I can´t believe Christmas is already here and I almost have a year in the mission! I loved the pictures that yall sent and I´m not going to lie everyone has changed a ton! Its a lil scary I can´t imagine what it will be like in one more year! I´m almost starting to feel a little old in the mission. It sounds like everyone is having lots of fun getting ready for the Christmas season, it has gone by super fast I think its partly because its not as celebrated as intensive as it is in the States. It may be because everyone is a lot poorer. The bigger day it seems is Christmas Eve because they have a big dinner and stay up until 12 and do toasts of some sort. O yeah, Idk whats happening with the other kids but the letters have seemed to stop and I miss hearing from them, even its just a sentence or 2!
Anyways, things are going great here in La Loma. The area is really starting to improve and the members are starting to help us more because there was a training session and our mission President dropped cane on them for not doing certain things and its starting to pick up. We have been finding lots of people to reactivate too and they kinda want to hide their faces whenever they see us but we got a girl named Valeria who has a sad story and about to go on a mission who went inactive. We started visiting her and this Sunday she went to church and I sat next to her and she was taking notes and everything I was really impressed and a lot of members were really happy to see her. She hadn´t been to church in 7 years! I think its a little bit of the ward´s fault that NOBODY in that whole time went and visited her. Its sad some people just stop going and they seem to be forgotten about. It gave me a little fire inside to want to magnify my calling whenever I go home from the mission and go outside of the people who are on my monthly visit list.
There´s nothing better than a reference from the Sisters and we found ourselves with a family of 5 and they were really great! Unfortunately they didn´t go to church but I can definitely see them progressing. We are teaching also a kid named Gabriel and he´s cool and told us he just wants to be a good person. He already goes to all the church activities during the week and has been to church twice already. Then there is Maria Lorena. She is quite interesting but really nice. She has been to church 3 times and loves it. Apparently she had a dream with the Angel Moroni and told her that she is one of the elect. I dont know, could be, its just she sees lots of other weird stuff too. She also saw Elder Watkins in her dream telling her not to go to church. She has read and prayed though and we are talking about her getting baptized and she calls me “su vida” = “her life”. The only problem is that she has a little smoking problem. We taught a really good lesson about the Word of Wisdom in the church after the meetings and we were leaving and after committing her to quit smoking (she smokes very little every day apparently) she went and smoked in the bathroom. I felt a little baffled after but I have faith in her, it will just take some work on her part. Thats part of getting ready for baptism is changing/repenting and its hard for them. Her boyfriend (they´re like 40ish) is a member too and he´s a really good guy, he´s from a different ward and his name is Cesar.
Anyways thats about all for the week but lots of great things are happening here and we keep finding families! I can´t wait to hear from everyone this Christmas and if yall are going to ask me questions or anything of that sort we should prepare something so its a more quality conversation. You´ll find out soon what the number is but I´ll be doing it from a member´s house, Familia Reales, their son is one of the counselors in the Bishopric and he speaks English because he served in LA! I gotta go now, may you all remember the true meaning of Christmas and receive as you give of yourself. I love you guys and I can´t wait to talk to you all this Christmas!