Monday, March 31, 2014

Lizards!



Hello Family,
 Well, I had a "bad experience" this past week, that was too funny not to share. We were getting back to the apartment with the other sisters, and I felt something hit me, and I thought that one of the Sisters had jokingly thrown something so i looked back but then just ignored it. We got inside and were talking and Sister Tenepere looks at me, her eyes got big and she just starts pointing at my hair. I didn't believe her at first, but once there was a second witness, Sister Broqueza, I knew it wasn't a joke. They mouthed the word LIZARD! So i whip off my jacket, and my sweater and shake out my hair from the ponytail and of course I'm just yelling! They grabbed my jacket from the floor, shook it out, and out runs a big fatty lizard. And by that point i'm in the kitchen standing on a chair still screaming/laughing and on the verge of tears. They were all screaming and laughing with me. haha I HATE LIZARDS and I HATE that they live in our houses too. So after that I had to immediately go and take a shower, I was so grossed out. 
   Haha but asides from that... It was a really good week with lots of good things that happened. One of those really good things was our Sisters Specialized Training that we had this past Wednesday up in Cauayan. It was all about womanhood and good women in the gospel. The Rahlfs and the senior sisters all had such good messages for us. My companion and I also celebrated our 1 year in the mission field this past Thursday :) Can't believe it has been a whole year in the Philippines! For our splits this past week I got to work with Sister Barney, it was a great time and we had lots of fun out working and swapping fun stories. So, I am loving Sundays more and more here. We were so happy seeing our investigators at church. We've got a baptism coming up on April 19th for our investigators Jen and Rocky and I am very excited (hopefully I'll still be here!)- It is so fun seeing them accept the gospel and especially get into reading the Book of Mormon. It has been a busy P-day so I'll have to keep this short. I'll let you know next week whether I'll be transferred or not! Love you all! Have a great week, and enjoy conference! 
- Love Sister Stabenow
1 year in the mission field!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Haan ka madanagan, agsubli ak

Dear Family, 
       It was another good week. This week we had two really great splits. For the first one we went with the sisters from Jones, and I was with Sister Fanugao for the day, who is also my batch. The next splits was with a couple of the Sisters from Echague, and I was with Sister Davis. I laughed my head off all day with her as my companion, and we just had such a good day working together and had a fun time with our American humor. It was such a good and needed splits!
     On Thursday night we were able to have our family home evening with the cute families that we are teaching out in Callao. They really enjoyed the games and it was fun seeing them all enjoying it. I will have to teach you all the ting ting game and the kotchara/ tinidor game :)

Sister Davis and Sister Stabenow
      It is harvesting time here in the Philippines so everyone is out working in their golden fields, and I'm thinking it is just about harvest time here for us in our area too. We were able to see some good progress this week with our investigators and I'm really excited for them. We have several investigators out in Callao, and so much is about to happen in that area! I love seeing their testimonies grow as well as their desire to be baptized. And because of the good examples and changes that have happened for our recent converts, and members and investigators in that area, even more people want to know the gospel and are welcoming us in to teach them. 
       We are still doing our 60 day read of the Book of Mormon, and yesterday part of our reading was in Jacob 5 about the Olive Tree Allegory. I loved it. It meant so much more to me this time as I really understood it more as a missionary. I'm so glad I'm here learning the things I'm learning and finally involving myself more in the Lord's work.




    One quick story before I end this.. last night we were walking back to a members house to drop our  fellowshippers off, we had to walk down this way dark path right by the irrigation (rivers on both sides of the path) and all we had was the little flashlight on our cell phone that I was using. It didn't take long to realize there were frogs all over the path which got me yelling a little bit, haha but then... I heard something moving in the water and shined the flashlight over to see what it was. Well I learned something from that experience, that kalabaw (caribou) get really scared by flashlights at night time. haha the kalabaw started freaking out and so did we! haha so we all ended up running and just laughing our heads off. It was a funny end to our week :) Oh I love my life here. Well that is all for this week. I love you all and am so thankful for each of you. Congrats to Brooke and Dylan, and thanks for sending pictures! Mahal ko kayo! 
- Sister Stabenow



Riding in a Jeepney!



Monday, March 17, 2014

The Things I Love!

Dear Family,
Sweet! Sister Stabenow and Sister Spencer!
Much better week! I am now feeling better and back to normal. I am so happy as we are out working and I'm healthy and feeling okay. I was feeling good enough to have our splits on Wednesday, so I got to work with Sister Brown. It was just such a fun and happy day together, and I felt like it was such a boost getting to talk with her and share our excitement with each other about this work and the good things that are happening. She is a new trainer right now and she is doing awesome with her anak. On Thursday this week one of our investigators totally broke our hearts and told us that he won't be joining the church any more, it was a really difficult conversation for all of us to have. We know he still has the desire but is just discouraged because of a word of wisdom problems he has. We'll try and continue to visit him and encourage him. We both think of him as our little brother, so we really are concerned about him right now. 
This week I hit another month mark on the mission. They keep happening so quickly haha. Then on Saturday my companion, Sister Broqueza hit her one year mark on her mission, so we celebrated with some yummy mango float that I made. There was also a relief society activity on Saturday and we stopped by for a minute to see how our investigators were doing. It was a funny activity of a bunch of ladies in high heels having a fashion show haha. But they all seemed to really enjoy it. And... I got to see members from Jones that were there, so it was way fun to catch up with them. 
Sunday was really good, Sister Spencer and I gave talks in sacrament, without much notice before hand, but it went well. It was such a great sight being up on the stand and seeing two of our families of investigators there. We love these families and are so happy seeing them accept the gospel. We have a family home evening with them this next week that we are so excited for. Once again, I'll just say I love this branch. There are so many things to be thankful for and so many things that I love. This time is short here and continues to go faster and faster, and just as our mission song goes "we won't have this time again." This truly is a special time and special experience. I feel so blessed to be where I am, doing what I am doing. Thank you guys for being so incredibly supportive, I love and miss each of you! 
- Sister Stabenow

