It turns out that this Monday and Tuesday we had a meeting for all trainers, district and zone leaders in the mission and so I got to go to Cancun for that. Elder A. (my district leader) and I went to that and our companions stayed here in Valladolid while we were in Cancun. It was really good and I learned a lot to help me out with my teaching I think. I hope to put it all in practice. It's always hard to keep the fire going from those meetings when you go back to your areas. We'll see what we can do though!
Elders L., A., Jaussi, and G. in "el Centro," Valladolid, Mexico.
Elders C. and Jaussi at training conference in Cancun
Elders Jaussi, P, and G. - Training conference in Cancun
The picture with me with all the presents is quite the crazy story. Friday night we had a ward party and we planned on going because a few investigators were going to be there but we had planned to only go for about a half hour to welcome them there, make them comfortable, and then get back to work. Every time we were about to leave though, someone in the ward kept telling us that we had to wait because they wanted us to sing a song as part of the program. I decided we could do that much and we decided to wait, but they never asked us to sing.... The whole party there was a table at the front of the room with a bunch of presents on it. I was for sure it was to play white elephant which gave me one more reason to leave; we didn't bring any gifts!! We didn't need to though... They were all for us!! Talk about the biggest surprise ever. Towards the end of the meeting, before the ward was going to go outside to eat the Bishop started talking to close the meeting. He began to talk about "dos angelitos con nosotros" (two angels who are with us) who work really hard every day. I started to realize what was happening, but it got worse. He then went on saying that these two people don't have their mom or dad, their brothers or their sisters, and they're "solitos" (alone) on Christmas. That was when I started to have some big ganas de llorar.. (desire to cry) and I couldn't handle it any more. I started crying because he just kept going on and on about the family that we didn't have with us but then he closed it all with saying some really nice things and telling us thank you for all we do. To cap it off, he said that all the gifts were for us! It was quite the cool experience. It made me feel less sad to be away from home for the first time during Christmas because I really feel like a couple people here are already family to me. One of them, Hna. R. started to cry with me too because she went on the mission and she said she knew exactly how I felt. (She is the mom of N. and the wife of the ward mission leader.) It turns out that one of the wards did that for her and her companion when she was on the mission and she wanted to do it for us so she started it all up. It was a good night for sure, but even without all the gifts it was great. We're really starting to gain the confidence of the members I think because they're helping us more with references and all that good stuff.