Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo!!

SO!  This week went pretty quick and slow at the same time. Because of the holidays it was inevitably going to be slow, but we were able to make the best of it.  On Monday after I got to do my Skype call we went with the Hermanas in Morón (yeah, it´s like "moron" with an accent, haha) from our zone to this cerro in their area with their pensionista.  There are hundreds and hundreds of stairs that lead to the top of the cerro that overlooks all of Ñaña (funny name as well), Morón, and Chaclacayo. It took Hermana Thiel and I about 45 minutes to get up there and the view was spectacular! The pictures don´t really do it justice.  We were super hot and sweaty so I apologize for how the pics turned out but it was so fun!  Afterwards we somehow had enough energy to go for a long run down to Ñaña and we got some pictures printed there.  It was a fun day and a good way to burn off just some of the paneton and hot chocolate we have to eat this time of year!

The 24th we had district meeting and afterwards a family from our ward invited the whole zone to a turkey lunch at their house, every year they invite all the missionaries over Christmas Eve and so we as the four sisters in the zone went early and helped Hermana Gonzalez make all the various side dishes while the turkey was cooking. It was a super fun afternoon and our zone is the BEST!  Seriously we are so funny hahaha.  That evening Hermana Patrocina (our pensionista) made us a TON of food, most of it being meat (pollo, bistec, rachi, anticucho, etc.) and we thought we were going to die of heart attacks! Haha.  (They cook with tons of oil here too!)  But she is super sweet and wanted us to have a great Christmas.  We went to bed at 10:30 or 11 but at 12 there were tons of fireworks going off so we didn´t sleep much.  The next morning Hermana Thiel and I had a traditional American Christmas morning and opened our presents under our tiny tree.  The night before, our convert Eduardo gave us the sweet beanies and headbands and Hermana Patrocina gave us boxes of "Besos de Moza" (I swear she is trying to fatten us up! :))  Thanks family for all you sent me! (Loved the CDs Dad, they are perfect!) And I am learning how to make those rubber band bracelets... I wear the one y´all sent me every day.  And the mission gave us a bunch of cool "recuerdos." So all that stuff was really fun, but the highlight of the day was definitely getting to go out and visit.  It was hard to find people that would let us come in for a bit, but we had some success later on in the afternoon/evening when we went caroling with the Elders and our ward council and passed by and visited some less actives and investigators all together.  Everyone felt the Spirit so much that now we have plans to go again in two big groups and visit more people this Saturday.  It was really cool to see how excited everyone got about the work and how much just a small thing like a song could open people´s hearts so much.

After Christmas the rest of the week went a little slow but we are seeing some successes in reactivation.  We are visiting some less active youth/young adults who are starting to come back to church and talking up missions a lot. We are really excited because a few of them are starting to do their interviews to receive the priesthood and start their papers.  I know it´s a decision they won´t regret!  This week with New Years will be about the same pace as last, they tell us, but we are just happy with the simple ways that we can help in the Lord´s vineyard.

With New Years´ and all, I have some resolutions.  One of them is to write more uplifting letters.  Sometimes I just like to talk about all the fun/funny/interesting things and I leave out the spiritual stuff. I want to apologize for that because I feel like there´s an expectation that missionary letters are always chock full of spiritual experiences and things and I hope I can improve mine a bit in that aspect.  Crazy cool things like that don´t happen as often as you would think but I want to try to at least always leave a good message.  I hope you all know that I love this work and the people here and I wouldn´t want to be doing anything else right now.  This is God´s work and I´m grateful to be just a small part of it.  This is such a great, life-changing experience and I am LOVING it! :)  I had the best Christmas of my life here in large part because I got to spend it thinking of and serving others.  I know that is what this holiday is about and I hope to spend this next year doing the same!

I was super happy to hear from you guys and to hear about Jeremy and Kaytee´s wedding.  It´s so great to know how the Gospel blesses each one of you and I hope this next year is excelente!  Oh and Happy 23rd Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Hermana Bledsoe

Here in Perú, Nativity scenes (nacimientos) are huge...literally!  This is an impressive one I found:

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