December 24, 2012

     Christmas is here! Can you believe it? It just kind of snuck up on me, and now here we are! YAY! So first and foremost I just want to thank you all that participated in the Twelve Days of Christmas for me! I feel SO lucky that Mom got a hold of all the people in my life that I love so much. That was the best Christmas present I could have asked for, hearing from all my great family and friends and getting a little update on each of you. Whenever one of you will pop into my head, I'll be thinking hmmmm I wonder what they are up to in their lives... and now I know:) So thank you SO much! I have the best friends and family EVER!!
     This week has been a really good week for Sister De Leon and me. To answer some questions:  yes, she was here when I got here so she knows the members and most of our area, but we've actually been in some areas that are new to the both of us the past couple weeks. One thing, we made a goal this last week to find all of our recent one year converts because there were some on our list that Sister De Leon didn't know. And to our pleasant surprise we were able to find them all or at least find out where they are. The sad part is a lot of them are less active, and that's so sad because they're just new here in the church and to see them go inactive even before they've been a member for one year is really hard. You know how there are SO many less actives here in the Philippines, and we can't let these new converts just add to our LA list. So yeah we were blessed to be able to find them all and know we just have to work on helping them return to activity again.
     We also found a lot of new investigators this past week so we are really excited to go back to them this week. The new investigators we found last week when we went back to them this week weren't home or were busy getting ready for Christmas parties and such. It's a little rough right now with Christmas and everything, but the Lord is helping us regardless of the fact that everyone is busy. We have only one progressing investigator right now, so we have a lot to do.
     Oh, there was one really exciting thing that happened. So the elders whose area borders our area gave us a referral of an RM that’s in our area. So it took us a couple days, but we finally found his house. He was home, and we were able to share with him. It was a really simple but neat lesson about the Book of Mormon. He was really, really grateful that we visited him, and he came back to church yesterday. It was a neat lesson because he knows everything we have to teach, but he just needed to be reminded of the beauty of this gospel. His wife is in her province right now about to have a baby, so she is with her family. But she will be coming back in February after she has the baby, and I'm excited to help them prepare to enter the temple!
     So the work still goes on:) We also had our temple day this last Wednesday which was so good to be in the temple again. Sister Connie from Noveleta is a temple worker, and I was able to see her and give her a big hug. That was a great surprise:)
     Then on Thursday it was our mission Christmas party which was a lot of fun. We started with a little Christmas devotional given by President and Sister Stucki. They focused on the formula for real happiness this Christmas season (and in fact our whole lives)...

J: Jesus Christ
O: Others
Y: You
We need to always in everything that we do put Jesus Christ first in everything. Then find the opportunity to serve those around you and then yourself very last. I'm sure you've heard this before, but it was just a good reminder to all of us what we always need to do in our lives to find true "joy"! I just love the Stuckis so much; they're great! Then we had a gift exchange, talent portion, and food! We had three whole roasted pigs (lechon) which is a big deal here in the Philippines. Everyone loved that.

Then on Saturday we had a temple tour which our investigator slept through, but we did have one of our recent converts come who is 17. I can totally see him going on a mission in a year or so. He's so awesome and really enjoyed the temple a lot. We even had him work with us Saturday for his first time, and he really enjoyed that as well. I love helping members get ready to serve missions and have them work with us so they can feel the special spirit of missionary work! That's one of my favorite things is to see the youth get excited about missionary work just from coming along and working with us.  
     Okay I'm about out of time, but I too am so excited to talk to you all on Christmas:) You actually might need to e-mail me my user name and password again because it's been a while, and I don't remember... then at 7 I'll be logging on:)
     I hope you all have a great day and remember the true meaning of Christmas. There's a cute Mormon message that we watched at the Christmas party if you haven't seen it you should... it's titled "The Spirit of Christmas." I love you all so much and am so grateful for all you do! Take Care!

With Love,
Sister Stromberg

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