Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Monday, December 10, 2012 - Hola!

Hola Mi Familia! Sounds like you all have had quite the crazy, busy week! Nuts! I hope it slows down soon with vacations coming soon, no? ! We have our Branch Christmas party this coming Saturday. We are going to have BBQ, piñatas and a bunch of other stuff! I am rather looking forward to it! Well, this week was a bit dry except for a few neat lessons and some new investigators that we added to our small teaching pool. Haha! So I have to tell you that the pudding mix and pie crust that you sent with my Thanksgiving dinner, mom, well, I made the pie and was so happy about it and everything and I found whip cream in the can in a small store that imports various stuff from the US. That night we had a slice of pie and it wasn't too bad I thought and I put those Reeses in as well! Well, the next day, I decided to take it to lunch to share with the Branch President and his family. Haha! Mistake! Apparently down here they are just accustomed to pie that has fruit filling and not like we have with banana cream pies or pudding pies. Well, the sister knew about pudding filling pies, but the Pres. didn't and so he was kind of skeptical looking and was asking if I had cooked it and if it was fully cooked. Haha! He says he was just joking and kidding around and kept on joking like that for a while which made his wife mad that he was joking around and making me feel bad, but not really. The sister asked if he wanted another piece and the Pres. said no and everyone else said no and so she ate another 2 pieces or so. I'm thinking she just did that not to make me feel bad. And she kept saying how good it was. HAHA! I was just dying inside laughing! So they didn't like my pie....never again will I be making food to share with people! On Wednesday night we went with Hermana Maru (the one who worked in the DIF and always gives us references) and we went to visit a former co-worker who also works in DIF and was very impressed with Hector's progress. Her name is Cristian. When we arrived, she wasn't there, it was just her husband and young daughter and so we chatted with him for a bit and then Cristian arrived and we got to know the family more and we taught them The Plan of Salvation. We really focused on the importance of families and the importance of doing what is necessary here on earth to be able to live with our families forever. They are a young couple in their early 30s I would say and they have a young daughter with only 4 years. The lesson seemed to really speak to them and they said that they were willing do do the things necessary to live with their family forever. The lesson was really great! I really liked having Hermana Maru with us! I think she really enjoyed it too and was reliving her days when she was a missionary! She helped us teach part of the lesson and was just a strong testimony of forever families with her father dying suddenly just a month ago. We invited them to church and put another appointment for yesterday, but we when passed by, they weren't there. So we will see if we can't find them again this week and teach them more. This past Saturday we had another lesson with Hermana Mari and Lulu and Ricardo. We taught them "The Restoration" I absolutely LOVE teaching this lesson, but always get nervous before teaching this lesson especially if I know that the people we are teaching are quite strong in another religion. We started and thankfully with Heavenly Father's help, I calmed down and was fine. We taught the lesson and bore testimony of the Restoration of the Church and of Joseph Smith. We also introduced the Book of Mormon and invited them to read it and pray about what we had taught. Throughout the whole lesson Lulu seemed so interested and like there was a spark in her eyes from interest while we were teaching this message. The trouble started when we offered the invitation to pray about this message. I totally should have asked Lulu first, but made the mistake of asking her husband, Ricardo and he just began speaking for all 3 of them. He said that they appreciated us sharing the messages and that they have seen us as a sign that they need to come closer to God and all this stuff, but in their own way and their own beliefs. Once he finally got done talking, we asked Lulu and Mari and they said they would pray. When we got done, Lulu offered to give the closing prayer. Oh my heck! She gave one of the most beautiful prayers I think I have ever heard in my life! I wanted to cry it was so beautiful. She asked for help to understand what we were teaching and that they could know if it was the right thing for them in their lives. It was just so beautiful! I seriously think that Lulu will accept this message, but I just hope her husband doesn't influence her too much. He is cool and has family that are members and that live in Utah, but he is just kind of fixed on his beliefs right now and doesn't seem too interested in opening up too much. We will see what happens, we are still going to keep teaching I having faith that they will accept! Sunday was a pretty fun day! We had church which is always wonderful and then in the night we had another Seminary Evaluation, but this time the Branch President's wife who is the seminary teacher wanted everyone to participate, so she the week before she gave us all the questions and we had to study them and there was going to be part of the evaluation for the students and then part of them evaluation for the other members that were divided in to the student's teams so they could get the points. Anywho, the judges didn't show up by the time we started, so we were asked to be the judges. It was fun we had to decide who raised their hand first and tally points and all that jazz. It was a fun little night and afterwards we had refreshments and socialized. Today, I had a hair disaster! I had a sister cut my hair this morning and it was all fine, but her little razor that you know trims the neck and all was broken and so she just said to have my comp shave my neck with a razor and foam. Well, my razor has the small clipper part to clip the small hairs, no? So I decided to try and shave my neck on my own. Well, seeing as how I didn't have a way to seeing the back of my head I was just using my hand to feel and when I got out of the shower, my comp asked what the heck happened. Well, I guess I didn't do too well on my own....see picture attached! I just have to tell about a photo I am sending. I made a little "Don't Eat Pete" game board-you know, the one with M&Ms and you yell "Don't Eat Pete"- to play with the kids that we teach and I called it "Don't Eat Juan". It was fun and I was proud of my little creative game board I made! Just had to put that out there. So mom, you asked a few weeks ago about how they celebrate Christmas here and decorations, etc. Well, I have been paying more attention and there are decorations, but it just so happens that they are of the Virgin Mary. People will put a photo or statue of the virgin in their window and put the flashing colored Christmas lights around it and light up Virgins and all that. It is quite interesting! They have even begun this week to have parades of the virgin. Members of the Catholic church parade the streets with a huge figurine of the virgin and chant some prayer....who knows what! This is the time of the year and a season to remember Jesus Christ and celebrate his birth, yet they are all celebrating more the virgin and it seems like there is no Jesus at all in this season. Apparently this Wednesday is a holiday as well-day of the virgin! I just hate how we are not focused on Christ down here for this wonderful season! I hope things are somewhat better up there! Well, that is all I got for this week! I hope you all are well and can make it through another week! I just realized the other day that Christmas is only 2 weeks away from Tomorrow! That is crazy! 2 Weeks! And the weeks go by uber fast! 2 Weeks and we will be talking on the phone once again! I love and miss you all tons! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

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