I just want to note that for 16 hours, I was in 2012 while most of y'alls were in 2011. The future is a great place, welcome to 2012!!
Enough talk about the future. I'm currently in the greatest place in the world. I called my momma last week, too. Shelby asked me on that call what my favorite part of my day was.. I replied the lunch-time shower 'cause for about 5 minutes I am clean from sweat! And my shampoo has menthol in it so it is coollllddddd. But I'd just like to add an extra favorite of the mission: The 20 minutes before church starts. After getting transferred a month ago, I felt like I had left home again to start a mission in a new land. I knew one living person on the island when I arrived. It felt weird, but nothing new and I was excited for the challenge. With the mission's new focus we have been asked to help less-active members return to the Church, which we have done with diligence. After a few weeks, I had one of those, "Yep, this is exactly why I am here," kind of moments. We had been working with the less actives as well as a few investigators, and almost everyone made it to church yesterday. That's a miracle! You see, every Sunday morning we get to church sorta early and wait for people to come. It just felt like family was coming to church yesterday. One month and I can meet all these amazing people, and truly see them as brothers and sisters, children of God. That's so cool. So to answer Sis's question a little better, I love the lunch-time paligo, but I really love every Sunday morning when I get to rejoice as my brothers and sisters sacrifice to worship with me. And yesterday was especially special (Proper english there?).
As for Filipino traditions that I haven't shared yet...
CHRISTMAS: Children go around house to house caroling. They ask for pesos and we love to have them sing. Apparently it's a nice way for a kid to make some money during Christmas, and spread the Christmas cheer. Most everyone goes to a Catholic church for Simbang Gabi (Midnight Mass.. or something like that). Fireworks on Christmas are only a little bit less numerous than fireworks on..
NEW YEAR: So great. For the entire week of Christmas to New Year, there is abundant food and fireworks. Then around 11:50 PM everyone just goes nuts and yells and makes loud noises and sets off every firework they can. Most are too tired to do anything after this, but many came to church anyhow (:
This week we're going back to the mainland for ZLC again. That'll be fun. That's pretty much it...