Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Week 19: The Lazarus Hole, Dominicanismos, "I burned my soul!", and my first Christmas in the Mission!

Hola family!

Thank you so much for the FaceTime call! It was so cool to be able to
talk and be with all of you on Christmas, even if it was weird calls
at 10 pm our time and 1 pm yours! This week has been what you'd call a
successful unsuccessful week, since there were a lot of great visits
with investigators and members, because we Caroled and had Christmas
meals with people, but at the same time we had barely any new
investigators, since no one would be out on the street Christmas
morning. But it was a great week being able to skype and to celebrate
Christ's birth!

One of the amazing experiences we had to bring the Christmas spirit to
our members and investigators was to sing Christmas carols to them
with the other 4 missionaries in our ward, which we spent our Tuesday
night doing. We had visited at least 6 investigators and members
before we headed out to our final stop, which was in a pueblo a few
minutes away from Valencia called Alequas(ok more like 30 to 40
minutes)to a menos activa couple from Ecuador named Fernando and Elsa.
We had been welcomed very warmly by the others we visited that night,
but it couldn't compare to their response. During the singing of
Silent Night, I remember looking up from my hymn book to see her and
Fernando crying quietly, feeling just as we did the Holy Ghost in
their home as we sang about Christ's birth. While not the most
memorable or crazy of experiences that I had this Christmas, I felt
like I was touched the most by seeing how much of an impact Christ's
birth has on people, and I felt honored to have made the 30 minute
journey to their home to bring that to them, even if it meant we
missed the last bus and had to walk 1.5 miles to the metro station(we
were a little sore).

On Christmas Eve we had dinner at Sonia's, a recent convert of the
hermanas. There we played Egyptian rat screw, Spoons, ate some
intensely hot sauce with chips, and we learned the rule of drinking
alcohol(from a less active British lady named Beth, we only drank
apple cider don't worry, but she was very proud to tell us about the
rule of which hand to drink with haha). We finished the night with confetti
cannons at the piso, and spraying each other with apple cider on the
patio, messy but fun!

On Christmas Day we made a delicious breakfast of Kneaders syrup and
French toast, strawberries, bacon, hash browns, and a bunch of juice,
where we ate way more food then we should have, because we followed
that up with a Christmas lunch with a member named Maria and
delivering a fish to a less active(long story). We ate a bunch of
Brazilian chicken, pork, rice and pasta, still full from breakfast so
we almost died. After that we walked across downtown Valencia to the
house of an American couple names Shane and Morgan, who had a super
cool 5 story piso with a spiral staircase, a roof top patio, and some
intense front doors, so big that there was a smaller door inside the
door to get in. It was a super fun night there eating a huge leg of
pulled pork wrapped with bacon, green bean casserole, and having some
of the funniest dinner conversations. One was after I burned my
hand on the green bean casserole and exclaiming "I burned my soul", for
some reason. We laughed for like 5 minutes after that, and when we
figured that there fireplace looked like Lazerous tomb door(the
lazerous hole!). We then facetiming our families before crashing on
our beds at home.

The rest of the week was pretty normal, we had a few great lessons
with some investigators, and went out teaching with our ward mission
leader victor from Nigeria(he's pretty cool as most Africans are!).
One of them being, Rafeal and Blessing, a Nigerian couple that had been
taught by the hermanas a few months back, but had lost contact. We
taught them the restoration, and I've never felt the spirit as
strongly as we spoke of the Book of Mormon and of the first vision,
especially as we all three, including our ward mission leader, gave
our testimonies to them about why we’re here, and why we know that the
church has been restored. Victor our mission leader also gave a very
powerful testimony about his son serving a mission in Argentina, and
how he knows from his conversion the power that missionaries have to
teach the truth, which was very humbling to hear as we sat listening
to him. We also visited other investigators and now we have some
progressing ones, which is a huge improvement after our difficult
experience two weeks ago with our three sisters firing on us(still
hurt inside from that).

We also ate Dominican food at a Dominican families house yesterday,
which was quite interesting, emenadas, yucca(super dry potato thingy) fish and a
bunch of rice! We also are learning dominicanismos from them just for
fun, which are the weird things that Dominicans say.

Overall, a super great first Christmas in the mission, and now we're
planning for a great week as we head into New Years and Three Kings
Day(a weird echo of Christmas with more gifts!).

Love and miss you all!

Elder Taylor Moulton

 Christmas dinner before calling home
 Christmas lunch at Maria's (She messaged us the picture here in the states!)
 Christmas pic after District meetings
Our homemade french toast breakfast with Kneader's syrup!
 Facetiming with my fam!!

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