Oh man it was so great to talk to the family on Christmas. It was so surreal. I loved every second and was so happy to see everyone. I was stumbling over my English a lot but hey that´s a good thing right?! Haha. I am so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life to support and guide me in my life. Even though it was the fastest 40 minutes of my life I am so grateful to be serving in a time where we have the technology to communicate from any part of the world. I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity.
|We couldn´t find a Christmas tree so we tried making our own and it turned into this. :)|
I felt really bad though, my companion couldn´t connect with her family. There was a problem with the skype accounts. She was working at it for a couple hours and she even called her mom but she couldn´t connect with them. She has permission from President to try again a different day. She was a real trooper though. I probably would´ve been a wreck but she didn´t let it distract her from getting back to work. I love my companion! She´s great.
Christmas this year was so special. So different, but very special. It was hard going to sleep Christmas Eve knowing that I wouldn´t wake up at 5 in the morning to wake up my siblings and my parents to start as early as possible our many many traditions but what gave me comfort is what we were able to do as missionaries for the people we are serving. The whole month of December we were contacting with handout cards with the Christmas video of the church and our number. We spend quite a bit of time travelling in the bus so we decided to start contacting the buses. (Part of the culture here is that anyone anywhere can sell whatever they want. People always get on the bus to start selling their food or products). We weren´t going to sell anything, maybe sing a carol and just pass out some cards. It was scary at first but so worth it. It helped me overcome my fear of speaking in the language and we were able to contact a ton of people. Also a lot of people think we´re Jehovah Witnessess so it helped us resolve that too ;)
On Christmas Day the Zone still had some cards left so for an activity we went down to one of the bus stops and just started getting on buses and contacting. Some of the Elders were really ambitious and just contacted cars at stoplights. It was a blast.
|The only North Americans in the Zone - Hermana Wong, Hermana Peel and I.|
The best thing though about this Christmas was the opportunity I had to share one of the traditions of my family with many of the families that we´re visiting. Every year at Christmas time my family takes some time to sit down and write down some of our spiritual goals or ¨Gifts to Christ¨. We place these goals in an envelope and put the date on it and the next Christmas we open the envelope to read our goals and see if we achieved them. I absolutely loved sharing this with the people of Ambato and they loved it too! It helped me realize how much the gospel has truly blessed my family and my life. We need to remember our Savior Jesus Christ all year round, and one of the best ways to do that is by striving to become better through His Atonement.
|My lunch :) They brought them from the coast. Pretty cool. And tasty too.|
|When we got there they were still moving around |
and then about an hour later they were our lunch :)
|We had our Christmas dinner with the Familia Muñoz! They´re super awesome!|
I hope that each and every one of you can set a goal to do something more in this next year to become more like our Brother Jesus Christ. I know that through this effort, we can all feel the spirit more present in our lives.
In this week I´ve learned more about how patient our Savior is with us. One of our investigators who was supposed to be baptized this week fell again into some of his weaknesses. It´s hard at times when we´re supposed to have and show our faith in these people when they aren´t giving us reasons to have any faith. I know it´s the same with our Savior. At times we do things or say things that can cause Him to lose faith in us. But what´s great, is that He never gives up on us. He never loses His faith in us. He is so loving and merciful, and as a missionary I am striving to develop these same attributes. It isn´t easy but it´ll be worth it.
I hope and pray that we can all in this next year strive a little bit more to be more like Christ each and every day. He is always there to guide us along. This week I´ll be studying more about Lehi´s vision, and how is it that we can hold to the iron rod and achieve our goals of eternal life. (1 Nephi 8)
I love this gospel so much and I love being a missionary. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you the happiest of New Year´s.
Con mucho amor,