Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Phone Call!

We were able to have a Skype session with Sam Christmas evening.  It was Monday morning in the Philippines.  We loved being able to see him as well as talk with him.  We love modern technology!  They were in an internet cafe, and several times little children would come and stand behind him and watch us.  He said they often do that on Mondays when they are doing their weekly emails.  They are darling children!  We could hear him speaking Ilongo to his companion and others in the internet cafe, which was a treat.  Several times he had to search for an English word--and we had to help him out a couple of times!  When he said he gets up at 5 a.m. on Mondays to do his laundry, I knew for sure he has changed!  Sam is loving his mission--every day of it!  A new thing he is doing is a weekly radio broadcast at a member's radio station.  They go over on Sunday evenings and broadcast a discussion about a gospel topic.  Then they let people call in and ask questions and, of course, get referrals.  He did a broadcast about Christ on Christmas.  Another thing he is doing is traveling around to the different areas of the mission and going on splits with the zone leaders.  He is enjoying going back to his former areas, and also going to new places.  Several of the Elders that went out with him from the MTC are zone leaders so he enjoys getting to see them and work with them.  Even though he spends a good deal of time in the mission home, he also gets to go out and proselyte every day they are there.  He is enjoying that, of course.  He says they have shifted to working with less active members because the activity rate is only about 30%.  They have some part member and less active families they are having success with.  Sam says he hates to think about the fact that he has only 6 months left.  He said he can't imagine how different it will be back home--he can't imagine eating a meal without rice, having hot showers, or experiencing cold weather!  He hopes that when this AP assignment is over he will have a month or so to go back to the mountains to work one last time.  He really looks forward to doing that.  The time is going as fast for him as it is for us!  Several people have asked us about the typhoons that have hit the Philippines.  Fortunately, they have not hit in his area, and he says they are in a very protected area where it rains, of course, and occasionally floods a little.  We feel very blessed he has been healthy, safe, and very, very happy!