Dear Family,

So this was a good week.  Happy belated Valentines Day! We got to take a trip to the dentist for my companion :( we are both being more careful now with eating the popcorn kernels. Haha  We received 2 great referrals from our members! yay!

Questions from dad:
With it being so hot and humid there, do people have refrigerators?
Some people have refrigerators.  I would say it's probably 50% of people. They just buy fresh foods at the palengke each day or they buy stuff that can last a couple days on the table.  They have plastic covers with little holes to put over left over food.  They leave it on the table and then just reheat it when they eat later.

How do they keep candy like chocolate from melting?
They don't... American chocolate melts but if it is in a slightly cooler spot it is only soft not melted and they just eat it melted.  But the Philippines chocolates are made differently so they don't melt as easy. haha. Yep.

Do they have birthday cake for birthdays?  
Yes many people will have cakes with their birthday celebrations but the MUST have item is Pancit. (noodles with vegetables) and Spaghetti. Those are birthday foods.

Are there any traditions with Birthdays that are different from ours?
Yes. The tradition here for birthdays is that either "mom" or the birthday person themselves prepare food (see above) and then everyone who is invited and lots of neighbors who aren't come over to eat. :)  That's about it.  Gift giving isn't even a big thing although family and friends do bring gifts occasionally.

Do they eat ice cream or shave ice?
There is ice cream but it is usually a different brand of drumstick or another Popsicle type.  The big thing to buy on the street is halo-halo AND ice scramble.  Ice scramble is like a shave ice but a little creamier.  But I have yet to taste it cause they say it's super iffy on whether or not you will get sick. And that's saying something cause the chicken intestines down the street are fine for the ward missionary but then they say stay away from the ice scramble.  They say the danger comes from the coloring not the ice. hmm.

As for the spiritual thought: Very simple this week....  This week I have heard a lot of music... lots of different music. In our apartment, at members houses, on the street, in investigators houses.  And I once again was impressed by what an impact music can have on us.  On our Spirit, on our behavior and feelings. I know that everything we listen to has an impact and we can draw closer or farther from the Spirit immediately just by the music we listen to. So if you are having a bad day or wrestling with a tough decision. Turn of the feel good music that you thought would fix your mood and try some hymns. (Note: Effect is not always immediate) Try some EFY music. Listen to the lyrics that hold truth and help you remember who you are and why you are here.  Remember that God loves you and He has a plan. Do His will and you will find the happiness you seek.  So just a reminder to get rid of the music that drives the Spirit away, keep the music that is appropriate and keep and use the music that brings the Spirit. 

Sister Hamm