Monday, December 30, 2013

Bilo, Bilo

Hey family,
It was so fun skyping with you guys this past week, getting to see your faces and hear your voices. Sorry again for getting emotional for a second there, haha it came out of nowhere. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas together. If anything this Christmas really taught me how important family is, I am seeing more and more just how blessed we are as a family.
We went on splits this week in Alicia 1, and I was companions again with Sister Hafen. She is an awesome friend, and I LOVE when I get to go on splits with her. The whole splits was just so good, it made me happy to see the success in their area, and I know that it is a result of their hard work. I love getting to go on these splits and get to meet the people they visit and just spend a day with them. On Friday morning of the splits we went and had a CSP at a members house and had a cleaning project, the member was super nice and let me be her helper to prepare the food with her, and so she taught me how to make one of my favorite dishes here- bilo bilo. 
To sum it all up I’ll say that work in Jones this week was challenging. There were definitely some ups and downs. One sad thing… our investigator Rowena passed away on Saturday. She’s the 31 year old wife and mother that had leukemia. We hadn’t been able to see her the past few weeks when we’d go to her house because of how bad she’d been feeling. I am happy knowing the plan of salvation, I am so happy that we were able to see her progress and embrace the gospel and really love the Book of Mormon. I know she will continue to be taught the gospel and will continue to grow. I feel blessed that we got to get to know her and see her and her sweet relationship with her two little kids.
There is just two more weeks til transfers and there will be lots of changes. Most likely a new companion and new area. I’m excited for the new experiences up ahead and for the new people that I will meet. Each area and companion teaches me knew things, so I am excited for the progress up ahead. I was reading in my journal back to the first few months of my mission, and I can tell that I’m growing up and changing here. I love serving here, and getting to be a part of the hastening of the Lord’s work. I’m excited for this start of a new year as I am starting to realize more and more that I can accomplish more and become more as I focus, set goals, push myself, and rely on the Lord more in my life. I love you and hope you have a great New Years. Have fun with all the cousins!
(p.s. On Wednesday you can say… Sister Stabenow comes home this year J )
Mahal ko kayo! Ingat kayo palagi!
-          Sister Stabenow

pictures- splits with sister hafen, party for our landlord's grandson

Getting her hair done this morning:)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Traveling Sisters

Dear Family,
It’s Christmas! This past Tuesday we had a Christmas mission devotional in Cauayan, complete with awesome messages from the Rahlfs, food from Brother Pete, and games (courtesty of the STL’s). Ha mine and Sister Daelo’s game finally came together the morning of and it ended up being fun. I’ll send some pictures. I really enjoyed the day, getting to see my anak, Sister Grande, and getting to feel more of the Christmas spirit. This is going to be a very different Christmas than ever before, but to paraphrase what President Rahlf said… if I had to be away from my family at this special time of year, I’m glad it is here, and I am glad to be doing the Lord’s work. The day of Christmas here will be good, skyping with you all in the morning, and then we’ll head back to Jones and visit the members throughout the day and join in on their celebrations. Ha we basically plan on being fed all day.
So this week we were once again the traveling Sisters. We went on splits twice this week, and both of them went really well. I love these Sisters in my zone, they work hard and I feel like I’m learning so much from them. For our first splits I was able to work with Sister Tenepere (sounds like Katy Perry) haha, she is just 19 years old, and wow she’s a rockstar of a missionary. My next splits was with Sister Palomo who will be heading home after this cycle. She is a strong missionary, and I was really touched by her strong testimony of the gospel and of this work. Her mom died while she was out here on the mission. She talked to me a bit about it, and seriously she is so strong, we’re so blessed that we can handle the hard things in life because we know Heavenly Father’s plan for us. I enjoyed our splits, it really is fun to pop into the missionary work of other sisters, to get to meet the investigators and less actives they visit and spend just a day with them. These splits are strengthening and teaching me so much, and I feel so lucky that I get to be doing this right now at this point in my mission.
Even with the setbacks in the work sometimes here I didn’t feel discouragement this week in me or my companionship. I know we are doing our part and we will continue to work and pray and try to help these people overcome these concerns and obstacles. Time is flying by here, and before I know it I’ll be transferred. I know I’ll be leaving these people and I hope I will have been a help and a blessing to them and I hope they know that I love them and this little branch here in Jones.
Well, that’s all for this week. I seriously can’t wait for skype! I love you all and can’t wait to see you soon!
Mahal ko kayo!
-   Sister Stabenow     pictures- doing laundry the other morning, super cold with the rain getting us wet. at least i put my raincoat to good use :)

