Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hey Family,

It was so good to hear from you on Christmas. It sounds like things are going well at home. It was so fun to talk to all of you and just hear how things are going. I can’t believe how fast the time went there is still so much I want to tell you. Sounds like things are going pretty good at home. Sounds like I have it pretty easy compared to most of the missionaries in our ward. Some of things you told me are pretty crazy. I hope they're doing okay. Don’t worry about me I eat things that are pretty normal, and I feel pretty safe. Life is good! This week was pretty unproductive to be honest. Not many people wanted to let us in to teach because it was christmas and they were all super busy and almost every appointment we had, not all but most of our appointments, cancelled on us. So it was frustrating but it was a really good week because I got to talk to all of you and because we had a pretty good christmas conference. We met up on Thursday at the office and we had a conference with speakers from who were both former area 70. They were both really good. There was a bell choir made up of youth from the stake that was really good. President Martineau also talked. Then we went to the mission home, all hundred something, of us and ate lunch and then there was a talent show. People did different skits, sang christmas songs etc. Our district sang a version of Carol of the Bells with the words changed. It was fun to meet more of the missionaries and be in the Martineau’s home. It made it seem more like Christmas.

We went to a member’s house for dinner and then we had to be home at 6:00 on Christmas Eve. So we read the Book of Mormon so we could finish it by the end of the year, the mission started at the end of the November and the goal is to finish by the end of the year. Then we opened up our packages, decorated the gingerbread cookies you sent and just sort of hung out. The next day we taught a lesson to Feni, who sadly still isn’t married, and wasn’t able to be baptized on the 26th. Then we had lunch with our DueƱos. It was fun to talk to them and to explain to them what we do exactly I think they think we are so crazy two young girls living here by themselves, not really knowing what it is we do all day so it was a really good experience. We knocked for a few hours and surprisingly were able to teach a few lessons which were really cool. It is amazing how you can teach standing up on someone’s porch and yet the spirit can be so strong and you can see that they don’t exactly understand but they want to know more.Then we came home and talked to you guys on the phone.

Things here are going pretty well. We are still teaching Ana, one of our investigators that the Elders passed on to us when we got here. She didn’t have all the lessons so she missed her first baptism date. We tried to set a second with her and she didn’t want to set one she still didn’t know if she wanted to. We have realized since then that she has a ways to go. So we’ve started back at the basics with talking about Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, Plan of Salvation, she doesn’t remember a lot and I think she likes listening to the lessons, she likes going to church but she doesn’t really have a testimony of these things. So it might be awhile before she is baptized but that’s okay.

We are still teaching Emma, she is so amazing! Our doctrines are so different from her Jehovist Witness background but she is open to letting us come and she is reading the Book of Mormon. Not just reading it she studies it she looks up cross references, she thinks about it and has really in depth questions and she is praying and knows that it is a true book. She is gaining a testimony of Joseph Smith as well. We watched the Restoration movie with her and the spirit was so strong. We were a little nervous because we had this feeling that she was sort of hesistant to let us keep teaching her the last time we were there but once we watched that movie it was amazing. She was emotional and said, “I imagine you get emotional everytime that you watch that. That was so beautiful.” We taught her the first half of the plan of salvation, we weren’t able to finish because she had tons of questions and it took quite awhile and then her daughter and grandchildren came over. Everything is so different and I don’t know how she likes it but we are excited to go back and explain the rest. I just know that she is so special and even though it might take awhile she will be baptized.

Other than that there aren’t too many other things as far as our investigators go. We have visited lots of members and eaten at a lot of their homes since it is Christmas time. If you ever come to Puerto Rico stay away from Pastel. No it is not a desert is like a tamale but it is made up from mashed up plantains and it is a green/grey slimy thing. Not my favorite. Other than that we eat mostly rice, rice and more rice. I don’t think I have eaten as much rice in my entire life as I have in the last month. That is a lie, but you get what I mean.

I am sending you some photos of the apartment, Christmas Eve, and some of Naranjito, the pueblo that we also have in our area. This is not where we live, we live in the city with like no trees and its flat. But I just wanted you to see what the non-city part of Puerto Rico looks like. Well I am hoping that I will get to stay in Bayamon. Transfers are coming up and there is a chance in a week and a half I might go somewhere else. So I’ll let you know. I secretly hope though that I’ll be able to stay since I feel like I am just getting to know the members and the area and I love working with Hermana Venegas.

Well I have to go. Love you all tons. Hope everything is good. Oh, mom will you send me the TollHouse Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. I have had several members say that they want to invite us over and have me teach them how to make cookies. They don’t have them here and they are like a novelty. Everyone keeps asking if I can make them and I told them yes but I can’t just do it I need an exact recipe so I told them I would try and get one. That would be great if you could! Love you all a ton!

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