Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Years...Almost!-12/29/13

So I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas! My Christmas here was great, and probably one of my favorite ones ever! On Christmas Eve, we went out caroling with the other sisters in our apartment, Sister Bircher and Sister Sidwell, and a couple of families from the ward, The Velasco and Vinoya families. We made little cards and bags of candy and caroled to a bunch of members from the ward. It was a little weird that it was so hot yet slightly cold if that makes any sense haha? I was wearing a sweater, but by the end of the day, I was so sweaty from climbing up all of the stairs and hills to get to peoples houses, but it was still a great day and well worth the exercise haha. When we got back home, Sister BIrcher prepared a feast for us with chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and even develed eggs. It was an american Christmas in the philippines! Then we made a giant blanket fort in our living room, and put all of our mattresses in there and watched The Errand of Angels about sister missionaries in Germany, so bascially, the best missionary Christmas you could imagine! In the Philippines, everyone celebrates at midnight Christmas Eve, so right at midnight, I was woken up by fireworks and parties going on right outside our window until about 3 or 4 AM. Hahah good thing I sleep like a rock though, so it was pretty easy for me to go back to sleep.
Then on Christmas day, I got to skype the fam! I love you all, and I'm so glad that MC, John, Kyrsten, and Babou were there too, ya'll are the best, and Pais I wish you could have been there again too! I was worried that skyping would make me homesick, but it actually made me more motivated to work harder and try my best out here! And next time I talk to ya'll on Mothers Day, I will be better at Tagalog, promise!
So Christmas was the definite highlight of this week! Teaching was a bit rough cause no one was home really, but the lessons that we did have were really great! I definitely learned this week that I am not the teacher the spirit is. I really can't teach if I don't have the spirit, and in order to have the spirit, I need to do my part and be worthy of it always. I found that the days I really focused myself in my studies and remained positive and served my companion, our lessons were so much better! It's hard to not rely on my own strength sometimes, and that's something that I'm still working on, but I know that this work is not mine, it's the Lord's, and only the spirit can change people, not me. So all I can do is be worhty of the spirit, and help others to feel it, and they will know that our message is true! I love this work, it really is so amazing!
Ok, time for some shout outs! Thanks for the letters Brigham, Shanoah, Penn-White, and Katie! I loved the post card Shanoah! And little Brooklyn Hill, I love you so much and I RELLY miss you too :) I hope you had a wonderful baptism, I'm so happy that you are now a member of this true church! Keep sharing your sweet testimony, and you will be blessed by the Lord, He's so proud of you and I love you for writing me! Also, thanks again for the package Dad! We have candy galore now haha we are trying to ration it off to people cause all of our new years resolutions are about losing weight I'm pretty sure haha.
But I hope that everyone has a wonderful new year! Something that I'm really going to focus on this year of 2014 is to be the person that the Lord knows that I am. I want to use every hour of my day to prepare myself to be worthy of the Lord's presence and be optomistic always! Remember to find joy in the journey, we are so blessed by the Lord everyday! I love you all, and thanks for your love and prayers!
Mahal Kita,
Sister Bangerter
The great Christmas hat dad sent me

My Christmas presents, an igorot skirt, dog stuffed animal from Sister Lazan, and tons of hot chocolate and energen and bingos (oreos)!

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