Monday, July 29, 2013

Training!! (Week 19)

So here’s the news! I’m going to be training, and I’m staying here in Bayombong :) which means I could be here in my first area for 7 months! So on Thursday I went to Cauayan for the trainer’s training meeting which was great. It helped me to relax and not stress out so much. I’d been really worried since I’m not anywhere near fluent, but luckily I realized that that isn’t what makes a good trainer. I know I’ll be able to do so much more for my anak (child/trainee). I’m so excited to meet her and find out who she is and whether she’s American or Filipino.  I did the math, there are 5 brand new trainers that are still new to Tagalog (I being one of them) and there are only 4 new filipino sisters coming on wednesday. So for sure one of us will be training an american. I don't know, and I cant really say, but in my mind there is a big chance it is me, cause I've been here 3 cycles, the other sisters have only been here 2, and two of them are from Kiribati, so they're english isn't that great either. Ha so I've been studying SO much this week trying to get more comfortable. I’ll be happy with whatever happens though, I know it’ll be fun :) It’s definitely bitter sweet though, Sister Manguil is such an awesome companion! I know she’ll always be a good friend of mine- and I’m excited to make a new really good friend once my anak gets here! The things President Rahlf shared with us at the meeting were really helpful haha he basically said that they’ll need to know that they can rely on us for strength. He said we can’t be falling apart. He said that this has been prayed over and that we’re ready, we may not know it, but we’re ready. We got great counsel from him, and I’m feeling like I can do this.
Sister Manguil has been sick most of this week, so I’ve been able to take care of her- learned how to cook some things, popcorn on the stove, and yes I’ve been in the Philippines for 4 months, but I just learned how to cook rice haha… with a rice cooker even. We didn’t get to work as much as we would have liked, but Sister Manguil is a champ and we were still able to get some lessons in. While she rested I was able to have extra language study time which was a blessing for me actually. The work we were able to do was good. We brought FHE to the Taeza and Gacad families on Friday night and had a really good time. One of the Gacad sons got his mission call this past week, and has been called to the Wellington, New Zealand mission! He’s so excited! So he was super eager to practice his English with me, so he spoke only English and I spoke only Tagalog haha. Even though his grammar wasn’t always correct he was confident to just use English and wasn’t embarrassed of his mistakes. So I’ve been trying to be more like that. And it’s been great, I don’t feel bad making mistakes, cause I recognize that I’m just learning. These young adults here preparing for missions are awesome. They and their families have to sacrifice a lot to make it work, but they’ve got such strong desires to serve, they’ll do great! I am so happy to be a part of this work. I have been so blessed to have the trainer that I’ve had, and I’m excited to hopefully be a good trainer for my anak! This should be an exciting week! Love you all so much, thanks for all the love :)
-Sister Stabenow
Down by the river

Sister Manguil with the things we sent her.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 18 in the Philippines!

