Merry Christmas week! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas day and truly feel the true Spirit of Christmas and the love of our Savior Jesus Christ. I’m so thankful this year to be celebrating the birth of our Savior in the midst of His service. The best gift I can give Him right now is to be doing exactly what I’m doing, and I couldn’t be more humbled or grateful to be one of His missionaries. I’ve come to understand more than ever the true meaning of Christmas and the love the Savior has for me and all of us.
This week flew by so fast!we had an awesome district meeting about teach when you find, find when you teach. Our district leader was really inspired because we were really needing to hear this for our area. We got some awesome ideas of how we can be better at OYMing and inviting everyone to hear the message of the Restored Gospel. I also had an awesome personal study on becoming a fisher of men and the first great commandment of loving God, and how when we love God we will keep all His commandments, which includes that of our baptismal covenant of serving Him always. When we truly love Him, it’s so easy to just forget yourself and serve others. I’ll be honest, I’m still working on completely forgetting myself but I know that in the strength of the Lord, I’ll get there. :) Later that day we had an awesome lesson with Erika and EJ about temples. I showed them the pictures of the temple I brought from home and they got so excited that they’d get to go there someday. Their Grandma, who is so strong in the Gospel and is basically the one raising them, hasn’t received the opportunity yet to go to the temple to receive her endowment. She gets emotional about it, and my heart just goes out to her because of her strong and sincere desire to attend the temple. Her circumstances just don’t allow it. I know that Heavenly Father will bless her for the desires of her heart, however, and she’ll be able to receive those special blessings someday. Glance also had her baptismal interview—Elder Cruz said she was one of the best prepared children he’s interviewed—I believe it is because she is so smart as so ready to be baptized! She’s 11 years old and reminds me a lot of Rissy. :) It’s a real tender mercy to have my family with me through the investigators and those I come in contact with—just Filipino style. :)
(*Mom's note--We have the words, "I'll Go Where He Wants Me To Go" in vinyl lettering on our missionary wall--which also includes a picture of the Savior, a map of the Philippines, and a photo of Jessica. It is truly a tender mercy for me that Jessica will be spending some of Christmas Day with a sister who appreciates and has a tender place in her heart for that hymn as well--Jessica might not be home for Christmas, but, she will be... at home.*)
Sorry for kind of a shorter email this week. Just know that I love you all so much and wish you the very best Christmas! Xoxo
"Cock houses--they raise cocks for their 'cock fighting.' "
"Sister Alarcon (Recent convert) cutting sugarcane for us to eat. My first time trying it!
It's pretty much like eating wet sugar."
"Sister Pialano..our Relief Society President. She's so amazing. We love her like a grandmother and are so grateful we get to spend Christmas with her! :)"