Sunday, November 3, 2013

One last photo this week!

Our Area in Manat.  Mostly water covered in Lillies.


Hello and Merry Christmas!!! Every day it gets more and more Christmasy over here...

This week has been another wonderful wonderful week.  We started the week with going to hundred island sisters to study with them. There are so many cute new sisters in our zones. Sister Lao from Utah. Ssiter Gustaphson from New Hampshire. And sister Fronk from Utah.....They are all so so great! Of course some have culture shock but they are excited and ready to work! We have been traveling almost everyday this week to meet them all and study with them. We wake up early almost everyday.  I dont know how we do it!

We studied in hundred islands just to check and see how they are. They are so far away sometimes we don't have much contact. but we try to make it out to see them at least twice a transfer. They are all doing great. Their area is so beautiful! When we travel there we get to see the beach and the waves crashing on the rocks....I want to come back and vacation here.

We also studied with another new sister, Sister Roberts from Idaho. She is so amazing! She is a convert and the only member in her family. She is having some struggle adjusting but she is relying on the Lord. Working with the new sisters has given me much time to ponder on my first days in the mission. I have thought about how I felt then and how I feel now. I realized how much of a miracle it is that I made it through those first few transfers!!! I thought I was dead! It is so hard. I am so grateful I was able to experience that. I just remember feeling so alone in my own little world. I didn't feel like myself. I was questioning why I chose to come here in the first place...but I remember I knew one thing was sure and that was My testimony of this church and of Jesus Christ. I really have learned to rely and trust in the Lord. This would never be possible without his help. He is the reason me and all the missionaries are still here. He is my strength. 

This week ended with the baptism of sweet sister Glyzel. She really is the sweetest little girl I have ever met. Her parents were less active then returned and now their daughter was baptized. She said she felt so happy afterward and she is so excited for her older brothers to be baptized next. Even though she is only 11 years old, she really gets emotional and feels the spirit so strongly when she talks about her family being eternal one day. I know this is the start of great things for the Carrera family, this is the start of their journey to salvation.
Glyzel and her Sister

Next week naman there is another baptism! This is the baptism of sister Ronna! She was interviewed yesterday and found worthy for baptism. She is 22 and looking forward now to a temple marriage in the near future ;)

We have a great new investigator named sister Jonna. She comes to church regularly and wants to be baptized! She sells meals and snacks to tricycle drivers. We went last night to teach her and ended up helping her for her next day of business. We wrapped grated Kamote in banana leaves to be boiled....not sure what kamote is in is a root crop. very yummy and healthy...I think! it is great to serve! Because of our service we were able to meet the husband of sister. Maybe next time we will be able to share with him! I love this work!!!

I have not gotten any letters from you yet mom. got one from rach. Can't wait to see the package! I usually just here from you and Rachel and grandma Stapp :) tell everyone that I love them!!! and I mean everyone....

thank you for taking care of Kara! I trust her in your care :) tell her I really love her and she is a strong woman! I think she should serve a mission...hmmmm :)))) I just think everyone should serve. We learn so so much while serving others and serving the Lord.

I am so happy to hear about your Halloween celebrations. For our Halloween which is nov 1 and 2 we had early curfew. We came home at 6 because the streets get pretty crazy! It is the Fiesta of the patay. or day of the dead. They party at the cemetery. we just partied at home....well we partied the way missionaries do and wrote in our journals!!! ha!!! I am really trying these last few months to be more diligent at my journal. 

I am so grateful to be here and to still have time to serve the Lord in his great and marvelous work. 

  I love you all!!!

Sister Stapp

Last Week!  Oct 28th.  Catching UP!!

Hello everyone another week went by!!! do we stop time. haha!

It is fast as lightning for real. Pero I am having such a great week. 

We had exchanges with some sisters in lingayen. It is awesome to be able to exchange so much and see new areas and learn new things. Recently me and sister velasco have just been learning about how to be a leader. We really are striving to be exactly obedient in all things and be an example to others. It is so important here to be obedient even in the little things like turning the lights off at 10:30 and waking up at 6:30. just the little things. if we are obedient I know miracles will happen. I have seen miracles happen!!!

