Well HO-HO-Hello there family!
Alright, I gotta confession to make... I ALREADY OPENED ALL MY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. I´m sorry! I couldn´t help it! They arrived last Tuesday and there was no way the other Elders were gonna let me wait so we opened them. BUT I still haven´t opened the one that says save for Christmas Eve. Please don´t be mad.
I gotta say though, you are spoiling me. Seriously, thank you so much. I can´t even remember everything you sent, there was so much. Thank you for the all of the CD´s, especially that Paul Cardall CD, we listen to it every day. The church piano and guitar music is amazing as well. Really, it´s all just TOO GOOD. Thank you for the little pecebre or manger scene, thank you for the fudge, the peanut butter white chocolate cookies, and the carmellos. They tasted amazing and Elder Blankenfeld and I made ourselves sick off fudge the other night. The ties were perfect and I loved the ASU tie (unfortunately it already has a oil stain on it from the lid to the fudge. Don´t worry, it´s still wearable). Craziest thing ever though were the signed pictures of the Christ´s baptism by Mark Mabry. You guys went all out on that! Thank you so much! I am seriously going to give those to every person we baptize. We always print them out a picture of the day they got baptized, so the combination of the two will make it that much better. The Book you sent is incredible as well. I´m guessing it´s brand new? But really, I was thinking about it and realized that if before the mission I´d gotten a book that had pictures of Jesus Christ for Christmas I wouldn´t have been thrilled. The honest truth is though, that I love it! It was a perfect gift. (Not gonna lie though, the picture of Jesus and the 12 Apostles in their Indian costumes makes us laugh every time). I can´t describe to you how perfect it all was though. Thank you so much.
I also got Melissa´s package too! Haha the Charlie Brown Christmas / Muppets Christmas CD is so ridiculously good. The CHILE pepper Christmas lights are perfect, we hung them right over the window. I love the ASU gym shorts. Seriously, I already use them all the time. Then there´s the NutterButter´s.... I don´t even have to tell you how happy that made us 4 Elders. Thank you so much Melissa and Thomashh! You guys are the best. Also, I received two letters from Melissa as well. One with pics of Tim´s birthday party (not gonna lie, those pics made me pretty happy).
K, well I´ve probably sounded all crazed and mixed up, but that´s only because I really want you all to know how grateful I am for the packages. I feel very lucky and spoiled. I´m sorry I can´t send you all anything in return (I still don´t have my debit card), but I love you guys and hope you know how awesome you´ve made this Christmas for me.
Para que sepan, Camila and Constanza´s baptisms went super well last Sunday. Constanza was baptized by her grandpa and guess who baptized Camila...? Me.. Truth is, she really didn´t care who did it, but she chose me because she knew it would be my very first one. I was extremely nervous, but pronounced her name perfectly, said my part perfectly, and we didn´t have to redo anything. It was a Christmas Miracle! The thing that makes me happiest though is that these girls now get to grow up in la primaria y las mujeres jovenes. I see how bad some peoples lives here in Chile are and how the gospel really could fix almost every problem they have. These girls now have the blessing of growing up learning about the Savior and have the gift of the Holy Ghost to help guide them. (Not to mention their part member and innactive families are now going to church again too!).
Christmas here in Chile really has begun to pick up now. A couple houses here and there now have lights up. Tons of families have there small fake little trees set up. There are gifts in the corners of peoples apartments. It´s great. This week is going to be very festive as well. Hoy día we ended our zone fast with a zone curry feast. Elder Booth and Elder Scott spent like 40 bucks making us yellow curry with chicken. It was soooooo stinkin´ good. They made way too much though, and there was tons left even after we all ate as much as we could. Tomorrow is the Christmas activity for the whole mission. It´s all supposed to be secret, but I guess we´re going to go play football for a couple hours, have an all you can eat buffet, and then we´re gonna watch a Christmas movie? We´re very excited. Thursday we work like normal, but we´re gonna sing Christmas carols and read Luke 2 with members, investigators, and anyone that´ll accept us. We´re also gonna have a stinkin´ good dinner with Vasco the 1st counselor in the bishopric. Christmas day we´re gonna work as well, but we´re allowed to eat lunch and dinner with a family. It´s all very relaxed and should be awesome. I´m definitely feeling the Christmas energy though.
Truth is though, it is really important to remember why it is we even have this holiday. And that is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The bishop gave an amazing talk this week about how gifting can invite the spirit into our lives, caroling can invite the spirit into our lives, El Viejito Pascuero (Santa Claus), decorations, food, and everything are all great things to do that invite the spirit. But we´ve gotta remember the story of the birth of Christ and how there was no room in the Inn. We have to make sure that we accept the Savior into our homes during this season. The inn keeper that rejected Joseph and Mary didn´t know he was rejecting the Savior, but we do know. We know exactly what we´re doing and that we´ve just gotta keep the right focus... Anyways, his version was much more powerful and poetic, but you get the idea. He´s an amazing bishop.
Well, I´ve gotta go. Know that I love you and that I hope you all have the happiest Christmas ever. I´m perfectly safe and happy. Enjoy the holidays and don´t worry.