Seriously this Christmas on the mission was night and day better than last years! It was SO SO SO fun. And the rest of the week was even better, with a wedding and a family baptism! All in all, one of the best weeks so far on my mission.
I wish you could have been here for it. 🙂
But I guess me writing about the week (and sending pictures of it) is the next best thing.
The festivities really got going on Christmas Eve. We spent the morning finishing all of the preparation and stuff for the wedding and baptism of Gersio and Marilia. Then for lunch, we went to the chinese buffet! I took everyone out with the money that Grandma and Grandpa Craner had put on my card. I felt like A Christmas Story. “Ra ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra….” Hahahah. The food was so good and I ate so much shrimp and sushi its not even funny. After that, we went to the office to start setting everything up for all of the missionaries to skype their families, and the first missionaries began arriving at 4 PM. It was so fun! Everyone was there, and we had four computers set up and a timed schedule and everything. The best part though, was that Elder and Sister Kimball had called President Kretly, and asked his permission to show some classic Christmas movies, and he said yes! So we moved the couches in the office in front of the projector, and while other people were skyping, we watched A Christmas Carol and Its a Wonderful Life. It felt pretty weird watching the movies after so long of not watching anything, but both of them were really good. I had never seen “Its a Wonderful Life”, and I thought it was the greatest movie ever. 🙂 Then, after that, I got to skype my family!!
Wow it was so good to talk with them. Seriously, it was the best skype session so far. I got to use President Kretly’s computer and it was so big and my family looked so good and yeah. 🙂 Perfect.
Then we went home and went to sleep. The next morning was Christmas! We had drawn names to pick a random person in the house to be like a secret santa, and spent about 10 dollars on them, wrapped it and put it under the tree. Plus some elders got packages, so it was fun to watch them open up theirs! My family sent one, but it didn’t get here in time. It really didn’t matter though, I didn’t need a package to be happy. Better luck next year. 😉
I got an awesome pair of shorts! I am attaching our Christmas video so you can watch it and see the shorts I got. We had a good time opening presents and celebrating Christmas together, away from our families but still happy and in the spirit of Christmas. Then, we got dressed and went out to our area, caroling to all of the member and investigator families! We took two of the senior couples with us, the secretaries and aps, and caroled to 15 or 20 different houses in ours and the ap’s areas. It was so fun, surprising them and singing hymns to them. Seriously was the greatest thing ever. They loved us so much. Then, later in the afternoon, we went back to the office and did a repeat of the night before, watching movies and eating treats and helping other missionaries who hadn’t skyped the night before skype their families. Then at night, Sister Kretly had asked before that we “surprise” President and Sister and their family (sons and daughters and grand kids that had flown in for the holidays) by caroling to them. She was sure to tell us that she would make some extra food.
We showed up, us, the aps and the sisters, and knocked on President’s door and started singing Christmas Hymns! It was so funny. The family was so excited, and they invited us in and we ate Christmas dinner with them. It was SO GOOD. Brazilian Christmas food was great. We ate so much, and it was fun interacting with President and his family.
Like I said. It was one of the most memorable Christmases EVER. I enjoyed it so much.
The next night we were invited to eat with our Branch President and his family and it ROCKED, and then the next day was Gersio and Marilia’s wedding! They looked so good. They are seriously the most beautiful couple in mozambique. Everyone showed up, they made vows and we ate cake and took pictures and it was so good. 🙂 I am getting to be quite the wedding photographer. 🙂 The whole family was there, and the branch and everyone. It was such a cool wedding! Then, Sunday was the baptism! They were baptized in secret, because their family said if they got baptized they would get kicked out and live on the street. They showed up late, but it turned out well! They were baptized before church, and then we had church and it went well, and that was pretty much the week!
I was so grateful that they were able to get baptized. Last month, our mission made the goal for everyone to baptize a complete family on Christmas, with the idea of having a “White Christmas”, as a gift to Jesus Christ. For a while, we didn’t have any families that looked like they would work out, and Gersio and Marila had been dropped and really came out of no where. I know that they were supposed to be our gift to Jesus Christ, but I honestly feel like they were a gift to us. They overcame so many trials to be able to be baptized and I love them so much.
Sorry, so much happened but I am out of time. Transfers were supposed to be today, but they got delayed until later in the week so I still don’t know where I will be going. Either way though, I am excited. 🙂
Anyways! Talk to you next week. Love you all, happy new year!