|Noche Buena (poinsettia tree)|
|I hung a piñata in our apartment|
Friday night we had planned another ward movie night and we once again had a great turn out. We watched the movie "The Other Side of Heaven" and they loved it. We filled about 60 bags full of chicharones and made 'tamarindo' water. (they call everything water-based here "agua" which means that if you want water as we know water to be, you have to ask for 'agua simple' or translated 'simple water')
|Yes, that is a grapefruit!|
Sunday. What a day. We woke up extra early and went to ward council. I knew it would be my last so I expressed that I wanted each convert to have the opportunity to enter the temple and do baptisms for the dead with their own names of their own ancestors. How amazing would that be???
|The Bishop and his wife (Heroes ward)|
The Carrillo family came to church today. (Family we found knocking doors whose 9 year old daughter isn't baptized yet.) They've come for the past 2 weeks now. The other day the mom thanked us because we were the 1st missionaries in 6 years to convince them as a family to attend church again. They've been sealed in the temple and everything but fell away. But now, they're going strong!!
We headed to gospel doctrine class and Hermana Lopez leaves me stunned every time she opens her mouth. She reads and studies like you wouldn't believe. She literally knows and understands more gospel doctrine than some of the members here who've been members for 20+ years. That combined with her testimony...POWER. She amazes me.
I didn't tell many people I was leaving, but word seemed to get around really fast. People kept stopping me in tears...can you make it any harder on me?!!;) Hna. Lopez stopped me and said, "You know what? We all need stop being so sad about you leaving! We're being selfish! There are people waiting for you out there!" To think that there is a possibility that I could grow to love a people more or as much as this ward seems impossible to me...but she's right! There are people for me to find!!!
When Relief Society ended, they brought in a huge going away cake. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!! I said my last goodbyes, took a few pictures and headed to lunch. We ate a dish called "Mixiotes" and it was actually really tasty. They put meat, veggies, chile, spices, in a plastic bag, tie it up, and steam it all together for about an hour.
When it's ready you just open the bag and bon appétit!
Later that day we went to the Ayala's house and had dinner...my favorite: mole enchiladas. The Ayalas turned out to be some of my favorite converts. And the small things they do for me mean the world.
I still clearly remember weeks before I left for the MTC. You start to value even the smallest things; sitting down and eating as a family, the smell of your house, the sound of your family members talking. I remember thinking, almost constantly, that it was going to be my "last" time doing this and that. As my time came to an end at home the lump in my throat grew bigger and bigger. The thought of not seeing my family for a year and a half made me SAD! It was hard to hold back the tears sometimes. I remember walking into my mom's room one day and finding her totally bawling...knowing that just days away her daughter would be leaving everything behind. That sight made my heart break! The day came and I left my family on the MTC curb...about to begin a year and a half of adventures. I completely left life as I knew it. But now, this mission IS life as I know it! Saying bye to these people isn't an "I'll see you in a year and a half" kind of bye...it's a possible "bye for a lifetime" kind of bye. THAT'S sad!!!! I thought saying bye to my family in Utah was hard! But here....I feel like I'm saying bye to 50 families all at once! I'm amazed each day at the love I feel for the people here. I know I say it a lot but I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! But, goodbyes are part of the mission and part of life...like Hermana Lopez said: "There are people waiting for me out there!!"
|My companion eats cactus almost everyday.|