Monday, September 16, 2013

Hello Fam,

We went to Cauayan on Tuesday for the departure fireside, and I was way happy to see my trainer, Sister Manguil! We had a fun time catching up and we laughed realizing we’d each brought things to give to one another. She is a sister’s trainer now so I got to hear all about her cycle and funny experiences.  So I think this will be my last cycle in Bayombong, and I’m hoping my next area won’t be so far from the mission home, traveling is pretty exhausting here!
It is so weird to me that I’m not considered a new missionary at all. Ha and people are saying I’m old here in the mission, but I’m glad to be at this point. I’ve learned some important lessons lately and the confidence I’ve needed with everything is getting to where it needs to be. I’m done worrying about my struggles with Tagalog, my grammar, my pronunciation, cause what is more important- bringing people unto Christ. How to help them to understand, to recognize the Holy Ghost, and understand the gospel IS important. This isn’t about my concerns or struggles, and I hope they can feel how much my companion and I really do care about them.  I can do all of these things, I can be a good, effective missionary even if I’m not perfect at Tagalog. I’m really so glad to be moving on from this problem, cause there is work to do! This is one of the quotes I read last week that has helped me a lot, of course… it’s from Jeffrey R. Holland “I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands.” There is no reason to doubt, ever. I know that we have the help of the Savior every step of the way. He loves us and we can trust in him. I love this gospel, it is something I will never give up. I have learned so much from these 7 months of my mission, and those are also things I would never trade. I know, so much more now, how loved and how blessed I am. I have been given an amazing family, a life full of opportunity and best of all a knowledge of the true gospel.  I love you all and am so blessed to call you family :) thanks for the emails this week :) Hope you all have a great week!
Mahal ko kayo!
-          Sister Stabenow   

picture- me and my pal Erika

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