Sunday, December 20, 2015

#SaPilipinasBound: Maligayang Pasko ("Sister, it's Christmas not Halloween")

I was doing my hair for a Christmas Party we were going to and my hair was literally "FRIZZ-Mania".

I looked to my companion jokingly and asked her, "Hey, should I just leave my hair like this?"

She looked up at me, her eyes went big for a moment as she looked at my AFROTastic Hair and sweetly and gently replied (cause she's "shy-type), "Sister, it's Christmas...not Halloween..."

I never laughed so hard in my life.


Wow, What a Week!

The weather this week has caused a lot of flooding in our area and because of it, it has restricted us a bit from the work. No worries ALL IS WELL(:

But....through all the rain, rain, and MORE RAIN--we were able to find LIGHT in our week.

So we've been planning Ella's (10 year old girl from Ph 5) baptism for a while now, and this week we  finally set a date for Saturday December 12th and wanted to fill her special day with a lot of support from members and current investigators; we told everyone we could about it.

The day came, and the typhoon threat was knocking hard at the door. The rain was so intense and so much, but we still didn't receive any word about Ella's baptism being canceled. So we thought, "Eh, through rain or shine...THE SHOW MUST GO ON!". We went to Ph 5 and picked up Ella and some of her friends (our other investigators) and headed to the chapel. Unfortunately her parents weren't planning to attend cause her dad has work and her mom was really sick. So that was a major bummer for us. We triked all the way to the chapel just to find out that is was locked! No one was there.

So we waited....for THREE HOURS in the pouring rain.

It wasn't fun at all to be honest.

We were all freezing and wet. We ended up going to a nearby 7/11 to wait, but the air conditioning made it even colder. So, we decided to wait outside.

I felt so bad for all our little kids.

Our zone leaders finally came and we told them the situation. We explained to them that no one came to open the chapel and that we had been waiting in the rain for over three hours.

They came to the conclusion that maybe people thought it was canceled because of the weather conditions and told us to send/take everyone home. My companion and I were very disheartened by this, but we promised Ella that she would still be baptized before she left for vacation on the 24th of December.

The next day, Sunday, we went to church and asked one of our leaders if we can hold a baptism on the following Tuesday. He looked at us and said, "I don't see why we can't just have it today after church!"

My companion and I looked at each other and said, "REALLY!? TODAY!?"

He said, "Yeah, why not?"

We started texting and telling people about the baptism and also had to tell Ella too (who came to church by herself that day). She was nervous because it all happened so abruptly...but then said YES!

It was going to be really last minute, but we were still praying and hoping we could make this baptism one she wouldn't forget.

Church ended and we started to set up for the little baptism.

Our branch mission leader was frantically trying to put a program together by asking some members to give a talk or to lead the music. They were all so nice to kindly accept any assignment asked of them.

My comp and I got little Ella dressed in the baptismal clothes and took our picture by the church sign.

We were so pleased to see the outpouring of love of our branch members for Ella; even though it happened so unexpectedly.

One of our less active members and her boyfriend (who's our investigator) decided to attend as well.

The baptism was a SUCCESS, the program was beautiful and even the weather cooperated.

We were so grateful for the wonderful spirit that was present that day and for all the support. We knew the Lord was looking out for us, but more importantly that Ella could become a member of this beautiful gospel. Now the Padua family is complete and can work towards being a forever family!

Missionaries always say that they want a "WHITE" Christmas (meaning baptism with people dressed in white) and not gifts. We have grown to love this family so much and so glad that they are on the right path to living eternally with our Heavenly Father.

Later on that day we had a Christmas Missionary Fireside. We had been planning this fireside for a couple of weeks now and today was the day it was happening!

I was SOOOOOOO nervous because I was asked to provide a musical number. Thank you mom/dad for sending me the background music (my dad playing the piano) for my song that evening.

I chose to sing "Give Your Love Away" which have such great lyrics and a message of our Saviors love for all of us. I pray that during this Christmas season (ultimately throughout the whole year) we can be a little more kinder,  a little more friendlier, smile bigger, love more and may we focus on being a giver. We are all so blessed to be given the ultimate gift of all.....that is the opportunity to live with our Heavenly Father, our Savior and our families forever. Wow! Isn't that AMAZING???

Yes, Christmas is going to be different for me this year. It is a family tradition of ours to go caroling to different homes and I so love feeling the spirit as we shared the gift of music, testimony and of course GOOD food with so many people. I'm going to miss that this year, but I know that this is where I belong; this is where I want to be!  The Philippines is my home away from home and I'm so blessed to be amongst such humble and great people!

So excited to SKYPE!! YAAAAYYY!!>.<

Lend a hand to those who need your love and love will return to you (:

Mahal kita talega<3

Love you all, Sister Alapa

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