Splits with Sister Tenepere  
Splits with Sister Palomo

Monday, December 16, 2013


Hello Everyone,
How many days left ‘til Christmas? Can’t believe how fast it is coming! This has been a crazy busy week here with traveling every day but yesterday, and next week looks even busier since we’ll have two splits instead of just one since we have more Sisters in our zone this cycle. Last Wednesday we had our Missionary Leadership Council meeting and it was awesome. I love being in the mission home with the Rahlfs, and learning from them and seeing what great examples and role models they are. Our meeting was SO awesome. We had a great Christmas lesson from Sister Rahlf about the history of “The Messiah”  and then President gave an awesome lesson all about the Parable of the Sower and about what kind of soil each of us are. I love one thing he said, that the Lord knows how to change hearts to become good soil.  This will probably all make more sense to you if you’ve recently read the parable from the Bible. I’m so excited for upcoming changes in this mission, I know that this is the Lord’s work and that He leads this mission. I’m happy to be a part of this hastening time. I love seeing this work change people, myself, other missionaries, and people that we teach. I am so thankful that we can all change, that we can grow and are given the experiences and trials that will help us to become more.
On Splits
This week we had splits in Alicia, and I was with Sister Warr, she is 19, but way taller than me haha. I loved working with her, she is just way cool and easy to get along with. She reminds me of Kelsey a bit honestly. We had a really good day together, she really gets missionary work and is being changed by it so much. She has grown so much just within the last 6 weeks that I’ve known her. I love splits, I learn from these sisters and learn just how much good with can really do, and that we are capable and can contribute so much to this work as we are obedient and work hard and follow the spirit.
One happy surprise this week is that President and Sister Rahlf came to our branch for sacrament meeting yesterday and it was awesome. They shared great messages, and I felt very lucky that we got to have them come visit. Well, that’s all for this week. I hope you all have a great week. I love you and can’t wait to skype next week. I’ll email you next week with more details about how it will all work. Mahal na mahal ko kayo!
-          Sister Stabenow

Monday, December 9, 2013

shumortcut.... gotta love taglish:)

Hello family :) 

We had another really fast but really good week. We’re later emailing today, so I don’t have a ton of time, but I’ll try to summarize some of the week. I’ll email a picture of my two little brothers here… the one on the right is a member, 17 years old and his name is Oliver, the one on the left is Jaysine and he’s 14 and is one of our investigators. Landon, I’m definitely reminded of you, and I’ve shown them your picture and told them your height, and they’re jealous, these boys are all about basketball haha. So I’ll try and quickly share a story from the week about them. We had a family home evening with them earlier in the week and taught them about Sabbath day since we knew that basketball is what has been keeping them away from church. We let them think about it and decide what they’d do on Sunday. Well… there they both were on Sunday morning at the chapel, and early! And, Oliver was asked to give a talk, so he gets up and gives a really good and bold talk about the Sabbath day. I was SO proud haha. He needs to be the strong one in his family, and the example also for his neighbor Jaysine. He doesn’t have long before he can serve a mission, so it makes me happy seeing these changes that will help him get prepared. I love this branch, this area, our investigators, and my companion. I love these people, I find myself getting so worried and concerned for those that we visit. It makes me sad to see them making wrong choices that won’t help their life to improve. But we love them nonetheless and hopefully things will improve. Sorry this really is so short! I love and miss you all!
Oliver and Jaysine

Monday, December 2, 2013

december na?

Hello Family,
                Sounds like you all had a great Thanksgiving, thanks for sending me pictures! This was another really fast, but good week. This next week is transfer week and I’m happy to say nothing will be changing with me and my companion!
So, on Tuesday we went on splits with the sisters in Echague- Sister Peckham, Sister Karavanua, and Sister Matautia. I love their companionship so much, Sister Peckham is training both of the sisters and they’re doing a great job. It was so much fun with them, haha I just love their personalities. It was kinda full circle getting to go on splits with Sister Peckham because she was my Sister’s Training Leader back in my first area, and I was actually the first sister she went on splits with. She is now finishing her mission this week and then heading back to Utah, and I’m just realizing more and more how fast missions go by. She actually just now stopped by the computer shop and we said goodbye. I’m gonna miss her! She’s been an awesome example and friend to me here.
Sister Stabenow and Sister Peckham
Going out on Splits 

Work this week was a little slow- hard to get lessons and all but one of our fellowshippers cancelled on us. So some frustrations, but we did meet some new really nice people that hopefully we’ll be teaching soon. We had some good lessons though and I feel like we’re really starting to build good relationships with the members; this week we’re finally going to have some Family Home Evenings here! Well hopefully I’ll have more to write you about next week. Sorry this is short and not about very much haha, but here are some pictures to make up for a really short email. Haha. Love and miss you all, oh and can’t wait to skype in a few weeks! 

Having traditional Thanksgiving dinner:) 

Having fun with some cute kids!

It actually get cold enough that she had to break out her blanket, she said it smelled like home:)  And a good sweatshirt always brings comfort:)