Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Years...Almost!-12/29/13

So I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas! My Christmas here was great, and probably one of my favorite ones ever! On Christmas Eve, we went out caroling with the other sisters in our apartment, Sister Bircher and Sister Sidwell, and a couple of families from the ward, The Velasco and Vinoya families. We made little cards and bags of candy and caroled to a bunch of members from the ward. It was a little weird that it was so hot yet slightly cold if that makes any sense haha? I was wearing a sweater, but by the end of the day, I was so sweaty from climbing up all of the stairs and hills to get to peoples houses, but it was still a great day and well worth the exercise haha. When we got back home, Sister BIrcher prepared a feast for us with chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and even develed eggs. It was an american Christmas in the philippines! Then we made a giant blanket fort in our living room, and put all of our mattresses in there and watched The Errand of Angels about sister missionaries in Germany, so bascially, the best missionary Christmas you could imagine! In the Philippines, everyone celebrates at midnight Christmas Eve, so right at midnight, I was woken up by fireworks and parties going on right outside our window until about 3 or 4 AM. Hahah good thing I sleep like a rock though, so it was pretty easy for me to go back to sleep.
Then on Christmas day, I got to skype the fam! I love you all, and I'm so glad that MC, John, Kyrsten, and Babou were there too, ya'll are the best, and Pais I wish you could have been there again too! I was worried that skyping would make me homesick, but it actually made me more motivated to work harder and try my best out here! And next time I talk to ya'll on Mothers Day, I will be better at Tagalog, promise!
So Christmas was the definite highlight of this week! Teaching was a bit rough cause no one was home really, but the lessons that we did have were really great! I definitely learned this week that I am not the teacher the spirit is. I really can't teach if I don't have the spirit, and in order to have the spirit, I need to do my part and be worthy of it always. I found that the days I really focused myself in my studies and remained positive and served my companion, our lessons were so much better! It's hard to not rely on my own strength sometimes, and that's something that I'm still working on, but I know that this work is not mine, it's the Lord's, and only the spirit can change people, not me. So all I can do is be worhty of the spirit, and help others to feel it, and they will know that our message is true! I love this work, it really is so amazing!
Ok, time for some shout outs! Thanks for the letters Brigham, Shanoah, Penn-White, and Katie! I loved the post card Shanoah! And little Brooklyn Hill, I love you so much and I RELLY miss you too :) I hope you had a wonderful baptism, I'm so happy that you are now a member of this true church! Keep sharing your sweet testimony, and you will be blessed by the Lord, He's so proud of you and I love you for writing me! Also, thanks again for the package Dad! We have candy galore now haha we are trying to ration it off to people cause all of our new years resolutions are about losing weight I'm pretty sure haha.
But I hope that everyone has a wonderful new year! Something that I'm really going to focus on this year of 2014 is to be the person that the Lord knows that I am. I want to use every hour of my day to prepare myself to be worthy of the Lord's presence and be optomistic always! Remember to find joy in the journey, we are so blessed by the Lord everyday! I love you all, and thanks for your love and prayers!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
The great Christmas hat dad sent me

My Christmas presents, an igorot skirt, dog stuffed animal from Sister Lazan, and tons of hot chocolate and energen and bingos (oreos)!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Maligayang Pasko!-12/22/13

Merry Christmas everyone! Wow this was the week of Christmas parties for me, and I loved everyone of them! The down side was that since we had so many parties to go to, we didn't get to teach a lot of lessons, but no effort wasted, this was probably my best week so far! I have really learned a lot for these past two months that I've been in the field. I've learned to rely on the Lord in all that I do. I've learned to be patient with myself and with others. But most of all, I've learned that blessings come after the trial of my faith. I feel bad that I've been a bit of a debby downer at times, because I really love my mission so much! I've also learned to look for the good in everything and to stay positive always. I am choosing now to belike President Kimball when he askedfor more mountains to climb, because that's when God makes Himself manifest. If I endure my trials well, the Lord will bless me, and this week was proof of that.
So like I said, this week was a little slow with all of our christmas parties, but it was also so great because our investigators came to church again, accepted their baptismal invitation, and want to get married so that they can be baptized!! So if it's God's will, they will be married and baptized next month! It really is the best feeling to see someone who we found grow in the gospel and love coming to church and being friends with the members there. I know that I will love my first area because of all of the great people here, the investigators, less actives, and members. Also, this week was so great becasue this less active family that we have been visiting every week since we got here came to church this sunday too! I love this family so much, they are the ones who fed us and gave me a sweater. At first, Sister didn't want to go to the Christmas party or to church even until her husband came back from abroad, but we got her to come to the party, and she loved being there so much that she came to church the next day! Me and Sister Lazan were feeling on top of the world haha just goes to show that sometimes the stats don't really show our work justice.
So this was a really great week for the work, and on top of that, we had our Christmas conference! I am definitely in the best mission and have the best mission president, and the christmas conference was just proof of that. It was so fun to gather with 4 other zones and just be with missionaries for the whole day. Each zone did a 10 minute skit about Christ's birth, and then we had a gift exchange (I got a baguio city bag and a restoration pamphlet haha), and then we got to watch a Babylonian movie! All week we were trying to guess what movie it would be, I was guessing Rudolph, but it was even better! We watched We Are Marshall, the football movie haha to get us inspired for our missionary work. It was so good, and even though it was about football, it reminded me that I should never give up, and that there are so many people back home who are supporting me here, and of course my Father in Heaven, I'm doing this for Him. So after the movie, we were all inspired and sang our mission song and changed "We Are Baguio", it was the best! Then later this week, we had our ward Christmas Party where we played minute to win it games, and each auxillary did a performance.Filipinos really know how to throw a party, and I think I ate enough food to last me a month haha they kept coming around and loading it on my plate so I couldn't refuse! Yeah missionary figure is a real thing!
Well, as you can see, this week was really great! I honestly love it here and can't imagine myself anywhere else now. I am learning to find joy in the journey and appreciate the tender mercies I receive each day. Thank you all for your love and prayers, it gives me the motivation that I need especially in times of down. Shout outs to Sara, Brooklyn, Mom, and Sherman 1st Ward for the letters, and Mom for the package! Keep them coming! Also, Happy Birthday Ryan,and Shanoah on the24th! I hope that ya'll have a merry christmas and remember serve others. The best present I can give this year is my service to the Lord, and I'm so happy that I have two Christmas's to do just that!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter

PS- I'm in charge of the blog for my mission! Go check out philippinesbaguiomission.blogspot.com and I'll have more about the Christmas conference!
Ward Missionaries at the ward missionary Christmas party

Sister Lazan and I at the ward Christmas party 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

