Monday, October 28, 2013

There's no place like Jones!

Sister Stabenow and Sister Daelo
There’s no place like Jones :) I am so pumped about this cycle! I know that this area and the companion I’ve been given are such an answer to prayers. I really feel like I am right where I need to be. So the question… where am I? Well my area is out in the middle of nowhere and it is a city called Jones. We are a part of the Alicia zone. My companion is Sister Daelo, and she’s so awesome! She is 23 years old, from Quezon province, is maybe 4’11” and tiny tiny, and we are siblings in the mission since we both had the same trainer (Nanay) , Sister Manguil. She is SO cool, and we get along really well. It is just us two in our cute little apartment that is right next to the chapel. In this area our schedule is a little bit different. We go out and work at 9 in the morning just after our personal study time, then we come home at 6 at night and finish up our studies. So things are very different here, it’s hotter here in Jones, the branch is smaller, there are only two of us now in the apartment, and we only speak Tagalog.  And I’m just loving it all.  So about the branch, there were about 35 people there on Sunday. I was a speaker in sacrament (at least prepared for it), then Sister Daelo (on the spot) had to teach the gospel principles class that two girls attended, and then we get into the relief society and the RS president asks me to teach the lesson. ..so she hands me a Tagalog Liahona and says I can teach whatever out of it. So we ran home to our apartment, (I didn’t grab no shoes or nuthin!) I ran, and grabbed an english copy of the Liahona. So I taught my first lesson ever in relief society.. in tagalog hahaha :) and that was my first Sunday here in the branch :) It’s definitely a struggling branch, but I know that things will improve here :) There are some really great members. Yesterday we had a sister from the Relief Society come and work with us, she is way cool and I feel like she is my aunt or something. We had an adventure trying to find some of the houses of members yesterday and it ended up being so much fun. We finished the day having a really intense lesson with this less active woman who was the relief society president years ago. It was really clear that she didn’t want us there at first, but…. prayers work. She opened up to us, and we could really feel the spirit working through us to touch her heart. I thought of how our Savior feels about her and how he understands her and the pain she’s kept inside. I felt so much love for her and just a lot of empathy. I know that our Savior understands us all so well, so individually. I was able to share my testimony and hopefully she felt my love and the love our Savior has for her. I love being a missionary. I love the gospel and what it has done for me and for all of us, my family and those I love :) we are so blessed, and we have lives full of so many blessings and opportunities. I never want to let the gospel slip out of my life. It is true. And it is the greatest blessing, when understood and lived. I am thankful that we have opportunities to serve in the church, I know that as we serve we are blessed, so blessed. I hope you all have an awesome week. You’re all still in my prayers :) Love and miss you all!
-          Sister Stabenow
Our cute little apartment




Climbing a tree~

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