I have been to Laoag and back all within a week. Christmas Conference was really great, not only to see all of the 200+ missionaries from this mission, but to also feel their strong spirit. The messages we heard at the conference were really inspiring. By the end of the year, the missionaries of the Laoag mission will have brought 750+ souls unto Christ through baptism and thousands more through reactivation. This work is aided by the Lord. We had fun times to bond as we performed cultural dances and skits. I played Santo Nino, an engraven image, in our skit. People love to call me Santo Nino here because of my curly hair.
In other news, Sister Incognito was not transferred so I will officially be her last companion. Also, we bought the cutest matching shirts. And it was President Obispo's birthday and Tatay Tapia's birthday yesterday.
People at home keep asking for my miracle stories that happen to me each week. The truth is that I see miracles in every house that I enter. God does not appear and nothing amazing happens, but the whisperings of the Spirit inspire those we teach to change. It was touching this week how Allan, recently baptized, bore testimony to Jenjen, an investigator struggling with a tobacco and alcohol addiction, of how the Church is true. He shared how hard it was to change and become clean, but he also said that Christ has been his best friend. Even though his other friends left him for his righteous choices, Allan followed the truth. I know that Jenjen will make the same righteous decisions.
Each day is also a miracle because of the reality of the Gift of Tongues. I met Rham this week, an Indian who has lived here for 14 years. He can speak Ilocano and some Tagalog, but he only has a basic understanding. I have been here in the Philippines for five months. I should not be able to speak this language; I am just not that smart. But God has given me a gift of understanding and comprehension so that I can share the gospel. Words come into my mind as I teach each day that I have studied only once or that I have only heard. I do not always know what they mean but I know they are the words that I must say.
My mission gets better each week as I become better at noticing the miracles each day that occur. We got a keyboard at our meetinghouse this week; that is a miracle. Irene came to church on Sunday even though she only had her baby a week ago; that is a miracle. Over 120 people attended church yesterday; that is a miracle. The gospel is true; now that is the greatest miracle of all, that God sent His son to establish this truth on the earth.