Tuesday, December 25, 2012

PHILIPPINES WEEK 8: Christmas is HERE! WEEK 17

This week Elder Betancourt's family and I will be skyping Ryan at 9pm on Christmas Day! To say the least, we are EXCITED and THRILLED!

Elder Betancourt wrote me on 12/23/2013,

"Dear Devynn, Hey there kiddo!

What a week! We had soooo many activities and Christmas parties! It was so fun and so spiritual! We first had our missionary Christmas party! It was so much fun! We had a gift exchange! I won Smuckers Jelly and Jif peanut butter! It was so great!  I loved it so much! Every piece of American food I can eat or afford, I enjoy so much!! We also got to visit a hospital and sing Christmas carols! It brought me back to the time we visited the nursing home for church. The same smile came upon these peoples faces, as we sang songs that we all love no matter where we are in the world! I felt the same sweet spirit as we sang to them! The hospital was not nearly as nice as the nursing home, but yet the people were still able to feel the lovely spirit of Christmas. Just another reminder that sometimes we don't need to have the nicest things or homes in order to get what we need to out of this life! Then we had our Christmas Devotional on Friday. It was titled Christmas in Zarahemla. It was amazing to hear what Christmas was probably like to the Nephites in the Americas! After the beautiful program, I experienced the most powerful singing of a hymn ever. The missionaries were all sitting on the stand because we put on the program! Towards the end, one by one we all stood up singing "I believe in Christ". By the end of the song the whole congregation had stood up and was singing...wow, I was blown away! It was amazing, Devynn! After which President Carlos gave an amazing address about family and tradition...you'll read more in your letter, but Dev, I know he is called of God! He is such a powerful speaker and so in tuned with the Spirit! Then on Saturday, we had a marathon party at the Branch where they served two meals! It started at 9 am and went till about 430pm! haha! It was amazing and so much fun! As Christmas was approaching this week, we watched the Finding Faith in Christ movie the church has..I think its on youtube! As I watched it, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit. This is Christmas, remember Jesus Christ. Not just his birth, but his whole life. We celebrate the day that our Father gave His only Begotten to the world so that we can be saved. We also celebrate Jesus Christ's atonement. Two of the most selfless acts in the history of all that is history. Wow, Dev, watch the video if you can get the chance. It's so powerful!
I love you so much! Sorry, this blirp is still shorter than I wanted, but I have to write my weekly letter to the Mission president!
I love you so much and cant wait to Skype you and my family! :)
You are awesome!
Elder Ryan Anthony Betancourt"

                    Elder Betancourt said that sugar cane is masarap (delicious) and refreshing!
                                      Moshi and Elder Betancourt at a Branch Activity!
          They call this a "brown out". On random occasions all the power goes out for no reason.

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