Wow!! I can´t believe I got to see my family in the flesh this Christmas! It was the best Christmas Gift ever!! You guys look so great. I have the absolute best family in the world. I wanted to show run outside with the lap top and show everyone in Peru what a family is supposed to be!! Full of love and happiness and especially the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! Families here are just not the same. It’s really sad, but it makes me grateful for my family. I am out here because I want people to have a family like ours. Thanks for the support and all the love. I can feel it all away over here in Abancay! My Christmas was a wonderful normal day spent preaching the Gospel. Every lesson we taught we read the Christmas Story in Luke and talked about Jesus´s life. It was a very great Christmas and I had a lot of fun. It didn´t feel exactly like a normal Christmas, but It was a good little change. AS I talked to you guys I realized all the things I haven´t told you. They are normal everyday occurrences here and as for now I will call them the Un-googleable facts about Abancay, (maybe Peru, but only time will tell). So here is a list I have been collecting this weekend.
1. Nursing in public is no big deal here, nursing during lessons is also no big deal.
2. They don´t have a lot of nice things, but their soccer fields are amazing! Soph if you ever go on a mission pray that you won´t get called to South America because I am even tempted to join in a game once in a while.
3. We don´t flush toilet paper ever here. ( I feel like you should know this one)
4. There are a lots of random animals, unchained, in the streets. Dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, chows, ducks, chickens, horses. Yah its Normal.
5. They celebrate Christmas with a ton of fireworks and they stay up really late on Christmas Eve. They also don´t have Christmas trees but giant nativity scenes.
6. They have Cambis here which is a little bigger than a van. They seriously crowd so many people in and It’s really always an adventure taking one. Also I am serious when I say this, it’s a real life Indiana Jones. Its nuts.
7. There are no shower curtains here.
8. When the garbage man comes, he plays a song and everyone runs out with their trash. It’s like the ice cream man, just not as fun.
9. No one, no one can sing here, and members really don´t know the tune to any song. This fact leads into a hilarious story that happened in Church. I will share details.
10. Lined paper literally doesn´t not exist here, or if it does I have not found it. They use grid paper for everything.
11. In the church we call everyone by their first name, with Hermana or Hermano in front. I think it’s because everyone has the same last name.
Alright that’s about it for the un-googleable facts about Peru. I will always be thinking of more throughout the week to share, so look forward to that folks. :) Well this weekend has been really really good. We found and have started teaching an investigator named Carolina. She is 14 years old and has an adorable little brother Juan Carlos. Picture should be included. She is amazing and is reading the book of Mormon and she even drew a huge version of the Plan of Salvation and taped it to her house. Juan loves pass along cards and every time we visit them we give him one and he literally glues it to the wall. They came to Church this Sunday! It was so great to see them and Hna Holland and I went to Young Women’s with her. She seemed really interested and excited. During young womens we had a catastrophe with the opening song. You have to Understand that they don´t have Pianos in every room here. THAT IS SUCH A BLESSING! Anyways we sang a song and Hna Holland was asked to lead it. We gringas didn´t know what song it was in English, so she tells everyone (there is about 7 people in young women’s including the leaders) to sing loud so we can learn the Tune. Anyways the song turns out to be one we sorta recognize but the words are even close to the same thing. So I get the tune and so does Hna holland. But during the chorus it’s a little different ( We think they added something) But Hna Maria, the young women’s president is singing so loud and so off key that I cannot even follow along. Every time the chorus comes she sings faster and wow It was probably the best thing I have ever experienced. Her Daughter who is behind me and who has a hilarious personality, just starts to laugh. Everyone should know me and should know that I just can´t hold it in either, Wow everyone started chuckling and Hna Maria just continued to sing with all seriousness, she seriously didn´t crack a smile. Best moment ever. Anyways we visited Carolina after that and taught her the third lesson which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. WE also set a baptism date with her and so now we have a lot to do. It’s very exciting though! We are really hoping that we can get her ready by that time, but the pressure is on and now we will be visiting her almost every day! I am really excited for her! Also Yanet came to Church again! Later we visited her and helped her with a personal progress activity. We talked about the role of mothers and what we can do now to prepare. I don´t think she was ever taught about that so it was really neat. We are going to be helping her now on with her personal progress. Funny how the Lord knows exactly what you need, I guess it’s what I get for not embracing the program! haha :) Yanet is really warming up to us. She is the only member in her family so we are trying to get her mom involved in the personal progress as well. Also we are moving this week! Hopefully!! Our pension has built a room on the third floor. Yesterday we decided we would try to throw candy up to the third floor. It was absolutely hilarious. Our pension came out and tried to throw candy up there too. We were laughing our heads off and so were the workers. WE love our Pensions family. We have adopted them as our own and we can´t wait to live above them and avoid Mount Everest! Well I honestly love being a missionary. Each day I wake up and try to make it the best day of my life. I don´t always succeed because I have had a pretty awesome life, but It helps me enjoy it. President Ferrell’s advice is now my motto. “Repent every day and then progress”. Don´t look back at the mistakes or dwell on what could have been. I like to embrace every moment, even when I am crammed in a Cambi or singing really off key. Life is super great! I love Christmas but I feel like every day is Christmas here! I love you all and I promise I will answer your questions! Have a great week!