Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Y Feliz Año Nuevo!

I love you guys!  It was fantastico to see your lovely faces. :)
This week was a bit slow with Christmas and all.  Christmas Eve, we visited some investigators and stopped by a member's house where we washed all of their dishes.  That was fun!  I like washing dishes. :) That morning we had a district meeting where we watched an incredible video called Missionary Work and The Atonement.  When we returned to the house that evening, we watched "The Grinch" and Hermana Porter opened her gifts from her parents, which included a stocking for me!  Yay for Fruitsnacks!  I read the Christmas story in Luke.  At midnight, the whole country set off fireworks.  I was completely asleep.  Hermana Porter woke up though.  I didn't notice anything, I was so tired!
Wednesday, I got to skype with my family.  That was absolutely wonderful.  I adored seeing your faces!  We walked around and chatted with members.  We ate so much we almost exploded.  We went back to the house early because of the holiday and relaxed in our house.  It was the strangest Christmas I have ever had because it didn't really feel like Christmas.  But I received the best gifts ever: being able to serve and being able to talk to you guys on Christmas morning!
The rest of the week, we tried to talk with people and teach, but not many people are home.  They are still out and about for the holidays.  It was a bit discouraging.  Hermana Porter and I also had some heart-to-hearts.  We have been struggling a bit with this change, but we have hope for this week.
To be completely honest, I feel frustrated right now. I need to be so much better as a missionary, but I feel like the area is suffering because both of us need to learn so much.  I love Hermana Porter, but I feel so inadequete with her because I feel like our spanish is a huge stumbling block.  We are also struggling to adjust our teaching methods to be more united.  And we both have struggles with contacting people.  I am so grateful for the prayers you give in my behalf, and I would ask that you would pray for Hermana Porter as well, that we can be better.
Church yesterday was seriously incredible!  Since it was the fifth Sunday, Pte. Quezada taught the RS and Priesthood classes together.  He talked about small and simple things we can do to help us invite or feel the spirit.  He told a story about an inactive member whose visiting teachers came over one day.  Well, this sister didn't want anything to do with them, but they asked if they could just sing a hymn.  She felt the spirit and said they could keep visiting.  Eventually, she came back to church.  Then her children came back.  Eventually, her husband became interested.  All because of a hymn.  "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass".  It was an incredible lesson.

Today, we had a P-day de Zona, and I learned how to form tortillas for baleadas, yay!  We ate so much today. Seriously, I thought I was going to lose weight on my mission, but now I feel like that is not going to be the case! It is quite possibly going to be the other way around.  Everyone in the zone enjoyed my basketball I received for Christmas as well, haha!  We had a Secret Santa exchange today.  I received cookies and chocolate and an extra-grande angry birds shirt because everyone calls me Hermana Grande :)
Well, I love you all so much. :)
Hermana Grondel
These photos are from last P-day

From the slip n' slide last week
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Using twigs as tongs because nobody brought any to cook the meat, haha

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Merry Christmas to me with some Ben and Jerry's!

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Christmas Eve dinner in the house!  One of the members stopped by and gave us food :)

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Christmas Breakfast :)

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There is a nativity near the entrance of one of the neighborhoods in our area

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One of the walls in our house - I hung up photos!

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We helped a woman in the branch peel green bananas for about an hour, and they stained our hands.  We received a free plate of pollo con tajadas as a thank-you! This was after washing our hands vigorously.

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We were walking around our neighborhood and came across this extreme nativity

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Close-up of the Baby Jesus

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Yay, piña!

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