Monday, December 29, 2014

Week in Review Dec 22, 2014 - Dec 28, 2014

On their way to the Young Single Adult
Christmas party
December 22nd 2014

Ok, so today was a pretty quiet P-day, but a p-day nonetheless.  Played soccer, emailed home, the norms.  We do however had a secret Santa activity we are part of this week as an attempt to reactivate some people.  So, today we also went shopping for these gifts.. A limit of 7 soles, but we will see who will actually follow that.  I bought a desk decoration of some local historical well.... and it can hold your pens as well.  Stuffed some North American Candy inside and called it good.  In the evening we (us 2 missionaries and the president of the Elders Quorum) went from house to house singing Christmas Hymns, sharing the story of Christmas, and inviting for the activity tomorrow night in our ward building.  Was a great and wonderful way to end the day.

December 23rd 2014

Panettone Bread/Cake
Ward Christmas activity!  Woo hoo!  More hot chocolate!  Woo hoo!  More Panettone [A type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan. It is prepared for Christmas and New Year in parts of South Amercia. This also looks very much the same as a Norwegian Christmas Bread that our family has eaten over the years. I have actually seen this at Target and our local grocery store, where you can buy the bread in a box mix. Not sure if the American version is even close to what Elder Holmes has been eating.].... well... ya... The ward activity was a hit. Videos and photos from the past years activities here in San Luis, then a time for some talks on Christmas, and the importance of Christs birth for us.  Then came the festivities.  A clown.  I won't lie, Peruvian clowns are even more scary than the U.S. Ones.... But everyone seemed to like it.   Then came the Panettone.  I swear, that stuff multiplies like the Sermon on the Mount when Christ broke the break for the 7000. Panettone Everywhere!  Always.  I'm over it already.

December 24th 2014
View from Elder Holmes apartment on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve!  What is normally in my evening of the 24th a family night, pot roast, or the like with a reading of Luke 2 and twas the night before Christmas was replaced with dinner as a Zone with Pizza from... Pizza Hut!  3 slices of Pepperoni Pizza... All for me!  Then we played signs as a large group with is always fun, then off Elder Chapeton and I went to our other dinner appointment!  Had some very well prepared food , Panettone, and fruits from Family Santiago who is the family that invited us over.  But once the time for our curfew was up, Bam... off we went!  We went to our room later with 2 other Missionaries from Ambo who is Elder Pizzarro

and Elder Pincock.  Once we finished what we needed to do, we went up to our roof and was able to see all of Huanuco and all the fireworks which I kid you not was constantly about every 6 or 7 houses all night past 12. Grabbed some awesome video and a few photos, sorry I cannot show it until 2016, but just know that I have it! I finished the night by reading in English and Spanish Luke 2 and remember that tomorrow is the day we remember the Birth of Jesus Christ which led to his eternal role to become the savior of our sins and create a path for us to follow to receive our eternal life.

December 25th 2014

Can you see the Panettones? lol
Christmas!  What and where do I start?  Well, at the very least, today was a great day!  My companion called home today (That in itself was a blessing for him, because there was in the past some issues with him talking to his family because he left for a mission and his family is not members and did NOT want him to go...) 

Had breakfast and lunch with Family Jara, Turkey was delicious, a pretty tranquil day.  In the evening we had our Gift Exchange with the Young Single Adults which I gave my gift, and in return I received a new tie (I love it) and a shirt for P-day.  Lets just say that nobody followed the 7 sol limit.  Oh yea, we also received about 3 or more Panettones today.  Will it ever end?

December 26th 2014

Well, I believe this was our last weekly planning session as this companionship, and all was well!  Things are a lot better between us now, so we should be parting on happy terms... hahaha... After that and Lunch back at the pension, we had a Baptismal interview ( my companion is the district leader, and conducts the interviews for our area) and he passed! Woo hoo!  And guess what... After that I received a Packet form home!  Thanks Grandma Janet!  

The Chocolates were great,, and I still have a few left..Also received my letters from Craig and Bonnie, thank you both, I just love receiving letters to read later again! hahaha....After that, It just got better  because was able to call home via Skype.  Woo hoo!  As I am sure my family can attest, we were all so excited to have this 1 hour opportunity to talk. [That was the best call for our family. Make sure to check out the 1 minute video that Elder Holmes left on his Facebook page. Now to wait until Mother's Day, May 10th, 2015.] 

Man, I am doing so good our here ( I think) with being away from my family, but on days like today, you feel really trunky when you actually see and talk live with your family. Totally different. Also, today marks my 4 months since I left home on August 26th, 2014, so here is to 3 more calls home in the next 20 months!

December 27th 2014

Back to the Grind today!  Normal day, not much to report....

December 28th 2014

Church today, and last day of Church here starting at 8 am, for the rest of 2015 we will be starting at 10 am which means we will have more people who actually show up!  Woo hoo!  Ward council was great today, maybe because everybody actually went home with some "homework" to do....

Also had an opportunity to have divisions today and try to teach and learn with a different person who is actually our Elders Quorum President in our ward....

All in all, I had a good time during this week of Christmas.  Duh, I missed my family, but I'm doing good here, and I am glad that wherever I go I know that I'm taken care of, and that I have people back at home (family and friends) who care about me... hahaha. or at the very least send me emails that make me feel like they do.  Hahaha... :D

Happy New Year!! See you in 2016. Here is a great video, Because of Him, a great reminder for the new year. I hope you enjoy it!

Elder Holmes
Huanuco Peru,
Last Email from 2014