Thursday was a day that I had been waiting for since the middle of July. Our missionary Christmas party. It was great. We began with a devotional given by President and Sister Stucki that was awesome. It was then followed by a gift exchange, lunch and concluded with a talent show. It was so much fun. Elder Villoso and I lit up the stage with a rendition of The First Noel. That was an experience. When we initially said that we'd participate, we didn't quite understand how big of a deal this talent show actually would be. When we arrived, we discovered that we would be performing on stage in front of hundreds of missionaries. The only thing that was going through my head was the fond memories of the Mr. Lancer contest and how wonderful that experience was. Luckily, it turned out far better. Not great, but better. Elder Villoso started us out on the wrong note so we kind of had to change the arrangement that we made up. There was a high part that destroyed me. It was good though. Fun stuff.
Friday night was our Christmas party in the Manila 1st ward. It was fun. I really like the ward. They're so nice and welcoming. I met a ton of people and had some great times. I was kinda disappointed in the turn out though. People aren't too big on church activities here so not too many people were there. Way fun anyway. I ate more food than I have in a long time.
Elder Carlson and I were finally able to work in our area on Saturday. Our bishop offered to show us around. He took us to the homes of some of the Members and a few of the less actives. I'm stoked for the area. It's way tough shotgunning though. We are starting from absolutely nothing. This area was not very progressing before we got here so we have a grand total of 4 investigators at the moment. We're trying to spend a lot of time finding to enlarge our teaching pool. It's a little tough because Elder Carlson doesn't speak Tagalog so I'm the one that has to do... well... all of the talking. On the bright side, my Tagalog should get pretty dang good over the next few transfers. I honestly feel the Lord qualifying me. I've noticed a huge change in my ability to speak. Somehow I got a bit better at Tagalog. I still sound like a 7 year old, but I can say what I want, and I can understand what others are saying to me. The Lord truly does qualify those who he calls. He leads the work and is with every one of his missionaries.
We spent earlier today moving apartments. We are now in an apartment that's in our area and it's way nice, far nicer than my past two apartments. It's actually two floors. We have a nice balcony with a great view of the large building across the street. It's a beauty.
I'm so stoked for this week. We have a dinner appointment every day this week. That's what I'm talking about. The senior couple invited our district over to their apartment on Christmas Eve for a little party. They told me that there will be waffles. Now that's a merry merry Christmas. And of course, Wednesday will be the greatest day since mother's day. I can't wait to talk with you guys.
Great news. Carmelino and Marissa will both be getting baptized this Saturday. I'll be having the best Christmas a kid could ask for. I get to talk with my family and witness the baptisms of two people that I have grown to love. The Elders in Manila 2 told me that Carmelino wants me to baptize him so I'm super stoked for that. I love that family so much (have I mentioned that before?)