Wednesday, 16 December 2015
We've been feeling the winter winds here even more and more this week, it's not nearly as cold as it is back home, but it is sorta nice to feel like an actual chilly breeze. It's been good :)
THIS WEEK, we had our Zone Christmas party, which was actually really, really good. The highlight of it was definitely the training Sister Mathews gave for us. For lunch, there were these sugar cookies on the table in the shape of hands, and she told us that it would become important later on in the day, so when her training came around, she explained it. We had the opportunity to listen to President Uchtdorf's talk from 2010 when he spoke of the statue of Christ in World War II that was subject to bomb damage, and had the hands blown off. After a certain amount of time, the decision was made to leave the statue, and to place a sign reading 'you are his hands'. As such, Sister Mathews based her training off of that. She talked a lot about the physical qualities Christ displayed in his life, and especially how he touched those he came across, both spiritually and physically. Unfortunately, we live in a world without his physical hands among us, and for us, especially as missionaries, we are called to be his hands in a world where he's 'losing touch' (see what I did there?). One of the things I really liked too about her training was the example she used of Christ in the first mention of him using his hands in the Bible, in Matthew 8, as he touches a leper. We all know that a leper is NOT a person you wanna touch, but Christ did so because he didn't see the person on the outside, but the Child of God on the inside. Something that we were challenged to do by President and Sister Mathews is to be his hands this Christmas, and to serve someone in some special way. I hope that all of you can find some way to do that this year too :)
The BUMMER about the whole Christmas party thing was that Sister Mathews showed up Elder Mason and I HARD. Each district was asked to make a dessert prior to bring, so Elder Mason wanted to make sugar cookies. We started making them, and we had great ideas of making Christmas trees and stars and snowmen, but once we got to the cutting process, we realized that it's not very easy to cut out upwards of 40 stars or trees or snowmen by hand; it's pretty dang hard to cut out ONE by hand!! We ended up using a plastic cup as our cutter to make 40+ circle sugar cookies (I know, don't judge) and we thought we could make it up by making colored icing. The icing, upon first glace, appeared to be going well, but what was green the night before turned to a very sketchy Shrek-esque, two-toned, very gross green, which President made a comment of audible questioning over. It only made things worse when we all received, as a present, a hand-shaped cookie cutter, the key element we were missing in our baking, and to add insult to injury, a sugar cookie mix in the package I received. Guess it all turned out pretty ironically.
Another thing with the Christmas party, was each district was also asked to come up with an 'activity' to do. Our zone has 5 different districts, and ours is one of the smaller ones, and we were at a loss of things to do. I had asked if I could play my harmonica but I was told I wasn't allowed to (which made me a little sad) so instead, we brainstormed up a simple idea. I really couldn't think of much else to do, other than our own little Nativity scene putting the other dupla of elders in our district, Elder Cosmo and G. Silva, as Joseph and Mary, respectively. At first, I thought the idea would be a bit sketchy, but as I got the approval from the ZLs telling me not to cross dress them, we went ahead with it, and used a bobra, basically a Cape Verdean zucchini, as the Baby Jesus (I may have nicknamed it the 'Bobra Jesus'). I was a tiiiiiiny bit afraid people wouldn't like it, but it turned out really, really well, and it was a lot of fun. Elder Mason and I read passages from Luke and Matthew while we called up Elders to be shepherds, wise men, and angels, and we all sang 'Away in a Manger' to finish 'er off. I'm rather proud of what we pulled off :)
As for actual work this week, it was a bit of a tougher one. We seemed to be constantly fighting to get lessons, but at the same time, there were a lot of little tender mercies along the way. My favorite part of the week was when we went to teach one of our favorite investigators, Kahtia, and we were going to follow up with her about baptism, since she was kinda stalled for a bit cuz of living with a man and such. We'd invited her to think about the date of the 26th to be baptized, and when we came back a few days later, we could hardly sit down before she was excitedly telling us she did NOT want to be baptized on the 26th, because she wanted to wait a week and be baptized with her son, Fabio, who turns 8 on the 29th of this month. I was SO dang excited when I heard that, because it was EXACTLY what we were going to suggest to her, but she beat us to it. She's already come to church like probably MORE than 10 times, and we don't even have to help her get to church, she just comes, and is usually here before we are. I'm so dang excited for her.
All in all, it's been a good week for us :) I'm happy, and it's Christmas! What more could we ask for?