Monday, January 5, 2015

Feliz Ano Nuevo!!!!!! written December 29, 2014

With my presents. Thanks so much for the blanket, Charlsie.  I love it.
Hermana Escobar and her presents.  She was so happy.

Man I can’t believe how fast time flies! I am going to go in order of how the week went. Monday we had our lesson with Andrea’s parents and the whole family to ask if her sisters could be baptized. Things went great. Everything went the way we practiced except the part where the papa said yes.... It was really hard. The whole walk home I felt a little discouraged but Hermana Escobar did so good. In the lesson we gave him a libro de mormon and asked him to read it and pray about his decision. He said he wouldn’t pray because he had already made his decision but he would read because he is curious about our church. He had lots of questions and I feel like we answered them well.

That night we had some guests at our house, the other sisters in our zone live far from the terminal, so they stayed with us to get up at 1 to go to the mission Christmas party. It was so fun. We didn’t do much sleeping. We walked to the terminal with the elders, it was way fun. The party was in Ita. It was a 3 hour bus ride. It was so good seeing my batch again and talking to them! It was basically like a youth conference: we played soccer and capture the flag and volley ball and that sponge game where you get all wet. It was great. I met lots of Hermanas. It was fun wondering who will be my comp someday. Lots of people thought I was a Latin. It was great until they heard me talk and then they would say “where are you from” and then they would say “WHY ARE YOU SO BROWN!!” haha I can’t wait till the day my Spanish will fool them. We didn’t get home this day until 9. It was way exhausting and we had just recovered from going to Asuncion so it messed up our sleep schedule all over again. ugh But it was great. We also had a white elephant. I got chocolate milk mix and we watched the Christmas devotional, but it was in Spanish and I was so tired. I kind of just slept on Hermana Escobar’s shoulder the whole time. We also watched David Archoleta’s song with the Piano Guys. That was way cool and we had a slide show of all the baptisms in our mission this year. I cried. I can’t wait till I have some up there!!!

Christmas Eve we had lunch with the Roma president’s family. It was way good and we didn’t really have much other success that day. Our study took lots of the day and then we went to a member’s house that night, the same one I went to call you guys. We were planning to act out the nativity with them because Hermana Escobar had never really heard of it soo we figured they hadn’t. But then we got a call saying we had to be home by 7:30 because it’s dangerous. ugh So we took them a dessert and gave them the little nativity puzzle Charlsie sent. We told them that the piece with Jesus was in the card and that they could do the puzzle with their kids and talk about Christmas without Christ is incomplete. They loved it so much. I think the dad cried a little, he loved it so much. Then we had to literally run 10 blocks home because we wanted to be obedient. We were 2 min late but we were ok.

Hermana Escobar and I made some special food and sang every Christmas hymn. Then we read the whole Christmas story in the scriptures. She had never done that before on Christmas, and we watched The Lamb of God, it was great. We also had a popcorn fight, which felt like snow. hah I tried to make Christmas really special for Hermana because she was telling me she has never really gotten a present before and it’s really just always about food. It was so fun playing Santa and putting out all the presents I got her. Mostly it was my stuff, I gave her haha like a sweater and a clip she loves of mine, but she was so grateful. Christmas morning we just opened presents and talked and then we had study and weekly planning and then I got to call you. When I think about it I wanna cry because it was so great seeing all of you in the moment. I was just too happy to be anything else. So sorry if I didn’t seem excited to see you all. I was. It was so great.

After we talked we taught some way amazing lessons and we had a little miracle. Well, were walking and I remembered we had said we would go see Justina’s son that day. His wife had said “Oh that’s Christmas and my birthday but yah, we would love you to come.” Once we remembered that we ran there and when we arrived Justina was there and we haven’t been able to find her so it was great!!!!

That night my district leader challenged me not to speak any English on Viernes (Friday) and I did it!!! I have never done so well. It was great. That night when he called he kept saying “Hermana your Spanish is so much better”. Sunday I commented in church like 3 times and he said after “that was so great”. I know it’s a direct blessing from your sacrifice. So now we are trying to go a whole week, although I haven’t been too good today. I need to be better but it was so great. He is such an inspired leader. We found out he isn’t being transferred so we are really happy!!! One elder was, but his comp is training so we are getting someone newer than me!!!! I am stoked! 

Anything I said on Christmas or in my letters that seems creepy, or I don’t know, gross, don’t worry about me. It’s gross when I think about it or talk about it, but when you are actually there having to deal with it, God gives you strength beyond your own. Hermana Escobar has never seen a mouse her whole mission and she keeps saying “When I get home I am going to be so creeped out because our house is full of them”. haha Then we got home the other night and i saw two mice in our house. She hasn’t seen them, so maybe I am crazy. But ya, haa I am glad I’m getting all the worst stuff out of the way in my first area. I seriously love it here and never want to leave. There are so many animals haha in our house we have the cockroaches, the ants, the lizards, gecko and her babies, and now Mickey and Minnie and Tina the chicken. Shoot we aren’t obeying the no pets rule very well.

I have never been around so many animals. Daily I see goats, horses, cows, everywhere pigs, chickens, cats, DOGS, birds, frogs, weird bugs. We have two parrots in our area that people have as pets. They say “hola” when you walk by and Saturday we saw a pet monkey!!! I died. It’s like the mission golden treasure, not everyone gets to see a monkey! It’s like everyone had babies overnight, because when I got here there were just big animals. And now, next to every grown up are two babies. It’s really cute. And all the butterflies hatched overnight. They are everywhere. It’s great! 

Ok, my New Year’s spiritual thought and then I will go. I was reading in the Liahona and a man was talking about growing up in Idaho and having potato and corn plants. They would rotate the fields every year. One day when he was plowing the corn area he found a beautiful potato plant. He called his dad over and asked what he should do. “Pull it” his dad said. “But dad, it’s so beautiful. It looks better than any of the plants in the potato field.”   “Pull it” his dad repeated, “this year it’s a weed!” I love it. He went on to say "When I consider all the things Heavenly Father would have me do in this life, doing them at the right TIME is as critical as doing them at all" I think that’s a great thought. As we begin a new year there are lots of great things you could do this year, but maybe for you this year they are a weed, there is something greater for you to be doing. I challenge you to look at your year and think of what you want to accomplish. What do you want to learn and where do you want to be next year? I promise, as you do, when you finish another year, you won’t look back with regret. You will feel accomplished and ready to face new challenges. I am grateful for this opportunity of new beginnings, new planner, new goals, new language and new country. Lot’s is different and I plan to make the most of it. 

I love you all, 

Happy New Year

Hermana Ball 

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