Maligayan Pasko!!

Maligayan Pasko!! (Merry Christmas)
     So this week has definitely had its ups and downs. The past two days I have been sick, and it has been no fun:( It started Saturday afternoon after returning from the Temple tour, but I wanted to stick it out so we still taught that night but just returned home a little early. I just have a really nasty cough. When I cough, it gives me a bad headache, and my whole body was just achy and didn't have any energy. So I went to bed early on Saturday to try and get better, but I had to go to church because guess who was speaking in church . . . yes, me! The ward mission leader, Zaldy, who works with us quite often was supposed to tell me at the first of the week but forgot and told me Friday night. So I had only Sunday morning to prepare a little something. I talked about missionary work and our testimonies of Jesus Christ and how they relate seeing that it's Christmas time. I talked about how we need to share our testimonies with others whether it be by our example or just testifying to them. So yeah that went okay, but I still wasn't feeling good so after church we went home, and I rested all day to try and get over it. Sister Culango said I might have gotten sick because it went from being really hot Saturday to really rainy and cold (I didn't think it was cold, but she said it was). I don't know. I still have a pretty bad cough, but hopefully it'll get better. Sister Culango is a nurse and made me drink ginger... it was gross:( but hopefully it helps.
     On Wednesday was our mission Christmas party, and that was a lot of fun to finally get together with the whole mission. I think there are eight American sisters in our mission, and I'm the only blonde. So I very well could be the only blonde in all of Manila:) haha. And yes I am very tall. I feel like a giant sometimes! But we got together, and President and Sister Stucki spoke about ten gifts that we will be able to take home from our mission. Then we split up and exchanged gifts with a little game. I got a pineapple which I was really excited about:) Then we got back together for a catered meal that was delicious as always. They had a couple of pigs roasted that they just cut up right there for us that were really good. Then they had each zone do a talent all together and then one or two individual talents from each zone. Well guess who got chosen to do it from our zone? Yep, me! Probably because I'm the newbie, and they knew I'd say yes. So I played "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning" and said it was in honor of Joseph Smith's birthday on the 23rd of this month. Mostly because I didn't have any Christmas music, and I had to make something work. haha So yeah I played that for the whole mission. I met Sister Packard from California who went to BYU, and she looks so familiar to me. I don't know where; she said she worked at the testing center so maybe I just saw her there. I'm not sure. But she's super nice, and it was fun talking to her. Also there's an elder in my mission who I met his girlfriend in the MTC, and so I found him and talked to him about that. He was way excited, and that was pretty funny. It was just fun chatting with different missionaries.

     For the temple tour... it didn't turn out how we hoped:( That day was actually a big bummer. So we had six investigators who told us they were coming, and of them only one showed up. That was Mark who was getting baptized Saturday after the tour. Well Mark got on the bus, and we headed off when his aunt calls him and says there's an emergency and he needs to come home because his mom is in the hospital. So we go back and make sure he catches a tricycle and so at that point we have no investigators:( And also that means no baptism later for Mark either. It's just a bummer because Mark is so ready and has a strong testimony, but his baptism keeps getting delayed! So the temple tour was neat. It was fun finally seeing the temple, but it would have been so much better to have investigators there to feel of that spirit! We didn't do a session then because we had investigators with us, but we do get to do a session once a transfer:) We're going the week after Christmas, and I'm way excited for that!
   Then with our investigators, the three Archangel brothers have seemed to lose interest which is really weird. Sister Culango said that they used to come to church, and they were preparing for baptism. But since I have been here, they haven't been as diligent, and now when we go visit them, they are always "busy." I don't really see a desire in them to get baptized so that's a bummer. We have 3 investigators, Helen, France, and Lady Lace who all have a baptisimal date, and they seem pretty promising and have a desire to get baptized, but none of them came to church yesterday after they said they would be there. Sister Culango said it's probably because it was raining yesterday, and Filipinos are lazy. When there is rain, they won't go out of their house. Also it's hard for some to get to church because they don't have enough money to pay for a tricycle, and they have to walk a long ways. So if we can get these investigators to church, we should have no problem with the rest. But we shall see. Sister Pasco, my favorite investigator, was not home both times we went to visit her this last week so that was a bummer. This last week actually we got "punted" quite often! I learned that word this last week. I guess it's a missionary word they use when you go to a lesson and your investigator is either not there or too busy for you to teach them. And that happened to us a lot! Hopefully this week will be better.
     Oh, I don't know why this just popped into my head, but on a side note... there are ants EVERYWHERE here! Last night when I went to soak my whites so I can wash them today, ants are eating my garments! Just great, huh! If only they knew what they were eating, they'd think twice! Dang creatures! Oh and I had my first mango yesterday! It was really good but a little sour, and they said that's because they aren't in season. They are even better and more sweet in season! So I'm excited for that:) So as far as the flooding... there wasn't any flooding where I am, but there has been a lot of rain!
     Have fun at the Stromberg Christmas party! Tell everyone I say “Hi!”  Love you all so much! Being at the temple I can't help but think of my family and how lucky I am to have such a great family where we all are endowed and can be in the temple together!
Mahal Ko Kayo,
Sister Stromberg

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