Feliz Navidad y prospero año nuevo!
Hahaha so let me explain the title before I do anything else. There is a popular Christmas song here that we hear EVERYWHERE! It is my fave Christmas song probably ever. Look it up I think it's called Mira Como Baila la Panza de Santa Claus. But that means, look how Santa's gut dances!
(editor's note: I actually did youtube it and laughed my socks off! There's a million videos of cute little kids dancing to this song, so apparently it IS very popular. Course now it's stuck in my head....hohoho)
Hahahahahaha, so that is the title of the email this week because I ate more than I have ever eaten in my life! These crazy Guatemalans are trying to kill me! But basically, this week I learned what Christmas is in Guatemala... it means giving tamales to everyone you know. and when you're a missionary, you get triple!
|It's actually good|
So all day on the 24th we went from house to house unintentionally collecting tamales. By the end of the night we had eaten 5 each and had 20, I'm not exaggerating, 20 tamales in our fridge! We had to keep stopping off at the house to drop off tamales! But wow, I felt so incredibly loved on Noche Buena, the 24th, people just kept giving us tamales!
And when we finally got to our dinner appointment, we were stuffed, but we ate anyways! We spent Christmas Eve night with the Muñoz familia.
They are so amazing, they are the family that introduced us to Jerico and his family and continue working with them and bringing them to church! I ADORE this family! I felt so at home with them! We had quite the spread of tamales, of course, grapes, apples, ponche, christmas cookies! So good. IDK if I have explained ponche yet but it is like apple cider but with coconut and apples and grapes and raisins! It's bomb. And there is a tradition here of Christmas grapes and an apple! At midnight you eat 12 grapes and make 12 wishes! And an apple too I guess? IDK I never really got that part, I just ate the apple! We had permission to be out later that night so we got home at like 10 pm! Yeah! I felt so cool! :)
Christmas morning we woke up at 6 30 and ... didn't make breakfast. We had everything to make egg nog french toast but we were so dang full! Oh but we did have a little cake that our neighbor brought us! haha! But we ate our grapes and made our wishes and felt happy. Then I got to SKYPE MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!! The screen didn't move the whole time but I was so happy to hear their voices! Ahhhhh. I adore my family! You are too good to me! It was so so so fun talking to you, although I can't really remember anything. It was all a blur! But it made my whole week! I feel like I was just floating around! Afterwards we went and celebrated Christmas the right way with the zone at .... a Chinese restaurant! "fa ra ra ra ra...... ";) It was so good!
|With Elder Ruiz (AKA Santa) at the Stake choir activity|
Our zone leader surprised us with these huge gift bags from his family! His ward at home made Christmas gifts for every single member of our zone! Complete with body wash, tooth brushes, tooth paste, candy, other fun stuff like pens and note pads! I was dying! Thank you so much mysterious Utah ward! You made our Christmas!
|Look who I saw! Hermana Pister! My love She is the new mission nurse!|
Then we went out and tried to work. We ended up just meeting with recent converts and menos activos! We had a Christian music jam session with one of our recent convert's entire extended family! I just love families! Then we went to visit my favorite girls and Jerico! They gave us, surprise, tamales. We shared a message with them and then it started to pour! Like the hardest rain this month! So we were stuck at their house for like two hours because we didn't have umbrellas or anything! I got a ton of fun pics with them! I adore those kids! I finally got a pic with my favorite little Marisol where she was smiling. Let's just say she doesn't like to smile! It was so fun! After that, Christmas activities ended! They are gearing up again for tomorrow! Año Nuevo! Haha I'm sure that will be a whole other crazy story!
|Someone handed me their camera. I was a little stoked.|
|My sweet Jerico on the far left as Joseph|
|tamales at ward convivio|
We had a Secret Santa gift exchange as a zone.
Oh and we had a multi zone Christmas activity! We had a comb lunch and watched a movie! It was cool to see a bunch of people! :)
|I had Elder Wight and he had me. Hilar. I got oreos and peanut butter BOMB!|
Hmm what else? Oh before Christmas, we sang in the parque as a zone and it was so fun! People came up to us all week and they were like, "Hey I saw you singing in the park!" Aw yeah! so that was way fun.
Really this week was just full of eating, and more eating. and lessons and fun! I love my zone and my sweet companions that live with me! They made it the best Christmas ever!
This week I was just so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ! And for the love that He has for us and the love of all mankind! Seriously IDK how I was so blessed to have the opportunity to serve here. It makes me sad, sorry mom, to think that next Christmas I'll be home. I mean I miss those people so much, but this Christmas in Guatemala has been once in a lifetime incredible. There's nowhere else I'd rather be. I'm so happy serving the Lord!
Love you all so much! Make good new years resolutions! One of mine will be working out! But my diet starts tomorrow ..... ha!
love love love,