Sunday, September 30, 2012

Being Followed

Hello hello!!
How is everything???? This week has been good I am having a good time and learning a lot. I miss you all a ton. I wish you could be here and experience the things I am experiencing. This week started off with district meeting. That is every Tuesday when we travel to Agoo to meet with our district. We have interviews with our district leader and have a little workshop. It was good but I forget what it is about because I still cannot understand a lot of what they are saying!!! But I am getting better. After the meeting My companion and I went to the Ukay-Ukay. It is like a giant outdoor market for used clothes. I needed some shirts because I have gained like 9 pounds in the mtc. I got 2 shirts and a cute polka-dotted skirt for like 50 pesos each which is like 1.50 on American dollars. That is a steal! anyway that was fun. While we were there I got followed by little children. That happens to me everywhere. The kids love to talk to me in English and tell me I am beautiful. It is fun but distracting sometimes. I love the kids they are soo so adorable. Everywhere I go people stare at me. It is so funny but strange. I am getting used to it though

So lets see as for investigators we have three investigators with a baptismal date. Our most recent one is named sister Nova and I got to extend the invitation. I was really nervous that she would say no but she didn't!! I was so happy. She is searching for truth and has a lot of questions. Lessons with her are sometimes hard because of all her questions but we try to answer them and not stay too long. She is so sweet and I hope she sticks with us.

Our other IBDs (investigators with a baptismal date) are Jonathan Pacle and Jomar. I don't know Jomar becaue he has been our of town but we teach Jonathan about 2 a week. He is progressing well but still has WOW problems. He knows it is wrong but it is hard for him to resist temptation. I pray for him that he will have strength and know the church is true.

Last night we visited a member's house Sister Lael. She has two sons and we just dropped by for a surprise visit. She of course offered food to us and we accepted of course! She is a wonderful cook She had pork lumpia, pancit with squid balls and dried fish....and rice of course. It was all soooo soo delicious. I love dried fish! It is so crunchy and fishy! my two favorite things. I cannot wait to cook Filipino food for you all when I get back!. Sister Lael is so sweet when she talks to me she talks really slow so I will be able to understand. haha! She is a returned missionary and very active in the church.

Sending pictures...
First of all we have pics of my apartment. it is really nice but we have no hot water and no shower and no toilet that flushes. Also we have a really bad ant problem!!!

Well there you go family I love you all and I am happy. I miss you but I will see you soon. Read your scriptures everyday!!!! I am not kidding! The book is true and so amazing! I love it!
Email me!!! I love the pics and I love the stories of your life. Keep sending pics and eat lots of smoked meat for me. Tell the Anderson's and everyone else that I love them!!!!!!!!!! Tell all those boys and Sofia not to grow up too much!* 
<3 Sister Stapp

 *I sent Julia some photos of the kids and men smoking the brisket at the Anderson's ~Caryn

More philly photos!

This is how it is to get to most of the houses. We hike everyday!

Rice fields everywhere!!!

Washing clothes in my house!!! By hand!
We have a laundry lady who does out laundry on pdays but I wanted to try myself once :)

Fruit & Fish (eyeballs and all)

This is my favorite fruit called rambotan! It is deliciouse! So sweet!

Dried fish....oh so yummy :)

Tilapia!!! My favorite fish! It had so many bones though, hard to eat.

Chickens, Trykes, and Baby Powder!

Chickens in a tree. Chickens here climb trees because they are afraid of Dogs!!

 We had FHE with the Gachaliano family. They have a son who is serving a mission in Idaho. We played a game where if you lost you had to put baby powder on your face. You can hardly see my powder because i am so white. haha!!!

This is me, Sister Schuhmann and Sister Fernando in a tryke. They are so small but so fun to ride in! Brother Gachaliano gave us a ride home after FHE.

Monday, September 24, 2012

First week photos continue!

Living Quarters in Caba, very spacious!

She is eating well!

Ready to leave the mission home to Caba!

More Photos!

Sister Stapp loves the outdoors!


Sister Stapp in Caba, Agoo Zone

Hellooooo!!! I am here and I am safe!

I sent you an letter when I first got here, I hope you get it if not you should be getting it soon. It explains all about the travel and stuff. So those details won't be in this email but that's ok because I have a ton of other stuff to write about!

