1. Melissa wants to know what some traditional Christmas songs are in Honduras. How do they decorate for Christmas? Do they do a lot of outdoor decorations? Do most people put up a Christmas tree? Do people in Honduras open their gifts at midnight on Christmas like other Hispanic countries?
Some people decorate for Christmas. In Copan hardly anyone decorated because they are poor... but here more people have money. So there are a few houses with lights, and one lady has a HUGE scene in Puerto Cortes... we need to take a picture of it still. And there are Christmas trees but not really big ones like in the States and they deck them out! They have ribbons and flowers and tinsel but lots of them are blue and I don't really know why.... and they are colorful. But pretty. Inside there aren't many decorations, though, other than the Christmas tree... and they don't do Christmas stockings here. They open their gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning so that's what we'll do.
2. Have you heard from Josselyn yet?
She sent me an email today but I haven't read it yet...
3. How are D and her family doing? Did they go to church yesterday?
They couldn't come because they had a work party that they went to instead... but they are doing well. Just busy with work right now.
4. What did you do for P-Day this week?
We had a zone P-Day. We had to get there early to fill up the water ballons.. We started off with capture the flag but most of them really didn't understand the game, lol. Then we had a water balloon fight. Hna A and I started it, hahahaha. It was really fun and we were all soaked!!! Then we had a baleada eating contest... I ate five but lost, lol. Then we broke a pinata. We went inside to play Jeopardy and then had a gift exchange and then we had to clean up our mess, hahaha. And now we are here writing and tonight we are goign to sing in the park!!!! We won in Jeopardy even though I didn't know any of the answers...they were all Latin categories. Tonight we are going Christmas caroling in the park.
5. What miracles and tender mercies have you seen this week? Answers to your prayers?
I don't really know... I think that these past few weeks I just really, really, really wanted dats (statistics) to show our hard work. And President Dester made our standards of excellence even higher and we weren't able to reach them even before... so it was just really hard for me. But this week we did see a miracle and we had 15 lessons with members and 23 other lessons and for us that is the highest that we have ever seen here... and the highest that the hermanas that have been here had had, too, and it felt really good to see that our hard work is paying off. I feel like we finally have a pool of people to visit and that we are talking with everyone and it was just a really good week and for me that was a miracle.
6. How has someone else blessed your life this week?
We were able to serve Hna M... see the paragraph below.. but we were also able to reactivate an hermana. She stopped going to church a little bit before i got here and said it was because of some of the hermanas in the ward that offended her. Well, we kept visiting her and she kept not coming to church. And then all of the sudden we told her about a ward choir practice that we had and she said that she loved to sing. We invited her to the choir devotional and the first presidency devotional and she came to those and then we invited her to be in the choir... and she came to the practices and started coming to church. And now she has come three weeks in a row and looks so much happier.
7. How have you served someone else this week? How have you served your companion this week?
Well, we helped paint a house this week. Hna M's (a menos activo -- a less active member). My arms are still sore, haha. And we helped dish out the plates and everything for the ward dinner.
8. Did the ward choir sing the Christmas songs you’ve been working on in church yesterday? How did it go?
It went fairly well. I messed up on the piano but whatever. It went well. We had the ward talent show and dinner on Saturday and there were other acts. I had to play the piano and it really didn't go well... but whatever...it was last minute and I was practically sightreading... but oh well. And there were some dances...
9. Have you been able to talk to a lot of people this week?
YES!!! We even went on divisions with the hermanas lideres (sister training leaders) and it went really, really well! We found a lot of people to talk to and our numbers reflected it, too, so that made me feel soooo good. :)
10. What was the best thing that happened this week?
I'm going to say painting the house just because it was something out of the ordinary for us and the ward talent show because we could just relax and chill and there may have been some wordly music there that we got to enjoy, hahaha.
11. What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
There's a little kid that danced for us and it was hilarious. Also there was a kind of drunk man that came to us today asking for money and we were seated waiting and you can't just get up and walk away without a purpose or a place to go or something so Hna A secretly called our phone from our own phone like a self call and had a fake conversation in front of the guy so that we could get away.
12. What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
I don't know. We went on divisions, too, with young women in the ward and I went out with one of them and we were just able to talk and it was really nice to see that after all of our efforts the members are opening up to us and now we have a ton of people who want to go out with us. That's not really spiritual, though...
13. So that guy who was excommunicated who is the son of a member – have you been able to see him again?
We haven't had the time actually. He can only meet with us at night and all of our nights have been full... but we are going to try to visit him this week!!!!
14. What did you learn from your personal study this week?
I'm reading the talks from General Conference and I LOVE the talk from Pres Uchtdorf that he gave in the priesthood session, "Lord is it I?" It is soooo good. And the talk that is about our spiritual confidence before God and how would we feel if we had an interview with Christ like right now. You should go read those talks again everybody! They are really good... and a little bit of a machete.
15. Do you know that I love you and I miss you?
16. What was the best thing and the worst thing you ate this week?
I had to eat chicken liver, and heart and necks... it was not my favorite thing to eat. And there were tajadas, too, but I just could not get over the texture of those chicken things... bleh. I even had a chicken foot but i just couldn't eat it and so luckily a little kid in the family came up to me and asked me for a piece of chicken so I was able to get rid of it, hahaha. But with the same family I ate masapan for the first time. I took pictures of it, too. It's weird... but it's kind of like a tajada. It was really, really yummy, actually! I would eat it at home but I dont think that they sell it.
17. What was the most beautiful thing you saw this week?
The SUN!!!! All this week it was sunny and I'm getting sunburned again, lol, because I had lost my tan! It feels sooo good to be in the sun again. :) I love hot weather.
18. Did you have any unusual experiences this week?
Not really... I don't think so. Things don't really strike me as unusual anymore, hahaha.
19. When you teach the English classes do you also teach about American culture? Have you talked with your class about how Christmas is celebrated in the States?
I have not done that... but maybe I will. I actually haven't shared anything about American culture but I think that that would be a good element to include in my classes. We have kind of been on pause for choir practices and Christmas stuff.
20,. What day/time will you be able to Skype for Christmas?
The plan is the 25th at 2ish in the afternoon... but if it's 2:30 don't worry. I promise that i will get on!!!! I can't believe it's the last time we'll get to Skype and then I'll be home soon!
Do you remember Jorge? His daughter got baptized this week. :-) And E. (the guy that my companion and I turned over to the elders to teach) also got baptized this week.
I received a package from the Swansons this week, and a letter from Amanda Kersey. She was here in Puerto like seven years ago but I know some of the people she mentioned in her email. I don't know if you know her but I met her at camp one year... and Grandma knows her she said. Cool beans!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you can all feel our Savior's love. I hope that you eat a lot of turkey or ham or whatever because I probably won't! :P Enjoy being with your families and just love every minute of the holiday season. Love you!
Ready to paint...
At the Ward Christmas party
Decorating for Christmas
Ready for our water balloon fight
With our pinata