Another year has come and gone by...
Well, if there is one thing that I would tell you this go-around is that Christmas is not the same as back at home. The Argentine traditions differ quite a bit. Let´s see if I can describe kinda what happened in the past few days with all of these fiestas and good times.
After we had our fun Saturday lunch at the nearby fair at one of the member´s stands(empanadas and lomos...Mmmmm), we stopped by one of our investigators houses and tried to teach a bit but there was no hope. Everyone is preparing for the parties that night. So we went in for the day and started our travel over to 25 de Mayo(the area of other Elderes in our District) where we planned to go and festejar mucho. We got there, enjoyed some many Argentine snacks and gaseosa(carbonation) and played card games, talked and just enjoyed ourselves until dinner which normally starts at 9...and it did. Ha. Dinner was pretty fun. There was a good selection of meats(chicken, steak, sausage, morsilla(a type of blood sausage in which the elderes dared me to eat...so I did), etc), pan(as always with every single meal that they eat here), coca-cola, sanwichitas, potato salad(but not as good as yours mom), and some other stuff. It was enjoyable to make one happy and super full. After the long dinner we sang some himnos of Navidad and then followed through with our little mini secret santa thing. Soon after that we had our before Christmas toast with what I believed to be non-alcoholic wine that Elder Galati brought for all to enjoy for the Felices Fiestas and then at 12:00 a ton of fireworks all went off and we enjoyed that outside for the next while. Then a few of them walked us back to the 25 de Mayo pension for the night. Since it was Christmas we surely did not want to go to bed so we stayed up super late playing cards and chatting till about 4 in the morn. Papá Noel didn´t visit me in their pension, he left my stocking in our pension so I had to wait a little more that usual to enjoy my gifts. My comp even has to wait until this Wednesday when he hopefully gets his package from Papa Noel. But anyways, after a bit of present opening on Christmas Day, it was time to go to church. This was definitely one of the highlights of these past few days, kind of a Christmas miracle placed in our path(literally...). We saw a man named Moisés that asked us about the church and what time it was at. We told him that we only have reunión sacramental today and it starts in a few minutes. It appeared that he walked all the way to the chapel at 9:30, the time that it usually starts, and found that nobody was there so he walked back. He walked back to the church with us. He told us that he just got here in Argentina 2 weeks ago from Bolivia to work in the fields for a time( like just about half the population here does) and he has had a little experience with the church but not much. He is a super cool guy and definitely is a hope for the future. Potential christmas miracle baptism coming right up!
We have a few other investigators right now that have been progressing a little bit. Next week I will probably have more deets to inform you about their progress towards eternal life and complete, neverending happiness.
I put up a bunch of new pictures. A few of them may be worth more than a thousand words. I will let you make up your own story with the esequia incident. I don´t think I have described exactly what esequias(I have no clue how to spell it, but this is how I would spell it) are. Well, I don´t think anyone here knows quite exactly their purpose is, but they are just trenches, usually filled with water that are on both sides of the road...everywhere you go. A lot of people just use them as a garbage so it makes it look even more gross and wasteful here. They are basically just mini canals.
It was really great being able to talk with the family for a while yesterday. It made me happy that everyone was enjoying their Christmas. I´m glad that all of the parties were fun and enjoyable as always. Have fun with the iPad. I don´t quite understand why the girls would need queen size beds because I am pretty sure they are not 6' 3". I quite enjoy sleeping on these twin beds with my feet hanging all the way off. Ha ha. I hope Mallory enjoys her new pink iPod and Maggie also with all of her toys. Enjoy the little break you get from school too. I heard it is not snowing way too much. Were you able to have a white christmas? I am glad to hear that Mallory still keeps me in her prayers every night. I am really thankful for that and it makes me happy. Make sure that you pray that some people can get baptized here and that we can keep working really hard.
Elder Hudgens and I are doing just swell out here in Bombal. We are still enjoying all of the awesome experiences that we are having. He is teaching me a ton about the missionary that I can be. We both try and uplift each other as much as we can so that we can use the Lord´s time as effective as possible. We are trying to teach a lot but a lot of times the people are just hard to get to sit down with us and just take a few minutes to talk about church stuff. I know Argentines as always getting way off topic and neverending talking. The mission wants us to keep our visits really short with everyone so we can have more visits with more people. That would be nice... ha ha.
I am super tired from the past few days, so this is will be all for today. It appears that we have some other things to do today like hacer some compras and perhaps jugar some ping pong. Vamos a ver...
Thank you for everything. The continuing prayers and support that I never stop noticing. Keep praying for me that I can have some more success while I´m out here in the service. Hope all had a good Christmas! Till next week.
Signing out is Elder Deven Larisch
PS: La Iglesia es verdadera! Sin duda