Happy December everyone! Less than 20 days until Skype! I'm looking forward to it so much! Don't count on me having the same account as last Mother's Day or last Christmas. I will be making a new one once again since I have no idea what my username or password was for either of those two accounts. I'll let you know my new username so you can add me when I make my new account in a couple weeks. Oh by the way, got the letter with the kids' school pictures. I can't believe how much they have changed! They are growing up way too fast! To be honest, almost made me want to cry when I compared the first pictures I got of them to these most recent ones! Can't even imagine what 8 more months is going to do to them!
Another week down and another week closer to Christmas. Everyone is already saying Merry Christmas to each other like it is Christmas day. Everyone except this one Nanay at the Christmas party Saturday night. It made me laugh when I heard it. Everyone was saying good-bye and Merry Christmas then when it got to this one Nanay she's like, "It's not even close to Christmas yet!" Then she just walked out. I thought it was pretty funny! But Christmas season in the Philippines is so awesome. You can honestly see the difference in the people. Everyone is just all around more happy! Then we get to go around and teach them the reasons why they are happy! All around just a super happy season.
Work was okay this week. Still are not having good luck with investigators. We don't even have that many. The sad thing is, members always ask us how the work is doing and they only ask about investigators. We have to tell them we are struggling with investigators but then I'm like let me tell you about the less actives that we're teaching! But by that time you can just tell they don't have the desire to listen. They just focus on baptisms instead of retention as well. It's not bad because baptisms are important as well but they don't see a lot of the progress that we actually are doing. That's okay because we are happy with the progress and the Lord knows what we're doing. The Quisisem family has had heaps of progress! They came to church the last two Sundays and the children are starting to build relationships with the other youth and single adults. We have also been able to build a strong relationship with them just in the last week. We just need to work with the mom to come back. She hasn't attended church with the rest of the family. She came to the Christmas party and had a great time. She even participated in one of the games and ended up winning! We have a great relationship with her as well but for some reason she doesn't have the desire to attend church. They are probably the most progressing less actives. We have quite a few that we are teaching and even came to church last week but a lot of them didn't return yesterday for church.
Saturday night's Christmas party was great! They just planned last Sunday after Church that it would happen this Saturday. Great planning right? So it was never announced in sacrament meeting. All week, we were asked to go around to all the members and spread the word that it was happening this Saturday. With late planning and nobody knowing about it, it turned out to be pretty well! When we got there, there were more less actives than members! It was great! We met a lot of new people and spent a nice night together. Had lots of people there and a lot of fun with the performances and games.
Sunday morning, get to church, no people. There was barely anyone there! I'm thinking, what happened to everyone that was here just 12 hours ago?? Then Bishop announced that we were starting and there were only 24 of us! Bishop was the only one there in the Bishopric. Probably the lowest there's been at the start of the meeting since I've been here. I was shocked. By the end of the meeting, it had gone up to around 80 which is about where it is normally. Almost everybody was late. Like a Christmas party hangover or something. But church was still good and we had some good lessons. Even in Elders Quorum we had a good lesson! Focus was home teaching related with pure religion.
Sunday night we went to Alicia and President and Sister Rahlf had a devotional for Alicia stake. They taught about the birth of Christ and the importance of some of the people and objects in the story. One of the things I learned was that angel Gabriel is prophet Noah in mortal life. I never knew that! Alicia zone has Christmas devotional tomorrow so we will learn more about the birth of Christ and President will expound more on the significance of the people and objects in the story. Definitely looking forward to that!
Over all we had a good week and continue to find success in teaching and returning some less actives. I hope you all have a great week this week. Love you all!
The elders at the ward Christmas party.