Great great week! Filled with some very important lessons I needed to learn. One day last week I was having kind of a rough day- I was stressing over how terrible my tagalog was, and i'd just sit there in lessons and not have much to say. If i were to speak in tagalog I'd feel bad and embarrassed, if i spoke in english I felt bad for not trying it in tagalog. It felt like a lose-lose situation. I was disappointed in myself i guess. I'm not fluent after one week?? what?? haha kidding. Sister Manguil had her trainer give me a call- Sister Larsen (remember how i'd read emails forwarded to me from Dr. Roper from a girl in my mission? yep thats her!) It was so good to talk to her, she was so sweet and encouraging and was willing to listen. I knew she had probably felt all of those things before as well. She told me to not worry so much, and to just enjoy this once in a life time experience. So I've been learning to be more patient with myself and to laugh at myself when i make mistakes. My days here have been so much better. Instead of stressing during lessons I try to really listen so i can hopefully say something to help the people we're teaching. I've been feeling much better about the lessons. I still don't feel like I've found the best way for me to learn Tagalog yet, but one thing I do know- a good attitude seems to be making it all easier.
We haven't watched conference here, I wasn't even really sure when it was happening, I just knew that it was coming up. I think we'll get to watch it next week though, I'll let you know.
Some random things- the hut that we were in in that picture is just outside of our house (front yard), we eat meals out there sometimes if it is too hot inside, even with our fans. I'm the first foreigner to be training in this area, so they aren't used to seeing the struggle with the language. Tagalog is trazy. haha. There was a rainstorm last night, it didn't take long to be completely soaked :) I loved it! Our area has a ton of less actives, so most of our lessons are with less actives. Oh and dad, maganda means beautiful. And thank you so much for the pictures!!! I am loving seeing all of your faces :) More random... lots of bugs here. There are ants all over our house. My nightly routine usually involves me flicking off some bugs from my bed and then hoping for the best. we also have two lizards in our room. I have this fear of reaching in to turn on the light and grabbing a lizzard instead. We also have huge nasty cockroaches, i'll send a picture of my first encounter with one in our apartment- I was screaming.. a lot haha. I've read some awesome talks this week, if you haven't read them recently read them! His grace is sufficient by Brad Wilcox. Of Regrets and Resolutions by Uchtdorf, and Mountains to Climb by Elder Eyring.
Some of my favorite things about this week- I had a true Filipino experience- I ate balut, i know some people told me not to, but i wanted to haha, and it really wasn't too bad (i kind of liked it), luckily mine wasn't super developed. I've found some new friends here, we went to a member's house to see if we could meet his 15 year old granddaughter that he wanted us to teach, she wasn't there, but instead we met several of his other grandkids. They stare at me so much, and I just smile and try to talk to them as much as I can. They are SO cute. So we went into Bro. Guiner's house to visit with him for a minute and all of the grandkids followed... so we taught them all how to pray. Then on Sunday, I was happily surprised as I saw Bro. Guiner sitting there with some of the grandkids with him. I was happy to see them all there. Then after church yesterday we went to see if the 15 year old, Beverly, was there, she was and so we taught her and we set a baptismal date with her :) all of the other kids were there as well. At the end of the lesson Sis. Manguil always asks if they have any questions. It usually goes something like... why is your skin white, why is your nose like that, why are your eyes green, what is it like in Utah, why is your hair soft, what shampoo do you use hahaha. One of them will work up the courage to touch my skin or my hair, and before you know it I am covered by little kids. They like when I try to speak Tagalog with them, and yesterday they had me say nga nge ngi ngo ngu, which is actually really really hard for me haha. So I'd try and say it, and they'd all just laugh, luckily I found it just as funny, so I was laughing the whole time. I'll be practicing that a lot before I go back haha. Yesterday we taught two sixteen year old boys, I thought right away about Landon :) I thought about what I would do for my own brother, or what I would want to say to him if he didn't have the gospel in his life. It was really cool. I feel like I am seeing people differently, I love these people, complete strangers, but I care so much about them.
Well I will wrap this all up. I am so so very blessed. I know I will never be the same because of the experiences I am having here. I love you all so much and am so thankful for all of your love and encouraging emails.
- Love Sister Stabenow