White: The absence of stain, a symbol of purity and cleanliness
Christmas: I´m guessing you guys can figure that one out.
So I had sort of planned on this being a surprise, but news travels fast (through the mother of your second cousin... crazy stuff) but I have some really cool news! My companion and I are going to have a white Christmas! Xiomara (a lady we taught in my first lesson in the field) accepted a baptismal date a while ago, but wanted to move it up and have it be on some significant day. What better day than Christmas? What better way to show your appreciation for the gift of your Savior? A Christmas baptism.
I´ve had a lot of fun singing Christmas hymns and reading the Christmas story in Spanish. Something so ancient and familiar is new again in the light of a new language. For instance, did you know that the Spanish way to say "to give birth" is "dar a luz" or, literal translation "to give a light?"
And that´s exactly what we've come to celebrate this time of year; when a light was given to the world. A light of hope, a light of peace.
It's downright inspiring and all. So in your Christmas celebrations, I hope you'll all try and remember Christ. He is the gift. Él es la Dádiva.
In other news, since I realize I haven't spoken much about Valencia or what I'm actually doing here, the mission is going well. I've walked 8.3 miles in a day, I've given out hundreds of pass-along cards, and I've taught a chunk of lessons with my companion. Hermana Manwill is a Sister Training Leader and they had a meeting in Barcelona one day last week, so I was left with the other Hermana (Stilson) in our apartment whose companion is also a Sister Training Leader. She's been here 9 weeks, I'm on my third. We were NOT professionals, but it's amazing how much you can accomplish in a day. It's amazing how much you can teach even though you don't know the language very well.
We had Zone conference this week. WOW. I love our mission President (President Pace) and the love he has for all the missionaries. The meeting was SUPER powerful. And afterwards, they rolled in suitcases full of packages and boxes and letters, bringing Christmas to the mission.
I'll try and send some pictures... eventually.
Love you guys!
|African Christmas number 12/13/14, perhaps at a ward party|
|District photo in Valencia 12/20/14|
|Ice skating in Valencia 12/23/14|
|On the ice|
|Paella for zone conference 12/22/14|
|Lights in Valencia taken 12/15/14|