Saturday, January 5, 2013

Una Buena Navidad

Hola Todos!

Ojala que tengan un buen ano!

Between Christmas and New Years a lot has happened.  (But I left my
Journal at home, so I don't know if I will be able to remember it all.
 We'll just see what happens.)

We spent a lot of time Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the
members.  We had lunch and dinner with members both days.  The
Strasser Family has a tradition where they all dress up like the
nativity scene and preform it for each other.  They let us participate
and it was a lot of fun.  I was a wise [wo]man, and I presented baby
Jesus with a gift of a jar full of safety pins.  :D

We also helped the Pedroza Family make Tamales.  Yum, tamales are one
of the best Christmas traditions ever.

When we got home on la Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), we found that
Santa had come by way of the United States Postal Service.  Our mail
box was stuff with cards and packages.  Thank y'all for all of the
thoughtful cards and packages!!!

We had a multi-district meeting on Christmas Day, and we had a white
elephant gift exchange.  I gave some colored pens, and received a lot
of yummy candy!

We got a referral from the YSA sisters for Flor and Hector.  They live
out in a broken down trailer park, that we probably wouldn't go to by
on our own.  They are Catholic by tradition, but Hector is really
struggling with believing in God.  We have had some good lessons with
them.  They have a ton of questions, and they are always really good
questions that help us teach.  We are still trying to help them come
to church.

We also got a referral from the zone leaders for Roxanne.  She is
looking for a church.  We made the mistake of telling her about what
happens at church, before teaching the first lesson, and she decided
that she didn't want to wear a skirt to church.  We were able to teach
her the first lesson yesterday, and she agreed to be baptized.  I
think that the skirt issues will disappear as the spirit works with

On Friday, we started contacting referrals like crazy, and it was
really cool that everyone we tried to contact was actually home!  We
found some really good families that day.  The funny thing is that we
had to be referred back to some of the people that the previous elders
were teaching, because of the lack of records.  It is a very good
thing that we got re-referred to them, because some of them are very

We are really glad that the holidays are over, and we can get back to
missionary work as we know it.  Many people have made appointments for
holidays forgetting that it was a holiday, and then they punch
afterwards.  They are also more likely to forget appointments when
their schedule is off.  We are also really excited for the white
people to take down their Christmas lights so that we can pick out the
Hispanics. :D

Earlier this week we contacted a man named Jesus (half the Hispanic
man are named Jesus...).  While we were talking to him, he asked me
where I learned to speak Spanish.  We told him that we learned to
speak it out here, just by talking to people.  Spanish people love it
when white people talk to them in Spanish.  Many Hispanics have asked
my companions that question, but it was the first time someone asked
it to me.  It is an important milestone in my spanish learning career!
 I am at the point where the Spanish people are impressed that I am
trying to learn their language.  (Now, for the next milestone, for
someone to think that I am a native...  It could happen, with a name
like Sanchez...)

Yesterday, we went on an exchange.  I stayed in Denton, and Sister
Lounsbury came up here with me.  Hermana Facer went to work with the
YSA sisters in Denton, and one of the YSA sisters went down to Justin
to work with Sister Lounsbury's companion.  Three-way exchange!

Sister Lounsbury doesn't speak a lick of Spanish, so all of the
Spanish contacts were up to me.  I learned that I really can talk to
people in Spanish, and carry on conversations with them, without my
companion helping me.  I do need my companion, but now I can know that
I can do it myself as well!

We reset the baptismal date with Claudia!  She really wants this in
her life, and she is going to start preparing to get married, so that
she can get baptized.  She and her boyfriend, Jason, are going to come
to church this week! :D :D :D

We reminded Luz about her baptismal date on January 12th, and she was
a little bit hesitant.  We went over the baptismal interview questions
with her, and afterwards when we told her that that was all, and that
she really is ready for baptism, she was really excited.  It has been
the first time that she has been excited for her baptism.  She has
know that the church is true for a long time, but she has been
hesitant to make a commitment.  I think it is because she doesn't want
to promise to do something she can't keep.  But we were able to help
her realize that she is really ready for baptism, and that she will be
able to keep her baptismal covenant!

Well, that about sums everything up.  If anyone feels like sending me
some information about what is happening with the Space Center, I
would be very grateful.

Happy New Year!!!

Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez

A Texas Christmas!

The Christmas Story with the Strasser Family

Christmas Morning.

My District.

All the sisters in the zone.  I went on an exchange today and yesterday with Sister Lounsbury.  She is the one on the extreme left (if you are looking at the picture).   

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