Monday, January 13, 2014

Pulled out-- Goodbye Jones

Nanay Abad :) she is like our mom here in Jones.

So this was my last full week in Jones, and I can say it definitely was my favorite one there. Even with our MLC meeting one day and splits and zone meeting on another it was our best week of work in Jones. It’s a little harder to leave it now that things are really getting good there, but I’m glad that it is ending on such a high note! We had great lessons this week, were able to help with a mutual activity for the youth, had a family home evening, had 74 people at church yesterday (highest my comp and I have seen here!) and even had lots of fellowshippers to work with us yesterday. Such a good way to end it.
            We had our Missionary Leadership Council meeting on Tuesday in Cauayan. We were able to discuss as a council and set the Philippines Cauayan Mission Standards of Excellence for the year 2014. It was a great meeting, with great messages shared. We started off with talking about Helaman 5:9,12 where it mentions the word “remember” over and over again. That was the overall message of our meeting, to remember that all that we do and all of our focus should be on Christ. It was a spiritually uplifting day, and I always come away from our MLC meetings so pumped and ready to get to work. We’ve got some great goals now for this mission and are working on having a greater vision here, and on helping the other missionaries to catch the same vision as well and see what is possible here in the Philippines Cauayan Mission.
                This week the Mills (couples missionaries) came to Jones to do the cleaning check on our apartment. I was expecting it just to be an in and out thing, but luckily it wasn’t. After the check they sat down with us and Elder Mills shared Omni 1:26, we took some time, pondered the scripture and were taught so much. I loved the message of it- “… come unto him and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him…” The message was just what I needed that morning. I had just read the parable of the talents from Matthew that morning and thought about what kind of servant I am being here, the one who used what he was given and went and gained more or the one who went and hid it in the earth and did nothing with it. I was feeling frustrated that morning over my same weaknesses, and just wondering when I would finally get over those things. We each shared about what the verse in Omni had taught us and after I had shared, Sister Mills talked about similar feelings she had had with weaknesses, just wondering when will we not need the Lord’s help for that certain weakness any more, and that of course the answer is never. We will never not need the Lord’s help any more, and that is okay, we are like children, totally dependent on him and that isn’t a bad thing. I loved hearing from Elder and Sister Mills, specific questions I had were answered, and I loved what Elder Mills also said-  to pray in the morning asking how I can truly give the Lord my heart that day, promising to do and then doing whatever it is he is asking, and then at night asking him if I did enough and feeling more of his love for me.  I know that my time will be best spent here if I do those things, and I don’t doubt that continuing to do that will bless my life even after the mission.
Sister Stabenow and Sister Perkins
            We had a great time on our splits this week. My companion was Sister Perkins from… Kaysville Utah! Small world haha, we both went to Davis. I had a really good day working with her, we had good appointments, met nice people, talked about good old Kaysville, and even learned a few words of Yogad, one of the dialects in Echague.
                      This morning we had a zone activity and went to Madella to Governor’s Rapid, we crossed a beautiful river, and crawled through some caves to a waterfall that was inside. Way fun! This place is beautiful! We also got the transfer list this morning and confirmed what my companion and I already knew, that we are getting pulled out of Jones. Sad, but I am excited about the changes up ahead. A new adventure here, with a new area and new people. Can’t wait! Well I hope you have a great week. I love and miss each of you!
Zone Activity to Govenor's Rapids!
-          Sister Stabenow

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