Monday, December 23, 2013

Getting Settled in the New Area - Pagudpud

Naimbag nga aldaw!  That's good day in Ilokano.  Now it has been a very interesting week getting settled into the new area.

So my new area is right on the beach and it's got a lot of tourist resorts.  We don't really go near the resorts in my area, but we walk on the beach pretty much every day.  My companion is a ginger from Australia. He's an awesome guy.  I love to work with him because he just loves what he's doing and he's just fun to work with and really funny.  This area is really small in terms of members, we only have a meeting house right now.  t's sort of hard because there's not a whole lot of investigators we can teach and it gets really hard to get a lesson in if the person we plan to teach ends up working or going somewhere else.  The members and investigators we have are awesome though.  

We are going to do some serious work to get the area into shape.  I've been way more tired at night from all the work we do and it's a lot more go, go, go here than it was in Cabugao.  We have a baptismal interview for a girl named Jenny Anne on Christmas day and then she'll be baptized Jan. 4th.  Her family, the Ramirez family, is really great and a lot of them came to church, it's kind of complicated as to why the whole family isn't being baptized at the same time, but we'll have the tatay, nanay, the little lalaki baptized in another 3 or 4 weeks. There's a couple that lives next to the Ramirez named John Paul and Menchy.  They need to get married, which is happening on the 30th, and then they can be baptized in about a month as well along with their 8 year old son. Another couple is getting married hopefully soon (that's a little complicated too) otherwise they'd be baptized already.  A lot of really good potential regardless of how small the pool of investigators is.

So we had a branch Christmas party and it was a really fun way to get to know a lot of the members.  I'm pretty sure the Christmas party was better than the one's back home from our ward.  Christmas in the Philippines is maganda (beautiful).  It's a lot more green and I'll miss the snow, but it's really exciting for everyone here.  Tons of people have lights even though the people here are really poor.  The kids go out caroling every night to try and make some money, some of them are pretty good too.  The 24th is when everyone is going to light off fireworks and get drunk so we all have to be in the apartment by 5 p.m.  

Yeah I did get to play soccer with Sister Wood, and it's pretty true, small world.  It was a lot of fun.  I guess Grandma and Grandpa Snow have 3 grandkids serving missions once again, that's awesome for the first Sister Snow.  I didn't get your second one yet, but the office says I have one.  They do have jell-o here and crystal light ;) No offense intended at all, I just think it's funny.  Thanks for the package though, talaga (really), I was really happy to get it and I still haven't opened the little "Christmas presents" yet (except the soccer pump, yes!).  

It's been weird not being with family for Christmas time, but in a way it's really nice because I really get to focus on the true Spirit of Christmas, the Spirit of Christ.  Dedicating all my time to him has really helped me get into a spirit of serving and loving others while sharing to them about Christ and his gospel.  I feel like this Christmas has really been about having more Christ in my life.  Being able to serve him is in itself a better Christmas present than I could ask for.  

Mahal ko kayo, Maligayang pasko, naraksak nga pascua, Merry Christmas!
-Elder Egan

P.S. My companion and I decided to do it 10:30 a.m. on the 25th (Philippines time).  I actually don't think skype will work in this computer shop though, it wasn't while I was testing it out today.  So be prepared for a phone or skype call because I'm not actually sure what will work.

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