So Christmas was a lot of fun. We had to work all day which was actually really fun. We just went and visited every investigator and member in our area. We gave them some bags of candy as gifts and I handed out the Christmas pencils (mom sent me) to kids on the streets. It was cool because we went to one investigators house and they told us that their neighbor didn´t have a good Christmas. So we stopped by but the mom wasn´t home. So we just talked to the kids and I asked if they wanted some pencils. They had a huge smile on their faces and took the Christmas pencils and started running and jumping for joy. It was really neat to see how the little kids were really excited to get something small for Christmas. It was a real eye opener that I am not in America. But it was a fun day and to top it off, it was raining. So that was fun too.
We have been working really hard this week. Most people are on vacations from work and school so it is a great time for us to visit people. We have been trying to find people but a lot of people go to the beach during vacation. But it still has been good for us. We have found some new people and we have done a lot of service. We helped one of our investigators move into a new house the other day. Service has been great for us. It really shows people that we are different than most people who preach religion. Also soccer has been great. I totally play safe. We tell our investigators that we are going to play and they almost always show up with a friend. So we get to play soccer with them and get a reference. It is pretty fun.
Everyone is getting ready for the New Year. Today is supposed to be a huge party. Supposedly bigger than Christmas Eve. So a lot of people are going to San Jose for the big night. We should be fine, but I know that Elder Marshall in the Philippines isn´t allowed outside today. So we will see. The holidays are really cool here. They set up these huge nativity scenes at their houses and at midnight on Christmas Eve they put the baby Jesus in the nativity scene. It is really great. Plus Christmas is a huge party with fireworks and everything. I will have to send some pictures and stuff.
I have been thinking a lot about what you said about me always being happy. Because the mission isn´t easy. Yes, I may not have all the same trials that other missionaries have but I still have my trials. There still are days that are really frustrating. But I have been thinking about why I my attitude toward it might be different compared to others. I don´t exactly know but I was reading a talk by President Uchtdorf this week from conference - "Of Regrets and Resolutions". It was really good. What caught my eye is a quote he said. (Yes mom, I am quoting an apostle now. :)) "No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish." It is totally true. I have noticed that it is really hard for me to remember or focus on the rough times that have happened on my mission so far, but I can tell you all the fun and great things that have happened. Plus I was reading in Alma 26 and what is says is great. It pretty much says that we should be happy because we are instruments in the hands of God. It is really cool. But really, the mission can be hard, but to me it is fun because there is always something that makes me smile and feel good everyday. That is why I love my mission.
It sounds like everything is going well at home. Aunt Stacy is getting married!!!! Finally!!! - just kidding... that is great. Tell her ¡Felicidades! Tell everyone "Hi" and Happy New Year for me. Tell the girls to get back to school. It sounds like it is time for them to get back in school. I hope you get the package I sent soon. If not, oh well. Did you guys ever get that SD card with photos I sent home awhile back? I hope so. I can´t remember if you told me you got it or not.
Also ¡feliz Cumpleaños Kendal! You are so old. Es muy triste que yo no puedo estar allí para su cumpleaños. Pero espero que usted tenga un cumpleaños muy bueno sin chicos. Todavía usted es tan joven para pensar sobre los chicos. Pero ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! I hope you can understand all of that. If not you need to study more in spanish or just ask Nana and Tata.
Well I hope everything is going well for you guys. The holiday season wasn´t the same, but it was so great to see you guys on Skype. It was the best christmas present I received this year. Miss you guys and love you guys a lot. ¡Nos vemos!
¡Feliz año nuevo!
|My area - soccer fields were the kids play are in the distance|
|Painting on the wall - we are in the Alajuela area|
|Elder Siddoway and Elder Keysor in Apartment in front of Christmas tree from Alamo 2 ( Danville) ward primary|
|Christmas Eve at my cook's house|
|Christmas Eve at cook's house|
|my area - restaurant on corner makes great doughnuts|
|Area where we track and teach families|