First of all I want to send a quick thank you shout-out to all the people in the ward that sent me Christmas cards: Sister Nielson and her Sunday School class, the Langs, the Miles, and the Steinickes. They were all awesome and made my day! Brother Miles enclosed a couple pictures of some of his paintings of the Kaysville ponds and they are absolutely incredible! I want to send him a picture of Lake Pakucha for him to paint. It's a lake here in San Jeronimo that's super pretty. Also, thanks for all of the wonderful notes in my Christmas chain. Hilary's "inspiring quotes" made me laugh very hard. As well as Riley's jokes and quotes.
Well this week was really kind of a normal week. We worked hard, and today we'll play hard. We put another date for Jasmin and she's going to be baptized this Saturday! We're still working on Edwardo and a couple others. We're hoping for one or two more this change but we'll see what happens. We also have a couple new families which is awesome.
One thing I've really noticed this week is how much of an effect the gospel has on people's lives. We teach a lot of families, members and non-members alike, and there are a lot of problems. With one of the families the husband is cheating on the wife and the whole family knows it, even the young kids of like 11 and under. In a couple others, the wives are active and faithful members, but the husbands are inactive and like to drink. Being in these houses, there always seems to be a strange cloud of just plain old sadness in the air. These families can't enjoy the priesthood and the blessings of the gospel in their home. On the other hand, there are also families that live in accordance with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and you can literally see and feel the difference in their homes. Their homes are places of peace and joy where the blessings of the gospel and the priesthood are enjoyed. It really is amazing the difference that you can literally see when someone is living the gospel, and when someone isn't. How blessed I was and still am to have grown up in a home where we enjoyed all of these blessings.
As far as the language goes I'm still slowly improving. It's hard but it doesn't seem as impossible as it did before. I can get by in a lesson, but I have the hardest time understanding people. I also have been trying to learn a little bit of Quechua and it's ridiculous. I'm trying not to be as whiny anymore when I get frustrated, but instead fall to my knees and plead for help and more faith to depend on the Lord. Luckily, whereas I spent my first two transfers learning Spanish, my companion spent his first two transfers learning the lessons, and he is an excellent teacher. He fills in a lot when I fall short. I can teach but it's just really boring and not super comfortable. I'm really awkward in Spanish still.
Elder Niaupari and I get along really well. He's a great missionary and I enjoy having him as a companion.
I love you all and I love the Gospel and the blessings that it brings. I hope that this week is wonderful and full of the Spirit of CHRISTmas. Christ brought the best gift we could ever have. Let us all remember that this beautiful CHRISTmas season. Peace out!