Wow what a fun Christmas week! Different, but fun! Thank you to everyone who reached out. I really appreciate it!
We went with our zone to the main plaza in the center of the city and went caroling. I was impressed with how many lights and decorations there were. The only place in the whole city with decorations outside, but super cool! Even with rain there were lots of people in the plaza. It was actually so fun to just randomly be singing in the corner of a crowded decorated plaza with rain. We got a pretty solid crowd of people circle around us, and we got a lot of contacts from it! President and his wife brought cookies which was a win too.
On Christmas eve we went to a young family's house for presents and dinner. My companion dressed up as Santa and surprised the kids. It was so fun to watch!
Christmas day was a fun busy day! In the morning Elder Colman and I somehow managed to make cookies with nothing but a bowl, a spoon, and most of the ingredients. Not a single measuring cup. It was a pure Christmas miracle that they turned out edible! After that we spent a long time preparing and decorating for Diana's baptism, as well as calling family. The baptismal service was perfect!! Lemme tell ya, Christmas baptisms are awesome! How cool that Diana was reborn unto Christ, and into a new family of the church of Jesus Christ, on the same day we celebrate Christ's very own birth! Pretty cool.
Afterwards we hurried to a zone activity. I always love how excited and energetic missionaries here are! To finish off the Christmas fun, our zone leader surprised us and told us about this next transfer on Tuesday. I will be leaving Centenario and heading out to one of the jungle zones! Apparently it's crazy hot and insane amount of bugs and animals, but all the elders say it's their favorite areas so we'll see! Every member that heard I was going to Beni (the jungle) felt super bad for me and told me they'd pray for me because I would be needing it. Heard so many "pobrecito"s... that was super reassuring haha
Yesterday I had two really cool opportunities to use the priesthood. In the morning my companion asked me for a blessing of comfort. I was swallowed up by the feeling of Heavenly Father's love for Elder Linares. I promise that God knows and loves each one of you PERFECTLY! Then at church I was able to confirm Hermana Diana and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost! That was a cool moment to get in front of the same ward that saw me on day 1 of being in Bolivia, and giving a blessing in Spanish. I love el barrio Centenario!
With this time of reflection on this nearly completed year, and committing to goals for the year to come, I'm reminded of President Nelson's farewell to the last General Conference. He said "We have been given our charge... Now the question is, how will we be different because of what we have heard and felt"? I love that. We have all been through another crazy year! The entire world trying to recover from an ongoing pandemic. Everyone has experienced change, sadness, and joy! The question is, how will we be different? How will take advantage of all that we have heard and felt, and be better? It starts one day at a time! With constant effort and active patience. Remember, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass". I challenge y'all to make one new goal of how you can make more time for the Lord :)
Sorry this was long, what a week!
Que tengan un día bendecido!