Listening to Elvis Presley's "Here Comes 'a Santa Claus" in the library. Nice X-Mas jam. It's fun still being in the states for X-Mas, even though I've practically living in Little Mexico. Instead of everything smelling like coffee and cinnamon, everything smells like tortillas and cheap beer. The good times are killing me.
THANKSGIVING was a blast. We went over the legendary Garcia family's house for Dinner, and afterwards for a 2nd dinner with the Santiago twins, Carmen and Isbeth. Also, I failed to mention that around 2:30 we had a HUGE Thanksgiving lunch with the Dunnings (Senior couple in Paterson). All the food was excellent. At the Garcia's house, we had pernil (marinated pork chunks that you eat with tortillas), salad, and a bunch of different kinds of Mexican sodas. It was delicious. I need to start snapping photos of ALL the different food I've eaten. The Santiago twins gave us something a little different, a little more traditional. They did a turkey, an amazing Panama style rice, potato salad, a fresh salsa with limes, cilantro, onion, tomato, and mango, baked ham, and for dessert: a half dark chocolate, half flan cake. Ooh. Bonus: we got to take home ALL the leftovers.
We had a PACKED week. Transfer conferences were on Tuesday (a new zone (11) was created) and a bunch of our wonderful missionaries were transferred. The delightful thing about being a zone leader is you get really close to your whole zone, and then when they leave, you MISS THEM. Sister Jorgensen (served in Passaic the entire time I've been here) left down to zone 10 (the Southern abyss, many NJMM missionares refer to it as "banishment") and she was HILARIOUS. Also, Elder Townsend, my Caldwell buddy, and 2 of the Paterson North trio left. Life goes on. Friday was Mission Leader Council. Our new monthly focus is ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM. I'm really excited for this monthly focus, as it's something I really need to work on, especially at this time of year. I am reminded of a scripture that we were to share with a less-active member in Mosiah 3. "
5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the aLord bOmnipotent who creigneth, who was, and is from all deternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a etabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty fmiracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the gblind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
6 And he shall cast out adevils, or the bevil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.
7 And lo, he shall asuffer btemptations, and pain of body, chunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can dsuffer, except it be unto death; for behold, eblood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his fanguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
8 And he shall be called aJesus bChrist, the cSon of God, the dFather of heaven and earth, the eCreator of all things from the beginning; and his fmother shall be called Mary.
It is a beautiful description and profecy of Christ from the majestic King Benjamin (I think Mosiah 1-5 are some of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon). Christ came down in a "tabernacle of clay" to minister to us and to give His life for us. Don't forget Him. "Look unto me in every thought; Doubt not; fear not." D&C 6:36.
We also had lots of success with contacting on Friday evening. Although it was freezing, Elder Nielsen and I were with Giovanny running around Passaic talking to everyone. We contacted a young family from Mexico: Alfonso and Mari, and their kids Aldo and Destiny, and then we SAW and TAUGHT them yesterday. We had a wonderful discussion about the Restoration of the Gospel, and they are very positvely responsive. Missionary work is the greatest.
We will be going to the temple on the 13th. FRIDAY the 13th.
The gospel is true. Merry X-MAS.