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 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

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