So we traveled for about 38 or 36 hours to get to Urdaneta.  Longest day of my life!! haha! So once we were there we met President and sister Monahan. They are the nicest people ever. I am so blessed to have him as my president and to have her as my mission mom. I love them. Anyway, we stayed at there house for two nights and then it was transfer day!! The day where all the missionaries who are getting transferred come to the mission home to find out where thay are being transferred.  This is when I found out that my companion would be Sister Cabrera and we are in the Agoo zone! Pronounced Ago-o. I know it's not as fun to say when you have to say the O's separately but oh well.
 So we are in the Agoo zone in a little town called Caba. It is a very small and very poor town by the sea. I am very happy to be by the ocean!!! It is so beautiful here! I am surrounded by the ocean and rice fields! Two of my favorite things! So the ride from the mission home to Agoo was about 2 hours in a hot sweaty Jeepney. I wanted to sleep but there was too much to look at out the window! haha!

The Philippines are soooooooo different. First of all the humidity is insane!!1 I said this in my letter to you but when all of us missionaries stepped out of the airport for the first time it was like a brick wall the humidity hit us so hard! I am sweaty and sticky alllll the time! I am at peace with the fact that I will be sticky and gross for the next 16 months. haha! So there is so much to talk about and so little time I feel like.  We got to our apt in Caba. It is really nice compared to most homes here. We have a nice floor and 3 rooms. It is just us two living there. We shower from a bucket which I am still getting used to. Also our toilet doesn't flush so we just poor water down it to make it flush.

My first day we taught 8 lessons! That is a lot compared to my 2 a day at the MTC! Anyway it went ok. I feel like a fish our of water most of the time because everyone here talks so fast. We teach mostly less-active members. More than half of the members here are less-active. So we are the rescue team! After our lessons my first day, which was Saturday, 4 of our less-actives came to church! That made me so happy! But now we just have to make sure they feel the spirit so they will keep coming!
The branch here is really great. They are all so nice and patient with me when I speak in my broken Tagalog. There are two other sister missionaries in our branch, Sister Schuhmann and sister Fernando. I was in the MTC with sister Schuhmann and I am so so happy we are in the same area. I think It would be harder to cope with all this change if I didn't have another American to talk to.

So sorry this email is so scattered. My first meal at a members house was my first day. It was at Sister Fe's house . She lives right on the beach and is such a nice lady. We ate chicken, rice (of course) and Veggies. The veggies were really bitter, but the chicken wasn't bad, it was curry chicken I think.
We have another dinner appointment tonight. So the other night my kasama and I had ice cream and she showed me how the Filipino eat it. They use it as a bread spread! They put it on bread like peanut butter and fold it over and eat it. It was actually preatty good, you should try it.

So things in the Philippines are different. The houses here are unfinished actually made out of cinder blocks or that wavy kind of sheet metal. I have also been in some made purely out of bamboo. Most people here don't have windows. They don't really need them, but because they have no windows usually there are a ton of flies and mosquitoes in them. Currently I have 20 bug bites on my right foot and 16 on the other.....yup!

Our main source of transportation are Trykes. it is basically a motorcycle with a side car they are fun!
So I am running our of time but let me just tell you this week has been a challenge!! I am very homesick and tired and culture shocked! but I know I will make it through with the Lord's help. I feel the spirit in my lessons even though I have no idea what is going on. That is all that matters. I still know the church is true!

I know I am here for a reason! Sorry if this is too short! Maybe I will get faster at typing as the time goes by. I love you beyond!!!!! I can't tell you how much I love and miss you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Sister Julia Stapp

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sister Julia D. Stapp in the Philippines

Sister Stapp has arrived in the Philippines. You can send letters to her new address on the right side of this blog, or you can go the this website--> to send a FREE letter by pouch mail.

Curtis and I were able to talk to Sister Stapp on Monday night and she sounded wonderful. Her Tagolag was unintelligible, which is a good sign.  She compared the MTC to Disneyland, so we feel very blessed. On to a new adventure.

Thanks for all your support blogger family and friends,
Missionary Mom

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One more Week in Utah!

Kumusta po ang pamilya ko!!!
I love you all soooo soo much! I got your letters and your package. Thank you! I love all the snacks and fun things in there my kasamas are really excited too. haha!

