¡¡¡¡¡¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!!!!!!
Well, it was great to talk to you all on Christmas! I hadn’t quite realized how hard it is to speak English now! I guess I’m a little out of practice haha! This year was a great Christmas, and even though I couldn’t be there with family, I had an awesome experience here! The day before Christmas Eve, we had a Christmas devotional with 3 zones and they gave us pizza, salad (I like salad a lot now), brownies and vanilla ice cream. We did a tie exchange with all the elders and the sisters exchanged jewelry or something like that I think. Then we went in the chapel and they had a devotional where we watched a video about the life of Jesus, sang some songs, and did some activities. It was pretty fun! On Christmas Eve, first I taught a district meeting, which I still don’t like to do very much, but it went pretty well. Afterward, we did a gift exchange among the district. It was pretty fun! Haha it’s probably a good thing there’s sisters in my district because I wouldn’t ever have thought of doing something like that! I got a bunch of candy and a spinning top and the one I gave was a pack of hot wheels cars. In the night, we went to the restaurant of one of the members, Marta, and we went with us, and the missionaries from Cerrito (they called the president and asked permission so that we could all be there), and also all the kids of Marta and their families. We ate lots of tamales this week and ponche, lomo, turkey, apple salad, and spaghetti (not like American spaghetti). I found a new favorite food this week when one of the sisters in our ward gave us tamales with raspberry and pineapple filling in the middle. Super awesome! On Christmas day, we got up and I cooked an entire package of bacon, but Elder Medina said he wasn’t hungry so I ate it all! A few weeks ago, they told us that the district leaders all needed to plan a service project to do on Christmas Day. It’s a good thing I did my Eagle project, because this was basically like doing another Eagle project and it was good to already have done an experience like that! I decided that we were going to make blankets for the kids of a family in each of our areas. Christmas morning we went with my whole district to the house of a member who is a seamstress and was going to lend us her scissors and a place to work. We did the service project in their house and they gave us tamales and ponche afterward. As a district and with the family that helped us, we were able to do about 60 hours of service combined I’m guessing. To answer your question Mom, it is a soft fabric kind of like fleece that we doubled over in two sections of two meters each and cut strips in the ends to tie them together. It was an awesome project and we were able to make 13 blankets to help out several families that are struggling a bit financially. When we went to deliver the blankets to the family in our area, it was an incredible experience! We sang several Christmas hymns with them and when we were about done, the father of the family, who could hardly speak because he was all choked up told us, otro himno (another hymn). The Spirit was there super strongly and I will never be able to forget the looks on the faces of those kids. They wrapped themselves up in those blankets and didn’t let go of them from the moment we gave them to them. This was one of the most amazing Christmases I have ever had! I love you all a lot and it was awesome to be able to talk to you!
*Note from Mom: It was so fun to Skype with Jared on Christmas Day. It was late afternoon by the time he was able to call, so our anticipation built all day. When the call finally came, we hardly knew what to say, but it was so good to see him. Christmas Day marked 6 months on the mission for him. We could tell he has been very immersed in Spanish, because he was having trouble speaking English. He said during the blanket tying project that morning, he practiced speaking English with the newest American missionary so he would be able to remember how to speak English to us! So fun to hear his voice and see his face, even for only a half hour.
Atotonilco and Tula Zones (Jared’s companion, Elder Medina, is on the front row on the far left. Jared is near the back row on the orange part of the left arch)
Christmas service project.
District Christmas gift exchange.