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Monday, December 15, 2014

Merry Christmas, everyone!

So this week was crazy! My companion, Hna López is going home on Thursday so we knew I would be receiving a new companion this week, but Pdte Ramos pulled a fast one on us and we had transfers last Thursday (instead of today), and I received my new companion last week. Her name is Hna Quispe, she´s 22 years old and from Peru, and has only been a member of the Church for less than 2 years! She´s been out in the mission for 4 months, so when Hna López leaves I´ll be the senior companion. I am so grateful that I´ll be able to spend Christmas here in Guadalupe 2. The members are starting to make jokes about how long I´ve been here now, but I love it! It´s such a blessing to be able to really know the ward- it feels like home. I know this will be my last transfer here because I have been here so long, and I´m so grateful to have a few more weeks here. I´m going to work as hard as I can to do all that the Lord would have me do before I have to leave the ward. 

So on Friday we did have our Christmas activity. We went caroling as a district to investigators and recent converts at 8 am, then headed to a church at 10 for the activity with Presidente. With him we had a talent show, a nice meal, a gift exchange, and watched Frozen. But my favorite part was the piñata! Piñatas are very traditional at Christmas time, and they´re often made of clay. It was so fun watching the elders and sisters try to break it. Even Pdte and Hermana Ramos gave it a try! It was so much fun that I decided that we´re going to start the tradition of breaking a piñata every year for Christmas. 

Saturday and Sunday we got to participate in a special activity in la Plaza de Armas in the center of Durango. The two stakes put together a choir that sang Christmas songs and we were there as missionaries contacting the people who came to watch. The Plaza de Armas was beautiful, and reminded me of Salt Lake and Temple Square with the lights and everything. It was such a fun activity, and we were able to talk to so many people! It was great. After that activity on Sunday night, I sang in a concert that the YSAs put on. It ended up being a kind of last minute number because I didn´t have time to really practice, but I think it turned out okay. I sang ¨I´m trying to be like Jesus¨, the first verse in Spanish and the second in English, and Hna Mejia accompanied me. I thought, even as a missionary I´m singing in a Christmas concert. There´s no escaping it ha ha!

Well, I have to go, but I love you all so much! I am so happy; happy to have such a wonderful family, happy that it´s Christmas time, but most of all, happy to be a missionary and to have a knowledge of the fullness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. God lives and He loves us, and He gave us His Son Jesus Christ to help us be happy. In Spanish the ¨He is the Gift¨ video is titled ¨Él es la Dádiva¨. I like this title because dádiva is a word that doesn´t translate into English; it means the best of the best of the best gifts. Only Jesus Christ is the Dádiva. 

Have a fantastic week!

Hermana Southard

Most of these photos are from the Christmas activity. My favorite part was the piñata! I decided it´s going to be a new family Christmas tradition when I get back (: I also included a picture of the plaza de armas where we had our activity saturday and sunday. The picture doesn´t do it justice...I love this part of Durango! It´s beautiful (: