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!