Sorry I didn't get out a letter sooner. Monday the library was closed, and then on Tuesday we were on exchanges with the Aguila sisters... so here I am writing you all on a Wednesday. It's a little weird. I've really become accustomed to writing on a Monday, and so it seems a little odd to be writing in the middle of the week.
Christmas was really good. We were expected to be in our apartments at 6pm on Christmas eve, and then our Christmas day appointments were to be kept short. It worked out well. For Christmas eve Hna Harding and I ate tamales (a Mexican tradition... one of the Hna's in the ward gave us enough tamales to last a life time) and then after eating we made some cookies to take to the families that we work with. Christmas morning we were up bright an early and while my companion was rather chipper, I woke up with quite the headache, so as a Christmas gift to myself I showered as fast as I could and then went back to bed until studies started at 8. At church I was able to play flute. I really enjoyed it. I have really loved being able to play more this year. I'm a pretty rusty, but luckily for church stuff it's never anything difficult, so I do fine.
After church we ate dinner with the Bencomo family, and then started our visits. My favorite visit of the year was with the Texta family. If I had to pick a favorite family from my mission, the Texta's would be at the top of my list. I love them! They were baptized six months ago, and they are some of the best people I have ever met. They have three kids, and I just love every chance I have to be with them. We took the "Joy to the World" movie over to them with a plate of cookies. The kids polished off the cookies in a matter of minutes, and then we watched the movie. As it finished there was a beautiful spirit in their home, and we were able to talk with them about how the changes they have made in the last 6 months have blessed their family. We were then able to re commit them to work to become an eternal family. I really loved listening to them talk about how their family has been blessed and the way their lives have been changed in the last 6 months. It's moments like those where I really remember why I came on a mission, and I feel so grateful for the chance I have had to serve.
Our other exciting event of the week happened on Thursday. Thursday we got a flat tire, and when I say flat I mean, completely flat. Later we discovered that a huge screw had worked it's way into the tire... lucky us. Actually, it was Hno Texta and his 10 year old son, Manuel, who came to our rescue. The Hno was very pleased to be able to help us, and we were very pleased to have the help. In the process I learned my new favorite vocabulary word. "Gato". Those of you who may know a little Spanish might know that "gato" means "cat" (like the animal). What I discovered is that "gato" also means "jack" (like that thing you use to pick up the car). The funniest part of all of this was after learning this word, the Texta's showed up to help us, and Manuel turned to his father and said, in English, "Hey Dad, should I go get the cat?" I was left with the mental image of some poor cat being used as a lever to lift up the car. :)
As I hinted at the beginning of my e-mail, yesterday we had exchanges with the Aguila Hermanas. Much to my disappointment, I did not get to go back to Aguila. I would have loved to go back and work in that area for a day again, but I guess it was not to be. Instead I just sent Hna Harding with a list of people to give bear hugs to. I had a great time being with Hna Brown for the day. She came out not long after me, and I really enjoyed working with her. I love seeing how different missionaries work and how they serve. I learn so much each time I get to work with a different missionary, and I love that. It was also fun to pick her brains about all the people I remember from when I served in Aguila. It's great to hear how they are doing.
Mom asked about my favorite finding activity... I think it's just talking to people on the street. I love getting to know them, finding out a little about their lives and families and then looking for how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help them. I've really seen how the world is full of so many good people. Every day I get to interact with them, and I love that.
My favorite teaching situation is with families, I don't know that I have a favorite thing to teach, but I love helping people. I love helping them see how their lives can be better, and helping them to achieve so much more. I guess my favorite single thing to teach is probably that there is a God and He loves us... a lot of people need to know that.
Have a wonderful week, and a happy new year!