Monday, February 24, 2014



Staying in Alicia!

The cycle is ending this week and I am happy to say there are no transfers for me or my companion! It was such a relief finding out that I will get to stay here for at least another cycle! 
This past week was awesome :) On Tuesday we had our quarterly interviews with President and Sister Rahlf. I always love getting to spend a few minutes with them. After the interviews we started our splits with the Sisters from Jones, Sister Fanugao, and her anak, Sister Vi. I was with Sister Vi for the day and it was awesome. She is from Tonga and is so sweet! We were laughing and smiling all day long out working. Ha the Sisters from Jones were also thrilled that we actually had a dinner appointment that night in our area so they got to join in. 
    There seemed to be a theme this week in our work. I felt like we kept hearing over and over from different women about the bad relationships they are in and the sad things that have happened in their life as a result. It was way sad hearing all of those things, and how I just wish they would accept the gospel in their lives and realize that they don't have to live a life like that. But the week ended perfectly as we visited our investigators last night who are really embracing the gospel. The wife was so happy and talked about how this has been an answer to her prayers that she has been been praying for for a long time. I am so happy to be staying here a little longer to get to see their progress continue, hopefully a wedding and then a baptism in the near future! I am so thankful for what the gospel does, it is truly the answer for any struggle in life and especially it is what each family needs. I'm so happy that I get to be here sharing this message! I love the gospel, and I love being a missionary! Hope you all have a wonderful week, and Dad and Kelsey I hope your birthday is awesome! 
Love you all,
Sister Stabenow


Monday, February 17, 2014

1/3 na lang

Dear Family, 
       Hope you all had a good week, loved hearing from you about all that happened this past week. A lot happened this past week, so I've got lots of pictures to send you. We had two splits this past week, celebrated my one year mark, and two of our investigators were baptized! It was a busy and productive week. I can see so much good happening here right now, and we've got such great investigators right now, so I'm excited to see them progress. 
      Our splits this week were back to back and were so fun. I first went with Sister Funaki who is from Tonga, she is absolutely hilarious and we had such a good day together, and such a good companionship study. For the next one I was with Sister Atienza who is tiny :) and on her second cycle right now. We had another really good day of work and ended it by getting some take out at Jollibee and eating it back at the apartment (picture). I love these sisters here in Alicia. We all get along so well. They all came over again on Thursday and we had lunch to celebrate my one year before we headed out to work. I cooked us some bilo bilo :) 
 Friday of course was valentines day. They do celebrate it here, but i don't think they do as much as we do back home. We had our coordination meeting that night with our Branch Mission Leader, and when we drove by we saw a ton of people at Jollibee that night. So that might be "the thing" here for Valentines day. 

MJ and Jonathans Baptism
On Saturday we had a baptism for MJ and Jonathan who come from a part member family. We've been teaching them since I got here, they were SO cute and ready for their baptism. Sunday was also really great seeing so many investigators at church, we had really good lessons in our classes at church, and it was just a really great day. We worked over in Callao yesterday which is SO beautiful. We taught our recent converts and their friends (our new investigators). They are awesome, our recent converts are way excited about missionary work and continue to bring their friends to church. We then visited one of our investigators who is way cool. He's been reading the Book of Mormon like trazy, and then a couple weeks ago we gave him a copy of the Liahona from the last general conference and now he's reading through all of that, and whenever we go visit we ask him to share about what he read. I always learn something from what he shares with us. I love seeing how the gospel is changing him and helping him, he is more determined now to be a good husband and father. His testimony is growing, and I hope I'm still in this area to see him be baptized when that day comes. Lots of good happened this week, and I'm looking forward to see what will happen this week as well. Can't believe this cycle is almost over, i'm really really hoping that there won't be a transfer for me and my companion quite yet. I love what a hard worker she is! 
      So yep, it has been a little over a year now. So much good has happened to my life within the past year. It has been challenging and hard at times, but the good things that happen out weigh it all and I'm so happy with all that I've learned. So weird to think that there is only one third of it left. I'm going to enjoy the rest of my time here in this little paradise, I know this time of my life is only here once, so I will keep enjoying everything about this experience here. I hope you have a great week. I love this work and I love each of you!
Sister Stabenow


All the Sisters in Alicia

Monday, February 10, 2014

Si Kwan

I think this picture says it all!  She is so Happy!

