Monday, June 17, 2013

Sobrang suerte kami, dahil walang transfer sa amin!!!

Very very happy :) we got the news about transfers this morning, and we get to stay together for another cycle! :) Literally every companionship in our zone is changing except for ours. I guess it doesn't happen very often here that a trainer and trainee get to stay together for more than two cycles. It has been a very good week. We had a fun FHE with the branch president, some older members, and tons of youth and single adults. Filipinos like to party. I'll send a couple pictures from that. We went to Cauayan for our Zone Conference, I loved the messages from President and Sister Carlos, and am excited to do some things in this area to get the members more involved in missionary work. I was also super happy to get mail and a copy of the conference ensign when we went to Cauayan. So thank you all who have sent me letters or dear elders, it's so fun to hear from friends :) I've been loving reading over the conference talks too. I finally got to read the talk "your wonderful journey home" by President Uchtdorf. I know it is overall talking about our journey through life, but I couldn't help but compare it to my time here on my mission too. Especially where it talks about all of the feelings of leaving home, the uncertainty of what would happen, but also the feelings of faith that in the end I would rejoice because of this time. I love where he says "and so, you took a deep breath... and a great step forward... and here you are!" ha so many times I just say wow I'm in the Philippines. I wonder when that will seem normal to me. In his talk he we need to ask ourselves if we're on the right track in our journey. So for me, am I on the right course? Am I becoming the missionary that I want to become, and am I making the choices that will help me to do that? I am learning a lot about the importance of taking a step back and evaluating and then working on areas that I can tell need work. I know I've been given the map that will help me to accomplish what I want to do here. Of course the scriptures and prayer, but also the leaders, the mission president as well as the white handbook of mission rules. Favorite part "There will always be things to complain about-things that don't seem to go quite right. You can spend your days feeling sad, alone, misunderstood, or unwanted. But that isn't the journey you had hoped for, and it's not the journey Heavenly Father sent you to take. Remember, you are truly a daughter of God!" I love his optimism, and can't help but feel uplifted as I hear his words. I feel confident that this journey I am on can do amazing things for my life and hopefully for the lives of others as well, and I know that every trial and challenge will be worth it in the end. I could go on and on about all the great things about this talk, but I'll let you just read it for yourselves if you haven't yet. Cause I'm sure it will mean more to you if you just read it for yourself. I just love the words of our apostles and prophets and can't wait to read the rest of the talks again from conference.

On Saturday President and Sister Carlos were down here in our area, so while president had some meetings, Sister Carlos came and had companionship study with Sister Manguil and I. It was great. She is a spiritual giants, and I could just feel how much she loves missionary work. She knows how sacred and important it is, and her enthusiasm about it is contagious. After our studies, we got to go to lunch with them at a restaurant (Mrs. Bakers) that they had heard about that is right in our area. It was probably the best food I've had my whole mission. The pizza was real pizza, and we had lots of other yummy food... pasta, salad, chicken. President and Sister Carlos were sad that they just now found this restaurant with only two weeks left here serving as mission president. It was great spending some time with them. They found out that that was the same day as Alyssa's wedding, so they joked that that was the reason why we went out to lunch, haha to celebrate. So glad to hear how well the wedding went :) the pictures look great, and you all look so good! Thank you Kelsey for sending them to me! :) This is off topic, but I saw my very first firefly this week, and was so excited. ha Karina it made me think of you. 

And I know it's a little late, but Happy Father's day Dad. Hope you enjoyed it and if you didn't get a bag of Reasens (candy) go buy some and I'll pay you back haha :) This week has kind of been all about family. The father of one of the families we are teaching requested that we have a lesson all about families and the roles within a family. So lot's of studying about family. I won't lie, it made me a little emotional, ha sometimes I'm a wimp and the song Families Can Be Together Forever gets to me, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm so lucky that I have such an amazing family, how sad it would be if I didn't love and miss the family that I have. I probably didn't show it enough or say it enough before, but I love you all so much and am so lucky for the relationships that I have with each of you :) And I'm so happy thinking that more people can have the kind of family life that I have because of them receiving the gospel here. So that's what I'm working for and all of the love and support from each of you reminds me of this. So thank you again. We'll time is short, so I need to go. I hope you all have a great week and are safe in your travels. Someone give Tyler a big hug for me as he'll be home soon from his mission. Love you all so much! Ingat!

- Sister Stabenow

FHE with the Branch President and Youth and Young Adults
Part of the punishment after the game

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