Thursday, December 31, 2015

Title: The craziest Navidad...

This week has been a great one. On Wednesday we went caroling with our
Relief Society Presidency. We were walking for almost 4 hours straight
delivering tamales and singing. We went to all of the houses of the
older ladies in our ward. It was so special and the spirit that we
felt was so strong. The joy in their eyes was beaming when we arrrived.

Christmas in this crazy country is insane! They start their
celebration on Christmas Eve. All of the members in our ward invited
us to their house. So we had appointments with members almost every hour
from 3-9. Well, my companion had warned me that on Christmas eve and
Christmas day we are going to feel sick because all the members feed
us and it is rude if we deny the food.. So we go to the first
appointment which was right after lunch. Luckily she just gave us a
ton of cookies and grapes that we could take home for later.
With the next member she gave us tamales (this is the food of Navidad
here, and these tamales are HUGE). She ended up having to leave so she
just gave us the tamales in a bag to eat later. Well, we
had a ton of food to carry and we felt weird taking to all the
other houses with us because it looked like we had gifts but they
weren’t for them. So, with shame we found a place in an alley where we
could eat the tamales and stuff the rest in our bags. We then went to
the next appointment, they gave us ANOTHER tamale, cake, grapes,
ponche, and papaya. When we left I seriously thought I was going to be
sick. But I had to suck it up because we had one more appointment..
We get to that house and they wanted to give us another tamale. We said
that we were extremely full so they just gave us stuffed bread
instead, but a ton of stuffed bread. Ahhh we finally got back to the
house and I couldn’t move.. I thought I stuffed myself with xmas dinner in
the states, but now I really know the meaning of being full.
Anyway, the last family felt really bad because we didn’t eat very
much so she gave us a TON of food to take home. We aren’t going to
need to go shopping for a week or so.. On xmas eve everyone stays
up until midnight and at 12 they do fireworks. I am not really sure
how I slept that night because there was sooo many fireworks and music
playing in the street.

Christmas day we woke up at the normal time, 6:30. We opened a couple
of presents and stockings that my mom sent. We then went to the church
to bake cookies because we wanted to carol and bring cookies to our
investigators. We then talked to our families which was difficult but
so great. Then… more food. We had close to the same experience that
night with the members and the food, but it was so great to be with
the members, they are so strong here in my ward!  The first xmas away
from my family was definitely hard. I miss them so much! But I have
learned that this is where the Lord wants me to be right now. And when
I rely on Him and do his will, I really can feel his love for me and
can be happy in the hard times. I am so greatful for all of the
wonderful things that I am learning here in Guatemala. Time is going
to fly by so I have to remember to enjoy every moment, even those
moments when it seems like nothing can go right.

I hope that everyone had an amazing Christmas! Enjoy the new year!

Feliz navidad, prospero año, y felicidad!

Hermana Baird <3

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