Splits with Sister Brown

Happy 1 year mark Sister Broqueza

Monday, March 10, 2014

First Time for Everything!

Dear Family, 
This will probably be a short letter for a long week. Haha. It was a long week dealing with being sick for the first time in my whole mission. I'm lucky it has only happened this once. But yeah, not feeling great, but I've got Sister Rahlf checking in on and taking care of me here. So I should be back to normal in no time hopefully. Also since you asked Dad, no we don't do anything here in the Philippines with daylight savings. so my time hasn't ever changed since I've been here. 
So, this week had it's ups and downs. We are realizing it is going to take a little bit longer before some baptisms can happen because of word of wisdom stuff, but I know that the time will come for them and that makes me happy. I can still see the progress happening and I'm glad it will all happen once they are very prepared. We had splits this past week and I was with Sister Tenepere (who also lives in our apartment), she and I had a really good day together and I'm sure we were a funny sight with us two teaching and coughing all day together. One great thing this past week was getting to go to Cauayan for our MLC meeting. It was good seeing friends and catching up, but it was also weird now that my Nanay (Sister Manguil) wasn't there for this one since she's already home. Time is going by so fast. I loved what we learned from President and Sister Rahlf at the meeting, and I am seeing more and more how these things I'm learning here will bless and change my life in so many ways especially when I'm back home. Tomorrow we'll have our zone meeting and we'll get to teach these things now to the other missionaries in our zone :) Even though I had a scratchy voice I still felt like we had some really good lessons this week :) my companion and I are really learning to work together well, and I love learning new things and having my own testimony strengthened by the things that are taught. We've got a new family of investigators that came to church this past week and we are really excited for them, they are such sweet parents to their kids and they seem very excited about the Book of Mormon. My testimony continues to grow and time and time again be confirmed about the Book of Mormon. It was great getting to finish it yesterday in English, and just in time for our mission's 60 day power read that will start this week. I'm still working on reading it in Tagalog right now which is taking some time, but I am really loving it. :) I love the Book of Mormon and am so happy seeing it continue to bless my own life and especially bless the lives of others as they encounter it for the first time. Hope you all have a great week, thanks for all the love and emails :) You guys are the best! Love you!
- Sister Stabenow

Monday, March 3, 2014

Be an Amulek!


Their sweet investigator family!





So many good things to tell you about this week!!! I will start with the most exciting, our investigators told us that they want to get married and baptized this month!!! We are so incredibly happy for them. We rode home in the tricey that night with the biggest smiles on our faces! I am just so happy seeing them accept the gospel and I can just picture them going to the temple together one day to be sealed as a family forever! We are working to help them get plans and papers worked out as well as the date. Also great news, our 17 year old investigator also decided this week that he is also feeling ready and wants to be baptized! I'm way excited for him also thinking of what the gospel can do for his future, hopefully he'll serve a mission :) 
Sister Stabenow and Sister Rahlf
Alicia district had their district conference this past weekend, so on Saturday afternoon while President Rahlf had meetings to be at, Sister Rahlf came and worked with Sister Broqueza and I. So she drove us out to our beautiful area in Callao where we introduced her to our family of investigators, taught them a lesson, and then took her to visit our recent converts and also a less active member. We loved having her come and work with us for the day, and I loved getting to hear her sweet testimony that she shared for each of these people we love. The district conference was so great and full of awesome messages. 
And what made it even just that much better.... I got to see the members from Jones that were able to come on Sunday morning!!! And that includes our cute investigator Marinella, 14 years old from Jones, that Sister Daelo and I were able to start teaching before we were transferred. She will be getting baptized this next Saturday, so i might be able to go to Jones and see her get baptized! One of the messages from district conference was given by President Rahlf and was about unity between missionaries and members. He shared about Alma in his work as a missionary, and how he couldn't have done it without Amulek (Alma 10). Amulek went to everyone he knew to tell them that what Alma was saying was true, and that made all the difference. Well I'm happy to say that we have our very own Amulek here in our work. Haha, and that is our investigator, the one that wants to be married and baptized. He is always going to his neighbors and telling about us and asking them if they want us to teach them too. So yesterday we met two new families of referrals that live close by to them. They want to hear our message and we are very excited to get to teach them! We are so happy and so blessed here in our work! I love this gospel and this special message that we have to share with families! I love you and miss you and hope you have a great week and can find ways to be an Amulek! 
Love,
Sister Stabenow
Twin Sisters!