Monday, December 8, 2014

Week of December 8 2014: El es la Dadiva

Happy Monday!

It's hard to believe that it's December, and I kind of refuse to accept it. The weather here is pretty much the same as summer in Seattle, yet somehow the sun is even hotter. The nights are pretty chilly, by which I mean it gets down to about 55 degrees, and everyone is always telling us we should be wearing sweaters and that we're going to get sick, but so far I haven't, so HA. 

My companion's birthday was yesterday, so earlier this week, we had a lot of gatherings and shennanigans to celebrate. Here, the 7th of December is the day of the devil, and to celebrate, everyone buys piñatas of the devil and burns them, instead of putting candy in them. We're not allowed to burn stuff, so we bought candy and had a good ol' time with the other hermanas in our district. I also asked them to buy a cake to surprise her, but we didn't have candles, so we stuck a bunch of matches in the top of the cake and they kind of exploded everywhere. But the cake survived, and it was pretty tasty. 

This week we had another baptism! Her name is Flory, and she's 15. She's the only member in her family, but her mom and aunts and uncles came, and it was really special. We sang Christmas hymns and ate cake (again). The sad thing is that she lives in the boundaries of a different ward, so she's not our convert anymore, but we snuck into the other ward's sacrament meeting to see her confirmation. She told us that she felt something really special while she was being confirmed, and I got all teary. Here is a photo if you want to see:

We as missionaries have been assigned to start working with a new church initiative that you've probably heard about/seen on the internet. It's called 'He is the Gift,' or, for me, 'Él es la Dádiva.' I think they have it on YouTube and everything, or you can go to watch it. We have little cards to give to people that have a picture of Mary and the baby Jesus, and so far we've given away about twenty. People are much more responsive when you're giving them stuff, for some reason. But, for obvious reasons, I've been thinking a lot about Christ lately (duh, but bear with me). I was reading in Mosiah 3 this morning, where an angel appears to King Benjamin and speaks to him, saying (and sorry if the formatting is a little weird):
"...Awake, and hear the words which shall tell thee; for behold, am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joyFor the Lord hath hearthy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousnessand hatsent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may alsbe filled with joy."
The angel then proceeds to tell King Benjamin about Christ, who will be born of Mary, and the work he will perform on the earth. 
I'm sure some/all of you have heard this before, but the meaning of the word 'gospel' is 'good news.' I love to think that by being a missionary, I'm bringing to people "good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of hope, peace, and, most of all, joy. Through him, we have strength, purpose, and eternal life. I'm so grateful to have the chance to share the happiness that I've felt through this gospel, and I hope that all of you will be able to feel a bit of this happiness this week and this Christmas. 
Once again, I'm out of time. Have a good week, keep your chins up and watch some TV for me. 
Hermana Campbell

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Week of December 1 2014: Tiny Tree

Hi everyone, 

Happy December! It's getting pretty cold here (down into the 50s...brrrr), and everyone has up Christmas lights and trees and everything. We have a tiny tree in our apartment, and it's pretty cute/sad. We've also started singing Christmas hymns in church and in lessons, and it's weird to sing them in Spanish, but I'll get used to it (eventually). 

We have a baptism coming up next Saturday, I can't remember if I already wrote about her or not. Her name is Flory, she's 15, and is really excited to get baptized. We're going to try and make a cake to have after her baptism, but as we don't have an oven, it's going to be a pretty complicated venture. 

Here is the most striking memory I can give you of this week: we had a lesson with Juan Diego, who also has a baptismal date, but the church was locked, so we waited for half an hour to see if anyone would show up. No one did, so we walked down the block to a Burger King, and we sat and taught him about temples and family history while "Hello" by Lionel Richie played in the background. They also had a screen showing the music video, and I kept getting distracted because it's hilariously 80s and weird and makes no sense. 

This week for Thanksgiving, the other sisters in our district and my companion and I went to Domino's and bought a giant pizza. It's the end of the month, so we're all almost out of money, but we pooled our funds and had a feast (more or less). For dessert, we bought chocobananos. It was really fun and kind of depressing and a good representation of my life here in Guatemala. 

Some other things that happened this week: I finished almost a whole jar of peanut butter, I helped make tortillas yesterday (and apparently my skills are improving!), and I jumped out of the back of a moving bus because we were late for an appointment and the driver didn't want to stop. 

BUT more than anything, we're continuing to work and find people and somehow make it through every day. Thank you for your prayers and support; we've felt the spirits of many people in our work this week and we're really grateful. Everyone should read 3 Nefi 11, because it's great, and if anyone gets the chance, eat a burrito for me (that's one thing that I haven't yet found here). 

Love you all! Have a healthy, productive week.

Hermana Campbell