Hey Family,
Another really great week of work here in Alicia! I am sending lots of pictures of things from the week :) It was a busy week, and we got a lot done, so  let’s see where to start… On Monday night last week we had dinner with a sweet family from the Alicia 1 branch, I had met them before from splits months ago, so it was great to see them all again. We had our missionary Leadership Council meeting, where I got to see my Nanay, Sister Manguil, for the last time. The meeting was great, I always feel like we are taught the things I need at that exact time. President Rahlf taught us about revelation through prayer and Sister Rahlf taught us about unity. She talked about the strengths of triangles, especially how they are used in bridges, which first made me think back to my days of building my bridge in physics class. Ha, then she talked about how that is like our unity, when you’ve got two people focused on one common goal they can be strong. Tomorrow we will be teaching these things that we learned with our zone at our zone meeting tomorrow. I’m excited to be teaching about unity in our companionships. I am really thankful for all that I have learned about unity here from each of the companions that I have been given.
Saying Good-bye to her Trainer Sister Manguil who will leave this month!

This week we went on splits with the Sisters from our apartment, so that made things nice and easy haha. It was great, the new American sister, Sister Spencer and I got to go on splits together. I was way impressed with how well she is doing, and I was happy to see her good attitude and excitement about this work. She is a hard worker and is so good to just go with the flow of missionary life.

Jonalyn's Baptism

On Saturday our investigator Jonalyn was baptized! President and Sister Rahlf came to the baptism too. Everything came together and it was a special day. That same day, this group of students interviewed me for their school project. So we had them come to the chapel, we gave them a tour and then had the interview, then they gave me lots of fruit. Good deal if you ask me haha.
Sister Stabenow with the student who interviewed her.
Once again I just have to say how great it is to be here serving in this Branch. They take such good care of us and are helpful in our work! Well I hope you all have an awesome week, do something this week for any missionaries that you know, they’ll love it :) I hope you guys have a great week! I’ll be celebrating my one year mark on Thursday! Can’t believe it! Well, love and miss you all!
-          Sister Stabenow

Eating some sort of Shell food

Playing games is always fun!

Having Dinner with some Members
Sister Stabenow and Sister Broqueza

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bloom Where You are Planted!

February already? Hope you all had a good week, it sounds like you did some fun things and ate some good food (jealous) haha. We had a good week here in Alicia. Ha, my companion and I are really thankful for the new system of how splits work here. We've got more people to visit than we can handle on our own, so splits are necessary here. We even go on splits some times with the members of relief society. We keep finding more investigators which is really great, we're just trying to figure out how to balance it all and who to focus on. 
We had a zone conference this week and President and Sister Rahlf taught us a bit. From Sister Ralhf- there is no comfort in a growing zone and no growing in a comfort zone. Then President taught us about Joseph of Egypt. He was the kind of person that "Bloomed wherever he was planted," as a slave, as a prisoner, etc. He made the best of every situation he was thrown into. He applied that story so well to our lives here as missionaries. Zone conference was great, there are a lot of new things happening in our mission- new standards of excellence, new mission song, and new responsibilities for the leaders. Speaking of which, my companion and I had to teach at zone conference to a class that each zone of missionaries came around to. I'm having lots of new learning opportunities here and I'm grateful for all of it. 
We've got a baptism this weekend for our investigator Jonalyn :) we're way excited and hope it all goes well. It has been great seeing her grow and accept the gospel. She is already way excited to share it now with others and gives us referrals. Alicia is just great. It is getting warmer here and the sky is getting prettier and prettier. I wish you could all see it here! The Philippines is such a beautiful place, and in a lot of ways it is now my home here. I really do love it all. But.... don't worry I'll still come home this summer haha, I love you and miss you all! 
Sister Stabenow and her cute little friend from the Branch

She loves the beauty of the Philippines!