This week, regretfully, I do not have much time. This is the absolute worst week to not have time because I have so much to talk about.
Well first off, my birthday went well, and so did the solo. We actually didn't have a member of the 70 there to see me perform, so it took a little pressure off my shoulders, also, there were other performers too. There were a couple groups of singers, a violinist, and another soloist who performed. Nevertheless, I thought my performance went very well! I sung La Primera Navidad (the first noel) and I only messed up on the words once. Not to worry, everyone messed up a little bit at one point and no one was expecting a picture perfect performance.
Christmas went well, too. Of course, every missionary got the opportunity to skype home. 4 missionaries were invited to my bishop's home to skype, and as you can imagine that put a little strain on their wifi. So I could see and hear my family plenty well, but they struggled to see and hear me. But of course, I didn't care. I love the opportunities that I have to email and see my family and friends. I love you all and thank you for the support you send me each week.
Also on Christmas we had the district over to eat waffles and open presents before Church. It was very funny, because we have 2 Elders who go home in a week, one elder who has been out for a year, and 3 Elders who only have 4 months in the mission. All the new Elders got lots of presents and money, and the 2 Elders who are about to go home got nothing from their families because they are going to get their presents when they go home :)
That's all I have in this short time period but I wanted to just say one more thing: Christmas time is time to be around families. That was my favorite aspect of Christmas, is getting to be around my extended family. I want all of you to enjoy that time, because you don't know how long it will be until you see them again. Don't skip the opportunity to say "I love you", don't skip the opportunity to give your loved ones a hug. I love all of you and wish you stay safe in this rainy/snowy winter we are having.
MTC comps with our Christmas ties
Zoomed about 100X to get this picture!
We took a hike
My face-smashed-in birthday cake
My Companion - Elder Ramirez
Christmas tree with all the presents
PS - From Mom - We had a nice video call with Ryan on Christmas Day. They are allowed to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day. He looked and sounded so good. He did admit that it made him a little homesick. There is wisdom in only letting the Missionaries call twice a year. It allows them to focus on the work they are there to do and lose themselves in service. We miss him like crazy and there may have been a tear or two shed on Christmas Day - from both sides of the camera, but he is doing great and we couldn't be more proud of him!