Maayong Pasko! *translation: Merry Christmas*
Welcome to Christmas in the Fili. It's officially taken off this week, and it's been so much fun. Let me paint you a picture of what Christmas in the Fili entails. Bamboo huts and tin roofs with Christmas lights on them. Every single night we have little kids caroling at our house. You always greet everyone by saying Maayong Pasko. And I do get a little bit of a white Christmas here, because the miles and miles of sugar can fields, all have sprouted white at the top. It just happened over night! But it's so pretty, when it's ready to be harvested, it sprouts white up at the top. May I make the cheesy missionary comment, that "the field is white all ready to be harvested"? That is turning out to be true on many accounts here in San Carlos.
Last Wednesday was actually a really boring p-day. We already had plenty of groceries from the typhoon, the house was spotless, but we didn't have money to do anything. So we sat at home and I wanted to go crazy because I had already sat in my house so much that week. But we had an incredible tender mercy at lunch. We were standing in line and I looked over and I out of the corner of my eye I saw someone staring at me. I turned and immediately recognized who it was, and I ran across the restaurant to hug her, as she in turn ran over to hug me as well. It was Eva, Edgardo's daughter. I haven't seen her since Edgardo's funeral. She's doing so great. I feel so close to her, she's really busy, but we talked and laughed for a minute and then I hugged her and told her goodbye.
Thursday: We went out to Guadalupe, man oh man, Guadalupe is amazing. We have three investigators with a baptismal date in Guadalupe, and they are all a direct result of Edgardo. I solemnly swear to tell you the whole story about them next week. I was thinking about Edgardo a lot this week, he's still all over San Carlos. I love that man, and I miss him greatly, but he's doing some amazing missionary work here in good old San Carlos.
Friday: Friday I hit ten months! I’m over half way! In fact I have more time behind me than I do in front of me. Now that’s a crazy thought. I have no idea where the time went. We taught our IBD Renante. He is amazing. He is that man who Sister Bateman and I met, he was a Bible Baptist Missionary before, he is doing so good. He loves the Book of Mormon, he always asks really deep questions, and we have some good conversations. He’s such a stud! His baptism is set for January 3rd! He is so excited. Then we taught my main girl Charlyn. Who is also doing wonderful! She is loving the scriptures! She read Alma 32 and ate it up. And then she read Mosiah 2 and talked about how she wants to go to the temple. She just gets it. She always talks about “the delicious fruit” that is the Book of Mormon. And then she gave us two referrals! She reminds me so much of Janine from Carcar. And then I went home and had two surprise letters from my mom! The STLs had got them and left them on my bed.
Saturday we had our zone training meeting. It was amazing as usual. I love being on a mission because I learn so much and I’ve changed my way of thinking so much. We had to plan a skit for the Christmas Conference. And can I just tell you that I do not in fact like skits? It was like youth conference gone wild!
Sunday: Charlyn had Carl blessed. His official full name is “Carl Blake Lehi Gumilao”. My little namesake is a Mormon. She loves the name Lehi. She talked about him going on a mission, and there aren’t even words to describe how that felt. I had missed this little imperfect branch of mine when we weren’t able to go to church last week. Right after church we got on a bus and went down to Dumaguete for the Christmas Devotional. It was a 5 hour ride, and they didn’t have any aircon. So I rode with my arm out the window and just enjoyed the view, and then realized later that night that my left arm had a gnarly sunburn. The life. We were able to see so many wonderful missionaries. Most of the missionaries I am good friends with are on the other island, so I wasn’t able to see them. But I made some new friends. There was this Sister there who kept looking at me, I knew she was still in training. I walked over to introduce myself and she said “I already know you! You’re Carlee Beyer. I read your whole blog! I stayed up until three in the morning laughing and crying.” That was madness. But she is so great. We talked all day long, I feel like we have been friends forever. We had so much fun together, her name is Sister Hayes. And all day everyone kept telling me how old I was in the mission. It hit me as I met Sister after Sister who have only been on the mission for three months, or five months, that my heavens, I suddenly am old in the mission.
Monday: We had our Christmas Conference. It was so great. Also there was a Christmas Mircale, I got to eat Macdos for breakfast. And all was well in the world. I saw Sister Tandiman! I thought I would never get to see my little Indonesian again, but I saw her from across the room and we just tackled each other. She goes home in just a few weeks, so it was such a tender mercy. It was such a good devotional, President and Sister McCurdy did a wonderful job. Also, we performed our skit. We had to be models, I may have done my “look back booty pop” in front of the whole mission. #oops. Sister Hayes admitted to me that she was nervous to talk to me, and even fan girled a little bit over getting me meet me and I died laughing. Literally, they are just missionary emails. She’s way too much fun. We got to listen to the farewell testimonies of the missionaries going home, which is always so powerful. And I got to hear Sister Tandimans. Then we went and ate dinner at Macdos. I regret nothing.
Tuesday: We got up at 4:00 in the morning to get back to San Carlos. We rode a bus for four hours and then they dropped us off in the middle of nowhere, and we had to wait half an hour for another bus haha. What is my life. Literally, we were just in the middle of a jungle. We got home, and then it was just back to work. We are some tired little missionaries over here in San Carlos. But we love it.
Gosh. As usual, I had a study I had all prepared, but I have run out of time. Again. I’m sorry. Next week I suppose. But I love you so much. Have a great week! Hopefully it snows eventually over there! I want you to know I love being a missionary. There is something really special about being a missionary at Christmas time. It’s hard, but also, it’s so amazing. It’s amazing to focus on what Christmas is really about. And to spend every day teaching people about Jesus Christ. I love my Savior. And I’m grateful for this Christmas, it’s different than anything I’ve ever had before . But I love it. I’m so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. And I’m so grateful to wear His name every day and be His missionary. I love my mission. I love the ways I get to learn and grow and learn of Him. I hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you next week and then we’ll be a skypin! I love you. Stay Strong. Maayong Pasko.
Sister Carlee Beyer