God is Good!-12/15/13

Kumusta!
Wow so this week was probably the most bipolar week of my life! There were a lot of changes this week with new missionaries coming in, so we now have 6 missionaries in my ward. It feels really good to not be the youngest in the mission, but there's still a lot that I need to learn, like Tagalog haha, before I can feel super advanced or anything. But with the new missionaries came some changes to my area. We had to give part of our area to the other sisters, and they basically took our teaching pool, so a lot of the week, we were just trying to find new people to teach. Finding is really hard especially when all the people on the streets are men that look a little shady, and no one is home during the day. So the beginning of the week was pretty slow with all the new changes. Also, this week was a bit hard for my companion. I love her so much, but she was struggling with being the only philipina in the apartment. I knew that she was struggling and really down, but there wasn't much that I could do to help her being a foreigner myself. I felt so helpless, but I turned to prayer, and so did she. After I forgot about myself and my struggles, and just tried to focus on how to help my companion, I saw total shift in our week. We had more companionship unity, we could feel the spirit more strongly, and we eneded up having a lot of success! I'm really learning that in order to feel love from my heavenly father, I need to love those around me. I hope that I can conintue to develop christlike attributes like service and charity throughout my mission and even after becasue this is what matters most. If I can't love those around me, how can I love the Lord. So I really tried to forget myself and go to work for my companion and the people in our area, and you know what, I was so blessed for it! We had a whole day of successful tracting, and then best of all, our investigators finally came to church this week! It was the happiest moment of my mission, and I really felt like a successful missionary. I know it's true that if I even bring just one soul unto God, how great will be my joy! I love the Philippines, and I love the poeple that I am serving. That's really all that matters at the end of the day.
So this was a great week, I learned so much, and am trying to let go of the things of the world and life before the mission and just focus on my purpose here, to bring others unto Christ! I hope that you all remember that our greatest joy in life is to share the gospel with others becasue it really is true and can bring eternal happiness. I love this church, I love the prophet and their counsel for us. I feel ashamed that it took me 19 years to realize how amazing modern day prophets and apostles are. I hope that you read and re-read the conference talks and apply them into your life. My favorite part of the day is getting to do my personal study and just feast upon the words of Christ!
Ok sorry, I don't have any crazy stories this week, but just know that I love it here. Some of my favorite moments of the week were 1. when our investigators came to church obvioulsly haha. 2. when a poor less active member gave me her sweater because it's getting cold and fed us twice. 3.when people call us Sis instead of Sister, or when the little kids say my name, it makes me feel so special that I matter to them and they matter to me. 4. my companion cleaned my shoes. Yes, I have the best companion every and she is teaching me so much.

I love you all, thanks for your prayers and support and thanks for the letters Katie, MC, Deanna, and Samuel! I will write back soon!

Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Another Day in the Life of a Missionary-12/8/13

So this week has been pretty slow. One thing that I'm learning more than anything on my mission is how to be diligent even when things aren't going so well. We still have no progressing investigators, and our investigators with a baptismal date still haven't come to church, so now we have to push back their baptism. It was been really disappointing to go out and work and feel the spirit in lessons and know that these people know the church is true, yet they aren't coming to church. As a new missionary, I wonder somtimes if I'm even making a difference or if all of my efforts are going in vain. I wonder why no one is progressing, and how I can feel successful in this area. But then I go to the scriptures, I turn to talks by modern day prophets and apostles of the Lord, and I turn to Preach My Gospel. I'm so blessed to have these resources to turn to and remind me that my efforts are never wasted. That I am planting seeds and helping others to feel the spirit. Most of all though, I have been uplifted by my heavenly father. This sunday especially when our investigators didnt' come to church. I was feeling like a failure. But I pleaded to the Lord to help me to be happy, to help me to have success and peace of mind, and that's exactly what He did for me. I felt such peace come over me, and the thoughts of inadequacy went away. I know that my efforst aren't going in vain because of families like the Cortez and the Velasco family. These are less active members who are coming back to church. Sister Velasco even goes out teaching with us, and we took her whole family to church this sunday. The Cortez family have become return members, and we had a really powerful lesson with them on priesthood power, and Brother Cortez is going to bless his family for the first time ever this week. So even when times are hard and I feel like nothing I do is working, God always provides a way. He put me in this area for a reason, and I believe that was to learn how to be hard working even in times of down. I know that I can do hard things, and that everyone can come back to church no matter if they have been offended or have a weak testimony. Only by attending church services can we make friends and be uplifted from each others testimonies. This church is true, I know it now more than I ever have before. I wouldn't be willing to face so much dissappointment each week if I didn't know that this is the only way people can have eternal happiness. I'm grateful for my experiences here on the mission, they are teaching me what matters most, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thank you so much Mom for the packages I can't wait to open them! And happy birthday to Elyse, Sami, and Bianca! I love you all, and always remember, it's better to look up, God is always there!
Mahal na mahal Kita.
Sister Bangerter

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving/December- 12/1/13

Kumusta pamily at kaibigan!
Happy late Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday Babou! I hope that you all had a great week cause I sure did! Thanks so much for the package Mom I got it exactly on Thanksgiving, it was perfect :) I also got letters from Paisley and Grandma, thanks so much I love you both!
Ok so this week was kind of slow actually but fast at the same time. I went on my first exchanges with Sister Hardy in La Trinidad, and wow I love it there so much! Don't get me wrong, Baguio is great, but La Trinidad is just so quant and small and their zone is so fun haha I hope that I get to go there after my 12 weeks training, but we'll see. It was a great day there though and I learned a lot from Sister Hardy. Each day I learn more about the gospel, myself, my companion, and how to teach more effectively. I really understand now why people say that a mission is more for the missionary than the people that they teach. We still have no progressing investigators, but my testimony is strengthened from my trials every day and I love the growth that I can see in myself already. So this week, I really learned how to rely on the spirit and look to the scriptures to gain strength. We had another new missionary training this week, and it was about how to adjust to missionary life. They related the story in Ether chapter 6 when they are facing the challenges of traveling to the promised land in the barges to our lives as missionaries. Trials will come everyday, but we have the tools to overcome them, and at the end the trials that I face will take me to the promised land or to turn me into the person that God knows that I am supposed to be. I love trials becasue they make me stronger and more resillient. I can do all things through Christ, and he has given me the comfort of the holy ghost and the scriptures to turn to when I forget that I don't have to do this on my own.
But even though I'm talking a lot about trials, this week was really great! I feel more and more confident in my teaching and the spirit is there so strongly. Teaching is definitely my favorite part of the day, and there is slowly progression in the ward. We have a returned member family now and they are my saving grace when I feel like I haven't made a difference, I remember the Cortez family and I know that God put me in this area for a reason.
Sorry I don't have much to say this week, it was crazy with exchanges and meetings, but I did get to see Sister Sawada and Sister Tapusoa again so that was way fun! I also had a Thanksgiving feast with my housemates so it wasn't too bad missing my second favorite holiday back home haha and I can tell that Christmas here will be great becasue Philipino's are so festive and there are fireworks every night of december! Not to mention that we're decorating our apartment, so it will feel nice and homey! And today, we just had the best P Day every cause we were combined with La Trinidad zone and we played sports! So it was my first P Day in the field where I got to wear normal clothes and it was the best ever, I even got a shorts tan and I'm a little too excited about it haha. It's sad that I'm in the Philippines but I'm getting more white than when I came here! But ayos lang cause I know that I will  want to be in cool Baguio once I'm assigned to the lowlands haha.
Thank you everyone for sending me letters and emails, I love hearing from you! But the letters that I've gotten have been the wrong address, so my address is:
Sister Stacey Bangerter
Baguio Philippines Mission
PO Box 115
National Highway Brgy. Lingsat,
San Fernando City, La Union
2500 Phlippines
Thanks for your love and prayers and I'm praying for you all too!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pinaka Week! 11/24/13

