Monday, December 29, 2014

{Week 55} Polanco - December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas! It was really strange to see you all Christmas - like you said Dad, very surreal. And afterwards I sat by the computer for about five minutes just thinking about you all and what you'd be doing after we hung up. I loved seeing you all - you've all grown up!
 The YW card arrived! Thank you!

For Christmas Eve we worked until 6:30 - at this time we all had to be with a member or in the house. It rained all day and was miserable and wet. It was cold! I can stand the cold in the street, but what gets me is that often it's colder inside the houses than outside. They don't have heating in the houses here, so it's always cold inside right now (and dad, we use Celsius here, not F). We spent Christmas Eve with Josefina and her daughter Diana. They made us spaghetti and a hamburger helper type thing. They also made us lemon pie and a fancy jello. It was good and we enjoyed our time with them, then they brought us home about 8:30.
Diana and Josefina - lemon pie and jello!
Josefina gave us treat bags!
Then Hna Luque and I were just chatting, sharing all the Christmas traditions that our families have. The next thing we knew, it was midnight! So we opened our presents. I had a few things from you all, and something from Hna Luque, but her parents didn't send her anything (Argentina is a bit far and it would cost a ton - she hasn't gotten any packages her whole mission). So I had made or sneakily bought her a bunch of presents so she'd have something to open. They don't really do gifts here for Christmas. A few families might have Santa come, but most just wait till 3 Kings Day - when the 3 kings bring them gifts. But they don't really exchange gifts. Hermana Luque and I also sang a few Christmas hymns together. It was really sweet and I loved it - definitely the strangest Christmas ever, but very sweet.
Our Christmas present stash.

And then on Christmas, we went to the first counselor in the bishoprics house to have breakfast and skype! That was fun :) It made me cry. Then we went with the family Maldonado for Christmas dinner. Then we went home and slept! Lots of members, converts, and a few investigators sent us texts wishing us a Merry Christmas which I really appreciated. And that was my Christmas!
(Our side of the skype with Hna Taylor.  She's meeting her 6 month old niece Addison for the first time and everyone is trying to get Addison to smile for her auntie.  Didn't work!) 

Church was a lot of fun on Sunday. I don't know why, but I just really enjoyed it. Remember Jorge? one of Edgar and Adolfo's friends? He came to church and has decided that he wants to get baptized! We haven't seen him in like a month and a half, and then out of nowhere he came to church! That got us pretty excited. And Vianney and Monse (two sisters, 16 and 18) came to church too. And they really liked it! Things are looking good! And then in Relief Society they gave us cake. Cake always makes things better. And Josefina was super sick, but still came to church because she was so excited to be confirmed. I love confirmations!

I love Christmas. I love the music of Christmas. I love the lights, the food, and I love to remember the reason for the season. I know that Christ gave everything for us. I know that He loves us. There is a video by the Mormon Tabernacle choir called ''What shall we give to the babe in the manger'' or something like that. It's beautiful and I highly recommend it. He has given us everything, and Christmas is a great time to remember and to think about what we are going to give Him this year.

I love it here. I love all of you. Sorry it's a short letter today. I hope you all have a lovely week. Thanks for sending me dad's talk. I printed it out but haven't read it yet.
Have a great week, and I'll talk to you next year! Be good, say your prayers, and love everyone!
-Hna Taylor
What could it be?

"We love our Moose"
A family photo calendar for the new year!

(Picture on the front of the calendar.  Hna Taylor is the giant stuffed Moose being hugged by her sisters.)

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