We will be chatting it up here in to hours but I figured I would send a quick email anyways just to give you all an idea of how the week went. My new companion is Elder Zavala. He arrived on Tuesday morning here in Paita. He is from Guayaqeil Ecuador, just right up north. He was pretty serious the first 2 hours but we then broke the ice and were getting along great. He just completed 5 months out in the mission and is about to complete 2 years of being a member. He’s got a pretty distinct character because he speaks Spanish but has all the characteristics of an American black guy. I’d compare him to a Spanish version of Will Smith.
On Friday the branch had the Christmas activity that the young single adults organized. It included a few dances by the primary and a few other presentations. Then yesterday we went into Piura for the Christmas conference with President Rowley and his wife. There were 4 zones there. We had a morning devotional, then watched a movie called Silent Night, then ate chicken and French fries, then played bingo. Last night we went and slept in the zone leaders room and stayed up late playing YENIF (I taught them how, and I won) with 2 other companionships that went.
Christmas went well but we didn’t do anything too special. Christmas Eve receives all the hype here but on Christmas, everyone has a normal dinner and gets back to life. On Wednesday we got right back to work.
New prayer roll.... we found an older man named Flavio way back in November and recently as taken a lot of steps of progress and has a baptismal date for January 18th. Jean Pierr should be getting baptized on Sunday. Other than that, please pray that we can find people that are prepared.
On Friday I went to Piura for a training meeting in the mission home for district leaders. We talked about goals for next year, responsibilities, ways to improve, and... received cell phones! Ha. Now every DL has a cell phone. We felt like little kids. Even though the phones are super basic, they seem brand new and high tech, ha. But, they have to stay on in the room at all times and are just for calling the ZL´s and reporting, etc. It was fun though going back to the mission home once again.
I feel like I have very little time left in the mission. I know that these next 8 months are going to go by flying and want to make it all worthwhile. I am enjoying the mission and trying to get better while I still can. I can’t believe 2013 has already arrived! Thanks for your love, support, and examples of what is TRUE happiness.