I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a wonderful New Year's celebration this week! My first Christmas in the field was pretty fun, even if it didn't feel very much like Christmas due to the fact that is was insanely hot last week. We spent most of Christmas trying to meet with people (it was a normal work day for us) and getting punted because everyone was out partying or had family over and didn't really want us to teach them. We understood, but it was still kind of rough to spend Christmas walking around and getting punted. However, we had a wonderful visit/lesson with the Sambo family. They had invited us over to their house for Christmas dinner. They had prepared a ton of food and even made us spaghetti and bought us some chicken from KFC just to make it feel a little more like an American Christmas. :) So sweet!!!
My cute sister Mikaela had given me a special gift for Christmas which was ang Aklat ni Mormon (Book of Mormon) that had her hand-written testimony in the front cover. I had spent the last week carrying it around with me on our visits and waiting to feel prompted to give it to someone. We were sitting there in the Sambo's home and I suddenly knew that they were the ones I needed to give it to. At first I was hesitant since they are recent converts and I was really looking for an investigator to give it to, but as I started reading Mikaela's testimony to them (and bawling the entire time) I realized that it was the perfect gift I could give from my family at home to my family here in the Philippines. It was a really sweet experience and something I will never forget. As a side note, they gave me a Christmas card this last week that said that even though I was from a different culture, I'm still their child. :) I love them!!!! Ah! I'm going to bawl when I transfer and leave them...
Anyways, so yeah, Christmas was great besides getting punted and having everyone ask us if we were Jehovah's Witnesses because we were out working instead of celebrating Christmas... :)
The last few days have been a little difficult work-wise as we continue to get punted because everyone's partying it up. We figure things will be back to normal once the New Year's celebrations are over and everyone has to go back to school and work. Our investigator Anjelica is still doing great and is on her way to being baptized the 25th of January! We are so excited for her!! We're once again in that process of dropping several of our investigators who aren't progressing and finding new ones which is always kind of frustrating, but I'm looking forward to finding more people who have been prepared to hear the gospel :)
Being in a house full of people who are trying to learn how to speak Tagalog is actually extremely fun :) We're all trying to help each other out and more than anything it's taught me how NOT to stress out about learning the language. We're not fluent... not even close, but somehow the work moves on and the gospel continues to be preached to these people. :) I actually had a really cool experience the other day... Sister Doucette and I went to go try to teach some of our recent converts who are now less-active. It's been really frustrating, because we haven't been able to teach them since my first week last transfer, so almost two months now. So were sitting there and talking to the mom and all of the sudden I'm remembering the last time I was there, and all the times I was there before that and how I had no clue what anyone was saying and I couldn't say anything and basically just felt mute. As the sister was talking to us, I understood what she was saying and could have a normal, back-and-forth conversation with her, no problem... It was so awesome and so weird!!!!! I hadn't realized how much I had grown in the language just over the last transfer with Sister Jones. Yeah... we're talking drastic change!!! Hallelujah!! The gift of tongues is real!... It just requires a lot of patience, continued practice, and, surprisingly, not stressing out over learning the language. :)
As a side note... Sister Doucette and I are having a fabulous time being companions with each other and right now we're just trying to work on not spending so much time talking to each other because we're, uh, having issues with time-management because we're always having these awesome conversations :) Sister Strebel, the other new sister in our apartment is hilarious and I love her to death, and Sister Tereke is suddenly a lot more talkative (and sarcastic) then she was before. :) They both are ridiculously funny and crack each other up, which cracks us up, and all-around we are just having a great time in our apartment :)
Well... that's all for this week! Happy New Year again to everyone!!