This week was a nice week. I know some people were surprised that I chose to serve a mission, but trust me, no one was more surprised than me! Some days I can't believe I am here! I had a few days like that this week. Being here during Christmas was wonderful, even though it was nothing like at home. It was wonderful in other ways. It was strange being away from home during Christmas, but I was - and still am! - happy to be here.
Here are some Christmas highlights:
Our branch Christmas party was a hit! It went from 2 pm on Saturday and ended at 9 pm. It was LONG. But not a second went by without laughter or fun. It was a blast! Here in the PH, at chruch parties, there is always a "program." I think members in our ward would die if we had a program like theirs. Each group, the Primary, the RS, the Elders Quorum, the Youth, even the missionaries (yes, me!), had a presentation for the rest of the branch. We missionaries, me, Sis Maroket, and the two Elders in our ward sang "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" in Tagalog. The Elders Quorum sang also. The RS was my favorite. They danced! They all danced big and sassy to "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Even the old old ladies! They love dancing and singing here.
My housemates and I gave each other gifts. I gave each of my housemates and my comp a little gift with some cute little cheap, but adorable trinkets inside. I got a note pad and some cute Christmasy desk stuff from them. It was fun to wrap and give them presents! It made it feel a little more like Christmas.
Christmas is celebrated very differently here! Santa doesn't come to houses, and people don't really give out a lot of gifts, just to close close friends and family. Holiday traditions here include: eating a ton of food, karaoke (SO MUCH karaoke), caroling, and more. There's really so much karaoke. Our neighbor this week started doing karaoke, very very loud karaoke, at about 7:30 am and didn't stop until after 2:00 pm. People here love it!
I am excited this week for New Years Eve and New Years Day! Apparently, New Years is super crazy here with fireworks and drunk people everywhere, so us missionaries and required to go on "lockdown." At 6 pm on New Years Eve, we have to return to our apartment. During that time, Pres. Rahlf gave us special permission to watch "Inside Out." I'm excited to see it! I've never seen it before. Also, during our lockdown time, I am planning to make some New Years goals. This past year, 2015, flew by so fast! I can't believe it's already 2016. I will be making some goals to help myself be a little better, a little happier, and to do my best as a missionary this year. I hope you all do the same! I hope too, that in your goals, you add to pray and read the scriptures every day. They really are our source of strength and protection.
Also....my companion Sis Maroket is getting transferred! I'll have a new companion next time we talk.
I love you all so much and am so happy to email you today! I hope you have a happy New Years. I'll talk to you next year.....hahahaha.
I LOVE YOU MORE THAN THE FILIPINOS LOVE RICE!
xo Sister Allen