Maligayang Pasko sa aking pinakamamahal na Pamilya!I'd say Merry Christmas but I can't believe it's Christmas already. December snuck up on me a little bit to be honest. It doesn't feel like Christmas here and Christmas is different as missionaries but I am focusing my studies on faith and recentering my focus on Christ. An Elder asked me a few weeks ago about some kind of deep doctrine (I don't remember what) and I looked at him and said "Elder, I'm still working on faith." I mentioned being a little unmotivated and discouraged even in this new area. Fortunately things are starting to look up and we're starting to get things going. We were kind of banking on Elder V transferring but we will both be here for another transfer. This will be the longest companionship of my mission so far but it feels like we just became companions. I am grateful for the messages shared at the Christmas Devotional and also for your emails this morning in helping me fully come to that reminder to Focus on Christ. We tell people everyday that our message is centered in Jesus Christ but we need to make sure that we too are centered in Jesus Christ as his missionaries. As President Eyring spoke about the Light of Christ my thoughts were drawn to some Robert's comments after Hailey was born as well as the experiences I have had with Recent Converts. Though in different ways, they are both newly born and in both we can see and feel the light of Christ.I'm not really sure what to tell you about the Typhoon. It really wasn't that exciting. Everyone was a lot more prepared though. People started evacuating two days in advance. We were just stuck in the Office Elders Apartment with 34 elders for a few days. No running water, no lights and pretty stinky but we go through it. I hate that apartment... I pooped early on I think Saturday while there was still water and luckily I didn't have to poop again until we got back to our apartment on Monday. The 14 of us that aren't new missionaries had to take care of ourselves as far as food and so we bought some canned stuff and noodles a few days before. We all combined our food and put it all out on a table covered with banana leaves and then just went to town with our hands until all the rice and food was gone.
Then after the storm life just kept moving forward because if you're not dead you have to keep living. Sometimes we make fun of ants for frantically going back to work immediately after their ant hill has been destroyed but aren't we similar? When disaster strikes and passes, we get up, dust ourselves off, survey the damage, and rebuild. There were only minor damages in Tacloban and we haven't really heard much about Borongan. Only two area's in that zone were able to reopen though. The others are feeling other spaces in the mission until they can return. We have about 30 missionaries in our zone this transfer which is pretty huge but the more the merrier right? After all it is Christmas.I love you all and I wish you the best this Christmas Season. What better gift to give than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep the faith and may peace be the Journey!Love Elder Lowe