Elder Sanders

Elder Sanders

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Ecuador !!! Dec 2011

Merry Christmas !!!!

Hello family!   ¡Feliz Navidad!
How was your celebration of Christ`s birth? Mine was pretty swell.  After the Skype call home I certantly felt a grand longing for home.  VERY MUCH!  But, our day went well, and I`m really glad that we were able to have that phone call.
Thanks for sending your letters and pictures!  It sure looks like you guys had a great time over there, I sure wish I could`ve had a taste of some of that food!  Gnocchis... OH!  How I crave them so!  But I`m glad that it all went very well for you all.  

On Tuesday, we had our Christmas dinner with the president and his wife.  They had tables laid out as if it were a fancy restaurant, and we proceeded to have ham, mash potatoes, festive veggies, and cheesecake. (ALL rarities here in Ecuador for Gringos to find), then we had a `noche de hogar`   (Family home evening), and finished with caroling out in front of a mall.  It was great!  I even received a new study journal with my name on it!  It was great!

For Chirstmas Eve, we had to return at the house at 4, and proceeded with our own little Christmas dinner, a full chicken, fries, and Jell-O.  Pretty swell, along with a bunch of Christmas candy the members gave us.  Essentially, we had our own little party with Christmas music, many games of Monopoly, and plenty of Drawing time.  We went to bed happy.

Christmas morning, now that was one to remember.  (before I continue, during what I am about to recourse next did not put myself or my companion in any risk of danger! (Suspense builder) )
Ok, so when we awoke Christmas morning we were both way tired.  Probably because we were out and about all of yesterday and had to get up early for church.  I felt a little sick, and we got ready to go.  While we were grabbing some food, I noticed that there was a very loud knocking outside.  I looked to see the neighbor´s house in front of ours had some guys kicking at the door, yelling while the family was on the roof yelling back.  Yup, typical South American temper tamptrums.  We started to leave, and stepped out the door to behold a literal brawl of 15 people in the street, wives being flung off to side and men frantically bashing on each other.      Slightly shocked, we continued off to church, our `spirit of Christmas`  momentarily eviscerated.   What kind of world is it that people so childishly do such things, and especially on Christmas morning! Gah!      WELL!  Do not fear, for nothing like that could ruin Christmas day for us!  (Hm, I`m not even sure if I should`ve shared that...  oh well!)

Church went great, we met with a lot of members, visited some investigators during the day, shared plenty of messages on the purpose of Christ`s birth and life, and had to arrive home at 6.  We made some spaghetti, watched the movie Legacy, and essentially relaxed.  (along with some more monopoly!)   Essentially, it was a nice Christmas.  Yes, I did feel deprived of family in a physical sense, but even without gifts or grand dinners, it was still a fantastic holiday.  

And this next week is New Years!  I hear down here in South America the people really like to celebrate it in a grand way down here!  I`ll tell you about it next week, but for now... PHOTOS!

1- Eden ready to devour Christmas dinner
2- Our zone with the president and his wife
3-My comp and I at the president`s house
5- I don`t know why it was there, but we found this costume to dress up as Christmas present in our house.  We later converted it into a table cloth.

AND!  Alas, I have only received one package so far!  Which one?  And the winner is... THE LECHTENBERGS!  Thanks Patty for your swell gift! Although it`s late to start it, I shall begin now and   build each advent every day until the deed is done.  Thanks!  

I shall keep you all updated as I receive more!

-Elder Sanders