Hello every Who down in Whoville, the small and the Tall (I am the tall and every Filipino here is the small). Merry Christmas family! It was so wonderful being able to talk to you earlier today and see your faces. I loved it and wish I could do it again but that will hold me over until May!!! Thank goodness for technology and being able to actually see each other so many miles away. That was a pretty great Christmas present. I miss you dearly but am grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary.
We had our Christmas Conference this last week and it was wonderful. It is easy to create a memory when you combine excessive amounts of missionaries, food, games and a Christmas movie about
. President and
Sister Bliesner and the AP’s spoke to us in the morning and we sang hymns and
Christmas primary songs. In the afternoon we ate a masarap (delicious) lunch
and then watched a movie called Christmas Oranges, played games and took
just under 12 million pictures. A memorable and festive Christmas on the
mission is so great. I spent the day walking around in a Santa hat… I think I
embarrassed Sister Dumo but hey… old habits die hard. Oranges
This is a picture of the A.P.'s. One of the AP's is always American and one is Filipino.... the Pinoy’s usually don’t know how to drive so one of the APs has to know how to drive.
A few weeks ago I wrote about a woman who sold her ring for money so that their family could have food. Each week we write an email to President talking about our week and I shared this same story with him. At Christmas Conference he came up to me and gave me a significant amount of money and explained that he and Sister Bliesner wanted to give Christmas to that family. I was so over come with gratitude. On Saturday Sister Dumo and I went to the one grocery story in Ligao and loaded our baskets with fruit, bread, noodles, cakes, chocolates and candies for the kids. We then crossed the street to the small odds and ends store and bought play dough, flashlight key chains, crayons, pencils and notebooks. As we packaged the food and small gifts my heart was full of happiness and joy. We went with the couple missionaries to deliver the goodies and the faces on the kids as they opened everything reminded me of the joy in giving. I am grateful for the chance we had to be the elves that delivered Christmas to this deserving family. There is a Mormon message that ends by saying: What will you give for Christmas? What will you give for Christ? I have been thinking of what gifts can I give to my Savior… This should be something I spend as much time on as choosing presents for family and friends.
I have discovered that here in the
when you go caroling it is for the purpose of receiving money. We frequently
have clusters of children chanting Christmas songs at us as they clang their
homemade instruments together. Philippines
said about his mission: “I found
myself understanding Christmas rather than just enjoying it. I think for the
first time in any truly significant way, I was getting the message of Christ’s
birth and life – His message and his mission and his sacrifice for others.” Holland
This is how I feel about my mission. I am grateful for this small time I have to give a little back to the Lord for all he has given to me. I know that this church is true. I love the gospel and I love my Savior. I cannot fully comprehend the magnitude of the Savior’s perfection and his humility, but how very grateful I am to Him. I know that as the Prophets have said, Christ’s work and glory did not begin in
Bethlehem nor did it end on Calvary.
I know that Jesus is the Christ and this work is so important. I am grateful to
wear His name on my badge each day. One of my favorite hymns says the following
words that touch my heart:
“Savior redeemer of my soul, whose mighty hand hath made me whole, whose wondrous pow’r hath raised me up and filled with sweet my bitter cup. What tongue my gratitude can tell, O gracious God of Israel.
Never can I repay thee, Lord, but I can love thee. Thy pure word, hath it not been my one delight, my joy by day, my dream by night? Then let my lips proclaim it still, and all my life reflect thy will.”
I love you all and am grateful for you each day! Give my grandparents a hug for me.
Love from the Pines,