Christmas was the Best!

This is a picture of us eating Caramel cookies! It is just straight up sugar but hey we like them. 
 That was taken during our changes to Esteli and that is why I am in a SWEATER. 

This was Christmas Dinner! IT was actually pretty good. 

Miller and I of course at the Christmas party!

Taken at our Mission Christmas Party at the Hilton.

And this was our CHRISTMAS DINNER 
(on the 25th because Christmas here is the 24th). It was SUSHI!

I love them with all my heart!

District Christmas Activity - Christmas Caroling - Our hats had lights on them.

My District singing at the Hospital.

When we went to sing at the Hospital to the Nińos. 
These are the Christmas treats we had and the Chef herself, Hermana DULCE! 

Opening Christmas! Thanks for giving me the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!! 
You guys are seriously the BEST!

Divisions with Hermana Aparicio

With the Tipitoppers! I miss those guys!

This is from our Christmas Olympics. Miller and I had to see how many marshmallows 
we could fit in our mouths in a minute! It was gross......

Leadership P-Day at the Volcano

Inside the Cave

Volcano Mist

View from the top of the Volcano.

Our yoga poses in front of the Volcano! 

Miller and I at the VOLCANO today! It was so LEGIT!!!!!

Okay first off!!! CHRISTMAS WAS THE BEST!!! I was so happy to talk with you and see how you are doing. Best Christmas present I could have asked for. We passed the rest of the day visiting and teaching. It was great!! We also ordered sushi for our dinner. It was a solid Christmas dinner. I talked to you all about Christmas and everything we did so I will just tell about how things were after! The rest of the week we worked LIKE LOCAS para que pudieramos tener un bautismo! We planned stellar lessons and visited as MANY people as possible so we could see a miracle. I am pretty sure I have told you about Marvin, Octavio and Hilda. They are INCREDIBLE. Octovio and Hilda are recent converts and we have been working with their son Marvin for a while now. This family is so special and really just has a desire to follow Christ. Marvin has been nervous to commit to baptism.  We have felt so strongly that he is ready and needs to be baptized. So Sunday night we showed up to his house and said "Marvin do you know this church is true? Do you believe Christ can clean you from all your sins? Then what would stop you from being baptized tomorrow MORNING!" The spirit was SO STRONG. He couldn’t deny it. And in that moment he committed to be baptized! Ahh it was incredible. I will never forget that moment. After that we prepared his DAD to baptize him. It is so beautiful that his dad is living worthy of the priesthood and was able to baptize him.

Monday morning we showed up to his house early because he wanted to practice his baptism before the actual thing. He had never gone under water and was a little nervous. Well, we got there and he WAS ALL READY TO GO! He just said, "I don’t need to practice. I know this is the Lord's baptism and nothing bad will happen."   We all ran over to the Church and set it all up. We had a beautiful service for him. The spirit was so tender and sweet just like MARVIN! I teared up watching Octovio baptism his Son. I am so excited they can now all prepare to enter into the Temple TOGETHER and be sealed as a family for the ETERNITIES!

That was definitely the Highlight of our week. Miller and I are getting a little sad because we KNOW she is going to be transferred and we just have too much fun together. Oh well we are just going to enjoy our time together and work our very hardest to baptism!

So today was OUR PDAY!!! Pres. planned a special pday for all the leaders and it was AWESOME!! He took us to a Volcano in the SOUTH MISSION and it was LA LEY! We got there and it was super COLD! Seriously we were all freezing. It was a sensation I haven’t felt in a LONG time.... I LOVED IT!!! So the volcano was insane! First we climbed to the top of the volcano and we just saw all the gasses. You seriously couldn’t see anything past it. I thought about Lehi's dream and the dark fog. It was just how you would imagine it. The fog was almost alluring because you had no idea what lay behind it.  However, if you passed into the fog there was no way of finding your way back. You had to stay on the trail and follow the guide. JUST LIKE THIS LIFE!! We have to stay on the straight and narrow path by living the GOSPEL and following Christ’s example.  If you do, the reward is more than you could ever imagine. We got to the top of the Volcano and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

After hiking the volcano we got to hike down into a cave. IT WAS SO AWESOME!!! I felt like Indiana Jones kind of. Once we were all in, we turned off all the lights and we sat in utter darkness. It was a crazy feeling. I literally couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I thought about when Christ died and the Darkness that covered the EARTH. Then I thought about the light, hope and joy he brought when he was resurrected and visited las Americas! Christ is the center and the light to everything! I am so grateful for Him and the light He has brought to my life. I love sharing it with the sweet people here in NICARAGUA!

So I just have to tell you real quickly about the Nica traditions for NEW YEARS!  Here New Year's Eve is more exciting and anticipated than Christmas. They have a dinner... speaking of which we ate way too MUCH!!! Anyways, then they have their parties and at 12 the FIREWORKS START GOING OFF!!! Once again we were woken up by the BOMBS going off in the street! It is just so insane. I can’t explain how loud it is. EVERY house sets off 1000's of firecrackers and other fireworks... it is ridiculous. For New Years everyone makes a life size mannequin and sets it in front of their house all day, like a scarecrow. Little did we know all these mannequins were full of FIRECRACKERS!! So at 12 o clock they set it on fire and watch it EXPLODE!!! It was kind of violent, but also AWESOME!! Maybe we will start the tradition at our house...maybe not it is a little brutal looking haha. It was really cool though and I am so glad we got to see it. 

OH YA!!! So we have been living with a FAMILY of rats and Monday we had to draw the LINE. So Miller was smelling her clothes and said "dude I think one of the rats peed on my Clothes they smell horrible." I was too scared to smell so she started to investigate. Well. . . she moved her suitcase and lo and behold we found a DEAD RAT!!!! We of course both started screaming bloody murder and ran STRAIGHT our of the house!!! We had to get our neighbors to come and collect it. Well that was the last STRAW!!! We immediately left to go buy the sticky rat paper I told you about. We put it out that night and woke up to TWO RATS STUCK ON IT!!! It was horrible! We were honestly just screaming for a solid 10 mins as we watched them try to get off. Finally, we got our neighbor and she ran to come collect the paper. She just picked it up in her hand and then SQUISHED THEM DEAD!!! It was straight up disgusting. Right after, we put a second paper out just incase there were more. We came back later that day to go to the bathroom and there WERE TWO MORE!!! That is 5 rats if you are keeping count! We went through the same screaming process and finally got them taken out. NOW we need more paper and are scared there could be more.......... it is out of control!
I have to go now.  I love you with all MY HEART!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I LOVE YOU!


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