Monday, April 22, 2013

Another week!

Hello hello hello,

This has been my favorite week here in the Philippines so far :) I am feeling much more confident about being able to learn the things I need to learn. It has taken a little longer than expected (I blame the language) but I finally feel close with my companion. I feel like things are clicking for me now too. This week as we were out walking my companion had me tell her stories about my life in Tagalog. It was helpful for me, and I'll keep doing it. I feel like I'm on the brink of progressing haha, I have so many Tagalog words and sentences flying through my mind constantly. LOTS of rain this week. We'd be teaching a lesson and once the rain started we couldn't really hear each other over the downpour. The thunder at night is awesome, it woke me up and made me jump out of bed it was so loud. So some details for you...every time I say I'm from Utah people want to talk to me about the Utah Jazz, people really like hot dogs and marshmallows here, lots of belly shirts- just the men though haha, it's pretty common for people to graduate high school at 16 here, every ailment here seems to be "high blood," Filipinos are very honest- Karina and Landon have been voted as the best looking in our family by my companion haha. The noise we make in America meaning no, means yes here since it sounds like Oo, so kind of confusing haha. Oh and if someone didn't hear what you said they open their mouths and eyes very wide to indicate that they want you to repeat what you said, it's funny to me. Also, my cousins better be ready for some fun games when we get back- Filipinos love games, so I've already got a long list of new games. Also, this week there were so many drunk men haha, and every time we were around them we had a funny experience. Yesterday we went to meet a referral, the drunk guy that lived nearby came and and was talking to us for SO long, while my companion was taking the heat doing all the talking to the drunk guy she told me I had to go and talk to some of the teenagers nearby and give them a pamphlet. She wasn't far, but I had to do it on my own for the first time. I surprised myself and knew how to say more than I thought. People get really quiet and attentive when I try and speak Tagalog haha. Then the sister came out that we were going to meet- I had to start talking to her on my own. So I did some of the get to know you stuff- gave her the lesson 1 pamphlet and then shared my testimony. I used a really simple sentence I knew and really do believe- that the gospel can help us with any challenges in our lives. She started to cry and I wanted so badly to understand. Luckily my companion was able to come over and join us. Turns out she has had a lot of trials recently, she was very open with us, and I just felt how blessed she could be by the gospel. Hopefully she will continue to have us come teach her! My favorite part of the day is when we get to go out and work with people here :) I am loving this. I found a really good quote this past week from Oct. 2012 conference from Elder Robert D. Hales: 

"We need not be afraid or feel inadequate. The Savior has promised that He will make us equal to His work. "Follow Me," He said, "and I will make you fishers of me." As we follow Him, He blesses us with gifts, talents, and the strength to do His will, allowing us to go beyond our comfort zones and do things we've never before thought possible."

This quote says it perfectly- I really am pushed beyond my comfort zone here daily and am doing things I never imagined. I know that this work is important, and I have felt His help here so much. I am so happy to be a part of this work!  I love and miss you guys :) thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. I am so blessed!

Mahal Kita,

Sister Stabenow

Brynn and the little boy who has the spiders

He keeps them in a little match box

Spider fighting is very common
FHE with some members, this little sister is 96 years old!

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