Saturday, January 4, 2014

December 30, 2013, Passaic

Reindeer sleigh, come our way, ho ho ho, cherry nose, cap on head, suit that's red, special night, beard that's white.

I got Bob Dylan's Christmas CD this last past week (practically on Christmas day) and I listened to about half of it. I love that man and his gritty, 70-year-old voice.

This week was memorable to say the least. It passed by really quick, due to all the parties and conferences and dinner appointments that we had. Comimos como chanchotes. Honestly, we had more than 3 eating appointments on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But all the food was so good. Often times, I think members get confused about how much even a LARGE human being can actually eat and they give you three plates of food and cry if you don't finish all of it. There are SOME who understand and actually command us to stop eating, as we have converted into eating robots that just shovel in mouthful after mouthful. So that's nice.

 We went and saw the Santiago twins on Tuesday afternoon because Carmen called us and was telling us about some problems and stressful times she was going through. So we went over and chatted things out, taught her from Doctrine and Covenants 121 and by the end of the lesson, she was smiling and glowing with a stronger understanding of the gospel, of the Atonement, and of God himself, our Heavenly Father. I LOVEEEEE being a missionary because of that reason: I get to see the Atonement change people right before my eyes. I get to watch people CHOOSE to TURN towards Christ, kind of like how a sunflower turns toward the light of the sun.

 So going back to food, here was the menu for Tuesday:
 Familia Bravo: Tacos de carnitas, posole (Mexican party soup with HUGE chunks of chicken and corn)
Familia Garcia: Pernil (marinated and boiled/sauteed pork chunks), macaroni salad, rice
Familia Gonzalez: Pork chops, rice, salad, other mexican food.

Here is the menu for Wednesday: Familia Gonzalez: Posole, rice, tostadas (you can't eat posole without tostadas AND avocados, chili, lime, beets, and onions)
Lazaro: Chicken and pasta, tamales (con salsa verde ooooooooooh), and a never ending supply of Coke.

Needless to say, I was in heaven and hell at the same time. (heaven = so delicious, hell = too much food)

Moving on. On CHRISTMAS MORNING, Wednesday, we cooked a HUGE breakfast for our zone (20 other missionaries) in the Paterson elders apartment (Elder Dahl and Murray). We also stayed the night and played another round of SODA PONG even though we swore we wouldn't ever play it ever again. It was great fun. The whole zone loved the breakfast, and afterwards, I played a Christmas song for them (Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella) and then we had a little White Elephant Party. I got a bx of assorted Mexican candy, which got me STOKED, because I've grown to love mango and watermelon and corn suckers covered in lime and chili powder. Later in the evening we went to a baptism of a 9-year-old girl, named Shaddy. Yep, she's Dominican. But, the baptism was beautiful and President and Sister Jeppson attended. All the missionaries and Shaddy sang "Soy un hijo de Dios" (I am a Child of God) to close it and the Spirit was super strong.

I realize that I'm just droning on.

Alfonso and Mari are progressing really well, but we realized that they're not married, which is FINE, because they are totally in love and want to get married. So we're working with them on that. Yesterday Mari rebuked Alfonso for not reading, and said that BEFORE in another church, it only lasted 45 minutes and she ALWAYS fell asleep, but the 3 times that she's come the LDS church, she LOVES it, and never gets tired, and stays incredibly engaged the whole time. They're amazing and they jsut invited us over for New Year's Eve to eat tacos with them and teach them more about the gospel! Oh and ps, they're 7-year-old son, Aldo, is obsessed with Ninja Turtles and was showing us his NEW 3-DS game, which was great because he's quiet and shy.

Elder Harris came on another exchange with us (he's our boss, the assistant). He really taught us how to work on our comp unity when teaching, and how to be stronger, better zone leaders. He got me super psyched to get transferred and hopefully continue to be a leader and be able to bless other missionaries' lives. I love him and I think he's so intelligent and such a powerful teacher. Me and him stayed up talking until about 2 in the morning about the Building BLocks of the Universe (a talk from Cleon Skousen) and life and the mission and pretty much everything good in our beautiful lives.

Well, I love you all. Happy New Year. God lives, He sent His Son, and we are REDEEMED.


Shout out to all my missionary buddies. There are lots of you now and it's nuts nuts nutz.

Pres. and Sis. Jeppson

With Sis. Fisher and Elder Nielsen

The famous Chilly Willy Burger at the Bello's house

With Elder Nava from Mexico

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