Magandang Umaga!(morning) (Normal Filipino greeting. We say this as we walk by people or as we approach someone to try and share the message. (or hapon(afternoon) or gabi(night).) Then you follow with how are you.) How are you all doing? I love you so much! Thank you for the letters and pictures.
Also thank you for those that send snail mail or dear elder. I love them all!!
Thank you mom and dad for the Christmas stories. They are the perfect little piece of Christmas. Even though Christmas lights are up it really doesn't much feel like Christmas to me. I think it's partially because it is so stinking warm! :) It has been nice though. The nights are quite comfortable and this morning it was cool-ish and refreshing. Such a wonderful gift from Heavenly Father.
That is so fun that you got to all 3 be at the elementary school and have lunch together. :) Congratulations JOSH on your finals and grades!!! Such a good feeling, deba (right)? And now you get to relax for a little bit before starting a new adventure! Enjoy the family time in January.
Um...Dad. Haws has 3 what?.... Games without missing any free throws? I walked by a house watching a basketball game the other day and could hear the announcer. It brought a smile to my face thinking of BYU basketball and you.
So I had a lot of first's this week and most of them came from yesterday. Lets see... I showered by flashlight. Thank you for the mag lite from last Christmas that I brought with me! :) Also we went on splits with ward missionaries! I was nervous when Sister Delmendo first proposed the idea since I still can't speak Tagalog that well and struggle to teach everything well. (Even in English I don't think I would be a very good teacher at this point. It's hard to hit all the important parts of a topic while teaching.) But I received some peace about it and we decided to try it so that we could find more investigators and teach more lessons. It actually went pretty well. I was able to give 2 lessons without the help of the ward missionary. As we went around to the houses if I couldn't understand what they were saying I would just keep asking questions or talking until they said something I could understand as Yes you can teach or Go away. haha. Oh good times.
To answer some questions. People don't regularly wish a Merry Christmas like in stores but a couple people have said it on the street. I think they will on Christmas. In English is the usual. But they also have signs around that say Masaya na Pasko. Happy Christmas.
So about the Book of Mormons. We pass out Tagalog Books of Mormon. However, they are in very deep Tagalog. Most of the long time members use English scriptures. In fact, so funny. We asked a ward missionary to read a scripture (we also read and teach from the Tagalog scriptures) and then explain it. He read it in Tagalog out loud and then said wait... as he grabbed my english copy and skimmed the verse. We all had a good laugh. And then he explained it. I made me feel better about my struggle when using the Tagalog BoM. I always open both languages while teaching. And the one family we are teaching asked for an English BoM. So we need to get one of those for them. As for different dialects. We have come across a couple but they are close enough to Tagalog that Sister D can understand them and most people also speak some Tagalog. One person we came across only speaks the native dialect of deep Palawan. Im not sure how much he understood of our Tagalog, we only understood some of what he said. So like I said most people speak Tagalog as well as another dialect but yes some of the missionaries had to learn different words for certain things to use in Tagalog instead of their native Cebauno or Illicano. (pretty sure I spelled both of those wrong) I don't know what the Elders on the island of Coron do... I assume they might run into other dialects. I figure they just teach from the Tagalog and translate to the dialect. We have a few people who can't read here so we just read to them and explain in Tagalog.
I read the Chocolate covered cherry story and realized that I would miss that this year (but hadn't thought of them until then.) Not sure about as delicious here.... Another dessert that is common is gelatin with coconut milk in it. It is only slightly sweet. You would think all these Filipinos were LDS for how much gelatin I see everywhere. :P haha. I am thinking there will be fireworks on Christmas so that should be fun. :)
Heavenly Father is so wonderful and merciful and loving. I feel His love and the prayers that you send my way. He always protects us and sends tender mercies. (I swear we would've been eaten by 10 dogs at once that all ran to attack us and then suddenly stopped at our feet and just growled. :) ) His hand is in this work. It is so exciting to be in a lesson and feel the Spirit confirm the truth of the things we are teaching. I love and miss you all!
So funny... they play so much 80s music here (they play new music too) but so much 80's. I've heard Chicago 3 times and in the comp shop just finished another one that I can sing but suddenly can't find any of the words to... anyway one Dad used to play all the time. :)