Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sister Stapp Finds Herself and Loves the Filipinos!

Hello my dearest family! I love you all very much still even though I am not as homesick. Haha!
I love you emails and pictures so so much. Those Blair costumes are amazing! As usual.
I am happy to hear about Chloe. Tell her I say congrats and I love her even though I have never met her :)

This week has been exciting!We had 2 baptisms on Saturday!! Brother Jonathan and Brother Jomar. They were both very excited and so were we! Jonathan has been investigating the church for over a year! He has worked really hard and changed a lot to be worthy for baptism. During the baptism and confirmation I felt overwhelming joy that I had helped bring these souls unto Christ. I felt that I was doing what the Lord has sent me here to do! I love that feeling that the spirit was able to put into my heart. At the baptism sister Fernando and I sang I know that my redeemer lives. It was very spiritual. I love sharing my testimony of my Savior through music!

Also this week something very eventful happened.....I ate bbq-ed chicken intestines!!! Yes they were on a skewer all squiggly and pink and I ate them. Suprisingly they were not bad at all! I just tried not to think of it as I chewed. They were only a little rubbery but they just tasted like meat. Unfourtunately I did not get a pic. I will next time :)

I feel good this week. I am adjusting very well and finding myself again. Ever since I started singing I feel like I am myself again. Some other things I have done are paint my nails and cook! I am glad I am able to be myself and a missionary at the same time. My nails are getting really long. I shake so many hands in a day that I don't really want to put my finget in my mouth anymore! yay!!!! A mission was the cure all along!!

So I will tell you about someone we are teaching! The B____* family. They are recent converts of just over a year ago. They are consistent in coming to church but this week we found out that Brother B had been drinking and gambling. So we visited him. He was very sorry for what he had done and said he had lost hope. He did not feel he could be forgiven. We taught him about repentance and the blessing of the atonement. He felt the spirit so strongly and commited to meet with Pres. Flores on Sunday. He had a new sence of hope after that lesson and he was happy :) Yesterday in Sunday school the lesson was about eternal marriage. Bro and Sis B have a strong desire to be sealed to their children and to each other so yesterday they met with Pres. Flores to start their prep for the temple! We helped them set a goal to be sealed in January. I am so so so happy for them and their desire to be sealed. They are happier as a family now that they are choosing the right and becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ. I love the blessings of the temple and I know that they are real and true!
Anyway I am sorry I don't have much time to write today but I love you so much and I know this church is true!

Alex: I want to go to Hong Kong too!!!!! I was only there for an hour. I love you Alex and I hope you are having a good time. Remember the Lord loves you. and remember to read your BoM and PMG!!!!!!!!

Mom:I sent all the grandparents letters last week. so they should be getting those. Tell them that I love them!!!

Also I have not gotten any mail this week. Probably this week since it is transfers. Mommy all my cloths are getting ruined from being washed. and I am growing our of them. It is very depressing. I don't want to shop for more because I hate spending money and I hate shopping. haha!!! oh well. I love you mom.

Tell rach and ben I say hey and kiss that baby for me!!!!!

Love love love, Sister Stapp
*I am keeping the name private ~Caryn

Monday, October 22, 2012

Snails and Baptisms!

Hello Family that I love so much!

I love all your emails and love. I feel your prayers every day! I can't believe I have already been here for a month. It feels like I just got here but it also feels like so long! haa! I love it here more and more every day. I feel the Lord's loving guidance more and more everyday as I pray and study his gospel.

This week has been crazy!! Of course my kasamas and I are still splitting our week between two areas so it is pretty hectic but the work is still moving foreword!! We have two baptisms this week on the 27th of Oct! I am so excited that brother Jomar and brother Jonathan are getting baptized. We have been working with the ward a lot to help these two brothers feel welcome and needed. They will get assignments as soon as they are members :)

Speaking of ward members, we just got a new branch mission leader, Brother Bernie Gatchallan. He was called yesterday and is so great already. We are very happy that he has been called to this position because he loves the work and is willing to do his duties as Mission Leader. We are eating dinner at his house tonight and I am soo sooo excited! His wife is the best cook ever!
So this week since we have two baptisms, it is required for the ones getting baptized to do a service project before the baptism. So we all went to president Flores' house on Saturday and helped him with his yard work. It was soo sooooo hot and humid! I was sweating more than I ever had before. But I felt a strong spirit as I served and was happy :) Everyone had fun and had a big lunch of pancit and rice cake after. Pancit is a noodle dish with meat and veggies. Very delicious. I tried to make it once at home before I came here but it was nothing compared to the real thing!

