I decorated our apartment
(complete with a bamboo christmas tree
and philippines style snowflakes)
So, it's pretty much almost Christmas!  Whaaaaat. happened to the time?  So ya, I'm skyping you guys sometime this month!  Not completely sure on the details yet, but be ready.  I'm ready.  As in I'm so ready that this week in weekly planning I had to make one of my personal goals "don't focus on Christmas until it's really Christmas."  I CAN"T WAIT TO HAVE CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES!  And I got your packages today!  I haven't opened them because today has been a little crazy but I might be the absolute happiest person here in Pilar:) <--- my smile is much bigger than that.

So.  This week.  I got lice. Welcome to the life of a missionary that's around kids all the time.  I think I've actually gotten it a couple times, but I've been too lazy to really do anything about it BUT last week I was brushing my hair and a couple of big mommy lice fell on my shirt and that was it.  So I've got some handy dandy lice shampoo and a giant ole comb.  In the States, I would have died.  Here, I took a couple pictures and went to bed because it was late.

A Member Family and Two of Our Investigators
The closer it gets to the end of the year, the happier I realize I am.  When you asked me mom if I had thought about where I would be if I wasn't on a mission, I ended up thinking about that for a long time.  Woah.  Not on a mission?  How does that feel?  Have I forgotten what real life is like?  Do I really want to come home and go back to everything in America after this is all over?  Okay that's a joke.  Kind of.  It's so great to see how much I have changed.  It makes me realize why all the RM's come home and the only thing they can talk about it their mission.  This thing I'm doing has changed my life.  Even 6 months into it, I don't know if I'm the same person at all.  But the person I am now is definitely a much better version.  I am so happy.  I'm happy every time I cross the river to go to our less active families, happy every day we leave our house to work (and usually happy when we come home at night).  It makes me smile every time I hear this foreign language coming out of my mouth that people actually understand.  I'm even happy when I have lice:).  Missions are a hard and happy thing to do.
I Love this Picture!

Well, THIS WEEK IS ALICE"S BIRTHDAY!  I am so so so sad I'm missing that AND your baptism.  We'll be celebrating for you here and eating some good food.  And for the annual dinner table tradition, THIS IS WHY I LOVE ALICE.  I love Alice because she is my sister.  I love you because I always get a hug from you when I come home.  I love you because of all the notes you send me and the pictures you draw, especially the ones while I was in college.  I love when you let me pick out your clothes and do your hair and then come shopping with me.  I love Alice because she is a peacemaker and always wants other people to be happy too.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE ALICE EVERRRRRR!!!!!!!
Funny story:  Okay, so more so embarrassing funny than anything.  And that would be the video of me from President Querido that you all got to see.  So the background for that video.  We were at follow-up training for leaders and their trainee's and after our meeting, President came up to me, stuck his iphone thisclose to my face and told me starting now, I had 15 seconds to talk to my mom.  ahhhhhhhh.  Rushed time combined with the awkward missionary status I have achieved make for a great, embarrassing video that you all got to enjoy on facebook.  Also, I couldn't remember how to say anything in English.  So I half apologize for all the um's, awkward smiling, and sad little message to you.  So, enjoy that video, laugh all you want, and hopefully it's better on Christmas!