Monday, September 9, 2013

Dear Family
            It is the end of another cycle here, end of my 4th one in the field actually, and there are no changes this transfer for me. Staying here in Bayombong for life haha. It is weird thinking that I’ve probably only got one more cycle here and I’m sure it will fly by. So we had a zone activity this morning in Bagabag to say goodbye to a couple Elders from our district that are going home. We had a good time. I spent most of my time hanging out with the new Sister that is from Sri Lanka that got here a couple of weeks ago, Sister Wellayan. We’re gonna be good friends, ha we talked about Bollywood movies, and she told me all about life for her and her family in Sri Lanka. Way cool! We mostly used English, but we’d switch to Tagalog sometimes, ha it was fun talking even with the language barrier. So tomorrow we’re heading to Cauayan for the departure fireside, and rumor is it will be the last one since the Philippines is changing the rules for foreigners, we now will have to go and spend a couple days in Manila doing finger prints and stuff like that before we can go back home at the end of our missions. It will be a bummer to not have these meetings, but oh well, at least I got to have them for part of my mission. So the Samoan sister from our apartment is being transferred, which wasn’t expected… we thought she’d be staying here til she goes home in December. So I’m curious to see who we will have in our apartment now with us. Yeah so the picture from last Monday- me on a caribou. I can now check that off of the list of things I really wanted to do here in the Philippines haha. We had an audience just watching us and probably laughing at how excited I was.

 Also, I think I mentioned this last week, that we ate horse at our Branch President’s house. It was fine, super chewy. I’ve become so less picky about food here which makes things easier for sure.
This week had its highs and lows, and I am learning a lot about myself this cycle. But I have to say I’m very excited to start a new cycle, I feel like it is going to be a really good one. Our mission president has given us all the assignment to study one Christlike characteristic for the next 3 months and strive to improve on it, so it took about two seconds to decide I’d study faith. So one night this week the other American sister and I were talking about the topic of Faith. It was such a good talk we had and we shared some good things with each other, and it just got me so pumped up about the work and about what things are possible when we have faith. I need to trust my savior more and remember that he is capable of working miracles for me, for my companion, for our investigators and for our branch. We had a good week of work. I am worrying less and less about the Tagalog, our lessons are becoming more and more spiritually powerful for those we are teaching and even for myself. I feel my testimony growing here more and more. And I am so thankful I am learning the things I need to learn about faith. Thank you for the emails and support and pictures this week! I love and miss you all! 
-Sister Stabenow 

With Ephriam after his Baptism!
Out working hard!

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