Let's see so also this week I ate snails!!! Yes, yes I did. We went to teach a recent convert Sister Rose. She is the sweetest lady. She always is willing to work with us on our visits and her testimony is always effective in our lessons. After our lesson with her she invited us to dinner ad of course we cannot say no to food! So we sit and she brings our a big bowl of little snails!!! I was shocked at first when she filled her plate up and started slurping the slime out of the shells. Of course I had to try though. So I dished up 3 or 4 shells and started slurping away!!! It did not taste bad at all! It tasted like....the ocean..haa!! But it was rubbery and hard to swallow. haha! i could not bare to eat more than two. But at least I tried:)

I love all the cultural experiences I am having and all the things I am learning.Let's see..... We ate at the Fulmers house this week. They are the senior couple serving in Aringay. They are from Utah and so so sooo nice! They have been here just a little longer than me. We had a nice visit with them but I could not concentrate because they live right next door to a pig slaughter house! We heard pigs screaming throughout the whole lesson. haa! oh well.

I am very very happy here! I love doing the Lord's work and helping people remember their Savior. I sang in church yesterday "I Stand all Amazed".  I felt the spirit so strongly while I sang ad I noticed many in the congregation crying. I am very thankful for the language of the Spirit and the power of music. I may not be able to speak the best yet but I am learning everyday and until then I will share my testimony through song:) I am so thankful for my Savior I know He lives and is never far from us. I am so glad you all are sharing the gospel and living the gospel:) that makes me happy every day!
Keep up the good work! I love love love you all!!!!
Sister Stapp

Photos of Philly


Service Project
A rat in the House
Dinner Time

Monday, October 15, 2012

Julia is the tallest one?

(for larger view, click on photo)
The Three of Us!  (Sis F, Sis S., Sis C.)

A lizard visitor!

Two photos Julia!!!

Pic of my companions and I with the family was Friday night. We had FHE with the Argueza family and they invited some neighborhood kids. It was so much fun!! We had a talent show and all the kids sang their favorite songs. We shared a message about following the prophet :)

Happy Birthday Alex!!!

Hi Family!!!

