Monday, November 26, 2012

Hello Pamilya at Kaibigan! Mahal na mahal ko kayo!

I am so happy to hear from all of you and hear about your thanksgiving week and holiday preperations!! I had a great Thanksgiving. Different from the traditional but still good :)
Sister Cabrera and I are working hard here in Caba. We are working on helping the members here strengthen their testimonies in the restored gospel. We are also praying very hard for our church leaders so they will know how to run the branch. Here in the Philippines the branch leaders are still learning how to hold meetings and plan for the branch. We are helping them along and things are looking good in the branch!

The work is good, we have many new investigators but we have also lost a few this week. It is so devastating when an investigator tells us that they do not want to meet with us anymore. I start to evaluate my self. I am working on being more obedient and dilligent in my studies so that when we do lose investagators I know that I did all I could do. We can only do so much as missionaries but in the end it really comes down to their agency. Whether they accept the message or not is up to them but as missionaries we are here to teach and to pray for them. I am trying my hardest to evaluate my obedience everyday and repent every day for my weaknesses. By being more obedient and more aware of where I can improve, I will be able to teach with more power and conviction of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the real teacher, we missionaries are just the vessels. Only a pure vessel can deliver the message of the spirit to the hearts of the listener. Anyway we are working hard as a companionship and praying very hard for our investigators.

So this week at church was the primary program!! It was so so cute as always. The kids taught us about choosing the right and following the prophet. They sang very well and I felt the spirit. I always feel the spirit strongly when I am being taught by the children. They are so sweet and precious to our Father in Heaven.

So this Thanksgiving was special, after a day of proselyting we were about to go to our last two appointments when the power suddenly went out! This means we have to go home early because it is too dangerous to be out. So on our way home we bought street BBQ! My Thanksgiving dinner consisted of pancit canton (like top ramen but better) hardboiled eggs, mashed potatoes (of course) and BBQ pork on a stick!! It was delicious feast! I was thinking about all the things I am so grateful for; my mission, my companion, a supportive family and food!!! So many many things to be thankful for. Most of all I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is because of Him that I am who I am and that I can become so much more. I look to Christ each day for his example. I want to be humble like Him and love like Him. I am Keeping my faith in him each day and protecting my faith in Him when times of adversity come.

Thanksgiving Dinner

So now that Thanksgiving is over it is Christmas time!!! The Philipines have been celebrating Christmas since September though!!! haha!!! They love Christmas!
Well I dont have much time to write! I love love love each one of you Talaga!!

Love Sister Stapp
ps. MOM-I am so proud of you and your marathon!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy you were able to finish and all. Keep up the good work!Tell kent and sarah that I love them and their family and that I got their dear elders!1 I will send them letters soon. Tell all the kids I love them to pieces! I am praying and fasting for their family. I also got letters from kara (2 dear elders) tell her I love and think about her often. Also I got dearelders from you from before Halloween! haha! They take a while to get to me but I love reading them!! No packages yet hopefully this week. Keep smiling mommy!! I love love love you so so much!

Here is a note from Elder and Sister Fullmer, who also work in the branch with Julia:

Brother and Sister Stapp,
Saturday was a baptism in the Aringay Branch. There was a family of four and two brothers one of which is married and his wife is a member. It was the ninth baptism in the Aringray branch in the last month or so. We were so surprised, and so proud of Sister Stapp when she sang "Families Can be Together Forever" in Tagalog. We knew she had a beautiful voice and to hear her sing the song in Tagalog brought tears to our eyes. We have attached the program of the baptism and a few photo's we took. Hope you enjoy them. You have a wonderful daughter and we know you are proud of her. We have included a few pictures of the area.
Elder and Sister Fullmer

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Hello Family and friends!!!