Our visit to Paitan
Quite the week!  Not sure where to start :) I’ll just say it ended really really good. We were way concerned about one of the newer missionaries wanting to go home, but she has decided to stay, and we’re all thrilled! We’re a zone of many many sisters and just a few elders  and us sisters just take care of each other :) 
Also we went to Paitan this week which is way up in the mountains to visit less actives. They were surprised we made the trip up there, and we were happy to see some of them at church yesterday! After we visited the less actives up there we went to a member’s home where they fed us lunch. It was awesome, we drank out of coconuts, had a papaya from their tree, and then they cut down some of their sugar cane and we munched on some sugar cane before heading back. It was quite the day. Update with the family we’ve been teaching for a long time, we went and visited them one day this past week and they were HAPPY, that’s big news for them haha as the parents usually struggle to get along. It was just such a great night seeing them all calm and smiling. They've still got lots of questions about the gospel, but hopefully they’re on their way :) 
Mom I hope you had a great birthday this week :) we shared Alma 56:46-47 with a mom this week here and I thought about you and the example you’ve given me. I’m glad you got my letter too! Sunday was great. 
We had a councilor from our mission presidency come (President Pascua) and he came to give a training to our branch about  missionary work, and he brought three mission calls to the sisters in our branch. So excited for these girls, they were given their calls up at the pulpit on Sunday and read to us all where they’d be going.  They've been great as fellowshippers and have worked with us a lot. They will do so good on their missions. 
                Karina, thanks for sending me that talk (His Grace Is Sufficient- by Brad Wilcox)  last week. I actually read it back when I was in the MTC, but I decided to read it again since you sent it. So helpful once again :) I’m feeling better about the language. While reading this talk I thought about that cute youtube video (thumbs up for rock and roll) haha so just like the video… I just have to keep practicing! I will learn how to speak Tagalog, I know it :) haha watch the video so you can picture the voice.  Well that’s all for now. We have transfer day coming up on the 31st and I’ll find out this week whether or not I’ll be training. I’ll let you know! I love you guys :) have a great week! Mahal ko kayo :)
Landon- I've kept this note in my scriptures :)  Love you Bud!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Finding week!

Is that turtle on a leash?
Hello :)
This has been a finding week for us here in Bayombong. We’ve worked with the branch president, former branch president, and youth and single adults this week to have them help us find the houses of less actives in our area. We really felt like it was time to find new people, and it has been great! In the process of trying to find less actives we’ve also found many nonmembers that we’ll hopefully be able to start teaching. It is so great to be a part of missionary work and I know that with this huge increase of missionaries right now it means that more people are being prepared to accept the gospel. So we’re making it a matter of finding those who are prepared and ready.
                This week I hit 5 months on my mission! Time is so strange as a missionary, I can’t say that enough!  It was fun to read your emails this week about trek and the things you’ve learned about being able to do hard things. I needed to learn that again this past week as I recognized that on my own I really cannot learn this language, I want to progress so much, and the perfectionist in me does not like to take baby steps haha. But I read Ether chapter 12 this week and learned a lot about faith. I also recognized that I don’t need to try and do all of this on my own, I have been praying harder than ever about trying to learn this language and be able to communicate better with Tagalog and with the spirit. I am so blessed that I get to be here doing what I’m doing. I’m so blessed to have such a loving and encouraging companion. I am so blessed to have a testimony of the gospel. My life is so different from those around me, and I want so badly for them to have what I have. I love the gospel, and I love being a missionary. I am thankful for these 18 months of my life that are already helping me to become more of the person I want to be.  I am so thankful to my family and to my friends who are SO supportive, I know I am so lucky to have that, especially as I see missionaries that don’t have that kind of support or encouragement coming from their families.
                We didn’t go up to the mountains this past week, but we have a plan to go on Wednesday, so as long as there isn’t rain we’ll get to go :) hopefully this bagyo is over and we’ll have some more sun here this week! Have a great time at the beach, don’t have too much fun without me! ;) Love you all! Talk to you next week!          Sister Stabenow                          

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Mission President!

Hello again :)

This week was another fast one. It sounds like you all had a fun 4th of July, ha like you said to do dad, I celebrated with lot’s of rain here. Ha we had to go home and change our clothes because of how soaked we were even using our umbrellas. I sang every patriotic song in the hymn book to celebrate the 4th, and I noticed even more all of the American Flags that I see here used on the tricey’s as curtains or seat covers. Oh I love America haha.

One of my favorite things this week was meeting our new mission president and his wife, the Rahlf’s. They are so great, I love them already. We each had short get to know you interviews with President Rahlf. He said that with so many new sisters coming we all need to be ready to be trainers even if we’re still new. He asked me how I’d feel about training next cycle if I need to. He asked me how my Tagalog is, and he asked me how I’d feel if I had to train an American sister since the American sisters coming greatly outnumber the Filipinos. Ha none of that is for sure, just for his information. Even though it’d be scary to have to train an American sister I said I’d do whatever I’m asked haha. I think there’s 19 sisters coming next cycle, and only 4 of them are Filipino. So I don’t know what’ll be happening, but I’ll just prepare for the worst and hope for the best haha. Actually it could be kind of fun to have an American sister around, and it would definitely make both of us work on our Tagalog. Hmmm… we’ll just see. I’m just glad I’ve got some more time to prepare for whatever is coming up.

