Hi Mama (and fam and friends)!!
I sure do love hearing from you and seeing all the darling pictures! Thanks so much :) Happy New Year! I'm glad you had a happy (calm) new years eve. I should've done yoga too! ...Darn. We actually had to be in by 7pm so that we wouldn't get hit by any drunk drivers or anything. Plus, who is going to talk to missionaries on New Years Eve? It would've been a waste of time. So yeah, Hermana Ruiz and I decided to be consecrated and skip dinner and work through until 7. We had visited our investigator (Maria - see picture 801) earlier that day and she gave us some "pozole", which is super common for a Mexican New Years Eve dinner. We ate that whilst planning and afterwards had a little "apartment party" with the English sisters. I wanted to study instead, but figured it would probably be good to not offend anyone. We had little New Years sound makers, hats, etc., drank Martinellis, and watched a little mission movie. We took some pictures and said “Happy New Year” around 9pm and called it a night. J After some extra reading I was able to get to bed a little early, which was so nice! Happy New Year to me J
|With Maria and friends|
|Happy New Year! (somewhere!!)|
So yeah, that was our New Years Eve. New Years day we had Zone Training and it was awesome! President Cook was there (he's so great) and it was just a great training. President Cook came over to us Spanish missionaries during a practice (there are only 4 of us in the zone) and said "Tengo mucho esperanza para ustedes y su rama" very seriously. We are all now feeling a little intimidated and are not sure what he's expecting of us, but it's exciting that he has so much faith in us! After the training everyone was really, really, pumped. We decided to set some "accomplishment goals" for our day so we could be more effective. We had low contacts (not surprising for January) but we gave out 2 Book of Mormons and got some return appointments! It was an exciting day. I hope we can keep up the enthusiasm and work! We are probably going to be doing a blitz in the Elders’ area sometime soon to help get it going - should be fun.
We ate outside of our area last night (with permission, of course) with some members. The Elders showed up for dinner too (we didn't know they were coming) and it was a little awkward - ha-ha but still fun. Elder Herrera is from Columbia and is learning English. He's such a sweet heart. Elder Nealy is from Oklahoma and is a great kid! The poor thing has been persecuted so much by family and friends (for being Mormon), it's amazing how strong his testimony still is. It helps me be so grateful for all of the love and support that I have.
Yeah, the work has been a little slow around the holidays - people don't want to make time for us to come over, even those who are truly interested. We are really trying to focus on our investigators Maria and Magali right now. Magali came to church this week! (Finally!) Her kids didn't like it so much, so they only stayed 2 hours, plus they had to go look for a car (theirs got stolen - super sad!) but she enjoyed sacrament meeting and she was able to meet with President Morgan, as he has been trying to help them get a car. She feels a lot of love and support from the branch and hopefully she and her family will be able to come out for a Family Home Evening with the Piñeda family tonight, but we'll see.
I'm so glad that you and the fam had such a great Christmas! Are you going to send me a couple pics from the family Christmas party with the manger and everything?
Oh my goodness! I almost forgot! So we had exchanges this last weekend - what a great experience! Our mission does them once a transfer and I really love it. I went to Escondido with Hermana Schwegler.
|Hermanas Schwegler, Ruiz, Lythgoe, y yo!|
That girl is CRAZY! But a great missionary J She really helped me out with a lot of my concerns and also pushed me a bit. We set out some goals and she helped me out with setting up better study plans. Escondido is so great! They call it the "Dirty Dido" because it's pretty ghetto and dirty, but I love it! It is a whole different ball game down there. The work is so different, but it is the Lord's work all the same. There are so many Mexicans down there, and so many members (though most are inactive). Anywhere you go you can find someone to teach. Very different than Temecula. Here everyone is rich and white and you have to work through the members and look effectively to find the Latinos. Oh, the other day we knocked a door of a black Baptist minister. He was so creepy and weird! Ha-ha, this work is fun J
Anyway, I'm almost out of time so I'll wrap it up with telling you that I love you and I hope the fam is well! Tell Ariana the bathroom looks great! And I hope M,J, & D are in Utah when I get back! That'd be so fun! I love you! I love how much revelation is found through the Book of Mormon and how it truly is the word of God. This is God's work and it truly is directed by Him.
I hope everyone has a super fantastic 2013 and that all of you may come closer to Christ through out it. Les quiero mucho! Feliz Año Nuevo!
PS - a couple more pics from the MTC
|Off we go!|