Ahhh!!! Thanks for the pics of my baby boy!! I miss abbo so much! Where did all his hair go? lol. Kiss him a lot for me ok?

I love hearing from you! Mom I am so happy you are walking so much! Tell Hattie I say Hello:) How is Cole doing?

I am so happy that Alex and Sam are doing so well! I love you guys!! Write me letters I want to hear from you!

So this Thursday we all got our flight plans! It was so exciting. We got them after dinner and it was almost impossible for us all to focus on language study after that. So this is the schedule pretty much...We leave the MTC around 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon Monday the 17th of sept. Our flight leaves SLC at 8:22 I believe. We arrive at LAX arround 9:30 pm I think and then our flight for Hong Kong leaves at 1:30 am. We arrive at Hongkong the next day some time grrr I forgot to bring my travel plans with me otherwise I would be looking at them and would be able to tell you exact times....anyway from hongkong we have about an hour until our flight leaves for Manila. Once we arrive to manila there is a three hour bus ride to Baguio. AHHHH! Sobrang excited po ako!!!!!! I cannot wait!

So some other things that have happened this week are:

1. Hosting! We got to host for the new sisters coming in this week. Hosting is when we meet the sister as sh arrives at the MTC and we take her to her residence, show her arround a little and then take her to her class room. It is so fun! I hosted this little sister named Sister Demill She was soooo adorable but soo nervouse! She actually started crying as I was taking her to her room :( But I gave her a big hug and told her that I loved her and that the Lord loves her and then she was happy:) I am verry happy because we get to Host again tomorrow!

2. TRC so I don't know if I ever told you about TRC before but it happens once a week and it is when we practice teaching returned missionaries in Tagalog or just members who know Tagalog. Anyway TRC is always really fun and rewarding spiritually. This week week we taught a sweet girl named stephanie who is from manila. We we were teaching her about recieving revelation through prayer and at the beggining of the lesson we asked her how prayer has helped her in her life. Whe began sharing her experience and of course it was a little hard to understand because her tagalog was soooo good. But I could feel the spirit so strongly as she spoke then she started crying and I could tell that whatever she was saying meant a lot to her. We continued the lesson and she cried all the way through. We talked about how to make our prayers meaning ful and how we can recieve guidence and comfort through prayer. At the end of the lesson we sang the hymn "Lead Kindly light" As we sang the spirit was so strong in that room and was testifying to all of us the power and truthfulness of sincere prayer. It was amazing! That is the strongest I have felt the spirit in tagalog so far. I am so happy we got to teach stephanie. I feel like it was meant to be and I think we all needed that lesson.

3. So as you might know one of our investigators here at the MTC is named Mary Kate. She is so sweet. She is 17 and is getting baptized on the 17th. Anyway we always have really good lessons with her. Last night before our lesson started, we asked her if she had any questions about anything and she asked "What is going to happen at my baptism" Well all three of us wer really excited becuase she is really shy and hardly ever asks questions. The only problem was we had no idea how to explain the act of being baptized in tagalog. so we start doing sign language and hand mostions and saying "tubig" over and over which means water. I wanted to say like a pool of water or font but I didnt know the word! so my kasama Sister Palmer says "May cuarto ng tubig!" and sister mary kate starts cracking up. in english she said "A room of water" It was so funny and you Probably had to be ther3. But finally our smart kasama Sis Evans showed her the pic on the cover of preach my gospel and we were able to her what would be happening.

I am hoping to send you another short email later today when I do laundary with some pictures attatched because we can do that now! Ya they decided to let us do that my las week of being here. haha! Anyways....umm I did buy a camera at target.

I love you family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really do. Ah sorroy that I didn't put a lot of Tagalog in here. I really am speaking it a lot and I think I will be able to get by in the Phillies!

Mahal na Mahal ko Kayo! Talaga! Sister Stapp

P.s. Watch the video for "Arise" and "have I done any good in the World Today" my kasamas and I watc them every day several times! so upliftine!!!

P.S. here is a phrase that you can say "Maano sa aking kung panalo ka!" that means "So what! I don't care if you won!" I know very useful right;) Love you!!!!!

More Photos 4 U!

