Monday, July 15, 2013

Noche de Navidad, Obispo Hidalgo, and an Empty Pileta

Hi All,

I can barely remember what happened this week.  Sometimes that happens.  Im´ll go ask Hermana Snyder what I should write home about....

Okey dokey, three highlights of this week:

First, every Monday night we do a little noche de hogar (family night) with Hermana Dina, this little old lady in the ward.  The Relief Society president and one of her counselors usually come too, and anyone else who wants to come.  We invite our recent converts and our investigators and we go over to Hermana Dina´s and have a little lesson and a little treat.  It´s a great opportunity for our female investigators and recent converts to get a little more integrated into the ward and the ladies are awesome, so we feel the Spirit and we are all uplifted by it.  Anyway, for like three weeks we have been trying to pull of this "Noche de Navidad," since it´s winter here and it reminds us of Christmas and the 25th of June was the halfway to Christmas mark!  We couldn´t do it the 25th because we were in Conce and our P-Day lasted all day instead of just until 6:30 like usual.  Then the next week a bunch of the regulars couldn´t be there, so we decided not to do it then.  So last Monday we finally had our little mini-Christmas celebration and it was awesome.  We read the Christmas story from the Bible and, just like we do at home on Christmas Eve, stopped to sing the hymns that correspond with that part of the Bible story.  We sang Noche de Luz (Silent Night) twice, though.  Because it rocks.  We also ate Pan de Pascua (the world´s most awesome verison of fruitcake - so delicious, even if it was a little expensive to buy out of season) and had some kind of a traditional drink that was made of milk with café de trigo (That´s fake coffee stuff that all the members drink here.  It´s made out of wheat.  I like it.), cinnamon, and clove.  I loved that stuff.  It reminded me of the herbal Chai tea lattes that I love.  So I´ve gotta get that recipe for sure!  Anyway, that was our little Christmas party.  It was super fun.

Last Sunday they put a new bishop in our ward, Obispo Hidalgo.  This week he started going out with us to appointments and he is AWESOME!  He is a recent convert of about four years.  He is a cabinet-maker (mueblista) and works out of his home doing that.  His wife, Hermana Adela, also totally rocks and they have three kids, a son who´s about fourteen, a daughter who´s like six, and a little baby boy who´s five months old.  Their conversion story is super cool.  If I remember right, Hermana Adela has a sister who has been a member for years, but Adela always said that she wasn´t interested, no, no, no, no, no, and no.  Well, for some reason one day the missionaries started coming by every day.  EVERY DAY.  And though they never ever even opened the door for them, they came every day and left little notes on pass-along cards and things like that.  Well, this went on for probably over a month and then one day Hermana Adela was having a bad day and she let them in and the rest is history!  Obispo Hidalgo told us that he asked the elders why they came by every day when they didn´t know them and had never had any success in trying to get in the house, and the elder told him it was because the Spirit indicated to him that they were special and that they needed to be members of the Church.  I wholeheartedly agree!  We are very excited to be working with him!  Even in this first week, he has already helped some of our investigators a lot, and us as well.  We hope to be able to become great helpers to him and together work to build the ward to at least double its current size!

This Saturday our zone leaders, who work in the other ward that meets in our building, had a baptism.  I don´t know if I´ve mentioned this before, but when we have a baptism we have to go over the the church about four hours ahead of time to start filling the font.  Well, Hermana Snyder and I were out working Saturday evening and we get a call from the zone leaders.  "Hey hermanas, what are you doing right now?  Got any important citas?"  They had forgotten to fill the font, and it was about an hour and a half before the baptism was supposed to start!  So we ran home (we work and live closest to the church) and grabbed our electric water boiler thingy and as many buckets and pots as we could find and headed over to help the elders fill the font with as much hot water as we could get our hands on.  For a while we waited for the water to boil before we took it in to the font, but after a bit we decided that a lukewarm baptism was better than none and so Hermana Snyder and I went into the bathroom and started filling up pots with water from both sinks while the elders continued with the hot water in the kitchen.  It was hilarious.  I wished I could have stopped helping and made a video clip of it, because there´s really just no accurate way to describe how funny that situation was, with all our kitchen implements  from our houses over and the church, and the electricity in the kitchen flipping off every once in a while from all the hot water boiler things we were trying to use (eventually we moved two of them to the cultural hall, which is on a different circuit and didn´t cause any more power outages), and the elders running up and down the hall from the kitchen to the font with huge pots of boiling water.  If that ever happens again I will not miss the opportunity to at least take some pictures.

Anyway, that´s about all for this week.  I did want to say that we had our lesson in Relief Society yesterday on Relief Society and how awesome it is!  It made me miss all my friends from Relief Society back home.  Thanks, ladies, for all that you taught me and for helping me grow each week through your lessons and especially through your examples!  I feel sad for all the men who never get to know how amazing it is to be a part of Relief Society.

Well, for your commitment this week I want you all to read Ether 12 and/or Hebrews 11.  They both talk about faith and give several examples of people from the scriptures and the miracles they were able to work by faith.  I know I always need more faith, and I just wanted to share these awesome examples with all of you.

I love you all very much!  I hope you have a great week!



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