This Nov.2 a miracle will happen. Little Glyzel (11) will be baptized. She is so so cute. She is the daughter of Bony and Gloria Carrera. They had been inactive for more then 17 years. Now they are so active!!! they are seeing the Blessings from church attendance and reading the scriptures. Sister Glyzel even though she is so young she gets teary eyed when she thinks of her family one day being eternal. She is so happy her parents have returned to church and that she can now be baptized. Sister Glyzel will be an example to her older Brothers who are not yet members. 

So if your wondering.......No I am not transferred!!! yess I am now starting 6th transfer in this area!! haha! it is a long time but I am so so so sooooooooo happy. I just love this area it is my home just like my first area was. I know I am supposed to be here still. Everyone was surprised. I gave a farewell talk in sacrament and everything. But the members are happy also that I stayed. They are all so sweet I wish you could meet them. speaking of speaking in church, to answer moms question. I have spoken so far three times since i have been in Manat Branch and not sang yet. I want to sing but I dont know how to bring it up. I feel boastful. haha! I cant really sing anyway I have had a cough for a while. it is going away not though so dont worry. I think me and sister adasme will sing at sister Glyzels baptism :) 

We have a new house mate! My dear sitster baluyot that has been my housemate for 7 months was transferred. Now we have sister Davidson! She is from Australia and so so cute. excited kami na get to know her better this transfer.  

Also to answer your questions again, sister velasco is younger than me in the mission. She goes home in April. Basically no one is older than me in the mission now and they all remind me everyday! I have a feeling me and sister Velasco might be together forever...I am OK with that! she is a blessing to me really. She is very organized and thinks of the details which I still struggle with. She helps me to improve each day and be more Christ like. 

Today I read in my personal study in Jacob 4:10 it says there "seek not to counsel the lord, but to take counsel from his hand." I thin this is something we can strive to better each day in our personal prayers day and night. Sometimes I find myself just asking and asking for things to go my way. we really need to pause and think and listen to what the Lord is saying to us through his holy spirit. I know he is just waiting to counsel us. he knows what is best, we don't always know what is best. If we show our humility and fill our prayers with thanksgiving we will be led by the spirit to know what to ask for. 

Well that is about it!!! Sorry my emails are short but I just love you all I love missionary work! I love the Phils!! I love Jesus Christ! I know he lives and I know he is our savior!

Mahal ko kayong lahat at pinagdadasal din ko kayo araw araw! 

Ingat kayo lagi!!!

Sister Stapp

From Oct. 21st!

Hello one and all! This p-day is the best!!! we had a zone activity where we made burgers! Well....elder hanneman did. His family owns a restaurant in Hawaii and he made the best biggest yummiest burgers! They kind of took a long time but is was soo so worth it. I am hoping to send you a pic but it might have to wait till next week :(

This week was so great! Best week ever!!! I got to see my anak sister stokes and sister palmer!!!! my mtc companion! it has been over a year since I have seen her!!! We foreigners all went to Urdaneta to get fingerprinted. me and sister palmer talked and talked and talked. We are excited to continue talking on the plane ride home.

We had the privilege of working with many members. The members in our branch are catching the wave one by one. Each week it seems that we have one more member that is ready and willing to work. This week we worked with members that introduced us to some of their closest friends. It was really amazing to see the difference between finding a new investigator from a street contact and finding one through a member. Members make all the difference! The people we met have really been prepared and feel the Love  they already have support from the members. We had 19 new investigators this week I wish I had time to tell you about every one! I will update you on those that progress. 