I’m excited for this week, we’re determined to find find find. We went throught he huge branch directory and are going to try and find lots of less actives this week. We’re feeling like it’s time to change things up a bit. We really want to find those who are ready to accept or come back to the gospel. We also have some ideas in mind to try and get the branch excited and more involved. We also found out that we have a sweet part of our area up in the mountains we didn’t really know about. We’re going to find time this week to visit less actives out there. I hear you have to take a boat to cross a river?? Ha I’ll let you know if that’s true or not. Sorry this is kind of short and more informational. I hope you all have a great week. Kels and Landon, enjoy trek! I love you all so much!

-       Sister Stabenow
This is from FHE last week that we had at a members house, and we had our investigators come :) fun time playing don't eat pete!

They found this litttle boy running home in the rain!
Don't Eat Pete!

I found this little Guy walking home this week!

Monday, July 1, 2013

letter for the week!

What a good week. I don’t really know why, but I feel like things have changed this week especially, and I’m really putting my all into this, and am very focused on what I need to do here.  And I’m even happier than before. I’m so lucky I get to be here.  I’m studying the language a lot more and trying to get more comfortable with it, just in case I become a trainer after this cycle. We had splits last Tuesday and I always learn good things from the trainer’s sisters. Sister Manguil and I have been talking to so many more people this week, and I love seeing the progress with the language for me and also with just feeling much more comfortable with talking with everyone and anyone. Ha if I would’ve had a glimpse of the person I am now a few years ago I wouldn’t have believed it at all. I can’t really explain it all, but I’m just happy :)
 Work was good this week. One interesting thing I saw… I’ll spare you the details, but I saw the whole process of a dog being killed here :( oh man it was awful, it was so hard to teach with that going on right next to us! I’ll just say it ended up charcoaled.
                Yesterday we got to watch the Worldwide training broadcast in Solano, and I loved it SO much! I could tell the broadcast was done at BYU and it was so fun to see all the missionaries and mission presidents who were there. Did you guys get to watch it? Ha, I got a little teary eyed at parts, but not in a sad way. I really just want to be a happy Mormon my whole life haha and for me and my family to be involved in missionary work.  I want to make the missionary purpose, inviting others to come unto Christ, the purpose of my life. It just made me really excited to think about what I can do with my life.
                We have a new sister in our zone from West Jordan (Sister Deluna), and every time we get a chance we just pull each other aside and talk. She’s awesome. She’s been here about two weeks now, so I love just seeing how she is doing. She was talking to me about her family yesterday and she pulled out a picture of her brother and parents at her brother’s graduation. I understood how she was feeling about it and I pulled out my picture of Kelsey and mom and dad at her graduation. Ha we are good friends already.
Some random things, I love when I hear Tagalog songs here (like at the store), especially the ones I listened to before my mission, since I can understand so much more now!  We had a bagyo here yesterday but it was just a category 1 in our area. So just some wind and rain :) I love the storms here. It also made running this morning really pretty as we ran out by the rice fields.  I’m having Sister Manguil teach me how to cook some yummy meals, hopefully they have these ingredients back in America so I can make them for you when I’m home. I wish you could see the food I eat here, I’m eating fruits I’ve never heard of or seen before. Oh I love my life. Sorry if this email is an overload of happy haha. I love you all so much :) I’m so incredibly blessed to call you my family. I hope you all have a fun 4th of July!! I’ll try and find way to celebrate a little too :) Mahal Kita!
-Sister Stabenow
I know I don't have much room to correct their english but still I thought it was funny!