The Happy District

Learning Tagolag?

Ready to Fly!

Photos Coming at You

Sister Stapp, Sister Palmer and Sister Evans
(click pics to enlarge)
At the Provo Temple
Getting Ready to Head to the Philippines on Monday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Read the Book of Mormon Araw Araw!

Kumusta pamilya!!
I love you all a whole lot! Sorry if this letter is short. Here at the MTC the same things happen every day so it is hard to think of exciting things to write about. haha!
But I am sure that when I am in the field it will be different. Speaking of the field I will be there in like 2 weeks1!!!!! I can´t believe it is so close! We should be getting our flight plans in a couple of days and then it is off to the Philippines!! Since we are getting so close, our teacher sister Lewis has been showing us pictures of her mission. It looks so amazing I cannot wait to get out there. Sister Lewis also shared a little fun fact about the Philippines with us last night. That is that in the Philippines, they start celebrating Christmas in September! Yup from sept- end of december is christmas. So Maligaya Pasco....or Pasacal...or something. I forget how to say it haha! Anyway we have been singing Christmas songs ever since she told us that. Sorry for any typos my keyboard is set to spanish and I don´t know how to change it back.
Anyways....So this week has been really good. We got three new districts on Wednesday. It is really fun to have new people and it is so fun to remember what it was like for us when we first got here.
It is amazing to see how much we have progressed in just 7 weeks. We are now speaking Tagalog almost 100 percent of the time and understanding what our teachers say to us. I am ready to go!!! Oh! Also for this past week and these last two weeks I am senior companion. We switch every three weeks and now it is my turn. Nothing much is different except that I kind of lead our companionship studies and stuff. I like to joke that I have so much power and stuff but I really don´t lol.
But at the same time I am sad to leave! I will miss my Kasamas so much. Sister Palmer and sister Evans are my best friends here and they are just so great. We get along like real sisters and we have so much fun laughing and working together. I will also miss my district!! The elders are so highlarious and nice to us! I am so blessed to have been able to work with the elders in my district. They are so funny yet so focused on our purpose. I am not judging the other Elders in our zone but I think our Elders are just top notch. They are always wanting to SYL and always asking if any of us need blessings. And they are always thinking of awesome new goals for our district that would help us all improve together. I love my district. Even our branch president loves us. He calles us the Happy District! I love that because it is true, we are all so happy. We have made a goal from the beginning to stay positive and we all keep it really well. Because we can´´t be negative when we are together. Another thing we do that I love is sing! Everyone in my district loves to sing like I do and at night before we all go to our residences, we sing hymns in Tagalog. I love love love it! Before we leave we get to sing in sacrament meeting as a district and we are singing a medly of ´´A poor wayfaring man of greif´´ and ´´I believe in Christ. I can´t wait.
Hmmmmmm.....lets see what else oh! Testimony meeting was great yesterday! I bore my testimony (in Tagalog of course) and so did the rest of my district! (another thing that makes them so awesome)! It was so amazing to be able to stand up there and speak from my heart to all my fellow missionaries in another language. I know i have written this to you before but I will again here is my testimony sa tagalog.
Alam ko po na totoo po ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga banal sa mga Huling Araw. Alam ko po na tagapagligtas po si Jesucristo at sa pamamagitan and pagbabayadsala Niya, puwede nagiging malinis po tayo. Alam ko na propeta si Thomas S. Monson at tinatangap po Niya ang paghahayag mula sa Diyos. ummmmmm wala horas ngayon pero oklang. Sa pangalan Ni JesuCristo Amen!!
Sorry so short but I am short on time!
Mom don´t send me a camera it would be better if I just bought one. That way you don´t have to pay for a camera and a package. I am going out of the mtc....yes I said it OUT of the MTC with an escort and Sis Palmer today to get a camera. I hope there is money in my account still because that is what I am hoping to use. Anyway....I hope I am doing the right thing but I guess I can´t really get your opponion on it right now. If you want to send me something else you can! haha. jokelang.
I love you and I miss you if you want to know anything else ask me questions I really want to tell you what you want to hear but I am terrible of thinking of details. Love you. Read your book of mormon Araw araw!!!!! Every day!
Mahal na mahal ko kayo!!
Sister Stapp