I didn't think those words would ever be allowed to come out of my mouth in September.  But ONLY in the Philippines!  This week, the Christmas celebrations have officially started!  People here looooooove Christmas, it's like they know the one true desire of my heart:)  We walked out of our apartment yesterday to Christmas karaoke songs and Christmas lights on the houses.  In district meeting on Tuesday I was finally allowed to request to sing a Christmas song, so I will just announce it to everybody that on August 27, 2013, we began Christmas in the Philippines.  Also, just like Christmas time in Utah, I got a cold.  Don't ask me how that happens when there is 90% humidity and never drops below 75 degrees...  

The Tricycles we use to get Around
Things are starting to become normal here in the Philippines.  I'm sure I'll look back at some of the things I wrote and wonder why I ever thought that was abnormal.  Like dog in the street.... Joke'lang, hopefully that's not a normal occurrence.  So my trainer is a sister training leader for our zone, which means she's really good at being a missionary and is then in charge of all the sister missionaries in our zone.  But anyway, because of that (and because she goes home next week) we've had multiple exchanges (and cue the death march).  Pretty much that means that my companion leaves me for a day and I get a companion that I've never met before and I lead our area (where we go, who we visit, you know the like).  This includes being good at knowing my directions.  Ya, that's  a joke.  But nonetheless, it was fun.  I remembered where I was going for the most part, taught good lessons, and made a new Filipino friend that's not a kid (because let's face it, the kids only like me because I have candy and the adults only like me because I'm white:))  It was definitely one of those moments that I stepped back and realized how much I've grown.  I'm able to speak to these random short people and carry a conversation, I'm starting to make lots of friends and say hi to people on the street (I already know I'll be leaving my heart in Pilar), and I'm walking around in an island, in the middle of nowhere, but somehow, I know where I'm going.  

Sister Tanielu, Janessa, Romwill, Sister Taylor
OUR BAPTISM WAS YESTERDAY!  Monumental moment in the life of a missionary.  I mentioned it a little bit last week (I think).  Romwill and Janessa who are 9 years old:)  We found them through... I can't remember how we found them but it was cool I remember.  As we taught them and they prayed, read the Book of Mormon, and came to church, it was amazing to see the change in these little kids.  I remember asking them why they read they prayed and did all the things we asked them and Janessa said "It makes me so happy and I like praying."  Well in Tagalog.  But I was just so amazed that little kids can have this much faith and testimony.  Will and Alice are the same age as them and let's be honest, they don't read the Book of Mormon or know why the priesthood is important.  But these people were prepared for the gospel.  Yesterday they were so nervous, but they came out of that water (by the way our baptismal font is a little bathtub square-looking thing outside surrounded by palm trees)  and wow.  I realized how eternal our work is.  These two people can live with Heavenly Father again, they can be married in the temple, they can serve missions.  "How great will be your joy if you bring one soul unto me."  I literally can't explain it.  AMAZING.

Sister Taylor with one of my Favorite Member Families
Before the baptism, in the morning we woke up to water all over our floor.  Our sink had broken and the water had gone everywhere all night.  So now, our toilet is broken, our sink is broken, sometimes we have no water, and then our landlord came to us and told us our contract was expired that day and we needed to move by tomorrow.  HA, there was not much to do but laugh (it was about 7 in the morning) and walk over to the branch president's house in our pajamas to ask what to do.  Long story short, we can stay in our apartment until today (Monday), we deal with the broken sink and toilet until then, and we think we found a new apartment next to our branch president's house.  So we'll spend tomorrow cleaning it and moving and such.  For the life of a missionary, something like this happening is the equivalent of the world ending.  Missionary life is the same everyday.  Everything is scheduled at the same time, we study everyday, teach everyday, and then sleep.  So It was SO SO exciting to have something different like this happen (crazy adventure), so it was great.  And we get to live next door now to my best friend ever!!!  YES!

I really have no problems with eating and such (well we already know that), the way Filipinos eat is just different haha.  To fully explain- we have a dinner appointment every.single.day.  That happens only in the Philippines.  And as SIster Findley can tell you, Filipino dinners are huge.  And we have 3 lunch appointments.  The same this last week.  So, I promise, no problem.  It's a good thing I won't be coming home fat (knock on wood and cross my fingers).

So, I wrap up another week here in the Philippines.  It's such a great life here.  Thanks for keeping me updated with everything and until next time...