Sunday, December 27, 2015

#SaPilipinasBound: Christmas Island

We were sitting on a jeepney the other night.


It had been a long day and we were coming home from eating at another members house.


I remember being in deep thought, I don't know what about, but I was.


We were almost to our stop and an old, haggard, dirty man across from me said something to me I didn't quite hear all of. He was giving me the "look" though. You know, the flirty eyes and then to top it off his winning smile--black/no teeth.


Unfortunately his flirting didn't quite work for me...


We got off the jeepney as fast as we could and my kasama is dying laughing.


She told me how the whole time the old man was just staring at me weirdly the whole ride and I didn't even notice. She said she was trying to hold her laugh, it was so painful to do so.


And that's the life of a Sister Missionary(; JOKLANG! But it was pretty funny...!!


MALIGAYANG PASKO!! (or belated)


and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!<3


First Christmas away from home was actually not bad at all.


For this place has become my home. These people have become like my family. And I can't wait for what this upcoming year has to offer!!!!


It was a big week for us missionaries filled with planning for our Missionary Christmas Party, special activities in our own individual areas, and of course GIFT BUYING!! It's great, loving the Christmas Season--definitely universal(;


Our Missionary Christmas Party was AMAZING!! So fun to see all the missionaries of Cavite Mission come together to celebrate this wonderful holiday together.


Part of the program was to do skits. Each Zone did something and boy was it fun to watch! I have to say, and I'm being completely honest, our zone was THE BEST!


We did sort of a lip sync/acting of Mission Life to Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas"--but instead all we wanted for Christmas was BAPTISMS! And that's what we really did get this year, me and Sis Barrameda! So happy about that!


We also did an exchanging of gift and a little Christmas Program where Missionaries got to share their talents. It was great! Love the new Church video! That was awesome!


Oh! And all the Polynesian Boys in our mission did the Haka which was AMAZING! They put their whole heart in it! There's only three polynesians in this mission from America. Me, Sister Brown, and Sister Stenvenson. They're all such great people and I know I have already made friendships here that will last a life time!


Afterwards we got to go to our Branch Christmas Party (wow, party animals are we huh) and I got to sing "Give Your Love Away" at that! It was so fun! I love all these people I get to serve each and every day.


The best thing about being a Missionary during the Holidays has to be the Dinner Appointments.


We literally are eating so much and are invited to so many homes, it's impossible to go to each one of them. And yes, the food here is BOMB.


I'm afraid I'll be the 1% that come home from the Philippines...not so skinny): #Moded.


Anyways! Just know that it was a week filled with MANY eating appointments, but I don't mind(:


On Christmas Day, we as a District, were able to celebrate all together at the Simon's home (one of the Missionary Couples that live right next to us).


They had been planning and getting this all set up for a while, and now the day had come.


We ate a huge breakfast made by Sister Simons and did a Secret Santa exchange and also got some gifts from the Simon's too! We also decorated cookies we would be handing out when we went caroling later that night. It was so fun and I just love these people so much! They are my family here in the mish talega!


We were also able to visit some more of our families to say "Merry Christmas" and then had a dinner again!


That night though, we gathered as a District with the Simon's and went around our little neighborhood to carol and pass out cookies.


So they do caroling very different here in the Philippines. There are many kids and teens and even some adults that go caroling to little shops and homes for money and everyone is usually suppose to give them money, but we give them chocolate instead cause it's BAWAL (forbidden) for us to give money.


As we Missionaries went to each of these homes, it was funny to see each of them look around for something to give us and as they handed the money to us, we refused the money and gave them a huge plate of cookies.


Their faces were confused and shocked...but they gratefully took the cookies.


Some even cried and said to us, "God bless you..."


Giving then receiving never felt so good!


As Sister Barrameda and I went to teach our people again, a common message we gave was the scripture 2 Nephi 25:26--where basicallly everything is surrounded by Christ.


I know as we center our lives around Christ and remember the ULTIMATE GIFT that any person could ever give, a Savior. A redeemer. A life to bring joy and happiness and salvation to many lives! Remembering this could help us to reach out and love a little more differently than we usually do.


That's what Christmas is all about right? Doing something good for someone else. Or like in my song:


"When life's clock is ticking by the minutes and the years. Fill your world with happiness and wipe away the tears. Then give your love away. Share a smile with someone new. Lend a hand to those who need your love and love will return to you."


I know that that is true, SO TRUE! I've seen it and I know it's real.


Skyping with my family was emotional, but made me realize how blessed to have a family that is active in the gospel and a blessing or gift given to me from our Heavenly Father.


I love you all. Merry, happy 2016! I'll try not to party too hard(:


Mahal kita<3


-Sis Alapa

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your stories!!! Reminds me of my Christmas on the mission field! Happy New Year Sister Alapa! XO Lina

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your stories!!! Reminds me of my Christmas on the mission field! Happy New Year Sister Alapa! XO Lina

    ReplyDelete