This week I hit my 15 month mark and i cannot believe it! But despite the time moving fast I am not getting trunky! I will work harder until the end! Sister Velasco and I are really stretching ourselves these past few weeks and we have been worn out!  We love it though. We find so much joy in this work. I know we are companions for a reason and I know I am here on a mission for a reason. Today we had a zone devotional and one elder spoke about what we can offer to the Lord. He talked about how we all need to offer our whole soul to the Lord and also we all have different talents and abilities to offer. Sometimes we might think we are inadequate or not qualified. sometimes we might compare ourselves to others and think they can do it better. But we really should not do that! It is impossible to compare ourselves to others because we are all individuals that are so different from each other! Our heavenly father loves us for who we are and for what we can offer. So let us offer him everything we have. Let us be humble and not selfish. Let us not hold back from the lord becuse we think we are unable or we think we are weak. We are all strong and powerful!
I love you all sorry this is short!!!
Sister Stapp

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hello One and all and merry Christmas! everything is decked out now for Christmas! haha! how are you? well I hope you are great! I cannot wait to tell you about the best week ever!! Even though I have been sort of sick and fighting off a cold, we have just had such a blessed week.
So President Monahan has given us council that we need to have members present to more of our investigator lessons! And this week we had 16 lessons with a member present! The members have been so awesome this week. We have been also using less active members as fellowshippers. It is so great when they work because they are strengthened at the same time! It is amazing even though me and sister Velasco are running around like crazy people we are still able to maintain our area and help it progress. The Lord really does help us and give miracles when we are diligent!
We were so blessed this week to hear conference! I was so so so inspired this conference. I know everyone who spoke did so by the power of God. I love the messages about teaching and missionary work. I know this IS the time that the Lord has chosen to hasten his work! we are all in this together members missionaries. we are one!! We need to re-activate and Baptize these children who are waiting for us!
This week we had the wonderful Baptism of Brother Jeffrey and Brother Bong! They were also confirmed on the same day and were so so happy! They know this is the true church and that they have made the right decision. They know this will effect their eternal salvation! I know Heavenly Father is so so happy for them. 
Me and sister Velasco are doing great here we are just anxious to know what will happen this next transfer. Who knows if I will be transferred or not! haha!! we will see. 
sorry this is so short. I am so bad at thinking of details! Let me just tell you I am still working hard and people keep asking me what do I feel like now that I am almost going home! I don't feel like I am going home yet! maybe it will hit me when I have a few weeks left I will work hard to the end. I know this is His work. I know it needs to be done now. I am so grateful for the faith I have grown and the things I have learned here. I am looking foreword to learning more the next 2 transfers. 
Love you!
Sister Stapp

Exchanges and More...

Hello all you wonderful people!!!
I am happy for the opportunity to be able to communicate with you again. I am so grateful for people like you who love me. I love you!
This week we have been, of course, running everywhere at once! We went to Dagupan for exchanges and also had exchanges with our house mates. I love having exchanges and being able to meet new people and see new places. The only thing about traveling i don't like is having to eat fast food a lot. I ate McDonald's twice this week!!@!
Anyway me and sister Velasco are so happy because we have a new investigator that is super amazing!! maybe I told you about her...sister Ronna. She is a referral that lives in Papaguyen. that is like the furthest barangay in our area! Anyway her boyfriend who is a member referred her. Before we even started teaching her she had been to church like 5 times and watched like all the church movies! It is awesome we really are just instruments. The spirit is converting her. We are just trying to see if she really wants to be baptized for the right reasons and not just because she is in "love." we think they are pretty serious though and they will be married in the temple. haha! Anyway, we extended an ibd to her for Nov 9. she is so happy and excited. She is cute and stylish and has braces. and 24. 
Our Ibds brother Bong and Jeffery are still excited for their baptism. we sort of lost contact this week with bro Jefferey because he went out of town...but we are trusting in the Lord that everything will work out. It is funny when you have investigators or recent converts, they become like your babies. Remember Brother Joven who was baptized in June? yesterday he didn't come to church! so of course we visited him. We were ready to chastise him! haha! turns out he got two front teeth pulled and is in extreme pain! I felt so bad I wanna hug him and buy him ice cream! but I cant....well maybe I can get the ice cream :)
We are half way through the transfer now who knows what will happen after this! will I be transferred? will I stay here for the rest of my mission!? no one knows! Pres Monahan is really unpredictable when it comes to transfers. I know his transfers come from the Lord. 
Me and sister Velasco have only traveled to the usual places, alaminos, lingayen, dagupan...nothing new. We did go though a new city Bugalion (sp) it has really pretty pics because we were in a bus that was probably going 100 miles ab hour. sometimes I feel like I am on a roller coaster when I ride the buss. we eat mcNuggets when we are in the buss. 
The sisters in our zone are all so sweet and amazing....sometimes though....when we are on exchanges I really miss my companion! I love sis velasco so so much! we finish each other's sentences. She has been such a great example to me and I have learned so so much from her about how to be a preach my gospel missionary. I hope we never have to be transferred haha!

