We went to bed on Christmas Eve with the sounds of fireworks blasting most of the night! but Christmas morning was a beautiful day. As we drove to church that morning people were wondering down the street like it was just another day. They don't celebrate Christmas like we do back home with lots of gift giving (most can not afford it). The do get together with their families for singing and lots of food.
When we arrived at church, the place was deserted! We wondered if there really was going to be a Sacrament Meeting, but about 9am, everyone started arriving and by 9:15a they began the meeting. After Sacrament meeting, everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas and went home.
Some of the Ward members after churchI had made orange rolls to take to the Quiambao family. We also gave some to Sister Long and her family. Then we visited the Cedello family. They have become good friends of ours. Ronnie & Christie have 9 children ages 2 months to 19 years old. Great family! But we knew they wouldn't have presents on Christmas. So, a pan of orange rolls and a stockings with goodies for each of the kids was taken to the family. The day the baby was blessed,
(isn't he cute!)I took a picture of the entire family . . . and had it made into a 8 x 10, framed and wrapped. When Ronnie opened it he said he had never had a picture of his entire family together. Later in the day I received a text from Christie that it was the first Christmas in a very long time that their kids had a Christmas gift.
So being on a mission on Christmas had a whole different meaning for me this year . . . we missed our family, but it was so nice to be able to share just a little something with others to make their day a little brighter. It was nice tor be able to reflect on our Savior's birth, his life, his crucifixion and all that he has done for each of us. I know it made my day a lot brighter!!
AND . . . Christmas dinner was sweet and sour chicken . . what would you expect in the Philippines??