The library was closed again on Monday so sorry I'm not writing until today. How was everyone's Christmas and New Year's? I want to hear all about them! It was so fun to skype on Christmas. I wish I could have spent longer talking to the 3 boys though...that night I had a dream about giving all of them hugs and it made me miss them really bad. After we skyped we went to several member's houses and everyone served us tamales and posole. I was SO full that night. Elder Dimond ate 50 tamles in one day!!! So sick. I think I only had a total of 3 and I was stuffed. We had a zone party/gift exchange and Elder Perez baught me superman pjs and popcorn. The galvan family bought sister green and I cute cardigan sweaters in our favorite colors (blue and green). At the end of the night we went caroling and it was so fun! I finally got the other package that you sent and thank you SOOOO much. The maple syrup is delicious and of course the engineer gifts are a must. I felt right at home. And my glasses have helped out a lot.
For New Year's people were definitely not as receptive to hearing a message about Jesus christ as they were around Christmas time. The only nice people on New Year's Day while we were contacting were the drunks. But we still had a lot of success this last week. We got another baptismal date!! Blanca commited to be baptized February 16. We met her contacting a few weeks after I got here. Pedro still has his baptismal date but he hasn't come to church yet. He bought us a really nice Christmas present though and really has a stong desire to change and do what's right he just works so much and it's hard to schedule appointments with him. We can tell he's trying though. Ana and her family are progressing the fastest and we're going to the temple with them this Sunday. We taught them the family proclamation and they LOVED it. They believe the book of mormon was written by prophets of God and they want to be sealed as a family.They always ask us when we can come over and what we want them to read and then they always read more than we assigned. But they haven't committed to baptism. They know the catholic church has faults and they always talk to us about them but they're not ready to give it up yet. I think they'll be our next baptismal date though. We have a lesson with them tonight at 630. We have a goal to have 5 baptismal dates before Sister Green gets transferred.
I don't know if I mentioned Apolinar Maya but he has THE strongest faith. He doesn't have a car so he runs to the church to visit with us in the dark and cold every night. I wish it weren't against mission rules to give him a ride. We had one of our lessons at a members house and he got lost so he was just running around looking for the right apartments. It was so sad. But he really wants to understand. He gets confused a lot with the scriptures etc. but he's awesome. We think he'll have a baptismal date soon too. Seeing investigator's exercise that much faith makes me realize how often I took advantage of the gospel in my life. We really are so blessed to have a knowledge about the gospel and to have it so easily available. There's another family that doesn't have a car and they walk/ride their bikes to church every Sunday even in the rain. The dad is one of the only members that doesn't every work on Sunday so they never miss a week at church. I think our biggest challenge right now is helping others (investigator's and members) undestand the importance of going to church EVERY sunday.
Our newest investigator is Syliva and her husband. We found them in the area book and Sylvia bawled during our lesson. They talk alot so we only made it through the first part of the restoration lesson and then in our second lesson we were prepared to talk about Joseph Smith and give them a book of mormon but their sister-in-law was listening in and this time she was bawling during the lesson. Very emotional family. So we have visited with them 3 times and haven't even finished the first lesson! Syliva is going to teach us how to make tortillas on Saturday though so we're really excited.
Speaking of food...I can't handle eating this much any longer! We got two dinners two nights in a row, including last night, and I woke up at midnight to throw-up because I was so full. Or maybe I got food poisoning. Not sure. I feel better now though. But I don't remember what it feels like to be hungry. Somehow I haven't gained weight....yet. Sister Green brings ziploc bags in her purse sometimes and puts spoonfuls of food in there when no one's watching. It's saved our stomach several times.... She's teaching me so much :)
Oh here are my Gifts to christ this year: (I wrote them in my journal but I didn't bring them with me...so I'll try to remember)
1. Finish Jesus the Christ
2. Finish reading the Book of Mormon (In Spanish, reading out loud)
3. Be fluent in Spanish (so I can better teach the Gospel of course)
4. Be 100% obedient
5. Allow my will to be "swallowed up in the will of the Father"
I think I had 2 more but I can't remember. Did you make Matt do it again this year? Well I have to go but thanks for everything! I love the staionery! It's very handy. And I love everything you sent me for Christmas! Thanks for everything and especially thanks for supporting me. Sometimes I still can't believe that I'm actually a missionary but I can see how God prepared me for this and how he allowed me to go through certain things in my life in order for me to make the decision to serve a mission. His ways are always better. I realize that every single day taht our plans fall through. He always has something better for us to do or someone else that he needs us to talk to. It never ceases to amaze me when I realize how in control He really is. But I'm grateful that He is the one in control and not me because He knows so much better than I do.
I love you all and I hope to hear from you soon! Happy new year!!!!!!!!!! Feliz Ano :)
Love, Hermana Billings
ps- what are everyone's new year's resolutions?