My time is SHORT today, so I apologize in advance for the brevity of this week´s report.
New Year´s is a HUGE holiday here. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) has a barbecue (asada) with their family. There was a visible haze in the air from all the barbecue smoke on Monday night, and our whole sector smelled like barbecue and beer. They don´t start eating until like 9 or 10 at night and then they stay up until all hours. We worked until 10 as usual, then planned as usual. Then we ate peaches (duraznos) and queso fresco (which is a kind of fresh cheese that I had never seen before coming here, but which is really good), while we watched a couple of scenes from the Church film Togeher Forever (Juntos Para Siempre) while we waited for it to be midnight. Then we went to give New Year´s hugs to Hermana Myriam, the member who we rent our house from (there are two houses on the same lot - she lives in front and we live in the small one in back). She gave us Coke and Pan de Pascua (like fruitcake, only SO GOOD), because if they don´t give you food when you are in their house, they aren´t Chilean. That was our awesome and very low-key New Year´s celebration. The next day they had fireworks going off while we were planning and we could see them out our window, which was fun.
So it´s a new year! Remember my letter from last week? Well, I really needed to remember it because it turns out I have a really hard time being perfect as a missionary! Can you believe that? But even though every moment is hard and I always seem to be doing something wrong, we were truly blessed by our Heavenly Father this week. We met some really incredible people whom I hope to be able to tell you a little bit more about sometime.
But - this is very exciting, so put on your seatbelts and prepare to be proud - for the FIRST TIME since I entered the mission field, we MET OUR GOAL for finding new investigators! In fact, we even exceeded it by one! It was a miracle from the Lord and we are so grateful. We also had the most investigators in church we´ve ever had as well. It was very exciting doing weekly planning last night and getting to write down our accomplished goals and just feel so blessed to have been able to do a little bit more this week than I´ve ever done before. I know Heavenly Father is looking out for me and for these people whom He has sent me to teach. When we don´t meet goals, it just means we haven´t been inviting people to come unto Christ, and so seeing a little improvement helps us to realize that we are doing a little bit better at fulfilling our purpose as missionaries!
Anyway, I REALLY have to go. The time for me to be on the computer is "Far Spent," as the hymn says. But don´t forget that I love you all!
Your commitment this week is to think about someone who blessed your life in the past year by their words, actions, or example and thank them for it! You can write a note, give a gift, make a phone call, or even do an act of service for them. But find some way to show your gratitude and love for them.
I love you all and I´m ever grateful for your love and support!