Wow so a lot happened this week, and each week keeps getting better and better! So I'll start off by letting you know that I finally ate Balot! We had FHE at the Milanes home and the ward missioaries made all the foreign missionaries eat all the weird street foods of the Philippines. I was excited to try it all, but once I saw it, I got a little scared. I ate dinuguan (pig blood and innards), fish ball, chicken intestine, chicken head, kikian (mystery meat that's in flour and fried), chicken feet, and balot. For those of you who don't know what balot is, its a duck egg with the little baby duck in it. That was the last thing I ate, and each step progressively got worse. Surprisingly, the worst thing was the chicken head, just imagine and actual fried chicken head with the brain and all in there, yeah couldn't really do that one. And then the balot was last, and I wish someone would have told me how to eat it correctly because instead of swallowing the little baby duck and then eating the yoke like you're supposed to, I ate the whole thing at once, and it was not a fun experience. I was gagging hard core, but I ate it and I'm so proud to say that I ate balot haha. Yeah now I've had some of the best and worst food in the Philippines, but it was such a fun night with no regrets!
So this week was great not only because I tried balot. but we have been working really hard and we even got 2 people to get a baptismal date! I'm so excited for this family and I really hope and pray that everything works out and they will be baptized this December! I had a lot of training this week with zone training and then stake conference here this weekend. I'm really learning the importance of obedience not only to the mission rules, but to the commandments of the Lord. I want to be exactly obedient so that I will be blessed here in the mission and throughtout my life. The mission is still way hard with no one really progresssing, but I think that I was put in this area to start off with so that I can grow in my testimony and converstion becasue every day is a struggle with people not keeping their commitments. I have learned to love to be obedient, to love reading my scriptures and always pray for strength because I can only be made strong through the lord. My testimony is stronger than it ever has been before, and I'm learning to really love the people here that I'm serving.
I think my favorite part of this week though was our stake conference, Elder Ardern came, and it was the best stake conferenec I've ever been to. He and his wife along with the other speakers all talked about how we can hasten the work and how missionaries and members need to work with one another to rescue those less actives and to trust us missionaries to teach their friends. I know that missionary work is so important and we need the help of the members in order to be successful in our purpose. I love proclaiming the gospel, and I really want to rescue those who have stopped coming to church. Elder Ardern told us that the baptismal rates in the Philippines has dropped drastically over the past 2 years, and people are falling away. It's our job to rescue them, to bring others to salvation and eternal life that only the gospel provides. I am proud to be hastening the work at this time, and I know that with the help of the members now, we will have more success and progression.
Thank you all for your prayers and support I really need it, but things are getting much better here everyday. I love my companion, I love Baguio, I love Burnham first ward and I'm excited to bring others unto Christ!
Thanks Mom and Tami for the packages, it made my whole week! Also I got all the letters and dear elders from Paisley, Karina, Katie, Sara, MC, Brooklyn, and Dori, thanks so much and expect a letter soon! I love you all
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
FHE with the Milanes family and ward missionaries

Sister Sidwell and I, we're batch mates/house mates

About to eat the balot!
Chicken head

eating chicken feet

eating balot, sick taste but I did it!

Sister Nena was so proud of me

Stake conference for Baguio stake

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Time Flies!-November 17, 2013

Wow this week went by so fast! Sorry if I freaked ya'll out with my last email, things are much better now and I have a few funny stories from this past week! So this week was really good. I'm starting to get more used to missionary life and my companion and I are getting closer and closer. I'm so lucky to have such a great first companion, and we have a lot of fun together. She helps me to not be lazy and work hard constantly and we have been teaching with the ward missionaries a lot so when we're all together we have a lot of fun and our lessons are powerful! We taught like 24 lessons this week, it was so great and helped me to forget about myself and focus on the people. Still though, despite our good lessons, not that many less actives came to church, but people are still coming back so that's the best! I really love teaching in lessons even though I get way nervous before hand. Sister Lazan is letting me lead most of the lessons now, and my favorite one to teach is the Restoration. When I recount Joseph Smith's first vision, I can feel the spirit so strongly and even if our investigators might not believe that he's a prophet, I gain a stronger testimony that he is everytime I teach and testify of him. This gospel is really so great!
Well some interesting things that happened this week, I finally experience seeing a GIANT spider. Like it was bigger than my hand and so scary! SIster Lazan and I were just eating dinner when she looks at the wall and notices a spider, she wasn't freaking out so I thought it would be small, but it was about as big as the clock on the wall! I wish I had a picture to show you, but it really wouldn't do it justice haha. So of course, I couldn't do anything else until the spider was dead, but we were all too afraid to kill it. Sister Lazan being the only Filipino got chsen to kill it haha but she was afraid too. We spend the next hour screaming, spraying it with permatox and freaking out haha. Finally, we got it off the wall, but then it was hiding behind the bookshelf, until it literally ran out and charged at us! We were all standing on chairs and screaming, but good ole' sister Lazan killed it with the broom. It's shriveled up outside our apartment now as a constant reminder of the scariest moment of my life. Actually, I think when I see a giant frog that will be the scariest moment ever haha. But that defintely brought all of us, my house mates included a lt closer haha hopefully that's the one and only spider story I have!
There are some families here in our ward that are so good to us and feed us everytime we go over there. The food here is so good, like I don't think I can express how good it is you just need to come to the Philippines and try it. Everything is so fresh, and I eat all my my vegetables and even like pickles and some eggs now! There is a woman in the ward we call Mommy Bennet, and I wish I could just take her back to America with me. Everytime we see her, she talks to us for hours and then makes us te best food. She's the reason I like pickles becasue she makes her own haha so masarap! And then the Milanes family always cooks for us everytime we go over there, they're the reason I like fish now too, and vegetables haha. But later tonight, I will try the weird stuff like the infamous balut and a 1 day old chick, so we'll see if I still really like Filipino food then haha. But the weirdest thing I've eaten so far was cow skin, a salted egg, and fish oil, but even then, those weren't too bad.
So this week was a great week, and I even gave my first talk at church! It was on humility which was really good because it made me learn how I can be more humble in helping this ward and the people in our area. My talk was 90% in English haha but church is funny here because it's mostly English. It's a little hard for me to speak Tagalog sometimes becasue everyone can speak and understand english, but I am going to force myself to speak it more becasue how sad would it be if I never learned the language on my mission! But I can do it, through patience and humility to the Lord, He will help me.
I hope that you're all doing well back home. I love you and miss you and pray for all of you. I am so happy to be here though and I wouldn't trade any of my expereiences for anything. Here are three things that I've learned the most from my 4 weeks sa Philippines
1. Always do my visiting teaching
2. Go to ALL 3 hours of church
and 3. Don't judge
I know that if I at least do these three things, my life and the lives of others will be blessed!
Before I go, Mom, Dad, and Brig, I'm sending ya'll a Christmas present so be watching out for that. I'll send it to Mom's house, and I hope you like it :). Also, happy late birthday to Mom, Dori, and Sydney Muldrew! Sorry Stephane, Kelsey, and Tatie Yva for missing yours, as well as everyone else that I forgot to mention, but know that I remembered but just forgot to email about it! I love you all thanks for your prayers! And if you want to contact me, writing letters works the best I think, or I can print off your emails too :)
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
Boodle fight (aka eating everything with your hands)

The ward missionaries 

The ward missionaries 

Mines View

Foooood (cow skin, eggs, and fish)

Banana Q so masarap!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Can Do This-November 10, 2013

