Here is what Sister Warner said today:
Maayong Pasko, everyone!!!
Sunday we got the Tacloban rundown from our Stake President. 48 ( I think that's what he said) members of the Church died. All the people in the church survived by hanging onto the rafters in the ceiling after the water came through. There was a family of 5 and a family of 7 that all passed away. Also all 12 members of the family of a missionary serving in...I don't remember what mission. So when he goes home, he will go home to no family. The Stake President couldn't even express the pain...
Allright. Can't dwell on the sad or else I'll cry.
So this week has been great. This is gonna be a little scattered cuz I'm SO tired! Pinoy's celebrate Christmas a little differently...they actually celebrate on Christmas Eve...by getting really drunk, singing karaoke at the top of their lungs, eating tons of food and launching fireworks all night!
So thanks to our very drunk neighbors who were having a great time with the karaoke machine and fireworks, at about midnight Sister Yap and I gave up on trying to sleep and went ahead and opened the Christmas present you guys sent me with. Wow. I seriously have the best family in the world! Sister Yap loves you so much, too! She was shocked to get presents from you! But we celebrated until about 1am...then most of the fireworks were finished so we tried to sleep...but it was hard. It will be the same tonight and WORSE on New Year's apparently! PASTILAN! I'm gonna die!
Yesterday, all we did was teach and eat. ALL DAY. Pastilan, I've never been so full in my life! It started in the morning when our Landlord delivered a basket of delicious, fresh mangoes. Yeah....lami kaayo 'la. Then Sister Ara passed her baptismal interview, and after that, the Sabatins (who have a microwave - yes, a MICROWAVE) popped like 3 bags of ACT II popcorn for us and gave us American candy and California grapes! Oh, it was amazing. Then we had like 3 dinner appointments - two shared with the Zone Leaders, Elder Rayos and Elder Fabiano. We're both Lacion 3 - they're Lacion 3A and we're 3B. So we share our members. We had lots of Lechon Manok (BBQ Chicken) and Pinoy style speghetti. Lami. And "fruit" salad. It doesn't actually have any fruit - just jello stuff. By the last appointment, poor Elder Fabiano looked like he was gonna puke trying to finish his fruit salad! His eyes were watering and everything! We ate SO much. Our members take such good care of us. Even if they don't have a lot, they're always willing to give.
Speaking of food, the blood jello isn't actually against mission rules! So now I have to try it. Elder Fabiano said it's good...just don't think about what you're eating! So I'll be trying that eventually...
And ice here. Yeah...What's that chemistry term? It's been awhile...but I think it's sublimation. Where ice evaporates...yeah that happens here all the time! If you put an ice cube outside, or even just on our table, half of it will melt and half of it will evaporate! What?
Christmas Caroling...people go all out here. They bring around full bands and lots of people...and they do it for money! What? Yeah! Too fun! Oh my gosh. It's raining outside so the owner of this internet cafe felt the need to turn on the heater. I feel like I'm sitting in Hades! Gonna die.
Monday was great, too. First I had my first horrible gross experience of my mission! Ready? Okay. So we were teaching Sister Ara and getting her ready for her interview yesterday, and her little brother was sleeping in his sheet hammock thingy...and his parent's didn't realize that he needed to go to the bathroom. First, you need to know that they were out of wash water. They only had mineral water for drinking. Second, they have to get their wash water from a pump that's about a 3 minute walk away. Getting a bucket of wash water takes about 10 minutes. Third, we were past curfew. Our lesson took FOREVER.
Back to the story. We were teaching Sister Ara and her brother, who was sleeping, had to go to the bathroom. But his parent's didn't realize until it was too late. So his dad was running him out of the house, but he didn't quite make it...and he peed all over my shoes. And there was no wash water. And we were past curfew... luckily my shoes are waterproof... so I just dumped them out as best as I could and then put them on - gross! Luckily my socks soaked up the worst of it. I had a 10 minute tricycle ride and a mile long walk home in pee. Yeah. It was...great!. LOL! Then I spent about 30 mins washing my feet, shoes and socks. Pastilan! I guess it could have been worse, though...
Monday during our district meeting, Elder Ewell (District Leader) gave the time over to Elder Fabiano (Zone Leader) for annoucements. Elder Fabiano started by saying: "Wednesday for our Zone Activity, we're gonna go down to the Waterfront Hotel and do some swimming!!!" Everyone's mouths dropped. Then he announced it was a joke and we were all laughing so hard. No. For real. Today for our zone activity, we're heading up to Discovery Hills. I hear it's super bukid and awesome. I'm very, very excited! Everyone but Elder Larson and I know what it's like cuz they went there two transfers ago and everyone loved it.
Speaking of Elder Larson...Pastilan, he and Elder Ewell live with the only two Pinoy's in our District and they taught him how to cook Pinoy food! Like Adobo Chicken! I still haven't learned...Sister Yap likes cooking and I like doing the dishes...so we kind of have this system. I DON'T like cooking or washing floors, but those are the two things she LIKES doing. So it works out perfectly.
Oh. Saturday we had a "decompress" day at the Mission Home and we met Sister Tanner's sister who is on her way home from China where she and her husband have been teaching for the past few years. And FRANK! They love Taiwan!!!
Speaking of Frank..and Taylor and Luke and Caden - got their letters! Thanks guys :D feelin the luv! Miss all your beastlynessswagmonstersofswagness! Thanks for taking time out of your gaming to write to me! Even if my mom made you cuz you were living at our house ;) still much appreciated! They all made me laugh...but Frank...you forgot I don't read Chinese very well...or like..at all except for like 3 characters...so I don't know what you said! Taylor at least translated his!
Sunday's Relief Society Lesson was on "Your Wonderful Journey" by Pres. Uchtdorf(I think). I've been thinking a lot about my wonderful journey. Since coming on my mission, I've seen countless miracles. Better yet, I've been recognizing more of the countless miracles I've seen in my life before my mission. Countless, countless, countless. This truly is a wonderful journey.
Alright. Gonna go celebrate Christmas more :D The picture is from one of our dinner appointments - the Monticarlo family. They're very sweet and nice.
Love you all! Best Wishes! Maayong Pasko :D
- Sister Warner -
Quote of the week: [When talking about our millions of mosquito bites that we both scratch] "I looked down the other day cuz my leg was itching and there were flies like straight up eating the flesh on my leg!" - Sister
Johnson. Crazy the stuff we deal people here deal with!
Jayme also sent us this picture - it was taken Christmas Eve!