Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year's my Dears!




Familia,

So I never explained why I entitled the last email "Singing Christmas songs in the metro." Silly me. Last Monday we had a Christmas dinner in the mission home. It was really beautiful and we ate way too much food. Well when we left, like twenty of us got on the metro and half sang Christmas hymns while the other half did contacts. It was totally unplanned and I really felt the Spirit.

My Chilean Christmas was great. Christmas eve we went to the feria (I really don´t know how to explain the word feria, it's like an outdoor market) at Santa Lucia. I bought some cool stuff. When we were coming back from making our purchases we bought ice cream because it was so stink√≠n hot. Hermana McNeil said, "I´m sweating, eating ice cream and its Christmas eve!" It was pretty funny.

Then we went to Alberdí and met up with the zone to go caroling. We all had matching Santa hats, the Elders red ties and the Hermanas red scarves. We went from house to house singing and smiling. The people took lots of pictures with us. During the evening someone said, "Hhhmmm...it looks like nobody goes caroling here." And someone else said, "Who would want to go caroling when it's so blazing hot outside?" It was really fun.

Then we visited Ernesto, went over the baptismal interview questions and found out that he needed to have a special interview and because of that wasn´t baptized yesterday. But we have plans to baptize him this Sunday. We left him his Christmas gift and then left gifts with other investigators.

At 9 we went to our Christmas dinner with Ho. Luis, Ha. Claudia, and the Elders. It was fun and the food was so good!!! I thought it was pretty funny to find out that you were all eating empanadas and manjar while I was eating turkey. Ha ha. We ate and then watched the church movie "Joy to the World." Then the Elders walked us to our apartment because it was late. It was a really long day and we lost sleep that we couldn´t make up.

Christmas we studied, worked, talked with all of you, and then worked. I think it's easier to just not talk to your family for 18 months. I really didn´t realize it was Christmas until I talked with you. When I heard all of your voices I felt like I had just talked to you yesterday. Like no time had gone by at all. Except that I learned to speak Spanish to the extent that I couldn´t speak English very well. I loved hearing all your voices and your laughter, but the time was way too short. I wanted to say so much more than was said. Oh well in a few months I can talk your ears off.

Last night, right after we finished planning, Ernesto called. He had fallen asleep during the day and woke up in a really bad state. This is always the problem; he is fine when he goes to sleep and then wakes up feeling bad and wanting to die. So yesterday he tried to commit suicide. He called us right after and I could just feel his fear through the phone. He was breathing really fast and I told him, "Ernesto calm down, deep breaths. Now go and get your Book of Mormon." We read from 2 Nephi 4, which is my favorite chapter, and he felt better. Throughout this whole journey with Ernesto we have sent him to the Book of Mormon. There is a lot of calming power in that book. Ernesto didn´t smoke Thursday or Friday, but Saturday smoked 2 and Sunday 4. He has almost beat it and its only been a week since he started the fight. I am pretty sure I have said more prayers this week, than I ever had for a person in my life. I am pleading right now for Heavenly Father´s help to understand this disease better. If you could all pray for him this week it would be great.

Well I don´t have much else to say since I just wrote to you Thursday. Oh yeah, Saturday we started teaching a Jehovah´s witness. That is pretty exciting. Then yesterday we ran into a man from Haiti, that speaks French and only a little Spanish and English. We are really going to need the gift of tongues to teach him. This sector really is a melting pot, there are Peruvians, Cubans, Haitians, Germans, and English.

Our bishop spoke yesterday and asked us all to take time to reflect on the last year and make goals for the next year. I have really learned the importance of goals in the mission. This morning I set my goals and now I have to make plans to accomplish them. Happy New Year´s! I´ll catch you all for the next one!

Love,
Hermana Arnold

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