First and foremost I'm very grateful that technology has progressed to the point were we can do skype now instead of phone calls. It would not have been nearly as cool if I didn't get to see everybody on Christmas! Mom's gonna have to make a photobook of me or something for Makayla, we cannot allow her to slip in the darkness of not remembering who I am. I guess I'm pretty excited to have another nephew, it will be great to finish my mission and feel right at home in the Philippines seeing a little brown child again. Hopefully he doesn't become as makulit or rowdy as the kids here though! I swear I got so many poorly made fireworks thrown at me its a miracle I can even hear myself think now!
I guess I have to start off the email with an explanation of the craziest night in the Philippines. New Years Eve here is unlike any holiday in America. Every single stand at the palanke sells thousands of fireworks, all of which would be illegal in America, for dirt cheap. Starting at able 6pm to 6am the following day it is a never ending explosion of hundreds of fireworks going off at once all across the city. Seriously the next day the streets are just lined with burned and used fireworks everywhere you go. These fireworks, combined with an enormous amount of alcohol consumption is just a recipe for insanity. Kids throwing fireworks at each other, drunken tricycle drivers swerving all over the place, and the impossibility of falling asleep in your bed by 10:30.
As for us we took the early release from work (7 o'clock) to toss the pigskin around and OYM some of the neighbors down the road. It was pretty cool we were giving them the restoration pamphlet and they want us to come back and everything. The only problem is we are pretty sure they were drunk and if not it was very clear they were panning on being so right after our conversations were finished. But that's ok we'll teach em the word of wisdom later. Basically the most wild night I've ever seen and there's no way to describe New Years Eve in the Philippines without being here I guess.
On another note yesterday was transfer day and we found out Elder W and Elder C are transferring sadly along with our Zone Leader Elder R whose the man. Way sad to see those guys leave and so we are getting two new kabahay's in replacement. Haven't met em yet all I know is they are both Pinoys so it should be a good experience to force me to speak Tagalog at the house.
One of the other strange events of the week was the ward Christmas party. Let me start off by explaining that the chapel is also sometimes used as a make shift cultural hall. The Christmas party was extremely rowdy, way funny, and unlike anything you would see in the States. basically it was a 3 hour program of talents, skits, and games. We thought it was a serious thing so as missionaries we just sang a couple of Christmas songs for our part in it. Next the primary girls came upfront to perform. Never in my life did I imagine I would see little girls (some before the age of accountability) dirty dance to the song "Gimme Gimme" in the chapel on Christmas. So thats kind of good picture of how the whole program went, it was way funny and everybody had a good time. We also had a great showing of investigators at the activity and Church the following Sunday which was awesome.
The work is going fantastic, and the miracles are being poured out in rich abundance! As can be seen with the recent success of the Seahawks! No complaints out here I was able to finish Jesus the Christ yesterday and thus finish off all the missionary library. I plan on starting the Book of Mormon today and trying to finish it by the end of the transfer. From all the studies and time I've been given to not only study the gospel, but also exercise the power of priesthood, there is one thing most of all I know. That Jesus Christ lives!
With this simple testimony hangs all the law, knowledge, and understanding in the universe. To know that He has conquered death is to know that through Him we too can overcome and return to the Father. With this knowledge comes not only power and enlightenment but also a responsibility to ACT. If you know its true you will act on that knowledge and bring to pass much righteousness. I have learned quickly that words mean nothing but condemnation, without the actions behind them. For to profess a testimony in Christ and act otherwise is to abandon all ignorant sin. I take comfort in knowing we are not required to be perfect today, but we are required to be perfect someday. Thus it should be a day to day progress from this day to the day of our salvation. I know that through small and seemingly simply actions and changes, are what overtime brings to pass great transformations and developments.
Elder Krueger T