Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Mexico

Hola Familia!

It was soo good to talk to all of you, I loved hearing all of your voices. I felt a little bad that there wasn’t enough time to talk to each of you individually, but I had my picture of the family and I was thinking about all of you. Talking to all of you made me think about all the things we do together as a family for Christmas, and it made me realize how much I love all of you. I really missed hearing the Polar Express, but there will be plenty of time for that when I get back. Thank you sooo much for the Christmas package, I loved everything in it. Music will be nice, it really does help bring the Spirit, I listened to Donny Osmond’s Christmas music and it reminded me of home. I listened to Go Climb that Mountain too and it made me think of Mom. This week was a little hard just because of all the Christmas things I was thinking about, and all of the things we do on Christmas involve my family, and that’s really the only thing that I miss. A special thanks to Melissa for the muddybuddies.

Mom asked me what I like in care packages, and the truth is my favorite candies are tootsie rolls, chocolate covered raisins and star bursts, and muddybuddies. In relation to the pants that I said I needed, I want non pleated, pleated are hard to iron everyday...also there’s no rush because the truth is I have everything I need for now. At about the year mark it would be nice to have a few new shirts and garments because the one’s I have are already starting to be not so white. The truth is the best thing that you can send me are letters. I don’t know if I haven’t been getting them because of pouch or what, but Cameron you asked me to tell you if you missed a week and I haven’t gotten a letter from you for a while. I prefer that you (my immediate family) use email so that I can respond quickly, and so I know more or less when you wrote them.

Ok, to answer the questions this week, no I don’t carry PMG with me everyday, my bag isn’t big enough and we only carry the things that are essential to proselyting. I carry my triple and bible in Spanish, but most days I just carry my triple. I also carry pamphlets on the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and some of the commandments. I also carry my hymn book and a flashlight. Sometimes I take notes for my emails, but I don’t really use the little notebook, I should though, I think I’m going to start carrying it in a bag so that when something happens that I want to write about I can write it down.

Speaking of things that I want to write about I thought you would like to hear about how Christmas is in Mexico. For Christmas Eve, I ate Mole Rojo, I took a picture. It is really not good, but there isn’t really a choice so I ate it. There is a lot of drinking around Christmas, and a lot of drunk people in the streets. It is really sad, Christmas is the time when people should be with their families enjoying their company, but so many people get so wasted that they can’t find their way home for days, and don’t spend any time with their families at all. But on the upside, there are Christmas lights, not so many Christmas trees and Christmas music. I saw my first Mexican Santa in the plaza in San Juan the other day, it was kind of weird for me. On Christmas Day (it didn’t really feel like Christmas because I was wearing short sleeves) we had a Zone Activity where we went to a Retirement Home to sing and give gifts and visit with them. It was sooo cool, but soo sad at the same time. There were about 25 residents and all of them were so lonely. Some of them started crying when we started singing, and it wasn’t because we were singing well. Their families just kind of left them there and don’t visit them. Their teeth are decaying and their nailed are crusty with infection. They just can’t take care of themselves anymore and there isn’t really anyone there to take care of them. We sang Christmas hymns and them visited with them. I felt the Spirit really strongly, they are sons and daughters of God too. He loves them just as much as he loves us. Some of them have been there for 20 years. I felt sad, but at the same time happy that we could give them a gift on Christmas day.

As I was saying of the phone, we do not realize how blessed we are. We have a family that loves each other, we have our relative health, we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have carpet, and heating, and an oven. I never realized how materially blessed we are in the US, but it is incredible. I can’t describe how blessed we are after some of the things I have seen. We don’t have to worry about our kids playing outside, we don’t have to worry about our house getting robbed or our husbands being held ransom. We have been given sooooooo much.

Another thing I wanted to write about will make Mom smile I think. On Sunday we were walking down the deserted street when out of nowhere Simon and Garfunkel started playing, the Sound of Silence. (Note from Peggy: How ironic...when Braden first called us on Christmas Eve we were cut off mid-sentence and all we heard was the sound of silence! That was the end of the phone call. We were blessed when he surprised us on Christmas day and called back to finish the call!) It was awesome, it was coming from the bell tower of a cathedral, and it made me think of Mom. I love Simon and Garfunkel. It also made me think of Casey.

Mom, sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I am sure you will love your new calling. Maybe this will make the time that I am gone pass more quickly for you.

I am so glad I got to hear Grandma’s voice. Grandma you have to keep doing all the things you are supposed to, I want to see you again when I get back. I don’t know if you can, or if you already do, but go to the temple every week. You will find answers and comfort there. It will make life easier.

Darci, Mom told me a little bit about your job success, I want to hear more because I was praying for that like you asked. I love you so much. Congrats on graduating, keep doing what your doing because you are obviously doing things right.

Dad, thanks for your email. I love you, thanks you your example. Children learn from their parents and the reason your kids are doing the right things is because they saw you do them first.

Melissa, I love you too. I loved hearing your voice, sorry I didn’t get to talk to you very much, but there will be more time later.

Kolby don’t waste all of your Christmas vacation on the computer. Practice your piano, read your scriptures, say your prayers, and do something nice for Melissa this week. Computers and friends will still be there after the break, enjoy the time you have with the family because it is short.

Cameron keep choosing the right. Be like Captain Moroni, bold and daring in keeping all the commandments because of an intense love of Christ. You are an awesome kid, just keep going.

Well, I love you all, I hope you had a merry Christmas because you deserve it.

Elder Nelson

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