I have been reading this week in my personal study about the second coming! I am in the Isaiah chapters of 2 nephi. It is all so exciting! it is amazing how the prophets of old prophesied about our day and missionary work and Joseph smith and everything! the book of Mormon blows my mind everyday. I love the words in 2 nephi 9:40. It talks about the wicked and the righteous. The wicked hate the truth and take it to be hard. the righteouse Love the truth and are not shaken! Let us all stand firm so we will Not be shaken! let us choose eternal life! Let us be Christlike and kind to one another each day. I know I am trying each day to be more like my savior. I love him so so much.  If we are trying to be like Jesus and we love means we will not be selfish and keep the gospel to ourselves. we are to share! At the Relief broadcast I learned a lot about covenant keeping. If we are covenant keepers we will spread the gospel and not leave it only to the missionaries!!! Lets go! we can do it! The Lord loves us and we love him..
I love you all so so much! Thank you for everything!
Sister Stapp

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Trunky Trunky


Dear family and people...I am NOT trunky! haha! you will know why this is the topic later on in the email.

I cannot believe it is going to be October tomorrow!!! The time is sos os os fast!! Sister Velasco and I are having a great busy week. The weeks seem so fast now that we travel so much! like last week feels like years ago but at the same time I feel like is just happened...time is just so weird on the mission. had lots of exchanges with sister this week and traveled to the far land of alaminos again. 

On Wednesday we went to Urdaneta for our monthly leadership meeting. it was so great. We learned more about how to do missionary work the Lords way by using the members as much as we can! Members really make all the difference! we cannot do this work without them. We are really taking time to teach the members to help them be strong and catch the wave of missionary work. They really are wonderful, the ward members. They are giving us referrals and also returning with us to their referrals! Give the missionaries lots of referrals family!!! They will love you!

After the MLC we went to the office of course to pick up supplies and mail......and there low and behold Trunky Letter!!!! No!!!!!!!!!!! the trunky letter is something we get when you have like 2 transfers left in the mission. It is just a paper that you have to fill our all your info and stuff about the airport in your hometown. I am dreading filling it out. I really thought I was extended till Feb but I am not after all. oh well!

So Sister Velasco and I have a baptism coming up on Oct. 11! We are so excited for brother Jeffrey and Brother Bong. They are so amazing! every time we finish a lesson with them, it's like we want to cry because they are so prepared by the Lord! Basically we can give them a pamphlet and the next time we come, they are the ones who teach us about the principle! They are really living it too! They know how to recognize the spirit and feel the difference from their previous life and their new life as a disciple of Christ. brother Jeffrey has twins and one of them is severely autistic. They are sooo cute names are Jethro and Jotham. They run around like crazy during the Lessons but brother Jeffery isn't even distracted. The spirit helps him concentrate even though his kids are wild. his wife is working abroad and will be coming home soon. he is excited to go to church with her.
Tell me more about your companion? she is so loving and reminds me of Rachel with how she looks and acts.
  How long has she been out? about a year now.
 What are her good qualities besides making you laugh? she is very smart and remembers things...unlike me. She is organized and clean....unlike me. haha!!! she has a lot of good qualities. 
 What will she do after the mission? she wants to get married and be a mom! or go back to nursing.
   Do any of the members try to go to BYU-Hawaii after their missions?  ya there are lots of missionaries here that studied there before their missions. 
anyway my time is running out ahhhh!
I love you and I love Jesus Christ!!
Sister Stapp