So I'm going to be very real in this email. Missions are no joke. When people say they are hard, they really mean it. I never expected that it would be this hard. I have never felt more alone and homesick in my life, and no one truly warned me of that. I have cried multiple times, and been on the verge of tears just about every day. It's hard to adjust to a new place, new people, different struggles, and on top of all of that, to not know the language. I have been very down and thought that there was no way that I could do this for 18 months. Okay, I know that this is all very depressing and you're probably all waiting for me to come home haha, but I will not be coming home until March 2015! Although I have felt so down and alone and sad for days sometimes, I have also never felt more close to my Savior and Heavenly Father. When in times of despair, I get on my knees and ask for the strength to carry on, because I cannot do this on my own. I need His help and His spirit to carry me because I am weak. After pouring my heart out in prayer, I felt the holy ghost so strongly. He knows that I am struggling, but He has also called me here to the Philippines for a reason. There is someone waiting for me to teach them and to bring the gospel into their lives, whether it's an investigator or a less active, they need my help. I have been set apart as a servant of the Lord, and as such, I need to do my best to bring others unto Him and His true gospel. I really do know that this church is true, because missions are way too hard for it not to be. But no matter how much I struggle with the language or may feel homesick, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know, and they are here to help me. Like in D&C 84:88, I have angels round about me to bare me up. I can do this!
So family and friends, don't worry about me. I am safe and happy. The storm didn't affect my area in anyway, and I am doing the Lord's work, so he will guide and protect me always. I want you all to know that I am so thankful to be a member of this church. Even when people tell us to go away or slam doors in our faces, I can be happy because I know Heavenly Father is blessing me for my efforts.
Our area is kind of crazy because it is so big and there are so many less actives. This ward is a little strange, they keep offending people, so half the members don't come to church and don't want to come back because of the members. It's really frustrating and sad when we know that they believe in the church and we have amazing lessons, but they still don't come to church just because they were offended. DON"T BE OFFENDED! Don't let other people's actions keep you from eternal salvation. Also, the ward counsel keeps asking us why we don't have members present at lesson. Well it's a little hard to have members with us when no one texts us back to work with us. Basically, the ward is not wanting to cooperate with the missionaries, so it makes our job even harder. But I have hope and faith that we are the right missionaries for this ward to move the work along and bring people back. In fact, one less active family came back to church yesterday! We had tried to visit them  earlier in the week, and they were rude and didn't want us to teach. But then on sunday, they came to church! We taught them later that day and they said that they love us coming over and they will keep coming to church! Wow the spirit is real and Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways haha but I hope that this is the start to many more people coming back.
I know that God is watching out for me here because he has blessed me with the best trainer and there are several members here who love us so much already. There is always something to be grateful for in my days, even the hard ones. I am so happy to be here in Baguio, where the bold and the beautiful get to be assigned, or that's what the ward missionaries tell me haha. Days are long but and the work is hard but so rewarding when we can testify and know by the spirit that our efforts are not being done in vein. I am so happy to be a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. If I can bring one person back to church, I will be so happy!
Oh and don't worry about the typhoon, I was not affected and I'm safe. Pray though for those who did get hit by it. We are fasting for them in church next week. I love you all, and your prayers mean so much to me. The first 6 weeks will be the hardest, but each day gets better and better. There is no place that I would rather be than right here in Baguio!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter
Eating some delicious halo halo 

Seeing Sister Sawada and Sister Tapusoa at new missionary training, it was a happy day!

We have maraming mountains to climb, but can overcome all through christ!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Week 2 in the Pines-November 2, 2013

Wow what a week! Things here are going great! Sister Lazan and I were finally able to get our area down a little bit more. Our area is so huge it's kind of overwhelming,and it's super quiet around here which is scary at times, but we are doing the Lord's work so we will be protected. The thing I love the most about Baguio is the scenery here. Every where you look it's green and there are flowers, and we literally climb about 200 stairs everyday. It can be exhausting, but I get a great work out! Also, we have been working out so much! Thank you MC for the jackie workout, it is a life saver haha and Sister Lazan and I do it every morning! We also go jogging sometimes, but there are dogs and a sister got bit by a dog last time she went jogging, so now I'm a little afraid to run again, but ayos lang it's great!
Funny thing that I didn't expect about the Philippines is that everyone has straight black hair. I know that sounds weird, but everyone, literally, everyone is mesmorized by my hair lol they ask if it's real or if I'm wearing a wig or if it's natural lol so funny! Even in church yesterday, this woman was playing with my hair and asking me how I get it so curly! Funny thing is I wish that I had straight hair like them haha. Oh, and I'm also considered tall here, that's a first for sure! But I really do tower over my companion I feel like and a lot of the other women and some men here, so funny!
But this week was really good because we had some very spiritual lessons. Most of the people in our area are less actives that were offended so they dont want to come back to church, but still know that it is true. It makes me so sad to see that the members didn't fellowship them and now they are not coming to church. Many of them had goals to be sealed in the temple, but now that aren't coming to church anymore. But maybe that's why we were put in this open area, to reactivate and increase the numbers in the ward. So many of the members that I've met are so nice. They help me with my Tagalog and tell me that I can do it! The language is very hard for me, but I know that I will be able to understand in the Lord's time and with my own study and efforts. I can't wait until I can communicate and express myself in Taglog with them, I really hope that at the end of my mission, I can come back here and talk to all the members that I couldn't understand before haha. But the work is great. We have a few investigators that are so prepared and ready for the gospel in their lives, so hopefully we will have some baptisms here. I am learning so much every single day, and I love my trainer Sister Lazan. She is really a great missionary and pushes me to lead lessons and speak Tagalog more. We have a lot of fun together and life at everything. I'm excited for this week because we will be teaching our investigators, so hopefully they come to church this sunday!
I find that I am most happy here when I am out preaching the gospel. I want to lose myself in the work and bring people to Christ's true church, because I know that this is true and the gospel can make us so happy! I love you all, thanks for your love and support! Oh and here are my addresss:
For Letter:
Sister Stacey Bangerter
Philippines Baguio Mission
PO Box 115
National Highway, Brgy, Lingsat
San Fernando, La Union
2500 Philippines

For Packages:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Philippines Baguio Mission
National Highway, Brgy, Lingsat
San Fernando, La Union
2500 Philippines

Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter
Foggy Baguio

My nany (trainer) and my sister

Beautiful Baguio!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hello Baguio!-October 27,2013

Wow I am actually in the Philippines, I can't believe it! After a long 19 hour flight, we finally made it to Manilla and got to our hotel around midnight. It was the longest two days of my life. I have never flown for so long before, and my poor ankles were swollen for about 3 days haha but they are to their normal size now!
But it has been a whirlwind being here, the days go by so fast and every hour I am doing something. So the night after we got to Manilla, we took a 6 hour bus ride to San Fernando where the mission office is. It was really hot like everyone said that it would be haha, but it was nice to get tan again. After just two days, I had a tan line on my feet, I was stoked! So we stayed in San Fernando for two days and met our Mission President, President Balledos and did some activities with our batch. It was really fun getting to be with all of the Baguio missionaries from the MTC as well as the missionaries from the Manilla MTC. Filipino people are so nice, it blows my mind! So I really liked being the lowlands for the first couple of days. We even got to eat at President Balledo's house which is right on the beach in San Juan. It was gorgeous, and we loved getting to put our feet in the water. We also had something called a budofit (sp?) that night where we all eat with our hands, it was so fun! I never thought that I would love to eat with my hands, take bucket showers, and hand wash my clothes, but I really do! Everyday is an adventure and I'll never get tired of it!
So after those two days in San Fernando, we had our transfer meeting, and were assigned to our trainers and first areas. My trainer is Sister Lazan from the Philippines! I was super stoked to get a Filipino companion becasue she can help me with Tagalog, I need as much help as I can get! I also got assigned to Baguio city! It's really cool that I'm starting off in Baguio, but I was so sad when Sister Sawada and Sister Tapusoa got assigned to be in San Juan. I cried so much when we were separated, but I will see them again, so it's ok. I'm really happy that I'm in Baguio now though. It's high up in the mountains, about a 2 hour jeepnee ride, and it's cold and foggy. It's sobrang maganda here! Everyone keeps asking me if I am cold because I never wear a jacket, but the weather is just perfect! Excpet it does get cold at night. I never thought that I would sleep in sweat pants in the Philippines haha or have to heat up my water for the shower! But I love it, it will be hard to go back to the lowlands where it's so hot. Baguio is high up in the mountains, and we have to climb so many hills everyday. Also, there are a lot of stairs and alleys that we have to go through which can seem kind of sketch at times, but the ward missionaries here have helped us so much! So both my comp and I are new in this area, so we have had the ward missionaries tour us everyday, except today we will go out on our own. But get this, the ward missionaries are all like 17 years old! They are so young, but use all of their free time to help us out and go to lessons with us. They really love the church so much, it is their life! It made me feel guilty for not going out with the missionaries back home as much, because they are so great and helpful. Being here has really made me realize how simple life really is. You don't need a lot of physical things to be happy. The people may be poor, but they are always smiling! The first night that I came to Baguio, I went around and met some of the members, and they would offer me food and hug me. One member even washed my shoe for me after I stepped in dog poo. They are seriously the nicest and most humble people, I want to me more like them. I know that I was called here for a reason and that God has a perfect plan for me and the people that I meet here. I am so excited to begin to find investigators in this area and hasten the work! The ward that I am in is decreasing in numbers, so there is a lot to do here. Pray for me that I will be able to learn Tagalog quickly so that I can get to know them better and help them in any way that I can!
Thank you Mom for your letter, it made me so happy to get that when I was going off on my own to Baguio. You can still dear elder me if you choose the Baguio Mission and I get them once a week. Thanks so much everyone for all of your love and prayers, I really need them! But know that I am doing very well here. The power of prayer is real and I am learning and growing in my faith every single day! I love you all!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter




