It is Christmas time and we are carrying around the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is good to be alive and to be a missionary. Yes, we have, in fact, put together a Christmas choir of all the elders in the City, some sixty. Every Wednesday and Friday, we have choir practice. We sing Cantan Santos Angeles, Regocijad Jesus Nació, Escuchad el Son Triunfal, Yo Trato de Ser Como Cristo, Canto de Testimonio (look it up on Youtube), and Noche de Luz, in that order, with some solos and quartets inbetween. Hermana Leyva plays piano, Elder Christiansen is a boss on the flute, and Elder Lopez, aka Superman, plays violin. It's pretty good. Also, eventually we are going to add a small theatrical performance, based on A Christmas Carol. However, instead of being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, Scrooge is going to be visited by past, present, and future missionaries being a message of the Premortal Life, the Earth Life, and Eternal life. Pretty clever, huh? I thought so.
Also, we got to go to a park to sing on Sunday. It was very beautiful, like amazingly beautiful. There were fountains with kids playing in them, cobblestone walkways, giant palm trees, stone statues, and a Gigantic Catholic church, complete with stained glass representations of Jesus, in the Jordan River, with John sprinkling water on His head. Not a joke. Quite the trip for just some sprinkles, if you have to ask me. It was also quite the experience to sing Christmas carols to a crowd of Mexicans in shorts and tank tops with palm trees in the background while we were wearing suits and scarves. It still doesn't feel right, but I won't lie, tropical Christmas is not altogether unpleasant.
Anyway, I suppose I should include a story or two from missionary life. How about eating a chicken foot? I ate one, and it wasn't that bad. Or how about trying to answer claims that Lilith was the first woman on the Earth? Well, we pretty much said that she wasn't and that he should read Genesis again, and that he should just concentrate on the important doctrines like obedience and creation. How about Estoy Borracho? Yeah, I'll tell that one.
So, one night, after another long, long day, we were heading home. We had just bought some tostados and coke and were WITHIN SIGHT OF OUR HOUSE when I young man, a little bit shorter than me, approached us. He was walking very slow and unsteadily. He talked something like this, "Oye, puede ayudarme? Estoy borracho. Puede ayudarme a ir a mi casa? Estoy borracho. No quiero tomar. Estoy borracho. Es mi primera vez. Estoy borracho. Estoy borracho. Vomité. Estoy borracho. Tengo un papel para ustedes (he gives us his daughter's homework) Estoy borracho. Mi esposa tiene un bebe en la panza. Estoy borracho. Soy un soldado. Estoy borracho" and so on and so forth. Estoy borracho, by the way, means I'm drunk. He was very drunk and had indeed vomited all over his right arm. He was quite sincere when he said it was his first time drinking and that he wanted to quit, so we helped him home. En route, he gave us twenty pesos against our will (literally stuck his hand in Elder Juarez's pocket), his military id, did ten pushups to prove that he liked to excercise, tried to bring us into the military compound (they don't allow preachers there. And the guards are quite scary looking), nearly fell over five or six times, and said that he was drunk well over one hundred times. It made our night quite long. But that's missionary life: forgetting yourself to help whomever you meet. We generally avoid drunks because they can be dangerous, but this guy was nice if incoherent. Point is, sacrifice for others. We still got to bed on time, we still ate tostados, but we had done good. Take some time to do some good this week. It's not so bad.
Anyway, I love and miss you all. Not gonna lie, when Christmas rolls around, it will be pretty hard.
Anyway, luv ya and have a merry Christmas season!