Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas in the Mission Field

Dear Family,

CONGRATS TO MY BRO RYAN GRIFFITH!!!!!!! Finally got that mission call buddy! February is gonna rock! So stoked for you man.
Well let's just say Christmas was actually fun! On Monday we had 3 dinner appointments, Rice, Fish, Baboy (Pig), just so much food. These people honestly PARTY for Christmas. It's so different. Since there's so many Catholics and things, people go crazy for Christmas. It was tons of fun. I've learned some Tagalog Christmas songs! :) So that was cool. They also just listen to regular stuff here on Christmas too. Some Journey, Chris Brown, you know, the normal American music. So that made me miss home a little. On Tuesday we skyped and that was honestly so much fun. It was great to see you. I know you're probably wondering if I got homesick after skyping with you. I didn't really, I do miss you though, but not to the point where I was depressed or anything. I just knew y'all were going to the Cabin and I thought about all the good times that we had at the Cabin in the past. I know that soon we'll have it again and that Christmas will rock!

Merry Christmas!

This pig was dinner!  They put the pig head right on the table.
Tuesday night we had dinner at the Bishop's house. I started to not feel good right as we left our house, just a headache and stuff. Not really sure what happened. So we ate there, then went to another dinner appointment at the High Councilors house and that was good. A whole Pig head sat on the table. So, we ate it. Christmas was pretty good. It was also Elder Doverte's first Christmas too. We loved our Christmas gifts so much. I wish I could tell you how much mail means to missionaries. I'm 7,000 miles away from my home and it's just nice to get mail. Haven't gotten anything since Zone Conference except your Christmas Package though. So we'll see when we get mail next.
New Christmas ties
Tuesday night (Christmas Day night) it started to rain very bad. The wind picked up. Luckily my whole house is made of concrete. So it was nice to sleep with the rain, although it's still a little hot, but the wind cooled it down a bit. Wednesday: All morning it just rained. TYPHOON! This is my 2nd one that I've been through on the island so far. It rained so bad all morning. When it's like that we don't work, but we did our study as usual and things and hoped for better weather and that everything would be okay. About 2pm it calmed down, still raining, but not as windy. So we went and bought an Umbrella, that was a good investment. Then sent off some mail that we didn't get to send on Christmas Eve because the post office was closed. Then went to work in the Typhoon. Let's just say I was so wet, but I've never had so much fun. We only had 2 teachings, but that's because the rest of the people wouldn't listen or were "busy" or something. We just go check on some families to make sure everything was okay from the Typhoon. I think the name is Quinqin? Or something like that. We never get news about it, we just ask members, hey is this a typhoon? What's the name? No news or anything or notice from anyone. Sort of adventurous.
Elder Garner & Ellis on P-day

Time for a haircut, Elder!

Splits with the Zone Leader in Manalpa

Victorias City Building
Thursday we had a Ward Christmas Party. We're not allowed to attend because that doesn't really help us fulfill our purpose as missionaries. President Lopez said we not allowed to attend. So we went to all the Less Actives and Recent Converts and told them about the party and that they should go. Then all of a sudden, the sickness from Christmas day came back. I was using the CR (the Comfort Room aka. The Bathroom) about every 10 min. Not fun at all. I was so sick. Don't know what happened. I couldn't feel any of my body. So we went home early because I was so sick. I wasn't throwing up or anything, but I sure did feel like I needed to. I prayed the by Friday morning I would be okay. And I was. So no worries. I didn't eat anything all Thursday because I felt so sick, so I woke up Friday morning starving. Lost some weight too. The members were great, we just went to the church to check with the Bishop to see how the Christmas party was going and the members could tell I was sick and they were really happy to help. One of the members here works for USANA, so she gave me some special pills for my digestion. So, those seemed to help me a lot. So yeah, I just went home and slept off the sickness so that I could work the next day. Friday, woke up, not sick at all. I felt great. I went down stairs and took to medicine just in case, then shined my shoes because they were all muddy from the Typhoon and then shined Elder Doverte's shoes, the ironed our shirts, the showered, it was fun. Studied did the regular stuff, the went to work. Nothing really happened, just sort of a normal day. It did rain some just because it rains all the time here. Saturday we worked hard and walked a lot, normal things. I'm sorry this week hasn't been that good. I was sick and we've worked a lot haha. Just the typical missionary schedule.
So, how things back in America? Some people here watch the NBA, but not that much. They have their own Filipino league. Still not that popular though. How's Ashlyn's basketball season going? I saw the new floor on the Maeser Gym, it looks beautiful. My face should be in the middle though, just a thought? We worked hard for that, I'm glad it's on that floor finally. Sam, is she playing indoor now or what's going on with that? How's recruiting going, or is there any yet? Still have to wait till Junior year? Is Syd doing Gymnastics still? How's that coming? I still haven't played any basketball here. I've been wanting to so bad, but my companion doesn't really play, so I've probably gotten bad. Playing everyday at the MTC was super fun though while it lasted, I miss basketball. My every morning workout is going well, losing weight, I'm gonna look good when I get home, I promise! I can't go back to looking how I used to look, y'all know what I'm talking about. Some of the ward members see pictures of me from facebook of what I looked like back in High School and they're like, wow you're skinny. I said, yeah, I used to be. Don't worry, I'll get it back. I also got an Email from Dan and Connie, it was really good to hear from them actually! Tell them hello and thanks so much for keeping me in their prayers.

It's weird, but I can feel y'all praying for me back home. It helps me throughout the day and through the hard times here. There are lots of hard times, but I know that I can endure them. I've looked back on my life and there's some weird things that I've seen that have prepared me to be here. Being away from home for college was a big help, the homesickness isn't that bad honestly. I miss y'all a ton, but it's not like a lasting feeling that I have. I know I've only been gone for just a little over 3 months now,but still. Thanks for all the prayers from back home. I know I have friends praying for me too and thanks so much. Pray for the missionaries always. I've seen first hand. This is the hardest thing in the world to do. Very demanding and very tiresome. Somehow we manage. I love this work though.

I know that the Church is true. Mom keeps sending me things about the Book of Mormon and they're so great. The Book of Mormon is fantastic. I love the Book of Mormon. I've learned so much from it and I'm on my third time of reading it again and I'm still learning so much from it. Like Joseph Smith said, It's the most correct book on the earth. So, we should read it. I've also really like the parts in 2 Nephi and in Mormon were it talks about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and talks about Joseph Smith. Just amazing. A true book from God. Nephi likened the scriptures to his people and we need to do the same to ourselves to. Liken the scriptures. I love this work. I love the Philippines. I know I'm supposed to be here to help in the work right now in this time. The members are great. I hope all is well back home. I love you all. Keep praying :)

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