Elder Randall Wrote this on Dec 23rd
Hola, familia y todos…
- So explaining my email title, as always…we had a ward talent show on Saturday (it was pretty fun), and with permission from our zone leaders, we participated in a sketch with the Elders´ Quorum. Two returned missionaries acted as well, missionaries (more specifically they used Elder Quilcat´s and my names… :)), and Elder Quilcat played the son of the devil, that was trying to get the investigators and people the missionaries found in the street not to listen. He did this with an insanely high baby-ish voice, costume with horns, a tail, and a cape that a hermana in the ward made, and with his own theme song that played every time he came out to mess with the missionaries. 🙂 My part was of an angel/the Spirit (I was dressed in all white), which in the last part, when the “missionaries” finally got a family to listen, I was helping them answer the crazy questions the diablito was telling the investigators to ask. At the end, the missionaries and I won, and he had a tantrum…and then realized that he had a testimony of Joseph Smith and wanted to be baptized. This makes much more sense when you see it. 🙂 Anyways, it was fun. I apparently did well, and my companion was a huge hit…the ward got a kick out of it all. 🙂 The sister missionaries took a video of the sketch…if I feel like it someday, I´ll show it to you all. Or I may burn it with fire. We´ll see. 🙂
- Alejandra got confirmed yesterday! She looked so happy at Church, with her son there and everything. (He participated in the confirmation.) Heck yes. 🙂
- So each week in district meeting, we have an English class…someone teaches a principle from “Preach My Gospel” or something of the sort, but in English, to help those who don´t know English learn a bit. This week, the sister missionaries taught it (Hna. Pugmire and Hna. Leavitt), and they taught us…slang. 🙂 But really clean slang like “Crikey!” and “rad” and “cool.” I also learned a new slang term…”mangin´”, which apparently means “darn it!” in Scotland. Who knew? But yes. That was fun.
- My companion and I continued having a bit of difficulties this week…until Saturday, when we got to a bit of a point where we were just stuck, and I felt done. I decided to call the zone leaders to at least help me feel better, they came, they talked with me, they talked with Elder Quilcat, and we worked things out. Something we´re going to work on is studying as a companionship every day…we hadn´t been doing that, because my companion never showed much desire to do so, and I gave up a while ago on pushing him, and I should have pushed him more with that. So yeah. We´re doing better in that regard…but ouch, our numbers were absolutely horrible this week. We didn´t really work too well…so this week, we have quite a lot of work to do. Nowhere to go but up.
- We had two Christmas devotionals this week. One was with Presidente Zobrist and his wife and about a third of the mission. Our zone sang and did a little representation of the Nativity. It was kind of more serious than some of the other zones, but it went quite well. One of the other zones had a HILARIOUS sketch with “mission miracles” they made up (ridiculously perfect things…like, for example, a father that wanted to be baptized, and had two twins that were only 7 years old…but had their 8th birthday the next day…those of you who haven´t been missionaries may not find the humor in this… :)). And then some of the other zones, eh. But yes, it was a cool devotional. Interestingly, Presidente and Hermana Zobrist didn´t really talk much about Christmas…Hermana Zobrist, for example, talked about family history…I once again encourage you all to discover how cool it is. Also, oh my gosh…we ate like kings. DEEP FRIED turkey, stuffing (my companion didn´t like it, but that worked out great, because he gave me his :)), an actually pretty good and normal pasta salad that wasn´t too bad, and ham, with gravy. And then for dessert, DONUTS (and there were so many extras, so we could go back for more…I got thirds :)) and panetón. I was quite honestly in heaven. And really darn tired afterwards, which I remembered was because turkey has tryptophan and naturally makes you sleepy. But it was worth it. 🙂
- The other Christmas devotional was by the stake, and it was…interesting…the stake choir sang a few songs, and they went…alright. I tried not to mentally criticize too much. 🙂 At the very end, the stake choir director sang a solo of “O Holy Night”…but in English. Oh my. Her English actually wasn´t too bad (though the family we sat with had no idea it was English she was singing…I only recognized it because I knew the words…). She shouted a few parts, but at the end of the day, she did her best. 🙂
That just might have been about everything I wished to talk about. More or less. I´m sure I forgot things. So, the pics…the first one is a finally-realized photo of mine…so remember that awesome Santa tie you sent me, Mom? I can´t wear it normally, but I told you in…oh wait, it´s the letter I still haven´t sent…anyways, that I was going to take a pic of me wearing it in our room. I have done so. Hope you all enjoy it. 🙂 The second is of almost all our zone (the hermanas were finally able to escape from working in the mission office, because we had a rehearsal for our Christmas devotional number, and afterwards they were able to go with us go-karting). Oh, btw, we went go-karting again…and OH MY GOODNESS, an hermana from another zone…we foudn ourselves with two different zones there….that was in ours, Hermana Zapata, was on the track with me on one of our runs, and every time I tried to pass her, she absolutely freaked out, started zig-zagging like crazy, and nearly ran me off the track. She ended up nearly crashing into the parking lane at the end. I really, really hope she does not have a driver´s license, or the people of her city in Peru will be in great danger. Harsh, but true. I was very traumatized. 🙂 Anyways, the third picture is from go-karting as well. I went a bit faster this time, when I was not hounded by a scary hermana driver. The last two pics are from the mission Christmas devotional…Hna. Leavitt with her creepy baby (she played Mary), and finally, a picture of the entire zone, with no one missing. Oh, and Mom! My grandson (the missionary Elder Murdock´s training, to translate here…) is from Ecuador. But from Quito. But close enough. 🙂 And for now…I think that´s everything…I´ll be calling on Wednesday, btw, through Skype. Hopefully it works out fine. 5 PM Peru time (3 PM your time). I love you all so much, and hope you have a very Merry Christmas. Remember just why we celebrate it…it´s such a special time of the year, but we don´t have to wait all year to remember our Savior, nor do we have to let it end when Christmas ends. A little counsel for you all there. My love, and my prayers, always…and remember to write me when you can…