November 30, 2009 (Putting up the decorations!)
Wow, where did this year go? It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my first Christmas in the mission, and here we are again!
It has been a really eventful week here in the mission and in the mission office. We've been working hard and enjoying life!
To start out, I guess I should describe some of the many pictures I'm sending. The first are of our apartment. This week we went crazy with the Christmas decorations! It was fun putting up the tree and all the lights. Are apartment is really cozy now and fun. Every night we get together before going to sleep to sing a few Christmas carols and enjoy the Christmas spirit here in the hot, summer desert. It sure is a different experience, but it sure is great! I still can't believe that Christmas is almost here -- my last Christmas in the mission!
The next set of pictures are from the birthday luncheon that we threw for my mission president, President Urra, and his wife. Their birthdays are really close, so we cooked them an awesome meal on Saturday. I helped cook, clean, and serve. It was lots of fun but lots of work as well. But it was definitely worth it! We had a little salad and a lentil soup to start out, then an Argentinean dish for the main course -- crepes filled with beef and ham with a tomato sauce (baked in the oven with melted cheese on top, of course). I was in charge of the dessert (like the good ol' days at home) and made a great pan of brownies served with ice cream. They turned out really well! It's a good thing that there are a bunch of Gringo stores here in Antofagasta. ;) And, all the food and drinks that we had were homemade! It was a fun little party.
The last pictures are just a few of the office that I took this morning. We recently decorated the office as well with Christmas decorations, and it makes it a lot less stressful as we deal with angry renters and complaining missionaries. :)
Other than all the festivities, sports (we played básquetbol, fútbol and fútbol americano this morning), and fun, the work has been going really well in our sector as well. Our companions have been having lots of success with baptisms, and I am so grateful to see so many people at church! We've also had lots of success, especially with our work among the inactive members. In church, the attendance was up to 165 people (from an average of 130) with 20 inactive members in the sacrament meeting! How crazy, huh? It was a great blessing from my Heavenly Father.
We've also seen lots of progress with the investigators with whom we're working. One investigator, Paola, is progressing a lot and wants to be baptized! She has felt the spirit really strong in church and as she prays and reads in the Book of Mormon. She is just a little hesitant at the moment to set a baptismal date. I think it might be because she is studying at the moment, and I don't think her family know she is coming to church. We'll be teaching her tonight, and I hope that everything goes well!
We're also continuing to teach Silvestre, our investigator who is a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses church. He is amazing; I especially love how much knowledge he has of the bible. We can use fun examples from the bible to teach him the doctrine. We're planning on getting him an LDS version of the Spanish bible to clear up some of the doubts he has at this time. It should be a great little gift for him!
Anyways, I hope you all know how much I love you and will be thinking of you this Holiday season! I hope you enjoy the pictures, and let me know how everything is going!
With tons of love and a cherry on top!