Monday, December 26, 2016

Never Ending Happiness

December 26, 2016

Feliz día después de la Navidad!!!! 

I feel like talking to you guys yesterday was just a weird dream.  Sorry about the complications with the microphone but I’m glad we finally figured it out and could actually chat a bit. :)  I also feel like I did a lot of random rambling and have poor English grammar; but it was so great to see you and spend some time together on Christmas! ;) 

Even though Argentine Christmases are lots different from Utah ones, my comp and I made the best out of it and had a great time!!  Luckily, this year wasn't nearly as hot as last year on Christmas day.  It’s actually been super foggy these last couple days and I haven’t had to use sunscreen!  Much different from the 100 degree Bahia Blanca Christmas I experienced last year. ;) 

On Tuesday we had a Christmas zone conference with about 50 missionaries and Presidente y Hna Cifuentes.  We watched FINDING DORY!!!!!, decorated Christmas cookies, went on a foto scavenger hunt (during which a bird pooped on my hair... K super fun), sang Christmas songs and just had fun!!

Christmas Zone Conference - President Cifuentes

Our mission mom - Hermana Cifuentes
American style hamburgers
Decorating Christmas cookies

The finished product
We watched in Spanish, so it was weird not hearing Ellen's voice...but I LOVED IT!!!

During the week my comp and I were trying to figure out what to get each other for Christmas (because thanks to the Argentine government we haven’t been able to get any of our packages from home).  And well....let’s just say we found peanut M&Ms, KitKats and MANTECOL...guys... it’s so yummy!  Just imagine a peanut butter paste that just kind of melts in your mouth....can you imagine it??   Well don’t worry, I'm filling up one of my suitcases with it before I come home so you can all try it! J 

My favorite Argentine candy...SOOOOOOO GOOD!

On Christmas Eve we had an asado with Flavia and Clauido and their son Franco that was super yummy!  

Christmas Eve Asado with (LtoR) Claudio, Franco, Flavia, Hna Davidson
Genuine Argentine ASADO

We headed home at 10 and stayed up making cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.  
The dough expanded a bit!
The Process:

As we were getting ready for bed, we started to hear explosions out the window and I thought Mar del Plata was under attack.  As we opened our window to check out the noise, I remembered that these crazy Argentines put on giant firework shows on Christmas Eve at midnight!!  So, with our luck of living on the fourth floor of this building, we had a great view!!  It felt a little like New Year’s Eve or the Fourth of July back home…it was super fun and pretty!! 

12 AM from our bedroom window :)

Sorry you can't see any fireworks in the picture...just my sleepy face ;)
But don't worry...I've got videos to show y'all later!

So on Christmas morning we had made WAY too may cinnamon rolls so the Elders in our district came over to help us eat them, and they also brought us little stockings from President Cifuentes.  Thank to my comp's mom we even had an assortment of different icings and they were dang good!!  

When you make wayyyy to many cinnamon rolls, and they come out huge too...
the Elders have to come help you eat them. ;)

The Elders aren't allowed in our apartment, but the hallway works ;)

After our little cinnamon roll breakfast, we headed to church.  Sadly, not very many people came…but Flavia and Claudio did! :)  It was great to be with them. 

After church, we were invited to eat lunch at the bishop's house and it was really cool because all of his children (1 son and 3 daughters) have served missions and his wife and sister in law too!  

Christmas Day Lunch with Bishop Henrik and his family

After lunch my comp and I went back to our apartment and opened our Christmas presents and had a mini Christmas devotional before heading out to Skype with you all back home.  

Our companionship Christmas Devotional...cute Hna Davidson

Presents under the tree...we bought each other candy basically :)

also...go ahead and make fun of the way I spelled Santa Clause (yup, with a "Z") :)

Honestly, it was a bit hard to concentrate with all the excitement of knowing we would be talking to you soon, but it was a great chance to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas…the importance of the knowledge we have that our Savior was born, that he died, and most importantly that he lives again...all for us!!  He loves us and that is why he came to earth, to show us the way and to give us LIFE.  

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and are getting ready to set some new year's resolutions.  This morning I was reading in the scriptures in Mormon chapter 7, verse 7 it says,  “And [Christ] hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

I invite you all to set the goal to reach that state of never ending happiness that only comes through living the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is my goal...not just for 2017, but for TODAY and tomorrow and forever.  I'm so happy to be able to be a representative of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and for all the happiness the message I carry brings to my brothers and sisters here in Argentina.  

Happy New Year everyone!!

Con amor y una panza llena de comida de ayer, 

Hermana Bartholomew 

Pictures from our district trip to P-Day last week:

Lobo Marino
This is the famous sea lion statue in Mar del Plata ;)
District selfie with the sea lion I was taking pictures, a bird pooped on my arm. :(

That's two times in one week...not cool.
...and another stray dog

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