Hello my dear family!
Guess what? 10 days until I get to see your beautiful faces and I am soooo excited! This week was a good week even though it was the Virgen's birthday! December 12 the people here go crazy and celebrate the virgin of Guadalupe...don't ask me where her name came from and how they know that Dec 12 is her birthday, but whatever. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be because all the parties start after we are in the house! My companion and I did see a HUGE castle thing with lights that said ´Fe en ti, Madre' and I was like...um...what happened to Jesus? They seriously are obsessed with the virgin here.
I don't know what happened to me, but on Wednesday night, when my companion and I were saying prayers, I started feeling sick like I was going to throw up. I hadn't felt sick at all that day and I didn't eat anything out of the ordinary so it was weird. I thought maybe I just needed to go to the bathroom or pass some gas (is this too much information? OH well...Viva Mexico). I was hoping to just fall asleep but it got bad and I went to the bathroom...and guess what? The double dragon hit again. I am not kidding. I threw up all that I ate that day and then some...It was the weirdest thing. After that, I went to bed and woke up the next morning like nothing had happened (except that I was really exhausted). I have no idea what it was, but whatever it was, I hope it doesn't come back!
I have some awesome news! The Pintor Family is going to the temple this week to do baptisms for the dead!!!!!!! I am so so so happy. They have been taking a family history class on Sundays and have prepared some of their family names to be baptized. They are going on the stake temple trip to Oaxaca temple on Thursday night and will get home Saturday morning. I can't express how happy and also jealous I am that they get to go to the temple. I love that family and they are truly converted to the gospel. They go to all the activities, are on time to church, fulfill their callings and are just really great. We are teaching their oldest son but his progress is a little bit slower than the rest of the family. We are hoping that he will get baptized soon so that the whole family can be sealed together in a year.
The stake had a choir Christmas devotional on Saturday and we went with 3 of our investigators. I'll just say that it didn't compare to the Quail Ridge Choir with Brother Orgill at the reigns but our investigators liked it! haha. It was nice to hear the Christmas Music and feel the Christmas Spirit.
We have some really great investigators right now! Rosario and Dante are super. Dante participated in the primary program yesterday and did a great job. He gave his part and then stood up there for like a minute because he didn't know what to do and just smiled a big smile. I loved the primary program so much and started to cry when I saw Greco and Eder, my two primary recent converts go up and sing 'When I am Baptized' with another convert of the other sisters. Thinking about how they will be missionaries in just a few short years made me so happy. We hadn't seen Greco for about a month because they changed the limits of our area and when I saw him after sacrament, he ran up and gave me a big hug. I love that little kid so much.
Hna. Ward and I had a really good lesson with David on Sunday. We invited Cesar, our recent convert, and his mom to join us in the lesson and it was super powerful. I love the testimonies of recent converts. We taught the plan of salvation and cleared up some doubts that David had. In the end, David said that in the last three weeks, since he met us, he has changed a lot and he really feels like he is in the right path. He wants to be clean of his sins and accepted a baptismal date for the 3rd of January. At the end of the lesson, Cesar gave his testimony about how he knows that this is the true church and that even though he doesn't have much support from friends or family (except his mom), he is completely convinced that he is in the right path. I think it really helped David.
Our ward isn't doing a Christmas party this year which we are totally bummed about, but they are all going on an excursion to the temple in Mexico City to visit the visitor's center and see the lights there. I called and asked President Kusch for permission to go (I was elected out of the 8 of us missionaries to call him because I am the only brave enough one to do it.) I didn't think he would say yes, but it was worth the try. He said...and I quote 'No and No.' haha. He said that I should have waited to ask him in person and maybe I could have convinced him with my eyes but the answer is no because it is outside of the limits of the mission. Then he made sure to say 'But it is SUPER awesome and REALLY beautiful and you should definitely go some day.' Thanks, Pres. BUT...I am really happy because Rosario, Dante and Diego and David (our investigators) are all going to go!!!!! And the Pintor Family will also be going. I am super happy that they will be able to be close to the temple. I know that they will feel the spirit there.
We found another investigator this week named Jorge...and he has already read pretty much the whole Book of Mormon! He met the missionaries in Tijuana and went to church a few times with them, too. He is super real and I feel like he has true desires to find the truth but doesn't want to accept baptism just yet. We had a lesson with him and his mom was there. Oh boy...his mom is a testigo de jehova. She was pretty quiet for the majority of the lesson but oh boy, there were a few times that even Jorge was giggling and had to tell her to wait until we finished to preach to us! haha. She is nice, just a little confused :) Jorge came to church yesterday and liked it a lot. He even sent us a text thanking us for inviting him and for the hospitality that everyone showed him in the church. We were happy to see that!
I am so grateful to be a missionary here. I am excited to have Christmas in Mexico although I am going to miss being at home. But don't worry, we have many people here that love us and will make sure we have a happy, food-filled holiday! This week we have our Christmas Conference in the mission and I am super excited about that, too! I am excited to be with President and Sister Kusch and all of the missionaries in my zone. I am sure we will have a good time.
I love being a missionary. It is one of the best callings to have. There is nothing like sharing the gospel and helping others feel the love of the Savior. I know that He lives and loves each and every one of us. The plan of salvation is so perfect and I know that families are eternal. I know that we have a living prophet that guides and directs this church with the power and authority of God. I know that the priesthood is the power of God on the earth given to worthy men to bless the lives of others.
I love you all! Thanks for your love and prayers.
Me with Michel. She is a member of the ward and speaks English (well, is learning it in school) but she WON'T talk with me. Everytime I talk to her, she just laughs nervously and looks away. Her parents keep telling her to take advantage and practice. One day she will talk to me!!
At the Christmas Fireside with Rosarios and her kids
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!