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.
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