It was actually really humbling to see how Christmas is here. The people don't celebrate it like the world is ending next week and we have to do as many activities as possible. I always loved having Christmas gatherings with my friends, doing all kinds of things for the sake of it being Christmas-y. Here everyone just eats dinner with the family, and they celebrate a little and open some presents, and then it's not really a big deal. I was happy because we still got to visit a lot of people depite the holiday. I pictured missionaries trying to visit my family on Christmas Even and I was just thinking haaaaa yeah right. But here it was no big deal.
The 25th was okay. I mean, I had to spend a whole 1.5 hours talking with my weird family.
Jokes - that was the best! 1.5 hours flew by like nothing. I felt like it hadn't even happened afterwards. But I loved talking with my family and I loved seeing their lovely faces (except Tyler...he was just making weird faces the whole time).
The Orellana fam
Activity w/Hna Oldroyd
The best Christmas present I got this week has to be what happened . . . Victoria was baptized!
There is no way I can possibly describe all of the feelings here. We have been working with Victoria for almost the whole time I've been here in Chile. Some other day I will explain the whole story because it's long and complicated. But the important thing is that she was finally able to enter the waters of baptism and make an important covenant that will help her throughout her life. I have learned so much from working with her about the influence the Atonement can have in a person's life. When we contacted her in the street one night, she had been contemplating taking her own life. She says that if it weren't for us finding her, she wouldn't be alive right now. She has immense financial problems and family problems and every other kind of problems that you can probably think of. But after her baptism the Bishop asked her how she felt. She said that she felt renewed. Like all of the bad, heavy things in her heart had been erased. She feels peaceful and happy despite all of her challenges. And that is the amazing power that the Gospel has.
Well, I hope you're all doing super well. I may or may not have been thinking a little bit more about all you folks back home in these holiday times. But the important thing is that I love being a missionary more and more every day. I still keep learning and understanding new things every day - mostly I just see how much I still need to learn.
Love you all,
(I've actually gotten used to saying Glacier because no one can say Glazier correctly. I hope I'm not disgracing my family).