Canete Famila, Silvia, Whitney and Hna Jones
"The River Crossing"
I received two pictures of Whitney this week, but not from Whitney. See attached. The Canete familia and Silvia from Leopardi, Whitney's last area, came to visit her in Nemby for Christmas and looks like a Christmas stocking in her hand. How sweet was that and then sent me the picture on facebook. I thanked Silvia for taking such good care of Hna Plummer. She said We Love Her!!! Mama Canete loved Whitney as a daughter. The other picture I got from Hna Troesch, on FB, her last companion that has gone home. Another "River Crossing..." We were able to skype with Whitney on Christmas Day. Mom, dad and Mike at the house. Amy and Raelyn joined us for a few moments but her phone died, then we got Nicole's family connected. So fun.. When we had 3 people on skype the pictures froze a few times but it was wonderful to see and hear her. Whitney bore her testimony in Spanish at the end, and of course we all cried. Grateful for the technology of skype.
hola familia, last night was so awesome! I loved seeing your faces and hearing your voices. the skype wasn't perfect but none the less was so great. too bad your call dropped amy. but i was so happy to hear your voice and raelyn too. All the kids are all grown up. for the rest, i love you too. hope you had a great Christmas! i miss you all. next time we talk will be only a few days before I'm released from my mission. can you believe it? but thank goodness I still have time to learn more and experience more of the mission in Paraguay. Christmas was really different here. mostly because it has been blazing hot. more thank 40 degrees celsius. haku! we were teaching persio with his mom, and seriously, I sweat more just sitting there than i did when i played tennis in the heat in georgia. but then it rained, which brings a bit of a cool off. Thank goodness.
Christmas eve we ate with a familia B in the ward (by the way mom she solicited your friendship on facebook but said that you haven't accepted.) it was funny because they all wait until midnight to eat, but we couldn't, so they prepared the food early and just sat and watched us eat. well we talked of course, but it was kinda funny. also, they set off a ton of fireworks. more on Christmas than on new years. I also took pictures of their nativities. they make them out of leaves and put fruit in them. i think I might have already said that last week. oh well. today we had a district activity and talked about Christmas in the mission. we all agreed that being here at this time has caused such an increase in our love and appreciation for the Savior. it is all centered around Him. i remembered the part in the Book of Mormon when samuel the lamanite prophesy's about the coming of Christ and the sign of his birth when there will be no night for 2 days. the sun will go down, but it will still be light. i thought about how this sign of his birth was so perfect because he is the light of the world. He came to bring light and hope to mankind. cool huh.
we are working with a few really great people right now. they all have different needs, but at the same time so similar. they all need to feel the love heavenly Father has for them. V was going to be baptized this next Saturday, but worked all week and we didn't get to teach him last week. it was a huge bummer. he feels really happy learning about the gospel and wants to feel more of it, but he really needs your prayers. he has a few challenges that make it hard for him to really grasp what it is all about. as missionaries it is so important to teach according to the needs of each person individually. that is why preach my gospel is so inspired. i don't know what we would do without it. but he is so great and has such a pure heart. i can really see that in him.
each week we have a sweet experience to visit an abuelita (grandma) antonia. she is a member but doesn't come to church because she can't walk and a few other things. we visit her every Wednesday. we took her some food from the end of the year dinner of the ward and read from luke 2 and sang Christmas songs with her on Christmas eve. everytime I visit her i feel the love Heavenly Father has for every one of his children. reminds me of the talk by Pres Uchtdorf from the conference called "You are not Forgotten." she sometimes feels forgotten, but i feel so blessed to be the Lords hands to help His children remember that they are not forgotten, and that He always knows what we need and where we are. that is one of the greatest testimonies that i have gained, that Heavenly Father knows each and every one of his children, because when they thought they were lost from his sight, he sent us to tell them that He is there. time and time again I see that. well, I have to go. I love you all so much! feliz navidad!!!!