WOW! So much has happened in these last two weeks alone! If I miss anything, I'm sure it will eventually trickle out in the next couple emails, so here we go!
Well, I have been here in El Paso, TX for a week now! I was only in New Mexico for two days before moving down to my area. I have a great companionship trio so that makes things run smoother. I love everything - my district, zone and area! The ward is also great - Barrio 12! All the members are so sweet and take good care of us. Hermana Nielson is from Idaho and has already previously been in this area for 1 transfer (6 weeks); so she knows the ropes! It's nice that she know what's going on. Hermana Torres is also from California and is new to this area as well. They have both been on their missions close to 15 months so I am as fresh as fresh gets. It really funny to eat with members or teach investigators and tell them I have only been here 1 week. Their reactions are priceless.
It been a little crazy organizing things and getting to know everything my first week. Christmas also makes everything pretty hectic, but who doesn't enjoy the holiday spirit?! More specifically, the craziness of this week includes: Hermana Nielson discovered that we have been teaching people outside of our area AND zone. So we've had to get permission a couple times this week to have pass off lesson with the Elders that are supposed to teach in that area haha. A good amount of investigators are preoccupied with Christmas so we're not sure how much we will get to teach this week.
Pretty much every down here speaks Spanish. Many are bilingual but I don't speak much English to anyone except other missionaries. Our mission area actually borders the Mexico border, so I pretty much see Mexico everyday across the border. Honestly, I always forget I'm in America again, after being in Mexico for 6 weeks. My Spanish is coming along. It's really just speaking it all the time and making those mistakes but picking back up again. They say that you will make 10,000 mistakes before speaking a language functionally, so might as well makes them as fast as you can! Besides Spanish, the only thing I'm having a problem doing - is eating! A member family usually will have us over for dinner every night; AND I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW A PERSON COULD EAT THAT MUCH. I try not too much during the day so that I'll be hungry for dinner because they give us SO MUCH FOOD. In Mexican culture, food is really important and a huge gesture of love and kindness. So you just have to keep eating as to not offend or be rude. Oh man. I always pray really really hard the Heavenly Father will help me eat that food. My companions say your stomach will eventually stretch - I cannot wait for that day. #holyfrijoles#kungfupanda4
My absolute FAVORITE thing about the mission right now - is the music!! The rules for music are that we can listen to any hymn by ANY artist. At Christmas, it's any song that has to do with Jesus or the birth of Jesus since that's what Christmas is all about! SO, if you are ever wondering what I'm listening too or singing on my mission, currently my favorite Christmas artists are: Reliant K, Weezer, Pentatonix, Taylor Swift, Lower Lights, Manheim Steamroller and MoTab. O Holy Night electric guitar solo by Reliant K? #yougotit
This Christmas holiday will really be exciting though because we have Zone Training on Christmas Day - which means we get to hang out with our zone on Christmas!! We're having a potluck and white elephant gift exchange so it will be sweet. Both us and the Elders in our area are eating with the same family on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; I'm excited!
Well, I'm sure I'll write more about things I forgot next week. But for now; IT'S CHRISTMAS!!! Remember the reason for Christmas; the birth of Jesus! Everything is made possible because of Him!