Thursday, December 24, 2009

Feliz...Merry Christmas!

Hello Family and Friends!

Merry Christmas Eve! Here in Argentina I guess the biggest fiestas are today to celebrate the "Noche Buena". I don’t know how many people will be out celebrating tonight unless the rain clears up because it has been raining most of the night and all morning. Anyways, as if there wasn’t enough to talk about for a single week like usual, today I get to try to tell you about what has happened since the last time I got to write a week and a half ago!

I received the packages from home and from Kristine this last week, and I just want to say THANK YOU for keeping them small! The envelopes were perfect sized and I didn’t have to pay ANYTHING! My companion and some other missionaries have already spent 400-500 pesos to receive their packages (100+ dollars) which is ridiculous! Thank you so much for everything and I am very excited to unwrap some presents tomorrow by our little Christmas trees! :) We had another baptism this week for Alejandra! She asked me if I would do it and of course I said yes! We had the service on Saturday, which unfortunately was a rainy day so we didn’t have too many people show up from the branch. The service went great and it was a very cool experience to do a baptism in Spanish! (The water was even nice and hot, but not as deep as I was expecting!) She has a strong testimony and has made some good friends in the church. We had a big fiesta with our branch and one of the other wards in our stake that she came to which was a great chance to get to know the members. It helped even more that the party didn’t really even start until 9:00 which was when we had to leave so she was forced to make some friends. :) We would love to have her 4 kids and her mom come to church as well, but she says it would be too difficult even with our help. We’ll see what happens with that...

Sunday, like most of the rest of the world, we had our Christmas themed sacrament meeting. We share our church building with another ward and their sacrament meeting starts at 9:30. We arrived to church a little late (9:15 or so) and when we got there the other ward asked if I would play the piano for their big Christmas program! I said I would... and I did, and it actually didn’t turn out so bad. I hadn’t ever played any of the songs with people singing before, but somehow I was able to make it through without too many problems. I love the Christmas hymns and I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to share them with this other ward. In our Sacrament meeting we had Alejandra’s confirmation which went really well! Our ward mission leader did the confirmation, and it’s always amazing hearing the things that are said in blessings that are exactly what that person needs to hear even though they barely even know them.

For Christmas we also got to get together as a Zone and do a service project. For our project, the hermanas arranged for us to go play with the kids at an Orphanage in their area. It was a little sad but we had a great time playing with the kids! We also had several bags of toys that were donated by members, and it was awesome handing those out as well! We had a couple Elders who took guitars and played and sang primary songs, people were playing ball, swinging on the swings, reading, drawing, and I was the "caballito" for a little kid named Seba who rode around on my shoulders for about an hour and a half. The kids had a lot of problems, but we all had a lot of fun and it was very sad leaving! The workers were very grateful, we were very grateful as well for the great opportunity, and it really is amazing what they do for these kids every day.

That’s all I have time for today, but I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and I am very excited to call home tomorrow! (I will call tonight to let you know what time I will be calling tomorrow).

¡Les Quiero Mucho!

Elder Wheelhouse

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