Talking on the phone with the family was incredible! After it was over my face was sore from smiling so much. The weird thing is, I can hardly remember a single thing we talked about, I just remember that it was good.
So Christmas Eve and Christmas day were pretty good. Christmas Eve we had lunch with Hermana Paillan and her daughter La Chumi (who´s a 23 year old Primary President). They gave us socks and fruit cake afterward. Then we visited Juan, Paulina, and a few other people. That night we had Dinner in the home of Anita, Camila, Paulo, and Dante. We ate shrimp ceviche with avocado, beef with a creamy mushroom sauce, little fried potato balls, green been tomato salad, and for desert we had big bowls of vanilla, chocolate, and coffee ice cream?? (One of the scoops tasted like coffee, we´re gonna have to go over the word of wisdom again). There were also truffles and sugar cookies. We also had prepared a message and games for the night, but didn´t have time to do any of it because dinner took so long. It was a really fun, really nice night though. It made Elder Boyce really homesick... Then at midnight Juan called us to say Feliz Navidad!
Oh and did you know that the tradition here in Chile is that everyone stays up until Midnight and opens presents then?? We told a bunch of people that we waited till morning to open presents and they thought we were insane.
Christmas day was really odd.. I woke up at 7:33 (the extra 3 minutes was a Christmas present) and thought it´s only 3:33 back home. Elder Boyce and Elder Maruri opened a few little gifts they´d saved (like wet-ones and finger puppets) and that was it. We cleaned and got ready like normal after that. I thought about home and the family all morning. We made Reese's and no bake cookies for various families in the ward and brought them to them (people don´t eat much peanut butter hear at all). We also sang Noche de Luz to all the houses (in parts). Everyone loved the Reese's and we have two families that want to do Noches de Hogar this week so we can make more Reese's. We then ate lunch with Vasco, counselor in the Bishopric, and his family. It was really good, but the whole meal was kinda sad. Vasco and his wife aren't able to have kids so they've been working on adopting for a long time. About 2 weeks ago they finally got their baby from a young girl who was wanting to put her baby up for adoption. They were so happy and taking such good care of the baby until all of the sudden the mother wanted it back. I´m not sure what exactly went down, but they had to give the baby back. So their Christmas was not at all what they expected it to be and was really rough. We felt so bad for them, the whole ward did. The meal was great though and afterward we sang for them. Oh and I also sang Jingle Bells as Donald Duck. At least now, they´ll never be able to forget me.. Luckily they are doing a lot better now.
The day after Christmas we sang to a few more houses we missed and received a few more gifts from people. Between the 4 of us Elders we managed to receive about 7 fruit cakes and 28 pairs of socks, pretty intense huh?
Changes were last night and guess what... I´m STILL with Elder Blankenfeld?? Haha anyways, he and I are pumped to be more obedient, more diligent, more focused, and more healthy this change (We´re gonna diet?!)
I love you all. You failed to send me Christmas pictures, but that´s OK. I´m sending you some baptism photos in this email and random others in another email. Stay strong and be good!