheap experience." 

I love you all. I will be eternally grateful for this mission experience. I know it is just a springboard for great things to come. Most of all, I know He lives! Halong! 

Love, Sister Cassandra Winward

Sister Cassie Winward
Philippines Iloilo Mission
May 2013 to November 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Last Full Week

Dear Family,
How are all of you? This has been another amazing week. Of course. I am starting to get nervous, and of course excited about seeing you all again. So little time left. It seems sooo surreal. Life is but a dream!
This week we moved into our new apartment.  It feels like a hotel, because it is brand new, and I am living out of my suitcase since there is no point in unpacking. It is so nice, but I miss the other house because it was close to the L.  family...and close to most of our investigators. haha.
I need to brag about Hernie this week. Seriously. He is amazing. Every single thing we have taught him, he has been applying to his life. Like Saturday, we taught him Law of the Fast, and he determined on the spot that he would fast on Sunday for he and Chonna's marriage. So he did. And he even paid tithing yesterday and he's not even a member yet! Oh man! I am so excited for him to become a member and for his baptism and for everything. Wow!
The S.  family is still golden. We have to kick it up a notch so they can be baptized on Nov. 8, because there is no reason at all to delay it, so they will be all ready for their baptismal interviews by the time I leave to go to Arevalo next week.
Kitkit passed her interview, and I think the only problem left is finding baptismal clothes small enough for her. She is so tiny.
Elna and Robelyn are doing great. They are addicted to the scriptures. The miracle of the week was that my order of scriptures and hymnbooks finally arrived, so it has been really fun to deliver those to all these people that I love so much.
We had a great lesson with Andrea the other day where she totally bore her testimony of how the gospel has changed her life. I am so excited for her. Nov. 15!!!
I'll see you all so soon. I love you all! Thanks for your love, support, letters, packages, emails, and especially prayers over the last 18 months. Have an excellent week!

Love, Sister Winward