I'm so sorry I got cut off with the phone call and didn't get to say goodbye!! I honestly almost cried, I was so frustrated. The internet cut out and we couldn't get it to work to call you back. For the next hour all I could think about was how you guys were probably all around the computer trying to call me back or waiting for me to call, and how I wouldn't get to see your faces again for 5 months without saying goodbye to you. After that hour, however, I realized that there was nothing I could do. Focusing on these negative thoughts was really keeping me from feeling the spirit, and I just needed to let go and go to work. And you know what? That's exactly what I did. I started thinking about how great it was that I got to see all of your faces and at the very least share a small part of my testimony in Spanish. I finally got to see little baby Johnathan and talk (or cry) with (almost) everyone of my siblings. I got to see the faces of my mommy and daddy, and that was such a great comfort to me I really can't even begin to describe it. I know that I'll get to talk to you again in a few short months. For now, though, my focus is here in the work, and I am determined to give the people here the undivided attention that they deserve.
On a different note, Christmas is way different here! It's like 4th of July with even more fireworks. Everyone stays up late and they start eating dinner from 11pm to 12am, and then right at midnight everyone goes outside and sets of a TON of fireworks. The were all so loud that it woke me up. It sound like Paraguay was exploding! Apparently the New Year is going to be the same exact thing.
The day after Christmas we had a huge mission activity. We ate food, played soccer, volleyball, a game with water balloons and towels, had an obstacle course, and then hiked up a big hill to a big monument (I honestly have no idea what the monument was for, we couldn't find a sign or anything). We even had a white elephant! I got a cute Santa Claus doll with the symbol that we use for baptisms sewn on the front. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it...
Also, I got your package!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE SOCKS!! ...I never thought I would say that about Christmas gifts.... Honestly, it made me so insanely happy just to have my Christmas pjs that I probably won't wear until winter and to have my cute little stocking. I gave the other stocking to Hna Lino, since Hna Gonzalez got transferred. She absolutely loves it, expecially the little tinted lipbalm.
Anyway, that's how Christmas went. I love you guys, and I miss you so much. Thank you for being such a wonderful support to me and always motivating me to do better and try harder. My spanish is getting better and better and I'm getting more and more confident and fluid with teaching the lessons. I'm actually starting to feel like a competent missionary! I was starting to think that it would never happen! But I know I have my Heavenly Father to help me and strengthen my weaknesses. He really is helping me be stronger every day, and I'm finally starting to really see the evidence of it.
Love you guys with all my heart.
P.S. Since I didn't get to talk to Hayden, will you please nicely kick him in the butt and have him write me an email? I really miss him....
|Top of Cerro Lambaré with Hna Lino|
|From left to right: My "abuela" Hna Lossa, my "mamá" Hna Gonzalez, me, and my current companion and my "tia," Hna Lino|