Tuesday, February 26, 2013

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He Knows I Will Follow Him, Give All My Life To Him

The map picture:)

Hey Everyone! 

I can't say it enough, THANK YOU! I loved all the letters I got this week and will hopefully be able to send some handwritten ones back soon. P-day's are busy here! Letters make my day and always give me a boost to keep going! It was fun hearing from you about this past weekend and Stake Conference with Elder Perry. Sorry if this email is random, I'm sitting in the laundry room trying to write this while people having a funny conversation with my Australian companion.

 This week was good.  Did you hear that they announced 58 new missions?? 4 of them will be in the Philippines! I am looking forward to the day when I get to actually be there and see how the church is growing in the Philippines. That is so cool that Megan is going to Japan with Carlie!! Is it the same mission, and when does she leave?  I've run into a lot of people here from Kaysville- Marissa Anderson (Matt Whittles cousin), Carson Beyer, and so many others that went to Davis too and just graduated this past year. I saw Brandon's aunt on Friday last week and talked to her for a bit, it was fun! Can you thank Grandma for me for the hymn book and Filipino money? I have loved using the Hymn book here and I showed my district the Filipino pesos. We love talking about the Philippines. Our district has had to focus more this week which has been good, I feel better when we are actually studying and trying to learn. We have two teachers now, one that teaches in the morning and one in the evenings. I sent a picture of my desk in my room, but really my desk in my classroom is where I'm at for most of my day. Starting tomorrow we will be teaching an investigator at least once a day. This is hard, considering we don't know tagalog still. Haha but it's only been two weeks, and the MTC is the place to be learning.

Thank you for the package! It came so fast! I have loved having my wildlife T-shirt again, and my headphones so I can watch the church videos they play at the gym. 

This has been a really cool week for me. We were talking about promptings in one of our meetings last week and I thought about promptings in my own life. I felt kind of bad, because I couldn't think of too many. So I've been praying this past week for Heavenly Father to give me more promptings. I promised that I would follow the promptings if He would give me more of them. I have felt many more promptings this past week and have kept my end of the deal. It's taught me a lot and has shown me that there are opportunities to serve people all the time. While the MTC has been hard, it has been full of so many spiritual experiences. We were singing I feel My Savior's Love on Sunday and I felt a lot better, this line really stuck out to me- He knows I will follow Him, give all my life to Him. I hope and believe that He knows that I will follow him. I'm here and I'm struggling to learn a language, but I trust Him and want to show him that I'll do what he asks. We watched a great Mormon Message the 
other day called- Sanctify Yourselves. If you haven't seen it yet, go watch it! It talks about the priesthood, but we also related it to how we must qualify to have the spirit with us. If we don't have the spirit with us we will not be able to learn this language. But really having the spirit blesses every aspect of our lives. We've also talked a lot about working hard and enduring to the end. Our first counselor in the branch presidency put it this way- "the key is you don't stop. You keep moving forward in faith. Put one foot in front of the other and before you know it you'll be up and running again." We've got to give all we've got every day here, we must qualify ourselves for the Lord's work. 

Happy Birthday Kelsey and Dad!!!! I hope you have a great time at Disneyland :) I am sending letters for each of you, but you'll probably be in California by the time it gets to Kaysville. I love you guys and can't wait to see pictures from your trip. Tell Karina, Brandon, and Alyssa I'll be working on letters for them, and thank them for the dear elders they've sent. Tell Alyssa it'd probably be easier for her to send me pictures now before I go to the Philippines. Oh and thank grammy for the passport holder she sent, I think it will work great! Also, how is the basement doing? did you have to replace the carpet already? Ha sorry again for all the random. Next time I'll write out my letter before I type it here in the crazy laundry room.

Love and miss you all :) 

- Brynn
Already Striking the Philippino pose!
Having fun with the Roomies

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


(It was so good to get her letter today.. Just to hear how happy she is has made this long week a little easier.. Here it is!)
Sister Stabenow and her Companion Sister McNaught

