Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas in Peru

First of all-

It was so fantastic to see all of you on Skype! You all look great, healthy, beautiful, and it was such a blessing to be able to talk to you for that hour. I'm sorry that I was so emotional, but hey, for a girl who has not cried yet over being homesick, I thought I did pretty good! I'm sorry you had to stress for half an hour to wait for me to get on, but it was all worth the heartache in the end, right?

A little bit more about Christmas-

So I told you about the Fireworks, but I just cant get over how awesome it was at 12 on Christmas eve! I'm so happy that our zone got permission to be out until then (but we had to be with one family, we couldn't go house hopping or anything like that) because it seriously made me love this country more than I already did. I LOVE PERU! They know how to celebrate. I'm going to ask Pres if I can put that video took up on DropBox for you all to pull off, but be aware, it has me laughing, and saying " wow!" like every 3 seconds, and at one point I think I'm screaming. Anyways, Ill work on getting that up. It makes me want you all to be here next Christmas to witness it for yourselves. Its just awesome.

-I opened my presents at midnight! Hey- it wasn't because i was impatient, it was because we were in Peru, and that's what they do. And thank you so much for everything that you sent! It is all so useful and perfect and I am really appreciative of it all! Thank you so much for all the gifts for everyday, and all the handouts that were just so cute and fun! I took a picture of the fully armed tree that I will have to send. But, I did save two presents for the morning, the one that had my stocking, and the one that said "open me last" and so I did..... and geez. What an emotional gift! I couldn't believe  I had the "Ill love you Forever" book in my hands, that alone was enough to start the tears flowing, and imagine my surprise when I heard that you had recorded your voices reading it to me! ¡Que emociĆ³n! I don't know how long I cried after that. But it took me awhile to get a hold of myself. I loved it.... but I put it into my suitcase and might take it out in February if I think I'm emotionally stable enough. Thanks so much!!
Melissa and her companion opened up treat, a challenge and an ornament to put on their homemade tree the whole month of December.

-After I Skyped you all, we had lunch at the mission home, and President made these pork ribs that were just "finger lickin´ good" and then we popped popcorn, hung out, and then we went and and caroled with a bunch of other missionaries at the Plaza de Armas. It was a GREAT Christmas!!

Here is a picture of me and some of my best friends out here when we went caroling at the plaza. This was the same night that Elder McPherson recognized me from the "Shes going on a mission" music video and made my day!
-Oh wait, Before Christmas, on the 22nd, at 8 am.- we had as baptism!!! Hermano JJ entered into the waters of Baptism and showed his family, himself, and his Father and Heaven just how much he wanted to change to be able to return home. It was great, we got there early, and the day before we made banana and apple bread at the mission home that was just a HIT with all the members. We really wanted him to feel special, so we made programs and everything, and it actually went really well! I think part of that had to do with the fact that there were only two children there, and they weren't being too crazy. You could feel the Spirit so strong, during the testimonies, during the ordenanza, and afterwards, when we were all singing. And the great part was- his family came! And I know that they felt the spirit, and I hope that sparks some interest for them in the future. I just want them to all be together forever so bad, and I wish that they lived in our area so we could visit them, but we will just have to hope and pray that they will want to know more, from this great and amazing change that they've seen in their son. He seriously has changed so much! Hes so happy and genuine and he is getting the Aaronic Priesthood this next week, and I know, I KNOW, that if he keeps doing these things that our Heavenly Father has outlined for him to do, I know that he will be happy, and a great asset to the church. I love this work that we are all engaged in so much. It really is the work of salvation for our brothers and sisters, and when we can see someone come to see the truth of the Gospel of Christ, we see them change, we see how their souls have hunger, and we see what they do about it. Change really comes when we understand claramente what our purpose here is on Earth, and how the Gospel of Christ helps us accomplish that purpose better than anything else. Its because these truths and teachings are eternal, just like our souls, so it makes sense that the thing that brings the very everlasting pats of ourselves lasting joy is also complete and everlasting. I love it all so much!

-Also, the other day, we had a lesson with him about the priesthood, and we accidentally showed him the video about how it took until the 1970´s for African Americans to receive it....... whoops! We thought it was something else! How{s that for a deep topic after baptism? We covered it alright by saying "Yeah... well.... look how important the priesthood is, and how happy these people were when they received it. Anyways...." I'm thinking we should teach Polygamy next week and the Law of Consecration after that, just to really lay it on thick. :)

I hope you are having fun in the DR- pick me up some cool stuff, stay safe, learn Spanish.

Brazos y Besos,

Hna Leavitt

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