Christmas Eve and Balut

magandang hapon po!

well, this last week had some days which were full of adventures, and some days that were pretty much empty. Sis Solis was sick for like 3 days, so those are always long days sitting in the apartment watching and rewatching whatever LDS movies we have on hand or going through the Area Book.
We had a little gift exchange last tuesday in our zone, which was fun. It kinda lasted a long time, though, so we didn’t work as much, but the work we did last tuesday was good. But that night and that Christmas Eve in particular will be a memorable one! Haha as we walked home, there was a guy selling balut. there are lots of those guys..they just walk around at night yelling, baluuuut! baluuut! until people come and buy. so Sis Solis wanted to get some, and that meant the time had finally come where I had to try it, haha. so we got some and went back to the apartment. you open the egg a lot like a regular boiled egg, but there are juices in it that taste a lot like egg drop soup. and then if you peel off the shell, there’s like this yellow egg yolk that looks like scrambled eggs, but around that is like this ugly, gray, almost feathery…bird.
I’ll be honest, it looks downright awful, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to eat it.
But you just bite into it and eat it til it’s gone, which is what I did. It wasn’t awful, I’ve definitely eaten worse things, and I could eat it again if it was offered and it’d be fine, but I’m not by any means going to go looking for it. although if I ate it a bunch of times, it might actually start tasting good, haha.
By 4pm Christmas Day, I was pretty sure I was never going to be able to eat again. We had four lunches. all of them were good, though. We had really good vegetable and chicken lumpia, filipino spaghetti (which is way sweeter than at home), a lot of macaroni salad (which usually has like…these gelatin things in it (not like jello. jello has flavor. the gelatin people use here is flavorless) and then coconut milk, some fruits, and then cubes of cheese. I’m not the biggest fan of the cheese being in everything we eat here, haha.), we had ube ice cream, which I”m starting to get accustomed to I guess, because it tastes a lot better than it used to (it’s like yam flavored ice cream..but purple), mangoes, fried fish, and sticky rice with coconut on it..there was so much food.
we had some good lessons though on Christmas, and I”ve really enjoyed spending Christmas as a missionary and having this time to really focus the season on Christ. I’ll be really happy to spend Christmas with family again next year, but I know the way I think of and celebrate Christmas will be heavily influenced by this Christmas I spent as a missionary. I’m really grateful that I had this opportunity.
this week is New Year’s! 2014 agad, grabe naman. I’m working on thinking of some goals I have for this year, which will almost entirely be spent in the mission field, and I will also see the end of my mission in 2014. Next New Year’s will definitely have a lot of unique reflection. I’m excited for this upcoming year, though, and I know it will go quickly. I am happy to be here serving the Lord and feel so blessed to be learning so much every day.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and that you stay safe! our curfew here is early because people have been doing fireworks like crazy since it got close to Christmas, and people of course will be celebrating and being loud and crazy to celebrate the New Year. The Christmas season hasn’t really ended here, though, and I heard it lasts until at least mid-January, haha. then it’ll start back up again in August or September, haha. it’s pretty much almost Christmas again!
Remember that, as in Alma 34:33, we are to “improve our time while in this life.” as you think about the upcoming year, keep that in mind, and think of the things you want to improve upon this year. then make sure you make a plan to do something about it! one thing I’ve learned in the mission is about goal setting and effective planning. it’s great to set a long-term goal, but if we don’t set up shorter-term goals and means of accomplishing those, we’ll never accomplish our long-term goal. I know you will see miracles as you try to actively work for your goals this year.
I love you all!
Love always,
Sister Carr






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