Dang that’s Crazy! (Told him of the winter storm this week) I'm glad I've never really had to drive when there’s ice because it’s so dangerous and hard to control, but there’s no worry of that for the next two years cuz 1, there’s no driving unless I become AP (Assistant to the President), or become an Office Elder, also unlikely. And 2 the record low temp here was in 2013, it was 49 Degrees..... I miss those winter days in Portland where it takes forever to go anywhere cuz there’s just a little snow, but mostly I miss the cold.
CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES: is awesome!
It’s so unlike Christmas in America, partly because I am a missionary, and not spending all my time with family. But here they have been decorating for 3 months, people actually go caroling for the 2 weeks before Christmas; so much so that people put signs on their gates that say come back on the 24th. I'm sorry I wasn’t able to write Emails to you all, but know that I wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope you have a blast spending time with your families.
The food is one of my favorites to make; I call it Tunay na rice. Which means real rice, but it is actually just a can of tuna opened onto some rice :) It’s delicious. (No picture)
Dang :/ ask bishop to contact members nearby so Dad can get a blessing (Tiegue’s dad has been sick), I’ve given so many blessings already. The church is so different here, even though all of the doctrine is the same. It’s like their faith is new/fresher, and it’s more constant through the week. Partly because they get lots of visits from the missionaries but more so because they feel they really need the blessings of the gospel.
The picture of me with the grandma and little ones is Sister D…. She is 73. She manages her entire household at the top of the mountain. Last week I went to her house and she wasn’t there. After looking, I saw her walking up the steep trail with a 40-50 pound Bundle of sticks on her shoulder. I rushed to relieve her of the load but she said "huwag na, oklang, huwag na!" which means “don’t now, it’s ok, don’t now." When I tried to just take it off her shoulder she said "No its easier for me to just carry it, I'm almost there." Afterwards she told me how she was up late last night cooking, UNTIL 1 AM, Then she went to sleep. UNTIL 3 AM. When she started cooking again. SHE'S 73!
In the picture, the way she is clutching her Book of Mormon isn’t by chance. She really clings to it. She is the best example I have seen while I've been here. In America it was Grandma Terry and Brother Hall, but here, she blows them out of the water. When we go to visit her, she always bears her testimony so strongly that she tears up. She tells us all the time of times when she’s witnessed the hand of God in her life and in the lives of others. If she is dry eyed and we ask her to say the closing prayer, her conversation to her Father in Heaven is so sincere and compassionate she always gets choked up and has to wipe her eyes afterwards. I hope we all can learn from her example and try to grow closer to our Father in Heaven.
For Christmas we sent a 12 Days of Christmas package. On the First Day of Christmas we didn’t send a partridge in a pear tree but a tree for him to decorate with photos of family and friends and Christmas messages.
Look at the size of this rat compared to Tiegue’s sandal (yes he gets to wear sandals!) and it was IN their house!