So today is Christmas and I only have a half hour to write all the feelings of my heart to my dear friends and especially family back home! People always seem to think that Christmas in the MTC or CCM would be terrible but I am having the best Christmas of my life out here! It is true that I miss my family and seeing those familiar faces back home, but there is something special about being out here and seeing tons of people in the same stage of life as I am, all doing our best to represent Christ every day, and when Christmas finally comes around it is like when your favorite band is in town and you have tickets to the concert! You are just so stoked! I have been grinning and smiling all day.
Mani and I got up super early this morning and we had made those giant 3D snowflakes earlier in the week and we had 10 big ones and 10 small ones that we taped and stapled together and then we went to our classroom and after some stealthy stealing of some poinsettia plants we decorated the classroom for our elders. We took some really good pictures that I will send if I have time today, but if not they will come before I leave. Then we made little envelopes out of notecards and wrote one word that best described each of our Elders and then put those words in the little envelopes and put them on leaves on their chairs and decorated the windows and whiteboard with a poem and stuff. Mom you would have been really, really proud haha :) I didn´t know I was so crafty until I was pulling out a white sheet from the bedding closet and using it as a tablecloth. It was a great, great morning. Christ is so apparent in every aspect of life.
For Monday I did my laundry and it was hanging out on the line to dry and I was eating at the Comedor and I realized that I had forgotten my nametag, so I ran back to the Casa and while I was running I got this feeling that I should take in my laundry and I didn´t think that I had any time to do so, but I just did it anyway! And I kid you not 10 minutes later it was down pouring rain like I've never seen. If I had left it there, I would have had no sheets to sleep on that night! He is just so thoughtful you know?
Well that is Christmas here. This last week has flown by. It is so bittersweet. The relationships that I have made out here are so precious and I don´t like to think of the possibility of never seeing these people I regard as my family ever again. I love them! My district is worth waking up at 4:30 in the morning to have a surprise Christmas ready for.
Last Sunday there were all of these devotionals on the importance of committing ourselves wholly to the Lord and doing His work. Now me and Elder T had a really, really deep convo about 2 days before this on what we sacrificed to come out on missions. Let's just say that I had to sacrifice hardly anything to get out here. There was nothing holding me back. Tuck on the other hand sacrificed a whole lot. We sat and cried and talked about it for probably a couple of hours. Then this guy Elder C (he is the leader of something here) gave probably one of the best devotionals of my life all about EXACTLY what me and Elder T talked about. The whole time I was taking notes my mind was being blown and afterwards me and Elder T ran to each other and were like "DUDE WHAT!" It was so cool. Then we just talked all about everything again. Elder C compared the importance of dedicating our whole selves to the story of Lot´s wife. It is Genesis 19:26 I do believe. Read it and think about what you have in your life that you stare back longingly at. There are a lot of things that seem to be there for me. But I am noticing a gradual change in my nature. I can see a little clearer, feel a little more purely, love a little more genuinely, care a little more about everything in general. My heart is finally starting to soften. I hope I can remain following my Savior and being happy like I am here. Have you listened to that song yet? My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee? If you haven´t do it right now because it is awesome, then read D&C 122:8-9 and 3 Nephi 22:10. Mind blown once again. Overall that was SUCH a good Sunday and there was no crying because no one left for the field.One of the Elders here wanted to go home and the CCM president even called home to arrange it, but he ended up staying because his dad told him not to come home.
WE HAD HAMBURGERS!!! It was probably the worst and best burger of my life. Still no guacamole here. I drank salsa. I have it on everything. I get the hottest stuff and put it on literally all my food. I had salsa on my pizza last night. It was so good.We also have a devil cat the chases us in the mornings. Super frightening. It also meows outside my window at night.
I think I am probably going to write you a letter about all the spiritual things that I am learning. I am just so young and fresh when it comes to anything gospel related. I have loved my time in the CCM and love the fact that I get to serve my Lord. I am learning little by little each day, and I am beginning to see how that is the way God works with all His children, even the great prophets. Reread the story of Alma the Younger and you will see his gradual growth throughout life. I love the guy. He is one of those that I want to meet in heaven. Easily.
Love you all! I want you to know that I know without a doubt that this Gospel is true and can change lives. It has changed mine. I cannot think of anywhere else I would rather be than on a mission. I have felt more emotion in my time in the CCM than I have felt in my life and have gained a huge testimony of 2 Nephi 2 and Ether 12. I can't wait for everything that I will learn and experience in Chile. I miss you family!