I love you all very very much! Thank you for your emails and letters and love.
This week has gone by so fast I hadly know what to write! We are teaching a lot of new investigators this week which is really really great! Sister Cabrera and I have been praying and praying for new families to teach and we have two new families this week! They are both very interested and we are happy to be able to teach them. One of the families is part member. Which in this case means that the wife is a less active and the husband is not a member. His name is Danny and he sells bread from his motorcycle for a living. He used to be a member of Iglesia Ni Cristo. He is really excited to hear our message and keeps his commitments. He says that when he prays he feels like this is the church that he needs to join. When I teach this family I feel like they really have been prepared by the Lord. I feel their hearts have been softened and that they are ready to take the next step to becoming an eternal family! We have not yet extended a date for baptism but will probably tonight!!
We are still working on Sister Nova and her daughter. Sister Nova is very special. She is very interested but has so so so many questions!! She feels the spirit but is having a hard time recognizing it. We are helping her with her prayers and BofM reading. Sister April, her daughter, was prepared by the Lord! She is 13 years old but she understands the scriptures so clearly and simply. She has a believing heart and is humble and enjoys reading and praying. I have very high hopes for this family.
I love missionary work and I am becoming the missionary that the Lord expects me to be every day. I am learning so much about what I need to to to become more like Christ so that I can be an example to the people here and to my future family.

This week was District conference!! We were able to hear form our district presidency and from Pres. Monahan and from our area authority Elder Agustin. It was wonderful! We learned all about the area goals. There was a lot of enphasis on rescuing lost members of the church. The rescue effort is strong here in the Philippines and we need all the members to put forth their best effort!

As for the questions I will try to answer as Many as I can.
Questions for you--

1. Have you been outside of Caba or Agoo lately? We get out of caba every monday. We spend p-days in agoo wich is a 30 min bus ride. Other than that we only get out of Caba on Sundays because church is in Aringay. Oh! and district meetings on Tuedays are in Bauang! So we get out quite often. I like Caba though. I feel like it is my home now!

2. How is your scripture study going?
My scripture study has never been better! I read the Book of Mormon every day. Right now I am in Mosiah. I just finished King Benjamins speech. He is so amazing! I want to be a leader/missionary like him. I also re-read d&c 100 the other day. It is very comforting and empowering. You should alllll read it!

3. Are you conversing in Tagalog with your companion?
I try to converse in Tagalog as much as I can every day. I am slowly transitioning to all tagalog but not quite there yet. I am studying very very hard to memorize new words and express myself more. I am working had as I can to qualify for the gift of toungues! I am getting better at conversing with members and such. It is very exciting

4. Are you aclimating to the weather?
I am becoming more aclimated to the weather. Yet I am still sweating buckets every day! haha! It is just hot and more hot all day. But I am used to being sticky and so it doesnt bother me :)

5. Have you had a chance to shop for clothing?
We went to the Ukay ukay today!!! The second hand clothing market! I bought three shirts for 50 pesos each. That is like 1 dollar in us money! yay! We broght along with us Sister Lael. She is in the RS presidency and is really good and bargaining at the Ukay ukay. Love her!!! She is also a really good cook :)

6. Did you get any letters/package this week?
I recieved a letter form grandma and grandpa Stapp with a pic of Spencer and his soon to be wife!! yaya!!! I am sending them a reply today. I get all of your dearelders and letters so keep writing! I also recieved dearelders from Melissa Snell and Savannah tell them I will be writing back soon!!!

7. Of course I want to hear about your investigators!!
See above.

8. Do they have any international food (chinese, mexican, American)?
There are not many....well not really at all. Excet for Spagetti!! Filippinos love lov elove spagetti!!!! It is sweet and pinkish. haha!!

10. Are you keeping you journal this week and do you use your umbrella a ton?
I have not used my umbrella much. The rainy season ended. but I have been keeping a journal!!! I will let your read it someday or send it home when I am done :)

My Lunch
District Meeting
A Birthday Party

Well I dont have much time sorry!!
I love you all! Keep writing!!
Keep reading and praying and all that jazz!
Sister Stapp

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fam and Friends!

Hello fam and friends!!! I love you all. I think I start every email like that haha. Anyway it's true.

