Saturday, January 3, 2015

Enjoying Uruguay with Hermana Ventura

December 29, 2014

So I can honestly say this week was one I will never forget!  You guys heard a little bit about my Christmas Eve and Christmas on GoogleChat, but now I’ll give you a couple more details!  

My Christmas here in Uruguay was so special!:)  During Christmas Eve day, Hermana Ventura and I visited lots of members in the morning.  We realized we didn’t have any fruit in the house, so before lunch, we headed to a fruit store.  I saw a couple who looked a little out of place (they both had light hair and were talking in English...haha I guess I know how people in Uruguay see me now), so I talked to them for a bit!  It turns out they’re from California, and they sailed to Uruguay for Christmas!  It was a tender mercy to meet some people from the states, and I gave them web addresses for “He is the Gift” and “Él es la Dádiva.”  After lunch, we visited some sweet members in the afternoon (so many people gave us food for Christmas Eve) and then headed back to the house of Hermana Teresa!  She invited some of her neighbors, the elders, her daughter, and her granddaughter to dinner, and we all ate tacos together.  It was so fun and I just loved hearing about traditions from all around the world!  After dinner, Hermana Ventura and I headed to our house, and then at midnight, everyone shot off fireworks!  We got to see the fireworks for a little bit, and it was just incredible.  As I fell asleep that night, I just couldn’t help but be SO HAPPY to be a missionary spending a Christmas with such special people in such a special country.  

Christmas morning, Hermana Ventura and I opened up gifts from Presidente y Hermana Smith and discovered our cute pajama pants.  THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!!!  We then headed to the chapel so Hermana Ventura could call her mom, and I tried lots of things to recover my Skype username and password (as you guys know, it wasn’t much of a success on my end of things).  Afterwards, our branch president (President Ayala) invited us over to his house for a big Christmas lunch!  The Ayala family is so generous--we ate lamb!  Hermana Ventura and I then visited sweet Alba and her neighbor, Monika, for a bit!  Then, I talked to you!  Oh my goodness I just love you all so much and thanks for your tips!  To end our Christmas, we spent time with Hermana Graciela, a recent convert.  She doesn’t have any children, so she always treats us and the elders like her children!  She made us a bunch of little snacks and told lots of stories about her life...she is such a hoot!  But anyway, I had the best Christmas ever, and Hermana Ventura pointed out it is so cool to celebrate Christ’s birth during our missions because this is the only period in our lives where all of our time and efforts are dedicated to HIM!  
Before I head out, I would like to share a little bit about what I learned during my studies this morning!  I think one of my biggest problems as a person and as a missionary is comparing myself to others and having envy.  So I studied envy and found an awesome scripture, 2 Nephi 26:32!

32 And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should NOT ENVY; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things; for whoso doeth them shall perish.
Yeah it’s a little strong, but now, I definitely do not want to envy!  And afterwards, I just absolutely loved verse 33!

33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing, save it be plain unto the children of men; and HE INVITETH THEM ALL TO COME UNTO HIM and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female: and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

I know without a doubt the Lord always does good among us, and He invites EVERYONE (people in Seattle, people in Sweden, people in Peru, people in Michigan, people in Brazil, people in Uruguay, and people everywhere) to COME UNTO HIM.  He has so much goodness to offer, and even though we are so imperfect (lots of times I feel like the "heathen" mentioned in this verse), He is patient with us, sees us as equals, and will accompany us during every hard time so we can BECOME a little bit more perfect every day!  

I love you guys lots, and have a great new year!  Next time I email you, it’ll be 2015!  How crazy is that?!  


Hermana Dixon

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