I will just start out by saying that the elders told me the other day that an old lady that lives across from the basketball asked them a question. They were talking about how we all play basketball in the morning there and she noticed that there were girls there too. She asked them, “Is that tall one a tomboy?” Tomboy here means lesbian. She went on to say because only girls who are good at basketball are tomboys. So that was a big diss/compliment at the same time haha. Anyways, mornings are my favorite. Kind of a little getaway. We balled this morning too, and other Filipinos joined in too! My companion wasn’t too happy that I made her wake up at 5:45 am on a P-Day, but I didn’t feel too bad haha. Oh and in case you were wondering. Only girls can guard girls. So we guard each other every time haha.
Christmas Day in the Philippines with the Javier Family
Sister Fuch’s and Sister Wood
Cow’s usually pull these
I feel like we have kind of hit a bump in the road with our area and the work. We have people coming to church, and people we teach, but no one really really committed to a certain date that they are working towards. The Javier Family is still ready, and they came to church, but we are waiting on her husband to be ready. Which I am happy that she wants to wait. They came to church together yesterday, and I hope they continue to have good experiences. The whole family is reading the Book Of Mormon and it makes me so happy. There truly is power in the Book of Mormon. It changes people’s lives. No wonder why they are wanting us to flood the earth with the Book of Mormon. Haha so this week in La Paz we sat down to teach some ladies, there ends up being like 30-40 people that gather in to listen to our message. It went really well, but before we started, just for kicks and giggles, I told Sister Fuchs we were going to sing for them hahaha. Don’t ask why I did this, because neither of us like singing. I just thought it would be hilarious. Because Filipinos like music. Haha we sang families can be together forever. Surprisingly it turned out pretty decent, and everyone was silent, so you could feel the Spirit. So just to everyone out there, even when you have a bad voice, the spirit can be felt through singing! haha. I am so grateful for our Heavenly Father because now when we teach, or when I specifically testify and bear my testimony, I can feel the Spirit. Even though it is in a different language. When I first got here it was really hard for me because when I bore my repetitious simple testimony in tagalog, i just didn’t feel the same as when I did it in english. But it wasn’t fair, because the people didn’t understand it in english! As little time has gone by, I can feel the spirit as I bear testimony of our savior, and I know they can too.
Christmas was absolutely fabulous here. Definitely the most different things in my whole life. But the simplicity of it was amazing. On Christmas Eve we visited all of the less active families. Of course for a bit I got distracted with some kids playing basketball, so I asked if we could join them. So yes, we played a game for about 20 minutes in our skirts haha. By far the most fun thing we did that day. All of the young little girls were sitting on the side watching, because here, girls don’t play sports haha. Haha the other team didn’t score a point. They were younger boys so literally half my size. No advantage there or anything haha! The next day when we walked passed the same court, there were girls out shooting the basketball. I mean I don’t know if it was cause they saw us playing, but I hope they know girls can do anything boys can. 🙂 Christmas was the best because it was a time where we got to know the people so much better and be one of them! We shared the same message with everyone we visited and I want to share a bit with you too! Stars, as I have talked about a lot, have become something big for sister fuchs and I! We love them so much. So we wanted to talk to the people about how the star was the sign of christ’s birth. We talked about that and then told them about when we go out to La Paz, there are no lights out there. Wala ilau. So when you look up at the sky there are so many stars! So bright! Maraming maliwanag bituin! These represent all of the many blessings we have in our lives because of our savior jesus christ. As we walk closer and closer to centro, wala sa sky!! Why? Because there are so many other lights! Or, worldly lights. This could be things that are distracting us from being able to see the many things we have been given, but are focusing on the things that don’t matter. But as we step outside of those lights, ‘into the bukid,’ we see all of the many stars and blessings that we have because of our loving father in heaven and savior jesus christ. I know that this is true. As I have been a missionary, I see all of the things that distracted me from the true blessings of the gospel. So many things that occupied my time that weren’t important. I know that if we focus on things that truly matter, those stars will always be in our lives, even when the storms roll in. I am grateful to be a missionary. This work is hard. It was never meant to be easy, but I am thankful for who I am becoming. Thank you for all of your continued love and support!
Sister Courtnee Wood
Sister Wood’s Zone
Missionaries in the Laoag Philippines Mission
Flower wreath – Sister Wood getting crafty
F. Family – Sister Wood gave all the boys ties for Christmas