Hello Family!!!!!
Thank you for all your beautiful emails and pictures! Keep them up. I love hearing about your adventures and your lives. Thank you for the words of encouragement! I am feeling better and better each day! My tears lately are not because I want to go home but because I am so so happy that I have a family that is choosing the right. It makes me so overjoyed to hear that you are singing to Abbott and that the boys and all of you are sharing the gospel and studying the gospel!
I know this church is true!!!! This week has been a very eventful one. This Tuesday my dear Sister Schuhmann went home. She was a batch-mate of mine and we served in the same ward. We were very good friends but she chose to leave. Now I have a new companion!! Sister Fernando! She is so sweet and a great addition to me and Sister Cabrera. Now I have two trainers!~ I will be a super missionary. haha.
 It has been very difficult though. We are having to split our work between Caba and Aringay(where Sis Schuhmann and Sis Fernando were) so for these next three weeks we will be going back and forth between areas.  It is exciting but we were all very very sad to see Sis Schuhmann leave :( Sister Fernando is 23 and has been here for 5 months I think. She is native from a city 4 hours away. She is a very good and kind missionary I am already learning so much from her).
Another thing that happened this week is conference!! We go to watch this weekend, a week after you watched. It was so so so refreshing to hear the words of the prophet and apostles. I felt the spirit so strongly and we had 7 investigators come to the Sunday morning session!! They all loved it and said they could feel the spirit. We watched conference in Bauang which is about 30 min bus ride away. We caught the bus in Caba and along the way watched as each of our investagators boarded. The excitment and joy I felt when I saw each of them join us on the bus was so full!! It was like they were all boarding the bus to Heaven! I loved that feeling.
Conference was amazing right??? It has motivated me even more to work hard every day to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I know he lives and is coming soon! I can feel his love and help each day.
My companions and I have not had much time for exploring on pday yet. But we get up in the mornings and walk to the beach or to the rice fields to behold the beauty of Gods creations. I hope you can come here, it is beautiful. It is also very very humbling to be here. We are teaching a man named Willie who has had 3 strokes and cannot talk. He is so sweet and writes down what he wants to say. His children have all abandoned him and he lives in the shed in the backyard of his sister. He has no money to get to church and can hardly walk. He said the other day that he does not believe that God loves him. We are doing all we can to help him recognize the blessings in his ife. The people here live very hard lives, But they are humble and kind. I am honored to teach them.
Answers: For breakfast I eat cereal usually of toast. Sometimes rice :)
Ben thank you for your letter!! I love them because they are funny :) My tagalog is coming along...but most people here speak Illocano. haha!
Rachel I love you :) I got your letter!! I loved it so so much. Don't worry about not sending alot I know it costs money :)
Daddy! Thank you for your encouraging words. I am also amazed at the fact that these people have lived here all this time. haha! I am slowly adjusting and loving it. I sometimes get thoughts like Why am I here!? but then I am comforted by the holy Ghost :)
Mommy! I love you so very much. I wish you would go to the doctor so that I don't have to worry. I love you. . Thankyou for everythingyou do for me. I get 7,000 something pesos a month it is enough and yes it rolls over if I don't spend. I still havent found out how to use my money from home to buy non mission related things. But I will. And yes we walk a lot. We are close to the mountains so often to get the a home we have to hike. haha. Thank you for your conference notes. I have not read them but I will print them and read them today!

Alex!!!!!!!! HAPPY BITHDAY!!!!! I love you. I sent you a special picture :)
Sammy I love you too!! keep swimming!  Boys share the gospel with your friends everyday!
If you ever were to send me a bigger package,
I would like some more wonder tees. small or medium please :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Photo Time

There was no explanation for this but I love it! (mom)

Out the Front Door of My House

 New Missionary Training in Urdaneta

Ask the Missionaries!

