MERRY CHRISTMAS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I know I say this every week but, This week went by so fast! Sister Sands and I are continuing to be busy. This week we started teaching NINE new people! And THREE of them came to church with us yesterday! We are so excited! Christmas is a magical time and everyone here is so nice. There are carolers EVERYWHERE. usually they are just children but I have also seen what looks like marching bands. Grown men with drums and tambourines walking around and singing. The missionaries and some ward members are Christmas Caroling tomorrow evening too. (Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve! What??) I am really happy to be here! 
 
The Ward Christmas Party was also this week. It turned into a huge success! there were 160 people that showed up! and 30 of them were nonmembers. A family that we are teaching came and the kids absolutely loved it! Candy and money were thrown out to the children and they all got presents and food. Spaghetti is a huge thing here. Aside from rice I bet it is any kid’s favourite food. But the sauce is sweet and not really like a tomato sauce, so its not really spaghetti, but that’s what they call it. And that was what we had for dinner. 
 
The whole mission got together this week for a Mission Christmas Conference (I would call it a party but President Reeder made it clear it was to be called a Conference… but it was a party). We all went to Naga. It takes around three hours to travel there from Daet. Our van had 14 missionaries in it, with very weak air conditioning…I am sure you can get the picture. It was super hot and cramped and loud. And the roads here are twisty and the drivers here are crazy! and Sister Sands gets car sick… We made it there safe and healthy 🙂 but it was a long journey. And the way back even longer because it was in the dark. I have to say that it was worth it though! the Conference was really great. We got to watch Johnny Lingo and then had a talent show and food and gifts. I got to see “my batch” (all the missionaries who came with me from the MTC). It was fun to catch up and hear their stories and how they are managing everything. Everyone is adjusting differently but we are all still here! 
 
Well Christmas is coming! Soon. And I hope everyone is getting ready! Bishop DeGuzman gave some really great advice yesterday at church. He said how Christmas is a time we can give and also a time to give up – meaning that we should be willing to sacrifice. And then he said that true worship REQUIRES sacrifice. I love my Savior! And I am trying to become like Him and do as He would do. This mission is teaching me a thousand different ways that I can change and improve myself. And the biggest thing I have learned is that I can’t be like Christ at all if I do not make sacrifices. This time of year is a wonderful time to think about Christ and contemplate the reason He was even born – and that was to demonstrate His complete love for us all by sacrificing Himself so we could return and live with God again. I love my Savior!
 
Sana Maligayang Pasko sa lahat! 
 
Mahal ko kayo 🙂
 
Sister Campbell
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There are no vegetables at Christmas!

Another crazy and exciting week 🙂 This Sunday was the re-broadcast of the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional and Sister Sands and I spent all week inviting EVERYONE we met to it. We went down small streets and main roads and handed out our flyers and explained what they could expect at the Devotional, which was hearing a living prophet and hearing inspirational Christmas music. We were out in the rain and the sun everyday trying to get people to come to the Christmas Devotional. Many people attended and it was wonderful 🙂 This week we were invited into many homes and able to teach about the Restoration. I love hearing people’s stories. Sister Sands still has to translate for me.. Sometimes we will be sitting in a lesson and I am following everything just fine, and then, the mood just shifts and I have no idea what was said or why people are crying or why something is funny. So that’s when Sister Sands explains to me what’s going on. Haha, the jokes here are funny. The Filipinos LOVE puns. And if I knew the language better I am sure I would know why their jokes are funny, but right now, I have no idea. 

 
In Relief Society this week we were discussing the Ward Christmas Party (which I am super excited about. Bishop has asked the missionaries to sing a song…) This old lady in the ward really wanted there to be vegetables “for the old folk”. Then someone shouted very seriously from the back “There are no vegetables at Christmas!” Everyone broke out laughing. I turned to Sister Sands. She explained. And we have made a point to not make vegetables for our Christmas Dinner except for potatoes. 
 
Everyday we meet someone new. Everyone talks to everyone. The ward is amazing. Still. I am looking forward to another week here 🙂 We are teaching more and more people and have some solid investigators. 
 
Enjoy the week ahead of you! Mahal ko kayo!
 
Sister Campbell

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One Day at a Time

 

This week has been a complete whirlwind. Wow. I can’t believe it has been 7 days since I wrote my last email. Time continues to go by quickly. Sister Sands and I are taking one day at a time trying to find people to teach the Gospel to. We have had some miracles happen this week which we are both very grateful for. We found two more families and an older lady this week. All are very open and warm to us and have invited us back to learn more. We are both very excited! Each morning we study together and plan the lessons we want to teach. And I have an hour of Language study everyday as well. Tagalog here in the Philippines and the Tagalog I learned in the MTC are very different languages. People here speak fast. And it all sounds like one long word and I am still having trouble understanding when people talk to me… Sister Sands tells me that by the end of my training (3 months) I will be completely fine and I won’y need her to translate everything for me. I trust her and I guess time will tell. 
 
On Friday we had a Zone Training Meeting. Sister Coons is in my ZONE! She was in my district in the MTC. It was probably the best thing for me to see her! As soon as I saw her I realized that I am NOT living in a dream, and that I really am in the Philippines. That may not make sense but up to this point I guess being here ON MY MISSION hasn’t sunk in yet. Perhaps it still hasn’t, but seeing Sister Coons was a good reminder that, first of all, I was actually in the MTC like 3 weeks ago, and secondly, that this whole mission experience is really happening. Sister Coons and I were able to catch up a little bit. And I am happy to report that I am not the only one struggling with the language 🙂 We were both comforted by this! It is good to know I am not alone.
 
The ward members and the Bishop continue to be a strength to the missionaries. They are wonderful and encouraging. My roommates and companion find ways to serve me everyday. Sister Paguigan rewashed my clothes for me 🙂 I DID wash them but we hung them up to dry and they were smelling like dog poo… it was really gross. Apparently it is because I didn’t rinse out the soap properly… Washing by hand is quite the task. But Sister Paguigan taught me her ways so hopefully this week things will go better 🙂
 
I am continuing to love it here, despite the challenges that I am facing. God is blessing me and I am quite aware of that. I hope everyone has a good week!
 
Mahal ko kayo!
 
Sister Campbell
 
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Kumusta

Many exciting things are happening over here! I love the Daet 2 Ward. They are amazing. Sister Sands and I receive so much help and encouragement from them. Yesterday we had two Young Women ask if they could come with us to our teaching appointments. They asked US! They are really enthusiastic about missionary work and it is contagious. It is helping me want to be a better missionary. 
 
Sister Sands and I are opening the area here, and because of that our teaching pool is really small. We have one investigator. We have been praying for opportunities to find those who want to hear the message of the gospel. And then on Saturday we went on “exchanges” with the Sister Trainer Leaders. Sister Christensen and I just talked to everyone we could. It was pouring rain and we were kind of turned around at one point and a family saw us and invited us into their home. We taught them about the Restoration and invited them to come to church on Sunday (the very next day). AND THEY CAME! We are so excited about teaching them more! The Lord is blessing us in His work. 
 
I am just really glad to be here. The work is hard. I am already saying that and I am only on Week 2 of the Field… Despite the difficulties though Sister Sands keeps me smiling and happy.
 
Things that I have noticed so far about the Philippines. All the people here talk with their face. They use their eyebrows all the time, not just when they are surprised. To point to something they use their lips. To ask “What?” they just drop their jaw. People eat with a spoon or with their fingers. Nobody likes to be out in the rain… There are little lizards on tress and in houses. They eat bugs and they are cute so I am not afraid of them. 
 
I wish everyone another great week! 
Love Sister Campbell
 
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