Saturday, October 19, 2013

Goodbye MTC-October 19, 2013

Wow, I can't believe that this is my last week in the MTC! It has gone by so fast, and now in two days I will be in heading for the Philippines, it's so unreal! I was beginning to feel like my entire mission was just going to be the MTC haha so I cannot wait to finally get out there and start doing real work with real people, it's so exciting!
Well, I just want to give a quick recap of some of the highlights of this past week before I talk about stuff that actually matters.
1. My district is super layed back, and we're all such great friends now, that sometimes we call each other by our first names. It's bawal, but nice to know that we're on a first name basis now haha. So a lot of the time, people will call me Stacey, but our obedient District Leader, Elder Waldron, has never called me by my first name. I even wondered if he knew that my name was Stacey haha. But anyways, one day I was trying to ignore him (because that's just how our relationship goes, we tease each other like a brother and sister), and he kept trying to say things to make me react to him, and at the end he goes, "How do you like that....STACE!" I just about died I was laughing so hard, he finally called me by my first name, and he didn't even mean to. He was so embarrassed and ashamed that he called me Stace and not Sister Bangerter haha his reaction made it even that much better!
2.We had devotinoal up at Main Campus this tuesday, and since we lived at West Campus, we had to take a shuttle up because it was raining. After the devotional, we were all waiting in this foyer type thing that was made up of all glass while we waited for the bus to come. We were all standing there talking when Elder Rujke comes in and tries to go through the glass doors, but it was actually just the glass wall haha. He rammed into it face first because he thought that it was the door lol! Ok it was probably one of those you had to be there moments, but oh my goodness, we were all dying, and I'm pretty sure only me and SIster Tapusoa actually saw him dot it. Well and all the people on the other side of the window who just stared and panicked to see if he was ok lol so funny!!
3. Last saturday when we were leaving the temple to walk back to main campus, this car drove by us really slowly and then they stopped. This little Japanese guy got out of the car and said that he was visiting from New York but he was originally from Japan. He was a member of the church but had never been to Utah before I guess, and he wanted to take a picture with the Sister missionaries! He was so adorable and could hardly speak English, but he made us feel like celebrities or something. It's really funny because everytime we're walking down the street, people will wave and smile and honk at us haha missionaries are famous in Provo.

Ok, I think that's all my pointless stories for this week! Hope you enjoy those! But now on to important things. Last sunday, our Branch President told us that he would be leaving. He got a new calling to be over 40 mission presidents in Europe, so he left for Germany this past tuesday. It was sad that he left because he was such a great Branch President and really cared about all of us missionaries, but our new Branch President is just as great. It's President Howard who was the first counselor before, so we all already know and love him and his sweet wife. I feel like there have been a lot of changes this week which is why it has gone by so fast.
On Tuesday, Dallin H. Oaks came to speak to us at our devotional! He is definitely one of my favorite apostles. I remember when he came to Sherman to speak in our stake conference, and I was so bummed that we couldn't go to Mckinney to see him in person. But this time, I was sitting about 3 or 4 rows away from him, so I finally got my chance to see him again! He is such a great speaker and has the spirit with him so strongly. He and his wife talked to us about missinoary work and how to be great missionaries. He taught why this is the true church, and how that can help us in our lives and in the lives of our investigators. What I liked most about his talk though was when he said that he doesn't know all of the mysteries of God and why some things are like they are, but he does know that he has felt the spirit and has had truth revelaed to him through the holy ghost. Never deny the truth that we know from the Holy ghost. I feel like we have been talking about the spirit a lot lately, and it's made my testimony of the power of gifts of the holy ghost so much stronger. This is an amazing gift that I am blessed with, and I should always rely on the spirit and tust in it to bring me peace and let me know what is true. I have felt the spirit so many times here at the MTC, and I know that this is the work of the Lord, and I'm so grateful to be one of His servants for 18 months.
We moved back to Main campus this past tuesday, and I can honestly say that it feels so great to be back here. We also got into the newer residence and classroom buildings, so I can now say that I experienced all the different forms of the MTC! I will really miss it here, I have had so many great experiences that I will never forget. I have had the best teachers here, Brother Soderquist and Sister Stonnick. They have both helped me so much to realize my potential as a missionary, and to come closer to Christ myself in order for me to proclaim His great gospel. Most of all though, I have loved the MTC because of the amazing district that I was blessed to be a part of. All of the Elders and Sisters have become like my family, and I will miss them so much when we have to separate. I was blessed to have two of the greatest people as my mga kasama. Sister Sawada and Sister Anien have become such great friends to me, as well as Sister Tapusoa and Sister Lowham. Things never get boring with these Sisters, and I'm so happy to know that we will stay in touch even after the mission. Then all of our Elders, Waldron, Loitz, Rasmussen, and Rujke, are some of the best guys that I've ever known. Even though they are so young, they have testimonies that are so rock solid. They will do amazing things in the Philippines, and I'm so happy that I could get to know them and see their growth. I have truly loved the MTC. I love mission life and being a missionary for the Lord. This is what I'm supposed to be doing right now in my life, I know this without a doubt!
Thank you everyone who sent me letters this past week, and the whole time that I've been here! Your love and support really helps me when I'm feeling down! Thanks for the package Mom, Dad, and Dori! I love the pictures Mom :) and I haven't eaten all of the food yet Dad and Dori, but I will get the other sisters in my zone to help me out haha.
Well, so long America, it's been nice, but I'm ready for the hot and humid Philippines! Mom and Dad, I leave at 3:30 AM on Monday, so I'll call you once I land in Detroit most likely, but if I do end up having to call super early, please answer! I love you all so much!
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter

the little islander is the infamous Elder Larron


Last day with our teacher Brother Soderquist

Last day with our teacher Brother Soderquist

Last day with our teacher Brother Soderquist

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Stories on Stories on Stories-October 12, 2013

