Monday, April 28, 2014

Short and Sweet!



Rocky's Baptism

Dear family,
I’ll give you the good news from the week, our investigator Rocky was baptized, and it was one of our recent converts, Cesar, who baptized him! It was such a happy sight. I’m glad we’ve got good strong YSA now coming into this branch. Rocky seemed very calm and ready for the baptism, and I feel like he was very ready and has a strong testimony and understanding of the restored gospel. This branch will be so blessed by these strong young men coming in.
We had two splits this past week, for the first one I was with a new sister from Samoa, Sister Muagutu, and took her over to work in my very favorite area, Callao. We had a great day and loved getting to spend time with our investigators and hear their testimonies- they are facing oppositions from those around them, but they are strong and doing so well. For the next splits I was with Sister Corsilles, and we worked mostly in PNU, she and I could go on and on talking and sharing stories with one another. We had a really fun splits as well.
We continue to have the help of really great leaders and it is making such a big difference in our work. President Arsinas went all the way out to San Pedro on Sunday morning to bring (literally) a whole truck full of investigators to church for their first time. It was such a happy sight having them all there at church, and I know they were welcomed well by the branch.



Well I will keep this short, can’t believe it is almost May already! I love hearing about all that is happening in your lives and getting updates about you. Congrats to Michael and Brandon for their graduations, and Happy Birthday to Karina today and to Blake this Friday! I love you all so much and can’t wait to talk with you all on Mother’s day! Love you! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

All the Sisters Easter Eggs!





Dear Family!
   Glad to hear you all had a great Easter. Your Easter eggs definitely put ours to shame haha, but hey we did what we could with what was available :) We had a really great zone conference this past week where we talked about the Book of Mormon and of course got to talk about Easter as well. Great messages from the Rahlfs for us. And to make that day even better, I got to see my twin here in the mission- Sister Miller! It was such a happy reunion!
     So I'll update you on some of these people that we are teaching- we were asking brother Jobert about his Book of Mormon reading this past week and he told us that his very favorite chapter he has read so far in the Book of Mormon has been Jacob 5- the Olive Tree Allegory. He even told us that that is what we need to share with everyone we teach so that they will understand and want to join the church haha. I guess it really just clicked and made sense to him. As he explained it to us he compared him and his family to the wild branches before, and how he feels blessed because the servants went down to labor in the vineyard and as a result they are being taught and nourished and are no more corrupted, and now instead are bringing forth good fruit. I wish you could see this family and know completely their story and all of the changes that are happening in their lives. When I first met him he would always ask question after question for us, which he now tells us was because he was just trying to test us to see if we could answer his questions. But then he explained to us how one question my companion asked him a while back really got him thinking. She asked him something along the lines of- when you get to the end of your life and are brought to stand before God, what good will we be able to tell him that we've done with our time we were given. He told us this past week that at that time (months ago) he couldn't think of anything that he'd be able to say about what good he had done. I now see just how much the gospel blesses lives. They will be a strong family in the church. I am continually inspired by their excitement about this gospel and about their desire to share it with everyone. They are inviting everyone to listen, and we are fining lots of new investigators through them. Another similar thing is happening in another one of our areas, San Pedro. We've got a great investigator our there who also brings new people for us to teach each time we come and visit. 
    My companion and I are feeling very blessed. We love these people that we are teaching and we find ourselves constantly talking about them and thinking about them, especially as we are reading from the Book of Mormon. We have now made it to 3 Nephi in our power read of the Book of Mormon. Over all I have to say one of my favorite things I am getting out of the Book of Mormon this time around is noticing how much the word REMEMBER is used. It is over and over, and it really is crucial!. Great things happen to these people, miracles, and signs are given, but if they are not quick to remember it benefits them nothing! We must be diligent in remembering the Lord day to day, not just when times are tough, but literally every day. He loves us and wants us to know that and receive the blessings he has in store, we just need to remember. Remember his commandments, remember the blessings we have been given, remember and hold firm to our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and of our Savior, and always remember who we are as sons and daughters of God. I LOVE the Book of Mormon, I love this gospel. I know that it is true. I am so happy and blessed getting to be here sharing this with others. 
   I love each of you and hope you can each find your own ways to share this with others. Hope you have a great week! Love and miss you all!
- Sister Stabs
Sister Miller and Sister Stabenow

Sister Stabenow and Sister Grande former companions :)

