Friday, December 27, 2013

¡Feliz Navidad!

 Also, our lovely capilla here in Campana

A confession: I opened one of my presents early. But the paper was all torn up so I could already see it and I just couldn't wait! But thanks for my Christmas dress! It's really cute and I got compliments from everyone!

It's almost Christmas here in Honduras! Cool, right? And we had a pretty crazy right before Christmas week. But we like to keep things kind of crazy here in Campana. It's just what we do.

So last Monday, Hermana Gardner sent some pictures of her dog bite to our mission nurse. I would include them in this email, but a) they would be rated PG for disturbing images and b) I don't have them. Darn. But she sent them to the nurse and our nurse called us about two hours later to inform us that we would be coming to San Pedro so that Hermana Gardner could visit a doctor. Our nurse was thinking it was a small bite from a small dog. There was nothing small about that situation.

So anyway, on Tuesday, we went to San Pedro. Earlier that day, by an incredible miracle, I had received a sizable box from my parents (thanks, parents!) for Christmas when we attended our district meeting in Choloma. But here's the rub: we did not have time to go home from Choloma before heading in to San Pedro. So as you proceed in this story, dear reader, keep in mind that I am holding a medium sized box. All day. So we took the bus in to San Pedro and while the conductor dropped us off on the right side of town, he left us about a mile south of where we wanted to be. And that area of town is pure market. The streets are just covered with people in booths selling everything from food to fireworks, clothing to cooking gear. And while that was pretty cool, I started to get this bad feeling. So I mentioned to the other sisters that I thought it would be better if we found a taxi than walking around, trying to find the building we were looking for. And they nodded but just kept walking. And then, moved upon by the Spirit, I yelled up to Hra Gardner (she gets pretty ahead of the pack, that one) that we needed to stop where we were and find a taxi. So we did, and he got us right to the building, no big deal. But later on, upon describing that situation to our mission nurse, she responded with "You were WHERE? Hra Pickett, that is a really dangerous part of the city." So yes, I feel totally vindicated in using the phrase moved upon by the Spirit.

Our banana bread was totally delicious! With just a little bit of help, we ate both of these loaves in about a half hour! But we also had to say goodbye to Hra Gardner, which was heartbreaking. I miss her already!

The trio of Campana! It was an awesome two weeks!

And then for the rest of the day, we learned a long lesson in patience. The doctor with whom our nurse had put an appointment had already left for his Christmas vaction, so we took a cab and then waited about 2 hours for Hra Gardner to see another doctor. He looked at her bite for about 2 minutes before deciding that she was fine and writing her a perscription for some anti biotics as an after thought (personally, I don't agree. If I had a suture kit, I would have stitched that thing closed. I do have a sewing kit...). We then went to the pharmacy so Hra Gardner could get her medicine and a tetnus shot and then we started waiting for a bus. In the rain, and the premature darkness that is 6:00 in Honduras. And I'm still holding this box (Mom, I wrapped it up in my emergency poncho). So after about 20 minutes of standing on the side of the road, our nurse called the mission president's wife, Hermana Dester, to express her concern that we either wouldn't find a bus or that if we did, it wouldn't be safe at this time of night anyway. And here is the miracle: because I have the best mission president and wife in the whole world (!), they told us to wait at the nurse's appartment and they would come pick us up and drive us home. The 20 minute walk through the rain with the box was kind of tough, and our nurse was very concerned that I was just going to relapse into my fever, but it was worth it for the ride home with the Desters. They even brought us granola bars and string cheese and gave us the left over food from the activity they had attended in Copan so that we could eat it for dinner. I just love them!

After that, our week was pretty ordinary. We are having a string of rotten luck lately wherein no one is at home lately, so getting in lessons and finding new investigators has been pretty tough, but number do not define success. I just read in the Book of Mormon about the difference in areas between Ammon and Aaron, and the fact that Aaron was having a tough time was not due to any fault of Aaron, so it was a nice reminder to be a little kinder to myself and stop stressing.

It's pretty cool to see Christmas happening here. Everyone has lights and trees, even if it's just the one strand of lights or the tree is miniature, and people are going crazy making tamales. Because that's what they do for Christmas here, they make tamales. So people are butchering their pigs (one day we saw a pile of meat and behind it was the pig head and four little feet) and cooking their banana leaves. The actual tamale making happens on the 23rd (that's very important) and apparently the consumption is generally on the 24th. We have been singing Christmas hymns all week and we had a mission Christmas party. We watched It's a Wonderful Life, but we watched it in English with Spanish subtitles instead of the other way around. I was grateful for that. It was pretty sweet.

We did have one bad Christmas surprise, though. Another sister in the mission broke her leg and was only six weeks from going home, so she got sent home early. And trios are a pretty easy target for emergency transfers, so we lost Hermana Gardner. That was heartbreaking. She had to say goodbye to everyone and pack and we got up really early to make the banana bread we had been wanting to experiment with. Hermana Harmon and I both had to take ten minutes to collect ourselves after she left this morning. It was a pretty bad emotional shock, but I have complete confidence in the Harmon-Pickett companionship and I'm sure there will be a pile of awesome stories next week!

I love being a missionary. I love that, especially during this wonderful time of year, I get to spend the whole day telling people about Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us, and how wonderful is His love! I am so grateful for this time I have to serve and for all of the blessings that are continually showered upon me here. I love all of you and I hope you have the happiest Christmas! Just take some time to remember, really, why it was that Christ was born, and you won't be able to contain your joy!

¡Feliz Navidad!
Hermana Pickett

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