Happy New Year everyone! Life's still good in the Philippines! Just finished one big party for Christmas and now everyone's getting ready for an even bigger party for New Years! Christmas pretty much killed work for the week. Longest week ever work wise. Everyone we would try and talk to or visit would say they were busy getting ready for Christmas. A lot of people when we asked when we could come back said after New Years is when they will have time for us to visit them. From what I've heard from the members, New Years is a bigger celebration than Christmas was but hopefully we can get more success this week. On Christmas Eve, we had made plans to go out to an area where I had never been. We had talked to members about this area and they told us there were some less actives out there. They weren't lying because we found a lot more less actives but nobody wanted to listen because they were "busy" getting ready for Christmas. Something cool is the way to get there we can either walk straight through the rice fields or take a tricycle around them on the road. We thought it would be more fun to walk through the fields so that's what we did. Ended up covering my shoes in mud and it got all over my pants too! It was pretty fun though so it was worth it. Christmas day was pretty fun too. Ate at a couple of different member's houses. I've never been so full in my life. It was all really good food though.
On Saturday, we had a baptism to go to in the afternoon. It was the sister's baptism though. The girl's name that was baptized is Leane. She has been coming to church since I have been in the mission. I didn't know she wasn't a member until about 3 weeks ago. I guess her mom didn't give the okay for her to be baptized so she never got baptized. The sister's told her since she is 22 years old she doesn't need permission from her parents so she finally got baptized. The baptism was really good and she was really happy.
Sunday was a pretty good day. Church was pretty good. President Rahlf came to church here too. While we were in class, next thing we knew he walked in the door and said hello to everybody. President and Sister Rahlf are definitely awesome people and are perfect for leading the mission. Later in the day we visited the Lapid family. You might remember them from a couple weeks ago. So they live really far away but they have the means to be able to attend church. The lesson to them was amazing. We were able to teach the whole family together again and they all participated and asked good questions too! It is really fun to teach and visit with that family. The only bad thing is they are only all together on Sunday's so we can only visit them once a week. I'm really excited for them and I hope we can get somewhere with them before I end up transferring.
I hope you all are doing well and have a happy New Year this week!
Love Elder Haacke
Elder Haacke and his companion Skyping family from the local internet cafe on Christmas.