Thank you for all your letters and support I feel the love and blessings coming from your prayers. The first week of the new transfer has been great! It has been a challenge but still good. Sister Cabrera and I have been working very hard on retaining our recent converts and teaching lots of new investigators. The week started off sort of rough. We were punted a lot. Punted is when we have no one to teach! We are very good about confirming appointments but sometimes the people we are supposed to teach forget and when we go there, they are already sleeping or they are gone. On Wednesday this week it was 4 o'clock in the afternoon and we hadn't taught one lesson!!! It is very hard to be punted. When we are just walking trying to find someone to teach, the time goes by slow. But we have been blessed this week because by the end of the week we were able to meet our goals and ended up teaching a total of 27 lessons! It is amazing how the Lord blesses us after a trial of our faith. As long as we don't give up and we are always striving to fulfill our purpose as missionaries, we will be blessed.

We have been blessed to have 2 new investigators attend Sacrament this week, Sister Janet and Brother Juanito. They are cousins of Brother Jonathan who just got baptized. They are both very interested and Brother Juanito is 18! That means he is still missionary material. We are encouraged by the mission president to teach missionary age yourng men. We hope and pray that Juanito will continue to search for the truth and be baptized on Dec.8.

Another family we are teaching is the Banayos Family. I am not sure if I told you about them but they are recent converts. Brother and Sister Banayos have 4 little girls and one boy. They are a great family. The other night we went to teach them and we caught them in the act of Family home evening!!! We were so happy to see that they were holding FHE on their own. They are striving to keep the commandments and preparing to be sealed as a family in the temple in January.

Sister Nova is progressing well. Remember her? If not I am pretty sure I mentioned her in a past email. She has a lot of questions and is really really searching for truth. She reads and prays to know the truth. She just heard about baptizm for the dead on sunday and wants to know more about that! She has so many questions that it is sometimes hard to keep the lessons focused but we try to follow the spirit and help her to take her questions to the Lord.

So this week I did not eat anything strange unfourtunately haha! But I did start eating my food from back home! I made pasta with alfredo sauce and Idaho mashed potatoes! Delicious! I cooked the potatoes on an open fire because we ran out of gas in our stove haha!

Anyway I wish I had more time on here to tell you more but I will just tell you that I am determined to keep a journal every day that I am here.

The language is getting better!! I am getting more comfortable and I am able to converse with the people we teach and members. I find now that I can communicate better my love for the people is growing. I really love the people here and am striving to help them keep their commitments to the Lord. I am learning to be patiend with myself and not be hard on myself when I cannot say something perfectly. I am feeling the Lord's love more fully as I rely on him and on the Gift of Tounues.
I know this work is the Lord's work and I know it is true! I know the Book of Mormon is a true book and all the events in it really did happen noon! I love my Savior and I know he lives and loves me and all of you so so much! Sorry again if this is so short!

Pic explanations!
1. We cooked lumpia for lunch the other day! Soooooo good. Basically like a spring roll.

2. The arch to our Barangay! Santiago Norte. This is where I live!

Mom: You have many questions I hope I can answer them all but if not, next time na lang.
I recieved a dearelder that you wrote on 9/ my dearelders are coming to me our of order. Oh well. Keep writing them I love them! I might not respond to each one but I read them and cherish them! I also recieved a letter from the Nelson family! I love them. Can you give me their new address. Also is Kates address the same? I want to send her a letter but not sure if she has been getting them. Tell her I love her to pieces! and I pray for her!

I am trying to be tidy. My comp is very sweet we get along very well and we laugh and have fun. We are united and teach with power :) She usually cooks lunch she is very talented at cooking.

Elders: we have three sets of elders in our district. i don't really know them because we are in a new district now. But I can tell you about the DL he is from England.....from Briton!!! "I want to go to Briton!" yess! He has a lovely accent. haha. but it is so hard to understand his Tagalog! His name is Elder Spiers.

