This Christmas will probably be one of the hottest in my life, but it was one of the most unique too. I discovered that none of the other sisters have ever made gingerbread houses before, so I found all the ingredients (which is miraculous by the way because no one knew what "powdered sugar" was) and we had fun making them. On Christmas, we had a gathering with the senior missionary couple and other missionaries. Elder Gardner, the senior Elder, shared with us how missionaries undergo certain challenges and trials but because of it, they become better people and can help others. He said if they were asked to do it again, they would say yes. He then related it to how the Savior, through the Atonement, suffered for us and if asked to do it again, even just for one individual, he would say yes. It struck me how even though being here has sometimes been hard for me, my mission isn't about me at all. It's about Him and building His kingdom on the earth. I know that Christmas can be every day and when we keep His spirit to be with us, we can have true lasting happiness.
Monday, December 21, 2015
This Christmas is special for me since it'll be the first spent away from home. As a missionary, you're constantly looking for ways to help others. I think that attitude of wanting to serve others like Christ would is especially present during the Christmas season. This week, we got to help build a bamboo home for a family that really needed it. Amidst all the Christmas parties and activities, being able to make a significant difference in that family's life is a beautiful gift for me. I know that the joy people feel around Christmas is founded in Christ's atonement and love for us. I've included a link to a video about Christ's birth and I encourage everyone, member or not, to take those few minutes to view it and enjoy the spirit it brings. Merry Christmas everyone from the Philippines!
Monday, December 14, 2015
We had a service project this week where we got to harvest bamboo to build a house for an especially impoverished member. I didn't realize though, that bamboo plants are covered in thorns, similar to rose bushes. But it was fun anyway to chop down bamboo plants with a machete and feel like a ninja! Filipino service projects really are the best! After breaking out the Neosporin and band-aids, we admired the fruits, or rather trees, of our labor. Harvesting the bamboo made me think of missionary work. Sometimes we meet people who are surrounded by bamboo thorns, meaning hard problems and weaknesses. But through a lot of work and patience the person, or bamboo stalk, itself is made free and clean. As missionaries we don't teach people the restored gospel just to pass along a nice message about God. Rather, our message has the power to change lives and help people feel perfectly clean. Even if I need some band-aids along the way, this work is the best and I'm so grateful to be a part of it!
Monday, December 7, 2015
Word of the Week (Double bonus this week!): Kahoy --- wood; Hipon --- Shrimp Ex: Let's roast hipon on the kahoy!