Monday, December 19, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

District Meeting / Pancake Party
FELIZ NAVIDAD Y FELIZ AÑO NUEVO Y WOW MIRA ESTAMOS EN LAS FIESTAS NO PUEDO CREERLO!
It's CHRISTMAS, Y'ALL!!!! ish. Hermana Nelson and I have been LOVING the christmas life here in Santander... it's going by way too quickly! We continue to run around like crazy from person to person, this week with the added task of trying to secretly decorate the doors of each member family in our ward with paper chains and stuff to celebrate christmas. (This is actually a REALLY difficult task, because most people live, as we know, in apartment buildings which are almost impossible to get into... especially as missionaries. But the Lord always provides a way! Some highlights of the week have been:

eating... and eating... and eating with members. ;) We've been really blessed to be invited over to many of the member's houses this week, and we have about 5 eating visits set up for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and we've got a few already for New Years and Reyes.
and we found THE BEST new family!! They're from peru, and they have the most adorable little 8-month old baby. They were actually some old investigators of some previous hermanas here, but they couldn't meet much because of all the craziness that comes with preparing for a new baby. But we went and passed by and they welcomed us in! It was a really great first lesson, and we'll be meeting with them again on tuesday.
CHRISTMAS!!! We've been going christmas crazy. We had a celebratory pancake party after District meeting on Tuesday, (thanks, mom!!) they just set up a new christmas tree outside our big window, we've been setting up christmas decorations all over our piso, and spreading the Christmas message everywhere that we can. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!
I hit my year mark on Friday! And, pues, I feel weird. One year ago as of this last friday(?) I entered into the MTC in Provo, Utah, and began the adventure of a lifetime. I spoke approximately 2 phrases of Spanish ("Pásame la pistola de clavos" y "Me gusta queso"), the only thing I really knew about Spain was that they like Fútbol and bullfighting (which is true), and I had little to no idea of what a mission was actually going to be like. And I was probably a solid 90/10 percent mix of terrified and excited.

It's really difficult for me to describe how much this one year of my life has meant to me already, what I've learned, what has changed, and what I now hope never changes. It's not really something that I can put into words - certainly not in an email. But I just want to say that I know God lives. I know he's real, and living. And I know he loves us and has a plan for us. I know that he knows the things that will make us most happy, even if, at first, we don't always agree. I know that he wants us to be able to receive the blessings that he has prepared, but I know that he will NEVER force us to take them. And I know that, as an ultimate sign of his love, he sent us to this earth to learn and grow, and sent His only begotten son to help us return someday. I know that His son came, truly, under the most humble and meek of circumstances, to live and lay down his life for us. Each of us, individually. I know he Lives. Having the opportunity to spend this Christmas season as a missionary has been one of the best experiences of my life. I love the chance that I have to help others learn these "good tidings of great joy!"
Have yourselves a merry little Christmas, vale? I love you and I'm so grateful for you all. Merry Christmas!

Love,
Hermana Larson

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