What a great Thanksgiving week it has been! I have so much to be thankful for! So yes to start off, we have two new members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jennalyn Alde and Khaycie Mendoza!:) YAY!! Khaycie's baptism was Saturday morning, and we did have a lot of Young Women attend and support her. It was also really neat because one of our less actives, Ehra Seballos (the one who we found because of that huge flash flood) actually gave a talk at the baptism. It was so neat to see her up there giving that talk. You would have never guessed that she had been inactive for years and just returned back to church less than a month ago. She did such a good job! And she actually just returned to activity yesterday! (Four weeks in a row). Then at the baptism we had the Young Women do a special musical number. They sang I Walk by Faith, and it was really neat. I'm so happy with how they are all fellowshipping Khaycie. It's almost like she's been a member for a while now.
Then for Jhen, we had her baptism Saturday night after she got off work, and there weren't as many members there, but it was still a nice baptism. One thing that I love about Jhen is she loves to sing, and she loves the hymn book. It amazes me because she'll just be singing different hymns that she has memorized, and she just became a member. I don't know how she does it, but I can just see the love she has for these songs. Another thing I love is her favorite hymn is my favorite hymn as well, :) I Stand All Amazed. And so of course, we had to do that as a special musical number, and she was so happy to hear that. Then probably my favorite part of it all was after she was baptized, we sang Praise to the Man as the closing hymn, and at the chorus she just shut the book and sang it from memory and had the biggest smile I think I've ever seen!! It was SO neat!! Her baptism was just one of my favorites because we've just really connected, and I just love her so much! She's been through so much, and Satan has really tried to stop her from being baptized so many times! But she is so strong, and I know one of these days I'm going to hear that she received her mission call and getting ready to serve! That's how great she is:) So it was such a great day! Probably one of the longest days I've had here in the mission but one of the best!
Then yesterday I had the privilege of playing the piano for the Primary program. It was such a neat experience, and I just love little Filipino kids! Filipinos (doesn't matter what age) just don't care what others think and will sing their little lungs out. It doesn't matter if they have a good voice or a bad one, they just want to sing! I just love that about them. So even though there aren't as many Primary kids here in the Philippines as there are at home, they sing just as loud and as good! I have a video for Gabey, but a ward missionary borrowed my camera to prepare for Sister Richardson's birthday (It's this Friday.). So next week I'll be sending that to you, especially for Gabe!
Then also last Wednesday we had our Mission Tour with Elder and Sister Nielson from the Quorum of the Seventy. They had us read 1 Ne 11-14, a little bit of 15 and 2 Ne 31 to prepare, and then he did a training on the revelation process that was really neat. He also just talked about the importance of PMG and had a little question/answer session. It was a really good training. It was really specific to the Philippines and the things that we need to do different in our mission to specifically help these Filipinos.
Then Thursday... actual Thanksgiving! We were able to go to the Soleta family’s for lunch, and they fed us the best roast beef and mash potatoes which is SO rare! Filipinos don't eat that. They made it especially for us:) Bishop Soleta said he looked for turkey, but it was really expensive here. So that will just have to wait for next year. But they are just the sweetest family and treat us so well! Then after lunch we went and worked, just like any other day.
Later we were able to have dinner at the Montemayor's house! It was fried chicken, rice, pancit, lumpia just the norm Filipino food, but it was great because out of all the families here in Noveleta they feel most like family to me! Of course they can't compare to my real family, but it was really good being with them:) I love them!! (By the way, I think Connie Montemayor told me that she added you, Mom, on Facebook.) So yeah that was Thanksgiving.
Such a great week, and, Mom, you were right: the highlight of it all was the two baptisms and then having Ehra and Flor Espila return to activity yesterday with their fourth Sunday! I'm excited to see Sister Dyer this coming Sunday! She said if her parents’ flight doesn't get delayed, they will make it to church! I will for sure give Sister Stonick your contact information so you can make it to her report. They might be on the same day though. Sister Dyer's family is coming two weeks before transfer day, and Sister Dyer is going with them early and then will still do all the going home activities with her batch and leave at the same time as the other missionaries. But I'll give her your number, and you'll find out.
I love you all so much! Oh and I thought of the three things that I'm thankful for this year, like I told you last year:
1. The first thing that came to my mind is the Book of Mormon! This book is amazing and changes lives! It has changed my life, and I love teaching others and introducing it to others to change their lives so they can come to know their Savior, Jesus Christ.
2. Family! That will always be on my list! I love you all so much and am SO grateful for all the love and support that you give to me. I couldn't ask for a better family! I couldn't ask for better brothers! Sisters-in-law too!:) And of course I have the CUTEST niece and nephews ever!
3. I am so grateful for these amazing Filipino people! I have learned so much from them and continue to. They are the happiest, most humble people in the world! I'm so grateful that I have been living with them for a year now and will forever be grateful for the example they have shown to me!
So yeah those are my three corn kernels for the year:)
Have a great week! Ry, have a great birthday! I sent you a card so hopefully it has gotten to you or will this week. Ja, too, I sent you one so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Mahal na Mahal ko Kayo,Sister Stromberg