Monday, December 30, 2013

Sed Agradecidos (December 2, 2013)

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday to all y'all!  Hope that your day of gratitude was just great.  We had a good old time out here in Hualqui.
On Wednesday it was Maria Graciela's birthday, and she had asked for pumpkin pie, which she hasn't had since she got back from her mission in DC two years ago.  And since her birthday so conveniently coincided with Thanksgiving, I was more than happy to make a "pumpkin" pie for her.  (Pumpkin does not exist here, so I had to use squash.  It worked, though.  I was even lucky enough to find a mesh strainer in the house which I was able to use to turn it into puree.)  She was very pleased, even though it wasn't very pretty.  (Guess what?  When the only thing you have to use as a pie pan is a silicone round cake pan your pie crust has a tendency to collapse in on itself and on the pie while it is baking.)  We stopped by her house for a bit to drop it off and eat some choripan (best thing ever!) and tell her happy birthday, of course.  She said that after we left they ate the pie and everyone loved it and her sister-in-law asked for the recipe.  I'm more than happy to give it to her.  I just don't know how good my Spanish translation skills are when it comes to recipes....
Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course, so I rolled out the remaining pie crust (cut open some grocery store bags and stuck it in between them and used the glass we use to dry silverware as a rolling pin) and poured in the leftover filling and made our pumpkin pie.  This time I got a little smarter, though, and placed the silicone baking dish inside a springform pan that we had in the house, and it didn't collapse on me!  Hermano Eric, our ward mission leader, brought us a lemon pie at correlation, and then at night we had our own little Thanksgiving "dinner."  Hermana Haymond and I had bought some slices of deli meat turkey at a negocio and some frozen pre-cut french fries, so with our turkey and potatoes and pumpkin pie we were totally set!  Hermana Call and Hermana Razeira donated to the feast as well.  We used Hermana Call's barbecue sauce to dip our fries in (along with mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, and ají - which is hot sauce) and we all threw in a little of our junk food, so we also had some chocolate cupcakes, mini chocolate bars, Crystal Light-type juice that we found on one of the kitchen shelves (for making toasts, of course), M&M's, and mini Reese's cups.  It was awesome.  Probably better than real Thanksgiving.
And then on Friday we had a ward activity about gratitude.  At first all the members were confused about what it was and why they would want to come.  But we told them it would be like a Noche de Hogar and that there would be food.  So they came.  I basically duplicated the activity we did last year in Cordillera, where we made lists of things we were grateful for in certain categories, and then we played a "Do You Love Your Neighbor" type game, where someone would say something they had written on their list and everyone who also had that on their list had to stand up and switch chairs, but there was one chair short so there was always someone left standing in the middle.  It was a hit.  And we had a coloring table for the little kids where they could draw pictures of the things they were grateful for.  We hung them all up on the bulletin board and they look so cute!
Something else that happened this week is that we found another house to rent in Haulqui.  The assistants called Hermana Call a couple weeks ago and asked that we find another house (and quick!) because they are bringing another companionship of missionaries into Hualqui in this next transfer!  Whoa!  We all love the new house we found, though, so there may be some shuffling around houses once we know who's going to be here next transfer.

I barely remember the rest of the week, but those were the basic highlights.  We had many opportunities to give thanks, and it was fun.  How did it go last week with your gratitude commitment?  I hope you were able to recognize how much Heavenly Father loves you all as you thought about the things you are grateful for.
This week you have two commitments.  One:  Keep reading the Book of Mormon every day!!!!!!  Two:  Read, watch, or listen to one of the talks from this most recent General Conference.  It's been two months now since we heard them, and I know I am ready to review.  We are just barely getting our Conference Liahona here, though, and right now we only have it in Spanish, so it will be a real learning experience to read them until the English Liahona gets here!

Anyway, that's all for now.  Except to say that we have a Christmas tree in our house and we put it up on Friday!!!!  It doesn't have a stand, so we kind of had to improvise a little, and we haven't decorated it yet, but it's still awesome.  Hooray for Christmas!
Love you all.  Hope you have the best week!



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