Monday, September 24, 2012

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


  1. yay, for letters and pictures. I am so glad you finally heard from her. She sounds good, tired but good. Can't wait to hear more about her adventures.

  2. I just love this girl. Amazing. She looks great. Syd prays for her at the dinner table. :) We love you, Julia!