It was so nice to be able to talk to my family on Skype! I just wish that it had behaved a little better than it did (We had technical difficulties!). Such is the life of living in a little rural town! I will admit, when I saw all your faces I got a little teary eyed. I was so happy to see you there Steph and Uncle Phil and Aunt Katharine!
Steph - I hope my family treated you well and Uncle Phil didn't scare you off! Hahaha!
Aunt Katharine - don't let Uncle Phil guilt trip you into sending me a package. You guys have done a heck of a lot for me already and I really appreciate it!
It was so strange talking to you all. It felt like I had left just the day before and we were just Skyping to say good night...or something like that!
During Christmas Eve, we had dinner with Maria-Christina's family. That was the family that came to the rescue during our Skype crisis. They're honestly the best! We baked brownies for them and Elder Alverado made Gnocci. After that, we had a big feast! It was delicious! I don't know how they cook their chicken but it is sooo good!
We had to take a taxi back home. That is the rule if we want to stay up past 10:00 at a member's home (it is the culture in South America to gather later at night). But...the taxi didn't show up until 12:30am!! All of us were seriously overtired. The ride home was hilarious though! Elder Alverado was in the back making buzzing noises into a Christmas mug. Elder Lopez contacted the taxi driver at 12:30 in the morning! I don't think the taxi driver was very thrilled. Diligence and dedication!
I received mom and dad's and grandma and grandpa Jakob's package and all the letters from the ward right on Christmas Eve! The AP's (assistants to the president) dropped by in their mini-van wearing Santa hats. They really were like Santa's elves. Thank you so much for the gifts! I think my favourite is the slinky! Gracias for the cards and the words of ecouragement. I consider everyone in the ward my family. I love you all!
I love see our investigators progress! We are teaching a man named Ramon. When we first contacted him, he was pretty depressed. His kidneys are failing him and he's waiting for a transplant. He just has a lot of health problems. With every lesson we've taught, I've watched a light enter into his eyes, he seems happier and he has a desire to learn more for himself. I think a big turning point for a lot of investigators, especially for him, is when they attend church and feel the peace it brings.
Viviana, Antonio and Barbara are another beautiful family. I love them so much! Viviana, the mother, loves learning English and is super good a it. She studied tourism and traveling in university and practices her English every moment she can with us and she helps us with our Spanish! It's great! She doesn't like most churches because she feels that, oft times, they act like a store.
She really opened up to us this week though and told us that she had a 19 year old son that had committed suicide and how she couldn't understand why he would do that. When I heard her story, I felt such sorrow for her that I started to cry (how embarrassing) and we started to teach her the Plan of Salvation. She said she liked what she learned and that she would come to church because she could feel the love we had for her.
This is why I'm here! Because I want to help my brothers and sisters, the people of this world, find true and lasting happiness in this world and in the world to come.
BTW mom, my Visa Debit card isn't working right now. I don't know if it's because of the technology here or if it's a problem on that end. I feel like it might be a problem on your end because the master and visa cards worked fine...though, my Master Card has been locked up after paying for the entrance fee. It's quite frustrating but I'll live with it!
For this reason, I haven't been able to purchase a new cable for my camera (cause everything uses cash down here and I can't withdraw anything with my cards) I'm really really sorry. I'll send triple the pictures when I can! Promise!
(Mom's note: No worries folks! We've got it all the banking stuff under control. Some of these problems are just due to inexperience and communication! The bugs are getting worked out and she is being well taken care of. So sad there will be no pictures this week from Chile... :( )
I'm running out of time!
Love you all XOXOX
(Seeing as there are no pics again this week, here's one from home.... a blog just has to have pics! This is the kids' bunny Chester. He's been sick recently but is much better now. He's a real sweet heart. This was taken during our Skype session with Hermana Jakob)