. . . have to leave all the people that I love so much

Maligayang Pasko!!
     It's been quite the week for sure! Very exciting and yet sad at the same time. But first off, the Dyers did attend our FHE, as you saw. haha That's crazy to think that you saw that; I didn't even realize that she was videoing, but yeah that was our lesson with the Sumilang family. I sure do love them. Did you understand any of it? Then on Tuesday Sister Dyer and I were able to go on splits while we had a ward missionary with Sister Richardson. The Dyers also got to go out with us, and they met Tatay Teodoro and our converts Mark and Maryann. It was fun to have them with us, and I'm sure they either have told you about it or will when you go to Sister Dyer's homecoming.

     Then Tuesday night we got a call from President Stucki telling Sister Richardson that she will be training this next transfer... which also means that I will be transferring. It was really weird knowing so far in advance! But yeah so this time I've had plenty of time to tell people and get ready. I just found out about 10 minutes ago that I'm transferring to the one and only MAKATI! Which, to tell you the truth, I'm SOOO happy that's where I'm going. I don't know much about it, but I know it's right in the center of the city, the one part of the Manila mission I haven't experienced yet. I've been assigned in the Province my whole mission, but this Christmas.... I'm going to the CITY!:) So yeah that helps a little, but as you know, I always have a really hard time with transfers! It's especially hard because I'm leaving right before Christmas, and I have to leave all the people that I LOVE so much! All the members that have become like family and then have to go and meet all new members and investigators a week before Christmas, it’s a little rough, but I know that it will all be okay. I love all the people in Noveleta so much and feel so, so blessed I have been here for four months. Members all have dinners lined up for us before I leave, and I've just once again felt so much love from these amazing people. It's also really, really weird to think that this is probably my last area. WEIRD! Okay so enough about transfers.
    The exciting news I was talking about earlier.... we had a stake conference yesterday, and I was able to see Cavite Stake split into two stakes!! SOO exciting! It was such a neat way to spend my last Sunday. Elder Ardurn came and spoke, and when they sustained the new stake presidents, he had them stand up and said he wanted to give them their first assignment in front of all of us. Then he told them that he was challenging them that after their nine years of being stake president, he expected that each of their stakes would split AGAIN! It's so neat to think of that! That's just how fast this gospel is spreading in the Philippines. It was just a really neat meeting and neat to be there for such a "milestone event," what they kept calling it.
     Okay, okay so I have one more experience that happened this last week I'll share with you and then wrap it up. So we went to visit one of our less active members, and when we got there, brother was outside working with his fishers' net, and sister was inside. Brother was too busy so we just went ahead to share with sister. Well when we got inside, sister just opened up and shared everything with us that had been happening with their family. She shared that brother comes home drunk almost every night. She shared that the past few nights when he comes home, they'll get in a fight, and he'll thrown things all around the house (She mentioned a knife being one of those.). She even showed us some of the sores and bruises on her hands and arms. Then she told us that when he goes out and drinks, there are girls involved, and there's another girl that is interested in brother and maybe brother interested in her, she's not sure. And it was just AWFUL! I can't expain all of it, but by this time we were both just all in tears. I HATE hearing about Satan ruining families. It's the worst thing, and the one thing here in the mission that makes me the saddest, and I can't help but just cry for these poor families. Then I got the impression to share about the atonement and read some of the scriptures from Alma 7 with her. Then in my scriptures I have my favorite pictures of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. It's the painting by Carl Bloche where he has the angel comforting him. Well as I was sharing about the Atonement, I showed sister that picture and asked her to look at the expression on Jesus' face, and when she looked at that picture, she just started crying even harder. She was so touched from that picture. She put it right in her Book of Mormon and shut it and now it's hers:) It was so neat! I love when there is something so special to me or something that has touched me like that painting has, and then I get the opportunity to share that and then touch someone else’s life. It really goes to show that you are in your area for a reason, and there are people that need to hear specifically from you. It's SO neat! The Atonement is so real, and I love sharing about it and helping these great people understand it a little more. The next day after we taught her, we went back early in the morning to do her laundry for her because of course with all those little cuts and scrapes on her hands that would be awful! So it was so neat to help. This work is great!
     It's kind of been an up-and-down week with being excited and being sad, but that's just life. It's also been sad because four of my companions are going home Wednesday! I'll sure miss them! I've been so blessed with the very best companions! All the way down to Sister Richardson who I'm going to miss a lot, and it will be hard to leave her on Thursday. But that's life. And that's been my week. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week! Oh and sometime could you send me another Carl Bloche picture? (if you want:) That's all. Thanks so much for all you do and the support that you show me! Take care!

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Stromberg

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