Monday, April 29, 2013

One month in the Philippines already?

I had a good week! On Tuesday we had our quarterly interviews with the mission president.   he is so nice, I love talking with him and sister carlos. Oh and sister carlos brought us homemade cookies, so good! It had been a while haha. On Thursday we had "The Amazing Grace" in Santiago with the southern half of our mission. We had a zone t-shirt competition and we went and did several activities that taught us things about being a preach my gospel missionary. I really liked the activity and was able to learn a lot about the importance of teaching by the spirit. It was fun seeing the American's there, some who have been here a long time said it was really difficult for them to use English while talking with me even. It was also so interesting to see the different attitudes of people who only have a couple months left. For some you can tell that all they think about is going home, and for others they didn't want to even think about leaving already. I want to be in that second group, not because I don't love and miss you all, but just because I want to be in this completely everyday til it's my time to leave. We stayed in Santiago that night with Sister Diola and Sister Perlas, and we even got to work in their area with them that night, they were so much fun! The next morning we all went to Cauayan for a special meeting with Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy and First Counselor in the Area Presidency. He gave us an assignment to read a talk by Elder Bednar about the enabling power of the atonement, i had already read it, but I read it again, cause it really is a good one. The meeting with him and his wife was great. One thing he said that I liked: "You get what you go for." Pretty simple but true! He said the Philippines is full of cars, (and he's right the streets are crazy here, with practically no rules.) And the church has built all these beautiful chapels in the Philippines and on Sundays.... no cars in the parking lots. It does seem strange. He gave us an interesting assignment- to find people with cars. He said we weren't just called to teach the poverty stricken people of the Philippines, we were called to teach all people here. So even though it is kind of easier to teach people who are living in very humble circumstances we need to make sure we aren't forgetting about people who have a little more. We get what we go for. If we go for families, we'll get families. He said we need to find future leaders for the church here in the Philippines. 

He also said that we've been taken away from literally everything that once gave us comfort- family, friends, ipods, etc.. and now that we're away from it all Heavenly Father can really communicate with us the things we need to know and need to learn. His wife shared a story about people base jumping in idaho into a river and how our Savior is like our parachute, we can always trust him as we take those leaps of faith. It reminded me of that talk from conference, not sure who it was, but it said something like: 
Come to the edge
No we'll fall
come to the edge
no we'll fall
come to the edge
so I came to the edge and we flew.

I really liked that story just about trusting more and being willing to push ourselves to the edge. I hit my one month mark in the Philippines on the 27th, and now that i think about it, it seems like it went kind of fast. I had another group of kids give me the same amount of attention as the other group haha, it is fun to try and talk with them using as much tagalog as I can. Our grocery store that we like had a fire last week, so sad haha that's the only place I've seen real chocolate! Hopefully the damage isn't too bad. So funny story, the other night I asked the sisters in our apartment where all the cows were that make all that noise at night. They just laughed and told me that it is frogs. I didn't believe them, but they were telling the truth! Luckily we've got our fan going all night to drown out the frog noises, the lizard noises, the chicken noises, and the bike horn noises that vendors use in the morning as they walk up and down the streets.  We went running on Saturday morning, and I loved it! Actually running outside :) Sister Manguil sat for a while as I ran up and down this same street for a while, and I guess the men that were near her were guessing that I was german haha. They even tried to say good morning to me in german haha, she laughed and told them I'm american but with some german in my blood. We are teaching a nine year old boy right now, Jerwin, and every time we go and teach he just gets the biggest smile on his face as I try and speak tagalog haha. On Sunday this member at church said to me, "You look very young- like 18" haha i was very happy. usually people say 14.  

Well that is all for now. Happy Birthday Karina! I'll try and send you a quick email before I have to go! Oh and have Spencer email me, I want to hear about Happijac! Thank you for all the emails, I can't wait to read them a little better once I print them out :) I Love you all so much, you're seriously the best! 
Mahal Kita!

-Sister Brynn Stabenow

I actually cooked a meal!

In Santiago with Sister Diola and Sister Perlas

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