Hola mi hermosa familia! This week has been really different... lots of Christmas parties! But more about that later...
Jordy, I loved your letter. I always knew you'd make an amazing missionary... hint hint lol.
And it's a miracle! The mail does work! I got two packages - one with ketchup chips (thanks mom!) and the other with sweet chili heat doritios and Christmas presents! That was awesome :) And I love all the Spanish sayings you sent me!
So Cambios! We did not have them! So that means that I'll be staying in P till the beginning of February! That means that 9 months, half of my mission, I will be here. It was funny because yesterday a whole bunch of members were saying goodbye to me because they all thought I'd be having changes... oops! Elder Evans and his comp, Elder Chok, will be staying too. They had us all speak in church on Sunday, and at the last minute they announced that we'd be singing a special number too - but we hadn't practiced anything! We sang ''Jesus en pesebre'' - ''Away in a Manger''. They also forgot to mention that we'd be speaking in church on Sunday, so I had to make up a talk right there at the pulpit. I talked about the story of Christmas among the Nefitas, and then tied it all in to keeping the commandments. I thought it went well, although there had been technology problems and we had to do it without a microphone - so I felt like I was shouting the whole time.
We're also using the ''He is the Gift'' video, but for us it's called ''Él es la dádiva''. The funny part is that a lot of people don't know what ''Dádiva'' means because it's like a really fancy way to say gift. But it's a really nice video - I love how clearly it expresses the meaning for the season. The church did another video similar to ''He is the Gift'' called ''Because of Him'' (I think it's called that - I've never seen it in English.) I also love that video.
So! About those Christmas parties... on Wednesday we had a party as a mission. We all met in my stake center around 9, where we ate muffins, then had a devotional that was beautiful filled with music and Christmas messages. Then we had a talent show! That was a lot of fun and just a little bit crazy. And Hna Luque and Hna Cardenas convinced me to sing with them! We sang ''O Holy Night'' but in Spanish, and we were so nervous! It sounded good, but our practices were a ton better. It was lots of fun. Then they gave us a lovely Christmas dinner... but not going to lie... noodle salad with raisins and dry turkey with a weird sauce wasn't exactly the best Christmas meal I've ever had... but no importa! Then they had 4 different things we could do - play basketball, play futbol (soccer), play futbol americano (football) or..... watch FROZEN!!!!! We opted to watch Frozen. I had Hna Mercedes on one side and Hna Luque on the other. They both hadn't seen it and were killing themselves laughing. They both got so into it it was hilarious to watch them. And I hadn't seen it for a year, so I also thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so nice to enjoy a good movie. The only movies we've watched in a long time are Finding Faith in Christ and the Restoration. And I love them and all, but we watch them a ton for FHE's or with investigators... it was nice to see something different. We got back to our area around 6 that day to work.
|With the mission president.|
|Watching the Talent Show.|
Then on Thursday we had to return to our house at 7, and Friday we weren't allowed to leave our house for anything. It was Virgin Day - when they celebrate the Virgin of Guadelupe (what they call the Mary, the mother of Jesus - it's a long and complicated story how they changed the name. I'll tell you later.) So this day all the Catholics (which is everybody) celebrate, and a lot of them kind of get drunk. There were fireworks all day long. And, on this day, everyone walks to the Basilica of Guadelupe. Some live close and just have to go a few hours, but others start a couple days early to walk there. And the really devout ones go on their knees. It was crazy - the main streets all filled with people walking to the Basilica. We could see them Thursday in the streets, then we locked ourselves in our house. That was a fun day - we kept busy all morning studying and stuff, but about 3 I got pretty bored. We slept a lot. Good times lol.
And then on Saturday at 5, we had our ward Christmas party. That was fun! We started out breaking some piñatas and then had a Christmas dinner. The piñatas were hilarious! Every organization had to bring their own piñatas, so us 4 missionaries got to thinking that we wanted to break a piñata too... And Gustavo was nice enough to make us a piñata! That was a ton of fun to break - I may just want to break a few when I get home! Hna Luque went first, then me, then Elder Evans - he broke it. Elder Chok didn't even get a chance pobrecito lol.
|Us with the piñata - our ward mission leader is in the middle.|
|Me breaking the piñata.|
|The Ward Christmas dinner.|
Josefina is doing great - she'll be getting baptized Sunday after church. I love her so much and am so glad I'll get to be here for her baptism. Keep praying for her though - the last week is always the toughest. That's when the most trials come.
I LOVE being a missionary. I can't believe I've been doing this for a year. We took your advice and went looking for some of our old investigators - and found a family that we never wanted to drop, we just couldn't find them ever again. And they've started reading el Libro de Mormon - ójala that they progress!
And I wanted to share my testimony with you all - but especially for Jennafer. I've been thinking about you a lot lately Penny - and I wanted you to know how much I love you. I want you to know that I know that Jesus lives and loves me and you. I know that He is our Savior - and that He knows us personally. He loves us so much and has done so much for us. 1 Nefi 19:9 is one of my favourite scriptures - I know that He did so much and suffered so much for us because He loves us! And like it says in Alma 26:12 - alone I'm weak, but with Him I can do all things. I know that alone I never would be enough. But thanks to Him, we can rise above the challenges and the weaknesses, and come to be like Him. I love Him. And I know that He loves us. Always remember that He loves you and is with you.
I love Christmas - miss my white Christmas, but it's pretty awesome Mexican style too.
Hope you all have a lovely week, and I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas!
Be good, say your prayers, and remember that He loves you.
Love you all
|I saw this sweater in the tianguis and just HAD to buy it - only 15 pesos!|