Okay, I feel like I have a lot to say this week, or at least a lot of stories that will take some time to explain, so hopefully I can get it all in here in this hour! I apologize in advance Mary Claire if you have to type this email out again because it will probs be long haha!
Alright, so this past weekend was conference, and it was probably the best session of conference that I have ever watched! Even more than last year when they changed the mission age! Sobrang magandang! My favorite talks were Uchtdorf's come join with us talk, S. Gifford Nielson's talk about member missionaries and missionary work in general, Holland's of course (I especially loved how he talked about Stephanie Nielson, I was fangirling), and President Monson's on the Sunday Morning session. GO READ THESE TALKS! There are a lot of other great ones, but these ones stuck out to me the most. I definitely got a huge spiritual boost from Conference, and got reanimated about missionary work. Not that I wasn't before, but it just made me that much more excited to get out to the Philippines (which by the way is in 9 days!!). After conference, our Sunday devotional was by BYU's Vocal Point which I was super stoked about! They sang some hymns to us and talked about their missions and how important and hard missionary work is, but how rewarding and great it is that it can bless your life, your families lives, and those you teach. It was probably the best devotional we've had here. Then all this week, we've been listening to their CD since they performed for us haha thanks Katie for the CD and Tami for the ipod, I was so grateful for it this past week! Also, we got both of our investigators to accept baptism! I was super pumped because before these lessons, they were both kind of skeptical about our message, and especially baptism. In our lesson with Rose specifically, the spirit was so strong, and I knew that there was no way that she could turn down our invitation. It pumped me up so much for mission work, because even though these investigators are fake and I'm super excited, I can't wait to see how exciting it is when my investigators are real!
 So yes, general conference was grand as usual, but the most memorable part of conference weekend happened in between sessions. So we went up to Main Campus to watch Gen Con, and we were eating lunch there. A few of my kasamas and I got this fruit salad that was super yummy, but there were walnuts in it. One of the Sisters is allergic to walnuts, and didn't realize that they were in the salad until after she ate a piece of one. We all kind of panicked for a second because she ate a little bit of it, but she said that she would be fine and could just dilute the reaction with some water. So we just kept on eating thinking she was fine, but then she started coughing a lot and said that the water wasn't enough. All she needed was some benedryll, but since we live on West Campus, she didn't have any with her, and the bookstore was closed for conference. We decided to go to the front desk to ask if they could get her any medicine. We waited at the desk for about 5-10 minutes before anyone decided to pay attention to us and our coughing/dying kasama. When someone finally got off the phone to help us, we told them what happened and how she just needed some benedryll. They had her call the MTC doctor to see what she should do. Again, she talked to the doctor and asked for some benedryll. She shortly got off the phone, the front desk person walked away, then came back with a security guard holding an Epipen. Wait what? Yep an epipen. All she needed was some benedryll, but I guess it had come to this. We were all in shock, and as per usual, I was trying not to laugh just because I had no idea what was going on, and things just escalated super quickly. This was real life, she was about to get her first epipen shot and the reaction wasn't even that bad! At first, she thought about if she really needed it or not, but then she sat down, and the security guard gave her the shot right there in the middle of the MTC front lobby! The room was silent, there was so much adrenaline in all of us in just that 10 second period when she had to get the shot! So yeah I guess crazy things do still happen at the MTC!
Which leads me to another story! So last time I told ya'll about Elder Lauran and how he's a little bit scary. Well we were talking to his kasama, Elder Jarvis from Washington. Poor guy is just so sweet, and patient, no wonder he got the scary kasama! Well Elder Lauran used to be a knife fighter back in the day before he got converted, but he may or may not have some scary things here at the MTC. I'm still not sure about that haha but one night they were going to bed and it was time for lights out, so Elder Jarvis was going to turn the lights off. Elder Lauran wanted him to wait, and said that he would stab him (um what?) if he turned the lights off. Elder Jarvis just laughed it off and turned the lights off anyways. It's pitch black and silent in their room, and then all of a sudden, Elder Lauran is shining a flashlight in Elder Jarvis's eyes and rummaging through a draw "looking for his knife". Elder Jarvis is being blinded by the flashlight and so all he can hear is Lauran looking around for something. All of a sudden, the flashlight turns off and it's silent in the room again for a minute or two. Then Elder Lauran jumps on top of Elder Jarvis and pokes him with a hanger! Hahahaha Lauran was kidding the whole time, but Jarvis was freaking out for sure, I don't blame him!
All right, one last story and then I'll get to the important stuff. So here on West Campus, we are super close with the other districts in our classroom. By this I mean close in proximity, not friendships (but we are good friends). Anyways, we got the short end of the stick with our classroom. It's the size of a small bedroom, because it used to be a small bedroom, and there are 9 desks in here and then our teacher along with all of our books and stuff, so it gets really cramped. Not to mention that our AC doesn't work in our classroom, so we just bake in the room all day, and it's right next to the bathroom, so yeah we have a hot, cramped, and smelly room. Well one day, someone from another district decided to bomb the bathroom, and guess who were the lucky ones to smell it all day, yep that would be us. But don't worry, after two days of this, some janitors finally came with I kid you not, 6 plungers. I'm not making this stuff up people, this is all real life. Ok, that was probably way too much information, sorry, I'm done now haha.
Now on to more important stuff like the fact that we are officially the oldest district in our zone! It's such a weird feeling, but you can definitely tell the difference between someone who has been here for 5 weeks and someone on their first or second week. I feel so old and ready to leave, but at the same time I will really miss the MTC. Especailly my distrtict, they are my family now, and we have all gotten so close. We decided that it was rude of the MTC to put us together because we're not all going to the same missions (Sister Sawada, Tapusoa, and Lowham are going to Baguio with me, Sister Anien is going to Olongapo, Elders Waldern, Loitz, and Rasmussen are going to Cauyan, and Elder Ruiski is going to Naga) so now it's even harder to have to say goodbye! I will really miss our Elders, especially Elder Loitz! He is just so innocent and hilarious. I will never forget the other day when we were talking about Nagpapa verbs that we had learned for example, Nagpapatotoo. Out of no where, Loitz starts to sings Nagpapatotoo to the tune of Don't Drop That DunDaDun. Sister Sawada and I were dead! Just imagine this tall lanky star wars loving kid from Orem Utah singing that hahah best thing ever! But all of our Elders are so great! I'm sad because they aren't even going to be on our same flight either. So I leave at 3:30 AM October 21st from the SLC airport to Detroit Michagan, then striaght to Manilla from there. It will be about a 20 hour flight. But then all of our Elders are flying from SLC to Seattle, then Tokyo, and then Manilla, and they even get there almost an hour before we do. I really wanted to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong, but at least this way we only have one stop so that's pretty nice. But yeah, saying goodbye to our Elders is going to be rough. And then there's Sister Anien! She will be with us the whole way, but once we get to the Philippines, she will be in an entirely different mission! I can't imagine mission life without Sister Sawada and Sister Anien as my mga kasama! It makes me sad right now to think about it, but we will stay in touch for sure, and I will even go to the Marshall Islands if I have to! Oh and quick story about Sister Anien, so the other day, Elder Waldren's Mom sent him the best pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. He left them in the room with Sisters Sawada, Anien, Tapusoa and me. In about a couple of hours, the whole bag was gone haha Waldren came in all upset that we ate his cookies, and we were all defending ourselves saying that we ate one or two, and then sister Anien goes,"I only ate 5!" hahahhaah again I was dead, so funny!
So yeah, this week was pretty great, and now I just have one more week to enjoy the MTC before I head out to the Philippines! I am so stoked, and I know the time will go by so fast. Especially since we are MOVING BACK TO MAIN CAMPUS!! Almost forgot that little detail. So we move back to Main Campus this Tuesday. My new address will be
Sister Stacey Bangerter
Oct 21 PHI-BAG
2011 N 900 E Unit 226
Provo, UT 84602
So if anyone wants to write me for this next week, send it to that address, but please don't send any packages because I probably won't get it in time. Speaking of packages, thanks Aunt Alice and Uncle Vyrl for the candy! I set the Reeses and Startbursts out, and they were literally gone in about 3 hours! But yeah, I'm excited to move back to Main Campus because I like it there a lot more compared to the West Campus. The people who came to the MTC speaking Tagalog on September 11 are the only ones in history who have ever moved to Main campus, then West campus, then back to Main campus before. They should put a picture of us up at the MTC for this haha!
I hope you're all doing well, thanks for all of your love and support! Remember to always put God and the gospel first and everything else will fall into place :)
Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pinaka Maganda Araw!-October 4, 2013

