I am listening to MoTab Christmas music while typing, and I am so happy. I love emailing you!
I am feeling much better. I still don't know what the rashes were from, but they're gone and they haven't come back, so that's good. I know it wasn't from food, so it probably was from a weird plant or something that I brushed up against. My cough is also getting better. I woke up on Friday, so in America, Thursday, and I just felt like crap. I just started crying and just felt so blahhh. I didn't know what to do. I just wanted to go home to you and have you hug me and take care of me. Sis Maroket and I talked to Sis Rahlf that morning on the phone, and she emailed the area doctor in Manila, Elder Arner. He emailed her back really quick and prescribed me azithromycin and prednisone. I have some kind of respiratory infection, like pneumonia or bronchitis, I'm not sure exactly what it is. But I know it's not fun! I took the last antibiotic today and will finish the last of the prednisone tomorrow. I am feeling much better now! I got to rest a little bit extra during the day, but honestly, going out and working makes me feel best. The best medicine is just going out to work and forgetting yourself!
This week was a good week. I finisihed the Book of Mormom! I have read it before with you mom, and in seminary, but this time was different. It felt like the first time I really read it for myself and understood it. I loved it. You know that feeling you have after you finish a good book or movie and you are sad that it's over because you liked it so much? That's how I felt when I finished it. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown a lot since being on a mission, and I grow and learn from it each time I read it. I hope each of you read the Book of Mormom each day. That's all we tell our investigators and less actives each lesson: pray and pray and pray and read and read and read. We tell them over and over again because we know how important it is. The Book of Mormon and prayer will give you strength that nothing else in the world can give you. I am so thankful for the Book of Mormon and for the opportunity I have to share it with others.
We had a great experience with one of our investigators, Nanay Relly. She is in her late 60's. She had kidney cancer and has been recovering for the past year from her kidney removal surgery. We have been teaching her for a while, but she had never been able to read the BofM or the pamphlets because she can't see. She is one of the old ladies without glasses that I mentioned. Some wonderful person donated a bunch of glasses to the mission, so Sis Maroket and i got to give her a pair of glasses. I never thought giving someone a pair of glasses could be spiritual, but it was. We brought a few different types of glasses to see which she could see best. Her eyes got all wide and excited when we pulled the glasses out of our bags. We fit her a pair, and happily handed her the pair that fit best. She held them tenderly, as if they were the most delicate thing in the world. She got quiet and just kept saying, "thank you, thank you." During our lesson, we had her read a passage for us. I don't remember what we were teaching her about, or what verse we shared with her, but the feeling I got when she was able to read the BofM for the first time, I will never forget. I couldn't stop smiling.
I love you all so much and am so thankful for you! What a blessed time this is for us to think about family and about the birth of our Savior.
I LOVE YOU! MAHAL KO KAYO!
xo Sister Anna Ray Allen
This is one of my favorite families: the Rodriguez family! They are less active. You can see their whole house in this picture. They are so great and so fun! There's Tatay (dad), Nanay (mom), and four kids, Michael, Melvin, Macmac, and Cheska. I love them!
These are little Thanksgiving treats I made for each of my roommates and my comp. I bought the cookies at the bakery down the street. They've never had cookies there before, and I was so excited when I saw them, I think I bought half of them! I left them out on the table for each of them, and they were each so excited. They loved them! And the cookies were really yummy. It was nice to have a "normal" treat like sugar cookies for once