¿Us hermaan, ma sa sa' lee ch'ool?
Arin wankin chirix li xb'en xamaan re li rox cambio (Here I am after the first week of the third change)
First of all, it was really great to talk to all of you too!! Even though it was really hard to hang up the phone for me too because I feel like I didn't get to tell you half of the things I wanted to tell you! And I didn't get to talk to Kinzie and Jack and Matt as much as I would have liked to. It's true, it's hard having such limited communication with your family. But I've realized some good things from having limited communication with all of you. First of all, I'm so thankful for eternal families and for the fact that if we are all faithful and live the commandments and do all that we can that we will always be together forever and we won't ever have to be apart like this. I've really realized a lot how much I need all of you in my life to support me and keep me going. I've also realized how Heavenly Father must feel sometimes when we don't listen to him or when we don't pray and talk to him. He loves us more than we have the capacity to love, and so we can't even comprehend how much he loves us. I'm sure that he feels even more the desire to talk with all of his children and he misses all of them more than we could ever feel. So it's kind of given me more motivation to really be sincere in my prayers and to really try hard to have true communication with my Heavenly Father more. My mission is a lot like this life I've realized. I've been sent here by my parents to do a work in a place that is on a lower level than my true home. Adjustments are sometimes hard and there are a lot of changes that take place. But just like this life, I have to have these experiences so that I can experience a fulness of blessings when I return home where I belong. So I know that it's hard for you guys too, but I know that your faith and love for the Gospel is getting you through just like me, and that Heavenly Father is blessing you for my service here, and maybe helping you to understand a little bit better how He feels with each one of us. Thanks a lot for being great parents and for always giving me comfort and advice. You guys are the greatest!
Alright, well the baptism with Tio Nino went pretty well! We had planned for it to be at 1:00 but then all of the family members of him (all members and pretty much the biggest part of our branch) told us that they were busy and that it would be better if we could wait until 3 to have the baptism. I was fine with that, but Elder Lopez got pretty mad. But we carried on sin embargo and had a good service. People here aren't as reverent during baptisms though which is kind of lame because it makes it a little harder to feel the Spirit and everything, but it was still a really good experience. Tio Nino is a really funny guy (he's 67 by the way) and he felt good about his baptism and his confirmation.
So here's a little run down of what we did for Christmas. It's a little different here because everyone just celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve instead of on the actual day. So everyone will start eating tamales around 7:00 and then they all light firecrackers and little firework things for a while and then people dance and do crazy stuff in the streets. Basically they just stay up all night and a bunch of people get drunk and then on Christmas day everything is pretty mellow. A lot of things were shutdown, but people aren't really celebrating anymore, just relaxing. So on Friday night we went to a few families houses to eat tamales. First we went to the house of Ubando's family and they gave us a tamale and a hot fruit drink thing that was pretty good. We taught them a little Christmas message and then we left to go to the Guzman house. Their three sons are members, but the parents aren't. But they really like the missionaries so they fed us a tamale (made with potatoes instead of corn which was super good) and fruit (for Christmas everyone has normal stateside fruit like apples, grapes, and pears and things like that, and then they have more things like pineapples too.) Once we finished there we went right next door to visit the family of Hermana Antionetta Guzman who is the grandma of the other family. She knew that we were getting full so she gave us just some cake and a hot fruity drink thing. She also gave us little "old England" toffees which made me think of you mom haha. After that we headed home around 9:00 and the owner of our house called us down and gave us about 4 tamales to take home which was really nice of her. After that I just got ready and went to bed while Elder Lopez stayed up I think basically all night to call his family and his girlfriend. Then On Christmas Day, we didn't do anything until after the baptism. So we left at about 4:30 and visited a couple of families. And that't pretty much it. Kind of lame really, and it hasn't really felt like Christmas too much because of the weather and just because things here are really different. But it was still fun. I will say though that American Christmas is a lot more fun.
Ok first just let me say some things that I need to tell you. I think really the only thing is that if you could put that money that Grandma sent me in my account ASAP I would appreciate it. They didn't send us our money for this month today like they should have, so I have pretty much no money for this week. I had to borrow 100 quetz from Elder Smith to get through the week. Looks like I'll be eating a LOT of beans and eggs this week. I guess it actually doesn't matter that much that you put the money in all that soon since I won't be able to check again until next Monday. So thank you, sorry to bug you with silly stuff like that.
Alright, now to responding to your emails a bit.
Mom- I know, I figured that you would cry a lot after we got finished. =P I didn't actually get too sad after we finished like I thought I would. I just felt boosted and uplifted from being able to talk to you guys. I'm sure that the rumors are flying right now in Red Bridge ward and that things are going crazy. I'll bet that you guys will have a ward boundary change. That will be really sad and I'm kind of upset that this is happened when I'm here because when I get back, my home ward won't be the same! Oh well. It's really funny to Elder Smith and I that you are going to go to church with his family and have dinner with them haha. I'm glad that you are able to have those connections with the other moms so that you can have more support for each other. But don't go doing anything weird..just kidding =P. Sounds like you guys had a good Christmas together. When Matt watches "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" be sure that he knows beforehand that it is loosely based on the scene from Fantasia with Mickey Mouse. That's something that I wish that I would have known.
Dad- Thanks for being a cool Dad. Thanks for all of your advice with Elder Lopez. I was thinking about that too. Just about how his situation is obviously a lot different than mine and how I do respect the fact that he's at least here. He's had a relatively hard life from what I understand. So I try not to judge him and I'm trying to have patience with him and everything. But yeah there are a lot of complications in his life. Regardless, I won't let myself do any less than my best and I'm going to recommit myself to be able to keep doing what the Lord wants even if my companion is bringing me down a little bit. I really appreciate your advice Dad it really means a lot.
Well I'm out of time, so I have to go now, but I love you guys so much. More than you know. Thanks for being the best family ever! Let me know how everything goes with Matt and good luck to you buddy when you go out to college! You'll be great. Love you guys!!
ps- Grandma, I'm sending you a letter this week so hopefully you'll get it in a few weeks! Love ya!