So this has been the best week of the mission so far, and today was definitely the best day ever! Ok, I'll start from the beginning though. So last week was kind of lame, and hard. I felt like I wasn't progressing with the language, we moved to West Campus in the middle of the week and I didn't know where anything was and had to adjust to it being so different here, and then we got a whole bunch of new missionaries that I had to meet and get to know. So yeah, last week was kind of crazy and slow, but during our district meeting, we decided to make some new goals and try our hardest to keep them this time. So from Sunday on, I could tell a huge difference in my attitude and progress with the language and my teaching. We had an awesome devotional Sunday night about temples that made me so happy and grateful to be able to go inside the Lord's house, and receive the blessings from the temple. Go to the temple this week! It's the greatest place on this Earth, and you can feel God so closely there, I love it! We haven't gotten to go to the temple the past two weeks and I'm getting withdrawals, I just want to go back so bad!
Then some other cool things that made this week so great were my district, of course, and getting to go to Brigham's Landing haha. I love my district so much, we have gotten so close just these past few weeks, and they are like my family here at the MTC. We got the elders to give us blessings, and that has bonded us even more, not to mention that Elder Waldren's family sent us cupcakes. You can always buy my love with food haha. But my district is amazing! Then the best thing about West Campus is defintely going to Burger Supreme and Great Harvest, it's nice to have real food every once in a while, but sad that I consider fast food real food now haha oh well. I'm just ready for the rice in the Philippines, that will be the best! But the food here at the West campus is actually a lot better than at the Main campus. The cafeteria people are super nice, and they remember all of us Pilipino missionaries, the head cafeteria guy even gave us some fresh peaches from the farmers market that he had gotten the other day, they were delicious!
My classes are going great here, I feel like I am learning how to speak gospel stuff in Tagalog really well, but I can't really carry a normal conversation yet haha. I didn't realize this until we had our first English fast this week, and the whole day was pretty much silent because none of us knew how to talk to one another! But now I'm learning more words that will help me to carry a conversation. I know that I can bare my testimony though and talk about the Book of Mormon, so that's all that I really need to know right now. Our lessons with our investigators have gotten a lot better I fell like. We have started to take only notes in English with us to teach, so that we are forced to translate on the spot if we can't remember, and it has helped so much! I'ts amazing how I can always feel the spirit during my lessons even when I can't understand what the investigator or my kasama's are saying. The church is true people! But other than classes, my favorite part of the day is gym time. The gym is pretty pitiful here at West. There's only basketball hoops, four square, and a sand volleyball court. I like to play volleyball here, but there is one Elder from another district in my zone who is terrifying to play with. He's from the Marshall Islands and doesn't speak english that well, and he had a pretty rough upbringing. He used to be a knife fighter and sometimes, steals butter knifes from the cafeteria and goes around pretending to stab people, it's a little creepy, but you just have to laugh it off I guess haha. But he always plays volleyball with us, and he will just hit the ball as hard as he can, not caring if he hits anyone. He's really good, but when he gets set, I literally run off the court because I don't want to get hit my him haha it brings some adrenaline to our gym time that's for sure!
But even though this has been a great week, today was the best day because I got to see Brigham after TWO WHOLE YEARS!! I was so excited and it felt unreal, I couldn't believe that I was finally able to see him again! He definitely has some mexican in him now because his English was a lot slower, and he pronounced some words wrong haha. I just can't believe that we've switched roles basically now with me being the missionary and him at home. I think he's still more of a missionary than I am at the moment, but I'll get to that point too haha. He gave me some great advice about being a missionary! Brigham, you're such a great example to me and I'm so happy that I could see you even if it was just for an hour. I hope that you enjoy being back home, and get used to not being with a companion 24/7 haha.
This week will continue to get even better though because of General Conference this weekend! I am so excited, I've been looking forward to it since I got into the MTC. So this is why I'm emailing today instead of on Saturday becasue we won't have a P day because of general conference. I am so grateful though for this opportunity that we have to be able to listen to the prophet and his apostles, and hear the Lord's counsel through His servants. My branch presidency asked us to write down some things we want to learn more about from conference as we watch and listen this year. My three things were to be able to increase my testimony of Joseph Smith and the restoration, Priesthood power, and the Book of Mormon. I want you all to think of what you want to learn more about from general conference, and I know that you will receive an answer. The Lord is real and He loves us and will answer our prayers and questions that we have. Have faith and trust in the Lord and our Savior and you will be masaya! I love this church, and I know that it is true :)
Thanks so much for the letters! I know it's kind of confusing to write me now that I'm at West campus, but if you sent it to the main campus I will still get it, it just takes longer. But special shout outs to Katie, Sara, Shanoah, and Sydney for writing me and sending me packages, I love it so much, ya'll are the best!

Mahal Kita!
Sister Bangerter
Finally seeing Brigham! Reunited and it feels so good!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 28, 2013-West Campus

Kumusta!
So this week has felt super long, but also really fast at the same time. It's been a kind of off week because we moved to West Campus, Raintree, on Tuesday, and we've been adjusting ever since then. I'm not sure if I like West campus as much yet, but I know that I will soon. The food is already 20 times better, so that's nice haha. We now live in the Raintree apartments with another district, so there are 11 of us sisters living together, but it gives us a chance to get to know the other district more. We have a living room too now, which is nice because I can go and work out there in the mornings instead of outside which is freezing cold now! There is snow on the mountains, and I'm just dreading the point when there is snow on the valley too. But Sister Anien has never seen snow before, so that would be cool if it snowed for one day, and then got warm again haha. Good thing I'm going to the Philippines, because I already don't like this cold weather! But the West campus is nice! Our classrooms are a lot smaller, but we are in the same apartment for class as the district older than us, and they are so funny, so we get to hang out with them a lot more now. We also got new missionaries this Wednesday! We got three more districts, one is all sisters, and another is all elders! Sister Sawada and I are the new Sister Training Leaders, so we got to welcome them, and show them around the new campus when they first got here. It was a little funny because, we're still trying to figure out where everything is too, but we can all learn together!
My favorite part of this week has definitely been my scripture studying and devotional time. Elder Clark from the 70 gave the devotional this Tuesday, and he said so many great things! A lot of his talk was about the blessings we get from missionary work, not just for ourselves and investigators, but how it can bless our families back home too. I know that this is true, because I've already seen how my family has been blessed! Mom, I'm so excited for you getting that perfect house, and that Brigham is coming home from his mission today!! The Lord really is mindful of all of us, and He will never let us down! Then during my scripture study yesterday, I randomly opened and started reading in Alma 38, and I felt like the whole chapter was talking about my life! It was so awesome, and I want all of you to read it!
Ok well yeah, this week wasn't too exciting, sorry! But I do have a new address now, so make sure to keep writing me! It's
Sister Stacey Bangerter
Oct 21 PHI-BAG
2025 N 900 E Unit 920
Provo, UT 84604
and you can still write me dear elders, but make sure that you choose West MTC!
I love you all so much, thanks for the letters and the packages Mom and Tammi!!
Alam ko po na Diyos ang ating ama sa langit, at totoo ang simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling Araw!

Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter

Car that says "We love us some Texas"!

my district

Picture of my kasamas at the temple!


