This was such a lovely week. On Tuesday I made three batches of pancakes for our district breakfast and batches of sugar cookies for our less actives and investigators. All Christmas Eve we visited the less actives we're working with, Jorge, María, Rosa, and brought them all cookies. They were all so grateful for our visits, and Rosa even cried, saying we always come when she needs us. She also fed us big slices of Pan de Pascua (a traditional Seasonal Bread here, I'll make it when I get home) and cookies. Later we went over to Hermana Mirsa's home for a Christmas Eve dinner of rice, chicken, meat, papa mayo, vegetables, and postre (dessert). Her two kids Jorge and Nicole who are a bit older than us were there and Santiago too, a member in our ward who is a recent convert and is preparing for a mission, so we had a really fun time. We ate way to much through out the day, so by the time we got home, my stomach was exausted.
Christmas day was amazing as well, as I had a delcious lunch of rosemary chicken, mashed potatoes, bread, papa mayo, salad, jugo, and peaches and cream (a very popular dessert here.) And after I had the opportunity to skype with my family, which of course was one of the best parts of my day. After talking, we had a lesson with our Investigator Maribel. She and her husband are from Bolivia and are here without their children to work until they gain enough to go back and support their family more fully. She is so prepared! We talked about temples and eternal marriage and she wants to go to the temple so bad! We taught her again Saturday the whole plan of salvation, and she accepted everything. She even read the pamphlet the night before! She wants to tell her whole family about it and find a chapel and the temple near her home in Bolivia. We are so excited for her.
We also taught Alberto this week. We taught him about the restoration of the gospel, and all his questions led into gospel principles and doctrines. He told us about how he is anxious to leave is old life behind because he doesn't like who he was before. We eplanied the atonement, baptism, and becoming new, and becoming a disciple of Christ. They both came to church yesterday, and both had a great experience!
We brought Lukas and Andres to church yesterday as well! They are 12 and 13 and don't come often due to sports games and talent shows, as one is tall and really good at sports, and the other is an amazing singer. We had a lot of opposition sunday morning, waking them up by getting the dog to bark, and then the dog escaping and them trying to get him inside the gate, but eventually with a few minutes to spare, we made it to church. Pablo also came to church, and particpated in the ward council the third hour, making goals for the year! Fernando, a less active also came, these two twins who we taught a while ago came, and Karen's sister came and ah! so many people were there! Our attendance was increased by about 12 today! We were so happy so many decided to come and partake of the sacrament and become spiritually renewed for the week.
During our lessons this week we had been expressing how important it is to do the small things, pray, read the scriptures, attend church, and how these will keep us firmly rooted in the gospel. We made so many goals with families and individuals to pray everyday as families and by themselves. It is so fun to help others change and become better. I love new beginings! Just rooting out bad habits and replacing it with good actions and the light of the gospel. Ah, it's such a good feeling helping others become new, and helping them realize how real and how important this gospel is. I hope and pray that each of you has also realized this. There is much more to this life than just living! We have a God, our father, and he has a plan for us! Please follow it! You will be happier than you have ever or can possibly imagine. Heavenly Father loves you! Have an amazing week and HAPPY NEW YEAR! For me, a full year of service and love!