Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!

 The Segovia Family

 The Estrelia Family

Skyping with my family on Christmas!

 Eating pork intestines

 Teresa was an investigator btw, who thought that we were rich foreigners who could give her money! So she told us that her husband was in prison and that he needed help. She even went as far as to write this note! But, awkwardly, it turns out her husband is a tricycle driver and didn't get the memo of his wife's lies and told us that he was teresa's husband! Hahahaha oh, mission life. 

Christmas morning with Sister Teo

Dear Family,
HELLO! It was SO wonderful getting to talk to you for Christmas! As a missionary, when we leave the skype we like over think everything and hope that we seemed excited enough and that we told everyone that we love them.. I LOVE the picture that you sent of Marmee! I am dying.. totally going to print that one out for my desk. 
Christmas week was so much fun!! When we were at our branch Christmas party on the 23rd, it hit me how much I LOVE Philippinos! They are a BLAST! And let me tell you, they know how to party.  There was food and dancing and games, and they love us missionaries so much.  At Christmas time, when I expected to be sad and missing my own family, I felt so at home with all of the wonderful people here. They truly have become my brothers and sisters.  This place will always be a home away from home. I will cherish the relationships that I have with each member, less active, and investigator. I am humbled every day by the faith and goodness of the people here. Despite the fact that they live with so little, they are always laughing and just so happy to be with each other. I don't know how I will ever be able to part from them!!! 
On Christmas Eve, we started making our rounds to all of the people we teach to take them Christmas gifts! We were given DVD's to give to them, and then we gave them some food and a Christmas card.  We caroled to everyone, and even though most people were laughing at us, it was so much fun.  Lots of people gave us food too! Haha, except on Christmas Eve, the little tindahan (cafe) we usually eat at for dinner didn't have very much food.  But one of the food items looked pretty good..But I couldn't really tell what it was. So I was like "Ano po ito?"-What is this. And the lady was like "Pork!" So I was like sweet! And got it with rice. Then I asked, "What kind of sauce is this? And she answered "dugo" or "blood"- haha, for some reason I was just thinking "haha that's weird, I wonder why they call it blood?" Yeah-turns out she was being serious! Because half way through my meal, I thought to myself "This is the weirdest pork I've ever eaten..." So I asked the lady "What kind of pork is this?" Then she goes "Intestine"..... Literally the moment she said that something changed inside my stomach. Hahahaha, the rest of the night we had to stop a few times for me to bend over and rest because of the stomach pains, but the next morning I woke up feeling just fine! hahahaha, oh the Philippines. 
But Christmas morning was a blast too! Sister Teo and I had gotten stockings for Sister Delaitubuna and Sister Falgui and so we suprised them and then had a big breakfast together (: And THEN we got to SKYPE!! It was SO GOOD to see everyone! I love that I still feel so close to you and that I could really feel your love even through the computer screen.
Then, we went to have lunch and we ran into a bunch of senior couples who paid for us! They told us that they take care of us missionaries because other people took care of their kids when they were missionaries (: I thought mom would like to know that. 
Mom, in response to your email...
We get 4,000 pesos on the 1st and on the 15th. We have to pay for fare and for electricity and for water, and for all our food and stuff like that. But-we really are going to start on the 1st to budget our money better! 
Dad, guess what! We had 2 complete families come to church and one sister reactivated!!! You could say that I am SO HAPPY to say the least!!
Hahah, we had our follow up training meeting yesterday and President Hiatt asked "Was today a good day?"  And we said, "Yes!" And he was like, "Why was it a good day?" And in unison, Sister Teo and I were like, "People came to church!" 
It really is SO sweet when people come to church (: I never knew one person could care so much about church attendance, but as missionaries we totally do! 
I loved getting to see you! You are my fave. I loved laughing with all of you and remembering how lucky I am to have each of you. 
I hope you have a great week and start this new year off strong! We are going to here! We have a goal of 100 OYMS! (OYM stands for Open Your Mouth...meaning new contacts with strangers) And we are gonna do it!! Both Sister Teo and I are really driven and kind of competitive, so that makes the work fun even when people don't always progress like we wish they did. I am still pretty sure that that competitive side of me comes from when I was little and you would say, "Lets race!" and you would never let me win. hehehe 
In the couple of hours following skype, though, I was feeling pretty crazy emotionally. I was thinking about all of you and what had changed, and what you would be doing the following Christmas morning. I was surprised to feel sadness as I missed you guys because I really am SO happy here! BUT- literally the second we walked into the home of someone we were teaching, as we began to work that day, all of those feelings disappeared and I was enveloped again for the love of the people here. Work really is the remedy for any form of homesickness! 
The sweetest experience that I had this week though, was with the Segovia family. The day after Christmas, their whole family was in town, and they really wanted us to come share with them. (The wife and son who we work with a lot are not active in church, but the Dad and daughter who were in town are very active.) We opened the lesson by singing "Families Can Be Together Forever." We all began singing the first verse together, but by the time it came time for the second verse, all of us had stopped singing because we were in tears. The spirit completely filled the room, and the quote "Missionaries leave their families for a time, so that others can be with their's for eternity" became so real. I was so thankful for that moment to share with this beautiful family. We set the goal for them to be sealed in the temple, and the following Sunday the whole family came to church. It was such a sweet experience that I will cherish forever. 
I love you all SO SO SO MUCH! I am so happy and just so in love with life! I don't know how I got so lucky to be here in this beautiful place with all of these beautiful people! Have a great week and be happy!!!
Sister Lockwood

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