Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Philippines!!!

Hello po and Merry Christmas to everyone!!
Really though, Christmas season is now in full-swing here in the Philippines and will continue to be that way for the next several months.  We have started singing Christmas songs in church, Christmas decorations are going up, (I used to be appalled by Wal-Mart putting decorations up right after Halloween... yeah... Christmas decorations were up at the grocery store when I got here in August:)) and Christmas music is currently playing here at the Internet shop.  So crazy, ya got to love it.  :)

I'm happy to report that I have had a very uneventful week compared to the first few weeks of being here. Monday we had a combined zone activity with the Taguig zone which was super fun!  We hung out at our chapel and played volleyball, basketball, ate food, and played some kind of steal-the-flag game which I'm honestly still trying to figure out how you play it.  It was great to get to know some of the other Elders and Sisters better.  
Sister Quinco and I went on splits with the Sister Training Leaders on Wednesday.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot from the sister I worked with.  Funny story... so here, it's polite to take your shoes off before you enter people's houses, right?  So the STL, Sister Suarez, and I took our shoes off, like normal, and when we opened the door to leave, I found that part of my shoes were missing.  Apparently the member's dogs found my crocs super tasty... :)
Friday we spent most of the day waiting for the Martinez children to have their baptismal interviews.  Elder Balolong, our district leader, really likes to give, uh, thorough interviews but it was okay because it gave us a chance to visit with Elder Anderson from my MTC district who is Elder Balolong's new trainee since his last one went home from homesickness.  
On Saturday I got to enjoy watching Frencess, Frenscharls l, and Frenscharls ll Martinez be baptized. Wow!  It was awesome!  It was especially great because their dad, who is a less-active, came both to their baptisms and to church the next Sunday where they were confirmed. He was really emotional throughout both of these things.  Sister Quinco and I hope that as we continue to teach our newest recent converts, that he will join us more often in our lessons and that his children's decisions will continue to have a good influence on him. 
Saturday evening Sister Quinco and I were extremely fortunate to have dinner with some friends of my aunt and uncle who are living here in Metro Manila.  I can't begin to describe how wonderful it was to eat delicious, very-American food (not rice!) :)  We are so grateful for the Hill's generosity in letting us come over, visit, eat wonderful food, and share a spiritual message with them.  
Sunday during ward council we again really tried to emphasize to our ward the importance of the members in missionary work.  Our ward is really struggling in this area and we're finding it's difficult to serve our callings as missionaries when we have no investigators to teach.  As blessed as we feel to have had six baptisms in the last few weeks, as well as having the other sisters who we live and serve with have three baptisms, we now have a lot of time to be filled with finding new people to teach.  We pray that we will be able to find people and that our ward members, especially the newly called ward missionaries, will aid us in the missionary work. 
This morning we woke up at 4:00 in the morning to attend the temple session.  It was a much needed spiritual experience and I feel so blessed to have the temple in our mission boundaries!  The endowment session was beautiful and I really, really, really enjoyed the new video.  
Thank you for your continued love and support!  Hope you have a wonderful week!
God bless you!
Sister Dickison 

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