Monday, December 10, 2012

In a hurry :)

Jaclyn eating a young coconut or buko on member farm

Dec. 10, 2012

Dear Family

So I gave you some information in my letter with pictures and it took awhile for those to upload.  Long story short.  I will only have time to follow up on your letters... which is really good because not much to report this week... except that one of the less active members that we have been teaching for a couple of weeks now came to church for the first time yesterday.  Can't tell you how excited I was to see her there! :)

Flooded street outside apartment, ankle deep
So first off, we heard about the typhoon that was maybe coming when the weather channel was on at a recent converts house. haha.  So we thought maybe... Then it turned out that the path it took was different so it didn't really hit Palawan hard.  We 

happened to be grabbing dinner before LDS night when the worst of it hit.  It downpoured for about 10 minutes and the thunder and lightning were seconds apart.  But then the rain let up and we made our way through the dirt, potholed road leading out to the main street from our apt.  The main streets weren't flooded but our little one definitely was.  haha.  Feel free to post that pic but you cant even see it that well.  Oh you can also post the one with the coconut and just me if you want.  So we were safe and sound. We do feel sorry for those down much more south than us because there houses are completely destroyed.  I’m sure the missionaries there are serving but here it is normal work/service. :)

Elders riding a caribou on a member farm in Palawan
Christmas is somewhat like in the US.  A lot of people have Christmas trees although they are all fake (go figure! haha!)  and most of them are 3 or 4 feet tall.  They are all beautifully decorated and many people have Christmas lights outside their houses.  Some hang stockings and Santa Clause fills them.  Apparently they wait up till midnight on Christmas Eve in order to celebrate though.  More to come on that later when I learn more! :)

As for treats.... Well there is a very popular dessert here.  I’m sure you can find pictures and recipes online. It is a dessert Josh might like, although it kind of depends on where you buy it.  So it is a lot of shaved ice. With a sweet sauce like sweetened condensed milk or coconut milk with evaporated milk etc.  But it also contains strips of uncooked, unsweetened coconut, unflavored but colored gelatin cubes, cooked corn, sweet potato chunks, flan chunks... like I said depends where you buy it but it has lots of different things in it. It has grown on me.  I like it most places. :) 

So the church has only been in the Philippines for 51 years!  Can you believe how new that it?  It is crazy.  So there are a couple people (missionaries or members who are 20 or 30) that have been members from birth but most of them are converts.  My companion was baptized when she was 12.  Many have the same story.  People are sometimes surprised that I was born in the covenant and most are shocked to find out that both my parents were also born into the church.  It makes me very grateful for what I have.

View of street and trike from another trike
It is supposedly rainy season... not too bad yet.  It is cooler than when I first arrived.  I sleep with a top sheet (half way through the night.  I’m still hot when I lay down) every night now!!  yay.  Other than that they don't have seasons.  haha.

Enjoy celebrating 12.12.12.  Ice Cream party for sure!!!  And definitely service especially since it's around Christmas.  It shouldn’t be hard to find some service to do. 

I love you all so much and miss you.  Can't wait to talk to you.  We get 30-40 minutes. :) I'm thinking I want to call after you have opened presents so probably the night of the 25th for you, which would be the morning of the 26th for me right?  
Okay.... send pics of Tyler with braces please.

Love Sister Hamm

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