Sister Broqueza and Sister Stabenow


Monday, April 14, 2014

Pasikot-sikot

Hello Family!
My comp and I had such a good week of work! I am very excited for this cycle and happy that she and I will have a third cycle together. We are working hard and really loving our area right now.
                So with the transfer this last week there aren’t actually too many changes for our sisters within our zone. The new sister in our house, Sister Pavino, pulled a “Sister Stabenow” and just transferred within the same zone. She was just in Echague before for the past three cycles, so we know her well already and are happy to have her here in Alicia 3 with us. She could be spending a long time here in Alicia Zone like I have. Some of the members are telling me that this will be my last area. Who knows, I wasn’t expecting to only be serving in two zones my entire mission, but really I’m up for whatever is up ahead.
                This week I’ll try and give you more details of things happening here and the people we are teaching. It was very sweet getting to watch Finding Faith in Christ last Monday night with two of our little recent converts, MJ and Jonathan. They watched very closely and MJ was confused and asked why Christ wasn’t fighting back,  and why he was letting the others hurt him. The boys looked sad at that point while we watched the video, but afterwards we had them share their favorite part. For both of them it was when Christ was resurrected and came back. It was a very fitting message for this upcoming Easter. It is just the best thing, that we know He lives. I heard those words several time in conference this past weekend, and I know it is true. I know He lives.
                So more about my favorite area- Callao. We’ve got two little families out there that continue to progress. I love seeing these men lead their family and seeing what great desires they have. They each told us this past week about why they want the gospel in their lives, they want to put an end to the bad traditions that have been passed down in their families- they want to change things for their children and for future generations. They have a vision for their families. Then conference put it perfectly- they want to leave a righteous inheritance of hope for their families. So one of them shared a story with us from this past week- these two fathers and one of their neighbors were all out in the bukid (rice fields) working together and harvesting, and they got into a gospel discussion, and got on the topic of the godhead, ha so one of them explained and shared with the other two what we had taught them a few weeks ago. Ha I had a big smile on my face as that story was told. I just love imagining it- gospel discussions out in the bukid.
                This week we were able to go to several different areas of ours including the really far ones thanks to these awesome leaders that are willing to work with us. We’ve even got leaders from Paddad branch that have cars and come and work with us. It was really a blessing this week for our work. And I always love any chance getting to be in a car again haha.
                Teaching our investigator JR this week was great. He’s now started really reading the Book of Mormon and seems to be excited about it. He asked us if we’d wait one full week before coming back and teaching him- we of course said sure, but asked why the one week, and he said he wants to finish reading the Book of Mormon before we come teach again. Ha he said it with a big smile on his face so I don’t know if it started out as a joke, but we went with it and encouraged/challenged him to really do it. It is a good goal, and even if he doesn’t finish it in a week I am just happy that he’s wanting to get more into the Book of Mormon. I know that will be a strength and blessing in his life that he needs.
                Conference was amazing. One of my favorite scriptures was quoted twice (2 Nephi 25:26) and went well with one of the themes of conference- families and the role we each play in helping each other down the covenant path. I am so thankful that we have a living prophet who leads and guides us. I LOVE the gospel and see more and more how it has blessed, is blessing, and will continue to bless my life. The gospel, and my testimony of the Savior are surely the anchor in my life and I know I am so blessed to know what I know. I am SO blessed because of the good examples and sources of strength and support Heavenly Father has blessed me with. Conference always makes me appreciate family just a little bit more. I hope you all know how much I love and miss you!
Love,
Sister Stabenow

Attempting to have roootbeer floats with no rootbeer in sight!

FHE Monday night -- Piles of Rice

Monday, April 7, 2014

Transfers??








FHE
Cute Investigators


Hello Family!
      Hope you all enjoyed your conference! I was able to see the women's broadcast, and it got me very excited to get to watch conference this next weekend. It was funny watching the women's meeting, hearing different things about the Philippines, including hearing I am A Child of God in Tagalog, and getting to hear my name haha. We had a really great past week of work and are looking forward to continue working in our area. So yeah, this morning


we had a zone activity/ waterfight, as we waited to get the text to tell us what would be happening with transfers this week. We all enjoyed the activity and it was the perfect way to cool off since it definitely is summer here now. We were way surprised to find out that both me and my companion will be staying here for one more cycle together! I am pretty sure the prayers of our sweet investigator family worked, they really didn't want either of us to be leaving yet. We are happy and excited to get to stay here and see the progress that will happen for our investigators. Sorry this is going to be a very short email. We need to get heading out to buy some groceries still. But I just wanted to quickly write and say I love you all and say thank you for continuing to email and support me while I'm out here. I am loving this work and am still learning so much, and I am looking forward to hearing the words of our prophet this weekend and excited for those we are teaching that will get to hear the words of a prophet for the first time in their lives. I always love conference and am looking forward to the big spiritual boost that it always brings. Well time to go, I love you and miss you! I promise next week's letter will be longer! Mahal na mahal ko kayo!
Rice Drying
- Sister Stabenow