Oh! Sister Araja just leaned over and told me to tell you, thank you mother for the gifts! I always forget, but all my comps always say to thank you when you send packages, so here's a big thanks for the last year!
Anyway... good week. New Years kinda interfered with the work a little, along with a funeral in the ward and a baptism for a neat lady the other sisters teach. So all good things!! Just a little setback for getting to everyone we planned to visit! Also the week was totally FREEZING!!! Every day I was so sad I didn't bring my Patagonia jacket... who knew I'd need that in the Philippines! I don't know if I've just been here so long that it feels so cold, but I swear, it got pretty arctic! The showers were painful!!!!! Like I want to cry every morning. Yesterday we broke down and we just couldn't do it. So we boiled water to add to the bucket. It was divine! There was one day, coldest one of my mission FOR SURE. We were just soaking wet and it was rough! Getting home and changing into leggings, a sweatshirt, fuzzy socks, and my big blanket was the best feeling ever. I think I'll die when I go home.
Another unfortunate thing due to the rain (it's been raining non-stop ALL week until a few hours ago). I went to reach for my chapstick (this is where the addiction becomes a problem!) and our phone was in the same part of my bag.. and it fell... in a puddle... and broke. But luckily Brandon has gotten so many phones wet so I remembered the rice trick and luckily they sell rice everywhere here so I bought a bag and put it in right away and our phone lives!!!! Such a blessing!
Hope everyone had a great New Years!!! We got fed a lot... gotta love that Filipino spaghetti and fried chicken with macaroni salad :) We had a great time and partied hard.... no I'm kidding we went home at 6pm and studied... but still, a great time! At midnight the fireworks were so loud that I woke up even with the ear plugs! The whole room was booming and lighting up. Fun! The holidays are OVER! Kinda a relief for me cause now I won't miss any more! Well, there's still Valentines day I guess, but it's not like I've ever celebrated that one! haha.
Okay, like I said, the work was cut down a bit this week, but we still had such amazing lessons. And there was the coolest thing that happened! So we went to teach our recent convert, Julie-Ann on Saturday night. Before we left we decided to go up and say bye to Nanay in her room. We walked in and Nanay's son and his girlfriend were sitting on her bed. Nanay started like cheering and crying and laughing and was just sooo happy. We walked over and she hugged us and was holding our hands and just too happy to talk. After a few minutes she told us that she thought she was dying and so she called her son in to spend her last minutes with her. Then she prayed and told God that His will be done, but hopefully she could recover. We walked in and she said that was the answer to her prayers. The second she saw us she knew God had sent His "angles" (her words... not mine hahah) to help her. Her faith is so strong and she was so thankful and even made it to church the next morning! It was amazing and I felt the spirit so strong when we were in her room. I don't think us going up to see her made a difference in her health, but God knew just what she needed to lift her back up and he guided us to be there for her. It was amazing. She told us at church that she really does consider that to be a modern day miracle. I love Nanay, please keep Sister Redula in your prayers!
It's moments like that when I think, ya, it's hard to miss Christmas, it's hard to walk around and get rejected a lot, it's not always fun waking up at 6:30 am, but it is WORTH IT. There is nothing I would rather be doing at this time than missionary work. I have learned so much, I have grown closer to Christ and really learned to trust in God's plan for me. I am learning so much and I love my mission. I know God sends us where we need to go. I feel His love for me so often and I don't have a doubt that He loves us all so much. I hope we all can continue to really KNOW Him. We are so blessed. I love you all so much and you are in my prayers. Have such a lovely week.
1. We included 2 sick members in our fast and both of them were well enough to come to church yesterday!
2. Saved our phone with rice
3. District activity this morning
4. 8 of our investigators showed up for church yesterday!
5. Hot water bucket shower
6. New Years Eve dinner at Bishop's and New years day lunch at Nanay Redulas (even though she was so sick! So kind!)
7. Finally got our November issue of the Liahona with all the conference talks! So good!
8. Lots of good food :)
9. Made no bakes for the district activity
10. Coolest lesson last night with this less active! Every member of the family was bawling by the time we left... the spirit was strong.
Elder Llanera having lots of fun with Bishop's baby's book!
Thanks mama for droppin by some holiday cheer in Daet!
Sister Araja and all her gifts!
Thanks mom and dad!!!!!
Making Christmas cookies!
Was there ever a happier moment?!?!? Such a highlight!
Christams lunch at Sister Enova's
Ya... to answer your question on skype...
we really do laugh a lot haha
Arleen Rafer, my bestie
The rafer family! Wedding planned for Feb!!!
MY TRICY DRIVER WAS WEARING A CUTOFF TURTLENECK!!!!!!
The funniest. Is Brandon still banned from wearing those?!?!?