|Devotional with the President|
|Another Christmas dinner|
|Niños at the orphanage|
|Our Zone at the orphange|
|Waiting in line for the regalos! haha|
|Gringos at Christmas dinner|
Wow my first Christmas away from home has passed! What an experience that was! How great it is to see that all went great back home. I can't believe Connor got an Iphone though... that kind of a phone in the hands of a 14 year old WOW! That makes the whole fam! I guess Lucy is next huh? haha And another Cowboys letdown? Well, there is always next year... (theme of Romo's career)
Well I guess I will start by telling you how I spent my Christmas in Colombia...
The zone had an idea to do a service project for Christmas to get us in a Christ-like mood for Christmas! So we looked around and found an orphanage of about 80 kids who have been abandoned or found homeless in the middle of Cali. We decided to go to their orphanage and sing some Christmas Hymns, give out some gifts, play soccer, and just hang out with these kids. It was such a humbling experience for me.
These children literally have nothing... no home, no parents, not even their own bed. We saw what they do every day, where they stay, and what they eat. They don't even have parents to tell them that they are loved. It was tough to see but it also was such a blessing to spread some Christmas Cheer and make them smile for a little bit. I really felt the love that God has for them, and I think they were able to feel it too. I realized also how lucky I am to have been born in the circumstances that I was is just ridiculous to comprehend after what I have seen here in Colombia. It was the best present ever to be able give those kids some Christmas spirit! It is another little treasure from the mission that I will always remember!
After the service Elder Celaya and I headed to some members homes to enjoy some Christmas dinner and festivities. I don't think I have ever eaten so much in one week in my life... they really know how to do Christmas here!
As for our investigators here is what's new...
Luis Alfredo: We had scheduled for him to be baptized this Saturday but we had some delay because of some questions about question for the interview. Luis had some confusing altercations with the police that weren't his fault and we had to make sure that there weren't any problems before we could baptize him. But the good news is that all is well and he will get baptized this Saturday! Luis is a very special person to me and is someone that I will never forget. The changes that we have seen in him these past couple months have been such testimony builders for me. He will be such a great member I have no doubt!
Ruben Cano: He is still progressing very well with his smoking problem, we have been very diligent in visiting him and giving him the animo to quit for good! We have had a bit of a problem with him coming to church. He lives pretty far and still has a broken leg that has been problematic for travel, and he has had to help his dad work the past 2 Sundays and has not been able to come. We plan to have some members visit him and also have a good solid lesson on the Sabbath Day to help him recognize the importance of that day. But he is still reading and praying diligently as always, we are just so happy with his change and progress that we don't want him to miss out on all the blessings that God has in store for him if he would attend every week.
Cindy: She has been very busy with the new baby still, but has accepted 2 visits for this week. We are going to have Luis there again so that he can continue to help in her progression. We are hoping that seeing Luis get baptized this week will help her a lot. She has loved the change that the Gospel has had on Luis and loves the idea of their family becoming eternal.
Merlin: we are still waiting for that "experience" with God that every investigator needs to have in order to truly be converted. She has made a lot of progress though. At first she felt very embarrassed to pray, she had never done anything like that before, and now she is praying day and night to find her answer. She is also coming every week to church and reading the Book of Mormon diligently. We are trying to help her feel sure in her testimony.
Well Happy New Year! It is officially time to turn a new page and begin a new year. How exciting right? We have a whole new year to set new goals, make plans to meet those goals, and new accomplishments! For me I am so excited to see what my "mission year" has in store for me, I am going to use every single day to fulfill my purpose as a missionary.
I know that my time is short here in Colombia and I am going to make every minute count! I hope all of you do the same! Set goals as a family! What do you want to happen this year? How are you going to acheive it? How are you going to measure your progress to make sure that it is happening? These are all things that we should ask ourselves! I can't wait to see what this year 2013 has in store for all of us!
¡Espero que todos tengan un año lleno de éxito! Acordémosnos de todo lo que tenemos y demostremos al señor nuestra gratitud! (Let us remember all that we have and show our gratitude to the Lord!)