Sorry I didn't write last week I got very busy; a lot had happened in such a short time. The past two weeks have been pretty rough. I got fairly sick last week and adjusting to the Philippines has definitely been interesting, but by relying on the Savior and trying my best to improve I have found a lot of joy here.
Most of the mission was able to attend a Christmas conference in Tacloban City and it was a blast! I was able to meet a ton of other missionaries, play basketball, and feel the spirit. Its always fun to go up to the big city because we get to buy things we usually can't get.
After the conference I went on exchange with Elder Andrada down to Abuyog! It’s a beautiful area and was a nice change of pace. It's a biking area and is made up of around 76 Borangay which is a whole lot (Borangay loosely translates to developments... kinda). To put it in perspective, the area I'm in only has two. Elder Andrada taught me to cook a whole bunch of food, we fought off a scorpion, went running on the beach, but the best part was the people there. They were so forgiving with my terrible Waray, and I learned so much from them in such a short amount of time.
Life is definitely different and challenging over here. Sometimes with the environment but also sometimes with my companion and other missionaries. I love what Paul wrote in Corinthians 13. It says that it is not just about being long suffering in your trials but enduring them well. It is necessary that you endure all things with charity in your heart lest they profiteth you nothing. The mission is definitely teaching me how to not only endure hard things but endure them happily and cheerfully. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of such an act. He submitted to the Father's will and drank from the cup of bitterness with a heart full of love for those he was about to save. By relying on His example and His atonement we too can find joy in our trials and the people around us. I know this to be true because I have experienced it here.
Thank you all for the emails, it really means a lot to me! I'll see you all next week. Hinay, ngan kita kites!