|Merry Christmas from the ocean!|
I really cannot believe that it is almost Christmas. Christmas is less than 2 days away. Christmas in Peru is soooooooooooo much different than in the United States. First off, it's 20,000,000,000,000,000,000 degrees out here. Definitely going to be dreaming of a white Christmas, but I really don't think I'm going to be seeing much snow. It's going to be different, but it's going to be good. It will be my first Christmas on the beach. Pretty cool, no? I'm super excited for Christmas morning. I think this year the song "I Saw Three Ships" is going to take on a whole new meaning! My first Christmas where I will really be able to see three ships come sailing in. Right now there are soooooooooooooooooo many boats here. They are all here so that all the fishers can be here with their families for Christmas! Super cool! Another thing that they do to celebrate Christmas here in Peru is that they eat fruitcake. Not even joking. In the states fruitcake is a joke. Here "paneton" is the real deal. Christmas isn't Christmas here without fruitcake! And the worst part about it is that it is nasty! Mainly just because I hate raisins. But it's okay though. I really am loving my time here. I'm going to have one of the best Christmas days ever!
This last week went pretty well. It was a little hard to teach people because everyone is super busy getting ready for Christmas. But we were able to have some really great lessons! One of the lessons we had was not so great though. We were teaching this less active member about the plan of salvation. We were teaching her about the fall of Adam and she told us that if Adam hadn't partaken of the forbidden fruit he still would have been able to have kids. We tried to explain it to her forever! It was honestly so frustrating! We finally just had to end the lesson and challenge her to pray about it and really ask if what the scriptures and the prophets teach is correct or not!
Tuesday we had a baptism! We really didn't have to do much for this baptism though! It was the baptism of a super cool kid who is 15 years old. He has been attending church for the past 3 months and finally decided to be baptized! It was soooooo cool watching his dad baptize him. I still think the best part about every baptism is watching the person come up out of the water and seeing the giant smile on their face. I am so grateful to be a missionary. As missionaries we really do have a front row seat to miracles happening in people's lives every day!
Wednesday was the championship soccer game of a tournament here in Peru. La U. Really I hate the team just because their name literally translates to "The U". Supposedly they won this tournament and that makes them the best team in Peru. After the game hundreds of people mobbed together and marched through the streets chanting and singing and swinging their shirts over their head. It was pretty cool watching it from the safety of a member’s house. I definitely don´t want to be out in the crowd! It's going to be so crazy here in July during the World Cup. I can't even imagine what the missionaries in Brazil are going to do!
Thursday our zone had our interviews with President Rowley! President Rowley is the best! It was fun seeing the assistants there too! I had become really good friends with Elder B in Piura so it was fun to see him! I can't wait for the Christmas devotional we have on Christmas Eve when we get to see a third of the mission! I'm sure that will be fun!
Thursday afternoon we had a lesson with Hermana G. She is a super amazing person. She is a mother of 5 children and 2 of them are twins. The twins are only 1 year old. We ended up finding her on the list of potential investigators. We have been teaching her for the past few weeks and she really likes the gospel. She said to us on Thursday that she really believes that this church is true! That was one of the coolest things to hear as a missionary! I'm super excited. The one problem is that she isn't married, but she is currently in the process of getting everything together that she needs so she can be married! Her family is the best!
Friday was the Christmas concert in Paita. It was a concert by a youth orchestra from Piura. It was super fun. It was DEFINITELY a youth orchestra though. But overall it was really fun. President Rowley and his wife came. Our zone sang Silent Night at the end of the concert in Spanish and English. That was super duper cool. After the concert they served hot chocolate and fruitcake. I don´t know about you, but when it is a million degrees outside I want cold chocolate milk, not hot chocolate! And fruitcake is never good. I ate it with a smile though!
Saturday we went "Caroling" with our zone. There are tons of little parks here and so we went from park to park singing Christmas songs and we ended up getting tons of references from it! Even though this Christmas is going to be hard being away from family, I am super excited for it!
I am so grateful to be a missionary, especially at this time of the year. I know the church is true. At this time of the year I am especially grateful for my loving Savior. I know he lives. And I know that he died for every one of us. I am so grateful for this time of year when we can reflect on his birth and his marvelous life. I know this church is true. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share this gospel with others!
Thanks for all of the love and support! I really hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Paita Perú!
Love, Elder Baker
P.S. Sounds like Kaysville is super pretty with all of the snow! I hope that you have a great Christmas this week! I would love to have a day skiing in snow. It would be pretty hard to ski here. I can´t wait to talk to you on Wednesday! It's going to be the best! Love you! Merry Christmas!
Lauren, So your members shower you with presents? I have received a total of 0 presents here. But it honestly doesn't make me sad. Because these people don't even have the money to buy their kids presents. I really hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Christmas in the mission is going to be the best! Thanks for being such a great example to me! Love you tons! Merry Christmas!