Hello My Dearest Family!! I love you all so much!
This week has been a good and busy week! Which is great! I love hearing from you, thank you for your e-mails with details!!! They make me soo soo haappy!!!! Mom I got your dearelders from Sept 20th I think. Keep sending dearelders ;) It takes a while to get to me but I DO get them eventually! I am happy to hear that you are all happy and doing great things back home.
Mom! I am so proud of you for training for a half marathon! I only wish I could do it with you. I know you will do an amazing job. Rachel, I am sorry to hear about your back! I hope you are fealing better now and up and holding that baby of yours! He is so cute I can't keep from getting teary eyed when I see his cheeks. I want to squeeze them so hard! Tell him that I love him. Happy Birthday BENNNN!!!! Sorry this is late but I hope you had a great day :)
So this week we were very very busy!! We had zone training on Friday, zone interviews on Thurs, and new missionary training on Friday. Crazy crazy week!!
In zone training the zone leaders presented 3 workshops and also the new zone goals. The new goal is for each companionship to have 5 new investigators a week! We have been so focused on rescuing less actives that our baptisms for our mission has gone down. The rescue effort is still important. We need to bring back those lost sheep. Bt there are still those who have not had the chance yet to hear our great message!! So we are making a great finding effort. We are trying to talk to everyone and plant seeds everywhere!
Zone interviews were so great! I wish we had them every week. This is when President Monahan and his wife come to our zone and speak and of course interview us! The Asisstants gave a great workshop about missionary dignity and how we should always remember who we are representing. My interview with president went really well. He talked to me about homesickness and how I can manage it. The interview was like I was talking to a friend which is very comforting. Pres. and Sister Monahan are the best. They are both so sweet and caring and like parent figures for us really. I know they care about each and every one of us.
So new missionary training was a fun little field trip to Urdaneta!!! We got a ride with the assistants to the president who were on exchanges in our zone so we got to ride in a CAR!!! It was so weird to be in a car! haha!! The ride to Urdaneta was about an hour and a half. When we got there I was so so so happy because I got to see my dear old kasama sister Palmer!!! She is happy and doing well :) She is in the Carmen Zone I think. we chatted most of the time. haha. It was so great to see her.
The new missionary training was good we just basically went over safety stuff and learned more about planning. It wasn't that long. My favorite part was lunch time!!! We ate pancit and lumpia which are both my absolute favorite Filippino foods! I love almost all the Filippino food so far. The other night I ate bamboo shoots which was actually delicious!
OK so aside from the food you wanted to know about my companion.
Her name is Jade Cabrera. She is 29. She is from Laguna and she is so so sweet. She speaks very good English and Tagalog and Cebuano. She has been here for a year. I love her and am so lucky to have her as a trainer. We have been getting bettar and better at teaching and listening to the spirit each day. Last night we had the most spiritual lesson.
We are teaching a lady named sister Nova. She has a baptismal date for Nov. 24th, but she has been unsure of whether it is the right thing to get baptized. She goes to the Born Again church every once and a while and she went there yesterday instead of coming to church with us. She told us at the beginning of the lesson that she doesn't like going to that church anymore, and we asked her why and she said it is because she doesn't feel anything. We then went on to teach her about Joseph Smith and the first vision. We told her that we know it is true and that our church is the only true church and the only one with the authority of God. She was touched but wondered how we knew for sure that this was true. Sister Rose, a branch missionary, went on to tell Sister Nova her conversion story and how when she was baptized she felt the Holy Ghost fill her whole body. Sister Nova was amazed! She had been baptized into the Born Again church and never felt anything! It was right then and there when Sister Nova asked if she could be baptizd tomorrow!! We had to tell her no because we still have to teach her the rest of the lessons. But I just think that Sister Nova was prepared by the Lord. She has such a desire to know the truth and is willing to pray and to change when she does find out. I am grateful to be able to teach her.
I am also grateful for branch members that are willing to work with us each day. We don'g have that many but those who do add so much to the lesson. Our branch is great but they are still learning how to run things. They have just started to have ward council and MCM without having to be reminded so that is progress. The challenging thing is to get the members to fellowship the new converts. That is our biggest effort right now.
In other news, the dog that barks all night next to my window had puppies the other day! They are so cute but very loud! haha! The Philippines is filled with baby animals right now. goats, pigs, cats, puppies, lizards. I found a baby lizard in the fridge last night. So cute! But sorta gross! haha!!
Mommy and daddy:: I am still very homesick but It is not because I do not want to be here. I just love you all so much and wish you could be here with me. I am excited about all the exciting things happening in your lives. I know the Lord will strengthen me as I work harder and harder. I cried a lot in my interview with president but he shared with me D&C section 31. This section is when Thomas B. Marsh gets called on his mission. He is promised many blessings and safety for his family. You shoudl read it. This chapter is a comfort for me. This time is hard...so so hard but I know I will see you soon and I know you are safe. I love you so so much and I am happy we will be together forever. Tell Kara that I got her dear elder and that I love her very much. Tell her I will look foreward to her letter. Mom who is the girl that you introduced to the missionaries. I don't remember you mentioning her. I am happy for her though. Thank you mom and dad for doing missionary work. I know you are blessed with joy and the spirit of the Lord when you do missonary work! Tell the boys that I love them.
Also if you are ever to send a package I would like some more flossers maybe some shirts...ummmm I cant think of anything. I can buy most things here but if I think of anything i will let you know next week.
I love you and pray for you!!! I wrote to Elder Souza I hope he is doing ok.
I love you!!! smile!!!
Sister Stapp

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baguio Beat Blog

For those that want keep updated on the mission blog, check this out.  (they just updated the blog with some new pictures of Sister Stapp)

CLICK HERE--> http://thebaguiobeat.blogspot.com/