|P-noche! But we still went to bed early.|
|Lisseth's baptism! I love baptisms!|
|So, I can still do chocolate chip cookies, but I forgot two cups of oatmeal in the oatmeal cookies...whoops|
¡Felíz Navidad! Funny that Christmas already happened and I still date things 2013 by accident sometimes. Guess my dimensia is just kicking in early. Or, as my companion and I determined this week, I really am Dory from Finding Nemo. Hermana Dory, that is.
This week, we were blessed with many, many opportunities to serve our branch in their Christmas celebrations. Here's how Christmas works in Honduras: on the 23rd, the world basically shuts down, because everyone is making tamales. Everyone. We would mention the word "martes" (Tuesday) and instantly the reply came, "I can't, I'm busy." At those moments, I would smile knowingly and say, "Tamales, right?" My companion thought I was joking. Tamales are no joking matter. Long story short, Dec 23=National Tamale Day (which I will definitely be celebrating in 2015)
Also on Tuesday, we had a Secret Santa. I made Elder Comin a shirt with a big, red maple leaf that says "No Soy Gringo" (he's Canadian). and Hermana Luna gave me a pair of socks...for my first born child. Well played, Luna.
On the 24th, people scramble around in the morning to buy the last gifts/firecrackers/chickens, before settling down to eat around 5 or 6. We had a birthday in the branch, and we had the idea to make cinnamon rolls. Due to a series of unfortunate events, those cinnamon rolls took a long time (the first of many cooking engagements that took a long time this week). But the elders helped out, and we heard Hermana Girón (Hear-OWN) really liked them. By the time we finished cinnamon rolling, we headed down to the other branch territory for Christmas Eve dinner with the 10 minssionaries of Santa Rosa, as prepared by the other elders' investigator. Wonderfully yummy. We were there until night fall. Here's the highlight of Honduran Christmas: the sun goes down and the country becomes what could convincingly pass for a war zone. We had planned to stay the night with the sisters in the lower branch, and walking back to their apartment amid the constant barrage of firecrackers was one of the more terrifying moments of my life. But they just adore the sisters in the lower branch, so we were gifted three more dinners, liveral amounts of cake, and two different flavors of soda. And then we did Zumba to rid ourselves of all those excess calories. And then we ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast. That balances, right?
Back to Honduran Christmas rundown, we were at the war-zone firecracker stage. That's pretty constant but not too intense. Think the popping sounds from the last 10 seconds a bag of popcorn spends in the microwave. But then, at midnight, the air exploads. Now think the finale at a fireworks show (not the pretty light and colors, just the banging and the booming), but imagine it lasting for a half hour. That's how they welcome in La Navidad here. And then, due to their lack of sleep the night before, everyone sleeps until 2pm on Christmas day. We had the toughest time finding a taxi back to our apartment. It was a ghost town. But get back we did, so it's fine. And our Christmas cooking adventures then continued with 3 batches of Mama May cookies.
Brief explaination: the 26th was the ward Christmas party, and between the food and the program, that party took up bbasically our entire week. When we weren't cooking, we were dancing ballet with the Young Women or rehearsing a 1 act play with the Relief Society (Lisseth played lead!). But mostly, we cooked. Cookies from Thursday night to Friday morning, veggies from Friday morning until the afternoon, a few last minute rehearsals and BOOM Christmas festivity time.
|Mama May cookies--now it's Christmas|
|150 Mama mays. I'm a Pickett.|
|Our freezer made snow, so I made a snowman! His name is Olaf, he likes warm hugs...|
Mother, I will see your Relief Society president and raise you a Being one of the 4 people preparing dinner for 120+. But it was fun. And those cookies totally made Christmas.
Blessings this week: The Lord gave me energy/patience/enthusiasm/language skills/comforting words/the ability to cut potatoes instead of my fingers WAY beyond my own ability. I talked to my wonderful, wonderful family. My Daddy sang to me. Casey and Katalyn sang to me. People are giving us lots of food (which is great, because making those cookies cleaned out my wallet). I'm a missionary for the only true and living church on the face of the Earth. I feel my Savior's love. The list doesn't end.
I love to be a missionary. I love the Lord and His service. I know what He gave me for Christmas this year. Every day with my nametag on is a wonderful present, and an opportunity to give Him something in return. I know that God lives, that His Son was born, lived, died and lives again. I know this is His church.
I love you all and I hope you have a happy week! I'll write again next year!
|Navidad with Marley and Rodriguez!|
|I found knitting needles to make my comp an infinity scarf. She liked it!|