The weeks are getting faster and faster! I feel like I'm already a different person. Today I was doing laundry (have a mentioned how much I hate that?) anyways I looked down and saw a spider on my foot. I didn't even freak out! I just flicked it off! After sister Bettilyon just looks at me and says, "wow, you've come a long way." When I first got here I would literally freak out when there were bugs anywhere.
Christmas conference was this week and it was so great! I got to see Sister Lainhart and Sister Odom as well as all of the other missionaries in the mission! It was a lot of fun! We started the day off by having a devotional from President and Sister Barrientos. They're so cute and always uplifting! After we went to a nearby college and played sports (soccer, rugby, ultimate frisbee, capture the flag...) I was in heaven. I miss sports! You can only run for so long haha. Afterwards we went back to the chapel and performed our skits and dances. Apparently we're the righteous zone, because our skit was spiritual and everyone else's was hilarious..whoops!
This week has been a little rough... it started off with our new schedule, which I actually really like, but now we go out and work at 8 to 12, then study, then go back out at night. We just got punted and punted! We didn't teach very many lessons at all.. Then came time for us to teach Eloysa about the Sabbath Day before her baptismal interview. We knew this would be hard, because after church she works every Sunday. Her mom and dad were not very happy with the fact that we were telling her that she shouldn't work on Sundays, but she agreed to follow. Two days later when we went to pick her up for her baptismal interview... wala siya. She was gone and her friend called her while we were at her house and said that she said she wouldn't be back until the 24th... She didn't come to church and we haven't been able to talk to her so she won't be getting baptized on the 28th anymore... I literally wanted to cry. I've known Eloysa from the beginning and we've grown so close. Hopefully we'll be able to talk this week and work everything out.
So remember how I said our bathroom was fixed... yeah that's a lie. Oh well, welcome to the Philippines.
Here people love Christmas and carolers are constantly coming around asking for money. Yesterday these carolers came buy that were very talented! I'll attach a picture. They had drums and trumpets! We aren't allowed to give them money so I just walked out with an Aklat ni Mormon and asked if they wanted it. Suprisingly they said yes and played three more songs for us! I love Filipinos!
Funny Story of the week: So something about the Philippines is that most old people don't have any teeth so when they are just walking around they look very unhappy and kind of scary, but then right when you wave they get so excited, I think they're going to have a heart attack. One day Sister Bettilyon and I were walking and this nanay is staring at us holding a machete... we're kind of worried what she's going to do so I just say Hello po Nanay. Immediately her eyes got so wide and her Smile got so big and she started waving the machete (as if saying hello). Haha I thought it was hilarious I was laughing so hard and Sister Bettilyon was just saying ahhhh Ingat Nanay Ingat! (Be careful)
Miracle of the Week: Do you remember Jovan the 11 year old that can't read? His sister's name is Augustina, but everyone calls her Tin Tin. She has a birth defect so her neck is always crooked and people make fun of her for it. She's a really cute girl, but it's really sad. She has very low self-esteem. When I first heard of her, I asked Sister Bettilyon why we don't teach her and she told me that every time they try she runs away or starts crying. A couple weeks ago I caught Tin Tin hiding and I just walked up and said "ayyy Maganda Kayo! woww. Ako si Sister Abelhouzen." She just smiled and didn't say anything. Every time I've seen her since I've been working on trying to get her more comfortable around us. Now every time we see her she runs up and yells SISTTERRRR!!! and a few days ago she told us that she wants to be baptized!
It just amazes me how much the Lord is aware of us. He is preparing people, all we have to do is follow the spirit and be there to teach them. I am more amazed each and every day when people are willing to change their lives mostly because I'm pretty sure Sister Bettilyon and I are very hard to understand. We are not fluent in Tagalog, but we don't have to be. The spirit speaks to these people and touches their hearts. I know this church is true! If it wasn't, the missionaries would have messed it up a long time ago. Anything is possible with God. I thank him everyday that he's with me. Thank you for everything family!
I love being a missionary. Sometimes it's hard and as much as I wish I could be with you on Christmas, there is no where I'd rather be than here! I get to witness the atonement of Jesus Christ work in other's lives! HOW GREAT IS MY CALLING! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because through him everything is possible.
mahal ko tayo lahat!