December 26, 2016


Bella Vista, Mexicalli


Elder Luis Otamendi

Un Diferente Navidad

The work here is great! mucho persons to talk to and many opportunities to share a gift I have had in my life, with many people!

My Español is improving, but I still can’t talk to many people due to the fact that they speak very quickly here in the northern part of Mexico. Their words per minute are about twice as fast as a native New Yorker. Also, as you can probably tell, I have only spoken English a few times this week, one of which was with my family Christmas night. Lo siento for the many mistakes in this letter. (Family, if you want to correct them before sending this out, go a head. But either way I think it will be fine)

So now that I am actually in the ´´field´´ I have a few more stories to share. First off, as mentioned before, I still have no real idea what is happening. I constantly just assess where I am, who I’m with, and what time of day it is, and then make a guess at what we are doing and do my best at it. Many times I’ll be at someones house and someone else we know will walk in and join us in their living room as we are talking. This is of course a lot of fun and keeps things very entertaining. Except for the cases when this does not happen, and my comp starts speaking quickly and the person we are talking to starts talking quickly, and then for the next half an hour I have no idea what we are talking about. As missionaries we walk, bike, and run alot, so some times when my comp starts talking quickly for more than half an hour, I sometimes find my self struggling to stay awake. Or other times they will be talking quickly, and then my comp will turn to me and ask for my opinion. 3/5 times this has happened this week, I had no idea what to say.

As for Christmas, one could say I had a very different Christmas. When I told many of you that I was going on a misison, many of you thought that I was coming down here to build schools or something, and I probably told most of you that I am actually down here to invite people to come unto Christ and recieve the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Well on the 23rd, at 9:40 a.m. we got a call from another set of missionaries who asked if we could come help them with a service project. they didn’t say what it was, just to be wearing standard service gear (Jeans and a T-Shirt). So the morning of Christmas Eve we got up and headed to the area they had asked us to go.You probably guessed it, we're helping build a part of a school! And so for half of that day, we spent lots of time leveling out the dirt in order for us to add a gymnasium on the patch of ground that had been designated. After that we had a lot of appointments set up, first was food with the Rodriguez family, which is a single mother and one son. They served us a wonderful soup with hand made tortias. Afterwards we visited two other families, and then had dinner with the Wong Family. Their son (who studies culinary arts) made us a wonderful dinner, and spoke English! We had a wonderful time visiting them, and I especially loved talking to him in English and getting to know him.

Christmas day was kinda different. I woke up at the normal time, made breakfast for my companion and I and told him ``Happy Christmas``. After that we got a call asking us if we would acompany a friend of ours to church. Which is great! but we learned that they wanted us to bring him to another meeting house, in another part of the city. So my comp and I hoped in a taxi, picked up our friend. Rode an half hour there, droped him off, and rode a half hour back in order to make it on time to our church meeting at our building.

After wards we where invited to go to the bishops house. When we got there the bishop recieved a call asking him if he would conduct a funeral service for a mother whos son had died at the age of 28. He asked us if we would accompany him. We said yes. And so we went to the funeral. After wards we came back a little later than expected, but we went to the house of my companions cousin to call our family for Christmas on skype. It was really great to be able to talk with them. After wards (because we where running late because of the change in our plans we decided to stay the night at the other missionaries place (the Zone leaders, and the same ones who helped us build the school) because we didnt have time to get home. So we spent the night at their place.

So this Christmas wasn´t quite the same, but it still felt the same through the many people I was able to talk to, and through their love for me, my love for them, our love for the Savor, and the Savor´s love for all of us, it was still a very merry Christmas. (even with out wraping paper and bows)

Jesus Christ is the center of everything in our lives. He is a key part of why we came here, what we are doing here, and how we can get back. And the center for everything that Christ and our Heavenly Father does, is their love for us.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I love you all very much!


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