This week was pretty awesome. Best time of the year. I'm not sure we were able to get to bed by 10:30 once this week and i'd say not waking up before 6:30 was a pretty rare blessing this week as well haha.
Tuesday we went to the airport to fly over to palawan. This flight was extra tricky though because we had about 20 packages we had to take with us for missionaries over on the island. You could say Elder Fiesta looked like santa and i was his elf. We got all the packages through the first line of security, got over to the lady to check in, and was told by the worker that..... our flight wasn't til the next day!! Ahh it was such a dumb mistake but pretty funny. We checked the time like 3 times but never double-checked the date! I guess it was good our flight wasn't that day because we were able to make it back to the area that night and have a great FHE with a family.
Wednesday we were able to teach an RM's referral. The member's name is nephi blanco and he just got back a month ago. He's an awesome example seeing how he's already reaching out to his long time buddies and sharing the gospel to them. His friend was CRAZY smart. I honestly felt pretty nervous in that lesson haha! He had some amazing questions though and the message of the Restoration had answers for all of them. He has read some bad things about the church as he's tried to research more about us but it was good to answer a few of those. He actually doesn't believe in God but at the end of the lesson he was pretty excited and after a few attempts, we were able to get him to pray for the first time in 18 years! I'll never forget that lesson. We're super excited to teach him again this week. Later that day we flew over to palawan and taught a sweet lesson on the plane to the girl next to us. Right after we said the first vision the plane started to take off which i thought was going to ruin the moment but it ended up being a cool minute or so to let the spirit help the message sink in a little. By the time we landed the plane she had read about 7 pages in the Book of Mormon!
Thursday we had a great day in Palawan. We had a Christmas party for the missionaries there. We had a devotional and a talent show. It was cool to see lots of different cultural dances/songs. Our plane got delayed heading back to Manila but we met some cool people at the airport with the extra time we had. We were teaching a guy named Marvin who was on his way to Saudi Arabia. He was nervous and sad leaving his fam but we met him at the perfect time. I gave him a Book of Mormon at the end of teaching the restoration and he got really emotional and started to cry! It was a cool experience for me to see someone understand the message so well. As we were teaching him elder fiesta went to throw something away and next thing i knew he was teaching to Americans! They just walked up to him saying "we want to know more about why mormonism is the fastest growing denomination in the world!" They were a super nice young couple- one from cali and the other from DC. Good thing elder fiesta is pro at english! :)
For the mainland christmas devotional the missionaries wouldn't quiet down when we were waiting to start so as we were singing the opening hymn after starting President looked at the Elder conducting and said "hey elder reber is going to give a quick talk on reverance to start off the meeting." Haha he throws so many curveballs it really keeps ya on your toes.
Saturday was the baptism of MJ! She has a little disorder and can't completely control her movements and the way she talks. She's so smart though and really faithful. She's currently in mosiah in the bom. She lives with a fam of recent converts but her family is in the province. We went to her house the night before the baptism and the mom in the recent convert fam was explaining to us all the bad things that happened to them while we had been gone that week. They had a member in the hospital along with a few other sad things going on. She said MJ wouldn't have anyone to go with her to her baptism and was worried she wouldn't have support. She suggested we wait until April for MJ to be baptized since she most likely will be moving back to her family this week for the next few months. MJ however really really wanted to be baptized so we said we'd drop by early the next morning before the baptism to see what would happen. When we got there MJ was sitting there in her church clothes all alone.. she had woken up at 6am to prepare for her baptism! She woke up the mom and the mom said "yep, she's ready to be baptized. I don't want to stop her." It was cool to see her faith! There were lots of members there to support the service so it was great!
We went to an awesome family for dinner one night and all of us missionaries in this ward (6 of us) got to give their 16 year old son advice to help him prep for his misison. The father is in the stake presidency and they were just a super strong fam. Christmas Eve we had dinner with the Giffords (office couple!) They surprised us with big gifts full of food and other fun things. I'm just so grateful for the many people who have served me this past week. I feel very blessed to be out here.
Love you all! hope you have a great week.