Thursday, January 16, 2014

Miratejo: Week 32

FELIZ NATAL everyone! 

I can't believe it's already the week of Christmas. Time is FLYING by so quickly. Hey first things first I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much to mom and the Halladays for the packages you sent. We got them on Thursday and I was SO excited. Seriously you all put so much time and thought into it and I feel like I've never been so spoiled on Christmas! You are all the best! Sorry I'm not rolling in the money this year and won't have much to send back, but just know I REALLY appreciate it! 

So Thursday was our Christmas party. Seriously it was SO fun. We had a lot of zones there so I got to see a lot of my friends I haven't seen in a while! We had a normal Zone Conference first which was awesome and then after we had a delicious lunch with turkey and mashed potatoes (I know, right?) and then a gift exchange! We had to spend 5 euros or less so I decided to make my gift more on the funny side. More like creepy... I found a picture frame that said "My first year" with 12 photo spots and put a picture of a different sisters face in each one. I took a picture of it and I'll send it next week. My old Zone Leader got it and he was like, "Ahh! It's a bunch of sisters!" It was way funny. He still doesn't know it was me.

So the other day we went to visit a less active member and she told us to go sit down in this room. We did, thinking she was coming in right behind us. She has a one year old baby and her one year old niece was also there. The mom just walks out the door! We were alone with these two babies and we're not allowed to be at all! Haha we couldn't just leave two 1 year olds so we called our District leader and told him what happened. The mom didn't come back for a half hour so we accidentally babysat! I thought it was super weird. She's never met us before and she trusted us with these kids. Haha I normally love babysitting but I felt so awkward. My mission is making me awkward even with kids!!!

Speaking of less actives though, the past 2 transfers we have visited every less active in our area book. We ran out of new ones to find but in the last 2 weeks we have found 7 just by knocking doors and street contacting. Before these two weeks I have only met ONE the whole rest of my mission. This is a big deal. We are being so blessed and people are starting to come back to church. It actually makes me happier than when a new investigator comes to church because we're finding these lost people who need the gospel again in their lives.

Oh we watched the Joy to the World church film last week and guess who I saw in it in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? That guy in our ward that has white hair and works at Christensens! I was like what the I know that guy! It was funny. And something even weirder. So you know the Santos that we eat lunch at their house every Sunday? They have a board with a bunch of pictures of missionaries who served here before, and the first time I went to their house I remember thinking one of the Elders looked familiar. They said he's from Vegas though so I figured I must not actually know him. Well anyway then last week I was looking at the pictures on another shelf and I see a wedding announcement of Julie Montoya and this guy! That's how I recognized him. Haha it was so crazy being all the way in Portugal and seeing Julie's wedding announcement. Her husband and their son-in-law were companions here on the mission. Small world!

Hey just some super random advice for anyone trying to lose weight. Haha what the? I know. Anyway, so at the first of my mission we wouldn't eat after 6:00 pm and we lost some weight, but last transfer we stopped eating dinner because our area moved and our house was too far away to come home. So now if we eat dinner we have to wait until 10:30 at night. I have gained a ton and I haven't changed what I eat just when I eat. So if anyone is trying to lose weight, it will help a lot to try to never eat after 6:00. Just FYI :)

So tomorrow we're eating with the elders and other sisters at Christiana and Hugo's house for dinner and then Christmas we're going to Irma Fatima's house for lunch. It will be fun. So we are actually going to be skyping around 1:00 your time because I chose the last time because I thought Kristan and Raymond would be in Panaca. Hopefully 1:00 is okay. I can't wait to see you all! It will be short but fun. 

Also, Kristan and Raymond. I wanted to say thank you for the letters you wrote me about your mission Christmases. It totally changed my perspective and because of that we decided to do a lot more service here. Seriously everything changed. I stopped feeling sorry for myself that I wasn't home for Christmas and homesick and now I feel like this has been the happiest Christmas of my life because we are focused on others. I used to be happy that I only had one mission Christmas but now I wish I got another! Haha. Thanks for the advice though. You guys are awesome.

Well just wanted to let you all know that I'm really glad I'm out here on a mission. I have learned so much in the past 9 months that I couldn't have learned anywhere else. We are so lucky to be part of this church and have these blessings in our lives every day. I'm so grateful for our Savior who is the true focus of this season. I'm grateful for all of you and the support you all give me. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith restored this gospel. I know this is the only true church with the true authority of God. I wouldn't still be here if I didn't know that! I miss you all a lot, but I know I'm where I'm supposed to be this year. Love you a ton and can't wait to see you on Wednesday! Merry Christmas everyone! Happy New Year!

Feliz Natal e Bom Ano Novo! :)

Sister Carroll

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