Contrary to the subject of this email, and keeping in mind that I live in the Philippines, it is not "beginning to look like Christmas," BUT(!), it sure is beginning to feel like Christmas! The holiday season (xmas music, etc.) starts September 1 here, however, you really know Christmas is close when the shops sell little 74 cents x-mas trees and the kids start to carol - they love caroling here. By the way, I imagine that as I write this, you might be watching the Christmas devotional, seeing as it's already Monday morning my time here, I don't get to watch it until next week!
An early Christmas gift was another baptism! Typhanie! This, remember, is the super awesome daughter og that great investigator I met forever ago while riding a tricycle. Usually, we'd wait for the whole family to be ready to be baptized together, but since Typhanie was the only one able to consistently come to church (plus seminary and everything ever), we felt it'd be best for her to now wait for the others. Te parents have a plan to be baptized to now! (: The baptism was Dec 7th - besides being the anniversary of Pearl Harbor (my schooling is coming bak to me as I get ready to go back to BYU!), it was Elder Todd's birthday! In classic Brown fashion, I got up extra early to make him blueberry pancakes for breakfast in bed! Last great thing was another less active family coming to church! Think about this - since being branch president in 2006, for the last seven years, the dad hasn't come to church once! The first day I met them, all though it wasn't the most receptive, I knew they'd come to church as a family before I get transferred from here. Five months later and they're one of my favorite families I've met on my mission and they all came to church together! Seven years without them. Now they're back. I was so happy.
We had a lot of random, interesting things happen to us this week. It'll make for a great kwentuhan one day! We're excited for Christmas! Also, it's time to start thinking about what my New Year's goal will be for 2014. Should be different from last year since I'll only be in the Philippines for just over half of next year. Anyways... Have a great week!
Love, Elder Brown