Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

The Arch in Antigua with the old and new year posted on top
So I didn't realize it was New Years Eve until I saw the arch today.  The mission is a giant time warp and nothing feels real, even holidays.

Christmas in Guatemala...Wow.  I'd suggest putting that on your bucket list.  It was one of my favorite Christmases ever!  We taught lessons until 9.  Then we went to the Relief Society president's house.  She bought all kinds of treats for us and we decorated her Christmas tree!  They eat a lot of tamales, ponche, and marshmallows.  We hung out there and had a really cool lesson about giving gifts to Christ with some recent converts.  Then at midnight it was a war zone.  There were sooo many fireworks!  Big ones and small ones.  It was like a 4th of July firework show but EVERYWHERE!  It was so cool!  We were so tired though.  It totally felt like we were dreaming.  We opened presents that night.  Thanks sooo much for everything!  I loved it all.  I also loved the little book of pictures with the 'Merry Christmas' sign!  Thanks SO much to everyone who did that!  It was so cute.(editors note: before Christmas clear in October we went around and took pictures of Alexis' friends and ward members here with a Merry Christmas sign and sent them to her with her Christmas package)   Christmas day we got to talk to family...WOOO! It was such a weird experience.  It didn't feel real at all.  It was so crazy just to have a normal conversation with my family like I never left.  Such a surreal experience.  We also went to a really neat part of our area that we hadn't been to before.  We could see over our whole zone!  It was so pretty and green with the volcanoes.  It was a really awesome Christmas.  Even though it wasn't with family, they take really good care of us here.  We are really blessed.

We had divisions again with the training sisters, which is always awesome because we learn so much and get so much better.  I went to Chimaltengano which was way different.  Its crazy how other areas feel like different missions.  At first I was kinda down on myself because the people there really understood so fast.  But every area has people who learn differently.  It was cool to meet their investigators who are progressing and getting baptized.  It made me excited to find people who are prepared to get baptized this month.

Things are still rough finding people who are prepared and ready to progress.  We also had to leave some people that stopped progressing this week, so that was sad.  But we've seen lots of miracles.  We found a family of 7 the other day!  And we had a really good turn out at church, especially with recent converts which was a miracle.  I'm so thankful for these little tender mercies because even when we can't see the fruits of our labors, I know that the hand of the Lord is still in everything.
Alexis ate five tamales Christmas eve 
Guatemalan sisters preparing tamales for Christmas Eve

Celebrating Christmas Eve with the Relief Society President
 (leader of the women's group at church)

Christmas day site seeing