Monday, December 22, 2014

Santo Domingo Week 19

The missionaries in our branch and members ready to do a one day missionary work and going on splits.

Elder Williams and me in a garden, sitting in chairs in front of bamboo trees, pulling the gwapo pose.

At a bell tower in Vigan overlooking the city

Family Home Evening with some of the members and a family

At the Christmas Conference.  The old district, all looking gwapo.

Our group in the Amazing Race in Laoag in our Christmas hats.

The Christmas party.  Elder Roark-Perez and Elder Williams

Hello Francis Family,
My week has been great and a lot of fun.  On Wednesday we traveled to Laoag in the Morning and we got there pretty early.  It was fun to see all the missionaries from our mission and my old District from the MTC.  I was so happy to see them all and to see how they are doing.  It was different to see how much we all have changed and how our language is changing and gaining weight or losing weight. Then for our activity we did the Amazing Race all around Laoag which was so much fun and weird.  Everybody saw missionaries running around town with Santa Claus hats and running fast trying to do what the cards said.  We took a lot of pictures.  I took a lot of pictures this week and last week.
Sunday was a lot of fun, but sad, none of our investigators came to church again.  But it's ok, we got to go on splits with the members in the branch, so all the missionaries split up and went with the branch members and invited them to the Christmas party on Christmas day. It was so much fun and a lot of work, but everything turned out to be a lot of fun.
Today for our P-day me and Elder Williams took a Kalesa ride around Vigan and went to some sites we haven't seen yet, which was a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures.
Everything is going well for me here in the Philippines, it's still hot but there are cold days of wind blowing.  It's always hot and humid.  I am still loving the people to death.  They are always so happy and very kind and friendly to us, always saying HI and waving hey Brothers or Elders. I love it here, the language is coming day by day and I am learning a lot, and I feel like I am growing in faith and my testimony. I am Masipag and Masikap, and Buhay Pa, but everything is going well here. 

We did get bikes for our area, which is such a big help for us, we have far areas to walk or take a tricycle to. But with bikes, we can ride to them now, we don't have helmets because we can't ride our bikes on busy roads or the highway only on back roads, but everything is going well with our bikes and we are loving riding through the jungle and trees (punos). 

It's good hearing about your guys week and how you're all doing.   I am sorry to hear about Emily getting sick, I hope (pag-asa) she is feeling a lot better and she won't get any sicker.  I will be praying for her to feel better. How did Emily's orchestra concert go?  And soccer practice, is she working hard, and scoring a lot of goals? How was the Ward Christmas party, what did you guys do?   Did anyone ask about me?  If they did say Buhay pa and Masipag (hard working). 

I am doing great and loving it here. I love hearing from you guys, it's sad to hear that there is no snow again and it doesn't seem like Christmas, but just remember Christmas is about the things we are grateful for in our lives like Family, Food, Jesus Christ Atoning sacrifice for us and His birthday, etc... Just be happy for the small things we have in life.  Sometimes the small things in life can turn out to be the best things. Just have a Wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. That's great to hear about your students and have fun quilting with them and eating food from different countries and trying new things. I hope everything is going well for you guys at home and you're enjoying the Christmas season. 

I will be calling you guys on the 24th of December here in the Philippines our time 9:00 in the morning our time, so that would be Tuesday night your time around 7:00 to 9:00.  Just be ready and have the computer in the wall charged ready to talk to me and I can't wait to hear from you and see you guys on skype. 

I really love you guys so much and miss you a ton, But I am doing the Lord's work here and bringing God's children back unto him and teaching something I know is true and believe to be true. I am working hard and being strictly obedient, and the language will come. I am loving the life here in the Philippines and enjoying the heat. "It's more fun in the Philippines", I hear that so much, but it's so true.  There are so many different things I see every day and a lot of fun things to do. 

Mahal Kita, Elder Francis 

P.S., I sent a box home to you guys for Christmas so hopefully you will get it around the 2nd week or 3rd week of January.  It will be fun to open and I hope you get it.  Tell me when it arrives. 
And for stuff that I need, deodorant, peach-o's, gummy bears and snakes, chocolate, jarritos, or drinks I like, more teddy grams, and graham crackers, and jelly beans, and pop-tarts. I would like it a lot Salamat Po family, or Agyaman in Ilokano. 

Elder Francis wishes you a HAPPY HAPPY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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