Christmas is in the air here in Guatemala! These people have so much Christmas spirit! I'm sorry, just a disclaimer, if my spelling is especially horrible on this email, the keyboard I'm typing on has no letters on it so I'm kinda just guessing. should have tried harder in typing class in elementary school, oh well.
(Editor's note: I always correct the spelling...heehee)
So I'm on a super Christmas high right now! We just spent the morning singing in the hospital nacional here in Coatepeque! We sang Christmas hymns for all the little sickies! Ah I saw so many newborns and I just wanted to carry them off with me! So cute! Haha, I probably shouldn't say that because there are def rumors here in Guatemala that misioneros steal your babies... hide yo kids hide yo wife? Ha! We convertin' 'em all! But it was so incredible to sing to them! I just love people, especially my Guatemaltecos! Especially the little ones! This sweet little boy came up and wanted a pic with me, "la canchita"-- that means the white girl ha-- and he put his little arm with an IV around me and his little cast! It was simply adorable. Until he was like, "mira, sangre!" Yeah, I was like, "Okay tiempo para salir. vamanos!" Hahaha.
Tonight we are doing a little activity as a zone where we are going to sing in the parque of our town! We are all going to sing and some of us will be contacting while the rest sing! Lucky for me, the parque is in my area, I'm hoping for like 50 or more references tonight! I also invited like half of our ward to come! The central park or plaza or whatever of our town is so decked out for Christmas! There is a Christmas tree in the middle that is bigger than the one at the Grove! Take that LA! Haha, except the fact that it is put up by the beer company that like owns Guatemala, on the sides it says, "Drink it up this Christmas o algo", pero we just ignore it and focus on how pretty it is!
This town LOVES Christmas! There have been parades like every other night! And we live on the calle principal so we get to hear the music and yelling and dancing and trumpets all. night. long. Let's just say we haven't been sleeping much lately! Who can sleep when there are incredible fireworks going on! :) And we have a great view of the fireworks from our house!
We celebrated Christmas this week in our ward Christmas party! It was so fun! I adore my ward! :) They have a word for Christmas parties here, convivio! It was so fun! We had a talent show and it was probs the funniest thing of my life. The elders quorum got up and did a dance to.... viya... payop.... they couldn't pronounce it so they brought it to me and I was like the Village People's YMCA! Hahahahahaha! I have never seen that side of these ward members but they were dancin it up! So freakin' funny! And the young men did a mix, pronounced meex, de musica electronica. Ha! These kids! I was dying! And probably my favorite part was when my sweet Jerico walked out as Joseph for the nativity scene! Oh my gosh how that little boy has grown in the Gospel! In every act there was a recent convert of mine and I was just dying! My sweet chicas in the young women's dance number, one of them was Mrs. Claus and it just made me so happy! The best Christmas present ANY of you can give your missionaries in your wards is to hermanar, that means welcome them or be their friend, all the recent converts of the missionaries! We all need to have a spiritual conversion and a SOCIAL conversion! They are equally important! Give these people deberes, responsibilites! We had tamales and ponche at the party, those are the typical foods of Navidad! Ponche is like hot apple cider but instead of apples its piña and pasas and coco and vanilla and it's basically hot fruit punch but it's soooooo good! And the tamales, eh not the biggest fan, almost cracked a tooth when I bit into the seed of the date in the tamale! Haha, but I'm hearing we will be eating tamales at every house on the 24th. I spent lunch every day this week making cookies for some presents for our ward! We made peanut butter cookies and wow, took forever; but it was fun and they were good! It was the best ward Christmas party ever. It's crazy that this is my only Christmas here. I am trying my hardest to do everything and take advantage of EVERY opportunity! Yolo. right?
This week instead of contacting we tried something new, caroling! We went around for hours just asking if we could sing to people! We ended up getting in to a ton more houses and a ton of references! It was amazing. I don't really like contacting so we were about to go start off like 3 hours of planned contacting and I was like nope, I can't do this, let's sing in the streets! It was incredible! One man let us in and his whole family just loves Christmas! They have the most Christmas decorations that I have ever seen! Everyone here puts really ornate nativity scenes under their trees instead of gifts. They put up the baby Jesus on the 24th. They showed me their baby Jesus and oh my goodness. It is like the size of a 4 year old and it is ceramic. That thing is heavy! One of the weirdest things of my life holding this ceramic giant child with real eyelashes while teaching about Christmas. At least these people are celebrating with all of their all! I adore them and they way they celebrate! :) So anyways we shared a message with this family and then he said, "Gracias hermanitas, because of you, Jesus came to my house today. thank you!" Ah brought tears to my eyes! These people are so loving! :)
Wow the list of Christmas miracles is growing every day! 2 investigators came to church yesterday! I could have cried! We were up with the ward choir so I couldn't sit with them but I was like beaming the whole program and just like crying because it was so beautiful! We have some great investigators right now, we are hoping for some great things for them in the new year! :)
Last night was the stake choir concert, okay back up Mormon Tabernacle Choir, you have competition! For how tone deaf most Guatemalans are, they did incredibly! Ah!!!!!! :)
All in all an incredible week that went by way too fast. but I'm so beyond stoked for the 25th when I talk to my beloved family!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!
Just a thought, this Christmas remember something, Jesus loves all of His children. He loved the Nephites enough to share with them that Jesus Christ would will come, 1 nefi 11, 3 nefi 1. You are all so incredibly loved, never forget that. Also remember, He loves everyone else too. Be His instrument and share His divine message with everyone! Neighbors, passerbys, the grocery checkout man! Everyone DESERVES this message. You are a blessing to have crossed paths with them. The Lord places us in exactly where we need to be to share this glad message with all around us! I hope my family can follow what Jesus Christ told us and share the Gospel with every creature! :) Know that He loves you and know that I love you!
love love love,