What an amazing week! It was filled with fun Christmas activities. The 24th we visited a lot of the members homes and they gave us lots of delicious food. At the end of the day, we passed by the home of some recent converts. They were having a big barbeque and we ate with them. The way Christmas is celebrated here is very different. Everyone has a barbeque around 10:00 pm. or 11:00 pm. Christmas Eve and then at midnight all of the kids open their presents. It was fun because the members had little kids and the dad bought his 10-year-old son a little motorcycle. He was so excited.
The 25th we got to sleep in till 9 o’clock!! That is my last “sleep in” day. We got up and opened packages from our families and then got ready to go to a district class. At the district class, we had a white elephant gift exchange, which was very fun. There were some interesting gifts. After that we went and ate lunch.
Then the best part of Christmas day was when we skyped our families. We went to a member’s house and there he had 3 computers so my companions and I were all skyping our families at the same time. It was awesome to see the “fam” again after so long. My “bro” is tall but still “my little bro” that I will beat up when I get back J and my little sister has grown up a lot. But they are still the funny, weird Neser clan. So Christmas was awesome for me! The weirdest thing was that after the skype call, I went back out into the real world of the mission and that was a funny transition for me.
The rest of the week was great. Last Monday, we were eating in a pizza place and a gangster kid snuck in somehow and grabbed the moneybox and hopped the counter and ran out. Everyone was freaking out and the owners called the cops. When the cops arrived, it was really funny because they came up to us and said “And you didn’t grab the guy?” I guess they thought that since we were missionaries we should have apprehended the suspect! I am doing great. Today we had a zone activity and had a big water balloon fight. It was really fun. That’s it for this week.
This week was awesome! Yesterday, the other two missionaries from my branch had 2 baptisms. My companionship is still working with a couple of investigators to help them get baptized soon. I received an awesome package this week from the Woodbridge Priests, organized by Brother Cazier. They sent a lot of goodies that I have not seen for a long, long time! Like Pop Tarts! My companion from Ecuador became a little addicted and they were all eaten in about 2 days!
There is a little Christmas spirit here but not much. We visited a street market that had all kinds of things to buy for Christmas, like toys, etc. It was really cool. There were tons of people and music and vendors yelling and trying to sell their products. And everyone was crammed into a skinny street. As we were walking through the street market, we came upon an evangelical preacher, as is common in pubic places like that. He was blasting music and waving a Bible around. When he saw us, he immediately turned off the music and brought out a megaphone that he had. We kept walking forward to pass him knowing full well that we would probably lose our hearing. As we passed him, he followed right behind me and yelled all kinds of things through the megaphone about the Church and the US. It was crazy because his voice was the only thing anyone could hear. The street markets are very loud because there is a lot of different voices vying for your attention. But we kept walking and he followed us yelling. Everyone was staring at us. It was great. After a while he got tired and stopped. We all had a good laugh out of it in the end.
Something else that is funny is that everyone (investigators, members and other missionaries) call one of the other missionaries in my branch “One Direction” because he is blonde haired and blued eyed. It is super funny. He is super cool though. He played Baseball at BYU last year. His name is Elder Anderson. We played soccer today again with some members. That is some of the highlights of the week! I am excited to skype my family this Wednesday on Christmas day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!