30 December 2013
It has strangely been raining for the past three days and windy. Not a lot of people showed up at church due to the rain. The streets are a bit flooded today due to all the rain. My companion and I have been sick as well, so we haven’t gotten a lot of lessons in. When I can, I always have my sweater on that I brought, otherwise I am always wearing a coat and scarf.. I have been drinking the hot chocolate that you sent me so that has been helping me. Marami salamat.
This past Christmas Holiday will definitely be one that I will never forget. I don’t really know how to express all the feelings or experiences but I can say it has been very humbling. As we went to visit families and share a small Christmas message it just made it more clear to me how close to nothing these families have. I guess I just expected to see the families have more of something because it is Christmas, a time to have “stuff”. These people have nothing and yet they have are some of the happiest people I have ever met in my life. Visiting some of the members was a great experience because they knew that even though they have nothing they are rich in the gospel and the blessings they receive. The people here don’t celebrate Christmas with gifts, but they truly do celebrate it centered on Jesus Christ (at least from what I observed). The people here are such loving and giving people. I am so grateful I was able to spend Christmas here in Kalibo because it is my first area, the area where I have come to really love the Philippines and the people here. My relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ continues to grow. I continue to study His character in the scriptures, my prayers are more sincere and full of meaning, and I can feel His presence more in my life, as well as see it in the life of others. He is truly always there. His love is always with us. We are never alone.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Mahal ko po kayo,