Picture of my kasama at the temple!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21, 2013-On Tuesdays We Take Naps

Kumusta!
Ok so after I got done emailing last week, I realized how lame it was and that I really didn't tell ya'll anything! So I've been writing down stuff that happens throughout the week so that I remember what to say by the time I get to email home. Ok first things first, lets go back to the first day that I came into the MTC. I was so excited to be here and not homesick at all. But everyone that I talked to kept telling me, "it's ok if you hate it, or if you're homesick, or if you want to cry all the time". Well thanks people, I didn't really feel like that at all, but maybe I should? Haha the only kind of scary part was how my teacher didn't speak any English to us at all for about the first 4 days. I didn't understand any of the Tagalog that he was telling us, but it was just fun to try and catch on. But anyways, so on the first day that I'm here, I'm going around, doing all the stuff that you do when you first enter the MTC like going to meetings, and meeting my district. Then it was dinner time, and we're just trying to make conversation and get to know one another, when all of a sudden, I drop my entire wrap that I was eating right on my lap! Like the whole tortilla exploded and I got chicken and dressing and tomatoes all over my skirt. Yeah, classic me haha, but I know the Lord was on my side that day because you miraculously couldn't even tell that I had just spilled like half a thing of ranch on my skirt! There wasn't anytime for me to go back to the residence hall and change, so I had to go the rest of the day with my dirty skirt, so I was glad that it wasn't that bad! But, I'm proud to say that that has been my only embarrassing moment in the MTC so far, knock on wood!
Also, on my first P-day here, me and Sister Sawada got to be escorts for Sister Anien when she got endowed in the temple for the first time! I'll talk more about my kasamas later, but it was such a cool experience to be able to explain and help Sister Anien in the temple session! I love going to the temple here, it's the only time that I can just calm down and not have a million tagalog words running thorough my head at once!
Ok, now here's a little bit about my district! So there are 4 elders and 5 sisters, and I'm in a companionship of three people. I like being in a trio a lot, because we all get along and it makes it so much easier when we teach lessons, because we can split it up between the three of us. My kasamas are Sister Sawada and Sister Anien. Sister Sawada is from Hawaii, is half japanese and half white, and went to BYU for her freshman year like me. We have some mutual friends, but she lived in Helaman Halls, so I never saw her at BYU. We have so much in common though, and we're already fast friends! I definitely got lucky to have her as one of my companions because she's super sweet, funny, and helps me to work harder. She's really good at picking up the language and memorizing things, so we try to speak in Tagalog a lot, and we've memorized Our Missionary Purpose in English and Tagalog, and we're 2/3 of the way done with memorizing Joseph Smith's first vision in Tagalog! She's a really great missionary, and I can talk to her about real world stuff too haha because we like the same music, movies, and tv shows! Then Sister Anien is super sweet and nice! She is from the Marshall Islands, but she has really good English. She's pretty quiet, but she always laughs at our jokes, and knows a lot of the American shows and music that we like so we have a connection haha! The other sisters in my district are Sister Tapusoa and Sister Lawham. I love Sister Tapusoa! She is like my poly twin from St. George, and she's so dang funny! She was in the MTC in May, but she tore her ACL playing basketball and was home for three months, but is back at the MTC now. She is going to Baguio too, and her Tagalog is already really good because she was here for three weeks before she got sent home. She definitely brings our comic relief at the end of a hard day! She brought this stuff called Lihingmui to the MTC which is some Hawaiian plum powder that you put on food to give it a sweet yet savory taste. I am addicted to this stuff, it's so good!! We have put it on almost everything, gummy worms, pinapple, lemonade haha you name it! Sister Sawada even snorted it one night lol, yeah the things we do to keep us entertained here! I have a video of it, but idk if it will send ha. But yeah, Sister Tapusoa is awesome. Then her kasama is Sister Lowham and she's from a small town in Montanta. She's the oldest out of all of us, but also the shortest haha she's really sweet and a great missionary! She's also going to the Baguio mission with me, Sawada, and Tapusoa, so I will probably see her still once I'm in the field. The elders in our district are so great! I don't really know them that well yet, but they are just so funny! They're all 18, except for Elder Rujke who is from the Marshall Islands too. Him and our district leader, Elder Waldren, have become good friends, and it's so cute to watch them interact becasue Elder Waldren is this like 6 foot 3, skinny white guy, and Elder Rujke is this really small frobably 5 foot islander guy haha they are so different but get along so great! Then, there's Elder Loitz. Oh Elder Loitz, he is a funny kid, but I love him so much! Sometimes, you can definitely tell that he's only 18 when he can't sit still, relates everything to Star Wars and has to draw pictures to help him memorize stuff haha. But then once he bears his testimony, or even says a simple prayer, you can feel his spirit so strongly, and I know that he believes this church is true. He has been sick since day one, and really misses his family, they send him a package literally every day. But he was definitely meant to serve a mission because he is just such an amazing missionary. I had to practice teaching with him yesterday, and I was just blown away by how much he knows about the Gospel, and how well he can explain it. The people in the Philippines will really be blessed by him!
I've also seen a ton of people here that I know which has helped when things start to feel monotonous. The first day I got here, I saw Belgica Alvarez, and later in the week we took a little 53rd ward picture with Bel, Stephen Grossen, Hyrum Dean, Emily Meridith, Mikayla Burton, Weston, and some other people from our ward. I've also seen Kai Robbins that used to live in Sherman 2nd ward! She was sitting in front of me during Relief Society! I haven't seen her since I was probably in middle school, so that was cool to catch up! I also saw Elder Natey Batey haha and I see him just about every day now since he's here for 9 weeks to go to Thailand. It's really fun seeing all these people that I know, and it makes me so happy that we're all going on missions and serving the Lord.
So the days at the MTC are superrrrrr long, but the weeks go by really fast. I can't believe that this is already my second P-Day, and I've learned so much in just this first week! Most of the day, I'm in classes and studying tagalog or preparing a lesson. It can be really draining and my brain gets so fried, but it's all worth it when I have that spiritual confirmation that this work is amazing and I will know Tagalog! This is why Tuesdays are my favorites though. On tuesday, we have a break in the day when we can have personal exercise time and do a service project. We do our service projects on Saturday nights though, so on Tuesday, we basically have designated nap time :). I love naps. They are good for the soul, and help me to keep my sanity. I get such little sleep here because I wake up at 5:45 to workout in the morning and then we are going non-stop thorughout the day. It's been especially hard these past couple of days because I got sick, so it's been kind of hard for me to fall asleep at nigh. but all is well! I would much rather get sick while I'm in the MTC than in the Philippines. I think I overdosed on vitamin C yesterday though. Sister Sawada gave me some "chewable" vitamins, so I ate one, and yeah it was definitely not a chewable haha but then I just went ahead and took the other 3 before I read that you're only supposed to take 1 a day haha whoops! I've also been drinking those emercen-C things and eating a lot of cough drops, so hopefully it won't get any worse!
Well other than being sick right now, I really do love the MTC. It is very hard, but I'm up for the challenge! The Lord always provides a way for us to do the work He has called us to. I get a little frustrated with Tagalog at times, but I know that I'm just expecting more out of myself than the Lord really expects of me. He knows my abilities and what I'm capable of, and I really have learned so much for only being here a week. I know that the only way that I could be as far along with the language as I am is because of the Lord and the holy ghost. Alam ko po na ng totoo ang simbahan! I'm so happy to be a missionary and servant of the Lord :)
Thank you so much for everyone who has been writing me and sending me dear elders!! It makes me so happy when I get letters and especially packages :)!! Thank you MC for the picture book!! That was so thoughtful,and my companions and I have been reading it out loud every night since I got it haha it's like our little story time! And Thanks Tammy for the cookie, it was delicious as always, and Shanoah for the cupcakes (sister Tapusoa says thanks too :)) and pictures! For those of you who haven't written me, WRITE ME PLEASE, I will write you back and I have nice stationary too ;) haha well I hope that all is well back home, stay safe and remember to thank the Lord for all that you have beacause He really does do so much for us!

Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter

P.S- I am moving to West Campus this Tuesday, but my address won't change yet, I will let you know when it does!
My district in our classroom!
My district in our classroom!
My district at the temple!
Seeing Elder Batey at the temple
My district at the temple!
53rd Wardies!

My mga kasama
Elder Waldren (DL) behind his scriptures, and his companion Elder Loitz