Oh and meals we usually eat at a members house at least once a week usually on Monday. But people give us snacks all the time.. They are very generous here. I love the people!
Well that is all sorry for the lack of pics! No time this week!!! Oh and I am sending you a Christmas package but it will prolly get there after Christmas. sorry! I love you still though!!!!! Keep your chin up and run your little heart out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

One more picture...

Elder and Sister Fullmer, full time couple missionaries sent me quite a few pictures.  They are so good to the Sister Stapp.  Here is one of the photos sent.


Red Rice

The Long Hike


power outage pics

Pumping water outside.
Studying by candle-light

Hello There!

Hello there family and friends!!

I hope you all know that I love you and I hope you had a very happy Halloween!! People here don't celebrate Halloween like we do, they have picknics at the cemetary and party, but no dressing up. Oh well!

This week was very good, it went by so fast though! This week was transfers so our dear Sister Fernando got a new companion and is no longer working in Caba with Sister Cabrerea and I. We will miss her but happy that now Caba and Aringay will be getting the appropriate amount of attention.This week started off with a big power outage! We were out of power for 3 days! No water either.  Luckily we have a pump in the back of our house so we spent a lot of time pumping water for cooking and drinking and showering. We studied and planned by candlelight :) It was quite an adventure. I am really thankful the power is back though. I am grateful for all of our blessings we teach some families that have no electicity in their homes and they are happy! It is very humbling.
So I told you before about Jonathan who just recently got baptized. Well I just want to tell you that he is awesome. Ever since his baptism he works with us on our visits and gives us lots of refferals. He loves sharing the gospel and is so effective in lessons. I am just so happy that he loves that gospel and is so dedicated and devoted to missionary work already. Yesterday Jonathan came with us to a lesson. When he got into the tryke we told him we were going to visit someone in San Cornello. We had never been there before but he said it was malayo (far).  We didn't know how far until the trike stopped at a little dirt path. Someone there told us that San Cornello was just up the path...well that path was a 30 minute hike up a mountain! We walked 30 minutes in the wilderness in the heat up to a small village in the mountains!! It was beautiful but I think I was sweating more than I ever have. Well the hike was worth it because we taught a very good lesson about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families to a man named Rogelio. We extended a baptismal date and everything! and he said he would prepare for baptism! I pray that he will continue to be interested and maybe agree to meet us somewhere next time. haha!

I love all the new experiences I am having.This week I ate meet cooked in blood...more like blood tasted like dog food. And I ate red rice wHich is just like white rice just red! haha! I love all the food except for the blood. haha! I also had the sad but exciting experience of seeing how a pig is slaughtered. I think I will have nightmares for the rest of my life about that experience!

Anyway a lot has happened this week I just have not time to write it! I am keeping a good journal though so for anything I miss in these emails you all can read later in my journal :)

I know this is the Lord's work and that I am meant to be here! I am feeling more amd more comfortable with the languare and with the people! I love it! It is hard and exhausting, but worth it because I know this is what the Lord wants me to do. He has a plan for me each day and I pray that I might now my plan each day and follow promptings of the spirit. I love you all and I am sorry if this is a short email this week!

Love Sister Julia Stapp

Mom: Keep running! I know you can do it! I pray for you everyday and I fasted for you this Sunday. I love you! Also Tell my Aunties that I think about them and that I love them with all my heart. I will send them letters soon :) I recieved a letter from Kara this week and sent her two. I also recieved two dear elders from you :) I love you so so so much. I will be sending you a package sooon with some goodies ! Tell me more about Amanda and Philip! I love hearing about them. Also I think my atm will work but I just don't know how much personal money I have not just in my account but in general can you let me know. Also, sorry I cannot tell you everything in emails. I have no time but I am trying to keep a good journal!

Daddy! I love you always. Never forget that. Dont worry about me I am protected! Keep smiling!

Sammie! I got your dearelder note! Filipinos listen to all the stuff that we listen to plus Filipino music! Look up "Pusong Bato" On youtube :)

Alex!!!!!!! I love your guts! Follow Jesus' example and be a shining example to your friends! Send my love to everyone and the cousins. Keep smiling and playing music!