I hope you had an amazzzinng Christmas and that you enjoyed our skype time as much as I did. Seriously, the time flew by like never before...there was so much I wanted to say and tell you guys but I guess we'll have time soon enough! Thanks for the Christmas gifts and for just making me smile on Christmas. It was the best gift just to talk to you (we were only missing Brett!)
This was an amazing Christmas week. So much better than last year. I feel like we saw some miracles this week and I felt the spirit stronger than I have in a while on various occasions throughout the week.
Something I loved was that on Christmas Eve, Hermana Aliaga had the idea to sing Christmas carols in the hospital next to our church building as a district. So before heading to the bishop's house for dinner, we went to the hospital. It was kind of a fiasco trying to get in haha. There was a very grumpy security guard ( i understand he was there on Christmas) that told us that we could only enter one at a time to ask permission...obviously we can't separate ourselves. So an hermano that lives nearby came and asked permission. He was in there for a good 10 minutes, and we were getting a little worried. Then suddenly he came back with a big smiley secuirty guard that shouted "where's my Christmas Choir?!" haha he was so cool! He led us in and were able to sing in all the hospital wards that had people. It was a really special experience to greet each of them, to sing for them and wish them a Merry Christmas. Many were so grateful and hugged us and it was amazing. My favorite part was when we sang for the moms with their newborn babies. There was a special spirit in the room as we sang Away In A Manger and all the babies were sleeping! We left feeling so happy and I know that they appreciated it as well. Then we went to the bishop's had had a fun, simple Christmas dinner. It was the best! Then we went home and atwent off the "deer park on steroids" firework show haha. It was great Christmas...the best part was on Christmas day when I got to see you guys!!!
Then later this week we had something really cool happen. The other night we were up in the hills. You know how I told you guys that we don't go very high up because almost everyone that lives there isn't married? Well......we were on the hill ready to visit one of our contacts...when a little girl came up to us and said hi. She's probably 8yrs old. We said hi to her and asked where her parents were. She explained to us that she only lives with her mom, then pointed to a lady walking up the path with a giant piece of plywood on her back. We ran up to her and offered to help, and carried the plywood...up...and up...and up...the path got narrower...and narrower...and me and my fear of heights started freaking out....and up...and up...and wow. We finally got to a tiny little house at the point of one of the lower cerros. As we arrived...like 7 kids ran out of the house, and some adults. We found out that they were all part of this lady's family. She has 10 kids, and one of her daughters is MARRIED and her husband was HOME. So we had a family home evening with them, and all of them were laughing at my jokes and there was just a really special spirit there. It was awesome. We're headed back and they all have desires to learn about the Gospel and come to church... I know that the Lord works through simple means and simple service for us to accomplish His work...because we NEVER would have showed up to that house on our own.
This week, a young brother in our ward passed away of a heart attack. It was really sad. He has a young family. His sister always accompanies us. Sunday was his funeral. He had his family come from all over Lima, Huaraz, and the USA. His daughter (6) and son (4) gave the prayers. I was asked to play the piano for the meeting. There was a very special spirit as the family sang If you could high to Kolob and Come thou Fount. They know that they are an eternal family. I'm so grateful for that truth, I can't imagine what life would be like without that knowledge. I'm grateful for the Savior and for the Restoration of the Gospel that have allowed us to have this precious gift.
I love you and I hope that you had an amazing Christmas. I hope that the start of this new year is great for everyone. It's weird to think that in 12 short weeks I'll be headed there with you...buuutttttt I'm trying to keep that out of my head haha. It's just weird as I've been setting 2015 goals that not all of my goals are focused on ths mission.
I love you guys!!!! HAAPPPYYYYY NEEWWW YEEARRRRRRR!!!