Monday, December 30, 2013

Boliva, Charcas—Week 14

Christmas Eve with the Quezadas
My Dearest Family and Friends,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I really can’t believe it is almost 2014! We were talking with Hermana Carol (the bishop’s wife) and she made a comment that really freaked me out. We have this year and two months, then yeah, no more! I can’t even believe how fast time flies. On the 14th of January I will be starting my sixth month here! Can you believe it?

We are getting so attached to the people here in this area, which is a really good thing and also a really bad thing. The cute Quezada kiddios are amazing and I really will be sad to leave them. Yesterday we were helping sister Quezada make a chocolate cake for Night of Excellence, and her second youngest, Santiago, asked where I am going to be February 11 (his birthday). I said that, unfortunately, I will probably be in another area. He asked about the next year as well, and I said the same. He then responded that he will come to my area for his birthday, no matter where I am. We all thought, “Oh, how cute, he really wants to spend his birthday with amazing Hermana Nelson.” Then he commented that he’s going to need me to make him a chocolate cake and that would be why he would need to find me in my other areas. We all laughed pretty hard.

I guess it just hit me today that the time here is extremely short and I really need to work my hardest every single day so I can go home without regrets or wishing I had done more.


Hermana Nelson

Journal Pages
December 23
Fantastical Day—Mission Breakfast
We had breakfast in the mission home this morning with all of the hermanas. We got lost for a good hour, but there was still food left over. Then we had our gift exchange. I had Hermana Smith and I made her a notebook so members and investigators can write her notes. I got a gift from Hermana Gomez (not Selena). She gave me a coin purse and a bracelet with my name.

After lunch with the Quezadas, we made chocolate cake with them (which turned out really beautiful) and they all loved it! Then we spent the rest of our time with their cute kiddos. Their second youngest told me today the she never wants me to leave and she wants me present for her baptism in April. It’s going to be really hard leaving this area in the future.

December 24
Christmas Eve—What a Beautiful Day
We spent practically the whole day with the Quezada family preparing for tonight and tomorrow.

Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas Breakfast
We made cinnamon rolls for tomorrow morning’s breakfast, then helped them make dinner. We had soup with potatoes, carrots, onion, beef, and chicken, with corn on the side. It was really good.
Yummy Soup!
After, we changed up their tradition a bit and just opened one present each tonight. We’ll open the rest tomorrow.

Now, we are just going to try our best to sleep with the fireworks going all night long!

December 25
Christmas Day!
Hermana Soto and I left the apartment at 9:00 to make Christmas morning breakfast for the Quezada Family. We made cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate (a Nelson family tradition) and they loved it! I forgot just how many cinnamon rolls one recipe makes, so we ate a bunch and then gave some to the Bishop’s family and other neighbors.

We opened gifts after breakfast. Their family has a cute little tradition—they play music and the one who receives a gift has to dance. We danced quite a bit, because between the family and the Quezadas we had a lot of gifts to open.

My family sent Beef jerky (which we shared with the Quezadas, and they didn’t like it at all, but the Bishop loved it and said I am his favorite sister missionary now), Socks, Candy, Pictures (including a cute purse frame from Alyssa), Puzzle (Yes! Now we’ll have something to do during Carnival!), Brownie Mix, LUSH!!, Calendar, Ensigns (at least this is what was left after the post office got a hold of it)

After all of the gift giving and receiving, I got to Skype the family. It was a really short time, but it was good to see everyone and chat a bit. I was doing really well until I saw Dad crying, and then I lost it a bit. But I wasn’t sad or missing home. It was more just joy from seeing them all alive and well. Merry Christmas!

December 26
Dreaming of Salad?
I dreamed that we were eating at a buffet here in Bolivia with all of the missionaries and we were eating salad (with lettuce, yes!). They can’t eat many of the fruits/vegetables (including lettuce) because they aren’t clean enough and she is really missing them! I dreamed that I found a spinach salad that looked the same as the one mom makes with strawberries, mandarin oranges, and feta cheese. When I saw that they had Brianna’s poppy seed dressing, I began to cry and I woke up crying. Quite bizarre!

Mate Tea with Limeade
Hermana Soto wasn’t feeling well this morning, so after District Meeting, we came back to the apartment so she could rest a bit. When she was feeling better, we headed to Ward Council, but stopped by Hermana Carol’s house to drink some Mate. This kind is different and is made with limeade and is cold. It was delicious! I’m going to make it for the fam when I get home.

December 27
FHE—Trump Family
We gave a short and sweet message from the Ensign and had a lot of participation. After, we made no-bake cookies. They liked them, but said they want to make them without sugar next time. (hehe)

December 28
We visited Eduardo and his mom tonight and it was a really great lesson. We read Mosiah 4 where King Benjamin is teaching the people. We talked about doing things that Christ would do if He were here. We talked about giving and not judging the people we are helping. She had some really great comments and told us that she had a feeling the other day that she needs to change some things in her life. We encouraged her and explained that these decisions will help her grow. We have another FHE with them on Monday and I’m excited!

December 29
We’re goin’ to the Chapel . . .
Victoria and Carlos came to church today! I’m sure the whole ward thinks I’m a crazy person who is always so smiley because I sit on the stand (to play the piano—even though I don’t know any of the Hymns they choose) and when investigators or new converts come in, I get so excited! Even more exciting, today Fernando came into the chapel with a white shirt, tie, church shoes, and a haircut! He blessed the sacrament for the first time today. I was so happy!

Isabel & Dulce—Our Family of Gold
We contacted a reference we found the other day and she is great! We had an appointment with her last week, but she works at the hospital and had to leave. We decided to return today and she was so excited to see us. She said she was worried that we wouldn’t ever come back and that she had been going to the plaza in her spare time to find us. We taught her the first lesson and it was beautiful. We challenged her and her daughter to baptism and they said yes! After, she offered the prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for us and said that this is the answer she has been looking for. We are very excited (to say the least)!

Night of Excellence
The young women had their Night of Excellence tonight and we were invited. The girls displayed their projects and sang a really beautiful song that brought the spirit. Hermana Quezada had done a great job with the young women here. It reminded me of the Lindon YW, only a little smaller.

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