Familia y friends!!!
Merry Christmas Eve!! Wow, a lot happened this week The days leading up to Christmas have been so great. People gear up with lights, tamales, fireworks every night, and there is a tradition where on each street they make whats called a "viejo" which looks like a scarecrow, made of explosive material which they blow up the night of New Years Eve and I´m psyched to see it!
This week the mission was so kind to us and planned a mini Christmas program for all the missionaries in this mission. We had a special Christmas message given by the President, each zone sang a song, and then we got a couple of hours to enjoy ourselves with some free time to play random games and eat a bomb Hondureñan lunch. It was so fun to get to spend time with other missionaries, our days are usually so busy so free time is treasured.
Every day I am more and more surprised by how giving people are. This week especially because in the area I'm in as we walk passed houses, little kids will literally run out and attack us with hugs. Without knowing us! The other day we started chatting with a girl who in moments invited us to her home for the 24th as well as offered us the food in her hands. And we had never met her! Talking with a couple other kids as they were making rubber band bracelets, I just said how cool they looked and without a second thought they offered me one! People just love to give whatever they have to offer! It´s really humbling.
It's really hot here, and though that is no excuse, last week in church I started to fall asleep a little and an investigator had to nudge me awake and it was really embarrassing so this week I had a goal to be super engaged the whole time. Five minutes before Sacrament meeting started I was asked to give a talk. Yupp that was enough to wake me up!! I silently freaked out searching in my Bible and Book of Mormon something to say, found a couple of thoughts but honestly as the speaker before me was finishing I still didn't really have a clue haha. But to my surprise after I began introducing myself, the message I shared seemed to flow more fluidly (or shall I say less awkwardly) than I expected. I talked about how this being my first Christmas without family, it has given me the opportunity to focus on the significance that Christ's birth really has on me. I read in the Book of Mormon Alma 7:7 "For behold there be many things to come and and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than all, for behold the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people." And 83 years later, as we know, the Savior came as it was written by the ancient prophets in the Americas and Europe. They knew it and wrote it so that we may know and come to understand what is of most importance. I am so grateful for the opportunity that we have through Jesus Christ to be strengthened, to be comforted, and greatest of all to be clean. Love you all!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!