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Happy December,

The following is something I shared with my mission president about  the things I have learned over the past year... the true meaning of Christmas and a better way to share the Holiday spirit.  Light the world... 

There is one message I really love and I think it goes well with this year's initiative. It is from the talk of Elder Bednar last Christmas Devotional. He talks about the signs of the Saviors birth in the Americas. The believers prayed for, pleaded for the literal light of "no darkness" to save their lives, as they were set to be killed if the prophesy wasn't fulfilled.The Nephites had great cause to rejoice because... "it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, … and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given." The Nephites were saved by the literal light of day shining continually, but every man was saved because the Light of the world, our Savior Jesus Christ was born to eternally save every single one of us. This was a day of rejoicing not just for the Nephites, but this was a day of rejoicing for every man who had lived, was living and all those who would live as their Redeemer had come into the world to take on our sins and pave the way for us to overcome spiritual and physical death. Jesus Christ is the Light who saves us all. Last year as I spent my first Christmas here in on the mission, this was a message I needed because for the first time I truly understood and internalized the meaning of Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas is to reintroduce the Light of our Savior Jesus Christ into the lives of those around us and into our own lives. Over 2000 years ago we rejoiced with the angels of heaven, and everyday as missionaries we have the opportunity to bring that Light back to them, to introduce them to the gospel and the way for them to receive salvation they are searching for in the darkness. I have seen the light enter people's lives and eyes as they accept the gospel, as they pray and receive an answer, as they feel the spirit, as they dress in white, as they pass the sacrament for the first time, or are assigned their first calling. We "Light the World" everyday by doing His work. Everyday we have cause to rejoice as we celebrate the Light that entered into the world to save us 2000 plus years ago and that continues to save every one of us every single day since.  

I don't have any of those fancy social media sites or anything right now- but you guys do. I encourage all of you to take an active part this season in "Lighting the World" a downloadable advent calendar  starting December 1st (link below).  See what a difference it will make in your celebration this year of our Savior's Birth. 

I love you guys! 

Happy Week

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Lots of good things happened this week and happen every week actually. The days are coming close and it's  with mixed feelings. I got mom's letter in the package this week and was touched by her "final days in the mission" journal entries. I read how heartbroken she was to close that chapter of her life and leave her mission. I still have a while to go but I know how she felt. Thank you for everyone else's sweet letters in the package. They were all so fun to read, especially from the nieces sharing with me  their love lives. Haha 

Because Sister Quijada and I are sometimes working with other sisters in our area, some of our investigators haven't seen us together. They always see us with different companions. One of our investigators told me that she's decided to take the discussions with the other missionaries, the sister from cagayan de oro (sister quijada) so she dropped me for my companion. Hehe... I tried to explain to her that we are companions, but obviously it doesnt make sense and she wants to just wait for the other sisters to come to her house. 

ELDER QUINTIN COOK came to our mission this week. He came and did like a mission wide conference. It was an AMAZING conference. He left a bunch of blessings on us and our mission and inspiring messages about the work. Mostly about connecting with the spirit and connecting with the people so that you are teaching individually and specifically to the people. It was just what I needed and made me so unbelievably grateful to be a part of this work. Wish it was lasting longer and wasn't going by so quick. 

The GUIEB family got baptized on Saturday. Brother Andy and Sister Anabelle and two of their children, John Mark and Joan all were so excited and happy for their special day. I stood in the font on the steps this time, so we could watch their faces when they got up and help them get in and out. It's more fun that way, because they all came out with BIG smiles on their face and a big sigh, probably cuz the water was really cold, but the smiles were because they were really happy. We were really happy too because this family is so blessed to have been all prepared at the same time. Next goal: TEMPLE 

It was my beautiful companion's birthday. Right when she woke up and went to join united prayer, we poured flour on her, and then had a tarpaulin (like what Sister Bomediano did for me) and had everything set up for her. she was a good sport and wasn't even mad that she woke up with flour being poured on her. I have a new policy that I have learned from Filipinos: No Celebration should ever go uncelebrated. 

Questions and answers

Tell us what happen with your investigators this week I'm hoping that you have very good news. 
I do have very good news. Our Guieb family passed their baptismal interview and will be getting baptized this saturday. THANK YOU. also, Brother Casasiempre is scheduled to be baptized the beginning of Dec. I LOVE THESE FAMILIES A WHOLE LOT so it was a very, very happy week.

Tell us about your companion.
My companion is Sister Quijada. she is the best. She is from Cagayan De Oro, Philippines. She is one of the humblest people I have worked with in my mission and I adore her. She is also really loving and we have a lot of laughs. Hoping she is the one to "kill me off" (be my last companion)

Tell us about your ward or is it a branch?
I am still in Rosales 1st ward.  Our investigators feel welcome and love the ward. Everyone just takes them in and welcomes them and it is so nice. SUCH a great ward.

Tell us how many different families you're currently teaching. Tell us what you think will be the greatest lesson you have learned as you served on your mission. We are teaching a mixture of families, spouses, and siblings. Its a blessing to teach people as families and how the gospel really is designed and centered on families. Its not complete without the family unit. 
Greatest lesson question- I will answer at the end of my mission. Still learning lots of lessons every day.

Tell us how you plan to keep those lessons close to your heart when you get back to normal life. 
I am not going to take off my name tag after I get home. It will remind me and it makes all outfits look 10000x better.

Tell us if you think you're going to need time to recover or if you plan to get right back into your schooling. That's a bit of a baited question, I just want to know that you plan to hang around me for a while. 
School will have already started when I get back. so i will just wait for spring semester. maybe work (big girl now). You will have time with me don't worry. You will be sick of me again and want me to move out again.  

Tell me what you think my big surprises for you upon your return.
I have no idea.... 
a husband. 
please dont marry me off just yet. 

Have a great week!  I LOVE YOU ALL!!

This week's pictures...

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Sister Quijada 

Last supper with Bro. and Sister Anderson - they are heading home - we will truly miss them.  

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