Tuesday, December 28, 2010
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Hello momma!!! Hello my FAMILY and FRIENDS!! I love you all VERY MUCH!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was so so so sososososoosososooooo good to talk to you all the other day. It was fun to answer all of your questions and actually tell you some of my experiences and feelings that are so hard to get down in an email or letter. It felt like I was just down the street or a little less far away from home.
I got Michelle's package this week. It was so. fun. Tell her thank you thank you thank you. Sister De Fiesta opened it with me, and she was so touched again that there were things in there for her as well. I saw the box of ornaments and thought, "Aw, cute ornaments...I can probably hang them on our screen windows or something...." And then I reached the bottom of the box and found a CHRISTMAS TREE. Sister De Fiesta and I jumped up and down and squealed and immediately began decorating and making the cute little owl ornaments.
We had our Christmas Zone Conference this week. I am sure you can read all about it on Sister Carlos' blog. We talked about our 2011 goals (weird that it's almost 2011), had our training, and ate turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and of course...rice. We played the 12 Days of Christmas game with about 60-70 missionaries total--people held props of each of the 12 items. EX: 10 Lords a leaping=10 missionaries wearing santa hats. As we all sang the song, the group being sung about had to do some kind of action in the middle of the large circle. EX: 10 Lords a leaping=10 missionaries wearing santa hats, leap into the center of the large circle as we sing "10 lords a leaping". I was one of the Lords a leaping. We did a gift exchange after. I came away with a cauayan bamboo picture frame. Then we had cherry cobbler, and ended everything with a Christmas devotional. Each zone presented two musical numbers. I sang Silent Night and Away in a Manger
with Sister Webre and our zone. :)
President and Sister Carlos invited us over for Christmas Eve day. Sister De Fiesta and I brought Sister Brees and Sister Carlos gold daisies wrapped in red paper. President made us egg rolls and rice. We ate and sat in a circle and played Apples to Apples with about 10 other missionaries. Sister Carlos said that the green card you win describes your personality. I got "fresh." Then we went around in the circle and told a Christmas memory. I talked about last Christmas where you and I stayed up until 4 or 5 in the morning and made the million cookies we always make. I told them about how we rolled grandma's recliner chair into the kitchen and she helped us crack nuts on the cutting board. We sang carols and Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. All of the American missionaries sang the intermittent outbursts. "Like a lightbulb!" and all of the Filipinos laughed. One of the elders told us about pouring sprite into a watermelon, and Sister De Fiesta and I bought a watermelon at a fruit stand in Cauayan on the way home.
Christmas Eve there are so many children out caroling, it's almost like Halloween. People give them money when they come to their houses. Sister De Fiesta and I caroled to less active members and wished them a Merry Christmas instead of taking the money they offered to us. Around 10:30 the Marinduques--Nanay and Tatay--came to our gate calling for us. Tatay had bicycled himself and Nanay over to bring us surprise Palabok, veggie/fruit salad, and bread. They are sweethearts. We went to sleep and woke up at 12:00am for "Noche Buena" (A Filipino Christmas Eve tradition) and ate the food the Marinduques brought for us. :) Pictures included.
Christmas day I woke up to a beautiful Christmas card from Sister De Fiesta and we started off the day with a lunch appointment at the Marinduque's. We wished all of the members a Merry Christmas and ended up eating about 23 times. We taught lessons and gave away wrapped copies of the Book of Mormon to families in Pallatao and to tricycle drivers. A group of kids sang, "We wish you Americana....and a Happy Negro," to Sister De Fiesta and I.
(Sister De Fiesta eating Sprite watermelon, us tired of eating on Christmas day, and Nanay Luming being followed by her old dog that found her after a year or so of living with a different family-- I swear it was smiling the whole time it followed her) Christmas Celebrations Momma and Poppas Christmas Letters (Loved your Kisses--Kisses back to YOU!)
We have transfers this week.
Even though I pray about 30 times a day, sometimes I feel a little distanced from Heavenly Father. This morning I wrote Him a letter to express everything I wanted to Him. It seemed like a lot of what I wrote was worrisome and the more I wrote the more I kept thinking, "Be still and know that I am God." After my letter, I read D&C 101:16. God is truly in charge. The challenging part is letting yourself really feel and believe that. I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and I will follow them in spite of any of my fears. I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in THEE FOREVER 2 Nephi 4:34
I totally love you all and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to speak with you this week. Thank you so much for all of your support. I am lucky. Despite being away from home, it was a very Merry Christmas....Thank You all for your packages and the love I feel from home. I love, love, love, YOU ALL!
Merry Christmas and Happy Negro,