Wow I cant believe its Christmas this week! Where has the time gone?? Well I have been doing just great. Last week Hermana Marilu our pensionista made us lamb, and I felt super christmas-y. I couldnt help but think of big fat greek wedding as we were eating. haha It is super tough but was very tasty! Im going to miss Marilus cooking. 5 months eating lunch with her every day is kind of a long time! (I still only eat half the rice she puts on my plate..she still doesnt realize I dont eat the portion size of a full grown peruvian man..haha)
Exciting times for paita...A Plazavea just got built!!!!!! It is a store like HEB but way smaller but wow it was amazing! I had forgotten that things such as cake mixes and bags of chips existed! Our store, Maxi that we usually buy at is like the size of a gas station. So it is way fun that we have a super big store to shop at! I bought a cookie mix to celebrate the new store! But the problem is that we dont have an oven but that wasnt a problem because cookie dough is better uncooked anyway.. hna canaquiri liked it too! (by the way she is practiocing her dialogue I wrote for her in english to talk to yall..haha...yall should practice your spanish for her!)
So the other week I started notciing something-that the houses are changing colors!! Bright neon new colors started popping up like daisys! I later learned that this a tradition here-before christmas everyone paints their house a new color! so that is kind of fun and I think we should do that too. But I was thinking about how during the year the houses get dirty, chipped, and faded from the sun. But with a fresh coat of paint, they are as good as new! Its kind of like with us. During the week we make mistakes, get dirty, and need a little refresher. Thanks to the Santa Cena, the sacrament, we are able to become clean, new, fresh, and bright! Each week as we paint ourselves through the sacrament, the atonement of christ, we become as good as new and are able to start again. Thankfully there is an unlimited number of coats we can have!
There are a lot of fun things going on for Christmas here. I led a small choir in church and we sang away in a manger from the childrens song book-it was great! And all the missionaries in our zone sang in a christmas concert and I led and nate I will sing it for you on skype, I made a nate ending :) We also went and sang in a park abajo and that was super fun! Everyone here has chocolatadas for christmas. Its this party with hot chocolate panetón (this sweet bread with dried fruit) and gifts! We were able to have one for a family of 6 orphan children. My heart melted a little when I saw them all walk in--so cute and so small! 6 kids from the age of 16 to 2. Wow. It was so fun seeing them smile as they ate and received their gifts. Its not until your heart hurts a little for someone else that your persective changes to a more eternal one. I have so much to be grateful for and I am so blessed to be a missionary and to be here helping others have a great Christmas. I am so thankful for my savior jesus Christ and for his sacrafice. I know he lives and loves me,a nd everyone of his children! we may go through some pretty rough times and some sweet kids may not have parents, but what we do have is a savior who loves us and wants the best for us. Thats why each year is teh best chrimstas ever! HOpe you all have a great chirmstas and cant wait to see yall on skype and see little baby jake.
Love you lots and lots and lots!!