Hello all! Happy P-day!
I've passed another enjoyable and slightly freezing week here in Santa Rosa. Life is pretty great, and I still love being a missionary! I guess I didn't mention this as forcefully as I should have last week, but we as missionaries right now are working with the Church's Christmas initiative, #HeistheGift, o sea, Èl es la Dàdiva. It's pretty funny, because the most common word to express "gift" in Spanish would be regalo, and then obsequio, and then presente, and then way down in the land of obscurity is the word dàdiva. But it's the derivative word from the verb dar, to give, so it literally is gift. But people never use it. So the first question is always, "What's dàdiva?" After that, we usually get to have really good conversations about Christ. But yes, we have these cunning little cards with a picture of Mary and the Christ Child on them, and we hand them out to everyone. I love it. It's such a great way to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
We started this week off in a fun fashion: one of the other sisters in my district (I love having other sisters in the district. There weren't even other sisters in the zone in Santa Barbara, and I hadn't even realized how much I missed being social with sisters. It's fun) anyway,other sister in the district had a birthday, so we all pitched in for cake to share at district meeting. My mom sent me a cute box of candles that accidentally were overlooked for my birthday, so they finally had their time to shine (literally). It was pretty great. We also ate at a member's house that night and arrived as she was making her tortillas for baleadas, so I asked it could help. I have Hermana Yamileth's seal of approval on my baleadas making. Sweet.
This week we have been working with a cute 17 year old named Lisseth (pronounced Lee-SET). Her mom wants to start a bread shop out of their house, so we went on Tuesday to make cinnamon rolls (Mama, they are making your cinnamon rolls in Honduras. You've gone international). Lisseth is a single mom at quite a young age (think Fantine, just in the slightly happier world where her family didn't kick her out, so the desperate measures didn't happen), and I think she is drawn to the church because she feels valuable there. She should. She's a daughter of God. Anyway, she's come to church two weeks in a row and is excited to learn more about the gospel and bread baking, so we're excited for her.
We had an excellent experience with another young woman, Honey (actually spelled Jany, but I can't help but spelled it like it sounds). We went to teach with a recent convert named Ligia. During the lesson, I became aware that Ligia hadn't really been taling, and I felt like she needed to talk. I leaned over to ask if she would feel comfortable teaching about Joseph Smith, and we eventually settled on her sharing her testimony. It started out sounding like her best attempt to say what she thought we wanted to hear. But somewhere in there, the Spirit took over. And the whole lesson changed. The power of this woman's testimony illuminated the room, and Honey looked at her with so much desire to be able to say the same. I feel confident that both of them are going to keep progressing.
Also this week, we are diving into our first rounds of Christmas time activities in the branch. We're working with the Young Women and the Branch Missionaries to establish weekly activities, and planning a service project with the Relief Society. The YW activity was great, even though the only YW who came was Lisset. Rain; it's a bummer. But we learned how to make Swedish Pancakes (there were strawberries that I couldn't eat because they aren't allowed to white missionaries. They smelled sooooooooooo good.) and generally enjoyed ourselves. We also started choir practice. Someday, when I don't need to devote all of my time and attention to being a missionary, I could totally direct a choir. But right now, when we've only got three weeks and I can't hold practices longer than 1 hour and no one will come to rehearsal...it's cool, I'm sure it will turn out just great. We're fine.
I've been listening to a lot of conference talks/mormon messages lately, and I heard something very inspirational from President Eyring. He said that each day, before writing in his journal, he asks himself "Did I see the hand of the Lord in my life today?" and after pondering, he writes about the miracles he witnessed. I realized that if I have that perspective, and if I know each morning that come the night time I will be examining my day for miracles, I will be much more likely to notice them during the day. Important. Of course, today I will be taping in my wrapper of Peanut Butter Mn'Ms and writing about how I bought Skippy peanut butter for 57lmp (a little less than 3 dollars) because those are miracles in this country. But it's helping me have my eyes a little more open.
I love being a missionary. I love the Lord. I love that it's Christmas time, and I love this rainy, windswept, wanna-be-San-Francisco little town. I'm on the Lord's errand in Honduras. That's a miracle.
I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week!