This week has been wonderful overall. Last Tuesday, we had a district meeting that was really awesome. We did practices in front of our district, and for Hermana Porter and I, we were practicing asking families for references. I could feel the spirit so strongly and loved that moment. When we finished, our zone leader praised us so much I was a bit embarrassed, jaja! :) Mainly, he was impressed with my spanish, which makes me feel SO much better! Well, now I am just prideful... whoops!
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the mission had Christmas fiestas for the mission, and each zone was assigned a different day to go. We went Thursday, and I got to see mi madre, Hermana Vasquez, Hermana Marley and Hermana Alvarez! The four of us were the hermanas here when yo nací en la misión. Hermana Marley is an incredible example to me, and I am terribly grateful for her. It was lovely to see them all again and to chat! The fiesta began with a meeting where Presidente y Hermana Dester spoke about their feelings for Christmas. Following, we sang all of the Christmas Hymns in the Spanish hymnal. Random question: What are hymns number 211 y 205? They aren't in Spanish :) I got to lead the music for that :) Elder John, the senior missionary, played, and he reminded me of the piano man at Disneyland on Mainstreet. I loved it :) After that, we had a chance to take pictures of our zone with Pte y Hna Dester, and we ate a lovely lunch of Chicken Cordon Bleu, yum! To follow, we watched "It's a Wonderful Life". Guys, I started crying when they said we could watch that. It is my favorite Christmas movie, and I was so sad that I wasn't going to watch it for two or three years. To top it off, we ate brownies with vanilla ice cream during the movie. I felt like I was home again! It was a lovely time :) As a hand out, we got a copy of the talk "O Divine Redeemer" por Elder Neal A. Maxwell. It is so lovely :)
Friday was a very interesting day. Hermana Porter and I traveled to Santa Barbara so she could play the piano for the branch's Christmas dinner-slash-program. Santa Barbara is much calmer and quieter. It was so weird after being in the city for all of my mission. I got to sing in the choir as well, and I had a duet with the branch president. We sang "O Holy Night", I sang in english and he sang in spanish. It was so beautiful, and I could feel the spirit so strongly as I sang. I know I say it a lot, but I truly love music. I want it to be part of my life every day. We came back to San Pedro Saturday morning. Strangest trip ever! I also finally got a picture with my latin twin :)
Saturday, during lunch, we were talking with Hermana Georgina. I love her so much :) She told me how she got baptized when she was 9 years old, but the missionaries who taught her, she doesn't have contact with them. They don't know the effect they have had on her life because they brought her the gospel. It made me think about how much of what I do, I won't see the results of. I also thought of the story "The Mansion" when the gatekeeper asks "Would you be paid twice?" Do I expect immediate blessings and blessings for all of eternity? I am focusing on the eternal perspective :)
Yesterday, I saw a toucan! One of the members in our branch has one now. Okay. Randomly awesome. :) I also got to help roll banana leaves for tamales! I hope we get to try many in the next two days!
Today, we had a P-day as a zone, and it was so much fun! We had a slip 'n slide and made lunch. We had some DEEElicious guacamole, salsa, carne asada, tortillas, frijoles, y queso. YUM! I am really sunburnt now though, haha. Everyone in the grocery store was staring at us, haha. :)
I LOVE YOU!!!
Hermana Grondel :)
At the Mission Christmas Party
|ROMPOPO! Eggnog! Yum :)|
|Elder Sibrian, trying to be the baby Jesus. Not okay. :)|
|Much Better :)|
|I bought some Christmas lights and strung them among my clothes, haha :)|
Our brownies and ice cream :)
|The chapel where we sang in Santa Barbara|
Hermana Porter and I before the performance
|Yo y Raquel|
|Raquel and her family gave us a ride back to SPS from Santa Barbara. We stopped at a Circle K and had slurpees, yum!|