Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Review :)

Hello There :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! It probably wasn't as good
as mine though ;) but for real, time is flying and I'm having a lot of
fun. Oh and also, a huge shout out to everyone who sent me packages,
emails, letters, and Christmas Cards! My wall is completely covered
with the Christmas Cards and it's so beautiful to look up at it and
see all the smiling faces of the people I love! Once again I felt like
I got slapped in the face with love from all my friends and family :)
Even though I wasn't able to be with my family for Christmas, it was
definitely one I'll never forget. It's been a while since I emailed so
here's a summary of everything that went on these last 2 weeks :)

First, we found another investigator and her name is Claudia. She is
from Brazil and has lived her for like 15 years so her Spanish is
really good. When we first talked to her, it was just a normal
contact, but she couldn't stop staring at my chapa. Then she told us
that her dad was a Mormon in Brazil but he passed away just a few
months ago. We have been meeting with her a lot and we set a baptismal
date with her for the 16th of January! We will have to see what
happens with her because she has some stuff in her life that we are
trying to help her get fixed, but we have lots of hope and faith. She
told us right off the bat that she doesn't like to smoke or drink,
which to missionaries is like gold because everyone here likes to do
that stuff. She has come to church with us the last 2 weeks and the
branch members have been very supportive. Before we met her, she had
been reading a Portuguese Book of Mormon that someone left in her Piso
when she moved in, and if that isn't a sign that the Lord prepares his
people, I don't know what is! She has a lot of faith and a sincere
desire to be baptized and change her life.

Christmas Eve was one of the best nights of my whole life. We spent it
with the Yubero's which means PARTY :) I've never eaten as much good
food in my life as I did that night. I legitimately want to be adopted
into their family and be a Paraguayan ( LET'S NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING HE SAYS... 

FROM KRISTIN... HE'S NOT UP FOR ADOPTION!!) . I'm pretty sure I ate more meat
in one night that I have in my whole entire life, but I couldn't stop
because it was so incredibly good. The pictures will hopefully help
you understand why I was so stoked outta my mind when I walked in the
kitchen and saw what we would be eating :) it was delicious. Then they
brought out the cakes. Holy cow I was in heaven. We tried food from
all over the world, well mainly South America but it was from all of
the different countries! The Yubero's invited over lots of friends and
that was cool because not many of them were members. And on top of all
the food, they were playing my new kind of favorite music which is
like Spanish Reggae haha. As soon as it came on I just started dancing
and they all loved it. Seriously one of the best nights of my whole
life :)

On Christmas Day, the other Elders slept over at our Piso so we woke
up together and had breakfast then studies and did our own stuff. We
had a big lunch with a member named Manolo and his wife Rosario. She
made us some Peruvian food which I can't turn down because it's
delicious and Elder Peña just gets so happy too haha. Once again, we
ate so much food. I almost get to the point where I want to excuse
myself to the bathroom, throw up, then come back and eat more hahaha.
I remember one time at a school dance, my good friend Elder Gallagher
did that and I laughed so hard watching him gag himself in the
bathroom at Tucano's hahaha. Anyways, then I Skyped with the Fam :) I
cried quite a bit but it was so good to hear from them. I love you
mom, dad, Kenna, and Ellie! So overall this first Christmas season
away from home was a success :) only one more to go!

I'm very thankful for all the things my Heavenly Father has blessed me
with. I know he loves me and he watches out for all of his children. I
was so lucky to have my first Christmas in such a wonderful part of
Spain and I'm really going to miss Valladolid and the people here when
I have to leave. I was thinking a lot about the 2,000 Stripling
Warriors these past few weeks and how courageous they were. They never
looked back. They knew what they had to do and they did it. Thinking
about this, my dad, uncles, cousins, grandpas, church leaders,
coaches, teammates, best friends, and brothers who have all served
missions never looked back either. They set the example for me and I'm
following. It's hard, but no one ever said it would be easy. I'm very
grateful for the examples I have in my life, and especially right now
for all my friends who are out all over the world serving the Lord.

I hope everyone has a marvelous ending to 2015 we welcome in 2016 with
open arms :) talk to you all soon!!

Con Amor,

Elder Smith

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