Thank you so much for the letters, love, and encouragement. I love you all so much! Landon, I found the note you wrote me in my scriptures, and I loved it, you're so awesome :)  Mom, thank you for the temple picture, card, & valentines day candy! Kelsey, thank you for the Dear Elder you wrote me. Oh & Brandon I got the note you wrote me too. Your words of advice have seriously helped me so much and have motivated me to work a little harder every day.
So here are some details about my very different life. It's crazy to think that a week has gone by. Every day is sooo long here haha, but I think it will pick up. My companion (kasama) is Sister McNaught. She is also 20 years old, and is from Brisbane Australia. We get along so well, and we have a lot of fun. I'm lucky to have her as my companion. There are 11 people in my district. 5 of us going to Cauayan, and the rest going to Olongapo. I will be the only girl in the batch going to Cauayan. As a district we have a lot of fun, but we struggle when it comes to focusing. Haha, sometimes I feel like I am a mom in that class. The MTC is such a different world. Besides our P-day (which is still very busy) our only free time is when we eat and when we get ready for bed. I'm starting to get used to the schedule. I don't know if I slept at all the first couple of nights, but I'm good now. I think I've seen everyone here in the MTC that I thought I might run into here. It is so fun running into friends.
Tagalog is intense. We cover so much material so fast. Hopefully some of it is sticking. I think those Audio lessons helped me, I wont be able to use them at all while we're here though. We won't actually get to use our ipods and speakers until we go to the mission field. But any who.. So far I can pray and bare my testimony in Tagalog. Two days after we got here we had to teach our first lesson with our "investigator," in Tagalog. I don't speak tagalog haha. It didn't go so well, my companion and I were very worried about the language. I also have this problem of laughing at the worst times. I 'm trying to change :) but my companion had a REALLY hard time at the beginning with the pronunciation, and on top of that she speaks very loudly when she speaks Tagalog. I have to be very careful to not burst out laughing. Haha. There is so much to learn. They say it is like drinking from a fire hose, with all that we have been learning, and they are right. I can't believe we'll be going to the Philippines after only being here 6 weeks.
So I'll just say that it didn't take long to figure out that a mission is NOT easy. I have been praying like never before. I have to rely on Heavenly Father so much more, and it has really been strengthening my faith in him. I know that he doesn't call his missionaries to fail. He knows that I can learn Tagalog. When I get discouraged I think of the night I was set apart and of the words that President Wangsgard said. It's hard to imagine now that I will be able to easily be able to communicate someday with the people in the Philippines, but I know it will happen as I do my best and work hard.
Getting letters here is like Christmas morning. It makes me so happy to hear from you all! I feel so supported by you guys and I hope you all know how much I appreciate all that you've done for me. Things are getting so much better for me now, and I am working so hard. I read Helaman 10:4-5 yesterday morning, and it has motivated me to work hard and learn all I can with "unwearyingness." Yesterday my companion and I prepared all day to teach our "investigator" for the second time. We did SO much better. One of our teachers told us that he has sat in as an "investigator" for missionaries here learning English, and he said that it didn't matter if the english was so broken and terrible as long as he could feel their love and concern for him he felt their message. We used this same idea, our Tagalog still stinks, but we got our message across, and at the end of the lesson we felt like we should teach him how to pray, so I taught him how to pray in Tagalog! Kind of crazy, because I just learned how to a couple of days ago. It was such a great experience for us, and we felt the spirit so strong. Heavenly Father definitely blessed us for our hard work. And it just made me want to work even harder and see what else we can accomplish here as we work hard. One thing we talked about is that we are all struggling to learn this language, and it is through this struggling that I'm already developing a love for the Filipino people. I do love them and I want to learn their language so that I can fully express myself to them. Yesterday we watched a cool talk from Elder Holland, he said that we need to be our first convert. We need to remember that all the things that we want for our investigators the Lord wants for us as well. Time is up, I love and miss you all!
 Oh i just remembered a story I wanted to tell you. First of all gym time is so great, it made me so happy when we finally had our first gym time. It gets a little boring cause you have to run around the track 10 times for it to be One mile haha. but on with the real story. So we were in our first gym time and I saw two Elders walk in and they were the only ones in there with their suits on instead of Gym clothes. The first thing that popped in my head was, "Hey it's the missionaries!" and then I realized all of us there were missionaries. I am a missionary!? haha it was funny to me.

Friday, February 15, 2013

She's Off

Wed Feb. 13th Sister Stabenow went into the MTC.  Her dad said she had a smile on her face and a bounce in her walk as she walked down the sidewalk with her escort.  It was hard to say good-bye but we are so happy for her.  Her setting apart was beautiful and brought so much peace to all of us, including Brynn.  We got a letter in the mail from her today, she wrote the first night there. She sounds happy and well.
Here are a few pictures from the last few days.

Heading into the MTC

After her setting apart