Oh man...Christmas Guatemala style has already been quite the experience. It honestly feels more like 4th of July than Christmas. The weather is perfect still and everyone has been lighting off fireworks for the last month. It does not feel real at all that it's Christmas Eve.
So last Wednesday we had our Christmas Activity for the mission. We wore up at 3 am to go to the temple. We sat in the back of a truck part of the way and it felt like I was dreaming. I was so tired! But it was really fun! We got to the temple and it was amazing as always! It was fun to see missionaries from a few other zones too! I've been here long enough that I know quite a few of the other Sisters. It's fun to be around other missionaries. After the temple we had free time to play basketball or watch movies (church movies...don't worry. It wasn't TOO crazy.) Then we had lunch catered by the CCM. SOO good. Those lucky little missionaries in the CCM. Then we had a devotional with the mission President of President Brough. It was really cool to hear from him and see where he gets all of his obedience from. President Brough focused on the mission of Christ, which was a cool take on a Christmas talk. The birth of Christ is so marvalous, but His Atonement is what makes it so important! It was just a really awesome day to see other missionaries and President Brough. We also got packages! Shout out to the Andrews family for being so awesome and sending me that fun package! That was so exciting. They sent me a super fancy pedometer (i think thats what it's called. I can't really tell the difference anymore between real words in English and words that I just think are real). Yesterday I took 21,077 steps, burned 456.6 calories walking, and walked 7.98 miles. Incase anyone was wondering.
Last night our branch had their Christmas activity. We could only stay an hour and it started late so we missed basically all of it. They started at 7ish and it didn't end until like midnight. They are serious about these Christmas festivities. They had tamales, and ponche (which is fruit punch but made out of real fruit, not koolaid mix.), a testimony meeting, watched a movie, had 2 pinatas of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, gave gifts, had a nativity by the primary and who knows what else! Man. It was a party. The big day here is today, the 24th. I cannot imagine what's going to happen. We can stay out until 12:30 (I have no idea how I'll be able to stay awake that long. But I'm determined). We're going to the Relief Society President's house and having a Christmas lesson then helping her decorate her tree. Apparently right at midnight there are a ridiculous amount of fireworks. It's going to be insane!
I'm so thankful for the people here. They are so loving and good to us! It's weird not to be at home for Christmas but I love these people so much!
This week was kinda rocky for us. We don't have any progressing investigators and we are just trying so hard and trying to find every little way to be obedient and diligent. Before my mission I thought I had faith and patience. I thought that I had some charity and humility, I thought I had a good start of the attributes of Christ. But Heavenly Father has shown me this last week that there is always so much more to develop, especially with faith. We have 5 potential baptisms for this weekend. And our investigators weren't pregressing as strongly as we had hoped, so we focused so hard on having faith. We prayed and fasted so hard, not knowing how the Lord was going to help us reach our goal. We just turned it all over to Him with a perfect knowledge that it would all work out if we worked our hardest. We were heart broken on Sunday when none of them came to church. I learned a lot from this. Mainly, I was able to excercise and develop faith like never before. We haven't seen the miracles we expected, but we see lots of little miracles every day. I know that it's all according to our faith. I'm so thankful to have Hermana G here to experience this all with me. We know we did all we could in our power. We dont know why these 5 people aren't ready to take this step, but Heavenly Father does. It was hard, but I'm thankful for the chance I had to draw a little closer to my Savior as I brought myself to a whole new level of faith.
I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas! Thank you so much for all your support and prayers. I need every little blessing I can get. The mission is hard, but there's never time to be down. There's always another miracle around the corner. Love you all!
|Package from the Andrews family|
|Their Christmas tree.|
(one of the Hermana's families sent this cute tree to her)
|Mr. & Mrs. Claus piñatas after the Branch Christmas party|
(we thought it was funny they beat Santa and Mrs. Claus like this)