Monday, October 8, 2012

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 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

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